Eatman: Six Things We Learned Thursday Night

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ARLINGTON, Texas – I’ve never liked the term “meaningless” when talking about a football game, even the fourth preseason one when just a handful of players – if that – are going to be around after this weekend.

After all, it’s football. And after a long, hot summer without it, anything is better than nothing right? Right?

Still, coming up with significant things that came out of Thursday’s game with the Bucs wasn’t easy. Pretty hard, to be honest.

And that’s not because this game was meaningless. It’s really because this football team is pretty good. Good teams are hard to make, especially at the bottom of the roster.

I would imagine there are more teams around the league that have some decisions to make from this final game of the preseason.

But when you’ve got all starting spots locked up, and most of the backups solidified as well, what is there to really find out?

Ok, well I scribbled a few things down that I think might’ve been significant to point out:

  • The Cowboys gave Mike White a chance to win a spot on the roster as the third quarterback. I solely believe that if he had played well and led the offense to a few scoring drives, the Cowboys would’ve kept him on the 53-man roster. And maybe they will, I just don’t see how they can justify it with so many other positions of need.
  • Donovan Olumba has done everything possible to make this team. I still don’t know if he will. He’s long, just like Kris Richard prefers. He makes plays, like all coaches prefer. But athletically, he’s not quite there like the rest of the corners. Still, he makes plays and I think it could be enough to get him on the team, especially if Byron Jones is somewhat limited next week.
  • I’m keeping Daniel Wise on the team. He plays end and tackle – and you know they love the position flex. Even if you have to go long at defensive line, I just wouldn’t get rid of that player right now. He had two sacks Thursday night in the first few minutes of the game. He’s only going to get bigger and stronger. I see no way that he gets cut and clears waivers. If it comes down to him or Daniel Ross, I’d keep the younger guy in this case.
  • At wide receiver, I wouldn’t keep both Devin Smith and Cedrick Wilson. I think Smith ahs been better, he’s faster and can help more on special teams. I would keep him as the fifth receiver and that would be it. I know Wilson is young and will develop but I think you can take your chances on getting him back to the practice squad. Then again, the Cowboys might have some tough calls with that considering Jon’vea Johnson has shown promise and Jaylon Guyton perhaps made a great play to land him on the practice squad too.
  • Every game of the preseason, No. 44 makes plays. That’s Justin Phillips and I think you find a way to keep him, too. That will depend on Luke Gifford’s injury status but Phillips has done enough to make this team. I’d keep more linebackers than wide receivers if it means keeping Phillips around.
  • And lastly, Donovan Wilson didn’t make the team with another interception Thursday night. That’s because he was already on this roster a few weeks ago. He’s here, we know that. Now, what’s the upside for this guy? Is he a potential starter? I think at some point Wilson will get there because he’s a combo of a big-hitter with range and playmaking ability. Isn’t that the prototype for safeties? I know he’s a sixth-round pick and will have a learning curve but right now, Wilson looks like a guy who can be on the same path as Xavier Woods. He plays some as a rookie and by Year 2 or 3, he’s a potential starter. Now that’s a nice draft pick.

So there’s a few things we could make from this game. Who knows if the Cowboys feel the same way. But once again, other than “When is Zeke coming back?” – there just aren’t a lot of questions to answer.

And that’s a really good thing.

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