Thursday, September 1, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Dolphins 17, Cowboys 3
By Calvin Watkins
MIAMI -- The Cowboys finished the preseason with most of their starters sitting out. Questions about the kicking situation still remain heading into the regular season. Dave Rayner missed two attempts, including an ugly kick to end the game, and David Buehler also missed a field goal try. Buehler made a 20-yarder in the first half.
The Cowboys' (2-2) offense was inconsistent, but running back DeMarco Murray, wide receiver Raymond Radway and rookie tackle Tyron Smith had strong games. However, Radway had to be carted off the field after landing awkwardly trying to make a catch with just three seconds remaining in the game.
By the way, Miami defeated Dallas, 17-3, on Thursday night at a wet Sun Life Stadium.
Field goal problems: The Cowboys dressed four kickers and used Rayner and Buehler to attempt field goals. Buehler made a 20-yard attempt in the first half, but was wide right on a 48-yarder in the fourth quarter. Rayner was wide right on a 51-yard try in the third quarter and yanked a 36-yarder left to end the game. Shayne Graham and Dan Bailey also dressed but did not kick.
Injury update: Rookie wide receiver Dwayne Harris left the game in the third quarter with a concussion. He was battling Radway for a roster spot at receiver. Radway, who didn't play in the first half, finished with three catches for 62 yards before getting injured.
Murray gets the start and looks good: Tashard Choice was home with a bruised knee, enabling rookie DeMarco Murray to get the start. Murray rushed 10 times for 32 yards and had four catches for 64 yards. He showed good speed and ran hard when the holes weren't there. It appears Choice will make the roster, but how he's used going forward after Murray's efforts is uncertain.