Mick Shots: Behind The Scene Smiles Over Jaylon, Improved Defense & Dak

ARLINGTON, Texas – Here is a few after thoughts following the Cowboys' 24-19 preseason victory over the Indianapolis Colts Saturday night at AT&T Stadium. And let's remember training camp is not finished, the Cowboys just changed venues, now back home at The Star with the open-to-the-public practices inside The Ford Center.

  • In the aftermath of Jaylon Smith playing his first football game Saturday night since Jan. 1, 2016, in the Fiesta Bowl when he suffered multiple torn ligaments and severe damage to his peroneal nerve, there were two people with huge smiles on their faces. First Dr. Dan Cooper, the Cowboys orthopedic surgeon who performed Smith's knee surgery and gave the Cowboys the needed-confidence to believe the kid could play football again, even if he had to wear a brace initially to combat drop foot. Dr. Dan had a huge smile on his face as he walked by just before kickoff. Said Jaylon, "We had an emotional exchange." And don't forget Cowboys director of rehabilitation Britt Brown, who has tirelessly worked with Smith throughout his lengthy rehab.
  • OK, it's only preseason, but you know that Cowboys defense we all have been concerned about? Well, after the first two series in that first preseason game when Arizona scored its only two touchdowns against a defense loaded with backups, the Cowboys defense had not given up another legitimate touchdown until 57 seconds were left Saturday night. Remember, the Rams' only touchdown was a fumble recovery in the end zone. And then in this third preseason game with the majority of the starters playing 1½ quarters, the Colts' only other touchdown had been a sack-fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. Just sayin'.
  • As for Ezekiel Elliott still not having stepped into a preseason game, Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said, "Those backs don't need to play much." Remember, he had only seven preseason carries last year, all in the third game. Next Saturday against the Raiders essentially is the third preseason game in the Cowboys of the Cowboys.
  • Again, it's only preseason, but you saw Saturday night what we've been seeing daily in training camp: Dak Prescott going 7 for 8, 106 yards, the 32-yard perfect TD strike to Dez Bryant and the perfect 158.3 QB rating. Not one sign of that silly clichéd "sophomore slump."
  • Finally, we lost another writer who had chronicled the Dallas Cowboys in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since nearly their 1960 inception with the passing this past week of former UPI sports editor Mike Rabun, 76. Rabun began his UPI career in 1962 as a sports reporter, then rose to the UPI editor of the Southwest Sports Division. He also began writing for Cowboys Weekly from its 1975 inception and had continued writing for what turned into being Dallas Cowboys Star until its final edition last year. As Don Meredith might have said, he was a good 'un.
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