TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 14: Dallas Cowboys At Cincinnati Bengals

Cowboys
Bengals
Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants
Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
Quarterback
Tony Romo takes a lot of criticism but he is throwing the ball well and has thrown more TD passes than any other quarterback in Cowboy history. He has thrown a lot of interceptions this season – 15 – but much of that is due to receivers who run improper patterns and an offensive line that blocks poorly and has put him at risk.
Winner Andy Dalton didn’t play his best game against the Chargers, but he led his team to a comeback win on the road in the fourth quarter. That’s what good quarterbacks do. He should be much more comfortable going back to his homefield and throwing to his explosive receivers. Dalton is completing 63.4 percent of his passes and he has a 23-14 TD-interception ratio.
Offense
The Cowboys have gotten next to nothing from their running game this season. That means it’s easy to gameplan against them because you don’t have to respect what they are going to get from the running game. Dez Bryant is one of the most talented receivers in the league, but he’s not dependable to follow through properly on his assignments. Jason Witten is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the league.
Winner The Bengals have gotten quite a bit of balance from their offense this season. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a hardworking and productive player who has run for 885 yards and is averaging 3.9 yards per carry. A.J. Green is one of the most explosive receivers in the league and he should be a Pro Bowl player with 76-1,107-10 this season. Jermaine Gresham can make tough catches at the tight end position.
Defense
Winner The Cowboys have speed and big-play ability on defense. They rank 11th in overall defense and 10th against the pass. It starts with outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware who has 10.0 sacks and four forced fumbles. Inside linebacker Bruce Carter has a team-high 70 tackles and always finds a way to put the ball carrier on the ground.
The Bengals have shown some improvement and tenacity on the defensive side of the ball. They rank eighth in overall defense and are fairly athletic. They are tough to run against, thanks to defensive tackles Geno Atkins and Domata Peko. Inside linebacker Rey Maualuga has a team-high 96 tackles.
Special Teams
The Cowboys have struggled with their kicking in years past, but Dan Bailey has given them much more consistency this season. Bailey has connected on 23-of-25 field goal attempts this season. Brian Moorman has dropped 17 of his 35 punts inside the 20 yard line.
Winner The Bengals have had some weak spots on special teams but they have bounced back recently. Kevin Huber is a solid punter who is averaging 46.6 yards per boot this season. Mike Nugent has been decent but not great for Marvin Lewis, making 19-of-23 FG attempts.

The Winner Is

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
Winner Bengals
3 out of 4

The Bengals have turned it around nicely after a midseason slump. They have reeled off four straight wins and they should be in a good position to keep the streak alive with a home game against an up-and-down Cowboys team. Dallas has had a hard time stringing together winning performances.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 20:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the second half of the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 27:  Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets looks to throw a pass against the New England Patriots in the game at MetLife Stadium on November 27, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets

    The Colts are still alive for the playoffs while the Jets are just playing out the string.

  2. OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game on November 27, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks runs for several yards on the quarterback keeper during the second quarter of an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks

    The Panthers travel to Seattle for a date with the Seahawks.

  3. TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks for a receiver during the third quarter of an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers passes the ball during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on November 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers

    The Bucs are in second place in the NFC South and look to keep pace with the Falcons as they match-up with a tough Chargers team.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App
Drip Pan: Restaurant Week 365

Listen Live