The Bengals defense wasted no time in making their presence felt, as Mike Zimmer called a blitz on the first play of the game that freed-up Geno Atkins and Rey Maualuga to record the sack of Romo, who’d given himself up after the Bengals busted through the line almost quicker than Dallas’ offensive line got out of its stance.
A run-stuff on 2nd-down and a 10-yard pass play on 3rd-and-18 gave the Bengals a quick three-and-out, the first time they’ve opened a preseason game with such this year.
The offense then would methodically move the ball down the field behind a short-passing game and a key 3rd-down run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who drew the start tonight at running back.
After Cincinnati drove down to the DAL-20, the offense began to stall after Ellis was hit for a 3-yard loss on 1st-down, then an illegal-formation penalty on Anthony Collins pushed Cincy back to the DAL-30.
Dalton would convert the 3rd-and-long with a pass to Marvin Jones, but he fumbles inside the DAL-5, and the Cowboys recover. It was the Bengals’ fourth fumble of preseason and their third lost.