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HOU 20, DAL 14: QB Turnovers Ruin Defensive Effort

The Cowboys looked its best yet for this 2021 wasn't enough to get Dallas the win. Four offensive turnovers undermined the effort and led to a 20-14 loss to the .

threw three interceptions in the second half as the Cowboys squandered a 14-7 halftime lead. , 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 , 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.

Other Notes

  • The rookie linebackers continue to impress early. had some impact moments in limited playing time and 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.
  • 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. 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. was in the booth tonight and Moose's fondness for the fellow was obvious.
  • No FG attempts for new tonight but he did go 2/2 on extra points.
  • Just one more preseason game to go; next Sunday afternoon against the .
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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Cowboys fan

We just need to cut Ben DiNucci and get it over with!! That guy just straight up sucks!! And it’s looking like Garrett Gilbert is proving that the game against the Steelers last season was a fluke!! I agree that Cooper Rush was the best QB of the nite…. As a matter of fact, he’s been the best QB the last couple games!! But as good as he is now, I just don’t feel comfortable with him as a backup QB during the regular season!! We need to let all of them go and get a better backup in!! There are 2 former first round picks on the market now in Blake Bortles and Josh Rosen, and I think both of them would be better than what we have now!! I think Blake Bortles is better than Rosen, but I don’t think Rosen has been coached up good enough yet!! Rosen was screwed from the minute he was drafted by the Cardinals, and since then he hasn’t been given the chance!! I think all he needs is a team with a coach who knows how to coach a QB and I think we have a couple that can get him to be a good backup!! Either way, I both of these QBs are better than what we have now and we need to grab one of them before somebody else does!!


Gilbert played half a quarter. Rush got a lot more playing time. Gilbert is a much better QB2 option.

Cowboy Fan Ed

I’m going to open up something here! If Obvious that JJ won’t get BB or JR to come in and give them a shot so with that said I would rather have Tim Tebow as our back up than what we have now!

Cowboy Fan Ed

How many of you guys or gals that follow these articles would rather have Tim Tebow or what we have now as a backup QB?


Agree Cowboys fan with your comments about our QB2 position. But it looks like we are rolling with one or two of this shaky trio. Rush splashed a little years ago with us in PS games, and appears to be doing just enough again this year to have the edge for backup. For whatever reason they want to keep looking at BD, but I think most fans have seen enough already. GG is showing why he has bounced around numerous teams. Bottom line, are any of these three, in particular Rush, a good reliable QB2? Wouldn’t mind getting Bottles in here, as at least he has a real resume in real games and actually won a couple of postseason games.

If DP’s injuries linger, obviously we are not in a good situation, IMO. He (or maybe Cowboys) already said he DOESN’T WANT TO THROW FOR 6000 yards and they need to be more balanced with runs. That is a strange, telling statement, IMO. Although I’ve always been an advocate for running the ball more, this sounds like the team realizes, especially from last year’s season, that his gaudy passing stats did not result in wins OR they don’t believe his arm/leg situations will hold up for the season. Ralston, who was highlighted in article, may be needed more in that case to help with run game.

Canady and Cox continue to impress, which is a good sign for the defense. Think we got a steal with Cox in fourth rd.

Hopefully we can win our last PS game to get a bit of momentum before regular seasons starts.


Correction, Bortles actually has three postseason wins.

Cowboy fan Ed, wow, I didn’t think of Tebow, but that’s a very intriguing thought. Tremendous winning college QB, and had some bright spots in NFL. Would mind them bringing him in to compete, but is it a little late at this point?


Correction, “Would NOT mind bringing him in”

gary b

Problem with bringing in another QB is A. Would they really be an upgrade B. They will have had no much needed practice time or reps with this OL and WRs before the season started.

VAM- I don’t think any team in the NFL wants their QB throwing 50 times a game. That wouldn’t be a recipe for success for any team. The running game was ineffective last year partly due to OL issues and partly because Zeke was terrible. If the defense can make some stops/ get a few turnovers and Zeke can have a resurgence, that will minimize some of the problems with always playing from behind. And of course Dak and Zeke need to cut down on turnovers.

Cowboy Fan Ed

Hey Vam I checked and didn’t realize that TT was 34 already ….. Time sure flies! But even though he is kinda old I believe that he would out work any backup we have now! Bottom line is the league I think has blackballed him from being a QB! It sure would be fun to see him come in and compete and see how he would do!!

Bobby Purvis

bottom line, #7 has to go.


CF Ed, agree he would out work others, also would like to see him compete. And he is ten years younger than the GOAT.

gary b, you may be right, it may be too late to bring in another QB now, but I wish they had done it earlier. And some good points on your response to me.

Questions for anyone:
1. what is your confidence level of DP with his injuries situation and his ability to lead us successfully this year, 1-10, 10 being highest confidence.

Should we have brought in a more credible backup QB than we have now. Y/N

gary b

VAM- I’ll take a shot at answering ur questions. Regarding ur first one. I’ll put my confidence in Dak in particular at a solid 8. Not higher now because of the injury concerns. I think if the team around him improves (and franky I’m not sure how it could get worse than last year) I think he can play well enuf to do his part in getting us to the playoffs and possibly win a few games. But let’s be realistic this current team is not SB material. Maybe down the line but not right now. They have too many question marks at too many positions and the jury is still out on the coaching staff.

As far as the back up QB position. Appears that the cowboys rolled the dice in hopes that either Gilbert or Rush were capable. Yea I think they should have brought in more QBs for looks; but I think they have to roll with what they have now at this late juncture. I think Gilbert having that solid game against the Steelers last year might have elevated him more in the cowboys eyes then was warranted. Personally I like Rush better. He just seems more composed and makes better decisions with the ball. I’m concerned about Gilbert’s pocket presence. His internal clock is lacking and he seems to panic when pressured. My two cents worth anyway

Cowboy Fan Ed

Hey VAM right now I would have to rate DP at a 6 simply because of his injured shoulder and a leg that hasn’t had even a full year to heal! Let me be clear I hope he comes out and lights up the league and takes us to the SB but common sense tells me that he probably can’t run and cut like he did before his injury until his leg heals one hundred precent ! Now to answer the other question …… yes we should have been more aggressive in signing a veteran QB especially with Daks issues! I still believe that there is time to bring in a better talent whoever that may be because we all know that if Dak goes down we have no one that can pick up the mantle or should I say football and win ballgames for us!



He done, even his former College HC who’s HC for Jags now in Urban Meyer tried to make it work with Tebow, and he wasn’t crazy enough to bring him in as a QB, but as a 4th string TE

The only guy I’d truly be interested in getting for backup to Dak is Gardner Minshew from Jags via trade, you could get him at cheap price and he’s proven capable when he’s got help

Cowboy Fan Ed

Hey X88 so you would rather have Rush or Gilbert as our back up over Tebow? If I could pick somebody else I would but i was saying that I would pick Tebow hands down over the other two! I think we all know that Tebow is not a tight end but I would say he would win more games for us than any back up we have now! If we don’t upgrade at the back up position and Dak goes down the you can count our season a loss cause!!

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