Cowboys news: Reviewing the first Cowboys preseason game of 2019

Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The latest Cowboys news and notes.

Scout’s Notebook: Several Rookies Stand Out - Bryan Broaddus, The Mothership

Broaddus writes on what he observed during the Cowboys’ 17-9 loss to the 49ers in the preseason opener. Was Saturday a missed opportunity for the WRs looking to earn a roster spot?

I thought it was a missed opportunity for some of these young wide receivers tonight with the exception of Cedrick Wilson. Throughout camp we had been seeing positive things from Jon’Vea Johnson and Jalen Guyton, but neither came up with the kind of night that Wilson had. It was unfortunate that Mike White hung Wilson out to dry on that slant, because I felt like he could have helped him later in the game. Instead, he was on the sideline with the trainers.

On the flip side, a rookie is trying to make his mark in the secondary.

Starting to see a little more from Donovan Wilson at safety. He’s not afraid to stick his nose in the action and his positioning was outstanding on his interception. He read C.J. Beathard’s eyes the entire way. It was a coverage that Beathard should have seen and understood, but he still attempted the throw -- which was a terrible mistake on his part. Coaches will always find a spot for a guy that makes plays and Wilson has shown that, not only in the Blue/White Scrimmage but this preseason game, as well.

Eatman: Cowboys Play Hide & Zeke in Red Zone - Nick Eatman, The Mothership

It was frustrating to see the red zone struggles appear again, but Eatman explains why he is not too worried.

Dak looked pretty sharp early on, getting the ball out quickly and finding his guys all over the field. The offense, with rookie Tony Pollard getting the first-team carries, managed to move it down with relative ease.

And as we saw too often last year, the offense struggled in the red zone and settled for a field goal.

To be honest, that was probably more of a good thing.

Sure, you like touchdowns in this league, but you’re not getting a true game plan – on either side of the ball. This is as “vanilla” as it gets in terms of play-calling, so you don’t really expect to score touchdowns when you get to that point.

The check-downs, the audibles, the nifty play-calls from new OC Kellen Moore, are just not going to be seen right now. For that matter, the exotic blitzes and coverages by the 49ers are being left out, too.

Cowboys preseason premiere: Surprising part of Pollard’s debut, Taco’s interesting postgame comments - Jon Machota, SportsDay

Machota writes on what surprised him about Tony Pollard’s debut and what Taco Charlton had to say following the game.

Of all the rookies making their preseason debuts for the Cowboys Saturday night, Tony Pollard was the most intriguing. With Ezekiel Elliott still in Cabo San Lucas, Pollard started in the backfield.

He carried the ball four times on the opening possession in Dallas’ 17-9 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Then, somewhat surprisingly, his night was over. The Cowboys had seen enough.

The fourth-round pick rushed for 16 yards, with all of his runs coming between the tackles. Pollard is known as more of a change-of-pace back than a bell cow. He’s a gifted athlete who excels while in space and causes mismatches in the passing game.

“That’s what a lot of people don’t expect me to do,” Pollard said of his rushes up the middle. “A lot of people think I can’t do that. I just like proving people wrong and just showing my ability.”

Taco had this to say:

Charlton said he and his agent have recently discussed his NFL future. He currently has two years remaining on his rookie contract.

“We know my value and everything like that, so everything is good,” Charlton said, “I’m here right now working hard with this team. I will show up every day to work hard, healthy, hurt, whatever may be. Shoulder hurt, I still show up every day to work hard. Right now, I’m here to help this team out and win games.”

Charlton added: “You got to play smart. My agent is good at what he does. He sets the mentality. He lets me know what needs to be done and we go off of that. I show up every day, and I work hard for this defense. I love my brothers out here. I love the Hot Boyz.”

Is former first round pick Taco Charlton looking to leave the Dallas Cowboys? - Mac Engel, The Star-Telegram

More on the 2017 first-round pick’s comments...

Taco Charlton sounds like a guy who knows he may be cut, even if his best chance to make an NFL roster is with the team that drafted him in the first round.

The third-year defensive end from Michigan talked after the Cowboys’ 17-9 preseason loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night, and simply sounds like a guy who knows what people say about him.

Some of the chatter no longer bothers him, while there is an element to what he says that is unmistakable. He sounds like a guy who knows his NFL future may be elsewhere.

Film room: 3 things we learned from Cowboys’ loss to 49ers, including one rookie’s impressive performance - John Owning, SportsDay

While Taco’s future is up in the air, rookie Joe Jackson is making the most of the opportunities that he has been given so far through training camp and the first preseason game.

Joe Jackson makes most of his opportunities

Jalen Jelks may have gotten the sack, but it was Joe Jackson who was the most impressive rookie defensive end Saturday night.

Jackson finished with four tackles, looking stout against the run and impressive as a pass rusher. Jackson did a great job of using his length and strength to remain strong in the run game while also showing off impressive hustle to chase down runners outside the box.

As a pass rusher, Jackson didn’t record a sack but did accrue a couple of pressures, showing strong hands and efficient footwork. Here’s a great example:

Given the depth of the position group, the competition to make the regular-season roster on the defensive line is fierce, but Jackson is making an as compelling case as any to make Dallas’ 53-man roster.

Jerry Jones: Tony Pollard capable of carrying the load - Josh Alper, PFT

Jerry has spoken about Jackson before, but he said an interesting statement about another rookie on Saturday.

The guy who will ultimately decide whether or not to give Elliott what he’s looking for on the contract front said he believes Pollard can thrive in that role come the regular season. In a message that seemed directed to Elliott as much as anyone else, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he’s confident in Pollard’s ability to do the job.

“I certainly thought he had a good account of himself,” Jones said, via David Helman of the team’s website. “He looks confident out there, we know he’s inordinately understanding of what he does and can do. We’ve seen him do it, we know he’s capable of, if he really needs to, carrying the whole load.”

Pollard, who has also drawn rave reviews from Dak Prescott, had four carries for 16 yards against the 49ers on Saturday night.

Thinking big picture: Cowboys’ preseason loss to 49ers reveals one major concern - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDay

Cowlishaw writes on one concern that he has following the preseason loss to San Francisco.

Rush and Mike White have no real NFL game experience. Not to be cruel but based on Saturday night, White won’t be getting any, either. He went 9-for-20 for 87 yards, was sacked three times and lost fumbles twice although one was negated by a whistle.

In all, the Cowboys threw 50 passes against a team that sat all of its starters on both sides of the ball and never found the end zone. If there’s a big-picture concern coming out of another exhibition loss (the Cowboys lost all four games last year before winning the division), that would be mine.

The Cowboys believe they are prepared not only to successfully defend their NFC East title for the first time since the 20th century, but to perhaps go deeper into the playoffs as well. The roster is solid, and one day Ezekiel Elliott will find his way back to town. Maybe Rush’s good-but-not-great performance is a sign of his growth. He had a fine preseason two years ago, was not so good in 2018.

Gifford’s “Rollercoaster” Night; Wilson Update - Nick Eatman, The Mothership

Looking for an update on Cedrick Wilson after his nasty injury on Saturday evening? The young receiver is currently in concussion protocol.

Another young player who suffered an injury after a good performance was wide receiver Cedrick Wilson. The first-year player from Boise State, who played in his first game after missing all of last year with a shoulder injury, caught three passes on three targets for 36 yards.

But in the second half, he suffered a vicious hit over the middle and he was taken to the locker room. Wilson is back in Oxnard with the Cowboys, but will remain in the concussion protocol.