The Dallas Cowboys learned nothing from last season and brought their undisciplined playing style into the 2022 preseason. Last year, the Cowboys struggled to play clean football consistently. The NFC East franchise was the most penalized in the NFL during the 2021 season.
Mike McCarthy supposedly placed a big emphasis on clean football during the offseason and training camp and it did not show in their first game. The Cowboys committed nine first-half penalties for 65 yards in their preseason opener Saturday night.
During halftime, McCarthy was clearly pissed about it.
“It’s not good enough football. It’s not good enough. We’ve gotta be better there. … We battled through some penalty situations but we have to make sure we get all these substitutions [and] get everybody in the game.”
In Saturday’s preseason loss to the Denver Broncos, they were flagged 17 times — a league-high total in the first week of the exhibition schedule.
The Cowboys were down 17-0 in the third quarter and went on to lose 17-7.
“I think we all recognize that this isn’t the regular season,” McCarthy said. “I understand your question, (but) last year was last year. I think last year as far as trying to establish a play style and an identity, it took us a while to get that and once we did, we won a number of games. This is really the starting point that you go through every year.
“This is preseason. I don’t think this has anything to do with last year. But I didn’t like the number of penalties. I made it clear. I talked about it at halftime and I talked about it briefly in there (the locker room). We’ll take a long look at it.”