Monday, September 24, 2012
Stock Report: Mike Jenkins up; O-line down
By Calvin Watkins
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Cowboys' 16-10 victory over Tampa Bay had many interesting aspects. We review who's up and who's down in our weekly Stock Report:
Mike Jenkins. In his first extensive action of the season, Jenkins finished with one pass breakup and a tackle at cornerback. The Cowboys made a personnel change, moving Brandon Carr to a free safety spot to allow Jenkins to play as an outside corner. Jenkins is a good corner. He was the best at his position last season, and he showed that Sunday with solid man coverage.
DeMarcus Ware. The outside linebacker picked up two sacks along with five tackles Sunday. It was clear from the first snaps that Ware was going to be an active participant. He beat single and double coverage at times. He hit quarterback Josh Freeman just once but forced two fumbles on strip sacks.
Miles Austin. He picked up the 12th 100-yard game of his career. He didn't score a touchdown but finished with five catches for 107 yards and returned to the game after a rib injury. All three of Austin's second-half catches were for first downs. The yardages: 21, 49 and 17 yards.
Jason Witten. This is getting ridiculous. The veteran tight end had three drops and two false starts. He's an elite player who's going through a tough stretch at this stage of the season. He did recover from a spleen injury but the missed practice time could be hurting him.
Offensive line. An embarrassing performance from this group, considering the money invested in three of the players: Nate Livings, Mackenzy Bernadeau and Doug Free and to go with Tyron Smith. You expect better. Tony Romo was knocked silly, and the run game was, well, bad. DeMarco Murray somehow rushed for a touchdown. But overall, he had just 38 yards on 18 carries.
Jason Garrett. At some point you've got to make some changes. Felix Jones is giving you nothing on kick returns. He did have two catches for 28 yards but isn't making anyone miss out there. The passing game can't get Dez Bryant and Austin off on a consistent basis, and you have to find a way to get the run game going again. Protection is the key, and Garrett must solve these problems.