Final: Dallas 24, Miami 14
The Dallas Cowboys take down the Dolphins on the road upon Tony Romo’s return. This was the first win for the ‘Boys since Week 2 when their franchise quarterback originally suffered the broken collarbone against the Eagles. To the casual fan, it would appear that “America’s Team” won because of Romo, however after review of the game down in Miami Gardens, that statement does not seem to be so accurate.
Sure, Touchdown Tony helped the cause, but the real story of this game was the Dallas defense, which held the Dolphins to just 210 total yards. They returned an interception for a touchdown and sacked Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill three times for an eye-popping -48 yards. The cornerbacks stayed plastered to their men for the most part and the Dolphins did not have much success running the ball for a majority of the contest.
In the meantime, the Cowboys enjoyed a strong running game as Darren
McFadden rumbled for an impressive 129 yards on 29 carries. Robert Turbin chipped in with 35 yards on seven totes as the Cowboys sported a 38-30 run:pass ratio in this game. It is this type of balance that the team was struggling to create while Tony Romo was out. That was because the backup quarterbacks did not go through all of their progressions like Tony did in this game. That was the main difference. Although #9 looked a little skiddish in the pocket at times, he was going through all of his reads. He did seem a bit uncomfortable, however, and did make some poor throws, but that is to be expected from a man who is coming off of an eight week layoff.
The Dolphins offense was their downfall on this afternoon. Many drives were hampered by penalties and they just could not help Ryan Tannehill out with any kind of run game. In the future, they should try to get the ball in the hands of their rookie running back out of Boise State, Jay Ajayi. He has showed good burst on the season and could use some game-time experience heading into the next season.
While the offense was poor, Miami’s defense has continued to look a lot better under Lou Anarumo. Ndamukong Suh has been the force many thought he would be over the past couple of weeks, and that has really helped out the pass rush that is being generated by the Dolphins’ front four. Coverage on the backend was much better over last week when the defense looked mediocre against the Eagles. Of course, Brent Grimes being back from his illness helped, but Reshad Jones has been a force at safety all year. Even though Miami lost this game, the team did look improved on the defensive side of things.
The Cowboys have a long way to go before they can be considered relevant again, and a short turnaround is in their future as they will have to play the 10-0 Panthers on Thanksgiving this Thursday. The Dolphins will host the Jets next Sunday as they desperately try to claw their way back into playoff contention in the AFC. A win over New York would go a long way for them in that regard. The main takeaway from this game would have to be that the Cowboys looked a lot better as a team upon Romo’s return. It may not have been because of him, but in the future it could be. There may be light at the end of the tunnel for Dallas yet.
- Tony Romo and Dez Bryant pass Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin for first all-time in Dallas history for TD passes by a QB/WR duo with 50
- The Dolphins defensive line looked solid when Romo dropped back to pass, sacking him twice and causing pressures on a number of other dropbacks including two forcing him into ugly interceptions
- Romo did not look all too comfortable in the pocket coming off of injury and showed a little bit of rust on the field
- The Dallas defense was outstanding, holding Miami to just 210 yards of total offense; their lowest total of the season
- The Cowboys offensive line played their best game of the season since Week 3 against the Falcons