Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dallas Cowboys Preseason Week 2 Preview

by Derek Major (Contributor) Written on August 20, 2009

The Cowboys continue their preseason tomorrow as they host the Tennessee Titans at the new Cowboy Stadium. After getting blown out last week to the Oakland Raiders 31-10, the Cowboys need to come out and have a good showing, especially the backups and long shots who gave up 28 of those 31 points to Oakland.


Tony Romo had two good drives last week going 4-6 for 36 yards and a touchdown. However, Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee didn't fare as well. Kitna needs to have a mistake free game. Last week, he fumbled a snap, threw an interception and let a snap fly over his head. This week, Kitna needs to show critics and fans alike that if Romo gets hurt the season isn't over.

Stephen McGee is young and inexperienced, but he's the first rookie quarterback that I've seen hold on to the ball too long. Most QBs new to the NFL are rushing things because the game is so much faster, but last week, it seemed McGee was taking too long to find open receivers and throw the ball.

At this point, his performance in the preseason can't hurt him because he most likely won't see any action in a regular season game.

Expect more plays with the Cowboys in their two tight end set. Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett showcased it last week, and it paid dividends as Martellus Bennett had two catches and Jason Witten scored the Cowboys only touchdown. I also want to see how the Cowboys are going to run the ball out of that set.

Sam Hurd had a great game last week catching five balls for 79 yards and Coach Wade Phillips said he would get work with the first team in tomorrow's game. It would be nice to see something from Roy Williams, who hurt his wrist in practice but only missed one day. Miles Austin needs to get himself in the game; only one pass was thrown to him last week and he dropped it.

Smash, Dash, and Tash all had good games last week and I expect that to continue, but you won't see many reps from Marion Barber and Felix Jones. Last week they combined for five carries; the Cowboys want them ready for the season. Tashard Choice should get a good number of carries in the second and third quarters.


Just like the offense, the starters for the defense did a solid job, only allowing a field goal, and linebacker Keith Brooking had a sack. Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins are expected to play in this game, so it'll be nice to see how they fare in game action, especially Jenkins because Orlando Scandrick didn't allow a catch last week. It'll also be good to see them both on the field at the same time, and see who Titans QB Kerry Collins goes after and if they can make a play.

The backups have to come and make stops plain and simple. Last week, the Cowboy reserves made everyone concerned that if a couple of starters get hurt, they couldn't come in and contribute. The secondary especially got burned, most notably defensive backs Courtney Brown, Mike Mickens, and DeAngelo Smith, who lost a 50-yard dash to Cowboys Kicker David Buehler in practice this week.

Special Teams

Speaking of Buehler, this guy is a freak. He has more kicking power than Nick Folk, benched more reps at 225 than all three USC linebackers that were taken in this year's draft, and ran a 4.57 40-yard dash.

All this makes me excited to see him on the punt coverage unit and see if he can make a big hit—he had two last week. Nick Folk missed a chip shot field goal last week and will get his first shot to kick in the Cowboys new stadium.

Like last week, the Cowboys don't necessarily have to win this game but they do have to play a lot better than last week. Another week of the backups getting torched is only going make Phillips's hot seat hotter, and the season is still a few weeks away from starting.