It was a weird game for the Tennessee Titans, with new faces all over the field playing key positions as the Titans try to heal up from another extremely injury-riddled season.
The Titans fought, but fell to the Dallas Cowboys by a score of 27-13 in a game that Dallas really needed to win and in the grand scheme of the season, meant very little to Tennessee.
But what can we take away from Thursday night’s loss? Who saw their stock rise and who saw their stock fall?
Let’s take a look.
Stock up: Kevin Byard
Byard remains one of the best safeties in the league, but this year, he’s been quiet compared to previous seasons.
Against the Cowboys, Byard matched his season interception total, picking off Dak Prescott twice, both of which came in the first half to keep the Titans in the game early on.
Byard continues to be a leader on this defense and once again, one of the best safeties in the league in my opinion, and against the Cowboys, he stepped up to the challenge and made some big plays to keep the Titans within striking distance.
Hopefully he can keep the momentum going next week against the Jaguars.
Back-to-back picks for @KevinByard— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) December 30, 2022
: Watch #DALvsTEN on @NFLonPrime pic.twitter.com/2hyFNhtnIN
Stock up: Titans run defense
The Cowboys were without running back Tony Pollard Thursday night, but the Titans defense did a solid job against the Cowboys rushing attack, limiting Dallas to 87 rushing yards on 32 attempts, for an average of 2.7 yards per carry.
Ezekiel Elliott finished with 19 carries for 37 yards, averaging under 2 yards per carry.
The Tennessee defense had some struggles in pass coverage, but overall, played well against the run.
Stock down: Dennis Daley
We could probably say this every week, but Dennis Daley just continues to be a severe liability at the left tackle spot.
Not only did he once again struggle in pass protection, but he also picked up two crucial penalties that really hurt the Titans.
Daley has been one of the worst tackles in the league this season, and his struggles continued tonight.
Stock down: Titans injury luck
The Titans simply continue to have some of the worst injury luck in the league. It’s hard to really even grasp how unfortunate the Titans have been with injuries this season.
That trend continued for Tennessee Thursday night, with Andrew Adams suffering a torn patella.
Adams was a practice squad pickup due to injuries in the secondary, and has had an up-and-down season, but has played a lot of snaps for the Titans this season after being picked up from the Steelers practice squad in September.
The Titans injury fortune has to turn around at some point, right?
Stock up: Josh Dobbs
We saw some ups and downs from Josh Dobbs in his first career NFL start.
Dobbs got thrown into a very tough situation, being with the Titans for about a week before being asked to start against one of the top teams in the NFC behind a patchwork offensive line that has been riddled with injuries and be at the helm of an offense that has been among the worst in the league this season.
And on top of that, oh yeah, you won’t have Derrick Henry in the backfield either.
Despite those obstacles, Dobbs wasn’t bad, completing 20 of 39 passes for 232 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Dobbs had his negatives though. He fumbled the ball twice, losing it once, and threw an interception. That has to be taken into account in some fashion, but overall, for a first start considering the circumstances, it wasn't too bad.
I’d be surprised if Dobbs doesn’t get the starting nod next week in the showdown against Jacksonville.
Josh Dobbs with the TD pass.— Trey Wallace (@TreyWallace_) December 30, 2022
Very cool to see him get this opportunity with the @Titans. pic.twitter.com/8buuxHrVMb