Stock Report: Kitna and Bryant up
By Calvin Watkins
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Before we head home, let’s review the Cowboys 33-20 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon which ended a five-game losing streak. There were some positive performances on Sunday and in our weekly Stock Report, we’ll tell you who played well and who didn’t.
Jon Kitna.The new Cowboys quarterback, at least until Tony Romo returns in late December from his broken collarbone, played cool under pressure. Kitna, when given the time, can make all the throws necessary to move an offense down the field. Kitna threw for 327 yards on just 22 pass attempts and he completed deep passes to a variety of receivers.
Dez Bryant. The rookie receiver from Oklahoma State isn’t worried about starting because right now he’s playing like one while coming off the bench. He had three receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown. Receivers coach Ray Sherman has raved about Bryant all season and it seems Bryant is running better routes and there is never a question about his ball skills. He seems to always find the ball no matter where it’s thrown.
Bryan McCann.One of the issues we had with the now departed Wade Phillips was his refusal to play the young kids more and see what you can do. The Cowboys lost both starting corners, Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins, on Sunday forcing McCann, a rookie from SMU, to move up the depth chart. He picked off a pass in the end zone, reading Eli Manning was trying to throw a slant, and returned it 101 yards for a score. McCann also got beat on a few plays, but it’s apparent if given more snaps he will get better.
David Buehler.When a team is losing you tend to forget the kicking situation is still unsettled. We thought it was OK during the five-game losing streak, but things kinda went wild on Sunday. Buehler had a point-after-attempt blocked, not his fault, but he pushed a 34-yard field goal try to the right. Buehler said he just missed it and there was no wind in the direction where he was kicking. Buehler’s strength is kickoffs and he didn’t do well. Of his seven kicks, only one got into the end zone and that was returned.
Marion Barber.This is not so much for his play on the field, 5.9 average on eight carries including 12 and 18 yard runs on the last possession of the game to close the show. Barber, it appeared, didn’t follow the new dress code. While most of his teammates wore suits and ties with dress shoes, the veteran running back had sneakers, an untucked shirt, jeans and a blazer. We know Barber has dress clothes, we’ve seen him wear a suit in the past. But he needed to make a good impression here under the new dress code.
Pass rush. While it seemed the Cowboys didn’t blitz as much on Sunday, they were credited with one quarterback hurry from DeMarcus Ware. Giants had some max protection going on, but still you expected more from the outside pass rushers.