Monday, November 7, 2011
Stock Report: Anthony Spencer up; Dez Bryant down
By Calvin Watkins
After the ugly but effective 23-13 victory for the Cowboys over the Seahawks on Sunday afternoon, it's time to look at who did well and who didn't in our weekly Stock Report
DeMarco Murray. In the last three games, he's rushed for 466 yards, the best three-game stretch in franchise history. Sunday he gained 139 yards on 22 carries and despite no rushing touchdowns, he averaged 6.3 yards per carry and is proving he should take over as the starter.
Anthony Spencer. Welcome back to the NFL, Mr. Spencer. He had one sack, five tackles and two quarterback hurries on Sunday. Spencer went four weeks without a sack and had zero quarterback pressures the previous two weeks. It's still hard to determine which player you're going to get each week, but vs. Seattle, Spencer was good.
Deep passing game. With Seattle challenging the corners at the line of scrimmage it allowed Tony Romo to go deep with Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Laurent Robinson. Romo found success in the vertical passing game. Romo threw six passes of 20 or more yards on Sunday and spread the ball around to his receivers. Jason Witten, Bryant and Austin all caught deep balls.
Dez Bryant. Suffered his first fumble of the season when taking a shot near the goalline and he misplayed a punt, fielding it at the six instead of letting it bounce into the end zone. Bryant also had zero catches in the second half. Something isn't working here with Bryant in the return game, either he's freelancing or not reading the blocks.
Miles Austin. He didn't have a bad game -- two catches for 53 yards -- but his hamstring injury, this time it's the right one, could cost him another game. He's already missed two games with a left hamstring strain and the Cowboys need him to stretch the defense and become another threat in the passing game.
Run defense. It wasn't very good Sunday. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 135 yards on 23 carries. Sure, Sean Lee was out with a dislocated wrist, but trusted veterans Bradie James and Keith Brooking needed to play better against the run. The Cowboys had the NFL's best run defense for three consecutive weeks, but it dipped to fourth after the Eagles game last week. In the last four weeks, the Cowboys have given up 101, 70, 239 and 162 rushing yards.