Cowboys turn the tables and win all 3 phases in Chargers preseason, 32-18

Cowboys turn the tables and win all 3 phases in Chargers preseason, 32-18

The fact that the Dallas Cowboys left their stars and starters aside in the first two of three showings is important. Fans might think this makes a preseason competition less interesting, but the battle for roster spots and positions on the depth chart is what really matters, and on Saturday the competition was en fuego.

Several players in the proverbial bubble popped and popped, from the very first shot. Names like Israel Mukuamu, Trysten Hill, Rico Dowdle and others have proven they belong on the roster of an NFL team this season. However, they were not alone as offense, defense and especially special teams turned into a plethora of high quality performances as Dallas defeated their Southern California hosts. 32-18.

immediate reaction

The score doesn’t really matter when it comes to pre-season. The performance of the team as a whole only matters a little more. The real litmus test is how well individuals do the jobs that are asked of them. Last week, there were few individual introductions to write about when the club visited the Denver Broncos. North Texas mail carriers will have much heavier bags after the Cowboys’ Saturday night performance against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Led by the late addition of free agent Kavontae Turpin on the kickoff and punt’s return touchdowns, the Cowboys should be feeling good about themselves as they return home for the remainder of the offseason after the game. Turpin responded to the Chargers’ first-quarter field goal with a 98-yard kick return.

He followed that up with an 86-yard punt return in the second quarter, putting the scores around a finale around which a guy with limited human speed would likely have been taken down by a loss. The USFL MVP looks set to make a major contribution to the team as they prepare for even bigger offensive roles for former returning players CeeDee Lamb and Tony Pollard.

other tips

  • Backup-QB competition is ongoing as Will Grier recovered from his groin injury during camp to serve as a relief for Cooper Rush. Rush finished 3/6 for 32 yards, while Grier finished 6/8 for 98 yards. Neither of them scored and the competition will likely last until the final showing next week.

  • Offensive line getting in sync. Still playing without all the starters except rookie LG Tyler Smith, the lineup played much better in this game. They really hit their stride in a second-half drive where they were taking the ball away from defenders in the running game. In a 69-yard drive, 50 yards came on the ground, including some goal-line gains.

  • Defensive line rotation is coming together as well. Quinton Bohanna and Trysten Hill had standout games, and even in moments of rubbish in the fourth quarter there were players making plays against their teammates. There will be a lot of tough decisions for both the 53-man squad and the training team.

  • Kicking the competition? Dallas finally attempted some field goals with Lirim Hajrallahu making his 35-yard attempt and Brett Maher missing his 61-yard attempt that was right on the slightly short line.

  • Rookie Jake Ferguson looks set to convince the Cowboys that they may not have to give in to Dalton Schultz’s contract demands after the season. The kid has something special, breaking tackles upon reception and delivering a key lock on Turpin’s initial return.

  • Could the Cowboys safely go to five depths? The first three places are guaranteed, but Israel Mukuamu played a great game. He attacked well and had several PBUs, including an interception early in the game. The club loves UDFA rookie Markquese Bell, so things could be tight in the position.

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Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire

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