CANTON – No Tony Romo, no problem for the Dallas Cowboys apparently in the 2013 NFL Hall Of Fame Game.
With their newly-minted $108 million quarterback watching from the sidelines, the Cowboys behind their newly revamped “Tampa Two” Monte Kiffin-led 4-3 defense corralled the new-look Miami Dolphins 24-20 in the NFL’s first pre-season game, 24-20.
With both teams mainly playing their base vanilla packages and starters such as Romo and Mike Wallace looking on, this game was what many expected—a nationally televised glorified scrimmage.
Second-year Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill would come out sloppy—and thanks to a Lamar Miller fumble on Miami’s first possession—never looked in sync throughout the game in going 2-of-5 in three series for 11 yards, before giving away to backups Matt Moore and former Delaware standout, Pat Devlin.
Moore would see a majority of snaps and complete 19-of-29 passes for 238 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while Devlin would complete eight of 13 passes for 86 yards and throw one touchdown.
For the Cowboys, journeyman quarterback Kyle Orton would start with the first teamers and complete two of three passes for 25 yards in three series before giving way to second-year Monmouth quarterback, Alex Tanney.
Tanney would complete five of ten passes for 58 yards and fourth-string quarterback Nick Stephens would complete four of eight passes for 24 yards.
For both teams, first-round draft picks in Dion Jordan and Travis Frederick showed signs of promise.
Jordan, the third overall pick out of Oregon would display flashes of his pass-rushing ability in recording one quarterback hit and two tackles. Frederick, the 31th overall pick out of Wisconsin, the 6’4 312-pound mauler helped pave the way on the ground for running backs Joseph Randle and Phillip Tanner, who rushed for 70 and 59 yards.
While it is only pre-season, and nothing more than a case of first-game jitters for both teams, if I am a fan of the Dolphins, I’d be a bit concerned about the lack of cohesion and confidence of Miller and his hands and whether or not Miami is really ready to challenge the big bad Patriots for AFC East supremacy.
In the case of the Cowboys, if Romo lives up to his hefty contract and wins meaningful games for once in his career, then it will be justified, that and the selection of Frederick to help solidify a shaky offensive line will mean the difference between Dallas being in the post-season and another off-season of never-ending criticism in Jerryworld.
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected] follow me on Twitter @RC_TheInscriber and follow The Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber