The Dallas Cowboys stay in southern California has come to an end, but not before they got out of town with a 32-18 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in their second preseason game of the year. After only finding the end zone once in their first game against Denver, the Cowboys scored a total of four touchdowns in this one. It was a lot of the same things we saw before with some special teams magic sprinkled in. Here are five takeaways from the Cowboys' win over the Chargers on Saturday.
1. KaVontae Turpin is a lock
As if this wasn’t already known, last night’s game removed all doubt. We weren’t able to see much of him the week prior in Denver as he didn’t find any space to run, but that wasn’t the case against the Chargers. Turpin scored his first touchdown when he took a kickoff 98 yards and hardly broke stride. It was just knowing where the holes were and then utilizing his pure speed. And if that wasn’t fancy enough, Turpin was at it again when he took a punt 86 yards for another touchdown. This time he showed off his elusiveness, wiggling his way through the holes before finally turning on the jets. It was quite impressive.
KaVontae Turpin in the first half tonight pic.twitter.com/V0pbWCdQCu— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 21, 2022
2. Quarterback play was much better
Cooper Rush had a nice bounce-back game. He didn’t see much action, only throwing six passes, but he looked a lot more comfortable. Rush missed out on having a touchdown pass when rookie receiver Jalen Tolbert failed to get both feet down in the back of the end zone.
Fans got their first look at Will Grier as he came in the second quarter. He finished 6/10 for 98 yards. There were times when the protection broke down and he showed off his mobility, but the most impressive thing was that he stayed calm in the pocket and delivered some good throws. Overall, both quarterbacks played solid, but Grier did show a little more playmaking ability.
3. We have a Mukuama sighting
The Cowboys selected Israel Mukuamu in the sixth-round of last year’s draft as a development project at safety. The 6’4” defensive back was all over the place on Saturday. He started off with a nice play in the backfield where his long arms slowed the runner down allowing him to be brought down in the backfield. He then followed that up with an interception a couple of plays later. Mukuama also had a nice pass breakup when he lunged himself at a Chargers receiver at the last second to cause the ball to come loose resulting in an incomplete pass. It was good to see the Cowboys young safety put some nice game action on film.
4. Trysten Hill came to play
Some have all but written the Cowboys' 2019 second-round pick, Trysten Hill, off the roster. From the moment he was drafted, he’s been scrutinized, and for good reason. He hasn’t come close to living up to his draft cost. But on Saturday, Hill was the best interior defensive lineman on the field, which says a lot because all of them played well. He finished the game with three tackles, but his biggest play of the game was when he came away with the hat trick, sack/strip/fumble recovery late in the first half, setting up a touchdown that helped the Cowboys finish off a 22-point second quarter.
Cowboys DT Trysten Hill with the strip sack and recovery pic.twitter.com/eq2Gv83ESA— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 21, 2022
5. Weaknesses are still a weakness
There are still some concerns with this team as a few of the issues from last week were still present. The team is still getting called for too many penalties as they were flagged eight times in this one. The left side of the offensive line again had some struggles as the team’s top swing tackle Josh Ball did not look any better.
Josh Ball vs. Chris Rumph.— Dalton Miller (@DaltonBMiller) August 21, 2022
This is ungood. pic.twitter.com/Nei7ZtOfoD
Even this year’s first-round pick, Tyler Smith, made mental mistakes where it’s hard not to wonder if he will be ready to go by the regular season. And let’s not forget the backup cornerbacks. While collectively it was a little better, second-year player Nahshon Wright continues to be on the wrong end of big plays.
How does this keep happening to the 6-foot-4 Nahshon Wright????? pic.twitter.com/MdiClOLtNB— Dalton Miller (@DaltonBMiller) August 21, 2022
If the Cowboys aren’t able to improve these areas, it could be a real problem for this team once real football begins.