5. Dez Bryant's 2009 suspension
Bryant's suspension forced several Cowboy receivers including Blackmon and Josh Cooper, the Cowboys' top two receivers this season, to see significant playing time during OSU's 2009 Big 12 slate. The growing pains of life without Dez were felt in 2009 instead of early 2010.
6. Orie Lemon's preseason knee injury in 2009
Lemon's season ending knee injury before last season's opener could be the biggest blessing in disguise in recent memory. It gave the senior linebacker another year of eligibility. Lemon been the foundation of OSU's defense and leads the Pokes with 99 tackles through 10 games. Donald Booker, OSU's leading tackler in 2009, had 99 tackles in 13 games.
7. Brandon Weeden's shoulder injury
If Weeden didn't decide to quit baseball due to shoulder problems in 2007, he wouldn't be the nation's leading passer for OSU. The junior, who could become the Cowboys first all-Big 12 quarterback, fell into the laps of the Pokes' coaching staff and matured into the ideal triggerman for Holgorsen's offense.
8. Dan Bailey and Quinn Sharp
Bailey, a place kicker, and Sharp, a punter/kickoff specialist, have each had huge impacts on OSU wins. Bailey's game-winning kick defeated Texas A&M and Sharp's coffin-corner punting helped the Cowboys knock off Kansas State.
9. Center Grant Garner
In an offense which requires the majority of the snaps to come out of the shotgun formation, Garner has been incredibly accurate with his snaps while allowing just one sack in 765 snaps this season.
Nobody believed the Cowboys could accomplish what they have this season except themselves. And that's half the battle.