Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wrap-up: Cowboys 20, Dolphins 19
By James Walker
Here are some thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys' 20-19 victory over the Miami Dolphins:
What it means: The Dolphins entered this week on a roll but had their three-game winning streak snapped. Miami was extremely competitive and there is no shame in losing to Dallas, which needed a last-minute field goal at home to win its fourth straight. Miami falls to 3-8 and is guaranteed its third consecutive non-winning season.
What I liked: There was a lot to like about Miami's performance. The Dolphins were sizable underdogs but forced five lead changes between the two teams. The Dolphins' starting cornerbacks played well. Sean Smith and Vontae Davis each recorded an interception against Dallas quarterback Tony Romo in the first quarter. That helped set the tone for Miami’s defense. Dolphins No. 1 receiver Brandon Marshall also had another big game. Marshall caught five passes for 103 yards, which included a 35-yard touchdown catch over Dallas cornerback Terence Newman.
What I didn’t like: It's hard to fault Miami's defense. But the Dolphins needed one key defensive stand in the fourth quarter and didn't get it. The Dolphins led 16-10 and 19-17 in the fourth quarter but blew both leads. Romo was masterful late in the game and made several clutch throws against Miami's secondary. Other than that, Miami’s defense performed well.
MooreWatch: Matt Moore continues to make his case to be Miami's starting quarterback beyond this season. Moore put forth another good performance against a tough Dallas defense. He was 19-for-32 passing for 288 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 99.5 passer rating. Moore fell to 3-4 as Miami's starter this season but played well in his past four games.
What's next: The Dolphins have 10 days off to prepare for a home game against the AFC West-leading Oakland Raiders (6-4). It will be another chance for Miami to play spoiler against a playoff contender. The Dolphins have won their last two home games.