WINNERSANDWINNERS.COM – DALLAS – Dallas Cowboys will open up the doors of AT&T Stadium on Sunday afternoon for a warm Week 3 welcome to the tanking Miami Dolphins. After unloading star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick for a first-round draft pick from the Pittsburgh Steelers, it has become evident the Dolphins clearly aren’t in the business of winning football games this season. It’s hard to blame them after watching them get demolished in consecutive games with the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots.
As for the Cowboys, they rolled fairly easily over the New York Giants and Washington Redskins in their first two games of the season. Quarterback Dak Prescott has been lights out on offense so far in his contract year, while running back Ezekiel Elliott is still working his way up to speed after sitting out training camp.
Things are getting so bad for the Dolphins their young talent doesn’t even want to stick around for the season. A little over a year after being drafted, standout safety Minkah Fitzpatrick asked to be traded after Week 1 of the regular season. It was a big deal considering Fitzpatrick, a 2018 first-round draft pick, was expected to be one of the pillars of the defensive unit for years to come.
However, he was shipped out of town to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 2020 first-round pick and a couple mid-to-late round swaps on Monday. The Dolphins have essentially chosen the tanking route this season, which is a huge bummer for newly-signed head coach Brian Flores. Imagine just winning a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots and ending up stuck in the situation in Miami. Antonio Brown reportedly sought out social media consultation to get out of Oakland. Maybe Flores should do the same.
Nothing good is going to come out of this situation.
After getting absolutely manhandled by the Patriots and Ravens, the Dolphins will go on the road to face the Cowboys, another playoff contender. Ryan Fitzpatrick is still slated to be the starter on Sunday, despite throwing three interceptions and two pick-sixes to the Patriots.
An obvious improvement over last week is for the Dolphins to not turn the football over. They can find solace in the fact they may not run into a defense better than the two they’ve faced over the last couple weeks for the rest of the season.
Robert Quinn’s return meant Taco Charlton’s end in Dallas.
The Cowboys released the former 2017 first-round draft pick on Tuesday after failing to trade him to another team in the league. It was a disappointing end to what ultimately ended up being a failed experiment. Charlton, a defensive end, finished his tenure with the Cowboys with four sacks in 27 games.
However, don’t expect owner Jerry Jones to lose much sleep over Charlton with the team looking to earn its third straight win of the season on Sunday. We should hear Demarcus Lawrence’s name called often against the struggling Dolphins’ offensive front. They gave up seven sacks against the Patriots and 12 quarterback hits.
On the other side of the ball, we should be seeing a heavy dose of Ezekiel Elliott running the football with receiver Amari Cooper likely being shadowed by Dolphins’ All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard. The Dolphins defense held the Patriots to only 13 points in the first half, which was by far a monumental feat for the diminished unit. It wasn’t until the second half when things got out of control. So Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will still need to be careful throwing into coverage with Howard lurking in the secondary.
Picking the Cowboys is the sexy pick since nearly everyone is on the bandwagon of the Dolphins being the worst football team in NFL history. But a 21.5-point spread is lofty even for the walking nightmare Dolphins. Some consideration has to be given to the fact that they’ve played against quite possibly the top-two defenses in football.
The Cowboys have been a bit more lenient on defensive side of the ball, and there is hope the Dolphins can finally get into an offensive rhythm. There also isn’t enough recognition for what the Dolphins defense did early in the game against the Patriots. They actually held up their end and gave the offense a chance to compete, but then the turnover parade started and things went downhill really fast.
I love the match-up of Howard going one-on-one with Cooper, which could leave the Cowboys a bit limited at receiver with Michael Gallup being listed on the injury report as out for Sunday’s game. I’m in no way suggesting the Dolphins can actually beat the Cowboys at Jerry’s World, but they will be able to cover the points and maintain some level of dignity.Prediction: Miami Dolphins (+21.5)
About the writer – Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he’s a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you’d have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from — just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.