My Top 10 Observations From Cowboys 30, Titans 10, Stadium 7.
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There are kinks to be worked out, yes. But in Friday's victory over the Tennessee Titans the Dallas Cowboys showed that their team and their stadium just might be great - if not super - after all.
10. We can criticize Tony Romo's girlfriends and golfing and lack of demonstrative leadership all we want, but only a handful of quarterbacks can make the play he produced in the first quarter. Pressured in the pocket, Romo slid left, bounced right, protectected the ball with both hands and eventually - while running, mind you - lofted a perfect pass to a streaking Jason Witten inside the 10. The dude is an elite quarterback when improvising.
9. Awe-inspiring as it was, Cowboys Stadium will look even more intimidating come opening night Sept. 20 against the New York Giants. By then the star on the field, Tom Landry's statue, the Ring of Honor and the commemorative banners will all be in place. Likewise, the giant scoreboard - JumboJerry - will be moved out of harm's way.
8. Granted it was the second preseason game, but give credit to coach Wade Phillips for being fiery. He was pissed at a second-quarter special teams penalty and later received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the equivalent of a basketball technical foul. Who knew?
7. Starting to think this Kevin Ogletree kid can play. Combined with the fact that Isaiah Stanback apparently can't, it's looking more and more as though the rookie free agent from Virginia will make the final roster. His juggling touchdown act was the catch of preseason.
6. I know Terence Newman's speed is a weapon and I like seeing him return punts. But not in the third quarter of the second preseason game, especially considering he just missed 12 days of training camp with a pulled groin.
5. Something about fans paying $25 to park at Wal-Mart made me giggle. Seemed exhorbitant until down the street at Rangers Ballpark the fee was $60.
4. Two preseason games, 25 penalties. On one particularly goofy moment referee Walt Anderson offered, "False start, offense. Everyone but the center."
3. Didn't hear these myself because the press box has its own public address announcer, but some have relayed to me that Jody Dean's first night as the voice of Cowboys Stadium was a little rough. The pre-game player introductions were screwed up, there was apparently a catch by "Julius Jones" (ain't here) and a carry by Deon Anderson (was in street clothes). Work in progress.
2. That sound you hear is Bruce Read is chuckling. It's still way early, but so far Joe DeCamillis' special teams are atrocious. The Cowboys bobbled two punts, missed another field goal, surrendered a 51-yard kickoff return and had a 74-yarder of their own wiped out by a Sam Hurd penalty. Yikes.
1. Cool as the stadium and the JumboJerry is, I was shocked at the lack of game information on display. As in, there's a giant video board but no scoreboard. Surely this will get fixed as well, but for the preseason debut the only displays of the game clock were on relatively tiny ribbon scoreboards in two of the stadium's corners.