The Cowboys report

Dallas Dominates in Big “D” as preseason winds down

Jason Garret and the Cowboys are close to clinching. Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys won their second preseason game Saturday night by defeating the Houston Texans in a 34-0 rout.

For the first time this preseason the Cowboys didn't score on their opening possession, but that didn't matter because the defense controlled the game the whole way through. After the Cowboy offense went three and out to start the game, the starting defense sacked Deshaun Watson, which caused a fumble that was recovered by the Cowboys. On the Texans' next possession, the Cowboys blocked a punt that got returned for a touchdown.The Dallas defense ended up with eight sacks, four turnovers and only allowed 135 yards.They were led by defensive end Taco Charlton who finished the day with three tackles and two sacks.

On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Dak Prescott didn't start off great. He missed three of his first four pass attempts but quickly overcame it when he found 2nd year receiver Michael Gallup for a 12 yard touchdown to put the Cowboys up 7-0. There is clearly a good bond between Prescott and Gallup, and when you add Amari Cooper into the mix the Dallas passing offense could be one of the best in the league.

With superstar Ezekiel Elliott still holding out for a new contract, rookie Tony Pollard took the starting running back spot and looked great doing it. He had six carries for 26 yards and two catches for 10 yards.H is best play was a 24 yard screen pass that he took down to the Houston 2 yard line but it was called back for holding. The Cowboys look to be in good shape with Pollard in the lineup if Zeke continues to hold out.

With the dress rehearsal in the books, it seems the Cowboys are ready for the regular season to commence.


​3 things to watch for


1.Running backs (J. Chunn or A. Morris): With Tony Pollard being the clear #1 RB until Zeke returns, Jordan Chunn and Alfred Morris will be playing the majority of the game this upcoming week and it will good to see who might grab the #2 RB spot.

2.Quarterbacks (C. Rush or M. White): Mike White finally had a good showing this past week and is still batting with Cooper Rush for the back QB role. As of now, I think Rush is leading the way.

3.Kicker Brett Maher: Was perfect for the game, he was 2/2 on his field goal attempts and made all four of his extra points. He seems to finally be settling in. Let's see if he can keep it up.

​Coming Up

The Dallas Cowboys (2-1) will be playing their preseason finale at home in AT&T stadium against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) on Thursday Aug. 29 at 7:00pm Central time. None of the starters are expected to play for either team as both teams will be preparing for the regular season to begin.

Currently, the line on this game is Cowboys -5 and over/under 33.5. With not knowing which players are going to play most of the game, I am staying away from this one.

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How much will DeMeco Ryans' background impact the draft? Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Houston Texans have their guy in head coach DeMeco Ryans.

The leader of one of the top defenses in the NFL in 2022, Ryans returning to the Texans becomes somewhat of a homecoming for the former linebacker. Drafted by the team in the second round in 2006 out of Alabama, he played with Houston until the end of the 2011 season.

Since retiring as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, Ryans became a defensive quality control coach with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. He was promoted to inside linebackers coach in 2018, and then, in 2021 became the defensive coordinator.

Now, when it comes to the Texans, with Ryans at the helm, how could that affect how the team approaches the draft this year?

Bryce Young more likely?

As mentioned before, Ryans was a member of the Crimson Tide before turning pro. While he never played under Nick Saban, he certainly has plenty of ties in the area that make it much more likely he can learn everything he needs to know about quarterback Bryce Young.

Young put on flashy performances on the field against Alabama’s opponents during his time in Tuscaloosa. But what coaches want to know is what is the young quarterback like off the field. Is he a playbook junky, does he spend extra hours in the training facility, how does he treat employees and staff on the team?

While all this information isn’t necessarily top secret for coaches, Ryans’ Tuscaloosa ties could give the Texans an edge in getting an extra leg up on Young. That could be enough to sway Houston one way or another with its No. 2 overall pick.

In Lance we trust?

The San Francisco 49ers started the season handing the keys of the offense to quarterback Trey Lance. With Ryans being the architect behind the team’s defense, he got a front row seat to all of Lance’s tricks and approach.

Ryans knows what makes Lance tick, what he struggles with, and in what areas he can excel in. If the Texans don’t feel like any of this year’s quarterbacks are the long-term answer, Ryans is the perfect guy to know what they could get out of Lance.

With the 49ers seeming to have found something with quarterback Brock Purdy, it will be interesting to see what the team residing in Santa Clara, California, does at that position as well. However, Purdy's elbow injury will be something to watch. If San Francisco chooses to move on from their first round pick in the 2021 draft, who better to decide whether it is worth scooping up Lance than Ryans.

Defense, defense, and defense!

Going back to the Alabama connection, the same can be said about Will Anderson Jr. The star linebacker, who shined with the Crimson Tide, accumulated 34.5 sacks and 204 tackles in three seasons with Alabama.

Anderson is expected to be a top five draft pick. Similar to Young, Ryans likely has a strong in to learn everything he wants to know about the 6-foot-4-inch edge rusher and more. If Houston does not see a must-have prospect at quarterback, Ryans would love to get a leader on the defense instead.

Ryans played linebacker for all 10 seasons in the NFL. He knows what it takes to be elite at that position group at the next level. If Anderson has the skill set to fit that description, Ryans is the guy to know it heading into the draft.

One thing is for sure, Ryans as the new head coach opens up a plethora of possibilities for the Texans.

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