Stock Report: Barry Church up; Tony Romo down

August, 22, 2010
8/22/10
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The Cowboys moved to 2-1 in the preseason as a result of their 16-14 victory over San Diego. The Chargers said they came after the Cowboys with blitzes and thought they were more physical than the visitors.

Jerry Jones agreed. There were two injuries, one of which gave someone quality playing time. Here's who played well and who didn't.

Stock Up

Martellus Bennett. The young tight end is still playing with a swollen left ankle that looks like a softball. Bennett led the Cowboys in receiving yards with 40 on four catches, including a 19-yard touchdown reception.

Robert Brewster. Who said Tony Romo was scared about Brewster starting at right tackle? He had few mental mistakes, but a false start in the fourth quarter was the only glaring mistake. Brewster did have some help on pass plays, but he also moved to left tackle in the second half and performed well.

Terence Newman. Of the three turnovers by the Cowboys defense, Newman had a nice interception, jumping the route near the goal line on a Philip Rivers pass. Newman has performed well in training camp and in the preseason.

Cletis Gordon. Fighting for a fourth cornerback spot, Gordon struggled at times, but he made a great play on the ball, something he's done all summer, when he picked off a Jonathan Crompton pass in the fourth quarter.

Barry Church. Coaches tell young players that when your number is called, be ready. When Gerald Sensabaugh went down with a shoulder injury, Church moved to strong safety. He was credited with five tackles and a fumble recovery that set up the first offensive touchdown of the preseason for the Cowboys. Church ran 80 yards on the return. His status for the 53-man roster just got stronger.

Stock Down

Tony Romo. He looked bad. He misfired two passes to Miles Austin. He threw off his back foot while under pressure, leading to an interception. He was hurt by two drops, by Jason Witten and Austin, and threw seven incompletions.

Miles Austin. Yes, he did catch a touchdown. But he had a drop, and of the five passes thrown his way he caught just two. Austin has done an excellent job in training camp. But for one night, he didn't do so well.

Leon Williams. If you're looking for linebackers to cut, this is one guy who might not be in Landover, Md., when the season starts. Williams looked lost on defense at times. When Marcus Mason scored on a 4-yard run, Williams had a chance to blow him up but he moved behind Marcus Dixon, who was engaged with a blocker.

Sean Lee. The second-round pick looked a little lost out there. He was behind on some passes in the flat and was late in covering the tight ends. He did play a lot and as the game wore on and got better. We thought he was thinking a little too much and not reacting.

Herb Donaldson. On four carries he gained just 8 yards. Donaldson had a chance to gain a first down by breaking a tackle by Nathan Vasher, but he didn't stay in bounds and stumbled out of bounds short of the first down. Donaldson later dropped a swing pass. He's battling Lonyae Miller for spot on the practice squad and took a step back.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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