Game Notes: Offensive Line Keeps Romo Clean

SEATTLE - Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells didn't offer an appraisal of his offensive line following Saturday's 13-3 preseason win over Seattle, but Tony Romo's clean white jersey was a positive sign.

The line didn't allow a single sack on Romo, who made his first start since his senior year at Eastern Illinois in 2002. Romo led the Cowboys on three scoring drives, including a 9-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Crayton in the first quarter.

The offensive line has been labeled as the team's biggest question mark after two weeks of training camp. Parcells has said he has questions about every position except right guard, manned by Marco Rivera.

Parcells played starters Flozell Adams, Kyle Kosier and Andre Gurode for a couple of series before giving significant time to seventh-round pick Pat McQuistan and second-year veterans Cory Procter and Stephen Peterman.

At right tackle, Parcells played Marc Colombo for the first half and substituted last year's starter Rob Petitti for the final two quarters.

"We tried to just play two right tackles tonight, half the game each and just get a good look at each one of those," said Parcells, who plans to play right tackle candidate Jason Fabini in the next preseason game Aug. 21 against New Orleans.

Hello Junior

Last year, he was listed as a defensive end. This year, they've moved him to outside linebacker.

And no, we're not talking about Greg Ellis this time.

The Cowboys made the same switch with Junior Glymph, who spent part of last season on the team's practice squad.

While Glymph played mostly in the second half of Saturday's preseason opener, he was rather productive. Glymph recorded two sacks, forced two fumbles and had another quarterback pressure.

"Junior had a good night," Parcells said in his brief post-game press conference. "Two sacks and two forced fumbles. Not bad."

Glymph said he's learned a lot from Ellis, who is moving to linebacker after eight seasons as a defensive end.

"I'm constantly messing up, but they help me out a lot," said Glymph, who dropped 20 pounds to make the switch to linebacker in the off-season.
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--Nick Eatman

Bobby's Debut

Making his NFL debut, Bobby Carpenter's stat line consisted of just one tackle on defense, and another on special teams.

While the rookie linebacker might have made just one stop, it might have saved the Cowboys a few points.

Playing with the second-team defense, Carpenter was able to get a hand on the foot of Seattle wide receiver Peter Warrick, tripping him up for just a 27-yard gain that might have been a touchdown early in the third quarter. Instead, the Seahawks offense stalled near midfield and was forced to punt.

"Early on it was a little different," Carpenter said of his first NFL game. "The first few plays were a little rough, but after that I kind of got settled in and just started playing football and forgot everything else."

Carpenter did receive somewhat of a scare late in the game, suffering a minor ankle injury in the fourth quarter. However, the rookie linebacker said he left the game as "precautionary move" and didn't expect the injury to be serious.
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--Nick Eatman

Where's Akin?

Terrell Owens wasn't the only free-agent acquisition missing from the starting lineup Saturday night.

While inside linebacker Akin Ayodele was on the kickoff return team to open the game, he did not start alongside Bradie James as he's been doing in training camp.

Instead, the Cowboys started Scott Shanle, who started nine games at the position last season. Ayodele did play in the second half with the third-team defense.

"I just wanted to create it so I could get some of the guys I know more about out of the game earlier," said Parcells, who also started veteran Kenyon Coleman at defensive end before giving most of the snaps to Jay Ratliff.

Ayodele dropped an interception on the second-to-last play from scrimmage that would've likely been returned for a touchdown.
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--Nick Eatman

Game Points

  • Rookie receiver Skyler Green finally got a chance to showcase his return skills. The fourth-round pick had one kickoff return for 29 yards and averaged 11.7 yards on three punt returns.
  • Jamaica Rector made two dazzling over-the-shoulder catches for 20-yard gains. Parcells has compared Rector to former Redskins receiver Gary Clark but wants to see more production from the former practice squad receiver, who is fighting for a backup spot.
  • As expected, second-year running back Tyson Thompson had a team-high nine carries for 29 yards (3.2 avg.). Julius Jones and Marion Barber started the game, but Parcells made sure he got a long look at Thompson and Keylon Kincade in the second half.
  • Mike Vanderjagt, who has struggled with field goals in practice, made his only attempt from 21 yards out. He left the kickoff duties to Tyler Fredrickson and Shaun Suisham, who tacked on a 34-yard field goal in the third quarter.
  • Terence Newman started at cornerback despite being limited by a sore ankle the last few practices.
  • Parcells is pleased with the win, but he'll still chew on his team's 10 penalties for 80 yards against the Seahawks.

Short Shots

Second-year linebacker Kevin Burnett said he enjoyed playing in his first game since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last December. Burnett had four tackles working with the second unit and nickel packages. "I'm happy with the progress I'm making but not satisfied," he said. . . . Two impressive stats from quarterback Tony Romo: He spread the ball around to 10 different receivers and completed 12 straight passes following a shaky first series . . . Greg Ellis trotted out to midfield for the coin toss as the Cowboys' lone captain prior to kickoff . . . The Seahawks unveiled their 2005 NFC Championship banner inside Qwest Field before the game. . . The Cowboys won their first preseason opener since Parcells took over in 2003. The Cowboys last opened the preseason with a win in 2002 over Oakland. The Cowboys had been outscored 44-11 in the three preseason openers under Parcells, including two shutouts . . . Saturday's game against the Seahawks marked the Cowboys' fourth visit to Seattle in the last 21 months, including two preseason games. In the four contests, the Cowboys are 3-1, only losing in last year's regular season, 13-10, on a last-second field goal by Seattle kicker Josh Brown . . . Seattle's three points were the fewest allowed by the Cowboys in a preseason game since 1995, when they shut out Houston, 10-0, in San Antonio. And it was the fewest points allowed in a road preseason game since the Cowboys defeated San Diego, 20-3, in the 1989 preseason opener, the first game for rookie quarterback Troy Aikman and new team owner Jerry Jones.

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