Eenie, meenie, mynie . . .
I mean, how do you pick? In a game that was one of the most complete performances by the Dallas Cowboys in a long time, and certainly the best since Jason Garrett took the helm, there are superlatives to go around. I mean, when you are talking about good plays by Martellus Bennett, Jesse Holley, Kevin Ogletree and Alan Ball, you know it was good day for the guys with the Star on their helmets.
Yes, this was a day that the Game Ball really goes to the whole team. Outstanding play and coaching - it was just what we have been waiting to see from this team. So think of this post as naming a representative to come forward and take the award on behalf of everyone.
But the fun part of this article is that I get to talk about all the people who had a standout game against the Bills. And there is so much to mention.
I do have one question: Are the rest of you grinning as much as I am right now?
Specifics after the jump.
Let's start with a group: The O Line. They are still the Yuglies in my heart, but regardless of what you call them, they had a very good game. First, Tony Romo never got sacked. Admittedly, he helped with a couple of nifty rollouts to evade pressure, but he also only got one hit once. Not having any passes intercepted is also a sign that they were giving Tony a lot of time and some good lanes to throw through. And then you have 163 yards rushing. That doesn't happen without the wide-bodies up front opening up some holes. They were very, very good.
The secondary gets a shout out for holding the Bills to 136 yards passing. The coverage was tight just about all the away around, and they did a great job of taking the deep pass away.
Before I mention individuals, I think some mention should be made of the overall way the backups performed today. The announcers made note of it, and so have some of the comments in the threads. This year the loss of starters has often led to the next guy up going out and carrying the load when the team needs him to. That is not something that has always been true in recent memory. All those guys off the bench deserve the credit.
Of course, Terence Newman has to get mentioned. His two picks (including the return for a touchdown) were great. He had some other good plays as well. And while I am mentioning defensive backs, Frank Walker put the icing on the cake by making sure that Buffalo didn't get out of single digits.
But while the defense was very solid, the really exciting part of the game was the Dallas offense.
Start with DeMarco Murray. 135 yards on 20 carries, for a 6.8 ypc average. Add 36 yards receiving, and he was a huge part of the success today. My favorite run of his only got one yard, but it was the one yard needed for a touchdown. After all the red zone horrors of this season, it was so good to see the ball get punched in like that. This guy is officially the real deal. And Phillip Tanner even had a couple of nice runs in relief. That means I need to mention Tony Fiammetta, as well, because he seems to be a huge part of the running game.
Before I go on to other players, I just want to note how smart Jason Garrett looked today. At one point early in the second half, CBS put the play selection up for both teams, and Dallas had an exact 50/50 split. Then late, it was Murray/Tanner time, using handoff after handoff to burn the clock while still getting a first down or two. Amazing how well JG can call the game when he has an effective rushing attack to use, isn't it.
Jason Witten was his normal, future Ring of Honor self. Laurent Robinson continues to look like the free agent pickup of the year, catching all three of the balls thrown his way, two of them for scores. And Dez Bryant caught all six of his targets, including the first touchdown of the game where he really took the ball away from the defender. He didn't play much of a role in the second half, but there was no reason for him to, since the team was in control the clock mode.
But folks, let's be real here. Can anyone but Tony Romo get the nod for the most impressive player of the game? All he did was set an all-time franchise record for completion percentage at 88.5%. He started with 13 completions in a row. And he looked as coolly in control as I have ever seen a quarterback. Yes, he had a lot of help out there, but he was very close to perfect. He carved up the Bills early, until he could just settle back and hand the ball off to end the game. And for that, on behalf of the whole team, Tony Romo gets the Game Ball of the Week.