The Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins squared off on Wednesday night in Arlington in both teams final preseason game for 2012. It was the final game before Dallas and Miami make their roster cuts down to 53 players. Typically in the final preseason game the starters sit while the second and third team players see extensive playing time so the coaches can better evaluate them.
Ryan Tannehill is the opening day starter for the Dolphins but started the final preseason game in order to gain more experience. Tannehill was solid completing five of seven passes for 35 yards.
Jorvorskie Lane made his case to be the starting fullback for the Dolphins. His blocking was solid and he had a great catch and run in the second half where he ran over former Texas A&M teammate Lionel Smith during a 12 yard gain. Smith suffered a concussion on the play. It appears that Lane has done enough to make the Dolphins’ opening day roster.
Lamar Miller was projected by some to be a first round pick in the 2012 draft. He was selected by Miami in the fourth round. He ran hard against the Cowboys and may have earned a spot on the roster. The speedster from the University of Miami showed a lot of toughness running between the tackles.
It appears that Miami is going to keep three running backs on the roster so Miller will be competing with veteran Steve Slaton for that final spot. Miller may end up on the practice squad for a year depending on what direction the Dolphins’ staff wants to go.
Undrafted free agent running back Lance Dunbar probably helped himself more than any Cowboy player on the field against the Dolphins. He followed a 27 yard punt return with a 58 yard touchdown run on the very next play. He ended the day with over 100 rushing yards. Dunbar likely secured a spot on the practice squad with his performance against the Dolphins.
Stephen McGee was inconsistent at quarterback. He had a couple of nice plays but is still not where you would expect a fourth year quarterback to be. McGee completed 9 of 18 passes for 124 yards. McGee’s future depends on whether the Cowboys decide to keep a third quarterback or not. You may see the Cowboys trade him for a draft pick.
The Cowboys selected James Hanna with a sixth round pick in the 2012 draft. He continued his solid preseason with two receptions for 28 yards. He should make the roster as the third tight end.
Baraka Atkins had a very good game from his outside linebacker spot. He had two plays where he ran the Miami running back down from behind including a tackle for loss on a 3rd and 1 play to get the defense off the field. Atkins had five total tackles on the game.
Ben Bass played extensively at defensive end in the first half for the Cowboys. The undrafted rookie out of Texas A&M needed to stand out in this game but did not make any plays of note. He will have to hope that his solid play in earlier preseason games will result in an invite to the practice squad.