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Solid Night For Stephen McGee

Stephen McGee made several impressive throws tonight, highlighted by a beautiful 43 yard rainbow to Sam Hurd for a first half touchdown. There were a few ugly ducks, particularly on short passes, but McGee once again showed improvement in the quickness of his reads and finished 27-42 for 304 yards and a touchdown. He drove the team from deep in his territory for a game winning field goal in the last two minutes with three fine throws, and he did the same thing in the first half against superior competition. 

Some other performances:

David Buehler was the other star of the game for Dallas, hitting 51, 45, 40 and 30 yard field goals. His performance was the most important development of the night. The 45-yarder snuck just inside the upright, but there is no telling how much extra yardage he had on the 51-yarder. Great showing for Buehler.

I thought that Cletis Gordon had a bit of a rough night. It won't have much bearing on his roster spot, but his coverage was not encouraging.

Sam Hurd, Manny Johnson, Jesse Holley and Kevin Ogletree all made plays, combining for 188 yards. All vibes seem to point to Patrick Crayton leaving the team in the next few days.

Jake Long injured his knee early in the second quarter. I don't care how principled Tony Sparano and Bill Parcells are, they had to be a little sick - at least for a minute or two - that they decided to leave key players in the game that long. 

Teddy Williams was kept off of the field, and Brad Sham made the suggestion during the game that the Cowboys don't want other teams to see too much tape of him. Sounds like he's played his way onto someone's practice squad, at the least.

I really like Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. He makes some mistakes and his rust and inexperience have shown at times, but he was billed as a bright, athletic player after the draft, and those attributes are evident on the field at the quasi-NFL level.

Victor Butler looked like the best defender on the field for Dallas. I thought that Brandon Williams would be the breakout linebacker this summer, but it's been Butler. 

Forgive me for saying the same thing after every preseason game, but I am terrified of the prospect of seeing backup Cowboys offensive linemen in a game this season. Both Alex Barron and Montrae Holland, the two best and most experienced backups in the group, showed physical frailties tonight.  

I felt like I was watching a 2009 Fox Sports Southwest broadcast of a Rangers game in the third quarter. Jerry Jones' Cowboys broadcast decided that hyping Jerry's upcoming Manny Pacquiao fight was important enough to essentially stop broadcasting the game for most of a quarter of the game. I realize that I'm one of a pretty limited number of people who was actually interested in that part of that game, but wouldn't most people viewing at that time fall into the die hard category? Annoying.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.