DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) – The Good, Bad and the Ugly from Cowboys 38, Colts 35 in overtime.
Tashard Choice – He had season-highs in rush attempts,yards and average per rush attempt. Choice came into the game averaging 2.7 yards per carry. He finished with 19 carries and 100 yards to average 5.3 per carry. He has now forced his way into the rotation and the flood gates will be open this week as to why he didn’t play sooner. Now keep this in perspective, because the Colts cannot stop anybody on the ground. But it does make his performances against Pittsburgh (23 carries for 88 yards) and Baltimore (17 for 90) in 2008 look more like the real deal. Marion Barber goes down and now the door is wide open to keep him on the bench.
Sean Lee- His two picks, one returned for a touchdown, will silence critics that he was a wasted pick. That was the early season take on Lee, who was having some trouble with assignments and was unable to get on the field. Lee was never questioned about being a smart player, but yesterday proves he is starting to get it. Yes, the second pick was a deflection, but the first one was a great read. Lee looks like he will have a place inside. He also had three tackles and an assist and was flying around the ball when in the game. And while it was a long day for Mike Jenkins, give him credit for the deflection which set up the pick.
Jon Kitna – He was the better quarterback in the game as he faced off with Peyton Manning. Peyton threw for 365 and two touchdowns but was picked off four times. Kitna? An elementary 18/26 for 167 and a touchdown with a converted two point conversion perfection pass to Roy Williams. Kitna is getting a lot of love for his grit and demeanor during games. Let the Romo bashers line up this week.
David Buehler – The game winning overtime field goal from 38 yards, helped us forget his miss from 48. “For me it was good to have redemption.” It was Buehler’s first game winning kick and he also finished with four touchbacks during the game.
Paul Pasqualoni – The Cowboys defensive coordinator was patient on the day and did not go crazy with blitz packages. It allowed Sean Lee to be a bigger role player in the game dropping in coverage. End result, Lee is the star of the game with his two picks.
Cowboys Attitude – The game started to slip away a bit after the Taj Smith blocked punt, which was Jesse Holley’s man on the play. The Cowboys responded with a monster 18 play drive that covered 81 yards. It ended with the Jason Witten two yard touchdown catch and the Roy Williams two point conversion that gave the Cowboys a seven point lead
Special Teams – Boy would we be ripping the Cowboys to shreds if not for…..Lonyae Miller? He is the one who recovered Bryan McCann’s fumbled kickoff return after the game was tied at 35. Add to that a blocked punt, a long Dez Bryant return killed by a Sam Hurd holding call and the missed field goal and you have a recipe for disaster. Despite all of that, the Cowboys found a way to win.
Goal Line Offense – It took the Cowboys six plays inside the five yard line to get the go ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Four runs and two pass plays. Witten’s catch saved the Cowboys from major criticism on getting the ball into the end zone against a team they had shredded on the ground for 217 yards.
Dez Bryant is done for the season. He fractures his right ankle on a kickoff return during the fourth quarter. Don’t give me the “he shouldn’t be returning kicks” argument because this is a guy who could have done the same thing on any pass play. The worry is that becomes one of those guys that can never stay on the field because he goes all out whenever out there. Bryant finishes his rookie season with 45 catches for 561 yards and six touchdowns. He also returned two punts for touchdowns.