As if the operating rooms in Texas Stadium weren't already booked to capacity...
Terry Glenn? He went for the option most conducive to a super bowl run this season , opting for surgery that will keep him sidelined for 4-6 weeks with possible long-term detriments rather than a microfracture operation that would have kept him out of action for the season's entirety.
Greg Ellis? He's finally practicing, which elicits optimism-but temper your thoughts of sunshine and rainbows, for It'll take a while to polish off a buildup of rust as considerable as that one.
T-New? Game-time decision, but if I had to guess now I'd wager on his continued absence. Miami isn't exactly trotting out a receiving corp comparable to the Colts', and Wade Phillips should elect to keep his star on the road to recovery, rather than hinder his return.
Ferg? Out for the season. It's a bit hit, as the Mantain (You figure it out... if Manster's a viable term, so is Mantain) clogged up the run in a way nobody else on this line could do.
This one hurts the most, because there's no obvious candidate to fill in. Newman's absence bites, because Jacque Reeves is more raw than a frozen steak. Glenn's blows, because he's Terry Glenn. Ellis not being there is a pain in the ass, because this team is lacking in experienced pass rushers. But Ferguson's the most notable absence-not only because his injury writes off his season, but because he fills a rather unique role. I hate to quote myself, but... Mantain.
The question is this. Do we buy into Jay Ratliff's glorious team-exclusive last week, and proclaim him a mean, lean, wrongly positioned QB-terrorizing machine- or was that play the full extent of his 15 seconds of fame? Can Akin's brother Remi Ayodele provide quality play when necessary, or will he show us all why he was cut in the preseason?
Here's what to expect today.
The Dolphins will try a balanced attack offensively. The Cowboys are hurting both in pass and run defense, and Miami isn't especially strong in either. Expect ugly, ugly, ugly. Lots of dropped passes and dropped coverages, fumbles and missed tackles aplenty. What's a route, and what is this term 'Being in position to make a play'?
Conversely, the Cowboys' offense has been nothing if not stellar throughout their one game this year, and the Amphibious Mammals look to be a very stout defensive unit. We'll see some excitement when the Cowboys have possession of the ball, as Jason Garret will likely call a similar game to last week's: Mix it up. Get Witten involved down the middle, Throw a few deep ones to T O, Crayton, and Hurd, and hand the ball off to JJ and MB3 on second down. Don't ask me why, but it seemed to work. The differences begin here: Miami has the tools in place to stop this attack. Their pass rush is fearsome, their run stuffers even moreso. This will be a great litmus test for the offensive line in particular, as they get the chance to square off against a very good unit.
Good Guys: 20
Bad Guys: 17