It was an ultimately meaningless contest on Thursday night at Cowboys Stadium, but it certainly wasn’t without its charm for Dallas. David Buehler, Stephen McGee and Kevin Ogletree, all of whom figure to be crucial to Dallas’s immediate future, performed promisingly in a 27-25 Cowboys win to end the preseason.
In a back-and-forth game, Miami kicker Dan Carpenter gave the Dolphins a 3-0 first quarter lead with a field goal from 28 yards out on the team’s first drive.
Dallas struck back in the second quarter with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Stephen McGee to Sam Hurd to bring a quick end to a four-play, 54-yard drive. Entering the game firmly “on the bubble” Hurd would end the night with 47 yards total and the touchdown. McGee, who isn’t likely going anywhere anytime soon, gave the coaches plenty to smile about Thursday with 304 yards and the touchdown while going 27 for 42 (a 93.8 rating).
The Dolphins once again seized the lead with a little over a minute remaining in the half, when Chad Pennington found Brian Hartline in the end zone to take a 10-7 lead. Pennington finished seven for ten for 40 yards and a touchdown--good enough for a 110.4 passer rating.
David Buehler was a perfect four for four on the night, in what might be described as a statement performance. His first, a 51-yarder, tied the game at 10-10 as time ran out on the first half. He would add a 45-yarder and a 40-yarder in the third quarter to give the team a 16-10 lead. His preseason heroics weren’t yet over.
Miami went ahead once more on a three-yard touchdown pass from third-string quarterback Tyler Thigpen to Marion Moore, to bring the tally to 17-16.
After the teams traded touchdowns and successful two-point conversions--first, Dallas with a one-yard Herb Donaldson run, and Lonyae Miller conversion; then a six-yard pass from Thigpen to Roberto Wallce, and a Lex Hilliard conversion--Dallas got the ball back at their own 11, down 25-24 with a little over two minutes on the clock.
McGee drove the offense down to the Miami 14 before the team called on Buehler for a potentially game-winning 31-yard attempt--as you might imagine to this point, he nailed it, giving Dallas a somewhat promising 27-25 win to wrap up the preseason.
All told, Dallas went 3-2 this preseason, which is now, thankfully, over.
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