Two rookies played significant roles as the Dallas Cowboys opened the NFL preseason with a 24-20 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
Linebacker DeVonte Holloman, a sixth-round pick out of South Carolina, returned an interception 75 yards for a second-quarter touchdown that gave Dallas a 17-0 lead. Leading the Cowboys offense, running back Joseph Randle, a fifth-round pick out of Oklahoma State, ran for a game-high 70 yards on 13 yards.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo didn’t play. In April, Romo underwent surgery to remove a cyst from his back, and he didn’t participate in the team’s offseason workouts until July 21.
Kyle Orton started at quarterback for Dallas, and he completed two of three passes for 25 yards, exiting after one series. Cowboys quarterbacks Nick Stephens and Alex Tanney also saw
action, Stephens going 4-for-8 for 24 yards, and Tanney finishing 5-for-10 for 58 yards.
Running back Phillip Tanner, who saw limited action for the Cowboys each of the past two years, gave Dallas an early 7-0 lead with a 1-yard touchdown run. The Cowboys needed five plays to go 9 yards after Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill lost a fumble on Miami’s first snap of the preseason. Tanner wound up with 59 yards on 10 carries.
After a 49-yard Dan Bailey field goal early in the second quarter, Dallas boosted its advantage to 17-0 when Holloman took back a Matt Moore pass for a score.
Tannehill remained in the game until late in the first quarter, completing two of five passes for 11 yards before taking the rest of the night off.
Moore wound up 19-for-29 for 238 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Pat Devlin completed eight of 13 passes for 86 yards.
Miami’s Chad Bumphis, a rookie free agent wide receiver, caught eight passes for 85 yards.
The Cowboys play the Raiders in Oakland on Friday.