Better Exchange Rate

Al Johnson, Drew Bledsoe are seeking fundamental improvement this week against Arizona.

Players and coaches often talk about "getting back to the basics."

The thing is, that phrase is usually said either at the start of a season or when a player is trying to break out of a slump. But that's exactly the phrase thrown out Wednesday by Dallas center Al Johnson and quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Perhaps increased by the cool, damp conditions in Seattle, the two bungled a the center-to-quarterback snap in the Cowboys' loss to the Seahawks, and it wasn't the first time this season the pair had … dropped the ball.

"The one in Seattle was my fault," Johnson said. "It had nothing to do with the anything earlier in the season, but it gets magnified by the fact that it wasn't the first time it's happened. That (snap in Seattle) got away from me. I asked for a new ball for two plays, to try a ball with another grip."

Bledsoe said that the faulty snaps he has had this season are a first for him.

"The center/quarterback exchange has never been a problem (in) my entire career," he said. "Al and I work on it, because it's unacceptable."

Both players said the issue can creep into their minds before plays, and that can affect the overall offense.

"It definitely affects us," Johnson said. "It's something we've got to take care of."

Bledsoe said that as the leader of the Dallas offense, he can't afford to be distracted by something as basic as the snap of the ball.

"When you play the position I am," he said, "it takes away a little from what we're trying to do."

While the weather was not ideal in Seattle -- the air was cool and there was a misting rain at various points throughout the game -- Bledsoe did not blame the conditions for the errant snap.

"Sometimes when it's lightly raining, it's more difficult than (playing) in a downpour," he said. "It can be harder for my guys to catch the ball, too. So I've got to throw it a little different, with more touch.

"But I've got to get the ball first."

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