Cowboys studs and duds: Malik Davis rises to occasion in Week 17
By Randy Gurzi
Stud: Malik Davis, Running Back
With Tony Pollard out due to a thigh injury that slowed him down all week, Malik Davis got the call as the No. 2 running back. Davis, an undrafted rookie from Florida, entered the game with 23 rushes for 103 yards and a touchdown on the ground and 40 yards on four receptions.
Davis made the most of this opportunity with 62 yards from scrimmage against Tennessee. And he got off to a hot start early as he was huge on their second scoring drive as he caught an 18 yards pass to move the ball into Tennessee territory.
He then took a handoff 23 yards to move the ball to the 24-yard line. The drive stalled when Ezekiel Elliott lost one yard on third-and-short but Davis put them in range for Brett Maher, who hit a 36-yard field goal.
In the fourth quarter with Tennessee trailing by just four and trying to force another field goal to keep it close, Davis made a great play on third-and-two from the Titan’s 18. Davis hauled in a short pass from Dak Prescott, behind the line of scrimmage, and was able to shake off a defender for a five-yard gain. Two plays later, Schultz pulled down his second touchdown to increase the lead to 24-13.
Dud: Kelvin Joseph, Cornerback
As if it wasn’t bad enough to see Daron Bland and Nahshon Wright surpass former second-round pick Kelvin Joseph on the depth chart, he also continues to struggle mightily on special teams. Joseph was flagged twice on Thursday, once for a block in the back that wiped out an 11-yard punt return from KaVontae Turpin and forced Dallas to start at their own 11.
Late in the fourth quarter, he was again flagged as he ran into the punt returner. Originally, it looked as though Robert Woods fumbled and the Cowboys recovered but that was short-lived thanks to Joseph being hit with another penalty.
There were big plans for Joseph this season, but with Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis out with injuries, he’s been a major disappointment.