It’s only the preseason, so weird things do happen, but Tony Romo was probably the only good thing about the Dallas Cowboys and their offense on their second preseason game, highlighted by plenty of turnovers and the scorching heat in the Desert afternoon, which made it a not-so-perfect-day for football.
The Dallas Cowboys lost 12-7 to the Arizona Cardinals, as both defenses got plenty of praise for their efforts, but there’s a very good chance that the heat was the main object for this “greatness”, as the two teams combined for nine turnovers in the game.
For the Cowboys, Romo was the pleasing part. He threw 7-of-10 for 142 yards, but the acts to follow: Kyle Orton and Alex Tanney, turned the ball over three times. Dwyane Harris, Lance Dunbar and Dez Bryant each lost a fumble, and even a strong performance from their defense couldn’t get them a second win in the preseason.
The interesting thing about the Cowboys’ offense was the first-stringers not scoring. Romo connected well with Bryant for 4 catches and 74 yards, but the Bryant fumble and the one by Dunbar came after excellent plays for the Cowboys. Dunbar lost it after a 43 yard gain off a short pass from Romo, and Bryant lost his ball after a great catch over the middle on the Arizona 24.
The points came for the first time in the fourth quarter, who threw a touchdown pass to Gavin Escobar. Other than that, it wasn’t a very pleasing day for anyone expecting to see something from the Cowboys offense.
The Cowboys showcased more change in their offensive line, with David Arkin getting the start at left tackle, playing a little bit more than three quarters. He did a good job overall, but was surprised by a stunt play from the Cardinals defense, resulting in a sack, one of two allowed by the Cowboys offensive line.
But the Cowboys had their defense to be happy about. The Cardinals got five extra possessions in the first half alone, and still couldn’t do anything more than hit field goals, which probably isn’t a good sign as they head into the regular season not too far from now. Carson Palmer completed less than 50% of his passes, and while the Cowboys didn’t record any sacks, they did a very good job against the run, which seems to be a continuous problem for the Cards this season as well.
So are the Cowboys pleased? With some things. The worrying sign is that their first-team offense still hasn’t scored in the preseason, despite picking up some big plays that resulted in turnovers. As sharp as Tony Romo was, the running game wasn’t anything special, and DeMarco Murray has to be sensational this season considering the lack of depth behind him.
The pressure is equal on Dez Bryant, as he seems to be on the verge of becoming one of the best in the league at his position, but without completing plays and doing more than just picking up nice reception numbers, all the talk about being a changed man, and all the accuracy from a hopefully calmer and more relaxed Tony Romo isn’t going to amount to much.