Aug 16, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick (72) and defensive tackle Dartwan Bush (70) on the sidelines during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Dress Rehearsal Against Dolphins: What to Look For

The Cowboys have their dress rehearsal pre-season game later today against the Miami Dolphins.  As most know this is the last pre-season game we will see the starters.  The next game is just for the last few available roster spots and practice team spots.  The Cowboys are going into this game against the Dolphins 0-2.  While it’s not a smart thing to put too much stock into the pre-season it also isn’t a good idea to blow off the problems the Cowboys are having.  Without much fan-fare we are going to take a look into what to look for in this preseason game.

1. Staying committed to the run.

The Cowboys have shown this pre-season that they are more committed to the run, so far, and with a different offensive coordinator, that is showing in this element alone.  Not only is Scott Linehan utilizing more run plays he is also utilizing the running backs in the passing game with short screen passes.  There is some healthy competition in the running back department as well so it’s a good idea to keep and eye on this aspect.

2. Defense

Unfortunately the last two pre-season games have looked like a déjà vu from last season.  The secondary especially is lost and confused and Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne are still taking bad angles on plays.  Tackling still needs to be tightened up and the defensive line is average at best.  Dallas looks again to have a defense that may give up more points than the offense can score, but again it’s only pre-season and I’m sure defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli doesn’t want to show all of his tricks.  The defense did improve slightly against Baltimore last week and had some pressure on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco but it will be interesting to see the third game and if any adjustments have been made in the last week.

3. Special Team

Last week, Dallas’ Special Teams were atrocious with the exception of automatic kicker Dan Bailey.   Special Teams looked like they were just on the field it was a horrible showing for the Special Teams and they have a lot of redemption to do this week.

4.  The Offensive Line

Dallas’ Offensive Line is probably one of the brighter spots of the pre-season.  The line appears to be slightly better than last season and the addition of Zach Martin along with second year player Travis Fredericks could spell disaster for a lot of defensive players.   This is probably why the Cowboys are utilizing the running game more efficiently this year.  Watch for the offensive line to continue to improve in this game and throughout the season.

This will be the last game we see our starters until Week 1 when Dallas opens up against San Francisco so this is the game you want to watch and see where Dallas will struggle and where they will succeed.

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