We learned quite of few things in the first half of the Cowboys-Chargers preseason game.
In a week where the Cowboys suffered a number of key injuries, the last thing Wad Phillips wanted to see was more of the walking wounded. Unfortunately, two injuries happened to guys on Wade’s starting defense. Safety Gerald Sensabaugh and linebacker Keith Brooking left the game in the first quarter with shoulder injuries. Neither returned.
If the injuries weren’t bad enough, Wade had to sit and watch while the Chargers first team offense, marched down the field routinely on his unit. On one occasion, the Chargers scored, courtesy of Philip Rivers one-yard quarterback sneak. On the other two, the defense bailed themselves out with turnovers. Terence Newman picked off a Rivers pass on the opening possession of the game. Then late in the second half, Barry Church recovered a Darren Sproles fumble and returned it 80-yards to the Cowboys 8. Church will watch the film, and undoubtedly get made fun of, because Rivers tackled him on his way into the end zone.
Offensively, Tony Romo and the offense seemed a bit out of sync. Early on, Jason Garrett was dialing up three step drops for Romo, presumably to ease the pressure of the inexperience on the offensive line. Both Robert Brewster and Montrae Holland were getting their first starts this preseason because of injuries.
Despite the struggles, the offense finally scored a touchdown this preseason. Even more impressive, it came in the red zone. Taking advantage of the great field position from the Church fumble recovery, Romo threw a perfect back shoulder pass to Miles Austin to tie the game at 7-7.
As expected, the starters on both offense and defense were yanked at halftime.