Gameday: Cowboys vs. Dolphins

The Cowboys square off against the Dolphins in what should be a relatively close game despite some blowout predictions I’ve been reading on the web. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for blowouts, and its not out of the realm as a possibility; however, the Dolphins have a good defense which could keep them in the game. As you read in our Q&A session, Dolphin fans are concerned about their banged up secondary and their young offensive line. This is where we’re going to hit them.

Keys to Victory

As it was last week, the Cowboys must limit dumb penalties, and limit turnovers to nil if possible. Hydration is another key in this game, because Florida’s humidity is unforgiving. I’m not too concerned about it though, Coach Jurasek is a conditioning master.

Let’s try the Fast Start and Strong Finish again. Last week, it took the Cowboys awhile to get going on both sides of the ball. We need to come out and score a TD on the first drive, and make the Dolphins go 3 and out.

Cowboys D

3rd Down defense needs to step it up. Phillips emphasized how the Cowboys would do several things to improve their 3rd down stoppages. It didn’t happen against the Giants, let’s hope Phillips has made the adjustments needed to get those numbers up.

Pressure. The Cowboys need to get after Trent Green, I want to see him running for his life, I’m talking Pamplona’s, Spain Running of the Bulls scared. Get in there and dominant that young inexperienced Dolphins offensive line. I look for us to throw in some stunts and confuse their rookie center. Ratliff should have a coming out party and teams better take notice, this guy is no joke.

Bring out the Hatchet already. Again, Spears and Canty are looking average at DE, stop wasting time and get Jason Hatcher out there. You want swarming defensive line play, you got that with Ratliff, and you will have that with Hatcher in there chasing down the QB. This player is the real deal, and its time. The Cowboys want to make defensive adjustments, and Hatcher starting should be atop that list.

Tackling must be as solid as possible. Watch out for the draw and the delayed draw, this was something the Giants had success with towards the end of the game, and the Dolphins will probably try this as well.

General Garrett

On offense, you’ll probably see more Hoyte and Fasano on the field if Flozell has problems with Jason Taylor, they will be there on assistance. The middle of the field is bread and butter for Witten; however, the Dolphins will be looking for that, but in turn, this will open up the running game and one-one matchups at WR. The Dolphins are in trouble in the secondary if they cannot rush Romo. Witten will still get his touches.

Garrett is a smart, savy, tactician, and you’ll see a whole new set of offensive calls. No more of the predictable play calls from yesteryear. Expect Owens to decimate the secondary with more frequency. The Cowboys just have too many real weapons for the Dolphins to cover at once; if they concentrate on covering one or two players, someone other weapon will get open and punish them.

Special Teams

I still don’t like how the special teams are performing. The Cowboy are giving up too many yards. Where is Keith Davis? This needs to improve or we need to make a changes with Bruce Read. Thompson better not be fumbling around back there, and can Crayton PLEASE-PLEASE tuck in that ball on punt returns, that guy scares me in the return game.

Ted Ginn, Jr. could have a solid return game like Jacoby Jones did in the preseason. Everyone on special teams better play like an allstar.

Cowboys @ Dolphins
Dolphins Stadium – Grass
Analysts: Kenny Albert, Moose Johnston, and Goose Gamecenter

The Rest of the NFC East:
Packers @ Giants 12:00PM CST FOX
Redskins @ Eagles 7:00PM CST ESPN

Browns Watch:
Bengals @ Browns 12:00PM CST CBS

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Madden Simulation: Cowboys 31 Dolphins 24
My Prediction: Cowboys 30 Dolphins 20

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