Stock Report: DeMarco Murray up; Doug Free down
December, 3, 2012
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Cowboys rallied for a 38-33 victory over the Eagles on Sunday night, which leaves us with our weekly Stock Report of those who played well and those who didn't.
DeMarco Murray. The return of the starting running back, who missed six games with a sprained left foot, was timed perfectly for the Cowboys. He rushed 23 times for 83 yards and one touchdown. He didn't run with a burst on every carry, but he ran smooth and made smart plays when faced with a gaggle of tacklers by not forcing the issue.
Tony Romo. Romo was a perfect 10 for 10, in the second half and overall completed 22 of 27 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns. He was roughed up in the first half, but Romo stayed with the passing attack and made moves in the pocket when under duress. This was Romo's best game of the season, and it came at the right time.
Dez Bryant. Can't say enough good things for the Cowboys' best receiver. He finished with six catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns and might have bolstered his Pro Bowl hopes in front of a national audience. Bryant was targeted six times and made a catch every time. He was doubled in the first half with what coach Jason Garrett called shell coverage, but he was able to withstand it to make plays.
Doug Free. He committed two penalties -- one was negated by a defensive penalty -- and allowed one sack in the first half. He played better in the second, but Free's struggles against an Eagles defense that's reeling are bad. The Cowboys need to get Free to play a complete game quickly.
Rob Ryan. The pass rush was bad, the secondary didn't make enough plays and thank goodness for Josh Brent's forced fumble, or the entire defensive night would have been a mess. Yes, Ryan is missing key players due to injury, but he still has DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, and they have to reach the quarterback. Ryan still has Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne along with Mike Jenkins, so the secondary needs to make more plays.
Special teams. Punter Brian Moorman has a net average of 17.3. Why? The Cowboys allowed a 98-yard punt return for a touchdown. The return allowed the Eagles to attempt a two-point conversion in the closing seconds to make it a game. And while Jason Witten recovered the onside kick to seal the game, the poor coverage on the return set it up.