Cowboys D pleased, but work remains

ARLINGTON, Texas – Because of injuries, the Cowboys were never able to put their full first-team defense on the field in the first three preseason games, but what counted as the No. 1 unit allowed only one field goal.

And that was a 55-yarder by St. Louis’ Greg Zuerlein with 34 seconds left in the first quarter of Saturday’s 20-19 win against the Rams.

The No. 1 defense will not play vs. Miami on Wednesday.

“It’s the preseason, so it doesn’t mean anything,” inside linebacker Sean Lee said. “We have to come out Week 1 against the Giants, against a great offense that was tough to stop last year, and we’re going to have to play well and if we don’t give up a touchdown then, then that means something.”

The first-team defense saw the returns of Anthony Spencer, Jay Ratliff and Jason Hatcher but did not have DeMarcus Ware against the Rams. Still, St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford was held to 64 yards passing and was sacked twice and hit a few more times.

Ratliff suffered a high-ankle sprain, so he might not be available to play against the Giants.

“You’ve got to take every day and have that sense of urgency because that first game is going to come sooner than you think,” Lee said. “Now’s the time to get your body right, get in the weight room, continue to learn and assess the weaknesses and get better.”