It was another disappointing showing for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon, when they lined up for their first daytime preseason game in many moons. Unfortunately the time switch didn’t help their level of performance as they were dominated by the Jacksonville Jaguars who played most of their starters during the first half.
The loss meant the Cowboys finished 0-4 on the preseason, which doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but it isn’t a great look for Mike McCarthy’s group. This game didn’t feature many Cowboys who are expected to be big-time contributors, but there were jobs on the line. Here are the winners and losers for the Cowboys from their final exhibition game.
Winner: WR Malik Turner
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The offense appears set with their first five options at receiver, but if Dallas chooses to keep a sixth, Turner stated his case. Turner had three receptions for 26 yards, which included an acrobatic fourth-down catch. An ankle injury caused Turner to miss some time, but he picked up where he left off and seemed to widen his lead in the race to be the last WR on the roster over fifth-round pick Simi Fehoko.
Loser: CB Deante Burton
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
It wasn’t the game Burton had hoped to put on tape before final cuts. He was beaten for two scores, should’ve given up another and allowed a team-high nine completions. Burton was on the roster in 2020 and has been core a special teams player, but he didn’t look like he belonged on the 2021 version of the Cowboys.
Winner: QB Garrett Gilbert
(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
The Cowboys have issues behind Dak Prescott, and Gilbert had a strong outing to make the case he can be the No. 2 option. Gilbert threw for a touchdown, a 19-yard strike to Aaron Parker, while Cooper Rush didn’t do much to distinguish himself. Gilbert had a better game throwing for 87 yards and the score, indicating the race for No. 2 could still be entertaining applications.
Loser: QB Ben DiNucci
(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
It felt like DiNucci needed a miracle performance to keep alive his slim chances at making the roster; he didn’t respond well. DiNucci did throw for a touchdown, but he also tossed a near interception in the middle of the field, missed a wide-open receiver that would’ve likely gone for another score if the pass had been in the same zip code, and threw behind an open receiver on a fourth down. The second-year QB isn’t good enough to be a backup option to Prescott.
Winner: Safety Israel Mukuamu
There were a few rough moments for the rookie safety, but Mukuamu did have an interception, a pass breakup and a QB hit in the game. The Cowboys continued to use him in a variety of ways and Mukuamu responded by being alert around the ball. The Cowboys could do without the penalties, there were two on special teams and horrible facemask on a third and long, which are an issue for a team trying to find ways to keep him. However, Mukuamu did have a nice day playing defense, which might secure a roster spot.
Loser: CB Nahshon Wright
The rookie was toasted on numerous occasions, giving up one touchdown and allowing a 45-yard completion on another play. Wright struggled in coverage in a game where he needed to show he could be counted on to move up the depth chart. There’s a lot for Wright to work on and he might not be ready for a role on the defense just yet. That’s a disappointment for a third-round pick.
Winner: C Matt Farniok
The Cowboys have been searching this preseason for someone to backup Tyler Biadasz at center and Farniok might have cemented the job. The rookie out of Nebraska played the entire game and had a solid showing in his bid to make the 53-man roster. It was clear that Connor Williams wasn’t the answer as the backup center, but Farniok might have earned the role in the preseason finale.
Read more: https://sports.yahoo.com/winners-losers-corners-struggle-cowboys-014635592.html?src=rss