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Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Dallas Cowboys: Week 8 player rankings

By Jean-Jacques Taylor

IRVING -- Finally, we have a little stability in the rankings. The top three remain unchanged.

Each week, during the season, I rank my top 10 players on the roster based on their performances this season.

1. Sean Lee: Lee was spectacular in the first quarter -- his diving pass deflection was one of the best plays you’ll ever see this season -- and he finished with six tackles in just 35 plays before leaving with sprained big toe.
Last Week: 1

2. DeMarcus Ware: A team-high eight tackles. He had a half-sack, a quarterback hit, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery to end the game. A quality performance.
Last Week: 2

3. Anthony Spencer: A huge game after missing the last two with a strained chest muscle. His fourth-quarter sack with less than a minute left pretty much sealed the win.
Last Week: 3

4. Miles Austin: The Cowboys really need to find a way to get Austin, who caught five passes for 97 yards and a touchdown, more opportunities whether it’s using motion or moving him around the formation. He’s their most consistent and explosive receiver, and they need to make him a priority.
Last Week: 5

5. DeMarco Murray: After ripping off 90 yards in the first half, including a 28-yard run, a sprained foot limited him to one carry in the second half. He’ll miss Carolina, but the Cowboys hope he’ll return soon.
Last Week: 4

6. Jason Witten: He’s returned to being Mr. Reliable, which is great for Tony Romo. Witten has caught 25 of the last 29 passes directed to him.
Last Week: 7

7. Tony Romo: Not only did Romo end a streak of throwing an interception in every game this season, he managed a good game. Fifteen of his 25 completions went for less than 10 yards, which is fine because didn’t force the issue and turn the ball over.
Last Week: 8

8. Bruce Carter: He hasn’t been as active lately, but still made two really good plays in the fourth quarter that helped the Cowboys win.
Last Week: 6

9. Brandon Carr: Steve Smith caught seven passes for 83 yards, but he didn’t dominate the game. The holding penalty in the end zone wasn’t good, but it was a definite improvement over the last two games.
Last Week: 9

10. Josh Brent: He was a beast inside, disrupting running plays and putting pressure on the quarterback from the interior. His hit on Cam Newton led to Morris Claiborne's interception and he helped hold Carolina’s running backs to 48 yards on 15 carries.
Last Week: NR