As Star-Telegram beat writer Clarence E. Hill Jr. pointed out, the Dallas Cowboys were using only three defensive starters, linebacker Damien Wilson and safeties Jeff Heath and Byron Jones, as they opened the NFL preseason Thursday night.
But that didn’t stop some immediate panic from Cowboys faithful and the just-as-immediate admonitions from journalists covering the Cowboys to remember, it’s only preseason.
The Cowboys fell behind 15-0 in the opening minutes against the Arizona Cardinals in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
“Cowboys defense can’t stop Blaine Gabbert. Dallas looks to be in for a looooooooong season.”
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Signs of perceived long-standing trends also weren’t balanced by the only-preseason knowledge.
@MssHarmon: “I really hate how slow the #Cowboys start”
Mike Fisher of Scout.com and KRLD: “Same ol’ #Cowboys defense. Joking.”
Cowboys blogger Patrik Walker: “I’d like everyone to relax. There’s plenty of heart attacks to be had when the games actually count.”
Giants blogger: “I get such joy watching the #Cowboys defense get shredded. Who cares if it’s preseason.”
And when the Cowboys scored a touchdown to make it 15-7, the faithful saw some light.
From @missatomicmeme: “ladies and gentlemen we are back in business. how bout dem cowboys.”
The Cowboys escaped the rough first 30 minutes of their 2017 season with a respectable 15-10 deficit at halftime.
But there was comfort for some that former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was at the game with broadcast partner and play-by-play man Jim Nantz as CBS’ new No. 1 NFL announcing team got in some practice before their first telecast.
From SI.com: “Practice makes perfect: Tony Romo and Jim Nantz are calling the Cardinals-Cowboys game from a deer stand”
Romo and Nantz probably could make their official preseason debut in one of two August games that CBS will telecast nationally: Chiefs vs. Seahawks on Aug. 25 or Rams vs. Chargers on Aug. 26.
Overall, a lot of fans probably agreed with Cowboys_Chikita, overwhelmed that football is back. Yes, it’s an emotional moment for many.
Indeed, there was this from @DelgadoMo59: “I don’t care that it’s preseason, the fact that the Cowboys are back on T.V make my heart happy!”
And there are the haters, oh, lots of haters.