|Emmitt Smith fails to gain a yard on his only carry, but later catches an 11-yard pass.(AP)|
"I didn't quite expect as poor a performance as that," Parcells said. "We didn't really do much of anything."
Even though it was 110 degrees at kickoff and 107 at the start of the second half, Smith barely broke a sweat in his first appearance for Arizona.
He participated in the Cardinals' first three plays, then called it a night.
"It was weird seeing the 'Blue' walk down the hallway without me," Smith said. "It was the earliest I've ever played in preseason. I got enough work tonight to make up for the past 13 years I missed."
The NFL's career rushing leader carried for no gain on the game's first play. Then on third-and-10, he took a pass from Jeff Blake and dodged a couple of Cowboys for an 11-yard gain and a first down.
"I wanted to get loose and stretch my legs running," Smith said, "but if I have to go out and catch the ball, I'll do that too."
Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis said that Smith's only catch was a big one.
"I thought the tone was set in this ballgame on third down when we swung the ball out there to No. 22," McGinnis said. "That's what he's done his whole career. When you need nine, he gets 10. When you need five, he gets six. That's what he brings."
The drive continued, with Blake completing passes of 13 and 15 yards to Kasper to set up Gramatica's first field goal.
Smith stirred up a controversy when he told Sports Illustrated that he "felt like a diamond surrounded by trash" last season. But he apologized repeatedly this week.
"Yeah, I talked to a couple of the guys, but we didn't talk about anything that was said the last couple of weeks," Smith said.
Then he added with a grin, "I think somebody else has taken over as the loser this week."
When asked if he had anything to say about Shockey's comment, Parcells said an emphatic and incredulous "No."
The Cowboys have lost 18 of 19 preseason games, while Parcells is 41-17 in preseason games.
"That was very poor and I really don't have a reason why," Parcells said. "I tried to have them a little bit ready for the game but quite apparently we weren't ready, so we'll try to do better next week."
Neither Chad Hutchinson nor Quincy Carter stood out in the battle for Dallas quarterback. Hutchinson started, completing 5-of-10 passes for 43 yards. He fumbled the ball away once. Quincy Carter played from early second quarter to early fourth. He was 8-for-13 for 81 yards.
Blake, Jake Plummer's replacement for the Cardinals, was 5-for-11 for 52 yards. Backup Josh McCown was 9-for-18 for 81 yards. Neither was intercepted.
A Cowboys' turnover set up Gramatica's second field goal. Ray Thompson stripped the ball from Hutchinson, and Arizona rookie Kenny King recovered at the Dallas 32.
McCown fumbled a snap and Williams recovered at the Arizona 30 with 7:53 left in the half. The threat withered in a hurry when Dallas was called for holding, then Carter lost 15 on a sack by King. The Cowboys' third stringers made to the Arizona 10 late in the game, but Tracy Romo's desperation shovel pass was picked off by Quentin Harris at the 5.
Dallas' Terry Glenn was knocked woozy by a hit from Adrian Jones and had to be helped from the field on Dallas' third play of the game, but returned later in the first quarter. Cowboys' backup cornerback Pete Hunter left with a fractured radius in the first half.
McGinnis was ecstatic about the hard-hitting effort from his team
"This was absolutely a beautiful start to what I want to do with this team," he said.
This preseason game, Wilson said, wasn't meaningless.
"We just wanted to come out there and set the tone for the whole season, basically," he said. "People don't think that preseason games are really important, but they really are. We can build on stuff like this."
The Associated Press News Service
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