Stock Report: Dan Bailey up; Phil Costa down
September, 27, 2011
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
The Cowboys' ugly-but-well-deserved 18-16 over the Washington Redskins on Monday night placed them into a three-way tie for first in the gritty, nasty NFC East. We check the performances in our weekly Stock Report:
Dan Bailey. David Buehler better get healthy because the rookie from Oklahoma State made six field goals, setting a franchise rookie record for a single game. Buehler's speciality is kickoffs ... Well, Bailey took care of that. Of his seven kicks, four reached the end zone and two were touchbacks. Bailey has made two go-ahead field goals this season and, while there is plenty of time left in the season, he's gaining confidence.
Sean Lee. He can be here every week. Lee had eight tackles, a tackle for loss, an interception and the game-clinching fumble recovery. DeMarcus Ware may be the best defensive player on the team, but Lee is the hottest player right now. He's physical in the run game and plays the pass well.
Felix Jones. Playing with a dislocated shoulder, Jones rushed for a career-high 114 yards on just 14 carries. Jones had bursts of 40 and 29 yards, and he did a nice job finding holes and showed the speed the Cowboys knew he had coming out of Arkansas. He left the game when he re-injured his shoulder, but showed toughness for the entire game.
Phil Costa. The second-year center had a rough night. He had three botched snaps in the second half. A low snap led to a Tony Romo interception. Another hit Romo in the stomach, and the third one came when Romo wasn't looking. The Redskins knew the snap counts (thanks to Stephen Bowen), but still you can't mess up the center-quarterback exchange, especially in the fourth quarter.
Doug Free. The starting left tackle struggled on the pass rush Monday night. He failed to contain outside linebacker Rob Jackson, a 2008 seventh-round draft choice, who smashed Romo down on a blindside hit in the fourth quarter. Free hasn't played well the last two weeks, yet the Cowboys have survived to win both games.
Martellus Bennett. Yeah, he had a nice block on a long run by Jones, but he's got to fight for the ball in the end zone. He also had a holding penalty. Not sure what the issues are with Bennett? Maybe the ankle he sprained in early September is bothering him. Whatever it is, he's not playing well.