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    What We May Have Learned From the Cowboys Week 1 Preseason Loss

    The unfortunately came out on the losing end of the battle in their first contest against the San Francisco 49ers, despite pretty much dominating the majority of the game. The good news is it was just an exhibition game and means relatively nothing in regards to the upcoming .

    Last week was the first chance for a lot of us to see what this years Dallas Cowboys team could possibly look like. There was a lot of roster turnover this , which means there were quite a few new faces on the field for the Cowboys Thursday night. But, I can't say that I was disappointed in what I saw, at least so far.

    Now that I've had time to study and evaluate the Dallas Cowboys game against the 49ers, I wanted to share with all of you some of the things we may have learned. Up until this point we were left speculating about certain things, but I think the picture is much clearer now.

    To keep myself from going overboard here, I decided to narrow it down to just five things I think we may have learned about the last Thursday night. Continue to read below to see what they are.

    ✭ Rookie WR Michael Gallup the Real Deal✭

    Michael Gallup
    Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup

    With so much unknown surrounding the Dallas Cowboys position, it was really good to see rookie WR Michael Gallup play well against the San Francisco 49ers Thursday night. Despite being a rookie, Gallup looked like the best WR on the field for either team. I don't believe I'm exaggerating the slightest either.

    The highlight of the game might have been when he and were able to hook up on a 30 yard touchdown pass to close out the Cowboys first offensive series. Gallup might have scored a second TD later in the game if QB 's pass wouldn't have been under thrown. But, that's neither here nor there now. If Gallup continues to play like he did Thursday night, he could easily be the Cowboys top WR in 2018.

    ✭ Blake Jarwin Favorite to Replace Jason Witten✭

    Blake Jarwin and Geoff Swaim
    Dallas Cowboys TEs Blake Jarwin and

    Geoff Swaim may have gotten the start and provided some good blocking Thursday night against the 49ers, but it was Blake Jarwin who may have ended up becoming the favorite to replace this season. Out of all of the options in the receiving game for the Dallas Cowboys, it was Jarwin who was on the receiving end of Dak Prescott's first pass of the game. And, if he hadn't had stepped out of bounds later in the game he would've found himself in the end zone.

    Now, it's a little early in the process to claim Jarwin as the victor in the Cowboys TE competition, but he was able to carry over what he's been doing in practice into the game. That's no small feat to accomplish. I'm sure we'll see some of the other TEs on the roster receive opportunities to prove themselves, but for now, it's looking as if it could be Blake Jarwin's job to lose.

    ✭ Tavon Austin More Than a “Gadget” Player✭

    Ezekiel Elliott and Tavon
    Dallas Cowboys RBs and Tavon Austin

    When the Dallas Cowboys traded for Tavon Austin earlier in the offseason no one really knew exactly what kind of offensive role they had in mind for him. Since arriving in Dallas, Austin has been described as a “web-back”, but that made things even more confusing because it sounded like a made up position. The only thing anybody really knew is that Austin has been mostly a “gadget” player since entering the NFL.

    I know it was just of the preseason, but if Thursday night was any indication of how the Cowboys plan to use Austin, then he will be more than a “gadget” player this season. Austin didn't line up in the backfield or receive any handoffs. He didn't even return any punts or kickoffs against the 49ers. The only thing he did do was lineup at WR and run routes. His role could change and expand later, but it looks as if he will be more involved offensively than we had originally thought.

    ✭ DE Taco Charlton Looks Much Improved in Year 2✭

    Taco Charlton
    Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton

    The Dallas Cowboys may not have recorded a single quarterback sack Thursday night against the San Francisco 49ers, but they did put consistent pressure on the opposing QBs. One of those pass rushers to consistently pressure the QB was the Cowboys second-year Taco Charlton, who looks like an entirely different player this year. He was getting after the QB, making tackles, and deflecting passes.

    Charlton is starting to look more and more like the first-round draft pick the Cowboys were hoping he would be last year. He looks bigger, stronger, faster, and more technique sound than he did a season ago, which should be good news for the this season. He also showed that his knowledge of the game has improved. Last season he would've been fooled by some of those bootlegs, but it doesn't look to be the case now.

    ✭LB Depth No Longer a Concern✭

    Joe Thomas
    Dallas Cowboys LB
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    The Dallas Cowboys played the entire game against the 49ers Thursday night without , their best defensive player. Unfortunately, it may have provided a glimpse of what we could see at some point during the 2018 season since #50 has a problem of remaining healthy. The good news is, it looks like the Cowboys have covered themselves for such scenario.

    Yes, all eyes were on and against the 49ers Thursday night, and rightfully so. Both players didn't do anything to disappoint, but it was the Cowboys addition, Joe Thomas, who stole the show. Thomas was filling in for Sean Lee and did an outstanding job doing so. He was all over the field and even ended up getting an interception off a deflection. The way all the Cowboys LBs played should ease any concerns with the depth of the position heading into the 2018 season.

    What stood out for you in the Dallas Cowboys game against the 49ers?

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    Brian Martin
    Brian Martin
    Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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    5 COMMENTS

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    oneputter

    i agree with all except for the TE situation. i think we need to keep rico, this coaching staff has to figure out a way to play to his strengths and what he does best. quit trying to turn him into a blocking TE or make him more of a blocker than he is right now, at his size and weight all he has to do is get in the way…..

    i like swaim over jarwin, keep the rook and rico that’s what i would do.

    Nick Russo

    I somewhat agree with you. I think that if we let Rico go, we would regret it immensely. As crazy as it sounds to carry 4 TEs I actually think each of them brings their own dynamic. Swaim is a good blocker and is the veteran of the group who can be reliable. I believe that jarwin and Schultz can be more balanced TEs with jarwin being a slightly better receiver and Schultz having the edge in blocking early in their careers. Rico is the X-factor. He is a guy that can be split out of the line and be a huge threat in the red zone. He might not be a great blocker but we don’t have to use him as such. The teams that have had the most success in recent years do so using players in this way. Allowing players to play to their strengths.

    Chuck Wright

    Good write up. . .

    Steve

    Agreed @oneputter IMO we should put Gathers in and let him learn the hard way and keep him on the field as much as possible. He is a clear talent and could be a huge asset in the red zone! I believe Gallup is gonna be just as good and more than likely BETTER than Dez the last couple years not to mention that he will get better with the more PT he gets! Love where our Wr’s are and Lb’s and those were question marks pre camp and I know that its early but the D-Line is stout and our secondary could be a surprise especially if we get a certain someone be4 the season starts! Big D has a solid chance at making some noise in the NFC Beast and challenge the Eagles!

    Mark

    I like and agree with the points made in the article. The players generally looked good and the depth looks better than ever. I know this is the time of year for optimism and big dreams, BUT…I have to say that I for one, get tired of hearing that “wins and losses don’t matter because it’s only preseason”. Winning DOES matter – especially to a young team trying to build some confidence and establish their identity.

    Here’s my $.02. The preseason is to practice and prepare for the season. This basic principle, however, should not be limited to the players. The coaches also need to work hard to improve their craft and God knows this particular coaching staff needs to practice how to win games.

    Once we went up 21-10, I told my wife that we were gonna lose 24-21. She laughed. I said “just watch…”. Why? It’s simple. This head coach coaches exactly like an over-educated academic that learned football from a text book. He has no more intrinsic feel for winning football games than does a piece of bacon (my apologies to bacon – I still love you). The mistakes on defense we’re sad, maybe even pathetic. But I attribute the defensive collapse to young defensive backs making rookie mistakes and a group of refs that seemed wholly committed to San Francisco’s come back. On the other hand, the ridiculously predictable offensive play calling essentially guaranteed that the 49ers would be given an opportunity to win the game. I’ll bet 99% of Cowboy fans at least thought about this very same thing, and the hard-core realists among us knew it was highly probable. Does the Clapping Carrot and his puppet, Linehan literally not know how to finish a team off when you have them down? Seriously…do they? We dominated that game and it should not have been a close finish. Even with the refs doing their best to de-rail us, we should have won that game 31-10 or, at worst, 28-17. Well coached teams would do that 95% of the time. Dallas? When was the last time they stomped down on the throats of a team when they had the chance?

    I’ll say it again…this team has never won a game BECAUSE of Jason Garrett. However, they LOSE tons of games because of him.

    The saddest part of this story is that I fear that the fans, like the players, are also being prepared for the season. We’re being forced to hone and sharpen those excuses that we’ll need to make to once again explain to the world the latest sad performance of the most under-achieving team in sports.