ARLINGTON, Texas – And just like that, the preseason is over. Check that, it was the shortest preseason in team history – just three games – but why did it feel so long?
That's how these preseason games go, especially when the starters don't even take a snap.
Usually, this last preseason game isn't too memorable, and I'm not saying tonight's game was an exception to the rule.
But you'll never hear me say these games don't matter at all. They matter to someone – both good and bad.
And yes, this one mattered to a handful of players. So here's my five guys that made the team after this game – in my eyes, of course.
Markquese Bell – Some of these on the list were probably already on the good side of the fence. Bell is in that category and it probably would've taken a bad night for him to not make the team. But he was around the ball all night and he landed an interception off a tipped pass. That was probably the nail in the coffin for him sticking around on the 53-man roster.
Israel Mukuamu – Another safety, another guy with an interception. And this makes two picks for the preseason for Mukuamu, who showed off his range last week with the INT, and now he showed off his coverage skills. This guy was making the team already. But now, he's probably helping his cause of being active on the roster.
Brett Maher – Obviously, the kicker situation is very fluid. But there won't be any more games between now and Sept. 11, so I really can't imagine someone being available that will take Maher's spot. He made all the kicks he was supposed to make. His kickoffs were on point and the only miss, just like last week – was a kick over 60 yards. Sorry, but in the regular season, unless it's halftime or the end of the game, the Cowboys don't need to be kicking 60+ yard field goals – not with this defense. I think Maher is safe for now.
Malik Davis – This one is tough, but that word is the reason I think Davis makes it – TOUGH. This guy is a bruiser and he's only going to get better. I like the way he catches the ball out of the backfield and he keeps the pile moving with his strong legs. He's also pretty good on special teams. I'm not saying they have to cut Rico Dowdle, but they need to make sure Davis is on the roster.
Peyton Hendershot – He entered the game on the bubble but his touchdown catch probably put him over the top. One thing tight ends coach Lunda Wells likes about him is the down-field speed he possess. He's really unique to the rest of the tight ends on the roster. That alone is worth keeping him on the 53. Now, we'll see how many tight ends they keep because Dalton Schultz and Jake Ferguson are locks, and then there's Sean McKeon. They might keep less receivers and four tight ends. But I think Hendershot is one of them.
If you're wondering about the quarterbacks – I am as well. I thought Cooper Rush was in the lead all along but now I think Will Grier might have made a strong push. The Cowboys could keep three quarterbacks, but it doesn't make sense to me. There are too many positions that are too deep to cut and I think they need to make a decision on the quarterback, cutting down to two. If that happens, it makes more sense to keep Grier, who might not make it through waivers.
And there are a few guys who probably played their way off the roster as well. Maybe off the practice squad. That's the beauty of a game like this- there are always people evaluating for something.
Again, this is just one man's opinion – and subject to change by the end of the weekend. And the same goes for the actual roster, which is never final by the way.
But the decisions to cut down to 53 players will come on Tuesday. Those five guys will probably be on it – at least for now.