Anthony Spencer had a great all-around game. Spencer was again active in run defense, getting to the running back several times either at or behind the line of scrimmage. He also registered his first sack of the preseason, albeit against the 49er’s second team offensive tackle.
The Cowboys starting defensive line, in particular Jason Hatcher and Marcus Spears, was very strong up front. Both players were aggressive and active in pursuit. Spears demonstrated good awareness by snuffing out running back Frank Gore, who was acting as the QB in the wildcat formation.
Offensive tackle Doug Free once again gave a solid performance. Despite facing 49er’s starting defensive end Justin Smith, there was not much of a drop-off in play when Free took over from Flozell Adams.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Kevin Ogletree’s performance. The wide receiver got a chance to start with the first team offense due to Roy Williams and Sam Hurd being held out of the game.
Ogletree did not disappoint as he hooked up with Romo on a couple of nice first down grabs during the offense’s first series. He looked smooth and natural playing pitch-and-catch with Romo.
The Cowboy cheerleaders in HD – enough said.
Cornerback Orlando Scandrick had a bit of a rough game. He got worked for a couple of catches by the 49ers' WRs during the course of the game, not to mention getting bullied around while being blocked by 49er wide out, Josh Morgan, on a couple of runs.
CB/S Courtney Brown’s time may be running out, if not already. Here’s the good; Brown looks the part in a uniform and has tremendous athletic ability. Now the bad; he doesn’t appear to be much of a football player. Brown lacks instincts, has no desire for contact, which renders much of his athletic ability as ultimately useless.
Brown did invoke head coach Wade Phillip’s wrath (which is a rarity) when he got turned around and lost on a desperation lob pass from 49er Nate Davis. Brown lost track of the ball and ended up grabbing the receiver’s jersey in vain, which drew a flag.
Add Isaiah Stanback to the bubble group with Brown. Stanback simply doesn’t look comfortable out there. He’s very mechanical in his routes and struggles to get himself open at times. He did manage to get one grab, but promptly turned it over when he was stripped.
Stanback did have a nice 30-yard kickoff return in the second half, but the door of opportunity appears to be closing on him. With Ogletree’s emergence, I’m not sure there is anything Stanback could realistically do in the final preseason game to save his roster spot.
Backup quarterback Jon Kitna looked very erratic with his throws. His first series during the second half was particularly bad as he was off target on a screen pass, and later on what should have been an easy first down to Austin.
Things you may have missed…
4:14 1st Qtr: The Cowboys offensive line gave Romo great protection on a pass down the middle of the field to Austin. During the play, OG Kyle Kosier showed great awareness by keeping active and coming over to help center Andre Gurode block his man. Kosier leveled defensive end Ray McDonald, taking him right off his feet.
1:12 1st Qtr: Much maligned cornerback Mike Jenkins made a tremendous open-field tackle on a check down pass to running back Frank Gore. Jenkins attacked the ball carrier instead of allowing the runner to dictate the action. Gore had a lot of real estate in front of him if Jenkins didn't manage to bring him down.
10:54 2nd Qtr: Jason Witten coming out of the backfield and across the LOS, made a great block on linebacker Takeo Spikes to maintain a crease for MBIII to run through for a nice gain. Witten then made another tremendous block in similar fashion in the following play.
4:40 2nd Qtr: On second and goal, the Cowboys ran a handoff to Felix Jones. Jones went left where Patrick Crayton lined-up prior to the snap. As Jones raced to the edge, Crayton, in crack-back like fashion, came back to knock 6’5” 315 lbs Kentwan Balmer off his feet.