The Dallas Cowboys played a real, live football game last night. Sure, the game did not exactly count because of the preseason, but it was still awesome to see the team take the field in a game-like setting.

There is not a ton to take away from preseason games. Especially preseason games in which very few starters or key contributors played. Still, we can still point to a handful of different things from Thursday night that are worth highlighting.

Garrett Gilbert played well in his role, while Ben DiNucci struggled mightily. Micah Parsons flashed in his first ever NFL action. Fellow rookie Quinton Bohanna made some plays that stood out, as well. Here are three takeaways from the Hall of Fame Game.

COWBOYS DESPERATELY NEED A HEALTHY DAK PRESCOTT

Sure, this goes without saying — especially after the way that last season played out. The Dallas Cowboys put a miserable product on the field after Prescott went down in week five. The combination of Gilbert, DiNucci, and Andy Dalton failed to take advantage of the talented wide receiver corps.

Garrett did perform well on Thursday and played very well against the Steelers last regular season. If needed in a pinch, Garrett seems capable of filling in for a short period of time. DiNucci, on the other hand, did not have the greatest performance in Canton, to say the least.

DiNucci’s spot on the roster appears to be in jeopardy, which is not the biggest surprise in the world. All of this is to say that the Cowboys cannot afford to go a stretch of games with Prescott — who is dealing with shoulder soreness — sidelined. That goes for just about any team, but that is especially true with the Cowboys.

Gilbert is a fine QB2, but the Dallas Cowboys cannot feel very confident about their depth at the position. This is all moot, of course, if Prescott remains healthy.

DEFENSIVE ROOKIES FLASH IN FIRST GAME ACTION

Micah Parsons jumped off of the screen. Quinton Bohanna impressed at the line of scrimmage. That is great news for the Dallas Cowboys, as the team needs the defense to take a step forward in order to truly compete in 2021.

Parsons is an athletic marvel that has the ability to fly around the field. His speed stands out, and the Steelers found that out quickly on Thursday night. The 2021 first-rounder did not many snaps, but he made plays when he was on the field — making three tackles. There is a lot to be excited about.

Additionally, Bohanna is looking to carve out a role in Dan Quinn’s defense. The rookie out of Kentucky is a big body defensive tackle — something that the Cowboys need. He moves well for his size and was active. Bohanna certainly has the frame and the motor to be a solid addition to the trenches.

Fellow rooks Kelvin Joseph, Nahshon Wright, and Israel Mukuamu all got some playing time in the secondary. Dallas would love for the preseason to serve as a springboard for their young defensive backs.

WEEK 1 CAN’T GET HERE FAST ENOUGH

The final takeaway from the Hall of Fame Game is that week one cannot get here fast enough. Thursday night served as a pregame for the regular season. It got our juices flowing, but we want more.

Nonetheless, it was great to see football back on our televisions — especially Dallas Cowboys football. Several players are battling for spots on the roster, while others are looking to establish their roles on the team. There is no shortage of interesting storylines to follow this month.

Get me to September 9th.

Featured image via Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports