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San Francisco-Dallas: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 29: Runnng back Felix Jones #28 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball against Dre' Bly #31 of the San Francisco 49ers at Cowboys Stadium on August 29, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Good

    Smash, Tash and Dash all looked impressive, and fans got a glimpse of the run in the two tight end set which will be featured a lot by this version of the Cowboys. Barber looked to be in 2007 form, punishing tacklers for thirty yards on seven carries during Dallas' best drive, a 14 play, 94 yard affair. Felix Jones seems intent on reminding us that he has the capacity to hit paydirt anytime he touches the ball. And I would be remiss not to mention Tashard Choice; he outgained both, going for 55 yards on 8 carries.

    Kevin Ogletree. All the undrafted free agent does is run crisp routes and make catches. He's making a strong case for being on the 53 man roster when Dallas opens up against Tampa Bay in two weeks, and this might mean, unless he responds accordingly, Isaiah Stanback's walking papers. Let's just say it's not looking good for the Washington-product..

    Dallas' defensive front looked good against a bad offensive line. Jason Hatcher was hell for 'Niners tackle Alex Boone, who he whipped like a cur for much of the time he was on the field, recording a sack and getting consistent penetration. Jay Ratliff, well, he's really fast. He found himself in Shaun Hill's face several times. Jean Jacques Taylor boldly claimed a week ago that Ratliff would head to another Pro Bowl come February. It's looking like a good call, at this juncture.

    Bad

    Tony Romo's interception is remarkable in that it was a case of forcing the ball, the exact thing that Romo vocally set out not to do; this is something he touched on in his post game comments. Granted, Romo has done a much better job with regards to protecting the ball this preseason. But Dallas will rely this year far more on ball control, meaning that such mistakes will be less forgiveable than in previous years, when the team housed a greatest-show-on-turf-type approach.

    Martellus Bennett dropped a ball that could've meant huge yards, a ball that he had no business dropping. The play, about which Bennett said he was "pissed off" was a mere lapse in concentration, something you certainly don't want to see in the most important game of the preseason.

    It is looking more and more like the aforementioned Stanback will be gone soon. This is really more sad than anything. Stanback is a great athlete but, marred by injuries, his Dallas Cowboys career may be drawing to a close before it could ever really get off the ground.

    Ugly

    The curse of the 2009 draft class. I'll blame this on Jessica Simpson and her curious foray into the occult. Dallas lost Michael Hamlin, who broke his wrist and Jason Williams, who suffered a high ankle sprain on Saturday, for 4-6 weeks a piece. This is not helping any depth concerns.

    A number 31 horse-collaring a receiver to the ground sent the city into a collective, ugly deja vu moment. Thanks Roy Williams. Only it wasn't Williams, but DeAngelo "Not-as-fast-as-David-Buehler" Smith. Admittedly, this was only one case of a bad penalty in a performance ripe with those. Leonard Davis' hold turns three points into a punt, Marc Colombo's false start turns a third and four into a third and long, Courtney Brown's pass interference, et cetera. Take your pick. Chalk it up to it being August if you must; but this is a very real issue, and it must be addressed. Preferably before September 20.

    Jon Kitna and Corey Proctor can't seem to get this whole "snapping the ball" thing down. Yet another snap went awry on Saturday and, more than anything, it confounds me. How a trusted veteran quarterback can struggle so heavily with something so basic, I'm not sure. But it vaguely reminds me of late-nineties Chuck Knoblauch, when he forgot how to throw a baseball to first base.