GLENDALE, Arizona — The Cowboys offense wrapped up the western portion of their preseason in wild fashion.
It was as if they saved their worst for last.
It's hard to put too much stock in what happens in the preseason, but its also really hard for a team to commit five turnovers in a game; nearly impossible to do it in a half. But the Cowboys pulled off that feat against the Cardinals Saturday night and afterwards said it was unacceptable.
"That's not winning football. That's not championship football," said quarterback Tony Romo. "We're gonna get that corrected. That's too important. It's the number one thing we stress every day."
A couple of miscues erased explosive plays. Dez Bryant ended the night with 4 catches for 74 yards in a half, but says that matters not because of the mistakes.
"Big huge mistakes on my part," Bryant said of his fumble after a 27-yard gain that would have put the Cowboys deep in Arizona territory in the second quarter. "You know, trying to do too much, trying to switch hands and stiff-arm, can't do it. I think it's something I have to learn from."
"You have to understand that the ball is critical," said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, "regardless of how many more yards you might make or you might make a bigger play, you have to take care of the rock and we didn't do that on six different occasions tonight and it got us beat."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said fatigue from training camp was no excuse for all the mistakes, pointing out they were able to work under ideal conditions in California.
The Cowboys return to the practice field Monday at Valley Ranch, preparing for their first home preseason game Saturday against the Bengals.
The 30-day road trip out west is over, but after what we saw in Phoenix, its apparent there's still plenty of work needed before the games begin to count.