Dallas Cowboys: 3 players whose stock rose Week 2, and 2 who fell
By Mitch Larson
Dallas Cowboys Stock Up: K, Greg Zuerlein
So there was never any doubt when Greg Zuerlein lined up for the 56-yard game-winning kick right? Riiiiiiiight.
If you are a kicker you have to have a short memory, and thankfully Greg the Leg does. He had an atrocious showing last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leading the Cowboys to sign a kicker to their practice squad.
This week though? Well, he more than redeemed himself.
Dallas Cowboys Bonus Stock Up: LB, Micah Parsons, S Damontae Kazee, LB Jaylon Smith
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this trio of Cowboys defenders in some capacity. All three of these players had some major question marks coming into this Sunday’s game, but by and large, they played really well.
With DeMarcus Lawrence sidelined for the next six to eight weeks, linebacker Micah Parsons was asked to line up as an edge rusher for the first time since high school. His response? He had the most pressures from a rookie defender since Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers in 2019.
Safety Damontae Kazee followed his former head coach Dan Quinn from Atlanta to Dallas this offseason and was seen as a potentially low-risk high-reward signing. He co-led the NFL in interceptions back in 2018 but was limited to just four games last season with an Achilles injury. So far, Kazee has started both games for the Cowboys this season and flashed his ball-hawking ability.
Last week he forced a fumble on the goal line and this week he picked off Justin Herbert in the end zone. A Cowboys safety who can take the ball away? You simply love to see it (and kind of have to in order to believe it).
Linebacker Jaylon Smith spent the better part of the offseason as an easy punching back for a frustrated fanbase. It sounds cliché, but 2021 is a bit of a crossroads for Smith and he needs to make every snap count. On Sunday he did, leading the team in tackles and generally playing well in every phase of the game.
Against the Chargers, Smith gave Dallas the kind of vintage Jaylon Smith performance that had fans and the Cowboys’ front office so high on him after 2018. Hopefully, it’s a step in the right direction after a poor 2020.