Like week one of the preseason, week two has come and gone just as quick after a fun contest and weekend in Hawaii. The Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys battled their way to a 14-10 game that seen the Cowboys finish victorious. Just as they did in week one, the Rams chose to bench all starters — sans the inside linebacker spot — allowing younger players to battle each other for spots on the 53-man roster.
Let’s have a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly:
David Edwards is the lone offensive lineman who falls under the good category. Edwards spent time at both left tackle and right tackle, starting out on the blindside. Through two games, Edwards has been far and away the best reserve lineman. His comfort level is simply far greater than any of his counterparts.
Nsima Webster and Jalen Greene both had very solid outings. Greene converted six targets into four receptions for 43 yards, with his only gaff coming on a vertical route up the left sideline where he dropped a back shoulder pass. Webster also chipped in with four receptions, converting all four of his targets for 38 yards. Greene was consistently making plays down the field, whereas Webster was creating plays in the short-to-intermediate part of the field.
Natrez Patrick and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo showed up snap after snap. Early on in the contest, it was Patrick who was abusing his opponent on the edge as he consistently dominated in the run game and even chipped in with a sack on Cowboys’ starting QB Dak Prescott (nearly a sack-fumble). After Patrick’s early dominance, Ogbo came alive and was drawing holds left right and center. Ogbo had multiple pressures, multiple drawn flags, and multiple QB hits. Ogbo’s talent was very evident as he put together a brilliant performance in his first NFL action.
All of the eyes were stuck to Micah Kiser and Bryce Hager, and they probably should be considering the two are competing to see who’ll start alongside Cory Littleton. Yet, it was Travin Howard and Dakota Allen who played fantastically, particularly the latter. Allen collected eight tackles, one tackle-for-loss, and a massive hit where he legally blasted a Cowboys player. His speed and consistent nose for the football have been very impressive through two games.
Cornerbacks Darious Williams and Donte Deayon, as well as safeties Taylor Rapp and Steven Parker all put forth great performances. Deayon pulled himself a nice interception on a deep pass, also blasting a receiver on a screen just a few plays later. Williams chipped in with two pass deflections of his own. Rapp — like always — was near the ball on every snap, collecting three of his own tackles in his short time on the field. As for Parker, he just continues to make plays. His play speed and range is evident as he can make plays on every level of the field.
Jamil Demby (LT, LG, C), Bobby Evans (RT, RG, LT), Jeremiah Kolone, Chandler Brewer, and Aaron Neary all struggled on the offensive line. Demby had multiple high and low snaps during his time at center while also getting flagged for multiple holds. As for rookie Bobby Evans, nothing he does ever looks easy or smooth. He usually gets the job done, but some reps are quite ugly.
John Franklin-Myers and Sebastian Joseph-Day haven’t done anything to separate themselves thus far. Both have been incredibly stale as pass rushers, offering no pass rush ability through two games. Against the run, SJD improved, though leaps and bounds are left in terms of potentially improved performance as he could be an opening day starter.
It wasn’t a pretty scene for Demby who continues to struggle as a center. It’s clear that it isn’t and shouldn’t be his NFL position, as Demby did play better at left tackle, though the flags certainly need to be cleaned up.
A combined 29 penalties were accepted. Yuck.