Second quarter: Cowboys 20, Dolphins 6

August, 29, 2012
8/29/12
9:19
PM ET
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dallas kicker Dan Bailey's 30-yard field goal late in the second quarter gave the Cowboys a 20-6 lead over the Miami Dolphins.

A look at the first half.

* Center Phil Costa played the first quarter with no fumbled snaps. David Arkin, who took over in the second quarter, sent a low one out of the shotgun to Stephen McGee. Arkin was later flagged for a false start. That's a bad penalty when you're the the center.

* McGee had two open receivers downfield but got a pass knocked down by defensive tackle Kheeston Randall. Not sure if McGee should have put more air on the ball or if Randall just got enough push to get a hand on the pass.

* Linebacker Orie Lemon read where Matt Moore was going to attempt a pass and picked if off. He returned the ball 26-yards for a touchdown, giving the Cowboys a 10-6 lead. Lemon is one of those players on the bubble, but it's clear making plays like this will help his case to be on the 53-man roster.

* The Cowboys running game was strong Wednesday night. Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner ran with speed and quickness. Neither running backs was afraid to mix it up. Dunbar rushed five times for 27 yards and Tanner picked up the offense's only touchdown of the half and finished with 48 yards on nine carries.

* Tackle Jermey Parnell was flagged twice in the first half and he also lost his helmet while in pass protection. If he's the Cowboys' swing tackle this season, it might be time to worry.

* McGee made a nice sideline throw to receiver Andre Holmes, who caught it while tussling with cornerback Nolan Carroll. McGee ended the half leading the team to one touchdown drive. He completed 9-of-20 passes for 124 yards with no touchdown passes or interceptions.

* Cornerback Lionel Smith had an up and down sequence. He made an apparent pass breakup on a pass to over the middle, only to be called for illegal contact. On the next play, Smith did the right thing by challenging a runner in the flat. The problem is Smith is listed at 5-foot-11 and 184 pounds. The running back, Jorvorskie Lane, is 5-foot-11 and 258 pounds. By the way, both players went to Texas A&M. Smith left the game after the Lane hit and was a little dazed.

* Danny Coale, who couldn't win a tussle with kicker Dan Carpenter after a fumble in the first quarter, made a nice diving 13-yard completion in the closing seconds of the half.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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