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Dolphins 25 – Cowboys 20 in 4th quarter slugfest

Too bad there isn’t a reset button in a football game, because I have a feeling the first team offense would want to have hit it a couple of times. The Cowboys never seemed to find a good rhythm, but some of that is because the Dolphins’ first string defense played some really stingy ball.

temp20140823_DAL_MIA_quickies115--nfl_mezz_1280_1024[1]Tony Romo played the entire first half, going 10-18 for 87 yards.

The offense never seemed to get anything going in the running game either. We saw Tony take a few big hits, but he bounced right back. Sorry Romo haters and media, his back is just fine.

DeMarco Murray struggled to find the holes and running lanes and Lance Dunbar didn’t do a whole lot better.

The only good drive the team had was at the end of the first half in the two-minute drill, though penalties ultimately derailed that drive. The Cowboys had an illegal motion, and a holding penalty on a sack that was declined.

Dan “Got ’em” Bailey came in and nailed down his second field goal of the half. In the second half, Ryan Williams made his case for a spot on the 53 in the best way he could. He put up another solid week of running the ball and his pass protection improved as well. He picked up a key block on a TD pass from Brandon Weeden to LaRon Byrd in the third quarter. Looks like I could be going with 4 running backs on my next roster projection.

The Cowboys’ defense continued to make strides forward. Yes, they gave up some yards, however, they continued to force turnovers. In all, three preseason games they have come out and forced turnovers, and if you can continue to force turnovers, good things will happen.

Davon Coleman continues to impress. How this kid went undrafted is beyond me. But I’m sure glad he did. He pressured the Dolphins’ QBs a number of times.

Anthony Hitchens started at middle linebacker and had his moments, and Rolando McClain continues to work his way back into football shape.

Zach Minter got time with the first string defense and played throughout the rest of the game.

George Selvie left the game with a shoulder injury; not sure how bad he’s hurt as of right now.

Jeremy Mincey played his best game yet by getting some pass rush on the ‘Phins offense.

Bruce Carter played a lot better on defense, nearly picking a pass off and taking it to the house in the second quarter. However, the defensive player of the game, without a doubt goes to the rookie Tyler Patmon. Patmon forced a fumble, and had two interceptions with one of them being a beautifully timed pick that he took to the house from about 10 yards out.

Patmon did some good things, but he was burned on a long pass in the third quarter as well. I’ll give him a break because his safety help over the top wasn’t there.

Special teams improved in a big way. The coverage was so much better on kickoffs and punts, and on returns too. Bruce Carter blocked a punt in the second quarter, even though a very questionable flag was called on Tyrone Crawford for lining up over the center, so it wasn’t recorded.

I think you missed that call Mr. Ref!

Overall, you would wish things would have gone a little smoother in a dress-rehearsal game. Even though there were some bad things happening, and some obvious points for improvement, there were plenty of good things that should make every Cowboys fan happy.

The regular season is two short weeks away, but this team is coming along and already way better than they were in the first preseason game. And that’s what you want from a team – continued improvement each day, and each game.

What do you think?

Brian Leatherman

Written by Brian Leatherman

Brian has been a football junkie from the time he was 5 years old. He lives, eats and breathes the game. Brian is a college graduate living in the south who loves his faith, his family, and his Dallas Cowboys.

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