The Dallas Cowboys lost their preseason opener to the San Diego Chargers. The Orlando Scandrick injury scare, mistakes and poor special team play proved to be the key observations I made.
Some positives are good play from both rookie running backs, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice.
After an opening drive touchdown, the Cowboys benched most of their starters on offense.
Danny Amendola fumbled a punt return in his first touch in his young NFL career that gave the Chargers the ball back in Dallas territory. A poor pass interference call gave the Chargers an easy game tying touchdown and the Cowboys never saw the lead again.
Felix Jones had some impressive runs. He is definitely an outside runner, and he had trouble running the ball in the middle. Brad Johnson seemed ineffective, and he threw an interception when the Cowboys were in the red zone. It appears if Tony Romo is ever injured, the Cowboys could be in trouble.
The Chargers got the ball back after the Johnson INT and scored easily to lead 14-7.
When the Cowboys got the ball back, the first play that caught my attention was a drop by Martellus Bennett, a ball which was right in his hands. Johnson was pressured on the next play and the Cowboys punted again. The Bennett play would have been a first down.
The Chargers certainly outplayed the Cowboys on special teams, which was a surprise. The Chargers kicked a 53-yard field goal, had a fumble recovery, punted inside the 5-yard line and had two decent punt returns all in the first half. The Cowboys did nothing spectacular on special teams in the first half.
Orlando Scandrick had some great plays until he injured his shoulder after hitting a third-string quarterback of all people in the third quarter. Originally, he seemed fine but he then dropped his head and ran to the sidelines. He ended up coming back into the game in the 4th quarter, which was good to see.
One thing I want to point out was Chargers first-round pick Antoine Carson sure looked good.
Felix Jones had a nice run on a screen play as the second half winded down. The Cowboys ended up getting a field goal from Nick Folk and the second half ended with a 24-10 Chargers lead.
The Cowboys did nothing with the ball at the beginning of the second half, but the Chargers drove down the field and scored another running touchdown to lead 31-10.
Tashard Choice had a nice touchdown run up the middle to bring the score to 17-31.
The fourth was uneventful and the Cowboys lose 31-17.