All things considered, you couldn’t ask for a better preseason performance from the Dallas Cowboys.
The still-Ezekiel-Elliott-less Cowboys took it to the Houston Texans in Saturday’s regular season dress rehearsal, a game that featured fireworks from the opening whistle.
On Dallas’ first offensive drive, the team found the end zone, with quarterback Dak Prescott drilling wide receiver Michael Gallup on a 13-yard touchdown toss, giving the ‘Boys a lead they would not relinquish.
Prescott finished his night after that series. He completed 2-of-5 passes for 22 yards and the TD, giving way to backups Cooper Rush and Mike White.
Prescott, who’s angling to become the highest-paid QB in NFL history, won’t play in next week’s exhibition finale. He closes his summer having gone 11-for-14 for 119 yards and one TD.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said after the team’s second preseason game that Prescott deserves his sought-after riches.
“A real question a lot of people questioned is whether Dak was one of those guys that needed to be in the top tier,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News.
“I never questioned that. That’s what this showing here is. I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s in the top level of the paid quarterbacks. There is no question in my mind.”
Joe Thomas Blocks Punt for TD
The offense was scoring, the defense buzzing and the third side of the ball — special teams — also registered on the stat sheet. Former undrafted free agent linebacker Joe Thomas, who’s enjoyed a solid summer filling in for Sean Lee (MCL), completed the trifecta in the first quarter, blocking a punt then scooping the ball and scoring.
Defense Smothers Houston
The Cowboys continued to mix and match personnel as several stars remain sidelined, hobbled or were purposely inactive. But those who took the field were extremely successful against the Texans.
Career underachiever defensive end Taco Charlton, an ex-first-round pick, notched two sacks. Kerry Hyder collected a pair of quarterback takedowns. Rookie defensive back Donovan Wilson hauled in an interception, as did CB C.J. Goodwin.
Dallas held Texans QB Deshaun Watson to zeros across the board — no pass attempts — while the run defense was stout, bottling up starting RB Lamar Miller, who reportedly sustained a torn ACL during his first-quarter action.
No News on Zeke
Speaking before the game, Jones addressed Elliott’s highly-publicized holdout, which reached 30 days on Saturday. Amid reports the league’s reigning rushing champ declined an offer that would have made him the second-richest back, Jones intimated little movement one way or the other.
“Again, I don’t, you never know until it’s done and I don’t know,” Jones said on the Cowboys’ pregame show on 105.3 FM, via the Dallas Morning News. “And not because I don’t know what we think, I just don’t know how it is there. So that’s the way it is. It could drag on or it could happen quickly.”
Starting in Zeke’s place, rookie phenom Tony Pollard paced the club with 26 yards on six carries and added two receptions for 10 yards. Third-stringer Alfred Morris hit paydirt, logging 17 yards and a TD on five totes.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter @KelbermanNFL