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.
Live preseason games on NFL Network
- Washington at Tennessee, Sat. Aug. 11 (8 p.m.)
- Houston at Arizona, Sat. Aug. 18 (4 p.m.)
- Detroit at Indianapolis, Sat. Aug. 25 (7 p.m.)
- San Diego at Arizona, Sat. Aug. 25 (10 p.m.)
- Buffalo at Detroit, Thur. Aug. 30 (7 p.m.)
- San Francisco at San Diego, Thur. Aug. 30 (10 p.m.)
- Indianapolis at Cincinnati, Fri. Aug. 31 (7:30 p.m.)
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.
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.
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.
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