Miami Dolphins (7-9) at Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
|Date & Time||Sunday August 4, 2013, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Dallas Cowboys -1.5 -- Over/Under: -110
The NFL preseason kicks off in Canton, Ohio for the annual Hall of Fame game and in this year’s edition we see the NFC East’s Dallas Cowboys take on the AFC East’s Miami Dolphins as both teams have growing expectations for this season.
The Cowboys head into the 2013-2014 season with expectations as high as ever and that’s saying a lot coming from Arlington as Cowboys Nation is one of the toughest fan bases in the league. The discussion of Tony Romo as an elite quarterback in the NFL continues to be a focal point in Dallas and while he hasn’t been able to take the Cowboys to the Promised Land as his playoff struggles have been well documented he is still the best option behind centre in Big D. Dez Bryant is emerging as one of the best wideouts in the NFL and a healthy Demarco Murray can be a difference maker but in a tough division with the Giants, Redskins, and Eagles the Cowboys are always in tough and will need a special season from their best players to make the playoffs. However, this is the preseason and a number of depth players and roster spots will be determined so I don’t imagine many of the aforementioned weapons will be seeing an extended number of snaps.
The Dolphins are coming off a season in which they exceeded expectations as many had them pegged to finish with the worst record in the league but Ryan Tannehill actually played surprisingly well and now with some added weapons to the fold they could surprise people this season. The Dolphins acquired Mike Wallace from the Steelers who will give Tannehill a deep threat and Brian Hartline is emerging as a nice check down receiver but a lot of the Dolphins success will have to come from the balance provided by Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. Cameron Wake will provide pressure off the end but Miami will need to fill some holes in the secondary if they want to compete with the aerial powers of the AFC especially those reliant on the pass in the East division. To kick off the preseason I think it is the new look Dolphins who will be coming to play as they have more uncertainties than the Cowboys and will be holding more first team auditions and for that reason I like them to emerge in the NFL opener as victors. The line is likely going to move so get on it early as I see the Dolphins winning by at least a field goal.