Football’s back! It might be preseason but the Dallas Cowboys are back on the gridiron, and that is the best possible news for the fanbase this morning. Even so, we will continue with the tradition of giving you the daily run down of all the news happenings.
The Hall of Fame game is about the down roster guys getting noticed. A pair of offensive players stepped up and staked a claim for themselves for the Cowboys offensive.
After limited playing time last summer in his first foray into basketball [sic] since junior high, Gathers started Thursday and was able to put up his first touchdown, using his big body to fend off an Arizona defender. He remains a project but there are pieces to work with.
In all fairness to Archer, the big guy did look like he was hauling in a rebound on the grab.
It might not count as a win in the season standings, but the Cowboys did prevail in their first game since losing to the Green Bay Packers in last year’s post season. More important is the fact that there were several positive takeaways from the contest... including news about actual takeaway type efforts.
Damien Wilson had a nice sack-fumble. Chidobe Awuzie had some ups and downs but showed again that he has a knack for being around the ball, nearly intercepting a pass late in the first half that might have been returned for a touchdown.
The hamstring injury suffered by second year corner Anthony Brown was an early cause for concern. Shortly after hauling Blaine Gabbert to the playing surface to record the Cowboys first sack of the preseason Brown left with the dreaded ‘hammy’. We all know how those have plagued Dallas in the past. Fortunately it appears to be a mild concern.
“Nah, I’m not concerned. I just have to go get treatment tomorrow. It’s just tight. Nothing major. I didn’t want to make it worse in the Hall of Fame game.” - Anthony Brown
Fellow corner Jourdan Lewis did not make the trip to Canton because he is back in Oxnard being treated for a similar issue.
The lasting lesson of the 2015 & 2016 seasons will long be the importance of having a serviceable backup quarterback. The Cowboys did not have one in ‘15 and suffered through a dismal season while one year later a rookie passer stepped in for Tony Romo and refused to relinquish the job.
Kellen Moore’s first throw of the game was knocked down at the line of scrimmage. And his last one was picked off in the end zone. Everything in between looked pretty good.
That ‘in between’ had to look pretty good to Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan.
The 2016 NFL Draft was a good one for the Dallas offense. Two rookie superstars took over the helm and the potent Cowboys attack never missed a beat. Don’t assume that things stop there, Rod Marinelli has some young talent on the other side of the ball courtesy of that draft class as well.
I've had guys like [Collins] before in my past and especially with that under-tackle he really has really rare push right off the ... explosive, he's thick, which you like in that position. It starts with his mindset - he's got a great mindset
It is not just Collins who has Coach Marinelli’s eye. Anthony Brown and some guy named Jaylon Smith also came courtesy of the 2016 class. Yeah, Rod has a reason to be excited.
Jerry Jones might be the second coming of P. T. Barnum. Love him or hate him, the Cowboys owner puts on a show and he has taught the rest of the league how to follow suit. That is what earned the man his place in this year’s Hall of Fame class. Jones has changed the game, much to his benefit and to that of his fellow owners.
“I think it’s fitting that he gets in. And I think it’s deserving that he gets in. I think he’s done more to make this league aware that you have to work to progress. I think the guy has been off the charts as far as stimulating interest. And he’s had pretty good teams throughout the years too. So I think it’s a very deserving honor for him.” - Gil Brandt
The folks over at Business Insider recognize the effort Jones put in to restoring luster to a star that was threatening to fade. Professional football is first and foremost a business and it is fitting that not all the praise that Jerry gets this weekend comes from the sporting world.
The saga that refuses to come to a close is still in the news.
“There are a couple of issues that might or might not fall — and that’s going to be up to the league to the decide — under the behavioral guidelines, but in my opinion, we’re preparing our team for Zeke and should.” - Jerry Jones
It seems that the league is looking more into a pattern of behavior rather than the story being about the alleged domestic assault charge that was resolved months ago as far as the law is concerned. ‘More of a where there’s smoke; there’s fire’ thing if you will.
Jones does not believe the league has anything of substance on Zeke, but until there is resolution there will be uncertainty. In spite of this the team continues to prepare for life both with and without Elliott.
One of the best aspects of any Cowboys win is to see how it plays out in social media.