Miami (0-0) at Dallas (0-0)
|Date & Time||Sunday August 4, 2013, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Dallas Cowboys -1.5 -- Over/Under: -110
The Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins face off in Canton Ohio as they kick off the NFL preseason in the Hall of Fame Game.
It has been a rough few seasons for the Dallas Cowboys as they have gone from a perennial Super Bowl contender to a team that can’t even make the playoffs. While we won’t see much of the starters in this one, Tony Romo is still the man for the Cowboys, but he has some things to prove as he always seems to put up big numbers everywhere but where it counts most, wins and losses. Backing up Romo are Kyle Orton and Nick Stephens and these two should see plenty of action in this one. Demarco Murray is number one in the Dallas backfield, but this one should be all about Joseph Randle, Phillip Tanner, and Lance Dunbar, who are all guys that can play, but will be competing for playing time. Dez Bryant and Miles Austin start at receiver and Jason Witten is the tight end, but as is usually the case in pre-season, the names we will likely hear are Danny Coale, Dwayne Harris, Anthony Armstrong, and Terrance Williams, and at TE Gavin Escobar and James Hanna.
Defensively for Dallas, Demarcus Ware could be the best defensive player in the NFL, but this will be a chance for guys like Kyle Wilber and Iponmwosa Igbinson to make their mark. At linebacker, Ernie Sims will try and show he still has it, and Monte Taylor will get a good look, as will Alex Albright. The Cowboys have invested a lot in their secondary with Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr, but guys like Sterling Moore, B.W. Webb, and J.J. Wilcox will be on the field plenty here. There should also be opportunities for other players to make the team on the defensive side of the ball in Dallas.
The Miami Dolphins are still rebuilding, but last year we saw a team who didn’t back down from anyone and was competitive. Ryan Tannehill started as a rookie last year, but he still needs work and may get more action than most QB’s in this spot before Matt Moore and Pat Devlin come in. Lamar Miller is now the go to guy in the backfield, Daniel Thomas will continue to get a look, and Mike Gillislee will see his first NFL action, while Javorskie Lane might see some different looks with the offense as well. Mike Wallace makes his first appearance in a Miami uniform as he pairs with Brian Hartline, but overall the Dolphins are banged up at receiver and we will see Tannehill’s college teammate Jeff Fuller along with Brandon Gibson, Marvin McNutt, and Brian Tyms. Dustin Keller comes to the Dolphins from the Jets at tight end and Michael Egnew from Missouri should develop into a talented player at the NFL level.
Defensively, the Dolphins chase the passer, but this game will be about guys who figure to rotate in like Olivier Vernon, Dion Jordan, and Tristan Okpalaugo. Koa Misi and Daniel Ellerbee are virtually locks to start but players like Jelani Jenkins, Austin Spitler, and Jason Trusnik are among 11 linebackers who are competing. Outside of Richard Marshall, the Dolphins don’t have a lot of big names in the secondary, but they have a lot of talent with Brent Grimes, Will Davis, Jamar Taylor Reshad Jones and plenty of others whose names we will see on the field in Canton.
While in the preseason we see teams teds to “work on things” as opposed to go for the win, I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of these teams go for the win. Miami seems to have better depth at QB and just an overall younger team across the board, including many of the starters who in September should see more action and in what is just a lean I will take the Dolphins here.