Cowboys studs and duds Week 13: Dallas secondary explodes on Indy

Cowboys, Malik Hooker. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Cowboys, Malik Hooker. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
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For nearly three full quarters, the Dallas Cowboys were struggling with the Indianapolis Colts. The scrappy road team had an early lead and then pulled to within two, making it a 21-19 game late in the third.

Then, the Cowboys got serious. Dallas was up 54-19 in the blink of an eye, as they had touchdowns on offense and defense en route to a 33-point fourth quarter.

There were several stars in this one, making it hard to pick too many duds. Still, we try and point out a couple — while figuring out which studs to highlight — from Week 13.

Cowboys studs and duds Week 13

Cowboys, Malik Hooker. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

Stud: Malik Hooker, Safety

The Colts were making it tough on Dallas in the first half, and after a frustrating three-and-out from the Dallas offense, they had a shot to get more points before the half. With just over a minute left in the second quarter, Indianapolis was at their own 40 and Matt Ryan fired one toward Alec Pierce.

Ryan’s pass hit Pierce’s hands as he dove, but bounced up in the air, allowing Malik Hooker to come running in to make an impressive diving catch. He then got up and ran it back 26 yards, setting the offense up at the Colts’ 26. Michael Gallup caught a 13-yard touchdown to capitalize on the turnover and put Dallas on top 21-13 heading into the half.

He wasn’t done there, either, as he later scored a touchdown on a fumble return. Hooker made life tough on his former team and was a huge part of the win for Big D.

Dud: Kelvin Joseph, Cornerback

Kelvin Joseph continues to struggle week in and week out. Taken in the second round last season out of Kentucky, the goal was for him to start across from Trevon Diggs. So far, he’s been used mainly on special teams, and has had a few issues there as well.

Against Indy, he was called for a penalty on the first punt of the game, as he ran into the return man. His interference gave the Colts the ball on their own 47-yard line, which set them up for a field goal despite only gaining 20 yards on the drive.

Joseph did find himself playing in the base defense in the third quarter, and again struggled. This time, he was in coverage on Alec Pierce and surrendered a 15-yard touchdown. He was in decent coverage, but couldn’t force the incompletion.

DaRon Bland broke up the two-point conversion to keep it 21-19, which wasn’t the first time the undrafted rookie stepped up while Joseph — and even Anthony Brown — struggled.