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Cowboys @ 49ers Preseason Report Card: Player Grades Are In

With the second preseason game completed, each player's performance has been examined. It's time to take a look at how the players performed.

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

With the game against San Francisco in the books, here are the individual performance grades of each player. These grades are determined by a combination of game tape review and detailed statistics from Pro Football Focus. Only the Cowboys starters and key depth players were evaluated.

Grade Player Po. Snaps Notes
B+ Tony Romo QB 3 100% accuracy rating
B Brandon Weeden QB 11 75% accuracy rating
D Jameill Showers QB 26 57.1% accuracy rating, 1 TD, 2 INT
F Dustin Vaughan QB 31 46.7% accuracy rating, 2 INT

Tony Romo played one series and came out unscathed so he comes out the big winner. There were no stellar performances by anyone, but Dustin Vaughn struggled the most.

Running Backs
Grade Player Po. Snaps Notes
B+ Joseph Randle RB 20 7 carries, 4.29 ypc, caused 4 missed tackles
B Gus Johnson RB 9 3 carries, 4.0 ypc, caused 1 missed tackle
C+ Lance Dunbar RB 5 2 catches for 2 yards
C Tyler Clutts FB 8 had -1.0 PFF grade
C- Darren McFadden RB 4 3 carries, 1.33 ypc, no missed tackles

Again, no real standout performances. Joseph Randle played well in his first preseason action. Darren McFadden didn't get much of a chance, but did very little with the chances he did get.

Wide Receivers
Grade Player Po. Snaps Notes
B+ A.J. Jenkins WR 19 2 catches for 40 yards
B Nick Harwell WR 22 1 TD catch, penalty
C Terrance Williams WR 14 no targets
C Cole Beasley WR 6 no targets

There wasn't a lot of action in the passing game. A.J. Jenkins highlights the day with a big game against the team that wasted a first-round pick on him.

Tight Ends
Grade Player Po. Snaps Notes
B+ Jason Witten TE 3 1 pass play, no pressure allowed
B Geoff Swaim TE 65 4 catches
C- Gavin Escobar TE 25 2 catches, 1 drop

Geoff Swain was active in the passing game, but struggled with his blocking. Gavin Escobar had a crucial third down drop that caused everyone to immediately start disliking Weeden more.

Offensive Line
Grade Player Po. Snaps Notes
A Laurence Gibson RT 26 20 pass plays, no pressures allowed
B+ Doug Free RT 6 3 pass plays, no pressures allowed
B- Darrion Weems LT 45 25 pass plays, 1 hit allowed, holding penalty
B- Mackenzy Bernadeau RG 29 16 pass plays, no pressures allowed, poor run grade
C+ Travis Frederick C 10 4 pass plays, no pressures allowed, poor run grade
C La'el Collins LG 45 25 pass plays, 1 sack allowed, average run grade
D John Wetzel RG 65 42 pass plays, 2 pressures allowed, poor run grade
F R.J. Dill LT 61 41 pass plays, 2 sacks and 8 pressures allowed

Laurence Gibson played extremely well in this game. Darrion Weems had a better performance than he did last week against San Diego. The reserve combination of Wetzel and Dill continue to be dreadful.

Defensive Ends
Grade Player Po. Snaps Notes
A Ben Gardner DE 24 1 sack, 2 stops, 3 pressures in 7 pass rushing snaps
A Randy Gregory DE 23 1 sack, 1 stop, and 1 pressure
B DeMarcus Lawrence DE 12 1 tackle, 1 pressures
B Ryan Russell DE 43 1 sack, 2 tackles
B Jeremy Mincey DE 12 2 pressures in only 5 pass rushing snaps
B Efe Obada DE 11 1 stop and 2 pressures
C Lavar Edwards DE 36 1 tackle, 1 pressure
D Greg Hardy DE 14 No pressures, no run stops

Fan favorite Ben Gardner had a great game as he vies for one of the final roster spots. Cowboys development project, Efe Obada, also had an impressive showing. Ryan Russell also had a sack, but the 49ers right tackle tripped and fell down given him a clear path to Blaine Gabbert.

Defensive Tackles
Grade Player Po. Snaps Notes
B+ Davon Coleman DT 32 2 tackles, 2 pressures
B Jack Crawford DT 12 1 stop, 1 pressure
C Ken Bishop DT 26 3 tackles, 1 pressure

Davon Coleman continues his strong preseason. Jack Crawford had a great stop behind the line of scrimmage, but it looked like  blown assignment from the 49ers interior line.

Grade Player Po. Snaps Notes
A Keith Smith LB 24 5 stops
B Andrew Gachkar LB 20 2 stops
C Jasper Brinkley LB 27 3 tackles
D Damien Wilson LB 20 2 missed tackles
D Kyle Wilber LB 17 1 stop

Keith Smith continues his strong play with two big plays for losses. The Cowboys reserve linebackers were less than impressive, but they did play against the 49ers first unit.

Grade Player Po. Snaps Notes
A- Corey White CB 26 3 receptions, 14 yards
B+ Tyler Patmon CB 32 2 receptions, -5 yards
B Robert Steeples CB 37 1 reception, 9 yards
C Orlando Scandrick CB 12 solid coverage, 1 penalty

There were strong performances across the board. Corey White had a great pass break-up. Tyler Patmon was solid in coverage. With Orlando Scandrick going down, a new corner to add to the list is Robert Steeples. He played well in reserve duty.

Grade Player Po. Snaps Notes
B Danny McCray S 52 3 tackles
C J.J. Wilcox S 12 2 tackles
C Barry Church S 12 No tackles, no targets
D Jeff Heath S 33 2 missed tackles

The Cowboys starters were solid in minimal action. As far as the backups go, Danny McCray had a better showing than Jeff Heath.

Special Teams
Grade Player Po. Snaps Notes
A Chris Jones P 2 56.5 yard average with a 61 yarder
C Lucky Whitehead PR 17 4 punt returns, 11.4 average, long 26 yards
F Dan Bailey K 1 Missed 43 yard FG

After struggling in the postseason last year, Dan Bailey is still off-target. Hopefully, this is something that will disappear shortly.

Honor Roll:

Laurence Gibson - could give Weems some competition for that swing tackle position.

Randy Gregory - is he supposed to be this good so soon?

Ben Gardner - if he keeps finding himself in the middle of plays, he might find himself on this roster.

Davon Coleman - how is this guy not farther up the depth chart? All he does is make plays.

Keith Smith - he could be playing Jasper Brinkley off the roster.

Corey White - two preseason games, two strong performances.

Chris Jones - his punts would stand out more if they didn't get ran back for a gazillion yards.

Principal's Office:

Dustin Vaughan - he needs to be put in a time-out.

R.J. Dill - why is this guy allowed on the field? I'd rather Marc Columbo suit up and give the team some reps.

Greg Hardy - big things are expected from this big player. So far, he has been a little sluggish. Hopefully, that all changes once he gets acclimated.

Jeff Heath -  the stiff-arm from the 49ers rugby player, Jarryd Hayne, was just embarrassing.

Dan Bailey - hopefully, he'll split'em next time.

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