The Dallas Cowboys said they were better on offense Saturday night against the San Diego Chargers because they fixed mistakes.
“Basically, we just cleaned up our mistakes that we had last week,” offensive tackle Tyron Smith said. “The more we work as a unit, communicating along the O-line and playing as one, instead of separate, we will continue to figure things out and get better.”
The Chargers rallied from a 10-0 first-quarter deficit to win 28-20 in the second week of the preseason. The Cowboys are 1-1 in the preseason.
The Cowboys had 205 yards of offense in the first half behind Tony Romo and Kyle Orton. Both led a scoring possession. Romo completed nine of 13 passes for 75 yards, and Orton was 7-for-10 for 83 yards. Jamize Olawale scored on a 3-yard run for the Cowboys.
“Yeah, we moved it good, but we hurt ourselves with penalties, and as a football team, we need to correct that,” Romo said. “Guys are playing hard and playing with great passion and they are playing good, but it is very hard to score points. Now, we were able to overcome it because we had some really good plays, but at the same time, we aren’t going to be able to do that week in and week out. So we have to get that corrected, or otherwise, we have no chance.”
The Cowboys also got two turnovers as cornerback Brandon Carr intercepted two passes.
“It was good to go against Philip Rivers one more time and get the two picks off him this time, but the guys were just flying around trying to make plays on the ball,” Carr said.
Linebacker Victor Butler, who had a sack, said, “They didn’t score any points, and I felt like we executed well with no penalties or mental mistakes.”
Shareece Wright’s electrifying 73-yard interception return set up Jackie Battle’s go-ahead, 2-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, and backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst threw two touchdown passes for the Chargers. The Chargers (1-1) overcame three turnovers, including two interceptions by Philip Rivers, to rally from a 10-0 deficit. The Bolts have five turnovers in two exhibitions.
Cornerback DeAndre Presley deflected a pass from Cowboys third-string quarterback Stephen McGee, and Wright plucked the ball out of the air. He ran down the right sideline before cutting the middle of the field before he was dragged down by John Phillips at the 2-yard line.
After an incompletion by Whitehurst, Battle bulled into the end zone to give the Chargers their first lead of the night, 14-13.
The Cowboys will remain in San Diego for joint practices with the Chargers (No. 16) on Monday and Tuesday.