The Dallas Cowboys are returning home to take on the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday, August 29th, for their third game of the preseason. There will be a lot of attention paid to the running backs and cornerbacks, and rightfully so. But, there are other areas that have to get better in order for Dallas to be successful in 2015. Here’s what to watch for from all three Cowboy units.
Will Tony Romo And The Offense Have Continuity?
This has been, far and away, the most work Romo has received in the offseason in what seems like forever. The starting offensive line should be returning, with the possible exception of Zack Martin, which hopefully translates to good pass protection and a clean pocket.
I will be watching to see if the running lanes from last year return for the running backs. As for the passing game, I’m not so much worried about the deep throws, I want to see the timing and ball placement on the quick passes.
Will The Run Defense Improve?
I know it’s still preseason, but he Cowboys run defense has been suspect to say the least. We know the Cowboys can rush the quarterback. The one area of concern has been the number of missed tackles that have occurred.
Through two preseason games, the Cowboys defense has given up an average of 145 yards per game on the ground, and an average of 57 passing yards. Anthony Hitchens and Rolando McClain will more than likely be in inactive, but the hopeful return of Sean Lee should help. How much has the Cowboys defense improved? Let’s hope the Vikings let Adrian Peterson play to find out.
What Will Happen On Special Teams And Punt Returns?
The special teams unit has largely been made up of guys fighting for a spot on the roster. To say that they’ve looked like a high school team would be a compliment. With the core special teams players returning to their positions, the unit as a whole should be much improved.
Lucky Whitehead can be an explosive player when he has the ball in his hands, but that has been the problem–Whitehead has mishandled numerous punts in practice and in the first two games. The Cowboys have had several different players fielding punts in practice this last week. Keep an eye on whether or not Jamil Showers is still lining up with the first-team.
While it’s an important week for the Cowboys as a team, in the end the score still doesn’t matter but progress and health does.