Cowboys rip past Raiders
IRVING, TEXAS ? Bill Parcells knows better than to get too giddy over anything that happens in the preseason.
But he also recognizes that beating the Oakland Raiders 52-13 Thursday night can have residual benefits for the Dallas Cowboys — especially considering they set a franchise-record for preseason points, scored on all five drives led by newly named starting quarterback Quincy Carter and got touchdowns from the defense and special teams.
“It means something to me because I think it gives the players something to build on, something to think about,” Parcells said. “You can only get confidence if you demonstrate an ability to do something. We did that tonight.”
The Cowboys (2-2) scored 31 points in the first half, then added three more touchdowns — including a 96-yard kickoff return by Reggie Swinton — to break the team record for points in a preseason game was set by the 1971 club that went on to win the team’s first Super Bowl title.
This wasn’t exactly the Oakland team that played in the Super Bowl last January.
Quarterback Rich Gannon and his top receivers played only five snaps. Gannon was 0-for-3, with his first pass bouncing off Jerry Rice’s shoulder and being returned 24 yards for a touchdown by cornerback Mario Edwards.
Backup Marques Tuiasosopo was 22-of-28 for 198 yards and ran four times for 52, but cost at least three points when he was tackled at the 3-yard line in the final 10 seconds of the first half with no timeouts left.
Jaguars 17, Redskins 15
Jacksonville, Fla. — Mark Brunell threw a touchdown pass in the first quarter and rookie Byron Leftwich led two to lift the Jaguars (3-1).
Bucs 34, Texans 3
Tampa, Fla. — Shaun King threw for 146 yards and a touchdown as Tampa Bay dominated Houston. The Super Bowl champions (4-1) outgained the Texans (0-4) 243-47 while amassing 17 first downs to Houston’s two in the opening half. Tampa Bay’s starting defense played only one series, but the Bucs didn’t allow a TD for the second straight week.
Browns 20, Falcons 9
Cleveland — Kelly Holcomb passed for 126 yards in two series and William Green had a touchdown run, leading Cleveland. Holcomb, who beat out Tim Couch for the starting job during training camp, completed a 68-yard pass on his first throw. Atlanta’s Doug Johnson, filling in at QB while Michael Vick recovers from a broken leg, passed for 147 yards.
Giants 30, Ravens 24
Baltimore — Kyle Boller turned in a spectacular performance in his final audition for the role of Baltimore starting quarterback. The rookie threw two touchdown passes to stake the Ravens to a 17-point lead over the New York Giants, who eventually rallied for the win.
Cardinals 31, Vikings 27
Minneapolis — Arizona’s reserves played well enough to give the team its first 4-0 preseason in 12 years. Third-string quarterback Preston Parsons ran for two touchdowns and threw for another. Parsons went 13-for-16 for 156 yards.
Bills 22, Lions 16
Orchard Park, N.Y. — Antonio Brown returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown and Josh Reed had a 34-yard touchdown reception for the Bills (3-1). Jason Hanson hit three field goals, including a 47-yarder, while Stephen Trejo recovered a fumble in the end zone for the Lions (2-2).
Jets 17, Eagles 9
Philadelphia — The Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets had no trouble keeping their starters healthy Thursday night. They barely used any of them. Despite resting their starters, the Eagles (2-2) lost a key player when first-round pick Jerome McDougle went down with a left hip and ankle injury in the third quarter.
Dolphins 24, Saints 10
New Orleans — Jay Fiedler, who played in two series, hit Chris Chambers for a 38-yard gain that took the Dolphins to the Saints’ 14-yard line. He followed that up with a touchdown toss to Derrius Thompson, putting Miami up 7-0 in a game they went on to win.
Ki-Jana Carter, the No. 1 pick overall in the 1995 draft by Cincinnati, gained 94 yards in 25 carries as he tried to lock up the backup spot behind McAlister. He also caught three passes for 26 yards.