Game Notes: Dallas vs. Houston

Dallas Cowboys Houston Texans

Houston jumped out to a 14-0 lead and held on to take the Governor’s Cup from the Cowboys as Dallas fell 28-16 in Houston on Saturday night. Dallas has never won in Reliant Stadium.

Dallas looked sloppy on both sides of the ball, although the passing game still looked pretty good. The defense failed to get much pressure, and the secondary looked weak. The starters on both sides of the ball played most of three quarters.

Offense

*Unlike the previous two games, Dallas did not throw the ball in Terrell Owens’ direction in the opening drive of the game.

*Dallas looked better on its second offensive drive of the game, but two penalties on Leonard Davis and a fumble off of a snap by Tony Romo killed the drive. Julius Jones had a couple of good plays on the drive, and Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd both made nice catches for first downs.
*In general, the Cowboys’ offense looked much more sloppy than it did in the first two preseason games.
*Owens had a great touchdown catch and run in the second quarter. From the Houston 35, Dallas lined up in trips bunch, and Owens caught a pass on a slant. He split three defenders and broke a tackle en route to the end zone.
*The Dallas starters played into the third quarter, and the Cowboys had a nice drive early in the third quarter. Dallas went 86 yards on 11 plays, ending the drive with an 18-yard touchdown from Romo to tight end Jason Witten.
*Romo badly underthrew Owens late in the third quarter on a deep pass in Cowboys territory.
*Brad Johnson’s first pass in the fourth quarter was picked off, but the play was negated by a penalty. It was still not a good play by Johnson.
*Johnson looked better after the interception, hitting Tony Curtis on a 33-yard pass on a deep flag pattern and driving the team to a field goal to cut the Houston lead to 21-16.
*Johnson threw an interception on the final series of the game for the Cowboys.

Noteworhty Stats:

Romo– 14 of 22, 197 yards, 2 TD, 1 Int.
Johnson–5 of 6, 56 yards, 0 TD, 1 Int.

Jones– 10 att., 34 yards, 0 TD.
Barber– 6 att., 14 yards, 0 TD.
Thompson– 4 att., 9 yards, 0 TD.

Hurd– 4 rec., 68 yards, 0 TD.
Witten– 3 rec., 47 yards, 1 TD.
Owens– 1 rec., 35 yards, 1 TD.
Crayton– 2 rec., 26 yards, 0 TD.
Curtis– 1 rec., 33 yards, 0 TD.

Defense

*Linebacker Kevin Burnett had a nice sack in the first quarter.
*Houston quarterback Matt Schaub and running back Ahman Green diced up the Dallas defense late in the first quarter on the Texans’ first offensive touchdown drive. The Cowboys demonstrated horrible tackling on a 46-yard run by Green (which was followed by a bogus personal foul call on DeMarcus Ware for a horse collar).
*Aaron Glenn did not look good. The veteran corner gave up a touchdown to Andre Johnson in the first quarter and missed a tackle on Johnson late in the second quarter.
*Schaub had all day to throw on his second touchdown pass late in the second quarter, finding rookie Jacoby Jones in the end zone for 19-yard touchdown.
*The first-teamers on defense stayed in the game for part of the third quarter, but Dallas continued to have problems putting pressure on the quarterback on a regular basis.
*Jacques Reeves had a pass interference penalty in the fourth quarter that allowed Houston to continue its drive that resulted in the game’s final touchdown.
*Seventh-round pick Alan Ball was beaten on Houston’s final touchdown play, a 17-yard pass from Sage Rosenfels to David Anderson.

Special Teams

*Jacoby Jones of the Texans returned a long punt by Mat McBriar 91 yards for a touchdown early in the first quarter. Jones needed only to make one move and then sped past the Dallas punt team for the score.
*Martin Gramatica did not help himself by missing an extra point in the second quarter.
*Nick Folk hit a chip-shot field goal in the fourth quarter.
*The Cowboys’ kickoff coverage looked good, pinning Houston inside the 20 at least twice.

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Jerry Jones’ Halftime Notes:

Here are a few notes that Jerry Jones made at halftime:

*He is not concerned about Terence Newman’s heel injury and expects the corner to be ready for the season opener on September 9.
*He expects Greg Ellis to play this season. Jones says that Ellis is getting a third opinion on his Achilles injury.
*He said that the team is taking a close look at the backup corners and nose tackles and may consider looking at the waiver wire for some other backups.

  • melonball

    Special teams is starting to concern me. I remember when Bruce Read was the special teams coach for the Giants, special teams was the achille’s heel of those teams, and really led to the undoing of Jim Fassel. I remember the knock on Fassel’s teams was special teams breakdowns. We saw that first hand in the miracle win over the Giants in 2003, when a Giants special teams failure allowed us to get into positon to tie the game. So far the Cowboys special teams have done nothing but make me more and more nervous, and wondering just why Read is the special teams coach here.
    Please, football gods, let me be wrong about Bruce Read. Please show me he is not in over his head in the NFL, and Wade Phillips knows what he is doing in hiring him. Phillips has been a steady head coach in the League, winning more games than he has lost. But he has never been a championship coach. Neither has, for all his charisma, his father Bum. They got kicked out the door before they ever kicked in the door. With all the hype about the “new pressure defense of the Phillips 3-4”, the fact is, it is really a rather old defense, and you wonder just how effective it really can be. I don’t think the defense will be capable of carrying the team, the offense still needs to be top notch. But despite the inconsistent showing last night, I still think this offense has the talent to be one of the League’s top offenses. At any rate, I’m going to give Wade the benefit of the doubt. That was a pretty pitiful showing by the defense last night, but I still think this team is the best team in the NFC East, and as long as Wade leads us to a division title, he will have my support. Meaning, I will be behind him until it’s clear we’re a long shot for the division crown. But Bruce Read is already scaring me.

  • dan

    Well philly didn’t look good tonight either.

    This is just the preseason. I won’t have any feeling for the Cowboys until probably week 4 or 5. I am so excited for Sept. 9!