4 Downs: Takeaways from the Cowboys-Cardinals Game

A number of folks have said it, but that game was ugly for Dallas fans. This is what I picked up on and what bears watching next week (the most important dress rehearsal in this dress rehearsal season).

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1) Six (6) Turnovers

It started with Dwayne Harris on a punt return (forced by ex-Redskin Lorenzo Alexander). Lance Dunbar followed it up on the next drive with one of the ugliest, unforced fumbles I’ve ever seen. Dez Bryant said “It’s my turn next” and allowed Jerraud Powers to strip him after a long completion from Tony Romo. Orton had back to back picks in relief of Romo. The icing on the cake was Alex Tanney throwing a pick to the undrafted-free-agent Tony Jefferson.

Are these turnovers a microcosm of Jason Garret’s program or just poor play?

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2) Another Strong Showing For the Defense

Despite turnover-mageddon by the offense, Dallas’ defense only gave up four field goals. They gang tackled and swarmed the ball all game. This is the silver lining from this game. Bask in it, Cowboys fans.

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3) Lingering Injuries

The Cowboys played this game missing 10 players on defense but still had a strong showing playing their base defense. The offense, however, appeared to be hampered by the injury of Ronald Leary. Working in a new starter, the offense never really got anything going. Hopefully for Romo and crew, this line starts to gel; continuity is an underrated factor into the play of offensive lines.

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4) Offensive woes.

The offense, obviously hampered by turnovers and injuries this game, only scored one touchdown. While the turnovers played a factor, the Cowboys only managed 16 yards on the ground. That is not going to get it done and puts tremendous pressure on the passing game. The more balanced the team can play on offense, the less pressure on Tony Romo. This bears watching for the third preseason game.

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