Pre-season games such as the one played on Sunday Aug. 4 between Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins do not mean much. That said, Cowboys exhibited their strong running game and Tony Romo expressed his confidence for 2013 Season in sideline interview.

PictureMiami Dolphins Quarterback Matt Moore sacked by Dallas Cowboys Defensive End George Selvie at Hall of Fame Game 2013
With Tony Romo and the majority of starters sitting out Sunday's preseason
opener, the things that mattered most to the Dallas Cowboys was the performance
of their young players and the adherence to the points of emphasis the team has
focused on since the start of training camp.

Consider the 24-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins in the Hall of Fame Game at
Fawcett Field a huge success in terms of the Cowboys' mission to force more
turnovers and run the ball better and more this season.

The Cowboys jumped to a 17-0 lead, thanks to 97 rushing yards on 17
carries in the first half, including 10 rushes for 59 yards and a touchdown by
Phillip Tanner and two forced turnovers that led to two touchdowns. The second
touchdown came on a 75-yard interception return for a score by rookie linebacker
DeVonte Holloman.      

"Turnovers were the name of the game in the first half. We took
the ball away from them on their first offensive play and went down and had a
real short drive inside the 10," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "The
interception by Holloman for a touchdown was a big play in the game. I thought
we ran it pretty well and the defense played pretty well situationally."

The success on the ground was huge for a Cowboys offense that was the
worst in team history last season in terms of rushing yards and rushing

Certainly, the absence of quarterback Romo and starting receivers Dez
Bryant and Miles Austin as well as Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten made a huge
difference in the play-calling. Still, not only did the Cowboys run it more than
they passed in the first half - 17 rushes to 10 attempts - but they had
tremendous success doing it without starter DeMarco Murray.

Tanner set the tone with his effort, namely his two tackle-breaking runs
of 17 yards. But he wasn't alone. All the Cowboys backs ran well.

Lance Dunbar opened the game as the starting running back, rushing four
times for 22 yards. And rookie Joseph Randle, who was considered the favorite to
be the backup to Murray, showed he wasn't going to be left behind with three
carries for 16 yards in the first half.

Randle also added eight carries for 48 yards in the third quarter alone
to finish with 13 carries for 70 yards to lead all rushers.

Undrafted rookie free agent Kendial Lawrence added a 7-yard touchdown

"Just coming out here and making the best of every opportunity," Tanner
said. "Coach Garrett preaches that to us all the time, whether it is one play or
100 plays, make the best of every snap."

The highlights of the night were the turnovers on defense.

The Cowboys recorded a paltry 16 in 16 games last season and it was one
reason the Cowboys fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and made the change from
the 3-4 to the 4-3 scheme under new defensive chief Monte Kiffin.

Kiffin, along with defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, have a history of
forcing turnovers in the famed Tampa Two scheme. They have harped on going after
the ball and returning it for touchdowns since the start of the off -season

Their messages came across loud and clear against the Dolphins, even
without defensive stalwarts such as DeMarcus Ware, Sean Lee and Bruce Carter.
Linebacker Justin Durant was the only defensive starter who played against the
Dolphins, and he was just out there for a series.

The Cowboys took advantage of a poor handoff from quarterback Ryan
Tannehill on Miami's first offensive play. Defensive tackle Nick Hayden
recovered the ball on the 9-yard line, leading to Tanner's 1-yard run.

After the Cowboys went up 10-0 on a 49-yard field goal by Dan Bailey,
Holloman made it 17-0 with his pick six.

A pass from Matt Moore tipped off the hands of receiver Chad Bumphus and
the seventh-round pick from South Carolina showed the playmaking skills of a
former safety. He took the ball out of the air facing the Dolphins, reversed
direction and romped 75 yards to the end zone, while fending off a hard-charging
Moore with a stiff arm. 


Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, a passionate basketball fan, believes LeBron James would be a "beast" in the NFL if the reigning NBA MVP made a Michael Jordan-esque midcareer decision to switch sports.

We continue our series on pro athletes who dare to switch sports after we recently spotted another NBA all-star Steve Nash trying out for soccer.

Asked a hypothetical question about James' potential if he opted to focus on football, Dez Bryant enthusiastically discussed why he thinks the 6-foot-8, 250-pound Miami Heat star could be an impact player as an NFL tight end or receiver.

"That dude is just that talented," said Bryant, who is coming off a breakout
season of 92 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. "I think it would take
him probably about a good two weeks to get very acquainted with football,
knowing what he's supposed to do. I think that's all he'd need with his physical

"I've seen a little bit of his highlights from high school. He's got the
hands, he can run the routes, he's fast enough. He could play in this league if
he put it all together."

James, who calls himself a die-hard Cowboys fan, starred as a receiver at St.
Vincent-St. Mary's in Akron, Ohio, before giving up the sport as a high school
senior. That seems to have been a wise decision, considering that the
28-year-old James has four regular-season MVPs and two NBA Finals MVPs as he
nears the middle of his prime.

But Bryant sees James' combination of height, power, hands, speed and leaping
ability and sees a potentially major problem for NFL defenses, especially in the
end zone.

"All he'd need to do is probably work on a little technique," Bryant said.
"It's not like he's never played football before. He has played football. I
think he'd be a beast in the red zone. I think he could do it. I think he could
do it, seriously."

In terms of the NBA, the Cowboys had another star at camp Thursday. 

Los Angeles Clippers point Chris Paul visited Cowboys camp and called it
"one of the highlights of my life ..."

Paul is a die-hard fan who actually seems proud of the fact that he slept on
Cowboys sheets while in college at Wake Forest.

"I'm like a little kid," Paul told reporters at the end of practice. "I've
done a lot of good things in my career, but this is one of the highlights of my
life. These guys probably have no clue what it means to me. I used to act like I
was Ken Norton in the backyard playing middle linebacker."