_ Jimmy Burch
The scoreboard in San Diego showed a 28-20 loss for the Dallas Cowboys. But for members of the first-team defense, who pitched a first-half shutout and were not on the field for the Chargers’ late rally, the post-game buzz was optimistic.
Especially because four defensive starters _ OLBs DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, DTs Jay Ratliff and Jason Hatcher _ never took the field while the Cowboys built a 10-0 halftime lead that sent the Chargers into the locker room hearing boos from the hometown fans based on the play of the starters. Reserves for both teams dominated the second-half action.
As a defense, the Cowboys played better against the run than in Monday’s pre-season opener at Oakland, a 3-0 victory. Cornerback Brandon Carr stopped two drives with first-half interceptions, giving first-team DBs three picks in limited duty during the pre-season. The secondary was the most maligned part of the 2011 defense.
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