ARLINGTON, Texas – My radio stint is over.
It’s an honor and a privilege to broadcast these preseason games from AT&T Stadium, but we are once again done for the year and it will be time to settle in for the regular season.
Until then, here are some quick observations from my call of this preseason game against Tampa Bay:
- It’s going to come down to which wide receiver they think can help them if something happens to Amari Cooper or Michael Gallup. Devin Smith appears to be better on the outside, while Cedrick Wilson plays better from the slot. If that’s the case, then I would expect Smith to make the squad if they only carry five guys. If they decide to go six, then both guys will make the final roster.
- I thought it was good that Trysten Hill played the entire game. I will be interested to see how he played when I go back and watch the tape. The numbers weren’t there, but it appeared that he was around the ball. What I wanted to see was his ability to get off blocks and be disruptive. He is doing a much better job of doing that, whereas early in camp that was a struggle for him. I believe he’s starting to understand what he has to do in order to have success in this league. It looks like he’s buying in.
- Donovan Olumba has been one of my favorite players during this training camp, but his lack of speed will be an area that this front office will focus on. If they do move on from Olumba, that puts Mike Jackson in position to make the squad by protecting the draft. During the broadcast, Brad Sham told our audience to keep an eye on this spot for a possible claim or trade for depth.
- Nate Hall and Justin Phillips should be brought back to the practice squad if they clear waivers. I especially like what I have seen from Hall in these games. There is a certain amount of awareness and finish to his game. He is consistently around the ball and has the right temperament for the position. He doesn’t allow blockers to get into him or take him out of plays.
- Joe Jackson has a chance to be a special player for this club. The range with which he plays the game is impressive. There were several snaps where he chased the ball inside for a stop -- but then went all the way outside, where he made a tackle on a quick screen. It’s not often that you see a player with his size have the type of redirection skills he possesses.
- It will be interesting to see if clubs call the Cowboys about their depth at offensive line, especially inside at guard. Cody Wichmann is a guy we haven’t talked very much about since he was injured, but the front office really likes him. We need to also see what they’re going to do with Connor McGovern, who can also play center and guard. I think Xavier Su’a-Filo makes this squad, so that leaves Adam Redmond or Brandon Knight as guys they might try and move.
- I hated to see Jordan Chunn get banged up in this game. Chunn left the game with injured ribs and did not return. I am sure we will get more about the severity on Friday. The front office wants to handle cuts on Friday, but it might be tough in this situation. I had Chunn on the squad even before this game because of his versatility as well as his special teams play. He’s just different than the other backs on this roster, and I see that as being a good thing. You take him to the game, he’s going to play a ton of snaps for you.
- Jon’Vea Johnson and Jalen Guyton just weren’t consistent enough in the end. The pressure of having to carry over the good play from the OTAs and mini camp was just too much. To Johnson’s credit, he fought through a banged up shoulder to play. Guyton, on the other hand, flashed with a big touchdown reception. As Brad Sham said, it was everything you expected to see from Jalen Guyton, but in the end it will likely not be enough. Both players will go on waivers and they will hope that they could get one or both of them back.
- I learned during the pregame warm up that Daniel Ross’ is dealing with a shoulder problem that will need further evaluation. Ross was scheduled to play in this game, but the injury forced him to miss. I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear that Ross might need surgery to correct the issue, which could put him on injured reserve. We need to keep a close eye on this development.
- Taco Charlton didn’t play in the game, but that didn’t keep his name from swirling around in pregame chatter. Depending on who you talk to, Charlton could be on the trading block. Charlton has picked up his play these last couple of weeks, but so have other guys at his position. Guys like Dorance Armstrong, Kerry Hyder and Joe Jackson have done a nice job putting pressure on Charlton’s spot. My gut feeling is that they will keep Charlton on the 53-man roster because they will not get the deal they’re looking for, and I just don’t see them straight releasing him.
- The only way the Cowboys lose Mike White is if a claiming club has a good scouting report on him from college. There is nothing from his work these last two camps that would provide you with enough knowledge to claim him. But there might be a club out there that believes he is better than what they’re playing with and he can develop on their bench. The same issues that plagued him in games once again showed up. He struggles with anticipation and his pocket awareness is poor. I would have never believed he would have been this type of player coming out of college.
- Heck of a night for Daniel Wise, but it might be a little too late for him. The stat line was impressive but he needed more games like the one he had. Like most rookies, his play was far too inconsistent and he was unable to have those practices and games where he could have fought for a roster spot. With all that being said, he had teams that were interested in him before he signed with the Cowboys after the draft. He plays a position that most clubs are hunting and I wouldn’t be surprised to see if he’s on waivers that he’s claimed by one of those clubs that tried to sign him.