Cowboys inept in 'sloppy' opener
Cowboys inept in 'sloppy' opener
12:36 PM CDT on Sunday, August 14, 2005
By JEAN-JACQUES TAYLOR / The Dallas Morning News
TEMPE, Ariz. – Coach Bill Parcells has worked his team hard in the first two weeks of training camp.
There have been two scrimmages totaling 154 plays. And intense full-contact practices. And there has been an increased attention to detail.
Parcells said all of the work was designed to get his team ready to perform at a higher level earlier in the preseason. After all, the Cowboys failed to score in each of his previous two preseason openers.
The changes did not produce the desired effect.
The starting offense was inept, and the starting defense wasn't much better as Arizona beat Dallas, 13-11, Saturday night before an announced crowd of 36,687 at Sun Devil Stadium.
Billy Cundiff missed a potential game-winning 53-yard field goal following a 5-yard false start penalty with 1:07 left.
The first-team offense, saddled with poor field position, never found a rhythm under Drew Bledsoe, who completed just four of eight passes for 27 yards.
He was sacked twice and knocked down at least three other times. He also showed a tendency to hold onto the ball too long but that could have also been the result of the Cowboys' receivers' inability to get open.
The Cowboys produced just one first down in five possessions with Bledsoe at quarterback, while netting 22 yards on 17 plays. They did not move past their own 43.
Julius Jones managed just 10 yards on six carries with a long of seven. Dallas trailed 10-0 when the starting offense and defense left the field.
This is not what Parcells had in mind for the preseason-opener.
"Pretty sloppy first outing," Parcells said. "We're not going to be able to overcome a lot of the things we did."
He scheduled two scrimmages in the last seven days as part of his attempt to change his team's attitude.
Parcells wants a tougher – mentally and physically – team that can fight through the difficult moments that occur during most games. At times last season, Parcells has said he thought the Cowboys stopped competing.
He doesn't want that to happen again. So this has been an off-season of change.
Parcells has been more active on the practice field, bouncing from group to group to disseminating information he says will help his players perform better.
He changed the practice schedule to create more teaching and film-study time in an effort to lessen the mental mistakes the Cowboys made last season. Parcells even spent the last 25 minutes of Friday's walk-through making sure each player knew the substitutions on every special teams unit from the kickoff coverage to the return unit following a safety. Clearly, there is still much work to do.
The revamped 3-4 defense, which features three defensive linemen and four linebackers, couldn't slow down former two-time MVP Kurt Warner and the Cardinals' passing attack.
He was 14-of-19 for 151 yards and a 31-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald, who beat free safety Keith Davis.
Warner had three completions of 20 yards or more against a defensive unit that struggled to pressure him.
Re: Cowboys inept in 'sloppy' opener
Martz i do still believe is gonna regret the KW move!................