ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys' defenders didn't throw the offense under the bus, despite San Francisco scoring 21 of their 28 points off turnovers.
Defensive end Jeremy Mincey and the Dallas defenders could've been critical about the situations they were put in, but they said everyone's responsible when the game unfolds as it did in the 28-17 loss.
"We're all in it together, man," Mincey said. "We've just got to have our offense's back like they've got our back. We try hard to hang in there. I'm just proud of the guys for fighting all the way to the end."
Safety Barry Church admitted it was hard being down early that quickly, particularly against a team of San Francisco's caliber, but he didn't think the early deficit shocked the Cowboys' defense.
That said, he wanted the defense to be able to force a turnover, and he said the defense has to be able to make stops if the offense turns it over.
"We felt like, hey, they got two turnovers, we've got to go get two turnovers," Church said. "That's what we weren't able to do today. We weren't able to match them on turnovers. When you're down 4-0 in turnovers, it's hard to win in this league."
The Cowboys' defense held the 49ers scoreless after the 28-point first half, giving the offense a chance to crawl back, but the deficit was too great to overcome.
"I've got to give my defensive group a hat off," Mincey said. "They came out and they played really hard, played smart. They drove on us for that series, and then after, we settled down, started playing some Cowboys football."
Dez Bryant gave Cowboys fans two different injury scares during the loss to the 49ers. The Pro Bowl wideout took a big shot to his back during the return of Tony Romo's first interception of the day, and he spent several minutes on the turf of AT&T Stadium. Bryant said the problem was just a brief scare, however.
"I had to take a deep breath hoping and wishing it wasn't anything, but it's good," he said.
Bryant also went to the locker room to get fluids in the second half, and it was reported he was dehydrated. Again, it didn't appear to be a serious issue.
"Just cramping. I drink a lot of fluid – you know those things happen," he said.
Most of Dwayne Harris' contributions come on special teams, but he played a key role in the offense Sunday.
Harris took a carry for nine yards and had a game-high and career-high 56-yard catch on a deep pass heaved up from Tony Romo. Harris took advantage of some opportunities when the Cowboys used the empty formation.
"I definitely hope they keep it in. I like to get the ball in my hands whenever I can," Harris said. "Looking at what Percy Harvin does in their offense, get the playmaker the ball in his hands and let him run, I'd like to definitely be that guy."
In The Zone?
The 49ers didn't seem to have much trouble picking up short third downs through the air.
The Cowboys corners gave the 49ers' receivers some cushion in multiple short yardage situations, which was surprising given that most of San Francisco's outside threats aren't touted for their speed.
"It happens," said Morris Claiborne. "In zone, you have places where you're light and you have places where you're strong. We gave up some catches in that zone, and that happens. You've just got to go back and keep battling."
Claiborne said most of the easy third down passes that were converted on short routes were a result of that zone.
"You've just got responsibilities, and that's not your responsibility at that moment," Claiborne said.
- Dallas Cowboys rookies Ken Bishop, Davon Coleman, Anthony Hitchens, Zack Martin and Tyler Patmon made their NFL debuts Sunday.
- Zack Martin made his first professional start Sunday, becoming the first rookie in team history to start at right guard in a season opener. Overall, he became the third rookie to start at guard for the Cowboys in a season opener, the first since Bill Nagy started at left guard in 2011.
- Davon Coleman started at defensive tackle Sunday, becoming the second rookie in team history (Guy Reese – 1962) to start a season opener at defensive tackle. He also became the fourth overall rookie to start a season opener on the defensive line, joining Bob Lilly (defensive end, 1961) Reese (defensive tackle, 1962) and Greg Ellis (defensive end, 1998).
- Dan Bailey hit one field goal Sunday to up his consecutive field goal streak to 22.
- Dez Bryant caught four passes Sunday, upping his career receptions total to 297 to surpass Daryl Johnston (294) for 11th on the club's all-time receptions list. He failed to catch a touchdown pass, however, ending his streak of consecutive games with a receiving touchdown at five, dating back to last season. Bryant's streak was tied for the third-longest in team history. [embedded_ad]
- DeMarco Murray had 118 rushing yards Sunday to mark his eighth career 100-yard game. It marked the first time that San Francisco's defense has allowed a 100-yard rusher in 17 games (Marshawn Lynch, 111 yards – at Seattle, 12/23/12) dating back to the 2012 season.
- Murray moved his career rushing yards total to 2,799 to surpass Felix Jones (2,728) for 10th all-time amongst Cowboys career rushing yards leaders.
- Tony Romo passed for 281 yards Sunday to up his career passing yardage total to 29,846 to allow him to pass Jon Kitna (29,745) and Joe Ferguson (29,817) for 38th on the league's all-time passing yards list.
- With one touchdown pass Sunday, Romo improved his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown to 29 games – the longest streak in franchise history, the seventh-longest streak in NFL history and the third-longest active streak.
- Rookie Devin Street made his first career catch in the third quarter, and finished the game with two receptions for 18 yards.