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Five winners and five losers from the Cowboys vs. Rams preseason game

Who impressed and who left you wanting more from the Cowboys/Rams game?

Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The second preseason game of the year is officially a thing of the past for the Dallas Cowboys. All that’s standing between us and the games actually counting are two more exhibition contests, but those will take place back in DFW at AT&T Stadium.

America’s Team concluded its westward summer adventure with a preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was great to see the NFL back in Hawaii as the Pro Bowl has made its way to other venues over the years, and there were some other great things to see, too. Like the fact that the Cowboys actually scored touchdowns!

What did we like from the preseason game against the Rams specifically? Of course there were a handful of things, and there were also some things that didn’t feel so great. Here are our winners, losers, and a little bit of in between.

Winner: Tony Pollard

The headline performer from Saturday’s game was without question Tony Pollard.

Despite Saturday getting started with a mild bit of news concerning Ezekiel Elliott’s travel procedures, Pollard stole the show. The Cowboys used their fourth-round rookie running back to a great degree on their first drive, so much so that he totaled 51 of their 97 yards on it... including the touchdown.

While this is technically a winner it’s important to note that Pollard had a pretty bad missed block that led to Dak Prescott getting sacked. He’s far from perfect, but the point is he can play and help on offense. That’s great to see.

Winner: Michael Gallup

Michael Gallup led the Dallas Cowboys in receiving in Hawaii. He did so on one catch.

Gallup only played the first series (the one Pollard punctuated) for the Dallas Cowboys but he made quite the impression. His lone catch came on a 3rd and 7 where Dak Prescott found him for a gain of 31 yards. This guy is going to be special.

It’s possible that Gallup has made the greatest leap of any player on the Cowboys in terms of who they were last season to this one. If he can continue this big-play-making ability into the regular season then the offense is going to be moving and grooving on a regular basis.

Winner: The way Kellen Moore seems to be handling things

I’m not trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill here, but what we’ve seen from Kellen Moore deserves some praise. Obviously the Cowboys didn’t score a touchdown in the first preseason game, but with their starters in against the Rams they put together quite the drive.

It wasn’t just that the Cowboys went almost the length of the entire field and scored a touchdown that was notable. It was how the Cowboys moved the ball. They did so in a variety of ways.

We’re all painfully aware of just how predictable Dallas has been on offense for some time now. The fact that Moore mixed in so many different things on just one offensive drive is such a breath of fresh air.

Winner: C.J. Goodwin

Football is about more than just offense and defense, special teams obviously play a big role in the success that teams have. Not to make that into the biggest thing ever, but the Cowboys saw a nice special teams play on Saturday from C.J. Goodwin.

The Cowboys have been fortunate to have players that function well on special teams over the years. It’s not as flashy of a role as someone who scores touchdowns or sacks the quarterback, but dudes who have to sprint on punts can really swing a game from one direction to the other. Kudos to Dallas for continuing to find those diamonds in the rough.

Winner: Devin Smith

Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb, and Tavon Austin. Those receivers are set for the Dallas Cowboys.

If you want to, you can probably lock in Noah Brown as well. The team really likes him. That sixth spot has been up for grabs throughout training camp though and at different points people have highlighted Jalen Guyton and Jon’vea Johnson as potential candidates for it. Do not forget about Devin Smith!

Smith has also shown up at training camp but his touchdown in the preseason will go a really long way in his cause to make the roster. His score against the Rams was beautiful to watch as his adjustment at the end was top notch.

Loser: Tackling

Once the reserves came in for the Cowboys the tackling got, not good.

This is a clear example of preseason football at its absolute peak, but even still you can’t let this kind of stuff happen. There’s no doubt that when the team sees this on film that they’ll demand more effort, and perhaps it’ll get corrected, but you cannot be playing this poorly on something as rudimentary as a tackle.

Loser: Brett Maher

Brett Maher missed a field goal. Again. It was not good.

Jason Garrett spoke to the mothership’s Lindsay Draper on his way into the locker room at halftime and he noted that they wanted to let Maher try the 52-yarder to see what he had. He said that Maher would learn from it (the miss).

If learning is happening after every miss then there’s a lot of knowledge being passed around. It’s worth pointing out that Maher’s latest miss came from the right hash mark where he has started to show a real issue. When the Cowboys attempted their second extra point he chose to kick it from the left hash.

Something needs to be done.

Loser: Mike White

Cooper Rush is absolutely going to be the Cowboys backup quarterback. Part of it is that he performed well, he even threw a touchdown, but a lot of it is that he isn’t Mike White.

White got to start the second half after an abysmal relief of Dak Prescott in the first. He came out and ultimately threw the interception above this text, an unfortunate end to a pretty rough night for him.

This is only his second season in the NFL, but there really has never been a point where White looked good in a Cowboys uniform. It might be time for the team to just cut their loss, there’s nothing being shown as to why they shouldn’t.

Loser: Jon’vea Johnson

When Jerry Jones was interviewed on 105.3 The Fan before the game he was asked about players to watch throughout the contest. He specifically said that he wanted to see something from “number 81” aka Jon’vea Johnson.

Johnson ended the night with five targets (so did Devin Smith). He was only able to record one reception for nine yards as a result (Smith caught three of his for 24 yards and the touchdown). That is not going to cut it.

Overall Johnson has caught four of his 13 targets through both preseason games, accumulating 39 yards. It feels like he’s third in the battle between he, Smith, and Guyton.

Loser: Getting out of the game injury-free

Cowboys linebacker Chris Covington was injured on the first play of the game. Literally.

The opening kick saw Covington go down and that’s not something you ever want to see, but it eats at you just a bit more in the preseason. Dallas saw a linebacker go down in their first preseason game with Luke Gifford’s ankle issue, Covington’s issue was a shoulder one.

It feels odd to praise someone else on a point that is a loser, especially because we’re talking about someone being hurt, but Justin Phillips did have himself quite the night overall. He even had an interception.

Hopefully all of the Cowboys can heal up and get proper so that they can give their absolute best efforts towards making the 53-man roster. Injuries suck.

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