The Cowboys lost a heartbreaker in Seattle that came right down to the final seconds, and Dallas emerged from it sitting at 1-2. But it wasn’t a complete downer. The Cowboys rookies once again flashed tons of promise, with some getting even more playing time this week.
CeeDee Lamb, WR
It wasn’t the 100+ yard performance he had last week, but CeeDee Lamb continues to look like he’s been doing this for years already. Michael Gallup and a surprise Cedrick Wilson were the two leaders in yards, but Lamb was solid and reliable, as he’s been through these first three weeks.
Lamb was targeted six times and came up with five catches for 65 yards. He also returned four punts, with one of them a fair catch, for 32 yards. But it was on one of those punt returns where Lamb was taken down oddly and could have tweaked something in his leg. He did not see the field for the ensuing offensive possession and wasn’t on the field for the final five offensive plays of the game.
This was almost really, really bad. I wonder if this hampered Lamb some afterwards.— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) September 28, 2020
He sat out the series following this and played just 16 of the final 39 snaps after playing 33 of the first 43. He was not on the field for the final five plays of the game. pic.twitter.com/etmDEFaVji
Lamb still played in between that, seeing 49 total offensive snaps, but it’s something to watch going forward. In the meantime, though, Cowboys fans should take comfort in knowing that this rookie is everything he was hyped up to be, and potentially more.
Trevon Diggs, CB
The Cowboys were already expected to struggle in the secondary after letting Byron Jones go in free agency, but then they were decimated by injuries. Anthony Brown and Chidobe Awuzie are on injured reserve, while Jourdan Lewis missed Week 1. It’s put increased pressure on rookie Trevon Diggs, who hasn’t backed down from the challenge one bit.
Through the first two weeks, Diggs showed a resilient player who displays some really good coverage and ball skills, although there have still been some mistakes. That was pretty much the same case on Sunday, and there was perhaps no better epitome of Diggs’ play than this one:
Great hustle by #DallasCowboys rookie @TrevonDiggs— NFL (@NFL) September 27, 2020
The @dallascowboys get the ball back following the touchback.
: #DALvsSEA on FOX
: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/9RobDGGsOD pic.twitter.com/VmY5N6A4Rl
First, Diggs got burned by DK Metcalf for what would’ve been a big touchdown bomb. But Diggs immediately makes up for it by keeping with the play and managing to knock the ball loose, creating a touchback. For the third straight game, Diggs played every single defensive snap - the only cornerback to have done this for Dallas in any game - and showed while he may have some growing pains, he’s not one to give up. The Cowboys may have something special in this kid.
Neville Gallimore, DT
After hardly seeing the field the first two weeks, Neville Gallimore was a healthy scratch this week. With the hot start Trysten Hill has gotten off to, as well as the consistent play of both Dontari Poe and Antwaun Woods, Gallimore seems to be getting a redshirt treatment in his rookie year.
Reggie Robinson II, DB
Speaking of redshirts, Reggie Robinson was inactive for his third straight game. With injuries mounting in the secondary, Dallas keeps bringing in other players, giving the feeling they really don’t want to play Robinson this year if they can help it.
Tyler Biadasz, C
Had there been an offseason and preseason, Tyler Biadasz may have been able to beat out Joe Looney for the starting center job. As it turns out, Biadasz may have already claimed the job three games in. Looney had to leave for a brief stretch early in the game and Biadasz came into the game. He played well, getting a monstrous pancake block on his first snap, but Looney came back on the field on the next possession.
However, Biadasz came back in later. When Terence Steele had to leave the game due to apparent food poisoning, offensive line coach Joe Philbin made a big switch. He kicked Zack Martin out to right tackle (where he dominated, of course) and Looney kicked over to right guard, allowing Biadasz in at center.
This was undoubtedly motivated by the Cowboys’ razor-thin depth at the tackle positions right now, but it also reflects the confidence they have in Biadasz. He played the rest of the game at center and looked really solid, with no poor snaps to Dak Prescott or major mistakes in blocking. It remains to be seen what the lineup will be next week, but Biadasz has shown he’s ready to go now if the team wants him to.
Bradlee Anae, EDGE
Bradlee Anae got a chance to really impress last week when DeMarcus Lawrence came out of the game, but it wasn’t enough to see an uptick in his usage on defense. In fairness, the Cowboys’ pass rush really came alive against Seattle, frequently getting in Russell Wilson’s face, so there wasn’t much need to send Anae in.
He had a whopping two defensive snaps, the least amount of any Cowboys defender, but was active on special teams with 22 snaps. It seems like this is just how it’ll go for the former Ute, given the big names ahead of him on the depth chart. In the meantime, Anae’s willingness to contribute on special teams is nice.
Ben DiNucci, QB
No shock here, Ben DiNucci was inactive again. Must be nice going from the James Madison Dukes to free courtside season tickets for the Cowboys. I chose the wrong profession, Ben did not.
Terence Steele, OT
Terence Steele has been the Cowboys’ most recent successful UDFA hit. And sure, Steele hasn’t been impressive on the whole, but given the circumstances he’s played very admirably through three games as the starting right tackle.
As mentioned above, Steele was dealing with food poisoning all day and apparently took three IV’s the morning of the game in order to play. He managed to play 41 snaps in the game, taking another IV during it, but ultimately couldn’t go any longer. That kind of toughness and determination to play is encouraging though. Steele is not a pushover by any means.
Rico Dowdle, RB
After being active but not seeing the field last week, Rico Dowdle saw three special teams snaps on Sunday. As the third-string running back behind Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, that’s really all anyone expects of Dowdle.
Sean McKeon, TE
In his second straight week of being active, Sean McKeon pretty much did the same thing. He came on as the third tight end for jumbo packages, which made up four offensive snaps, and helped on special teams with six snaps.
McKeon was originally supposed to be the fourth tight end this year and was likely going to be on the inactive list all year, but injuries have made him the next man up. The nature of Cowboys’ offense means he won’t be asked to do very much, but it’s nice to see that he’s able to contribute anyway.
Rashad Smith, LB
In his second week with the Cowboys, Rashad Smith was inactive for the game on Sunday. He’s really just here for depth, being added after Leighton Vander Esch joined the injured reserve, so don’t expect too much beyond that.