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Dallas Cowboys 2022 NFL preseason round-up: defeat to Broncos, penalties, quarterbacks...

Head coach Mike McCarthy bemoaned the Cowboys’ penalty count as a Dak Prescott-less Dallas kicked off preseason with a defeat to the Denver Broncos.

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Head coach Mike McCarthy bemoaned the Cowboys’ penalty count as a Dak Prescott-less Dallas kicked off preseason with a defeat to the Denver Broncos.
Jamie SchwaberowAFP

Cowboys crash in Colorado in preseason opener

In their first game in preseason on Saturday, the Dallas Cowboys lost 17-7 to the Denver Broncos at Empower Field. Having given away more penalties than any other team in the NFL last season, the Cowboys continued in the same vein in their opening run-out of 2022, giving up 17. That’s the most by any franchise in the first week of preseason action.

After conceding 17 points without reply in the first three quarters, Mike McCarthy’s men avoided a whitewash in Denver when wide receiver Simi Fehoko went over for a touchdown in the fourth.

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Penalties “way too much” - McCarthy

Speaking to reporters after the defeat to Denver, Cowboys head coach McCarthy conceded that his team cannot afford to give up so many penalties, but added that there were plenty of positives to take from the game.

The penalties clearly are way too much,” McCarthy said. “So we’ll look at those, and keep going through it as far as combative vs discipline [is concerned]. That’s clearly the biggest negative. But I’m actually excited to watch the tape. We wanted to see these young linemen, our run-blocking unit, step up - and I think they did some really good things. And I think our run defence was where it needed to be. There were a lot of plays that you make or don’t make, and to me it’s preseason football, I don’t get hung up on that too much. I think there’ll be a lot of very good tape coming out of this.”

Asked about the Cowboys’ penalty count, defensive tackle Neville Gallimore said: “Obviously that’s something where we’ve got to be better, and we will.”

Mike McCarthy during the Cowboys' 17-7 defeat to the Denver Broncos.
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Mike McCarthy during the Cowboys' 17-7 defeat to the Denver Broncos.Jamie SchwaberowAFP

Backup QBs fail to impress in Denver

Together with WR CeeDee Lamb and linebacker Micah Parsons, quarterback Dak Prescott was among a clutch of star names that were not involved for the Cowboys against the Broncos. In Prescott’s absence, Cooper Rush started at QB, but failed to impress, throwing for 84 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. Rush was replaced by Ben DiNucci in the third quarter - and although he did manage better, throwing for 112 yards and a TD, AS USA’s analyst Jen Bubel was not impressed by Dallas’ alternatives to Prescott.

“It’s not comforting that both Cowboys backup QBs are mediocre,” Jen wrote in her takeaways from the game. “There are still two more preseason games, so what Dallas decides to do as far as who the QB2 is shall remain to be told.”

Starting in place of Dak Prescott, QB Cooper Rush threw for just 84 yards and an interception.
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Starting in place of Dak Prescott, QB Cooper Rush threw for just 84 yards and an interception.C. Morgan EngelAFP

Chargers up next for Cowboys

In their second preseason game, the Cowboys go to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers on Saturday 20 August. The clash at SoFi Stadium gets underway at 10pm EDT/9pm CDT/7pm PDT. Dallas then round off their preparations for the new campaign back at AT&T Stadium, where they are scheduled to host the Seattle Seahawks on Friday 26 August at 8pm EDT/7pm CDT/5pm PDT.

Just over two weeks later, on 11 September, Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the Cowboys’ opening opponents in the 2022 NFL season.

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