ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys lit up the scoreboard with 41 points, the most in a preseason game since the 2003 season, Tony Romo's rookie year.
There were plenty of highlights, including touchdowns by the starters, and some rookies. But let's focus on some of the moments that might go unnoticed. This spot is usually saved for the five plays that changed the game. But in the preseason, let's focus on five other aspects of the game.
So this preseason version will include players, stats and sometimes plays that get overlooked.
Romo takes first hit since Thanksgiving – It wasn't a big hit, but one that knocked him down. And with that, it was probably good for Tony Romo to get that first one out of the way here in the preseason. The last time he played in a game, back in Thanksgiving against the Panthers, Romo was knocked out with another collarbone injury that ended his season. Obviously, he's going to have to take some more this year, but with the first one out of the way, Romo was able to get back up and lead the Cowboys into the end zone on the next play.
Morris TD called back– It'd be one thing if Alfred Morris' 20-yard touchdown run was called because of a holding call that cleared the way. But in this case, the run to the right side was negated by a procedure penalty by left tackle Chaz Green, who wasn't up on the line of scrimmage. So while it didn't count in the books, it counts in terms of a running back who can make a play to the end zone. Morris looked more than sharp on Friday and showed why he needs to have some kind of role in the offense.
Goal-line stand from the defense– Games that see 41 points on the scoreboard can oftentimes overlook a defensive effort. Not only did the defense hold Miami to 14 points, but came up with some big stops. In the second quarter, after a penalty put the Dolphins down to the Cowboys' 4 on first down, the defense stiffened, keeping Miami from scoring with four straight stops. The defensive line provided some pressure up front and on the back end, the corners made plays on the ball. On fourth down, Claiborne was there to break up the pass, giving the Cowboys the ball. In a regular-season game, it's likely the Dolphins kick a field goal, but still, that would always be considered a stop.
Prescott's interception that wasn't– Not to be a downer at all, but let's not forget Dak Prescott did throw an interception. The drive was bailed out by a roughing-the-passer penalty, which gave the offense another shot. Prescott took advantage and drove down for a 20-yard touchdown scramble. So they made the most of the second chance. At the end of the game, Prescott's stat line looks amazing again. But there was a poor decision when he was on the move and tried to force the ball into coverage. It was a rookie moment, but even those are getting wiped out at this point. [embeddedad0]
Andy Jones redeems himself– Andy Jones had a preseason debut to forget last week with a couple of fourth-quarter drops. But he was much better this time around, he looked more confident. He was inches away from scoring a touchdown and had it been called a score on the field, it probably doesn't get overturned by replay officials. Jones also had some nice plays on special teams, running down on kickoffs and punts. Just being on the special teams units is a sign the Cowboys are trying to find ways to keep him around.