Don't Let Final Score Cloud Everything

mean other than that . . . .

Oh, but we have to get to the ugly, and it was so ugly Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seemed a bit perturbed since this was an extension of some ugliness from last season. And if you guys remember, before this camp even began I said the weakest unit on this club, the one which needed the most improvement, was special teams coverage.

Yeesh . . . Ug-Lee. The Chargers had four punt returns for 82 yards, and that included a 21- and 25-yarder. Kick-off coverage was average. And then factor in the one fumbled punt, one dropped kick-off and another where the return guys' communication was off, well, listen up.

"We got to cover, we just got to cover," Jerry Jones said with some sternness after the game. "We should have one of the best coverage teams in the NFL. That killed us against the Giants," that playoff loss never far from Jones' mind, especially how the Cowboys' lack of kick coverage continually set up the eventual Super Bowl champs with good field position during that playoff loss at Texas Stadium. "We got to cover, got to get better at that."

"We understand penalties and turnovers, but we got to cover. Everything is there, we just got to go and do it."

Now the Cowboys were using a lot of young guys on their coverage and return units. They were mixing and matching, and some guys were playing NFL special teams for the first time. OK, understood.

But the Cowboys just have to put a stop to this, and the first preseason game only reminded of how they lost one of their best coverage guys in the off-season, Keith Davis signing with the Miami Dolphins. His considerable slack must be picked up by somebody, anybody.

To this point, this has been the No Issues Training Camp, everything seemingly progressing smoothly. Few injuries. No squabbles. No transgressions.

Well, as Jones terms this, "coverage" after the first preseason game is becoming an issue, and one that must be nipped in the bud right now. Because if not, this carryover issue from last year can ruin a whole lot of good.

Just as it created that partial eclipse here Saturday night.

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