Cowboys News And Notes: The Cardinals Game Aftermath

Norm Hall

It was an ugly performance by the Dallas Cowboys. Here is a rundown of what has been written about it.

Alex Albright will have back surgery and miss the season - Star-Telegram
In addition to the bad performance on the field, there was bad news about Alex Albright, another Dallas Cowboy, like Tyrone Crawford, who will miss the season.

Morris Claiborne hopes to run Monday - Todd Archer, ESPN NFC East Blog
The MRI he underwent shows some tendinitis, and he is going to be day to day. He hopes to get a chance to try it out on Monday.

"I haven't ran on it since I hurt it," Claiborne said. "It's going to be good to get out there and get a little running in just to see where I'm at."

Injuries: Will Allen OK after shot to ribs - Calvin Watkins, ESPN NFC East Blog
Despite a brief scare when Allen, who is looking more and more like he will be one of the starting safeties, went down, the team came out of the game with the Arizona Cardinals relatively unscathed.

Safety Will Allen took a shot to the ribs but said after the game that he is fine and he would have continued playing if this had been a regular-season game.

"Just a little rib shot," Allen told ESPNDallas' Todd Archer. "Nothing too major."

Jerry Jones: Cowboys are done dealing with Brian Waters... for now - Charean Williams, Star-Telegram
The team has not given up hope completely, but the signs are not good for anything to happen soon with Brian Waters.

Dallas made an offer to the veteran guard, who lives in Waxahachie, but the two sides couldn't come to an agreement.

"It takes two," owner Jerry Jones said after the Cowboys' 12-7 loss to the Cardinals. "We weren't able to get it done. That doesn't mean you're not going to get it done later at all. It just means it's not done right now."

Offensive Line Starters Were Solid - Brian Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
Given that Waters is off the table for now, this is good news.

I thought the first-team offense, protection-wise, with David Arkin and Tyron Smith working together, held up well despite this being the first game action for Arkin on the left side. There was only one time where they struggled with a twist stunt, but other than that, it was solid.

From my view in the broadcast booth, I liked what I saw from Travis Frederick and Mackenzy Bernadeau working together as well. Cardinals defensive linemen Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell can give any line a great deal of issues, but I didn't feel like they were a factor.

He also mentions several other players who had good showings, including George Selvie, who looks to be a really good find when the team uses him the right way.

Dallas O-line starters see extended action - Todd Archer, ESPN NFC East Blog
It was good that the line looked passable, since the team was trying to get a nice, long look at what they had available for the game.

Tyron Smith, David Arkin, Travis Frederick, Mackenzy Bernadeau and Doug Free played a series into the third quarter. Arkin played even longer.

"We've just been limited," coach Jason Garrett said. "We anticipated them playing certainly the whole first half when Tony and Kyle (Orton) were in there. We were going to give them one more series because we don't have that many guys. It was good to give them a chance to play next to each other."

Fumble ruins otherwise big day for Cowboys' Dez Bryant - Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas
It is perhaps a sign of his growing maturity that he did not want to talk about the otherwise excellent night he had.

The final moment of his four-yard, 74-yard performance, when cornerback Jerraud Powers ripped the ball out of Bryant's hands at the end of a 27-yard gain across the middle, was all that was on the Cowboys' big-play receiver's mind.

"Pissed about the fumble," Bryant hoarsely grumbled after the 12-7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. "It's just not me, you know what I'm saying? I don't fumble. I'm not going to hold it over my head, because I know what type of player I am. It's something I have to correct.

Harris, Dunbar, Bryant accept responsibility for fumbles - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
Bryant was not the only one who was angry with himself. Dwayne Harris acknowledged he lost a battle, and Dunbar had this take:

"I was just trying to keep my balance instead of tucking the ball away," Dunbar said. "I kind of lost it trying to keep my balance. You can't let that happen. That kind of messed up the whole series right there. We got the ball down there. We have to keep it so we can put it in the end zone. We can't allow that and it won't happen again."

Lance Dunbar making explosive plays - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
Like Bryant, Dunbar had an otherwise impressive performance marred by the fumble.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones wasn't happy with the fumble but was very pleased overall with the work of his No. 2 running back.

"Tonight, Dunbar impressed me so much," Jones said, "and I think any Cowboys fan should be excited by No. 25."

Alex Tanney tosses first touchdown pass - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
It was really good to see the free agent finally get to show something, and he was rather impressive until the interception that effectively ended the game, but now the team is in a bit of a quandary. He really is not ready to be on the roster as the third quarterback, but we all know how trying to stash someone on the practice squad can backfire (see Matt Moore).

Tanney, who played the entire second half, completed 14-of-19 passes for 136 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He completed his first 11 passes.

"The turnover at the end, obviously I'm not comfortable (with that)," Tanney said. "Defense did a great job holding them to a field goal and we had an opportunity to win the game, and you can't turn the ball over in that situation.

Jerry Jones jokes that Alex Tanney has a "Heisman Trophy day" - Charean Williams, Star-Telegram
The owner gave an evaluation in his own inimitable style.

"I saw the one drive, but I didn't see enough," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "I would like to think that we are better and will play better than to make Tanney's performance something to get giddy about.

"But since we did play like that, let's call it a Heisman Trophy day."

Veteran backup Kyle Orton makes 'two bad decisions' - Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas
Tanney's value to the team going forward may be increased by the Jeckyll and Hyde nature of Orton's performance so far in the pre-season.

The Cowboys gave Orton a three-year, $10.5 million deal last year because they wanted an experienced, savvy veteran backup for Tony Romo. He looked like a rookie while being intercepted twice on eight attempts Saturday.

"He's typically pretty clean with the ball," head coach Jason Garrett said. "He has a good understanding of our offense. Those are two bad decisions, though."

Cowboys on missed early TD chance: Williams ran wrong route, Romo still missed the throw - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
Although Tony Romo was not the problem against the Cardinals, he was not immune to criticism about a chance he had for a big play to rookie Terrance Williams, who was seeing his first game action of the pre-season.

"It was an adjustment route, so he has to see it a little differently," Romo said. "He made an adjustment off of one thing and there was another adjustment supposed to be made. The thing, obviously, if he runs that route I have to adjust to that. It's part of learning. It's his first game and we will have that down next time. I thought he did really good tonight. He did a lot of good things."

Still coach Jason Garrett said that it was a missed opportunity for a touchdown because of a bad overthrow by Romo.

Turnover Troubles; Young Defensemen Impress - Brian Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
The DallasCowboys.com analyst also takes a look at how each of the three units did. In this case, two out of three ain't good.

Special Teams: It was another fumbled punt return, this time by a veteran player. Dwayne Harris was trying to fight for extra yards, but after running into Brandon Underwood, he was unable to get his momentum going forward and was stripped of the ball by Justin Bethel from the backside. What is troubling about the play was that the defense had made a nice stop to get off the field, but had to return after the turnover.

Five thoughts: Dallas Cowboys defense impresses in third preseason game, offense never gets on track - Jon Machota, DMN
Jon Machota has his summation of the game, including what was arguably the standout performance of the game that did not involve Alex Tanney.

4.) The Cowboys might've received a draft day steal with DeVonte Holloman. The sixth-round pick has been an outstanding playmaker in two of the three preseason games. Holloman had a pick-six in the preseason opener and looked to have a forced fumble in the second quarter on Saturday. He knocked the ball out of Drew Stanton's hands on what looked like a sack, but the play was ruled an incomplete pass. Holloman then made up for it with a diving interception late in the second half. Not a bad showing so far for a speedy outside linebacker who was drafted to contribute on special teams.

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