As far as a game where the end result has no real meaning, it is hard not to feel like the Dallas Cowboys came out of Saturday night suffering a tough loss. While the score doesn't matter, the Cowboys have since lost linebacker DeMarvion Overshown and rookie tight end John Stephens Jr., both with a torn ACL in their left knee, and that left a sour taste in the mouths of Cowboys nation.
While those are the biggest stories of the night, it wasn't the only takeaways from their week two clash with the Seattle Seahawks; let’s take a look at three things we learned after Saturday night.
Rico Dowdle is separating himself from the pack
While there is no denying how fun Deuce Vaughn has been to watch, you cannot ignore Rico Dowdle and the level of play he has shown through two preseason games so far. Dowdle has carried the ball 14 times for 59 yards, good for 4.21 yards a carry while also securing a receiving touchdown so far as well. In addition to looking good between the tackles and showing good burst with the football in his hand, Dowdle has looked like the most confident pass blocker of the backs.
Rico Dowdle doing what he does best. Great footwork in the backfield, great vision, and great burst. There weren't a lot of running lanes in this one, but Rico made the most out of what he got. pic.twitter.com/MTGqP84HDC— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) August 20, 2023
Deuce Vaughn looks to be a virtual lock to make this roster, and the running back battle has always felt like a competition between Dowdle and Malik Davis with many in Cowboys Nation favoring Davis. Despite the fan position, it looks clear that Dowdle is the man for the job and looks to be the leading man to back up Tony Pollard in 2023.
We discussed these ideas and more on the latest episode of 1st and 10 on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you do not miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
Mazi Smith is going to need time, and that’s okay
Cowboys fans have become so accustomed to first-round picks making splash-type impacts that when a player doesn't immediately flash in his first 100 snaps of football, people don't know what to make of it. Saturday night in Seattle was not Smith’s best game and the growing pains he experienced are to be expected.
As we watch Mazi Smith acclimate to the NFL, it's helpful to remember that defensive linemen (and rookies at most positions) rarely reach their potential in Year 1. https://t.co/a6gzh9sY25 pic.twitter.com/24mE8GV9pU— Cowboys Stats & Graphics (@CowboysStats) August 20, 2023
Not only is Smith an unfinished product, he also gets penalized by playing a position that does not produce flashy numbers and measurable statistics to boast about. Smith’s role will consist of eating up blocks, clogging up running lanes, and just being a force in the middle. It may not look perfect early on and we all need to understand that is okay. Nobody within the building is panicking, and neither should we.
Kelvin Joseph can’t be counted out just yet
The Cowboys' top three cornerbacks are a really strong starting group. The collection of Trevon Diggs, Stephon Gilmore, and DaRon Bland is something Cowboys fans should feel confident about. Behind that, it is a little less clear. Veteran Jourdan Lewis is still currently on the PUP list and if he were healthy he would certainly factor into this aforementioned group, but his availability for the start of the season is in question and cannot be counted on at this time.
That leaves a bunch of young guys fighting for reps and roster spots, and one name that many were ready to write off is telling us ‘maybe not so fast’. Kelvin Joseph has quietly been solid in this camp and while his lows have been well documented on and off the field, he is one of the most talented guys in the group of backups.
Kelvin Joseph finished with a game-high 2 forced incompletions, as he was targeted three times but only allowed one reception for 13 yards.— John Owning (@JohnOwning) August 20, 2023
DAL is going to have some mighty tough decisions in the cut to 53, especially in the secondary
Joseph has since moved from being a boundary cornerback to inside at the nickel which seems to have helped the young man use some of his strengths and athletic abilities. In addition to his defensive work, Joseph has shown his value in the special teams world as well, and guys who can do multiple things for your team including special teams work, usually stick around. There are still three weeks until kickoff and one more preseason game to sort out, but ‘Bossman Fat’ is doing everything in his power to let people know he should not be forgotten just yet,