2015 NFL Preseason: Cowboys vs 49ers

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2015 NFL preseason cowboys vs 49ers

The 2015 NFL Preseason couldn’t get here fast enough. This is when we get our first look at the rookies in pads at the NFL level.


 2015 NFL preseason: cowboys vs 49ers


The 2015 NFL preseason will showcase what we believe to be the best draft since Hall Of Fame head coach, Bill Parcells, departed almost a decade ago.

The staff here at YDCFF, not only loves this time of year because it affords us the opportunity to grade the Cowboys draft, but we get to share our thoughts and predictions for the upcoming games. In this post we will feature the Dallas Cowboys vs the San Francisco 49ers.

The Niners saw a lot of changes prior to the 2015 NFL preseason. They not only lost their very successful head coach who took them deep in to the playoffs every year, Jim Harbaugh, they lost some key players to suspension and free agency. Aldon Smith is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, but just can’t seem to keep his nose clean. His loss is a huge blow to the defense. Gore moved on to the Colts. His ability to get the tough yards will be missed.

2015 nfl preseason: eric mangini debuts as new defensive coordinatorThe change that should concern Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett the most, is the promotion of Bill Belicek protege, Eric Mangini, to defensive coordinator. Mangini has three super bowl rings as a defensive coach in New England. As the Texans learned last week, he loves to go after the quarterback. I strongly believe that with all of the injuries along the offensive line, Garrett should let Romo sit out of this one. The young quarterbacks not only need the reps, it gives them an opportunity to get some experience dealing with disguised blitzes. This helps them learn to make quicker reads and work on pocket awareness.

The 49ers used their first round pick on Arik Armstead, who some draft pundits thought was a defensive end prospect for the Cowboys. I wasn’t one of them. The Tampa 2 defense is predicated on speed and the ability to get consistent pressure on the quarterback by only having to rush four. Armstead was one of the best run defenders in the draft, but not very effective as a pass rusher. He also lacks that quick-twitch ability Rod Marinelli looks for. I find it hard to believe that he will ever be as effective as Aldon Smith.

Eric Mangini made it clear when he addressed the media that despite veteran players typically inheriting positions in the NFL, all positions are wide open.

“That whole group, there’s great opportunity for young players to have a chance to have a significant role on a defense,” Mangini said of the secondary. “Often times, you come into a team and you got no shot and maybe you get some work as a nickel or you get a little bit in dime, things like that. These guys have a chance to distinguish themselves and really, we’re going to give them the opportunity to make a case for themselves, and whoever makes the strongest case is going to get that chance. We’ll give them all though that chance to do that.

Second year CB Dontae Johnson said the defense is more aggressive than what he remembers from last year, but it’s an opportunity to help the secondary. He claims there is a better chance to make plays from interceptions to tipped passes.

“Last year’s scheme was more so just playing,” Johnson said on Tuesday. “This year, it’s a little more thinking. I feel like the guys have really worked hard this offseason to understand the thinking, to understand the process of what Eric Mangini is trying to teach us. Honestly, we’re just continuing to grow each and every day with meetings and then practice. It’s coming along.”

I can’t help but wonder which RB will get the touches on Sunday. Joseph Randle left practice with his persisting oblique injury, Gus Johnson sustained a shoulder injury vs the Chargers, Dunbar just returned from an ankle injury, and I am not sure the coaches want to risk “The Man Of Glass”, Darren McFadden getting injured. They just cut Seastrunk which leaves two ranch hands. Gosh, I hope the Cowboys aren’t going back to the pass, pass, pass, punt offense due to their lack of a healthy RB. Mangini will have a field day.

I am not sure how many reps the starters will get, but the players to watch include, Randy Gregory, La’el Collins, (this will be an excellent opportunity for him to get a look at some complex blitz packages), Corey White, Tyler Patmon, Lucky Whitehead, Damien Wilson, Keith Smith, Shane McDermott, Gavin Escobar, and Davon Coleman.

I would like to be able to say the Cowboys can win this game, but with the issues at RB, the lack of depth at QB will be a problem if they have to rely on the pass. Taking in to consideration the poor offensive line play from last week, I don’t see these young QBs being able to handle the blitz. Brandon Weeden has always struggled with pressure, Vaughn lacks the poise and ability to get through his reads fast enough and Jameil Showers is a rookie. However, I see him as the most mobile. I am excited to see how he handles this aggressive Mangini defense. My gut tells me, if they get too aggressive, he may burn them with his legs.

As a result of injuries on offense, I expect Rod Marinelli’s young group of fire pissers to steal the show. I predict at least one sack from Gregory and a solid showing from Corey White. Davon Coleman has shown flashes, but I want to see him prove that he can be consistent. Hopefully, the player he is, and the player he can be, meet. I am not predicting a score. To me, it’s meaningless. The 2015 NFL preseason is all about giving the young guys, who are fighting for their NFL lives, an opportunity to prove they belong on the 53 man roster. So get your popcorn out and enjoy the game. How Bout Dem Cowboys!

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  • Lionone1

    I’m ready!! Lol let’s hope the field isn’t all messed up. Then again Dmac is used to running in the dirt. This seems like a tricky preseason game. On one hand alot of players need some game time to knock rust off. On the other, the oline and rb backs are thin right now and don’t won’t to risk it.

  • Gabriel Carrasco

    You might see Gregory even drop back in coverage. Rod in practice has dropped him in coverage to blitz with Patmon, Scanderick, and Mo. And each time they’ve done that they have gotten pressure or a sack.

    • Pressure is what we need. I don’t care how it comes.Gregory is athletic enough to do whatever Rod wants him to do. Another rookie Pro Bowl perhaps?

      • Gabriel Carrasco

        Going to be very difficult to do that. Gregory would need to have 10 sacks, and several forced fumbles and maybe a few INT. But can’t rule it out. Gregory if he is as good as you think he can be, then Dallas may be able to let Hardy go by season’s end and go after someone else next offseason.

        • Marinelli said Gregory is developing extremely fast. BB said he has a real short learning curve and picks stuff up quick. from there his natural athletic ability takes over.

          • Gabriel Carrasco

            Well Randy White, Leon Lett, and Charles Haley have been working hard with him. Also Tyron has been beating him all camp so he’s learning, and even Nate Newton has said he has offered him tips as well.

          • he is going to be a beast.

    • we need coleman to get as many reps as possible

  • Lionone1

    I think run stopping is a valid concern. Since the draft I’ve wanted a space eating 1tech and I’m not sure how they are going to be with Hardy and Hayden.

    • I agree. Oliver ripped us up

    • bb said Coleman is really coming in to his own. I hope so. I saw the flashes.

    • Gabriel Carrasco

      Well Dallas was 7th overall against the run last season and we didn’t have a big man. Also Dallas shut down Melvin Gordon. It was mainly against the backups Oliver had success. And half our starters didn’t play on defense. More of an issue is the draws in my opinion. We got gashed on those plays and we couldn’t stop it all game no matter who was in or out.

      • Lionone1

        Gashed up the middle is my concern there.

  • Gabriel Carrasco

    Tony Romo quickest QB to 30,000 yards in NFL history, 26 come from behind wins since 2006 highest in the NFL, most yards and completions in first 100 games in NFL history, 5th highest rated QB in NFL history, highest rated QB in the 4th quarter in NFL history. Not bad for an UDFA QB. Yet most say he sucks or is a choker when most of the stats argue against that. Eli Manning is finding out first hand what it’s like in Romo’s shoes, and he’s doing worse than Romo ever did.

    • Lionone1

      Woo! ?