Cowboys rack up penalties in opener

September, 6, 2012
9/06/12
10:45
AM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Dallas Cowboys were penalized 13 times for 86 yards in their season-opening victory against the New York Giants.

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There were two penalties that you could excuse.

Defensive end Jason Hatcher was flagged for a personal foul for pushing quarterback Eli Manning. It seemed Hatcher pushed Manning just as he threw the ball, but it was a questionable call. Left tackle Tyron Smith was flagged for a horse collar when he grabbed linebacker Michael Boley up high on a 51-yard interception return. It prevented a touchdown and led to the Cowboys holding the Giants to a field goal.

But five false starts, two holding calls -- especially in the fourth quarter -- were bothersome to coach Jason Garrett.

It was probably the only negative to the Cowboys' victory.

"Well probably a combination of things," Garrett said of the penalties. "Certainly the crowd has an impact, a new center has an impact, but we have to clean that up. We do too many good things on offense to have to deal with that throughout the ballgame. The pre-snap penalties. We will continue to give that attention and make sure that gets better going forward."
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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