Sunday, December 18, 2011
Stock Report: Romo up, secondary down
By Calvin Watkins
After a commanding 31-15 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Cowboys have a nice one-game lead for first place in the NFC East with two games to play in the season.
We review the performance of the Cowboys in our weekly Stock Up, Stock Down
Tony Romo. The starting quarterback is playing well right now. He completed 23-of-30 passes for 249 yards with three touchdown passes. He even scored a rushing touchdown inside the 1. Romo is doing a nice job commanding the offense and making sure the offense continues to roll.
Felix Jones. Jones rushed for 108 yards on 22 carries, marking the first time in his career he's picked up consecutive 100-yard games. Jones ran with power, speed and poise. While DeMarco Murray is the starter for the future of the Cowboys, don't forget Jones can play a little bit, too.
Rob Ryan. The defensive coordinator had his troops ready Saturday night, and while it was the Bucs, they responded to the challenge. Josh Freeman was sacked three times, the offense was held to 190 yards and there were five quarterback hurries. Ryan played more zone in the second half with Freeman forced to pass, but it was a strong effort.
Secondary. Freeman leads the NFL with 18 interceptions and the Cowboys got none Saturday night. Now, most of his passes were crossing routes and it didn't seem he could challenge the secondary down the field with deep passes. But still, no picks?
Mat McBriar. He had a net average of 28.3, his second lowest of the season. He's playing with a bad left (non-kicking) foot that might be acting up again. After such a wonderful effort against Arizona with four punts inside the 20 and a net average of 38 yards, where his unit gave up just 1 punt return yard, McBriar has struggled. He's got no punts inside the 20 the last two weeks.
Dez Bryant. This isn't about Bryant the receiver, because he's good. This is about Bryant the punt returner. He averaged just 3.8 yards a return Saturday and lost yards on one return.