The Preseason is Over, What I Liked and What I didn’t Like

The Cowboys are now done with the Preseason and today they have made their cuts to give them a 52 man roster, with the likelihood of picking up a 53rd player between now and the Tampa Bay game next weekend.  The preseason isn’t a good barometer for measuring how successful a team will be in the year as the play call is going to be extremely vanilla and there isn’t much if any game planning for the teams they are going to face.  As Wade Phillips put it after the San Francisco game, you aren’t really looking to see what the players can do as a team but what they are capable of doing as an individual.  Now that the preseason is over though, it’s time for the team to play like a team.

What I Liked:  The Starting Offense and Defense.  Tony Romo looked extremely accurate with all but one pass he threw in the five quarters of play he got in the first three preseason games.  The one off the mark pass was the one he threw for an interception against San Francisco.  The Offense seemed more than capable of moving the ball down the field, and minus Terrell Owens on the team it seemed like the ball went to a different receiver every time.  This can actually be very beneficial for the Cowboys if they can keep it up, as defenses are going to have a hard time determining who the ball is going to.

The Starting Defense also looked very good, keeping teams from finding their way to the end zone too many times and only giving up 16 points in five quarters of play.  I would have like to of seen more interceptions and more sacks from the defense, however playing only a base defense might have limited their effectiveness in that area, and so it’s far too early to read too much into that.

Players I liked in this preseason were Pat Watkins and Kevin Ogletree.  I am not going to say that I think Kevin Ogletree is going to be an elite wide receiver in this league, but he might at some point be a force to be reckoned with.  I also hope to see him playing some this season, and think he might even be able to beat out Miles Austin for the fourth receiver spot before the season is over.   (See things I didn’t like for more on Miles Austin)

Pat Watkins might actually be getting in the groove at being an NFL Safety.  It may still be too early to say because of the fact it’s just the preseason and he has yet to measure up against starting receivers; however especially against the Vikings he played with a lot of heart, and his speed and play alertness seemed to be at an all time best for him.  If this wasn’t an illusion, we may actually have some depth at the safety position this year.

What I Didn’t Like: Offensive and Defensive Depth, Jon Kitna, and Penalties.  Depth will probably be the biggest set back for the Cowboys this year, if any of the starters go down with maybe an exception at the running back position the Cowboys might be hurting.  The Cowboys always seem to start the year off looking pretty strong at the Linebacker position but shortly into the season that position the last few years seems to get really small.  This year that problem didn’t wait nearly that long before rearing it’s ugly head.  The Cowboys might regret giving up Ellis early on, but for now they better hope the starters stay healthy all season long.  The Offensive line will also be a concern, the Cowboys might be alright if they lose one starter, but after that they could be in serious trouble.

Jon Kitna never really played well at all during the preseason, and while that might change if he gets to play behind a starting offensive line and with starting receivers it wasn’t at all what was to be expected from a former starting QB.  Rudy Carpenter in his first NFL game (albeit preseason) looked much better than Kitna and seemed to not be nearly as lost as Kitna did half the time he was out there.  Stephen McGee’s numbers are only slightly lower than Kitna’s but keep in mind Steven McGee was injured against Tennessee and didn’t have nearly as many reps Kitna received.  So this might be another year we pray Romo doesn’t get hurt ever.

The last couple of seasons penalties have been a huge problem with the Cowboys, and this preseason hasn’t given us much to hope for this season either.  If the Cowboys hope to make it anywhere this season they need to find their focus somewhere.

On a bright note the Isaiah Stanback experiment is finally over.   Stanback was injured for the majority of his tenure in Dallas, and he never showed much as far as progression is concerned to warrant keeping him on this Dallas team.   I would have liked to see Jesse Holley keep a roster spot on the team after watching the odd punt return for a touchdown yesterday, but aside from that one play he didn’t show much this preseason.  I still think, he might have made a decent return specialist.

The full list of the released Players:

RELEASED

OL Travis Bright, BYU
DB Courtney Brown, Cal Poly
QB Rudy Carpenter, Arizona State
TE Scott Chandler, Iowa
FB Julius Crosslin, Oklahoma State
DE Marcus Dixon, Hampton
LB Tearrius George, Kansas State
OL Ryan Gibbons, Northeastern
DB Jeremy Haynes, McNeese State
WR Jesse Holley, North Carolina
WR Mike Jefferson, Montana State
WR Manuel Johnson, Oklahoma
RB Keon Lattimore, Maryland (waiver/injured)
CB Mike Mickens, Cincinnati
WR Willie Reid, Florida State
DE Derreck Robinson, Iowa
FB Asaph Schwapp, Notre Dame
NT Jonas Seawright, North Carolina
DB DeAneglo Smith, Cincinnati
WR Isaiah Stanback, Washington
LB Matt Stewart, Vanderbilt
DB DeAngelo Willingham, Tennessee

INJURED RESERVE

LB Stephen Hodge, TCU


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2 Responses to “The Preseason is Over, What I Liked and What I didn’t Like”

  1. chris shuck says:

    nice draft jerry
    they say it takes a few years to evalutate a draft. not this one. i gave it an F back in april. an F today. and an F in a few years. kudos

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