The Cowboys’ backups and roster longshots played the vast majority of Thursday night’s preseason finale, but they didn’t fare much better than their high-profile counterparts. As Helman points out, "It wasn’t a pretty affair for the limited number of players who did suit up, as the Broncos outgained the Cowboys, 357 to 165, on the night."
Our Fearless Leader pens a concise summary of Thursday night's "action," offering this less-than-enthusiastic conclusion:
Overall, there just weren't many positives for the Dallas Cowboys. Brandon Weeden wasn't sharp, the offensive line wasn't very good, the defense actually did okay in terms of not giving up too many points, but they were still suspect in generating pass rush and gave up some runs.
Archer proffers a handful of takes from the Broncos game. One particularly sobering note: The Cowboys were outscored 116-60 in the preseason. Plus, there's this on the MLB sitch:
Justin Durant did not start, so the Cowboys used Rolando McClain at middle linebacker for the first two series. McClain was active in his short time on the field, making three tackles. The Cowboys have attempted to speed up McClain’s learning curve with this defense and his conditioning but both times they gave him first-team work he was unable to finish practice. Has he done enough in the preseason to be a starter? The Cowboys might have to make a projection here with a linebacker who has not played since Nov. 2012 and retired twice since then.
This Drummond fellow over at CHQ can write a little. If you're looking for a cheerier assessment of the game, however, you'll have to go elsewhere:
For all of the accolades given to Garrett and Will McClay for their building of the roster over the last couple of seasons, this game showed there is still plenty of work to be done. Dallas battled with reserves and third stringers, and were overmatched in basically every phase of the game.
In an article neatly reflecting its headline, Machota offers five expanded bullet points on Thursday night's loss. Here's one for you:
LaRon Byrd has been one of the Cowboys’ top five wide receivers throughout training camp and the preseason. He had four catches for a team-high 57 yards Thursday night. Dallas will likely only keep five receivers. But he might be the odd man out. Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Dwayne Harris and fifth-round pick Devin Street are probably ahead of him. If the Cowboys release Byrd, I’d be surprised if another team didn’t scoop him up.
I would be, too. I've had my eye on him since the second day of camp, when my friend Knowledgeable Cowboys Fan said I should take a look at the rangy, athletic wideout.
If there was any cause for concern coming out of Thursday’s game, Hill reports, it was the uninspired play of backup quarterback Brandon Weeden, who began the game 1 of 5 passing for 14 yards and an interception before finishing 6 of 12 for 75 yards and a quarterback rating of 35.1. His head coach offers some thoughts on Number 3's performance:
"He had that one interception on that naked bootleg where the guy came off the outside receiver and made a play on an out route on one of the inside receivers," Garrett said of Weeden’s performance. "Sometimes that’s hard to see. He missed some throws, but he also made some good throws. I think he's played well at times and other times you can see why he needs to play more. But we're certainly comfortable and confident in him if he does have to go play."
Early in the game last night, I messaged my podcast partner, Landon McCool, to ask whether I had missed Melton's snaps. After some confusion, we discovered the truth of the matter, as Archer notes: both Melton and CB Mo Claiborne "will go into the regular season without having played a preseason snap." Nasty business, that...
After logging eight snaps against Denver, Brandon Carr says he's ready to rock and roll:
"I felt good to get a couple of plays under my belt," Carr said. "I feel good going into next week's home opener. Now it's time to polish up the finished product and get ready for next Sunday."
Apparently, Hill is "green"; he recycles. Here he covers familiar ground, and shares Jerry's assessment of the 'Bama product:
"I don’t think Rolando is going to be the savior of this team," Jones said. "We don’t have Sean Lee, but Rolando does have the skill level to come in here and really add to what we can do. But we’re going to need of him. But I don’t want anybody to think I expect him to be Dick Butkus or even Sean Lee. That’s not there. You’re a little excited when you see some of the things he does physically, but he hasn’t played for a year and a half."
The Cowboys expect the NFL to announce its punishment for Josh Brent as soon as Friday. According to a team source, Dallas is bracing for a four-game suspension. But here's the kicker from Silver:
Earlier this month, Brent met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The Cowboys believe that Brent will likely face a suspension as a direct result of a reported positive test for marijuana in May of 2013, when he was under court supervision while awaiting trial.
In a story that's far less convoluted that its headline, George writes that Hamilton admits that he failed a test last year (and that the negative result wasn’t for any recreational drug or any performance-enhancing drug) but that his second failed test occurred because he missed the test while practicing during an organized team activity this summer. A missed drug test while in the league’s substance abuse program counts as a failed test. Nasty run of luck, there...
Apparently, league rules dictate that, when a player is suspended without pay for a violation of the personal conduct policy, policy and programs for substance abuse, or policy on anabolic steroids or related substances, the team will have to remit to the Management Council a portion of the players’ salary that is deemed forfeited.As a result, the Cowboys have to pony up 44 large to Goodell's beancounters.
What's new here is not the sentiment on MacMahon's part; he writes:
Jerry, the proud owner of a glitzy, glamorous franchise recently valued by Forbes at $3.2 billion, is basically saying that the Cowboys are football broke. He’s absolutely right, and the contradiction between the state of the Cowboys financially vs. on the football field pretty much sums up Jerry in a nutshell.
No, what's new is that Jerry Jones seems, finally, to agree with his detractors. As T-Mac writes, "The good news is Jerry seems to get this, finally. The good ol’ days can’t help the Cowboys win in this decade."
And I conclude with a closely-related story, which is the best, and scariest piece on the Cowboys I've read in quite some time:
In an extremely detailed and fascinating expose, Van Notta offers an up close look at the Cowboys' Owner and General Manager, who more often than not has a drink in his hand. For anybody wanting a chance to look behind the scenes of the Cowboys' organization, this piece offers a terrific, if somewhat harrowing, view. This paragraph largely sums up this view into Jones the Elder's life:
Jones orders Johnnie Walker Blue for both of us. Years ago, Jones gave up alcohol for about a year to lose weight, but he became so ornery that his mother told Lacewell to persuade her son to start drinking again. "He's no fun," Jones' mother said. More than once, Jones asked me, "You still working?" as a way to invite me to join him for a Blue. (Dale Hansen, the WFAA sportscaster, recalls a famous story: He and Jones were drinking heavily in Austin one night and stumbled into a dance club at 2:30 a.m. when the bartender told them that last call had long passed. "Either you start servin' drinks," Jones said, "or I buy the bar and you're the first son of a bitch I get rid of." Ten minutes later, Jones tells Hansen, "Go to the bathroom." Inside, Hansen discovered a bartender sitting behind a hastily assembled but fully stocked bar; Jones, Hansen and another 10 pals enjoyed mixed drinks until 5 a.m. Hansen was shipwrecked with a hangover until late the following afternoon. "Jones was on 'Good Morning America' at 7 a.m.," Hansen says in awe.)
It's a must read.
Jerry Responds To Article On Peterson, Jimmy & Manziel - DallasCowboys.com
And finally, in a report that has PR Director Rich Dalrymple's fingerprints all over it, Jerry Joney backpedals faster than any of his defensive backs can from the ESPN interview, or at least parts of it.