The Dallas Cowboys square off against the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night for their “dress rehearsal” preseason game. What this means is that we will likely see the starters played a lot more than they did the first two preseason games and even see little more game planning on the coaching staff’s part.
Heading into this contest against the Seahawks, I still have a lot of unanswered questions that I will hopefully get the answer to.
If these questions are not answered Thursday night, then it’s unlikely they will be answered until the 2016 season is underway. This is because we are unlikely see very many of the starters in the fourth preseason game against the Houston Texans. This game is generally used by the coaching staff to evaluate the players fighting for the final few roster spots.
So, without further ado here are a few questions that I would like answered.
Where is the pass rush?
Okay, the defense has actually performed a lot better in the first two preseason games then anyone probably could have expected. I think we can all agree with that right?
But let’s get real here for second. The questions surrounding the pass rush for the Cowboys defense has to be one of the biggest concerns heading into the dress rehearsal game against the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night.
It’s pretty sad when Shaneil Jenkins was just signed about two weeks ago and he is the one that has shown up the most when getting after the opposing QB.
So far, the main pressure has been coming from the interior defensive line and the carousel of defensive ends has yet to make much of an impact. This is in large part due to the injuries they sustained to some of the key pass rushers, so it maybe it’s just a matter of getting everyone healthy.
Nevertheless, the pass rush still has to be the biggest unanswered question for me.
How will Cowboys top draft picks perform?
You might not have noticed because it’s kind of flown under the radar, but the only draft picks to see any preseason action were all selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, with the exception of Dak Prescott.
Prescott of course has far exceeded anyone’s expectations, but Darius Jackson, Anthony Brown, and Rico Gathers are the only other Cowboys draft picks to receive any NFL experience.
Ezekiel Elliott is expected to be the lead running back and should make his NFL debut against the Seahawks, so we will finally get to see him in action. Also, Maliek Collins is expected to play Thursday night and he could end up being a key rotational player along the defensive line. And then we have Charles Tapper, who has been sidelined with a sore back. We’re still unsure if his athleticism as a defensive end can improve the pass rush for the Cowboys defense or not.
With the exception of Jaylon Smith (unlikely to play in 2016), Elliott, Collins, and Tapper are still unknowns. They were expected to be impact players in some capacity, so hopefully we can see something out of the top draft picks against Seattle.
Are the Cowboys confident in the backup quarterback situation?
When the expected backup quarterback Kellen Moore went down with a leg injury, the Dallas Cowboys kind of went into a panic mode. They thankfully calmed their nerves and took the wait-and-see approach instead of signing a veteran player.
As things stand right now, I don’t think the Cowboys could possibly be more pleased with what they have seen so far from Dak Prescott.
The reason this is still an unanswered question for me is the fact that as head coach, Jason Garrett has always preferred to have a veteran backup. I personally think Prescott has done enough to be the backup QB, but I think this question will still remain unanswered until #4 is confirmed as the backup to Tony Romo.
Of course, this question means nothing if Romo remains healthy the entire 2016 season.
Can Chaz Green be the swing tackle in 2016?
In all honesty, the swing tackle position for the Dallas Cowboys is more concerning to me then just about any other unanswered question on this list.
I think we can all agree that the bookends on the offensive line are arguably the most important positions on the team with the exception of quarterback. They are in charge of keeping the opposing defenses best pass rusher’s from teeing off on the person in charge of operating the offense, the quarterback.
Tyron Smith has been cautiously monitored due to a pinched nerve in his neck. He has yet to make an appearance in the preseason and might not see the field until week one against the New York Giants. Doug Free isn’t getting any younger and has struggled with injuries himself over past few years. If either player goes down with an injury for any amount of time the Cowboys offense is in trouble.
Chaz Green has played left tackle the first two games of the preseason and has had his ups and downs. Right now, the swing tackle position is his to lose, but he really needs to become more consistent.
The coaching staff may choose to sit Tyron Smith and that would mean that Green would get the opportunity to prove himself against a talented Seattle Seahawks pass rush.
Are there any unanswered questions that still concern you?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share with us your remaining unanswered questions.