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Tim's blog

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Here's what I'll be looking for in tomorrow's preseason opener

The Cowboys play their first preseason game tomorrow against the Raiders. Here are a few things I'll be watching closely (even though I don't expect to learn much from some of them):

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After Jerry's big shopping spree, is the team better?

In a couple of frenzied days of free agent shopping, the Cowboys have picked up two guards, both with starting experience, a fullback, a linebacker, a back-up quarterback, a free safety and one of the top free agent corners in the league. It's the most free agents the team has signed since the modern free agent era began in 1993.

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This just in: Romo is not the problem.

Before the Romo-hate starts (and I know it will,) let me just be upfront and say this: Tony Romo's talents are utterly wasted on this crappy team.

In case you were not watching tonight, here is what happened: Romo was sacked three times in his first seven drop-backs. He played with a busted up throwing hand, behind an offensive line with backups (one an undrafted rookie free agent) playing at both guard positions, with essentially no defense on the field at all.

What did he do? He completed 78% of his passes for 289 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 105.9.

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Playing above the level of the opponents - it matters

You can nitpick (and I will,) but you can't say Dallas played down to the opponent's level. They dominated on both sides of the ball throughout the game.

Before you get too caught up in the idiotic TV commentary on the Cowboys' "letdown" in the second half, let's point out something very important: it was not Tampa 15, Dallas 3 - it was clock 1, Tampa 0. Demarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff did not play in the second half. Alex Albright did.

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The Rob Ryan defense (if you can call it that) is all bark and no fight

In a game where Romo clearly outplayed Manning, Murray and Jones (not quite as) clearly outran Jacobs and Bradshaw, and turnovers were even, you'd think the home team would win.

Instead, the all bark no bite Rob Ryan defense collapsed again to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

It started with the dropped interception by Newman in the first quarter. In a way, it ended there, as the final margin of defeat was less than the ten point swing caused by that play.

A twelve point lead with 5:41 to play. How do you blow that? At home? With the whole postseason on the line?

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