Skip to main content

Romo on target in Cowboys' defeat of Colts

IRVING, Texas -- Tony Romo and Keith Davis kept Wade Phillips smiling throughout his first game coaching the Dallas Cowboys.

The replacement for Bill Parcells, Phillips was jovial as ever taking his place on the home sideline at Texas Stadium long before kickoff. His mood only improved seeing Romo complete 10 of 11 passes while leading two long scoring drives and watching Davis intercept a tipped pass and return it 41 yards for a touchdown in a 23-10 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night.

Of course, this is only preseason so don't read too much into things. But Phillips and the Cowboys will take it -- and the Colts surely won't be bothered by it. Indianapolis went 1-3 in the preseason last year and wound up winning the Super Bowl; the Colts were 0-5 in 2005 exhibition games then won their first 13 regular-season games.

Romo christened the work of new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett with a quick 8-yard pass to Terrell Owens. He also completed his next three throws and his last six, missing only with an overthrow of Owens. His passes went for 93 yards and they went to six different receivers.

However, Romo missed a wide-open Jason Witten on the overthrow of T.O. and he threw to Marion Barber instead of wide-open Anthony Fasano on his final pass. The Cowboys had to settle for field goals on both drives, getting a 24-yarder from Martin Gramatica and a 25-yarder by Nick Folk.

Romo, by the way, didn't hold on either kick. His backup, Brad Johnson, handled duties for Gramatica and punter Mat McBriar did so for Folk.

Romo's bobbled snap on the hold of a field goal in Seattle ended the Cowboys' last game, and Parcells' tenure. The last time the Colts played, confetti sprinkled on them in Miami after beating Chicago in the Super Bowl.

Peyton Manning played just one drive this time, going 3-for-5 for 37 yards. Most of it came on a 28-yard strike to Marvin Harrison, made possible by rookie left tackle Tony Ugoh holding off Dallas' best rusher, DeMarcus Ware. Ugoh is trying to take over the spot vacated when Tarik Glenn retired five days before training camp opened.

Manning went into his trademark pre-snap gyrations on the fifth play, a handoff, then threw a weird-looking ball for an incompletion the next down. Facing third-and-9 from the 22, he threw deep into the end zone near three Cowboys and no Colts. He walked to the sideline discussing with Harrison what went wrong and got the rest of the night off.

Kicker Shane Andrus, filling in for resting Adam Vinatieri, kicked a 40-yard field goal at the end of that drive.

Manning's backup, Jim Sorgi, was unable to produce any points, save for the interception returned by Dallas' Davis, who has not picked off a pass in 54 regular-season games. Third-stringer Josh Betts was intercepted in the end zone in the fourth quarter. He redeemed himself with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Trent Shelton in the closing minutes.

After Davis' touchdown made it 13-3, the Cowboys stretched the lead with a 2-yard touchdown run by Tyson Thompson, who is coming back from a broken ankle that cut short his 2006 season, and a 47-yard field goal by Gramatica.

There were plenty of indications that this was the first game in months for everyone.

At the end of the first half, Colts coach Tony Dungy was ready to have his team take a knee and head to the locker room, only to see the Cowboys call a timeout because rookie linebacker Anthony Spencer wasn't on the field, leaving them with 10 men.

Officials seemed to be in preseason mode, too. In the first half, they appeared to cost the Colts a first down with a short spot on a third-down pass, then television replays showed they may have mistakenly called an incompletion on a sliding catch by Fasano.

The problems even spread to the press box, where the computers that handle the stats were on the blink.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.