SEATTLE –It was an eventful first quarter for Cowboys fans, who not only saw their starting quarterback go down with an apparent back injury three plays into the game, but watched perhaps the future playmakers go to work in relief.
Aside from Tony Romo's injury, Ezekiel Elliott's debut and another strong outing by Dak Prescott, there were plays that fell through the cracks.
Let's focus on some of the moments that might go unnoticed. This spot is usually saved for the five plays that changed the game. But in the preseason, let's focus on five other aspects of the game.
So this preseason version will include players, stats and sometimes plays that get overlooked.
Dak's first pass– In the first two games, Dak Prescott knew exactly when he was entering the game. But if he's going to be a backup quarterback, he's got to prove he can be ready whenever called upon. He showed the ability to do that Thursday night, coming in for Romo on the first drive. And with Seattle crowd at a frenzy, facing a stout Seahawks defense and on third-and-long, Prescott came in and fired a 12-yard pass to Cole Beasley. The drive eventually stalled but he came back to lead the offense into the end zone on the next series.
Running right – Don't forget about the play of Doug Free and Zack Martin up front, along with Jason Witten on that right side. Elliott had plenty of success running right on sweeps and off-tackle plays in that first quarter. Some of the holes he made on his own but oftentimes the play was zoned off by Free and Witten. Three straight carries went to the right for Elliott, totaling 31 yards, leading to a touchdown.
Mo comes up short – Morris Claiborne has had a great training camp and preseason so far but he had a shot to take it up a notch in the first half Thursday. Instead, Claiborne let two would-be interceptions go through his hands, including one that might have been a touchdown return. Even worse, Claiborne was also close to his receiver Paul Richardson in the end zone but couldn't make a play, allowing the touchdown in the left corner. It wasn't a huge setback, but for a guy that needs to keep building confidence, Claiborne didn't take advantage of a few opportunities.
Dak shows poise before half – While the Cowboys considered kicking a field goal with 20 seconds to play at the Seattle 32 and no timeouts, they gave Prescott a chance to get a few more yards. The rookie not only calmly found Alfred Morris on a screen play for 11 yards, but hurried the offense to the line, waited patiently for everyone to get set as the clock wound down. He finally snapped it and spiked the ball with three seconds to go. Dan Bailey drilled a field goal on the next play, but it was the third straight preseason game Dak has led the offense to a field goal before half.[embeddedad0]
Unknown corner making plays– Penalty or not, punts returned for touchdowns should be remembered. And Dax Swanson is doing his best to get noticed. A 67-yard punt return was wiped out because of a penalty on Vince Mayle, who was last week's special teams star with a blocked punt. Still, Swanson has been impressive in the preseason returning punts, finding a way to slither through waves of defenders. Later in the fourth quarter, he made some nifty moves for a 13-yard return. While it might be hard to make the team as a cornerback, Swanson is at least helping his cause for a spot on the practice squad.