Steve Mitchell

Dallas Cowboys @ Miami Dolphins Preview

Veteran Staff Writer Blanton Stagno breaks down the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys Week 11 contest.

One thing that the Miami Dolphins are in desperate need of right now is luck. They are fighting for a wild card spot in the AFC along with a lot of other teams that hold the tiebreaker over the Dolphins like the Buffalo Bills and NY Jets. Unfortunately for Miami, they will be the first team to face Tony Romo ever since he broke his left clavicle that sidelined him for 8 weeks and 7 games. Before getting injured Romo and the Dallas Cowboys offense flowed very well. Since getting injured the Cowboys have fallen to 2-7. Despite their awful record Romo is coming back this week making things for the unlucky Dolphins much harder.

Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, star receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, have a special connection between each other on the field. Romo has made Dez a star and Dez has shown why Romo is quarterback who can win in clutch moments in the game. With that kind of connection, the Dolphins are going to have to disrupt in someway. Getting to the quarterback and tight coverage on Dez Bryant should do the job. Can Miami do that though? Dez Bryant has blazing speed, and is one of the best route runners in the NFL. If I was the Dolphins coach I would suggest double coverage on Dez, a safety over the top and a corner under. Even if Romo had time in the pocket playing double coverage on Dez Bryant could force Romo into some tough throws and possibly cause him to throw an interception. This is Romo’s first game back after an injury that sidelined him for 8 weeks. He may not be making those kind of throws so accurately after being injured. Romo does have other options like Jason Witten who he likes to throw to in third down situations. This is where Miami must bring pressure. If they let the Cowboys move the chains on the third down the Dolphins will lose. I suggest they rush with 6 men and leave Koa Misi to watch Romo’s eyes and hopefully disrupt a throw that would move the chains. If the Dolphins can cover Dez Bryant and get to Romo on third down I think the Dolphins will be able to keep their winning streak alive.

Ryan Tannehill is going to have his hands full running Miami’s offense. The Cowboys have solid group on defense, which has kept them in games when Romo has been hurt. Now that they have their quarterback with them again, they should see more rest and not as many three and outs. Early in the season when Romo was healthy, the Cowboys defense allowed 53 rush yards a game and had the third best defense only allowing 257.5 yards a game. Now the Cowboys are ranked 14th overall, but with Romo coming back maybe the Cowboys will have that stellar defense again.

The Dolphins are going to have to come out with a balanced attack. They must run and pass the ball efficiently. One thing that I have observed that has always work for Miami is when Tannehill dumps the ball off to Lamar Miller who turns in up field and it almost always results in a first down. Simplicity is key. Tannehill doesn’t need to force throws and turn the ball over. Keep the throws short and play fast. If they do this efficiently they can keep the Cowboys defense out on the field for a while and tire them out. More importantly they keep Romo off the field and not let him stay warm.

This is going to be a tough game, but that win over the Eagles last week proved to me that the Dolphins are not ready to give up just yet. They are a tough team and I think they will pull out the win. Dolphins 23 Cowboys 21.

FINS UP!


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