Cowboys Top Bengals 16-7 In Preseason Opener

Here's the rundown on the Cowboys preseason opener.

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MRI Confirms: John Phillips Has Torn ACL

According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas, an MRI has revealed that Cowboys tight end John Phillips has indeed torn his ACL and will miss the entire 2010 season.

With this injury, the Cowboys might be looking to add a tight end before the end of the preseason. Martellus Bennett suffered an ankle injury earlier in camp while Kevin Brock sprained his left ankle.

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John Phillips 'May Have Torn ACL' In Game

Per Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News, tight end John Phillips might have torn his ACL in the Cowboys' preseason opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night.

Both Phillips and the Cowboys will await the results of a Monday MRI.

Again, via Archer:

“I’m going to stay positive and wait for [Monday] and see what the doctors get confirmed,” Phillips said. “Regardless of what they say something’s got to be confirmed on a screen so until they show it to me, I’m going to stay positive.”

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Defense Stars As Cowboys Win Hall Of Fame Game 16-7

It wasn’t a thing of beauty offensively, but the Cowboys leave Canton with a 1-0 preseason record. The defense pitched a shutout until Jordan Shipley returned a punt to the two yard line in the last minute of the game and Jordan Palmer converted a two yard touchdown pass.

After tripling the Bengals in yards in the first half, Dallas struggled to move the ball behind second year QB Stephen McGee and their backup offensive line, adding just 92 second half yards.

The defense contributed an interception returned for a touchdown by LB Brandon Short and an interception returned to the Cincinnati 9 by LB Brandon Williams. The two plays accounted for all ten second half points.

Dallas lost TE John Phillips to a knee sprain that will be reevaluated back in Dallas and saw a hit to the head give Cletis Gordon a sore neck but no long term issues.

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Strong First Half For Cowboys Defense

While the Cowboys offense could only post six points while racking up 205 yards of offense, the first and second units of the defense were consistently solid. They held the Bengals to just 67 yards and four first downs in posting the shutout. The Bengals were 0-6 on third downs, averaged just 2.4 yards per play, turned the ball over on an interception, and committed a combined nine penalties for 60 yards.

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John Phillips Injures Right Knee

The Cowboys radio broadcast reports that tight end John Phillips had to walk to the locker room after injuring his right knee. The severity of the injury is not yet known, but Phillips will not return to the game. Dallas has three tight ends now injured, as Martellus Bennett did not dress for the game, and Kevin Brock left earlier with an injured ankle. Rookie Scott Sicko should have a busy night.

Phillips had a huge first half, with four catches for 60 yards.

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Titus Ryan Breaks Thumb

The Cowboys radio broadcast reports that receiver and kick returner Titus Ryan has a broken thumb.

Ryan faced a serious uphill battle to make the team to begin with, and he’ll now miss time. Ryan made a nice return on the opening kickoff, breaking a tackle and running it out to the 35 yard line.

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Cowboys First String Offense Scores, Old Problems Crop Up

The Cowboys drove 63 yards and scored on their first drive of the preseason, but two of their issues in 2009 – offensive line penalties and red zone efficiency – showed themselves.

Tony Romo hit Roy Williams to convert a 3rd-12, but that was necessary after a holding call on Andre Gurode on first down.

After the offense drove to the five yard line, Felix Jones fumbled after Roy Williams’ helmet hit ball. The play was nullified by a defensive offsides, but Dallas could not punch the ball into the endozne on three tries from the two yard line. David Buehler converted a 20 yard field goal to end the opening drive and the starting offense's day.

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Cowboys Pre-Game: Info On The Preseason Opener Sunday Night In Canton

The Dallas Cowboys begin their quest to be the first team in history to play in a Super Bowl in their own stadium with a Hall Of Fame exhibition game against the Cincinnati Bengals and some of the most controversial members of their 2008 roster. 

Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals (Bengals Team Page)
Game time: Sunday, 7:00 CDT
Location: Canton, OH
TV: NBC

Positional Summary of the two weeks in San Antonio

Cowboys injury issues:

Marcus Spears - Sprained MCL, out until early September
Dez Bryant - Sprained ankle, out 3-5 more weeks
Anthony Spencer - Bruised Achilles, uncertain for Sunday
Akwasi Owusu-Ansah - Shoulder/Hamstring, questionable (Update: won't play)
Sean Lee - Strained quad, questionable (Update: won't play)
Alex Barron - Dislocated finger, expected to play 
Martellus Bennett - Sprained ankle, he's practicing but may not play (Update: won't play)
Sean Lissemore - Strained groin, out
Pat Watkins - Sprained knee, out
Montrae Holland - Strained hamstring, out

The last three should all return to practice this week.

Game Previews:

Cowboys I Will Have My Eye On Tonight 
Blogging The Boys game preview from Dave Halprin
Five things that Bryan Broaddus will be watching
Michael Fabiano has a more superficial fantasy preview

Bengals notes:

They're coming off of an eight win season in which they lost to the Jets in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Carson Palmer and Chad Ocho Cinco are back, and they're joined by a slew of ex-Cowboys (including Terrell Owens, Roy Williams, Pacman Jones, Antonio Bryant and Tank Johnson) and Big 12 stars (including Cedric Benson, Jermaine Gresham, Jordan Shipley, Quan Cosby, Chase Coffman, Roddrick Muckelroy, Maurice Purify and Dezmon Briscoe). Bryant will not play.

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