Relative Value Rankings After Week 17

The Dallas offense looked solid against Washington, but it was the defense that shined last Sunday night. Accordingly, a few players on the defensive side of the ball moved up a couple of spots.

With Martellus Bennett returning to the active roster, rookie safety Michael Hamlin returned to the inactive list.

Inactives vs. San Diego: QB Stephen McGee, S Pat Watkins, S Michael Hamlin (#43 last week), CB Cletis Gordon, G Montrae Holland, C Duke Preston, T Marc Colombo, LB Curtis Johnson

45. Cory Procter, C/G

Last week: 45

vs. Washington: Procter showed up on television several times, but it was never for a play that he made. He blocks on special teams.

44. Pat McQuistan, T

Last week: 42

vs. Washington: McQuistan doesn’t do much more than Procter.

43. Jon Kitna, QB

Last week: 39

vs. Washington: Kitna is tough to rank, given that he has not played all year. One shot showed him wearing leg warmers and sitting on the bench. Good insurance, but that’s about it.

42. Steve Octavien, LB

Last week: 41

vs. Washington: Octavien did not record a tackle, but he was around the ball several times on special teams.

41. Jason Williams, LB

Last week: 40

vs. Washington: Williams played on special teams but did not record a tackle.

40. Victor Butler, LB

Last week: 38

vs. Washington: Butler’s last big play came against the Eagles. He didn’t do anything noteworthy against the Redskins.

39. Junior Siavii, DT

Last week: 37

vs. Washington: Siavii has not made any significant plays lately. He did not record a tackle against the Redskins.

38. Shaun Suisham, K

Last week: 44

vs. Washington: Suisham will get his chance, but the fact that the team wouldn’t let him try a field goal from about 48 or 49 yards didn’t help his cause as far as the value rankings.

37. Jason Hatcher, DE

Last week: 36

vs. Washington: Hatcher was active, recording tackle, a hurry, and a pass deflection.

36. L.P. Ladouceur, LS

Last week: 35

vs. Washington: For the 17th week in a row, Ladouceur did his job. Well.

35. David Buehler, K

Last week: 34

vs. Washington: Two of his four kickoffs went into the end zone for touchbacks. That’s his job.

34. Sam Hurd, WR

Last week: 30

vs. Washington: Hurd wasn’t able to hang on to the ball that came in his direction. He also didn’t record a tackle on special teams.

33. Deon Anderson, FB

Last week: 32

vs. Washington: Given Anderson’s job as a blocking back, it doesn’t help him that the team is having trouble on short yardage (even if there’s nothing suggesting that Anderson is a problem).

32. Stephen Bowen, DE

Last week: 33

vs. Washington: Bowen got a little bit of pressure on Jason Campbell early in the game on a play where Terence Newman picked Campbell off after a deflection. Bowen finished the game with two assists.

31. Kevin Ogletree, WR

Last week: 31

vs. Washington: It looked like Ogletree was going to get some chances at receiver, but only one pass came in his direction. He had a nice kickoff return to open the second half.

30. Roy Williams, WR

Last week: 28

vs. Washington: Last week’s poll asked whether Williams was ranked too high, too low, or just right at #28. A total of 55% of the 132 response said that he was ranked too high. Then came the Washington game. He caught a touchdown pass, which is the only thing that is preventing me from dropping him to 39th. He dropped a pass that hit him right in the hands, and he was responsible for Tony Romo’s interception.

29. John Phillips, TE

Last week: 29

vs. Washington: Phillips didn’t get involved in the passing game as he did last week. However, he made a nice tackle on the opening kickoff.

28. Martellus Bennett, TE

Last week: Injured.

vs. Washington: Bennett was targeted twice but did not record a reception.

27. Tashard Choice, RB

Last week: 27

vs. Washington: Choice had one carry for one yard. Out of the Razorback

26. Alan Ball, S

Last week: 26

vs. Washington: Ball had one special teams tackle against the Redskins.

25. Orlando Scandrick, CB

Last week: 25

vs. Washington: Scandrick is still something of a weak link in the secondary. Teams seem to have some success throwing to slot receivers that Scandrick is covering. That said, Scandrick came through on a blitz, hitting Jason Campbell and ending a Washington drive.

24. Bobby Carpenter, LB

Last week: 24

vs. Washington: Carpenter had three tackles against Washington. He isn’t spectacular, but he’s been solid.

23. Doug Free, T

Last week: 21

vs. Washington: The defense had a better game than the Dallas line, which is why Spears and Hamlin moved up a bit. Free appeared to have a pretty good game against Washington.

22. Flozell Adams, T

Last week: 20

vs. Washington: No penalties this week for Adams. That’s always good.

21. Marcus Spears, DE

Last week: 22

vs. Washington: Spears had two tackles and a QB hurry. He’s been around the ball more frequently in the past couple of games.

20. Ken Hamlin, S

Last week: 23

vs. Washington: Hamlin had four tackles and an assist. He hasn’t missed any tackles in the past two games since his return from an ankle injury. Hamlin was burned by TE Fred Davis in the first quarter, getting sucked in a run fake and allowing Davis to catch an out for an 18-yard gain.

19. Patrick Crayton, WR

Last week: 19

vs. Washington: Crayton’s 16-yard reception gave the Cowboys a first down on the team’s opening offensive drive following Newman’s interception. Crayton has become a fair-catching machine on punt returns, though.

18. Mat McBriar, P

Last week: 18

vs. Washington: All three of McBriar’s punts were downed inside the 20. McBriar didn’t have the numbers to support a Pro Bowl selection, but he has had a great year.

17. Gerald Sensabaugh, S

Last week: 14

vs. Washington: Sensabaugh didn’t record a single tackle against the Redskins, which was a bit of a surprise.

16. Kyle Kosier, G

Last week: 17

vs. Washington: Kosier made some nice blocks, but not on short yardage plays. Albert Haynesworth gave Kosier fits on a couple of plays.

15. Leonard Davis, G

Last week: 16

vs. Washington: Davis made his third consecutive Pro Bowl, and the line in general had a pretty good game against Washington. Then there’s this matter of short yardage.

14. Andre Gurode, C

Last week: 15

vs. Washington: Gurode earned his fourth Pro Bowl selection this week. But like Kosier and Davis, the short yardage problems hurt the line’s reputation a bit.

13. Igor Olshansky, DE

Last week: 13

vs. Washington: Olshansky had one tackle, two assists, a half-sack, and a QB hurry. Pretty good for an end in a 3-4 system.

12. Terence Newman, CB

Last week: 12

vs. Washington: Newman won’t drop this week thanks to his interception. However, he would have had trouble grabbing a flag from Santana Moss, let alone tackling Moss.

11. Felix Jones, RB

Last week: 11

vs. Washington: Jones may be emerging at just the right time. He had 58 yards on 10 carries, giving him 594 yards this year on only 101 carries.

10. Marion Barber, RB

Last week: 8

vs. Washington: It’s so tempting to move Jones ahead of Barber, who had 17 carries for 63 yards with one touchdown. Barber also struggled in the area where he has always been strongest: short yardage. However, until Jones shows that he can take over the load from Barber rather than just complement Barber, I think Barber should be a bit ahead of Jones.

9. Jason Witten, TE

Last week: 10

vs. Washington: Witten had the play of the game, hauling in a pass and racing for a 69-yard gain. The play set up the Cowboys’ second touchdown, which effectively put the game out of reach. Witten is starting to look like the weapon he’s been in the past.

8. Mike Jenkins, CB

Last week: 6

vs. Washington: Jenkins had four tackles and did not allow a significant reception. He’ll be on the Pro Bowl roster soon (maybe not this year, but down the road).

7. Jay Ratliff, NT

Last week: 7

vs. Washington: Ratliff demolished Campbell on one of Ratliff’s two sacks. He also had two tackles and two hurries in a solid game.

6. Anthony Spencer, LB

Last week: 4

vs. Washington: Spencer helped to set the tone of the game, dropping Quinton Ganther for a loss on the first play of the game. Spencer finished with three solos, two assists, a half-sack, and two hurries in another solid game.

5. Keith Brooking, LB

Last week: 5

vs. Washington: Brooking is getting publicity (and getting mocked) for his pregame rant. Say what you want, he’s given this team some heart.

4. Bradie James, LB

Last week: 9

vs. Washington: James had a monster game with 12 tackles and a pass deflection. Given that the Cowboys recorded their first shutout in six years, we have to give James credit.

3. Miles Austin, WR

Last week: 3

vs. Washington: Austin wasn’t spectacular, but his 9 receptions for 92 yards were crucial in keeping several drives alive. Austin most deservedly made his first Pro Bowl.

2. DeMarcus Ware, LB

Last week: 2

vs. Washington: Ware wasn’t the monster he was against the Saints, but the Redskins certainly had to account for him. Ware finished with one solo tackle and two assists (and a penalty for defensive holding, but it hardly mattered).

1. Tony Romo, QB

Last week: 1

vs. Washington: The Cowboys are only going to go as far as Romo takes them. If he keeps up his performance from the past month, the playoff-win drought may very well end, no matter what seed the Cowboys have.

Note: The poll below initially asked which of the Pro Bowl selections is the most valuable. I inexplicably included Tony Romo instead of Jay Ratliff, which is what happens when one works on posts at 1 a.m. I added Ratliff but left Romo on the list.

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