Every team needs role players and the Dallas Cowboys are no different. In the past few weeks two players have caught my eye and must be applauded for their play. One is a special teams player, while the other used to be a special teams demon but is now counted on as a starter. I’m guessing most people will know one of the two players I’m talking about.
If you thought of the name Danny McCray, you are correct. McCray started out as a role player and used to be one of the league’s best special teams players but was asked to step in and start when the Cowboys lost Barry Church for the season. McCray has filled Church’s role so well that there hasn’t been much of the difference in the safety play.
Church certainly was a more physical player and the Cowboys miss his size but McCray, an undrafted free agent, brings something I hope people are noticing, an ability to tackle. I can’t tell you how many times in the past three weeks where an offensive player has gotten into the secondary with only McCray to beat for a huge gain and McCray makes the tackle. Church and Gerald Sensabaugh tend to go for the big hit but McCray has been sensational in his one on one tackling. Good, solid form of tackling has become a lost art but McCray’s ability to do it has saved the Cowboys defense on more than one occasion.
The other player is Eric Frampton and if you knew who I was talking about, you go to the head of the class! He was signed in late September to give the Cowboys help on special teams because McCray was needed as the new starting safety. Frampton was excellent on coverage units on Sunday and recorded three tackles on special teams. He was in perfect position on almost every punt and made sure the Cowboys coverage teams held the Carolina Panthers returns in check. Frampton played a big game against Carolina and I hope Cowboys fans took notice.
The Cowboys need their stars to play well if they want to win games, but let’s not forget the lesser known players can have a role too. McCray and Frampton have both played theirs well lately.
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