The Dallas Cowboys are now 0-3 on the preseason after losing to the Houston Texans by the score of 20-14. They’ll have one more chance to get a win on their exhibition slate when they face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars before the regular season begins.
Losing isn’t fun, but the evaluations are more important than the team’s win-loss record in the preseason. The Cowboys did some good things in the loss, yet they still couldn’t come away with a win. Here’s what we learned in the latest preseason adventure for the Cowboys.
Osa Odighizuwa is for real
It was advised in this space to watch Odighizuwa as he was going to get his first start at DT in place of Neville Gallimore. The rookie didn’t disappoint. Odighizuwa was the main reason for the defense getting a big stop on fourth and one in the second quarter, and he flashed his impressive get off by slicing into the Texans’ backfield on another occasion. If anyone was skeptical about Odighizuwa’s play being the result of going against backup offensive linemen, that theory got thrown out the window with his performance against the Texans. Odighizuwa’s play is speaking for itself, the Cowboys got themselves a good one. https://twitter.com/DavidMooreDMN/status/1429300827873816577?s=20
Ben DiNucci isn’t
The Texans game was an opportunity for DiNucci to prove he belonged on the roster after a rough few outings in the preseason. It got worse for DiNucci, who threw three interceptions and didn’t look like an NFL quarterback. DiNucci may have completed 14 of his 20 passes, but he didn’t throw anything long and showed poor decision making. There were also accuracy issues that led to interceptions. It’s getting late for DiNucci, who hasn’t given the Cowboys enough reasons to believe he can be one of Prescott’s backups when the season comes along. https://twitter.com/therealdre_jack/status/1429279644415635459?s=20
WR depth chart remains unchanged
Simi Fehoko needed a good outing against the Texans to make a case that he could take the place of Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown on the depth chart. That didn’t happen as Fehoko lost ground to the veteran receivers with a poor performance. Fehoko did have two catches, but he also committing two penalties. On the flip side, Brown had two strong catches and Wilson hauled in three balls, including a touchdown. The other WR Fehoko appears to be competing against, Malik Turner, is hurt and didn’t play, but the rookie receiver didn’t give the team a reason to close the competition. If Turner was sixth on the depth chart and Fehoko seventh, that likely remained the same as well. If the Cowboys are intent on keeping six receivers, Fehoko might not make the cut after a rough game.
Defense is much improved
Yes, it was only a preseason game against the Texans, who don’t have their starting QB in the lineup, but the Dallas defense is performing better than expected. The unit played without DC Dan Quinn calling the plays due to Covid-19 protocols, yet they still held the Texans to a big donut (0-10) on third down conversions. The team speed is noticeable, and it looks like a more athletic group. It’s easy to see there’s more talent on defense than they had last year and should lead to better results. You can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi