The worst thing about giving out a Game Ball after a loss like the one to the New York Giants (well, other than waiting for the inevitable tanstaafl chiding) is the sense that it was wasted. Concerning this game, that can be said about so many contributions. Besides, after a loss, the winner of the Dallas Cowboys Game Ball is less likely to come by the virtual offices to pick it up in person, which really ruins the ceremony, and we wind up having to have it delivered.
I could go on about the negatives surrounding this game, but if you have read anything else on the front page, you know that those have been well covered already. So let's talk about some of the good things that happened.
First off, Sean Lee continues to show his Chuck Norris lineage. He was tied for the lead in tackles, although he still has a little trouble wrapping up with his injured hand. But the reflexes he showed on the tipped ball interception were just sick. Engaged with two Giants players, the ball bouncing off him, he snatches it out of the air and then executes a nifty tight rope down the sideline to set up what should have . . . ah, well, let's just revel in what he accomplished and not in what might have been. And be glad that he is young and looks to have a brilliant career ahead of him.
More of the good stuff after the jump.
Sean has shown up here as a previous winner, and he is joined in the honorable mentions by another past recipient, Laurent Robinson. With Miles Austin back and Dez Bryant still out there, Laurent was just the leading receiver again (in yards), getting 137 of them and a touchdown on four receptions. Everyone talks about what a great third receiver is - except the statistics, which look oddly like those of a number one.
And now for a couple of players out of the spotlight who still stood out. First, Kevin Kowalski stepped up and had a very solid game filling in for the injured Phil Costa. I am looking forward to seeing his numbers later in the week when OCC does his weekly post on the Pro Football Focus scores. I have had a largely unfounded feeling that Killer Kowalski had the potential to move into the starting lineup and solidify the middle, based on the very limited body of work so far, and I am interested to see if there is some reality behind that. I certainly feel he did pretty well.
Meanwhile, Tony Fiammetta starts, and a running back goes over 100 yards. Coincidence? I'm starting to think not. The Little Flame is crucial to the Dallas ground game. He was sorely missed during his strange illness, and I hope they have it figured out. This is another player I would like to see have a long and successful career for the Cowboys. He just seems to be that key assist the team needs to get the running game going.
So I guess he gets an assist for this week's Game Ball, because I have to give it to Felix Jones. Yes, the Cat had one fumble, but that was more than offset by his 106 yards rushing (at 6.6 yards per carry) and his six pass receptions. He was the focus for the offense during the game, and like Killer above, he had to come in after the injury to DeMarco Murray. Now, with Murray gone for the season, Felix has to take on the load at running back, and he gave every indication that he is ready and willing to do so. Perhaps he will benefit from being very fresh after missing those games to injury. But one thing is for certain, he came in and played his heart out, often getting the ball on consecutive plays. I'm glad to see him have a very good game, and wish him similar success for the last three regular season contests. Hopefully he can figure out how to share that success with his teammates.