Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins backup quarterback Matt Moore leaves game with head injury

Miami Dolphins' Matt Moore (8) slides to the ground under pressure from Dallas Cowboys' James Morris and Deji Olatoye (29) in the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Fri., Aug. 19, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. Moore left the game with an unknown injury.
Miami Dolphins' Matt Moore (8) slides to the ground under pressure from Dallas Cowboys' James Morris and Deji Olatoye (29) in the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Fri., Aug. 19, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. Moore left the game with an unknown injury. AP

The Dallas Cowboys were just plain dirty Friday night.

And it cost the Dolphins their backup quarterback.

Dallas linebacker James Morris targeted Matt Moore’s head while the quarterback was sliding late in the second quarter Friday night.

Morris’ shoulder hit Moore’s head, which bounced off the artificial turf at AT&T Stadium.

Moore was down on the ground for several minutes before walking off slowly under his own power.

He was evaluated for a concussion.

Morris was assessed a 15-yard penalty for the illegal hit, the Cowboys’ 10th accepted penalty in the first half alone.

That included a personal foul against Anthony Hitchens, who sparked a brawl on the sidelines with Jarvis Landry in the first quarter.

The Dolphins were no saints either. Their defense had an interception by Isa Abdul-Quddus negated because defensive end Andre Branch roughed Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

TUNSIL STARTS

Laremy Tunsil made his first NFL start Friday.

The Dolphins scored their first touchdown of the preseason.

Coincidence? Probably not.

The torch might have been passed at left guard, as Tunsil, the Dolphins’ first-round pick, got the nod over Dallas Thomas on Friday. He was paired with Jermon Bushrod, who started at right guard over Billy Turner.

The result: Excellent pass protection.

Dreadful run blocking.

A week after getting battered by the Giants, quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a relatively clean pocket Friday night.

He was sacked just once — surrendered by Bushrod to Tyrone Crawford — and was able to survey the field in a way he could not against New York.

And as a result, the Dolphins starters found the end zone on back-to-back drives and, if not for a blown red-zone possession earlier in the game, would have had three touchdowns in five possessions.

That’s the good. The bad?

The Dolphins averaged a ghastly 0.9 yards per rush with Tunsil and Bushrod in the game. They improved markedly in the one drive that Thomas and Turner worked with the starters, more than tripling their rushing yards on that one series alone.

CAMERON STRUGGLES

Jordan Cameron had been largely invisible the first three weeks of training camp. The tight end was worse than that Friday.

He cost the Dolphins seven points. Cameron dropped a sure touchdown on the Dolphins’ second drive.

The Dolphins had first-and-goal from the 5, but Tannehill’s perfect pass slipped through his grasp.

They failed to score on second, third and fourth downs. Cameron had one catch for 5 yards in the Dolphins’ starters five series.

WAKE HELD OUT

Defensive Cameron Wake did not play against the Cowboys, as the Dolphins continue to err on the side of caution when it comes to their star pass-rusher’s health.

Wake has not appeared in a game, regular or preseason, since tearing his Achilles tendon late last October.

Joining Wake on the inactive list: Chimdi Chekwa (leg), defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (calf), running back Kenyan Drake (hamstring) and cornerback Xavien Howard (knee).

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