Preseason games are still Preseason Games, and then will start NFL Regular season game. The good things you see need to be reduced to the same as the bad things … and there was a lot of it.
The goal is to have some people play well, stay healthy and then win the game if that is possible.
For the most part, it was a successful night in that case. Some players shine. A few were injured and, of course, the Cowboys threw in the end zone in the final seconds, losing only to the 49ers, 17-9.
This is probably not what the fans were talking about after the game was over. Lots of backup QB talk. Even more so, please, let alone the Red Zone offense.
Sometimes it’s easy for supporters to try and take a theme from the previous year and roll it back in as a potential problem.
During the half time of Saturday’s game, I had the opportunity to answer some fan questions on the Cowboys‘ TV broadcast with my teammates Lindsay Dragger and Rob Phillips.
One of the first people on the list was evaluating the “Red Zone Issue” in the Cowboys, and I just couldn’t help myself.
“So how did Jake feel?”
I’m sorry, I know that this is a sarcastic answer and can really be classified as an excuse. But this is just another example of how pre-season play can be confusing in the overall big picture.
Now, if you’re on the fence side believing that Ezekiel Eliot won’t be with the team in the first week, you might be a little more concerned with what you were seeing on the field versus the 49ers.
However to me personally, I just think he’ll be there – with a new contract – because both sides just need each other.
That being said, I don’t think we are seeing what this crime will actually be.
The call looked very sharp at the start, quickly getting the ball out and looking for his boys throughout the field. With Rooney Tony Pollard carrying the first team, the offense was able to bring it down with relative ease.
And as we have often seen in the past year, this offense struggled in the Red Zone and was set on the field goal.
Honestly, it was probably a good thing.
Sure, you like touchdowns in this league, but you’re not getting a real game plan – on either side of the ball. As much as it is in “vanilla” when it comes to play-calling, you don’t really expect a touchdown when you reach that level.
New OC Kellen Moore’s check-downs, audibles, nifty play-calls are not showing up right now. For that matter, external blitzes and coverage are also being dropped by 49 people.
It’s just a matter of vs. And running behind a Pollard starter probably doesn’t give you enough strength and sharpness to make a difference.
Obviously, Jake is a different story. In the regular season games, he has found enough strength to push through the middle, causing a variety of problems with the defense.
You just can’t compare what a crime looks like with or without Jake, especially in the Red Zone. And obviously the predecessor.
What I liked to see was how the county used Tony Pollard in this game. Some may disagree, saying they invented a jet sweep, screen, or something that got him into space. But honestly, this is not the drama I was worried about. I know he can do these things.
What the teams need to see is that Pollard can get the ball and move inside the tackles. If he can legally stay close to any threat inside, the defense will respect it enough that he can get these outside appearances. Otherwise, when Pollard is there, teams will always know what
When he was drafted, Pollard likened the Saints to ‘Alvin Qamar, arguably the more dynamic player in the NFL. When he was able to grab the curtains, reverse each edge, and even line up at the receiver, Kamara drove the ball straight in the middle – and it was always enough for the team to respect him.
That was the most important thing the Cowboys did on Saturday night with Pollard. And the best part was, he captured it beautifully. Not too explosive or a big run, but running hard enough nose into the tackles to get the job done.
“It’s something that people don’t think I can do,” Pollard said after the game, “I like to prove people wrong.”
And he’ll have a chance to prove a lot of people wrong here. We’ll see what his prospects look like during the regular season.
Again my guess is that Jake will be back in the team at that time.
And my next guess is that the Red Zone offense looks a bit better than Saturday night.