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The Cowboys running back that no one is talking about after first preseason game

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There was a lot to take away from the Cowboys loss to the 49ers on Thursday night, but this player hasn’t been talked about much after putting on a show.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Preseason game number one is in the books. The Cowboys came up a bit short after some last minute heroics but there is so much to take away from the game. One thing that needs to be rectified is that Rod Smith isn’t getting the praise he deserves after an excellent showing against much of the 49ers first team defense. Most of the running back talk has been about Bo Scarbrough, who also performed well, but don’t you dare sleep on Rod Smith’s performance.

Rod Smith finished the night with eight carries for 32 yards (4.0 YPC), and added one reception for six yards to his stat line. Smith only saw three series but made the best of his opportunities in his limited playing time. He had room to work with on a handful of his carries, but also created some of his own yards with quick footwork, good power, and great vision. Smith was excellent by being patient when he needed to be, but also putting his head down and running with power when needed. Smith possesses all the traits to be a very successful running back in the NFL, and he put that on full display against the 49ers.

This is great patience in allowing this hole to develop, great vision to see the hole open up, and good burst to hit the hole and go. Rod Smith and his offensive line seem to have great chemistry and understanding of when and where they will be at all times.

There’s something to be said about a backup running back who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty in pass protection and that’s exactly what Smith does on this play. Smith, who started out on the opposite side of the blitzing cornerback, was able to see him coming and get over to make the block. He doesn’t just get in the way, he completely takes the defensive back out of the play, flipping him upside down. Smith does an excellent job of running and catching the football out of the backfield, but he’s also a very good pass protector, and shows up on special teams.

The 6’3”, 235-lb running back isn’t one that necessarily stands out in every game, but he’s a guy every coach loves to have on their team. Feisty, competitive, and rarely makes mistakes, Rod Smith is the ideal option as this teams RB2, due to the fact that he’s a good runner, good receiver, good blocker, and loves playing special teams.