The preseason is over! It’s over! It’s gone! Forever! ...well for a year.
The final game of the preseason came to a merciful end on Thursday night. Here’s who won, who lost, and basically who survived.
Winner: Darius Jackson... maybe? ...right?
One of the quieter roster battles has been between Darius Jackson and Bo Scarbrough for RB3. This was the fourth preseason game so it’s not like it’s the end-all-be-all, but it’s worth noting that Jackson technically got the start.
Does this mean that Radius (you read that right) is going to be prioritized ahead of Bo by the Cowboys? We’ll find out this weekend.
Winner: Mike White and discussions about QB2
Mike White didn’t set the world on fire, but he did a fine job on Thursday night. It was enough to reaffirm why the Cowboys drafted and believe in him.
I know all the usual caveats, but if I was forced to name one backup QB to keep, I'd have to take White. He is at least showing something, Rush had almost nothing. (It did help White that the running game showed a wee bit o' life.)— Preseason Tom (@TomRyleBTB) August 31, 2018
White likely won’t challenge Rush (who we’ll get to) for the QB2 job, but he at least made who he is as a quarterback an interesting idea. If the Cowboys like him enough they’ll carry him on their 53-man roster, and that’s a big win for Mike.
Winner: Cowboys offensive line depth
This didn’t technically happen during the game or within the parameters of what took place on the field, but it’s the fourth preseason game. We’re allowed to get weird.
Shortly before kickoff the Cowboys pulled off a soon-to-be-official trade with the Kansas City Chiefs. They sent cornerback Charvarius Ward (maybe Duke Thomas is another winner) to KC in exchange for offensive lineman Parker Ehinger. They turned an undrafted rookie into depth where they need it. Respect.
Winner: Dres Anderson and a little bit of Lance Lenoir
Dres Anderson joined the Cowboys a little later than most, but he’s played fairly well in the limited time that he’s been around.
The Cowboys are going to have a crowded room at receiver, and that’s even if Lance Lenoir doesn’t make the 53-man roster. Perhaps Anderson and Lenoir are both in line to hit the practice squad in 2018. There are worse things to happen to NFL receivers.
The preseason is over. We did it. Slap hands. Celebrate. Group hug.
Loser: Cooper Rush... again
The third preseason contest against the Arizona Cardinals was not a good one if your name is Cooper Rush, and by golly the fourth one wasn’t much better. Look at this. I mean, look at it.
Cooper entered the game pretty firmly entrenched as the team’s backup quarterback, but that’s mostly due to the construction of the position group as a whole as opposed to anything he’s done individually lately.
Rush’s job likely isn’t jeopardy, but it isn’t necessarily something that we have faith in.
Loser: Running backs in the passing game
It was a rough night for both Darius Jackson and Bo Scarbrough, but particularly in the passing game. It was drop after drop after drop after drop. That’s not exactly what you want to see from guys trying to make the team in the final preseason game.
Loser: Lance Lenoir’s health for at least one moment
Near the end of the second quarter the Cowboys tried to hit Lance Lenoir on a screen pass and then everything went dark.
This probably did not tickle pic.twitter.com/fSSHS2BcMc— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) August 31, 2018
You’ve got to feel for Lenoir who has had a great training camp and preseason with the obvious exceptions against Arizona. You never want to see this. Something you do want to see is the great punt return he had well after this. Good for him.
Loser: The Kony Ealy Hype Days
We once had a dream. It was a beautiful dream.
That dream involved Kony Ealy realizing his potential as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. A lack or production, some Dorance Armstrong, and a whole lot in between led to where we are now.
Kony Ealy is playing in the fourth quarter of the final preseason game. His performance in Super Bowl 50 seems so long ago now.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 31, 2018
Loser: Probably the Rico Gathers era in Dallas
We entered this game with a fair idea that Rico Gathers was likely putting on the Cowboys uniform for the last time, and he didn’t do much to make any noise. It’s true that this was a preseason game, but it’s important for bubble guys.
Rico had a few catches, but they were normal and nothing exceptional. He was facing a situation where he was going to have to do something totally remarkable in order to earn his spot, and that just didn’t happen.
The next time we do this exercise it’ll be after an actual regular season game. How exciting is that?