The Dallas Cowboys are halfway through the preseason, and the second game took way too long to end in everybody’s collective opinion.
There were some injuries, and they weren’t fun. We’ll be holding our breath until Sunday afternoon when word of Zack Martin’s impending MRI surfaces, but for now we’re left to discuss what we saw between the Cowboys and Bengals.
Everybody knows that wins in the preseason are meaningless, but wins here at BTB mean everything. Here are five winners, and also five non-winners (aka losers), from the Cincy game.
Winner: Rod Smith as RB2
You want to know what? Rod Smith is the third-best running back in the NFC East. Accept it and our life will be all the more beautiful, I promise. Consider this example, even if it is in French.
Dak trouve Rod Smith pour un first down. pic.twitter.com/Jr1Pcf9dfv— NFL France (@FirstDownFR) August 18, 2018
The Cowboys are going to have an incredible back up to Ezekiel Elliott, and he might not even be the best player in his family on the team. That’s wild.
Winner: Chidobe Awuzie’s athleticism
Chidobe Awuzie made what was easily the most athletic interception that a member of the Cowboys has had since Rolando McClain’s pick in Tennessee in 2014 on Saturday night. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
We’ve been expecting Chido to make the leap to CB1 levels this season under Kris Richard’s tutelage, and it seems like he’s well on his way. The line starts here to believe in Awuzie.
Winner: Taco Charlton as a premier pass rusher
You could argue, I’m about to, that Taco Charlton was the most impressive member of the Cowboys on Saturday night. Taco was everywhere.
The second-year defensive end reeled in the team’s first sack of the preseason, although they don’t exactly hand out awards for that type of accolade. He also forced a fumble. Taco played incredibly against the Bengals and is helping to ensure that there is a legitimate line of depth within The Hot Boys and what they do for the team.
Charlton was unfairly regarded as a bust rather quickly through his rookie season. He’s never been one to shy away from the criticisms thrown his way, but it does seem like he’s going to dispel a lot of them in his sophomore season.
Winner: Jaylon Smith’s patented “swipe” move
We talked up there (literally if you scroll up) about how Rod Smith might not be the best member of his family on the Cowboys, and that’s obviously because Jaylon Smith exists and is absolutely balling out.
It’s hard to let yourself believe in Jaylon. He has affectionately been nicknamed the godbacker, and we will always be afraid to actually believe he can be close to who he was at Notre Dame, but he appears to be. He’s even swiping and everything!
The Jaylon Smith movement is real. It’s an amazing thing.
Winner: The Romo Spin
Tony Romo may be in a CBS booth these days, but his legacy lives on in Dallas.
Dak Prescott threw a lone touchdown against the Bengals, but right before he did so he pulled a page straight out of Tony’s playbook... the iconic Romo spin.
By far the best moment from the first half pic.twitter.com/yH8nzSnbGM— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) August 19, 2018
This was not the best moment from the first half (see Awuzie, Chidobe), but it was a great breaking of the dam for the offense after two failed opportunities before this. We’ve seen Dak execute the spin move before, but it never stops being beautiful.
Loser: Chaz Green and his spot on the 53-man roster
You don’t have to be mean to Chaz Green in order to say he has played poorly.
Of all the things that happened for the Cowboys on Saturday night very few are as universally agreed upon as Chaz Green’s poor performance. We’re officially at a point where we know he’s not going to make the 53-man roster.
Chaz has been through a lot since November 12th, 2017 (the day the Cowboys traveled to face the Falcons last year) and to his credit he’s worked very hard on his craft and at bettering his game. Unfortunately he’s been hurt at training camp (he was carted off in Oxnard three separate times) and has seemingly lost his confidence.
Now it’s one thing for you and I to think that Chaz isn’t as confident as he once was, but it’s another for everyone else to think it, and it’s another for it to be told to the people on the broadcast. Chaz’s confidence was called into question during the game, the latest “ugh, this is bad” moment we’ve seen for him.
Loser: Mike White and the idea of three quarterbacks on the team
There’s been serious hype around the rookie quarterback on the Dallas Cowboys, but Mike White is the third person in as many years to experience that phenomenon.
Dallas has done a banner job with rookie quarterbacks over the last two years in Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush, but Mike White isn’t experiencing anywhere near the same levels of success. White played quite poorly against the Bengals, so much so that people are ready to put him on the practice squad.
There’s something to be said about the Cowboys spending a draft pick on White and that with him being a quarterback that suggests they should keep him on their 53-man roster, but he is far from one of the best 53 players we’ve seen. Imagine if it came down to White versus players like Lance Lenoir, Deonte Thompson, Brian Price, or someone else?
Loser: Colin Cowherd’s take on backwards caps
You might remember that a long time ago the national media had an issue with Tony Romo for one specific reason. It wasn’t anything he did on the field, more like something he wore on the field, a backwards cap.
Romo wearing his hat backwards is clearly troubling but dude can play. Lets stop debating that. Sounds moronic arguing otherwise.— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) September 6, 2012
This was, and remains, one of the more ridiculous takes that sports professionals have ever had. If my starting quarterback wants to wear a hula skirt on the field while he throws for 500 yards I’m fine with it. Whatever the case, the backwards-cap-club has a new member!
“BaCkWaRdS hAtS mEaN hE dOeSn’T tAke ThIs SeRiOusLy” pic.twitter.com/hyTPXuHkGD— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) August 19, 2018
Because it wasn’t clear on Twitter... my tweet was a joke. These are tough times. Let’s move on.
Loser: Jourdan Lewis and maybe even Jourdan Lewis’ confidence
Ever since word from OTAs indicated that Anthony Brown was starting for the Cowboys at nickel corner people have pounded the table that it should be Jourdan Lewis instead. There’s logic to this.
The reason championing Lewis’ cause is justified is because he played extremely well as a rookie. Moreover, Jourdan played with an extreme tenacity as a rookie, one that the whole world got to see on full display against Dez Bryant on Amazon’s All or Nothing.
Where has that gone? What happened between then and now? Jourdan Lewis looks like a shell of his rookie self and not at all like the fighter we had grown accustomed to. He got a chance to return the opening kickoff against the Bengals, but after that it was nothing but soft notes.
Loser: The idea of a viable swing tackle in general
The losses of Ezekiel Elliott, Sean Lee, and Tyron Smith all helped ruin 2017 for the Cowboys. This we know.
Dallas has hedged their bets at these positions entering this season. They’ve got the aforementioned Rod Smith to supplement Zeke, they’ve got Jaylon Smith and first-rounder Leighton Vander Esch (not to mention Joe Thomas) to aid The General, and they have the
super reliable surprisingly not-so-good Cameron Fleming behind Tyron.
Chaz Green once served as this team’s swing tackle, but that was a long time ago and we just went over how he isn’t at all reliable anymore. Cameron Fleming was really struggling against the Bengals and cast the idea of a swing tackle legitimately backing up Tyron Smith into serious doubt. Hopefully it was an aberration of sorts, but it’s concerning.
What other winners did you see against Cincinnati, BTB? How’s about losers? Let’s talk!