No, really. That's my reaction to this game. Meh. The Miami Dolphins and the Dallas Cowboys embodied the definition of a fourth preseason game. The starters get in for a couple of series, then a bunch of players who could be looking for work in 48 hours get in and try to show the coaches that they should be allowed to stay on the 53-man roster.
To be fair, the Dolphins' first team offense looked pretty decent tonight. Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill looked to be in control, poised in the pocket, and he made some pretty good decisions. He finished the the night on 6-for-8 passing for 41 yards. The two incompletions came on a horrible drop by Legedu Naanee and an even worse no-call by the refs on a clear pass interference play in the end zone.
The Miami starting defense made a cameo appearance in the game and then got out of there so fast, most viewers didn't even realize they had changed.
Of course, the main story of the night tonight for Dolphins fans was the hope that the wide receivers would step up and finally give Ryan Tannehill a target to whom it is worth throwing the ball. But, for the wide receivers, the MEH gets bigger. Sure, Naanee looked decent - but he had the one bad drop, and still does not appear to have chemistry with Tannehill.
The biggest offensive play of the night came when fullback Jorvorskie Lane caught a 12-yard pass and apparently decided he needed to try to murder someone. The hit he laid on Dallas cornerback Lionel Smith can only be described as violent.
The Dolphins wide receivers finished with stats of:
Nothing at all exciting. The decision on which wide receivers to keep is going to be tough, because it really is the lesser of 8 evils (with Davone Bess and Brian Hartline assumed on the roster).
The biggest issue on defense this week was the inability of the Dolphins' second and third team players to actually tackle someone. Repeatedly, Cowboys players broke tackles, or simply went around the Dolphins on their way to big gains.
Kheeston Randall did tally a sack, with Olivier Vernon and Jamal Westerman combining on another.
One non-starter who seems to be on the roster now is running back Marcus Thigpen. Thigpen spent the night returning every kickoff for the Dolphins. It could mean he has made the 53-man roster, which could endanger someone like veteran Steve Slaton.
Whatever the outcome, the Dolphins' 53-man roster will be made on Friday. Between now and then, the Dolphins have to release 22 players. Plus, rumors are the Dolphins are going to be active in waiver claims, free agent signings, and trades over the next few days.
While tonight was "meh," the rest of the week could be a lot of fun as a Miami fan. Let's hope we come out on the other side feeling more comfortable with the team.