Baltimore Ravens' report card

Quarterback: A-minus Despite being under heavy duress from the Cowboys' blue-chip front seven for five sacks in the first half, rookie quarterback Joe Flacco outshined Tony Romo and completed 17 of 25 passes for 149 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for a 96.9 quarterback rating. Flacco was accurate and he endured a lot of hits.

Running back: B-plus

Fullback Le'Ron McClain rushed for a career-high 139 yards on 22 carries, including a career-high 82-yard touchdown run after grinding out some tough yards against a hard-hitting defense that collapsed at the end of the game. Oft-criticized runner Willis McGahee broke out of his slump at the end of the game with a 77-yard touchdown jaunt to put the game away. He rushed for 108 yards on eight carries.

Receiver: B

Wide receiver Derrick Mason toughed it out through an aggravated dislocated left shoulder, catching a 13-yard touchdown pass among his six receptions for 66 yards. Tight end Todd Heap and wide receiver Mark Clayton made a couple nice catches, but were quiet for the most part.

Offensive line: C-plus

They did a good job of run blocking for fullback Le'Ron McClain and running back Willis McGahee, especially on McGahee's 77-yard touchdown run and McClain's 82-yard run in the fourth quarter. However, they allowed five sacks in the first half and center Jason Brown got pushed around by Pro Bowl nose guard Jay Ratliff. They had no answers for star outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware's speed, but played better in the second half.

Defensive line: B

They got a decent enough push to disrupt Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo's timing on several plays and kept him from having good sight lines on passing plays. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was unblockable at times.

Linebacker: C-plus

Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs generated a lot of pressure on Tony Romo and middle linebacker Ray Lewis had a sack, but they seemed to be a step behind rookie running back Tashard Choice all night. He rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and wasn't intimidated by the Ravens' defense.

Secondary: C-plus

They did a solid job of containing Cowboys star wide receiver Terrell Owens with the exception of one late touchdown. Free safety Ed Reed took advantage of erratic quarterback Tony Romo and Owens' apparent disinterest in knocking down the football for two key interceptions. Fabian Washington toughed it out and played through an injured hamstring. The coverage broke down at the end of the game on tight end Jason Witten's late touchdown catch.

Special teams: B-plus

Special-teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg deserves credit for a crafty trick play where punter/holder Sam Koch ran for a first down on a fake field goal in the first quarter to set up a touchdown. Strong safety Jim Leonhard was stalwart on punt returns, and the Ravens contained Cowboys returner Adam "Pacman" Jones. Return specialist Yamon Figurs nearly blew the game with shoddy ball security at the end of the game, but his fumble was recovered by Darren Stone.

-- Aaron Wilson


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