The Dallas Cowboys will ride into Sun Life stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida tomorrow for a showdown with the Dolphins.
This will be the third preseason game for Dallas and they hope to have the first units fine-tuned. Miami will provide a good measure stick. The game is scheduled to start at 6pm Central Time/4pm Pacific Time.
#55 Rolando McClain will get first team duty at the Mike position. Rookie linebacker #59 Anthony Hitchens will also get some time with the first squad.
Rookie Ahmad Dixon will see some extended playing time after being punished last week for being late to a team meeting. Having to watch the Raven’s game from the sidelines should have lit a fire under this young man. Watch for some big hits from number 36.
This week we will also get a look at Brandon Carr for the first time this preseason. Carr will bring some leadership back to the secondary. Rookies #30 Terrance Mitchell and #35 Tyler Patmon will see extended time and both players can use the experience.
Let us talk about the defensive line. It will be manned by committee, and we still will not see Henry Melton or Anthony Spencer. The team is holding back the reins with Melton hoping to have him healthy to start the regular season opener against San Francisco. Look for #66 Ken Bishop and #60 Davon Coleman to get plenty of work in the trenches. #51 Kyle Wilbur is expected to play some at right defensive end. #79 Zack Minter will get a shot at some playing time against Miami’s second string. If Minter can keep up his play against Miami, it will be a bonus for the Cowboys defensive line.
Look for Tony Romo to play two or perhaps three series. The smoother the offense functions, the shorter time Romo will spend in the game. This will allow back up quarterback #3 Brandon Weeden plenty of time with the first unit. Weeden needs to bounce back from a less than stellar performance against the Baltimore Ravens.
I would like to see rookie quarterback Justin Vaughn get some snaps with the second team offensive line in this game. This probably will not happen, but Vaughn will get plenty of playing time, in the last preseason game.
With the first and second running spots locked down, expect there to be a real battle between #21 Joseph Randle and #34 Ryan Williams. Both of these players have something to prove and the competition between the two will be thrilling to watch.
The wide receivers will be led by, big surprise, Dez Bryant. Bryant will probably exit the field in Saturday’s game about the same time Tony Romo does.
The battle for the fourth through sixth receiver spot will be on for this game. Rookie #15 Devon Street will be given his chance to prove he belongs on the 53-man roster. It is not a given that Street makes the roster. #80 LaRon Byrd will make a push for a spot. Byrd has the size and ability to be another large target for Romo. The player, who has shown the most promise, IMO, is #85 Jamar Newsome. Newsome uses his body well to gain position on whoever is covering him. Newsome had a fantastic training camp and if he continues his dependability against Miami, I expect he will have earned a spot on the roster.
In the kicking game, Dan Bailey is Mr. Automatic. Bailey should be taking most of the field goal attempts and extra points in the first three quarters. Newly signed punter Tom Hornsey could see some kicking chances in this game.
The Cowboys need to continue to gain the momentum they produced against Baltimore. This is the third preseason game, and it will be the first time we shall see anything that resembles the team that will face the San Francisco 49’er’s on opening day. The coaching staff will do some fishing for the starting team. The Stars will shine in Miami.
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