Like with just about any other preseason game, the Week 1 matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys was a mixed bag of both good and bad. There were a lot of positives that came out of this matchup for the Cowboys, but there was equally as many negatives as well.
The good news is the Dallas Cowboys still have a lot of time to clean some things up ahead of the 2023 season opener. With two preseason games still on the docket, hopefully they can turn the majority of those negatives into positives. As far as this matchup with the Jaguars is concerned, here are some of our initial observations.
From Clark Kent to Superman?
Damone Clark, the second-year LB out of LSU, put his athleticism and sideline-to-sideline playmaking ability on full display Saturday afternoon in both the running and passing game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is expected to be an impact player this season next to Leighton Vander Esch, and looks as if he has taken the step needed.
Big things come in small packages.
The 5’5”, 170-ish pound former Kansas State RB is a nightmare for defenders. Deuce Vaughn’s small stature makes him difficult to locate in traffic and his elusiveness and change of direction ability makes him extremely difficult to get a solid hit on. He was the best running back on the field for the Cowboys Saturday and has now firmly put himself in the mix in the RB2 battle.
Dalton Schultz who?
Jake Ferguson is the unquestioned replacement for Dalton Schultz. All of the other tight ends on the roster should just go ahead and submit to his reign. He more than proved himself Saturday against the Jaguars as both a blocker and a reliable target in the passing game. There should no longer be any concerns about who the TE1 is moving forward.
The depth of the offensive line is very much a concern.
The offensive line play Saturday against the Jaguars left much to be desired. The patchworked unit couldn’t find any consistency, which is to be somewhat expected considering their lack of practice reps together. Finding capable backups is an absolute must for Dallas, especially considering Tyron Smith’s inability to stay healthy. The depth, or lack thereof, of the OL is the biggest concern right now.
The amount of promising young prospects is both good and bad.
Juanyeh Thomas, John Stephens, and Dennis Houston are just a few first-and second-year players who shined for the Cowboys in Week 1 of the preseason like they’ve done throughout camp. In any other year all of them may have made it through roster cuts, but maybe not this year. Dallas may have to risk losing some of these players to other teams if they don’t make the initial 53-roster.