The second Cowboys preseason game is almost upon us, but this isn’t your typical preseason game. Taking place at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii Saturday night, Dallas heads into a rematch with the team that bounced them from the 2018 Divisional round in the Los Angeles Rams. But this won’t be a revenge game for Dallas -preseason games never are. While the Cowboys will likely play their starters a bit as they did the week before, the Rams have elected to leave most of their starters back at home according to Charean Williams of NBC Sports. The game will be a late start with kick off scheduled for 9PM CST.
Players to watch
In the preseason opener against the 49ers, Pollard played in just the opening series with the starters, an immediate indicator of his value in the Cowboys’ eyes. In limited action, he saw 4 carries for 16 yards, making him the only Cowboys back to rush for at least 4 yards a carry in the game.
Pollard has been one of the biggest standouts in training camp thus far, making plays rushing between the tackles, out in open space in the receiving game, and on special teams returning punts and kicks. Given his relatively quiet debut last week, it feels like we’re due for a flash of his speed and elusiveness.
In year three, Taco Charlton finds himself in a precarious spot. The Cowboys are incredibly deep along the defensive line and guys like Dorance Armstrong Jr. have put together an impressive camp. After failing to record a tackle against the 49ers, Taco was asked whether he was feeling any pressure to perform. His answer was somewhat cryptic.
“Me and my agent got our talks. We hear a lot of things. I go out there with the same thing each time. I try to be the best player on the field. My mentality never changes: I try to dominate the guy I go against. I try to make plays for this team.”
As a former first round draft pick, Taco has long battled the “bust” label, and has even shown flashes throughout his first two seasons with 4 sacks, but if he can’t begin to put it together and find consistency, he could soon find himself on the outside looking in.
Mike White had himself a rough outing against San Francisco, going 9 for 20 for 87 yards. On his first snap of the game, he was sacked from the blindside and fumbled. San Francisco recovered but a penalty kept the ball with Dallas. He wouldn’t be so lucky later in the 4th quarter when he fumbled again. For the game, he posted a rating of just 57.7, and in his final set of downs he tossed four straight incompletions while targeting the endzone.
Mike White has the kind of arm talent you look for in an NFL quarterback, but there’s more to the position than that. There’s no doubt he throws a sharper ball than fellow backup Cooper Rush, but Rush significantly outplayed him on that night, completing 16 of 26 passes for 142 yards. Unless White can make some significant strides in the coming weeks, he won’t be winning the backup job in Dallas anytime soon.
For any draft pick -especially guys taken outside of the first 200 picks, the key to winning a spot on the 53 man roster is getting noticed. Former Aggies safety Donovan Wilson has done just that thus far in camp. Flashing some pretty impressive ball skills, Wilson recorded multiple interceptions while in Oxnard and was able to haul in another against 49ers QB CJ Beathard in the third quarter.
While the first three safety positions are pretty much a lock with Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier, Wilson could have a real shot at upending veteran George Iloka in a cost-effective move for the team. If he can contribute on special teams, Wilson’s value will only double.
- In addition to Amari Cooper, who is reportedly out for the preseason with an irritation of his plantar fascia, Tyron Smith is also likely out for the remainder of the preseason as he deals with a back issue.
- It was reported yesterday that Ezekiel Elliott, despite his hold out, is in the best shape of his career, weighing in around the low 220’s for the first time since his rookie season. Elliott is seeking a new contract that would make him the highest paid running back in the league.
- Despite his own ongoing negotiations with the team, Dak Prescott is expected to play once again as he and the majority of the starters look to get more familiar with Kellen Moore’s offense and playcalling. He is the only “triplet” currently in negotiations with the team who is a health, active participant in camp presently.