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Cowboys “D” Impressive In Win Over Broncos

So far the new and improved Dallas defense has lived up to its hype.  Yesterday in their 31-20 victory over the Broncos, the defense set up a score and kept the Broncos out of their endzone after turnovers deep in their own end of the field.  LB Anthony Spencer had an especially good day with a fumble recovery, a tipped pass and put good pressure on Jay Cutler, the Broncos QB.  Unlike the rest of the starting defensive squad, Spencer played the entire second half as the coaching staff felt he needed the experience with veteran LB Greg Ellis still out recovering from injury.  cowboy-broncos-game.jpgStatistically speaking, the defense held the Broncos to just 78 yards of total offense in the first half when the starting Denver offense was on the field and just two field goals.  The Broncos ended the day with just 35-yards rushing.  However the second team defense allowed the biggest play of the game, a 90-yard pass for a TD by Denver QB Patrick Ramsey to back-up WR Brian Clark in the third quarter.   Starting Denver QB Jay Cutler never got comfortable, thanks to the Cowboy pressure, and ended the game just 7 for 13 for 58 yards and failed to convert on any third-down opportunity. 

“I think we gave another good effort,” stated Wade Phillips in his post-game press conference.  “In the first half, I thought our offensive line and defensive line, at key times, made some good plays. They asserted themselves a little bit. We held a really good running team (to) not much rushing yards. I was a little worried about that.”

The offense picked things up well in their second game, scoring three touchdowns in the first half, all of them rushing.   Marion Barber III was impressive with 11 carries for 57 yards and 2 TD’s while Julius Jones had 9 for 31 yards and 1 TD.  Most of the credit for the offensive display in the first half went to first year Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett.  “Some of the fundamental things that we’re seeing are really impressive,” owner Jerry Jones said. “I’m really going to pat our coaching staff on the back. I think they’re doing an outstanding job. Jason Garrett, I’m really pleased not only with how he’s gotten this offense ready to go but also how he calls the plays in the game.”

QB Tony Romo had an average night of 11 for 18 and 122 yards with 1 interception and no touchdowns.  But his overall play was good enough to get the Cowboys into scoring position on all four scoring drives, one of which ended in a 52-yard field goal by Rookie K Nick Folk.  The kicking game was exceptional all evening with Martin Grammatica missing a 51-yard FG attempt in the first quarter, but kicking the ball deep into the end zone for touchbacks on two of his kickoffs.  Folk also had two touchbacks on his two kickoffs.

Rookie WR Isaiah Stanback had a good game, scoring on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Brad Johnson in the fourth quarter and finishing the game with 2 catches for 30 yards.  After missing all of training camp recovering from Lisfranc foot surgery and shin splints, it was time to see what the highly-touted QB-turned-WR could do on the football field.

“Overall, I look at the things we did well tonight,” Coach Phillips said. “I’m looking at the individuals and how they played. But as a team, it’s early in preseason. But as a team, we played well overall.”

With a 2-0 start to this preseason, the Cowboys are looking to fulfill the high expectations held by most fans, including this one, who thinks they are looking like the team to beat in the NFC East.

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