The Dallas Cowboys came out of their week 3 “dress rehearsal” preseason game feeling as confident as ever, as they throttled the Houston Texans 34-0 to improve to 2-1 on the preseason.
Of course, there were some standouts from the Cowboys big win, as position battles are starting to come to a close and the regular season is quickly approaching.
Let’s get into my game notes from the Cowboys’ victory.
- Michael Gallup continues to impress and show signs of a big leap in year two. The sophomore wide receiver caught an excellent touchdown on a beautiful ball from Dak Prescott in the first quarter, battling through tough man coverage to snag the reception. Later in the first half Gallup caught a ball from Cooper Rush and racked up some yards after catch to score what should have been his second touchdown of the night, if not for a weak holding call on Connor Williams. Gallup is stepping into Amari Cooper’s shoes nicely while the WR1 is out with a heel injury.
- Jordan Chunn is making a strong case to be the Cowboys’ third running back come the regular season. Chunn had 7 carries for 25 yards, but he also racked up 2 catches for 23 yards through the air. Chunn can be a nice weapon as a receiver out of the backfield, and has proven to be a valuable special teams contributor as well. Tony Pollard also continued to impress this preseason, as he has some wondering out loud what this offense could look like without Ezekiel Elliott early on in the season. I still think a deal will get done, but Pollard will make it sting much less if Elliott does not sign.
- Devin Smith really might make this team. He had 6 catches for 79 yards on Saturday night, as he was once again one of the better deep-roster receivers for Dallas. Smith has separated himself from the Jon’Vea Johnsons of this roster, and is now expected to join Cedrick Wilson as WR5 and WR6 on the final cut.
- How about the blocked punt touchdown from linebacker Joe Thomas? The Cowboys special teams units have been sort of shaky in recent years, but with the depth this team has on both sides of the ball that will hopefully change in 2019.
- Cooper Rush is your backup quarterback. He was once again strong on Saturday night, and has been miles ahead of Mike White all preseason. At this point, it’s not even close.
- Tight end Marcus Lucas is almost certainly going to be cut, as he is not practice squad eligible and the tight end depth chart seems set. But, he’s made the most of his chances with the Cowboys this preseason. Lucas has looked pretty solid overall, and does a nice job working in the flats off play action. He’s a decent tight end that another team may take a chance on during waivers.
- Taco Charlton has had possibly the best two-to-three weeks of his career this preseason. Charlton had a big night on Saturday, with 2 sacks, a pass deflection, and a forced fumble and fumble recovery. He was dominating the Texans’ offensive tackles, and has gone from a potential final cut to nearly a roster lock when you look at the different projections being published. And, with the way he’s played, he deserves to stick around.
- Donovan Wilson and CJ Goodwin have almost made themselves locks for the final roster as well. Both came away with impressive interceptions on Saturday, but both have also kept up consistently strong play throughout training camp and the preseason. The Cowboys are deep in the secondary, no doubt, but letting these players go would be a tough call. I’d say Wilson is much closer to a lock than Goodwin, but I’d do my best to keep both around. Each can play special teams too, by the way.