On the positive side, the Cowboys had 14 penalties in the first two games for 146 yards. Saturday night they went the first half without a single penalty. Then they finished with four penalties for 28 yards. Yes, a big improvement.
The Cowboys did turn the ball over for the first time this season. Quarterback J.W. Walsh was a little lackluster by his own admission. Walsh completed 17 of 30 for 181 yards with a touchdown on a great one-handed catch by Blake Jackson.
Walsh took the blame and gave the credit.
"When you have guys like that making catches, and like I said last week, if you get it close they will make the plays," said Walsh of his receivers. "We weren't very sharp and I wasn't very sharp, but hats off to those guys. When you can have a clean game as far as penalties go then you are gong to be successful. That interception was solely my fault and we will get that cleaned up."
There was no more electric player on the field Saturday night than Josh Stewart. But even Stewart, who had a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown and another 41-yard punt return to go with three receptions for 49 yards, talked of the less than crisp play.
"Offense, we played very average and we can play much better," said Stewart. "We had dropped balls and that's what we have coaches for, and we can get better every week. I'm excited about our offense and we can get a lot better."
Even the defense, which only allowed 245 yards and the field goal at the end of the half, was saying they could have played better.
"We made a few mistakes out there including myself," said middle linebacker Caleb Lavey, who finished with six tackles, five unassisted and one for loss. "We won the game, we rolled a lot of guys in there to play and get experience, and we have the extra week and the bye coming up to figure out our mistakes and fix them."
Okay, but here's the rub; the Cowboys went to 3-0 and did so with a 59-3 win in front of Boone Pickens Stadium record crowd of 59,061 fans all of whom needed a break from the Sports Illustrated nuisance and an opportunity to see their favorite football team play. The Cowboys played and while they can and will play better, Saturday night may have been sloppy but it was satisfying all at the same time.
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