We are finally on the downslope of the preseason hill with the second of three games in the rearview mirror for the Dallas Cowboys. Saturday night marked the second exhibition contest of the year for Dallas, a game that will be remembered more for injuries and penalties than anything else.
Those things are obviously negative but there were some positives to come out of the team’s trip to the Pacific Northwest. In an effort to beat both Mike McCarthy and Pete Carroll from challenging the game to keep us up even later, we are going to go ahead and begin our assessment of things that happened that were both positive and negative by way of the BTB Stock Report.
Stock Up: Eric Scott Jr.
It is important to remember that being stock up or stock down does not mean that you are suddenly an A+ or F, it means that your stock improved or decreased relative to where it was at the beginning of the game.
In that spirit, Scott Jr. absolutely improved his standing within the Cowboys. Prior to last week everything we had heard from and seen of him was glowing, and then the Jaguars preseason game happened.
Saturday night wasn’t all wonderful, but he started off very strong. A good return.
Stock Up: Jalen Tolbert
We do not need to see anymore. We are all well on board.
Jalen Tolbert has arrived, but the difference is that this particular statement isn’t beholden to him taking some sort of unrealistic leap. He is in the right and proper place in so many ways in 2023.
Stock Up: Jalen Brooks
We finally got to see something from Jalen Brooks mid-game and it was delightful. How about a nice fourth down conversion?!
It remains to be seen how strong of a case Brooks really has for making the 53-man roster but Saturday night was a good one for him.
Stock Up: KaVontae Turpin
Turpin had a fumble last week on a punt return which is obviously a serious no-no, but he had a nice moment on offense in Seattle which was hopefully a peek at what is to come.
Stock Up: Rico Dowdle
Speaking of coming back from fumbles last week... Rico Dowdle, ladies and gentlemen!
I’m hesitant to say that Deuce Vaughn is “RB2” just because if someone other than Tony Pollard had to carry the ball 20+ times a game then it seems like Dowdle is more suited for that particular ask, but if someone is going to be requested to do it we should all agree that it is in fact Dowdle. He is next in line (although he was partly responsible for the blocked punt so maybe let’s just have him focus on offense).
Stock Up: Deuce Vaughn
Just like Tolbert... we have seen enough.
He is not a gadget player by any means. He is a dynamic offensive weapon.
Stock Up: Kelvin Joseph
Entering training camp it seemed like Kelvin Joseph was in his final few weeks with the Cowboys, but he has done a lot of dirty work in terms of football assignments and he has done them very well.
Stock Down: The injury bug
Four different Cowboys (DeMarvion Overshown, Matt Waletzko, John Stephens Jr. and Sheldrick Redwine) all left the game due to injuries. While the severity of those will all likely be different it was a costly game in that capacity.
Hopefully everyone gets healthy and does so soon.
Stock Down: Juanyeh Thomas
We have seen the Cowboys heap all sorts of praise on Thomas to this point and last week he justified it with a huge interception.
But in this game he had a penalty that undid the Cowboys defense getting off of the field and ultimately led to the Seahawks scoring a touchdown.
Preseason or not, that cannot happen.
Stock Down: Sam Williams
Same sort of thing here. Sam Williams had a great game but had a really bad penalty. That last moment aside, he is going to be incredible this year. He looks phenomenal as a player.
Stock Down: Will Grier
It is hard to call this stock down given that there is no real competition for any sort of real QB3 spot, but Will Grier is certainly the team’s third signal-caller.
Also it’s not like Grier was dreadful, but there is a lot more to be desired there.
Stock Down: Offensive line depth
We spent most of the offseason obsessing about what the Cowboys could/would do if different offensive linemen were hurt. It is becoming more and more obvious that they are going to be up a creek in that sort of hypothetical.
This is the preseason and to be clear no team in the NFL has 10 linemen that they feel great about. But the Cowboys look somewhat lost in the trenches when it comes to their reserves and are now dealing with the Waletzko injury on top of that. They need help.
Stock Down: Mazi Smith
Last week caused some division on Mazi Smith as some felt he was solid while others were left wanting more. I fall in the latter category this week.
By no means is it time to panic on Smith, but it is clear that Saturday was not his best outing. He needs time, as defensive tackles often do.
Stock Down: Opportunities for Brandon Aubrey
This is more funny than anything given that Brandon Aubrey was denied by fate on Saturday. Early in the game Cooper Rush took a sack that took Dallas out of field goal range. In the second half Will Grier threw a redzone interception which robbed us of another potential three-point shot.
We want to see Brandon Aubrey kick some field goals! Please!