Tomorrow night, the Miami Dolphins will host the Dallas Cowboys in each team's final preseason game. Typically, these are the worst games to watch during the preseason, because the majority of the starters either leave the game after one series, or don't even get on the field at all. However, these games can be critical to deciding the 53 man roster, as well as determining the depth chart.
With that thought in mind, here are five interesting storylines going into the game.
1. Chad Henne. Don't expect to see quarterback Chad Henne, or the majority of the offensive starters, very long on Thursday, but Henne does need to show consistency. During his last two games, Henne has looked comfortable, in charge, and ready to take that next step. During, what I would expect to be his one series tomorrow night, Henne needs to come out and perform, even if it is just on three pass attempts.
2. Free Safety. The Dolphins have one last game to decide the free safety starter, either Chris Clemons or Reshad Jones. The two have fought back and forth, with Clemons constantly being in the right place, but missing the big play opportunity while Jones can make the big play, but gets beat too often because he's not in the right place. The smart money is on Clemons to retain his starting position from last year, but a new variable has been added to the mix. The Dolphins signed veteran free agent Gerald Alexander this week, and, although he may not be a big name, he does have starting experience at the position. He could push the two ahead of him on the depth chart.
3. The Starting Offensive Line. Let's face it, the offensive line has been...well, offensive (okay, sorry, really bad pun). It will be really interesting to see if the starting line, minus tackle Jake Long, get extended playing time on Thursday (by the way, if you head over here to see the Dolphins' unofficial depth chart, it's funny to see Jake Long listed as the 5th left tackle). The group needs to gel, and gel fast. Experience is the only way to do that. Well, experience, and a new right tackle.
4. Daniel Thomas. I would not be surprised to see Thomas get some experience, along with the offensive line. The coaching staff has been disappointed with Thomas' performance so far this preseason, especially how tentatively he seems to hit the hole - when the offensive line provides him a hole. Putting Thomas in the game could allow him to get some experience, give the o-line a reason to open some holes, and let the coaching staff decide if Thomas is the team's number two back behind Reggie Bush, or if Larry Johnson should move up a spot on the depth chart.
5. The Cornerbacks. Behind Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, the corner depth chart is a mess. Not a bad mess, but still a mess. The team currently has Will Allen, Nolan Carroll, Benny Sapp, Nate Ness, Vincent Agnew, and Jimmy Wilson all fighting for what figures to be 3-4 slots. Wilson seems a lock, as does Carroll. Allen was expected to battle with Sapp for the nickelback role. So, assuming Davis, Smith, Wilson, Carroll, and Allen/Sapp fill five spots, there could only be one slot remaining for the Sapp/Allen runner up, Ness, or Agnew.