The Miami Dolphins played their second preseason game on Friday and they lost to the Dallas Cowboys 41-14. The game was a highlight of the Cowboys elite offense and the Dolphins defensive woes. It was a major contradiction to the first game against the Giants where the defense played okay and the first team offense struggled. This time around the first team offense played with more energy. Though they were not able to get much going on the ground, Arian Foster debuted with 2 carries for -5 yards, while starter Jay Ajayi went 6 for 19. Ryan Tannehill had a wonderful performance with 162 yards passing on 12/20, 16 yards rushing, and 2 TD’s all for a 119.2 QBR. It was an encouraging performance from Tannehill to prove he can lead the offense. The Cowboys defense was not the best test as they are also one of the worst in the league. So after the first team guys went out the game basically became Dak Prescott torching the Dolphin’s D at every opportunity. That depth that was on display against the Giants was nowhere to be found against the Cowboys.
So I will give my top 3 best and worst Dolphins players from preseason game 2.
1 Ryan Tannehill
As mentioned above, he put up the numbers and completed a nice deep ball to Kenny Stills for about 60 yards on a roll out pass. With just some better protection Tannehill looks like he can operate with efficiency. Tannehill put several balls right on target for his receivers and they just could hold on. I look for Ryan to continue his good play in, most likely, his final preseason game against the Falcons on Thursday.
2 Isiah Pead
Pead was the only RB to get anything going on Friday night for the Dolphins. He had 48 rushing yards on 4 carries and a reception for 30 yards. He blocked well when asked too and he was ran with the most energy of all the backs. In preseason you want to see players play for their career and 4th year man Isiah Pead is doing that, this is his second good performance of the preseason and he is clinching his spot on the team. As of now if this were an open competition for the starting job, Pead would be in the lead.
3 Mike Hull
I first have to note that Kenny Still also deserves to be mentioned because of his 71 yards and 2 TD’s. However I wanted to give one defensive player some recognition and that is Mike Hull. Hull has been trying to make the squad since last year. I felt he was good enough then and he has improved since. He led the team in tackles for the second week in a row with 6. He is the only consistent linebacker right now. Even starters Kiko Alonso and Jelani Jenkins look soft compared to him. Hull has not missed many tackles and that has been the biggest issue for the defense. He may not be the best in pass coverage but he can sniff out the run and bring people down before big gains.
1 Dolphins Secondary
Well…I will make this quick because it may get redundant. The secondary, and they know who they are (Maxwell, McCain, Lippet, etc), is just bad. They can’t cover anyone and they leave guys open right on the check downs. Dez Bryant and Romo would’ve put up 50 on that terrible secondary. Its like the D-line is letting the QB sit back and pick them off. That is tough but both units have to step up, this was a good test against a great offense.
2 Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker
Some may not agree with this but these two wides are supposed to be out main two guys and they did not play like it. They combined for 6 catches for 49 yards, but they had about 5 drops between them. Some were tough catches, but when Tannehill is putting the ball in your vicinity you have to make the catch. They have to play well and be our best unit on either side of the ball because the Phins have too much depth at this position to let them slack off.
3 The Tight Ends
I guess you could bunch them in with the wide outs, but I will call them out on their own. Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims have been non-existent this whole preseason. Cameron had a chance to core a TD in the first half but failed to hold on the ball. If they can not be depended on in the Red Zone or to block, then they must be re-evaluated.
So overall it has been an expected two weeks of football for the Dolphins and we hope to see a better showing in Orlando against the Falcons on prime time Thursday. Expect in-game updates from me on Twitter and a season prediction soon.