The Dallas Cowboys’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday was a total team effort. But some of your favorite Dallas’ players made monster contributions towards that win. So in my new weekly series, Earning Their Stars, I’ll honor the best of those Cowboy players and grade their performances.
After a disastrous performance in the Week One loss to the New York Jets, Tony Romo rebounded with a stellar game against the 49ers. Despite nursing a fractured rib, Romo was 22 of 33 for 345 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. His toughness and clutch play in the waning moments of the game was the stuff of true legends.
With Dez Bryant on the bench, Miles Austin proved why he is Dallas’ number one wide receiver. He caught a career high three touchdown receptions and was the Cowboy’s biggest offensive weapon. Austin’s ability to produce yards after the catch was a key factor in the victory.
Jason Witten again proved his worth making clutch catches at key moments of the game. Without his seven receptions for 102 yards, Dallas simply does not win the game. He is the Cowboys’ most reliable offensive weapon and Tony Romo’s security blanket.
Jesse Holley had never recorded a catch in the NFL until Sunday’s game against the 49ers. He started by making two key catches late in the fourth quarter to help tie the game and send it into overtime. Holley ended it with a 77 yard catch in overtime that lead to the game winning field goal. Holley proved he is more than just the winner of a reality show.
Despite missing two of their key backfield pieces, the Dallas Defense came up big on Sunday. Although they gave up some big plays, they also made some at key times. The Defense sacked San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith six times and forced a key interception. What’s not on the stat sheet are the numerous three and outs they caused and the critical times in which they caused them. Fans can’t wait to see what this defense will do once it’s back to full strength.
After missing a 21 yard field goal on Dallas’ opening drive, things were looking bleak for the rookie kicker. But Dan Bailey redeemed himself, not once, but twice. Bailey hit a long 48 yard field goal to send the game into overtime. Then he hit the 19 yard game winning field goal in overtime. Bailey’s actions helped to solidify his place on the team and the coaches’ faith in him.