The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

“Grading the ‘Boys”: Preseason Week Four, Cowboys vs. Chargers

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Jonathan Bales

I’ve already posted initial post-game notes, “DOs and DON’Ts analysis,” film study observations, and what we learned from the Cowboys/Texans game.

Today, I will grade the players.  In my first three “Grading the ‘Boys” segments, I explained that it would be impossible for me to study every player as closely as I deem necessary for grading.  Instead, I watch a select group of players in great detail and report back to you on their performance.

Alan Ball: D

Didn’t look good in any aspect of the game; poor hips and awareness in coverage; got beat deep in Cover 1; missed a plethora of tackles

Alex Barron: C+

Looked over-matched in the run game; did decent in pass protection; better fit at left tackle

Robert Brewster: B-

The “bizarro” Alex Barron; did a solid job at left tackle but skill set better suited for right side

Travis Bright: B-

By far best game of preseason; still getting overpowered, but has shown improvement

Phil Costa: B

Eight Shotgun snaps with no errors; played much better than Gurode

Chris Gronkowski: C+

Gaining momentum from media, but I don’t see what they like; poor lead blocker whose pass-catching ability will make people think he’s better than he is


Andre Gurode: F

Worst game as a pro; two bad snaps; terrible stunt/twist recognition; unbalanced at times and beat with speed

Michael Hamlin: C-

Not making enough plays; looks tentative and afraid to make mistake

Bradie James: C

Good in pass coverage, but over-pursued on a number of occasions and got caught inside on others

Sean Lee: D

Blown backwards on most plays; long way to go as a run defender; not showing instincts

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah: B+

Really promising on returns; great decisiveness and explosion

Tony Romo: C-

Missed a few throws he normally makes; failed to score in three quarters

Orlando Scandrick: C-

Got beat by every receiver he covered; really improved in run support and tackling receivers after catch

Roy Williams: B-

Misread one Romo back-shoulder throw, but otherwise looked solid; appears to finally be playing with confidence

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2 Responses to “Grading the ‘Boys”: Preseason Week Four, Cowboys vs. Chargers

  1. john coleman says:

    Gronk looked better, but I still don’t see him blowing anybody up. I saw him meet and deadlock. Gurode worries the heck out of me. Go ahead and give Davis and Holland a little of the credit too. They are guilty of the same things as Gurode. Everybody is/has been screaming about the tackles. I have thought all along that he inside was weak. Even with Kosier, I have the same opinion. I’m NOT saying Columbo is great either. He is a better run blocker than Brewster or Barron at this point. However, they are both equal if not better in pass pro. I could definitely see us picking up a guy or two from league cuts. I don’t think we will get anybody who will come in and help this year. A trade of some kind is possible, but who do we give up? Lastly Romo, has to get over the Witten first line of thinking. That interception bounced off of Witten I think. That is not a problem. The problem is he threw into triple coverage trying to get the ball to Witten. Somebody had to have been wide open. BTW that is my only knock on Romo. I also think the overuse of the TE hurts the scoring potential of the offense. Big plays are more likely to come from the WRs and Witten is often the center of attention for defenses. Which hurts him as well. I’ve been calling for better distribution and maybe with Dez that becomes reality. Then maybe with reduced focus Witten can be the redzone threat he should be. You probably have a study on that somewhere. Still no worries overall. If we go to Washington and look bad, I’m really worried.

  2. Gronkowski did look better–I’ll give him that. His receiving skills mean nothing to me though.

    I don’t think Dallas will trade for an O-lineman. Picking up someone after roster cuts is possible, but I don’t know that you’ll find someone better than Brewster/Costa/Holland being cut.

    I’m also not completely worried, although I will admit it is hard to not get impatient at this point. Will they be able to just flick the switch and come out firing? I still don’t think the starters should play against Miami.

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