CANTON, Ohio – The Cowboys outlasted Miami for a 24-20 win to open the 2013 preseason, even without the majority of their starters.
Cowboys fans can rejoice -- for the time being -- not just about the win, but about the health of the squad on the way out of the extra preseason game.
The Cowboys experienced three scares in the first half of the Hall of Fame Game alone. Running back Phillip Tanner, defensive end Ben Bass and safety Matt Johnson all left the game with apparent injuries at some point during the game's first 30 minutes.
It doesn't appear any of that will hamper the team heading into the second game of the preseason. Johnson, whose 2012 season ended during the preseason, merely suffered a minor ankle sprain, while Bass doesn't project to miss any playing time. Tanner had the least problematic evening, as he returned to the field shortly after exiting.
The good injury news might extend to those who didn't play against the Dolphins, as well. Rookie wide receiver was held out of the action with an apparent head injury suffered in Friday's practice.
Asked if Williams would be able to return to practice this week, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said "we think so," which could clear the third-round pick for Friday's game against Oakland.
Here are some more notes from the field at Fawcett Stadium, in the shadow of the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
- Garrett spoke after the game about his switch away from playcalling duties. Garrett said the mechanics of playcalling under offensive coordinator Bill Callahan worked smoothly, though there are some kinks to work out.
- "We did have a few errors in the ball game for a variety of reasons. But I thought, for the most part, we handled it all well. We've just got to keep cleaning that stuff up," Garrett said. "For me it was a little bit different because I wasn't directly involved. But again, like everything else we've been doing this offseason, it allowed me to step back and coach the whole team."
- The first night of Phillip Tanner's 2013 preseason was more eventful than his entire 2012 preseason. The running back tallied toted the rock 10 times for 59 yards and the team's first touchdown against the Dolhpins. Last year, he managed 11 carries for 50 yards and a touchdown during the entire preseason.
- First-round pick Travis Frederick split time between center and guard, as indicated during practice the past week or so. Frederick helped pave the way for 170 total rushing yards, though he said he made some mistakes in pass protection. Frederick said he felt better about his first half reps at center than his second half reps at guard.
- All of the Cowboys' rookies played some kind of role in the team's first game. Joseph Randle was the team's leading rusher with 13 carries for 70 yards. J.J. Wilcox B.W. Webb notched six tackles and four tackles, respectively. Gavin Escobar caught one pass for three yards.
- DeVonte Holloman gets a note of his own, as the linebacker scored on a pick-six – his first touchdown since his high school days.
- Catch of the night goes to wide receiver Anthony Armstrong, who made a falling grab between two defensive backs for an 18-yard gainer from quarterback Nick Stephens.
- Cole Beasley's stat line of one catch for five yards isn't going to jump off the page at anyone. But Beasley deserves plenty of credit for the Cowboys' first touchdown. He drew a crucial pass interference flag on an end zone fade to set the offense up on the goal line for its first points.
- The win is the Cowboys' second-straight preseason win against the Dolphins. Dallas downed Miami, 30-13, at home in the 2012 preseason. [embedded_ad]
- This is the Cowboys' second-straight win at the Hall of Fame Game after they downed Cincinnati, 16-7, in 2010.
- Dallas is now 2-3 all-time in the Hall of Fame Game. The Cowboys lost this game to Chicago in 1968, Oakland in 1979 and Cleveland in 1999.
- Given the same number of punts, Chris Jones easily outbooted Spencer Benton with a 45-yard average to Benton's 27 yards.
- Dan Bailey continued his strong form with a 49-yard field goal in the second quarter.