Nebraska Football: Luke Gifford makes his mark in Dallas Cowboys opener

. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The Nebraska Football alum made his professional debut Saturday.

Former Nebraska Football linebacker Luke Gifford made his National Football League debut with the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday. With the Cowboys facing off against the San Francisco 49ers, it was a defensive-minded game. The Cowboys came out on the losing edge of things by a 17-9 defeat.

For his part, Gifford had a pretty good game on Saturday. Statistically, he made his mark with the reps he received. Recording two tackles and an interception, he was noticeably all over the field. It was good to see him get those reps in, and he certainly will be a player to watch, as long as his injury doesn’t hold him back.

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That was the only bad part of Saturday’s game for the Nebraska Football alum. He suffered a high ankle sprain in the second quarter of play.

I hope for his sake that he can get healthy as soon as possible. This is the time of year when every player who may be on the fringe of making the roster can’t afford any setbacks. Obviously the injury is not his fault, but it certainly does not help things. Nevertheless, he should be able to bounce back from it as all reports indicate that the injury is not too serious.

Putting the injury aside for a moment, he certainly did enough to warrant getting excited about. He showed exactly why he was a key player for the Nebraska defense. Now, he will have to take his work ethic and playmaking ability and see if he can translate it to his next game. With guys such as Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith at the linebacker position, it is one that is very top-heavy for the Dallas Cowboys. Gifford certainly has the talent to be a nice complement to that group.

Gifford can play at a high level for sure. We saw it last year at Memorial Stadium. With 62 tackles and 5.5 tackles for a loss, he showed that he could be an asset to any defense.

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Now, the Nebraska Football alum will suffer a bump in the road as he tries to come back from this injury. It will be interesting to see how his rehab goes, if he needs any, and whether or not he can make the most out of the rest of the preseason. Either way, he was very impressive Saturday, and that should not be forgotten. If anything, it was just a continuation of what he did while playing for the Nebraska Football program.