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    DEN 17, DAL 7: Starters Sit Out, Backups Look Bad in Preseason Opener

    The Cowboys sat out 17 starters and other key players in their preseason debut tonight. It showed as Dallas was mostly outclassed by the and lost 17-7 on the road.

    Dallas' backups looked the part in an underwhelming showing. Perhaps the biggest issue, consistent throughout the night, was a high number of that helped erase some of the better offensive plays and kept Denver's drives alive.

    Cooper Rush was one of the night's biggest losers. Starting in 's place and playing most of the game, Rush finished 12-of-20 with just 84 yards and an interception. While Cooper was affected by the issues and poor play, he also made poor decisions and did nothing to help matters.

    Backup Josh Ball also took a big hit with his performance. Getting an extended tryout at throughout the game, Ball consistently struggled and looked poorly suited for any meaningful role this season. He may be better on the right side than the left, but that means the Cowboys have to start looking for help behind Tyron Smith.

    had a shot at a 56-yarder, not a tall task in Denver's altitude, and went wide right. It was the Cowboys' only field goal attempt, though did hit the extra point after a late touchdown.

    It wasn't all bad, of course. We saw some nice running from , , and that makes the RB3 battle even more intriguing going forward. Rookie TE showed up on some nice receiving plays. and connected for a touchdown and DiNucci managed to look more impactful than Rush overall.

    Defensively, the front line looked great early with , , and others making disruptive plays. Rookie showed well despite some ticky-tacky calls. The defensive backs were aggressive and had some would-be picks negated by penalties or drops, but at least showed things the coaches can build on.

    The Cowboys will remain on the west coast for joint practices with the and their preseason meeting at SoFi Stadium next Saturday night. Hopefully, more of Dallas' top players will be involved to make it a more competitive game.

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    Jess Haynie
    Jess Haynie
    Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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    siempre

    It doesn’t matter that these were backups. Almost 20 total penalties is absurd. When not committing penalties, the Boys looked clueless . Cooper Rush as backup is just another example of a lack of serious thought .
    Just an embarrassing, worst effort of all the teams . If you watched Baltimore or Pittsburgh, you saw a well coached team. The Boys…no.

    Joseph A dowell

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the cowboys need another veteran receiver and offensive lineman. Jerry is to cheap to spend the capital on what is needed for the Cowboys to have a successful season. Can someone please tell me why you get rid of Cooper and then you let Cedric Wilson walk too?Jerry needs to stick to ownership and bring Troy Akiman or Romeo in to be General Manager. If the Jones don’t go out and spend some money on what is so desperately needed, this is going to be another long frustrating, and disappointing season for us cowboy fans.
    Jerry reality check, you don’t have a championship caliber team yet. SPEND THE MONEY!!!!! STOP LIVING IN FANTASY LAND!!

    FRUSTRATING AND CONCERNED FAN

    Cowboys fan

    It’s not Jerry that won’t spend the money on players we need, it’s his retarded son Stephen!! Stephen is the one over the cap space and paying players, or bringing in free agents!! Jerry mite have a say in it, but it won’t happen unless Stephen thinks it’s worth it!! If it was up to Jerry alone, he would spend all of the cap space bringing in big name free agents…. Like in the 90s when he brought in players like Deion Sanders!! Stephen actually threw Jerry against the wall and cussed him out for signing Sanders to that big contract!! And of course, Jerry made Stephen look stupid cause we won the Super Bowl that year!! But not long after that is when Stephen took over that job and we haven’t won anything since!! The only mistake Jerry made was letting Stephen take over that job!! If it wasn’t for Stephen, we would have at least another Super Bowl or 2 by now!!

    Peter Cagner

    Just put flags on qb waist and play flag football for the over paid prima donnas. It’s not football anymore. I’m fed up with all the nit picky rules and crying. I’m sorry Dallas and NFL I’m moving on to Baseball. The NFL is more like professional wrestling then an actual sport in my opinion now.

    CarltonSaves

    Considering Denver played without most of their starters too meant we should’ve been more competitive. We weren’t. And discipline is a lot on the coaches. No excuses

    VAM

    Obviously, a bad performance. Been commenting about Rush for quite some time now. When is this team going to get serious about having a CREDIBLE QB2, b/c right now they DO NOT HAVE ONE? Why do they have an obvious aversion to giving DP any real competition???

    Agree with some of the young RBs and Feguson looking pretty good, at least, and hopefully S Williams can build on his positive debut.

    This rapper, wannabe CB, K Joseph, better get his head out of his rear end. Besides giving up the TD reception, he was offsides on the MISSED FG. Then, of course, broncos make the second attempt. Pathetic, how are you offsides on a FG att.

    I know its PS and a lot of starters didn’t play, but time for this FO and Coaching staff to bring some strong DISCIPLINE to this team.

    Cowboy Fan Ed

    I heard that coach MM has been keeping players longer on the practice field and having a technique Time teaching them the art of how to commit stupid penalties in crucial situations ! It’s good to know that what he is teaching is getting through to them! We have to become a disciplined football team or it’s going to be a long season!!