HOUSTON – The Cowboys wrapped up their fourth and final preseason game in lackluster fashion, losing to Houston, 14-6.
That was the bad news, and it's really not even that bad. The good news is the Cowboys can now focus on the regular season, which begins Sept. 9 in Carolina.
Before we get there, and before the roster is trimmed to 53 on Saturday, let's take one more look back at Thursday's preseason finale and the preseason as a whole.
Let's focus on a few players, positions or trends that could go unnoticed.
Only Four: The Cowboys finished the preseason averaging one touchdown per game. That won't cut it in the regular season of course, and it didn't come close to being enough for this team that went 0-4. But four touchdowns, including none in the last two games, is somewhat alarming. It's a little easier to swallow knowing that Ezekiel Elliott didn't play in any of the games and Dak Prescott and the offensive line sat out the final two games. Of the four scores, only one occurred in the second half of any of the games.
Winless Preseason: For just the sixth time in Cowboys history, the team failed to win at least one preseason game on the schedule. So what does that mean? Time for the panic button? Not exactly. The last time this happened was 2014, when the Cowboys managed to go 12-4, win the NFC East and then the Wild Card game before the infamous "Dez Catch" game in Green Bay. Also, in 1998 the Cowboys went 0-5 in the preseason but finished 10-6. Two years later, an 0-5 preseason led to a 5-11 season in 2000. The Cowboys went 0-5 in both 1986 and 1962 and finished 7-9 and 5-8-1, respectively.
Last Push For Reid: It's not easy to get head coach Jason Garrett to name anyone specific to mention after a game. However, the coach did throw out a name after Thursday's game, praising defensive tackle Caraun Reid for his performance. The former Princeton quarterback might be partial to Reid, a former Princeton standout as well, but Reid was playing in the backfield most of the night, recording six tackles mostly in the second half.
Cutting the Draft?: While the Cowboys are no different than many teams, and tend to lean towards the drafted player when it's down to the wire, there will be some former drafted guys likely to be cut on Saturday. They can't keep everyone, so look for a few players who have been picked to turn in a playbook. Players are the fence include cornerback Marquez White, tight ends Rico Gathers and Dalton Schultz, offensive lineman Chaz Green, quarterback Mike White, linebacker Chris Covington and defensive end Charles Tapper.
Rico's Best: He didn't score two touchdowns like he did a year ago, but the 2018 preseason was a little better for Rico Gathers this year, simply because he was able to finish it and play all four games. Gathers was one of three players on the team to have double-digit catches and he led all tight ends with the 10 receptions. His 83 yards ranked second on the team only behind Lance Lenoir, who had 91.