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Cowboys Offensive Snap Count Breakdown: 2017 Hall of Fame Game

Cowboys Offensive Snap Count Breakdown: 2017 Hall of Fame Game
cowboys-offensive-snap-count-breakdown-2017-hall-of-fame-game

The first preseason game is in the books for the Dallas Cowboys, and we now have an idea of who they're keying in on early to prove themselves to the club.

While the 2017 NFL Hall of Fame game didn't feature any proven starters, it certainly didn't disappoint when it came to who actually took the field. From starving fringe players to rookies with a mountain of expectations heaped upon them, the early film on offensive players like wide receiver Noah Brown and tight end Rico Gathers was impressive.

That is, of course, the team is clearly preparing him for the 53-man active roster if he can prove his Aug. 5 performance in Canton, saying the least or Gathers -- who outright owned the Arizona Cardinals on a big stage. The redshirt TE spent the entirety of 2016 on the Cowboys' practice squad but based on his early snap count this preseason, OH was no fluke.

Gathers led all offensive skill positions with his snap count in Game 1, and made each one count. He reeled in three catches for 59 yards and a touchdown,[url=http://www.coltscheapstore.com/vontae-davis-jersey-cheap]Womens Vontae Davis Jersey[/url], as was his route running. And for a 6-foot-6,[url=http://www.jaguarscheapstore.com/allen-robinson-jersey-cheap]Authentic Allen Robinson Jersey[/url], 290 lb. behemoth, but his film shows so much more than that seemingly basic stat line. His hand and body control were phenomenal,[url=http://www.chiefsfootballauthentic.com/tyreek-hill-jersey-authentic]Authentic Jalen Ramsey Jersey[/url], his speed was fantastic -- seeing him run away from supposedly faster linebackers and defensive backs.

Even his blocking has apparently improved, although he still has a lot of work to do if he wants to be deemed consistently valuable in that area.

While offensive lineman Kadeem Edwards got the bulk of the snaps in the trenches,[url=http://www.chiefsfootballauthentic.com/find?title=Alex+Smith]Womens Alex Smith Jersey[/url], it was who he was working to open lanes for that ultimately created some audible sounds of elation from both the coaching staff and Cowboys' fans alike. Running back (FB) Rod Smith used his 43 snaps to deliver some crisp highlights, including doing his best Ezekiel Elliott impression by hurdling a would-be tackler.

Smith ended up leading all rushers with 18 carries for 64 yards, while being gifted only 28% of Smith's snap count. The battle between the two is now in full swing, but nearly as impressive was Alfred Morris -- who rushed for 42 yards on only seven totes, leaving many to wonder just how long newly-signed RB Ronnie Hillman will last after mustering a paltry five yards rushing on six attempts.

Things didn't look any better for the incumbent RB2, who gained no positive yardage (-6) in three carries. The Cowboys believe in him heavily, Darren McFadden, but more poor outings could quickly change that if both Morris and Smith keep their foot on the accelerator.

The battle for backup quarterback was also on display, with both Cooper Rush and current QB2 Kellen Moore having solid outings with similar snap counts. Both demonstrated value in different ways, however,[url=http://www.coltscheapstore.com/vontae-davis-jersey-cheap]Authentic Vontae Davis Jersey[/url],[url=http://www.jaguarsfootballauthentic.com/blake-bortles-jersey-authentic]Authentic Blake Bortles Jersey[/url], which was certainly fun to watch. Game 2 will inject veteran Luke McCown in to the fold,[url=http://www.jaguarsfootballauthentic.com/blake-bortles-jersey-authentic]Womens Blake Bortles Jersey[/url], so it'll be interesting to see how that shakes things up this weekend.

Not to be forgotten is wide receiver Brice Butler,[url=http://www.jaguarscheapstore.com/allen-robinson-jersey-cheap]Womens Allen Robinson Jersey[/url],[url=http://www.chiefsfootballauthentic.com/tyreek-hill-jersey-authentic]Womens Jalen Ramsey Jersey[/url], who made sure the other wide receivers quickly became an afterthought. He saw limited snaps (18),[url=http://www.chiefsfootballauthentic.com/find?title=Alex+Smith]Authentic Alex Smith Jersey[/url], but turned it into 78 yards on two receptions -- including a phenomenal diving catch that showed he can be what the team hoped for when they signed him in 2015.

The second preseason game will feature another heavy dose of Gathers, along with the potential debut of both Ryan Switzer and Jaylon Smith. The Cowboys haven't committed to the status for either just yet, per head coach Jason Garrett, but both are strong possibilities to suit up against the Rams in Los Angeles.

The baseline for the preseason has been set for the Cowboys offensively, and now it's time to see who can earn more playing time going forward versus who's on their way out the door. Aside from the looming dress rehearsal that's soon-to-come, keeping an eye on the progression or regression of snap counts is a strong indicator of who'll land on the final 53-man roster.

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