Kip is OK. Actually, Kip Smith was better than OK in the opener. On the spot as Quinn Sharp's replacement at punter, Smith averaged 45.2 yards per boot, with a long of 54 yards. Smith also excels at booming high kickoffs, also apparent Saturday.
Chelf life? So has Clint Chelf's feel-good meteoric rise to Choo Choo fame and good football fortune really flamed out just as fast? Don't bet on it. Chances are he'll be needed this season, perhaps again to bail out the Cowboys like he did in 2012. The way Walsh keeps colliding with defenders — the way Zac Robinson did, and it never ended well for him — there's no guarantee he'll remain standing through 13 games. And knowing Chelf, he'll be ready.
Offensive direction. Gundy keeps talking about how the Cowboys are committed to spreading it out and throwing it. And with his current collection of elite receivers, seems like a solid plan. But there wasn't much winging it Saturday. And there's uncertainty, even with Gundy, of where exactly the offense is headed.
Deep defense. Sure, Gary looked like a reborn safety. And Justin Gilbert returned to his intercepting ways and Mississippi State never reached the end zone. Don't declare a shutdown mode just yet. The Bulldogs didn't really pose much of a test through the air, not with their newbie receivers and quarterback Tyler Russell getting hurt. That was no Big 12 offense on the other sideline. Bigger tests await.
Kicking concerns. Smith answered some kicking game questions with his punts and kickoffs. Still more questions remain. Like, is Ben Grogan a weapon? The freshman got just one field goal try, and a 49-yarder at that, but it was low and blocked and nearly returned for a score. MSU's Jameon Lewis also returned a kickoff 66 yards.