Dallas Cowboys Starters Look Good in Loss to Minnesota Vikings
The 28-14 loss was yet another silver lining-type of game for the Cowboys. The positives mostly lay in the first half. The most positive thing was Tony Romo finally saying hello in extended action. He threw two touchdowns in five completions.
One of those touchdowns was to touchdown machine Terrance Williams. He took and in route the distance from 60 yards away.
The starting offensive line, minus Zach Martin on the line, was much better today.
On Romo's second touchdown. Romo Romo'd around and did a loop-de-loop in a clean pocket and found Lucky Whitehead wide open as a direct result.
The running game was not great in the first quarter. Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar struggled to see holes and gain yards, but in the second quarter there was a flash of greatness, and it was embodied by Darren McFadden.
I think McFadden gets the start in week one, but he will share equal carries. They will be like a pair of outlaws in the old west. We can call them Run DMC and the Underwear Thief.
This was all without Dez Bryant drawing double coverage. Just wait until the New York Giants come to town.
As much as I loved watching the Dez Bryant-less starters on offense, the defense was even more exciting. The first interception of the pre-season was collected by Brandon Carr and if it wasn't for an offensive pass interference Morris Claiborne might have gotten another.
Teddy Bridgewater had one long completion, but it took a perfect pass and great route to out duel Carr on the sideline. The secondary was serviceable, despite Bridgewater going 7-7.
The reason this secondary will be good this year isn't the personnel. It isn't the secondary coach or the linebackers in coverage. It won't be because Jason Garrett is a good head coach. It will be because this defensive line will be supplying a steady stream of pressure.
Nick Hayden and Tyrone Crawford. Terrell McClain and Jack Crawford. Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory. Jeremy Mincey and Greg Hardy. I could keep going, but I'll stop there. This group will be paramount to the success of this defense. Randy Gregory barely beat Demarcus Lawrence to Bridgewater and got another sack on Saturday night.
This pair could be racing to quarterbacks for a long time, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
The special teams was terrible again. This has to be shored up before the season. Cordarrelle Patterson, for the Vikings, took one all the way back after the left side of the coverage team completely disappeared from the field.
If this was the dress rehearsal game, this isn't a glowing showing for the special teams unit. Granted, the special teams group could be made up of players who will be cut by September 5.
Rich Bisaccia, the special teams coach, has probably had the least consistent roster to work with. Hopefully, that means he can work it out Thursday against the Texans. If he can't, then it doesn't look very good for Dallas on special teams.
Overall, in yet another loss, the Cowboys look improved. It will be even better when the starting 5 offensive linemen are opening lanes for Run DMC and the Underwear Thief.