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Dallas Cowboys' defense looks solid in preseason win

Cowboys shut down Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams for 20-19 preseason victory.
By Mike Baldwin Published: August 25, 2012

On the offensive side, Romo and running back DeMarco Murray look regular-season ready. Both played only in the first quarter, when the Cowboys scored 17 points.

Playing without his top two wide receivers — OSU product Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, sitting out with minor injuries, Romo completed 9-of-13 passes for 198 yards, highlighted by 61- and 38-yard touchdown passes to Dwyane Harris.

Former OU standout Murray rushed for 26 yards on five carries and hauled in two receptions for 17 yards. Murray's highlight play was a nifty 10-yard reception that kept the first drive alive. Dallas, though, had to settle for a Dan Bailey field goal following an offensive pass interference penalty and dropped third down pass.

Coming off an outstanding showing in a win over Kansas City, St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford played the entire first half. The former Heisman winner from Oklahoma never found a rhythm and was sacked twice. Bradford completed 6-of-17 passes for 64 yards.

Dallas plays one of the league's most difficult schedules. This season the NFC East is matched against the AFC North, a division that produced playoff qualifiers Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati a year ago.

That's why how Dallas' defense fares could be just as big a factor as Romo and the offense.