The NFL announced today that they are cancelling the Cowboys’ final preseason game that was originally scheduled for tonight against the Houston Texans in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Earlier this week, the game was moved from Houston’s NRG Stadium to AT&T Stadium in Dallas, as the Houston area was forced to make preparations for the impending rainstorms and flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.
This decision made the most sense for both sides involved. Linebacker Sean Lee had this to say: “I think there’s more important things than football right now. Houston being able to get home and see their families is a big deal. To me, we’ve played in a bunch of preseason games, and right now I’m excited for them that they can get home. They’ve been gone for awhile. We got to talk to a couple of their guys, and they’ve been away in training camp; they were in New Orleans for a little while, so to be able to see their families–that’s something that is more important.”
Currently, the Cowboys organization is putting into motion a plan at “The Star” in Frisco, TX that consists of fundraising and community outreach for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. After this, it is business as usual for the Cowboys, as they will go through typical protocol following the would-be game against the Texans.
Nevertheless, the preseason slate of games for the Cowboys is effectively over, and the team can begin looking forward to their season opener at home against the New York Giants. That being said, here are the major headlines of the Cowboys’ preseason:
The defense in particular for the Cowboys caught the injury bug this preseason. Linebacker Anthony Hitchens tops the list of injuries, having suffered a tibial plateau fracture in his right knee against the Oakland Raiders last weekend. On the bright side, he will not require surgery and will take about eight weeks to fully recover. This means that Hitchens could potentially return Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Injuries have plagued the secondary the most, with second- and third-round picks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis currently experiencing hamstring strains that have prevented them from fully practicing this preseason. This leaves the Cowboys with Orlando Scandrick, Nolan Carroll, and Anthony Brown. Out of those three, third stringer Brown has oddly looked the most impressive, a sign that does not bode well for the Cowboys’ secondary.
However, on the rumor mill, the Cowboys are keeping their eyes on cornerback Joe Haden, a free agent newly released from the Cleveland Browns. Many teams are currently courting Haden, which means the Cowboys will have to shell out plenty of dough if they want to acquire the former Browns star. They do have the money to do this, but such a move would stall contract extensions with cornerstone players such as offensive guard Zack Martin.
The Rise of Rush
Rookie quarterback Cooper Rush has been an absolute sensation this preseason. Rush has led ALL quarterbacks with a rating of 135.9 this preseason–yes, you read that right. He has tallied six touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a completion percentage of 74.5%.
Most recently, he went 12/13 for 115 yards and two touchdowns, including a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, in the victory against the Raiders. The undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan has certainly made his case to surpass underwhelming backup quarterback Kellen Moore and make the 53-man roster.
The suspension of running back Ezekiel Elliott has arguably been the biggest story of the preseason. On August 11th, the NFL tagged Elliott with a six-game suspension following a probe determining that he violated the league’s personal conduct policy on numerous occasions.
Last year, Elliott turned heads across the league on his way to winning the FedEx Ground Player of the Year award as the league-leading rusher. Now, his suspension appeal is about to enter its third day, as new witnesses continue to testify. Typically, this kind of appeal only lasts a day.
An announcement regarding Elliott’s appeal should come tomorrow at the latest.
Photo: Andrew Dieb (Icon Sportswire)