Preseason NFL football is an interesting time to be a fan. On one hand, football is back, and everyone on T.V tries to get you excited about it. On the other, you get on Twitter and all you see are the eggheads telling you “it’s only the preseason don’t get too excited”. So, how does one balance out these two sides of the coin? My solution was simple. I did not and will not get on twitter until after this post is completed. That way, dear reader, you can rest assured knowing my takeaways from the Cowboys vs. Niners game are unhampered by Twitter pessimists.
Preseason or Not- Speed Is Speed (Defense)
Preseason football, regular season football, post season football, backyard football, beach football, I care not. The reason? Speed is speed. The Cowboys front 7 (both the 1st and 2nd units) rallied around the ball all night. Second year defensive end Taco Charlton occasionally struggled with taking appropriate pursuit angles when penetrating the 49er’s offensive line. However, the fact that he was in the backfield so frequently should have any Cowboy fan excited. After all, you can teach balance and pursuit angles, but the combination of strength and speed Charlton displayed was what the Cowboys needed to see from him coming out the gate in the new season.
Jaylon Smith looked pretty good out there last night. His speed was very impressive, looking more like a safety at times than a linebacker with his pursuit skills and fluidity. I will be interested in re-watching his snaps once the game is available in the next day or so. Though my initial reaction is that Smith even performed adequately in pass coverage. Smith talks frequently about being a pass-rushing linebacker; however, if his cover skills round out, he will prove far too valuable to be one dimensional.
Honorable mentions for good performances: Damien Wilson, Kavon Frazier, Leighton Vander Esch, Antwaun Woods
Location Location Location (Offense)
One of the most important aspects of football (and life if we’re being honest) is simply being in the right place at the right time. Rookie receiver Michael Gallup was able to do just that. One of the many praises Gallup has received throughout this off-season is his ability to run crisp routes. While I don’t recall seeing anything other than go-routes or fades from him last night, he still delivered on what was asked of him. All night, Gallup was in good position to make a play on the football. Gallup was on the receiving end of a thirty-yard dart from quarterback Dak Prescott; and if relief quarterback Cooper Rush was a little more crisp with his passes, could have done significantly more damage to the 49er’s reserves before the night was over.
Rookie Connor Williams out of Texas had multiple opportunities last night to show what he was capable of. He didn’t disappoint or necessarily excite. Although, the fact that I did not hear his name called out much is probably a good sign. While he was bested early on, his ability to adjust and make in-game changes was impressive. Couple that with the fact that Williams still has plenty of opportunities to grow, and the Cowboys undoubtedly have optimism for his future on that vaulted offensive line.
Honorable mentions for good performances: Lance Lenoir, Tavon Austin, Bo Scarbrough
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