Dallas Cowboys: Jerraud Powers

Fumble ruins otherwise big day for Dez

August, 17, 2013
8/17/13
8:48
PM ET


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dez Bryant didn’t want to talk about any of the good plays he made Saturday.

The final moment of his four-yard, 74-yard performance, when cornerback Jerraud Powers ripped the ball out of Bryant’s hands at the end of a 27-yard gain across the middle, was all that was on the Cowboys’ big-play receiver’s mind.

“Pissed about the fumble,” Bryant hoarsely grumbled after the 12-7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. “It’s just not me, you know what I’m saying? I don’t fumble. I’m not going to hold it over my head, because I know what type of player I am. It’s something I have to correct.”

Bryant has lost fumbles on only three of his 200 career receptions, but that doesn’t excuse what he called a “big, huge mistake” against the Cardinals. He pled guilty to trying to do too much on the play, attempting to switch hands with the ball while stiff-arming the defender.

“That outweighs what you’re doing in the ballgame, regardless of any circumstances,” Bryant said.

That’s especially true when it was one of six turnovers the Cowboys committed, five of which came during a scoreless first half for Dallas in the sloppy loss.

But Bryant’s breathtaking training camp -- and second half of the 2012 season, for that matter -- has carried over into the preseason. He’s caught seven passes for 129 yards in about a half’s worth of work.

Bryant’s phenomenal physical tools and the trust quarterback Tony Romo has in him was especially evident on Bryant’s first catch Saturday, a 25-yard gain on which he snatched the ball on a back-shoulder fade despite tight coverage by Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson.

“He knows the turnover matters more than anything else,” Romo said. “But he’s playing great.

“Today’s going to be a great teaching moment for him. Sometimes, some of the best lessons you learn are when you make a mistake. It depends on whether you take the approach or not to do that. He will.”

It’s an even safer bet that Bryant will keep making big plays.

Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 12, Cowboys 7

August, 17, 2013
8/17/13
6:39
PM ET


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dreadful. Just dreadful. The Cowboys (1-2) completed the West Coast portion of training camp with a 12-7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals (2-0) on Saturday afternoon at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Cowboys' first-team offense was able to move the ball but failed to score any points, in large part because of turnovers that gave the Cardinals prime field position.

Here are some thoughts on the Cowboys' loss:

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers: The Cowboys committed six turnovers against Arizona. Kyle Orton threw two interceptions, both on bad throws. Lance Dunbar and Dez Bryant fumbled after long receptions, and for the second consecutive week, the Cowboys' special-teams unit muffed a punt. This time, it was Dwayne Harris losing a fumble. Alex Tanney also threw a late pick. But Arizona managed only 12 points (four field goals on five tries).

First-team offense shut out: Tony Romo completed 7 of 10 passes for 142 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions during three drives. Romo looked in tune once again with Bryant, who caught four passes for 74 yards. But the Cowboys' two best plays led to turnovers. Romo connected with Dunbar on a catch-and-run, but the running back fumbled while being tackled after a 43-yard gain. The play would have given the Cowboys the ball at the Arizona 7. Bryant fumbled on the next possession after making a catch in the middle of the field. He was stripped by cornerback Jerraud Powers while being pulled down, giving the Cardinals the ball at their own 27.

Arkin starts at left guard: With Ronald Leary out while recovering from right knee surgery, a David Arkin got the start and played a little more than three quarters. Arkin did a nice job as a run- and pass-blocker. There did, however, seem to be confusion on a pass play when Arizona's defensive linemen used a stunt against Arkin that resulted in a sack.

Tanney leads scoring drive: After not scoring for three quarters, Tanney connected with Gavin Escobar on a 5-yard touchdown pass with 10:52 to play in the fourth quarter to bring the Cowboys to within 9-7. The score ended a 16-play, 89-yard drive that lasted just under 10 minutes. Tanney had two chances to give his team the lead in the final five minutes, but one drive ended with a punt and the other on an interception. Tanney finished 14-of-19 for 136 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Surprise decisions: Jermey Parnell, who returned to practice late last week from a strained hamstring, was a healthy scratch. Demetress Bell was the right tackle with the second team in the second half. Darrion Weems was the left tackle. The Cowboys might have played Bell just to get a good look at him against another opponent. He was signed after camp started but failed the conditioning test. Coach Jason Garrett said Bell needed to get in shape. Phillip Tanner, who was getting snaps behind starter DeMarco Murray and Dunbar at running back, didn't get any snaps Saturday. Instead, rookie Joseph Randle was the running back with the third team. Tanney took all the snaps after Romo and Orton were done for the day. The Cowboys didn't give Nick Stephens any snaps in the second half. It's doubtful if the Cowboys go with three quarterbacks, but Tanney played better than Orton.

What's next? The Cowboys finally come home after a month on the West Coast. They will be off Sunday and resume practices at 8 a.m. Monday in Irving.

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