Final Game 2 Observations

Tuesday is the one day off for every team in the NFL; for us, it's the day we take a final look at the most recent game before we start focusing on the upcoming opponent. So here are some final thoughts about the 37-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Nowhere to run: There are so many things that have been disappointing so far this season for the Dolphins, but near the top of the list is the lack of a running game. Against Dallas, the biggest issue might have been that the Dolphins simply didn't try hard enough. The ratio of passes to runs was way too slanted in favor of the pass, and Ronnie Brown and Jesse Chatman really never got a chance to establish anything. While Brown didn't do anything outside of a nice 12-yard burst, Chatman gained 27 yards on his measly three carries. As bad as the passing game is, the Dolphins need to give the running game a chance.

Dark day for Green: We're not going to rehash Trent Green's nightmare of a day against Dallas, but we need to point out that Green's arm strength right now -- or lack thereof -- is a concern. One, and maybe two of the interceptions, occurred because his passes just take too long to get there. That means he needs to be even more accurate than other QBs because he doesn't have any margin for error.

Where's the rush?: We spoke about the lack of pressure on the quarterback after the opener, but nothing changed against Dallas. It's really disconcerting. There was one sack against the Cowboys, and that's when Keith Traylor tackled Tony Romo for no gain. But nothing from Jason Taylor, Vonnie Holliday, Matt Roth or Joey Porter. This is supposed to be the strength of the defense, but the pass rush has been a major non-factor so far.

Andre, where are you?: The pass rush is very important for the Dolphins because starting cornerback Travis Daniels is having major issues in coverage. After giving up two long passes to Antwaan Randle El in the opener, Daniels was badly beaten by Terrell Owens on a fourth-quarter touchdown and also was called for a flagrant pass interference penalty when he grabbed the jersey of a Dallas receiver. It's clear at this point the Dolphins miss Andre' Goodman, who was the team's best defensive back last year. It's probably another three weeks or so before Goodman will be back, so you can look for opponents to keep targeting Daniels in the meantime.

Not-so-special teams: It was bad that the Dolphins gave up a 49-yard punt return to the Cowboys, but what's even more aggravating is that it occurred after the Dolphins committed not one, but two pre-snap penalties before the long return. First, there was a false start on Michael Lehan and then an illegal formation call because Edmond Miles was not on the line of scrimmage as he lined up as a tackle in punt formation. Those are bad, bad penalties. And at the risk of repeating ourselves, the Dolphins are not nearly talented enough that they can afford to make silly mistakes like that. The Dolphins, sadly, are operating with no margin for error right now because the offense has no explosiveness and because the defense simply isn't making plays.


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Alain Poupart is the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest and DolphinDigest.com. To read him every day, visit DolphinDigest.com and become a Miami Dolphins insider.