ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys concluded their preseason slate with a resounding 31-16 win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday night as the second and third-team units saw all four quarters of action.
In a game that featured a couple of intriguing storylines around Will Grier, Dak Prescott and more, the offense shined with a certain QB1 calling plays.
With the preseason now concluded and the 53-cut impending on Tuesday, here are 5 Takes presented by Take 5 Oil Change on the Cowboys' conclusion to their exhibition slate.
1. Will Grier has a future in the NFL.
After news of the Trey Lance trade surfaced on Friday night, reports came out saying that Saturday's preseason finale would be Will Grier's last in a Cowboys uniform with cut day impending on Tuesday. With one last opportunity to shine for the other 31 teams, Grier absolutely balled. Whether it was Grier extending plays outside of the pocket, firing downfield with accuracy or even taking off on his own, the skill and potential was on full display all night. It might not be in Dallas, but a future somewhere in this league is still left to be had for Grier.
2. Devin Harper deserves a spot on the 53.
The linebacker depth has been a huge spotlight since rookie DeMarvion Overshown went down with a torn ACL, but it allowed for opportunities for Devin Harper and Jabril Cox to make an impact on Saturday night. With that chance in hand, I feel like Harper did the most with it. Covering sideline-to-sideline, making plays in the backfield and commanding the defense was all on display for Harper tonight, and it may have just earned him one of the last spots on the 53.
3. Hunter Luepke is worth keeping around.
With the running back battle all but concluded going into Saturday, Hunter Luepke had the biggest opportunity in his young career to display what he did during his storied college career at North Dakota State. Luepke settled in and excelled by rushing for 53 yards while hauling in five receptions for 60 yards and one athletic touchdown grab that extended the Cowboys' lead in the second quarter. There may not be a role for Luepke in 2023, but keeping him around on the practice squad could prove to be fruitful in the future. I think the biggest thing with him will be fully catching up to NFL speed, but once that happens, potential will arise.
4. Brandon Aubrey's trial run should continue through the start of the season.
Brandon Aubrey redeemed his 59-yard miss in the first half with a make from 59 yards that probably would have been good from 63-plus in the fourth quarter which put a bow on an interesting preseason for the Plano native. Aside from the 59-yard attempts, Aubrey has a 29-yard field goal and an 8-for-9 extra point efficiency to hold his hat on from his trial run this month. The leg has been on display, the consistency has shined. I don't think it's time to anoint him the starter for the entire season, but I think he's deserved the right to travel to New York to continue his career as a Cowboy.
5. Maybe Dak Prescott does have a future in play-calling.
Jerry Jones joked pregame that Dak Prescott may accidentally find his calling on Saturday night as the play-caller as head coach Mike McCarthy passed the playsheet off to his QB1 to handle the OC duties in the preseason finale. While it was tongue-and-cheek, there may be a smidgeon of truth in Jones' statement after his performance. The running game was used effectively, screens/draws were well-timed, Grier's strengths were highlighted and more importantly – points were scored. Let's check back in 20 years or so.