Sunday, August 21, 2011
First-quarter recap: Chargers 3, Cowboys 0
By Calvin Watkins
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The San Diego Chargers are in town for the second preseason game at Cowboys Stadium to face the Cowboys.
Some highlights from the opening quarter:
First-team defense: The first-team defense gave up a field goal, but there was some good plays. On the second possession, safety Abram Elam came through a hole and made a nice tackle on the backside for a loss. Safety Danny McCray knocked quarterback Philip Rivers down on a delay blitz. Safety Barry Church, who has performed well in camp, knocked down a potential touchdown pass in the end zone. Orlando Scandrick, the third corner -- who is starting because of injuries to Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins -- gave up too much space on two pass plays and seemed to think he had some deep help on one of them. The Cowboys inserted their second-team defensive line on their third possession, but kept the first-team linebackers and secondary players in. The Cowboys mixed and matched some of their first-team with Jay Ratliffreturning toward the end of the quarter.
Romo has first turnover:The first turnover of the preseason came from quarterback Tony Romo, who underthrew a pass to Kevin Ogletree with 4:22 to play in the quarter. The Cowboys were moving along on this drive, but Romo -- who had plenty of time -- tried to force a pass in. While this play was Romo's fault, Ogletree didn't do a good job on a 7-yard run by Felix Jones. Jones cut back across the grain and had plenty of room, but Ogletree failed to block two defenders. If he gets to one of them, Jones might get a big gain.
Lineup changes:The Cowboys started Bill Nagy at left guard, with Phil Costa backing up and Kenyon Coleman getting the start at left defensive end. Coleman is starting over Igor Olshansky, who was moved to the second team on Monday. Coleman is a better two-gap player than Olshansky. The Cowboys are still working on changes on both lines, especially on the offensive side, where line coach Hudson Houck wants his players to have the ability to play multiple positions.
Injuries:The Cowboys were minus three key players: Wide receiver Miles Austin (hamstring), Jason Hatcher (toe) and kicker David Buehler (hip) are the latest players not to participate. Among the others: Kai Forbath (quad), Teddy Williams (hamstring), Tashard Choice (calf), DeMarco Murray (hamstring), Terence Newman (groin), Keith Brooking (calf), Bruce Carter (knee) and Montrae Holland (back).