CANTON, Ohio -- The first preseason game is over, and the Cowboys came out winners. Now comes the tough part: Getting ready for a game in less than a week against the Oakland Raiders. We expect the Cowboys to make a roster move at some point this week to make up for some injuries. In the meantime, however, let's look back on the Sunday night victory against the Bengals with our first Stock Report of the season.
Tashard Choice: After a slow start, the No. 3 running back finished with a team-leading 41 yards on seven carries, including a 21-yard run. It was important for Choice to have a good game here because it seems Marion Barber and Felix Jones, as long as they're healthy, are not giving up any carries.
Brandon Sharpe: The undrafted rookie from Texas Tech was making his first apperance as the inside linebacker and did something you need to if you want join the roster: Make plays. Sharpe intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown with 9:23 to play in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Stephen McGee: The Cowboys need to know what they have out of their No. 3 quarterback. He missed valuable playing time with a knee injury last season so practice time was the only evaulation the club had. Now with at least one game, the Cowboys have a small glimpse and can move forward just a little bit. McGee made some good decisions when under pressure and displayed a strong arm. On the night, he completed 12 of 22 passes for 116 yards. He was sacked four times.
Josh Brent: Competing for the backup nose tackle spot, he made coaches take notice when he forced a fumble. Brent showed good push up the middle, which is key for any nose tackle. Get the center on his heels so the the inside linebackers can make some plays. Brent is no Jay Ratliff, but if he continues to have a high motor, Junior Siavii might have something to worry about.
Doug Free: Left tackle was one of the team's three trouble spots coming into this season. On Sunday night, Free made his first start there and didn't allow quarterback Tony Romo to get under duress. Free contained Antwan Odom for the most part and didn't need a whole lot of help against the pass rush.
John Phillips: He was off to a fantastic start -- four catches for 60 yards -- but he suffered a right knee injury, and Stephen Jones said he was "worried" about its severity. It might be a ACL injury. If that's the case, it'll slow his development down. Phillips was having a nice training camp and on his way to getting more playing time in the Cowboys' two-tight end sets. Now he might have to wait until 2011. (UPDATE: Phillips suffered a torn ACL and is out for the 2010 season. Story here.)
Titus Ryan: After struggling in camp -- the only thing he was good for, it seemed, was running fast -- he suffered a broken thumb while breaking two tackles on a 38-yard kickoff return Sunday. In a crowded field of wide receivers, Ryan's time with the team is short as he'll need surgery.
Jamar Wall: Secondary coach Dave Campo is telling his players to go get the ball because the Cowboys want to create turnovers. Dallas had four Sunday night, none from Wall. He was beat on a couple of routes and, at times, looked a little lost. He still has potential and the Cowboys will stick with him.
Red zone offense: The Cowboys went 0-3 in the red zone on Sunday. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said the team didn't show its entire package, which is fine, but you still would like to see some points. Romo tried to find Roy Williams twice in the red zone with the first team, but didn't come close.
Sam Hurd: This is a player who is on the bubble. Of the three passes thrown his way, he caught only one for 4 yards. It's not totally his fault, but Hurd has to make plays. Injuries and his special teams work gives him a solid grip on a roster spot. This season, Hurd wants to be known more of a receiver. One catch for four yards won't change the perception that he's just a special teams guy.