The Cowboys did not dominate Thursday, however they did sufficient to get the win, by a cushty margin. Not everybody was excellent on this recreation, and that definitely applies to the newbie class as nicely. Let’s analyze how every of them performs.
Tyler Smith was coming off the very best recreation of his profession, so it wasn’t totally stunning to see him pull again a bit this week, particularly after such a brief week. Smith tied for the crew lead in pressures allowed on this recreation, with three whole, however didn’t quit any sacks. That is the eighth time in 9 video games that Smith has eradicated an opponent and not using a sack, a powerful feat for a rookie.
Smith suffered a substitution on the finish of the sport, and moved to left guard after Conor McGovern moved to heart rather than the injured Tyler Biadas. Smith performed your entire fourth quarter there, and can doubtless achieve this once more subsequent week with Biedas out for the ultimate recreation of the common season.
Welcome again, Sam Williams! After lacking out final week because of a automobile crash, Williams is again on the sphere and has 26 snaps on protection, simply 5 seconds fewer than DeMarcus Lawrence. Unsurprisingly, Williams picked up proper the place he left off, tying Dante Fowler for the second most pressures of the day with three.
Williams additionally noticed ten takes on particular groups, which was fairly pure for him. However there have been two events the place Williams was simply inches away from blocking a penalty. Very like his stress on protection, Williams continues to be making an impression regardless of not coming residence.
Jalen Tolbert was inactive for this recreation.
Sadly for Jake Ferguson, he bought some digital camera time for all of the fallacious causes early within the match. Tasked with blocking hulking defensive lineman Mario Edwards on a run of play, Ferguson actually had no likelihood. The play was blown for a loss, and the published made certain everybody knew it was Ferguson’s fault.
Ferguson made up for it a bit later, although, catching his solely aim on a display and displaying some neat strikes to catch seven yards. This was considered one of solely 3 ways Ferguson ran, with 20 of his 23 pictures being a blocker. Ferguson has been strong in 19 of these blocked reps, as he is been for a lot of the yr, however it was unlucky that he was referred to as out to the poor rep.
Waltzko died on injured reserve.
DaRon Bland just lately appeared as a ball hawk for the Cowboys, and Josh Dobbs and the Titans clearly took discover. Bland conceded simply three objectives on Thursday and all three had been in opposition to totally different gamers.
Bland allowed receptions on all three objectives, however two had been caught behind the road of scrimmage whereas the opposite was held to zero yards after the catch. Solely a kind of three that was captured for the primary time additionally appeared on display. General, it was a quiet evening for Bland, because the opposition determined to not try to check the crew chief in interceptions.
Damon Clarke might have put in the very best recreation of his younger profession this week, and it is easy to see the rookie getting extra assured each week. His 7 tackles Thursday are tied for second on the crew. Clark additionally led the crew in stops and had the bottom depth of deal with common of any defender with a number of tackles.
One of many issues I really like #Cowboys LB Damone Clark is a never-miss deal with.
He has not missed tackles since week 10.
– Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) December 30, 2022
A lot of Clark’s struggles since taking part in a bigger portion of the snaps stemmed from his inexperience at diagnosing run performs. However this recreation has seen Clarke play soccer so quick and decisive that, as soon as he reads it, it flies off like a rocket. It is thrilling to look at Clark get into form because the playoffs method.
Devin Harper is on injured reserve.
Oh, Peyton Hendershot. The rookie has been an excellent story all yr, taking a task on this offense because the third tight finish and even having its spotlight moments. However Thursday in opposition to the Titans was simply his worst recreation. Like Ferguson, Hendershot solely ran three tackles (blocking 11 of his 14 pictures) and noticed just one goal.
Sadly, Hendershot badly fumbled his solely area aim and turned what ought to have been a straightforward 18-yard reception into an interception. It is price noting that there was rain for a lot of the first half of the sport, however that does not excuse Hendershot’s blunder.
Markquese Bell was inactive for this recreation.
When the Cowboys rendered Tony Pollard inactive, it appeared doubtless that Malik Davis would get one other likelihood to shine. And he shone, as Davis led the crew in dashing with 39 yards on 10 carries. 3.9 yards per carry was double what Ezekiel Elliott was for the evening. Davis additionally added 23 yards receiving on two catches.
Relying on what occurs Sunday when it comes to the NFC East race, Davis might get one other likelihood to make some performs on the finish of the common season. That so many followers could be so excited is a testomony to how good Davis is as an undrafted starter.