ARLINGTON, Texas – The preseason is now over and we can focus on the regular season.
The Cowboys finished up Sunday against the Jaguars at AT&T Stadium.
While the final score obviously doesn't matter to the Cowboys, who rested all starters and some key reserves in preparation for the Sept. 9 opener in Tampa Bay, here are five aspects of the game of interest, that could get overlooked.
Rare Noon start – Since Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989, the Cowboys had never played a home preseason game at Noon. Typically, the preseason games are played at night, but the game was scheduled for this NFL Network broadcast. This also could be a norm moving forward, especially with the NFL cutting the preseason down to just three games for most teams and giving them nearly two weeks between the end of the exhibition schedule and the regular season.
No Preseason Wins, No Problem? – Oddly enough, the Cowboys have had moderate success in seasons in which they didn't win an exhibition game. The 2021 preseason, which ends with an 0-4 record, marks the seventh time the Cowboys will enter a season without a win. The last two time this occurred, the Cowboys made the playoffs , both in 2018 and 2014. Not only that, they won a playoff game as well. The Cowboys were winless in 2000, 1998 (won the NFC East), 1986 and 1962.
Much-needed extra point – You won't hear many kickers, especially veterans such as Greg Zuerlein, talking about the importance of an extra point. But after missing all of the offseason and most of camp with a back injury, Zuerlein was appreciative to not only get an extra point try, but to make it – as we head into the regular season. Zuerlein had a 56-yard field goal attempt before halftime that sailed wide left, but he was able to hit the final kick after a late touchdown.
Kelvin Joseph injury – This is a game for the backups, but not every player who will make the team gets to sit. A guy like Joseph needed to play and unfortunately, his first-quarter groin injury ended his game early. Joseph's setback might linger into the regular season, although it likely won't affect the team's roster moves. But this was a game the Cowboys wanted to evaluate Joseph against Jacksonville's starters and that didn't occur.
20 tackles for 2 LBs – We knew both Luke Gifford and Jabril Cox would get a ton of snaps, but together, they combined for 20 tackles. Gifford racked up a team-high 11 stops as he played nearly the entire four quarters. Cox, a rookie from LSU, had nine tackles, and wound up leading the team in preseason tackles with 24, just ahead of Gifford with 22.