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By Jonathan Bales

“Grading the ‘Boys”: Preseason Week Two, Cowboys vs. Raiders

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Jonathan Bales

My film study of the Oakland game is complete.  Thus far, I have posted my initial game reactions, things we learned from the contest, and final film study observations.

In my first “Grading the ‘Boys” from the Bengals game, 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.

WR Miles Austin:  A

Made a highlight catch and even got action on an end-around

NT Josh Brent: A-

Motor is second to none; I personally guarantee he makes this team

OT Robert Brewster: D-

Yielded another sack and looks over-matched at both left and right tackle

OG Travis Bright: D

Play must make Dallas extremely nervous about backup guard situation

LB Keith Brooking: A-

Lined up on tight end Zach Miller out wide and blanketed him

K David Buehler: A+

Looked sensational on field goals and kickoffs; struck the ball really well on all kicks

OLB Victor Butler: B

A small dip in production from Cincy game, but still solid outing

RT Marc Colombo: F

Gave up two sacks and didn’t dominate in run game

RB Herb Donaldson: C

Didn’t do much “wrong,” but lacks explosiveness

TE DajLeon Farr: B

Signed two days prior to game and no noticeable mental errors

LT Doug Free: C

Let Jon Kitna get sacked (although Kitna could have stepped up); must be more consistent

DE Jason Hatcher: B+

Really nice game after Stephen Bowen stood out against the Bengals

WR Jesse Holley: B

Stood out on special teams; always near the ball-carrier

LB Bradie James: A

All over the field, particularly against the pass

WR Manuel Johnson: D

Dropped pass led to pick-six in crucial situation

QB Jon Kitna: B

Getting flack, but did a fine job; made great audible to hit Sam Hurd on 32-yard pass

P Mat McBriar: A

So under-appreciated

CB Bryan McCann: B

Still shows poor technique at times, but looks natural in coverage; solid job on returns

QB Stephen McGee: C-

Leaves pocket too early; fails to hit check down in time; looks to be “thinking” too much

WR Kevin Ogletree: D

Two drops and poor field awareness once again

QB Tony Romo: C

Poor outing for Romo; held onto ball too long and missed a few open receivers

CB Orlando Scandrick: A

Has been Cowboys’ best cornerback through two games

NT Junior Siavii: B+

Showed toughness and plays the run nicely

CB Jamar Wall: C-

Can only play certain routes well; no way he makes 53-man roster in my opinion

LB Jason Williams: B+

Ironically flourishing in run support, but played pass better than Week One

LB Leon Williams: B+

Outplaying Steve Octavien and Curtis Johnson right now for roster spot

WR Roy Williams: C

Blanketed all night, but did face Nnamdi Asomugha

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9 Responses to “Grading the ‘Boys”: Preseason Week Two, Cowboys vs. Raiders

  1. john coleman says:

    I like what I see here and would agree unanimously. I personally appreciate the grade for Farr. For two days not to shabby. He made a play and showed willingness to block downfield. McCann looked like a B. Coverage was solid but not overwhelming and looked comfortable on returns. I also agree that Wall is looking like a wasted pick. It seems like there was another player that we could have got that I liked, left after we picked him. We are probably going to still have to cut another good player besides Wall. We could cut down to 5 receivers and keep say a T.Williams. Leon Williams also has been solid but I think he is going to get caught in the #s game. Looks like Johnson and Octavien are goners. The Siavii/Brent competition is interesting and to keep both is going to eat a spot. Especially if you consider we are two deep with the whole front seven. For the record I’m saying Siavii and Dixon are history. What’s your take on Costa? I think he could be our replacement for Procter. No comparison intended other thanthat he has played both OG and center. I think last game he was solid and as you mentioned Bright hasn’t impressed. I’m still thinking Wade is seeing things. What is he seeing to say that Brewster is ok? We need to solidify the OG position. If we could do that, (I’m talking guys that can be future starters) then we could pick up a OT next year if necessary in the draft. Although Young may be ready for RT next year. Barron’s play when he returns is huge. We have no good backup otherwise. Maybe that is why they are leaving Brewster at OT. Unless injuries make decisions easy, it is going to be tough the last couple of weeks. Teams around the league are going to be waiting like vultures for our cuts. I think Buffalo picked up Donovan Woods and he didn’t even make it to camp.

  2. Starred-For-Life says:

    What was your take on Teddy Williams? It seemed like every time I noticed him, he was doing something really well, like sticking like glue to his man on a double move, or staying stride for stride with a receiver on a deep ball, with his hand extended break up any would be reception.
    But those were the only plays I watched him on (besides the fumble recovery and I think a penalty).

    Really love you articles, by the way.

  3. Starred-For-Life says:

    John Coleman, I wouldn’t write off Curtis Johnson just yet. I think he could be part of a bruising rotation this year.

  4. John–Thanks. Wall has looked to be a wasted pick since OTAs. The Cowboys have done such an amazing job of scouting lately, but I’m not sure how they missed the fact that he seems to be a Cover 2 guy. They could of course move him to SS, but it is probably too late at his point (and he would be undersized).

    It’s funny how the play of someone at one position can affect the fortunes of another. For example, if the Cowboys do only keep five receivers, the chances of Teddy and Leon Williams making the team skyrocket. The way Ogletree is playing right now, there is a slight (very slight) chance he doesn’t make it. I do think Leon W.’s chances right now are actually a coin flip.

    I’d also agree with SFL that Curtis J. isn’t done just yet. He can get to the passer, so you know Coach Phillips likes that. Right now he’s behind and hasn’t stood out, but that can change.

    I like Costa A LOT more than Bright and McQuistan right now, but I’d really like to see Brewster at guard. That move has to be made ASAP in my opinion.

    I love the Siavii/Brent battle too. Both played well on Thursday..is there a chance they both make it? Possibly, if the Cowboys think of Brent as a DE/DT.

    SFL–I love Teddy Williams athleticism and potential right now. His technique is surprisingly good and he’s improving each day. It will be tough to find a spot for him on the 53, but I don’t think they can sneak him on the PS. The Cowboys will have to “borrow” a spot from another position to keep both him and McCann (and even then, Gordon would get cut).
    And thanks for reading.

  5. john coleman says:

    I guess the Wall pick was an ego issue. Somebody thought they could coach him up. His physicality probably drew the interest. He can catch on and probably help a cover two team. His lack of speed had me questioning the pick from jumpstreet. I hate we wasted a pick on him. There were guys like David Gettis, J Marcus Webb, Selvish Capers, and Dorin Dickerson still available when we took him. I think all of these guys had more longterm upside. Realisically you don’t expect a sixth rd pick to help in the first year. Young was worth the risk IMO, because of his pedigree. Maybe we can get some of them for the practice squad.

  6. Sure would have loved Capers at that point. It will be interesting to see if Dallas puts Wall on the PS or just concedes their mistake.

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