The Dallas Cowboys proved last week that their offense is for real in their 45-35 win over the New York Giants. As one would expect, their defense will need some work to improve as the team takes on the 0-1 Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are looking to rebound from a 16-13 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins last Sunday.
The Cowboys offense definitely looked sharp as quarterback Tony Romo went 15-for-24 for a career-high 345 yards and four touchdowns – 2 of them to wide receiver Terrell Owens. Despite the offensive fireworks, the defense allowed 438 total yards to the Giants which I am sure did not please Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips, once a defensive coordinator himself. The Cowboys may have some defensive issues this weekend, as the team lost defensive tackle Jason Ferguson for the season but may get cornerback Terence Newman and linebacker Greg Ellis back for Sunday’s game.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins struggled with their defense and with injuries in their first game, as well. Dolphins starting QB Trent Green last week went 24-for-38 for 219 yards and a TD to TE Jusitn Peele in his debut. The Dolphins will need more of an effort from their offense if they expect to pull out a win over the Cowboys this week, especially from starting running back Ronnie Brown who ran for only 32 yards last weekend. The Dolphins also gave up 191 rushing yards last week so that will be an area of improvement for the team, as well.
The Cowboys should be able to handle the Dolphins’ O-line with the running duo of Julius Jones and Marion Barber III. Romo won’t have quite the stats he enjoyed last week, as I expect the Dolphins to throw blitz packages featuring a combination of DE Jason Taylor and LB’s Joey Porter and Zach Thomas at Romo. The running attack of the Cowboys and an improvement of the Cowboys defense should provide the difference as the Cowboys pull this game out this Sunday.