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Ten thoughts on the Cowboys 17-15 preseason loss to the Buccaneers

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The fourth and final preseason game has been concluded.

NFL: AUG 29 Preseason - Buccaneers at Cowboys Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Preseason for the Dallas Cowboys is officially over. The next time you see the boys in blue out there playing football, it will be against the New York Giants, and it will count in the standings. The Cowboys finished the preseason with a 2-2 record, which means a whole lot of nothing. They can hang their helmet on some good displays of football, and some of that was showcased Thursday night. Here are 10 thoughts on the Cowboys 17-15 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

1. I’m not sure it would be wise to cut Daniel

There was a short list of players who actually had a shot to make enough of a difference in determining whether or not they can make the team. Daniel Wise was one of those players. The undrafted free agent from Kansas had himself a very nice preseason finale as he was all over the place. The Cowboys defensive tackle position group appears to be set with the main four of Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods, Christian Covington, and Trysten Hill, but it might behoove them to find a way to make room for Wise as well.

2. Donovan Wilson just might make this team

Just kidding. There’s no “might” about it. He’s in. All the Texas A&M stud safety has done is compiled three interceptions this preseason. In just four games, Wilson now has more picks than any Cowboys player had in all 16 games last season. I don’t know about you, but this kid might be pretty good.

Wilson left the game with an ankle injury, but it doesn’t appear serious as he taped it up and was walking around on the sideline.

3. Mike White still holds on to the ball too long

There are three certainties in life - death, taxes, and Mike White getting a sack/fumble in a game. The Western Kentucky quarterback was up to his old tricks again as his mental clock that tells him when he’s supposed to get rid of the ball... appears to be broken.

There were some who believed that if White had a standout performance, it might give him a glimmer of hope to make the squad, but that can be put to rest now.

4. There was a Jon’Vea sighting

The undrafted free agent from Toledo was all the craze in OTAs and early training camp, but things have dropped off recently. Literally. After struggles holding on to the ball, Jon’Vea Johnson’s chances to make the team had dwindled. On Thursday, Johnson started making plays. He had three catches for 32 yards before leaving the game with a shoulder injury.

It’s unfortunate he had to exit the game as he was trying to make a push to make an NFL roster. The silver lining for Cowboys fans is it could make him less likely to be claimed off of waivers to where the team can sign him to their practice squad.

The real star receiver on this day was Jalen Guyton who took a 69-yard pass to the house. He’s another UDFA who might have a shot to get onto the practice squad.

5. March to a different tune

I was concerned that Justin March might sneak his way onto the team because he’s constantly mentioned as having some hidden value. Sure, he’s a quality special teams player, but is that enough to make the team? After Thursday night’s game, that concern is fading. March continues to struggle as every ball carrier he comes across just blows right passed him. To his credit, he did finish the game strong with a couple nice tackles, including a sack, but with as many tough cuts they have to make, it’s hard to see where he’s one of the guys that make it.

6. Justin Phillips is sure trying to make an NFL roster

While one linebacker could be playing his way off the team, another is trending the other direction as Justin Phillips continues to play well. The preseason started with Luke Gifford being the UDFA linebacker who got fans excited, but as soon as he left the San Francisco game with a high ankle sprain, it’s been Phillips who has stepped up and made plays. He started quick out of the gate, recording three tackles on the defenses first three plays of the game.

7. Wide receiver bubble watch

Cedrick Wilson and Devin Smith are both fighting for one of the last wide receiver spots, and true to form - both did just enough to remind us why we like them so much. Wilson had five catches for 49 yards and Smith had two catches for 31 yards. Neither did anything significant to sway the needle one way or the other, but these guys have both demonstrated they belong on the team.

8. Did Olumba do enough?

The night started out great for Donovan Olumba as he took a tipped passed to the house for a touchdown to give the Cowboys an early six-point lead. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Olumba as things got a little worse for him. He allowed a completion for a first down and got called for defensive holding.

Olumba still shows evidence that he needs to grow, but he also is stacking more and more good plays together. It’s going to be close, but he’s made a pretty good case for himself to make this football team.

9. It was definitely a preseason finale

A lot of players in action on Thursday night won’t be playing football 10 days from now, which means things got a little sloppy at times. The turnovers were plentiful. Even when something started out great, it usually ended poorly.

10. Guess who was back wearing a head set?

Jason Witten was down on on the sideline doing some of that football analyst work he got so accustomed to last year. I have to say, he looks a lot better these days. Maybe it’s the outfit.


What things from this game stood out to you?