2022 Rookie Cowboys Report: Tyler Smith takes it one step further

The Cowboys pulled off the improbable on Sunday and scored a surprise victory over the reigning AFC Champions League Bengals. Let’s take a look at each rookie’s performance in the bold win.

One thing to note: junior defensive tackle John Ridgway, who was inactive a week ago, was not on the list for this week. It was cut to make room for several player heights due to injury with the intent to bring him back, but he Washington’s leaders claimed responsibility on Monday.

After making his NFL debut last week and playing mostly flawless, Tyler Smith has been left-handed against the Bengals. Smith’s performance in this game can be summed up in much the same way as his first appearance: a solid, yet imperfect play, at the same time proving that Smith has a very high ceiling but is still learning as a full-time starter in intervention.

The most impressive thing about Smith, by far, is the improvement he made in just one week. Smith faced primarily against Trey Hendrickson this week, a much different player than last week’s Chuck Barrett. With it came a change in Smith’s playing style:

The change in tactics worked well for Smith, who allowed only one press and no sacks in the game. He also went through the entire match without getting penalized, which is another area of ​​improvement from last week. However, Smith didn’t do enough to justify breaking up the lard, but it was enough to cheer coaches and fans alike.

The conclusion to be drawn from Smith’s stats here is pretty much what we’ve seen in both games thus far: Smith has plenty of room for improvement, but it looks like this front desk hits another run in the first round of the draft.

The Cowboys’ plan to engage Sam Williams doesn’t seem like much yet. He had the second lowest hits in defense last week, and against the Bengals, Trysten Hill tied for the team’s lowest.

Williams scored his first tackle of his career, blowing out a play for a very good handling of the loss. He’s also played on 17 special teams, which seems to be the role he’ll be playing at the moment.

For the second time in many games, Galen Tolbert was inactive. The decision was disappointing, even with the Cowboys winning. Then, on Monday, Stephen Jones suggested the reasoning was about injuries and not how the team viewed Tolbert:

Whatever the reason, it’s disappointing to say the least that Tolbert has yet to see the field in his rookie year having been so much inflated throughout pre-season and pre-season.

Having barely seen the field last week, Jake Ferguson got plenty of action against Cincinnati. He played 34 offensive shots, more than half the time the offense was on the field. But in the second game in a row, Ferguson did not see the ball in his path. For his part, though, Ferguson had more than held mind in his running game.

Just like last week, only Matt Waletzko saw the field block Brett Maher’s kicks.

DaRon Bland saw all of his 13 shots in this game come on special teams, an expected turn for the junior unless the secondary sustained any injuries.

Damon Clark is on the reserve list of non-football players and has not played.

Devin Harper tied with Rico Dowdle for the second most Special Squads in this game with 18. This is a very encouraging sign for the novice, who has been drafted with his special teams abilities in mind.

Dennis Houston was once again WR3 for the Cowboys in this game, with Tolbert inactive again and Michael Gallup not yet ready to return. Houston struggled hard last week, only targeting the Bengals once despite playing one-third of their offensive shots.

Part of this likely has to do with a lack of chemistry between him and Cooper Rush, as Houston’s biggest moments in training camp came when Dak Prescott threw the ball. However, with Gallup’s return looming, and James Washington still waiting in the wings, Houston may have a coaching team in the near future.

As a third tight end, Peyton Hendershot didn’t see much action in this game, with only seven shots to attack. That’s to be expected, given his role, but Hendershott may be asked to do more after Dalton Schultz appeared to have injured his knee late in Sunday’s game.

Marquis Bale made his NFL debut after being inactive last week. However, Israel Mukwamou got the procedure in place of injured Jayron Kerr, which saw Bale drop to just nine times on the specials.

Alec Lindstrom was called in from the coaching squad to provide depth along the interior of the offensive line with Conor McGovern out. However, Lindstrom has not played in the game, and is likely to return to the coaching staff.