Weeden hangs tough in Cowboys debut



SAN DIEGO (AP) – One of the best parts of the night for Brandon Weeden was suiting up in a Dallas Cowboys uniform for the exhibition opener against the San Diego Chargers.

“When you put on that jersey and helmet it is a cool feeling,” said Weeden, who signed with Dallas as a free agent after two seasons in Cleveland. “I enjoyed it and definitely thought about it when I put it on.”

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Weeden had a nice debut, even though the Cowboys lost 27-7.

With Tony Romo sitting out to rest his surgically repaired back, Weeden started and played the first half. He completed 13 of 17 passes for 107 yards and one touchdown.

“It was fun to kind of get back into that groove. It’s nice to go up against another team,” he said. “Feels good to knock the rust off and get hit a little bit.”

Weeden finished Dallas’ second drive by weathering a big hit and completing a 4-yard scoring pass to James Hanna, who pulled it in while falling to the ground in the back of the end zone.

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Chargers defensive end Lawrence Guy injured a shoulder hitting Weeden.

“I must be a lot bigger than I think,” Weeden said.

“I had to keep it alive. They covered the flat with the first read and Hanna did a great job of stopping. I had to get out of the pocket because that protection is not going to hold up forever. There was a huge hole and I knew it was going to close up quick so I threw it as hard as I could and got off the ground. When you get off the ground that is when they have a chance to pile drive you and he got me pretty good.

“It never hurts as bad when you complete them and it dang sure don’t hurt as bad when you get a touchdown,” he said.