On Sunday afternoon, the Cowboys took to the field for their first preseason game at their new home of Mockingbird Lane in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas.
They were led by the highly touted, yet inexperienced defensive tackle J.J. Watt.
As the Cowboys prepare to kick off their new year in style, they will need to play with a bit more urgency.
The Cowboys will not be playing in the first preseason contest of their new stadium at Mocking Bird Lane.
They will be playing against the Houston Texans in the second exhibition game, which is scheduled for the same date, Sept. 17, at 6:30 p.m.
ET (7:30 a.m., CST).
The Texans are a much different team than the one Watt played for last year.
Watt spent much of the offseason trying to figure out his role as the team’s starting left tackle.
The 6-foot-4, 340-pound Watt will get his first real test of that position in the preseason opener against the Texans.
When the Texans play the Cowboys, Watt will be the only defensive tackle on the field.
That will put him in an unfamiliar position, but Watt is confident that he can handle the challenge.
“I feel like I’ve been in a situation where I’ve just had to adjust and figure out my role,” Watt said.
“So I think I’m ready to go out there and prove I’m the guy, that I’m a starter.”
Watt and the rest of the Cowboys offensive line were all around the Texans defensive line during their preseason opener last year, but the line didn’t feature any dominant players.
This year, the Texans are loaded at left tackle, but with Watt, the starting left guard, and the second-stringer at left guard (Brandon Scherff), the Texans have one of the best offensive lines in the league.
Watt is one of five offensive linemen on the Texans’ roster, along with left tackle Duane Brown, right guard Brian Cushing, and left tackle Derek Newton.
Watt said he has had a lot of conversations with quarterback Ryan Mallett about how to use his new role on the offensive line.
“Ryan has been really good to me and has been great about me working out,” Watt told The Dallas Morning News on Sunday.
“He’s given me the confidence that I can be myself.
I’m just ready for this opportunity.” “
I’m just excited about it, man.
I’m just ready for this opportunity.”
The Texans are also a team that is extremely high on the defensive line prospects on the free agent market.
It is a big part of why the Cowboys have signed a number of their key players in free agency.
They have a strong group of pass rushers, including former first-round pick Jadeveon Clowney, the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and second-round cornerback Morris Claiborne.
That group includes former Pro Bowler Khalil Mack, former first round pick Jadevel Smith, former third round pick Dee Ford, former fifth round pick Jonathan Allen, and former first year player Jadeveonian Harrison Smith.
Whew, that is a lot.
Watt has been one of Watt’s biggest critics throughout his career.
The Cowboys signed him to a five-year, $46 million contract with $15 million guaranteed after the 2016 season.
But after being the Cowboys’ starting left defensive tackle, Watt had a disappointing rookie season, grading out as the seventh-worst overall player on the team.
Watt struggled with pass rush pressure in his first three years in the NFL.
Watt’s best seasons came in his second and third years in Dallas.
Watt led the NFL with 31.5 sacks, and he was the Cowboys first-team all-defensive team his second season.
Watt was voted to the Pro Bowl for his first two seasons in Dallas, but he didn’t record a sack until his fifth season with the team in 2019.
He missed all of 2016 and 2017 with injuries, but played in all but one game in 2017 and all but three games in 2018.
Watt played his best football as a rookie, when he had just three sacks in 13 games.
Watt, 28, is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
He has just two sacks on the year.
Despite Watt’s struggles, the Dallas Cowboys were able to get a good deal for him, signing him to two five-Year, $58 million contracts.
Watt signed his second five-season contract worth $24 million in 2018, making him the third highest paid defensive lineman in the entire NFL.
He is the highest paid Cowboys defensive lineman on his fifth contract.
Watt will make $16 million this season.
At the end of his contract, Watt signed a four-year deal worth $28 million. The deal