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Cowboys sharp in beat-down of the Saints

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Drew Bledsoe returned to the field in a start for the Dallas Cowboys and proceeded to shred the New Orleans Saints in a 30-7 Cowboys victory. Perhaps Bledsoe was motivated by the so-called QB controversy that played itself out this week in the media, but apparently not in the mind of Bill Parcells or Jerry Jones. Bledsoe went 12 of 16 for 156 yards and 2 TDs. He connected with Terry Glenn on a highlight catch for the ages, if it had been the regualr season. As it was, still a mighty impressive catch, and Sam Hurd chipped in with his own acrobatic TD catch, further tightening his grip on a roster spot.

Bledsoe was aided by excellent protection from the offensive line, allowing him ample time to pick out his targets, particularly Terry Glenn. The run blocking was a mixed-bag, at times they opened some good holes for Julius Jones, but also had plays with no push. Flozell Adams was reportedly kicked in the leg on the first drive and sat out the rest of the game. In a surprise, Pat McQuistan replaced Flozell instead of Rob Petitti. Petitti did play the second half.

The first team defense was lights out for a second straight week. Sean Payton must've been drinking on Bourbon Street before the game because he decided to challenge DeMarcus Ware with Reggie Bush on a couple of plays instead of Greg Ellis. Mistake, Ware was more than equal to the task. Ellis unfortunately dropped an INT that would've been a sure TD, but still played a pretty good half. With the way the defense is playing right now, if the offense can put up 14-17 points a week, we should be golden.

Sam Hurd and Jamaica Rector are two players making a real push for the 53-man roster, leading Jerry Jones to say in the second half that we may not be in such a trading move for WR's now.

Tony Romo played the second half and had another solid game, connecting with Miles Austin on a long TD. But he did put the ball on the turf leading to a short field for the Saints, and they cashed in for their only points of the game.

I'll be reviewing the game tape tomorrow for a thorough break-down, but the Cowboys were very impressive tonight. It may have only been preseason and the opponent was the Saints, but the mark of a good team is one that takes care of business against lesser opposition.

Who caught your eye in tonight's game? Anything you saw that might shake-up the final roster? Comments welcome.

Update [2006-8-21 23:30:47 by Grizz]: Deke just reminded me in the comments that Pat Watkins was the starting FS tonight instead of Keith Davis. Interesting.

Click below for the box score.

Dallas Passing
     C/ATT    YDS    AVG    TD    INT
D. Bledsoe    12/16    156    9.8    2    0
T. Romo    6/8    138    17.3    1    0
Team    18/24    294    11.9    3    0

New Orleans Passing
     C/ATT    YDS    AVG    TD    INT
T. Bouman    13/16    117    7.3    0    0
D. Brees    7/12    67    5.6    0    0
Team    20/28    184    6.6    0    0
Dallas Rushing
     CAR    YDS    AVG    TD    LG
T. Thompson    10    45    4.5    0    25
M. Barber III    13    40    3.1    0    11
J. Jones    13    29    2.2    0    11
D. Bledsoe    1    2    2.0    0    2
T. Romo    1    1    1.0    0    1
L. Polite    1    0    0.0    0    0
Team    39    117    3.0    0    25

New Orleans Rushing
     CAR    YDS    AVG    TD    LG
J. Branch    11    40    3.6    1    7
D. McAllister    2    8    4.0    0    5
R. Bush    4    7    1.8    0    9
M. Karney    1    3    3.0    0    3
F. McAfee    1    1    1.0    0    1
Team    19    59    3.1    1    9
Dallas Receiving
     REC    YDS    AVG    TD    LG
T. Glenn    4    71    17.8    1    30
M. Austin    1    48    48.0    1    48
J. Rector    3    32    10.7    0    14
T. Copper    2    32    16.0    0    21
S. Hurd    3    30    10.0    1    13
R. Hannam    1    25    25.0    0    25
T. Curtis    1    23    23.0    0    23
J. Witten    1    16    16.0    0    16
M. Barber III    1    10    10.0    0    10
J. Jones    1    7    7.0    0    7
Team    18    294    16.3    3    48

New Orleans Receiving
     REC    YDS    AVG    TD    LG
J. Branch    2    46    23.0    0    35
J. Horn    2    34    17.0    0    28
F. McAfee    3    20    6.7    0    13
M. Colston    2    20    10.0    0    13
D. Stallworth    2    15    7.5    0    9
R. Bush    2    14    7.0    0    11
D. Henderson    2    10    5.0    0    5
C. Horn    1    7    7.0    0    7
K. Joseph    1    5    5.0    0    5
N. Lawrie    1    5    5.0    0    5
J. Jones    1    4    4.0    0    4
D. McAllister    1    4    4.0    0    4
Team    20    184    9.2    0    35
Dallas Tackles
     TOT    SACKS    SOLO
R. Fowler    4    0    3
A. Henry    3    0    3
A. Elam    3    0    3
L. Williams    3    0    3
G. Ellis    2    0    2
D. Ware    2    0    2
J. Ratliff    2    0    2
R. Boiman    2    0    2
B. James    2    0    2
T. Newman    2    0    1
J. Hatcher    2    0    1
M. Spears    2    0    1
K. Burnett    1    0    1
O. Hoyte    1    0    1
B. Carpenter    1    0    1
S. Shanle    1    0    1
W. Pile    1    0    1
N. Jones    1    0    1
T. Johnson    1    0    1
M. Coleman    1    0    0
J. Ferguson    1    0    0
M. Stanley    1    0    0
A. Ayodele    1    0    0
Team    40    0    32

New Orleans Tackles
     TOT    SACKS    SOLO
R. Ninkovich    8    2    8
J. Foreman    7    0    7
S. Fujita    4    0    4
T. Melton    4    0    3
R. Harper    4    0    2
F. Thomas    3    0    3
E. Kuale    3    0    3
J. Bellamy    3    0    2
O. Stoutmire    2    0    2
M. McKenzie    2    0    2
C. Bockwoldt    2    0    2
J. Craft    2    0    2
J. Bullocks    2    0    2
A. Phillips    2    0    2
B. Young    2    0    1
J. Thomas    2    0    1
H. Thomas    1    0    1
C. Dukes    1    0    1
R. Williams    1    0    1
J. Lay    1    0    1
C. Grant    1    0    1
W. Smith    1    0    1
A. Simmons    1    0    1
B. Villarreal    1    0    0
J. Nanton    1    0    0
Team    61    2    53
Dallas Kick Returns
     NO    YDS    AVG    LG
A. Elam    1    15    15.0    15
S. Green    1    13    13.0    13
Team    2    28    14.0    15

New Orleans Kick Returns
     NO    YDS    AVG    LG
B. Johnson    3    61    20.3    23
D. Stallworth    1    23    23.0    23
D. Henderson    1    22    22.0    22
M. Karney    1    7    7.0    7
Team    6    113    18.8    23
Dallas Punt Returns
     NO    YDS    AVG    LG
S. Green    4    37    9.3    22
Team    4    37    9.3    22

New Orleans Punt Returns
     NO    YDS    AVG    LG
Team    0    0    0.0    0
Dallas Kicking
     FG    PCT    LONG    XP    PTS
S. Suisham    2/2    100.0    42    3/3    9
Team    3/3    100.0    42    3/3    9

New Orleans Kicking
     FG    PCT    LONG    XP    PTS
C. Hughes    0/0    0.0    --    1/1    1
Team    0/0    0.0    --    1/1    1
Dallas Punting
     TOT    YDS    AVG    TB    -20    LG
M. McBriar    1    39    39.0    0    1    39
Team    1    39    39.0    0    1    39

New Orleans Punting
     TOT    YDS    AVG    TB    -20    LG
S. Weatherford    5    225    45.0    0    1    61
Team    5    225    45.0    0    1    61