The game is over, and the first things that stand out are the defense. The defense showed a few different things tonight, and they stepped it up again with a strong showing on 3rd down defense. These guys are playing with a mission, more intensity, swarming to the ball. We’re seeing a whole other level of defense out there now.
Jason Garrett has this offense firing on all cylinders; moreover, he keeps the offensive scheme fresh and dynamic. Gone are the predictable, boring offensive gameplans. The gameplan was executed to near perfection by both sides of the ball. Offensively, the team was well balanced with 190 yards rushing and 178 yards passing. The Cowboys also took over with time of posession with 35:03.
Who stood out tonight:
The running backs, every single one was on point tonight. Julius has the quick burst and had pretty good runs in his somewhat limited appearance. Barber has the brutal runs. Barber’s style really pumps you up, and makes you want the season to start right now, very hard running with 2 TDs and Thompson with this superior speed. Thompson was solid in the return game and in rushing. Thompson has officially locked up his roster spot.
Jacques Reeves was a monster tonight on special teams, and he made some solid plays in defensive coverage. Reeves is the #4 CB without a doubt in my mind. Which leads me to the next stand out.
Joey Thomas had a very strong showing for the most part. Solid pass defense most of the night, made some stops on deep passes, pass deflection in the endzone. Thomas had a solid night, and has just about locked up that #5 CB
Bobby Carpenter was all over the field, and his roster spot is dynamic because he may not be the starting ILB, but he can play all LB positions, and Phillips had Carpenter all over the field at LB and on DE in the nickel, impressive, he’s really coming on now. All that junk about questioning his status because of a slow camp were way overdone and uncalled for. I knew when Carpenter got in front of the opposition we would see that fire he had at the end of the season when he got playing time.
Anthony Spencer was harassing the QB, and is also coming right along. He looks like he’s definitely going to be the opening day starter, and might not ever look back.
Isaiah Stanback, I’ve been riding the draft pick since the draft, and he finally makes his gameday debut, and what a debut he had. He gives me some hope. And as Phillips alluded to, he was not brought in as a punt returner, so it would appear he meant it. Stanback played WR, made some nice catches, and made a TD. Don’t get the anointing oil yet either, he has a long way to go still
Who was OFF tonight?
Miles Austin had a horrible night, just when you thought Austin was up there at the WR spot, tonight’s performance makes you say, “uh oh” He missed routes, didn’t go hard enough for the passes Romo threw him, disappointing game. Sam Hurd didn’t have as bad a night, but he did have a fumble, but made up for it later and solid in special teams.
Nate Jones is fighting to get past the first round of cuts at this point. He hasn’t had a solid camp, and the preseason has not helped; moreover, he gave up a big TD tonight. Just bad play tonight
Adam Bergen didn’t have the best night, he had two dumb penalties, a third of tonight’s penalties. Right now I think Curtis has the upper hand on Bergen.
The Kicking Battle:
I called it earlier in the week by projecting Nick Folk the winner in this fierce position battle at PK. Folk clutched out a 52 yard FG, straight and true. He continues to boom the kick, and brings stability for years to come. Conversely, Martin Gramatica, did well on kick offs, but he missed a 51 yard FG, and with the battle so close, each clutch FG counts.
Jay Ratliff had his head knocked around, should be ok
Jackie Battle had an ankle injury and taken in for x-rays, but the x-rays came back negative. His availability for the rest of the week is in question.
Anthony Fasano was in street clothes in the 2nd half, right now its being said that he has a right shoulder injury, not sure the severity as this time