The Dallas Cowboys will play their first home game of the 2016 season tomorrow night, as the Miami Dolphins will be in town to once again face Tony Romo and company. That’s right, Tony Romo is planning on suiting up and returning to action in front of Cowboys Nation!
If that, or any number of the other story lines entering this game, doesn’t excite you enough, then here is my full breakdown of offensive players to watch in this game. Let’s go!
It has been 267 days since Tony Romo has taken a snap for the Dallas Cowboys. For most fans of America’s Team, that is simply too long! The last positive Romo memory we have from 2015 coincidentally also came against the Miami Dolphins, as he started his first full game after returning from his week 2 injury, and led Dallas to victory before being lost for the season days later on Thanksgiving.
Based on training camp practice reports, the often-rested Romo has had his stellar days paired with some struggles – which are to be expected. While we don’t know how many reps he will get to shake off any rust against Miami, just seeing Romo for a single drive makes this game worth watching for Cowboys’ fans everywhere.
Number 9 is going to drop back, have all day to throw, and fling a pass to number 88. Dez Bryant is going to catch it. Romo is going to celebrate. It’s going to be awesome!
Alfred Morris is going to be a very important player for the Cowboys this season. We all want to talk about Ezekiel Elliott and let him run us back to a 2014 Cowboys’ season that saw DeMarco Murray dominate behind this very offensive line. While we won’t see Zeke tomorrow, he still appears on course to do some very big things this season.
Even still, other backs are going to be able to fight for the valuable role that Joseph Randle played on this football team two years ago. Most notably, Morris can compliment Elliott as a more physically imposing and bruising back.
Immediately after his Cowboys’ debut against the Rams, I hopped on this post game episode of the RJ Ochoa Show to talk about my excitement for this team finding ways to use Morris. With Romo under center and plenty of speed on the outside, Morris’ role against the Dolphins will be simple – run hard and punish defenders.
Watching him do just that will have the AT&T Stadium crowd buzzing, as we anticipate Elliott’s debut possibly coming the week after.
Dez Bryant’s impact on the Dallas Cowboys is absolutely immeasurable – particularly when it comes to sparking the offense. A true number one wide out in every sense of the word, it was beyond refreshing to see Bryant own the Los Angeles Coliseum in his return to action by catching two passes on his way to the end zone on the Cowboys’ first drive.
In front of the home fans with Tony Romo as his quarterback once again? Yeah, Dez Bryant is going to do something special again very soon. Keep an eye on him tomorrow night!
For the second straight season, the Cowboys are struggling to find a reliable swing tackle along the offensive line. A healthy Chaz Green did not make anybody – particularly Jameill Showers – feel comfortable after his performance against the Rams.
While I am still hopeful that Green can be a very good option at swing tackle, when not asked to play at LT where starter Tyron Smith is considered one of the best players in the game, he will need to show a lot against a Miami pass rush that can get after the quarterback.
The Cowboys will still be looking to closely monitor the quarterbacks that come in after Tony Romo in this game – Dak Prescott and Jameill Showers – and they will need a stable offensive line throughout to do so fairly.
Speaking of a certain quarterDak, Dak Prescott will play at home for the first time with expectations higher than he ever could have imagined. After starting and shining in Los Angeles, Prescott will be expected to match that performance while also potentially seeing Romo and Jameill Showers get the bulk of the reps with the same stars that greatly aided his 10 of 12 performance a week ago.
The Dallas Cowboys are about to break camp from Oxnard, California, and they seem to be doing so without much of a shakeup in their top three wide receivers. Brice Butler was supposed to challenge Terrance Williams for the outside spot across from Dez Bryant, but it appears that the veteran Williams has shown more than enough to secure his spot to a coaching staff that deeply values the continuity he brings to the offense.
This doesn’t mean that Butler won’t get his opportunities, starting as soon as tomorrow night. Brice needs to make some big plays down the field, and in a hurry, to live up to some of the hype placed on him at the end of last season.
We already talked about Alfred Morris and his bid to earn the second slot on the loaded depth chart the Cowboys’ find themselves with at running back. Also competing to find a role is sixth round rookie Darius Jackson, who is a fan-favorite player based on his college tape and offensive abilities with the ball in his hands.
Against the Rams, Jackson led the way for Dallas with 12 carries, going for 47 yards. With backup offensive linemen in front of him, Jackson was able to show some wiggle and create plays on his own. Look for Scott Linehan to find even more ways to get the ball into the hands of #34 against the Dolphins.
Swaim had a great preseason as a rookie, but failed to build off of it in his 2016 debut when he was responsible for Dak Prescott’s only two incompletions on two dropped short passes.
Some ups and downs are expected for young players that have to split reps with so many other bodies, but Swaim will see plenty of reps in multiple situations tomorrow night. Hopefully he can make the most of them as a run blocker, route runner, and receiver.
Who are YOU excited about watching on the offensive side of the ball for the Cowboys tomorrow night? Let us know! Comment below to discuss any of these players and more, or email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com.
You can also prepare further for tomorrow’s preseason game by clicking here to read my defensive players to watch against the Dolphins!