The Dallas Cowboys’ entered Saturday night’s exhibition against Houston surrounded by questions on the offensive side of the ball, and through four quarters of near-unwatchable football, they seemed to do all they could to keep it that way.
Compounding the increasingly alarming problems on offense Saturday, the defense struggled for the second consecutive week. Matt Schaub led the Texans’ to a first quarter touchdown on the team’s second drive, on a 24-yard pass to a wide open Jacoby Jones. Schaub would go 18 for 29 on the evening, for 183 yards and a touchdown, good enough for a 91.6 passer rating.
The Texans could only muster two field goals over the remainder of the half, but, as anyone who watched the game could tell you, a 13-0 halftime score doesn’t fully reflect the lopsidedness of the first frame. At half, the Texans had 229 yards of offense; Dallas had 96--and that was after two fairly efficient drives for Dallas, totaling 107 yards. The first of those ended when Felix Jones and Tony Romo failed to connect on a pitch, resulting in a fumble. Time ran out on the second.
Romo went 13 for 18 on the night for 146 yards, and an interception. That interception, a third quarter pick by Kareem Jackson, signaled the end of his night, and the end of an eight-play, 56-yard drive.
The Texans’ Arian Foster found paydirt on the opening drive of the third quarter, extending the Houston lead to 20-0, and putting a fitting exclamation mark on his night. The undrafted free agent out of Tennessee earned 110 yards on 18 carries on Saturday--Dallas's running backs, by comparison, had only 13 yards on the evening.
Dallas finally strung together a scoring drive in the final frame, one would imagine, long after most fans disgustedly changed the channel. At any rate, back-up Jon Kitna orchestrated a five-play 53-yard march that ended with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Ogletree.
These seven points, however, were all Dallas could manage on an overall ugly night in Houston. After being pulled from the game, Romo found himself at a loss of words--which was somehow fitting.
“That was just, uh... We’ve got to improve,” Romo said.
The preseason wraps up next week when Dallas faces the Miami Dolphins at home.
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