A lot has happened over the course of the last week for the Dallas Cowboys. Since playing their first preseason game of the year at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the group has practiced against the Los Angeles Rams, saw Connor Williams mix it up with Aaron Donald during that practice, watched franchise greats be immortalized with gold jackets and bronze busts, and made their debut on HBO’s Hard Knocks.
Things move fast with America’s Team so it might come as a surprise to you that we are gearing up for yet another preseason game. This is the final road preseason contest for Dallas this year as they will return to their home base for the remainder of camp and two more exhibition contests before things kick off for real against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in less than a month.
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As Friday night will mark the second opportunity for some players to impress, there are a handful that really need to shine if they want to up their probability of making this roster. Last week carries the understandable distinction of being the Hall of Fame game which is an even more watered-down version of the football we know and love, but this week it is time to see some positive steps.
Connor Livesay, Dalton Miller, and Cole Patterson discussed five players they want to see perform well on Friday night during the latest episode of Talkin’ The Star that you can listen to above. Let’s talk about each one a little bit here. Vamonos.
Truth be told, Ben DiNucci’s fate might be sealed at this point, but that is why Friday night is so important to him.
It is highly likely that DiNucci will get up to another half of football to work with again this week and it has to go much better for him if he wants to stay in the NFL, whether with the Cowboys or otherwise. Everybody was willing to discount what happened during the regular season last year when he unfortunately had to start, but he was abysmal last week in Canton.
The pressure is on.
Just because a player is on a list to watch does not exactly mean that they are on the bubble. Such is the case for Maurice Canady.
The last time that Canady went against a quarterback that was not his own he had himself a decent showing. His interception off of Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is among the more impressive ones that we have seen this offseason.
Maurice Canady just picked off Matthew Stafford! Wow!— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) August 7, 2021
(via @dallascowboys) pic.twitter.com/ysxvs4RXww
Not that we need any more proof that Canady is going to be at the very least part of the cornerback rotation this year, but it would be nice to see him make some plays during a game. That isn’t asking for too much, is it?
It is difficult to know what to expect from Brandon Knight. The start to his career has been adventurous to say the least.
The Cowboys have a swing tackle issue at the moment, but with Brandon Knight getting time at guard that isn’t necessarily something that he is directly involved in. Right now it is hard to see how he fits into the roster if he doesn’t necessarily contribute highly at any one spot. He needs to separate himself in some capacity.
It really is a shame that Turner fumbled last week. The play would have been another bright spot for him throughout camp and the preseason so far.
OUR BALL!@_jlayne with the strip, @TwanDoee with the pickup— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 6, 2021
: FOX | : https://t.co/2cNCfRoIM1 pic.twitter.com/in3NIMstjm
Sometimes that is the way that football goes, though. You can put in a ton of great work, pile up a number of highlights, but it can all be wiped away with one unfortunate moment. It is a cruel game.
Malik Turner still has a fair shot at making the Cowboys roster, probably the best shot of the non-favorites at wide receiver entering camp, but we need to see more. He was on the right track last week, hopefully he can build upon that in Arizona.
The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of linebackers that are going to be on their roster which means those at the bottom of the depth chart need to really separate themselves. Luke Gifford certainly falls into that category.
A star of the preseason a couple of years ago, time is sort of of the essence for Gifford.
Friday will fall more into the traditional preseason quality which means that Gifford should see a number of opportunities to impress both on defense and on special teams. With not much room left at his position it is going to take something notable for him to stick around.
We previewed what to expect on Friday night in the latest video on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe to our channel (which you can do so right here) so you don’t miss any of the videos we are putting out!