Starting Offense Struggles In Dress Rehearsal Loss - David Helman, DC.com
The Cowboys' starters looked sloppy en route to a halftime lead in Miami, while the Dolphins' backups rallied to win the "dress rehearsal" game, which saw an offensive line that "failed to show off the dominance expected of them."
Defense Showed Life; Step Back For O-Line - Nick Eatman, DC.com
In summing up the first half, Eatman writes that contrary to expectations, the defense looked pretty good and made some plays, while the offense left plays on the field and didn’t execute at times. Eatman also makes an observation only marginally connected to the game:
Overall, I know anything can happen in practice, but to think that most of the starters won’t play next Thursday, this team got through the preseason without a lot of major injuries to the starters.
Jerry Jones ‘concerned’ Tony Romo was sacked 3 times, says first-team offensive line could play vs. Denver | Jon Machota, DMN
In his disappointment over the O-line performance that saw Tony Romo sacked three times and DeMarco Murray rush for just 18 yards on six carries, Jerry Jones shoots from the hip:
"I think it’s a possibility we may see more from some of the offensive starters," he said. "I don’t know that would include Romo, but I think we might be able to see more work – speculation, but I haven’t talked to the coaches about this and it will be their decision – but that offensive line might get some work against Denver."
Jason Garrett: Cowboys 'absolutely not' playing our best, but will by opener | David Moore, DMN
Moore writes that if the purpose of the dress rehearsal is to build confidence among all of the starters, the Cowboys fell short.
"Are we playing at our optimum level right now?" head coach Jason Garrett asked. "Absolutely not. In 31 other cities, if they’re honest, they’ll probably say the same thing. But after three preseason games, this is where we are."
"They were able to move the ball on us, but I thought our defense did a good job slowing them down and taking the ball away. That is the most critical stuff. I thought overall, we played hard."
The Cowboys are at 0-3, the first time in 13 years they have failed to pick up a win through the first three weeks of the preseason. That team finished 5-11.
Cowboys offense struggles in loss to Dolphins | Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
Jason Garrett said he would have preferred a cleaner performance against the Dolphins, but is confident the Cowboys will be ready for the season opener.
"There are still some things we have to work on," Garrett said. "I thought the offense did not get into a great rhythm. We had ourselves moving backward a little bit with some penalties. We simply have to get better and play better, and we will after we watch this tape."
Loss to Miami shows that offense Cowboys need isn't ready | Rick Gosselin, DMN
Gosselin may have injured his knee while writing this.
This quarterback — and this offense — are not ready for the start of the 2014 season. [...] The Cowboys lost to the Miami Dolphins, 25-20, on Saturday night, but the result was inconsequential. In the only half that mattered — the first half when the first-team offense took the snaps — the Cowboys sputtered.
Romo needs work. So does this offense. But it’s unlikely they’ll get it before the season opener against San Francisco.
Dolphins' first-team offense sputters vs. Dallas - Orlando Sentinel
The Cowboys offense wasn't the only offense that sputtered last night.
In a little more than two quarters of work (six possessions), the Dolphins' starting offense had one field goal and couldn't muster a touchdown against the Cowboys, who are projected to be among the worst defenses in the NFL.
Defensively, the Dolphins' starters didn't allow Dallas to score a touchdown, keeping them to a pair of field goals, so they were OK, although not overly impressive.
Five thoughts on Cowboys' preseason loss to Dolphins | Jon Machota, FOX Sports
One of those five thoughts has Machota thinking back to May, when Tyler Patmon got an invitation to rookie minicamp and impressed enough for the Cowboys to sign him.
In May, Monte Kiffin said Tyler Patmon reminded him of former Pro Bowl defensive back Ronde Barber. I laughed. But Patmon looked like Barber against Miami. The undrafted rookie free agent out of Oklahoma State led the team in tackles with five, forced a fumble and intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown.
Before Saturday's game, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said he would have an eye on Patmon because he's competing with Terrance Mitchell and B.W. Webb for the final cornerback spot on the roster. Patmon couldn't have made a much better case for himself.
Patmon’s big plays might earn him a job | Charean Williams, Star-Telegram
Tyler Patmon was the star of the night with two interceptions, including one he returned for a 9-yard touchdown, a forced a fumble, and a team-high five tackles.
"Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers," Patmon said. "Coach [Rod] Marinelli pounds it in our head, and I was able to get my hat on the ball. The first interception was a great disguise by our defense, a great rush by our D-line and their quarterback threw it right to me. Those are plays I’ve got to make. The third one, man, was just a great job by our coaches preparing us. When I saw it, saw the motion, saw the receiver go behind the quarterback, instincts took over, and I was able to make a play on the ball. I knew it."
Patmon: There’s Still Work To Do To Make This Team - David Helman, DC.com
He was the star of the night, but Tyler Patmon remains humble.
"Coming in, not just as an undrafted free agent but as a tryout guy, I had a point to make," he said. "I had to come in every day, prove myself every day and I still do."
Asked if one big night had earned him a place for the regular season, though, Patmon once against wasn’t fooled.
"No – I’ve got to keep going," he said. "I made a couple mistakes out there that I’ve got to improve on and just keep pushing."
Dallas Cowboys DE George Selvie says shoulder is 'good' despite injury - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Looks like George Selvie will be fine after landing awkwardly on his surgically repaired shoulder. Archer gives us the injury rundown:
Running back Joseph Randle left the game early with an oblique injury. Tight end Jordan Najvar is believed to have suffered a torn Achilles in the fourth quarter.
Safety Jakar Hamilton (hamstring), Cornerback B.W. Webb (hip), cornerback Morris Claiborne (shoulder), safety Matt Johnson (hamstring), safety Jeff Heath (elbow/arm), safety Johnny Thomas, linebacker DeVonte Holloman (neck), linebacker Orie Lemon (concussion), tackle Darrion Weems (shoulder) and defensive tackle Terrell McClain (ankle) did not play because of injury.
Harris: Sideline Hit Wouldn't Keep Him Out In Reg. Season - David Helman, DC.com
When the broadcast cut to commercial while Dwayne Harris was lying motionless on the sideline after a big hit on a punt return, I thought the worst.
But fortunately for Harris and the Cowboys, it was just a brief scare as the return specialist was able to eventually get up, limp towards the bench on his own power. Although both his hip and ankle were injured on the play, Harris said it wasn't as serious as he initially thought.
"If that's a regular season game, I'm going back in," Harris said. "It's painful but I think I would come back. They just wanted to hold me out because it was the preseason."
Ryan Williams "cramped up" - Rowan Kavner, DC.com
The running back’s groin cramped up and he was held out the rest of the way, but he doesn’t think he pulled it and he was trying to get back on the field after leaving the game.
"It was a cramp," he said. "Nothing bad, no pull, no nothing. I was trying to go back out there, but on the safe side, they kept me on the side just in case I did pull it. We’re going to get a precautionary test tomorrow, but I don’t think I did. I was ready to go back out there."