When you win an exciting, overtime game like the Dallas Cowboys did on Sunday over the Indianapolis Colts, there are usually plenty of choices for the Game Ball of the Week. In this case, there were two guys who really stood out. It was tough to choose between them.
Rookie linebacker Sean Lee had the game of his short career on Sunday. The previously seldom-used inside linebacker has been seeing more time on the field with Jason Garrett taking over as head coach and Paul Pasqualoni taking over as defensive coordinator. This week, he rewarded their faith by picking off not just one, but two, Peyton Manning passes. That's not all, one of them he took back for six points, the other one set up the Cowboys game-winning field goal in overtime. The Cowboys fanbase has been waiting for Lee to live up to his draft selection in the second round, we all remember how highly the Cowboys organization had him ranked going into the draft. He finally made his mark, perhaps this will open things up for him to start becoming a regular contributor on defense.
Sean Lee's plays were huge, and definitely deserving of Game ball of the Week. But I decided to go with another choice, that being running back Tashard Choice. Choice is a guy who has been productive whenever the Cowboys have used him. In previous seasons when either Marion Barber or Felix Jones, or both, have been hurt, Choice got the job done. This year, he's been in the doghouse and wasn't used with any regularity. Jerry Jones stated last week it was because he wasn't doing a good job on special teams.
Maybe the Cowboys should re-think that strategy. I'll take a 100-yard rushing day with one touchdown any day of the week. Choice ran with power, he ran with burst, he ran with vision. He combined with Felix Jones to give the Cowboys their biggest rushing day of the season, and returned the Cowboys to a power running attack that works with their timing-passing offense. Of course, whenever a running back has a big day, he has help. The Cowboys offensive line has gotten progressively better since Jason Garrett took over. Line coach Hudson Houck attributes it to wearing full-pads on Wednesday practices. Indianapolis doesn't defend the run well, but it was still heartening to see the Cowboys offensive line finally dominate an opponent in the running game.
So hats off to the offensive line. Hats off to Sean Lee for his two dynamic plays. Also, a mention for Orlando Scandrick who had a pick-six, and to Mike Jenkins who made an incredibly athletic play to tip the ball that Sean Lee eventually intercepted.
But for Game Ball of the Week, the choice is Tashard Chocie. His consistency throughout the day, his energy and his emotion were keys to the Cowboys win. Congratulations Tashard, now let's see it again this week.