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Winners/Losers from Preseason Game #2 Vs. Dallas Cowboys

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Miami Dolphins v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys combined for 34 points in the 2nd quarter, and the Dolphins fell in the contest 41-14. The game was littered with penalty flags - there was more yellow in this game than a Curious George movie. While the offense garnered the most attention for its lack of performance after the 1st preseason game against the New York Giants, my guess is that the defense will bear the brunt of the preseason paranoia going into the 3rd, and most important, preseason game vs. Atlanta Falcons Thursday night.

By my estimation, here are the winners and losers from last night’s game:

WINNERS

Kenny Stills

He scored the Dolphins’ 2 TD’s, and also connected deep with Ryan Tannehill for a 55-yard pass play. Stills had a pass broken up in the end zone as well: 4 targets (3 of which in the end zone), and a big play (although I wish he could’ve stayed in bounds, because he had the angle going up the field).

Isaiah Pead

Arian Foster and Jay Ajayi did little to separate themselves from one another. With Kenyan Drake occupying the 3rd of 4 likely roster spots devoted to RB, the real competition is among Pead, Damien Williams, and Daniel Thomas for the 4th spot on the depth chart. Isaiah Pead had 78 yards on 5 touches, and in my opinion, has outplayed Williams and Thomas up to this point in the preseason.

James McKinney

James is on vacation, so there’s a chance he didn’t follow what was going on last night. We can only hope and pray that our beloved Phinsider brother has found himself in a blissful ignorance, and will forever remain hidden from the scorn which was last night’s game. Go fishing, James! NOOOOOO, put your phone down!!!!

LOSERS

The Run Defense

I know, I know, the Dallas Cowboys have the best offensive line in the NFL. I’m still not satisfied, though. Allowing Alfred Morris to average 6.5 yards per attempt was disheartening, as it affirms my biggest fear of the Miami Dolphins defense going into 2016: our run defense.

If our secondary is going to be weak, we simply cannot afford to not be able to stop the run consistently. Our best chance as a defense is to force one-dimensionality. If we can’t stop the run OR the pass, well, you know how that’s going to turn out. Our lackluster run defense also funnels into...

Tackling

I would suspect tackling would be a “loser” on most teams’ loser list after preseason game #2. Yet, it simply has to get better, faster. Our LB’s, DB’s, and S’s need to be better tacklers, or this defense is going to be gashed with chunk yardage like we saw last night. The Cowboys had 300 yards of offense in the 1st half alone Friday night, 100 of which were from Alfred Morris.

We missed a lot of tackles Friday night, and without this fundamental in place, it won’t matter how smart Vance Joseph is.

No Big Plays on D

We’ve seen the games where a defense is getting shredded, but they still force 3 turnovers somehow and help secure a team win. On a night where we couldn’t stop the run, and couldn’t tackle, we also got 0 sacks, 0 INT’s, and forced 0 fumbles. Bobby McCain had a near pick but dropped it.

Alpha

One of his monkeys got picked up by the police on a sting outside a Kwik-E-Mart in Springfield, Illinois, soliciting an undercover police dog named Sprinkles. Bail is set at 20,000 bananas.

(Nearly missed the “loser” list: the Offensive Line)

We’ve got a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball going into Thursday night’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. Let’s see how this team responds to an ass-kicking.

Who else would you add to the Winner/Loser list? Let’s hear it down in the Comments section.