IRVING, Texas –Last year, when the Cowboys won a game, head coach Jason Garrett awarded the outstanding player of the game with an authentic Louisville Slugger. The "swing the bat" award was a metaphor for adversity, reminding players to keep grinding.
For example, kicker Dan Bailey won the first bat in 2011 for kicking the game-tying and game-winning field goals against San Francisco after having missed a chip shot on the first drive of the game.
This season, the bats have been replaced by a new souvenir, hard hats worn underground by real coal miners.
DeMarcus Ware received the first honor after recording two sacks, six tackles and a quarterback pressure against the Giants while playing through a bum hamstring that has continued to limit him in practice this week.
"Really it's about putting your hard hat on, regardless of circumstances and going down there and doing your job," Garrett said. "We told them some stories about coal miners early on in training camp, and what they do each and every day, and how they get paid for what they do. And DeMarcus Ware demonstrated that more than anybody else in our win against the Giants."