In my blog after the Chargers preseason game, HERE I pointed out which Dallas Cowboys players were impressive in that game. The biggest standout was CB Brandon Carr who intercepted Chargers QB Phillip Rivers twice. Carr replacing Newman makes the Dallas secondary obviously better than last season.
Now let’s look at the guys who weren’t impressive in the game and remember some of these are fighting to survive roster cuts which start on 8/27 with a mandatory 75 man roster.
1. Dan Connor LB– Early in the game, Connor was clearly beaten by the Chargers TE who caught the pass for a big gain. While Connor has impressed so far with his ability to stuff the run, this play reminds coaches and fans that Connor’s weak spot is pass coverage. Connor, who the Cowboys picked up from the Panthers, can be sure that opposing offenses are now aware of the weakness too. Just too much separation.
It’s why I think LB Bruce Carter will be expected to handle passing downs since he is quicker and more athletic. Connor will make this team but is a liability against the pass.
2. Ben Bass defensive lineman– Big Ben went MIA against the Chargers after kicking butt in the Raiders game where he had 5 tackles and a sack. I was very complimentary of that performance but against the Chargers, I can’t find where he did anything. Makes me wonder if he didn’t play because of an injury or something? As far as I can tell, he was available to play.
Big Ben showed he has game but as a player on the bubble, he can’t afford to have an unproductive game.
3. Felix Jones RB- Yet another underwhelming performance from the once explosive running back Felix. So far in preseason, Jones has rushed 3 times for 7 yards. Oh and 2 dropped passes too. Felix is expected to back up Murray at RB and contribute to the offense even with a healthy Murray. Right now Felix just looks like he is not into it. HERE I blogged about Felix’s poor play.
Felix’s recent play makes you want to ask him, “who are you and what did you do with Felix Jones.”
4. Stephen McGee QB– In the Chargers game McGee was responsible for 2 turnovers that resulted in points. An interception that resulted in a TD then a fumble when sacked. He finished 9/16 and 86 yards but it’s the turnovers that are most concerning. After playing in the NFL for 3 seasons, McGee doesn’t demonstrate the level of pocket awareness expected.
McGee is in a battle with Rudy Carpenter for the 3rd QB spot and his performance against the Chargers made him appear to be the 4th QB. He is actually in danger of not making the 53 man roster at all.
5. Clifton Geathers defensive lineman– The big defensive lineman has been impressive in camp against his own team’s battered offensive line but in two preseason games, his play simply has not carried over.
His 6′ 7″ height appears to actually be working against him on pass plays as he gets too high and offensive linemen get leverage on him. Against the run, Geathers also doesn’t demonstrate the ability to stop his push up the field and level off at the line in pursuit of the ball. Geathers needs more development.
Geathers is a guy on the bubble to make the final roster which is why he needs to have a big game against the Rams coming up.
6. Teddy Williams CB and KO return– Williams is a track guy learning to play corner in the NFL and so far he looks like……well a sprinter playing corner in the NFL. Can’t identify any productive plays in the Chargers game at CB but he did have 3 kickoff returns for an average return of 16 yards in the game.
I suppose being a kick returner would help his chances to make the roster but his returns look like…well a sprinter returning kicks. So far it’s not working. This track star to football player project is not a success yet.
So there you have it. The under performers in the Chargers game called out. Step it up guys as 8/27 is coming soon.