The Cowboys defensive line, wide receiver Isaiah Anderson and special teamer Zack Craig earned high grades in a 59-21 rout of Texas Tech on Saturday.
Defensive front: A
A spectacular day for the defensive line. The Cowboys got pressure repeatedly on Red Raider quarterback Seth Doege, and most of it came out of non-blitzing play calls. That's a credit to Calvin Barnett, James Castleman and Co. Those tackles got a great push up the middle, and that allowed the ends and the linebackers a chance to work. The result — three sacks, four quarterback hurries and 11 tackles for loss. One of Doege's two interceptions was also the result of pressure.
Clint Chelf: A
A guy who was relegated to third string before the season made his second career start and threw for 229 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Can the fairytale continue next week at Oklahoma?
Senior Day: A
The Cowboy faithful gave big ovations for Cooper Bassett and Brodrick Brown, but they saved the biggest one for Quinn Sharp. How often is a kicker on a good team this beloved? It's rare — and totally deserved. Never before in OSU history has a guy kicked off, kicked and punted and done all of it as well as Sharp does.
Isaiah Anderson: A
Cowboy fans might've given Anderson a bigger senior-day cheer had they known what was coming. The senior receiver had four catches for 174 yards and three touchdowns. Read that again. Three touchdowns in four catches. Even wilder? All of his catches came in the first half. Anderson was so good that he earns an A despite dropping a sure touchdown on OSU's first possession.
Special teams: A
A solid day in all phases, and a spectacular one on punt return. Zack Craig is the clubhouse leader for Big 12 special teams player of the week after blocking not one but two punts. The second one, he scooped up and returned for a touchdown. Add in Sharp's 51-yard field goal and six touchbacks, and this was a good day for special teams.
Opportunistic defense: B
The Cowboy defense showed that ball hawking nature that was a hallmark of last season. It intercepted two passes and came up with one fumble. The only reason the Cowboy defense doesn't get an A for opportunism is because Justin Gilbert dropped two passes that would've been interceptions. The guy just can't catch a break — or a pick.
Not a cloud in the sky. Upper 60s. Doesn't get any better in mid-November in Oklahoma.
Chelf acting skills: A
The Cowboy quarterback makes some of the best play fakes you'll ever see. On his first touchdown pass to Anderson, Chelf acted like he was going to run, then stepped back to throw. He sold the fake so well that Anderson was wide open for a 60-yard touchdown.
Walshing Machine: B
At the beginning of the year, we expected a specialized package for reserve quarterback J.W. Walsh. Then, a rash of quarterback injuries changed everything. Saturday, we got a chance to see the Walshing Machine — Walsh Cycle? 4 Wheeler? — for the first time. It was a rousing start as Walsh had two touchdowns, one rushing and one passing.
The Cowboys wore orange helmets, orange jerseys and white pants. Not spectacular —better than the all-orange combo — but still, a good, solid look.
Kick Contest Dude: A
Kick a 35-yard field goal and win $25,000? Some guy did just that Saturday, and he put the line-drive kick right down the middle. Even better, he celebrated appropriately, leaping around and hugging everyone. No need to play it cool. You just won $25K!