<
>

Who was that?! Unheralded ballers who mattered in Week 14

Sometimes the NFL's top plays on a Sunday come from people we wouldn't expect. They're the plays that make you ask, "Who was that?" These performances can change a player's career.

Here's a look at Week 14's unheralded ballers, starting with a Cowboys hidden gem stepping up for Ezekiel Elliott and a duo of Jaguars rookie receivers helping Blake Bortles look special:

Rod Smith, RB, Dallas Cowboys

160 total yards, 2 TDs in 30-10 win against Giants

play
0:30

Smith books Dak's pass for 81-yard TD

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott hits Rod Smith on 3rd and 3 and the RB streaks downfield for the score.

What happened: Smith torched the Giants primarily with his receiving ability, collecting five catches for 113 yards and a highlight 81-yard TD.

Why it matters: Smith spent two years waiting for his time, and he showed up huge against a bitter rival. Elliott is the no-doubt starter, but Smith can prove to be a worthy long-term second punch.

Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole, WRs, Jacksonville Jaguars

Westbrook: 5 catches for 81 yards, TD; Cole: 3 catches for 99 yards, TD in 30-24 win against Seahawks

play
0:41

Bortles connects with Cole for 75-yard TD

Blake Bortles throws a perfect deep ball to Keenan Cole who hauls it in for a 75-yard touchdown, giving Jacksonville a 17-10 lead over Seattle.

What happened: Westbrook continues to emerge and scored his first TD to put the Jags up 10-0. Cole's big play was a 75-yard deep reception from Bortles to put the Jaguars up 17-10 after the Seahawks closed the gap.

Why it matters: These rookies (Westbrook, fourth round; Cole, undrafted) are exploding on the scene and making the Jags multi-dimensional -- and fun again.

Trey Burton, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

Two TDs replacing the injured Zach Ertz in 43-35 win against Rams

play
0:19

Burton makes leaping grab for second TD

Carson Wentz tosses a pass to Trey Burton, who makes a leaping catch in the end zone for his second touchdown of the game.

What happened: Still dealing with concussion symptoms, Ertz missed another game. Burton stepped in with his best Ertz impression, catching five passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns.

Why it matters: The Eagles clinched the NFC East, and though they're expecting bad news on the injured Carson Wentz, there's still plenty of talent and depth on this Eagles club.

Josh Bynes, LB, Arizona Cardinals

Huge INT to halt Titans' comeback attempt in 12-7 win

play
0:41

Mariota throws a late-game interception

Marcus Mariota tosses the ball right into the waiting arms of Josh Bynes who returns it 25 yards deep into Titans' territory.

What happened: The Titans were beginning a drive down 9-7 with a little less than six minutes left in the fourth quarter when Bynes intercepted Marcus Mariota over the middle, leading to another Cardinals field goal.

Why it matters: Mariota was struggling, but he has four game-winning fourth quarter or overtime drives this season. Bynes helped the 6-7 Cardinals keep a potential winning season alive.

Tommylee Lewis, WR, New Orleans Saints

60th player to catch a TD pass from Drew Brees in 20-17 loss

What happened: Lewis caught a 26-yard TD from Brees to tie the game 10-10 on Thursday against the Falcons. It was his first career TD, and he became No. 60 to catch a TD from Brees.

Why it matters: The 5-foot-7, 168 pound returner and backup receiver earned a recommendation from Bill Parcells to the Saints. He's proving that to be a smart move.

NFL Nation reporter Mike Triplett contributed to this story.