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Game Balls: Witten’s Clutch Non-Catch; CB Bounces Back

Posted Dec 2, 2012

Offensive Game Ball: Tony Romo

Could have gone with DeMarco Murray here and what his return meant to the offense, but the quarterback was the difference maker in the game. Despite some early pressure surrendered by an offensive line that was struggling to hold up on its end, Romo didn’t allow that to affect him. The command of the offense getting in and out of plays, along with some clutch throws to eight different receivers, kept his team in the game when the defense was struggling to get the Eagles off the field. When Romo is near perfect, both mentally and physically, this offense can move the ball quickly and hurt you in many different ways and this was one of those games. 

Defensive Game Ball: Morris Claiborne

There were plenty of questions coming into this game, even in the mind of Morris Claiborne, on whether the Eagles would try and attack him. With Brandon Carr not at his best, it was going to be up to Claiborne to have to make some plays. Early in the game, he gave up a 16-yard slant to Riley Cooper, but that was really all that Claiborne allowed the rest of the way. His technique was much better than the first time these two teams met and that was really the most important aspect of his play. You didn’t see him struggling on routes reaching in coverage or having to grab guys 8 to 10 yards down the field. This marks the second time where Claiborne has faced an opponent after a rough night the first time around, and bounced back for a solid game the second time. His 50-yard fumble return for a touchdown was the defensive play of the game for the Cowboys.

Special Teams Game Ball: Jason Witten

The 98-yard punt return by Damaris Johnson with 53 seconds left in the fourth quarter was a disaster for the Cowboys, but where that play lacked total execution, Jason Witten was able to recover an on-sides kick by Alex Henery to preserve the victory. For special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis, he couldn’t have drawn it up any better when Henery tried to get the big hop. With his front line of blockers, led by Danny McCray, holding off the on-charging Philadelphia rushers, Witten comfortably secured the ball out of the air and allowed the offense to come back on the field and kill the last 30 seconds of the game. As badly as DeCamillis will feel about the punt return, and he will, he should be proud of his hands team and the job they did.

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