ARLINGTON, Texas – The preseason is in the books.
The Cowboys finished up 2-3 after a 24-6 loss to the Texans. All starters were held out and a few more key reserves spent the game on the sidelines as well.
But there were several players out there fighting for their roster-spot lives. Our staff at DallasCowboys.com picked two players each to watch throughout the game.
Here is there review following Thursday's game at AT&T Stadium.
Cole Beasley - There now no question in my mind that Beasley is a lock when they reduce the roster to 53. I believed that there could have been a battle between him and Anthony Armstrong but Beasley out played him today. There is a place on this squad for a player with the skill level of Beasley even though he really lines up at one spot in the slot. What he has been able to do is create mismatches from that position. What I like from a player personnel standpoint is his ability to catch the ball and get it up the field in certain down and distance situations. You have heard me call him a "One Trick Pony" but that one trick is a special one and he proved that tonight.
Micah Pellerin - I have grown to respect the toughness that Pellerin plays with down after down. Like Beasley, he was in a battle for a roster spot with Sterling Moore for a shot as the fifth cornerback on this defense. His movement and cover skill was steady and he played with good effort but he really didn't do anything to separate himself from Moore while he was in the game which he needed to do. Moore did a much better job in coverage and when he had to make plays in the open field, he was able to get his man on the ground. With Moore you have the flexibility for him to play several positions and in the end, he will be more valuable than Pellerin.
Anthony Armstrong, WR:Needing a standout game to solidify his spot, Armstrong didn't stand out. He was targeted six times in the game but had just two catches for 18 yards. He had a fourth-quarter grab in the red zone and was popped to the ground with a big hit but got up quick. He played on nearly all special teams units, which is the area that will help him make the team if he's still around next week.
Jeff Heath:Like I said in my preview, the rookie safety is on the team in my opinion. Now, we're seeing if he can be on the 46-man game-day roster. He's not always in the right position but he gets to his target quickly and delivers big hits. Heath had a couple of big hits Thursday night. I think he's an aggressive young player who the Cowboys can count on to play special teams now and develop into a backup safety.
Alex Tanney, QB: All but one of the passes thrown by the Cowboys on Thursday came from Tanney, but with protection breaking down and the quarterback absorbing seven sacks, it wasn't exactly the type of display that would make one believe he earned his way on to the 53-man roster. Tanney was forced to escape the pocket on multiple occasions and was battered around throughout the day. He finished 17-of-31, but the Cowboys failed to reach the end zone when they got close throughout the day, and a couple drops didn't help. It will be an uphill battle for Tanney to crack the final roster.
Sterling Moore, CB: Among Moore's four tackles was one before the sticks that forced a fourth down. He wasn't tested often, but answered the call for the most part. He still hasn't seemed quite as physical on the field as he did during 1-on-1 drills at training camp, but he's probably done enough to warrant a roster spot on defense. He stuck close to his man Thursday against the Texans and made the tackle on short throws when they did throw his way.
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Danny Coale, WR:Coale checked into the game as a second-string wide receiver after Terrance Williams and Dwayne Harris sat down. He managed a decent amount of playing time, but he didn't come away with any stats for his effort. Coale was targeted once by quarterback Alex Tanney, but he didn't manage any receptions on the night.
Cameron Lawrence, LB:Lawrence also took the field later in the game, though he was much more visible in the Cowboys' rough defensive efforts against the Texans. Lawrence finished second on the team in tackles with six, five of which were solo stops. Most of those came a good way down the field, unfortunately, as Houston gashed the Cowboys for 190 total rushing yards.