How awesome was to finally have some Dallas Cowboys football back in our lives!? The Week 1 preseason matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers might not have turned out the way we would've liked, but it was truly great to see Da' Boys back in action on the field.
As expected, everything wasn't sunshine and rainbows though. As much as we would've liked to see the Dallas Cowboys hit the ground running by completely dominating the 49ers throughout the game Saturday night, that just wasn't the case. Some players were able to stand out from others and some failed live up to expectations. That's what I want to talk about today.
Below are the studs and duds from the Dallas Cowboys preseason matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.
Dallas Cowboys Studs Against 49ers
It was a small sample size, but the Dallas Cowboys first-team offense looked pretty impressive against the San Francisco 49ers Saturday night. They were easily able to drive the field thanks to in large part the strong connection between Dak Prescott and Michael Gallup. That alone is encouraging, but even rookie RB Tony Pollard didn't look out of place in the few carries he received behind the majority of the Cowboys starting OL. The only thing that could've made it even more impressive is if they would've been able to complete the drive with a TD.
#16 Cedrick Wilson, WR
If not for leaving the game early after being on the receiving end of an illegal hit, Wide Receiver Cedrick Wilson might've been the MVP for the Dallas Cowboys in the preseason Week 1 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. After spending his rookie season on injured reserve, it was good to see Wilson back on the field and picking up where he left off. His ability to play on the outside or in the slot could make him a valuable asset in the passing game. If he can remain consistent throughout the remainder of the preseason he should not only make the final 53-man roster, but be a contributor in 2019.
#57 Luke Gifford, LB
Like Cedrick Wilson, Linebacker Luke Gifford unfortunately had to leave the game early due to an injury. It's truly sad because he was putting together quite a performance and even recorded the first turnover for the Dallas Cowboys defense, an interception, in the first half after picking off QB Nick Mullens. Luckily his injury looks to be nothing more than an ankle sprain. He may miss a little time while recovering, but the way he's performed in practices and now in a game situation might have already secured him a backup role and roster spot with the Cowboys in 2019.
Dallas Cowboys Duds Against 49ers
#2 Brett Maher, K
If you're just a look at the stat sheet you would see that Kicker Brett Maher was successful on three out of four of his field goal attempts Saturday night against the San Francisco 49ers. But, if you happened to watch the game you probably would've noticed two out of those three makes narrowly squeaked inside the uprights and his miss from 35 yards out, almost the same distance of an extra point attempt, wasn't even close. After being shaky in practices and once again in an actual game situation, the growing concern about the Cowboys kicking situation gains more traction. It might be time to look for outside help.
#3 Mike White, QB
It might be a little unfair to label QB Mike White as a dud, but not if you compare him to the way Cooper Rush played earlier in the game. From the get-go White was under duress due to poor blocking of the offensive line, so that could have a little to do with his performance. It kind of took him a while to look comfortable and get into any kind of rhythm. He did start to redeem himself towards the end of the game, but he's clearly playing second fiddle to Rush right now in the backup QB competition. I'd like to see White get the first chance behind Prescott in the next preseason game in order to get as fair of an evaluation of the two backup QBs as possible to see if that makes any difference.
#81 Jon'Vea Johnson, WR
Rookie WR Jon'Vea Johnson was one of the more hyped up young wide receivers prior to the Week 1 preseason game against the 49ers, but that's probably no longer the case. Unfortunately for Johnson, he developed a case of the drops when the lights came on Saturday night in San Francisco. He still has plenty of time to redeem himself, but as an undrafted free agent his chances of making the active roster were slim to begin with. He's really going to have to step up his game from here on out if he wants to make the cut.