Most Significant Injury Flozell Adams (torn ACL)
Now before Adams went down in the sixth game of the season, the offensive tackle wasn't exactly playing to Pro Bowl form. But the Cowboys got to see his real value after he suffered a torn ACL in the first Giants game on Oct. 16. The Cowboys were forced to play the rest of the way at left tackle with an inconsistent and inexperienced Torrin Tucker, who had his share of problems, especially pass blocking. In the first six games of the season, Bledsoe averaged 314.8 yards passing. But after Adams was lost for the season, Bledsoe's averaged dipped to just 197.6 yards a game over the last 10 contests.
Biggest Disappointment Julius Jones
Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells tried to downplay the rise of Julius Jones during the off-season when he halfway kidded the running back who was announced at a autograph signing as the "Great Julius Jones." Parcells said he told Jones they should have said "potentially-good Julius Jones." As it turned out, it proved to be rather prophetic, Jones unable to live up to his own high expectations in 2005. While the second-year running back set his goals at 1,700 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns, he finished with just 997 yards and five rushing scores. A high-ankle sprain Oct. 9 against the Eagles forced Jones to miss 3½ games and parts of others. But Jones did have some highlights to remember, rushing for 194 yards against the Panthers, the fourth-highest single-game total in club history. And before he was injured, he was on pace over the first five games to rush for 1,300 yards.
Best Individual Play Roy Williams Interception at Philadelphia
With the Cowboys trailing 20-14 in Philadelphia and trying to force a punt late in the fourth quarter, safety Roy Williams did one better. Not only did Williams pick off Donovan McNabb's pass near the sideline, but the Pro Bowl safety returned 46 yards for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown. The Cowboys swept the Eagles with a 21-20 win, and improved to 6-3 after their first victory in Philadelphia since 1998.
Worst Individual Play Bledsoe's Pick in Seattle
How long does it take to completely lose control of a game? Try a mere 40 seconds. In less than a minute, the Cowboys not only gave up a tying touchdown to the Seahawks late in the fourth quarter, but because of a poor decision by Bledsoe, Seattle stole a victory on Oct. 23 with a 50-yard field goal by Seahawks kicker Josh Brown as time expired. Seattle got in position for the winning kick after Bledsoe threw an ill-advised pass to the right sideline that was picked off by Seahawks cornerback Jordan Babineaux, who went 25 yards to set up the winning score with only five seconds to play. Just like that, the Cowboys went from leading 10-3, to losing 13-10, preventing the Cowboys from moving to 5-2.
Best Off-Season Move Aaron Glenn
While the signing of Drew Bledsoe proved to be a good move, that was sort of anticipated, considering the quarterback's history with Parcells and his track record in the league. But who knew the signing of veteran corner Aaron Glenn, considered no more than a free-agent afterthought after the signings of Anthony Henry, Jason Ferguson, Marco Rivera and Bledsoe, would turn out to be so valuable? Not only did the feisty cornerback clinch a win in San Diego with an interception in the end zone in the final seconds, but he became more than just a nickel corner, having to start six games because of Henry's nagging injuries. Glenn finished the season with a team-high four interceptions, and what a luxury to have him under contract for one more season.
Worst Off-Season Move Not Addressing Right Tackle
This could be the signings of Anthony Thomas or Peerless Price, a couple of veterans whose name recognition was much more recognizable than their play was valuable. Both players were released before season's end. But what the Cowboys didn't do to address their right-tackle needs ultimately hurt the team in the end. There weren't many veteran options before the season, so the Cowboys chose to rely on inexperienced help. Rob Petitti, a sixth-round pick, ended up with the starting job out of training camp once the Cowboys placed projected starter Jacob Rogers on injured reserve, released Kurt Vollers and soured on Tucker. With Petitti starting and Tucker the lone backup at tackle, the Cowboys could not afford an injury at the tackle position. But when Adams went down in the sixth game, the Cowboys played the final 10 games with probably the most inexperienced set of tackles in the league, with Petitti and Tucker.
Best Breakthrough Season Bradie James
This spot appeared to be a lock for wide receiver Patrick Crayton, who was coming into his own early in the season before suffering an ankle injury on Oct. 16. Crayton returned in early December but wasn't the same, catching just four passes in the final five weeks. But Bradie James, starting full-time for the first time in his career, led the team in tackles with 109. Stepping up when Dat Nguyen (neck) was placed on injured reserve, James not only took over the defensive calls, but also became the team's new leader on defense. His best game was against the Eagles on Monday Night Football, when the third-year linebacker recorded a career-high 15 tackles, one sack and made a crushing block on Donovan McNabb, paving the way for Roy Williams' game-winning interception return.
Best Comeback Award Terry Glenn
The Cowboys saw firsthand just how important Glenn was to the offense when he suffered a foot injury in the sixth game of the 2004 season, costing him the final 10 games of the year. Not only did they miss Glenn's speed, but his playmaking ability as well. But in 2005, the Cowboys teamed him up with Bledsoe, his former quarterback in New England. At times, Glenn looked like the player of old. He played a full 16-game season for just the third time in his career, catching 62 passes, leading the team with 1,136 receiving yards and totaling seven touchdown receptions.