The first home appearance for 2014 started less than perfect for Dallas, as quarterback Tony Romo, who missed a lot of training camp in an effort to protect his back following offseason surgery, made his first appearance in a preseason game this year. On the first Cowboy possession of the game, Romo botched the handoff to DeMarco Murray and it was scooped up and returned for a Ravens TD. After a successful 33-yard PAT, Baltimore was up 7-0 and they never looked back.
There WERE some bright spots for Dallas, as Romo connected on a beautiful TD pass to Dez Bryant during the first team’s action. There were also some very good defensive plays by the Pokes.
Head Coach Jason Garrett was asked his feelings about how Romo looked during his time at the helm when he met with reports shortly after the game’s conclusion. “I thought he looked good. Obviously, the real blemish for that first offense was the fumbled handoff that they returned for a touchdown, but I thought he moved the ball well, but the penalties hurt. They put is in some bad down and distance situations, including two holding penalties, but I thought they kind of overcame that stuff and came out a put a good drive together. I thought we ran it fairly well; I thought we threw it fairly well and we made those big plays in the passing game, so to me he looked comfortable. On that first third down where he had to climb the pocket and delivered the ball to Dez, I thought that looked a lot like Tony Romo, and so I think he felt comfortable out there, I think he saw things well and moved around and progressed through his different reads. I just thought he handled himself well and looked good.”
Though Garrett would not tip his hat as to how much he anticipated Romo would play this Saturday night when Dallas travels to Miami to take on the Dolphins, the third preseason game is historically the “dress rehearsal” for the first team players in the NFL, and they usually don’t play at all in the final preseason game. Garrett did indicate that WAS usually the case, but that he would let the media know once the decision is made later in the week as to what the plan would be.
After facing the Dolphins on the road Saturday night, the Cowboys return to AT&T Stadium on Thursday night, August 28th to face the Denver Broncos in the final preseason game.