The Dallas Cowboys had a nice showing against the Colts in their latest preseason game, but with every game we get winners and losers. Let’s check it out.
Jaylon Smith - He’s the big winner because he finally played a game again and came through without issue. As we’ve noted, it wasn’t perfect for Smith, but the mere fact he was back on the field and functioning like an NFL player puts him in the winner’s column.
Dak Prescott/Dez Bryant - The two stars looked bright on Saturday night. Prescott had a near-perfect game and showed no signs of a sophomore slump. Bryant looked brilliant and put the ball in the endzone. Their chemistry is growing which should have other teams worried.
Running game - The Cowboys running game, without Ezekiel Elliott, still dominated. Darren McFadden (9 for 59 yards, 6.6 ypc), Alfred Morris (9 for 49 yards, 5.4 ypc) and Rod Smith (7 for 53 yards, 7.6 ypc) combined for 161 yards and controlled the game. Bonus kudos to the whole offensive line.
Jonathan Cooper - Coop got the start with the ones and that group looked excellent. He got a nice block on the second level that opened up one run and generally looked competent. He might have put himself in the driver’s seat for the starting left guard spot.
Orlando Scandrick - Scandrick was all over the place on Saturday night. He broke up a pass, batted a pass away on a blitz, had a couple of solid tackles and basically looked like the Scandrick of old. The only downside was he picked up a minor injury that ended his night.
Cooper Rush - He continues to shine. It’s getting very hard to understand any reason why he won’t soon be passing Kellen Moore on the depth chart. The only thing holding him back is a small sample size, but he is thoroughly outplaying Moore.
Chaz Green - Green finally got back into action, but managed to pick up two penalties in a short period. He was rusty, but in the competition going on for playing time, two penalties are bad news.
Darren McFadden - He had a brilliant night going, but you can’t put the ball on the turf in the redzone. He cost the Cowboys at least three points, and maybe seven. It’s not going to hurt his status, but that’s the kind of thing that can’t happen during the regular season.
Kellen Moore - It’s the same old thing, the offense looks weak under Moore and he fails to put enough points on the board. He also fumbled leading to seven points for the Colts. When you compare his night to Rush’s, it’s not even close.
Special teams - The special teams are usually a mess in preseason, but Saturday night was bad. The Cowboys had a FG blocked, they had a personal foul penalty for a cheap shot on the punter, and they had multiple holding calls on returns. It will get better once the regular special teamers all play together during the season.