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Chad Henne Outplayed by Backups -- His and the Cowboys

Earlier this week, as the Dolphins were getting ready to play the Cowboys in last night's exhibition game, starting QB Chad Henne described to the media what he hoped to do.

Well, I mean, I definitely want to come out with a lot of pluses. I mean, I have a really good game, make the right decisions, become accurate in the passing game, and make some big plays out there and score touchdowns. I think we need to go down there and score and set the tempo for our team.

Yeah, that didn't happen.

Instead, during last night's final preseason game, Henne completed just six out of 11

passes, with no touchdowns and two sacks. He also fumbled twice and lost one of them.

But the worst part about Henne's poor performance is that the Dolphins were playing against Cowboys backups. Because Dallas had five preseason games this year, the coaches held out the starting lineup and pitted the hapless Dolphins starters against their second string.

If this were just one bad, isolated preseason game, things wouldn't look so scary for the Dolphins. But Henne has completed just 57 percent of his passes, managed just two touchdowns, and thrown an interception.

His backups, meanwhile, have played more like starters. Chad Pennington completed just 60 percent of his passes, but he also scored two touchdowns and avoided throwing an interception. Tyler Thigpen's numbers are also better than Henne's, and Thigpen had a solid game against the Cowboys, completing a pair of touchdowns with one interception.

There hasn't been a lot of talk about who's going to start for the Dolphins this year -- head coach Tony Sparano has said it's Henne from day one. But in a Q&A posted on today, he notes that his team has a lot of quarterbacks to choose from:

I'm real comfortable with our depth. We've had a really good plan and approach to our quarterbacks during the preseason. I feel like we've done the right things to get this group ready, and it's given us the right answers right now.

After the players' two-day break this weekend, perhaps it's time to begin talk of using that depth. Because when the Dolphins head to Buffalo on September 12, you can bet the Bills won't be playing backups.

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Eric Barton
Contact: Eric Barton

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