College football returned to our lives on Saturday night and that’s a very good thing. Perhaps an even better thing is how the Dallas Cowboys played against the Houston Texans; they put on quite the show.
The NFL world was shocked during the middle of this game what with the news of Andrew Luck’s retirement. While that will surely cause shockwaves that people will discuss for the next few weeks, for the moment we’re focused on what the Cowboys did against Houston.
Typically we discuss five winners and five losers, but honestly that didn’t feel right given the way this game unfolded. Instead, we’re going with five really great winners and five normal winners because there were so many positive things that happened.
Cool? Cool. Let’s begin.
Super Winner: Taco Charlton
There’s no question as to which Cowboys player has taken the most grief since he joined the team, things have been rough for Taco Charlton over the last two seasons.
All of that has changed to a degree this preseason period, though. Taco has, frankly, been on fire. He kept that spirit up with a fantastic performance against the Texans which included sacks and forced fumbles!
It’s hard to know whether this will translate to the regular season for Charlton. What we do know is he is in the best position to succeed that he’s ever been in since entering the NFL.
Super Winner: Michael Gallup
Looking at the box score you wouldn’t know that Michael Gallup had such a strong impact on this game early on, but his presence was felt.
Gallup figures to be a breakout star for the Cowboys this season, we simply can’t stop talking about him. This is true because he keeps doing remarkable things, case and point what he did on a play that ultimately got called back due to penalty.
Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper in the same offense. With Ezekiel Elliott (hopefully), and Tony Pollard. Let’s have some fun.
Super Winner: Joe Thomas
You have to make plays on special teams if you want to earn a roster spot in the NFL, and boy oh boy did Joe Thomas do that. He blocked a punt and then recovered it for a touchdown. What a performance.
What’s more is Thomas also played extremely well on defense. The Cowboys have such a strong linebacker group that Thomas is a role player for them. Talk about a luxury.
Super Winner: Tony Pollard
It’s not like he did anything super special, but Tony Pollard played very well again and thus is worthy of being considered a super winner. He is such a great runner of the football as cliche as that sounds.
We’re all hoping that Zeke returns to the Cowboys and it’s extremely exciting to consider what the team could have in both of their talented backs. Pollard clearly has a game that will provide for some pop at the NFL level, we’ve officially learned that this preseason.
Super Winner: Kerry Hyder
It was very difficult to pick a final super winner but I decided to go with someone who the Cowboys hand-selected in terms of free agency this offseason... Kerry Hyder.
2nd sack from Kerry Hyder. Slants inside to make space for the blitzing LB and S. Uses a subtle, but powerful club to cross the RG's face, get vertical and pursue the QB for the sack. #Cowboys pic.twitter.com/xS7DSPkW3W— John Owning (@JohnOwning) August 25, 2019
Hyder was all over the place against the Texans. The only challenger for a more disruptive player was arguably Taco Charlton, and Taco probably had the best game of any Cowboys player (what world are we living in?). There are a variety of rushmen on the Dallas defense and Hyder is firmly one of them.
Rod Marinelli has quite the group. It should be fun this season.
Normal Winner: C.J. Goodwin
Joe Thomas wasn’t the only player to show up on special teams and defense, the same is also true of C.J. Goodwin. Interception, anyone?
The Cowboys have depth all over their defense. This is a very good thing.
Normal Winner: Devin Smith
Smith finished the game as the leading receiver for the Cowboys (six catches, 79 yards). He’s done just about everything he conceivably can to earn himself a roster spot on this team and it’s hard to see them moving into the regular season without him.
Smith exhibits signs of the explosiveness that people saw from him during his days with The Ohio State. So often these lottery tickets the Cowboys have tried haven’t worked out, but this one just might stick.
Normal Winner: Cedrick Wilson
Have I mentioned yet that special teams are important? SPECIAL TEAMS ARE IMPORTANT.
People have been rallying around Cedrick Wilson for the better part of a year now and he’s been rewarding them for those efforts. It wasn’t a flashy touchdown or anything, but Wilson had a fantastic punt return against Houston.
It’s a hard decision to determine whether you’d want to have Wilson or Devin Smith. This could be easily answered if Noah Brown starts the season on PUP for the Cowboys, we’ll have to wait and see.
Normal Winner: Alfred Morris
Tony Pollard wasn’t the only Cowboys running back showing off, Alfred Morris got some action on Saturday night, too!
Assuming Ezekiel Elliott is back in the fold, it’s not likely that Morris will see legitimate playing time in 2019, especially with Tony Pollard around; however, he’s certainly fantastic insurance to have.
Normal Winner: Cooper Rush
There was some debate (I’m talking about in my head) about putting Cooper in the Super Winners category, but allow me to explain.
Rush balled out against the Texans and that’s a very good thing. He further cemented his status as the team’s primary backup quarterback to Dak Prescott, but what else did you expect to see?
Rush played well which is why he’s a winner, but we would have been sweating bullets if he hadn’t. He didn’t have as much to prove as some other players on the roster which is why he finds himself here. Being a winner is still mighty nice.