No, the Cowboys have not “won” a preseason game yet, but the preseason is not about wins and losses. It’s about finding good football players and seeing who is going to be able to shine when things get going for real.
We discussed all of Saturday night’s action including our takeaways during our Dallas Cowboys Postgame Show on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of our episodes! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
Some of our priors have been confirmed over the course of these last three weeks, but we have also learned a lot of new things as well. There were moments of extreme joy and others where we were left confused and frustrated.
Here are our winners, losers, and honorable mentions.
Winner: CeeDee Lamb
It was momentary, but CeeDee Lamb had a great catch early on in the game. If the ball is anywhere near him it belongs to him.
He is going to be so much fun to watch this season.
Winner: Cooper Rush
It appears that we really do have a backup quarterback competition on our hands. Cooper Rush was by far the best signal-caller on the night, he even got on the board for the preseason (along with Ben DiNucci) with two touchdown passes, including one late in the first half.
Cooper has obviously served in a backup capacity for the Cowboys before. The team did release him last year, but that was because they had a veteran backup in Andy Dalton and a project in Ben DiNucci. Enough has changed that it might make sense for the job to belong to Rush once again.
Winner: Tony Pollard
The scoring started off for the Cowboys with Tony Pollard getting into the endzone, and he did quite the job in order to do it. Pollard in space is a problem for defenses.
Ideally we see the Cowboys utilize Pollard (and Ezekiel Elliott too for that matter) in the passing game more this season.
Winner: Noah Brown
Speaking for myself, a few months ago it seemed difficult to see Noah Brown making the 53-man roster. Especially after the Cowboys drafted Simi Fehoko.
Brown has been really impressive throughout camp and the preseason so far, though. This catch was among the nicer ones of the night.
He is locked and loaded on the 53-man roster.
Winner: Jabril Cox
Obviously all of the conversation when it comes to the linebackers quickly turns to Micah Parsons, but Jabril Cox has started to come on as of late. This was quite the tackle.
Cox gives the Cowboys a really great point of depth. It will be interesting to see how quickly he works his way into the more legitimate rotation.
Loser: Garrett Gilbert
It is becoming obvious that the Dallas Cowboys don’t have somebody who is fit to be their quarterback in a Dak Prescott-less world. Garrett Gilbert has been disappointing for three games now.
Garrett Gilbert-led drives this preseason for the Dallas Cowboys:— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) August 22, 2021
- Field Goal (PIT)
- Missed Field Goal (PIT)
- Punt (ARI)
- Turnover on Downs (ARI)
- Field Goal (ARI)
- Gilbert Fumble (HOU)
- Punt (HOU)
This was the team’s dress rehearsal. Ezekiel Elliott wasn’t out there, but the entire starting offensive line, wide receiver group, and tight ends were. If Gilbert can’t succeed here, when can he?
Loser: Ben DiNucci
What is there to really say at this point?
Sideline after Nooch 3rd INT pic.twitter.com/lWguayFvAB— Andre’ Jackson (@therealdre_jack) August 22, 2021
We have known that DiNucci is not long for the Cowboys roster, but it is fair to say that he entered this game with a chance to save himself. That did not happen. Three interceptions is impossible to overcome.
Loser: Special Teams Penalties
As the second quarter wore on the Cowboys couldn’t get out of their own way with penalties. After they wiped out a nice gain on third and long on what would have made fourth down manageable, the Cowboys kept piling on.
You don't see 4th and 30 every day. pic.twitter.com/2MdGEWknOh— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) August 22, 2021
As mentioned this is supposed to be when you are getting close to being ready for the regular season. These sloppy penalties (ineligible man downfield and then a false start) can’t happen against the world champs.
Loser: Simi Fehoko
There hasn’t been a whole lot of pop here, even throughout camp. Fehoko entered the Cowboys with physical assets that made a lot of people fantasize about him developing a great skillset, but sometimes that takes time.
Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown have firmly established themselves as the fourth and fifth receivers. Will the team be too afraid of losing Simi to cut him?
Loser: Nick Ralston
This is a bit harsh, but Ralston entered this game with a full and obvious opportunity to announce himself as the team’s fullback for the season what with the Sewo Olonilua to injured reserve news from this past week.
There is still time for it to, but that did not happen.
Honorable Mention: Rico Dowdle
He still has a fumble on his preseason resume, but he is firmly RB3.
Very nice run here.
Honorable Mention: Osa Odighizuwa
With Neville Gallimore out for a bit the Cowboys are going to need someone to step up at defensive tackle. Osa Odighizuwa is doing a lot of stepping up.
It is difficult not to pay total and complete attention to Micah Parsons on this play, but watch for Osa. He is a wrecker.
Depth at defensive tackle sure does feel strange.
Honorable Mention: Cedrick Wilson
He caught a touchdown which is certainly a winning quality, but his spot on the roster has never been in question. We have known Cedrick Wilson to be a very good player.
Still though it was nice to see that show itself once again on Saturday night.
Honorable Mention: Blake Jarwin
There was only one catch on the night for Jarwin, but he has been so un-seen that it was notable! Jarwin has had success down the middle of the field before which is where he showed off against Houston.
Seeing how the team utilizes their top two tight ends will be very interesting.
Honorable Mention: Bradlee Anae
It has been quite the last week or so for Bradlee Anae as he has started to come on strong and justify the belief that people had in him for so long. Hopefully it is a sign of things to come.
Things are just a bit crowded near the top at edge rusher for the Cowboys so if Anae can break through in any way it will be more than welcome.
We discussed everything that happened throughout the game during our live Postgame Show on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe to our channel (which you can do right here) so you don’t miss any of our livestreams or videos!