Again, I can't really begin this second half segment without first illuminating how difficult it is to pick consistently good performances from the Titans' last game against Dallas. There were a dearth of them across the board. But while we have been focusing on the negatives and the issues that need correcting heading into the Cincinnati game this coming weekend, here are your top performers from last week on defense;
1. Jason McCourty, CB
It was easy to see McCourty's impact early on against the Cowboys. He was manned up against Dez Bryant often, and his tight coverage led to some choice verbal and physical expressions from Bryant to his coaches on the sidelines after Dallas was forced off the field on one particular occasion. McCourty was physical at the point of attack against arguably the most physically aggressive wide-out in football, and he came away with good results. However, McCourty's impact was more easily seen when he left the game with a groin injury, following which Dallas force fed Bryant the ball to the over-matched Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Coty Sensabaugh.
2. Ropati Pitoitua, DE
Pitoitua is a guy not many people think of when they talk about and break down the Tennessee Titans, but he was a consistent defender in a game where not many other Titans were. When running to his side of the line, Pitoitua used his leverage well to fill the gaps and get penetration. He also capitalized on a Cowboys mistake by recovering a DeMarco Murray fumble. He has been a solid guy since he arrived last season, and was one of the underrated re-signing's of the summer. If his defensive teammates (barring our next candidate) had played to the same level, we might be singing a different tune than the one we are now.
3. Jurrell Casey, DE
The newly designated 3-4 DE was a weapon to be reckoned with in the early goings against the Cowboys. He abused LG Ronald Leary and disrupted the pocket consistently on passing downs, finishing the day with two impressive sacks. After Casey was wreaking havoc in the early parts of the game, the Cowboys adjusted their game plan away from Romo and placed more emphasis on their rushing attack, which ultimately proved successful. When all is said and done, however; we can't ignore Casey's dominance. He get's our defensive game ball this week.