It was a hot and steamy night in Arizona for the Cowboys as they came up short in their preseason opener, losing to the Cardinals 13-11. The Cowboys first team offense proved infective. Drew Bledsoe looked out of sync, completing four of eight passes for just 27 yards. Julius Jones had 10 yards rushing on six carries, as he found himself fighting just to get back to the line of scrimmage on many of his runs. On the other side of the field, new Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner looked sharp, completing 14 of 19 passes for 151 yards, including an incredible catch by Larry Fitzgerald for a 31 yard touchdown that gave the Cardinals a 10-0 lead. Tony Romo was 5 of 6 for 50 yards on the final drive of the first half, capped off by an impressive 47 yard Billy Cundiff field goal to cut the lead to 7 at the half.
The Cowboys were penalized 12 times, including an embarrassing stretch early in the third. They had 1st & 10 on the Cardinals 15. But two straight holding calls on Torrin Tucker, followed later by a Patrick Crayton false start and a Stephen Peterman holding call pushed them back to 3rd & 50 from their own 45.
Romo finished the day 8 of 10 for 71 yards. Drew Henson was a serviceable 6 of 13 for 64 yards. Tyson Thompson led all runners with 64 yards on 10 carries. Not surprisingly, Jason Witten led the Cowboys with 5 catches for 62 yards.
Rookie Tom Crowder proved to be one of the few bright spots for the Cowboys, performing exceptionally well on special teams, including a blocked punt that turned into a safety in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys best player proved to be their punter Matt McBriar. The Australian boomed seven punts for a 54 yard average, including a monster 67 yarder. He also put three of those inside the Cardinals 20 yard line.