Cowboys Report Card

Drew Bledoe and the passing game leads our list of early performers for the Dallas Cowboys.

PASSING OFFENSE
A-minus -- At least for one game, Drew Bledsoe and the team's aging and thin receiver corps proved they could get the job down. Bledsoe completed 18-of-24 passes for 226 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Keyshawn Johnson had five catches for 65 yards and two touchdowns. Bledsoe was sacked four times.

RUSHING OFFENSE
C-plus -- The Cowboys ran for 109 yards. It would have been more if 42 yards weren't called back because of penalties. Running back Julius Jones also grew tired at the end of the game, but he still managed 93 yards on 26 carries against a tough run defense.

PASS DEFENSE
B minus -- Keenan McCardell and Drew Brees seemed to pick the defense apart early. But the rush began to get to Brees as the game worn on. Anthony Henry and Aaron Glenn, two free agent cornerbacks, proved worth their salaries. Both had interceptions. Henry led the Cowboys with 12 tackles and five pass deflections.

RUSH DEFENSE
B -- LaDainian Tomlinson is considered by many to be the best back in football. The Cowboys, playing in the 3-4 defense for the first time, held him in check, limiting him to 19 carries and 72 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS
D -- Changes must be made on the kickoff coverage unit after allowing returns of 49 and 46 yards to Darren Sproles, which set up 10 Chargers points. Punter Matt McBriar was average at best with 33-yard net on three attempts.

COACHING
B -- Sean Payton was solid as a play-caller. Coach Bill Parcells preached mental toughness all off-season. The Cowboys proved plenty tough with a comeback victory on the road against the Chargers.

CowboysHQ Top Stories