Another preseason game is behind us, with the Cowboys losing to the Rams 13-10. It wasn’t the most exciting game but as always, some players stood out, either for the right or the wrong reasons. Let’s get into the winners and losers from the game.
Rico Gathers - We talked about the potential for Gathers all last year and into this offseason, now we’re actually seeing it. Two touchdowns in two games, and he was the Cowboys leading receiver last night. He’s huge, and he has athletic ability, and is starting to look like a football player instead of a novelty act transferred over from the basketball arena. He’s making the 53-man roster, the question is can he now get playing time in the regular season.
Taco Charlton - If anybody needed a breakthrough game on the Cowboys, it was Taco. Last night was finally a peek at some of the promise his long frame and athleticism holds. He got his first sack that was oh-so-close to being a safety. But he also had three tackles and influenced the running back on several other plays. All around solid play for the first-rounder.
Cooper Rush - Another strong performance by the rookie has many fans calling for an elevation of his status to QB2 over Kellen Moore. I could go on, but I’ll steal this line from my colleague DannyPhantom: All I know is this...Watching Kellen play vs. watching Cooper play was like watching the 2015 season vs. the 2016 season. One gave the Cowboys a chance and one didn't. Truth.
Xavier Woods - The late-round safety exploded onto the scene last night with solid play and a few jarring tackles. We’d always heard his skills shine in games, not necessarily in practice, and last night they shined. He was in on seven tackles to lead the team, you can see some of that play here.
Noah Brown - We’re going to give the rook a win here because he made a few plays on the night and had a few good blocks in the run game. He was the Cowboys second-leading receiver with three catches for 41 yards. If he hadn’t fumbled the ball mid-run (the Cowboys recovered it) he might have had an even bigger play. It’s a start for the late-rounder.
Byron Bell - Two holding calls in the span of about three plays isn’t exactly what you want when you are fighting for a starting spot along the line. Bell is in a battle with Jonathan Cooper and Chaz Green and could have used a clean sheet on the evening.
Rod Smith - After a big presence in the Hall of Fame game, Smith was basically absent from this game. He had one carry for two yards while the Cowboys used Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris for much of the game. After a strong camp and a good first preseason game, this was a curious playing time decision.
Kellen Moore - In the Hall of Fame game he actually looked decent, in this game he was bad. He was constantly throwing short and was not able to move the offense at all. This is the Moore we’ve come to expect less of. Be careful of that player RUSHing by you, Kellen.
Luke McCown - For a veteran, McCown looked oddly rookie-like. He held on to the ball way too long, causing a couple of sacks and a fumble. He threw passes that put his receivers in danger of being clobbered, and other times just looked like he was chucking the ball out there for anybody to get. Granted he’s new to the system and was working with the bottom of the roster, but still, he was very unimpressive.