Although your frustration level from Sunday night’s loss to the Jets may still be rather high, there are some things we can all take comfort in. Mainly, the play of some of our favorite Dallas stars in the game. In my new weekly series. Earning Their Stars, I’ll honor the best of those Cowboy players and grade their performances.
Jason Witten not only had a great game, but also recorded the longest pass reception of his entire career. It was a 64 yard reception in the 4th quarter that was just three yards shy of a touchdown. Although Witten started out of the gate slow, he finished the game with six receptions for 110 yards. And he continued to be Tony Romo’s trusted security blanket. Jason really earned his stars this week.
Find out who else earned their stars in Week One, after the break:
The second year linebacker out of Penn State was a monster in the middle for a stout Dallas defense. Sean Lee’s interception, and 37 yard return at the end of the third quarter, lead to a Felix Jones touchdown. Along with the interception, Lee recorded 11 tackles and was the leading tackler of the game. He proved himself as an every down player and starter. Lee was simply outstanding.
Despite being injured, Mike Jenkins showed some real heart by playing when the Cowboys really needed him. With both Terence Newman and Orlando Scandrick out, his presence was vitally needed in the depleted backfield. I always considered Jenkins a bit soft, but he proved me wrong Sunday night. Especially when he got up and played after the devastating hit he took from Plaxico Burress. For sucking it up and being a man, Mike Jenkins, you deserve your stars.
Despite the outcome of the game, you have to applaud Rob Ryan’s defense. They held the Jet’s offense scoreless until the final minute of the second quarter. They also held New York to just a field goal in the third quarter. And that was without two of their starting corners, Newman and Scandrick. Although the defensive scheme opened up big passing lanes for Sanchez at times, you can’t argue with it’s overall effectiveness. Dallas got to Sanchez a lot. And despite the “D” looking more than a little confused sometimes, they did make more big plays then they gave up.
Miles Austin showed some real grit when he wrestled away that ball from Antonio Cromartie for a touchdown. It was like two homeless pit-bulls fighting for a pork chop. Frankly, I didn’t know Austin had that in him. I’d just like to see that passion from him on a more consistent basis.
Dez Bryant came out swinging like George Foreman. Three powerful hits (receptions) on the Jets in the first quarter. Then he got rope-a-doped. Although we was suckin’ wind the rest of the game, his jump-start of the Cowboy’s offense was enough to earn him a couple stars.
Although he didn’t run as well against the Jets as most of us expected him too, Felix Jones made himself valuable in other ways. He proved himself more than a capable blocker against the most aggressive defense in the league. Jones saved Romo’s bacon more than once. He also had 44 rushing yards and 39 receiving yards. If that ain’t worth a couple stars, then what is?