Monday, September 12, 2011
Stock Report: Sean Lee up; Tony Romo down
By Calvin Watkins
The Cowboys opened the 2011 season with a distasteful 27-24 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday night. The final 15 minutes was terrible for the Cowboys as they allowed 17 points. We review the game with our first Stock Report of the season, which tells you who played well and who didn't.
Sean Lee. The second-year inside linebacker got the start over Keith Brooking and played well. He finished with 11 tackles, one interception and a pass breakup. The move didn't come as a surprise and Brooking was professional with his benching, saying everybody is going to get their share of the snaps. Lee deserved them Sunday night because he was aggressive in the run game something the Cowboys need.
DeMarcus Ware. He set the tone with two sacks and three quarterback hurries against Mark Sanchez. Now Ware was shutout in the second half, but still did his part to give the Cowboys a chance at the upset. Ware saw single coverage most of the evening but Sanchez made quicker throws to get himself out of trouble.
Mike Jenkins. He was playing with a hyperextended knee and recovering from a stinger, then he suffers a shoulder injury when Plaxico Burress hit him from the blind side. Jenkins was down for several minutes and instead of walking to the sidelines, walked to the locker room. He later returned in the fourth quarter and made a tackle on Burress. Jenkins had one pass breakup and three tackles on the night.
Tony Romo. The quarterback fumbled the ball at the Jets 1 and committed another turnover when he underthrew a pass to Dez Bryant, while on the move. The pick setup the go-ahead field goal. We thought Romo was done with these mistakes, and maybe he is, but Sunday night in the fourth quarter, he didn't play like an elite quarterback. He did throw for 342 yards, but his team gets a loss.
Special teams. With the game slipping away from them, Alex Albright and John Phillips allowed Joe McKnight to slip through the middle of the line to block a Mat McBriar punt that was recovered by Isaiah Trufant and returned 18 yards for a game-tying touchdown. Martin Rucker messed up a downed punt at the Jets 1, after Bryan McCann did it before falling out of bounds. Rucker should have left the ball alone but didn't and when his foot slipped into the end zone, it forcing a touchback.
Running game. Felix Jones averaged just 2.6 yards per carry, and Tashard Choice, on three carries got four yards. DeMarco Murray picked up zero yards on two carries. Yes, the offensive line had two rookies, both of whom were nicked up with knee injuries, and a center making his second career start, but the run game has to do better than 64 yards on 26 carries.