Three players to watch during Cowboys vs. 49ers, including roster hopefuls and a second-year player with more bulk - Calvin Watkins, Sports Day
Three players to keep an eye on against the 49ers.
Donovan Olumba spent last year on the practice squad learning what the cornerbacks must do to work within the Cowboys defensive scheme. Olumba, an undrafted free agent from Portland State, has excelled with a pair of interceptions and numerous pass breakups in training camp. Olumba is challenging for maybe one available spot at cornerback.
”Things have been going good,” he said. “There are some things I want to work on, that’s every day. I’ve been making plays but there have been some plays I should have made. In this league, you can never relax because the one time you think you have it, is the one time it’s going to bite you on the butt.”
Where those three players not enough? Don’t worry, Rob Phillips, and the rest of the mothership crew has you covered.
WR Cedrick Wilson: Among the young wideouts battling for backup spots, receivers coach Sanjay Lal says no one has improved more than Wilson. He’s been attentive in meetings and he doesn’t make the same mistake twice. Coaches love that. Wilson might not have the same top-end speed as rookies Jon’Vea Johnson or Jalen Guyton, but he’s seemingly made an impressive catch in practice every day for the last week. Last August, the first-year receiver was lost for the season to shoulder surgery. It’s taken him some time to work back in, but he’s an efficient route runner and he can play inside or out.
Less is Moore: In Cowboys’ preseason opener vs. 49ers, don’t expect Kellen’s offense to be very revealing - David Moore, Sports Day
Cowboys nation is desperately waiting to see Kellen Moore’s offense in game action, but you may not see that against the 49ers.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Heading into camp, before Ezekiel Elliott’s holdout became the focus, one of the biggest questions involved Kellen Moore’s impact on this offense.
Fans crave new ideas for what has become something of a stale attack and wonder what creative wrinkles await. Saturday night’s preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers is the first opportunity to see what concepts Moore has infused into this offense.
Don’t expect much. While there have been plenty of bread crumbs dropped along the way during the offseason and first two weeks of camp, that won’t be obvious in this game.
August games under head coach Jason Garrett have been vanilla affairs. Game plans are basic. The purpose is to evaluate personnel, not test run schemes on an extended basis.
Sure, you’ll catch a glimpse here or a play there that will tease what’s to come. But the Cowboys have no intention of giving the New York Giants tape on what’s coming on Sept. 8 when the regular season gets underway.
Pollard, Taco among the reasons to watch Dallas Cowboys first preseason game vs. 49ers - Jonathan Hull, El Paso Times
In case you actually needed a reason to watch the Cowboys preseason game...
My first thought? “Pump the brakes.”
There’s no doubt Jerry Jones is one of the greatest hype men the NFL has seen. I loathe comparisons. Even if the skills sets are similar, let a player make his own name for himself.
But the Cowboys’ media at training camp has jumped on board the hype train. Pollard has gotten extended work with the first-team offense thanks to Zeke’s holdout. The results have been impressive.
Is he truly capable of being the Cowboys’ version of Kamara?
One preseason game isn’t going to answer that question. But a great performance will stoke that fire a bit.
Are there any big updates on the Ezekiel Elliott holdout?
As a public back-and-forth breaks out between Elliott’s camp and the Cowboys (owner Jerry Jones), it’s easy to wonder if Elliott would take this all the way and sit out most, if not all, of the regular season. We saw then-Steeler running back Le’Veon Bell do this last season, and it led to a big pay day with the Jets.
Dan Graziano of ESPN pointed out why this is unlikely.
Start with Elliott, the only one of the Dallas Cowboys’ three contract-hungry stars who is sitting out of training camp until he gets a new deal. As our Todd Archer pointed out a few days ago, the main reason it wouldn’t make sense for Elliott to sit out the whole season is that it would have no impact on his contract situation. His contract would “toll,” meaning the $3.853 million he is scheduled to earn this year would become his 2020 salary, and the $9.099 million he is scheduled to earn in 2020 would become his 2021 salary. He would end up right back where he started.
One of the keys to the preseason is sorting out the backup quarterback situation. Will one of White or Rush separate themselves against the 49ers?
The battle between Cooper Rush and Mike White for the Dallas Cowboys’ backup quarterback job in 2019 has been going on all offseason, from meetings to OTAs and now into training camp. But as past years have shown us, nothing moves the needle like preseason games. How will tomorrow’s opener against the 49ers, and the rest of the preseason, impact the backup QB competition?
This may simply comes down to which version of Cooper Rush shows up this preseason. Will it be the 2017 version, when an undrafted rookie put on a show that rivaled Dak Prescott’s dazzling play a year earlier? Or will Rush have another disappointing run like last August, killing the hype and leaving many wondering if Dallas should sign a veteran backup?
If Cooper falters, can Mike White step up and take over the job? You’d like to think that a 5th-round pick, now in his second year, can at least challenge for the backup role. But we simply haven’t seen enough of White to really know what he brings to the table.
What will be interesting to note in preseason games is not just how these guys play but also what opportunities the team gives them.
The Cowboys will need Dorance Armstrong to play a big role in 2019, and it sounds as if he’s ready to step into that expanded role.
“But now I’m ready. I feel like I actually have been here before, so I know what to expect,” Armstrong said in a video interview posted to the Cowboys’ website. “I know how to be prepared, and I’m ready for it.”
Now listed at 255 pounds, Armstrong said he went through a lot of weight lifting and running leading up to training camp in order to join the team “in the best shape that I can be in.”
And ahead of the Cowboys’ preseason opener Saturday against San Francisco, Armstrong feels positive about his performances during camp practices and scrimmages.
“I’ve been able to show my talent, to be able to pass rush, and also to play the run,” Armstrong said. “Just to be able to be in this defense and know how to play it. I think I’ve (moved) a level forward.”