Finally, football has arrived. For Cowboys fans, it’s felt like 20 years since they last played. For Los Angeles, it’s literally been 20 years since they last played.
Here are three things Cowboys fans should keep an eye on in the team’s first preseason game:
- Dak Prescott/Jameill Showers competition
If Tony Romo plays, which would be the first preseason opener he’s started in four years, he will be out after the first series. This will be the Dak Prescott and Jameill Showers showcase hour.
During OTA’s, Showers was impressive enough that Dallas Cowboys analyst Bryan Broaddus stated the consensus that he was the second-best quarterback on the roster; even before Kellen Moore broke his fibula. Prescott, by all accounts, has improved each day of training camp.
Ideally, the Cowboys would like to have a veteran quarterback behind Tony Romo, but the seller’s market is simply too rich for the front office’s tastes right now. Dallas would desperately like to see Prescott or Showers solidify this job so that acquiring a veteran becomes moot.
- Darius Jackson
Ezekiel Elliott is clearly the starting running back for this team, but it’s quite muddy behind him. Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar, and Darius Jackson are mashed together on the depth chart at the moment.
With Dunbar and McFadden not currently healthy enough to return to action, tonight will be Jackson’s chance to make his case as to why he should be the third, or possibly even second running back behind Elliott. Jackson is one of those SPARQ athletes that Dallas has coveted in recent years. The former Eastern Michigan standout is also a scheme fit, unlike McFadden, who presents roughly $2 million in cap savings if Dallas cuts him before the season.
The Cowboys appear to be exploring a variety of ways to keep Jackson on the roster by having him return kicks this week throughout practice. Jackson is expected to have a heavy workload in this preseason game, where it’s crucial he impresses.
- Chaz Green
Chaz Green, the Cowboys’ third-round pick in 2015, has yet to play in any NFL competition. Injuries have bothered Green while at the University of Florida, which has unfortunately followed into his professional career.
Dallas needs a reliable swing tackle and the team would like to see Green step in. The Rams have plenty of defensive line depth and this will be a great test to prove that Green is confident and healthy enough to secure the job. Hopefully, this preseason will finally give everyone a better idea of the skill set that Green is able to bring to the table.
Tonight’s game between the Cowboys and Rams kicks off at 7pm CST on ESPN.