Tonight, we will finally see the Dallas Cowboys suit up and play a football game versus an opponent. Every offseason seems to crawl on by with this year being no exception. We have made it to football season, and as we get ready to kick off the Hall of Fame game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers there are many story lines to watch for the Dallas Cowboys.
Like every preseason game, the main objective is to come out healthy while seeing young players put together a performance to build off. As expected, the main contributors and some other key players are not expected to suit up on Thursday night, such as Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and Demarcus Lawrence. That creates an opportunity for many valuable reps and game experience for fringe roster players and young contributors who will benefit from some live in game action.
Although the list of players to keep an eye on could be extensive, here are the three players to focus on Thursday night:
It goes without saying that eyes will be on Micah Parsons, the Cowboys first-round pick, however as camp has progressed there have been quite a bit of buzz regarding Kelvin Joseph. Many eyes will be on the young rookie cornerback from Kentucky, as the feeling shared by some around the team is that Joseph is really pushing for that number two cornerback spot opposite of Trevon Diggs.
Cowboys nickel CB Jourdan Lewis returned to practice, having missed bulk of camp. Maurice Canady impressive in absence. CB Kelvin Joseph also saw full workload today. Still on second team but gradually pushing Anthony Brown. Rookie further along than team expected at this stage.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) July 31, 2021
If this were to come true, that would be a massive win for the Cowboys and this latest draft class. Being able to come out of back-to-back drafts with second-round cornerbacks of the future would be a real testament to Will McClay and the Cowboys scouting department. Joseph main objective is to be able to show his athletic ability, convince the staff he is comfortable within Dan Quinn’s system, as well as showing the skills necessary to be around the ball and be opportunistic. Nobody is expecting a lockdown performance from any rookie in their first game, but to do the things mentioned would be a great beginning step for him in his first NFL action.
We discussed Cowboys who we would like to see show up during the HOF game on the latest episode of Talkin’ The Star on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our shows! Apple users can subscribe right here and Spotify users can subscribe right here.
As the Cowboys know from recent memory, and have been reminded as of late, the back up quarterback position can be vital to a teams sustained success. This year is no different, and with Dak nursing a sore shoulder muscle, Gilbert has been thrust into the bulk of first-team reps for the Cowboys. Gilbert’s play will be evaluated with a microscope as the team tries to figure out if there QB2 is on the roster or not. This is a big opportunity for Gilbert and the job looks to be his to lose.
Cowboys QB Garrett Gilbert on getting reps with the first-team offense with Dak Prescott experiencing soreness in his throwing arm: “It’s part of being a backup QB, you always got to be ready.” pic.twitter.com/j4Fylbdvtf— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) July 28, 2021
We all saw what losing Dak looked like last year, and even with a plethora of offensive weapons at their disposal, the offense stalled and looked down right abysmal at times without number four. Garrett Gilbert will be looking to show command of the huddle, he will want to demonstrate his ability to navigate Kellen Moore’s offense cleanly, and above all else, prove he has the ability to keep the team afloat if they were to be without Dak for a limited time.
Quinton Bohanna came out of NFL draft weekend with a lot of Cowboys fans and media alike intrigued and excited about his selection. You don’t hear that too often when it comes to players drafted 192nd overall in the draft. However, everything about Bohanna as it pertains to the Cowboys is different. Dallas has not drafted a player that fits Bohanna’s size or physical profile in many years. The 6’4”, 330-lb interior defensive lineman has a great opportunity to make a big impact on a porous Cowboys run defense.
So far in today’s practice, watching rookie DT Quinton Bohanna grabbing Tony Pollard in the open field and making sure he didn’t get past him was the best thing I’ve seen. Big boy can move for 330+— Nick Eatman (@nickeatman) July 27, 2021
The team will be looking for him to fill a void in the middle of their defense that saw them getting gashed at a historic pace last season. Bohanna being able to show his ability to take on blocks and make life easier for linebackers coming down hill clean is exactly what the Cowboys are hoping to get from the young rookie. The team has been impressed by his athletic ability and how he is able to move his body thus far in camp, and the more Bohanna is able to show what he can do, the better position the team will be along the defensive line.
Its easy to say that we are all excited for Micah Parson’s debut, the hope is the young man is everything the team thinks he is and his impact will be monumental the success of this upcoming season. However, keep an eye on these players.