Seahawks @ Cowboys
Final Score: Cowboys 27, Seahawks 26
Writer: Chuck Steele (@ChuckSteele_T2t on Twitter)
The Seattle Seahawks flew into Dallas to take on the Cowboys for the final week of preseason games. With the regular season around the corner, each team has a few question marks still. We found out Geno Smith will start week one against Russel Wilson and the Denver Broncos, but with two running backs dinged up in Seattle, who’s in line for additional touches behind Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Walker? Can Dallas find a replacement in-house for their injured All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith or will they have to look into free agency? And the last big one is how will the depth shake out at running back and wide receiver for Dallas? After the 27-26 Dallas victory Friday, let’s take a look and see if we have more clear-cut answers!
Drew Lock: 13/24, 171 yards, TD, 3 INT | 2 carries, 4 yards
Geno Smith: 3/6, 43 yards
Jacob Eason: 2/4, 7 yards, INT | 1 carry, 0 yards
We finally got the answer that a lot of us were expecting when it came down to the Quarterback competition between Geno Smith and Drew Lock. The Seahawks feel they have two starting-caliber quarterbacks on the team, but there can only be one and his name is Geno Smith. Geno played one series in this one and from what we saw showed some confidence. On a third-and-11, Geno steps up in the pocket to avoid a heavy Dallas pass rush and delivers a pass to veteran Tyler Locket for 15 yards. After a holding call, the Seahawks were backed up into a first-and-20. On second down, Smith couldn’t find anyone open and was sacked by rookie Sam Williams bringing up third-and-34. Smith found D’Wayne Eskridge for an eight-yard competition to set up a doable field goal for veteran kicker Jason Meyers.
Drew Lock played the majority of the game after that. We saw plays where he was able to deliver beautiful passes, with some even being deep balls like the thirty-five-yard toss to Penny Hart, who took advantage of a defender not getting his head turned around in time for Lock’s lone TD pass of the night. At other times Lock showed why he’s now a backup playing for his second team.
Drew Lock finished his night with three interceptions. On his very first drive of the game, Lock threw a pick to Israel Mukuamu who was able to get around the receiver and jump the route for a diving interception. Along with that, making a terrible read, he threw a ball to an under curl route where Nahshon Wright was splitting two defenders, he was able to easily read Lock to step in front for the interception.
Yes, he was credited for a third interception, but Aaron Fuller allowed an easy catch to bounce off his hands where it turned into a pick drill for Markquese Bell who settled under the ball for the INT. He could have even had another when a Dallas defender jumped another route but couldn’t haul in the pick. The Seahawks turned to Jake Eason for the final drives to try and retake the lead, but to no avail when the Dallas defense secured their fourth interception of the game with a ball just too high for the Seahawks receiver, causing another pass to bounce off the of the offense and into the defenses.
DeeJay Dallas: 13 carries, 75 yards, TD | 2 receptions, 9 yards
Darwin Thompson: 7 carries, 23 yards
Ronnie Rivers: 2 carries, 6 yards
Travis Homer: 3 carries, 5 yards | 2 receptions, 11 yards
Not only do the Seahawks think they have two starting-caliber quarterbacks, but they also feel the same way about their running backs. Except both Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Walker are nursing injuries. Penny with groin issues and Walker needed to get a Hernia removed. With all the uncertainty of these two, who is the man who can step up and fill in if needed? It has to be DeeJay Dallas who got to start the final preseason game. Dallas had a really solid night, and I’m not talking about the Cowboys. Turning in a tune of a 5.8 average per attempt, DeeJay was able to find success against a very aggressive Cowboys defense. He was able to hit open holes for solid gains, his biggest one coming at the start of the 3rd quarter for twenty-seven yards. He even had a big run called back earlier in the game due to a holding penalty. He scored the team’s only rushing touchdown one yard out from the goal line where he made a quick cut and walked right in for the score on their first drive of the second half.
Darwin Thompson worked behind DeeJay but wasn’t as productive finishing with only twenty-seven yards, he had sixteen of those on a single run alone. Travis Homer, with what little time he played, was able to log five touches, three rushes, and two receptions. With less than stellar quarterback play this year, the Seattle backs may just find success in the passing game with screens and dump-offs if not in the running game.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Dareke Young: 3 receptions, 43 yards
Cade Johnson: 3 receptions, 38 yards
Tyler Lockett: 2 receptions, 35 yards
Penny Hart: 1 reception, 35 yards, TD | 1 carry, 2 yards
Bo Melton: 1 reception, 24 yards | 1 carry, 6 yards
Colby Parkinson: 1 reception, 11 yards
D’Wayne Eskridge: 1 reception, 8 yards | 1 carry
Aaron Fuller: 1 reception, 5 yards
Kevin Kassis: 1 reception, 2 yards
D.K Metcalf did not see action in this one, however Tyler Lockett, the starter opposite of Metcalf did. Lockett and new starting quarterback Geno Smith show some chemistry early as Lockett tallied two receptions on his first drive, one for fifteen yards, another for twenty. He had played a second drive with Drew Lock but the drive ended with an early pick from the Dallas defense. seventh-round rookie Dareke Young got the start and led the Seahawks in receiving. He was even targeted twice by Smith on the opening drive, however, both passes were dropped. He recorded all three of his receptions in the second quarter from Drew Lock. Cade Johnson also was able to reel in 3 receptions, however not much looked great on account 26 of his 38 yards came from a rollout pass for completion near the sidelines. The biggest play for the Seahawks came when Penny Hart pulled in his only reception of the game, a thirty-five-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter of action. Colby Parkinson may have had one catch, but he also had one pass bounce off his hands on a throw a little too high that turned into the fourth total turnover for the Seahawks.
Will Grier: 12/22, 88 yards, 2 TD | 5 carries, 26 yards
Ben DiNucci: 5/9, 65 yards | 3 carries, 4 yards
Cooper Rush: 2/5, 20 yards
Dak Prescott saw no preseason action this year, and with Cooper Rush only playing one offensive series in their final preseason game it seems Rush will still be the backup quarterback for Big D. His two completions of the night went to rookie tight end, Jake Ferguson for sixteen yards, and a dump off to the running back Malik Davis. Rush looks to be the backup for Dak, but is there room for two backup quarterbacks on the Cowboys roster?
Will Grier came on the second drive and showed command of the offense. Grier found success with quick releases on short slants, post routes, and screens to the running backs and wideouts but looked uncertain at times with some of his deep throws. He had an open window with Peyton Hendershot on a post route in the endzone but a delay in delivering the pass allowed the Seahawks defenders to close that open window quickly. He might have missed that touchdown but was able to still score twice on the night. One came on a play-action where he had a wide-open Sami Fehoko in the back of the endzone after the defender decided to cover the running back low. The second touchdown came on a beautifully thrown pass and an even more beautiful toe-tapping catch on the side of the endzone to Brandon Smith.
Ben Dinucci came in and had a chance to try and win the game for the Cowboys. With over 5 minutes left Dinucci led the Cowboys down the field, (with the help of two personal foul calls on the defense) connecting with Peyton Hendershot twice on the drive, but no catch bigger than when the two hooked up for a fourteen-yard touchdown connection to give Dallas a 27-26 lead, and ultimately the final score.
Aaron Shampklin: 13 carries, 75 yards
Malik Davis: 15 carries, 44 yards. | 1 reception, 5 yards
Tonight we saw only two running backs handling the load for the Dallas Cowboys. Malik Davis got the start, with Aaron Shampklin rotating in often. Davis is a hard runner who didn’t go easy in this one, showing good cuts, and a strong burst, but was finding defenders in his face quickly, sometimes the second he got the handoff. Davis got the slight majority of the touches, out touching Shampklin fifteen to thirteen.
However, it was Shampklin who was able to do the most damage. He showed off his speed, hitting the holes fast before they closed, finding consistent room in the run game for a tune of 75 yards. With around 2 minutes left, Shampklin even had a big run called back for a holding penalty. However, on one of the following plays Shampklin went down awkwardly and it’s first thought he went down with a high ankle sprain. A sad finish to a strong camp for Shampklin who is at least hoping to make the practice squad.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Peyton Hendershot: 3 receptions, 39 yards, TD
Brandon Smith: 3 receptions, 27 yards, TD
Dennis Houston: 2 receptions, 25 yards
Dontario Drummond: 2 receptions, 25 yards
Jake Ferguson: 2 receptions, 18 yards
Jalen Tolbert: 2 receptions, 9 yards
T.J Vasher: 1 reception, 9 yards
Semi Fehoko: 2 receptions, 8 yards, TD
KaVontae Turpin: 1 reception, 2 yards
Outside of Ceedee Lamb, with Michael Gallup still out, and losing James Washington for 6-10 weeks with a foot fracture the Cowboys are turning to the players they already have to pick up the slack. We saw a few who came ready to earn some playing time this year. Tight End Peyton Hendershot led the way in receiving for the Cowboys, and there was a second he looked like a certain former Cowboys tight end from too long ago after making a catch from Cooper Rush in the fourth quarter, losing his helmet but still trying to fight and extend for extra yards. He was able to follow that up with a fourteen-yard touchdown reception, shaking a defender after the catch, turning up field, and diving into the endzone for what turned out to be the game-winning score.
The catch of the night thought came from Brandon Smith, who happened to finish second in receiving. On third and four, Grier threw a ball that only Smith could catch, throwing to the side of the endzone with Smith extending, making a beautiful toe-tapping grab for a seven-yard score. Dallas spread the ball out with seven other receivers getting 1 or two receptions. Semi Fehoko only had eight yards but added in a score finding space in the endzone for an easy toss from Grier.