Published August 30, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas – Orie Lemon returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown, No. 3 running back Phillip Tanner had a 1-yard score and the Dallas Cowboys finished their preseason with a 30-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday night.
A week before playing in the NFL's kickoff game against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, the Cowboys (3-1) kept quarterback Tony Romo and most of their front-line starters standing on the sideline.
Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the first-round draft pick from Texas A&M already tabbed Miami's starter, was 5-of-7 passing for 35 yards playing the first two series. The Dolphins led 3-0 when he was done.
Miami (0-4) finished its preseason winless under new coach Joe Philbin. The season opener is Sept. 9 at Houston.
Undrafted rookie running back Lance Dunbar had 15 carries for 105 yards, including a 58-yard TD run, for Dallas in the third quarter. Tanner started with DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones sitting, and finished with nine carries for 48 yards.
Another former Texas A&M quarterback, Stephen McGee, possibly took his last snaps for the Cowboys after playing the entire first half and going 9 of 18 for 124 yards.
Two years ago in another preseason finale against the Dolphins, McGee passed for 304 yards while going all the way in the victory that probably assured him the spot as the team's third quarterback that season.
McGee, a fourth-round draft pick in 2009, has played in only three regular-season games and started one.
With Kyle Orton signed during the offseason to be Romo's backup, Dallas likely will carry only two quarterbacks on its 53-man roster. Plus, McGee is no longer eligible for the practice squad like Rudy Carpenter would be.
Carpenter was 4 of 10 for 48 yards in the second half.
Even though they were playing at home again only four days after a win over the St. Louis Rams, the Cowboys have already turned their attention to the Giants.
When they get to their Valley Ranch practice facility Thursday, it will be essentially a Monday of game week.
Pro Bowl receiver Miles Austin didn't play in the preseason because of hamstring issues, and receiver Dez Bryant was held out for the second straight game because of right knee tendinitis. Both are expected to be ready for the Giants, though Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten (lacerated spleen) is less certain for the unprecedented Wednesday night opener.
Lamar Miller had 17 carries for 60 yards and a TD for the Dolphins.
Miller's 1-yard run capped a 14-play, 89-yard drive that took exactly half of the third quarter to complete.
Dan Bailey kicked three field goals for the Cowboys while Dan Carpenter had field goals of 21 and 53 yards for Miami less than 2 minutes apart late in the first quarter.
After Carpenter's shorter kick, Teddy Williams fumbled the ensuing kickoff at the Cowboys 33. That's when Matt Moore took over for Tannehill, failing to get a first down and leading to the long field goal by Carpenter.
On Dallas' first snap after that, cornerback Quinten Lawrence was called for pass interference against Kevin Ogletree that was good for 43 yards. That led to a 25-yard field goal by Bailey.
Moore was only 4 of 12, including the pass over the middle early in the second quarter that Lemon picked off and took into the end zone for a 10-6 lead.
The Cowboys had two big passing plays to set up Tanner's 1-yard score.
Andre Holmes caught a deep pass from McGee for a 32-yard gain. Later in that drive, McGee scrambled and kept avoiding defenders as he rolled to the left. He was near the sideline and threw off one foot, hitting Tim Benford for 36 yards.
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