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Winners and Losers from the Steelers' 16-3 win over the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game


(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)


Winners:


Alex Highsmith - Highsmith was active in the short time that he was on the field tonight, as he was consistently getting pressure on Cowboys' quarterback Garrett Gilbert. Highsmith displayed his notorious spin move that he's been showcasing at training camp for a sack on second-and-goal. And then on the next play, he got pressure on Gilbert and forced an incompletion, which caused the Cowboys to settle for a field goal.

Najee Harris - While it was a small sample size, first-round pick running back Najee Harris had an impressive preseason debut against the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game, finishing the night with seven carries for 22 yards (3.1 average) and one reception for three yards.


Harris showcased some nice burst and power in his runs, especially on this run off the right side that went for first down yardage on second-and-five.

Dan Moore Jr. - Moore looked solid in pass protection and run blocking, but his most impressive play was when he got to the outside on a screen play and threw a key block to free Diontae Johnson for a 12-yard gain. Chuks Okorafor has been dealing with an undisclosed injury and hasn't participated in training camp yet. Geoff Schwartz even mentioned that he's hearing that Moore is going to start at left tackle in Week 1 for the Steelers. So, take that for what it's worth. Perhaps Okorafor is dealing with an injury that's more serious than what the Steelers thought. Regardless, Moore had a good showing in the Hall of Fame Game.

Pressley Harvin III - The Steelers drafted Harvin in the seventh round of this year's draft, and it's expected that he'll beat out veteran Jordan Berry for the punter position. However, Harvin might have already won the training camp "battle" after a great 48-yard punt that pinned the Cowboys at their 1-yard line tonight. It was a beauty. Also in the fourth quarter, Harvin punted a knuckleball that caused Reggie Davis to muff it, and Anthony Johnson recovered the loose ball at the Cowboys' 25-yard line. Harvin punted four times for 183 yards and had a net average of 45.5. Three of Harvin's punts landed inside the Cowboys' 20-yard line.

Mathew Sexton - The Steelers were down 3-0 in the third quarter and they needed a spark. And Sexton provided it for the Steelers with an impressive 36-yard punt return. Four plays later, Kalen Ballage bulldozed his way into the end zone for a 4-yard score to give the Steelers a 6-3 lead. It was all set up by Sexton's big punt return, though. The Steelers are stacked at the wide receivers position. However, if Sexton keeps it up, he could land a spot on the practice squad.

Kalen Ballage - Ballage had a good showing tonight, as he ran hard and had an impressive 4-yard touchdown run where he powered his way into the end zone. He had a few other runs where he got nice yardage after contact. If Ballage continues to perform well in the preseason, he could become the No. 2 running back behind Najee Harris. If so, Benny Snell Jr. or Jaylen Samuels would become expendable.

Josh Dobbs - Dobbs came into the game in the fourth quarter and executed a short touchdown drive that was capped off by an excellent touchdown pass by the Tennessee product. On third-and-goal, Dobbs had a defender in his face and put the ball right where it needed to be for Tyler Simmons for the score. Dobbs displayed great poise under pressure and accuracy. Right when Simmons made his turn on the out pattern, the ball was there for him.

Losers:


Mason Rudolph - Rudolph has reportedly really struggled at training camp, and he displayed that in the Hall of Fame Game tonight, as well. He got off to a rough start with fumbling the ball on an exchange to Chase Claypool on a jet sweep, and the Cowboys recovered. Minus, a 45-yard completion to Claypool, Rudolph was just not all that impressive. His footwork in the pocket continues to be an issue, and he had a few passes where his ball placement was off.

Robert Spillane - Spillane got beat in coverage by Cowboys' running back Rico Dowdle on a third-and-7 for a first down and was hesitant at times when it came to stopping the run. It was a small sample size, but Spillane looked lost at times on the field, which isn't encouraging being that he's projected to be the starting inside linebacker opposite of Devin Bush.


Ulysees Gilbert III - On the Cowboys' second drive, Gilbert missed a tackle on tight end Sean McKeon that allowed Dallas to convert a third-and-12. It was really the only play that stood out that was bad by Gilbert, but it was a tackle that should have been a gimme.





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