Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 9/24/12

Morris Claiborne had one tackle. Mike Jenkins had one tackle. Brandon Carr had zero tackles. Gerald Sensabaugh didn't play and other starting safety Barry Church was lost for the year with a ruptured Achilles. 

If you were to look solely at the stats, you would likely be disappointed with how the Dallas Cowboys secondary played yesterday. But, as is common in the NFL, the stats don't even begin to tell the story of what we saw Sunday afternoon. 

Welcome back to being an impact player Mike Jenkins 

Morris Claiborne continued his quiet ways, rarely allowing even a completion while playing on an island outside. In his most extensive action of the season so far, Mike Jenkins looked a lot more like the Pro Bowl CB of 2009 than the oft-injured version we saw last year. Brandon Carr stepped in at safety and pulled off a pretty convincing Ed Reed impression. Even players like Mana Silva and LeQuan Lewis made impacts on the game. After several years of toiling towards the bottom of the league, the Dallas Cowboys secondary is finally one of the top units in the game. 

The Dallas Cowboys held former pro bowl WR Vincent Jackson to 1 catch for 29 yards, coming late in the 4th quarter. They held the Bucs as a team to a dismal 166 total yards, with 70 of them coming on the final FG drive by Tampa Bay when the game was pretty much wrapped up. They did all of this with a safety who has never played safety in an NFL game (Carr), a rookie CB (Claiborne), and a backup locking down the edge (Jenkins). 

"They just bailed us out, just one of the best days,"said Jerry Jones when asked about the defensive unit's overall performance. "It's a shame they scored on that last drive, but that's to their credit. They were still competing. Our defense was just outstanding all day and arguably won the game for us." 

There's no arguing about it. On a day that saw the offense sputter for the better part of 4 quarters, the defense put them in a position to win the game. The Bucs leading receiver on the day was Mike Williams, who had a whopping 2 catches for 33 yards. Josh Freeman finished the day only completing 10 of his 28 pass attempts for 110 yards, most of which coming on that final drive. Demarcus Ware had this to add on the subject after the game:

"I thought the DBs did a great job. You can tell when you get that extra second or two and we’ve seen that a lot from them. It’s a big help."

Ware was the big beneficiary of that extra second or two, recording his 3rd and 4th sacks of the season against the Bucs. 

The question going forward is how will this unit continue to compensate for injuries to the starting safeties? Sensabaugh said he expects to play next Monday night against the Bears, but the loss of Church will be an issue all season. Brandon Carr proved he is up to the task if needed. Others like Brodney Pool and Danny McCray will get mentioned as possible replacements. When asked about what the team plans to do about the dilemma, Coach Rob Ryan said, 

"I don't know. We're going to have to look (at it) and do what's best for the team. We're looking to get the best thing we think we can do." 

Well Coach, as long as the results look like they did on Sunday, Cowboys nation will be happy. 

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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