A 2021 All Pro picking up where he left off among Cowboys 3 stars

·2 min read

The Dallas Cowboys started 2022 a lot like they ended 2021, committing 17 penalties for 129 yards. Those penalties extended three scoring drives for the Denver Broncos, and also cost Dallas such as an interception for the defense and big plays both rushing and passing for the offense. Going into the fourth quarter the Cowboys had more penalty yards than they had rushing or passing yards.

It might be hard to find stars in a sloppy, noncompetitive contest, but there were some bright spots for the Cowboys in Denver.

Bryan Anger

The punter was one of the really good starters the Cowboys were forced to play tonight, and he started his 2022 campaign like he played all of 2021. Looking like the All-Pro he is, Anger had five punts for 244 yards, averaging 48.8 yards, with a long of 57 and two punts inside the 20. One of the two punts was downed at the one-yard line.

Malik Davis

To the credit of the Cowboys coaching staff, a 17-0 deficit didn’t stop the Cowboys from trying to stick to their game plan of establishing a physical rushing attack. The team never looked better then when running with undrafted rookie Malik Davis. He had the highest yardage total on the team, at 51, the best average rushing yards, 6.4, and the longest run of the game, 16.

Davis was impactful in the passing game as well with three receptions on four targets for 16 yards.

Jake Ferguson

Sometimes a star isn’t just about stats. Yes, Ferguson caught all three of his targets for 29 yards and had a few nice blocks, but it was his effort that made him a star. The first play of the fourth quarter, down 17-0 already, Ben DiNucci threw up a prayer on third and 15. The ball was floating right into the hands of a waiting defender when Ferguson made a break for the play and turned to a defender to knock the ball away and save a turnover.

The resulting field goal on fourth down may have been missed, but effort from Ferguson is what allowed the team to even get a scoring opportunity at all. In the preseason, plays like that make stars.

You can find Mike Crum on Twitter @cdpiglet or at Youtube on the Across the Cowboys Podcast.

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Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire