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Cowboys at Broncos: The good, the bad, and the ugly from preseason Week 1

The highs and lows from preseason week 1 for the Dallas Cowboys.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It was a mixed bag of results for the Dallas Cowboys in their first preseason matchup against the Denver Broncos Saturday night. As you would expect, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows in the Cowboys first meaningful action of the year, however, it wasn’t all doom and gloom either.

As far as preseason matchups go, the Cowboys showed plenty of things that gives us hope they can have a successful 2022 season, but on the flipside, they also showed they still have quite a bit of work to do. Fortunately for them, there’s still time to iron out the wrinkles if they can learn and grow from their mistakes.

Due to the sloppiness of what we’ve come to expect in preseason, there was plenty of highs and lows for the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night. Today, we are going to identify The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, or for all of you fans of westerns out there, Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach, for the Cowboys against the Broncos.

THE GOOD - CB DaRon Bland

Despite all the sloppiness, there was quite a bit of good for the Dallas Cowboys in their first preseason matchup in 2022 against the Denver Broncos on Saturday night. A lot of their first- and second-year players showed encouraging signs of becoming significant contributors this season, but one player seemed to stand out above the rest.

Cornerback DaRon Bland, one of the Cowboys fifth-round picks this year out of Fresno State, proved why he should be considered for a roster spot. He was active in both the running and passing game, and showed no hesitation or missteps while handling his responsibilities.

THE BAD - Penalties

Some things never change. Coming off a season in which the Dallas Cowboys were the most penalized team in the league last year, penalties were once again a problem against the Denver Broncos Saturday night. While some of them can be argued as questionable calls, there’s still absolutely no excuse for accumulating 17 penalties in one game.

Sadly, there we haven’t seen any accountability from the coaching staff or players alike as it pertains to all of the penalties we’ve become accustomed to seeing from the Cowboys. No one seems to be able to figure out how to address this massive problem. These self-inflicted wounds absolutely cannot continue to happen.

THE UGLY - QB Cooper Rush

The battle to become Dak Prescott’s primary backup in 2022 was one of the more under-the-radar position battles taking place for the Cowboys in training camp. Cooper Rush and Will Grier were pretty much neck to neck with one another heading into the preseason matchup with the Broncos, but that may no longer be the case.

Despite being sidelined against the Broncos Saturday, the QB2 job may now be Will Grier’s to lose. Sadly, Cooper Rush was never quite able to get in a groove at any point in the game. He still has the rest of training camp and preseason to reestablish himself in the backup QB battle, but as things stand right now it may be too little too late.

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