Miami Dolphins vs. Dallas Cowboys: Key Match-Ups
The Miami Dolphins are starting their season ending stretch of majority home games today when the visiting Dallas Cowboys take the field at 1pm. The Miami Dolphins are taking on a 2-7 team that is getting back their starting quarterback on the field after a seven game losing streak. At 4-5 the Miami Dolphins have a major opportunity to defend home field and get back to .500, firmly putting themselves in the thick of the playoff race. In order to do so though, they’ll need some impressive performances in key match ups to pull it off.
Miami Dolphins Linebackers vs. Jason Witten
The Dolphins enter this game with all hands on deck at the linebacker position where it’s possible they might be without 2 starters. This will throw youth and inexperience into the mix on defense and with tight ends killing the Dolphins this year, the Dolphins can’t lose track of the future hall of famer Witten. Neville Hewitt, Zach Vigil, Mike Hull and possibly Chris McCain will need to read and react efficiently because the Cowboys will employ the play action pass.
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Ndamukong Suh vs. Zack Martin
Suh had a dominant performance last week in Philly and with all the injuries on the second level at linebacker, the Dolphins are going to need another monster game from him. His one on one match up will be against pro-bowl guard Martin, who is an outstanding player in his own right. But like head coach Dan Campbell said earlier in the week, my money’s on Suh.
Rishard Matthews vs. Brandon Carr
Matthews has been the Miami Dolphins most consistent receiving threat all season; leading the team in yards, yards per catch and receiving touchdowns. He maximizes his powerful frame to shield defenders and always finds a way to gain yards after the catch. The Dolphins are doing a special ceremony for his fallen military brother at halftime and you can bet the house he wants to have a huge game to honor his brother’s memory. Carr has struggled during his tenure in Dallas and is nursing an injury, the Dolphins would be wise to take advantage of this match up as they have the upper hand here.
Lamar Miller & Jay Ajayi vs. Bill Lazor
The Dolphins have two running backs that are making plays but for some reason just aren’t getting the football enough. Offensive coordinator Lazor needs to stay committed to running the football. This impacts the offense in many ways as it opens up the playbook, slows down the pass rush and gives Ryan Tannehill the ample support he needs to play like the quarterback he can be.
Dez Bryant vs. Brent Grimes & the Miami Secondary
Grimes is coming off of a miserable two game stretch where he was toasted by the Bills’ Sammy Watkins and then missed last week with food poisoning. The Dolphins need a standout performance from their “shut down corner”. Following the best receiver around the field hasn’t boded well for Grimes and Miami this season as it effects his rhythm having to play on the right side where he’s not comfortable. The other corners like Jamar Taylor and Bobby McCain need to hold the fort down and allow Grimes to play where he’s most effective and that means matching up with the Cowboys best receiver from time to time.
This is a huge game for the Miami Dolphins as it’s at home with playoff implications on the line. The Dolphins need a win in the worst way to keep breathing life into its listless franchise. The Dolphins can do it if they play smash mouth efficient football. The Miami Dolphins couldn’t ask for a better setting than being at home against a struggling team with a rusty quarterback, time to get back to .500.
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