Dallas trails, 6-7
Dallas has won last two in series
2011 Week 12, Dallas wins 20-19 at Cowboys Stadium.
The “Dan Bailey Does It Back-to-Back” Game.
The “Burnt Turkey” Game.
This Year’s Matchups:
Dallas (2-7) @Miami (4-5)
CowboysHQ: When the Cowboys last saw Ndamakong Suh, he was wreaking havoc against Dallas' vaunted offensive line in the Wild Card game for Detroit. Did anything change about how he was being used under Philbin, and now under the new regime?
DolphinsReport: Under, Philbin and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, the Dolphins ran a 2A gap scheme, meaning that the defensive ends were forced to stand up and read the offensive play and then react, instead of just focusing on causing disruption in the backfield. For Suh, this meant lining up over the guard instead of over the center, causing him to get double-teamed almost every single play. Now, under Dan Campbell and new defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, Suh is back to his more comfortable starting position, and the results have been telling. He’s been more disruptive in the backfield, and has two sacks in the past three games. He’s returning to his previous form from last year.
CHQ: Speaking of the new regime, what's the general impression of the change to former Cowboys TE Dan Campbell? Is the improvement in play a reflection of him, or is it more a reflection of how bad things had gotten under Philbin?
DR: Campbell has absolutely turned things around in terms of the passion and desire to play in his players. Philbin’s main issue was his inability to inspire his players, and we’ve seen a complete 360 turnaround under Campbell. However, being inexperienced, Campbell has made a lot of in-game coaching errors, including two that cost the Dolphins the game against the Bills two weeks ago. He still has a lot to learn, but the team is absolutely heading in the right direction.
CHQ: Talk to our readers about the Dolphins offense. What are Ryan Tannehill's strengths, where does he get himself in trouble? What's the deal with the running back situation now that Ajayi has joined the team?
DR: Ryan Tannehill is an absolute animal when presented with the ability to move out of the pocket and run. Unfortunately, the Dolphins have seemingly abandoned the read option offense and have not given Tannehill many chances to run. He is fairly accurate, but tends to hold onto the ball for too long when in the pocket. If the Dolphins roll him out, he is fantastic and even more accurate on the run. As for the running back position, look out for rookie Jay Ajayi. He’s averaging 8.1 yards per carry (11 attempts for 89 yards), and is quickly earning his praises from college, where he rushed for 1,500 yards and added 500 yards receiving in a single season while at Boise State. He and Lamar Miller make a fantastic duo.
CHQ: On defense, what are some areas of the team that Tony Romo (man it feels good to type that again) will be able to exploit?
DR: Miami has an injured defense right now. With Cameron Wake out for the season, and CBs Brent Grimes and Brice McCain injured, the Dolphins were forced to play the inexperienced Bobby McCain and Jamar Taylor more. If the Cowboys can contain Suh, Romo should pick apart this defense. But that’s a big “if.”
CHQ: Final question, what's your prediction for the game? Final score?
DR: My prediction for the game all depends on Tony Romo coming back from injury. If the Dolphins can take him out of the game (obviously I don’t hope he gets injured again), I like the Dolphins in a landslide at home. However, with Romo, this offense may be just too much for a reeling Dolphins defense. I’m going against my own team and taking the Cowboys in a tight one, 27-23 in Sun Life Stadium.