While it ended in a disappointing loss, the Dallas Cowboys preseason opener was about as entertaining as any they have played in years. Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott dazzled in his debut, throwing for two touchdowns and only throwing just as many incompletions.
Dez Bryant looked as healthy and dominant as ever, and the Cowboys first two units opened a 21-7 lead over the Los Angeles Rams in the first half.
While Prescott took advantage of his opportunity and began to solidify himself as the backup quarterback for this season, offensive tackle Chaz Green had a very similar opportunity to earn that swing tackle position.
With Tyron Smith sitting out, Green was able to start at left tackle, and play the majority of the game in that spot. The results were mixed, but it was certainly a tale of two halves for Green.
A lot of what Green did was bad, flat out sloppy, and even lazy at times. But in the first half, particularly the first quarter where he played with the starting offensive line, Green actually took some encouraging reps.
I see you Chaz Green 👀 #strike https://t.co/VjBu5CYZ3A
Here we see one of those very encouraging reps. Green keeps his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage while kicking back on a 45 degree angle. When he finally meets up with the defensive end, he delivers a blow we rarely saw from Green the rest of the game. His punch jars the defensive end backwards, knocking him off his track, and completing the block.
Who is this and what have they done with Chaz Green? Another solid rep. Showing a ton of growth early in this game. https://t.co/KtnJOvI7bn
Here is another positive from Green. Once again, he is able to kick-step back while never fully turning his shoulders and giving up leverage. The defensive end tries to speed rush around him, but Green stays patient, waits for the defender to come to him, and delivers a punch.
Nice job from Chaz Green on both of these plays.
But then, there was the bad. And when Green was bad Saturday night, he was real bad.
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While this play made the “Top Ten” on SportsCenter due to Jameill Showers’ athletic prowess, the way that Green gets beat here is very disappointing. He starts off poorly by actually getting beat off the ball by the defensive end. Then, he rushes to re-gain ground, forcing him to turn his shoulders and hips, and chase the defender instead of delivering the blow. By the time he gets to the defensive end, it is way too late.
As the game went on, Green actually got slower and slower off the ball. That slow first step is what resulted in him being beat, and also in his holding penalties. Green’s encouraging start was quickly forgotten due to his poor footwork, inability to keep a strong base, and high pad level in the third quarter.
He hasn’t played in a real football game in two years, so some fatigue is to be expected, but Green needs to get into game shape as fast as possible to give himself a chance to be an effective swing tackle.
Two holding penalties, one clipping penalty, and overall poor play especially during that second half all contributed to a disappointing night from Green. When the Cowboys drafted him in the third round of the 2015 draft, they were looking for a swing tackle to replace Jeremy Parnell. I’d hate to give up on a guy after one preseason game, but it did not look promising whatsoever for Chaz Green.
Hopefully he can bounce back next week against the Miami Dolphins.