The Cowboys defense looked its best yet for this 2021 preseason wasn't enough to get Dallas the win. Four offensive turnovers undermined the effort and led to a 20-14 loss to the Houston Texans.
Ben DiNucci threw three interceptions in the second half as the Cowboys squandered a 14-7 halftime lead. Garrett Gilbert, who started the game, lost a fumble on the opening drive and set Houston up for their only score of the first half.
Dallas may have run away with this one if not for these mistakes. They only allowed 220 total yards and 13 total points. One of the Texans' touchdowns came on a pick-6 off of DiNucci.
The Cowboys' best QB tonight was Cooper Rush, who scored two touchdowns and looked more poised than Gilbert in his time on the field. His second TD pass to Wilson was an absolutely perfect throw to the corner of the endzone.
Much of the game confirmed what we already knew about budding defensive standouts or our concerns for other players. If the night did anything to move the needle, it may have created some new intrigue around the backup QB job.
- The rookie linebackers continue to impress early. Micah Parsons had some impact moments in limited playing time and Jabril Cox picked up the baton later in the game. Their inexperience will be exploited at times in the regular season but right now their athleticism and potential is shining through.
- Randy Gregory left the game early with knee discomfort but that didn't stop him from getting noticed. Gregory easily got around his blocker and hit Texans QB Tyrod Taylor on the very first defensive snap.
- There was no monopolizing of the targets tonight as Dallas had 14 different receivers on their 27 completed passes. Noah Brown arguably had the catch of the night while being interfered with as he and Wilson reminded folks of how deep the team is at WR.
- FB Nick Ralston was a frequent topic from the local commentators as he again showed up on run blocking and even as the ball handler for a couple of short-yardage conversions on 3rd down. Daryl Johnston was in the booth tonight and Moose's fondness for the fellow fullback was obvious.
- No FG attempts for new kicker Lirim Hajrullahu tonight but he did go 2/2 on extra points.
- Just one more preseason game to go; next Sunday afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars.