Dallas Cowboys still have questions on defense

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IRVING, Texas (AP) — A day after the biggest regulation comeback in Dallas Cowboys history, coach Jason Garrett still had to answer questions about the defense.

Particularly third-year cornerback Morris Claiborne, who was beaten for two touchdowns before his late interception in a 34-31 victory at St. Louis, where the Cowboys overcame a 21-0 deficit.

Garrett would not say Monday whether Claiborne's starting job was in jeopardy, and whether the interception that ended the Rams' last threat made up for the earlier mistakes.

"We'll determine how we're going to play guys as the week goes on," the coach said, repeating those words when he was asked again.

"Let's look at the stuff he did well and the stuff he didn't do quite as well," he said. "One of the best things Mo did, he fought through those adversities and was able to make a play at the end. You have to look at the whole thing and clean it up and get better."

Rams rookie quarterback Austin Davis threw for 327 yards Sunday in his second NFL start.

This week, the Cowboys (2-1) are home to face the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees, who last season threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-17 win over Dallas.

"We have our moments where we don't do things like we should," said linebacker Bruce Carter, who returned an interception for a touchdown against the Rams. "But I think the talent is there, the coaching is there and once we put it all together I think it's going to be a great thing."

The Cowboys trailed St. Louis 21-0 in the second quarter. They had twice before rallied from 21-point deficits to win, both overtime games — against New Orleans in 1984 and Washington in the 1999 season opener.

Dallas is 2-1 for the fourth year in a row. The last three seasons, the Cowboys went on to finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs under Garrett.

While Claiborne struggled for the most part Sunday, no St. Louis receivers had catches on the other side of the field against corner Brandon Carr, and nickel back Orlando Scandrick returned from a two-game suspension. Sterling Moore played well while Scandrick was out.

Claiborne, a first-round pick in 2012, said after the game that he hasn't lost confidence.

"Playing this position, you can't hang your head. Guys are going to catch balls," Claiborne said. "You can't be down on yourself, because they're going to throw it again and you're going to be down about that one too."

Garrett said Claiborne got in situations where he was isolated by himself, and that the Rams made good throws and catches against him.

"His technique on each of those plays wasn't perfect," Garrett said. "And they had success for different reasons on each of those plays where he got beat."

NOTES: K Dan Bailey made two field goals Sunday, extending his streak of consecutive makes to 28 and moving past Chris Boniol for the longest in team history. ... With starting LBs Rolando McClain and Justin Durant out because of groin injuries, Carter and rookie Anthony Hitchens held up well. Carter scored on his first career interception, and Hitchens led the team with 10 tackles. ... The front seven didn't help the secondary much. Dallas didn't sack Davis. . Garrett said DT Henry Melton has a hamstring injury but did not reveal its extent. The coach said DE Anthony Spencer might take part in a full practice this week for the first time in a year.


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