On Thursday night, the Dallas Cowboys’ schedule took them to Houston for a matchup with the Texans in Week 4 of the 2016 NFL Season. It was the final audition for players who are trying to break the 53-man roster that the Cowboys will begin the season with, as every player will learn his fate on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.
After grabbing an early 7-0 first quarter lead, the Cowboys struggled the rest of the way as the starters didn’t dress on Thursday night. Although head coach Jason Garrett would probably tell you that the Dallas Cowboys want to win every game on their schedule, the result of last night’s game didn’t matter quite as much of the individual performances.
Here are the five biggest takeaways from the Cowboys’ 28-17 loss at the hands of the Houston Texans in NFL Preseason Week 4.
1. Jameill Showers Isn’t Ready To Be The Backup Quarterback
Showers played the entire game against the Texans as the Cowboys really didn’t have any other options. With Tony Romo injured, and Jerrod Johnson just signing earlier on Thursday, Showers was given an opportunity to prove he could be Dak Prescott’s backup. Unfortunately, he squandered that opportunity as he was inaccurate and struggled to make reads all night long.
It’s not clear what the team’s plans are for Johnson, but Jerry and Stephen Jones probably want to try to find a veteran quarterback to backup Prescott prior to the Cowboys’ Week 1 matchup against the New York Giants.
2. Backup Offensive Line Struggled
The Cowboys have the best starting offensive line in the NFL, but the backups desperately need to improve. Part of the reason Showers struggled so much was due to the play of the offensive line in front of him. Showers was sacked twice by the Texans and hit four times. The Cowboys must hope that their starting offensive line stays healthy the entire season or there could be some real issues.
3. Rico Gathers Looks Destined For Practice Squad
— Dallas Cowboys news (@dmn_cowboys) September 2, 2016
Despite not playing one single down of football in college, the Dallas Cowboys spent a first-round pick on former Baylor basketball star Rico Gathers. Gathers is definitely built like a football player at six-foot-eight and 275 pounds, but he showed on Thursday night that he’s still far from contributing to the Cowboys. If they can pass him through waivers, look for the Cowboys to try and stash Gathers on the practice squad for 2016.
4. Kavon Frazier May Have Lost Roster Spot
The Cowboys selected Frazier with a sixth-round pick out of Central Michigan, and coming into the game against the Texans, there was some thought that he had beat out J.J. Wilcox for the final safety spot. According to Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com, that may not be the case any longer, as Frazier struggled on Thursday night.
5. Anthony Brown Made The Play Of The Game
Anthony Brown’s 59-yard interception return for a touchdown makes it Texans 21, Cowboys 17 late in the 3rd quarter. pic.twitter.com/KUpBOnquuO
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) September 2, 2016
The Cowboys’ sixth-round pick out of Purdue made an incredible play against the Texans as he baited Brandon Weeden into a throw that he picked off and ran back for a touchdown. In addition to the pick-six, Brown added seven tackles from his cornerback position and looks prepared to have a decent role in the Cowboys’ defense in 2016.
By Saturday, the Cowboys will have to cut 22 players and the performances from last night’s game could go a long way towards earning some guys a roster spot. Keep an eye out on Friday and Saturday to find out which guys will suit up for the Dallas Cowboys as they open their 2016 schedule against the New York Giants on September 11.
[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]