The Dallas Cowboys lost 17-9 to the San Francisco 49ers in the pre-season opener in Santa Clara, California. Not really the offensive performance to brag about but there were some highlights and lowlights. Here are some of my thoughts about the first game.
First-Team offense was OK:
The first-team offense played pretty well on their opening drive and got into the red zone. Yet, the problems continued to haunt this team as they couldn’t get in to score. Instead they settled for a Brett Maher field goal to take a 3-0 lead. It isn’t a big deal, but it would be nice to see this offense get a touchdown once in awhile. This became a bigger issue all through the night.
First-Team defense was pretty good:
The first-team defense looked pretty sharp in their two series drives. Despite going against the 49ers backups, they managed to tackle well and make some plays on the ball. One interception was called back but you can see the playmaking ability this team can have.
Linebacker Luke Gifford looked great in his short time playing tonight. While he played with a injured finger, he managed to pick off a pass and run it back for a few yards. That was also helped by another standout pass rusher in Kerry Hyder, who helped put pressure on the QB. Unfortunately, Gifford injured his leg later in the game and had to be carted off. Here’s hoping a the man has a fast recovery.
Quarterback Cooper Rush looked the part of a backup for some portions of the game. He didn’t have the best game but gave us glimpses of great skill. One in particular was near the end of the half and Rush had the offense moving pretty well. On one play, Rush stood up in the pocket and delivered a great pass to receiver Jon’Vea Johnson who pulled it in for the catch near the sidelines. Rush had about two defenders in his face and still managed to throw the ball without hesitation.
Rush needs to have more of those moments if the Cowboys are going to feel safe with him as the primary backup. It was still a good first game for the young quarterback.
Jon’Vea Johnson seems to have all you want in a receiver but he has trouble holding on to the football. He made some crucial drops and those can’t happen in these preseason games. Luckily for him, a lot of the other receivers didn’t make much of an impression either.
Tony Pollard made some plays at running back in his limited time. There doesn’t seem to be any worry there. Mike Weber might need more work, but still had a decent night for the time he was allowed to play.
Brett Maher was ok tonight but again had another crucial miss. The kicking dilemma will continue.
Both sides of the ball weren’t at their best tonight and there is a lot to take from this game and try to improve before the team gets ready for their next game. That will be a week from tonight, in Honolulu, Hawaii as they face off against the Los Angeles Rams.
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