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McGee And Cowboys Dump Dolphins In Finale 27-25

After the Cowboys played an ugly game last week in Houston, the coaching staff considered playing the starters for a little bit last night in Miami. Eventually, they decided to rest all of the starters allowing the “bubble” players to get some much needed time. One player that was under a microscope was third-string quarterback Stephen McGee. McGee had taken some heat about how he was and “option” quarterback in much of his college career and that he would have a hard time adjusting to the NFL game. After a short preseason last year (injury) and then running the scout team all year during the season, McGee was hoping to make an impression this preseason. While he has gotten a lot of playing time, he spent most of it running for his life behind poor performances by the backup offensive lines. Last night was a different story as McGee and the Cowboys took down the Dolphins 27-25 in the preseason finale.

McGee played all of last night’s game against the Dolphins and proved to those watching that he does have the ability to play quarterback in the NFL. While most of the game was against the Dolphins backups, they did play their starters on both sides of the ball for the first few series. McGee performed well in the game going 27 of 42, for 304 yards and a beautiful 43-yard rainbow touchdown pass to Sam Hurd on a fly pattern. McGee made a good statement and strong case to stay on the 53-man roster. “I just wanted to come in and play to the talent I know that I have…a lot of people like you guys always seem to say I’m not good enough, but I know in my heart how good of a quarterback I am.” McGee led the Cowboys on six scoring drives capped off by driving for the winning field goal to end the game with 4 seconds remaining.

The Cowboys brass was excited by McGee’s play as well, Jerry Jones speaking to the media, “You’ve got to give Stephen McGee his due. It was just almost like right before your eyes you could see him start getting comfortable. You could see his body language. You could see all of those things happening, so I’m proud for him.”

McGee was not the only Cowboy that was impressive last night. Second year linebacker Victor Butler had a monster game getting to Dolphins’ quarterbacks twice for sacks and adding two forced fumbles as well. While some Cowboys have been making impressions on people, all Butler has done all preseason is make plays. It feels real good when you’re creating plays to help your defense and help your teammates win. “Ten guys created the opportunity, and I got to take advantage of it,” Butler said to reporters after the game. He did take advantage of it. There was not much doubt that Butler would be on the roster after his impact off the bench late last season, but it is nice to see him being more consistent. Butler’s fellow linebacker, rookie Sean Lee, also had a good game recording two sacks of his own and recovering a fumble. One of the areas of strength this preseason has to be the Cowboys linebackers who have been phenomenal, hopefully that will translate into the regular season.

Another interesting situation through the preseason is the kicker position. It is safe to say that David Buehler has established himself as the Cowboys kicker after his performance last night. Buehler went 4 for 4 with a long of 51 yards. He also hit the game winning 31-yard field goal as time expired. While each kick is a pressure kick, there is no more pressure than on a kick that wins or loses a game. After the game Buehler was satisfied with his performance, “My job was on the line and I had to come in here and make kicks…that’s what I had to do tonight.” His success caused team owner and general manager Jerry Jones to proclaim “We have ourselves a kicker!” While it might not seem like a big deal to many, Buehler’s consistency provides another roster spot. Last season the Cowboys carried two kickers, Buehler for kickoffs, and a combination of Folk and Suisham for field goals. With one guy able to do both jobs the Cowboys are able to keep a player that they would not have last season.

As cuts come down on Saturday the Cowboys will look at these standouts from Thursday night’s game and know they have a tough task to do when taking this roster from 75 down to 53 players.

Game Highlights click here.

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