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Film review: Cowboys vs. Vikings - Bubble Watch edition

I’ve watched the film on the Dallas Cowboys game with the Minnesota Vikings and have compiled my film review – The Bubble Watch edition. Not quite a traditional film review, I concentrated on those areas where I think we have decisions to make. Mainly, this included the offensive line, WR, OLB and the secondary. Later tonight, I’ll post my 53-man roster prediction.

One note, the Cowboys sure wanted to get a look at the line, the receivers and Bartel because in the second half when the Vikings kept blitzing and getting pressure, the Cowboys kept on throwing the ball basically abandoning the running game.

Offensive line

Joe Berger – For the most part I liked the game he played and would rate it better than Pat McQuistan’s or Cory Procter’s. He showed good mobility when he had to pull and was also good about picking up the right defender on those plays. His pass protection was pretty solid for most of the evening. I saw him blow a pass protection on a stunt and then he just got beat another time. He was also slow getting out on a screen. But for most of the game he was delivering a very solid performance.

Pat McQuistan – McQ got almost all the snaps at Kyle Kosier’s vacant left guard position but had some problems along the way. He did have moments when he was powerful in the run game and showed some mobility on the pull blocks, but didn’t always find a guy to block. He had a few soft moments in pass protection including one pitiful play. He also had three plays where his run blocks were complete failures and one almost led to a turnover. He did get downfield nicely on a screen pass.

Cory Procter – Procter only played a couple of series at left guard towards the end of the game. My guess is they are not considering him seriously for Kosier’s spot. Procter still suffers from being a little soft in the middle, he’s very susceptible to getting pushed straight back and he’s not as agile when he has to pull. He showed nothing in this game that should really change his status one way or the other.

Doug Free – Good thing my man Free isn’t really fighting for a roster spot because he played a lousy game. He was repeatedly beaten in pass protection and had a hard time recognizing some of the blitzes and stunts. The speed rush was really giving him trouble.

James Marten – I actually came away with the feeling that Marten played alright for him, which isn’t an overwhelming endorsement. He still had plays where he whiffed on blocks or didn’t hold his ground, but they were fewer than I’ve come to expect from him.

WR

Mike Jefferson – He had a few moments, especially towards the beginning where he caught some balls and made a few plays. He did have one easy drop and he didn’t show up on special teams at all. But he did get the nod as the starter next to Sam Hurd, so that could be an indication about how the Cowboys view him. He did get a couple of good blocks downfield in the run game.

Danny Amendola – He made a few plays catching the ball and blocking downfield, but really looks like if he’s going to stick it will be because he can add to the special teams. As both a backup punt and kick returner, he gets an advantage. But he didn’t exactly shine in this game, but didn’t make any big mistakes.

OLB

Justin Rogers – Don’t see him as “on the bubble” so didn’t chart him. They need his experience (the little he has) and his play on special teams.

Erik Walden – He didn’t really impress in the pass rush department but he did do a better job than I’ve seen him do before at standing his ground against the run. He did blow an easy tackle in the backfield on one play. But what caught my eye was that on four kick/punt coverage plays, Walden showed up around the ball and made a couple of tackles. If he can contribute on special teams, that’s a great sign for him sticking around.

Tearrius George – If George could have had a couple of more games like this or showed some of this in camp, the Cowboys would for sure create a place for him on the roster. The guy had at least six plays in the backfield. He had a great penetration blowing up a run, he got a couple of sacks and hit the QB a couple of other times disrupting passes. Now, he did a lot of this later in the game against the Vikings’ scrubs, but it still was an impressive performance. The question is - was it too late to change his future?

Darrell Robertson – Just didn’t do enough to change his fate.

CB/S

Evan Oglesby – Helped himself again this game with a nice breakup of a pass in the endzone, another pass break up later, a good tackle against the run and generally no big mistakes. The only bad thing I saw him do is use bad technique and turn his back to a receiver on a short pass. One problem for Oglesby is he doesn’t show up much on special teams and that could hurt his chances.

Alan Ball – Had one great special teams play on punt coverage and one good deep coverage but not much else. He just doesn’t make a lot of plays.

Dowayne Davis – A couple of nice tackles on defense but not much on special teams where he needs to shine to make the team. Didn’t really help himself much during the game.