IRVING, Texas (AP) -- After seeing the way his aging running
back, even older quarterback and questionable group of cornerbacks
closed the preseason, Bill Parcells considers the Dallas Cowboys
still a work in progress.
"I'm going to be looking at the waiver wire, that's for sure.
I'm going to be looking pretty close," Parcells said following a
24-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.
"We've got to try to improve our talent level a little bit.
Anybody can tell from looking at us."
Dallas' starters were unimpressive, with Vinny Testaverde
hitting nearly as many defensive backs as receivers and Eddie
George having more carries than yards. Kansas City was slowed early
by penalties, then had consecutive touchdown drives by throwing at
the Cowboys' right cornerbacks.
Once both teams started taking out their starters, Dallas backup
quarterback Tony Romo led three straight scoring drives and the
defense made it hold up. The Cowboys finished the preseason 3-1,
Kansas City went 1-3.
Romo, who never played as an undrafted rookie last season, went
12-for-14 for 141 yards. He drove for a field goal just before
halftime and led TD drives of 70 and 65 yards in the third quarter,
taking the Cowboys from down 14-7 to ahead 24-14.
Romo likely won the second-string spot, especially since Drew
Henson went 0-for-4 with an interception on his first pass.
"I've been gaining confidence each week," said Romo, who ran
for the winning touchdown in the last minute of another preseason
game. "I was able to get into a rhythm tonight and our wide
receivers and offensive line did great work."
Even in defeat, Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil felt good because
starting quarterback Trent Green completed 7-of-9 passes for 72
yards and a touchdown, then backup Todd Collins went 5-for-5 for
104 yards with a 53-yard TD pass.
"They put in a pretty good day's work," Vermeil said. "Both
quarterbacks can keep performing the way they have been and I will
Third-stringer Damon Huard played nearly the entire second half,
but managed only two field goals. He failed to convert third-and-4
from the 9 for the second field goal, then, on the next drive, the
Chiefs had a third-and-2 from the Dallas 10 and ended up turning
the ball over on downs.
Kansas City's Pro Bowl safety Jerome Woods had an interception
in his return from a hamstring injury and Lawrence Tynes continued
his bid to beat out Morten Andersen by making fourth-quarter field
goals of 46 and 27 yards.
The most important thing in all preseason finales is avoiding
injuries. The most serious was Dallas offensive lineman Stephen
Peterman, a third-round pick, hurting his right knee and likely
going out for the season.
This was the third game in 11 days for both teams, with Dallas
just three days removed from its last outing. Vermeil said the
short turnaround time means "it becomes the entertainment business
It wasn't too entertaining when the Cowboys' first-team offense
Testaverde was 4-of-10 for 40 yards, with Woods' interception.
He missed Keyshawn Johnson all five times he threw his way;
cornerback William Bartee came closer to catching the first two and
the last one was redeemed by a pass interference call.
George gained just eight yards on nine carries against the
Chiefs' first-team defense, which isn't good against the run. He
finished the preseason with 51 yards on 24 carries.
His longest this game went three yards. His last two went for
minus-four yards and no gain.
George especially looked slow on a pitch to the left side. A
hole was open, but closed by the time he arrived; he gained just
"I have to relax as much as possible and take what the defense
gives me," George said. "I'll continue to work hard, look at my
mistakes and move on."
George looked even worse when 32-year-old Richie Anderson ran
for six yards and 31 on the next two plays. George returned to cap
the drive by scoring from the 3, breaking one tackle at the line to
step into the end zone for his first touchdown of the preseason.
The Cowboys never turned to their future at the position, rookie
Julius Jones, because he hurt his ribs Monday night.
"If this was the regular season, there would've been a lot more
pressure on him to play," Parcells said. "He's going to have to
suck it up when it counts."
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