Dallas Cowboys

Penalties, interception leave Dolphins feeling low after loss to Cowboys

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes, but threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes, but threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Star-Telegram

It’s not often that the 4-6 team feels way worse than a 3-7 club, but that was essentially the emotion coming out of the Miami locker room after falling 24-14 to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

The Cowboys are only 3-7, but they have quarterback Tony Romo back, their seven-game losing streak is over, and they are only two games out of first place in the NFC East.

That’s four weeks in a row where, offensively, we are giving our opponent points.

Interim Miami Dolphins coach Dan Campbell

The Dolphins are 4-6, but first place in the AFC East was a notion they gave up long ago — the New England Patriots are 9-0, after all — and the route to a wild-card berth will surely be treacherous.

Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell blamed penalties — nine of them for 74 yards — and dropped passes.

“They really hurt us,” Campbell said of the mistakes.

One of the mistakes resulted in a touchdown.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill didn’t see Cowboys middle linebacker Rolando McClain in the flat and tossed the ball his way, resulting in a 12-yard interception return and the first score of the game.

“That’s four weeks in a row where, offensively, we are giving our opponent points,” Campbell said. “Coverage-wise, we knew what we were going to see. Ryan tried to get it out of his hand quick. They made a good play on it … Those things hurt you, you know?”

Defensive effort

The Cowboys kept the Dolphins’ two biggest playmakers in check.

Running back Lamar Miller averaged 6.3 yards per rush, but only got seven carries for 44 yards.

Wide receiver Jarvis Landry was held to four catches for 66 yards. On punt returns, Landry had one for 12 yards, and he had two kickoff returns for 33 yards.

Neither player scored a touchdown.

Playing for coach

Campbell won his first two games after taking over for the fired Joe Philbin. But the Dolphins are just 1-3 since.

“I’d love to keep Dan around,” Tannehill said. “He’s done a good job — he’s competitive. I think everyone in this locker room believes in him. But, as players, we have to play better.”

Game to remember

Neville Hewitt, an undrafted rookie linebacker out of Marshall, started the first game of his career and picked up his first interception.

“He overthrew it,” Hewitt said of the Romo pass, “and I went and got it.”

Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes also had an interception, the third of his season.

Tribute

The late Christopher Ruiz, the brother of Dolphins wide receiver Rishard Matthews, was honored before the game.

Ruiz, a former Marine and a father of three young children, died on Oct. 28 in a plane crash in Afghanistan. Matthews has a home in Saginaw.

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