In a game that will more than likely feature backups and depth players, it’s difficult to know what to expect from the Dallas Cowboys when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1 of the preseason. There’s no way of really knowing who will play or how much. Despite that, there’s a lot that can be learned from these preseason matchups.
Performing well in training camp practices and carrying it over into preseason games is a good way to catch the eye of the coaching staff when the time for roster cuts finally arrives. To earn one of those coveted 53-man spots on the roster, it’s generally better to be more consistent throughout the offseason then and off-and-on flash player.
Today, we are going to attempt to predict some of the Dallas Cowboys offensive and defensive players who have not only stood out in training camp so far, but should carry that performance over into Week 1 of the preseason against the Jacksonville Jaguars. We’re going to break this down by selecting three players on each side of the ball.
TE Peyton Hendershot
The Cowboys second-year TE has had himself a pretty solid offseason. He has developed a rapport on the field with Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush and has proven to be a reliable target in the passing game for both of them. His rapport with Rush in particular should help him receive plenty of opportunities to be productive against the Jaguars on Saturday, so much so, he could lead the team in receiving yards.
RB Deuce Vaughn
Despite not yet playing a meaningful down with the Dallas Cowboys, Deuce Vaughn has already become a fan favorite. He’s currently in the midst of the battle to become Tony Pollard’s primary backup in 2023, and so far so good. Despite being the smallest player on the roster at approximately 5’5”, 170-ish pounds, the former Kansas State RB has been proving size doesn’t matter so far throughout training camp.
WR Dennis Houston
Dennis Houston is quietly having one of the better training camp performances among the wide receivers not named CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, or Michael Gallup. He’s been on the receiving end several big plays throughout camp and a couple of TDs from both Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush. With the starting WRs likely sitting Saturday, he should receive ample opportunity to carry over what he’s been doing in practice against Jacksonville.
LB Jabril Cox
With the need for more linebacker depth behind the presumed starters Leighton Vander Esch and Damone Clark, the Dallas Cowboys needed someone to step up and separate themselves from the pack. Jabril Cox seems to be doing just that so far in training camp and is looking to carry that over in Week 1 of the preseason against Jacksonville. It wouldn’t be all that surprising if he is the team leader in tackles Saturday against the Jaguars.
CB Nahshon Wright
The 6’4”, 185-pound CB was on the roster bubble heading into training camp, but may have already solidified himself as a backup behind Trevon Diggs and Stephon Gilmore with his play so far. He’s been sticky in coverage against the Cowboys WRs and TEs alike in camp and is looking to carry that over into Week 1 of the preseason against Jacksonville. Don’t be surprised to see him continue his solid play against the Jaguars on Saturday.
S Juanyeh Thomas
Juanyeh Thomas was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Cowboys last season who has really stood out in training camp so far. The 6’3”, 217-pound safety has made multiple plays on the ball in coverage and in the box around the line of scrimmage in practice. With Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, and Donovan Wilson expected to sit out Week 1 of the preseason, keep an eye on No. 30 against the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday.