Game Balls & Goats: Patriots - Cowboys

This week's over-hyped game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots had both its ups and its downs. We've assembled the list of Game Balls (good things) and Goats (Bad things) for Sunday's game.

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Tom Brady - Brady deserves a game ball for the way he handled the pressure of the big spotlight and then how he rebounded after the defense give up the team's lead. A sack and forced fumble resulted on one Dallas score, then Brady was hammered a couple more times by the relentless Dallas pressure. If he felt the heat, it never got to the three-time Super Bowl Champion as Brady threw 5 touchdowns to set a career record. He also broke the all-time NFL record of throwing at least three touchdowns six weeks in a row. He was tied with Steve Young at five after last week's win over the Browns.

Wes Welker - Another career day for Welker. As we stated before the season, Welker is the grease that makes the gears of the offense turn. He was able to get clutch receptions on third down to keep drives going. Made a nice grab down the deep middle for his first TD. Came back and scraped off the defender by using the referee as a shield on his second TD. Welker is the Patriots younger version of Troy Brown.

Junior Seau - Seau is having a career season even though he's splitting time with Tedy Bruschi and other linebackers. Notched another interception which turned the lights completely off in Dallas.

Honorable mentions:
Marion Barber - great talent
Dallas Cowboys executive Stephen Jones - Pure class (read this)
DeMarcus Ware - a rising star
Donte Stallworth - great game, nice way to shake off the tackle


Not so easy to find many on the field this week.

Wade Phillips - You don't backtrack to the local media after making a statement to a national reporter disparaging another head coach. Whether Phillips said "black mark" as Peter King reported and emphatically reiterated on air, or "smudge" as Phillips tried to imply to the local press, matters little. It was Phillips' lack of accountability by backing away from a hot topic rather than taking the issue head on. Phillips also tried to downplay the loss after the game. Either be a stand up guy or face the criticism. Phillips gets a Goat for not being a positive leader this week.

Terrell Owens - If Phillips gets a goat, T.O. Deserve a bigger one - if that's possible. T.O.s decision to go out and get a sign, have it laminated and then hanging it from his locker was wise. The "Getcha popcorn ready" part wasn't so much. When asked a Randy Moss question after the game, T.O. sidestepped the question. Sorry, T.O. but if you're going to make a bold statement to get some attention, then you should take the glasses off and face the music like a man. Another drop early in the game when Romo put the ball in his hands, doesn't hold up the idea of making a popcorn worthy experience.

Patriots run tackling - Seven guys had a shot at tackling Marion Barber for a safety, everyone hit him but failed to bring him down. The Cowboys ran 15 times for 97 yards (6.5 avg.). They out gained the Patriots runners who managed just 78 yards on 29 carries (2.6 avg.) That's embarrassing. Were it not for a big lead late, the rush defense could have been a much bigger part of the story.

Honorable Mentions:
1310 "The Ticket" Dallas Radio -- The idiot they sent who was allowed into the press conferences of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick They even have the video on their front page hoping for more traffic to their website.

The media hype - The game was blown completely out of proportion. It was a non-conference win for the Patriots who played another team that hadn't lost a game. Super Bowl preview? It's way too early for that type of talk.

Agree or disagree with our game balls and Goats? Send us your thoughts here, or post your own GB&G for the game.

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