Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Cowboys next opponent. This week, that opponent is the Miami Dolphins.
The Opponent: The Miami Dolphins, making Hootie cry since 1995.
The Line: Cowboys by 7. The Cowboys were favored by over a touchdown last week on the road versus the Skins, but by less at home against the Dolphins. Just goes to show you how much worse one 3-7 team can be than another.
Last Game: A 35-8 pasting of the Bills, the third win in a row for the Dolphins. I dare say they are ALIVE WITH PLEASURE.
The Coach: Tony Sparano, who is still totally fired after all this, but is at least going out all guns blazing.
The Offense: Reggie Bush has scored in three straight games and is suddenly one of the hottest running backs in football. But his yardage against the Bills was pathetic (2.1 per carry), and rookie Daniel Thomas got his share of the workload. I suspect that Bush's recent surge is a bit of an outlier, and that he remains a situational back at best. I say that because he's on my fantasy team and there's no way it'll last. As for Matt Moore, he's had three straight impressive weeks against fading opponents (Chiefs, Redskins, Bills), so again this feels a bit like a ruse. However, the Dolphins' offensive line is good enough to prove that this little run isn't a fluke, so Rob Ryan had better crank up the Foghat and put together his best gameplan.
The Defense: Cameron Wake is the edge rusher the Cowboys need to worry about. Running DeMarco Murray right at Wake will help keep him home on passing downs. The Dolphins have an otherwise lousy pass defense, and so Jason Garrett might be tempted to run an unbalanced attack with Tony Romo throwing the ball 40+ times. I hope he resists.
Key Matchup: The Cowboys' momentum versus the Dolphins' momentum. The Dolphins represent the penultimate game in Dallas' string of "easy opponents" before going into a brutal home stretch. The Dolphins will be the toughest out of the bunch, with the Cardinals up on deck. Win this one, and an 8-4 record and the outright division lead after 13 weeks will there for the taking.