The Dallas Cowboys finished the final preseason game of the 2022 season Friday in triumph over the visiting Seattle Seahawks, 27-26.
Though the victory won’t matter in the course of the season, it was the last opportunity that many young players had to show why they deserve a shot on the biggest stage in pro football. By Tuesday afternoon, nearly 30 players who suited up for the Cowboys will be out of a job as the Cowboys trim the roster down to 53 names.
Dan Quinn’s defense was on display again, this time sealing the victory with a combined five takeaways, including four interceptions.
The first came in the first quarter on Seattle’s second drive of the day. After an 11-play opening drive that put the Seahawks on the board with a field goal, QB Drew Lock fired a short pass that was perfectly read and picked off by rookie safety Israel Mukuamu for the first turnover of the night. The interception was the second of the preseason for Mukuamu, who will likely see his name added to the final 53-man roster on Tuesday.
The second turnover happened late in the second quarter. With Seattle holding a 10-3 lead, Lock made an ill-advised decision to try and fit the ball past Cowboys cornerback Nashon Wright. Wright stepped in front of the pass for his first interception of the preseason.
Dallas’s third takeaway of the game happened deep into the third quarter. This time, an on-time throw from Lock ricocheted from a receiver’s grasp, popping the ball straight up where it was snagged by Markquese Bell, another young defensive player who has likely done enough to earn a spot on the Cowboys roster.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys took their first and only lead of the game with a touchdown pass by Cowboys backup QB Ben DiNucci, who found rookie tight-end Peyton Hendershot for a 14-yard score, to go up 27-26.
After trading punts, it was the Dallas defense that ended the night for Seattle. A high snap made Seahawks QB Jacob Eason look more like a volleyball player than a football player. His spike went straight into the arms of rookie Storey Jackson for the fumble recovery.
Seattle would get one final opportunity to try and overtake the Cowboys, but it was all for naught. This time, it was Juanyeh Thomas, another long-shot rookie Cowboys player who snagged a tipped pass and slid down, giving the Cowboys the victory.
As is the case every season, the final roster reduction will inevitably result in some fan-favorite players being released. With just two weeks before the official start of the 2022 season, the Cowboys coaches have tough decisions to make at numerous positions.
The Cowboys open the season at The Star at Frisco on September 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It will be the first time this season that many of the established stars on the Cowboys roster will make an appearance. Time will tell which rookie players made an impact in the preseason, getting the chance to take their game to the next level.