The third preseason game for the Dallas Cowboys is tomorrow night. This is the "dress rehearsal" game, and the opponent is the Seattle Seahawks, which should be a really good test for the team. The biggest name to watch, even though he is likely to see limited action, is fourth overall selection Ezekiel Elliott. Jason Garrett explained what we will likely see.
"What we try to do with the players who are playing in their first game is we have eight, 10, 12 plays - sometimes we go 15-to-20 plays with guys. So we'll have a plan for him, we'll talk about that over the next couple days," Garrett said.
"Typically with running backs we want to make sure they get a couple touches, throw them a couple passes, let them do different things - the things they're going to do in games. So again we'll have those specific discussions in the next couple days, and we'll come up with a good plan for him."
And it looks like he might not be the only Cowboys seeing his first action of the preseason.
Benson Mayowa and Maliek Collins were getting some first-team work— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 23, 2016
From Garrett's remarks above, it is likely that the starters will not see much action past the first few series. He likes to play down a level from the opponent (Dallas twos against their ones, for instance), and it appears there will be ample opportunity for that.
#Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell confirms starters will play into the second half on Thursday vs Dallas.— Stephen Cohen (@scohenPI) August 23, 2016
Disclaimer: I started writing for Blogging the Boys at least partly because I felt so strongly about trying to counter foolish memes like "Garrett is Jerry Jones' puppet." So I am all in with Patrik Walker on this article.
Earlier Tuesday morning, Jones commented on 105.3FM The Fan he had 'seen enough' of Elliott in the offseason and would likely sit him until the opener. This contrary decision by Garrett is not only impressive, it's the right call.
However, a couple of star players will be out of the game after collisions in this week's practices.
The final full practice before Thursday's preseason game at Seattle did not include wide receiver Dez Bryant or defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford - and both starters will not play against the Seahawks due to concussions suffered in practice this week.
Of course, in preseason, one player's absence creates opportunity to see more of another.
Tyrone Crawford's absence on Monday is likely to be an opportunity for Maliek Collins, who has been lining up as the under-tackle or three-technique. I expect we'll see plenty from Collins in Seattle in an effort to get him game ready for the season. Collins will be paired with Terrell McClain on the first defense and also Cedric Thornton - who is currently the backup. We haven't seen it much during camp, but at some point I expect we will see McClain lining up at that under-tackle spot to work with Thornton as well.
The Cowboys re-signed Jack Crawford over the offseason. Here is why.
Last season he played in every game and the coaches credited him with 18 tackles, four sacks, three tackles for loss and 10 quarterback pressures.
Could this finally be the year for Mo? (Let us hope so.)
For the first time in his career, cornerback Morris Claiborne has made it through an entire training camp. He's done so with a chip on his shoulder, and has had one of the strongest camps of any Cowboys player. In an encouraging sign, he was able to convey much of his success on the practice field into a game environment with his performance against the Dolphins.
It looks like Orlando Scandrick will also miss the Seahawks game, but he says he should be ready for the regular season. (Let us hope so.)
Scandrick has not practiced the last two days after his groin tightened up after Sunday's practice. On Monday, coach Jason Garrett said Scandrick was given a day of rest, but he mentioned the sore groin when asked Tuesday.
The 2015 first round pick is another important part of the secondary.
If the Dallas Cowboys did one thing right on defense a season ago, it was their decision to allow Jones to mirror the opposing team's tight end. Jones had the pleasure of defending some talented tight ends including: Gronkowski, Olsen, Reed, Zach Ertz, and Jimmy Graham. At 6'0", 199 pounds, Jones possesses enough size and physicality to cover bigger targets. He's also a freak athlete, as seen in the performance he put on at the NFL Combine in 2015 - most notably his world record breaking broad jump of 12'3". That's more than two full-length Byron Joneses.
While Jerry Jones may not make the call on who plays on game day, he does know a lot about the personnel moves, and it sounds like the QB2 question is very close to being answered.
. . . Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones has been impressed enough with Dak Prescott in preseason that, "from what we see now," the Cowboys "unquestionably" have slowed their search for a possible veteran backup quarterback addition.
The Cowboys are hoping Chaz Green can fill the swing tackle job, but he still has a lot of ground to cover to prove he is their man.
Green admittedly struggled in his preseason debut against the Rams on Aug. 13, and he still had plenty of kinks to work out in last week's win against Miami. But Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the second-year tackle improved from Week 1 to Week 2.
Garrett was also sure to point out the fact that, given his absence for most of 2015 due to hip surgery, Green is getting his first NFL reps during this training camp.
With it still uncertain if Tyron Smith will play against the very potent Seahawks defense, do the Cowboys really need to risk Tony Romo, or did they see enough last week?
The Cowboys are coming off a red hot, 41-14 beat down of the Miami Dolphins. Romo looked cool and collected in his debut, throwing four completions on five attempts for 49 yards. Romo drove the offense down the field for a touchdown with ease after a rocky start on the first drive.
Dallas made a personnel move, picking up FA offensive lineman Dan Buchholz. All indications are that he is mostly just a body to get through camp.
Buchholz is taking the roster spot of Jared Smith, who primarily played as a guard -- so in all likelihood he will be looked at in that same capacity in these remaining practices and games.
This may also indicate that there is a price to be paid for injuring a QB, not matter how that turns out for the team.
If Dak becomes a star, Jared Smith will be the answer to a trivia question. He's the guy who stepped on Kellen Moore https://t.co/Gm5660Ltqm— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 23, 2016
This was also a day for some weird NFL news, some directly related to the Cowboys, others not so much.
I am reading this as intending to be tongue in cheek, because having the phrase "Do Your Job", which the New England Patriots have trademarked (three times, no less) on the wall at the Star seems the lamest argument yet on this evergreen topic.
The Cowboys can no longer be recognized as America's Team, right? There have to be standards. This is Dallas actively trying to copy-and-paste the Patriots franchise, which is, at its core, an admission that they wish they could be the Patriots.
Of course, the real reason these silly articles get written in the first place is because having "Dallas Cowboys" in your title guarantees lots and lots of clicks. Because they are America's Team.
Our respected (cough, cough) rivals in Washington are putting a lot of hope in Josh Norman, who they gave a really big deal to in order to sign the free agent cornerback. But he said some really bizarre things in a recent interview. Some are just crazy, and this one about Roger Goodell may not sit well with the league front office - no matter how many may agree with his basic sentiment.
"I get that he makes the owners money, but literally anyone could do that. A dog could. He's a dog in a suit."
A mermaid was at Rams practice in honor of Will Hayes believing in mermaids: https://t.co/9IFYUvpFGz— SB Nation (@SBNation) August 23, 2016
Wow, that's one thing the Star doesn't have yet. Uh, Jerry, want to get to work on that?