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 »This Week in History
Miami Dolphins
INSIDE SLANT

  Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire

  Running back Knowshon Moreno gave the Miami Dolphins' ground game a boost in Saturday's 25-20 preseason victory over the Dallas Cowboys. But overall, the Dolphins' first-team offense was a bit disappointing against the Cowboys, who are expected to be among the league's worst defensive teams.

Moreno, making his preseason debut after being sidelined by left knee surgery in June, rushed for 64 yards on 10 carries while providing a noticeably different look from Miami's other running backs.

Moreno, with his downhill running style, hit the holes hard and broke tackles. His first carry was a 19-yard run that put a spark in everyone on the field.

"I think the offensive line did a great job just getting some push up front, opening up holes and giving the backs somewhere to run," Moreno said.

Moreno's addition provides hope for a running game that was 26th in the NFL last season at 90 yards per game.

Miami's first-team offense didn't score a touchdown in six possessions, managing only a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill (13-for-21 passing, 119 yards, no touchdowns, one interception) was so-so in the game. He overthrew wide receiver Mike Wallace on a deep ball, something that remains an issue, and threw an interception on the Dallas 5-yard line while trying to hit wide receiver Brian Hartline, who was double-covered.

"Stupid decision, stupid throw," Tannehill said of the interception. "(Running back Daniel) Thomas was wide open down the middle; should have done the check down."

The offense did a good job moving the ball, and if there was an encouraging sign from Saturday, that'd be it.

"I definitely felt like we're making progress," Tannehill said. "We said we wanted to run the ball better this week, and we did. We moved the ball effectively but at the end of the day, we have to score points."

Defensively, the Dolphins kept the Cowboys' first-team offense out of the end zone, which is an accomplishment considering they have a good offensive live, quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant. Dallas' first-team offense only managed two field goals.

Tackling was better for Miami, too. The Dolphins didn't tackle well in the first two preseason games against Atlanta and Tampa Bay, but were improved in that area Saturday.

The offensive line didn't allow Tannehill to be sacked and did fairly well in run blocking.

In a bit of an oddity, kicker John Potter, subbing for Caleb Sturgis (groin), sustained a hip injury after kicking a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter. That meant punter Brandon Fields had to handle kickoff duties. The Dolphins didn't attempt a field goal or extra point. They made two of their three two-point conversion attempts after touchdowns.

There are still areas of concern, such as right guard, the linebacker jobs and the nickel defensive back. But coach Joe Philbin said he didn't see anything Saturday that would prompt him to make changes to his starters.

"We're still evaluating, right up until we name our starters for the New England Patriots," he said. "We thought they played well."


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