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BTB Game Balls: Redskins @ Cowboys

It's time to hand out game balls for the Cowboys' home victory against the Redskins! We've got one for a player from each unit: offense, defense, special teams. We've even got one for the coaching staff.

Make the jump to see who gets a BTB game ball.


Tony Romo - It wasn't pretty, but Romo got the job done when his team needed him most. If a win is a win, then a game-winning touchdown pass is a game-winning touchdown pass. Sure, his stats on the day stunk (15 of 27 for 158 with one TD and one INT), but it's the team that counts. As he said in his post-game press conference, the team "continued to believe and have faith" that they were going to win the game and it showed. He and Patrick Crayton sure showed that they have faith in each other - enough to keep the play alive until a passing window opened up.

The team-first mentality is bridging the barrier between units, as well - best exemplified by Keith Brooking voicing his concern over Romo's back injury. Do you think Brooking cares about Romo's numbers? He, along with most of us, cared more that #9 sacrificed his body to secure the tackle on DeAngelo Hall. That Marion Barber fumble bounced pretty far. No telling how many more yards Hall could have taken it had Romo not lunged at him.

The win has been called "ugly", the passing game "inefficient", and Romo's passes "inaccurate". Yes, there is cause for concern on offense. Nevertheless, the running game got going despite missing RT Marc Colombo. A running game can be a quarterback's best friend, especially for an ailing quarterback. Hopefully, that will translate into some more success through the air come Thanksgiving.

Honorable Mention: Marion Barber, Doug Free


Anthony Spencer - Yes! Spencer made the play to save the day! His game-saving interception more than made up for that sack the zebras took away from him. Although he did not register a tackle for a loss against the 'Skins, his physical presence (5 total tackles, 3 solo) helped limit the running backs to a combined total of 78 yards rushing.

That pass he batted in the air was perfectly timed. He keeps showing his ability to obstruct passing lanes, which could come in handy this week if Bruce Gradowski relies on his penchant to throw side-arm passes - ala Bernie Kosar.

Honorable Mention: Keith Brooking, Bradie James

Special Teams

Pat Watkins - On coverage units, this guy blasts someone in just about every game. He not only lays the wood with his 6'5" frame, but he wraps up, too. I was disappointed that his name was not listed as the Cowboys' Special Teamer on the Pro Bowl ballot. Sam Hurd's is, instead. Perhaps this game ball (that has been a long time coming) will ease the sting of being left off the ballot.

Say what you will about Watkins in regard to his defensive role(s), but his tenacity in getting downfield on special teams has kept him a Cowboy. Coach Joe D has a sure tackler with which to work, and his tutelage has greatly benefited Watkins. Where was little Antwaan Randle El to go? Zero punt return yardage for him.

Honorable Mention: L.P. Ladouceur, David Buehler


Wade Phillips - Ignore the offense's lack of scoring for a moment and focus on that of the Redskins'. Aided by two missed Shaun Suisham field goals, the Dallas defense held Washington to a measly six points. This happened on a day when QB Jason Campbell looked impressive, going 13 for 13 on his third-down passes. The defense only sacked him once, but pressured him often. Cowboy-killer, Santana Moss, was held to just 38 yards on five catches as the secondary refused to be beat by anything downfield.

As Raf pointed out in his "Monday Musings", Coach Phillips' defense has cracked the NFL's top five in points allowed (17.5 PPG). The defensive line, linebackers, and secondary are all working hard to keep games manageable while the offense works out its kinks. And it's not just the starters...backups such as Alan Ball, Stephen Bowen, Victor Butler, and Junior Siavvi have been able to come in and actually contribute.

Coach Phillips and his assistants have their guys prepared. Having a top notch defense will prove a valuable asset as the Cowboys continue to control the division.

Honorable Mention: Dave Campo, Hudson Houck

The Cowboys did what they needed to do: pick up a divisional win at home. Let's chalk this one up as a defensive victory.

Who gets your game balls?

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