Cowboys’ patchwork offensive line plays well

Posted Monday, Sep. 09, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Newly signed Brian Waters did not play, leaving Ronald Leary and Mackenzy Bernadeau to start the game at guard for the Cowboys on the offensive line.

For Leary, it was not only his first start, but also his first NFL game. He had one penalty called on him.

Bernadeau, in the second year of a four-year $11.5 million contract, made his 17th start for the Cowboys. He started every game for the Cowboys last year, but he is likely the player to be replaced by Waters, a six-time Pro Bowler who signed a one-year deal worth $3 million this week.

The line did not allow a sack in the first three quarters, but quarterback Tony Romo was hit hard at the end of the first half and left the game with the wind knocked out of him. He was also hit in the legs, hitting the ground hard as his knee bent severely, in a play that resulted in a penalty for the Giants.

The line finally gave up its first sack halfway through the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys rushed for 87 yards.

Selvie shows up

George Selvie made an impact in his first NFL start. The fourth-year pro, a training camp addition for the Cowboys’ injury-ravaged defensive line, recovered a fumble and collected a sack in the first half against the Giants.

Playing opposite DeMarcus Ware, Selvie had a sack that forced the Giants to settle for a field goal after a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

Selvie’s time in the lineup may not last long, or it may go on for a while. Anthony Spencer is entering his seventh week of recovery from knee surgery and has yet to practice.

Better special teams

The Cowboys’ special teams came through with a much better performance than any they delivered in the preseason.

Linebacker DeVonte Holloman recovered a muffed punt in the third quarter, giving the Cowboys the ball in the red zone to set up a touchdown that put the Cowboys ahead 27-10.

Dan Bailey made field goals of 30 and 38 yards, and the punt coverage allowed an average of 2 yards on three returns through the third quarter.

Williams effect

Rookie receiver Terrance Williams played in his first NFL game, but had a rough first half. He and quarterback Tony Romo did not appear in sync, and one play resulted in a 91-yard interception return. The third-round pick out of Baylor also had a drop in the middle of the field.

But Williams came back with a better second half. He had a 23-yard catch for a first down in the third quarter.

Webb fills in

Rookie cornerback B.W. Webb had to go in the game in the third quarter when Morris Claiborne got hurt.

Orlando Scandrick moved into Claiborne’s position on the outside, and Webb went in to cover the slot.

Claiborne returned to the game.

Ware pick

DeMarcus Ware’s interception on the first play of the season gave him his second career interception. His first one came in 2006, his second year with the Cowboys, and he returned it 41 yards for a touchdown. That play came Dec. 16, 2006, against the Atlanta Falcons.

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407 Twitter: @calexmendez

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