As he watched his defense get ripped for 433 yards, including 300 in the first half, Dolphins coach Adam Gase was startled by the number of missed tackles. Many of those came early in the game with the first-string defense on the field, and Dallas’ starting running back Alfred Morris picked up 85 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
“We need to improve in that category,” Gase said after losing 41-14. “It surprises me a little bit, just considering how much time we spend on tackling and some of the drills that we’re trying to do. We need to clean that up. We’re doing the right thing in practice, and then we’re kind of reverting back when we get on the field.”
Miami will take a day off after the late kickoff and get back to work addressing that problem Sunday.
Tackling was merely one component of the Dolphins’ defensive struggles. The line had trouble getting pressure against one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, and Miami ended the game with no sacks.
The Dolphins had defensive end Mario Williams and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh on the line, but were missing Cameron Wake and Earl Mitchell. Those four are the presumptive starters for Opening Day if healthy.
“You never want to come out here and lose in this fashion, but preseason is what it is,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of things we need to work on. These next two games for us will get us prepared for Seattle.
“I think we’re all good right now. It’s just little details that we need to iron out. We’re gonna be ready for the first game of the season.”