Tha Sports Junkies 101

Dallas Cowboys Win Hall Of Fame Game Against Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys Win WFAA TV via Flickr


Dallas Cowboys Win HOF Game Against Arizona Cardinals 20-18

The Dallas Cowboys win against the Arizona Cardinals. They walked into Thursday night’s Hall of Fame game as 1.5 point favorites, according to Vegas. Noted because I had no idea that you could place wagers on preseason football.

Dallas were the favorites and played as such, for most of the game.

I was excited to watch the young talents such as Taco Charlton, Chidobe Awuzie, Charles Tapper, and more in their first action as Dallas Cowboys.

Roughly five starters saw significant action in right tackle La’el Collins, safety Byron Jones, and Jeff Heath. Along with linebacker Damien Wilson and defensive back Anthony Brown.

In an exhibition game that featured not many starters, there isn’t really much do dissect. I had an eye on the rookies and second-year players. And came away a bit impressed with what I saw.

All in all, it was a good night for owner Jerry Jones, football fans, and the team bringing home a Dallas Cowboys win.

Rico Gathers

I was more than excited to see tight-end prospect Rico Gathers flash some potential during game action.

Gathers stayed on the roster last year via the practice squad. A decision that drew a bit of criticism, as a lot of Cowboy fans would have preferred to keep and extra running back last year.

In spite of that, the decision alone by Head Coach Jason Garrett to keep Rico around told me all I needed to know. Which was Rico was putting production on tape at practice.

There were reports earlier in the off-season during OTA’s that Rico was dominating drills and one-on-ones. Granted I myself might look good running routes in shorts and t-shirts. Still, I thought hearing those reports were promising.

Rico hasn’t played organized football since his middle school championship game, where he scored 4 touchdowns in the first half.

Gathers definitely took Thursday’s chance to show progression.

He caught a nice touchdown from Kellen Moore in the first quarter of last night exhibition. He was able to use his basketball body frame, and post out the defender and attack the ball at its highest point. I believe that is literally the style of play that coaches were hoping to get out of Gathers.

A big athletic body has proven to be an extremely reliable commodity in today’s NFL.

Anthony Brown

One looming negative I took from this exhibition has to do with the hamstring of Anthony Brown. The starting corner back had to leave the game after reported tightness in his hamstring.

Coach Jason Garrett informed the media after the game that the injury was not serious. Brown later verified those comments saying “just put some ice on it and go to treatment in the morning.”

Given that Dallas has a few extra days off, as the team will be staying in Canton Ohio for the rest of the Hall of Fame ceremonies. This injury should take care of itself with the time off, hopefully.

Rookie Jourdan Lewis was held out of last nights exhibition due to tightness in his hamstring as well. Myself and Cowboy fans are hoping this is not a sign to come with the young secondary.

Chidobe Awuzie

Chidobe was in a position to make a lot of plays in Thursday night’s exhibition.

While watching most of the first half I kept hoping to see Awuzie get more aggressive. Similar to what aggressiveness I saw on tape while he was at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

I almost got my moment when Awuzie almost jumped a route, which had he caught would have been an open field sprint to the end zone.

As mentioned he had been in a position to make plays all game, it was a bit rewarding to see him almost jump one.

Brice Butler and Kellen Moore

It seemed apparent that these two put in a lot of reps together this summer.

In my opinion, Brice Butler is a starting receiver on more than half of NFL teams as currently constructed. Thursday provided another testament to that notion for me.

The two Moore and Butler connected on a pretty 47-yard bomb along the sidelines facing one-on-one coverage. Later that drive Moore would connect with Rico Gathers for a 26-yard-touchdown pass.

Kellen Moore finished the game 12-17, throwing for 182 yards, along with one touchdown and one interception. While Butler hauled two catches for 78 yards on 4 targets.

Other Observations From The Dallas Cowboys Win

I wish I would have seen more of 6th round draft pick Xavier Woods. Hopefully next game we will get a bigger sample size.

I liked the flash Alfred Morris provided on a couple of his runs. He looks faster and a bit hungrier than last season. Which will be imperative for the veteran running back who will be fighting off competition from the likes of running back Rod Smith, who he will be competing with for the third running back position.

A quiet night for Taco Charlton was in position for a tackle behind the line of scrimmage on one play but missed.