By Mike Fisher | @FishSports

MIAMI (105.3 THE FAN) — “Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers,” said undrafted rookie Tyler Patmon, who late Saturday was reciting Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s mantra but might as well have been rattling off his contribution, contribution and contribution to Dallas’ preseason effort in Miami.

Patmon had two interceptions, including one he returned for a 9-yard touchdown, and forced a fumble in a 25-20 loss in which Dallas’ beleaguered defense actually outplayed Tony Romo and the more heralded side of the ball.

Romo was sacked three times and the first-team line was called for three penalties.

“They’re a strength, but it shows that they’ve got some more work to do,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “I think that’s the kind of thing they’ll have plenty to work on, and when they do, they’ll make them better for San Francisco. I’m just glad we were able to sit here and talk about that without talking about Romo (coming off a December discectomy) being a little tight in the back.”

The regular-season opener against the 49ers is the focal point for the team. But individually, people like veteran linebacker Bruce Carter (“I got my juice back”), free-agent running back Ryan Williams (…) and Patmon are trying to retain or obtain jobs.

Dallas could keep five cornerbacks to start the season. Brandon Carr, Mo Claiborne and Sterling Moore top that group. (Orlando Scandrick won’t count against the 53-man roster during his four-week suspension). So Patmon figures to be competing with B.W. Webb (a fourth-round pick in 2013) and Terrance Mitchell (a seventh-round rookie) for two spots.

In the second quarter, Patmon forced a tight end Dion Sims fumble with Barry Church recovering. To start the second half, Patmon intercepted Ryan Tannehill at the Dallas 5. Later, the Oklahoma State product anticipated a Matt Moore throw for the pick-six.

“Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers,” Patmon said. “Coach Marinelli pounds it in our head, and I was able to get my hat on the ball.”

And maybe get his hands on a job.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Latest Sports: