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GLENDALE, Arizona The first half of the Cowboys' preseason game against the Cardinals Saturday will be remembered for one thing: Five Dallas turnovers.

Unbelievably, the Cowboys trailed just 9-0, thanks to a great defensive effort especially in sudden change and short field situations.

"It's a great teaching moment," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. "I think we're playing hard; we're aggressive guys are all over the field but if you don't take care of the football you have no chance to be successful."

Trailing 3-0, the Cowboys were driving to take the lead. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo hit Lance Dunbar who made a quick move on his defender and streaked downfield for a 43 yard gain, but the North Texas producer fumbled the ball after being hit and stumbling near the end of the play. Phoenix took possession at their own four.

Later in the quarter, Romo hit Dez Bryant on an in route for a 27-yard gain, but he got stripped from behind and the Cowboys coughed it up again, fouling up another prime scoring opportunity.

Backup quarterback Kyle Orton had a six minute stretch to forget late in the quarter. He threw a pair of interceptions, both on poor decisions.

Add that to an early Dwayne Harris fumbled punt on special teams and it was obvious what the head coach would be preaching to his team at the half.

"You have to play winning football," Garrett said. "It starts with the ball; we didn't do that in the first half."

E-mail jtrahan@wfaa.com

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