Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins Review: Defense

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The Front 7

- Sean Lee can now add “punishing hits” to his impressive resume. On the Dolphins 2nd play of their second possession (following a 14 yard run by Reggie Bush), Sean Lee dropped Bush for a 3-yard loss. It was a devastating tackle that got the crowd fired up. The best thing about the play was that Lee got up and didn’t celebrate, despite the wild cheering, but hurried back to the huddle. His demeanor suggested he was ‘all business’, like he expects to make those kinda plays, so it was no big deal.

- Victor Butler, in limited playing time, continues to make big plays at important times. He had a sack on a 3rd down in the first half that forced a FG. He also laid a pretty big hit on Brandon Marshall near the end of the first half. It is refreshing to see that Cowboy defenders are looking to make big hits when they have the opportunity; I think that is a direct result of Rob Ryan’s attitude and mentality.

Butler did whiff on an attempted tackle of Bush. He had the chance to tackle Bush in the open field for a 5 or 6-yard loss, but Bush deked him and gained enough for a 1st down.

- DeMarcus Ware did not log a sack, but as I watched him play, I realized that he is disruptive in so many ways that don’t show up on the stat-sheet. This week he was the cause of at least three false starts and one holding penalty: that is 25 yards; that has to be better than a single sack. I wonder whether any of the advanced stats these days take ‘penalties caused’ into consideration.

- Kenyon Coleman also had a great day and may have earned himself some more playing time. He had a sack. He also had a huge tackle; he dropped the elusive Bush for a two-yard loss when the Dolphins were inside the Cowboys 10-yard line in the 4th quarter. He also had another tackle where he showed incredible hustle by getting down-field 15 or so yards to get in on a play.

- Anthony Spencer seemed to be making plays all over the field.  He led the team in tackles with 6, plus 2 assists.  He had three tackles for a loss and a pass defended.  He had several pressures. He had a huge play in the 4th quarter when he knocked the ball from Moore’s hand to force a FG.

- They held Reggie Bush, who is averaging a respectable 4.3 yards a carry this year, to a mere 61 yards on 16 carries.

Click here to read about the secondary.

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Tags: Abe Elam Akwasi Owusu-Ansah Anthony Spencer AOA Cowboys Dallas Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware Dez Bryant Kenyon Coleman Matt Moore Miami Dolphins Mike Jenkins NFL Thanksgiving Games Orlando Scandrick Reggie Bush Rob Ryan Sean Lee Terence Newman Victor Butler

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