The Dallas Cowboys played their second preseason game on the new field at Santa Clara, California’s Levi Stadium against the San Francisco 49’ers.
When the first string offense took the field, Tony Romo was out there along with Travis Frederick and Doug Free. Tyron Smith, Ronald Leary and Zack Martin did not play. Darren McFadden took the first team reps at running back. The first group played only one series before being replaced by Brandon Weeden and the second teamers.
Joseph Randle looked sharper in his play than did McFadden. Gus Johnson and Randle had the best night of the running backs by committee group.
The quarterback play was not good from the second and third string quarterbacks. Brandon Weeden had a first down pass dropped by a wide open Gavin Escobar and he never seemed to recover from this incompletion.
Dustin Vaughan replaced Weeden and failed to impress anyone. Vaughan was intercepted twice and he never looked comfortable as the Cowboys quarterback. Vaughan’s lackluster performance, in preseason game two, leaves a lot of question marks for Scott Linehan and the backup quarterback position. This is a problem spot for the team, more than the running back position is.
The bright spot for the Cowboys at the quarterback position was from rookie Jameill Showers. Showers was poised in his play even though it was with the bottom of the roster. Showers found Nick Harwell in the end zone for the Cowboys’ only score. Showers contributed with three tackles in the game, two on special teams and one on his intercepted pass when the Cowboys decided to go for the two point conversion.
Once again, the punting coverage unit was horrible. The punters had to make three tackles. Tim Scott had a great tackle on special teams, then he whiffed on his blocking assignment on the punting team – which led to a blocked punt and a touchdown for the 49’ers.
Randy Gregory shined in his second game. Gregory is a special player when it comes to rushing the quarterback, but he still needs work in the running game.
The Cowboys pass rush was improved and the team posted sacks by Gregory, Ryan Russell, and Ben Gardner.
Andrew Gachkar was all over the field in this game. Gachkar was playing Sean Lee’s position while Kyle Wilbur manned the Mike position.
Keith Smith had his best performance as a Dallas Cowboy. Smith was making his presence felt all over the field. Smith was disruptive as a linebacker and as a member of the special teams unit.
The Cowboys’ defense did not allow a touchdown in this game. Corey White had a pass breakup in the end zone that saved a potential touchdown on the first drive of the game for San Francisco.
The Cowboys’ defense was gashed again against the run. This has a great deal to do with Sean Lee, Anthony Hitchens and Rolando McClain not playing, but these other linebackers need to step up their play.
The Cowboys have five days to get ready for their return to AT&T Stadium and to face the Minnesota Vikings. Saturday the Cowboys will have their dress rehearsal for the 2015 season and you can expect to see more playing time for the starters.
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