It was only a preseason game. I understand that. But when David Buehler stepped up and calmly kicked the game winning 31 yard field goal right down the middle as time expired I let out a huge sigh of relief. It was a big moment for Buehler. If he makes it you know his confidence will soar. If he misses you have to wonder if the Cowboys need to go find a new kicker. Buehler hit two big pressure kicks during the game and I think those kicks will give him the confidence to be successful in the regular season.
Buehler showed that he has improved a great deal since the first preseason game. His first field goal came at the end of the first half. It was a 51 yarder as time expired and he nailed it with 10-15 yards of distance to spare and nearly right down the middle. Buehler also hit from 45 and 40 yards. One kick barely squeaked through but he was 4 for 4 overall.
Stephen McGee looks like he has a future with the team. I'm certainly not predicting greatness for McGee but he at least finally made some throws that would make you believe he could develop into a solid backup quarterback in another year or two. He threw for 304 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. The 46 yard touchdown pass was a beautiful deep ball to Sam Hurd. And another pass that caught my eye was a 12 yard out pass that McGee fired between two defenders to Kevin Ogletree. There were also some ugly plays for McGee but I think he did enough to prove he should stick around this season.
Sean Lee looked a lot better this week. He still looks a little unsure of himself at times. But when he knows what to do he gets to the ball quickly and he makes the tackle. As soon as he gets more comfortable with the scheme he is going to be a very good player. I expect Lee to get more and more playing time as the season goes on.
Akwasi Owusu-Ansah is obviously a natural returner. You can see watching him that he has the vision to find the seams in the punt and kick coverage and he has the burst to hit the hole when he finds it. He had some trouble with his footing but that was an equipment issue that is easily corrected.
Victor Butler looked like he was a starter. The Dolphins had their starting offense on the field for a large portion of the first half and Butler did a great job pressuring the quarterback.
The defense overall looked pretty good against the Dolphins' starting offense. Considering the Cowboys had second a third team defensive players matching up against the Miami starters I was very impressed by their performance. Some of the defenders later in the game were not good at all, but the primary backups looked good.
Sam Hurd certainly made a case for himself. A lot of roster predictions have left Hurd off the final 53 man roster. But Hurd showed, like he usually does in preseason, that he is a very capable receiver when given opportunities.
Kevin Ogletree appears to have made a complete 180 from his early training camp and preseason struggles. He looked quick and confident throughout the game. I realize he was matched up for much of the game against Miami backups, but he is starting to resemble the guy that showed so much promise last season. The offense may need him at some point so I'm glad he is back.
Robert Brewster still needs more time to develop before he can be counted on. His play in the San Diego game a few weeks ago was pretty good but he has been very inconsistent in the last two games.