Thanks to a second half surge by San Francisco and some bad decisions and penalties by the Cowboys, the Niners walked away from Cowboys Stadium with a convincing 20-13 win last night.
The Cowboys had this game in their hands, but the defense couldn’t hold back the hard charging second stringers who pushed through the Dallas defensive line as if they weren’t there. The Cowboys were up 10-3 at halftime, but were outscored 17-3 in the second half.
Tony Romo and the rest of the first team offense had no trouble moving the ball, but seemed to stall inside the red zone. They did manage to score one touchdown, thanks to some nifty 3-yard run by running back Felix Jones that highlighted a 94 yard drive that featured strong runs by Marion Barber and some clutch passes to receivers Patrick Crayton and Miles Austin, and tight end Jason Witten. By the way, I thought it was interesting that they went with Felix on that three-yarder instead of their closer Marion Barber. That could mean more touchdowns for Felix and less for Barber down the road.
There were some missed opportunities by the first team…
Tony Romo threw an interception at the 4-yard line that ended one scoring opportunity, and a penalty erased a Nick Folk 49 yard field goal that ended another scoring opportunity. Still, there were others. Incidentally, Folk did make two other field goals of 24 and 25 yards.
One key play for the Cowboys was a 4th and 1 in which Wade Phillips opted to go for the field goal. As the home team, I thought they should have went for it and continue the drive to the end zone. It was a conservative play and I expected more from a Cowboys team who boasts so many offensive weapons.
Miles Austin did a fine job filling in for the injured Roy Williams, and Kevin Ogletree had another impressive game and could be locking down a spot on the final roster as the Cowboys’ fifth receiver. He caught two passes for 36 yards in the first half.
The first string defense was superb and showed some toughness when they stuffed the Niners after a 57-yard interception return from Romo. They held the Niners to just 3 points in the first half, and it was the second string that allowed San Francisco to come back and win the game. Bradie James and Jay Ratliff, who recorded a sack, looked impressive and ready for prime time.
This weeks quote of the game comes from the ultra conservative Wade Phillips who went ballistic after witnessing one of his players maul a 49ers receiver.
“The first part of the game, I thought we did some good things. Our second group didn’t play as well. We had penalties and turnovers that really hurt us at the end of the game. The kind of things that get you beat.”
On a sad note, safety Mike Hamlin, a fifth-round pick, suffered a broken right wrist covering a kickoff in the third quarter and he is expected to be out about six to eight weeks. Also, safety Alan Ball sprained his neck and rookie Jason Williams suffered an ankle sprain.
During the game, the Cowboys paid homage to former Cowboy safety Roy Williams. Number 31 for the Cowboys got flagged for a horse collar penalty… it was DeAngelo Smith.
Anyway, lets get one thing straight… The bottom line is that their reserves beat our reserves. Unfortunately, that has been the case for most of the pre season thus far. Guys like Bobby Carpenter, Cory Proctor, Isaiah Stanback, Courtney Brown, and others have had their chances to impress, but have not. In the end, the only thing this loss shows is how poor our depth is behind our talented first teamers who have been solid, especially on defense.
My advice to the Cowboys is simply this… Stay Healthy!
Tomorrow is yet another cut day as the Cowboys do some more roster trimming. I’m willing to bet that at least two of the players that will be cut, have been named in this recap. Can you guess who?