By Calvin Watkins
In our weekly Beat Writers' recap, we review the Cowboys' dramatic 27-24 victory over the 49ers on Sunday.
*Hate to start off with a negative, but Alan Ball
, despite his interception on Sunday which led to a score, is playing tentative. He plays so far off defenders, you wonder if he's told to do that or if that's how he plays. The 49ers targeted Ball several times, including on consecutive third-down plays in the first half. On a third-and-5 from the 26, Ball played what seemed like 50 yards away but in reality was 7 yards off the receiver. In contrast, Mike Jenkins
, the other corner, plays head on with the receiver he's covering but sometimes he backs off. Ball allowed Joshua Morgan to make a 12-yard catch. Then on another third down, with Morgan in the slot, Ball gave up a 10-yard play. If Terence Newman
returns this week, as expected, it should help the Cowboys in the secondary. Frank Walker
, who was signed last week, might play with more confidence and it will be interesting to see if he gets more snaps than Ball on Monday night against Washington. Bryan McCann
got zero defensive snaps as Walker moved in.
has played well this season in his new role as the starting right end. His two sacks of Alex Smith
in Week 2 were a result of him just taking advantage of the offense. His first sack came when he went untouched, resulting in a 9-yard loss. The second, at the start of the third quarter, led to a 6-yard loss. Hatcher, lined up as a defensive tackle, took a jab step to freeze guard Mike Iupati
. Hatcher then juked by him. When Anthony Spencer
flushed Smith out of the pocket, Hatcher was there for the sack.
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