W2W4: Miami Dolphins

August, 23, 2014
Aug 23
12:00
PM ET
The Miami Dolphins (1-1) will host the Dallas Cowboys (0-2) on Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium.


1. Offensive production: The Dolphins' offense under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has shown a mixed bag during the first two weeks of the preseason. The passing game and tempo have been upgrades from what we've seen last season. However, the running game is virtually non-existent thus far. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has completed 75 percent (15-for-20) of his passes and is playing faster and more decisive football. The passing game under Lazor has been sharp. But the offensive line is getting little push in the running game. The Dolphins had minus-5 yards in the first half last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and must improve their production on the ground.

2. Healthy returns: Running back Knowshon Moreno (knee) and tight end Charles Clay (knee) have practiced all week for the Dolphins. There is a good chance one or both will make their 2014 debut Saturday against Dallas. Moreno and Clay are expected to play major roles in Miami's offense this season. Clay was a steady force over the middle last year with 69 receptions. Moreno also is coming off his first 1,000-yard rushing season in 2013 with the Denver Broncos. Clay, in particular, said he feels ready to play against Dallas. But the final call Saturday will be up to the medical staff.

3. Change at right guard: Free-agent signing Shelley Smith will get his first start in a Dolphins uniform Saturday at right guard. Smith replaces the struggling Dallas Thomas, who was manhandled last week by Tampa Bay Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Right guard is the final spot on the offensive line that is still up for grabs. Smith, who signed a $5.5 million contract in March, has a chance to solidify that spot with a strong performance against the Cowboys.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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