Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Dallas Cowboys: Week 15 player rankings
By Jean-Jacques Taylor
IRVING -- The Dallas Cowboys won their fifth game when trailing in the fourth quarter this season because all of their stars delivered when it mattered most.
Anthony Spencer. Tony Romo. Demarcus Ware. Dez Bryant. Brandon Carr. They all made game-changing plays in the second half as the Cowboys rallied for a win they had to have.
The Cowboys have so many injuries they need their best players to play at a high level to compensate for so many guys who were on the streets a month ago having roles.
Each week, during the season, I rank my top 10 players on the roster based on their performances this season:
1. Anthony Spencer: It’s Groundhog Day for Anthony Spencer, who delivered yet another strong performance. He had 1.5 sacks -- all in the fourth quarter -- and he was a difference-maker when it mattered most.
Last Week: 1
2. Tony Romo: In the last seven games, Romo has 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. Just so you know, Romo has rallied the Cowboys to wins in the fourth quarter five times this season.
Last Week: 2
3. Dez Bryant: A broken finger? So what. Dez Bryant caught yet another touchdown pass, giving him 10 this season. Bryant has touchdown passes of 30, 28, 85, 23, 27 and 24 this season.
Last Week: 3
4. DeMarcus Ware: He’s playing through pain with a shoulder injury that seemingly forces him to miss a handful plays each game. He also played Sunday with a hyperextended elbow. But in fourth quarter with game on the line, he shared a huge sack with Anthony Spencer.
Last Week: 4
5. DeMarco Murray: Tony Romo and Dez Bryant are the best offensive players, but Murray makes it all work. He’s clearly the most important. He makes the third-down conversations easier, the red zone offense more efficient and the passing game more dangerous.
Last Week: 6
6. Jason Witten: Ended a nine-game drought without a touchdown with a 17-yard grab on a play-action pass against Pittsburgh.
Last Week: 7
7. Brandon Carr: Probably played his best game of the season with three pass deflections and a diving interception in overtime that set up Dan Bailey’s game-winning field goal.
Last Week: 8
8. Jason Hatcher: The leader of the defensive line had three tackles and did a solid job rushing the passer.
Last Week: 5
9. Dan Bailey: Drilled his seventh game-winning field goal, and his third in the Cowboys’ last four victories. Bailey beat Cleveland in overtime with a 38-yarder and a 40-yarder against Cincinnati at the end of regulation.
Last Week: 9
10. Gerald Sensabaugh: He delivered another big hit in the first quarter that wound up dislodging the ball and helped set a tone.
Last Week: 10