Let's not insult our collective intelligence by acting as if there is anything to glean from this game as relates to the Cowboys regular season performance as a team. That is not what preseason game number four is about. What it is about are the individual battles for roster spots being waged by players trying to make the 53 man roster or the practice squad. The most notable moment in that sense didn't even occur on the football field. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was in the booth for the start of the second half, and shed some light on a couple intriguing items.
First things first. Babe Laufenberg asked JJ how can you tell Phillip Tanner he's not good enough to make this team.
"You don't. He's special. His coach says, 'I've never seen a kid like this.' He's never seen anybody that takes every note, that tries every way in the world to get better. Plus he's got a lot of talent. I don't know that I have the courage [not to have him] on the Dallas Cowboys. We may have four backs."
- Jerry Jones
That's my pet cat! Well, v 2.0 but he was claimed.
Another interesting note was Jerry taking the starting cornerbacks to task for not being able to suit up for any preseason games, specifically Mike Jenkins. Jenkins was interviewed on the sidelines while Jones was in the booth, and when asked about MJ Jones said "well he's saying all the right things, I wish he'd do the right thing."
Wow. More after the jump.
Jerry would try to temper the statement, but it was obvious he or the staff isn't happy they couldn't line up with the 1's. It almost seemed as if he gave Scandrick an extension not just because of a great camp, but also as a shot at the starters for missing time. Of course, Jerry talks too much, and pretty much told the New York Jets that Terrence Newman is a big question mark to play in the season opener.
Now, the number one goal of every preseason game is to avoid injuries, and unfortunately, the Cowboys could not do that. At a position without much experienced depth, the Cowboys lost some bodies competing for a spot on the roster. With only three seconds left in the game, Raymond Radway appeared to suffer a serious left leg injury while going up for a catch attempt in the end zone. The bottom half of his leg went in two different directions as he tried to push off for the jump. Fellow rookie receiver Dwayne Harris also left the contest with a head injury in the third quarter.
We'll have more coverage of the roster battles as the week rolls on before shifting our focus to the regular season opener, but here are some other loosely collected notes from the game.
-- 1st offensive play from scrimmage showed why the Cowboys drafted DeMarco Murray, screen pass executed perfectly as Murray gets almost 50 yards down the left sideline. Great block by Jesse Holley.
-- I think Kenwin Cummings may have lost his roster spot. He showed up doing the wrong thing way too many times, and was witnessed catching an earful from Rob Ryan.
-- And on the heels of the great screen, Lonyae Miller runs into the back of his linemen for the 327th time
-- 3rd and 7, Ogletree does a great job of catching the ball behind the yard marker, and getting upfield for the first down. That's one of the main things you're going to need out of your third receiver behind Austin and Bryant.
-- 3rd and goal from the 2 - What the hell did Stephen McGee see there? Interception in the end zone and that's all I need to see from McGee, he's not ready to be Romo's backup. [/snap judgement]
-- On the Larry Johnson touchdown- Kenwin Cummings whiffs on the tackle again, before Church isn't able to make the tackle and the 54 year old running back scores on a 20 yarder.
-- Great WR analysis by Michael Irvin on the missed bomb attempt to Ogletree, on body positioning during the route while the ball is in the air.
-- I wrote this note during the second quarter: The Cowboys are keeping 6 receivers. Manny Johnson, Jesse Holley and Dwayne Harris have all shown more than enough to make this team. Raymond Radway is being stashed on the practice squad for future UDFA accolades.
-- On a 3rd and 4 from Miami 35, Murray makes a huge effort after he's hit behind the marker and drives forward for the first on a delay.
-- The Cowboys running game is going to be very exciting this season. Felix looks better than he ever has, and this preseason game has shown that we have depth here still. Murray looks as advertised and my replacement pet cat Phillip Tanner continues to show tremendous effort in his runs. Is it even possible to roll with four tight ends and four halfbacks? If so, I want in.
-- This note was written after the Cowboys finally got on the board: I have a suspicion that Buehler is going to get the kicker spot, then the team will work out Forbath once he comes off the PUP for a couple weeks of a kicking competition. The other kickers that have been brought in are going to be called back should Buehler falter in the first couple weeks. In order, Rayner, Bailey, Graham.
-- Following that note, Rayner missed his 51 yard field goal attempt, and later in the game Buehler would miss one too. With three seconds left, the guy who said something along the lines of 'if I wasn't the leader in the competition they wouldn't have brought me in' Dave Rayner misses a gimme from 36. Not just missed it, that's too kind of a word. I think he hit someone in the stands on the sidelines. I wonder if Miami would trade us Dan Carpenter for Tashard Choice?
So, what did you take away from the preseason finale, other than... IT'S FINALLY OVER!!!