The Seattle Seahawks’ final home preseason game is this Saturday night against the Dallas Cowboys, one of the top contenders in the NFC and one of the better rosters across the NFL. As is almost the norm these days, starters seldom appear in preseason, so if you’re expecting Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons, or Trevon Diggs to play, you are sorely mistaken. Will Grier is probably going to get the lion’s share of the quarterback snaps over Cooper Rush, while the running back snaps should be dominated by Rico Dowdle and 5’5 rookie running back Deuce Vaughn.
During the regular season we have a weekly segment called 5 Qs and 5 As with the opposition SB Nation site. It’s preseason so we’re doing something a little different. I asked Blogging the Boys’ RJ Ochoa for a trio of players ‘Hawks fans should watch closely on Saturday, and here’s who he highlighted.
1. Mazi Smith
The Cowboys spent a first-round draft pick on a defensive tackle for the first time (seriously) since 1991 when they took Mazi Smith this spring. As a DT Mazi hasn’t had a flashy highlight come out of training camp and his success in the preseason opener was a slow burn.
But the Cowboys did inhibit the Jaguars from having success on the ground for most of last week in terms of runs up the middle specifically, which was obviously what Mazi was brought in to help stabilize. He is coming along and starting to show up more consistently which is certainly something worth paying attention to.
2. Luke Schoonmaker
I promise that I am not trying to just go in order of the Cowboys draft picks, but the top of their group has had a lot of attention on it lately and Dallas historically has missed on a lot of second-round picks which has led to some pessimism around Schoonmaker. It took him a bit to get involved in camp and he did not exactly pop against Jacksonville.
But the Cowboys have an ample opportunity at the tight end position in general this season. It stands to reason that they are going to give him plenty of opportunities to impress so he is someone that we are going to have our eyes on a lot over at BTB.
3. Damone Clark
The Cowboys took Clark in the fifth round last year and it felt likely that he would redshirt the entire season. Amazingly he wound up playing and did so very well.
But Clark showed up this year ready for more and parlayed a great beginning of camp with a very strong performance in the first preseason contest. He looks like a tried and true running mate for Leighton Vander Esch in the middle of Dan Quinn’s defense and even got to execute the defensive play calls. He is circled in bright red in our eyes.
Mazi Smith is definitely someone frequently discussed on this site among fans as far as a potential interior defensive lineman option for the Seahawks. Seattle obviously took Jaxon Smith-Njigba at No. 20 overall (Smith was No. 26).
Thanks to RJ for the insight! We’ll touch base with BTB later on this season when they play in the regular season on November 30 in Arlington, TX.