The pre-season is over! The Dallas Cowboys closed out a five game pre-season with a 27-25 victory over the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins played their starting unit at the beginning of the game, but the Cowboys second unit was able to hang tough and eventually the Cowboys got their offense going. In the end, they got a late drive from Stephen McGee and a last second FG from David Buehler to secure the 'W'.
A few quick observations after the jump:
- Stephen McGee looked very good in running the show. The third-string QB played the entire game and had his best showing yet. His stats: 27 for 42 for 304 yards and 1 TD. The TD was a picture perfect bomb to Sam Hurd, with both the pass and the catch of highlight quality. McGee was also efficient in running a two-minute drill just before the half leading to a FG. Then he was able to lead a drive in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter and set up the game-winning FG. Whatever questions the Cowboys may have had about McGee before the game, he did his best to answer them. The only question for the 'Boys is whether they carry two or three QBs going into the season. [Edit]: To quell any confusion, I wasn't suggesting they cut Jon Kitna for McGee, but decide whether they are going to carry McGee on the 53-man roster in addition to the other two.. [End Edit]
- David Buehler was impressive. There were questions about his ability to hit FGs, but in this game, he answered them. Buehler connected on four FGs, but more impressively hit one from 51 yards and one from 45 yards. Then, he capped it off with a short FG in the final seconds to win the game. A great showing from the new FG kicker.
- The Cowboys defense was able to generate some pass rush after the first drive by the Dolphins. Miami had a nice drive early in the first quarter, but the defense stiffened in the redzone and managed to hold the Dolphins to a FG. After that, they were getting pressure on the Miami QBs. Both Victor Butler and Sean Lee were able to get sacks and Lee scooped up a fumble after a QB sack. Butler continues to show an ability to rush the passer, and Lee continues to show good instincts.
- Kevin Ogletree had a good game, catching 6 passes for 51 yards. Sam Hurd had the highlight TD catch. The Cowboys decision at WR is going to be a tough one. Thrown into the mix is the rumor of the Cowboys seeking a trade for Patrick Crayton. The next couple of days will be interesting. Jesse Holley also had a good showing, but probably not enough to make a difference in terms of the 53-man roster.
- Robert Brewster had some problems at left tackle on the evening.
- AOA picked up an interception after pressure came from a linebacker blitz.
Overall, the Cowboys second and third units played well. It turned out to be a very entertaining game even though it was mostly backups. Stephen McGee and David Buehler both deserve a lot of credit for the victory.