Notes on the Dallas Cowboys pre-season win

Before getting into the notes, a heads-up we’ll be doing a live stream at 3pm PT on Sunday discussing this game

— Boye Mafe has earned rave reviews during camp and has been touted by Pete Carroll as a player who’s taken a big jump in his second year. We saw further glimpses of that in this game. Mafe was incredibly active using a full range of skills to impress. I think the most satisfying play was a violent hand-jolt to contain the edge on a run play. We already know he has the explosive traits and quickness to rush, this was an example of a play that gets you on the field early and often.

— Jake Bobo just continues to be involved and active. He played with the starting offense and made a 28-yard chunk play with a fantastic double-move to destroy his opponent in coverage. He then coaxed a vital ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’ flag out of a Dallas defender on a subsequent drive, following a failed third down conversion. That flag, subtly earned by Bobo, was followed by Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s 48-yard completion and then a one-yard touchdown run. It was a great assist from Bobo who feels like a total lock to make the roster.

— We spent so much time on the blog discussing Bobo and Zach Charbonnet that it was good to see both combine on back-to-back plays to fire the offense. Charbonnet followed Bobo’s 28-yard completion with a dynamic, explosive run. He just looks so sharp, fierce and quick. How can you not be excited by the prospect of these running backs (health permitting, of course)?

— I thought Drew Lock was excellent in this game. He looked more relaxed than last week and on point. He appeared comfortable throwing on the run and looked like a proper player here. He’s needed to be more consistent and clean and there was real evidence of that today. His throw to Smith-Njigba was perfect for a big gain. His throw to Noah Fant with 4:44 left in the first half showed off what an athlete he is. Lock’s off-platform arm strength is genuinely great. This was an impressive display.

— I really like Tyreke Smith and think he should make the roster, even with a loaded EDGE group. He had a nice TFL with 7:48 left in the third quarter and he had the game ending sack with Will Grier scrambling for his life. He looks really agile and capable of skipping by blocks to penetrate. There’s definitely something to work with here. He ended the game leading the team for tackles and had two registered TFL’s.

— Several other players impacted the game positively. SaRodorick Thompson ran for a solid 50 yards on 11 carries including a touchdown. Tyjon Lindsey had 36 receiving yards and a nice 27-yard punt return. John Hall forced a safety with a wonderful shed to block a punt. Levi Bell finds ways to get involved and even got a block on the goal-line for a score when lining up at full-back. Tre Brown had a better game including an interception where he showed good recovery skills. Finally, it might’ve been against third and fourth stringers, but Derick Hall showed excellent power at the POA to strong-arm the tackle, disengage and finish for a sack.

— There were also some negatives. Firstly, the run defense continues to be suspect. At one point Michael Bennett on the broadcast stated: “More missed tackles. Attacking the interior. The Seahawks need a Red Bryant type of player. A big body who doesn’t care about making the play. He just wants to push a guy back. That’s what this defense needs.” Bennett was exasperated by the run defense for the second week in a row. Deuce Vaughan had a scoring run where Jerrick Reed and Coby Bryant whiffed opportunities to bring him down and the interior was pushed back too often, while gap-control was again a concern. The fundamentals of the defense are just off and as Bennett notes — without a bigger player content to just eat space and control, you wonder if this is going to be a serious problem when the real action starts.

— At times it felt like the defense was too easy to play against, another thing we’ve seen for several years. They gave up an 80-yard drive for Dallas’ first score which lasted 17 plays and took 7:48 minutes off the clock. This feels ominous because, whoever plays, this has been a characteristic of this team for too long.

— Charles Cross was dominated by Sam Williams for a sack. I had reservations about Cross in the 2021 draft and partly that was watching Ole Miss vs Mississippi State where Williams had him on toast. It’s not a great look that Cross was overpowered with a punch to the chest by a 261lbs rusher. You’ve got to be stronger there and be able to contain. I said a year ago he had to get stronger and be able to hold position better and this was an example of the same college problem rearing its head.


  1. EastHawk

    Thanks for the write up Rob! I really really hope our D is more middle of the pack 14~17 and not bottom of the league in effectiveness, we’d have at least have a chance to make noise for the post-season provided good health with our O. Bobo would be our new UDFA that announcers would probably keep bringing up throughout the whole season… I miss Doug. Cheers!

  2. dand393

    Thanks for the notes Rob, one other player I would mention was mike Jackson looked terrible to me, continuing to get beat by second and third string receivers which is disappointing because of all the training camp buzz he’s been getting

    • Rob Staton

      The thing is, on one play where he got beat he was shadowing the receiver and was right there in coverage. The QB had an easy life in the first half because there wasn’t any pressure

      • seahawksfan1201

        The one he got called for PI that was declined?

        • Rob Staton

          Yes. And I get it — PI and gave up the catch. But it happens to the best — he wasn’t ‘beat’ on that play at least in terms of coverage. He was right there.

          • seahawksfan1201

            To my eye he Kelly Jennings’d that one–yes he was right there, but he had absolutely no idea where the ball was which caused him to both PI and allow the catch. I like the guy but he had a rough outing

  3. j hawk

    Am I crazy or were the Hawks playing a 4-3 defensive front most of the night?

    • Rob Staton

      Definitely weren’t in classic 3-4 formations

      • Elmer

        They were in their doughnut defense (a hole in the middle).

        There is one big boy NT on the roster (Gotel) weighing about 340. Don’t know if it’s a legitimate 340 or just fat.

  4. LouCityHawk

    I feel so much better about this team then I did in 2020/2021, so I have to temper some of what I’m seeing/feeling with that reality.


    Unlike recent years, this roster cutdown is going to have some painful cuts. There is still a lot of depth I feel nothing for (OLine, DLine, ILB), however some groups there are bubble players I don’t want to see go.

    This offense looks like it should be among the very best this year. I am not convinced that Lock cannot be the QBotF.

    The defense looked better than last week, and better than a year ago. Mafe is looking like a star. I’m pleased with the Edge play. Gotel looks like he may have something and giving him some more competitive reps may be warranted. They need to keep Sutherland.

    The Special Teams are looking very good. Izzo is doing his job.

    Thinking about the DLine depth, I’m wondering what sort of return DT might net in a trade? I’m loathe to give up any 2024 draft picks, the Edge group is looking deep enough where losing DT may not even be a downgrade.

    • Peter

      Very excited for the offense.

      I’m not sure the cuts this year are going to be that painful. There’s not really anyone deep on the roster who has stood out that I think the team would really miss. Every year there’s preseason favorites come cut time fans worry,top of mind I can’t think of any player that was a 6th, 7th round, udfa type that got picked up and I thought damn….should have kept him.

      A guy like Bobo feels a lock on the roster. I asked before but after the big three WR’s has another other WR looked relevant enough to supplant Bobo? I haven’t seen it.

    • Sean-O

      Good post!

      I agree with most of what you posted. It’s really hard to gauge how much from this game will translate into the regular season (lack of starters on both sides, vanilla schemes, etc.). But it feels like for the first time in a while, the Hawks will have some young, quality depth for backups & the PS.

      Plus, it was great to see the energy on the sidelines & the stadium.

  5. Rob Staton

    New piss take of Joel Seedman (feat: Chris Carson)

    It really, really, really bothers me that the Seahawks didn’t stop him working out with this idiot

    And that people in the media and the NFL sought to defend this kind of thing, or highlighted these NONSENSE workouts as ‘great for your core etc’

    How the F does a pro-athlete end up working with Seedman???

    • STTBM

      I don’t know why nobody close to the team could see what you see Rob. It’s horrible.

      • Rob Staton

        I don’t know why either because anyone who has any sense of weight training at all knows Seedman is an absolute clown

    • Olyhawksfan

      If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.

    • Hunter

      The fitness industry is filled with snake oil salesmen, I’m sure this clown knows enough big fitness words to make him seem like the answer athletes are looking for.

      • Rob Staton

        You’re right but how does a NFL franchise not say ‘get the hell away from Seedman’?

  6. Olyhawksfan

    I remember Frank Clark being a game wrecker in pre season. Can’t remember if it was first or second year but I remember him standing out. Mafe has done the same thing.

  7. Romeo A57

    The offense looks a lot better then they did in the Preaseason last year. I know that the Preseason doesn’t count, but it is nice to see the explosive offensive running and passing plays.

  8. Big Mike

    Far too many 3rd and longs converted by Dallas last night. Sure feels like our offense gonna need to score plenty this season.

  9. Blitzy the Clown

    Reed definitely looks bigger, But the 1st unit DL still got gashed by Dallas running game. I wonder how differently they’d look with Young in the rotation. Yeah he’s a raw rookie but not playing won’t get him any better. Injuries suck.

    I hope Tre Brown pushes Mike Jackson down the depth chart. His ceiling is bang average for me. And this backfield is already well above that.

    What’s gonna happen with Darrell Taylor if Ty Smith keeps showing up like he did last night?

    In practicality, is a Love-Bryant safety tandem any less than an Adams-Diggs?

    Bobo and Bell will make the roster. I don’t think Sykes will.

    Is Arte Burns a mid-season trade candidate?

    • Elmer

      Jackson and Taylor could be trade candidates now. Is there a NT out there who would really help the DL in a trade. Reed could return to being a DE.

      • UkAlex6674

        But then you’re still light at NT.

        Make a trade by all means for a NT but keep Reed in that position aswell.

    • Rob4q

      How about sending Michael Jackson & Artie Burns to the Ravens for NT Travis Jones? Young player with upside, but he’s stuck behind Michael Pierce and they have three other young DT’s on the roster. They need help at CB badly…

      • Rob Staton

        They’ve just signed Ronald Derby so might be somewhat comfortable

        Plus this is only year two for Travis Jones so that’s a bit soon to give up on him for a stopgap CB

  10. Big Mike

    SaRoderick Thompson gonna get through waivers to the PS (assuming McIntosh and Dallas make the 53)?

    • geoff u

      Probably? The Saints already cut him and we’ve only had him 3 weeks. He’s showed up though, and he’s had a big run in each game called back due to holding that didn’t count.

      • Big Mike

        Yeah it’s gonna be close. He makes people miss, granted they’re not first teamers but he also seems to see daylight fairly well.

  11. cha

    I watched Evan Brown pretty closely and once again I didn’t see any major blowups. He was rock steady and effective in both the run and pass game.

    The Seahawks need to declare him the starter and be done with it. Olu Olu will be the guy in time, but let’s not fuss about with the starting 5. In fact it might be a benefit if Olu and Bradford can pair up and grow together on the scout team OL.

    Watch Brown on Mazi Smith and tell me that’s not exactly what the Seahawks need in their interior.

    • bmseattle

      Good call out, cha.
      I was watching him too and I agree.
      He’s not a bulldozer, but he is technically sound and strong enough to anchor and move his opponent.
      I haven’t seen him pushed back 3 yards into the backfield yet, which we’ve seen far too much of the past few years.
      I really think that having a solid center will make a *huge* difference for this offense.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      It looks even more impressive from the end zone cam because you can see how far Brown has to reach to be in position to turn his man away from the gap

  12. Palatypus

    Rob, this write up is tighter than a Cynthia Frelund pantsuit after a leg day.

    And if Saroderick was a character on Game of Thrones, he would be a a cross between Podrick and Dickon.

  13. cha

    Curtis Allen
    Have depth at 1T you want? PC: “Gotta get Mike Morris back. Cam too. Both guys. Hoping guys can be part of rotation. Should be somewhat formidable. Reed’s the steady for us.” #Seahawks

    Wait, what?

    PC sees Mike Morris as a 1T/NT?

    I’ve had him mentally behind Mario Edwards as a 3-4 DE.

    • cha

      Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe PC just bunched his thoughts together.

      Curtis Allen
      Behind Reed at 1T are unproven you ok with that? PC: “Yeah. Haven’t seen Austin Faoliu enough. One day practice. Haven’t seen Cam Young. But from studying him know him. Should be able to do everything we ask of him.” #Seahawks
      11:06 AM · Aug 20, 2023

      • Palatypus

        I haven’t been this confused since Joe Nash left Crosby, Stills & Young.

        • Big Mike

          Like everyone else, you don’t always land when you try to be funny but I literally LOL’d at this one.
          Love that it’s a Seahawks and classic rock joke all rolled into one.

  14. Forrest

    I would feel so much better about this defense if they had cut Adams and signed Dalvin Tomlinson with that money. I think the Browns overpaid, but his big body in the middle would have plugged a similar sized hole.

  15. Forrest

    On the plus side, I’m soooo glad to finally have a fixture at WR3 in JSN!

    • Rokas

      Am I the only one who thought it was kind of embarrassing to see JSN get tackled few yards before the TD? Even the commentators were screaming “this is gonna be six’, and stopped in silence few moments later.

      • Rob Staton

        It wasn’t embarrassing but it did highlight that he lacks pure sprinting speed

        • STTBM

          Yes. He’s not got Tyler Locket top gear, but like a young Lockett, his feet are super quick and he already runs great routes.

          He still should have scored on that play: he looked behind him, which slowed him down. He should have just leaned into it, and put his nose across that line the way Kearse, Tate, and Baldwin used to. I bet the Coaches are going to be all over him at film study…

        • cha

          Actually Drew Lock revealed the real reason he didn’t make it.

          JSN had Chipotle before the game instead of his usual pre-game meal. Slowed him down.

  16. PJ in Seattle

    Teams are gonna feast on our interior DL when the games start to count. By far, our achilles heel. I like what I saw of Matt Gotel tho. Showed good hustle and contain at 340 pounds. He’s one to watch.

  17. HOUSE

    JSN having wrist surgery for broken bone. Surgery severity will determine if he’s backs for start of the season.

    Why can’t we have nice things?

© 2024 Seahawks Draft Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑