Dallas Cowboys football is finally back!
It may just be a preseason game, but we finally get to see Da’ Boys back in action on the football field against the San Francisco 49ers in their first preseason game in 2019. Although I don’t expect the starters to play more than a series or two, there is still a plethora of storylines to watch in this matchup between the Cowboys and 49ers.
If you’re anything like me you’ll be paying close attention to every little detail tomorrow night (Saturday, August 10) throughout the ball game against the 49ers. Because of that, I had a pretty difficult time narrowing down the top Dallas Cowboys storylines I believe are the most important to follow closely. But somehow I managed and here are my top five…
Backup QB Competition Between Cooper Rush and Mike White
Dak Prescott is the unchallenged and unquestioned starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys this season and what looks like for the foreseeable future. Dallas seems to be committed to him as their signal caller for years to come and the only thing standing in the way right now is a contract extension that could happen any day now. Behind him though the backup QB position remains unresolved.
Neither Cooper Rush or Mike White has managed to elevate their play enough to securely lock themselves into the QB2 spot behind Prescott in 2019. Sadly that raises a red flag because Prescott isn’t your typical pocket passer. He is just as dangerous with his legs as he has his arm, and maybe more so. That makes him a little more susceptible to injuries, which makes the backup QB spot extremely important. Because of that I will be keeping a close watchful eye on how Rush and White perform.
Tony Pollard and the Backup RBs
Even before Ezekiel Elliott decided to skip training camp while he tries to leverage a new contract extension out of the Dallas Cowboys I was interested in watching Dallas’ backup running backs. They made a clear effort to upgrade the RB2 position behind Zeke by using two of their 2019 draft picks on Tony Pollard and Mike Weber. It will be interesting to see if that investment pays off, especially with No. 21 threatening to sit out the entire season if his contract demands aren’t met.
Tony Pollard is the backup RB who has received the most hype since being drafted in the fourth-round, but I’m just as excited to watch Mike Weber and Jordan Chunn as well. It may surprise you to learn, but I actually had Weber graded higher than Pollard, but that’s neither here nor there now. They are both on the team and may need to be relied upon quite a bit if things can’t be resolved with Zeke. That’s why I will be watching all of them extremely close throughout preseason.
DT Trysten Hill and the Cowboys Revamped DL
I was but completely on board with the Dallas Cowboys selection of Defensive Tackle Trysten Hill in the second-round this year after watching the Cowboys pretty much getting manhandled by the Los Angeles Rams offensive line in the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs last season. His addition as well as the acquisition of Defensive End Robert Quinn via trade could really make the Cowboys defensive line a formidable group in 2019.
Even if Robert Quinn didn’t fracture his hand it’s highly doubtful we would’ve seen much of him in the Week 1 preseason matchup with the 49ers. Trysten Hill on the other hand we should see plenty of. I don’t know about you, but I’m really excited about his potential. He’s not the only DL to keep an eye on though. Fellow rookie Daniel Wise has also been turning some heads in training camp. Many believed he was a mid-round pick, but the Cowboys were able to snatch him up as an undrafted free agent. The depth up and down the DL will be something worth watching.
Brett Maher’s FG Kicking, Hit or Miss?
The Dallas Cowboys were right in their call to keep Brett Maher over Dan Bailey last year, but they now are faced with another conundrum after the way Maher has formed thus far in training camp. I haven’t witnessed it personally, but No. 2 continues to be inconsistent on mid-range field goal attempts and that’s just not acceptable considering he’s going unchallenged for the kicking job right now.
I really like how Maher proved he can be a weapon on the FG attempts from 50+ yards last season, but even then he was highly inconsistent from mid-range. It might just be me, but I want to see a more consistent player in preseason games. The Cowboys can’t afford to lose a single game this season because of poor kicking when there are options available still in the market who are considered upgrades.
Kellen Moore’s Influence on the Cowboys Offense
I think I may have saved the best for last. I can’t tell you how excited I am to see what the Dallas Cowboys offense looks like now that Kellen Moore has taken over as the offensive coordinator. Scott Linehan’s vanilla offense had become tiresome over the past several seasons and from the sound of things K Moore is proving to be a breath of fresh air.
I want to see just how much pre-snap motion and misdirection the Cowboys new OC is going to incorporate into the game plan. It not only helps confuse opposing defenses, but also puts the playmakers in a better position to make the kind of plays we expect from them. It will also be interesting to see just how he utilizes the talent Dallas has acquired on the offensive side of the ball. Personally, I’m expecting big things.