Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Saturday, August 22, 2009
Highlights: A high punt and a rookie runner


Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The biggest story out of the Cowboys' 30-10 preseason win over the Titans in the football debut for Cowboys Stadium was the enormous video board factoring into play. NFC East guru Matt Mosley and I showed the preseason teamwork capabilities of the blog network by combining on this news story about it.

The short version: The Titans think the scoreboard is a huge issue for punters; Jerry Jones thinks of it more like a windmill on a miniature golf course. [Full disclosure, I borrowed that line from Matt.]

One additional quote from Craig Hentrich on the issue: "It's a bad situation when you've got guys that can hit it four or five times in a row, you've got your guys covering down the field four or five times in a row and you're having to redo it and redo it. It's a serious issue. It's pretty cool to see [the giant video board], but you hit a great punt and you hit the scoreboard, then what if you shank one? It's penalizing a great punt and that's not the way it's supposed to be."

Other than A.J. Trapasso's punt that dinged the TV, the stadium scored very highly. Keith Bulluck, who visited the new Yankee Stadium earlier this year, tweeted that Jones had outdone George Steinbrenner.

"It's pretty magnificent, pretty impressive definitely," he said after the game.

Setting aside that fantastic development, the Titans were pretty awful with 191 net yards, 10 first downs and fewer than 20 minutes of possession. Defensively, they allowed 466 yards, 27 first downs and two fourth-down conversions.

They didn't have their starters on the field as long as Dallas did, as the Cowboys stayed on the field through the first half.

But spin as they might, it's hard to find much to like about the work of second quarterback Vince Young or Patrick Ramsey, who is third in line. Jeff Fisher said while Young won't necessarily start, he will get time with the starters in one of the final two preseason games.

Rookie running back Javon Ringer qualified as the primary bright spot.

He finished with the best rushing average in the game thanks to five carries for 33 yards. The Titans fifth-round pick out of Michigan State also had an impressive 51-yard kickoff return and worked on kick and punt coverage teams.

"I do feel very comfortable," he said. "...Thus far, I've been able to go out there, handle myself well and act like I've been here before."

Titans fullback Ahmard Hall said he's been very impressed with how Ringer has carried himself since joining the team.

"I'm amazed that as a rookie he has so much discipline and dedication," Hall said. "He's real disciplined, he knows what to do. He follows instructions real well. The coaches have been doing this for a long time, when they tell you something to do, most likely they've seen it work. If you just listen to them, it'll work for you.

"And that's why you see him breaking so many big runs. If Coach [Earnest] Byner tells him to press the hole and to stick to his first read and he does it, he's out there doing it the way it's supposed to be done every time. Of course you're going to lose some battles, but he's breaking runs, he's making so many things happen."

Three more things: