After seeing the so-called dress rehearsal tonight, the Cowboys fans of the world might be searching for their panic buttons.
True, it’s only preseason, but this was the game that was touted by Coach Wade Philips as a “true showing of what this team has.”
What the Dallas Cowboys have are a whole lot of problems. The game was a mess right from the outset. Twice in the first quarter on key third-down plays, the offense couldn’t execute.
The offensive line really appeared to be unable to handle the Texans' defensive line. Even when the Texans were not showing blitz, at least one Texans blue jersey came within a foot of Tony Romo.
On the second play of the game, Amobi Okoye sacked Romo. The offensive line never gave Romo time to get set in the pocket. The running game never got going, either.
Twenty minutes into the game, the Cowboys had –1 yard of total offense. Penalties and sloppy mistakes were another problem for the Cowboys.
In the third quarter, with the first team players still on the field, getting to the line of scrimmage became a problem. Twice, Tony Romo had to call time out because there was confusion on the field.
When Romo and the first team players finally left the game halfway through the third quarter the team’s performance didn’t get much better. Back up quarterback Jon Kitna also had to burn a timeout in the third quarter due to confusion on the field.
The Cowboys defense was also a complete disaster. The players missed tackles and on third down, they laid down and allowed the Texans to grab chunks of yardage.
The Cowboys allowed 381 yards of offense against a team that failed to make the playoffs last year. When looking at the performances of this Cowboy team, it’s easy to see why the fans might be up in arms.
One fan expressed it best, shortly after the game had concluded.
“I thought we were seeing the starters, not a rookie team,” said fan Ingrid Trimm.
There were only two things all night that Cowboy fans could take as a glimmer of hope. Tony Romo, in spite of the lack of protection, was 13 of 18 for 183 yards, with a quarterback rating of 91.6.
His lone interception was on a pass intended for Jason Witten in the second quarter. It was a 64-yard return that set up another Texans’ touchdown on the next drive.
The Cowboys also avoided a shutout when early in the fourth quarter, second-year wide receiver Kevin Olgetree caught a pass from quarterback Jon Kitna in the corner of the end zone.
The game wasn’t a total loss. The Cowboys have been given a list of things to work on over the next couple of weeks. Perhaps the case can now be made to retain a four-game preseason.
For nights like this, a score of Texans 23, Cowboys 7, it’s best to look at the words of Tony Romo, who spoke on the sideline in an interview after his night of playtime was finished. “We will look at what we did wrong and try to correct it going forward.”
Rachel Trimm is a Jabberhead, blogger and SJ Contributing Author. Enjoy more of her work at Ray’s Sports Ramblings: The Gridiron Edition.
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