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“Grading the ‘Boys”: Preseason Week 1, Cowboys vs. Bengals

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Jonathan Bales

After reviewing the Hall of Fame game film so many times that I can literally name the play calls in order, I figured enough was enough.  Even after all of that, it is still impossible for me to watch every play for every player on the field.  With 11 players and 150+ plays a game, I would need to watch the film at least 1,650 times.  The problem is I can’t seem to crack the 1,640 barrier.

Instead of paying half-assed (is that a word?) attention to all of the players, I concentrate on certain players and report back on their play.  Below are the grades for those players to which I paid particularly close attention.

Preseason Week 1 Final Player Grades

LT Alex Barron: D

Repeatedly beat off the edge due to poor footwork; injured ankle and may not play Thursday

DE Stephen Bowen: A

Displayed incredible burst on pass rush; never stopped despite decent amount of reps

DT Josh Brent: B

Really impressive motor; consistent play will land him roster spot

RT Robert Brewster: D

Grade of “C” for his play at right tackle and “F” for left tackle; Cowboys could slide him to guard

G/C Travis Bright: C-

On a lot of 53-man roster projections but slow off the ball Sunday night

K David Buehler: C

Great kickoffs as usual, but shaky on field goals and extra point despite going three-of-four

OLB Victor Butler: A

Best game he’s played as a pro; biggest surprise was his superb run defense

RB Tashard Choice: C-

Ran hard, but struggled mightily in pass protection; too good of a player to not rebound quickly

RB Herb Donaldson:  D+

Showed burst and good vision on one run but looked tentative on others; lost a fumble

LT Doug Free: A

Perhaps most important game for any player; displayed tremendous footwork and even good strength in run game



FB Chris Gronkowski: C-

Missed quite a few blocks; long way to go to catch Deon Anderson

WR Jesse Holley: C

Up and down night; bad block in the back and poor field awareness at times, but made a few nice catches

QB Jon Kitna: B-

Played fairly well behind porous second-string offensive line; good job of checking down

QB Stephen McGee: B+

Surprised by quickness and arm strength; needs to work on pocket awareness and hitting underneath receivers

G Pat McQuistan: D-

Beat almost every play by Bengals DT Geno Atkins; would be shocked if he made the team

RB Lonyae Miller: B-

Impressive hands and route running; hard runner, but must make first guy miss

WR Kevin Ogletree: D+

Very poor field awareness; failed to drag feet once and caught another ball short of first down marker

TE John Phillips: A

Biggest heartbreak of the week; blocked incredibly well and obviously caught ball well before going down with ACL tear



QB Tony Romo: B

Missed a few throws, but overall solid night; good back shoulder throw; may call more audibles this season

TE Scott Sicko: B

“A-” grade for receiving but “C-” for blocking; obvious downgrade from Phillips but has potential

G Mike Tepper: D

Can’t see any way he makes the team

CB Jamar Wall: D-

Really struggled in both coverage and special teams; not bad versus the run, but won’t matter if he doesn’t improve coverage

OLB Brandon Williams: B+

Looks like Ware at times; good awareness on interception

LB Leon Williams: B

Great form tackling; a little weak in coverage

WR Roy Williams: B+

Good quickness out of breaks; used on “in-breaking” routes on which he excels

CB Teddy Williams: B

Shockingly good technique and overall play from track star who hasn’t played football in five years

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4 Responses to “Grading the ‘Boys”: Preseason Week 1, Cowboys vs. Bengals

  1. moses says:

    McQuistan looked lost at G. I thought he was a T?
    I did not think Brewster looked good either.
    Free looked very good. He handled the quick DE and the power rushes.

  2. I was really expecting more from Brewster. It was just one game though, so we will see how he responds tomorrow night.

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