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Sean’s Scout: DiNucci’s First TD, DL Depth, Early Turnover in Cowboys Loss at Cardinals

The are on their way to returning from , ending the California portion of their with a visit to the Arizona Cardinals on Friday. The team’s second game ended in a 16-13 win for the home team, on a last-second field goal by Matt Prater.

Prater converted two field goals in the final three minutes to give the Cardinals a win in their first preseason outing. The managed just one first down with Ben DiNucci under on their final drive, unable to run out the clock and return to Frisco with a win.

Unlike last week’s game against the Steelers, they also didn’t escape without injury as DT , WR Malik Turner, TE Sean McKeon, and OT Ty Nsekhe all exited with . Here are a few other notes on the Cowboys latest four quarters:

  • For the second straight game, the Cowboys “first-team” came away with an early turnover, and once again it was LB getting involved on the play. Lined up at MIKE on the play, Parsons was in on the forced fumble with . Parsons’ ability to process plays quickly and look comfortable lining up at multiple positions has stood out in his first two exhibition games. Exactly who the Cowboys will take off the field to get Parsons snaps isn’t clear, but his play speed jumps out as the team works through it’s at LB.

Sean's Scout: DiNucci's First TD, DL Depth, Early Turnover in Cowboys Loss at Cardinals 1


  • Playing with a patchwork , the Cowboys linebackers and did a good job rallying in run support. For a defense that lost contain on far too many run plays a year ago, has this defense reacting well and setting the . Their interior depth at DT didn’t improve following the game, as they lost Neville Gallimore to an elbow injury.


  • Speaking of play, rookie Osa Odighizuwa may have played himself out of fourth quarter preseason snaps going forward. The Cowboys are excited about his versatility to play up and down the line. Odighizuwa’s strength allows him to push the pocket and force QBs off their spot, but also hold the line of scrimmage and allow others to rush. The Cowboys needed to come away from the draft with multiple starters on defense, and at this point in the preseason it looks like all three of their first picks could see starters playing time.


  • I’ve mentioned here before that the one thing missing from the Cowboys WR room may be big-play ability beyond their top three starters. reminded us of his speed on a 34 yard catch from . Clearly the Cowboys best option behind , Gilbert dropped the ball in perfectly for Wilson to separate and run under it. Wilson may not get the chance to catch live passes from Prescott this preseason, but has proven to be a target Cowboys QBs look for whether he plays in the slot or outside.


  • Defensive ends Ron’Dell Carter and continue to provide solid depth. Carter had an inside move for a sack, while Armstrong ended a Cardinals’ drive in the with a sack from left end. Should the Cowboys be able to force opponents behind the chains, they’re set up well to generate a featuring speed off the edge. It is their that expects to be tested on early downs, where the Cowboys can welcome back on the field starting with the remaining practices at home.


  • Though it wasn’t enough to earn a win, it was good to see the Cowboys find the end zone for the first time this preseason. Ben DiNucci’s first touchdown pass as a Cowboy went to Brandon Smith on a crossing route. This pass concept has become a staple for in scoring range, and the Cowboys backup offense executed it to take the lead in the fourth.

A team’s third preseason game is often called a dress rehearsal, with big name starters making an appearance before being put on ice the following week. While the Cowboys next preseason game will be their third, they have a fourth to manage thanks to their opener in Canton. Some starters may still get more playing time against the Texans next Saturday, but it’s the status of players like Prescott and Amari Cooper that will be the focus leading up to week one.

Look for injury updates and more reaction to the Cowboys preseason game at the Cardinals right here at all week long.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: DiNucci’s First TD, DL Depth, Early Turnover in Cowboys Loss at Cardinals” in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Sean Martin

Written by Sean Martin

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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