Following the Dallas Cowboys’16-3 preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame game Thursday night, there are a few items that we need to discuss before a false narrative takes place. First, the opening preseason game is one that does not involve film study nor are any real preparations made to win the game.
The first game is mostly about getting your players live-action without having the repercussions of losing the game. I was more interested in situational football rather than the score.
There will be plenty of time to go back and break down film but what I initially saw was mostly positive. With all that said, these are my knee-jerk thoughts from the Dallas Cowboys’ first preseason contest.
I am cautiously optimistic but it apparently looks like the team did not suffer any major injuries. I’m sure guys are in the training room this morning but avoiding major injuries is always a plus.
Knee-Jerk Reaction: Quarterbacks
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Garrett Gilbert appears to have a stranglehold on the backup quarterback position. If you are concerned with Gilbert’s performance, the team’s best backup option might not be on the roster at the moment although I think Gilbert enters the season as the primary backup.
Speaking of backups, the Dallas Cowboys need to get another kicker in camp immediately. Glossing over kicking field goals in camp is a disaster waiting to happen. I’m not sure about Greg Zuerlein’s injury timeline but attempting field goals should be practiced a bit more in camp.
Cooper Rush is still very calm and cool in the pocket when everything is breaking down around him. Those extra seconds give him the needed time to step in and make his throws. That gives the Dallas Cowboys an interesting decision to make when talking quarterbacks.
When talking about quarterbacks, Ben DiNucci seems to be a punching bag this morning. His play wasn’t great but it does carry many of the similarities Tony Romo had when he was an undrafted free agent. He couldn’t put it together on the field yet but understood its nuances.
I would continue to try and develop DiNucci but his chameleon play has to improve. I feel like DiNucci is out there trying to throw at different angles ala Aaron Rodgers when he has yet to discover his own throwing mechanics. His ability to mimic players reminds me of scout team quarterbacks prepping their team to play a certain individual.