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Cowboys News: Dak Prescott & Cooper Rush shine in dress rehearsal win against Raiders

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Combined, Prescott and Rush were 23-of-27 for 228 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 138.9 passer rating.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Some video highlights from last night's game for your Sunday morning enjoyment:


What Cowboys-Raiders revealed about Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Dallas' offense - David Moore, SportsDay
Moore writes that Dak Prescott's performance in camp and in preseason should "help ease the angst that surrounds Elliott's upcoming absence."

The quarterback opened the game by leading the Cowboys on a 10-play, 81-yard field goal drive. He followed with a six-play, 80-yard touchdown drive.

If right tackle La'el Collins didn't appear to have some sort of a personal vendetta against the Cowboys quarterback -- Collins negated two first downs and 49 yards in completions with two hands-to-the-face penalties -- the Cowboys would have scored more.

"We've just got to stop stepping on our own feet and slowing ourselves down," said Prescott, who finished his first half of action completing 11 of 14 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. He ran twice for another eight yards.

5 thoughts: What sophomore slump? - Jon Machota, SportsDay
Mochota offers up five thoughts on the game, this one stood out to me:

3. What sophomore slump?

The more you see Dak Prescott play the less you should be concerned with the idea of a sophomore slump. He looks like he's picking up right where he left off. Prescott was 11 of 14 passing for 113 yards and a nice TD toss to Jason Witten. He was an effective runner, too. There are areas of the team that are significant question marks (left guard, cornerback, linebacker, pass rush) but starting quarterback is not one of them. Prescott might not repeat throwing only four interceptions, but a better overall season isn't out of the question.

"I mean, we're ready to go," Prescott said. "I think that was a good half for us offensively. There's things that we stopped ourselves on but for the most part, when we got rolling, when we got in a rhythm, we felt good. We're ready to go."

Dak Prescott looks ready to go, Dallas Cowboys defense struggles - Todd Archer, ESPN
Dak Prescott looked ready for the regular season in Saturday's preseason game against the Raiders. The Cowboys' defense? That's another story, Archer explains.

When it was starters vs. starters, the Cowboys looked...: At times good and at times shaky. The good was the offense scoring on its first two drives. The shaky was a secondary that was beaten for touchdowns of 17 yards and 48 yards. There appeared to be a miscommunication on Raiders receiver Cordarrelle Patterson's touchdown, and Cowboys safety Byron Jones took a poor angle on receiver Amari Cooper's 48-yarder. The secondary was a big question entering the summer and remains one, especially if the Cowboys can't generate a consistent pass rush.


Jerry Jones confirmed Cooper Rush will be on the Cowboys 53-man roster - RJ Oachoa, Blogging The Boys
Cooper Rush has officially earned a spot on the Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster, per Jones.

Tony Romo once earned a spot on the Dallas Cowboys during a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders, and on Saturday that club gained a member. Jerry Jones announced after the Cowboys preseason victory over the Raiders that they will be retaining Cooper Rush.

Cooper Rush continued to impress against Raiders - Stefan Stephenson, Star-telegram
It's been a good preseason so far for Rush.

Quarterback Cooper Rush continued to impress for the Cowboys this pre-season. After the Raiders returned a forced fumble for a 65-yard touchdown against Rush, the rookie responded early in the fourth quarter with an 11-play, 85-yard touchdown drive, capped by a seven-yard scoring pass to Ronnie Hillman to pull the Cowboys to within 20-17.

Rush has completed 38 of 51 passes for 398 yards and six touchdowns and no interceptions during the pre-season.

Jason Witten says Cooper Rush reminds him of a young Tony Romo - Drew Davison, Star-Telegram
Encouraging words from The Senator.

Rush finished the game 12-for-13 for 115 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 143.1 passer rating. Throughout this preseason, Rush has completed 38-of-51 passes for 398 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions.

All of his teammates have taken notice. Veteran tight end Jason Witten went as far as saying Rush is like a young Tony Romo. After all, both were undrafted free agents who made the most of their opportunity.

“Gosh, just his play-making ability,” Witten said. “He just continues to find ways. I’m proud of him. I said it last week, he reminds me a lot of a young [Tony] Romo – play-making abilities, big-time throws.”


Anthony Hitchens of Dallas Cowboys could have torn ACL, team fears - Todd Archer, ESPN
Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens, who started every game last year, will undergo additional testing Sunday for what the team fears is a torn right ACL.

Hitchens suffered the injury with 19 seconds left in the first half of Saturday night's preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. He will undergo additional testing, but if the diagnosis confirms the Cowboys' fears, then he would likely miss the season and need surgery.

Cowboys Have Confidence In Justin Durant If Hitchens' Injury Is Severe - Davd Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Next man up.

Instead, if Hitchens does miss extensive playing time, it sounds like the contingency plan falls to Justin Durant. The Cowboys re-signed the veteran linebacker in July, likely as an insurance policy for Wilson. He has been with the team through the duration of training camp but has yet to play in a preseason game – though that is by design.

“We’ve been going real slow with him,” Stephen Jones said. “He’s a wily veteran, he knows our defense, he knows what’s expected of him. We have a lot of confidence and trust in him, we just haven’t wanted to rush him in. But he could’ve played tonight.”

Justin Durant ready for season - Drew Davison, Star-Telegram
Durant didn't play against the Raiders, but it looks like he'll be ready for the season.

The Cowboys have been deliberate in bringing Durant along after signing him July 20.

Durant, 31, dealt with an elbow injury late last season, but says he is 100 percent. He worked his way back into team drills this past week in practice.

“It’s coming along really well,” Durant said. “I finally got a chance to do some things on 11-on-11. It’s been going pretty good.”

Still, the Cowboys aren’t going to rush Durant into game action. He is not expected to play until the regular-season opener Sept. 10 against the New York Giants. After all, the Cowboys have a good feel about what he can do going into his 11th season.


Scout's Notebook: Damontre' Moore's Impact, Wilson's Busy Night; More - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
12 impressions from last night's game penned by Broaddus. Here are two of them:

Stephen Paea and Maliek Collins are proving to be a nice combination inside at defensive tackle. It appeared that the majority of the Raiders’ running plays were affected by Paea and Collins and their ability to penetrate. I know I must have said it three or four times during the broadcast that when he ball was handed off, either Paea or Collins were in the backfield disrupting the blocking scheme.

The word "gamer" has been used to describe Cooper Rush, and I can’t argue. I didn't think he was at his best this week during practice after getting more work with the second offense. Rush did earn the right to get those extra snaps and he was able to take advantage of them. I believed all along that the coaches were testing him to see how he could handle the pressure. Where Rush has been different from Kellen Moore is that he has figured out how to finish, and that has eluded Moore to this point -- which now has put his spot as the backup quarterback on this team in question.

Jaylon Smith didn't double previous workload but was more productive in second game - Jon Machota, SportsDay
Smith is getting back into the swing of things.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys were hopeful Jaylon Smith would double his workload Saturday in his second preseason game.

Although the linebacker didn't reach that projection against the Oakland Raiders, he moved around well and was more productive than in his preseason debut the previous week.

Smith finished with three tackles, including one for a loss, in 16 defensive snaps at AT&T Stadium.


Is this the most talented Cowboys roster of the last decade? Here's what Stephen Jones thinks - SportsDay
Stephen Jones recently joined a San Diego radio show. Here's one of the questions he answered:

Question: Would you agree this is the best roster you guys have had in the last 10 years?

Stephen Jones: Well we feel awfully good about it. Obviously the defensive side is young. We've got a lot of young players that need to get well and come through for us. We sure like what we have over there.

The quality in the defensive line has continued to be upgraded. Between guys like Taco Charlton and [DeMarcus] Lawrence coming back healthy, guy like a [Charles] Tapper and Damontre Moore. There's starting to be some guys over there that are athletic [and] that I think can make a difference rushing the passer.

Then our draft picks in the secondary have had some hamstring issues, but we've loved everything about them. If that happens to come through for us I will say it's right there at the top in terms of rosters that we've had in the past 10-15 years.

LOOK: The NFL gave Drew Pearson a framed picture of him trolling Eagles fans - Jared Dubin, CBSSports.com
The gift that keeps on giving.

The NFL sent Pearson a framed picture of one of the most boisterous moments of his soliloquy, as well as the framed draft card with Awuzie's name on it. Pearson already set it up in his office.

Eight important questions - and answers - regarding Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension by the NFL - Michael McCann, SI.com
There are a lot of uniformed opinions floating around the interwebs about Elliott's legal situation, which why this article from SI's legal analyst is a must-read for every Cowboys fan, even if most of it is not good news for Elliott. An excerpt.

6) Let’s assume Henderson rules against Elliott. Can Elliott then try Brady’s strategy and sue the NFL?

Even if Elliott wins on which court hears a case, he would still face the realities of the law. Article 46 provides Goodell with considerable latitude to determine if a player has engaged in “conduct detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football.” If Goodell reaches such a determination, Goodell can then determine whether to take no action, warn, fine, suspend or even expel the player.

The fact that Elliott hasn’t been charged with a crime doesn’t preclude Goodell from finding Elliott at fault. Article 46 doesn’t condition that the commissioner can find a player at fault only if the player has been charged with a crime. Article 46 also doesn’t mention a requirement that probable cause must be evident. Instead, Goodell can decide, as he sees fit, whether a player has engaged in misconduct.