Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Thursday, December 20, 2012
Cowboys stars playing like stars

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas – For all of the contributions – noticed or unnoticed - made by Alex Albright, Eric Frampton, Cole Beasley, Dwayne Harris, James Hanna, Sean Lissemore, Dan Connor, Ernie Sims, Sterling Moore and Lawrence Vickers, the Cowboys’ success here of late has been fueled by its best players.

PODCAST
Is the gap between Tony Romo and Drew Brees really that big? Tim MacMahon, Jean-Jacques Taylor and Landry Locker discuss.

Listen Listen
On offense, Tony Romo is shredding defenses, making clutch throws and avoiding mistakes. Dez Bryant is more dependable than he has ever been and has a touchdown catch in six straight games. Jason Witten is on the verge of an NFL record for catches by a tight end in NFL history and is blocking well. Miles Austin has come up with big catches. DeMarco Murray has changed the complexion of the offense.

On defense, Anthony Spencer might be playing as well as any linebacker in the league right now. DeMarcus Ware has come up with big fourth-quarter sacks the last two games. Jason Hatcher has played two if his better games the last two weeks. Brandon Carr has interceptions in the last two games. Gerald Sensabaugh has been a calming influence at the ever-changing safety position.

Depth is a must in the NFL, but stars matter.

If the 8-6 Cowboys are to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009, then their stars are going to have to continue playing like stars Sunday against New Orleans and in the finale at Washington.