Tonight the "bubble players" (players who might be released) will get their chance to show Wade Phillips and the coaching staff what they are made of. None of the projected starters will play tonight so they can rest and nurse any injuries. I will just report on players who make plays and show they are worthy to be a Dallas Cowboys as well as those who under perform.
Cowboyso OFF first drive : Kevin Ogletree picked up a key 3rd down pass from Kitna and had the field awareness to make the necessary yardage for a first down. John Kitna made a good read on a Vikings blitz with Martellus Bennett catching the bullet pass for a 31 yard gain and another catch for 12 yards. The Cowboys offensive line has done a decent job first drive of the game allowing a sack but providing Kitna enough time to complete 5/7 passes including a 6 yard TD pass to Ogletree.
Defensive 1st series : Cowboys did a good job allowing only 2 yards total. They stuffed the Vikings running game while also getting good pressure on Tavaris Jackson with the cornerbacks covering receivers well.
2nd Off possession :
Kitna fumbles the snap on first down trouble with QB center exchange Vikings recovered the fumble on Cowboys 37 yard line.
2nd def series : Defensive line does not get much pressure as Jackson has the time to find wide open receiver for a TD.DeAngelo was the closest Cowboy to the WR, he could have made a play on the ball.
3rd Cowboys off series : Isaiah Stanback muffs the Vikings kickoff, and the football bounces out of the endzone. Kitna had a nice run for a 1st down had good pocket presence. Doug Free committed holding penalty while negating a 1st down run by Tashard Choice. Cowboys punt as they are not able to make first down.
3rd Def series : Once again the defensive line was able to force the Vikings into a 3 and out as they did not allow a first down.
4th Off series: Manuel Johnson, a possible practice squad WR catches a pass on a out pattern for 12 yards and also picks up 9 yards on a reverse. Offensive line not opening up many running lanes for Tashard Choice but giving Kitna ample time to throw. Another holding call on offensive line, and next play Doug Free allows Vikings DE to get to Kitna causing an interception.
4th Def series : Vikings grab momentum and are able to move 30 yards for a short running TD. Cowboys defense looked like they did not care to play. They had a very lackadaisacal approach almost conceding a TD to the Vikings.
5th Off series : Rudy Carpenter gets experience but only able to complete 1 pass for minimal game. Horrible horrible special teams allow Vikings to return punt back for a TD.
6th possession : Keon Lattimore fumbles ball ending a promising drive lead by Rudy Carpenter. So far the Cowboys have lost 2 fumbles and Kitna threw 1 interception.
6th Def possession : Bobby Carpenter made a good open field tackle on Vikings runningback. Mike Mickens missed a tackle allowing Vikings WR to pick up 25 yards then drops a sure interception on the next play.DeAngelo Smith had good coverage on Viking WR but unable to wrap up the WR before first down marker. Mike Mickens and Deangelo Smith are not ready for prime time. Cowboys have a goal line stand with Pat Watkins stiffling Sage Rosenfels on a QB bootleg. Pat Watkins followed up with a blocked field goal and then returned a 2nd half interception for a TD he just may have saved his spot on the team.
After an ugly 1st half, the bubble players who most likely will be cut tomorrow are:
Deangelo Smith safety, Mike Mickens CB;Courtney Brown CB; Julius Crosslin FB; Isaiah Stanback WR, Jamie Holloway Wr,Cory Proctor Center;Keon Lattimore RB
2nd half notes :
Rookie OLB Steve Octavien returned a 43 yard interception for a TD
Rookie QB Rudy Carpenter looked confident in the pocket on a drive in the 4th quarter connecting with Chandler for a 6 yard TD.
Rookie TE John Phillips looked like a good 3rd TE has good reliable hands.