Tuesday, I broke down four players I believe are having an underrated preseason. Those players—Tyron Smith, Doug Free, Brandon Magee, and Jerome Long—have played consistently well but haven’t necessarily made any “highlight” plays that stand out in people’s memories. Today, I’m going to take a look at just the opposite—players who have perhaps played a little worse than what people think.
TE James Hanna
I really like James Hanna and I think he should be the Cowboys’ No. 2 tight end on most areas of the field, but he hasn’t played like it thus far in 2013. Hanna has been targeted twice, failing to catch either pass. He’s been atrocious as a run blocker, consistently getting blown back at the point. And on top of that, Hanna allowed a sack on one of his six snaps in pass protection. If Hanna and Gavin Escobar don’t step up, I actually think the Cowboys will have some major trouble with their “12” personnel.
RB Joseph Randle
I’ve explained why I think Randle will have a tough time in the NFL; he’s a light back with 4.63 speed. While it might seem like Randle is leading the charge for the Dallas rushing attack, he’s averaged only 3.7 YPC on his 45 rushes. That’s a poor average through basically three games worth of carries. He’s also caught two passes for 14 yards.
S J.J. Wilcox
Wilcox is another young player that I really like, but he hasn’t really showed up much this preseason. He had a big interception in the end zone a few weeks ago, but he’s also missed two of the 12 tackles that he’s attempted. Wilcox has surrendered five catches on seven targets (71.4 percent) for 114 yards (16.3 YPA). To his credit, he has seemed to improve as the preseason rolls along. We all knew he’d take some time to develop with just one year of safety experience at Georgia Southern, but the idea that Wilcox is ready to start is wrong.
CB Sterling Moore
A lot of people are talking about how well Moore is playing, but I don’t see it. He’s attempted three tackles but made just one of them. In coverage, Moore has allowed a completion on four of the six pass thrown his way, allowing 52 yards (8.7 YPA) and a touchdown in the process.
Jonathan Bales is the founder of The DC Times. He writes for DallasCowboys.com and the New York Times. He's also the author of Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft.