The Cowboys have their first preseason game in the books, which came in the form of a loss to the Jaguars last week. While the loss itself doesn’t mean much, it was a perfect opportunity for younger players to get playing time. Some guys rose to the occasion, while others didn’t have the showing they would’ve wanted.
This time around, Dallas, will have another chance to showcase their young talent on the road in Seattle. With this game not being a regular season matchup, don’t look forward to seeing many starters from either team. However, you should be on the lookout for something a little extra. Something along the lines of position battles like these.
Rico Dowdle finished last week with 54 total yards, 33 of which came through the air. He tied for third most receiving yards along side Dennis Houston against the Jaguars. His explosiveness was on display as he took one of those receptions and turned it into a 21 yard gain. Rico will need to demonstrate more consistency this week, but it does help his case that he’s able to be used in the passing game. The veteran runner seems to be on a good path to making the 53 man roster for now.
Deuce Vaughn pic.twitter.com/ZOFV5yYsXf
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 12, 2023
Deuce Vaughn also had himself a day last week when he ran for 50 yards on only eight attempts. On top of that, one of those carries made its way in the endzone for his first ever touchdown. Now we’ll get to see if Vaughn can duplicate that performance against Seattle who held the Vikings to under 85 rushing yards. The task at hand won’t be as easy, as the defense for the Seahawks showed their ability to stuff opposing running backs. If Deuce can put together another strong performance, that could be a step closer to becoming the backup behind Tony Pollard.
Cooper Rush’s play indicates that there won’t be a battle for the backup quarterback position this season. Going 10-12 for 83 yards was plenty to lock in his spot. However, there are still lots of battles going on for the receivers and tight-ends. The tight-ends specifically had good showing as both receiving leaders came from that group. Jake Ferguson seems to be the starter going forward while rookie, Luke Schoonmaker, still has some ways to go. The battle for the third tight-end will be where things get interesting. Many belive that Peyton Hendershot will get the final spot due to his flashes from last season, but there is someone gunning for his spot. Undrafted free agent, John Stephens Jr., has been impressive throughout camp. Last week was no different for the rookie as he led the team with 56 yards to go along with a touchdown of his own. The battle to replacing Dalton Schultz has only begun, and it will only get tougher from here.
The Ragin’ Cajuns preseason domination continues, this time with John Stephens Jr. scoring a Cowboys TD.
Stephens Jr. has been a mismatch with his size and athleticism. Has four receptions for 54 yards and this score against the Jags. pic.twitter.com/IdrAxLG1s2
— Seven Rounds in Heaven (@7RoundsInHeaven) August 13, 2023
For now, all we can do is wait but come Saturday it’ll be gameday once again. Keep a sharp eye out for these position battles. Come September, these guys could be crucial in getting those meaningful wins.