The Dallas Cowboys played their third preseason game Friday night and because of an exceptional first half by the starters, their preseason is done. You won’t be seeing Tony Romo and company till the season opener on September 7th. The last preseason game will be for the backups and those fighting for a roster spot. Friday’s game was the highlight of the Cowboys preseason and hopefully it set the platform form them to build on as they begin their 2008 Super Bowl campaign.
Friday night the Cowboys met the Texans and for the first time both the offense and the defense looked sharp and were up to the task of taking on the 2008 season. The Cowboys offense was sharp, chewing up 266 yards in the first half. Tony Romo was 15 of 19 passes for 166 yards and led the offense on two touchdown drives, including a six-yard TD pass to Patrick Crayton in the first quarter. His lone significant mistake was an interception in the end zone with the Cowboys poised to score from the one-yard line. While that was a mistake, sadly it was one that the Cowboys have become accustom to with Romo at the helm. One can hope that as they head into the regular season, these mistakes will be minimized.
On the ground, Marion Barber returned to form Friday night. The offensive line created gaping holes for Marion Barber, who plowed through the Texans’ defense for 75 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. That will be a standard Dallas must maintain if they want success this upcoming season. The O-Line must improve their play over last season’s performance in the playoffs. The line wore down against the Giants and in the second half Marian Barber had no hole to work with, and the running game was shut down. When the O-Line is working effectively, then Barber can pound a defense early. That will open up gapping holes in a tired defense for newcomer Felix Jones and make the Cowboys a dangerous rushing team.
The Cowboys got the win, and while there were other important factors in Friday’s game, it was the play of the starters that was the highlight of the week. All in all, the third preseason game has to be considered a success, and one that Wade Phillips and company will use to build on with the regular season right around the corner.