Neither play, however, was made by the receiver everyone is
waiting to see him throw to -- Terrell Owens.
Terry Glenn reached around his defender's head and made a
one-handed touchdown catch on Bledsoe's first lob, then Sam Hurd
fought off his defender for another touchdown, getting the Cowboys
rolling to a 30-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday
Bledsoe went 12-of-16 for 156 yards, leading Dallas to scores on
three of four drives, and backup Tony Romo went 6-of-8 for 138
yards and also put up points on three of four drives. His best play
was waiting out a blitz then throwing a 48-yard touchdown pass to
Bledsoe didn't play the preseason opener so Romo could get more
work, prompting speculation of a growing controversy. Bledsoe feels
secure that he's the starter, although he acknowledged that having
to wait to get on the field "pushes you a little bit."
"It gets you going," he said. "But I can't tell you I would
have done anything different in camp had I been the only
The Cowboys also saw their first-team defense shut out the
Saints' starters. New Orleans didn't even get a first down on its
first three series, leaving Dallas coach Bill Parcells grumbling
that his unit didn't get enough work and Saints coach Sean Payton
saying his team was "not as improved as I thought."
"We struggled across the board," Payton said.
This was the first NFL game in Shreveport since local product
Terry Bradshaw brought the Pittsburgh Steelers to play the Boston
Patriots in the 1970 preseason. The returning star this time was
Saints running back Deuce McAllister, who gained eight yards on two
carries in his first game since a knee injury early last season.
"The knee felt fine ... no apprehension about anything,"
McAllister said. "There are a few mental hurdles I have to get
over, but I'm ready to work."
Reggie Bush spiced things up with a nine-yard run and an 11-yard
gain on a third-and-2 screen, both on the final drive of the first
half. He finished with seven yards on four carries, 14 yards on two
receptions -- and disappointment that the starters didn't do better.
"This isn't the old Saints any more," he said. "We need to
take three-and-outs personal. We need to change our way of
thinking. We need to keep our defense off the field. We didn't do
our job as an offense."
Jamal Branch had the lone score for New Orleans, a 1-yard
touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
Owens was in Dallas, presumably watching, because of a hamstring
injury that kept him on the sideline more than the practice field
during training camp. With Parcells not letting him play the Saints
-- and be on a Monday night cable television broadcast -- his next
chance is Saturday night at home against San Francisco, although
even that is iffy.
"The main thing is it is not firing," Cowboys owner Jerry
Jones said. "He needs to get to a point where it fires."
Bledsoe did his part to solidify his spot with crisp passes and
poise in the pocket, save for an 8-yard loss on a sack during his
only non-scoring drive. He also showed great timing with Glenn
(four catches, 71 yards) and Hurd (three, 30).
"I don't think he made any bad reads," Parcells said.
He even showed confidence on the sideline.
"I was standing out there with him visiting and he said,
'Jerry, I'm your man," Jones said.
Romo did his part to keep alive the controversy, even if he
He started with a drive for a field goal, then lost a fumble on
a sack. He redeemed himself on his next series with the TD pass to
Austin, then set up another field goal.
"I'm glad he got some more work," Parcells said. "That's six
quarters. I want to get him nine or 10 this preseason."
Glenn played like his job was on the line, coming up with a
30-yard gain and a diving 21-yarder on the drive that ended with
his highlight-reel maneuver around cornerback Mike McKenzie.
"Terry made two or three outstanding plays," Parcells said.
"It shows me he's on his way to getting ready to go."
Hurd, who has been working with Owens, made a replay-worthy
grab, too -- shoving off a bit on his defender as he turned for the
ball, then having to withstand being grabbed from behind as the
Cowboys left tackle Flozell Adams was kicked in his left calf
during the opening drive and didn't return. The injury didn't
affect the knee that caused him to miss much of last season.