The Miami Dolphins had their first preseason game Sunday with a 24-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the annual Hall of Fame Game. One of the most watched Miami players this season will be second-year left tackle Jonathan Martin.
The AFC East blog studied the game tape of Martin during his time on the field Sunday. Here is how Martin graded:
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill and tailback Lamar Miller fumble the exchange. But Martin does a good job taking his man -- Dallas defensive end Kyle Wilber -- out of the play and creating a would-be running lane. (+1 point)
On a passing play, Martin does a solid job to stuff Wilber on the initial rush. But Wilber makes a second effort and Martin briefly holds and it wasn't called. Tannehill scrambles for one yard. (Even)
Martin crashes hard to the right and pushes Dallas defensive tackle Nick Hayden out of a running play. Miller explodes for a nice 11-yard run. (+1 point)
On another run play, Miller runs to the right side away from Martin, who seals the defensive end with help from tight end Dustin Keller. (+1 point)
Tannehill throws a quick pass to receiver Marvin McNutt after the snap. Martin barely engages on the play. (Even)
Tannehill throws another quick pass to McNutt on a slant but the throw is off. Martin is able to get a good “punch” on Wilber, who loses footing and falls to the ground. (+1 point)
On third down, Hayden hits Martin with a quick swim move and Martin whiffs. Tannehill is forced to quickly throw the ball away on a screen play. (-1 point)
On first down, Martin pulls right and attempts to cut block Hayden. But Hayden is among several Dallas defenders who stuff Miami tailback Daniel Thomas for 3 yards. (Even)
Martin battles Wilber on second down and holds his own. Tannehill completes a short pass to Keller. (+1 point)
Hayden bull-rushes Martin and pushes him back a couple yards, nearly into the quarterback. But Tannehill gets rid of the ball quickly to receiver Brandon Gibson for seven yards and a first down. (Even)
Final point total: +4
Conclusion: Overall, it was a solid preseason debut for Martin. He made more good plays than bad and finished with just one minus play. But you also have to keep in mind that Martin played three series against Dallas backups, not a stud like DeMarcus Ware. Martin is expected to beat second-teamers. We will get a better gauge of Martin’s progress when he faces better NFL pass-rusher.