One of the major questions coming into this season was how would this offense find a way to run the football better than they did in 2012. With a new play-caller at the controls, the Cowboys saw Bill Callahan take the opportunity to consistently feed the ball, down after down, to Lance Dunbar, Phillip Tanner and Joseph Randle with outstanding success.
The offensive line, including starting tackles Tyron Smith and Doug Free in the lineup, was able to find room to rush both on the inside and off the edge. It was a solid night as well for center Travis Frederick, and guards Ronald Leary and David Arkin in the interior, although the hard, downhill charging by the backs made the difference. What has been the strength of the offense in this camp has been the work of these running backs and it showed.
Kyle Orton only played one series and then the game was handed to Nick Stephens and Alex Tanney, who were really unable to separate themselves in this first preseason game. There were situations where they both had responded well in camp, but couldn't really get anything going much on this night. [embedded_ad]
Defensively, George Selvie was the hero with some outstanding pass-rush off the edge, generating two sacks and several pressures. For a squad that is looking for some depth at defensive end, Selvie gave the front office and coaching staff a reason to strongly consider him going forward.
It was an interesting night for several of the rookies seeing their first game action. B.W. Webb started at corner while J.J. Wilcox started opposite Matt Johnson at safety. Wilcox was physical when he got in position to make tackles, but when he was asked to play in coverage, he didn't appear to be comfortable in his assignments. What is good about those situations is that he can learn from them and be better prepared next week against Oakland.