Alex Tanney completed 11 passes in a row. He led the Cowboys to their only touchdown Saturday.
But tap the brakes on Tanney-mania.
The Cowboys aren't nearly as excited about the third-string quarterback's play as fans were.
"I saw the one drive, but I didn't see enough," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "i would like to think that we are better and will play better than to make Tanney's performance something to get giddy about.
"But since we did play like that, let's call it a Heisman Trophy day."
Tanney played the entire second half, with Nick Stephens failing to get even a snap. He completed 14 of 19 passes for 136 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
“We just wanted to see Alex play," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "He got here late and Nick got a lot of work in the off-season. We’ve tried to be pretty balanced with those guys over the first couple weeks of the preseason. We just wanted to see Alex play a little bit more. I thought he played well. He moved around, made some big runs for first down at different times. I thought he handled the situation that occurs at the end of a preseason game. You know there’s a lot of things happening. You’re going to get pressured. It’s not always clean. I thought he did a good job with his feet and with his eyes. Obviously, a bad decision on that last play where he threw that interception, but we got ourselves behind the sticks. It was third-and-15, and he was trying to do something to help us win the ball game. For the most part he handled the situation well and made a lot of plays for us.”
Tanney led the Cowboys on a 16-play, 89-yard scoring drive, tossing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Gavin Escobar with 10:55 left in the game. It drew the Cowboys within 9-7 and with a chance to win the game.
"Yeah, it was fun," Tanney said of his TD throw. "That’s the first thing that comes to mind -- first one in the NFL. Escobar’s first one, too. Just celebrating. That was a good time."
But Tanney's pass on third-and-15 with 1:51 remaining was intercepted by Tony Jefferson at the Arizona 36 to end the comeback attempt.
""The turnover at the end, obviously I'm not comfortable," Tanney said. "The defense did a great job holding them to a field goal, and we had an opportunity to win the game, but you can't turn the ball over in that situation."
The Cowboys are expected to keep only Tony Romo and Kyle Orton on their 53-player roster as they did last season. But Tanney could be a candidate for the practice squad, though Jones wasn't even ready to allow that yet.
"I wouldn’t want to….," Jones said. "Let’s see how these other two games go and kind of how we grade this out."
-- Charean Williams