Monday, December 30, 2013
Three up, Three down
By Calvin Watkins
The Dallas Cowboys' regular season is over with their 24-22 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. With that we have our final regular season, Three up and Three down.
Jason Hatcher. The defensive tackle enters free agency finishing the 2013 season with four tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry. Hatcher was slumping toward the end of the season but with the season on the line, he arrived.
Jason Witten. Witten led the Cowboys with 12 catches for 135 yards. The veteran tight end continues as a dominating force especially when the Cowboys need him. With Tony Romo out, Kyle Orton found the reliable tight end for several plays.
Dez Bryant. The Pro Bowl receiver had eight catches for 99 yards and a 32-yard touchdown reception which put his team in position to tie the game. Bryant was slowed in the middle of the game by the Eagles' single-coverage, but came through when needed.
Miles Austin. A bad throw by Orton could have been broken up by Austin late in the fourth quarter. Austin just disappeared too much in this game. We're not sure if it's his balky hamstrings or coverage that took him out, but for a highly-priced veteran, he needs to be targeted more than three times.
Secondary. Zero pass breakups and interceptions by the Cowboys' defensive backs. The Cowboys played more nickle coverage against the Eagles because they spread the field and yet with an improved pass rush, there were no plays on the ball. Morris Claiborne had a chance at a pick but went for the receiver instead.
Jason Garrett. In three seasons, Garrett is 24-24 and that's not good enough. He'll keep his job, but being a .500 coach isn't something you want to sell to the paying public at large. Garrett should have overruled a fourth-down pass play to DeMarco Murray but didn't. He needed to take charge of what was being called.