Cowboy Country - Dallas Cowboys win HOF game against Miami Dolphins

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The Dallas Cowboys opened their 2013 preseason debut with a 24-20 win against the Miami Dolphins in the 50th NFL Hall of Fame game Sunday night.

As expected, many of the starters did not play in the game including Tony Romo, Sean Lee and Dez Bryant. The contest also gave fans a first hand look of the their new 4-3 Tampa 2 defense led by coordinator Monte Kiffin. KIffin led the Tampa Buccaneers to a Super Bowl XXXVII win with this style of defense in 2002.

The offense did a good job controlling the tempo and establishing a running game.

The play-calling duties of OC Bill Callahan will also Dallas to get the plays in a much faster and smoother rate, eliminating costly delay of game penalties. Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar showed great signs of promise in the backfield by hitting the hole with confidence and getting yards after contact. The duo combined for 97 yards rushing on 17 carries.

  Rookie running back Joseph Randle from Oklahoma State also had some carries along with undrafted rookie Kendal Lawrence who scored on a 7-yard rush with about 2:02 left in the game.

The defensive unit played a great all-around game with forcing two turnovers including a 76-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker DeVonte Holloman.

George Selvie played like a man possessed on various defensive snaps, discarding Dolphins left tackles and getting relentless pressure on the quarterback. He may be a player to watch, as roster cuts will be made in the coming weeks. However, the defense must work on stopping the run and recognizing slant patterns on 3rd and short and not play 10 yards off of the receiver.

Special teams did their job in terms of kicking and punting. Dan Bailey made the only field goal for the Cowboys from about 40 yards out and punter Chris Jones punted the ball with precision and accuracy. Jones missed 12 games last season due to leg injuries.

Despite minor injuries to safety Matt Johnson and Tanner, the Cowboys showed signs of improvement offensively and defensively but have a lot to work on as they progress through camp and the preseason. Their next game is against the Raiders in Oakland on Friday.

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