If you’ve been following along with the Dallas Cowboys throughout training camp so far, then their first preseason matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars this Saturday can’t get here soon enough. There’s a renewed energy and excitement surrounding this team right now, and for good reason. This team has big potential for 2023.
Before we jump the gun too much though and claim this year’s team Super Bowl champs, we first have to get through the rest of training camp and preseason. The Cowboys brass needs to properly evaluate things now or it could come back and haunt them at some point in the season.
With all that in mind, this preseason Week 1 matchup between the Cowboys and Jaguars is the first step in putting this team together for the upcoming 2023 season. There is no shortage of things to watch this week, but below are some of the things we want to see in order to hopefully get a better understanding of where this team stands right now.
Battle of the backups
With the exception of kicker, the Cowboys are fortunate in that nearly all of their starting jobs are already locked in. That means they can devote their time to evaluating who will end up backing up who at each position. Right now, there is no shortage of position battles to keep an eye on in this first preseason matchup with the Jaguars. Someone needs to separate themselves from the pack among the backups at each position, but who?
Jake Ferguson and Company
As it pertains to the tight end position, the Cowboys are gambling somewhat that Jake Ferguson, Peyton Hendershot, and Luke Schoonmaker can replace the production they lost when Dalton Schultz left via free agency this offseason. That’s quite a bit of a youth and inexperience to be relying upon, which is why they all need to prove themselves in preseason. If not, a veteran addition may need to be signed to help solidify things.
Splitting the uprights
The Cowboys recently let go of Tristan Vizcaino at the kicking position after a poor performance in training camp. Brandon Aubrey is the lone kicker standing, but he has had some shaky moments at training camp, too. Because of that, all eyes should be glued to Aubrey trying to split the uprights, because if he doesn’t do well in this game, the Cowboys may have to start looking elsewhere.