Offense: Tony Romo
Studying the Bengals front, I knew this was going to be a difficult game for the Cowboys offense. It was not going to be easy to run the ball or make some plays down the field. When you play the Bengals, you know your quarterback is going to take some hits. As this game wore on, the hits became more and more violent, but the one player that you needed to hang in there the most was Tony Romo and he did. If there was a will on this offense to win, it was through Romo. Things were not perfect for him, he missed some throws, but under some serious duress he made plays and managed that final drive with confidence and poise, which resulted in the victory.
Defense: Rob Ryan
If you have a chance, go back and check out who was on the field during the final drive for the Cowboys on defense and tell me if you really believed that they were going to stop the Bengals at that point? I sure didn't. As much as people want to rail on Ryan for the way he calls a games, think about how he was able to put a plan together that limited this Bengals offense to 19 points. When Ryan needed plays, he got them from Brandon Carr, Anthony Spencer, DeMarcus Ware and Ernie Sims. He was playing with a nickel corner that was shuffling back and forth between there and starting on the other side. He was playing with a dime corner that hasn't been on the roster more than a week, and they were still making stops. I put this game in head coach Jason Garrett's lap and he managed to put that second half together, but this game was won because of Ryan and his players.
Special Teams: Dan Bailey
I was standing in the end zone when Dan Bailey knocked that field goal home for the victory. It was a ball that never moved from the center of the goal post. I never expect anything less when he lines up for these kicks. Bailey is as money as it gets when it comes to making field goals. When the operation is good, Bailey is even better. To have a kicker like Bailey on your squad, the fear of losing a game doesn't really factor into your thoughts, and for coaches and players, that is the best feeling in the world. All you have to do is get him in position and things will work out.