——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/29/2007 03:20:00 PM —– BODY:
There’s Jason Ferguson, and then… Besides Ellis being out due to injury, and Henry getting beat in practice, what’s the other subject forgotten about? Nose Tackle. NT should be a great concern, because after Jason Ferguson, we have NO ONE. After going to camp I was not impressed by our backups on the team. We’d be one injury away from an unstable defensive line if Ferguson goes down. He’s has a few bumps here and there, but he is aging and we should continue to keep our options open. Jason Ferguson Ferguson is the obvious starter, we know this, so we won’t go much into him. He should strive in this attacking 3-4 defense. Ferguson is a load for any offensive lineman to handle, just ask our own Pro Bowler, Andre Gurode. Montavious Stanley Drafted by the Cowboys last year and then cut, and reacquired in the offseason, has too make some big plays to make the team. He probably looked like the bigger NT of the group besides Ferguson. But appearance don’t make players, plays make players, and I didn’t see much. Remi Ayodele Same thing for Ayodele, he got destroyed by Gurode the times I saw him in the offensive/defensive line drills. He got some playing time in NFL Europe, but he’s back to earth with another level of lineman in front of him. Same issues as Stanley Ola Dagunduro Dagunduro is an undrafted rookie, and looked the same as Ayodele. None of these guys could possibly man the NT for a long part of the season if needed. This is a concern. Other Options Jay Ratliff has gotten in some playing time at NT, and that could be the answer if push came to shove. and we may even see Ratliff alternate with Ferguson on occasion anyway. Ratliff had his hands full with Gurode, but this guy never stops, he finishes his plays. Marcus Spears is looking OK, he’s not really wowing anybody from what I saw, and the latest reports have Hatcher looking better than Spears in the pass rush. That’s what we need, more pass rush. If Hatcher is playing better, then he should be the guy. I saw it last year, Hatcher looked better than Spears did. Maybe its time to move Spears to NT, and groom him there and get him some more reps behind Ferguson. Who’s In 1. Jason Ferguson 2. Everyone else (on the bubble)
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/29/2007 01:18:00 PM —– BODY:
WRs: Who’s In, Who’s Out I’ve gotten some emails in regards to how the WR’s looked. And there’s not much difference from the starters. Terrell Owens has fully recovered from his finger injury, basically caught everything thrown at him. Yes, he had a drop here and there, but so did Glenn (maybe one, that I saw). We can’t be too microscopic on these guys. After watching practice, here’s who I think make the team. Terrell Owens Owens is the face of the WRs, and one of the major faces of the Cowboys, whether you like him or not. The crowd gets electrified when Owens steps on the field, and when he makes the deep pass catch against the CBs. Garrett has him lining up all over the field. They threw to him on short passes, in the slot, outside deep, inside slant. He’s gonna be a big weapon. More than last year if you can imagine that. Terry Glenn Glenn is pure business, he looks the part on the field, runs the best patterns on the field, and explosively quick on his feet. Glenn is the clutch receiver, and you can count on Glenn making those tought acrobatic catches. He’s a lock. Patrick Crayton Crayton looked great on the field, he catches the ball easily, he just plucks it out of the air. He’s been described as having the best hands on the entire team, and I would agree with that. Crayton, also looked a bit bulked up. I expect Crayton to get alot more touches this year in Garrett’s attacking offense. Crayton will be a free agent after this season, so you can expect Crayton to be playing for a new contract in Dallas or elsewhere. He’ll be the #3 WR on the team. Miles Austin Right now, I have Miles Austin rated higher than Sam Hurd, and here’s why: Austin looked amazing out there. You can tell he took full advantage of Joe Jurasek’s offseason program. He’s bulked up, big difference from last year in my opinion. He ran his drills very well. He has good catching hands, and after the catch Austin makes plays. Austin ran drills on the return team and looks to be the weapon he developed into last year. Austin has more value and upside right now. He’s #4 Sam Hurd Hurd was a preseason target favorite from Romo last year, and he made a play here and there last year. Sam Hurd is a good receiver. He didn’t appear to be any bigger though, he still looks light and he didn’t really standout to me. To Hurd’s credit, he’s a hardworker on the field. After practice I saw him remain on the field and he practiced the tennis ball drill to work on his hands. Hurd’s value comes in the passing game. He’ll have to have a solid preseason to win out on the 53-man roster, and he’s on the bubble. Isaiah Stanback Stanback has shown nothing to this point, and his “potential” simply is not gonna cut it for me right now. He hasn’t practiced in the position the Cowboys had hoped he would take over – punt returner. He’s coming off an injury that takes time to heal. Once he’s recovered, he’ll be thrown in the mix. But until then, we just don’t know. He’s on the bubble, maybe a practice squad guy if he never recovers. With Stanback out, we’ve been seeing Newman on punt returns, and this is NOT where Newman should be, he’s way too valuable. The Other Guys Jamal Richardson, Jamaica Rector, Jerard Rabb, Jerhame Urban, and Mike Jefferson will be battling it out with Hurd and Stanback for a possible roster spot, and at best a practice squad spot. Rector probably doesn’t qualify for the practice squad since he’s been on it the last two years, so he may not make the team at all. Who’s In 1. Terrell Owens 2. Terry Glenn 3. Patrick Crayton 4. Miles Austin 5. Sam Hurd (probable, on bubble) 6. Isaiah Stanback (on bubble) 7. The rest (competition for #5-#6 spots or practice squad)
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/28/2007 08:31:00 PM —– BODY:
Training Camp Pics 7-25-7/27 Here are a few pics I got from Training Camp, my three days there. We got some autographs, mainly Jason Witten, Roy Williams, and Coach Sparano. Romo was in our area in the endzone on 7/27/2007 afternoon practice, he skipped over us, which was hard for my son to take, but when Romo was leaving he threw his wrist band in the air and my father caught it midair and gave to his grandson, what a great memory.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/28/2007 08:00:00 PM —– BODY:
RBs: Who’s In, Who’s Out? Some people have been asking me what I thought about the RBs. Here’s what I saw. MB3 is running like a man on a mission. I never once saw him take a big hit, he’s deceivingly elusive, and finishes all his runs. He still rates the highest from the other backs in the passing game. Its usually two-three players to take Barber down on a few drills. Julius Jones looked really good out there too. He’s got burst at the line of scrimmage, and is running instinctively. The offensive line opened up some holes for Julius to cut through the line and past the LBs on several drills. Tyson Thompson looked pretty good in the return game, and his speed has not dropped off. He’s fully recovered from his injury, and looks to making the team as a backup running back, and key player in the return game. Lousaka Polite looks hefty, he’s definitely the biggest back out there in terms of physical appearance. He looked good in practice, and I dont have anything bad to say about him, so we’ll see if he makes the team. Deon Anderson looks small out on the field. I wasn’t too impressed with his size, he probably the shortest back we have on the team. He’s not very big looking at all. He does catch the ball very well in the passing game. he made some nice over the top catchs, he looked natural catching in the flats. He made some solid blocks and popped the heck out of one player, (which I cant remember) which opened up Tyson in the return. If Deon makes the team it’ll be because of his hands and blocking, he’ll hit you for sure. Jackie Battle ran great, he’s gonna be a steal if he makes the team, and right now, I hope he does. He impressed the heck out of me. He runs hard, finishes his run, runs with power, and catches the ball pretty good in the passing drills. In one drill Bradie James came rushing at him and knocked him out of bounds with a pretty good smack. Battle got up without incident and ran back to the huddle garnering praise from the coach and his team mates. Oliver Hoyte is not looking good in my opinion. He dropped several passes, and doesn’t look natural on a few drills they ran. I don’t think he makes it. Others, Coleman doesn’t have a chance, still injured and just a camp body right now. I may be forgetting some other rookie, but no one else made any lasting impressions. Who makes the team? 1. Julius Jones 2. MB3 3. Tyson Thompson 4. Deon Anderson 5. Jackie Battle (practice squad)
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/28/2007 11:02:00 AM —– BODY:
Back From Camp – Your Important Guide Lodging Now that I’m back from San Antonio, I can give you some details on the experience. The experience was great. We stayed at the Red Roof Inn, which is walking distance on a sunny day, probably about 6 blocks or so. I’ll probably stay there next year and I recommend it. I did see a Holiday Inn Express which was even closer maybe two streets closer to the Alamodome. Alamodome Parking Parking at the Alamodome is $10 each time you visit. We got there really early Friday and parked for free since there wasn’t a parking attendant on site. We parked in Lot C every time. You’ll park and go down the stairs, you’ll walk under an train overpass, which stinks because there are bats, and you can hear them chirping, so don’t hang around there. You’ll want to walk briskly through there due to the stench and because who wants to be around bats? Eating Depending where you stay, there’s plenty of places to eat. If you’re not right in the Riverwalk area, you’ll need to find a place to park, and that’s where the mission begins. I recommend parking in the River Center Mall Parking garage. It costs $5 and $1 each additional hour after your first hour. Its the best place to park in my opinion. You have access to all the eateries inside the mall, which include: Chili’s, Tony Roma’s Ribs, Dairy Queen, Le Petite, and a few other good places. In addition, the Riverwalk is right there at the mall. The Alamo is right down the street too. So, just remember – park at the River Center Mall Parking Garage. Autographs This is a whole mission in itself. If you even want a chance at possibly getting an autograph, you must get to the stadium 3hrs. before the practice begins. Yes, 3hrs! I am deadly serious. There will be a huge line at the front doors, and if you aren’t at the front or very close to the front – forget about it. ie. Practice starts at 9am – BE waiting at gates at 6am ie. Practice starts at 2:30pm – BE waiting at gates at 11:30am There will be people there early. Don’t think you can hold seats, cause you won’t be able too, be well prepared. Either go with someone as eager as you or go by yourself if you want autographs. I wouldn’t recommend bringing small toddlers and definitely don’t bring infants/babies in the autograph section. I saw some couple with a small baby in the front row of the autographs, and when Romo came to sign, they practically ran over the baby, it was just a madhouse, pure insanity, with no regard. So yeah, be smart, don’t bring your baby to the front row, please. If you have a small kid, make sure they goto the restroom at least 30mins before practice ends or they will not make it back to their spot. Hoards of people will bunch up front. Where to sit: Section 103 or lower will take you to the endzone. You’ll have a good chance of getting someone in the endzone. Section 110-Section 108 will take you to the sideline area, which is another good spot from what I could see. Also, if you are a True Blue member, you will be admitted 15mins early to the stadium. If you don’t have a True Blue Fan Club Membership, you may want to get one just for this chance, it DOES make a difference. You’ll get prime autograph real estate. Cost is about $20, you can sign up online or at the Cowboys Pro Shops at the Alamodome and the Pro Shop at the River Center Mall. Concessions As in most sporting events, snacks, drinks, and beers are expensive. Food can from $6 and up. Bottled Water/Soda $3.75, Beer $6. The early practices won’t have the Pizza and all that, but they do have breakfast tacos (2) for $2.50 which is that bad. Throughout the practice there will be staff selling snacks and beverages up and down the aisles too, so sometimes you don’t need to get up and leave your seat.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/27/2007 09:30:00 PM —– BODY:
Friday Afternoon Overview I just got home from San Antonio, it was a great three days at Training Camp. Like the first few days, nothing too terribly exciting happened at today’s camp. I did like how the defense upped the tempo, yesterday was just nothing to brag about as they could not stop the running backs. Today was a different story, the defense looked alot better in the run and pass defense. Hamlin made an INT today. The only bad part was Henry getting beat twice from what I saw. I was at the endzone again today, so I got a good look at the defensive line vs. the offensive line. Most notable things I noticed were Carpenter and Spencer getting manhandled in their first attempts. The goal of this drill was to sack/pressure the pseudo-QB (some asst. coach, not sure) Carpenter composed himself and and improved on his 2nd and 3rd go around. Spencer also improved on his last attempt in this drill. Ratliff also redeemed himself in this drill by getting after it, and making penetration. That was good to see. Demarcus Ware is just a whole tier above the rest, he blew past his guy. I think it was McQuistan or Marten. Marcus Spears looked good in his drills as well. I didn’t see much of the secondary drills from my spot, but I did glance over a few times, and that’s when I saw TO beat Henry and Williams in coverage. Garrett continued to work the passing game, and everything is looking good there. I like what I see with TO, they are moving him around, putting him in motion, putting him in the slot, he’s going to be very explosive this year and hard for defenses to cover. Terry Glenn is money, he makes just about everything thrown at him today. Hurd played better today, and Austin is looking great in my opinion. He’s catching the ball with confidence and plucking the ball, reminiscent of Crayton. From the undrafted players, Jackie Battle has the upperhand. This guy can run! He’s looking real good, and runs with power, and finishes all his runs. Matt Moore looks tiny out there, he needs to add some bulk, he looks brittle too me. Richard Bartel looks physically bigger, but both seem to be doing about the same so far in camp.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/27/2007 02:45:00 PM —– BODY:
Bowen made a special appearance and the crowd acknowledged him.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/27/2007 02:11:00 PM —– BODY:
The afternoon practice is full pads. Saw Stanback practicing with the tennis balls again. More to come
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/26/2007 06:26:00 PM —– BODY:
Got here early and even then we barely got seats for autographs. I think I saw Grizz from bloggintheboys in VIP earlier, lucky dawg!

The practice didnt seem as intense as the morning session. Less fumbling around though. I was in the endzone, so I didnt see much of the defense except when they did some drills with the offensive line. Kosier and Gurode shutdown a frustated Jay Ratliff. I didnt see Spencer either, Im not sure when he sneaked on the field.

The running backs continued to work in the passing game. Barber is a natural and catched the ball with ease. Julius and Thompson looked really good too. Hoyte did not look good, he dropped to passes, obviously this is not he strength, but to help make the team it’ll be required in Garrett’s schemes.

The morning session focused on the running game, and this afternoon was more passing.

The defense did not impress me at all, but again, this could be the tempo early on. The defense ran in basic 34 schemes, no blitzing and nothing exotic. Early on the defense didnt stop the run, the afternoon looked the same. The passing game and Garrett’s timing scheme looked effective with Romo at the helm.

Im just hoping this was planned and not the result of poor execution by the defense. I guess we’ll see more once practices increase and progress.

Phillips says there was some sloppiness on the field.

All draft picks have been signed. Spencer was on the field on the afternoon practice. More tomorrow. See you then!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/26/2007 04:51:00 PM —– BODY:
It appears Spencer has been signed. I saw #93 on the field opposite Ware.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/26/2007 03:57:00 PM —– BODY:
The afternoon practice is upper pads only. Austin looks alot more polished this year and looks to have bulked up in comparison to Hurd.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/26/2007 02:55:00 PM —– BODY:
Arrived early in hopes of getting a chance at getting some autographs. We ended up in the endzone right now. If you come to camp you have to get here 1st in line. Get here at the minimum 2hrs before.

Stanback is on the field catching tennis balls from a machine that shoots them out.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/26/2007 11:53:00 AM —– BODY:
Overall the practice went well. Both units looked good seperately. However, I gotta give the morning’s practice to the offense. Short of man handling the defensive line with regularity the offense looked good. Holes would open up and running lanes were created for our stable of running backs. They all ran great. Undrafted RB Jackie Battle looks pretty good and runs hard.

I’m hoping to see more effort from the defensive line at this afternoon’s practice. Spencer is still not on the field, hopefully he’ll be there soon, cuz Ellis is NOT ready to return. He walked around slow, did not jog or run. Carpenter ran with the 2nd team at ILB.

The coaching staff is in control here, and very interactive with the players. At one point I saw Phillips coaching Burnett and giving him advice.

More live reports from the afternoon practice.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/26/2007 10:48:00 AM —– BODY:
The run defense did not look today when the squads played each other. I doubt this was by design. Barber,Jones, Thompson and Battle ran through the run defense. Albeit there wasnt any blitzing, just a base defense.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/26/2007 10:10:00 AM —– BODY:
Both squads are practicing against each other. Offense seems to be getting after it. Barber running hard, virtually unstoppable at times. Mcquistan continues to look the part at LT most of today. Julius is also looking fast and elusive. Burnett was shaken up, but looks to have walked it off.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/26/2007 09:33:00 AM —– BODY:
Ellis is on the sideline working with the bungee cord. Flozell and Colombo just walked on the field in street clothes, shorts. Flozel sporting a knee brace on his right knee.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/26/2007 09:12:00 AM —– BODY:
Both players are on the field, but not practicing. Today everyone has full pads. More to come.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/26/2007 09:02:00 AM —– BODY:
TO still practicing on some punt return reps. He did this yesterday as well. Garrett remains commanding in his instructios.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/25/2007 04:30:00 PM —– BODY:
Pat McQuistan is looking big and lean. He’ practicing at LT and RT. Looks athletic and quick on his feet.

Miles Austin looks fluid on the field. More to come.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/25/2007 04:20:00 PM —– BODY:
Newman appears to stil be very much part of the punt return game. He had quite a few reps along with Rector. Lets hope this is because Stanback is not practicing. Stanback is on the field,, but he hasnt seen any action yet.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/25/2007 03:42:00 PM —– BODY:
Folk and Gramatica making the chipshots early on. Next, came kick offs. Folk definitely has the stronger leg. Interestin to see TO with Rector and Thompson receiving the kicks. More to come.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/25/2007 03:04:00 PM —– BODY:
Packed house. Players are looking good in passing drills early on. The defense and offense are practing in jersey and shorts, no pads. More to come.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/24/2007 08:49:00 PM —– BODY:
We’re onward to San Antonio. Football is officially here and be sure to stop by regularly.

Bookmark us, and feel free to post our instant reports on other Cowboys Blogs and forums, just give us a small plug. I’ve got my trusty MotoQ and you will get real time blogs from me Wed-Fri.

See you all tomorrow!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/21/2007 10:29:00 AM —– BODY:
Let the Signings Begin Deon Anderson, a sixth-round draft pick out of Connecticut, agreed to a four-year deal worth approximately $1.68 million. Anderson, a fullback, is expected to compete with Oliver Hoyte and Lousaka Polite for the starting position and is considered a true lead blocker. He is scheduled to earn base salaries of $285,000 this year, $360,000 in ’08, $435,000 in ’09 and $510,000 in ’10. (scout.com)
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/20/2007 07:09:00 PM —– BODY:
Training Camp Countdown We’re in the final stretch to training camp, and I can’t wait! Less than 4 days, and Cowboys Football is BACK. There’s nothing to report right now, supposedly, we should start hearing about our draft picks getting signed, sealed, and delivered on time for camp. But as years before, the Cowboys usually wait until the last minute. The festivities start Tues night, and camp actually kicks off Wed at 2:30. (AP) – Fans of the Dallas Cowboys might want to be in San Antonio next week as the team opens training camp — and holds a kickoff party. The free event will be Tuesday night at the Alamodome. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, new coach Wade Phillips, players, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and team mascot Rowdy will be on hand. The Grammy award-winning group — Los Lonely Boys — will perform. The Cowboys will begin workouts next Wednesday. The team will break camp on Wednesday, August eighth. – Another reminder that your privacy may not always be so private: Man locates Aikman’s personal info on state Web site
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/19/2007 08:02:00 PM —– BODY:
53-Man Roster Pre-Camp Predictions QB – Tony Romo, Brad Johnson RB – Julius Jones, Marion Barber, Tyson Thompson FB – Deon Anderson, Jackie Battle WR – Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn, Patrick Crayton, Sam Hurd, Miles Austin, Isaiah Stanback TE – Jason Witten, Anthony Fasano, Tony Curtis OT – Flozell Adams, Marc Colombo, Doug Free, James Marten OG – Kyle Kosier, Leonard Davis, Pat McQuistan, Cory Procter C – Andre Gurode DE – Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher, Jay Ratliff DT – Jason Ferguson, Montavious Stanley OLB – Demarcus Ware, Greg Ellis, Anthony Spencer, Junior Glymph ILB – Bradie James, Akin Ayodele, Bobby Carpenter, Kevin Burnett CB – Terence Newman, Anthony Henry, Aaron Glenn, Jacques Reeves, Quincy Butler, Courtney Brown FS – Ken Hamlin, Patrick Watkins SS – Roy Williams, Keith Davis K – Martin Gramatica, Nick Folk P – Matt McBriar LS – L.P. Ladouceur Battle and Hoyte will fight it out for a roster spot, it could come down to special teams play. I have Stanley in there right now, but Remi Ayodele could over take him with a solid outing in NFL Europe. Gurode will get some rotation, and that could be one of the rookies, Marten has been talked about being in that rotation. We will be live at camp opening days, so, be sure to keep it here for the latest on training camp! yeah-yuh!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/17/2007 06:22:00 PM —– BODY:
NFL News: Falcon’s QB Mike Vick Indicted The party is over in Atlanta. QB Michael Vick has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Virginia stemming from the dogfighting investigation. Looks like the Falcon’s are kicking themselves in the butt for trading QB Matt Schaub to the Texans. NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell has been very stern with other players with less serious indictments, you can be sure he will be suspended. There is ZERO tolerance in the league, and this adds another black eye to the league. ESPN radio is suggesting Vick will not be suspended, and this may take a while. This isn’t even logical thinking, I didn’t catch the host’s name, but he smoking crack. Vick is out of here, get real. You know on draft day, the Commish was talking to Vick behind the scenes, and this will be the last straw. Joey Harrington is the backup QB in Atlanta, so that means a craptastic year for the Falcons, unfortunately. They will be looking to drafting Louisville’s QB Brian Brohm.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/16/2007 11:32:00 PM —– BODY:
Offtopic: 1-18-08 is Cthulhu This is definitely off topic, but you may have seen the preview that preceded Transformers. This teaser trailer left many wondering what this is. The only thing we know is that it comes out 1-18-08. If you haven’t seen the preview you can check it out here>> 1-18-08 The movie is produced by J.J. Abrams from Lost and Alias fame, along with writter Drew Goddard. 1-18-08 is also being called Cloverfield/Slusho as the movie’s codename. The teaser trailer has offered up a few clues as to what this movie will be about. You have to watch the clip several times and pause it several times to catch a few of these clues. At first glance, people may think this is a Godzilla remake, or War of the Worlds 2, upon further investigating some people thought this could be Voltron. During the clip there is some confusion when you can hear someone say: “It’s alive!” or “It’s a lion!” leaving those to believe this could be a Voltron movie, but this wouldn’t quite make sense as the Statue of Liberty’s head is flung across the street. Another rumor is that this could be based on the game from the 80s called Rampage, which is based on three monsters that destroy cities, but again, this seems like a far fetched rumor too. The thought line is that this movie is based on a sea monster/creature, one other rumor is that this could be a movie based on Namor: The Submariner, a Marvel Comic, but there is no mention in the trailers credits. This leaves us with the most likely thought that this movie is going to be based on H.P. Lovecraft’s “Call of the Cthulhu” (pronounced Kathooloo) which came out in 1928. Another writer Robert Anton Wilson used Cthulhu Mythos and Zen Buddhism is his writings and he was born on 1-18-32 and cremated 1-18-07. Coincidence that the movies is coming out 1-18-08? perhaps, we’ll see. Let’s take a look at the clues I’ve discovered in the teaser trailer. I may have missed some, but here are a few clues: Sushi – in the beginning you’ll see a party tray with sushi, fish, eel, and some other sea creatures, more for some sort of symbolism than anything else, creatures of the sea. Buddha – In the same frame you’ll see the small Buddha statues on the shelf, Zen Buddhism as related in some of Robert Anton Wilson’s writings. AKM – soon after you hear the first monster noise, you’ll see a red paddle on the wall with the label “AKM” There are two thoughts on the AKM anogram: One being that it stands for the honor society frat Alpha Kappa Mu. Kappa meaning legendary creature and Mu has mythical historical value in this context. Mu is a mythical sunken continent similar to Atlantis, but the inhabintants of Mu worshipped the three son’s of Cthulu, that’s one link. The other thought is that AKM could be short for Arkham, a fictional city used by H.P. Lovecraft in several of his books. Slusho – during the news report the guy turns around and the logo on the shirt is “Slusho!”When you visit the site, you’ll see the relation of Slusho in this context. Mainly, it theme revolves around sea creatures. The only section on this site that has any information is the “history” section, key clue can be found by researching Noriko Yoshida Statue of Liberty – the head of the Statue of Liberty is thrown across the city, suggests the creature/monster is coming from the ocean sea. So far, the only official sites associated with this project are: 1-18-08.com Slusho.jp 1-18-08 has three pics so far, which I haven’t gained any solid clues, other than the time stamps on the pics could have some sort of biblical relation, who knows. 12:01,12:36 and 12:48 or 1+1+8+0+8=18 divisible by 3=6, 666. Some other unconfirmed sites have popped, but some considered bogus by some: ABZ3293 EthanHaasWasRight.com What ever the outcome is, hopefully this movie is good, its garnering alot of chatter on the web, including myself. You can get engulfed in researching this stuff.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/16/2007 09:12:00 PM —– BODY:
Phillips: Hope vs. Hype CowboysBlog.Net will be there on the onset of Cowboys Training Camp this year, and we’ll get to the bottom of the question posed here: Does Wade Phillips provide us with hope or hype? At the end of the season, all hope seemed lost after we barely made it into the playoffs by losing two important games in a row. No one wanted to go into the Wild Card game in Seattle on a losing streak. Cowboys 7 Eagles 23 Cowboys 31 Lions 39 Cowboys 20 Seahawks 21 (playoffs) The Cowboys hit rock bottom after that heart-wrenching loss to Seattle. Who can remember that awful feeling in the lower stomach after Romo lost the snap and ran for the 1st down or game winning TD. What fan was not screaming “NOOOO!!!” at the top of their lungs with watery eyes from the shear disappointment of what should of been. All hope was lost for fans. Fans lost hope that Parcells could get this team to the Super Bowl after his latest debacle by the defense and anemic offense. Fans looked at Parcells defense and called it “bland, vanilla, too simple” and some called the offense “too conservative” I would agree with all that. So, now Parcells is gone, and then came the whole coaching charade. We saw Norv with Jerry at Irvin’s induction announcement, and this looked to be our next coach. Norv would turn Romo into Aikman, and the offense would be explosive. But what derailed this team towards the end? It was the defense, it was horrible. It was the same people getting burned everytime. Roy, Bradie, and no pressure from the defensive line, a complete bust. Mike Zimmer was a 4-3 guru, and could not put his own spin on the 3-4, let alone Parcells bland 3-4 of the late 80s-90s. Jerry wanted to fix the defense and that means, hire the guru of defense, Wade Phillips. The Phillips 3-4 is what the Cowboys need, and the player personnel is here for instant success. So, is this a bunch of hype or hope? I’m going with the later, hope. Phillips is doing everything to get this group of young players together for a run at the Super Bowl. Phillips has reshuffled the locker room by mixing the defensive players with offensive players, they are no longer segregated by squad. He’s brought the team together and brought his family oriented philosophy to the locker room. With young players eager to display their skills for Phillips, this year, we’re gonna see a whole new level of performance from some players considered to be underachievers in years past. Players like Marcus Spears, Chris Canty, and Bradie James all want to get a chance to make their mark on this new scheme, and they will have their chances. But, by no means can you count out young players like LB Bobby Carpenter, who’s sideline-to-sideline play make a perfect match for this Phillips 3-4, I see good things to come for Carpenter. Rookie Anthony Spencer has all the makings of the next Demarcus Ware, who can beat that? This is all reason to see hope is on our side. Much is said about Wade’s last outings as a Head Coach, and how he could not get teams over the hump. This is by far the best team, Phillips has ever inherited, and in addition, this could be the best team with the smartest offensive coordinator in Jason Garrett. Phillips never had a decent offensive squad and offensive guru like Garrett. I’m ready to see what these two minds bring to the table. Phillips brings hope that we’re going to be the real deal this year.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/13/2007 09:57:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Named in Top 25 in 25 Years USA Today is running a weekday report counting down to training camp. They started on 25 and have been moving up to number one. So far, there are three Cowboys in the top 25 in 25 years, according to their column. Its an interesting read. 7. Emmitt Smith – Emmitt Smith surpassed all runners 16. Deion Sanders – Deion played his way into ‘Prime Time’ 20. Troy Aikman – Aikman rescued ‘America’s Team’
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/09/2007 09:10:00 PM —– BODY:
Two Weeks ’til Training Camp Fever Tony Romo and Terrell Owens are by far the undisputed Dallas Cowboys newsmakers each and everyday. The majority of the articles out on the web are either centered around Romo or Owens, and that’s not a bad thing. It just shows where the media is focusing on here. You have Romo, the young talented, debonair Hollywood QB that keeps him newsworthy on and off the field. In addition, you have Owens, one of the best receivers in the game today, media proclaimed bad boy, and the media just waiting for his next whatever. How will Garrett use our brightest superstars in his new offense? I expect us to come out swinging on opening day, and people are gonna say “uh oh, these guys are gonna be the team to beat” ESPN.com ranks our QB roster and gives us their thoughts on Romo and our backup QBs:

14. Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo had a storybook season in 2006, going 5-1 in his first six starts and giving the Cowboys great production at the position. But he struggled down the stretch, throwing too many interceptions and fumbling too many times while the Cowboys finished 1-4 in his final five games. The coaches are hoping that the Romo they saw early in the season is the one they get in 2007. He has excellent physical skills as a passer and his mobility allows him to make plays with his feet. However, he must do a better job of playing under control, being patient and not turning the ball over. Aging Brad Johnson will be the backup and mentor to Romo. Although his physical skills are limited, he still knows how to read a defense and get the ball to the right place. Young Matt Baker will be the No. 3 QB, and although he has good developmental skills, he’s a long way from the field.

I think Baker takes the final #3 spot, we’ll see him get some reps in preseason to gauge where we’re at in his development, the other two guys the Cowboys brought in here, are way too raw, and not even close to being on a 53-man roster. ProFootballWeekly doesn’t think Garrett will employ much shotgun at all with his new offense:

Don’t expect a ton of shotgun formations this season from the Cowboys. It is something the fans clamored for in the past, mostly when Drew Bledsoe was the quarterback, but it appears to be a mere part of the package and hardly a major one. Look for new coordinator Jason Garrett’s offense to resemble the Ernie Zampese school of thought more than anything. The offense is likely to be based on timing, with precise routes based on the different depths of the drops, and frequent use of the shotgun would muck that up a bit. Still, that doesn’t mean the team will utilize a true West Coast offense. In fact, most of the receivers — and even the tight ends — are buzzing about the fact that there appear to be a greater number of deep passes in the repertoire. In Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn, the Cowboys have two strong deep-route runners, but spies say not to forget about Patrick Crayton, who could enjoy a nice niche as a breakout player in the new scheme.

Yes, Garrett’s offense will resemble Zampese and Turner’s, but I expect Garrett to add his own twist, there’s always an evolution in football schemes, and I’m excited to see what Garrett adds. I mean, this guy is no slouch, he’s a sports guru, he went to Princeton, and he has the bloodlines:

As a coach, he says he looks for players “who are committed to working hard and will buy into what you are doing.” As a former quarterback, Garrett knows the importance of having a top-notch quarterback. So, what should high school coaches look for when filling that all-important role? “You want a guy with good character,” he advises. “You want a guy with leadership and work ethic, not just a guy who can throw the ball far.” That certainly was true of Garrett during his playing days. He’s also aware of the need for the quarterback to fit the system, and vice-versa. “It’s important to get your quarterback on board with what you’re doing because a lot of times the rest of the team will follow his example,” Garrett said. (NFLHS.COM)

Bucky Brooks from SI.com looks at the Cowboys challenges for this upcoming training camp:

Challenge No. 1: Build the offense around the strengths of Tony Romo. Romo led the Cowboys to the playoffs and earned a Pro Bowl nomination as a first-year starter. His 65-percent completion percentage and 95.1 passer rating both ranked near the top of the league. With that kind of production, it’s obvious that the Cowboys should build their offense around the Romo’s strengths. As a polished passer with outstanding poise, patience and athleticism, Romo has the skills to play any style of offense. New offensive coordinator Jason Garrett… Challenge No. 2: Tweak the 3-4 to feature a more aggressive pass rush. The 3-4 defense new coach Wade Phillips is installing is vastly different than the one used by his predecessor Bill Parcells. Phillips runs an aggressive package built on the strength of his personnel that features an assortment of games, stunts and blitzes to add pressure. The Dallas defense he inherits has several pieces in place. DeMarcus Ware possesses the skills to be on of the top pass rushers in the league and under Phillips the third-year pro will be used exclusively as a pass rusher. And if Phillips stays true to the philosophy that he used in San Diego, he will find an unsung player on the opposite side with complementary rush skills. Shaun Phillips quietly posted double-digits in sacks opposite Shawne Merriman in San Diego and… Challenge No. 3: Make Terrell Owens a big part of the offense. The temperamental super star brings lots of baggage, but no one can dispute the talent or impact that he has on an offense. With 85 receptions for over 1,100 yards and a league-leading 12 touchdown receptions during an off year, he still deserves to be mentioned as one of the top receivers in the game and merits top billing in the Cowboys’ offense.

In my opinion, Challenge No.4 would be to get the ball in Witten’s hands more and frequently. Garrett will utilize Witten as he was suppose to be used. Witten is a receiving TE, not a blocking TE. Get Witten in the game early, and soften up the field, and let our running back tandem tear it up as a result.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/07/2007 11:21:00 AM —– BODY:
Drafting Cowboys in Fantasy Football Football is in the air, and camp is less than 3 weeks away. I’ve been having football withdrawal symptoms since the Super Bowl ended, and the other professional sports just don’t cut it for me. Fantasy Football leagues have been forming since June and this has helped fill the void between then and training camp. I’ve already been in a few league drafts, and you can almost script the first round of picks, its the 2nd round and onward that get interesting. Yahoo Fantasy Football is still the best in my opinion. Easy interface, menus, settings, scoring, offense and defense, its complete. So, my review is based on the Yahoo FF System. I’m going to give my Dallas Cowboys rankings for Fantasy Football(Most value to least value, along with recommended round to draft). 1. Terrell Owens: Owens is a scoring machine, and you can only expect this to be the same if not better with Garrett’s new down-the field approach. He’ll get you the receptions, the yards, and TDs needed to be a force in any league. (1st-2nd round) 2. Marion Barber III: Barber is another scoring machine, he has a nose for the endzone, runs hard everytime, and he’s the man in the redzone. Garrett wants to utilize the RBs in the passing game some more, and Barber has the advantage here, he has better receiving hands, which makes him more dangerous this year. Barber is the running back that will deliver the nail in the coffin with his TDs which is why he’s still get the moniker of “The Closer” (6th-8th round) 3. Jason Witten: Witten isn’t ranking in the top echelon of tight ends in fantasy football because they are basing this on his output last year. This is not the case this year, and if you’re looking for a TE with numbers, its gonna be Witten. Witten will be a solid TE this year, and could be a solid W/T swing player. Expect Witten to be a major threat in the redzone/endzone this year. Witten will be a major beneficiary from Garrett’s new high octane system and you can reap the benefits in your league. (8th-11th round) 4. Tony Romo: Romo will have solid numbers, he could have great numbers, so picking Romo could be a top round pick for sure. The thing you have to remember is that you want to stockpile your team with high-end WRs/RBs first, that’s been my rule of thumb for years. The only QB you’ll probably see drafted in the 1st round is Peyton Manning, and that’s because he puts up ridiculous output every year, he’s money. Romo has that scoring potential, but you just don’t know for sure. Fans and die hard fans could find it hard not to draft Romo with their first pick in the first round, stick to the gameplan. You can get Romo in later rounds and for a steal. Next year could be a different story. (9th-12th round) 5. Terry Glenn: Glenn’s scoring potential is underrated in Fantasy Football as it is in the real world, and because of this, you can probably grab Glenn in a mid round and feel good about it. Glenn is someone you can plug in as a starter and not worry about it. Glenn is good for 6-10 TDS this season, along with receptions 60-70 at least, 1100+ yard receiver. Glenn is a solid #2-3 WR or a swing W/R in other leagues. (9-12th round) 6. Julius Jones: Jones situation is the same as the rest of our offensive players, he has the “potential” to be a knockout player this year. But based on my draft experiences this year, Jones has been going in mid rounds and later. Jones is going to be a mega steal this year. MB3 has been going ahead of Jones in most leagues, but Jones will have his true chance to run more instinctively and less robotic as Jones put it. Jones could be a top round pick easily and you’ll feel good about it, but there will be alot of value on the board. So, Jones can be stolen away in a later round. (10th-12th round) 7. Patrick Crayton: Crayton will probably be the #3 WR, and he could a bigger role in the slot. He’ll be that Kelvin Martin/Kevin Williams type player, and his numbers will be higher. Unfortunately, the roster size of most leagues won’t be big enough for you to draft him, tuck him away and hope for some magical numbers from Crayton (last round-undrafted) Others: Sam Hurd, Tony Fasano, Miles Austin, FBs, don’t hold much Fantasy Football prowess at all, so these guys will all be undrafted, but could be valuable if a starter becomes injured for a period of time. In Leagues that have Defensive Players, these will be your top Cowboys to look for: 1. Demarcus Ware: Ware is ranked high because of his amount of sacks, solo tackles, and assisted tackles, and forced fumbles, and the occasional INT. In leagues that have defensive players, Ware can be drafted in the late rounds, he’ll fill the D or Dline roster spot 2. Roy Williams: Roy Williams will be more active in-the box under the Phillips34, and you can expect his numbers to flourish, with solo tackles, assisted tackles, INTS, and maybe a few sacks from the blitz. Roy can be taken in the late rounds too, he’ll fill the D or DB roster spot. 3. Bradie James: James gets a look here, assuming he remains the starting MLB, James will give you decent numbers in regards to tackles, don’t expect many sacks from James, your points will come from tackles. I would bunch Akin Ayodele in here too. Most leagues with defensive players have 1point per tackle, it all depends on your leagues points configurations. 4. Ken Hamlin: Hamlin is another player in the secondary that will get you points with INTs, tackles, and assisted tackles. He’s gonna be the center fielder which means he’ll be roaming around and has that potential to be a solid D or DB player for your roster. 5. Newman/Henry: Newman and Henry will garner points on tackles, but not that many, their money comes with INTs. QBs don’t throw to Newman much, so his INT opportunities are lowered, and solo tackles too. Henry has more opportunity, since he’s the most thrown at DB in the league according to several metrics, so his INT chances go up, and so do his solo tackles. When drafting DBs for your league, you want the guys that make tackles, solo tackles, assisted tackles, and INTs. That means safeties are your best bet to filling DB spots, they have more scoring value. Don’t draft based on a DBs shutdown ability, players like Champ Bailey, DeAngelo Hall, and Terence Newman. They won’t give you the same output as league safeties. Keep that in mind. 6. Anthony Spencer/Greg Ellis: he could be your steal when it comes to drafting a player to fill your D or Dline roster spot. It depends on how much time he gets, but his numbers could mirror Demarcus Ware’s, so you could save him with a very late round pick if you drafted smart earlier in your draft. Others: Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Jason Ferguson, Jason Hatcher, Jay Ratliff could have some value, but they get undrafted. Of course this could all change if any of these guys get hot and become defensive line monsters, forcing fumbles, and sacking the QB. The key for ANY fantasy football league are the bye-weeks. Be smart with your picks, don’t stockpile players with the same bye-weeks, this will hurt you in the long run, you’ll lose games, and you’ll always be looking for those average free agents to fill your voids; moreover, your roster will be unstable and you’ll lose important games down the stretch.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/05/2007 07:08:00 PM —– BODY:
Newman Overrated? I Don’t Think So. I was perusing some news articles and stumbled across this article by ESPN’s KC Joyner, and I could not help but laugh out loud over his notion that Terence Newman is overrated. You gotta be kidding. Yet he has Charles Woodson and Nathan Vasher as underrated cornerbacks? This article is all backwards if you ask me. Here’s what he said:

Terence Newman: He is considered much better than his Dallas teammate Anthony Henry, but Newman’s 2006 overall YPA was only .4 yards higher than Henry’s. He also ranked 57th in the missed pass percentage category, so luck was on his side.

Newman is a shutdown corner, plain and simple. There isn’t a team in this league that would not want Newman as their main cornerback. There is no luck needed in Newman’s game. Yes, this article is entertaining to some degree and so are the rest of Joyner’s articles in this series, but this one is not gonna fly for me. You’re wrong KC, sorry dude. One player who is definitely underrated is TE Jason Witten. If you’re in fantasy football, you may want to take Witten in the top 6 rounds, he’s gonna score and get yards at the same time. SportingNews is showing Witten some love by ranking him #1 amongst tight ends in the NFC, and I would agree:

1. COWBOYS Jason Witten is too fast for linebackers and too big for safeties, and he has excellent hands. Anthony Fasano lacks speed but has good hands and is a willing blocker. He works the middle of the field and gives Dallas a good third-down target. Strangely, he scored only one touchdown last season.

Crumpler, Shockey, and Cooley round out the top 4 TEs in the NFC. Dennis Dillon at SportingNews takes on the role of Nostradamus and has the Cowboys as the #2 Seed in the NFC for the playoffs:

6. Seattle. As long as Mike Holmgren is their coach, the Seahawks always have a chance to get to the postseason. 5. San Francisco. Frank Gore is the league’s next big star at running back, and the defense finally has the pieces in place to become a full-blooded 3-4. 4. Philadelphia. As long as Andy Reid is their coach, the Eagles will be one of this conference’s powers. Their chances will be much better, of course, if Donovan McNabb can stay on the field. 3. Chicago. All eyes will be on Rex Grossman, but this team has enough talent to win even when its quarterback isn’t at his best. The gap between the Bears and the other three teams in their division still looks as big as the Grand Canyon. 2. Dallas. The Cowboys’ players are sold on the 3-4 according to Wade Phillips — and so am I. Tony Romo regressed a bit toward the end of last season, but he has the makeup to become a star. 1. New Orleans. There’s a lot to like about this team, beginning with Sean Payton, its young, innovative coach. I especially give the Saints props for already putting last year’s improbable season behind them and turning their focus to what they need to do to take that next step — to the Super Bowl.

Interesting picks in the NFC side, I don’t see the Saints as the #1 Seed though, and moreover, I don’t see the Bears making it to the tournament this year anyway, but to each their own. Shoot, I might as well take a shot at it: 6. Cardinals 5. Detroit 4. Seattle 3 .Philadelphia 2. New Orleans 1. Dallas How’s that for some controversial picks! Let’s see if this comes true.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/04/2007 03:55:00 PM —– BODY:
Michael Irvin Officially Picks Jerry Jones as Presenter Its official, Michael Irvin has asked Jerry Jones to be his presenter at this year’s Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. The event will be on Saturday, August 4th at 6PM. The article reveals who the other presenters will be:

Thurman Thomas chose his former coach, Marv Levy, to present him at the Aug. 4 enshrinement ceremony. Levy was inducted into the Hall in 2001. Bruce Matthews will be presented for induction by Hall of Famer Mike Munchak, a former teammate. Matthews was the presenter when Munchak entered the Hall of Fame in 2001…

Fantasy Football is in full swing, check out what NFL.com’s Michael Fabiano has to say about our running back tandem:

Julius Jones remains the favorite to start for the Cowboys under new head coach Wade Phillips, and he will be motivated to produce in what is a contract year. In fact, Jones could be a nice draft bargain since Marion Barber is considered more valuable. The former Minnesota standout led the NFC in rushing touchdowns last season, but whether he can duplicate that remains to be seen. Barber is considered a low-end No. 2 fantasy back or flex starter, while Jones is a more of a middle-round No. 3 fantasy runner in most formats.

In most drafts Ive been involved so far, MB3 is getting drafted ahead of Jones, but those that get Jones in later rounds could be in for a treat. I don’t think you can go wrong with either pick. Lastly, Happy 4th of July to everyone!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/02/2007 09:05:00 PM —– BODY:
Terrell Owens Will Lead Cowboys in TDs Last year was Owens’ first year as a Dallas Cowboy and he met all expectations as he stacked up some Pro Bowl numbers, 85 receptions for 1180 yards with 13TDs. Yes, he had some dropped passes, but his offensive scoring power cannot be denied. So, Owens had pretty good numbers in what is considered to have been a conservative type passing game, can you imagine this year? Now comes year two with a new “players coach” and a new offensive coordinator with Jason Garrett. Garrett has already said this offense will look alot like the offenses the Cowboys employed in the ’90s. This is good news for Owens, and you can expect another solid year from T.O. It is my prediction that T.O. will lead the Cowboys in touchdowns this year, and according to a poll at our message board, most fans also believe T.O. will lead in TDs: Terrell Owens %58 Marion Barber III %29 Jason Witten %8 Julius Jones %4 Other %0-1 T.O. is money in the fantasy football realm, but I wouldn’t overlook MB3 or Julius Jones for that matter. In several leagues, I’ve been able to draft Julius Jones in later rounds, and this could be an absolute steal under Garrett’s new offense. Witten should get way more touches in the redzone, and this should make him another solid pick this year. In other T.O. news, Owens is suing a Manhattan Nightclub for using his name and likeness. Owens is seeking around $600,000 in damages. Check out the article here.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/28/2007 09:29:00 PM —– BODY:
Marion Barber III and Cowboys News Some Interesting News Snippets today (Rotoworld) Marion Barber III can be a restricted free agent after this season. Barber, a fourth-round pick in 2005, signed a rare “five-year” rookie deal that will void after he plays this year. He could be competing against Julius Jones, an impending unrestricted free agent, for a contract extension. Looks like both running backs are going to be running their ways to some hefty new contracts this year. We should see some high octane attack from these two stars. Despite speculation the Cowboys would move second-year OL Pat McQuistan to guard, he has been practicing at tackle this offseason.
McQuistan ran with the first team while Flozell Adams (knee) rehabbed. His roster spot seems safe despite James Marten and Doug Free’s additions. Cowboys claimed C Matt Tarullo off waivers from the Colts. The Syracuse product is a heady player, but a longshot to make the club. The Cowboys signed guard/center Steve Franklin.6-2, 320 pounds, spent this spring playing for the Rhein Fire in NFL Europa Drew Henson is still competing at a high level and wants another chance in Minnesota:

“There are few places in sports you dictate what is going on. I love to compete. It gets back to the reasons why you played when you were younger. You just enjoy the competition.”

And some comments from Deion Sanders about Henson’s stint in Dallas:

“I don’t think the offense was good. I don’t think the team was good. He was in a bad situation,” Sanders says. “People who know the game of football will say, “Forget Dallas, period. That don’t even count.’

“What he went through in Dallas, I wish no quarterback to go through, especially a young quarterback.”

Overall, this is a interesting article for those wondering what Henson is up to, you can read the rest here. I definitely wish him well and success in his en devours .
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/26/2007 08:56:00 PM —– BODY:
Tank Johnson Being Considered in Dallas? Word is, the Cowboys could be in the hunt for the much troubled Tank Johnson. Now, when you hear all the commotion that Pacman Jones, the Bengals, and Tank Johnson are causing, you wish them good riddance from the NFL. Most of these players are playmakers on-the field; however, the off-the field issues are a huge risk for any team looking at acquiring any of these guys. The only thing about signing Tank Johnson, is his off-the field record, his on-the field work is pretty solid. But you simply can’t count on these players. The Bears, in their embarrassment decided to cut their ties, and determined that Johnson, though talented, could not be reliable for the season. Before being cut by the Bears, Tank Johnson was to serve a 8-game suspension. So, wherever Johnson lands, he will have to serve that league mandated suspension. Could Jerry Jones take a high risk with Tank Johnson? Sure, you can say Jerry takes risks with players like Terrell Owens, but T.O. does not have criminal off the field problems.

Don’t be surprised if Cowboys owner-general manager Jerry Jones is at the head of the line. He believes in taking risks on talented but troubled players (see Charles Haley and T.O.), and I assure you he will be tempted to sign Johnson at some point. In fact, I just talked to a member of the organization who said Johnson would be a “perfect fit” in head coach Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense. He said the Phillips scheme actually works better with inside players who have flourished in the 4-3, as Johnson has, because it requires them to line up at different spots along the line and use their quickness to make plays.(Mosley)

Tempting, but not worth it to me, I’ll pass on Tank Johnson.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/25/2007 05:09:00 PM —– BODY:
Terrell Owens a Top 5 Receiver SI.com has an article to keep us going while we wait for training camp to get here. The author has Terrell Owens at the #5 receiver in the league: 1. Steve Smith – Carolina 2. Chad Johnson – Cincinnati 3. Roy Williams – Detroit 4. Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis 5. Terrell Owens – Dallas Not, a bad start; however, for arguments sake I would say Owens and Harrison would rank higher that Detroit’s Roy Williams. For me, T.O. is a top 3 receiver. He’s a big weapon to have, big, strong, and a major playmaker. Anquan Boldin at #9 and Randy Moss at #10 Overall, not a bad list to start off, but I would think the much underrated Terry Glenn should get in this list somewhere. Reggie Wayne is in here, and Glenn is at the same level if not better than Wayne. They have have Laveranues Coles at #19 and Mark Clayton at #21. C’mon, Glenn is way better than these two jokes. Check out the article here More on Wade Wilson Name: Wade Wilson Age: 48 Position: Quarterbacks Coaching Exp.: 6 years NFL Exp.: 6 years Coaching Highlights: Chicago Bears quarterbacks coach (2004-06); Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach (2000-02). DC.Com has a new article covering the return of QB Coach, Wade Wilson. Wilson gives us some insight to the coaching strategy that Garrett and himself will rollout this year:

“We’re banking on his experiences not only here but with different teams and different offenses, and my experiences throughout the league,” Wilson said. “We’re kind of blending all those experiences we had, and trying to come up with the best of all those organizations.”

——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/23/2007 06:10:00 PM —– BODY:
Dallas Cowboys Most Searched NFL Team Online According to the Yahoo! Buzz Index, Its all about our Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys are the most searched NFL team online, not the Super Bowl Champ Colts, not Da Bears, not the Patriots, but the ‘Boys! Interesting to see the Cowboys are the only NFL team in Yahoo’s Buzz Index Top 20 for (323) days and counting, that’s almost a year straight. Right now the NFL is ranked at #5, with the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Champhionship) at #6 at (323) days as well, a very strong showing with Boxing no where in the top 20 list. Other sports topics strong with (323) days are: MLB, Nascar, NBA (all very boring if you ask me) I’ll take the Dallas Cowboys and some Mixed Martial Arts with the UFC over the other boring junk out there. Go Cowboys! Only the NY Yankees score higher with 1034 days in the top 20. Check out the Yahoo! Buzz Index Top 20. Check out NFLDraftCountDown’s Draft Review, Scott Wright gives us a (B). I’ll take that, as far as talent acquistion potential goes. The truth will be known in 2-3 years, when we can truly gauge what these young bucks will do for our team.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/21/2007 06:24:00 PM —– BODY:
Can “Player’s Coaches” Succeed? The 2007 season will see a whole new set of head coaches, and the league has entered an era of the “player’s coach,” its in vogue right now. A majority, if not all, the new head coaches are thought as being coaches that can relate to players at different levels rather than being the hardcore, stern, disciplinarian type coach. Wade Phillips (Cowboys), Norv Turner (Chargers), Cam Cameron (Dolphins), Mike Tomlin (Steelers), and Ken Whisenhunt (Cardinals) are all coming into favorable situations with teams with alot of upside. Turner is coming into a team, that by all accounts could have been in the Super Bowl last year with their explosive offense and aggressive defense; however, the question will be can a player’s coach like Turner get this team over the hump? Is he the final piece needed to get this team to the Super Bowl, is this the perfect situation for Turner and his players? Players have said that change can be good, and some players respond better to different coaching styles than others. Could this be the answer in San Diego? We know Turner can get the offense going, but will the lack of being a disciplinarian make the team lose concentration and cause more penalties? We’ll see how the team responds from the hardcore coaching style of their previous coach in Marty Schottenheimer compared to Norv Turner. The Chargers head coaching change and situation mirrors the Cowboys greatly. Wade Phillips is coming into a situation where the team has improved over the year’s with the base of talent coming from the draft. The main difference between the Chargers and Cowboys are the coaches. I believe the Cowboys have assembled the better coaching staff, from the Special Teams coach Bruce Read, WRs Coach Ray Sherman, DC Brian Stewart, OC Jason Garrett, to name a few. The Cowboys have two major strengths on each side of the ball. Wade Phillips is the defensive-guru, and Jason Garrett is the offensive prodigy who comes from a solid offensive minded lineage. Both Turner and Phillips could be what their teams need in this day and age in the NFL, this could be their perfect opportunity at the right time. ESPN has a good article that covers this very subject, they talk about how there’s a cycle in the NFL; in where, stern coaches get the boot in favor for mild-mannered coaches. Right now, the league has entered the era of the player’s coach. The two teams in the Super Bowl were coached by player’s coaches, Tony Dungy (Colts) and Lovie Smith (Bears)

Those players talked about their preference for coaches who don’t rely on intimidation, rigid rules or silly mind games to motivate their teams. They liked the idea of being around head coaches who saw themselves more as teachers than drill sergeants, and it’s become apparent that the league’s decision makers have recognized the value in that as well.

Players like Julius Jones embrace the change:

The Cowboys were so pleased to have a mild-mannered coach that some — notably running back Julius Jones — publicly expressed their gratitude for not having to deal with a daily dose of Tuna any longer.

Charger’s players are looking forward to a new regime as well:

“I think Norv has been good to have around because the younger players are learning that there’s another way to do the job as a head coach. As much as we liked Marty, it’s important for some of these guys to know that not every coach has to give a bunch of passionate speeches or be a tough guy to win games.”

The interesting part of the article comes from the end:

The question, of course, is whether all these players’ coaches — and the warmer environments they subsequently create — will produce more victories than their predecessors. Usually, the knock on such men is they can become too soft, and eventually lose their ability to motivate players. That’s what killed Turner when he coached the Oakland Raiders, and it’s also been a knock on Phillips and Buffalo’s Dick Jauron in the past. They were such nice guys in their previous jobs, their teams never became that tough or consistent.

The theory has been that player’s coaches have short term success, and players stop responding and inherently need more structure and discipline. This may or may not be true, depending on who you ask. Colts fans would argue that their coach has been very successful over the years, while others would point out the factor that it took Dungy a long time to get his team over the hump because of the way he coaches. People are so use to seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl that was the assumed blueprint for success: get a disciplinarian like Belichick and you too can win a Super Bowl. Well, guess what, there may be some truth to this, and this is why we saw coaches like Gibbs, Parcells, and Coughlin return to coaching, they were the desired type of coach at the time. Look at the past Super Bowl winners (excluding last year): XL 2006 Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10 XXXIX 2005 New England 24, Philadelphia 21 XXXVIII 2004 New England 32, Carolina 29 XXXVII 2003 Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21 XXXVI 2002 New England 20, St. Louis 17 XXXV 2001 Baltimore 34, N.Y. Giants 7 Did the Colts and Bears set the bar now for their coaching style as being the more effective style or is this just a coincidence? We’ll see how the games pan out; however, with the league having more player’s coaches there’s going to be some canceling out of each other somewhere along the line. I like our chances in the NFC East where players are failing to respond to coaches like Gibbs and Coughlin, who are old school disciplinarians. Andy Reid is probably the only consistent coach in the NFC East the last several years, so I would expect them to be in the hunt as usual, despite their diminishing talent on both sides of the ball. So to answer the question, I would have to say yes. I think our coach, Wade Phillips will have success. A Super Bowl victory being the ultimate goal. He has the staff and hungry players to make a serious run here in Dallas.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/21/2007 06:00:00 PM —– BODY:
Canty Get Some Love? Chris Canty was drafted in the 4th round and considered a steal back then, and even today, Canty seems to be the better DE than 1st rounder Marcus Spears. Canty came from a 3-4 system out of Virginia, and his transition to Parcell’s 34 was not bad; however, Canty’s upside will truly increase under the aggressive Phillips 34. Canty is a big guy, plays hard, and still plays with something to prove. Fox Sports has a article on 9 breakout stars for 2007, and Chris Canty makes the list:

Chris Canty: The first few seasons for Canty as a pro ball player have been solid. Canty’s upside is spectacular. You have to jog the mental rolodex to Canty’s junior year at the University of Virginia to remember how explosive he can be. In talking to the Dallas defensive end, he thinks that this will be his breakout season under Wade Phillips. Everyone’s talking about the impact Phillips will have on Marcus Spears, but watch Canty become a major disruption to offenses this season.

Other players among the list are: QB Matt Schaub (Texans), LB Chad Greenway (Minnesota), and WR Reggie Brown (Eagles)
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/20/2007 07:50:00 PM —– BODY:
Should the Cowboys Draft CB Paul Oliver? Considering what the Cowboys have done in this year’s draft I would say probably not. I doubt the Cowboys draft Georgia’s CB Paul Oliver on July 13th during the NFL Supplemental Draft. Oliver is probably the lone player with a chance at actually getting drafted. Over the last couple of months his draft stock has plummeted and its now looking like Oliver could be drafted in the 3rd at the very highest and more likely between the 5th and 7th round. Oliver basically quit going to school after the football season ended and didn’t have any ambitions of going to class in the spring. So, with Oliver being academically ineligible he’ll roll the dice by going into the Supplemental Draft. Oliver just held his pro-day, and he put in some mediocre numbers. Oliver was clocked between 4.50-to-4.58 seconds in the 40 and his vertical jump was 33.5 inches. The RanchReport is reporting that 27 teams were on hand at the workout as both league scouts and directors of college scouting lined the field. So, with the apparent lack of self motivation, and his mediocre numbers, you have to wonder if this is even a prospect you’d want on your team. If he can’t put in the time for class and stay eligible for the thing he supposedly loves to do, then you could assume this work ethic would not bode well at the NFL level, its a red flag. Some other reports on Oliver: Oliver left school before the spring semester, and just as his absence was a big blow to Georgia’s defense, his presence in the supplemental draft is getting NFL general managers excited. NFL Network’s Adam Schefter has reported that Oliver is expected to be a third- or fourth-round pick in the July 12 supplemental draft. He might go even higher than that. Matched up with Calvin Johnson when Georgia played Georgia Tech last season, Oliver had an outstanding game, as Johnson finished with just two catches for 13 yards. Johnson was the second pick in the April draft, and if Oliver puts on a show when he works out for NFL scouts on Wednesday, a whole lot of NFL teams will have an interest in the guy who shut Johnson down (NFL Fanhouse) Oliver measured at 6’0” 208lbs.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/18/2007 10:24:00 PM —– BODY:
Spencer’s Job to Lose? Anthony Spencer was the Cowboys target all along, and even after the Cowboys traded out of the first round, then traded back into the first to draft Anthony Spencer. That has to show how much they think of Spencer’s talent. With Greg Ellis still recovering from his achilles injury, Spencer has been deep in study, absorbing everything around him in order to make the transition from college to NFL as smooth as possible. Spencer’s been running with the first team in OTAs and in Mini Camps, so, right now you would have to say this is Spencer’s job to lose. In addition, you have to wonder if Ellis will infact be the same player before the injury. Seahawks OLB Julian Peterson had the same injury and he was never a big impact as he was before his achilles injury. So, we’ll see where he’s at when camp and preseason roll out. As a fan, Spencer is doing everything right on the field, and looks to be the part. He seems to be up to the task, and has a great attitude (from DC.com):

“I think everyone wants to start,” Spencer said. “You want to play and go out there and make things happen. That’s what I hope, too. But if I end up starting or playing in other packages, that’s fine, too. Right now, I just want to get better.”

Despite how some media outlets are reporting the “Ellis Situation” Spencer explains that Ellis has been helpful and offers him tips on the field:

“Greg has really helped me,” Spencer said. “He gives me a lot of good tips on what to do in certain situations. He knows where I’m coming from and the things I need to do to get better. He’s probably the person I talk to the most because I sit right behind him in meetings. So whenever I have a question about what happened out on the field, I go to him and he’s always telling me what I’m doing right or wrong.”

So, with Parcells retired, looks like Spencer has escaped water boy duties…..or has he?

“I’m sure it’s going to come up in training camp,” Spencer said. “I’ve heard about it. I’m sure they’ll come up with something for me to do.”

NFL.Com has a small writeup on 15 players with something to prove, and the article cites QB Tony Romo and RB Julius Jones:

Julius Jones, RB, Dallas: Jones is in the midst of a six-year contract but the final two years can be voided based on certain incentives, so he can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2007 season. While his backfield mate, Marion Barber, will be the more attractive choice in most drafts due to his nose for the end zone, Jones seems to be much more comfortable with Wade Phillips at the helm and will look to produce well for his own professional (and financial) reasons. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas: There has been much talk about an extension for Romo after the Cowboys showed faith in his skills and decided to pass on Brady Quinn in the NFL Draft, but at this time he is still without a long-term deal. Considered the heir apparent to Troy Aikman, Romo threw an impressive 17 touchdown passes in 10 starts last season and should be motivated to prove his success was no fluke. He’ll no doubt be a borderline No. 1 or 2 fantasy quarterback in all formats.

——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/17/2007 04:51:00 PM —– BODY:
Happy Father’s Day Happy Father’s Day to all the Die Hard Cowboys Dad’s out there today. Continue to raise your kids as Cowboys fans! Not much news today. Here’s an interesting article about The Cal Poly Curse and Courtney Brown. And a very good write up on our own 2nd year player, Jason Hatcher: “Hatcher camp teaches work ethic, positive attitude”
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/16/2007 10:27:00 AM —– BODY:
The Phillips 34 and How it Helps Romo Wade Phillips was the defensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers from 2004-2006 and he put together some solid defense in his tenure there. The big difference we’ll see are points allowed under the Phillips 34. Let’s look at the rankings with points allowed: San Diego Year/Rank | Cowboys Year/Rank 2006: #7 | 2006: #20 2005: #13 | 2005: #12 2004: #11 | 2004: #27 Correlation with team’s season record: 2006: San Diego (14-2) Cowboys (9-7) 2005: San Diego (9-7) Cowboys (9-7) 2004: San Diego (12-4) Cowboys (6-10) I expect the Cowboys to have much better numbers with points allowed, and hope the Cowboys could put together a 12-4 season or better, with a Super Bowl as the ultimate goal. SportingNews has a good article on the difference we’ll see between a Phillips 34 and Parcells 34. The main difference being a one-gap vs a two-gap:

It is a one-gap scheme, which distinguishes it from other 3-4 defenses. Movement, pressure and unpredictability are some of the ingredients. The system also has built-in versatility to accommodate the personnel. “Everybody thinks it’s the X’s and O’s, but it’s the Moes and Joes,” says Phillips, who turns 60 next week and has been a 3-4 guru since he joined the Houston Oilers as an assistant coach in 1976.

Supports more of what we’re learning about the Phillips 34. No more read and reacting, but rather, more attacking with playmakers. I can’t wait to see it in live action with the players we have. The secondary play is where we’re hoping to see some improvement. The 3-4 was suppose to allow the defense to pressure the QB and allow for more plays downfield from our secondary. Unfortunately, the front seven didn’t pressure the QB much at all, and the offense’s meal ticket was directed at Anthony Henry and Roy Williams.

Bill’s way: The lack of a pass rush up front put more pressure on these guys. Cornerbacks Terence Newman and Anthony Henry played a lot of press coverage and the safeties split the deep half of the field. Wade’s world: Don’t expect to see much cover 2. Strong safety Roy Williams had five picks in ’06, but shadowing receivers isn’t his forte. He’ll line up closer to the line more often and sometimes will be like another linebacker. Phillips still must determine how much zone the corners will play. X-factor: Free safety Ken Hamlin. In Seattle, he sometimes jumped shallow crossing routes and got beat from behind. But Phillips likes Hamlin’s range and thinks he’ll be a good center fielder and quarterback in the secondary.

Fanball.com has a small sneak peak at training camp, and they point out more of what I’ve thought; where, there won’t be a position battle per-se at the RB spot between Jones and Barber:

Fantasy owners are probably hoping to read about a wide-open competition between Jones and Marion Barber, but the new staff has given no indication of such a struggle. Garrett will change which types of running plays are used, but Phillips has insinuated that the Cowboys will continue to use a committee approach. Will Barber start over Jones? Will the touches be more equal? Possibly, but don’t expect one back to emerge as a clear carry leader

Another position battle of interest from the article is Pat McQuistan. McQuistan is quietly creeping up the ladder, and could be a legitimate starter this year:

We’re not quite ready to call it a “battle,” but the offensive line could still see some changes on the left side. Second-year man Pat McQuistan has earned a lot of praise during his time with the club, and he spent the summer filling in for Flozell Adams (minor knee surgery) at left tackle. Assuming Adams returns and looks fine, McQuistan could take one step to the right and challenge Kyle Kosier for the starting left guard job.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for McQuistan to battle it out. May the best player win! And of course more talk about Romo and his contract, but more interestingly is the talk about Garrett’s role in Romo’s success this year.

Romo is in the final year of his deal, and the Texans upped the price tag by inking Matt Schaub to an absurb, desperate, six-year, $48 million contract. The money is only half of the story with Romo, though. We’re also interested to see how he looks in Garrett’s new, vertical-oriented passing attack. Romo got off to a hot start in 2006, but he cooled down the stretch. Just how good is he?

I guess this is the benchmark set for Romo, this is what everyone else is writing about too. Those aren’t bad numbers. Question is, does Romo and his agent Tom Condon think he’s worth more? I’m sure this topic will stick around until camp starts. Garrett’s new offensive scheme is what Phillips new scheme to the defense will be: DYNAMIC. We’re going to see both units excel and the playmakers are going to carry the load. We’re going to spread the offense around, and be attacking. This topic of Romo “cooling down the stretch” or “falling apart” is becoming tiring to me. This is a team effort and the effects of everyone will effect the QB play, that’s just a fact. The interesting thing about this whole “falling apart down the stretch” subject can be pin-pointed as to when this supposedly started. I’m going out on a limb by saying the defensive woes came to the forefront once we lost Greg Ellis. And with the defensive woes came the offensive woes, and with the offensive woes comes this whole “Romo cooling down” crap. You can say what you want about Ellis, but he had a big impact on this team last year. Ellis went down in week 8 against the Cardinals, the following two weeks we had home game victories against the Colts, and the Bucs on Thanksgiving, after that, forget about it, the defense fell apart, and the offensive play calling stayed the same without change, teams figured out where to hit us on offense and defense. With Ellis out, teams down the stretch tore us up by targeting Bradie James, Roy Williams and the whole secondary, the Saints really exposed the weak spots bigtime. This is why we drafted Anthony Spencer this year, and not a OT or WR. If Ellis is not 100% at camp or during the season, Spencer will be that pressure guy we need in his spot. If not, expect that chink in the armor to get exposed, its a domino effect. What about Carpenter? Don’t worry about Carpenter, this guy is smart and dynamic, he’ll be out on the field more than you think. He’ll be right there pushing for a MLB spot too. So, with all that being said, this Phillips 34 will help the team as a whole, and with defensive success comes offensive success, they will feed off each other’s fortunes.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/15/2007 07:36:00 PM —– BODY:
Training Camp Dates Set & Other Notes Training Camp Schedule (dates & times subject to change) Tuesday, July 24 6:00-9:00PM (Kick-Off Event) Wednesday, July 25 2:30-4:30PM Thursday, July 26 9:00-11:00AM and 3:30-5:00PM Friday, July 27 2:30-4:30PM Saturday, July 28 9:00-11:00AM and 3:30-5:00PM Sunday, July 29 2:30-4:30PM Monday, July 30 9:00-11:00AM and 3:30-5:00PM Tuesday, July 31 2:30-4:30PM Wednesday, August 1 9:00-11:00AM and 3:30-5:00PM Thursday, August 2 2:30-4:30PM Friday, August 3 2:30-4:30PM Saturday, August 4 9:00-11:00AM and 3:30-5:00PM Sunday, August 5 2:30-4:30PM Monday, August 6 9:00-11:00AM and 2:30-4:30PM Tuesday, August 7 2:30-4:30PM Wednesday, August 8 2:30-4:30PM (Break Camp) SI.com has an article on 10 veteran players on the decline, and our very own Flozell Adams makes the dubious list.

Despite earning his third Pro Bowl nomination in 2006, Adams fell below his previous playing level. Still recovering from a torn ACL, he lacked the quickness and agility to handle speed rushers. Considering Adams massive size, it’s not surprising he struggled with finesse rushers, but in the past he did a better job of overwhelming them with his power.

Drafted in 1998, Flozell has been in the league for 9yrs, and some wear & tear is beginning to show up. So, while Flozell may have some recent nagging injuries, and is he on the decline? Maybe. Adams is still one of the top left tackles in the game. Lenny P. at ESPN.com expects Romo to get an extension soon.

If the Cowboys were to grab one of the top quarterback prospects in next spring’s draft — like Louisville’s Brian Brohm, Michigan’s Chad Henne, Kentucky’s Andre Woodson or Hawaii’s Colt Brennan — Jones would be forced to lay out huge money for an unproven player at the game’s most unpredictable position. (Dallas has Cleveland’s No. 1 pick as well as its own in the 2008 draft.) The Dallas owner would have a hard time reconciling that. So the question for the Cowboys isn’t whether to sign Romo to an extension, but rather, for how much? And that is the primary challenge to hammering out an accord that meets the needs of both sides.

To answer Lenny’s question, I would pay Romo a 6yr deal for $40-50 million. Jerry will take care of his QB, Romo is the new face of the Cowboys. I don’t buy the whole notion of Romo “slipping” towards the end of the season, you really have to enter other key variables into the equation. For Instance, the play calling, the shoddy defensive play, and bad field position. Your gameplan changes when you can’t or won’t do certain things on offense or the defense. Let’s face the facts, the offensive calls came from Parcells – way too conservative, not enough down the field passing, predictable run calls when Barber entered the game, and you know what I’m talking about. Towards the end of the year, the running attack slowed down, it wasn’t just Jones, but it was Barber too. When Barber came in, the defense knew it was going to be Barber running the ball, no disguises, it became very predictable.Three straight runs in a row to Barber, does that play calling sound familiar? I expect Garrett to change this up quite a bit. Jones and Barber will catch more screens in the flats. Romo is good now, but will be great this year with Garrett at his side. Garrett will be to Romo what Norv was to Aikman, get ready!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/14/2007 07:45:00 PM —– BODY:
From Rookie to Franchise Player Cowboys news is slow right now, so let’s go back in time to 2003 and look at our draft classes up through 2007. In 2003, Bill Parcells took over a franchise that had been successful in securing (3) consecutive 5-11 season, just horrible. Only four players remain on the team before Parcells took over in 2003: 2002 – Roy Williams (Campo) 2002 – Andre Gurode (Campo) 1998 – Greg Ellis (Gailey) 1998 – Flozell Adams (Gailey) The team we have now began its turnaround in 2003. Let’s go down memory lane and look back at these recent draft classes and see if we managed to draft some franchise players. 2003 (round) (1) Terence Newman CB Kansas St. (2) Al Johnson C Wisconsin (3) Jason Witten* TE Tennessee (4) Bradie James OLB LSU (6) B.J. Tucker CB Wisconsin (6) Zuriel Smith WR Hampton (7) Justin Bates OT Colorado Analysis: 3/7 players remain on team, Newman and Witten are clearly the franchise players from this draft. James needs to show more to stay onboard as the starting MLB. 2004 (round) (2) Julius Jones RB Notre Dame (2) Jacob Rogers OT Southern Cal (3) Stephen Peterman OG LSU (4) Bruce Thornton CB Georgia (5) Sean Ryan TE Boston Coll. (7) Nathan Jones CB Rutgers (7) Patrick Crayton WR NW Oklahoma St. (7) Jacques Reeves CB Purdue Analysis: 4/8 players remain on the team, Julius Jones and Patrick Crayton remain the best of this class. 2005 (round) (1) Demarcus Ware OLB Troy (1) Marcus Spears DE LSU (2) Kevin Burnett OLB Tennessee (4) Marion Barber HB Minnesota (4) Chris Canty DE Virginia (6) Justin Beriault S Ball St. (6) Rob Petitti OT Pittsburgh (7) Jay Ratliff DE Auburn Analysis: 6/8 players remain on the team, Demarcus Ware and Marion Barber III are franchise players in this draft. Spears has not lived up to most people’s expectations, Burnett has been hampered with injuries, Canty still looks like a steal in the 4th round and Ratliff has been a true steal with the last pick, he’s a solid player. 2006 (round) (1) Bobby Carpenter OLB Ohio State (2) Anthony Fasano TE Notre Dame (3) Jason Hatcher DE Grambling State (4) Skyler Green WR Louisiana State (5) Pat Watkins S Florida State (6) Montavious Stanley DT Louisville (7) Pat McQuistan T Weber State (7) E.J. Whitley T Texas Tech Analysis: 6/8 players remain on the team, of these 2nd year players, I expect Carpenter to have a great year, and so will Jason Hatcher. Fasano should be good in run support, Watkins will be in the mix at FS this year, and will get solid playing time in different packages. Stanley was cut last year after training camp, be re-signed this offseason, we’ll see if he can help out at the NT backup spot. Pat McQuistan continues to show great potential, and its just a matter of time before he starts at guard or tackle, a steal in the 7th round. 2007 (round) (1) Anthony Spencer DE Purdue University (3) James Marten T Boston College (4) Isaiah Stanback QB Washington (4) Doug Free T Northern Illinois (6) Nicholas Folk PK Arizona (6) Deon Anderson FB Connecticut (7) Courtney Brown CB Cal Poly (7) Alan Ball CB Illinois Analysis: I’m projecting at least 6/8 players make this team this year; however, its very possible that all make the team. Anthony Spencer, will be worked into the starting lineup, and will get alot of time at OLB, the rest of the guys will be playing for backup spots for this year; however, their longterm outlook could be very promising. Stanback is a project the Cowboys hope will be a threat in the return game. The Numbers: 19/53 (~36%) man roster have come from the draft since 2003, this number could rise to 27/53 (~51%) with the addition of the 2007 draft class. The other 64% come from players acquired from trade, free agency, four drafted players from 2002 & 1998, and undrafted rookie free agents, respectively. BEST DRAFT: 2005 WORST DRAFT: 2004, this class may be gone all together after this season BEST PICK: Demarcus Ware – 2005, 1st round, #11 overall WORST PICK: Jacob Rogers – 2004, 2nd round, #52 overall The Draft is hit and miss, its not an exact science, so we can only hope that the Cowboys can continue to add some franchise type players to the roster under new Coach, Wade Phillips.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/11/2007 11:14:00 PM —– BODY:
How Much is Romo Worth? I’m revisiting an article I wrote-up back in February, which discussed recent quarterback contracts in relation to what we could expect in a new deal for Romo, which could be right around the corner. The DMN has a new article quoting Romo in regards to this subject:

“I’d definitely like it before the season began, but you never know how these things go,” he said. “I know the Jones family. They know me. We’ll come to a conclusion.”

Last August, Romo signed a 1 Year, $3.9 million contract extension, which pays out $900,000 for ‘06, $1 million for ‘07 and a $2 million signing bonus. This locks him up through the 2007 season, but what happens after that? Let’s not get to that point, there’s already talk that getting Romo a new contract is in the works, and rightfully so. I would believe the consensus of Cowboys Nation is that we have our QB for the present and future, he has the often mentioned “IT” factor. The Cowboys will get Romo a new contract, but the question is how much cash will he get? This year it will cost clubs about $12,615,000 to slap a franchise tag on a QB and this will rise again for the 2008 season, so this is definitely not the route the Cowboys would want to go, nor would they want to let Romo test free agency next year which would, in turn probably mean a bidding war to re-sign him. So, when you ask yourself how much is Romo worth, or how much and how long would you sign him for there are several factors you must add into the equation. Let’s take a look at some recent contract extensions of “upper echelon” QBs: In 2002, Donovan McNabb signed a 12yr contract extension in September of 2002, netting him $115 million dollars In 2004, Mike Vick signed a mega contract of 10yrs for $130 million dollars, there will be many that have an opinion on that, but at the end of the day he got paid huge. In 2004, Peyton Manning signed a 7yr extension for $98 million dollars which includes the biggest signing bonus to date at $34.5 million dollars In 2005, Tom Brady signed a contract 6yr deal for $60 million dollars, depending on how the money is spead out that’s roughly $10 million yearly, pretty good for a damn good QB Let’s also look at some recent rookie QB contacts: In 2004, Eli Manning signed a rookie contract for 6yrs for $54million dollars, lot of money for minimal production thus far In 2004, Philip Rivers signed a rookie contract for 6yrs for $40.5 millions dollars In 2004, Ben Roethlisberger signed a rookie contract for 6yrs for $22.26 million dollars In 2005, Alex Smith signed a rookie contract for 6yrs for $50 million dollars In 2006, Vince Young signed a rookie contract for 6yrs for $54 million dollars In 2006, Matt Leinart signed a rookie contract for 6yrs for $50.8 million dollars So, these are the payouts for Veteran QBs that have been extended with new contracts, and some recent Rookie QB contracts being paid out lately. 6yr deals appear to be the preferred length for both Veteran and Rookie contracts, with the exception of a very few. So what’s it gonna be for Tony Romo, a star on the rise for the most covered team in sports, the Dallas Cowboys? Did he prove enough for you, the fan, to deserve a big payout like the QBs mentioned in this piece. For me, I’ve seen enough to know Romo is the real deal. Romo is a 4yr Veteran, who has been on the bench behind Quincy Carter(’03), Vinny Testaverde(’04), and Drew Bledsoe(’05 & some ’06), so in 2006 he played his first games as a starter, pretty much as a rookie quarterback. Romo was 6-4 as a starter, threw for 2904 yrds with 19TDs and 13INTs, compiling a QB rating of 95.1, not bad at all. Yes, he had a few hiccups here and there, but you’re gonna get that from “rookie” QB in Romo, he’ll recover and learn from his previous mistakes. On a side note,What really impressed me was before the Pro Bowl, Sean Payton told Romo he was going to hold on FG/XPs, and he would get more playing time. This is first class all the way from Payton – he got Romo back in the saddle and that’s what great coaches do for young players, and even though Payton is no longer with us, he still helped Romo get back and face something that is still fresh in Romo’s head. Thank You Payton. Romo has been blessed to have been mentored and groomed to be the next QB of the Cowboys. Bill Parcells and Sean Payton were instrumental in his progression, and Jerry Jones knows his continued development is needed, and this is why he brought in another of the leagues young rising offensive minds in the game, Jason Garrett. With all this being said, I think Jerry knows he finally has a franchise QB, one that he hasn’t had since Troy Aikman, and Jerry will take care of his guy. Many NFL clubs spend lots of money on early draft picks and free agents that never pan out, and the Cowboys may have missed on a few QB acquisitions, but they have an ultra-steal in Tony Romo. I expect Jerry to pay Romo a pretty good contract, we’ll just wait and see how much.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/10/2007 01:00:00 PM —– BODY:
On My Count, Attack! What’s the common theme you keep hearing over and over again? Attack. Unlike our units from previous years, this team will be attacking on both sides of the ball. No more read and reacting on every single down. We’re going to be in people’s faces on defense and on offense. What a concept, its music to my ears. On Defense, the defensive line will not just be big bodies occupying space, but rather, lineman on the attack as well. The linebackers will be attacking from different positions; stuff like 2-4 LBs blitzing at any given moment, with any different player combination: one MLB and one OLB blitzing, coupled with a safety or corner blitz. Obviously, blitzing full time is not what we’re going to be doing, but it will be in more frequency and more effective with the Phillips 34. Several players are looking forward to being in attack mode. Phillips wants to get his playermakers involved early and often. Players like Ware and Williams. Williams talks about how Phillips has designed some plays around him that could lead him to making more plays at the line (from DMN):

“I get to be more involved,” Williams said Saturday, the last day of minicamp for the Cowboys. “I like to be closer to the ball, and Coach Phillips installed some plays for me. I’m looking forward to it. I don’t know about blitzing, but shoot, at least I’m closer to the line; that’s half the battle.”

This is probably something we’ll see in Nickel and Dime formations, with Hamlin and Watkins in support in the secondary. Again, more attacking, and what better person than Williams. Williams strengths are to hit someone and hit them hard. Demarcus Ware is another playmaker on defense that is excited about this attacking defense, and he gives us some insight as to what he likes about this version of the 3-4(from DMN):

“You can create,” Ware said. “We can be a lot more aggressive instead of being a passive defense. This year, we’ll call our own plays before the offense breaks the huddle so we can be ready.”

I think Ware is right. Last year we were way too passive. I didn’t feel our version of the 3-4 was doing disruptive things like the Patriots and Chargers were doing. Those squads were aggressive, attacking, and keeping quarterbacks guessing. When our defense is on the field, I want that feeling inside that we will force fumbles, get ints, get sacks, bust people up, and maybe even score some TDs on defense as a result. The Offense will be in attack mode as well. When you think about the Cowboys and the times they were attacking people and taking over games, you think about the Cowboys of the ’90s. And that’s what Garrett sees this year’s offense looking like(from DMN):

“I think the base for this offense is a lot like what we had in Dallas in the ’90s. We did things that worked for Emmitt Smith and worked for Jay Novacek and obviously worked for the quarterback, and those are the things you try to do as a coordinator.”

More music to my ears. We definitely have the players at those key positions with Julius Jones, Marion Barber, Witten, and Tony Romo to name a few. I already did a small write up on “Garrett Bringin’ Witten Back” and we’re talking about Garrett utilizing Witten alot more in the passing game. Witten excels in the passing game. Last year he scored just (1) TD!, I expect more scoring potential under Garrett’s watch. Witten is ready for the new system (from DMN):

“I think we’re all anxious to see what kind of a play-caller he’s going to be,” Witten said. “I know he feels like the running game is important, but I think he’s going to be a down-the-field guy.”

We’re already hearing that Witten is getting more involved in the passing game from reports from the OTAs, and this past weekend’s mini camp reports. This is a good time to be a die hard fan. We have a truly genuine chance at making a serious run this year. Games should not come down to final drive FGs as they have in the past. We’re going to have offenses and defenses on their heals until they submit to our high powered weapons. This is Cowboys Football.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/08/2007 09:47:00 PM —– BODY:
Would Losing Ellis & Adams Be Detrimental? Over the past week the main focus of news seemed to be centralized around two key players; OLB Greg Ellis and LT Flozell Adams I discussed the potential for Flozell Adams this upcoming season, thinking this would be another one of his breakout season’s, well now comes the news that his knee is flaring up again. In fact, Adams just had some minor arthroscopic surgery which will sideline him until training camp. So, just when we thought Adams would be fully recovered from his knee injuries, it would appear that he may not be 100% at training camp, and his reliability for the regular season is not guaranteed unfortunately. We’re talking about a player that has had some recent nagging knee injuries, and you have to consider the wear and tear on Flo’s tires – the guy is 6-7 340, that’s a lot mass for his battered knees. Would losing Adams be detrimental to the team’s offensive success this year? Right now, you would have to say yes. Who would start at LT? Are we talking starting Pat McQuistan at LT, who would be a virtual rookie since he has no game time experience or moving Davis back to LT, which would in-turn leave a hole at RG. This is not going to happen. The Cowboys just released Rivera, and Davis was brought in for RG all along anyway. Davis feels his more comfortable at RG too:

“I feel like I’m better at guard,” said Davis, who played both guard and tackle in six seasons with Arizona. “At tackle in the pass set you might have a guy three to five yards outside you, but at guard you’ve still got to be quick because the guys right there in front of me. I’m really using my size and strength at either position.”(DMN)

It would appear that McQuistan (6-6, 315) would be the answer at LT should something happen to Adams. McQuistan played LT during OTAs in place of the sidelined Adams, and we’ll probably see McQuistan start this weekend’s mini camp at LT. McQuistan has shown a great deal of versatility on the line, and some believe he is poised to challenge Kosier for the LG spot this year. Whether its this year or next year, McQuistan will be a starter sooner or later, its not a matter of if, but rather when. You just never know, and Pat could end up having the better career than his twin brother Paul would was drafted in the 3rd round by the Raiders.

July ’06: “McQuistan played college ball with his brother Paul, a Raiders third-rounder recently dubbed a rookie starter, at Weber State. Pat might have a tougher time securing a roster spot.” (USA Today)

Fast forward, and McQuistan is looking to be the steal we had hoped and there’s absolutely no worry that he’ll make the roster this year and beyond. So, what about Greg Ellis? This is becoming a yearly event with Ellis, with all the makings of a weekly soap opera, this is just getting ridiculous. I like the player Ellis, and I can understand where he is coming from, so its one of these things that fans either agree or disagree with. I would believe that last year fans tolerated this subject more than this year. Fans, that backed up Ellis last year, have all but abandoned ship. Looking at his stats, Ellis is averaging 6.27 sacks a season. Personally, I want Ellis back on this team. He’s a solid player, and has valuable experience considering how young we’ve gotten in the front seven. However, Ellis is feeling slighted by Jerry Jones. After Thursday’s OTA Jerry said (from DC.Com):

“I don’t have any plans to meet with anyone who is under contract”

to which Greg Ellis said:

“That pretty much answers all your questions right there,” Ellis told a large group of reporters huddled around his locker. “A player that you’re serious about keeping, and you don’t meet with them? In any kind of job, if you want to keep them around, if that employee has some concern, you meet. “I was told by Jerry we were going to have a meeting. I didn’t even ask for a meeting. He walked up to me and said, ‘Greg we’re going to have a sit-down.’ And then to tell you guys we aren’t going to do that, that’s fine with me. But by him saying that, that pretty much answers all the questions. I didn’t answer them, I think Jerry answered them.”

Right now, this impasse is all business. Ellis wants to be smart about his career and his future, but he probably feels stuck with his current contract. He wants it reworked. Ellis’ teammates want him there, Spencer wants Ellis to return, and Spears spoke out on the subject (Watkins):

In team meetings, Ellis sits behind Spencer, telling him what to do as they watch film. Defensive end Marcus Spears said when his college roommate, New England Patriots defensive end Marquise Hill, died recently, Ellis was one of the first people to call him. “I know we need him around, that’s all that I’m concerned with,” Spears said. “Me and G are real close. I want him to be happy and I think whatever it takes to do that, he’s proven himself. He’s not a selfish guy, and I think they need to find some common ground.”

We all saw the drop off on defense last year when Ellis went down with an injury. The defense steadily went downhill and the wheels fell off towards the end. Yes, we have Spencer, and Carpenter, but Ellis still provides solid pass rush and much needed leadership on that young front seven. Spencer is unproven right now, albeit, he “looks” to be ready, and Ware has even said he thinks Spencer is ahead of him when he came in as a rookie 2yrs ago. So, there’s some positive things to think about. Anyway you cut it, its not a good thing to lose a solid player, especially in this aggressive Phillips 34 defense. You can NEVER have enough good solid players at LB. Losing Ellis would be detrimental. Too many unknowns right now, and potential doesn’t cut it in this league. Not to say Spencer or Carpenter are not going to be good players, I think they are definitely the future, if not this year, definitely full-on next year. These two LBs are too good to be anything else than starters. We’ll see how this plays out over mini camp. Keep an eye on McQuistan.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/08/2007 09:39:00 PM —– BODY:
Training Camp, Here We Come Its official, CowboysBlog.Net will be at Training Camp this year, and we’ll have the latest reviews, and analysis on the new crop of rookies as well as the veterans. Keep it here for the latest news.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/06/2007 04:57:00 PM —– BODY:
Mini Camp This Weekend

OTA – Thursday, June 7th

11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Practice (open to the media)

12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Locker room open to the media

Minicamp — Friday, June 8th

10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Practice (open to the media)

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Locker room open to the media

1:30 p.m. Wade Phillips press conference

3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Practice (open to the media)

Minicamp — Saturday, June 9th

10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Practice (open to the media)

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Locker room open to the media

3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Practice (open to the media)

4:45 p.m. Wade Phillips press conference
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/05/2007 10:38:00 AM —– BODY:
Courtney Brown Ready to Rejoin Cowboys Cowboys Rookie CB Courtney Brown has missed all the OTAs since he is still in school at Cal Poly. Despite missing the OTAs, Brown has been working hard to stay in shape by following a workout regimen given to him by Coach Jurasek. Brown is ready to rejoin the team and make a name for himself:

“You don’t know how eager I am to get back there,” Brown said last week. “I kind of feel like I’ve been missing out on a lot, so I want to get back there as soon as possible. I’ve been working out by myself and stuff, trying to stay in shape, but it’s different when you have a coach there telling you what you’re doing wrong and what you’re doing well.”(TheTribune)

Brown should be able to give us some solid depth at CB, and could be a steal.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/02/2007 12:03:00 PM —– BODY:
Media Infatuation With TO Continues To no surprise, the Cowboys paid Terrell Owens his $3million roster bonus, meaning he will be a Cowboy for the 2007 season, which we already knew. Something else we already knew is that the media was going to be all over this and had to throw their little jabs at Terrell and the Cowboys as an organization. How many article catch lines have you seen floating on the web? Crap like: “Owen’s Gets $3million Bonus Without Practicing” or “Owens not practicing but earns $3 million” or “TO is a no-show, but gets his raise” and from ESPN of course “Despite practice absence, T.O. to get $3M bonus” Ok, we get it. Not a big deal in my opinion. Terrell isn’t the only Cowboy missing the Voluntary practices either JJT at DMN has a good article and some valid points on missing OTAs. I think its funny how the media had to ride this into their corney little catch lines…lame. Let the man, get his money, and be done with it, get off his jock. Terrell is going to be here, he’s going to be a major force in our new offense, and he’ll likely be here again next year.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/30/2007 07:33:00 PM —– BODY:
Hotel Reservations Flozell Adams, you love him or you hate him. You love when he blows people off the line and you hate when he goes over the line offsides. The Cowboys find themselves in a interesting position at LT this year and for free agency in 2008. In 2008, Adams becomes an unrestricted free agent and you can bet there’s going to be a big market for Adams. Looking ahead at the market for 2008 and even 2009, there aren’t any marquee names at LT, and LT is a difficult position to solidify, teams draft very high to fill the LT spot. A few year’s ago the Raiders tried to fill LT with Robert Gallery and he’s being moved around that line with no identity – a virtual bust. The Browns drafted OT Joe Thomas, #3 pick overall to block Brady Quinn’s blindside. Next year’s draft offers two top seniors at OT in Michigan’s Jake Long and USC’s Sam Baker, but like any year, it’s a risk. With Adams available in ’08 there’s not much risk for teams. Teams are very willing to roll the dice on a LT. Was this offseason’s big free agent payouts an aberition or will this be the norm? If you’re Flo its gonna be another player’s market and moreover for Adams since he will be atop several teams looking for a LT. I’m predicting Adams will make his run for the big pay day with a solid season and another Pro Bowl nod. The Cowboys know that if Adams has a solid year, he will be a hot commodity for other teams. The reality is that other teams will target Adams in 2008. We may put some offers on the table, but I suspect Adams will be looking for “Bigg” money as in our very own free agent signing, Leonard Davis ($49.6 million/7yrs) and that’s not going to happen. Adams is going to be virtually unsignable for our taste, and not that we don’t have some spending taste, but I think the Cowboys have put themselves in a good position with young guys like McQuistan, Marten, and Free. These are big guys, and I look for all three of these guys to be in the starting lineup as Garrett is bringing Big Back, that is the overall plan. Its a win-win for Adams and the Cowboys. Expect Adams to be that true Pro Bowl player from a few years ago, run blocking, pass blocking, and blowing people up, too bad we only get this high level of play during contract years. Next offseason, teams could be setting reservations with Hotel Adams for free agency 2008.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/30/2007 02:48:00 PM —– BODY:
Mark Cuban to Compete with Jerry Jones? Dallas Mavericks owner is poised to establish a professional football league that will compete with the NFL. Cuban is looking to launch the UFL (United Football League) in August 2008. Cuban went on to say(FOX Sports):

“(Former NFL coach) Bill Walsh used to tell me that the last 20 players cut from every team were almost interchangeable with the last 20 players to make the team,” Hambrecht says. So far, the UFL has decided to put teams in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Mexico City. Cuban, unsurprisingly, is considering buying the team in Vegas, according to the report.

Like gimmick leagues from the past, this will be a failed venture, see XFL, USFL.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/28/2007 01:27:00 PM —– BODY:
Happy Memorial Day I want to wish all of our soldiers past and present, at home and overseas a happy and safe memorial day. The bravest of the brave lay it on the line each day to help protect this great nation, which we should all be grateful for. Thank You. Not much news today, but I did find this cool article from HOFMag.com named “He Shut Up and Played” by Lessley Visser. Its a good read on Aikman. Excerpt: “For as long as I can remember,” said Troy, now the lead analyst at Fox, “all I wanted to do was play professional sports. I was able to live that dream, I know very few get the chance. Norv would often remind me, when I’d lost or been sacked a million times, ‘This is the job you always wanted’. To win three World Championships and be selected to the Hall of Fame, I am humbled.” Enjoy and Continue supporting our troops!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/26/2007 12:59:00 PM —– BODY:
To Be a Two Back System or Not To Be | You can say the Cowboys started this revolution in 2005, when we added Marion Barber III to the backfield. The Cowboys drafted Julius Jones the year before. In 2005, we drafted MB3, and some thought he would be used as a possible back up to Julius Jones, but those weren’t the plans. Parcells planned on using a two-back attack, and the Cowboys one of a few teams that paved the way for other teams going to a two back system. ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli suggests that the two back system is on its way out. Pasquarelli points out several teams getting away from the two back system, such as Indianapolis and a few other former two back systems:

Addai, who led all rookies in rushing yards in 2006 despite not starting a regular-season game, also figures to tote a significantly heavier load in the offense this year. Dominic Rhodes, the nominal starter in 2006, is gone, having defected to Oakland as an unrestricted free agent

Other top contenders that have moved away from the two back system are New England and the Bears. Corey Dillion was released from the Patriots, and is about to retire, the Bears opted to trade Thomas Jones to the Jets. Basically these teams have not moved away from this system, but have been forced to rely on a #1 RB due to player attrition via release, trade, and free agency. There’s going to be attrition every year, and teams would like the luxury of having a two back system, but there are all these variables that will come into play. In addition, some players in a two back system aren’t going to be happy because in some cases one of the two backs wants to be the #1 and only starting back. More:

Just when it seemed the pendulum was swinging toward teams that preferred a two-back system, a practice that would have been anathema not too many years ago, the momentum seems to have shifted again. General managers who were justifiably concerned over the effects of wear and tear on their No. 1 tailbacks, and thought that they had found a viable solution by spreading the carries around, suddenly find themselves fretting again about a lack of distribution in the running game.

The system does work well, but when you have two good running backs, one of the two will eventually want the chance to be the #1 sole starter for another team. Its the idea that doesn’t work well with young talented players that inherently want the spotlight, recognition, and accolades – its natural, its competition. Everyone wants to be the next Emmitt, Walter, or Barry. There are still some top contending teams that utilize the system like The Cowboys (Jones & Barber), the Saints (McAllister & Bush) ,the Chargers (Tomlinson & Turner), and Jacksonville (Taylor & Maurice-Drew). With these teams, we’ll probably see some attrition with the Cowboys and Chargers, eventually the Saints in a year or two. This doesn’t mean the system is dead or does it?. If the Cowboys choose not to extend Julius he’ll be a free agent next year, but the Cowboys may already have their eyes set on a few other RBs to come in. The Chargers are going to lose Turner next year, so we’ll see what their plans are, Norv’s background employs a one back system for the most part, so they may be done with the two back system after this year. So in the end, its not whether teams want a two back system, teams do want the system, but its more of a “short term luxury” than a need. There are great benefits for a two back system. Your offense is more balanced, you have fresh legs in the game at all times, and the wear and tear is diminished a bit on the running backs. The majority of the teams in the playoffs this year employed the two back system – they had that luxury last year. Will we see these teams return to the playoffs with their loses at RB? We will see.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/24/2007 11:59:00 PM —– BODY:
Solidifying a Backup QB It was no surprise when the Cowboys released Drew Bledsoe, but during free agency the question remained as to who was going to backup starter Tony Romo. The Cowboys opted to sign a seasoned veteran in Brad Johnson. Seems like a logical fit. Move forward to mini camp and there are reports that Johnson looked average at best and lacked zip on his passes. Nothing to be too concerned about I guess, but what if Johnson looks bad in camp and in preseason? For now, let’s just hope this won’t be an issue once the pads come on. So you figure Johnson is here for a year, maybe 2 at the very most. The QB to watch is Matt Baker. Baker went undrafted last year, and ultimately out played Drew Henson who was released early. Baker was liked by Coach Parcells, but Parcells opted to just keep two active QBs last year; however, it looks like he could have a place on this team now and the future. Baker has been working diligently mentally and physically, and appears to be the guy to beat for the #3 QB spot this year, and probably for #2 next year. Baker remembers how it felt last year, being the odd man out from the active roster:

“It was tough being out there (last year) as the third guy,” Baker said. “I prepared every week like I had to be ready to play. That’s the way you had to look at it and learn. You go through everything with the team and then not being there in gameday and not exposed to all of that was hard.”(DMN)

Physically, Baker spent time working hard under the watchful eye of conditioning guru Joe Jurasek. Baker’s arm is stronger and he’s exhibited in during this recent mini camp and practices:

“I can make the same throws as last year as I can this year, but it’s just being comfortable in taking risks and knowing when to take risks,” Baker said. “I have a better feel for the speed of the game.”(DMN)

Its early, but as of right now, Baker is making the right decisions on the field and is making his mark at the backup position. Whether or not the Cowboys carry three QBs is too hard to predict right now, but I would say Baker is the guy to beat. Undrafted QBs Matt Moore and Richard Bartel are very raw and green and are probably looking for a practice squad position at best. Baker doesn’t mind the competition:

“You’ve got to compete with anyone, but I was hoping they wouldn’t draft one early because in my position it’s not too often you let an undrafted guy from the year before compete with a top draft pick,”(DMN)

——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/24/2007 02:12:00 PM —– BODY:
Is Keyshawn Canton Bound? There will be those who believe that Keyshawn is HOF worthy and some that won’t, but the truth is that Keyshawn Johnson will probably be nominated sometime soon after he is eligible for the Hall of Fame. Is Johnson a lock or a shoe-in? Not likely, but as Cowboy fans, we know that all to well with Drew Pearson still out there uninducted and with Irvin taking 3 attempts to get in. For me, Keyshawn has already taken the first step by staying active in the sports arena by signing a deal with ESPN. Keyshawn will stay fresh and upto date in football, he’s a likable personality in the booth and he’ll make some relationships with other media pundits who ultimately vote people into the HOF. So this is the first step. Statistically speaking, he has the numbers and the accolades. Let’s take a look at Keyshawn’s numbers vs. Irvin’s numbers vs. Andre Reed: Keyshawn Johnson 3-time Pro Bowler: 1998, 1999, 2001 1 Super Bowl Victory 167 games Rec 814 yrds 10571 y/r 13.0 TDS 64 Michael Irvin 5-time Pro Bowler: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 3 Super Bowl Victories 159 games Rec 750 yrds 11904 y/r 15.9 TDS 65 Andre Reed 7-time Pro Bowler: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 0 Super Bowl Victories 227 games Rec 951 yrds 13198 y/r 13.9 TDS 87 Michael Irvin is a Hall of Famer after 3 attempts, Andre Reed made it to the finals, but did not get in this year, statistically speaking Keyshawn’s numbers are close to Irvin’s. So, based on this, would it be so far fetched to think Keyshawn would not be inducted? He’s got the Super Bowl victory, the Pro Bowls, and solid numbers, pretty well balanced career when you compare him to Irvin and Reed. If Keyshawn stays in major media sports broadcasting, and keeps his personal life in-check, then its my estimation that Keyshawn has a legitimate chance of being a hall of fame nominee/inductee.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/23/2007 07:50:00 PM —– BODY:
Keyshawn Retires from NFL Keyshawn visited several teams and was offered a contract with the Tennessee Titans, but Keyshawn opted to retire. Keyshawn will now join the guys at ESPN. I wish Keyshawn the best in his retirement, he’ll be a good voice at ESPN. I think he did a pretty good job in his draft day coverage, and this should carry over. He did good things in the NFL, and was an exciting player to watch over the years. Keyshawn had a few comments about his retirement, from The Ledger Independent:

“I’ve done everything I wanted to do in my career. I tried to find as much as I could to push me back and play football for one or two more years,” Johnson said at a news conference on the Southern California campus, where he starred in college. “I wavered time and time again,” he said. “I’ve lived my dream. Now, I’m going to live another dream. I think today is not as emotional as the last two weeks, thinking about it. There were times there were sleepless nights, wondering if this was the right thing to do.”

——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/22/2007 07:45:00 AM —– BODY:
CowboysBoard.Com DeMarcus Ware Interview Thanks to our fellow die hard board member cowboyzadam for landing this exclusive interview for our community. Thanks cowboyzadam! Enjoy! 1. Since the fans already do this, how much do you compare yourself to Shawne Merriman? Does his success play a role in your personal motivation?” Shawne is a very good player and deserves all the positive credit he gets. I have never understood why he is labeled as being overrated as a player. He does what his Coaches ask of him and he does it well. I understand that fans will always compare the 2 of us but that does not mean I put much importance on it. I do what I do best and Shawne does what he does best. I never use a player to self motivate myself. I look within myself for motivation because every time I step out on the field I am striving to better my game and myself for my fans and my teammates. 2.How do you like the new Wade Phillips’ environment? Yes, the atmosphere with the Cowboys has become a lot looser. The guys are joking around a lot more in the locker room and during practices. We are professionals and we know when to draw the line and get back to work, and Coach Phillips allows us to do that. I think you Cowboy fans are in for a treat this year. 3. What kind of help and tips are you going to give Anthony Spencer, seeing as he is in the same spot as you were in 2 years ago? Spencer is a great young guy with fire in his eyes let me tell you. He does remind me of myself a little bit because he is hungry. I think he is a little bit ahead of me right now as when I first came to Dallas. He is very smart and has an uncanny natural ability to pick things up really quick. The guys all seem to like him and I just tell him to listen to everything the Coaches say and ask a lot of questions. You cannot let yourself get discouraged because there is a lot to learn for a rookie coming into the NFL. He has to take it one day at a time and he knows I am there for him if he needs help. 4. What do you miss most about Parcells? Read the rest at CowboysBoard.Com
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/20/2007 07:23:00 PM —– BODY:
Holmgren Re-visits K-Ball Conspiracy Holmgren recently chimed in again on the k-ball controversy in which Tony Romo bobbled the snap which led to a gut-wrenching Cowboys loss. To me its even ridiculous to imagine Holmgren would confess something if something crooked was done in the first place, who would admit to such a heinous act? You just never know though. Holmgren went on to say:

“Well, the ball looks shiny because of the light. I went to Erik Kennedy, our equipment guy, and he goes, ‘Hey, listen, I was in there, the Dallas guy was in there, by the rules of how we did those things.’ They both go in there, and they rub them down and inspect them. That was the way it was. “Now, if you watch Romo, he caught the ball. But then when he went to put it down, he lost it. If it was really slippery, sometimes you’ll see it like a greased pig; it will kind of slip through his hands. But he caught it, and then he just got a little casual [putting it down].”(AP)

Let’s be real, we’ll never really ever know. What we do know is that the K-Ball rule has been tweaked to help combat future controversy. From AOL Fanhouse:

Now the NFL will mark the 12 K-balls in the game, one through 12. K-ball No. 1 will be used on the opening kickoff and on every kicking play it’s available. Then the No. 2 K-ball will be put into play. It, too, will be used on every kicking play until it is no longer available. The rule used to be that twelve K-balls, marked 1 thru 12, were rotated during a game so that each ball was used the same amount of times. Those balls were fresh out of the box and weren’t allowed to be used for anything until they get into the game. However the balls weren’t worn enough and would often still be slick and have been a sore spot for kickers throughout the league.

The Cowboys have already tested out some of these new k-balls from the manufacturer, Wilson Sporting Goods. This offseason the Cowboys got with specialist and deep snapper L.P. Ladouceur.

“It is a little sticky,” long snapper L.P. Ladouceur said. The league has made several minor changes to the K-ball rules for next season, at least partly stemming from Tony Romo’s botched hold late in the Cowboys’ playoff loss to Seattle. (FWST)

Anyway, here’s to us hopefully not needing to rely on FGs to win games anymore. I’m hoping that Garrett and the rest of the offensive staff let this group of guys loose. Let’s be explosive and lets attack rather than be cautious every single drive.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/19/2007 08:46:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Enemy Wire: Portis Has Patella Tendonitis While scanning the web for news, I came across some news on the much hated Washington Redskins. Its always good to keep tabs on the enemy, and there seems to be some concern in DC over RB Clinton Portis’ knee or lack there of. We all know Portis has had some durability issues throughout most of his career, but is looks like the nagging injuries are taking a toll on Portis. Not to say that Portis is not going to play well this year, but it is something to monitor. Portis was unable to practice at OTAs the last few days due to soreness in his knee, its not believed that this will take Portis out of action, but we’ll see. From Rotoworld.com:

After experiencing pain in his knee during OTAs, Clinton Portis missed Thursday and Friday’s sessions while meeting with Dr. James Andrews. Team Dr. Bubba Tyer says Portis has patella tendinitis in the knee. Already rehabbing from shoulder and hand surgeries, the new injury may jeopardize his availability for the rest of the offseason if it lingers. Tyer expects Portis to be “fine” after “some therapy,” but this is a situation to monitor. Portis has more wear and tear on him than the typical 25-year-old running back.

If for whatever reason Portis’ injury requires time off during the season, and I believe ultimately it will based on his past history, then we’ll see back up RB Ledell Betts as the starter. Betts was given a long-term deal last season for this very reason – Portis is simply too banged up and they need someone adequate to help out. The fans in DC don’t seem very upbeat about this latest development some may still be bitter about the Bailey for Portis trade. From AOL Fanhouse:

Of course, there would be fewer questions about the defense if the team still had Bailey and that second-round pick. Yeah, I know, Bailey didn’t want to be in DC, but that had everything to do with money and nothing to do with, well, anything else. Seeing that Portis signed a $50-million deal, I feel like Dan Snyder and Bailey could’ve worked something out.

I honestly don’t see the Redskins as a legimate contender this year by any means, and with all the bad chemisty, players missing, not working out, etc. it could be the Redskins who end up drafting Arkansas’ RB Darren McFadden
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/18/2007 07:20:00 PM —– BODY:
Good Camp Battles to Watch While there’s already some great intrigue created by this past mini camp session, the truth always finds a way to come to the surface – once the pads get on, its a different story. Let’s look at a few key “camp battles” to watch at this year’s training camp and preseason. The top camp battle for me is going to be in the secondary, Watkins vs. Hamlin Let’s be real here, the Hamlin signing is a short-term insurance policy, that provides us with a good veteran and solid depth at FS. Its still likely that Hamlin will lineup opposite Roy Williams, but don’t count out Patrick Watkins. Watkins was miffed when he fell to the 5th round last year, came to camp with a chip on his shoulder, and eventually cracked into the starting lineup. For a rookie he played well, sure he had a few mess ups, but that’s to be expected from a rookie. Either way you cut it though, Watkins will see significant playing time, and should Hamlin falter in training camp or the preseason, you can feel good about Watkins getting back in the lineup. According to our readership 50% believe Hamlin will be the starter, 44% believe Watkins will be the starter, and 5% are not sure. Those numbers are close. We’ll see how this one unfolds, its going to be a good one. The San Antonio Express recently chimed in on the topic as well:

Dallas believes Pat Watkins can still emerge as a starter down the line. The Cowboys may have settled for Ken Hamlin on a one-year deal because they’re planning on Watkins as their starting free safety in 2008 and beyond. An athletic freak, the 6-5 Watkins should benefit from his season to learn.

Carpenter vs. James If you look at how the starting LBs in the Phillips 34, its safe to assume the starters will be: OLB Demarcus Ware MLB Bradie James* MLB Akin Ayodele OLB Greg Ellis* The (*) meaning those in jeopardy of losing their starting spot. In this discussion we’re focusing on James. James is the incumbent, but there’s evidence the Cowboys are preparing for a scenario that would have Carpenter overtaking James at MLB. Carpenter worked at MLB last offseason, and again this offseason. James has had one solid season, and has been adequate, and last year did not help his cause with several busted plays directed right at him. Sean Payton knew the weakness in the LB core, and tore it up. Then came Detroit later, and they tore it up. James was horrible in coverage and got ate up regularly. Is 2nd year player, Carpenter ready to man the spot. Carpenter ran the 2nd team defense and called the plays on defense during mini camp. According to Coach Phillips, he wants the best players on the field and wants to utilize their skills as best as possible. If there’s a chink in the armor then its Bradie James, and it would be ludicrous not to want competition there. Carpenter was rated much higher at MLB than James coming out of college, and is way more athletic. You can bet Carpenter is going to be out there more and more. Worst case scenario, you’d see Carpenter play extensively in nickel packages. Either way you cut it, you gotta have this explosive sideline-to-sideline player on the field somewhere and I think Phillips already recognizes this. Ellis vs. Spencer We’ve all read the same old news, and its a broken record…Ellis wants an extension, and he wants a commitment from the Cowboys. The stark reality is that the Cowboys are not going to redo the contract and Ellis needs to get over that. Sure he can ask for a trade, but the Cowboys are not inclined to make a trade. Ellis is a solid player, and performed pretty good in his new position at OLB in the 3-4, and this year should be no different, so just get out there and play Greg. Ellis’ latest tirades mostly stem from the Cowboys drafting Anthony Spencer, who right now looks to be the real deal and will indeed provide a dynamic one-two death blow punch as he lineups up opposite Ware. Ellis is the starter according to Coach Phillips, but this is going to be a camp battle to watch. I expect Spencer to overcome Ellis this offseason, and at the latest sometime early in the season. Spencer was brought here to attack the QB, and its hard to envision the Cowboys holding him back. Jones vs. Barber The media wants to make this into something sensational, but the reality here is going to be that these two RBs will contribute similarly as they did last year; however, I honestly believe this will be Julius Jones’ season. All his talk about 1600 yards and 20tds can come true in this new offense. Garrett likes how Jones runs and sees the same elusiveness that Emmitt had. Back when Jones was drafted his highlight reel looked like Emmitt Smith, and he looked like that player his rookie year, then came his “robotic” running style, overcoached or whatever you want to call it. Garrett is going to let Jones be that instinctive runner again, and watch out. Jones thinks he won’t be extended; so, not only does he want to play well this season, this is his time to show off his skills for potential teams for 2008. Its not something I personally want to see happen, but its very possible. Some rumors apparently already have Arkansas’ RB Darren McFadden penciled in as our starter next season, far fetched? Maybe, maybe not. But let Jones get his run on and see what fans think then. I see the mood changing should Jones have an explosive season. Barber will be used the same as last year, he too will get his chances to run instinctively, and this can only help Barber. At the end of the day, there’s not a camp battle here, just some interesting topics for fans to argue over. FACT: Jones and Barber will share the load and BOTH will take this running attack to another level, the best duo in the league. Other teams are installing the two back system, but we have one if the better duos in the league. Somehow its good to have these type of problems, its good to have this type of depth and competition in areas were it seems incumbents are locks, but not this year. The Cowboys are doing a great job in the scouting department and continue to inject quality players to an already full roster of pretty good players.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/14/2007 07:38:00 PM —– BODY:
Garrett’s Bringin’ Witten Back There’s already evidence of Witten getting more action in the passing game, Coach Phillips stated Witten was in motion, and in some wide-out sets. Look for Garrett to utilize Witten in the same vein as Novacek. He can block in the running game but will be more effective in the passing game which will open up more one-on-one matchups and more explosiveness from the running attack. Last year Witten had (1) TD…. let me say that again, Witten had (1) TD last season. Now, there is something horribly wrong with that statistic, and I expect a lot more usage from Witten this year. Gone will be the 3 straight running plays for no gain with Barber. Rest assured, Witten will get in the game this year as Garrett’s Bringin’ him back.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/14/2007 01:04:00 AM —– BODY:
Roy Williams at MLB in Nickel Packages News from mini camp had Roy Williams lining up at MLB next to Kevin Burnett in some nickel packages. Hamlin and Watkins manned the safety spots interestingly enough. Back in March after we signed Hamlin I envisioned a way that Roy could be closer to the line while Watkins and Hamlin played saftety Quoting my own blog from march 23:

I see the Cowboys using all 3 safeties during the course of a game. The Cowboys want Roy closer to the line, so we could see some sort of hybrid formation where Roy is indeed closer to the line, and Hamlin moves to SS, and Watkins at FS, this is probably more of what we’re going to see.

This is now reality as this was practiced live at mini camp, from dc.com:

When the Cowboys went to their nickel defense in Sunday’s practice, safety Roy Williams teamed with Burnett as the inside linebackers in the 4-2-5 package. The idea is to get Williams closer to the line of scrimmage, where he is more effective, and out of coverage. Williams had trouble at times last season covering tight ends and receivers down the middle as a safety. Ken Hamlin and second-year safety Pat Watkins manned the two safety spots in the package, while the corners remained unchanged from last season, with Glenn and Anthony Henry covering the outside receivers and Terence Newman jumping into the slot. Up front it was DeMarcus Ware at right end and Anthony Spencer at left end, with Chris Canty and Jay Ratliff inside at the tackle positions. Ellis, though, said new head coach Wade Phillips has talked to him about rushing from an inside spot once he’s healthy. This might be the type of player Phillips wants at one of the nickel linebacker spots since Keith Davis was manning the same spot on the seconnd-team defense.

——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/12/2007 07:56:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Mini Camp Day 1 Notes Football is in the air, as the Cowboys began their offseason Mini Camp. Let’s take a look at the headlines in today’s mini camp. TO The leading headline of course was Terrell Owens. TO was not expected to participate during this mini camp; however, surprisingly he did participate quite a bit. He caught a couple of passes, including a deep bomb from Tony Romo. TO caught everything thrown to him, no dropped passes. Ellis Update Greg Ellis was at mini camp, but he was not practicing on field; instead, Ellis was on the sideline working on his rehab with some intense agility drills. Wade Phillips commented on the future of Greg Ellis, and Phillips said: “He’s our starting outside backer,” “Everybody saw last year what happened when he wasn’t there. He can be a dominant player.”(DMN) Ellis looked in great shape and apparently there are no signs of a limp. Good news to hear all around. Several players see Ellis as the leader on defense including 2yr DE Jason Hatcher whom we interviewed a couple of weeks ago. Carpenter playing at MLB again? Today the Cowboys worked Carpenter at MLB, and why wouldn’t they, he’s a very athletic gifted tackler. Phillips keeps repeating the notion that he wants the best players on the field and he wants to utilize their strengths in a way that will benefit the team. Carpenter is not a bust, and did not have a disappointing year. To even think he did, is a farce. Carpenter was held back by Parcells to a degree, but once he was injected at the end of the season and playoffs, you could see the first round talent was the real deal. The question however remains, where is he going to play? MLB or OLB? I’m confident Carpenter will be on the field on a regular basis. Does that mean Carpenter could replace James at MLB? Yes, its a possibility and to not consider that would be plain dumb. James struggled in coverage bigtime, and Carpenter is a well rounded player that can do a better job. Carpenter could also see time at OLB in the nickel, were his coverage skills could come into play again. Carpenter knows this and says: “It was a rough transition last year,” Carpenter said. “But looking at it this year, I feel confident that I can play either/or and be successful at both. I just want to be out on the field making plays.”(DMN) Romo on Fire Romo has been hard at work mentally and physically. Romo was on fire today when he connected for 16 of 20 during 11-man drills today against the defense. Even though the high pressure packages on defense were not in effect, Romo still looked sharp by several reports from this first mini camp. Romo has been relieved of duty on field goals and Brad Johnson will be the new holder thankfully. Julius Jones Not Practicing With Team? From DMN: Julius Jones is getting the majority of the reps with the first-team offense, but he hasn’t necessarily made a great impression on Wade Phillips. Phillips pointed out that Jones is one of the only guys that hasn’t been working out at the Cowboys’ facility. Jones opted to work out in Arizona instead. Phillips noted that Jones, who is chiseled as usual, appears to be in great shape and knows the team’s new pass protection schemes. But Phillips prefers his players to work out with the team strength coaches. Phillips also believes the off-season conditioning program is important to the “team aspect.” Phillips Differentiates Between Laid Back & Hardwork I knew this would come into question, but Coach Phillips made it clear today during his press conference when it came to his coaching styles and philosophy. Phillips said: “Hard work and good times go together,” Phillips said. “But hard work has got to come first.”(DMN) Isaiah Stanback Still Learning Last year the Cowboys used a 4th round pick on Skylar Green in hoping he would be the answer in the return game; however, this was not the case and Green is no longer with the team. A year later, the Cowboys are still looking for an answer. Stanback was drafted this year in the same round and is a converted QB to WR/PR specialist according to the Cowboys. Playing WR for Stanback is nothing new, he actually started out as a WR, but was converted to a QB. Kinda sounds like Patrick Crayton who the Cowboys hope to have the same conversion success with Stanback. Today Stanback did field some punts. “Stanback looked like a beginner back there. He had trouble judging a few punts, although he fielded every ball cleanly during the second practice. The other Cowboys who caught punts today are Terence Newman, Patrick Crayton, Jamaica Rector and Quincy Butler.” (DMN) Rookie QB Matt Moore Looked Bad? Apparently undrafted rookie Matt Moore looked horrible today, and was outplayed with 3rd string incumbent Matt Baker. From DMN: Moore’s first pass in 7-on-7 drills was picked off. He fumbled his first snap in 11-on-11 drills. He didn’t do anything too impressive with any of the few other reps he got. Incumbent third-stringer Matt Baker looked much better, but it’s not like the job will be determined by the events on the first day of minicamp.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/07/2007 07:00:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Mini Camp Dates Set Saturday, May 12 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PRACTICE (Open to the Media) 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. OPEN LOCKER ROOM TO MEDIA 1:30 p.m. COACH PHILLIPS AVAILABLE 3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. PRACTICE (Open to the Media) Sunday, May 13 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. OPEN LOCKER ROOM TO MEDIA 1:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. PRACTICE (Open to the Media) Monday, May 14 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PRACTICE (Open to the Media) 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. OPEN LOCKER ROOM TO MEDIA 1:30 p.m. COACH PHILLIPS AVAILABLE 3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. PRACTICE (Open to the Media)
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/29/2007 07:51:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Draft in The Bag! Here’s a rundown of the players we drafted with a few quick thoughts on the picks 1st Pick (1st round) DE Anthony Spencer – Purdue 6-3, 261lbs Spencer will be in the OLB rotation with Ellis and Carpenter. This is an immediate impact player and could find himself in heavy rotation. 2nd Pick (2nd round) OT James Marten – Boston College 6-7.5, 309lbs Marten was the 2nd player the Cowboys drafted, and one of the top LT in this draft. This is a depth pick and future starter pick right here, straight up. Assuming Marten can live up to his dominating prowess he’ll be set to be an impact player. This is a big player here. 3rd Pick (4th round) QB Isaiah Stanback – Washington 6-2, 216lbs Stanback is the replacement for the pick we missed on with Skylar Green. Same round, same purpose. Stanback will be on special teams and probably utilized in the return game. We did not draft him for a backup QB. 4th Pick (4th round) OT Doug Free – Northern Illinois 6-6, 324lbs Free could be the steal at this part of the draft. Free blocked well for the top rushing leader in ncaa last year, and you’ll notice he is another big guy at 6-6 324. He’ll be plugged in for a backup role and groomed for future spot on the line. 5th Pick (6th round) K Nick Folk – Arizona 6-1, 225lbs Folk is a surprise here considering fellow prospect Mason Crosby was still on the board as well. Folk has a strong leg and can kick the ball deep. He’ll compete with Gramatica this year. I don’t want to waste a spot with (2) kickers. Do you? 6th Pick (6th round) FB Deon Anderson – Connecticut 5-10, 236lbs Anderson was drafted to give the Cowboys some options as FB. Garrett is hoping to get more from the FB this year, and Anderson will give Polite some competition for that roster spot. 7th Pick (7th round) CB Courtney Brown – Cal Poly 6-1, 205lbs Brown was drafted for CB depth, we didn’t draft an impact CB in the early rounds, so this means we’ll be rolling with Henry, Newman, and Glenn as the starters, but after that we have Jacques Reeves and Nate Jones who signed their 1yr tenders this year, so this pick protects and gives up depth for this year and especially next year when Reeves and Jones could move on. 8th Pick (7th round) CB Alan Ball – Illinois 6-1, 175lbs Ball was drafted for the same reason as Brown, see above* More Notes Overall, I like the feel of this draft, and I like how we have positioned ourselves for next year’s draft. We have (2) first rounder and this will REALLY help us out, especially if we choose not to re-sign Julius Jones next year, and this will give us some options for a high end WR, if we lose one or both of our receivers. One thing you’ll notice in this draft is the size of the Offensive Lineman, we took. They are BIG. Garrett is bringin’ BIG back. Remember the amount of beef we had on our lines back in the 90’s, well they could be makin a comeback here pretty soon…
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/27/2007 07:33:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Top Targets for Draft Day Here are the top targets as of this draft’s eve: DE/OLB Anthony Spencer – Purdue S/CB Brandon Meriweather – Miami CB Aaron Ross – Texas WR Dwayne Jarrett – USC WR Robert Meachum – Tennessee WR Dwayne Bowe – LSU
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/24/2007 05:21:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Narrow Draft Target to Three Unlike previous years, we’ve known a week or two before the draft who the Cowboys were probably going to draft. This year, there is no clear cut draft prospect that is penciled in. We have learned through a close source to the team that the Cowboys have narrowed their pick to three. DB – Aaron Ross – Texas 6-0.5 193lbs. 4.50/40 S – Brandon Meriweather – Miami 5-10.5 195lbs. 4.47/40 WR – Dwayne Jarrett – USC 6-4 220lbs. 4.62/40 In addition, there are two teams offering their #1 in 2008, and #2nd rounder, plus another 2nd day pick this year to the Cowboys. This is another option currently on the table and it will be considered, but will not be executed until #22 is on the clock.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/23/2007 11:40:00 PM —– BODY:
Jerry Jones Rules on Draft Day First, let me make it clear I am not bashing Jerry Jones, but during Parcells’ reign did we ever see Jerry hold a pre-draft declaration as he did today in his latest press conference. I think Jerry was very definitive in this latest PC; moreover, he pretty much let it be known that he is back and in FULL control come draft day. Sure, we heard there will be input by the scouts, Ireland, and Coaches, but let’s be real. Parcells had huge control on who we drafted during his tenure. The only thing that should concern some fans is the history of Jerry Jones’ drafts. Jimmy and Bill had their control, but rest assured, the big boss is back in full control. Let’s hope he has learned from past draft class busts and lead us with another solid draft.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/18/2007 09:15:00 PM —– BODY:
Draft Talk: Russell Will Not Be #1 Overall Pick While the consensus think that JaMarcus Russell will be the #1 Overall pick in this year’s draft I don’t believe this at all. Here’s why: The Raiders need immediate talent on offense and Russell would need a year or two on the bench. He has a big arm, who cares, so what. Russell, in my opinion has “bust” written all over him. LSU simply has not put out very solid players in a long time, let alone at QB. In addition, its a known fact that Al Davis still likes Andrew Walter, a 3rd round pick a few years ago, but, there is noise in Detroit which could make QB Josh McCown available via trade or from release from the Lions. Davis will take McCown. There’s also a possibility that Daunte Culpepper could reunite with Moss in Oakland, his release from the Dolphins is imminent. Even though Culpepper would be a risky acquisition, it could pay off. My take: The Raiders are going to draft WR Calvin Johnson – Georgia Tech. He’s the best player in this draft and a sure shot impact starter. This also protects them in the future should the team decide to cut ties with Moss next year.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/03/2007 10:46:00 PM —– BODY:
Miles Austin and Coach Read News is slow right now, but let’s get pumped over some special teams talk shall we… As I’m sitting here thinking about the Cowboys, I can’t help but wonder how much ass we’re going to kick on special teams, coupled with a full year with Miles Austin as the returner, we should be set for a pretty good year overall. I chose Miles Austin as our Offensive Rookie of The Year at our homesite, and with a year under his belt I’m pumped. We haven’t had a solid returner since Kevin Williams and Kelvin Martin before him, so this is something to look forward to. Special Teams doesn’t get the recognition that it should, and I just want to get the fans excited for this upcoming year and look forward to some good field position in our favor. Coach Read is a well accomplished Special Teams Coach that has developed some top tier units at the collegiate and NFL level and I believe Coach Phillips made a good selection in Read. Get pumped and Go Cowboys!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/31/2007 05:32:00 PM —– BODY:
Wade Phillips Wants Michael Turner in Dallas Well, well, well,… look what the rumormill has brought to the table. RB Michael Turner is a restricted free agent and is garnering some interest from several clubs, including the Cowboys. “The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Cowboys are one of four teams that have shown interest in acquiring Turner, a restricted free agent. The asking price, according to the report: first- and third-round picks, although the Chargers could be willing to take one of those picks in next year’s draft.” Although I love what we have in Julius Jones and Marion Barber in the backfield, I could live with Burner Turner back there too. Back in this Blog in Jan. 2004, I predicted here first that the Cowboys should take Michael Turner with that #22 pick. Not many people like the idea much, and most were simple sold on the hot names at the time; Steven Jackson, Kevin Jones, and Greg Jones. Of those three, Jackson is probably the solid pick there, the others have been virtual busts unfortunately. Fast forward to the 2007 offseason, and Michael Turner is a hot commodity, more mainstream now, the only issue is the price to attain him – 1st round and 3rd round picks. So why would the Cowboys have interest? Wade Phillips, that’s why. He saw first hand what kind of player Turner is, and how dynamic he is. Turner really is a starting RB stuck behind LT, this situation mirrors that of Matt Schaub, a starting caliber QB stuck behind another “superstar” in Mike Vick. If someone does get Michael Turner, they are getting a pretty good RB, with immediate impact play. So basically, IF the Cowboys wanted Turner, you can guarentee that Jones would be traded for at most a 2nd rounder or at least a 3rd round pick, this would lighten the hit in giving up our 1st rounder this year. We would trade the 1st this year, and our 3rd next year for Turner. Trade Julius for a 2nd, giving us (2) 2nd round picks, not bad actually, considering the talent level that will be available in the 2nd round. It is very doable. The wild card here is Wade’s impact on any decision in bringing on Turner. Let’s see what happens.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/28/2007 05:18:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Current Draft Pick Order Thru Round 7 Below are the current picks the Cowboys have available for this year’s NFL draft. We’ve got quite a few 6th & 7th round picks which could be used in some packaged deals to move up a few spots somewhere in the draft, or we may just sit and keep them all. 1st round – 22nd overall 2nd round – 53rd overall 3rd round – 87th overall 4th round – 122nd overall 5th round – 159th overall 6th – 195th overall 6th – 200th overall (from the Jets for Hunter) 7th – 212th overall (from the Jets for TE Sean Ryan) 7th – 234th overall 7th – 237th overall (from the Saints for LB Scott Shanle)
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/23/2007 05:59:00 PM —– BODY:
Ken Hamlin Not a Sure Shot Starter Before everyone crowns Ken Hamlin the FS starter, let’s examine why we signed Hamlin. First, I’d like to say I like this addition, and glad we added depth at the “safety” position. That being said, I’m going on record as saying that Hamlin is NOT a sure shot starter. Well, some of you may say we wouldn’t pay Hamlin $2.5 mil to be a backup, for depth?? and I would say why not? He’s a proven veteran at the safety position, and somewhat of a need for US, but he’s no superstar at FS by any means. And if Hamlin was a “superstar” FS or even a “really good” safety why then has he lasted so long in free agency, especially in an offseason when average to good players are landing huge contracts? The reality is that Hamlin will compete for the starting job at FS, but you can bet Watkins will be right there if not better, especially with a season under his belt. Don’t be surprised if Watkins is still the starting FS. I do see Hamlin as a decent safety. He’s known more for his big hits and not much of a ballhawk, he’s probably more like a Keith Davis in coverage to be real. In fact, Hamlin had some major breakdowns in deep pass coverage last season, and not that Watkins had some problems here and there, but he was a rookie, Hamlin is a vet… Hamlin has had 8 ints in 54 games Watkins had 3 ints his rookie season, in 1yr. I see the Cowboys using all 3 safeties during the course of a game. The Cowboys want Roy closer to the line, so we could see some sort of hybrid formation where Roy is indeed closer to the line, and Hamlin moves to SS, and Watkins at FS, this is probably more of what we’re going to see. The signing of Hamlin does kill the idea of Henry moving to FS; however, with his durability being suspect, and an aging Aaron Glenn, we could pull the trigger on a DB early in this draft.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/12/2007 11:10:00 PM —– BODY:
No, Julius Jones is NOT going to be traded. Its that silly time of the year, rumormill time, when we are trading players, trading up in the draft, and all that crazyness. Here’s a funny news snippet I found on the web: Cowboys | J. Jones available at the right price Paul Domowitch, of the Philadelphia Daily News, reports Dallas Cowboys RB Julius Jones is available for the right price, but the team is not actively shopping him. OOOOOOOOO, WOW, but isn’t that the case for any player on any team in the NFL. Anyone can make these broad guesses, give me a break. Look, Julius Jones is not going to be traded. Jason Garrett will utilize the two-headed attack; moreover, this ground attack will be devastating to defenses around the league. Why in the world would Jason Garrett want to trade Julius Jones away. Why would Garrett in his 1st year as an Offensive Coordinator want to go another route? It doesn’t jive and it wouldn’t make sense. Julius Jones has been very productive and he will continue to do so. How sure are you that Marion Barber could carry the load for 16 games? MB3 runs hard everytime he has the ball in the current system – give MB3 the ball every down with his style and his body will take a toll. Nothing against what MB3 can do, its just the nature of the grueling season. Parcells said this is becoming a two-back league, and you’re seeing teams utilize two-backs more and more. We’re keeping Julius and we’re keeping MB3. The true tale of the tape will come when these players enter their contract years, this is when we’ll see who the Cowboys really want, and which one they’d be willing to cut loose. Until then, Julius is back, case closed.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/07/2007 11:04:00 PM —– BODY:
Jerry Jones Visits CowboysBlog.Net Its obvious Jerry Jones took my advice on signing former Vikings QB Brad Johnson as our backup quarterback. Of course I’m joking, but I did call it here a few blogs ago, sometimes we land predictions, but we’re wrong most of the time, luckily this time around Brad Johnson was indeed signed. Johnson brings instant credibility to the quarterback corps and is a very solid #2 which could probably be a starter on a few franchises in this league. Thank You Jerry Jones. Now, let’s get Colombo signed-sealed-and delivered before the weekend. Locking down the offensive line will give us great flexibility in the draft.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/03/2007 12:10:00 AM —– BODY:
Average Free Agents Setting Benchmarks for 2008 Ok, so free agency kicked off, and WOW! I’m just amazed by how much money is being thrown to average players on the market, good players at best, no one solid. Case in point – Nate Clements deal of $80 million with $22million signing bonus. I mean come one now…get real, you gotta be kiddin’ me right? Clements isn’t the only one cashing in big in this year’s free agency period. Eric Steinbach, is getting nearly $50million with his new deal, and same for Derrick Dockery. Again, these are not players that wow anyone, they fill voids, but this year, these average free agents are setting the benchmark for very good players in 2008. What kind of payouts are we going to see next year? One other player, Leonard Davis visited the Cowboys, and wants a big payout as well. The Cowboys seem to be passing on this one, but the bigger question is, how and when can they get Colombo re-signed? Colombo is solid and will garner attention from “smarter” clubs not willing to dish out big bucks for average type players. If Colombo gets away, we’re left with a decimated right side of the line. Rivera coming back is absolutely not a viable option, and why haven’t we released him yet is mind boggling. If you keep Rivera, and sign some no name to the RT, we’re in serious trouble. The wild card here, is Cory Procter. Only Coach Sparano knows what we really have in Procter, and for all we know, he could be this year’s Colombo. If Colombo or Davis are not signed, and Rivera is released, we’re looking at drafting Offensive Lineman with the first pick. Justin Blalock comes to mind, he can play RT or RG.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/28/2007 10:02:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Re-sign McBriar, Patrick Crayton will be tendered The Cowboys signed punter McBriar to a new contract, thus shifting priority signings back to Marc Colombo and Patrick Crayton. The Cowboys are in deep negotiations with Colombo, so it would appear that he will be signed before free agency starts. The contract for McBriar gives us flexibility in regards to what we do with Patrick Crayton who is a restricted free agent. Its probable that the Cowboys could use a 2nd round tender on Crayton, in doing this, the Cowboys can buy more time to negotiate a new contract for Crayton, but it would also guarantee a 2nd round pick if a team were to sign Crayton. As of today, here’s our current list of players set to hit free agency- UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: G Marc Colombo C Al Johnson LB Al Singleton DE Kenyon Coleman K Martin Gramatica S Tony Parrish RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Patrick Crayton CBs Jacques Reeves and Nate Jones LBs Ryan Fowler and Junior Glymph TE Brett Pierce.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/27/2007 09:19:00 PM —– BODY:
Brad Johnson to Dallas? Get it done. Apparently the Falcons will continue to stunt Schaub’s growth as a legitmate starting QB. The Falcons will tender a qualifying offer to Schaub, which basically means giving up a high draft pick to snatch him away. What a complete gross mis-allocation of resources in Atlanta. The Falcon’s rather roll with an overhyped-overrated QB in Mike Vick than Matt Schaub. What a bunch or idiots in Atlanta. It doesn’t matter who’s coaching in Atlanta, the result will be the same. Vick sucks. So, who could the Cowboys be targeting for a backup QB? Here are a few names to watch: Brad Johnson – Vikings Tim Rattay – Buccaneers I like Johnson as the Backup QB spot because he provides year’s of experience and lots of knowledge for Tony Romo to pull from.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/24/2007 02:40:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys to Name Brian Stewart Defensive Coordinator It appears that the Chargers have let Stewart fly for bigger and better things, as he is coming to Dallas. Its believed that Stewart will be named the Cowboys Defensive Coordinator. This addition pretty much completes Wade’s Staff. From Union-Tribune: Chargers defensive backs coach Brian Stewart has been released from his contract and will become the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator. Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips was the Chargers defensive coordinator from 2004-06. He has been trying to hire Stewart since he left. The Chargers had initially balked at letting Stewart out of his contract but relented today. Stewart joined the Chargers in 2004. The team on Wednesday hired Bill Bradley to coach the secondary with Stewart. The team plans on hiring a replacement for Stewart.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/23/2007 10:34:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Eyeing Justin Blalock I had Justin Blalock pegged as our first round draft choice in our mock draft, and there’s reason behind it. Blalock is at the NFL Combines and has turned in some impressive measurables thus far in addition, he managed to bench press 40 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press at the NFL Combine Friday, Feb. 23, just five short of the event record. The FWST has this small blurb on Blalock as well: INDIANAPOLIS – Texas offensive lineman Justin Blalock’s experience and versatility are expected to get him drafted in the first round. His 51 starts are the most by any player at the NFL Scouting Combine, and he can play guard or tackle. “Anytime they can find someone that is capable of playing four or five positions on the line, it’s just an added bonus,” said Blalock, who measured a shade over 6-foot-3 and weighed in at 320 pounds Thursday. Some mock drafts have the Cowboys taking Blalock with the 22nd selection. It’s not a bad guess. Though the Cowboys haven’t drafted an offensive player in the first round since 1997 when they selected LSU tight end David LaFleur, they have concerns about right guard Marco Rivera’s future. Rivera recently had a second surgery on his back in two years to repair a ruptured disk. Blalock, a Plano native, wouldn’t be sad if Dallas is where he ends up. “Being from Dallas, it’s hard not to like the Cowboys,” Blalock said. “I’ve been a lifelong fan.” History would say we probably won’t draft offense in the first round, but this may finally be the year where we do. The last offensive first rounder was LSU’s David LaFleur – a certified bust, and while we’re at it, can we please not blow anymore picks on LSU players… Marco Rivera’s status is still in the air, and how confident are you in Procter’s ability to take over for Rivera? What we do know is that Blalock can come in and start immediately and provide solid blocking for years to come. We need more youth and more beef on the line and Garrett knows this – this could be the pick at #22 from an offensive needs standpoint.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/22/2007 09:02:00 PM —– BODY:
GM President’s Day Campaign – Ultra Annoying This is off topic, but is it me or is General Motors (GM) getting desperate. All week I’ve been tortured by those ultra annoying commercials. GM has obviously fallen by the wayside, and has invested millions of dollars in this President’s Day Campaign. The music tune that is in the commercial is horrible as it mixes “hail to the chief” with a carefully orchestrated rearranged rip off of 50 cent’s “In da Club” – this crap on the air in itself makes me NOT want to buy another GM product. Who is this campaign targeting anyway? Someone in GM’s PR team needs to get the boot. Just horrible. This is just blantant desperate measures from a failing company, its sad. As I write this off-topic piece, I’ve seen several other complaints in message boards and other blogs about this horrible GM President’s Day Campaign. What a complete bust…
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/20/2007 07:56:00 PM —– BODY:
Gurode Extended, Sparano and Garrett Updates Andre Gurode was extended to a new contract, thus taking him off the market before free agency begins. Gurode is said to have received a new 6yr deal, which should pay him 4-5million a year, plus a sizable signing bonus. A decision has been made as to what titles Tony Sparano and Jason Garrett will be given. Sparano has just been given a raise along with a contract extension through the 2009 season – he will be the Assistant Head Coach. Garrett has been named the Offensive Coordinator and now begins the test for the budding offensive mind. Whether or not Garrett will be given 100% control of calling plays has not be fully determined. from DC.COM: While both Sparano and Garrett figure to have major roles in the structure and organization of the offense, Phillips said he has not decided who will call the plays next season. “We’re not going to get into that right now,” Phillips said. “We’re setting up everything for the season. Actually, they just started working on the formations – what formations we’re going to be in. It’ll be a little while before we proceed there.” Jerry Jones has stated that the offense will not change, while I would agree with Jones, I’m certain we’ll see more aggression and a few more schemes for the gameplan. Garrett wants to utilize the fullback, but he will need to find someone he feels comfortable using. Oliver Hoyte was turned into a FB under Parcells. At 6-3 250, he certainly has the size, and was a serviceable back, but I would imagine, Garrett would like a true FB, with solid blocking, bruiser running, and hands. Could soon to be free agent TJ Duckett fit into the mix at 6-0 254 lbs? We’ll have to see how this all plays out. Phillips Coaching Staff still has a few posts to be filled, that being, Special Teams, Defensive Coordinator, and possibly a Quarterbacks Coach. Its believed that Bowles is at the top of the list to become the DC, but nothing official has been announced which makes you wonder what the wait is? Is Phillips waiting to see how the coaching staff works itself out in San Diego? There’s still a possibility that some of Phillips understudy’s could come aboard if they are relieved in SD.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/13/2007 08:52:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Add 3 Assistant Coaches Through the course of the day the Cowboys have inked (3) new assistants. The most notable of the additions is that of former Cowboys LB, Dat Nguyen. In addition, the Cowboys added WR/RB Coach Ray Sherman and Wes Phillips as Offensive Assistant Coach/Quality Control. Let’s examine how these three additions will help the Cowboys: Dat Nguyen was one of the most productive MLBs the Cowboys have ever had and his instinct in the game was top-notch, his credentials provide instant credibility to the LBs coaching staff; moreover, this fuels excitement for fans everywhere. Nguyen is a proven player who has a lot of respect from players, the organization, fans and he’ll bring his cerebral skills to the LB corps. The Dat Nguyen addition is solid, but offers somewhat of a speculative back-drop…was this a true Phillips addition or was this more of a parting recommendation from Parcells. Parcells knew Dat wanted to coach LBs, and he played 3-4 at A&M, so who knows. In any event, whether this is a Phillips plucking or a Parcells recommendation, I love it! Ray Sherman is steal for us, Sherman has been credited with developing several solid WRs in the game today, such as Jerry Rice, Javon Walker, and Donald Driver to name a few. Sherman also helped Jerry Glanville install the highly explosive Run-And-Shoot with the Oilers and the Falcons. The addition of Sherman bodes very well for our current crop of WRs along with our young promising WRs like Hurd, Crayton, and Austin. Sherman brings a lot of proven experience. 2005-06: Wide Receivers, Tennessee Titans 2000-04: Wide Receivers, Green Bay Packers 1999: Offensive Coordinator, Minnesota Vikings 1998: Offensive Coordinator, Pittsburgh Steelers 1995-97: Quarterbacks, Minnesota Vikings 1994: Offensive Coordinator, New York Jets 1992-93: Wide Receivers, San Francisco 49ers 1991: Running Backs, San Francisco 49ers 1990: Assistant Head Coach/Offense, Atlanta Falcons 1989: Wide Receivers, Houston Oilers 1988: Running Backs, Houston Oilers 1986-87: Wide Receivers, University of Georgia 1982-85: Running Backs, Purdue 1981: Running Backs/Slot Backs, University of California 1978-80: Running Backs, Wake Forest 1976-77: Tight Ends, Michigan State 1975: Defensive Backs, University of California 1974: Graduate Assistant, San Jose State Wes Phillips, has been hired on as Offensive Assistant Coach/Quality Control, he’ll breakdown game footage and basically absorb the offensive schemes from Jason Garrett, a great opportunity for the young assistant. These three additions are very solid in my opinion and it exhibits the know-how from Coach Phillips. Phillips is surrounding himself with a solid quality staff. I like the moves this team is doing, and as a fan the excitement is mounting exponentially. The Cowboys are also looking to interview a few more possible assistants, according to the FWST: “The Cowboys will also interview Oakland Raiders running backs coach Skip Peete, Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst and University of Virginia assistant head coach for offense/wide receivers coach John Garrett. Peete joined the Raiders in 1998 as running backs coach. He is the brother of former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete. Garrett is the brother of Cowboys assistant Jason Garrett. Inside linebackers coach Vincent Brown will not return to the Cowboys staff.”
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/11/2007 08:48:00 PM —– BODY:
New Contract for Romo a Top Priority Last August, Romo signed a 1 Year, $3.9 million contract extension, which pays out $900,000 for ‘06, $1 million for ‘07 and a $2 million signing bonus. This locks him up through the 2007 season, but what happens after that? Let’s not get to that point, there’s already talk that getting Romo a new contract is in the works, and rightfully so. I would believe the consensus of Cowboys Nation is that we have our QB for the present and future, he has the often mentioned “IT” factor. The Cowboys will get Romo a new contract, but the question is how much cash will he get? This year it will cost clubs about $12,615,000 to slap a franchise tag on a QB and this will rise again for the 2008 season, so this is definitely not the route the Cowboys would want to go, nor would they want to let Romo test free agency next year which would, in turn probably mean a bidding war to re-sign him. So, when you ask yourself how much is Romo worth, or how much and how long would you sign him for there are several factors you must add into the equation. Let’s take a look at some recent contract extensions of “upper echelon” QBs: In 2002, Donovan McNabb signed a 12yr contract extension in September of 2002, netting him $115 million dollars In 2004, Mike Vick signed a mega contract of 10yrs for $130 million dollars, there will be many that have an opinion on that, but at the end of the day he got paid huge. In 2004, Peyton Manning signed a 7yr extension for $98 million dollars which includes the biggest signing bonus to date at $34.5 million dollars In 2005, Tom Brady signed a contract 6yr deal for $60 million dollars, depending on how the money is spead out that’s roughly $10 million yearly, pretty good for a damn good QB Let’s also look at some recent rookie QB contacts: In 2004, Eli Manning signed a rookie contract for 6yrs for $54million dollars, lot of money for minimal production thus far In 2004, Philip Rivers signed a rookie contract for 6yrs for $40.5 millions dollars In 2004, Ben Roethlisberger signed a rookie contract for 6yrs for $22.26 million dollars In 2005, Alex Smith signed a rookie contract for 6yrs for $50 million dollars In 2006, Vince Young signed a rookie contract for 6yrs for $54 million dollars In 2006, Matt Leinart signed a rookie contract for 6yrs for $50.8 million dollars So, these are the payouts for Veteran QBs that have been extended with new contracts, and some recent Rookie QB contracts being paid out lately. 6yr deals appear to be the preferred length for both Veteran and Rookie contracts, with the exception of a very few. So what’s it gonna be for Tony Romo, a star on the rise for the most covered team in sport, the Dallas Cowboys? Did he prove enough for you, the fan, to deserve a big payout like the QBs mentioned in this piece. For me, I’ve seen enough to know Romo is the real deal. Romo is a 4yr Veteran, who has been on the bench behind Quincy Carter(’03), Vinny Testaverde(’04), and Drew Bledsoe(’05 & some ’06), so in 2006 he played his first games as a starter, pretty much as a rookie quarterback. Romo was 6-4 as a starter, threw for 2904 yrds with 19TDs and 13INTs, compiling a QB rating of 95.1, not bad at all. Yes, he had a few hiccups here and there, but you’re gonna get that from “rookie” QB in Romo, he’ll recover and learn from his previous mistakes. On a side note,What really impressed me was before the Pro Bowl, Sean Payton told Romo he was going to hold on FG/XPs, and he would get more playing time. This is first class all the way from Payton – he got Romo back in the saddle and that’s what great coaches do for young players, and even though Payton is no longer with us, he still helped Romo get back and face something that is still fresh in Romo’s head. Thank You Payton. Romo has been blessed to have been mentored and groomed to be the next QB of the Cowboys. Bill Parcells and Sean Payton were instrumental in his progression, and Jerry Jones knows his continued development is needed, and this is why he brought in another of the leagues young rising offensive minds in the game, Jason Garrett. With all this being said, I think Jerry knows he finally has a franchise QB, one that he hasn’t had since Troy Aikman, and Jerry will take care of his guy. Many NFL clubs spend lots of money on early draft picks and free agents that never pan out, and the Cowboys may have missed on a few QB acquisitions, but they have an ultra-steal in Tony Romo. I expect Jerry to pay Romo a pretty good contract, we’ll just wait and see how much.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/10/2007 09:33:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Instrumental in Phillips Hiring? There’s a strong notion that former Cowboys Coach, Bill Parcells was instrumental in the hiring process that ultimately lead to Jerry picking Wade Phillips. I thought this all along, and the proof is evident as Parcells stuck around for a week and a half after he declared his retirement. Jerry Jones asked for Parcells’ input, his assistance, and he even had Parcells’ involved in the screening process for the first couple of major candidates that came through the door. There appears to be other media pundits that think the same: “Bill Parcells’ marinara-stained fingerprints are all over the decision to hire Wade Phillips. Owner Jerry Jones will argue otherwise, and it’s somewhat true. But think about it. Do you really think that old-school Parcells’ parting advice to Jones was to hire an offense-savvy California guy such as Norv Turner? As owner, Jones felt he had a choice to make. He chose defense over offense. DeMarcus Ware over Tony Romo. — Fort Worth Star-Telegram”
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/08/2007 07:34:00 PM —– BODY:
Wade Phillips Plucked as Cowboys Next Head Coach After weeks of wild rumors and speculation, Jerry Jones has made his decision and Wade Phillips is our next Head Coach. I have to admit when there was speculation of Wade being a candidate I was turned off by the thought. I remembered Phillips as a failed Head Coach in his past en devours, but upon further research, Phillips lead several of his former teams to the playoffs, and Phillips drafted some solid defensive players along the way. Norv Turner looked to be a lock just a few days ago, but Jerry came full circle and hired the guy he interviewed first. I strongly believe that somehow someway this pick had some influence from our former Head Coach, Bill Parcells. Parcells is a 3-4 guy at heart, and I would think he gave some sort of blessing or nod on Wade Phillips possibly being the next guy in Dallas and Jerry trusts Bill. Phillips will bring a dynamic innovative 3-4 to the front, and this bodes well for the players we have invested in. Parcells has drafted pretty good players, and Wade will bring his agressive 3-4 pressure oriented schemes to the table -very exciting, and I’m looking forward to the defense this coming year. You already know what the next topic of conversation is going to be in the coming weeks, and that’s Jason Garrett, how does Garrett fit into the scheme of the offense, will he be the top OC, or just positional offensive coach, is he indeed ready? I think we’ll find this out soon. And then there’s the NFL Combine and NFL Draft. I fully trust that Wade and with the help of Ireland’s Scouting Department he will make a solid pick defensively early if we go that route or will it be Garrett’s input that gets us a big offensive lineman, or wide receiver early. What holes do we need to look at filling or upgrade at? One thing is for sure, the Cowboys offseason is going to be exciting! Get pumped, let’s get this thing going baby! Go Cowboys!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/07/2007 05:30:00 PM —– BODY:
Wade Phillips the Frontrunner Again? ESPN, is reporting that Wade Phillips is the frontrunner. Can this be substantiated? How good is this intel? The first thing that comes to mind is the news that Turner does not believe Garrett is ready to be an offensive coordinator, and Turner does not want Terrell Owens here. These are bold declarations against moves that Jerry Jones has had a big impact on, mainly on the Garrett acquisition. Could all this culminate in the reason why ESPN thinks Wade is the frontrunner again? Probably so, and we’ll continue to hear more stupid speculation until the big boss makes his final decision. At the end of the day I still believe this decision is still between Norv and Wade. We should know before the end of the week. Hopefully!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/04/2007 02:01:00 PM —– BODY:
New Regime Spotted At Irvin’s HOF Conference In one of the high points in Die Hard Cowboys History, Michael Irvin was voted into the NFL Hall of Fame. The voters finally got this one right after two consecutive colossal foul-ups. Irvin deserved to be in the HOF, and now he is among the elite. Irvin called this his “validation” and as fans we had validated his legacy in Cowboys Lore a long-long time ago. Congrats Michael, I look forward to your HOF speech! The interesting backdrop story was Jerry Jones and “his entourage” in attendance. Behind the scenes, in the green room there was a quick glimpse of Jerry and Norv. Perhaps seeing these two was a coincidence, after all, Norv was a huge piece of the puzzle during those two SuperBowls with Jimmy, and he’s a close friend of Irvin. But one could only put one-and-one together and see this as further evidence that Norv is going to be the next HC. Later, when Irvin arrived, the camera got another glimpse of what looked to be the new regime – Jerry was sitting in the back with Turner, and now Garrett. Hmmmmm, this makes a strong case for what sure appears to be the new regime. This really seals the deal for me, and ends ALL other speculation on the next HC, this leads me to believe that Jerry has 75% of the key parts of his coaching staff in place, that being Norv and Jason on the offensive side, but now Jerry is interviewing for potential stars on the defensive side of the ball. Ron Rivera is that star on the defensive side of the ball, and getting Rivera on board as the DC could indeed bring the 2nd coming of the glory days of the ’90s. That’s what everyone has been waiting for since Jimmy and Switzer left, and that’s what we had hoped when Parcells took over a dismal team, and now we can have some hope if Rivera takes over the defense. Think about what Rivera would bring to the defense: real discipline, proven defensive schemes, accountability, innovation, motivation and more. Let’s get the defensive side of the ball in the bag Jerry. Go Cowboys!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/03/2007 12:37:00 PM —– BODY:
Packaged Announcement From Jerry Next Week It looks like Norv is still the preferred the choice, and the wait on the announcement is due to Jerry waiting to interview Rivera for the HC position, but probably more likely as s potential DC. This will bode well for Rivera, the Cowboys are more visible and demand more media attention than the Chicago Bears. A DC position with the Cowboys would continue to elevate Rivera into a HC within the next season or two. If Jerry can bring on Rivera as the DC, then there will be a packaged announcement from Jerry – They will announce the new HC and DC at the same press conference. I could live with Turner, Rivera, and Garrett.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/31/2007 07:57:00 PM —– BODY:
Head Coach Announcement Delayed, Here’s Why Could Jerry be “bumping” into Jimmy at the Super Bowl?Let me just start by stating what I think could happen is pure speculation. So here we go, why is the announcement of the next Head Coach being delayed until after the Super Bowl in Miami? Two Words – Jimmy Johnson. Some may say no way, “someone asked him, and a friend of his said he said no way” well that’s not a strong enough statement for me at this point, we have not heard it by the man himself. So here we are 7 candidates and no one has been chosen yet. The very-very interesting statements Jerry said at his latest media interview just build-up the suspense and offer more intrigue to Cowboys Nation. Here are some keep quotes from the media interview: “There is a possibility that there will be more candidates” Well, that’s interesting, I’m sure everyone at some point thought Wade or Norv was a lock, so why wait until after the Super Bowl in Miami? “We’ve got a good football and we’ve got to get this right” Even more interesting, I mean, this kinda points to some uncertainty with all the candidates, Jerry wants to get this right, and maybe he has not been completely sold. “Again, its possible I will be interviewing more candidates” Oh yeah, like who?? Who else could possibly be out there to interview? Ron Rivera AFTER the Super Bowl? Unlikely, if he wanted to, Jerry could have interviewed and hired Rivera, several coordinators have accepted jobs in the past before their last game in the Super Bowl. “At least one of the candidates will be down at the Super Bowl or two really , we’ll probably be bumping into them” This is where it get extremely interesting, who could Jerry possibly be bumping into, and I would think this has already been arranged, Jerry is just being generically evasive. Question is, who is Jerry going to bump into and interview? hhhmmmmmmm… A reporter asked Jerry if they (candidate) are on the Colts or Bears staff, “not neccesarily” More flames to the fire, this person is not neccesarily on the Super Bowl teams’ staffs? Then who could he possibly be bumping into? Who does he know could get this team over the hump and to the Super Bowl with ZERO uncertainty? This smells like Jerry making one last push for Jimmy Johnson. I think Jerry is enamored with Garrett, he spoke with Norv for a very long time, and all the memories are fresh in his mind, he’s made amends with Jimmy, and this could be the big headline after the Super Bowl, this would steal the limelight from the SuperBowl completely, and everyone knows it. It just makes sense. Jerry and Jimmy in Miami, bumping into each other. Blam, you heard it here first! If I’m wrong that’s fine, its just pure speculation, but man would that be exciting news!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/29/2007 06:43:00 PM —– BODY:
Norv Turner Wants to Choose His Defensive Coordinator It’s safe to say that Norv is going to be the Head Coach, question now is, who is going to run the defensive. Apparently Norv has someone in mind to run the defense, and it could end up being Rob Ryan, a defensive minded coach who is on the rise according to several NFL sources. When Norv signed on in Oakland he chose Rob Ryan to be his defensive coordinator, and there’s a possibility Ryan could be who Turner is thinking of. But if not Ryan, how about Mike Singletary from the 49ers defensive staff? The interesting twist here is that Jerry has scheduled to interview Mike Singletary supposedly for the HC spot, but what if this is more of a “getting to know you better” type interview. Maybe Turner, recommended that he wants to bring Mike in for a look, and Jones would give his blessing later. The interview Jones is having with Singletary further supports the idea Turner wants his own person on defense, and who could blame him, he is going to be the HC afterall. NFL Network’s Adam Shefter, is also reporting a similar take on the defensive coordinator outlook for Norv Turner: “Norv Turner told Jerry Jones he had a specific defensive coordinator and personnel guy that he’d have to bring to Dallas before taking the Cowboys job. The decision may not come for a few days because Jones may interview another coaching candidate. Turner seems to be the favorite for the job, but Jones may want to pick his defensive coach”
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/28/2007 06:29:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Nation: Its Norv Turner The writing is on the wall, and some of Turner’s comments point to him being the next Head Coach of The Dallas Cowboys. Let’s just take a look at some excerpts from dc.com: “Oh, there’s no question, this is a great job,” Turner said. “This is a good football team. I think the things that Coach Parcells has done have left this team in a position where good things are going to happen for it. It’s a great job.” Unlike the other coaching choices Turner has taken on, none would be anything near as good a situation as this one. One would be hard pressed to find any coach that could have turned around the Redskins or Oakland into champions. In this situation, Norv would be coming into a playoff rostered team with a very good core of team players – something Norv did not have in his past ventures. “The thing that I’m anxious to do is do it right, and get a great staff and do it with someone who wants to do everything you’ve got to do to win,” Turner said. “And that’s what I see here.” Most of the offensive assistants under Parcells have bolted for other opportunities, with the exception of Tony Sparano and tigh ends coach Freddie Kitchens. Other than Sparano and Kitchens, the Cowboys just signed Jason Garrett who is expected to be the new offensive coordinator, and the quote that speaks volumes is this one: “Well, when I was hired in Oakland, I tried to hire Jason Garrett,” said Turner, who coached Garrett for two years here in Dallas. “So that tells you a little bit about how I feel about Jason. He’s coached a couple of years now. And even though he hasn’t been coaching, he has been acting like a coach for several years now. He’s helped a lot of guys get ready to play.” There you have it guys! Turner tried to get Garrett in Oakland, but it didn’t happen, well guess what…Garrett signed on a few days ago, and this quote would lend you to believe this is the scenario that fits perfectly for Norv Turner – he has his guy in Garrett. Consider this a done deal. I will now be shocked if Jerry goes with someone else, Jerry is one would likes familiarity, and he has it sitting in his lap with Jason Garrett and Norv Turner, the biggest question now will be – The Defense. Will it be Bowles at the helm, will we keep the 3-4. Stay tuned. Expect an official announcement by Tuesday, I don’t see Jerry holding everyone in suspense, plus this staff needs to get together and get ready for the NFL Draft Combines
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/27/2007 02:48:00 PM —– BODY:
Head Coach Race Down to Two The consensus says the coaching vacancy for our beloved Cowboys is between two coaching assistants, Chargers Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips and 49ers Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner. Knowing this, let’s look at why either one of these will be chosen and the reason behind it IF the Cowboys choose Wade Phillips, it will be because Jerry thinks Garrett will get the offense going and the offense will move the ball at the same level if not better than last year. So, if Jerry thinks the offense will be ok, he will turn to Wade to get the defense where it should be, and then we’re looking at being in the thick of things again if not better. In this scenario, I see Phillips as HC, Garrett as OC, and Bowles as DC. IF the Cowboys choose Norv Turner, it will be because Jerry is confident that Norv and Garrett will produce an extremely explosive offense, thus the defense would not be so pressured to be anything better than just good. In this scenario, I see Turner as HC, Garrett as OC, and Bowles as DC. So how have these guys done in the draft as HC? Phillips has drafted some solid defensive players while at the Bills, and has had input with the players drafted with the Chargers – pretty solid. Turner on the other hand has not drafted as well in defense with the exception of Champ Bailey, Turner drafted some solid lineman while at Washington with Jansen and Samuels. So, if you ask yourself WHY WE FAILED last season, you would say the defense fail apart, and the 3-4 is not as cracked up to be. If you say this, Wade Phillips would be the logical choice and probably the better choice in getting the Cowboys over the hump. Phillips’ 3-4 scheme brings a lot of pressure and is explosive – we need this in the 3-4. If you think it was the offense that failed then Turner would be the logical choice in turning around the offense, but statistically the Cowboys had one of the more explosive offenses in the league last season. Although I’m not very high on either of these choices, going by what this team really needs is improvement or continuity with the 3-4, Wade Phillips would need to be the choice. He’s drafted good players on defense and actually has a winning record and playoff experience as a HC. Turner at this point would only serve as a catalyst for the rise of Jason Garrett and further improvement on the offensive side of the ball. Turner has not had much success at all as a HC. The real wild card here is this: Todd Bowles. I think in either scenario, Todd Bowls is the DC. There’s no doubt in my mind Bowles would excel under Phillips, but how well would he do under Norv Turner? Can he be innovative on his own, has he learned enough under Parcells in the 3-4 to continue onward. If Bowles is the guy under Turner, we’ll need him to really up the ante on this defensive squad – bigtime.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/23/2007 07:57:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Legacy Will Be the Players He Drafted Parcells Legacy Will be the players he drafted/signed not our record over his 4 year career here. Do you agree with this? I think he has really developed a really great foundation of strong core players: Tony Romo Julius Jones Marion Barber III Demarcus Ware Terence Newman Jason Witten Bobby Carpenter Patrick Crayton Terry Glenn (traded for him) I may be forgetting someone, but for the most part, those are some pretty damn good players, and I think these players will define Parcells Legacy, and if we win a SuperBowl next year or soon, I know these players will be thanking Parcells for forming them into what they are. So was Parcells outing in Dallas a failure?, I would say no; conversely, I would say his stay in Dallas was very beneficial simply with the players he drafted/signed in Dallas. We will win a SuperBowl with “Parcells’ Guys” It was an up and down season, but in all seriousness, I want to Thank Bill Parcells for what he did for our team. He didn’t get us to the SuperBowl, but he probably got us the players that will ultimately be part of a Super Bowl victory very soon!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/22/2007 10:24:00 PM —– BODY:
Reeves Could Be Intriguing Is Dan Reeves the wild card in this coaching search? I believe he could be the guy in Dallas, and with Reeves will come Wade Phillips. During Dan Reeves runs in Atlanta and Denver his defensive assistant/coordinator was Wade Phillips. Now comes the news that Reeves wants to coach again, and tonight Reeves made one step closer by coaching in the West/East Shrine game. Reeves led his West Unit to victory winning 21-3. Phillips could still be the guy that Jerry wants, but what if way of being our defensive coordinator under Dan Reeves? Its not a far reach considering the history Reeves and Phillips have together, coupled with uncertainty in San Diego after next year when Shottenheimers contract expires. It could be in the best interest for Phillips to reunite with Reeves to lead the Cowboys back to the SuperBowl.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/22/2007 05:29:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Retires, Coach Search Underway Right off the bat, I will say I do not a proven failure in Wade Phillips as our head coach. He’s head coached twice and was mediocre during both those outings. Cross him off the list, unless you want more of the same mediocracy. I think our team is on the edge of dominance. Let’s get someone that can get players motivated and someone who can be consistent. There are three realistic coaches I want us to take good look at and two wildcards**: 1.Mike Singletary: great motivater, intense, disciplanarian, he would turn this defensive squad into a swarming defense, but would need an offensive coordinator to compliment the defense. 2. Bob Stoops: Built up the Sooners program, and has been a consistent coach with the talent, could be the youthful influx that we need. 3. Ron Rivera: Same as Singletary, but probably more ready at this point in his career to take a HC position. 4.**Charlie Weis: This could be the wildcard, but one coach I would want to have in Dallas, he comes from a great coaching tree, and a proven coach. The big snag is the $21million buyout clause in his contract. 5.** Jimmy Johnson: Probably the most unrealistic choice, but what if, just what if Jerry could convince Jimmy to come back. Jimmy could build his staff together and would have the players, and fans pumped up for the 2007 season and beyond.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/21/2007 12:53:00 AM —– BODY:
Evidence That Parcells is Returning; However… When I first starting reading about how a room was reserved for Parcells in Mobile, Alabama – site of the Senior Bowl this seemed to be a logical idea pointing to Parcells returning for sure; however, its well known that the hotels in the area sellout rather quickly due to the players attending the game, families, and coaching staffs, scouts, etc. SO, even though there is a reservation for Parcells at a hotel for the Senior Bowl doesn’t mean much other than the room was probably booked way in advance, and remains reserved incase Parcells does indeed return. We’ll see what happens on Monday. Let’s keep waiting for the official word.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/18/2007 09:35:00 PM —– BODY:
More Stupidity Mort said that Jerry Jones would hire Wade Phillips as the Head Coach if Parcells retires. This would be complete lunacy. Does anyone remember what a crap job Phillips did as a Head Coach? Haha, good one Mort, I’d rather eat rusted nails that bring on Wade Phillips and more mediocracy. Let’s hope Parcells makes his official decision on friday…
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/09/2007 08:44:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowher Craze – Get Over it Alright, I’m sick of all the people screaming to hire Bill Cowher, what is so special about this guy? He had one very magical season with Rothlisberger, that’s it. He can get his teams to the playoffs every now and then assuming he were to coach the Cowboys to 15 years….lol. If Cowher were to be the coach for the Cowboys expect mediocracy, nothing more. A playoff appearance here and there in 5 years wont get it done. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? We would be in a loop going from Parcells to Cowher, forget it, I want no part of that. Looking at the horizon right now, the future seems bleak unless Parcells stays and REALLY overhauls the defense and offense, and I don’t see him investing in another 2 years. If he is to leave then his replacement will need to come in and get the offense and defense in gear, anything less is going to be unacceptable.
——– AUTHOR: MCAJE DATE: 1/07/2007 12:20:00 PM —– BODY:
Where Do We Go From Here? I woke up this morning following last night’s debacle and a very strange thing happened…the sun came up. Alright, so I didn’t actually see the sun, it was overcast and raining, typical Seattle weather for January, but I think I made my point. Life goes on. The question now becomes, “Where do we go from here?” Looking back at the Season, there are a lot of positives to build upon. Despite putting up a poor performance last night, and pretty much all of December; Tony Romo proved that he has what it takes to lead the Cowboys into the future. Recently humbled, he should have a very good Off-Season of both mental and physical preparation ahead of him. Given his late start, he’ll probably never be the next Troy Aikman, but he could become the next Kurt Warner. I was actually a bit surprised when I heard Al Michaels say that our Offensive Line started all seventeen games together. This often-maligned unit, pierced together from a journeymen Free Agent, a former pro-Bowler, a waiver–wire pick-up and a couple of homegrown players started every single game together without injury! Take away the False Starts and a few Holding Penalties and this crew is actually a pretty solid group of guys. That’s not to say we can’t improve among the Offensive Line, Flozell and Rivera are no Spring chickens, but it is conceivable that these same five guys could be starting together on opening day next year as well. On Defense we finally started playing the 3-4 instead of learning it. If we decide to keep that Defensive philosophy, next year should see even more improvement. If lets say, Zimmer is gone and the Boys bring in a new Defensive Coordinator who shifts back to the 4-3, we are still looking at a pretty good, and young unit. I personally would favor something of a hybrid between the two where you bring in Gregg Ellis on passing situations to play Defensive End, either in the 4-3 or Nickel formation. Our First Round Pick, Bobby Carpenter finally stepped up his play by Season’s end. He is big and fast and will surely grow into being an excellent complement to DeMarcus Ware. It’s the Secondary that leaves a lot to be desired. Outside of Newman, everyone looked a year older and played like it this year, everyone except Patrick Watkins who looked more like big bird chasing rabbits into the Endzone each week. Here’s where I make my pitch for Free Agency. It’s time to bring in some proven experience, not another Fifth Round Draft pick. Is it just me, or does Anthony Henry look like he’s always playing Catch-up? How about moving him to Strong Safety on passing downs and let ole Roy Williams rest his tired little horse collar fingers instead of watching him get beat by 265 pound Tight Ends on every third down play. Let’s get a four-year veteran to play opposite Terrance Newman with both speed and cover skills, then this Secondary will be worth watching again. Of course the two biggest questions surrounding the Dallas Cowboys going into the Off-Season will be, “Is T.O. coming back?” and “Will Bill Parcells retire or be shown the door?” Diplomatic Jerry says there’s no doubt both will return. I guess I’m OK with that, but my dream scenario involves a Draft Day trade involving T.O. and Bill Cowher eventually bringing a sense of excitement to the Dallas sideline that has been sorely missing since Joe Avezzano left town. Am I upset that the Season is over for my beloved Dallas Cowboys, absolutely. Disappointed would actually describe it best, but as we say every year that we don’t end up clutching the Lombardi Trophy, there’s always next year.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/07/2007 12:18:00 AM —– BODY:
Romo’s Fumbling Problem Cost Us BIG Its been 10 years since the Cowboys won a playoff game, and this has to be the worst feeling a die hard Cowboys fan could feel at this moment. When you think about what happened here, I remember telling my father, “Romo better not fumble this ball,” what are the odds! But, then again, Romo has had a fumbling problem especially the end of the season. Romo has a big problem with fumbles and this one cost us BIG. Is this correctable? Hopefully this part of his mechanics can be fixed, or he will be the next Dave Craig, a former Seahawk of all things, how freakin ironic is that?! The ramifications of this loss could be huge. There’s no question in my mind that there will be big changes in Dallas. I think the Cowboys are where the Bucs where at a few years ago. They had the talent, but the coaches could not get them over the hump, this could be the same problem in Dallas. Players are NOT responding to coach Parcells. The change to the 3-4 could be seen as a failure, and if that’s the case, what do you do with the players we’ve drafted for the 3-4? I think these players could still be involved in the 4-3, but we do need more speed on defense, we have size, but no enough speed. The offensive line is not big enough, we aren’t moving people off the line enough. Who knows, we’ll see what happens? Be prepared for some bigtime changes.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/05/2007 08:59:00 PM —– BODY:
Wild Card @ Seattle: What to Watch Let’s cut to the meat of what you need to watch for this Saturday night as we goto Seattle. First off, in the games that we have lost there’s one thing in common and that’s how the first series on offense and defense do. I guarantee that you will know if we’re going to win this game by what we do with the ball on our first offensive series and how we defend the ball on our first defensive stand, its been a domino effect between these two units. If the defense starts the game and gets torched, the offense comes out discouraged and too conservative. If the offense goes 3 and out with minimal gained yardage the defense will come out and give up the score…and then here we go again. If we go out and do a 3 and out on our first series and then our defense let’s them score a td, forget it. The opening drives will show who REALLY wants this game, bar none. This is it, this is the last game for one of these teams. You either play like a champion or you go home. Who’s going to have the heart to take this game. Secondly, the Cowboys will need to watch the dump off passes/screens to Mack Strong, I think Strong has the potential to do some damage like Karney did for New Orleans. Obviously Alexander has the same potential to do damage, but I think a lot of success could come from the unexpected from the Seahawks, clutch plays from the lesser knowns like Strong and the Tight Ends. Holmgren may also utilize the reverse or some sort of trick play against us. We have been horrible in defending the reverse and trick plays. Thirdly, the middle of the field could be money for the Seahawks. New Orleans, Eagles, and Detroit exploited this in our coverage. Lastly, the team with the most turnovers WILL lose this game. That means Romo needs to know where the pressure is coming from if he starts to scramble around in the pocket. Throw the ball away don’t force passes. So those are the guts of what needs to happen: First Series on Offense/Defense, Mack Strong and the tight ends on dump offs/screens, reverses, defending the middle of the field, and turnovers. If we come out move the ball and score and defend the field then I predict the score will be: Cowboys 27 Seahawks 20 If we come out and everything I discussed gets exploited, then I predict the score will be: Seahawks 31 Cowboys 17
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/31/2006 04:13:00 PM —– BODY:
Jerry, Get ‘R Done, carte blanche
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/31/2006 03:25:00 PM —– BODY:
Cash it in Guys, We suck! Ok, any glimmer of hope or anything positive we may have had is down the drain. Not only did we lose at HOME AGAIN, but we gave up 39 point to the shittiest team in the league. There is no one that is going to change how I feel about the Cowboys right now – no one! Oh, wait “we’re in the tournament” well guess what, that means shit, we have no business being in the playoffs, we’ve been a win one – lose one team most of the year, the defense has been suspect most of the year, and the wheels have officially fallen off. With Cowboys Nation is complete dissaray, and the team at an alltime low, we get crushed at Seattle. I’m calling it right now. Seahawks 31 Cowboys 17 We lose at Seattle, that puts us at a 3 game losing streak, and no one believing in Parcells, he’s out, and Jerry Jones better get someone worth a shit that can movitate this team, we have the players. Jerry THROW THE BANK TO JIMMY. I hope to look back at this blog next week, and I hope Parcells and the Cowboys prove me wrong, but who are we kidding here…
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/25/2006 07:53:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Lose: Quick Thoughts Well, like most fans, a part of my Christmas Celebrations went down the drain. What is it about “Big Games” and a team with no real home field advantage -it’s pathetic. Ok, we lost, but we’re still in the playoffs. That being said, the next question is: How can we win with the defense in shambles? Answer: We won’t….. With this lousy play on defense we won’t even beat the Seahawks who appear to be playing as shitty as we do. Looking over the entire season, and moreover the second part of the season, we have ZERO pass rush, and this exploits our secondary weaknesses – bigtime. Roy Williams is a hitter, and an intimidater to some wide receivers, but don’t ask him to cover. He’s horrible in coverage, plain and simple. Overrated? perhaps. I still like Roy Williams, but you have to examine some of the pros vs cons, and I think they are close to even, so he probably stays onboard despite for some calling for his trade. Anthony Henry is on his last leg, literally. He appears to playing injured, and this is nothing new. Henry has some durability issues, and when he’s not 100% look out, he’ll give up a shitload of plays. Let’s consider upgrading the CB spot with a another shutdown type cornerback. FS? Don’t get me started. The defensive line has been very disappointing and Parcells has seen it. There’s no pressure from Spears or Canty most of the time. Ware cannot do it all by himself., so we will need to consider an upgrade at DE spot. No matter what we do from here on out, an offseason priority will need to be the defensive line and secondary. Mark it down, start studying up on this years draft prospects and NFL free agents. The defensive pass rush is totally shitty, and we all know it.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/17/2006 11:06:00 PM —– BODY:
Playoffs Here We Come! Through the ups and downs of the season, the Cowboys have clinched a playoff birth, and I can assure you no one wants to face us. Without a doubt the biggest catalyst for our resurgence has been Tony Romo. Romo has been the difference maker and I believe that there is no way we are here if Bledsoe stayed as our starter. Marion Barber III has been a great player, and has been playing like an NFL MVP, lol. Seriously, this guy has improved greatly since his rookie year by leaps and bounds. Looking ahead, we need to run the table and we should be able to earn a bye-week, I don’t see the Saints winning both there remaining games. Next weeks game will be nothing to overlook. Garcia and Co. have been playing like a playoff team, and we must take them very serious here and keep on rolling! Let’s Go Cowboys!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 11/27/2006 05:48:00 PM —– BODY:
Yep, I called it..Vanderjagt Gone! I usually never gloat about predictions because I’ve been wrong several times, but wow! I called it on Nov. 19th. If Romo kept the offense on an explosive level then he (Vanderjagt) would be cut. Today, this prophecy became a reality. Some are shocked, but I am not; moreover, I’m relieved. I mean, as a fan, if you sweat out extra points after TDs, then there is something wrong…barely making extra points! c’mon get that shit outta here! Vanderjagt has issues, and through 11 games, he could not get his shit together. Good bye and good riddance! Martin Gramatica has been signed in his place. Yes, he is very average, and will also miss a few long FGs, but he can kick the ball much better on kickoffs. In addition, since we have an explosive offense our games should not be coming down to critical field goals. Basically what happened today is this: Explosive Offense means no mo’ Vandershank
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 11/19/2006 06:54:00 PM —– BODY:
Quick Cowboys/Colts Postgame Comments The Cowboys limited turnovers, limited penalties, and Henry played very well. Great showing by the defense. Let’s keep the momentum rolling, amazingly we are still very much in the hunt, and with Romo at the helm fan confidence should be high. On Vanderjagt: This is my personal opinion, but if the struggles in the kicking game continue and Romo keeps the offense explosive, then we should take the hit and cut Vandy. Signging Vanderjagt has been the worse free agency signing since Marcellus Wiley. He just sucks, and no consistency at all.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 11/19/2006 12:00:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys/Colts: Pregame Thoughts This will be short and concise, the keys to the game will be tunrovers, penalties, and the play of Anthony Henry. Henry has been an adequate FA pickup, and has been relatively solid during his career here, but there are games where the OC has gone after Henry on more than a couple of occasions. You can write it down today: The Colts want to start out fast, and look for a deep pass to Henry’s side, expect to see this throughout the game today. We can win this game, but we have to execute on all cylinders. Go Cowboys!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 11/05/2006 06:44:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys 4-4, How Will It End? With the Cowboys losing a heartbreaker on the road, the Cowboys drop to 4-4 for the year. The season is now half over, and for the Cowboys to have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs, the Cowboys must run the table or go 6-2 at the very worse, that would be 10-6. 9-7 and will not get it done, just like it did not get it done last year. Supposedly the team we were fielding this year was going to be a SuperBowl contender, that’s not the case. Just as Parcells has stated “you are what your record is” at right now, that’s average, a .500 team that wins one and loses one. We have plently of talent but god awful execution and concentration on both sides of the ball. Penalties and turnovers have been our crux all season, and unless this changes we miss the playoffs. This is not melodramatics on my part, but more of a reality check. Let’s take a glance at the remainder of the season: 11/12 @ Arizona 11/19 Indianapolis 11/23 Tampa Bay 12/3 @ NY Giants 12/10 New Orleans 12/16 @ Atlanta 12/25 Philadelphia 12/31 Detroit So, what do you think, honestly? Is that not a brutal schedule or not? Now, we do have (5) home games coming up, we must sweep the home games, the other (3) games are on the road: Arizone, NY Giants, and Atlanta, we can lose 2 of those games. But who are we kidding, we can look at all the scenarios, the bottom line is that we cannot lose more than two games. Based on our consistency through half the season I’m predicting that we go 8-8 or 7-9, and missing the playoffs. Sure you may not like this prediction, but it is what we are right now, and that’s the most consistent thing we are right now, win one – lose one.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 11/01/2006 08:51:00 PM —– BODY:
Romo Should Win Against Redskins The Redskins have been the bust of the NFC East, and most likely the last year for Joe Gibbs; however, the ‘Skins will come out and try to smack us in the mouth. This is a very critical game, a must win for the ‘Skins. I expect them to pull everything out of the magic hat. Unfortunately, the Cowboys should be able to win this game, and virtually dash the hopes of a winning season for the ‘Skins. I would love nothing else but to beat them and beat them at home really good! Romo has the mobility, the rocket arm, quick release, and the offensive weapons to pour it on against the lowly ‘Skins. The thing that has stuck out about Romo is his distribution of the ball, especially with the TEs, and I think for our offense to keep drives going we must continue to spread the field. Like any other game, the key to victory will be turnovers. If we limit turnovers and our defense causes turnovers we will win everytime. Let’s get it done Romo!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 10/15/2006 06:56:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Win, Back on the Bledsoe Bandwagon? First off, this was a great 2nd half for the Cowboys, the Texans turned the ball over in the right places and we were able to convert on a short field. This being said, am I back on the Bledsoe bandwagon? No, I’m not. Well, why the hell not? The reason is simple: We played a team we are suppose to beat. Bledsoe had 3 Tds and no interceptions against one of the worse defenses in the NFL, Bledsoe is suppose to have his way with this type of defense. I am not convinced, simple as that. There will be fans that see this blowout as Bledsoe’s return to glory, but it will take consecutive victories against divisional rivals and top tier defenses until I even think Bledsoe will take us to the promised land. I see it this way, and so should the rest of Die Hard Cowboys Nation… To be a championship contender you have to beat the teams you should beat and you should win the games you need to win. Can we win the next four games, in this critical stretch? Giants@Cowboys (need to win) Cowboys@Carolina (need to win) Cowboys@Washington (need to win) Cowboys@Arizona (should win) This is a critical stretch because we play two of our divisional rivals, the next game we host the Giants, after that we’re on the road for three straight games. A tough game at Carolina, and another tough game at Washington, and we finish the road trip at Arizona. This upcoming stretch is were we find out what we’re made of.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 10/14/2006 02:15:00 PM —– BODY:
Devil’s Advocate… Alright, we know the Cowboys should be able to win handedly over the lowly Texans who come into Texas Stadium with one of the worst overall defenses in the league. We should be able to run all over them, and we should be able to throw on them all day. Not only should the offense be able to move the ball with regularity, but the defense should be able to be in Carr’s face all day. With all this being said, we should win. I’m predicting a victory: Cowboys 26 Texans 16 Now, let me play devil’s advocate here. We should win right? What if by some miracle of all miracles the Texans pull of yet another astronomical upset over us again? Like any game this year, this is a must when; however, there is ALOT more riding on this game. Credibility, Team Moral, Confidence, and Respect…we must win this game at all costs. The only way I see the Texans winning is if the Cowboys beat themselves, and by this I mean turnovers. Turnovers are our worst enemy this season. Turning the ball over in our own territory has yielded great success by the opposing offenses. If we lose this game and Bledsoe turns in another crap game against the lowly Texans defense, heads will roll. Someone will get demoted, someone will lose their job, write that down. Whether that’s Bledsoe or some assistant coach, someone will lose something. “We better win!” is coming out of every Cowboys fan this week, including your’s truly.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 10/09/2006 09:37:00 AM —– BODY:
Drew Bled-NO II Back on February 12, 2005, I wrote a piece called “Drew Bled-No” in response to the Cowboys considering acquiring the soon-to be released Drew Bledsoe from the Bills. Looking back, I still stand by my opinion on the matter, and not because I’m angered by our loss to the Eagles, but because, he is not ever going to get it done. Bledsoe holding the ball forever, fumbling the ball, and making bad make decisions for INTS are part of his game, its built-in and has not and will not be removed. This is what we have to endure the rest of his career as our starting QB for the Cowboys. I’ve been a die-hard Cowboys fan from birth, seen the tradition of the Cowboys, the highs of the Superbowl wins, and the lows of consecutive losing seasons. This being said, I do not see us going far with Bledsoe at the helm. We blew a 3rd rounder on Drew Henson, and he did infact rust away on the bench due to the Bledsoe signing, that is a whole other topic. How many more errors are we going to make when it comes to the sake of keeping a winning tradition alive and strong. Parcells has talked about our team needing “staying power”…guess what? Do you think we have staying power? Seriously? Right now we DO NOT. What about finishing power? Can we take a lead on a team and finish them off? Nope, we can’t do that either. We had too many close games last year, we lost a few due to a bad kicking game, but why let the game come down to a few kicks. If you go back at those games, it came down to Bledsoe turning the ball over, plain and simple. Don’t blame the O-line, because I’ve heard that story, and the offensive line blocks for the QB, but they do not make the decisions to throw INTS. As fans, we want the change at QB, we want Romo, not because Bledsoe was a huge part of our two losses this year, but because we can identify a weak link in the chain, and that is Drew Bledsoe. I’m sure if you ask fans there will be those who will accept Romo as the future right now, and they would even like the change if we do not make the playoffs, at least we would have something to build on and give Romo regular season experience. Bledsoe is a 14yr vet making Matt Leinart/Vince Young mistakes, rookie mistakes! If this is what we can get from Bledsoe, then yes, put in Romo already. Unfortunately, what I see Parcells doing is this….He will squash the idea of Romo starting against the Texans, he will start Bledsoe, Bledsoe “should” have a relatively easy task and win the game, then the calls for Romo will settle a little bit. Guess what though, the next week we play the Giants, in a huge game. How many of you think Bledsoe will turn the ball over at least two times? Then, we’re back to where we are right now, win one – lose won, 8-8 and out of the playoffs.

Drew Bled-NO! Speculation has mounted on Drew Bledsoe coming to Dallas if he’s released from the Bills. Some fans want him, and some don’t want him here. I am not in favor of going that route. Well why not?? Let me just say this, Sure Drew is younger than Vinny, but at this point in his career Bledsoe’s accuracy has been horrendous. He has been unable to hold his starting job, he lost it for good in favor of a very young Tom Brady, and now he will lose his job to Losman. Let’s face it guys Bledsoe is not much of an upgrade to Vinny. If we want inaccuracy we already have it with Vinny, Bledsoe is of the same clothe, no mobility, classic pocket passer, inaccurate. I say NO to Drew Bledsoe. In addition, Drew would need to come in and learn or re-learn a Parcells offense. Let’s play Henson once and for all. The growing pains may come, but that’s way its got to be. To me we are setting Henson up for success, by giving him tools like Keyshawn, Glenn, Witten, and Julius Jones. If we add some consistent protection and maybe another offensive player Drew will have a solid surrounding. Going with Bledsoe would mean a 2-3yr deal, thus virtually leaving Henson out in the cold to rust away.

——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 10/08/2006 07:02:00 PM —– BODY:
Official Play Romo Against Texans Blog Fresh off our heartbreakin loss against the hated Eagirls, it’s time to rethink our options at QB. This is a hypothetical, and if history stays true, so will Parcells to his QB (Parcells wont replace Bledsoe)…..BUT, here’s what I propose. If there was ever a game during the year when the Cowboys could make a change at QB, next week’s game would be ideal. Start Romo at Texas Stadium against the lowly Texans, win the game, gain momentum for the future. Get Romo in there. Right now, fans are fuming, including myself, excuse my rage as I write this piece, but c’mon, how many times is Bledsoe gonna kill a drive with the lamest INTs. ….a veteran…man, this loss hurts.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 10/01/2006 10:53:00 PM —– BODY:
Gurode Frustrates Haynesworth In what has become the most shocking on-the field assault to date, Titan’s Albert Haynesworth should be looking at a hefty fine, and some game suspensions. Who knows what caused her to assault Gurode, but it must of been because Gurode frustrated her. She couldn’t get past Gurodes blocks, and she couldn’t slow down our running game. I would fine Haynesworthless 100K for the simple fact that he assaulted Gurode on the field, and had this been outside the football arena, this chump would have been thrown in jail for physical assault. At least 100K for the chump, and some game suspensions. If he is not fined alot of money, I would expect at least 5 games of suspension without pay or something of that nature. I’m not sure what the rules are here, but something must be done, and the league must act fast and diligent. The league wants to hand out fines for brushing QBs, but in this case, the assault is irrefutable, it is with the intent to harm, its malice with intent to cause bodily injury? Gurode could have lost his eye. Shit, Haynesworthless should be fined the rest of the season. Call it extreme if you want, but what would you call what he did to Andre Gurode?

“Jeff Fisher apologized for Haynesworth’s actions and Haynesworth was remorseful for what he did. “If they suspend me that’s fine. Because for what I did, whatever they give me, I deserve it. I did it and it’s wrong. That’s not the game of football that’s not how it’s supposed to be played. I let my team down,” Haynesworth said.”
What an idiot, this guy doesn’t really mean it, suspend him for the maximum, throw the book at him.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/27/2006 11:38:00 PM —– BODY:
The Sack As a fan you never want to hear your players getting the 5th degree everytime they are interviewed; furthermore, its very aggrevating hearing the media press our head coach over TO at every press conference. As a fan, we are tired of it, seriously. We don’t want to hear questions about TO 24/7; instead, we want to hear questions about the secondary, Pat Watkins, the linebackers, Greg Ellis, Bobby Carpenter, etc. Its become very evident that the media does infact fuel the flames when it comes to TO against Team XYZ. This has to be the same thing TO and the Eagles fans went through in Philly…its the media, plain and simple. To the major media out there, get off Terrell Owens’ sack and write about things that really matter. Its getting old fast, totally pathetic. TO, you have my support!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/19/2006 06:53:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Extend MLB Bradie James The Cowboys have signed Bradie James to a 5-year extension. James will lock up the MLB position. We have a solid LB corps, and now the next question may be, what’s next for LB Bobby Carpenter? Carpenter has practiced and played mainly at the MLB position this year, so I am wondering where his playing time will fall now and in the future. We just signed free agent LB Akin Ayodele to play next to James at MLB, so you would think our MLBs are locked up there, and OLB Demarcus Ware isn’t going anywhere. So what about OLB Greg Ellis? Ellis is looking like a beast at his new position, I don’t see a change there right now. It’s actually a good thing to have this dilemma, we’ll continue to see how the season unfolds for Carpenter and the rest of the linebackers.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/14/2006 06:38:00 PM —– BODY:
The Redskins Got T.O. Covered? Anyone wondering what T.O. has done against the ‘Skins in the past? I was, and here are his stats… it is what it is. REC/YRD/TD 2005 (didn’t play suspended) 2004 2 / 24 / 1 6 / 46 / 0 2002 2 / 33 / 1 1999 1 / 2 / 0 1998 4 / 67 / 1 1996 3 / 39 / 0
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/12/2006 07:06:00 PM —– BODY:
LIVE Gameday Chat Endorsment I’m proud to announce that our site has been endorsed by BuddyTV.com we will be hosting a LIVE Gameday Chat. Check out our profile as well, it’ll take you to our show time page. Be sure to register your username before someone else takes it. Registration is 100% free. I look forward to hearing from you fans Sunday Night!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/10/2006 09:28:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Lose 17-24 First thing on every Cowboys Fans thoughts are Bledsoe. Will Bledsoe be benched and Romo start next week against the rival Redskins? probably not. Yes, Bledsoe played horribly most of the game, but this is a team game, and there were alot of really boneheaded penalities and blown coverages here and there which culminated in our demise at Jacksonville. If Bledsoe continues to play horrible in another game or two, then maybe we’ll get to some point of needed change, but its early and (15) more games need to be played. On the positive side, you have to like what you saw from the rookies Pat Watkins and Jason Hatcher. Demarcus Ware was on fire, and was a menace all day. I’m impressed and look forward to more from Ware this season. Terence Newman held his own against the tall Jag receivers, pretty solid play from Newman. Lets regroup and get ready for the Washington Redskins. Go Cowboys!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/09/2006 02:41:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys @ Jacksonville Predictions At the end of the day, this game will come down to how our offensive line held up. We know what we have in our shutdown defense. This game will come down to that ever changing offensive line that has been Parcells’ bane since his arrival in Dallas. Will this be the year the line holds up or will it be our downfall. If the line cannot open up holes for the running game, we’re in trouble. If the line cannot block for Bledsoe, we’re in trouble. That’s what this game is going to come down to. That being said, I’m hoping for a solid performance from the big guys up front. If this happens, I see us scoring some points. Predictions: Cowboys 30 Jaguars 20 (if the line holds up) Cowboys 17 Jaguars 16 (if the line sucks, late winning FG needed)
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/04/2006 11:51:00 AM —– BODY:
Practice Squad Players Signed The practice squad was announced, and here are the initial players signed to the squad. The practice squad is never a final roster. Players can be signed and released throughout the year. So, don’t be surprised if the squad changes a little throughout the year. The Cowboys opted to sign another TE in Jerome Collins off the Rams waivers, and we passed on NT Montavious Stanley.

QB Matt Baker

G D’Anthony Batiste

LB Carl-Johan Bjork

DE Stephen Bowen

CB Quincy Butler

TE Jerome Collins (was in camp with St. Louis)

TE Tony Curtis

WR Skyler Green

RB Keylon Kincade
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/01/2006 08:42:00 PM —– BODY:
Here’s Your 53-Man Roster I think the Cowboys already know who’s going to make the team. Here’s how I break down the 53-Man Roster. OFFENSE QB 1. Drew Bledsoe 2. Tony Romo RB 3. Julius Jones 4. Marion Barber III 5. Tyson Thompson WR 6. Terrell Owens 7. Terry Glenn 8. Patrick Crayton 9. Sam Hurd 10. Jamaica Rector 11. Terrence Copper I think Copper squeeks in via his solid special teams play, Rector beats out Green, and Green could end up on the practice squad TE 12. Jason Witten 13. Anthony Fasano 14. Ryan Hannam FB 15. Lousaka Polite OT 16. Flozell Adams 17. Marco Colombo 18. Rob Petitti 19. Pat McQuistan 20. Jason Fabini Fabini makes the roster here, but it would not surprise me if he didn’t, this will be a close call here OG 21. Kyle Kosier 22. Marco Rivera 23. Cory Procter C 24. Andre Gurode 25. Al Johnson DEFENSE DE 26. Chris Canty 27. Jay Ratliff 28. Marcus Spears 29. Jason Hatcher NT 30. Jason Ferguson 31. Thomas Johnson or Montavious Stanley (too close to call) If Montavious does not make the roster, he will be on the practice squad, he has a lot of upside OLB 32. Demarcus Ware 33. Greg Ellis 34. Al Singleton 35. Kevin Burnett 36. Rocky Boiman MLB 37. Bradie James 38. Akin Ayodele 39. Bobby Carpenter 40. Oliver Hoyte Hoyte has played exceptional on special teams and at MLB, and Fowler could lose out here CB 41. Terence Newman 42. Anthony Henry 43. Aaron Glenn 44. Jacques Reeves 45. Nate Jones FS 46. Pat Watkins 47. Keith Davis SS 48. Roy Williams 49. Abram Elam DS 50. J.P. Ladoceur P 51. Matt McBriar K 52. Mike Vanderjagt 53. Shaun Suisham I would hope we would not need to blow a roster spot on a kickoff guy, but its looking more and more like we may have no choice, She can’t handle both duties
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/27/2006 11:25:00 AM —– BODY:
Bledsoe has done well this preseason, but… Does Bledsoe have “lasting power”? The media wanted to create some QB Contraversy when Romo played in an entire preseason game, but then Bledsoe started again, and dazzled fans and the media with his great passes. We all know Bledsoe is one the most prolific QBs in NFL history, and he’s done a lot in this league, so this should not be a big surprise to everyone. Last year, we saw the same production from Bledsoe early on, but as the season progressed his production topped off and declined. Could this be attributed to the offensive line being decimated by injuries, or is it Bledsoe’s “lasting power” Can Bledsoe keep the same good production from start to end? This year we will see. I think the good thing about this offseason, training camp, and preseason has been Tony Romo. Right now, this is definitely Bledsoe’s team this year, but if Bledsoe’s “lasting power” fails towards the critical part of the second half of the season we will be hearing the calls for Romo to jumpstart the offense. Whether or not Parcells would pull Bledsoe during the season would be something else. Parcells usually sticks with his guys, but at some point he could do this, depending on the situation. I like what I see in Bledsoe, the young receivers corps, and the offense as a whole. We should be good. Let’s see how this unfolds.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/23/2006 10:10:00 PM —– BODY:
How’s That 2004 Draft Class Doing? Parcells has stated time and time again that you build your team through the draft. Let’s take a look back at the Cowboys 2004 Draft Class and see how this crop is doing heading into the 2006 Season. Day1 2 (11, 43) – Julius Jones, Notre Dame (starting RB) 2 (20, 52) – Jacob Rogers, USC (Injured,Cut,Bust) 3 (20, 83) – Stephen Peterman, Louisiana State (Cut) DAY2 4 (25, 121) – Bruce Thornton, Georgia (Cut) 5 (12, 144) – Sean Ryan, Boston College (Injury Riddled, may not make the cut this year) 7 (4, 205) – Nathan Jones, Rutgers (Probably makes the cut) 7 (15, 216) – Patrick Crayton, NW Oklahoma State (#3WR) 7 (22, 223) – Jacques Reeves, Purdue (Probably makes the cut) When you look at this draft class, you truly see an average to good crop here. RB Julius Jones headlines the group. Julius is in his 3rd year, and has yet to have that “magical” year, the type of Emmitt Smith year we have not had since the ’90s. Jones has the potential, but he has been sidelined the last two years by bad luck. Rogers was injured before we drafted him, and he never became anything but a complete and uttter BUST. Parcells stuck by Peterman despite his injuries, unfortunately time ran out on Peterman. Cory Procter overcame him on the depth chart, and Peterman was released today. Bruce Thornton had big potential coming out of college as the team captain of the Georgia Bulldog defense, unfortunately Thornton never developed into anything. Sean Ryan is another player that has been given plenty of time to contribute and make the team, but this may be the year he is cut. Ryan has been on and off the roster the past couple of years. His days are numbered with the drafting of Fasano and the signing of Hannam. Nate Jones is the man of mystery, he never gets any attention at all, good or bad, but Parcells recently stated that each year it becomes harder and harder to cut Jones. Jones will be cutting it very close this year. He may or may not make this team this year, we’ll know in the coming days. Patrick Crayton was the 2nd day gem in this draft class. Crayton came into camp and turned heads ever since. He has solid hands, and makes plays after the catch. As a former QB, Crayton knows where to position himself when he runs his routes. The only knock on Crayton is his durability. Patrick Crayton and Julius Jones share the same hardships, just wishing to complete a full season. Jacques Reeves continues to make the team every year due to his committment to the game, he’s a solid back up and a versatile player that Parcells likes in the secondary. Reeves should make the team once again. Summary: Day 1 is a near washout with the exception of Julius Jones. Day 2 is interesting, the last (3) picks were 7th rounders and all remain on the team, unlike the higher picks before them. If you remember Parcells made some trades to acquire those 7th rounders, once again applying his theory of being in the “Talent Acquisition Business” even during the NFL draft back in 2004.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/22/2006 08:29:00 PM —– BODY:
Inching Closer to More Roster Cuts Aug. 29th – Cut down to 75 Sept. 2nd – Cut down to 53 Last night there were several players that did not play, and when you’re not playing in a preseason game, you’re in trouble – on the bubble. Some notable players that did not play against the Saints were: OG Stephen Peterman, QB Drew Henson, QB Matt Baker, WR JR Tolver, LB Carl-Johan Bjork, TE Erik Jensen, and K Mike Vanderjagt. Henson and Vanderjagt make the roster, but the same cannot be said about the rest of those guys. Most notable is OG Stephen Peterman, a former 3rd round pick. Peterman has been riddled with injuries, and this year it appears that Cory Proctor is poised to beat him out. Marcus Coleman is going to be suspended for (4) games for violating the leagues illegal substance policy. He’s going to be cut. LB Oliver Hoyte is doing everything possible to stay on the team, he’s been a tackling machine, and will at least make the practice squad. WR Miles Austin has done his part as well, and could be on his way to the practice squad as well. WR Battle: Rector vs. Green Rector has made some great catches, but he has also dropped a few passes during practice. Its a tight race between Rector and Green for one of the last WR spots. This is too close to call at this point, I honestly don’t know which of these two makes the team.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/18/2006 05:26:00 PM —– BODY:
Charlie Adams Fails Cowboys Physical This trade has been voided, we get our draft pick back; however, looks like the Cowboys are still looking for more options at WR.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/17/2006 10:50:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Acquire Denver WR The Cowboys traded a conditional 7th round pick to the Broncos for WR Charlie Adams. This is a camp body, he has some special teams experience, and I wouldn’t expect much else out of this trade… Additional Notes: Position: WR Height: 6-2 Weight: 190 Born: 10/23/1979 College: Hofstra NFL Experience: 4

Englewood, CO (Sports Network) – The Denver Broncos traded wide receiver Charlie Adams to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick.

Adams played in all 16 games — and two playoff contests — for Denver last season. He totaled 21 receptions for 203 yards and also netted 351 total return yards in 2005.

Over the past several years, Adams has been up and down between the practice squad and the active roster before he finally became Denver’s third receiver last season.

No news from the “Scout Swap” we had with the Patriots as of yet.
——– AUTHOR: cowboyzadam DATE: 8/09/2006 07:33:00 PM —– BODY:
Ask Coach Parcells editor@dallascowboys.net By DCW Staff Q: Given his track record, do you have any concerns about Julius Jones and his health? – Reggie Joseph, Allen, A: I don’t think concern is the right word. I would be concerned if I didn’t see him working every day at a high level. I think he has something to prove to himself, as well. But I do see that, so I’m not as concerned about him. Durability is a big thing in the running back position. He had a little tough luck a couple of times, but I think things will get better for him. I do think that. Running back is a tough position, and it takes a little while sometimes to get established there and learn how to do exactly right by it. I think he is a kid that has the mental capacity to understand it and is trying to do the right thing. He’s not a big man, but I don’t necessarily think that he’s injury-prone. Injuries are not a problem for him; they are a problem for anyone in pro football. Playing running back is one of the most demanding jobs in pro football. It is hard on a young kid starting out, and it’s not something that you can easily explain to them what it is all about no matter how hard you try. I have a lot of experience doing it with some of these kids and it is still tough. You try to tell them this is what it’s going to be like, and you tell them why they have to do the things that I am asking them to do. I can tell them to believe me because I can point to specific players I coached and let our guys know that this worked for this guy, and this other guy and this other guy and it will work for them too. It’s what I know to teach you to do and no matter how hard you try to do that, it takes a little while before they really get it. The pressure on these runners is really difficult. They have to block the blitz, they have to catch the ball and they have to run the ball 25 times a game. That all adds up on these guys. Q: What do you know about Bobby Carpenter based on your familiarity with his father, Rob? – Jamar Thomas, Milford, Ohio. A: I knew there would be discipline because that was in the family. I knew his mom, too. I knew that he would be taught right from wrong. He’s probably been spoken to on a few matters. I have a very high regard for his father. His father was one of the key guys for me. I was fortunate to have him come along at the right time for me along with Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor and few of those to really get me started coaching in this league. I give him as much credit as I did several of those others that were kind of the nucleus for us. He was very good with young players when he was a veteran. He was a good player himself. I know he has coaching experience. He coached all those years. He’s got four boys, they’re all playing football now too. Football was something that was really pretty important in that family. I kind of like that. I like the player as an athlete. He’s a real pure linebacker. Q. What concerned you the most going into camp? – Ray Kuale, Tualatin, Ore. A: There are several positions where we have a degree of uncertainty, a couple on the offensive line and maybe one position particularly in the secondary. We are going to have some transition at a couple of linebacker spots. Every year is different. It always unfolds differently as you go through it. You don’t know what is going to happen during the course of camp that could cause you problems. Right now, there are still a couple of places where I feel like we’ve got to get something done. I’m not sure what those answers will be just yet. I do think I have a good class of kids on my team. Players that want to work hard. I think each year we have been here we have improved that. We have several young guys now who are really starting to come as real good players in the league. They have a couple of years in now, and that kind of encourages us. They have a pretty good ceiling to get to. They haven’t gotten there yet, but a couple of them are headed that way. Q: Terrell Owens has been in a West Coast offense his entire career. Do you change what you want to do because of that or do you work him into your system? – Omar Hollard, Floresville, Tex. A: We want to use the player’s assets. We would be foolish not to try to do that. I have a general idea of what he does well from having played against him. But I have to see what he thinks about things like I would any player that’s experienced. I need to learn what routes he likes. What he feels comfortable with and what routes he struggles with. You know, they all have them. They don’t just come in and say, “I can do anything you want me to do.” We go over things and say, “How do you feel about this? How do you feel about that?” I would do that with any player that was a veteran that we were trying to integrate into our scheme. I’ve done that over the course of my career. I remember vividly the day I got Shawn Jefferson. I said, “Shawn, what do you like?” He said, “Sevens, eights and nines, Coach.” That’s a tree route. Sevens, eights and nines. He said, “I can run those for you all day.” I asked him, “Well, what about a four?” He said, “I can run a four.” I said, “Well, what about a six?” He says, “I’m not in love with a six.” So along the way I get an idea about what he can do, what he likes. I haven’t had that conversation yet with Terrell.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/29/2006 10:45:00 AM —– BODY:
That Worm Hansen For the record, Dale Hansen is a mere maggot of a reporter. I do not like him and I know the Cowboys as a Organization do not care that much for his reporting and line of questioning.

“Basically, Bill Parcells is a d—.’’ Channel 8 sportscaster Dale Hansen, explaining why he made a point in the press conference to direct questions at owner Jerry Jones and not at Parcells. Channel 8 is also trying to make a point about the restricted coverage of the NFL now allowed by the league – and the further restrictions placed on the media by Parcells.

This guy has no class at all. You’re a gutless worm.

——– AUTHOR: cowboyzadam DATE: 7/17/2006 11:58:00 AM —– BODY:
Makeup of Cowboys’ Opponents Studied By Mike Rabun Anyone who follows any of the NFL teams closely can rattle off multiple story lines worth exploring as the upcoming season draws near. A resident of Green Bay, for instance, might be able to regale us with tales of kicker Ryan Longwell, who made four of his five attempts from 50 yards or more last year. Or the Packer fan might want to talk about the fact that the team gave up the fewest aerial yards in the NFL during the 2005 season but had only 10 interceptions – tied for worst in the NFC. Outside Wisconsin, however, the first thing that would come to mind when the Packers are mentioned would probably be this: “Why did Brett Favre come back and what happens if he throws 12 interceptions in the first three games?” It’s like that with every team. Overriding all the ins and outs that go into the makeup of a club is one item that captures the attention of the far away observer. At the moment, the item in Dallas attracting the most attention is Terrell Owens. But you already knew that. What we are going to do here is glance at the teams the Cowboys must deal with this season and, in effect, mention the first thing that comes to mind. At least they will probably be the first thing that comes to the minds of Dallas fans. We start with the NFC East. Eagles Has the window of opportunity officially closed? When Donovan McNabb threw the interception against the Cowboys and was injured trying to make the ensuing tackle, the Eagles cratered. They did not win a division game in 2005. Once things start to go wrong, it sometimes gets into the minds of players that they can not become completely right again. Is that the way it will be in Philadelphia? Redskins Has the worm turned? For the first time since 1995 and for just the third time ever, Washington defeated the Cowboys in both of their regular season meetings last season. If Dallas plans on winning a division title, losses to the Redskins cannot become a trend. So when Washington comes to call for a Sunday night game during the second weekend of the season, it will be a very big deal. Giants Eli Manning. The younger brother of Peyton did not have a gaudy quarterback rating in 2005. He barely completed half his passes. Yet he threw for 24 touchdowns, tied for most in the NFC. Manning got the ball into the end zone and the Giants won the division. Can he do it again? The Dallas schedule will be filled out with the following: Jaguars Is this a team poised for greatness? Last season’s playoff appearance has Jacksonville expecting much more this year and Dallas visits the Jaguars right out of the box. Whatever the best effort from Jacksonville might be, the Cowboys are likely to see it on Sept. 10. Titans Vince Young. Dallas plays Tennessee in the fourth week of the season, so the jury will still be out on whether the former Longhorn will alter the game as we know it. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. But until we figure out the answer, Young will be one of the chief characters in pro football. Texans Are they doomed to a generation of failure? Houston did not draft Reggie Bush. Houston did not draft Vince Young. Their quarterback has absorbed as much abuse as any in the history of the league. They have changed general managers. The future just doesn’t look very good. PanthersCan they do anything but get close? Steve Smith delivered more yards and more touchdowns than any other NFC receiver last year, but it takes more than one guy. Carolina is a solid team. Just about as solid a team as there is in the league. But it appears the Panthers do not have the one explosive quality that can vault them to a Super Bowl title. Cardinals The new stadium. A glance at the Arizona website these days can cause a shock to the system. The first words one sees on the Cardinals’ site are these – “2006 season sold out.” Arizona will have a true home field advantage as well as an improving team. The Cowboys should certainly not expect their trip to the Valley of the Sun this season to be a piece of cake. The fact that it will be the third straight road game for Dallas will make it only more difficult. Colts Can they win the big one? This was the question that haunted the Cowboys as the 1960s turned into the 1970s. Dallas finally got over the hurdle, but Indianapolis has yet to do so. Winning the first 13 games of the season is one thing. Losing to Pittsburgh at home in the playoffs limits a team’s hope for greatness. Buccaneers Defense. Tampa Bay led the league in that department last year in winning the NFC South. The Bucs, however, won five of their games by four points or less. Winning teams have to have some breaks go their way and Tampa Bay got some in 2005. Saints What’s to become of this team? The Saints’ future is immersed in the future of its surroundings. No one wants the franchise to leave a city that nature has left as only a shadow of its former self. But, in time, it could happen. Falcons Is the bloom off Michael Vick. When Vick was healthy during the early stages of his career, Atlanta prospered. When he was injured, things turned bleak. Vick was relatively OK last season and the Falcons went 8-8. Playing in a division with Carolina and Tampa Bay means Atlanta needs the very best of Vick – and everybody else. Lions Is a brighter future in sight? It has been six seasons since Detroit has won more than six games. They have a four-game playoff losing streak dating to 1991. History has become weighted against them and the weight will probably remain heavy this year.
——– AUTHOR: cowboyzadam DATE: 7/05/2006 12:03:00 AM —– BODY:
Training Camp Next Cowboys Have July 27 Reporting Date This year’s training camp will have lots of different storylines playing throughout the Cowboys’ stay in Oxnard, Calif. Most of the stories will carry over into the regular season, which promises to be another exciting run for the Cowboys, who are just trying to get back in the playoffs for the first time since 2003. As the Cowboys head back to sunny California for camp, which officially begins on July 28. It will be the Cowboys’ last time in Oxnard, at least for another five years. The Cowboys already announced they will return to San Antonio for training camp in 2007, signing a five-year deal with the Alamo City. So this is it for a while for the Cowboys and Southern California, where the always comfy temperatures have made it a favorite spot among the players. But surroundings aside, there are plenty of other important football matters to deal with, starting with the one and only, Terrell Owens. Yes, all eyes will be perched on T.O. with every step he makes during camp and the season. The Cowboys are anticipating a focused Owens, which could help them become one of the league’s most potent passing teams. Owens has that potential. Team him up with Terry Glenn, who is coming off his best season in years (62 catches 1,136 yards, seven touchdowns), Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten and quarterback Drew Bledsoe, and the Cowboys look to have all the tools to air it out on offense. Funny thing though, that’s not exactly what Bill Parcells and the Cowboys want to do. No, the addition of Owens won’t change the Cowboys’ philosophy of trying to run the ball first, establish field position and control the clock. But at least they have another home-run hitter in Owens when the situation arises. While T.O. will certainly be the talk of camp, there are plenty of other issues to keep Cowboys fans entertained as well. What about the running back situation? Sure, the Cowboys think they have a starter in place in Julius Jones, but just how much can they rely on a player who has already missed 11 games in two years because of injury? The flip side to Jones is that in a short amount of time, he has also produced four games of at least 149 yards of rushing, including 198- and 194-yard efforts, which rank third and fourth, respectively, on the Cowboys’ all-time single-game lists. But it’s not likely that Parcells will give Jones a long leash this year to perform. And that’s nothing against Jones, as it is his admiration for Marion Barber, a second-year player who is more of a jack-of-all-trades back. While the chase for the starting running back spot will be a hot topic of discussion in camp, don’t expect Parcells or the coaching staff to get caught up in it. In fact, Parcells will gladly welcome a “problem” of which running back to start. But neither Jones nor Barber will have any success this season without a competent offensive line, a position that was rather inconsistent at the end of last year. Injuries certainly caught up to the Cowboys last season, but Flozell Adams is back at left tackle after suffering a torn ACL. The team patched together a makeshift line that included rookie Rob Petitti, who started all 16 games and will certainly give veteran Jason Fabini some tough competition for the starting right tackle position. In between, the tackles will see a distinctive change with the loss of Larry Allen, who was released in the offseason. Four-year vet Kyle Kosier gets first crack replacing Allen, a 10-time Pro Bowler and future Hall-of-Famer and Ring of Honor inductee. “Well, I know I’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill,” Kosier said. “He’s a great player, probably one of the best guards to ever play the game. But I have a lot of confidence in myself. I think we can work together and get the job done.” There will be a training camp battle once again at center between Al Johnson and Andre Gurode, who also gives the Cowboys some depth at guard. The team is also hoping starting right guard Marco Rivera returns to Pro Bowl form after battling back and neck injuries in 2005. Switching to the defensive side of the ball, the biggest question the Cowboys have centers on more off-the-field issues. Defensive end Greg Ellis, one of the most respected players in the locker room since his arrival to the team in 1998, has publicly asked the Cowboys to make more of a financial commitment this offseason. Ellis, who has either led or tied for the team lead in sacks for each of the last five years, has not only lost his starting position to second-year pro Chris Canty, but will likely move to a hybrid outside linebacker spot. Ellis, who has always been the consummate team player, isn’t upset about the change, but just wants the Cowboys to compensate him for what he considers to be a risk. “Just the level of commitment from them is what I’m looking for,” Ellis says “You’re going from a guy who has played with his hand on the ground for eight years, now you want me to change. I have no problem with that, but it’s not right for me to have signed that contract (in 2003) with the intent on what we’re going to do, then we switch. “And that’s fine, but I’m doing something that I’ve never done before. It’s not right for me to be out there taking that risk and not receive any commitment.” Ellis, who decided to skip four days of voluntary practices at Valley Ranch, has four years remaining on his contract and is scheduled to count $3.35 million on the salary cap this season, which includes a $2.25 million base salary. The cap figures for the final three years of the deal are $3.1 million, $3.92 million and $4.75 million in 2009. Ellis obviously fears that a disappointing season in 2006, especially for a player who turns 31 in August, would not only lead to his release from the Cowboys, but severely damage his chances of getting a hefty free-agent contract with another team. “It’s not about more money; I’m not asking for a penny more new money,” Ellis says. “I’m under this contract and I’m not demanding anything. But I’m not a three-year guy or a five-year guy. If I have a bad year, I can’t just say, ?All right, I’ll be back next year.’ When you’re in your eighth or ninth year, bad years lead to no years.” While Ellis says he doesn’t want a new contract, he wouldn’t mind either the Cowboys pushing forward some of the money at the end of the contract to this year or guaranteeing his salary this year and possibly the next two. “The ball is in their court because I’m under contract,” Ellis says. “It’s just not beneficial to have a guy on their team who feels like he’s not being committed to. If I wasn’t committed to them, they would have a problem with me, then it works both sides.” So what if the Cowboys don’t come up with a new deal by the start of training camp? Does that mean Ellis holds out? “I don’t know,” Ellis says. “I’m not saying that. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I would say this, if we can’t get anything done, I think it’s best for me to be gone – at their discretion. They can trade me or do whatever. Not in a hostile way. I understand the business. I’m just saying I probably shouldn’t be here.” However, the Cowboys seem to want Ellis around. Even Parcells says Ellis is one of the team’s top pass rushers and he will be needed this season. “Greg is a pressure player – that’s where he will help us,” Parcells says. “He might drop off (in coverage) once in a while. But in a 3-4 defense, you need pressure players and usually, the linebackers are the pressure players. I think Greg fits into this defense and I think he fits in well.” But that’s something Ellis can’t see for himself until he gets to training camp. Now, the question is, will he go to camp without a new deal? Other than the Ellis watch, there are some traditional linebackers to keep an eye on at camp, including the first-round draft pick, Bobby Carpenter. While he will undoubtedly be the first-team water boy, something Parcells issues to every first-round pick, Carpenter is looking to get a starting job on the defensive side of the ball. Look for a quality camp battle between the rookie from Ohio State and veteran Al Singleton. So definitely, there will be plenty to watch this year at training camp. And no, it doesn’t all have to do with Terrell Owens.
——– AUTHOR: cowboyzadam DATE: 6/21/2006 10:40:00 PM —– BODY:
Talent Stockpiled at LB Size and Depth Added No position was bitten more by the injury bug last season than linebacker. Not only did the Cowboys lose starters Dat Nguyen and Al Singleton for the entire season, but five linebackers ended up on injured reserve. So it made sense to address the position heavily through both free agency and the draft. With the signings of veterans Akin Ayodele and Rocky Boiman, followed by the drafting of Ohio State’s Bobby Carpenter in the first round, consider the linebacker position addressed. Now the Cowboys can only wait to see how it pays off. Remember, this is only the second season for the Cowboys defense in the 3-4 scheme, and Bill Parcells has said in the past that making a complete switch can take as long as three years. The Cowboys certainly added the right parts on the defensive line last year, getting Marcus Spears and Chris Canty. And the Cowboys made the first step in acquiring linebackers for the 3-4 by drafting DeMarcus Ware in the first round (11th overall). This year, they took it to another level, especially in drafting Carpenter, who is the first Cowboys first-round pick to actually play linebacker in college since Billy Cannon (Texas A&M) in 1984. Now just because Carpenter is a first-round pick (18th overall), don’t expect Parcells to slide him into the starting lineup immediately. The Cowboys haven’t forgotten about Singleton, who played eight games before a shoulder injury ended his season early. Although a bit undersized, Singleton played well last season at outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme, holding off Kevin Burnett. But whether he cracks the starting lineup right away or not, all eyes will be set on Carpenter, who says he will be ready for anything. “There’s a lot of talented linebackers they have here and hopefully I’ll be able to play opposite DeMarcus,” says Carpenter, who will graduate this summer with a degree in business economics. “I think that’s what their plan was, and I think I just have to come in, play well and hopefully live up to their expectations. “I know they brought in a lot of guys and had a pretty solid linebacking corps last year,” Carpenter adds. “So I’m just going to work as hard as I can and when the vets get in here I’ll try to fit in with those guys and continue to work hard.” Being the first-round pick, Carpenter already has one job in place – being Parcells’ personal water boy during practice this entire season. Each year, Parcells mandates that his first draft choice fetch him water during practice breaks. Carpenter has joined Terence Newman, Julius Jones and Ware in the Cowboys’ lineage of well-paid water boys. “They said it used to be bottled but I think he’s gone to tap now,” says Carpenter, who brought Parcells a fresh cup in each of the Cowboys’ first three mini-camp practices. “The trainers and everybody, they get the order ready. I’m just the delivery boy.” However, unlike his three previous water boys, Parcells had some prior history with Carpenter, whose dad Rob played for him as a running back with the New York Giants in the early 1980s. “I’ve always kind of dreamed of playing for him,” Carpenter says of Parcells. “Growing up, I was always a fan of the team he coached for. Now to have a chance to play for him is almost like a dream come true. ” As for Parcells, who has proven he prefers to sign former players, he pointed out that any coach would like to have Carpenter, whether his dad played for him or not. “I like the player as an athlete,” Parcells says. “He’s a real pure linebacker.” Parcells needs his 3-4 linebackers to be versatile, and at 6-2 and 254 pounds, Carpenter appears to have the size and speed to stand up on the line of scrimmage against the run and drop into coverage on tight ends. In college, Carpenter occasionally lined up at defensive end in pass-rush situations. He finished 10th on Ohio State’s all-time sack list with 14.5. And the Cowboys also think Carpenter could move inside if need be, or if they should have the opportunity to put another speed-rusher on the outside. “There’s always things you have to learn, especially jumping to another level,” Carpenter says. “You always have to refine your technique because the talent level is so much closer. There’s not the disparity that some people enjoyed in college. Definitely refining your technique and learning a scheme inside and out – that’s what I like to do early and learn what everyone’s responsibility is. “I did a lot of pass-rush at Ohio State. I did a lot of pass-dropping early in my career – in the flats and seams. Really, just trying to think of things that I didn’t do a lot, and really I did a lot of things throughout this past season. I think it really helped me develop as a player.” For now, the Cowboys have Singleton and possibly Burnett to compete for the starting position. Burnett had an up-and-down rookie season last year, suffering three separate injuries that never put the second-round pick from Tennessee on track. In fact, Burnett suffered a torn ACL in the final week of the season, forcing him to spend most of the spring and summer rehabbing the knee. However, Burnett is expected to be ready for the start of training camp on July 27. One player who could figure into the mix at either inside or outside is Boiman, a four-year veteran who comes over from Tennessee. The former Titan not only can play both positions, but is a standout on special teams, setting a Tennessee club record in 2002 with 30 special teams tackles. And despite having both Ware and Carpenter on the outside, Boiman might have just as good a chance to win a starting job there as at inside linebacker, where the Cowboys return leading tackler Bradie James, who had 109 stops last season and also developed more of a leadership role in Nguyen’s absence. James will be teamed with Ayodele, who played outside linebacker for four seasons with the Jaguars, but will now move to inside linebacker. “That’s the position Harry Carson played when Carl (Banks) was playing and that is what we expect to be our high-producing, tackling machine, so to speak,” Parcells says of Ayodele, but referring to his coaching days with the Giants. “Because in the defense that we play, the 3-4, the teams really don’t run to the weak side very effectively against the 3-4. There are not that many schemes that they employ versus the 3-4 on the weak side. So as a result, a lot of the plays are going away from that player and it allows him to run. He’s going to get the opportunity to be in pursuit quickly a lot of the time and so anyone that is in that pursuit quickly is expected to produce at a high level. That’s really where we’re going to try to play him, where we played Harry and for a little while Pepper (Johnson), and Marvin Jones when I was with the Jets, guys like that who could run and hit pretty well. ” The Cowboys should have some depth inside with Scott Shanle and Ryan Fowler, who both started inside after Nguyen suffered his neck injury, which eventually led to his retirement. So the Cowboys have certainly provided themselves with options at linebacker. And considering how things turned out last year, they may need every one of them.
——– AUTHOR: MCAJE DATE: 6/19/2006 07:47:00 AM —– BODY:
2006 PLAYER MOVEMENT Re-signed Status Andre Gurode, OL 1 year Scott Shanle, LB Restricted Additions Terrell Owens, WR Unrestricted (PHI) Ryan Hannam, TE Free Agent (SEA) Jason Fabini, OL Free Agent (NYJ) Kyle Kosier, OL Free Agent (DET) Akin Ayodele, LB Unrestricted (JAC) Rocky Boiman, LB Free Agent (TEN) Mike Vanderjagt, K Unrestricted (IND) Marcus Coleman, S Unrestricted (HOU) Subtractions La’Roi Glover, DT Unrestricted (STL) Scott Fujita, LB Free Agent (NO) Dan Campbell, TE Unrestricted (DET) Keyshawn Johnson, WR (CAR) Larry Allen, G Unrestricted (SF) Torrin Tucker, T Unrestricted (TB)
——– AUTHOR: cowboyzadam DATE: 6/17/2006 12:37:00 AM —– BODY:
John Saldi Position: Linebacker Year in NFL: Rookie Height: 6-5 Weight: 233 Family: Single College: Texas Tech Major: Corp Communications Birthdate: June 6, 1982 Birthplace: Dallas Essentials: John Saldi doesn’t have to look too hard for inspiration as he tries to defy odds and make the Cowboys as a rookie free agent. The Linebacker from Texas Tech is facing the same uphill struggle his father Jay Saldi did back in 1976 as a rookie Tight End. Jay Saldi not only earned a roster spot that first year but stayed with the Cowboys until 1982. His son signed with Dallas as a rookie free agent after going undrafted in 2006. John, who played high school ball at nearby Southlake Carroll, was a four-year letter winner at Texas Tech. He finished his college career with 213 tackles, 89 for a loss, 29 sacks and 9 interceptions. As a redshirt freshman, he was named the Mazda Tangerine Bowl defensive MVP in Tech’s 55-15 win over Clemson. Saldi had 5 tackles, an interception, a sack and broke up 4 passes. He was named honorable mention All-Big 12 Conference all 4 years. At Southlake Carroll, Saldi finished his career with 153 tackles, 18 for losses, 4 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles and 5 sacks. He was named all-state as a senior. Saldi majored in corporate communications with a minor in restaurant, hotel and institutional management. Notable: Best advice I ever got: “From my Dad, (former Cowboys tight end Jay Saldi) he told me I can do whatever I want to if I put my mind to it.” Pro athlete I admire the most: ” My Dad. He came here as a free agent and played 9 years in the NFL.” When it’s time to relax I: “Hang out with my friends. There isn’t much to do up in Lubbock so we’d go fishing or hunting or just hang out at the lake.” Favorite meal: “Anything Italian, I love pasta.” Food I won’t eat: “Chocolate or vanilla, not a big fan of sweets.” Sports moment I’ll never forget: “My sophomore year in college we beat Texas A&M, Texas and TCU all in the same year.” If I wasn’t playing football I’d be playing: Golf. My mentor in sports is/was: “Not to many outside my Dad. I can talk to him about anything.” Last concert I went to: Todd Green. My dream home must have: A movie theater. Most important lesson I’ve learned about playing in the NFL: “Big eyes, big ears. Listen and learn from these guys, learn what you can.” Vacation I would like to take: Italy. Best movie I’ve seen recently: “Inside Man.” Nickname: “Nuts’ because I play pretty hard, not because of anything bad.” First car: “2000 Pontiac Trans Am, it was nice.” My favorite subject in school: History. TV show I didn’t miss growing up: “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” or the “Three Stooges.” Favorite cartoon character: Bugs Bunny. I hate it when people: “Clip their fingernails in public.” Dream dinner guests: “Donald Trump, Angelina Jolie and Michael Jordan.”
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/15/2006 07:36:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Announce Training Camp Schedule Football season is almost here, the Cowboys are reving up for training camp. Here is the Cowboys training camp schedule: Friday, July 28 Noon – Jerry Jones/Bill Parcells Opening Press Conference Saturday, July 29

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Practice 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Practice Sunday, July 30 2:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Practice Monday, July 31 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Practice 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Practice Tuesday, August 1 2:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Practice Wednesday, August 2 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Practice 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Practice Thursday, August 3 2:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Practice Friday, August 4 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Practice 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Practice Saturday, August 5 TBA Walk-through 2:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Practice Sunday, August 6 ** PLAYERS OFF ** Monday, August 7 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Practice 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Practice Tuesday, August 8 2:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Practice Wednesday, August 9 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Practice 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Practice Thursday, August 10 2:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Practice Friday, August 11 TBA Walk-through TBA Depart For Seattle Saturday, August 12 9:00 p.m. (CDT) Kickoff at Seattle Sunday, August 13 ** PLAYERS OFF ** Monday, August 14 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Practice 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Practice Tuesday, August 15 2:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Practice Wednesday, August 16 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Practice 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Practice Thursday, August 17 2:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Practice Friday, August 18 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Practice 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Practice Saturday, August 19 TBA Walk-through 2:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Practice Sunday, August 20 TBA Walk-through TBA Depart For Shreveport, La. *** BREAK CAMP *** Monday, August 21 7:00 p.m. (CDT) Kickoff vs. New Orleans in Shreveport, La. Return to Dallas following the game Tuesday, August 22 ** PLAYERS OFF **
OTHER IMPORTANT DATES — Saturday, August 26 7:00 p.m. (CDT) Kickoff vs. San Francisco Tuesday, August 29 Cut to 75 players Thursday, August 31 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (CDT) Kickoff Luncheon 7:00 p.m. (CDT) Kickoff vs. Minnesota Saturday, September 2 Cut to 53 players
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/02/2006 10:33:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Sign Undrafted Free Agent Rookies Here’s the latest rookie free agent signings, these undrafted rookies will get their opportunity to make a name for themselves at the Cowboys Rookie Mini-Camp which will be held this weekend (May 5-7) QB Jeff Mroz (Yale) LB John Saldi (Texas Tech) WR Sam Hurd (Northern Illinois) S Darrell Brooks (Arizona) WR Miles Austin (Monmouth) ILB Oliver Hoyte (North Carolina State) QB Nick Noce (Arkansas State) OLB Kai Parham (Virginia) OT Dennis Roland (Georgia) CB Marcus King (Missouri) CB Quincy Butler (TCU) DT Steve Williams (Northwest Missouri State) RB Demetrius Summers (South Carolina)
——– AUTHOR: H Cox DATE: 5/02/2006 06:50:00 AM —– BODY:
My take on the 2006 draft for the DALLAS COWBOYS By Howard Cox I like their first pick because it gives them another solid player on the outside. Singleton will start but he has shown injury problems the last 2 seasons and Carpenter gives them size and talent to not worry about that. He gives the team another “punch” on the outside opposite last years bonus pick DeMarcus Ware. Burnett will also play into the rotation to give the defense a solid second teir of players. As for the second round pick I am still wondering where that came from. They seem to be going to get rid of the fullback position altogether which is alright but they seemingly already had enough TE’s to fill the blocking scheme. I guess another target for Bledsoe isn’t a bad idea but I will have to wait and see on this one. Round three pick I also like because it is a talented player that isn’t going to be expected to start but will be able to learn and play his way into the rotation, much like Canty and Spears did last season. This is a good thing also considering he has the size to move inside in a 4 man front. Don’t let the WR beside Green’s name fool you he was brought in mainly to serve as a KR for the special teams. I would be surprised to see him listed higher than 5th on the depth chart, maybe 4th but that would be about it. Thompson’s got some competition on the return game and likely will lose that portion of his duties. I like this pick because nothing can spark a team more than a good return for great field position or a quick TD from special teams. Here, IMO, is going to be the steal of the draft for the Cowboys. They have needed a good “cover” safety and Watkins could very well turn out to be just that. His size and speed should allow him to patrol the backfield and give Williams the freedom to roam up near the line, something he hasn’t had since Woodson retired. Wait and see on this one, he should turn out to be a very good one. The rest of the picks were adding depth to the respective positions. Stanley will give them another “plug” in the middle behind Ferguson. Johnson showed promise last season and Stanley is the right size to get in there and shore up the middle. McQuistan and Whitley will compete for roster spots as depth behind the starting 5 up front on offense. I like all three choices for doing just that, and you never know they just may surprise and be playing a lot of time by the middle of the season, most likely Stanley.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/01/2006 10:12:00 PM —– BODY:
Our Cowboys Draft Grade 1st round OLB Bobby Carpenter – Ohio State Carpenter WILL be the starting OLB in our 3-4 scheme. Carpenter will bring his blue collar smashmouth gridiron football skills to the field every gameday Grade: A 2nd round TE Anthony Fasano – Notre Dame Fasano brings a very solid addition to the TE position and will help elevate the offensive game plans. We will see a true 2 TE set. This means we have eliminated the FB position. The TEs will block, and Fasano can catch the ball, looks for contact, big and strong smashmouth TE. Good pick Grade: B+ 3rd round DE/DT Jason Hatcher – Grambling I strongly feel fans are going to like this pick alot once the season comes on. Jerry Jones said, “Can you say Leon Lett?” This is the plan for Hatcher, he will be expected to add some mass, and he WILL contribute at DE, and DT in the 4-3 alignment. Adds instant depth. Grade: B- 4th round PR/WR Skyler Green – LSU Green is a true specialist, and his job will be defined as such. Green will come in as our return specialist. We may see him in some reverses and other trick plays. Good pick, and a need in the return game. Grade: B 5th round FS Pat Watkins – Florida State Watkins was projected to be a 1st day pick. We got some major value here, 1st day talent in the 5th round. Watkins could be a steal here. We’ll see him on special teams, nickel, and will be in the thick in the FS spot. Grade: B+ 6th round NT Montavious Stanley – Louisville We saw many of the big NT taken in the later round, and Stanley is coming from a productive defense. Stanley is ready to get going after the QB. Another solid pick for this late day pick Grade: B+ 7th round LG Pat McQuistan – Weber State Could compete for a roster spot, I’m not sure these last two picks make the roster. Hopefully I’m wrong, but we’ll see. Pat does have some impressive size, and could be a ultra sleeper pick Grade: D 7th round C/OG EJ Whitley – Texas Tech Could compete for a roster spot, I’m not sure these last two picks make the roster. Hopefully I’m wrong, but we’ll see. Whitley was drafted due to his major versatility. Grade: D Final Grade: B
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/29/2006 01:11:00 AM —– BODY:
Final Bold Mock Draft 01. Houston – DE Mario Williams – NC State (The Texans pass on Bush, Casserly to retire) 02.San Francisco – RB Reggie Bush – USC (49ers trade both 1st rounds and more to get Bush) 03.Tennessee – QB Vince Young – Texas (In interviews Fisher sure sounds like he loves Young here) 04. NYJets – OT D’Brickashaw Ferguson – Virginia (The Jets take the tackle here) 05. Green Bay – LB AJ Hawk – Ohio St. (Green Bay needs a playmaker on defense, Hawk is that answer) 06. New Orleans – TE Vernon Davis – Maryland (Payton needs a good TE in his offense, Davis is the pick) 07. Oakland – FS Michael Huff – Texas (Davis loves to draft defensive backs, and Huff could be the target) 08. Buffalo – DT Broderick Bunkley – FSU (Buffalo will take the DT or trade down) 09. Detroit – LB Ernie Sims – FSU (The Cards need more defense and better LBs a LB could be the position pick here) 10. Arizona – QB Matt Leinart – USC (The Cards need Leinart to make a playoff run, Warner is washed up) 11. St. Louis – CB Jimmy Williams – VTech (Most likely a CB or LB will be drafted here) 12. Cleveland – DT Haloti Ngata – Oregon (Crennel nabs Ngata to anchor the 3-4) 13. Baltimore – CB Antonio Cromartie – FSU (Cromartie could be a star for the Ravens in the secondary) 14. Philadelphia – OT Winston Justice – USC (Philly loves offensive line players and Justice could be the pick) 15. Denver – WR Chad Jackson – Florida (An instant impact starter in Denver this year) 16. Miami – DE Kamerion Wimbley – FSU (The versatile DE will be an instant impact starter in Miami) 17. Minnesota – RB DeAngelo Williams – Memphis (Childress sees Westbrook in Williams & may be the guy) 18. Dallas – LB Bobby Carpenter – Ohio St. (Carp is versatile, can play the run and would be an instant starter) 19. San Diego – CB Jonathan Joseph – S.Carolina (Chargers traded Davis and need a premier CB) 20. Kansas City– CB Tye Hill– Clemson (KC needs to upgrade the defense with a CB) 21. New England – WR Santonio Holmes – Ohio St (The Patriots are thin at WR and Holmes will bolster the WRs) 22. New Orleans* – OT Marcus McNeil – Auburn (Instant upgrade at OT, and will help in the running game) 23. Tampa Bay – FS Donte Whitner (Offensive tackle or DB could be the pick late here) 24. Cincinnati – TE Leonard Pope – Georgia (The Bengals want more options on the offense Pope is a great add) 25. NYGiants – DT Gabe Watson – Michigan (CB or DT would be choices for NYG to look at here) 26. Chicago – FS Jason Allen – Tennessee (Chicago is light at DB, and DB should be the pick here) 27. Carolina – LB Demeco Ryans – ‘Bama (LBs are thin in Carolina, and could see a top notch LB taken here) 28. Jacksonville – TE Marcedes Lewis – UCLA (Jags could take TE, but LB is another need for them) 29. NYJets* – QB Jay Cutler – Vanderbilt (Mangini will get a possible steal here with Cutler free falling) 30. Indianapolis – RB Laurence Maroney–Minnesota (With James gone Indy needs RB help to make it in ‘06) 31. Seattle – OG Max Jean-Gilles – Georgia (This is a no-brainer for Seagirl fans, OG needs to be addressed) 32. Pittsburgh – WR Maurice Stovall – Notre Dame (Local product and instant starter with great hands)
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/27/2006 10:42:00 PM —– BODY:
Final 1st Day Draft Predictions The draft almost never happens like fans would predict, but like past years I will give my final 1st Day Draft Predictions, they could be way off and most likely will be, but here it goes: #18 – OLB Bobby Carpenter – Ohio State #49 – DT Rod Wright – Texas #80 – OG Charles Spencer – Pittsburgh or #18 – DE/LB Kamerion Wimbley – FSU #49 – CB Ko Simpson – S.Carolina #80 – DT Dusty Dvoracek – Oklahoma There’s no doubt we need a DT somewhere in this year’s draft we are thin at DT, OLB is also a concern, Burnett could be a miss from last yrs draft and his injury history may continue, we need someone solid and someone that can come in a play, Carpenter is that player, lets take him. We signed Marcus Coleman for a one year deal, I believe this means we WILL be looking at a DB early on. Offensive line will probably be taken in the 3rd or on Day 2. There’s a big fall off in this year’s draft from Day 1 and Day 2. I would not mind trading down or completely out of the 1st if we could pick up some 2nd and 3rds, the value seems really good in the 2 and 3rd round this year. Whatever the Cowboys do, I’m sure we will make the right picks that can contribute in our playoff run in 2006 and beyond! Go Cowboys!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/17/2006 11:24:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Dependence On TO Has Begun? Do you want to get your fix of TO? Do you want to be dependent on TO? Well, the Cowboys may have already begun the process of becoming a TO dependent team. Personally, I think we can make a run to the Super Bowl without TO, but some may beg to differ and that’s fine. One thing we know about TO, is that he will manipulate his status and his offensive explosiveness from the field to the business table. Once you are dependent on one player to get you over the hump, (ie.) TO, then you have become a TO dependent team, (ie.) The Eagles. So, what I’m saying is this: We have indeed begun the process of becoming a TO dependent team. How? Well, look at the position we’re in as of RIGHT NOW. We have signed two mid-level free agents, and have not signed any high-level free agents (not something we need anyway), but the fact remains that we have been very-very quiet and slow throughout the free agency season. Virtually all the quality impact players we’ve wanted are all but gone, there’s not much out there and look what the Cowboys do…they cut Keyshawn Johnson. Keyshawn did not want to play for $2.0 million a year, but states he believes he’s a $2.5 million receiver. That’s modest considering players who I consider sub-par have been giving semi-lucrative deals. Ok, so we release Keyshawn, well who do we replace him with? We no longer have a #1 WR, and there are ZERO #1WRs out there worth going into the season with, EXCEPT for TO. Will the Cowboys “Dance with the Devil?” – the answer is yes, they are, and here’s why: If the Cowboys do not sign TO, we’re still out a #1WR, and if Keyshawn signs somewhere else, we are screwed, this changes the whole draft scheme, and the whole dynamic of the offseason. Keep in mind we have not signed a legitimate kicker, and those are all but gone as well, except for a very few high priced kickers. So, if we don’t want to get a legitimate kicker, we better have an explosive offense where we wouldn’t have to rely on critical field goals. Let’s examine a worst case scenario: *If TO signs elsewhere and Keyshawn signs elsewhere, we have a glaring hole at WR, and do you want to draft a WR at #18? Perhaps Chad Jackson, Santonio Holmes, Sinorice Moss, or Maurice Stovall? This is very risky. *And so if WR is a draft day priority, where does FS, LB, OT, DT fall into the picture. Many questions yet to be answered; for instance, was Kosier signed to play that RT spot, if so, this will rule out releasing LA, either way though. Releasing LA would be disastrous at this time. If Kosier was signed for RT, the we wont be drafting RT This leaves our next glaring hole to be FS, if we do not address this soon, FS has to be a top priority, even if we were to sign a Marcus Coleman type player, he’s old, we need to stay young, so I think we still need to draft FS somewhere. We can keep going and going, but you know where we’re going with this. The signing of TO will change the rest of the draft strategy eitherway. If we don’t sign TO, we better have something up our sleeve come draft day, I’m not impressed with what we’ve done in free agency thus far. I like who we’ve signed for sure, but the lack of signing other people is a great concern at this point. We’re dancing with the devil, and we could be a TO dependent team.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/12/2006 12:52:00 PM —– BODY:
Free Agency Reality So, Free Agency is underway and we managed to sign offensive lineman Kyle Kosier from the Lions, and we re-signed our own player in Andre Gurode. What does the signing of Kosier mean? At first glance, you ask yourself, “who?” then you ask yourself “what position is he going to play on the line?” Kosier is a mid-level free agent who has played on every position on the offensive line except for center. Last season Kosier played LG, so once you know this you may be asking yourself, “Is he going to replace Larry Allen?” Right now, I would say no, and this is why: Larry Allen is the best at his position and our running backs are going to run behind him and Flozell. Sure we may have some designed plays to run to the right, but who’s on the right side right now? There’s uncertainty with the center position, Marco Rivera had a very average year last year, and Rob Petitti is still young and gets beat on a regular basis. SO, logic would dictate you would want to keep Larry Allen at LG. We can afford him this year, and the cap increases even more next year, so we can keep Allen around. I’ve said this before, and here’s the main this about the Kosier signing: He gives us options on the offensive line. Right now, I’d pencil-in Kosier as the starting RT, he would battle it out with Petitti, but would win obviously. In addition, how sure are we that Flozell has fully recovered and how sure are we that he will stay healthy this season coming off his knee surgery, do you want Tucker over there again? Tucker is ok, but Kosier is definitely an upgrade to Tucker at LT and Petitti at RT. This is all possible because of Kosier’s versatility on the line and he gives us all these options should something go wrong during camp, and the regular season. I would feel better going into the season with Flo, LA, Gurode, Rivera, and Kosier as the starters, than I would with Flo, Kosier, Gurode, and (?? Petitti, Rogers, Rookie) Before free agency starts we want the high-end proven free agents; the Bentleys, Mawaes, Hopes, and the Petersons, but its not looking like that’s going to happen this free agency season. At this point, I think we could expect to see more low key names brought into the mix. Let’s hope for the best and hope that we can get some decent people in here, we have a lot of work to do.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/23/2006 11:26:00 PM —– BODY:
Free Agent’s I’d Take Unlike last year we don;t have the full luxury of going on a big spending spree this free agency season; however, I would like to nab at least 1 or 2 of the following free agents available: LeCharles Bentley – C/G – New Orleans Saints Bentley has been solid for the most part, and has been a force to deal with. The attractive part of signing Bentley is his versatility. He excels at guard and at center. Center is a big question mark for us going into the 2006 season. Al Johnson never got on track and seemed to be overcome and overpowered by larger NT/DTs all year long. Andre Gurode actually faired better then Johnson, but are either of these two the answer, and is the rotation of the two the answer. I would say no for now. Bentley would be a great fit, but he will be highly seeked since quality offensive lineman this free agency season is quite light on talent. Jason Fabini – OT – New York Jets At 31 he is getting up in age, but would be a upgrade to Rob Pettiti at RT. Fabini was a player that Parcells liked while he was with the Jets. A reunion and “Parcells Guy” return could be in the making here. Taking care of RT before the draft would give us more room to draft another position player that we need like LB, FS, DT. Adam Vinatieri – K – New England Patriots Not much needs to be said about Vinatieri, he is Mr. Clutch as far as kickers go. Rarely misses, and in games where FGs decide games, Vinatieri would be the difference maker. Last season, we could have won at least 3 games decided by FGs, and missed FGs. Let’s get him signed, sealed, and delivered! Chris Hope – FS – Pittsburgh Steelers Hope would be a real upgrade for the FS, Hope is more the prototypical FS we need next to the hard hitting Roy Williams. Hope plays well in coverage, makes good reads, and has great gametime experience playing against some of the NFLs best offenses. Let Davis return to ST fulltime and bring in Hope to complete the secondary. Other players I’d like to consider: Matt Bryant – K – Tampa Bay Bucs Ryan Longwell – K – Green Bay Packers Julian Peterson – OLB – San Fran 49ers
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/04/2006 11:01:00 AM —– BODY:
Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame, Again… You know the drill, its that time of year when the anti-Cowboys biases are validated. Today at 1PM CST we will find out if any of our Cowboys Legends get inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. We all know who votes, and its a extremely flawed and illogical way to vote in NFL players. Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Rayfield Wright should all get in, unfortunately, I’m predicting that Aikman will be the only one inducted; however, I would not be surprised if none were inducted, as outrageous as that may sound it is a possibility. NOTHING is guaranteed today. Let’s hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. From NFL.com>>> Charged with the vital task of continuing to be sure that new enshrinees are the finest the game has produced is the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 39-man Board of Selectors (see list below).

The Board consists of one media representative from each pro football city with two from New York, inasmuch as that city has two teams in the National Football League. A 33rd member is a representative of the Pro Football Writers of America and there are six at-large delegates. (Read More)
Players get “voted in” by the media…Here’s the official list of HOF voters:
Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors
Arizona Kent Somers, Arizona Republic
Atlanta Furman Bisher, The Atlanta Journal
Baltimore Scott Garceau, WMAR-TV
Buffalo Mark Gaughan, Buffalo News
Carolina Charles Chandler, Charlotte Observer
Chicago Don Pierson, Chicago Tribune*
Cincinnati Chick Ludwig, Dayton Daily News
Cleveland Tony Grossi, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Dallas Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News*
Denver Jeff Legwold, Rocky Mountain News
Detroit Jerry Green, The Detroit News*
Green Bay Cliff Christl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Houston John McClain, Houston Chronicle*
Indianapolis Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star
Jacksonville Sam Kouvaris, WJXT-TV
Kansas City Bob Gretz, KCFX Overland Park, KS
Miami Edwin Pope, Miami Herald*
Minnesota Sid Hartman, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
New England Ron Borges, Boston Globe
New Orleans Pete Finney, Times-Picayune
New York (Giants) Vinny DiTrani, Bergen Record
New York (Jets) Paul Zimmerman, Sports Illustrated
Oakland Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
Philadelphia Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News
Pittsburgh Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
St. Louis Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
San Diego Jerry Magee, San Diego Union Tribune*
San Francisco Ira Miller, San Francisco Chronicle*
Seattle John Clayton, ESPN/ESPN Magazine
Tampa Bay Ira Kaufman, Tampa Tribune
Tennessee David Climer, The Tennessean
Washington Len Shapiro, Washington Post*
PFWA David Elfin, Washington Times
At Large Jarrett Bell, USA Today
At Large Dave Goldberg, Associated Press*
At Large Peter King, Sports Illustrated
At Large Bob Oates, Los Angeles Times
At Large Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com
At Large Mike Wilbon, Washington Post
Troy Aikman – Quarterback – 1989-2000 Dallas Cowboys Harry Carson – Linebacker – 1976-1988 New York Giants L.C. Greenwood – Defensive End – 1969-1981 Pittsburgh Steelers Russ Grimm – Guard – 1981-1991 Washington Redskins Claude Humphrey – Defensive End – 1968-1978 Atlanta Falcons, 1979-1981 Philadelphia Eagles (injured reserve – 1975) Michael Irvin – Wide Receiver – 1988-1999 Dallas Cowboys Bob Kuechenberg – Guard – 1970-1984 Miami Dolphins (injured reserve – 1984) John Madden – Coach – 1969-1978 Oakland Raiders Art Monk – Wide Receiver – 1980-1993 Washington Redskins, 1994 New York Jets, 1995 Philadelphia Eagles Warren Moon – Quarterback – 1984-1993 Houston Oilers, 1994-1996 Minnesota Vikings, 1997-1998 Seattle Seahawks, 1999-2000 Kansas City Chiefs Derrick Thomas – Linebacker – 1989-1999 Kansas City Chiefs Thurman Thomas – Running Back – 1988-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Miami Dolphins Reggie White – Defensive End/Defensive Tackle – 1985-1992 Philadelphia Eagles, 1993-1998 Green Bay Packers, 2000 Carolina Panthers Rayfield Wright – Tackle – 1967-1979 Dallas Cowboys Gary Zimmerman – Tackle – 1986-1992 Minnesota Vikings, 1993-1997 Denver Broncos If I had a vote, I would vote these six players into the HOF: • Troy Aikman • Michael Irvin • Rayfield Wright • Reggie White • Warren Moon • John Madden I predict the HOF will vote these six players: • Troy Aikman • LC Greenwood • Art Monk • Reggie White • Bob Kuechenburg • John Madden and the HOF voters could also be pussies and only vote in 4 players as they did last year, which would not surprise me either Good Luck Cowboys, either way, you know where you stand in Dallas Cowboys lore.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/30/2006 10:24:00 PM —– BODY:
Bandwagon Time It’s that time of the year again. Time to get the mock drafts reved up and in full effect. Every year, I have a bandwagon, In past year’s I’ve liked players like RB Michael “The Burner” Turner, now with the Chargers backing up LT, and has shown some serious skills. Last year it was DE Justin Tuck, now with the New York Giants, and looks to be a great pick for them. So who’s bandwagon will I be on this year? FS Michael Huff. Huff is an All-American and, First Team All-Big 12, and Thorpe Award Recipient. Huff has been making plays his career at Texas. He’s a playmaker on defense and is a true ballhawking FS. He’s coming into the draft as a Senior with leadership and gametime experience in bigtime games. Huff is projected a 1st rounder, and if he is available at #18 this would fill a void and would make for the final piece in the best secondary in the NFL. FS Michael Huff is my main target and this year’s bandwagon prospect. Other players to Watch: OT Marcus McNeil – Auburn OT Winston Justice – USC OT Jonathan Scott – Texas DB Jimmy Williams – VTech DT Gabe Watson – Michigan DE/LB Mark Anderson – Alabama
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/10/2006 09:08:00 PM —– BODY:
Sean Payton In High Demand 2years ago it had seemed that Sean Payton was set to be the Raiders new head coach, there were reports of a scheduled news conference to announce the hiring and all. Unfortuntately, for what ever reason, Al Davis pulled the plug and pulled the trigger on Norv Turner. In doing this the Cowboys have been stuck in an offensive purgatory that has no end in sight. BUT wait, now comes the offseason and Sean Payton appears to be a hot prospect for one of the many open head coaching vacancies. All I can say is thank God! Surely we won’t go through another cruel tease again from 2yrs ago. Someone please-please take Sean Payton from us. Sean Payton is atop the list of the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints, mainly because it is thought that Payton is an offensive genius and someone that molds young QBs into superstars. Green Bay would like to see Payton come in and mold and take Aaron Rodgers under his wing. The Same can be said about the Saints. The Saints will most likely go QB in the first round (Matt Leinart or Vince Young), if not, they may trade for Matt Schaub another up and coming QB. Its time for Payton to move on. Someone hire him…please.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/02/2006 09:45:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Enter Offseason The Cowboys enter the offseason after finishing 9-7 and out of the playoffs. A few weeks ago I predicted a final record of 9-7 and out of the playoffs, and that’s what happened. We made strides on defense, but the offense remained conservative and predictable all year long. There’s alot of “coulda beens” but at the end of the day we lost. Was is the kickers’ fault, Sean Payton, Mike Zimmer, Parcells, Drew Bledsoe, the Offensive Line?? We can keep going and going, and that in itself is no good. The fact remains that we still have ALOT of holes and the future remains very clouded. For the benefit of the team, it would be great for Parcells to make a decision in the coming week. If Parcells retires, we’re in serious trouble. This is going to be a huge coaching transition year for the NFL, and good coaches will be hard to come by. Let’s hope Parcells comes back. He’s built a great foundation, and another year should yield even better results. Let’s talk a little about some positions that need attention: QB: If Parcells returns, Drew Bledsoe is back for sure. If not, Bledsoe’s future will be in question. Philip Rivers and Matt Schaub could be the premium QBs available this year. Either way, I doubt we draft a QB. Send Henson to NFL Europe, if he fails, then let’s hurry up and move on. The potential is there, but actual field time and the results from game play would be a good thing for all parties involved. C: Al Johnson had a horrid year, and I’m not sure that he is the answer here. We should look into FA for some possibilities. RG: I think Marco Rivera’s return is in question, he did not return from his injury, and when he did play, it was mediocre at best. We drafted Stephen Peterman as a 3rd rounder, and its time for him to play. RT: Petitti is a servicable backup, but he cannot handle the bull rush OR speed rushers. We need to go into FA for a RT or a instant impact rookie RT that can jump in and play well. OLB: Kevin Burnett showed us some flashes, but he also showed us he is injury prone, is Fujita the answer? What about Al Singleton, do we keep him? We are paper thin at OLB, upgrades should be seriously considered here. MLB: Does Dat Nguyen return, and if he does, would he be effective. Bradie James looked pretty good for us this year, but still needs work. Fowler and Shanle are not starter quality either. We are thin here too. I’d like to see us invest on an impact FA or possibly on the first day of the draft. FS: Keith Davis is NOT the answer here. We went with what we had, and we got ate more than enough from Davis’ lack of coverage skills. Let’s keep Davis as our ST specialist and let him excel there fulltime. We need to upgrade someone above average, someone good in FA or on day 1 of the draft. K: The worst year that we’ve ever had at the placekicker position, this costs us a few games without a doubt. Let’s stop screwing around here and get someone legitimate! Depth: Depth of the defensive line is pretty good, we have a pretty solid rotation there. I like what we have in Thomas Johnson and Jay Ratliff. Ratliff was quite impressive when he played. Canty will probably take over fulltime at DE, sounds like Ellis is out, same for Glover. LB depth is paper thin at MLB and OLB, we need to improve that Secondary depth is pretty good, we should have Justin Beriault back in the mix, he showed some really great playmaking ability. We could probably add some depth at FS for sure as well. CB depth is alright, I’m not sold on Reeves though. Henry was a bright spot, but faded quickly after his first injury. Aaron Glenn did a good job for the most part coming in for the injury prone Henry, but we may need to add some more quality depth here. Sean Payton should be canned, the plays were “Tecmo Bowl” predictable. Let’s hope for an improved team for 2006. Let the offseason begin!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/18/2005 09:50:00 PM —– BODY:
Offensive Woes Continue The two most significant developments that have greatly effected our offensive line were the Jacob Rogers RT fiasco, an official 2nd round bust; and the season ending MCL injury to LT Flozell Adams. We seemed to be doing ok with Rob at RT, since we were able to help him out with a TE, but when Flo went down, this spelled impending doom. We now faced the daunting task of starting two very mediocre tackles and a “we’ll see what happens” attitude. The results are in…. and the Cowboys are in trouble, and our playoffs hopes are quickly slipping away. Either way you cut it, our offensive shortcomings start with the offensive line. Injury, inconsistent play, and penalties have plagued us all year, and now come the last two games of the year – MUST WINS @ Carolina and at home against the Rams. Current startersLT – Torrin Tucker: Continues to get beat on a consistent basis, an inadequate reserve, we’re in trouble here the rest of the year. LG – Larry Allen: LA has been doing pretty good for the most part and continues to be the only bright spot on the offensive line. C – Al Johnson: Has played horrible all year long, can’t handle the bigger/faster DT, look for the Cowboys to make a move here in 2006 RG – Marco Rivera: Hasn’t played upto par this year, pretty disappointing in the eyes of many fans. The Pro-Bowl is NOT there. We spent alot of money on Rivera, and I would not be surprised if we made a move here in 2006 as well. RT – Rob Petitti: For a rookie starting all 16 games, Petitti has done fair, but at times has looked straightup horrible. Petitti is a short term, I fully expect a move here in 2006. We drafted Stephen Peterman in the 3rd round 2yrs ago, and I think its time to get a look at him. The 2006 offseason should be another active one whether it be in free agency or through the NFL draft. I expect offense to be the main focus. If the line repeats its performance against the Panthers you can stick a fork in us. We’ll be done and out.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/06/2005 10:15:00 PM —– BODY:
7-5, & Not Looking Good… Let’s be realistic, we’re not ready for a Super Bowl run THIS year; however, we will be set and even more dominating on defense in 2006. Parcells made a promise to fix the defense, and he did so – Great job! Not only did we change our primary scheme to the 3-4, but we’ve been successful in doing so. In addition, we have several rookies playing critical roles and making plays. I’m very impressed. Now comes the offense…Will Parcells make another promise to repair the offense? I think he will do this during the 2006 offseason. Hopefully we’ll bring in a free agent or two on offense, and draft offense. This may all sound like I’ve given up on the Cowboys and looking ahead, but this is NOT the case by any means. We’re still in the hunt, but we have to dig ourselves out of the grave we’ve made. At 7-5, let’s make a prediction on the rest of the games and our final record. We can come back and look at this new entry in a few weeks and see how I faired. We have: Chiefs (LOSS) @Redskins (WIN) @Carolina (LOSS) Rams (WIN) ============ Final Record 9-7 miss the playoffs As I write this article, I’m thinking how nice it would be to crush the Chiefs, and I hope we do; however, the Chiefs are peaking right now, and we seem to be in shambles on offense, reminds me of the offenses we ran in 2003. Please Get rid of Sean Payton (Ernie Zampese Incarnate). Go Cowboys!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 11/19/2005 12:15:00 PM —– BODY:
Drew Bledso-what? I’ll be the first to admit I was totally wrong in my initial assessment of Drew Bledsoe. When I heard the news that Buffalo was going to release Bledsoe, I was hoping we would NOT sign him and go with Drew Henson. In fact, I was saying to myself “Drew Bled-NO,” I didn’t want him here. Afterall, he had been replaced in New England by Tom Brady, and knocked around in Buffalo, and replaced by JP Losman. Who wanted the 33 yr. old declining QB? Not me, and at least half or more felt the same way.”Let’s go with Drew Henson” In retrospect, signing Drew Bledsoe was the best move for the Cowboys this offseason. Not to mention, looks like we got the better end of the deal from Buffalo. We made that draft trade w/Buffalo in 2004 which gave us (2) first rounders (Ware, Spears) in 2005, and in the end we got Drew Bledsoe from them as well. Well, here we are 9 games under our belts sitting atop the NFC East at 6-3, with a sweep of the Eagles. So, we’re 6-3, so what? You have to honestly believe that there’s no way Romo or Henson make those game winning drives with all their inexperience in all our close games. So what has Bledsoe done for us? He’s brought his game experience to the table, he’s reunited with Coach Parcells, and Terry Glenn. Bledsoe is enjoying a renaissance and QB eltie with the Cowboys. Not only has Bledsoe returned to winning form, but he’s also been able to “drive the bus” quite well. Bledsoe is on pace to pass for 4,000 yards, a Cowboys record. He has 14 TDS and 7 INTS with a 96.8 passer rating. As of right now, only Bulger and Bledsoe have 90+ passer ratings in the NFC. You could also say he’s mounted quite a few winning drives for us this year – a real clutch player. Now, he has had a few bad passes and critical INTS, but he’s winning for us and that’s a comfort we have not had in Dallas for many years. We finally have a QB in Dallas. Career wise, Bledsoe has some of the best numbers in NFL history,”He is only 33 but stands eighth on the career list with 42,023 passing yards. He has passed Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Johnny Unitas this year. After two more seasons Bledsoe is on pace to be the fourth member of the 50,000-yard club, which includes Dan Marino, John Elway and Brett Favre.” (O’Hara)
——– AUTHOR: H Cox DATE: 11/17/2005 05:48:00 PM —– BODY:
Running On Empty… By H. Cox The NFL season is now approaching the 11th week of the regular season. Most teams have by now completed 10 games with one week off for their bye week. 4 games were played in the preseason which most of the rookies and new starters played in everyone. That is the equivalent of 14 games played already for most of them. When they played in college that would have been a season for them and then off until next season. Not so with their new level of work. They will be expected to play 6 more games just to complete the regular season. Most teams still in the hunt for a playoff position will be looking for these first year starters and rookies to continue to contribute for their team’s success. The Dallas Cowboys are no different and have a few players in this category that are playing major portions on both offense and defense. Let’s have a look: ROOKIES: Rob Pettiti – Starting RT for the offense. He pushes and shoves every play blocking for either the run or pass, either way it is tiring battling against those big guys trying to get bye you. Marion Barber – Not actually playing fulltime but contributing a large portion to the running game. Big in the RB rotation that Coach Parcells has inserted into the offense. Marcus Spears – Has just began starting within the last couple of weeks but still played a lot of reps in the DL rotation. Just the reverse case of Pettit battling inside against bigger OL trying to get to the ball. DeMarcus Ware – Starting OLB and a major pass rusher from the outside. He also must run into coverage and play the run as well. Plenty of running here for such a young player. FIRST YEAR STARTERS: (I include these guys because now they are playing more downs instead of just a few special team’s plays) Losaka Polite – Leading blocker for the running game and a receiver in the passing game. Picking up blockers and running routes is tiring game in and game out. Torrin Tucker – Only really played 3 games so shouldn’t be as big a factor as the other players but he still is inside battling in pass/run blocking. He isn’t used to playing every down every week so it could come to be a factor closer to the end of the season. Bradie James – An ILB that also covers the pass routes over the middle as well as plays the run every down. Occasionally has to contend with pulling OL as well. Keith Davis – Starting FS, and also playing special teams now. He must cover and help with receivers as well as occasionally blitz and also the run. There are a bunch of players that are in major roles on both sides of the ball. Their conditioning and ability to “suck it up” is going to play big into the Cowboys chances of making the playoffs. One other player that is in the DL rotation, Chris Canty, is also a rookie that is playing major time. He allows the rotation to be stronger but also isn’t used to playing this many games. Veterans know how to get through these long season games and hopefully the younger players have hopped on the train to learn quickly. Parcells even said in his press conference today that Ware has been getting tired and needs another rookie, OLB Kevin Burnett, to step up production to spell him from time to time. Parcells brought in a bunch of great young players that are coming into their own. Now he must figure out how to keep them productive until the end of the season and hopefully into the postseason. Something to seriously watch as the team approaches the end of the regular season and plays some very tough teams.
——– AUTHOR: H Cox DATE: 10/20/2005 01:39:00 PM —– BODY:
When the Price is right…. By H. Cox Here we go, the event everyone has been waiting for since the Cowboys signed Peerless Price. Parcells stated in an interview this week that he wasn’t sure if Price would replace Crayton or not. Come on Bill, blow smoke up someone else’s hind end and give us fans a break. Price will be on the field Sunday when Dallas plays Seattle. The big question is how will he fit into the system. Price signed with the Cowboys because he knew Bledsoe and has played with him before. That had to add to his decision to take less money and a one-year deal in an attempt to redeem his career after not looking so great with Atlanta. He couldn’t have seen a second year player upstaging him and not even being active for most of the early season games. I give him credit for keeping it too himself in the era of ego busting media crybabies that the NFL is full of. All I have seen reported is that he wasn’t happy and just wanted to play. He even stated that he understood with signing on so late in preseason that he didn’t have time to prove himself to become one of the top 3 receivers on the team. He has waited patiently and now he will get his chance. The question again is, “Just how will he fit into the present system?” Crayton played behind Glenn and Johnson to compliment them very well. He mopped up underneath and across the middle when defenses covered those two and Witten. Crayton played the part excellently and made the offense that much better. Now in steps Price and everyone immediately puts him on a pedestal, already giving him the benefit of the doubt he will just jump in and produce big numbers. Hold up on that thought and don’t start quoting his stats from few seasons ago when he played with Bledsoe in Buffalo. Yes they connected very well and racked up some good numbers. Then Price was opposite Eric Moulds and an intricate part of the offense. Now he will come in and have to fill his way around into the offense employed in Dallas. He is speed downfield where Crayton was physical size for the middle. That doesn’t seem like a perfect match everyone is painting to me. There has been talk about moving Price outside and putting Keyshawn into the slot. To which Keyshawn has stated he would like that so he can get some real chances to catch the ball and not always be on the sidelines. I don’t see any ME-shawn attitude there. Now simmer down and back off the gun rack look. I am not saying Price cannot play nor implying he won’t help the team. I am just saying you are going to have to wait for a couple of games for two things to happen. One – the coaching staff is going to have to work plays in for him to become useful within the system that is being run by Dallas. Two – Price is going to have to play within the system to make the best out of what he is given. Those two things happen and the offense will continue to click right along, albeit a little different look than what Dallas started the season with. So be patient and don’t start calling for “heads to roll” if Price doesn’t show up with 8 receptions, 100+ yards and a couple TDs in Seattle. Parcells isn’t stupid and he is going to give Price the chance to help the offense, but it takes time to get into the rhythm for game situations.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 10/14/2005 12:16:00 AM —– BODY:
Dallas Cowboys Game Review for Week 5

Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles Final Score: 33-10 Overall Record: 3-2 Fantasy Stud w/ stats: Drew Bledsoe 24 of 35 for 289yrds 3TD 0INT Fantasy Dud w/ stats: Patrick Crayton 2 catches for 30yrds

Overall Recap: We’ve been saying it since week 2 – the Cowboys needed to come out firing ablaze, and that’s just what the Cowboys did. The Cowboys lit up 17 unanswered points against the highly touted Eagles defense. Overall the game was near perfect in all aspects, with the exceptions of a few offensive line holding calls. The Cowboys came out and punched the Eagles in the mouth.

QB play: Drew Bledsoe had another Pro Bowl outing. Bledsoe was very accurate and his passes to Terry Glenn were extremely damaging to the Eagles defense. The Bledsoe to Glenn connection is on track to break the yardage the two compiled in their season’s best when they were both in New England.

RB play: Julius Jones was on track to having his breakout game, instead he had to leave the game with an ankle injury. His backups held there own. Tyson Thompson is the local favorite and ran with authority for 75yrds.

WR play: Terry Glenn is the man in the WR corps. Glenn is our deep threat and continues to torch DBs every game. Glenn had 7 catches for 118yrds and 2TDs. Keyshawn had 6 catches for 47yrds

TE play: Witten continues his Pro Bowl season with 7 more catches for 80yrds.

K play: Jose Cortez made 3XPTs and 3FGs for 100%

DST play: The Defense improved and sacked McNabb 4 times, and held the Eagles to just 10pts.

Dallas Cowboys Game Preview for Week 6

Record: 3-2 Opponent and Opponent’s Record: NY Giants 3-1 Projected Score: Cowboys 30 Giants 26 Prediction Record: 3-2 Projected Fantasy Stud w/ stats: Drew Bledsoe 265yrds 3TDS 1INT Projected Fantasy Dud w/ stats: Keyshawn Johnson 4 catches for 70yrds 0TDS

Overall Preview: In another divisional showdown, the Cowboys host the NY Giants and their rejuvenated offense, led by Eli Manning. The Cowboys will not wait for the Giants to strike, instead the Cowboys will come out shooting and move the ball against the Giants defense. The Giants have had some key injuries in their secondary and the Cowboys passing game will exploit it. On defense, the Cowboys will get in Eli’s face and rattle him around. We could see more of the nickel defense in this game as well. Plaxico Burress is their deep threat and Shockey is their physical TE. The Cowboys will have their hands full with Barber and Jacobs. Like last week the Cowboys must be sharp and limit costly penalties, sack Eli, cause turnovers, and gain momentum.

QB preview: Bledsoe should have another Pro Bowl day against the decimated secondary of the Giants. The Giants pass defense is a horrible #31 in the league. Bledsoe has already faced some top tier defenses and he will be ready to dominate against the Giants.

RB preview: Julius Jones is questionable for this game, even if he dresses he won’t get the load. We’ll probably see a heavy dose of the speedy Tyson Thompson and A-Train. Thompson is quite effective, but he cannot put the ball on the turf. If the Giants defense doesn’t respect Thompson he WILL burn them for bigtime yardage.

WR preview: The Giants are ranked #31 in pass defense, so this could be a total feasting for our talented WRs, Glenn is going to punish them hard, Key and Crayton will have equal opportunities to hurt them.

TE preview: Witten is physical and looks for contact after the catch, I feel sorry for the Giants secondary, it could be a very long day. Witten should have a 6+ catch game.

PK preview: The Cowboys DO NOT want the game to come down to a game winning field goal, so the Cowboys will try to convert all their redzone attempts into TDs. Cortez is not reliable

DST preview: Ranked #16 Overall, the Cowboys defense will be looking to get turnovers on defense. The Cowboys are #4 in sacks, we’ll see similar defensive packages for the Giants. Eli likes to roll out and don’t be surprised if he gets lit up by Demarcus Ware. Cowboys DST should be a good start for your fantasy league.
——– AUTHOR: H Cox DATE: 10/12/2005 07:23:00 AM —– BODY:
Parcells’ Mixture By Howard Cox The Dallas Cowboys have a great mix of old and new talent on the roster this season. They were hyped up by local media and around the country as a possible playoff contender. Early on they seemed to have made that observation seem like a solid pick when they outlasted San Diego to win their season opener on the road. Then the old doubt crept in when Washington proved to win a game you have to play 60 minutes. That has been the early 2005 version of the Dallas Cowboys leaving many fans and reporters alike scratching their heads and asking, “What kind of team are the Cowboys?”. All of that might have ended with their recent domination of the Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s take a look at the mixture Coach Parcells has assembled for this season to maybe answer some questions. First he talked Jerry Jones into hitting the free agent market hard and often. This brought in oldies Drew Bledsoe, Jason Ferguson and Marco Rivera. All having at least 9 years experience in the NFL. They also brought in Anthony Henry, with only 5 years experience, being the “baby” of the bunch. Aaron Glenn followed (9 years experience) adding years to the already aging group. Building a team is supposed to bring in young talent for the future but none in this group, with the exception of Henry, could fit that description. Many so called experts started writing off the team when Bledsoe was named the starting Quarter Back immediately after being signed. All he has done is rack up 1351 yards (4th in the NFL) and a 61% completion rating. He has also recorded 102.0 QB Rating (3rd in the NFL and 1st in the NFC). Showing something else noone expected, he has been able to scramble when he had to, giving more time for routes to open up and even scoring a TD. Guess the experts are not as correct as they thought. Ferguson has given the defense a boost on the line, although he is backing up Glover due to a preseason injury. Having solid depth at the NT position just keeps everyone fresh and improves the overall defense. Rivera was also injured during preseason but has come back to provide solid blocking and also help for a rookie starter at RT. Other than the last 4 minutes of the Washington game Glenn has provided much needed coverage in the secondary. Coupled with the addition of Henry they allow Roy Williams to move closer to the line of scrimmage and wreak havoc on opposing running backs. All very good additions to the team. Then the team took on the future situation by racking up a solid draft and also some very good undrafted free agents. DeMarcus Ware and Marcus Spears, both taken in the 1st round are shoring up a front seven that didn’t get much pressure on the QB for some time. Ware already has 3 sacks and leads the team in the category. Spears is still making up for lost time due to injury in preseason yet coming on strong with each week. Also on the DL 4th round pick Chris Canty and undrafted FA Jay Ratliff are making noise as their playing time increases because the coaching staff trusts them more and more to not make “rookie” mistakes. With Julius Jones at RB you would figure the team wouldn’t look in that direction but Parcells pulled a local homegrown talent from out of his magic hat in Tyson Thompson. He has missed assignments on blocking but continues to show ability running the ball that allows him to be the primary backup to Jones. With Jones being injured against Philadelphia all Thompson did was play the entire 2nd half and run for 75 yards on 20 carries. He is also in the tops of the league averaging over 20 yards per kick return, one going for 40 yards to set up the first scoring drive against the Eagles. Mix all that together with talent that was already on the roster and Parcells’ soup is getting better with age. Larry Allen and Flozell Adams make up a solid left side of the OL, second year starter Al Johnson at C and rookie starter Pettiti make up what has become a pretty solid front five for the Dallas offense. The WR were supposedly too old as well. Terry Glenn is presently ranked 4th overall with 518 yards and averaging a league second best 22.5 yds/rec. Both him and Keyshawn Johnson have 3 TD receptions and give one of the best down field – possession receiving tandems in the league. Patrick Crayton, another 2nd year player, has shown sparks and is the team’s #3 receiver. The only major portion of the team not untracked yet is Sophomore RB Julius Jones. He is running pretty good but still has not broken the 100 yd barrier in a game yet. Parcells and company still have some grooming to do with young players learning as they go and veterans playing new schemes. With the domination last week against the favored to win the NFC Philadelphia Eagles the team showed what they are capable of. Look for that to continue as the season progresses and more wins come their way.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 10/07/2005 07:34:00 PM —– BODY:
Dallas Cowboys Game Review for Week 4

Opponent: Oakland Raiders Final Score: 13-19 Overall Record: 2-2 Fantasy Stud w/ stats: Drew Bledsoe 11 of 26 for 212yrds 1TD 1INT Fantasy Dud w/ stats: Keyshawn Johnson 1 catch for 16yrds

Overall Recap: In another slow start, the Cowboys failed to get any sort of tempo going, another sloppy game on defense and on offense. The play calling is becoming closely scrutinized in each game and rightfully so. The Cowboys have been able to move the ball with authority through the air, but seem to wait until the second half to unleash it. This simply will not get it done, and this latest comeback attempt was a result of what happens with poor team play and horrible play calling. The Cowboys got beat by a good team plain and simple.

QB play: Drew Bledsoe had a mediocre, he threw a critical INT, but made up for it with several drives in the 2nd half, along with a TD pass to Patrick Crayton. This was Bledsoe’s worse game to date.

RB play: Julius Jones is having a “Troy Hambrick” kind of year with a average of around 3.5yrds per carry, whether it’s the offensive line or the dreaded “sophomore slump” Julius has not had an explosive game yet, and people are talking; but, its more about the Oline and the plays being called. Julius was stuffed and limited in yardage against the Raiders D.

WR play: Once again the WRs didn’t get big plays until the 2nd half, Glenn had a deep pass, and Crayton powered himself to a 63yrd TD. Keyshawn needed another big game, and the Raider D, shut him down. Overall performance was average at best

TE play: Witten racked up more receptions in this game; he had 5 catches for 49yrds.

K play: Jose Cortez made 1XPT and 2FGs for 100%

DST play: The Defense remains at #21 Overall, and gives up 22pts per game, not very good, but the D is causing turnovers, INTS, and sacks. A good sufficient starter for fantasy football.

Dallas Cowboys Game Preview for Week 5

Record: 2-2 Opponent and Opponent’s Record: Philadelphia Eagles 3-1 Projected Score: Cowboys 24 Eagles 21 Prediction Record: 2-2 Projected Fantasy Stud w/ stats: Julius Jones 25 carries 135yrds 2TDS Projected Fantasy Dud w/ stats: Keyshawn Johnson 3 catches for 60yrds 0TDS

Overall Preview: This game against the Eagles is critical. The gameplan needs to be good, and the Cowboys need to come out firing – lead the tempo and create momentum for the offense and defense. Last week we worried about Randy Moss and the Cowboys slowed him down, but got tore up by Lamont Jordon, this week will be the same, but more dangerous with the likes of Brian Westbrook and T.O.

QB preview: If Bledsoe keeps doing what he’s been doing he will do fine, the pocket protection will be improved, last week the line broke down. Parcells will have the line better prepared. Bledsoe could have a 300yrd game if they get the ball moving in the air early.

RB preview: Julius has an opportunity to have a breakout game against the Eagles, the Eagles run defense is average, and is letting up105yrds rushing per game, prime setting for Julius Jones. If the Cowboys fall behind early as in previous games expect another average game from Julius.

WR preview: The Eagles are ranked #10 in pass defense, so the challenge will be on our offensive coordinator and the receiving corps. Keyshawn matches up well against the Eagles DBs, but if he’s shutdown, Glenn and Crayton will need to step it up and get open. Glenn’s speed could be a key in this game.

TE preview: Witten had a record 11receptions against the Eagles last year, and tore up the Eagles secondary. Witten knows were to run and how to get open against this secondary. Witten is posed to have another good performance at home.

PK preview: The Cowboys DO NOT want the game to come down to a game winning field goal, so the Cowboys will try to convert all their redzone attempts into TDs. Cortez is not reliable

DST preview: Ranked #21 Overall, the Cowboys defense will be looking to get turnovers on defense. The Cowboys are #5 in sacks, and look for Demarcus Ware to have a good game, he wants to make up for his mental mistakes from last week. This is the type of game where the Cowboys will win in a close match or the Eagles will torch the defense. It’s going to be a hit or miss week for the defense in your fantasy team.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 10/02/2005 06:33:00 PM —– BODY:
Payton’s Play Calling Must End NOW So, the Cowboys lose today, in a game that was certainly winnable. Cowboys drop a heart breaker 13-19, at the “Blackhole” hopefully the Blackhole sucked out the rest of our coordinators crap play calling with it. I’m going to say that we are lucky to be at 2-2. We have had way too many close games, we’ve had no tempo, started ALL our games slow and flat. Four nailbitter games is not the way to win games. So what’s the issue, we’re only at .500? Well, that may true, but we’re lucky to be .500 with the play calling that is being made. Player perservance has gotten us through it all. We have the hunger, and we have the personnel to win games; however, should we continue with the predictable bullxxxx play calling, then we’re in for a very long year. Let’s attack, let’s get that killer instinct mentality on offense.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/26/2005 04:04:00 PM —– BODY:
Dallas Cowboys Game Review for Week 3

Opponent: San Francisco 49ers Final Score: 34-31 Overall Record: 2-1 Fantasy Stud w/ stats: Drew Bledsoe 24 for 38 363yards 2TDs 2INTS Fantasy Dud w/ stats: Patrick Crayton 4 catches for 39yards 0TDS

Overall Recap: Niner’s OLB Julian Peterson guaranteed a win over the Cowboys; unfortunately he did not consider the heart and class of a Parcells’ ran team. At the end of the game the Cowboys got the “W” and Peterson & Co. stay losers. The Cowboys started out the game slow and totally out of sync. This is becoming a regular thing for the Cowboys. In the last three games the Cowboys have started out slow. The Cowboys started out the game down 21-6 and the offense and defense was looking totally deflated. The Cowboys were able to avoid disaster before the half by stopping the 49ers and ending the half down 24-12. The second half started out even, but the Cowboys made the comeback run in the 4th quarter by scoring 15 points. Bledsoe clutched out another game.

QB play: Drew Bledsoe had 2TDS and 2INTS, and led the Cowboys to the game winning drive. Bledsoe made the hard passes and was able to move the ball when the time came to do so. Bledsoe again, showed his experience and composure in the pocket. Drew Bledsoe gets my MVP award for week 3.

RB play: Julius Jones carried the load again 26 times for 85yrds and 2TDS. The Niners supposedly did not have a great run defense, but they did a great job slowing down Julius Jones. Like the rest of the offense, Julius has started out the games slow, but eventually made some key runs for us down the stretch.

WR play: If I had another gameball to handout it would be to Keyshawn Johnson. Keyshawn had another awesome performance against the Niners. Key 5 catches for 74yrds 1TD and a 2pt conversion. Key has become a favorite target for Bledsoe recently and you can expect the same the rest of the year. Terry Glenn was the other WR that had some great game breaking catches when we needed them Glenn made critical 1st downs and racked up 137yrds on 5 catches. Patrick Crayton was held to 4 catches for 39yrds.

TE play: We all knew Witten would need to be more involved in the offense sooner or later, and against the Niners, Witten had 6 catches for 85yrds and 1TD. Witten was slowed down in the 2nd half of the game, but his play had to be respected, thus opening it up for the other WRs.

K play: Jose Cortez missed an extra point, and is not a fan favorite, no one has confidence in him making the clutch kicks.

DST play: The Defense had some major breakdowns with tackling and issues in the secondary. The Defense gave up 31 points. The defense is currently ranked 21overall

Dallas Cowboys Week 4 Preview

Record: 2-1 Opponent and Opponent’s Record: Oakland Raiders 0-3 Projected Score: Cowboys 27 Raiders 24 Prediction Record: (did you win your prediction or lose?) 3-1 Projected Fantasy Stud w/ stats: Drew Bledsoe 220yrds 3TDS 1INTS Projected Fantasy Dud w/ stats: Patrick Crayton 3 catches 50 yrs 0TDS

Overall Preview: The Cowboys just finished another thriller, and will actually remain in the Bay Area since their next opponent is the Oakland Raiders. Although the Raiders are 0-3, by no means does this mean the Cowboys are guaranteed a win. In fact, it’s possible the Cowboys could lose. The Cowboys have shown they can step toe-to-toe in a shoot out. Only difference in this game is that the Raiders have the “Cowboys Killer” in Randy Moss. Randy Moss has just about beaten the Cowboys on his own over the years, and you can bet this game will be no different. Both these teams matchup well, similar offenses, and the defensive players are similar as well. The key as usual will be penalties and turnovers.

QB preview: Bledsoe will have to be spot-on accurate against the Raiders secondary, they are fast and quick to the ball. Bledsoe will need to deliver the ball where only the receiver can catch the ball. We should see more involvement from the TE again, and from the slot receiver.

RB preview: Julius is still looking for a breakout game, and he may have to wait one more week. The Raiders run defense is pretty stout, and has pretty much shut down RBs like Dillon and Westbrook. Julius will have to earn every yard possible.

WR preview: Speedy receivers Glenn and Price will not be a big factor, because the Raiders have very fast CBs to cancel out the speed factor, that will leave experience and technique, and that means Keyshawn. Look for Keyshawn to work the field and catch the ball on slants, out patterns. Keyshawn knows how to manipulate the field, and knows how to beat the Raiders secondary. Crayton is a similar type WR, he can find the open field, but he is still a little raw in his technique. Crayton could be the x-factor against the Raiders.

TE preview: Witten was a force that demanded respect in coverage, and the Cowboys will need Witten again against the Raiders. This is going to be a chess game all day, and the Cowboys definitely have the upper hand in the TE matchups. If Witten can demand some coverage from a LB or safety, then this will give the Cowboys some opportunities down the field and in the running attack.

PK preview: The Cowboys DO NOT want the game to come down to a game winning field goal, so the Cowboys will try to convert all their redzone attempts into TDs. Cortez is not reliable

DST preview: Whether you like the 3-4 defense or not, the defense has come through down the stretch. They have yet to dominate or manhandle anyone yet, in fact, you can say offenses have located the Cowboys weakness, and this resides in the secondary. Henry and Newman are stars at CB, but sometimes it’s required that they get some help from the safeties. Roy Williams is not stellar in deep coverage; he’s your roaming type and box safety. This brings us to Keith Davis, our special teams ace. 3 weeks into the season is enough for fans to have true concerns over Davis’ play. Fans love him, but his inexperience at FS is showing and offenses are exploiting it every chance they get. Either Davis improves his reads, or you will see another safety back there, Willie Pile or possibly Jacques Reeves – the speedy CB/Safety.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/17/2005 01:57:00 PM —– BODY:

Dallas Cowboys Game Preview for Week 2 Record: 1-0 Opponent and Opponent’s Record: Washington Redskins 1-0 Projected Score: Cowboys 27 Redskins 16 Prediction Record: (did you win your prediction or lose?) 2-0 Projected Fantasy Stud w/ stats: Drew Bledsoe 250yrds 3TDS 0INTS Projected Fantasy Dud w/ stats: Jason Witten 3 catches 60yrs 0-1TDS

Overall Preview: The Washington Redskins come to Texas Stadium. Our home crowd will be electrified, The Cowboys are coming off a shootout and clutch win against the Chargers, its Monday Night Football, and the Cowboys will be inducting “The Triplets” Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith. Expect the Cowboys to come out the gates and take it to the Redskins. The Redskins are 0-5 the last 5 times the Cowboys have hosted the Redskins. Keys to the game will be to slow down Clinton Portis, win the battles in the trenches, limit penalties and turnovers, create turnovers on defense, and field position will be key.

QB preview: Bledsoe is poised to have another great game, this will mark his debut at home in Texas Stadium. Bledsoe has had great success with a Parcells ran team, and you can bet the results will be the same on Monday Night. Bledsoe has various weapons in the air attack, the Redskins will NOT be able to stop them all, and someone will be open, whether that be Key, Glenn, Witten, or the new weapon in Crayton.

RB preview: Look for Julius Jones to really light it up on the ground. Julius wants to have a career game at home against the much hated Redskins. In addition, he wants to be seen by Emmitt Smith, The Cowboys greatest running back ever. Besides Bledsoe, Expect Julius to have a huge day 150+ yards and 2TDS

WR preview: Terry Glenn has had a quiet preseason, but it’s only a matter of time before Glenn has a breakout game, and this could be the week. Glenn has had good games against the ‘Skins in the past, and now he’ll have Bledsoe at the helm to deliver the ball to him. Keyshawn matches up well against the ‘Skins CBs. Expect the Cowboys to throw the ball to rookie Carlos Rogers early and often, his play is suspect and you can bet the Cowboys are going to take their shots at him. Patrick Crayton is the Redskins killer; he proved it last time these teams played. Crayton gave us a preview of his composure, and we’ll see Crayton involved in the game as well. Newly acquired WR Peerless Price status for the game is still up in the air, BUT if he makes the active roster, we could see total domination in the passing game; we will see some 4 wideout sets.

TE preview: Jason Witten will provide key blocking and will demand a LB to cover him. I like Witten’s chances against these Redskins LB corps. If anything this will aid in the running game, less men in the box, more game breaking runs for Julius.

PK preview: As long as Cortez can make the FGs when his number is called that’ll be fine, missed field goals will not be acceptable, every point will count especially against a division rival like the Redskins.

DST preview: The defense will have their hands full again this week with Clinton Portis and Santana Moss, other than that, if the Cowboys slow them down, it could be a long day for the Redskins. The Cowboys secondary is revamped. Anthony Henry and Terence Newman can handle single coverage, and big hitters Roy Williams and Killer Davis will be roaming around looking for the next big play.OT Jansen will have his hands full, and he’s not 100% with a broken finger, expect a mad rush from both ends and OLBs. We’re going to be in Brunell’s face all day.
——– AUTHOR: H Cox DATE: 9/13/2005 06:03:00 PM —– BODY:
GOING DEEP By Howard Cox NO I am not talking about Bledsoe dropping back and letting one air out for Terry Glenn to run under. What I am talking about is the rotation depth the Dallas Cowboys now possess along the defensive line. YES once again they have enough talented players to rotate through and not lose a great amount of ability while doing it. Why is this important you ask? Just listen to what DT LaRoi Glover had to say about that very situation. “I thought we were a lot fresher at the end,” Glover said. “It helps to have six linemen you can count on like that. We’ve got some rookies out there, but guys like myself, Greg and (Ferguson), you need some veterans who have been through the fire.” The team has not had a serious depth advantage on the defense since the early ‘90s. Here are those guys that now return that depth to the franchise: DT LaRoi Glover, Jason Ferguson, DEs Greg Ellis, Kenyon Coleman, Chris Canty and Marcus Spears. Also, if they wish to use them OLBs DeMarcus Ware and Eric Ogbogu can play the DE position when the team moves to a 4-man front. Glover and Ferguson are solid players in the middle of the line and give great push from there on pass or run plays. Ellis and Coleman are good from the ends, although Coleman has flashed signs of greater ability in the 3-4 scheme. Rookies Spears and Canty can play either DT or DE depending on what the coaching staff desires. All of this spells success for a revamped defense. As stated by Glover this allows the starters to be fresher at the end of the game. Why is this important? Just go back to the game vs. San Diego. The Chargers possess one of the top, if not the top Running Back in the league. He was held to only 72 yards rushing and pretty much wasn’t used in the 4th quarter, especially absent on 4 chances to get into the endzone from the 7-yard line when the game was on the line. With fresh legs the starters could still key on containing Tomlinson and also put pressure on the QB for passing downs. The end result was NO touchdown for the Chargers and a victory for Dallas. Now mistakes were made and some assignments will have to be worked out, especially for the rookies. That is expected when so many young players are added to the mix and the scheme is new for most of the veterans as well. Look forward for the DL to get stronger as they mold into a solid unit and give opposing offenses fits. I love it because at the end of the game when a lot of teams run the ball at will on tired defensive linemen, they no longer have that luxury against the Cowboys and will have to still face talented, rested players from either the first or second unit. Man I love having the ability to GO DEEP again!!!! How ‘bout them Cowboys?!?!?
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/11/2005 11:43:00 PM —– BODY:
Winning Is Our Business: Cowboys Win Opener, 28-24 The Cowboys Set the tone, Domination 2005 is now in full effect. Not only did the Cowboys stayed focused, we stepped up to the challenge. The Chargers were 12-4 for a reason last year, they are a pretty good team, a contende,r and a victory on their home turf really bodes well for our team. The game started out on a wrong foot when the Chargers drove and scored at will, the next series was even worse with the insanity of 5 consecutive offensive penalties against our O-line It appeared that the Cowboys had settled down, and dug in. An all heavyweight bout then ensued, with both teams answering each other scores. As predicted, special teams played a key element in today’s game, on both sides. Darren Sproles was explosive and dangerous; however, the Cowboys were able to capitalize on some poor punts from the Chargers in the 4th Quarter. Its hard to say what player deserves today’s Gameball – it really is, it could even be said the WHOLE team deserves the gameball, it was a complete team effort! Roy Williams was all over the field, Anthony Henry showed why we chose him in free agency, rookies Ware, Spears, and Canty were bringing the pressure and helped contain LT and the Chargers offense. On Offense, Drew Bledsoe played a near perfect game, his debut was impressive to say the least. Patrick Crayton is going to be something special for the Cowboys, he is the real deal people! If you aren’t on the Crayton wagon, you better be. Keyshawn, Glenn, Julius, Witten, also contributed in key drives, everyone stepped up. GO COWBOYS!
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 8/23/2005 04:43:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Guys Editorial Ten Things I Know I Thought Last Night 1st. I hate to begin with a negative, but we don’t have a viable backup quarterback on this roster. In two preseason games against 2nd and 3rd string defenses these are the stats for Henson and Romo: 20 of 39, 221 yards, 0 Td’s, 1 Int’s. This was against players who might not even be on the Cardinals/Seahawks rosters by opening day. The one thing I saw, or maybe it’s didn’t see, is that neither of these guys can find a way to get 6 points on the board. Now if I have to choose one or the other I have to pick Romo, but if I am Coach Parcells and I have to choose I am going to have to pick…Testaverde? I know that was out of left field, but I think it’s going to happen by the end of the preseason. 2nd. Julius Jones has moves that no other running back in the NFL can duplicate. He seems to slow down time sometimes and shoot through the smallest crease between defenders. He’s one of those guys who is learning to move forward all the time and gain yardage even if it’s only a few yards here and there. Then he will bust a 20-30 yarder once the defense starts to settle down. He’s just electric. 3rd. The defense was having trouble stopping the Seahawks quick passing plays, but they adjusted after that one TD drive and made enough plays to stop the leak. They are not the ‘85 Bears by any stretch of the imagination, but they should grow into this 3-4 / 4-3 hybrid defense and in time their athletic ability will win out. If you had three of four straight scoring drives up and down the field in these first two games I would be worried. This was far from the case and we also have to remember they were using some “vanilla” defense as we play both the Cards and Seahawks in the regular season in 2005. This defense will be good enough to win 10 games this season. 4th. Demarcus Ware is the new LT. He will have 10-14 sacks this season and that’s the fact jack! He reminded me of Simeon Rice on that sack and fumble recovery. He reminded me of Derek Brooks on that interception. Imagine this kid combines both of their abilities. Nice. 5th. Keith Davis gets one more game to show he can be the Free Safety. He didn’t screw up that bad tonight although he looked to be a little late on some coverages. He will not be Darren Woodson at any point in 2005 so don’t even think to look for that type of comparison. Try to think of Davis as a George Teague/Bill Bates/Michael Downs type of player who will make a play every once in a while, but won’t ever win the game for the Cowboys. His special teams play on the other hand could win a game at some point so he’s a big part of the team for Coach Parcells. 6th. Drew Bledsoe is not Troy Aikman. Drew Bledsoe is not Quincy Carter. Drew Bledsoe is not going to be the reason we win or lose games in 2005. He is going to be one of the 11 teammates on an offensive unit who will try to drive the football down the field and get a touchdown. One thing you will see from him is his heart on his sleeve and a fire in his eye from the first play until the last play of every single game he plays in as a Dallas Cowboy. That’s all we can ask from the guy. 7th. Petitti in, Rogers out. Cortez in, Cundiff out. Crayton in, Morgan out. Polite in, Barnes out. Gurode in, Johnson in…both of these guys will play Center at different times this season. Not a big deal, both have ability. 8th. This year’s draft class will be known one day as the draft that turned it all around. Coach Parcells has picked up some gems here. Canty, Barber, Spears, Berry-O and Burnett may never be household names, but they will be in my house. I just got done telling my brother that Berry-O reminds me of Bill Bates and then Al Michaels uses my line and tells millions what I am thinking. Canty and Spears will go down in history one day as Parcells’ Guys and be in a select group with names such as Banks, Carson and Burt. Barber is going to have to work for his because he’s a running back. Coach Parcells is the hardest on this position because no one will ever be as good as his all time favorite player, Curtis Martin. 9th. Jerry Jones was having tea in his luxury box during the game and he looked like he was right at home doing so. That tells me he’s more relaxed these days with Bill around to run the show. He always seemed ready to get right in the mix when Gailey and Campo were on the job. Nowadays he seems to be acting more like an NFL team owner. Always a thriving business man to the end is who Jerry Jones is and will always be, so Jones will always be in the spotlight, but maybe he finally realizes it’s best to let “football guys” do the “football stuff”. The best thing about him is that he does things to make sure you know that no matter what happens he loves the Dallas Cowboys and everyone involved with the team. He was right there at the hospital with Coach Lynn after hearing the assistant coach was hit by a drunken driver. Can any of us fans even say we know if our job would be safe if we had to have emergency surgery putting us down for some time? Probably not. 10th. The Cowboys have as good of a chance as the other 31 teams to make the trip to Detroit in February. In this day and age the NFL is built around the fact that each year a few teams will get some breaks while playing solid football and wind up in the tournament. Not one person in the entire world can tell me right now they know the Cowboys won’t win it all. I love this game and I ain’t talking about the NBA. I think the Cowboys will win every game this season. If they don’t, they don’t. If they do, you heard it here first. Go Cowboys! Bring on the Texans!
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 8/17/2005 06:04:00 AM —– BODY:
Parcells Guys Editorial One Preseason Game Does Not Make A Season I found myself over analyzing the game on Saturday by half time. Just as you were doing I presume. “Come on Bledsoe…” was used the most in the first half. “This offensive line is p****** me off…” was the loudest of all the rants. “How the **** do you get a false start penalty on the ******* game winning kick!!!” had the most energy behind it. It’s been a few days and I am calming down. Time heals all wounds. Drew Bledsoe will be a good quarterback this season. He has been a good quarterback his whole career. Good quarterbacks are hard to find in the NFL. Give the man a break on last Saturday’s game; he isn’t Super Man ya know. How many quarterbacks can get a nice pass off with some defensive lineman hanging around his neck? None. Who the heck is going be the Right Tackle and can he do a good job? Right now no one has the answer to this question. If something doesn’t sprout up by the end of the Seahawk’s game I will be scouring the waiver wire along with the coaching staff. Jerry Jones usually had some knee jerk reaction when a position is that bad, but he’s been the good owner so far this training camp. Matter of fact he’s been good the last couple of years. But if there were some free agent out there that could do a better job and had no baggage he would have a room in Oxnard right about now. Petitti is getting the chance because Rogers blew his shot by having too many MRI’s. Tucker is working out the final details of his house be put on the market. They are deciding if he should use his real name in the listing. This guy cannot play a game at Texas Stadium this season. Romo or Henson? How about Bledsoe. This back up quarterback thing is too big for me. Whoever wins isn’t going to matter much because the season is riding on Bledsoe getting the job done. If he does go down the guy that comes in to replace him will not be an upgrade. Henson has a nice lively arm and Romo has moxie. I am on the fence here. Call me back next Tuesday. Defense, defense, defense! 3-4 is ok. I liked it because of the ability to rush from the edge. I am sick of waiting for Ellis to get me the sack. The time for a new guy to come in and be the sack specialist has arrived and Demarcus Ware can get that job done in the 3-4 defense. Work with what you have on the roster is all you can ask for. The scheme works well against soft teams because it’s all about physicality. I think once some of these rookies get a little more time in this defense they will be able to let it all hang out and become more aggressive. Burnett is a player, trust me on that one. Missed seeing Spears and Ferguson out there holding down the line. Hopefully we get Spears back before the season. No matter when he comes back he will be in immediate action mode. He ain’t no QB here, the game at the Defensive End position is about being a man amongst men. Keyshawn wasn’t getting open enough for Bledsoe, but these two will come to an understanding soon enough. Throw the ball and Keyshawn will use his body to shield the defender and it will be an easy catch. This QB-WR relationship will need some time to grow. The Terry Glenn thing is just about making sure you get the ball out quick enough for him while he’s open. Sometimes he is so fast through the middle or underneath he runs right into another coverage. Both of these WR’s are veterans so I expect them to work out the kinks with Bledsoe shortly. Witten is a monster huh. I am not backing up on my prediction that he has 100 catches this season. He’s so reliable you just want to keep throwing it to him, just ask Tony Romo. Cundiff! What are you doing buddy? You were supposed to miss the one on the false start and make the next one to win the game. Get it right next time or Jose Cortez will be calling Dallas home. It was one game folks and I know the Cowboys are better than a 13-11 loss to the Cardinals in one lousy pre seasons game. Guess what? It was only the first of the 2005 season! Get ready for the Seahawks with John Madden. Remember Julius bursting into the end zone for the win last year. Ju-lee-us, Ju-lee-us, Ju-lee-us! Agree? Disagree? Post your comments.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/12/2005 09:12:00 PM —– BODY:
The QB Saga for #2 Heats Up Before the Pre-Season starts for the Cowboys there some ridiculous rants about trading for other QBs around the league, other unprovens which we won’t name. But c’mon the season hasn’t started and you want to trade for another backup QB and give up on Henson and Romo. I for one am NOT a part of this unfaithful movement. Here’s what we can expect for tomorrow’s game: • Bledsoe will play and do well • Either Henson or Romo will start with the 2nd team ( immediately some will read too much into this, DON’T) • Romo will get some substantial time, he may do well, and he may turn the ball over • Henson will also play some substantial time, he may do well, and he also may turn the ball over The point is this…do not get carried away with who starts after Bledsoe, Parcells will switch it up until he is comfortable with naming the #2QB, and guess what, that may not happen until the end of the pre-season, so be prepared either way. We will not be trading for another QB right now, let the pre-season and camp battles play out before calling for heads of Romo or Henson, Parcells knows best.
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 8/01/2005 10:17:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Guys Editorial Three Days In, Two Tight Ends Out and One Lineman Down As the 2005 Dallas Cowboys were lining up for their first training camp practice there was one familiar face was not on the field. Hall of Fame Offensive Lineman Larry Allen “failed” the physical fitness “test” given to all the players on the squad. That is what we were told, but maybe we should sort through the headline and make some sense of this mess. As part of the conditioning test Larry was to run sprints, 50 yards down and back, stop for two minutes and repeat, stop for two minutes and repeat, totaling 900 yards. To pass the test he had to complete each segment in less than 56 seconds. Larry seemed to think this was not really a test you had to pass so he quit and didn’t finish running the sprints. I guess there are no incompletes in the NFL. There are no make up tests either, Coach Parcells placed the big guy on the PUP list and said there would be no re-test in the future. Hmmm. This is a weird one if you ask me. The explanation was that since the NFL doesn’t want anymore “Korey Stringer” incidents the Cowboys were being overly cautious with Allen and that he would be back on the field in no time. There was Allen back on the field Monday at the late afternoon practice. He was dominating and looked ready for the season opener from what I hear. So I am still asking myself, What the heck was all that “poor conditioning” stuff about? Here’s my guess. Larry thought he was “Larry Allen” and didn’t need to do all that running stuff. Coach Parcells sees this and says “oh no you don’t”. Think of the young players on this roster coming into a 6 win team from a year ago and they see one of the veteran leaders bowing out on the first set of workouts. Coach Parcells sent a message to the team and to the world by “benching” Allen for a few days. Now the rookies know that no bull**** will be tolerated no matter what number you wear or how many Pro Bowls you have attended in the past. Good job Coach Parcells. As always I think you did the right thing for the good of the Dallas Cowboys. Plus you got one of your Parcells’ Guys, Stephen Peterman, some good work with the first team offense. Dan Campbell is out for a week or so after having his appendix out. What a wimp, just kidding. This guy is a big part of the offense so let’s hope missing a few days doesn’t have any lasting negative effects. Then if having one TE down wasn’t bad enough the Cowboys lose third string TE Sean Ryan to a broken foot. Dang it! Now there is some concern because as Coach Parcells said this situation could have a domino effect if the team doesn’t handle this properly. Well if it’s up to me I clone Jason Witten and make him the 1st, 2nd and 3rd TE for a few weeks. Get well guys and get back on the field when you can make a solid contribution to the offense. What else can we ask for? Now let’s talk about some news and notes. Justin Berry-O has had garnered some talk about the things he is doing out there so far. This is good, but he’s doing it playing the Strong Safety spot. That job belongs to Roy Williams already. If he continues to make some plays maybe the coaches will decide to get him some Free Safety work. Then if we keep hearing great things I will get excited about him making the 53 man roster. Drew Henson threw 6 million passes this off-season and so far he looks like it. About three of four people have written about him under throwing receivers with flat passes. Maybe his arm is tired? Ya think so! Get him some rest before his arm falls off. Julius Jones is the man in Dallas and will be the man in the NFL before December ‘05. Ditto for Drew Bledsoe, Jason Witten, Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson. Ware, Spears and Burnett are signed and on the field. Coach them up and let them attack, attack and attack some more. These guys could become a powerful trio before their days in Dallas are complete. Ware is faster than a speeding bullet, Spears if stronger than a raging bull and Burnett is tougher than a Redwood. Ok, maybe they aren’t ready to be Super Heroes, but they better be ready to play some kick ass defense. Glover and Ellis are practicing playing defense. Enough said. There has been a Jacob Rogers sighting. He is now entrenched in the battle for the Right Tackle opening with Torrin Tucker and Kurt Vollers. My money is still on Vollers until Coach Parcells says other wise. Why? Sometimes having no mistakes made is better than having a guy play great 95% of the time, and then he makes one mistake that leads to the team losing the game and a QB. Closing note. Coach Parcells is not enjoying this and that is a great sign for all of us Cowboy’s fans. He seemed a little too happy last training camp about the state of the team. That dang 2003 season set us all up for failure in 2004. Now we should use that 2004 season to set us up for success in 2005. Simple math, but it just might work.
——– AUTHOR: H Cox DATE: 7/30/2005 02:32:00 PM —– BODY:
“Stealth Corps” by Howard Cox Bring out the “Stealth” weapon of the Dallas Cowboys. No it isn’t Jason Witten, he came into the radar last season and everyone knows about him. Right beside him is the second year Running Back Julius Jones. The Offensive Line isn’t going to sneak up on anyone, especially with the signing of OG Marco Rivera. Then it must by QB Drew Bledsoe, or maybe even the other Drew (Henson) coming out from the sidelines. No they are not going to surprise anyone at this point either. By process of elimination that leaves the WR corps of the Dallas Cowboys. When you stop laughing we may continue. No the team doesn’t possess a game breaker like Terrell Owens, Randy Moss or Marvin Harrison. But what Dallas does have is a solid set of pass receivers who can get the job done, each in their own way. Allow me to present my case before the “fans court”. First up are the two starters in Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn. Both have been in the league for 10 seasons and know how to play the game. Terry Glenn returns from a severe foot injury and should be hungry to play for Parcells. He still possesses enough speed to be able to get behind the secondary, thus putting into motion the deep threat of the corps. Johnson is just the opposite; he isn’t going to run past anyone, unless they get lazy in coverage. What he brings to the table is his size and physical ability to catch the ball in traffic and move the chains. Thus set into motion is the need to move the chains. This is important since you don’t have to score every time the ball goes up, just move the ball another ten yards closer with three chances. The starting pair of receivers compliment each other perfectly with down the field presence and underneath ability at the same time. We won’t add the known Witten factor here, but just knowing it plays big into the defensive coordinators minds make it fun to mention anyway. On to the next layer for those three and four receiver sets. Quincy Morgan strides into the mix as the third receiver for either the slot position or moving outside to allow match up problems with Johnson against a LB underneath. Fun thinking about that alone, but I digress. Morgan has a better knowledge of the offense for Dallas and gives them experience as the third receiver to make his mark. He isn’t going to put up stellar numbers, but then again he only has to catch a few not take over a game. Put another receiver into the huddle brings up either Patrick Crayton or Terrance Copper. Physically they are almost mirror images of each other. The edge goes to Crayton after he showed he can make pressure receptions (see game winning catch against Washington). Still young but able to contribute, they both give a good option to even going five wide at times to spread the field. Now comes the less known players, Zuriel Smith returns for another shot at making the squad. He is known for kick returns but not for pass receptions. He has his work cut out for him. Also in that mold is Ahmad Merrit, a four-year vet from Chicago, who also primarily returned kicks and played on special teams. Both of these guys have experience over the others so they have the best shot at making the final 53 man roster, albeit a small one. Tom Crowder (1 yr vet) and Rookies Jamaica Rector and Reggie Harrell need to hope for making a practice squad unless they shine in preseason. I like the receiver corps make up that the team has going into the 2005 season. They don’t scare anyone and are not going to blow anyone away for sure. What they do possess is someone that can go deep coupled with a great possession/underneath receiver. Another veteran to add a third threat anywhere on the field and even a solid couple of fourth receivers. Everyone knows about the other facets of the Cowboys offense, just wait until the “stealth” receiver corps hits them.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/29/2005 11:15:00 PM —– BODY:
Domination 2005 Begins Now! Die Hards of the world, the wait is finally over, football is officially on baby! We’ve been through a great offseason with our die hard coverage, all the way from all our free agency speculation, our mock draft blowout, until right now. Right now is our time. The Dallas Cowboys have made the committment to the club and to the die hard fans of the world – we are back in this. We have the players, coaches, and that hunger of a young dynasty in the making. A dynasty in the making? That’s right…is this overspeculation by a die hard to another? possibly, but you cannot deny the direction in which the Cowboys are heading. We shall see the swarming defense rear is its ugly head again, the doomsdays defenses of yesteryear will be proud and we will be victorious in our goals for 2005. All offseason I’ve been dubbing this year as ‘Domination 2005’ This is the year that the defense will manhandle and take over games. In addition, the offense will be a handleful for many defenses in the league, we have the weaponry, the artillery, the commanders, leaders, we are poised to push the Eagirls, and possibly more. Opposing teams will not call us ‘losers’ will we be a force to be reckoned with. I’m gonna go with a bold prediction and state that we will be a 11-5 team or better. Fellow Die Hards, today marks a new beginning in Cowboys history – the Tradition of Excellence kicks off today. God bless the organization, the coaches, our players, fellow die hard fans, and lets have a great camp. Lets kick some fuckin ass!
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 7/10/2005 06:49:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Guys Editorial Things Need To Change At Texas Stadium Last season while watching the Cowboys vs. Steelers in Week 6 I saw something that immediately turned my stomach. I was in shock thinking this could be happening to the Dallas freaking Cowboys. No, I am not talking about Richie Anderson bumping into Vinny Testaverde and causing that stupid fumble. My sudden illness was brought on by the idea that more noise was being made by the visiting Steeler’s fans and not from the home team Cowboy’s fans. The announcers then politely pointed it out to all of us out there in TV land which was equal to pouring salt on the wounds, thanks guys! One question. How can one of the most loved and successful teams in all of sports have such lackluster fans at home games? That disgusting incident made me want to pack up the family and get my ass down to Texas. I am a New Yorker by the way and have been to a handful of games out at Giants Stadium to cheer on the Cowboys. If I could afford it I would fly to Texas and be at each Cowboy’s game going nuts on every play, but unless Jerry Jones calls me with an expense paid invite it isn’t happening. I do play lotto every week though, so there is hope! Make it a point to change this lack of vocal and emotional support this season people. To everyone in Texas that attends the Cowboy’s games I would like the following to happen in 2005. 1. Get some sort of area in the stadium designated as the “BeWare Zone”. I have seen a handful of people on various message boards using this moniker for the rookie pass rusher Demarcus Ware. Get posters, get T-Shirts made up, wear face paint, wear BeWare hats, have everyone get a #94 Ware jersey and most of all get louder than any other section in the stadium when this kid makes a play. 2. The Redskins are coming to Texas Stadium in Week 2. I don’t want them to be able to hear their thoughts again until Week 5. Every time Clinton Portis touches the ball I want to hear a chant of “Earl Sucks”. That’s his middle name. He’s the type of guy who will be affected by this and before you know it he will fumble and Marcus Spears will pick it up and run for a TD. 3. The most vocal guy on the offense is Keyshawn Johnson, he might just be the most vocal guy in the NFL. Repay him for his ability to get the team pumped up. Remember when Daryl Johnston carried the ball the fans would chant “Mooooose”. Well now you have to chant “Keeeeeyyy” when Keyshawn makes a catch. This let’s Keyshawn know you love him, plus it let’s the other team know you hate them because this will lead to Keyshawn talking more than ever. I am sure the opposing defense will love that one. 4. Do you think it’s harder or easier to kick a field goal with 65,000 people screaming at you? As soon as the opposing team’s kicker comes out for a field goal try I want his helmet rattling from all the noise in Texas Stadium. There is no weather factor in Texas, but you can create a noise factor. 5. This last one is very important. When the Cowboys score a TD make it seem like they won the Super Bowl. Don’t just clap and sit down. Start clapping and yelling and cheering and jumping up and down and clapping some more and cheering some more. If all the fans are still cheering when the opposing team comes on the field and are forced into a three and out the Cowboys keep the momentum. These guys are busting their hump all year round. They deserve to know that when they get the job done that it’s appreciated. We all know about other NFL teams who have these same sort of things happening in their stadiums. The Raiders have the “Black Hole”, the Steelers have brought back the “Terrible Towel” and the Chiefs fans create a sea of red at Arrowhead Stadium. You need to get involved as much, if not more than these other cities do for their home teams. Coach Parcells will chose 53 guys to trot out there every week to try and win a football game. The offense will have 11 guys working together to score points. The defense will line up 11 guys thirsty for a sack or a turnover. How about the fans out at the game take it upon themselves to add a 12th man to each squad. I know every coach in the NFL would love having that kind of advantage for his team. Who knows, this extra man may lead to that one win which helps the Cowboys get in the playoffs! Comments?
——– AUTHOR: Brian Aust DATE: 7/05/2005 02:09:00 AM —– BODY:
Ellis’ Comments Revealing By Brian Aust What did you mean, Greg? What is it you really said? When you made the Sporting News aware of your displeasure regarding the switch to the 3-4, what were you thinking? He says he’s a leader. He says he won’t cause problems in the locker room. Then, Ellis tells the national sports media that he’s unhappy about the team’s direction. Well, he’s not exactly making problems disappear. It’s the biggest story of the off season. The club spent big bucks in free agency to allow for it. The draft was devoted to it. The Cowboys were making the switch to the 3-4, and Greg Ellis lets it be known that he doesn’t like the idea. His seemingly negative comments, especially during the period of change, fuel those who still may not be convinced by the move to the 3-4. Doubters like me. Doubters including fans who haven’t seen a different defensive scheme their entire life. And, perhaps most damaging, doubters including players who look up to Ellis. After reading Ellis’ contradictory comments, that word came to mind. That word devoted to people who say one thing then do another. That word no one likes associated with their name. That word die-hards might feel guilty using to describe one of the Cowboys supposed leaders. After digesting Ellis’ remarks, however, that word worked its way out of my Ellis-adjective kit. Minna Antrim, an often-quoted American scribe, pointed out the difference between a saint and a hypocrite is that one lies for his religion, the other by it. In this case, by revealing the truth about his feelings on the 3-4, Ellis may turn himself into a liar. His comments, as they certainly have the power to do, could disrupt things down at the Ranch. Should Ellis’ concerns become contagious, an argument could be made that Ellis went from leader to deconstructionist seemingly over night. I won’t make that argument, though. Ellis’ comments fit Antrim’s definition of saint more so than hypocrite. Ellis is a minister of the Dallas defense, and when his comments contradict his rhetoric, he’s doing it for the sake of his religion. With so many people rushing into the fruited fields of the 3-4, Ellis needed to remind everyone that the Cowboys defense, despite the organization’s obvious commitment to make people think otherwise, is still led by players suited for the 4-3. LeRoi Glover, Dat Nguyen and Greg Ellis are players carrying the torch for the Doomsday Defense who suddenly don’t have the full benefit of their illustrious careers. They are leaders who find themselves learning a new scheme alongside a group of hired guns and young hopefuls, and the three veterans no longer have experience to lean on. Glover has played in the 3-4 before. Ellis and Nguyen should be good enough to work within the framework of the 3-4. Despite their potential, Ellis feels the situation isn’t ideal. And he’s right. Most of us are caught up with what’s possible and seem to be forgetting what would be optimal. It’s obvious what Ellis thinks. And he’s speaking out because he’s a leader, not in spite of it. He wants to remind everyone of who leads this group onto the field. Ferguson, Ware, Spears, Canty, Bunett and Henry – their transition to the 4-3 seems more natural than plugging Ellis, Glover and Nguyen into the 3-4. Who would you rather focus your defense around – perennial staples or versatile newbies? The 3-4 is coming, that’s for certain. Whether we see more 3-4 than 4-3… well, it seems Ellis has given us our first clue. Unfortunately, his hint only gets at what he thinks should be done – not at what will be done. So, we’re stuck playing the wait-and-see game. Who will get his way – the optimist or the idealist?
——– AUTHOR: H Cox DATE: 7/02/2005 02:33:00 PM —– BODY:
He can still play, Canty by H. Cox The draft has passed us by and everyone knows which team selected whom. That done and over with the spotlight moved to reviewing all the players and their possible aid to their respective teams. Most of the fanfare is given to the first round and maybe even second round picks. After that most of the other players are considered good chances of making the team but not starting. So being selected in the fourth round, a player isn’t likely to make a large impression on a team. That does happen occasionally but the odds are against that occurrence. Well the odds have shifted and this year it is going to happen for the Dallas Cowboys. Announcing the arrival of DE Chris Canty from the University of Virginia! “Hello, my name is Chris Canty, and this is my resume.” He is 6’7” and 280 lbs. He led the ACC defensive linemen in tackles as a sophomore and a junior. He was also leading the conference again, as a senior, before injuring his knee to miss the rest of the season. He knows how to get to the ball carrier from the down linemen position. The system he played in mirrors what Dallas is going to be playing this season. Parcells wishes to implement the 3-4 defense and Canty thrived in the same scheme under a former Parcells assistant, Al Groh. So learning the techniques won’t be as difficult as coming into a completely new style of defense. Yes there are some differences, but knowing is half the battle, so he has a jump on that end of the scale. Projected to become a certain first round pick he was headed for big money in the NFL. Then the injury bug hit when a teammate rolled over on his knee in the fourth game of his senior year. On top of that he was hit with a bottle in the left eye, forcing him to undergo surgery to repair damage. Now he was dropped to the second day of the draft and seemed to be forgotten. Dallas’ staff had not forgotten him and formulated a plan to move into a position to pick him up. They worked out a trade with the Eagles to move up in the fourth round. Without much publicity, Canty joined the Dallas Cowboys for the 2005 season. Up to this point noone has been able to see what he can do because of surgeries on his knee and eye. He isn’t allowed to suit up for contact until the beginning of training camp later this month. You can bet there are going to be some surprised individuals once that happens. He isn’t going to move into the starting lineup but he is just under that ability and will become a solid force up front for Mike Zimmer’s defensive line. When opposing offensive linemen see either Ellis or Glover head to the sidelines they will give a sigh of relief. That is until they get to “meet” Mr. Canty on the next play. We have got a real gem here and he will show he is still first round material in a fourth round selection slot. The future is looking really bright and everyone needs to get ready for football.
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 7/01/2005 01:37:00 AM —– BODY:

Parcells Guys Editorial Playing Right Tackle For The Cowboys In 2005 You can talk about Torrin Tucker, Jacob Rogers, Rob Petitti and even Larry Allen playing Right Tackle for the Dallas Cowboys in 2005, but none of that is going to happen. When September 11th rolls around you will see me out there lined up next to Marco Rivera. I am Kurt Vollers. Vollers came to the Cowboys looking for a chance to make the team, whether it was on the 53-man roster or the practice squad made no difference. Just a chance to become a better football player was the task at hand. Jump ahead to Week 15 of the 2004 NFL season and Vollers found himself starting at Right Tackle for the Cowboys. Coming out of Notre Dame in 2001 there weren’t many coaches calling for Vollers to join their team. He eventually went to training camp with Colts as a free agent. He wound up on the practice squad after being released by the Colts just before the beginning of the 2002 season. The Cowboys grabbed him off the Colts practice squad on Oct 22, 2002 after they were depleted by injuries on the offensive line. After checking into some stats about Vollers 2003 season you would be thinking this guy is a career back up if anything. He was behind Ryan Young and Torrin Tucker on the depth chart and it did not look promising for Vollers. But in the NFL injuries are considered an open door for anyone looking for a chance. Young went down with a bum knee, this resulted in Vollers and Tucker battling it out for the Right Tackle spot all season. Vollers did start 8 games and did a decent job by all accounts. When the 2004 season started Coach Parcells chose Tucker as his starting Right Tackle. This may have been a mistake from the beginning. Tucker was having problems with blocking assignments and just plain playing bad football. Coach Parcells waited until he could stand it no longer and inserted Vollers into the starting line-up in Week 15 against the Eagles in Philly. Talk about getting thrown into the fire, thanks Coach for giving me a chance to show you what I can do with Jevon Kearse across from me. In a highly competitive loss to the Eagles, 12-7, the stats for Kearse were pretty mild. No sacks and 1 tackle. Pretty good for a back up who got thrown into the mix because the first choice was playing like a bum. Vollers kept the job for the last two games of the season and again played admirably. This was becoming a trend for Vollers and the Cowboys. Coach Parcells picks the “other” guy to start and then Vollers winds up in the starting lineup at some point after watching the other guy fail to do the job. Remember that playoff game against the Panthers; Vollers was the Right Tackle in that game. Guess whom he was blocking? Julius Peppers. Guess the stats for one of the best young Defensive Ends in the NFL? 1 tackle, no sacks. The only play I can remember Peppers being involved in was that silly interception Quincy threw right to him. So in both games against arguably two of the best young Defensive Ends in the game Vollers held his ground and allowed 2 tackles. Here’s the best stat about Vollers in those two games, no penalties. Even against the best of the best Vollers kept his cool under pressure. Coach Parcells has two strikes on him when talking about Kurt Vollers. This is not a guy who strikes out very often people. This season we are going to see a bigger, more seasoned and much improved Kurt Vollers come into training camp. He won’t give Coach Parcells the opportunity to do anything other than hit a home run when determining who starts the season at Right Tackle. Agree? Disagree?
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 6/23/2005 02:16:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Guys Editorial Playing Free Safety for the Cowboys in 2005 Sign Lance Schulters, sign Reggie Tongue, sign Izell Reese, sign Ty law and convert him, sign anyone you want – the job is mine people. I am Keith Davis. Davis took three bullets, two in his arm and one to the leg, in 2003. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and we all know the rest of that story. It seemed his career as a Cowboy was going to be over before it even began. Oh well, just another story about a young athlete not knowing what is right for him and what is wrong for him. Here’s what Davis said at the time of the incident, “By the grace of God I am still here, and I have suffered no ill-effects. It was a really bad experience, but you live and you learn – and I think that I have learnt from that experience. I have dealt with it and I am just looking forward to playing football and putting that all behind me.” Nicely said, but the Cowboys cut him anyways. This is what Coach Parcells said back in 2003 about the Davis incident, “I’ve told our guys that night clubs are not the place to be,” Parcells said. “And I intend to have pretty good citizens around here.” Sounds like Coach Parcells didn’t want any thugs back in 2003 either. I guess Davis was never going to fulfill his dream of being a star for the Dallas Cowboys. Raised in Texas and playing college ball at Sam Houston State Keith Davis was the hometown guy everyone was rooting for. He just had to make it big for the Cowboys, but had he just blown his chance of a lifetime? Almost. Some of you are saying “well, he shouldn’t have been at that stupid club in the first place so he shouldn’t have gotten a second chance, right?” Wrong. In my eyes everyone deserves a second chance. So I think Keith Davis should get a chance to go out there in this upcoming training camp and win this Free Safety job. But that’s just me. What changed in the eyes of Coach Parcells that he decided this kid was worth another chance? I mean Coach Parcells is a man of very little patience; he isn’t a baby sitter for these young adults. He gives them the speech about staying out of places that even offer the slightest amount of trouble, he let’s them know that having any contact with the law just about gets them a bus ticket out of Dallas. So what did Keith Davis, basically a walk on for the Cowboys, do to get another chance to become the next great Free Safety for the Dallas Cowboys? He listened and he learned from his mistake. This is about all you can ask from a young adult learning about life. He turned his football career around. He came back and asked the Cowboys for another chance. He went to NFL Europe and played great football. He showed the world, not just Coach Parcells, that he isn’t some knucklehead who will let his 15 minutes be about getting shot outside a strip club. He did what many top tier athletes with a chance to make the NFL can’t do. He proved that he could be trusted not to make the same mistake twice. Coach Parcells is tough as nails, he is as old school as old school gets. But he’s human and he probably knows people better than anyone else in football. Back in 2003 Coach Parcells cut Davis for one reason and one reason only, the kid messed up by being anywhere near that strip club. The idea that Davis wasn’t a good football player had never crossed Coach Parcells mind, he was a standout player everywhere he had played so far. Davis was a free agent who made the Cowboys in 2002 on his special teams play and we all know how much emphasis Coach Parcells puts on special teams. If Davis could get over this incident and show the Cowboys he was worthy of another shot then his dream would again be alive. He could gain a better understanding about the Safety position while still playing like a monster on special teams. But the question was still the same, could he do it? I guess so. Come September 11, 2005 against the San Diego Chargers Keith Davis will be the starting Free Safety for the Dallas Cowboys. Comments?
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 6/16/2005 07:57:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Guys Editorial Coach Parcells’ Blueprint Just About Complete In Dallas Bill Parcells came to the Dallas Cowboys to win football games. We all know this is his job as the football coach, but he has also changed the culture for this Cowboy franchise. He is putting together a team who can be proud of themselves no matter the score at the end of the game. There are no more radios blasting out at the mini-camp practices, no more domino games in the locker room and no more thugs need apply for a job with the Dallas Cowboys. As a lifelong Cowboy’s fan I am happy about the changes made by Coach Parcells over the last two seasons. In the long run I feel the team will not only win more games due to these changes, but will also garner more respect from the other 31 franchises. The days of the Cowboys being laughed at as a franchise making all the wrong moves are long gone. The new Cowboys mantra is more of a business like attitude where the guy next to you is working just as hard for a common goal, a Super Bowl victory. Does this new culture guarantee the Cowboys a Super Bowl win in the coming seasons. No, but in the world of NFL football nothing is guaranteed. Coach Parcells knows the importance of having players do the right thing on the field, as well as off the field. A team definitely gives itself a better chance to win when the players are focused on football, not focused on troubling off the field issues. Those types of players are unreliable and unpredictable in nature so they are never good teammates. A prime example is the situations in Washington and Philadelphia right now. I would be ashamed to be a Redskins fan right about now. Players are holding out, shooting up South Florida and the entire team is in disarray. If you’re an Eagle’s fan you must be sick to your stomach. You finally get to a Super Bowl, lose it and now when the goal of winning the damn thing is certainly within reach the most important players are holding out for more money. If it was any other team I would feel bad for them, but it’s the Eagles so I say let them rot! Back to the Redskins, I do feel bad for Coach Gibbs. He comes back to the NFL to a storied franchise and this is the respect these young players are showing him? Pathetic. I can easily say that Coach Parcells would not put up with the Sean Taylor’s of the world anymore. He said it himself in one of his press conferences; he’s too old for thugs. Having Jerry Jones on board with this way of thinking is also refreshing to hear as a Cowboys fan. Back in the 90’s when the team was winning Super Bowls some of the players on those teams weren’t the greatest of citizens. I have seen at least one documentary tarnishing that Cowboy Dynasty by showing numerous players in handcuffs after being arrested. Wouldn’t is be great if Coach Parcells could bring a championship back to the Cowboys with players loved by fans for their efforts on the field as well as their efforts to be solid citizens off the field? Hell yeah! As football fans all we can ask for is that these coaches and players head out there and give it their best shot on Sunday afternoons. As Cowboy fans we should be happy that Coach Parcells is putting together a team that we can be proud of whether they win or lose. Of course I would be a tad bit more proud if we won all the games though. Jerry Jones and Coach Parcells’ goals are one in the same, to win a Super Bowl. Being able to do it together with a group of players who are heroes on and off the field will only make the celebration that much sweeter. Comments?
——– AUTHOR: Brian Aust DATE: 6/07/2005 08:56:00 AM —– BODY:
Larry Allen – The Solution at Right Tackle by Brian Aust Bill started it. He created the mystery. He challenged us, saying that we wouldn’t be able to figure it out his intentions. Since Bill laid down the challenge, every self-respecting Cowboy fan has been trying to figure out who Bill envisions starting on the right side this year. After carefully balancing the issues at hand, it’s becoming clear that moving Larry Allen to the right side makes the most sense. First, you have to dismiss the current roster options. It’s reasonably clear that Bill doesn’t think any right bookend on the roster is going to work out. After all, he did raise the question for us. I understand working under a black cloud, but, simply by saying that he’s put thought into a mystery plan suggests that he’s preparing for when Vollers and Tucker fail to prove themselves. Rogers is still battling and injury, and doesn’t have enough experience at RT to seriously be considered for the job. Petitti is going to stay with what he knows on the left side. Noll has reportedly been working over at RT, and he doesn’t bring a wealth of experience either. Then you have Larry Allen. He’s been to the Pro Bowl at tackle. He’s one of the best lineman to ever play the game. He appears to have shown up to camp in better shape and more dedicated than ever. It’s a no brainer, right? I think so. But, there are plenty of naysayers. The biggest complaint comes with the assumption that, by moving Allen to RT, the Cowboys are essentially moving the problem. A very valid argument – if the Cowboys didn’t have better depth at guard than they do at tackle. Peterman, Walter, Gurode, Noll and newcomber Tarullo are all waiting in the stables. The group lacks starting experience, but it isn’t a stretch to acknowledge that there is more talent in that group than there is in the current rotation at RT. It comes down to depth. The Cowboys are deep enough at guard to consider moving Allen over to RT. People insist on bringing Bledsoe’s blindside into the equation. Apparently, the Cowboys shouldn’t consider the move because moving the starting LG to RT will leave Bledsoe’s blind side unprotected. Simply baffling! No guard in the league is charged with protecting any QB’s blindside – a position where a QB can’t see or sense people coming from directly behind him. Tackles protect blind sides. Guards protect the backSIDE. QBs can typically see or sense people coming from the backside, and they can prepare better for impact (tuck the ball away, etc.). Even if Larry Allen stays at LG, he won’t be protecting Bledsoe’s blindside. There’s another contingent of people that say Larry isn’t physically capable of playing RT. Really? Seems like he went to the Pro Bowl at tackle – seems like he’s the type of player that can man the position. For every pessimist that says he doesn’t have the feet, I would like to remind you that the hands are just as important at tackle. For every person that says he doesn’t have the mobility, I would like to remind you that he’s come in at the best shape of his career. If you still don’t think Allen is a possibility at RT, then what do you make of the reports that he worked out at tackle during the recent mini camp? Seems like the thought has crossed Bill’s mind. In fact, I am willing to bet its exactly what ol’ Bill has planned.
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 6/03/2005 08:55:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Guys Editorial Jumping To Conclusions Let’s do it. I am taking into account all the reports about the Cowboy’s recent three-day minicamp and the Bill Parcells comments from the two press conferences. Here we go… Torrin Tucker is a goner. How in the world do you come to this minicamp overweight after being benched for the last three games of 2004? Coach Parcells was pissed as he should be. He is in this business to win football games, not babysit grown men. This was a sign of disrespect on Tucker’s behalf. I am sure Coach Parcells will cut him and his other players should see it as a lesson being taught to an undisciplined football player. Jason Witten is the key to the Cowboys offense in 2005. Most of you will say it’s Julius Jones, but don’t expect him to have 30 carries a game at any point this season. Witten will be Bledsoe’s favorite target from the start. He will be Coach Parcells “Ben Coates” from his days in New England. This might sound crazy, but I think Witten will have 100 catches in 2005. Keith Davis will win the Free Safety job and won’t give it up for the next 7 seasons. Davis has three things going for him. He’s a ballhawk. He’s a great tackler, as is evident from his great special teams work. He has the speed to cover WR’s, TE’s and RB’s. “Killer” Keith Davis is the real deal in Dallas folks. Kurt Vollers is the Right Tackle for 2005. He is the best player out of the candidates at that position. He has bulked up this off-season and that alone shows Coach Parcells he wants the job. Having Marco Rivera over there makes it easier to accept Vollers on the end. Coach Parcells knows his strength is using two tight end sets, so I am sure we will see Dan Campbell lined up outside Vollers on most downs. Scott Shanle will start at the other Inside Linebacker spot. He will beat out Bradie James in training camp this season. He played good football last season when Coach Parcells threw him into the mix. James just doesn’t seem to make plays when he has the opportunity. That is just the opposite of what Coach Parcells is looking for in this new 3-4 defense. Shanle makes plays and that will get him on the field this season. Lousaka Polite will be the Fullback this season. The team will mostly be running a one back set so the Fullback won’t be as important as in previous season, but Polite will win the job over Darian Barnes. Barnes is a nice special team’s player, but one of these young linebackers will take his role on special teams. Remember, now with a 3-4 defense we need extra linebackers on the roster in 2005. One more quick one, Drew Bledsoe will make the NFC Pro Bowl in 2005.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/30/2005 03:50:00 PM —– BODY:

Mini Camp Report

The Cowboys wrapped up their mini camp and we came away with lots of insight as to where the team is right now. Mini camps are held to bring the whole team together and to see what the rookies and veterans can bring for the full scale training camp which will kick off July 30th, its all serious business for Bill Parcells. For the fan though, the mini camps mark the beginning of football, its more of a sneak preview for the fan. There’s a very long-agonizing stretch from early Feb. to August when the pre-season arrives. So, these mini camps wet the palates of the most die hard of fans until then. In this report, we’ll take an early look at the Cowboys and see what we came away with from the end of the mini camps.

Have you ever had a car that kept breaking down and it became more costly to keep it than to invest in a new car? Well, that’s the feeling here with the Cowboys for the upcoming 2005 season. The defense has been revamped, and we will see quite a few new faces on defense. The mini camp marks the first time the Cowboys get to test drive this new defense and the ride looks to be all worth it. The Cowboys invested high draft picks that ALL went to defense. The Cowboys drafted Demarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, and Kevin Burnett with their first three picks.

Alongside the veterans such at DT Jason Ferguson the rookies, Ware and Spears practiced the 3-4 alignment on a full time basis. Its 3-4 fulltime, but that does not mean we will not see the 4-3 on occasion. On Sunday, the Cowboys were running a few 4-3 alignments. So we can surely expect the 3-4 as the primary, but the 4-3 will continue to be used, probably more as a situational package. Rookie Demarcus Ware was quoted as saying, “I know we’re going to do 4-3 too, because I see a lot of it in our playbook.”

What about the other rookie defensive players?

OLB Kevin Burnett was sidelined from onfield workouts as he continues to rehab his hip scoping, he will be ready by training camp. DE Chris Canty was also on the sideline as he continues to recover from his eye surgery. Jerry Jones states he expects Canty to be ready for field in 4-8 weeks or the early part of training camp and he expects Canty to be a contributor on defense for the regular season. This is truly great news and if Canty does indeed get in on the rotation at DE for the Cowboys we could have a major steal from this year’s draft. Projected a 1st rounder by several mock drafts before the injury he slipped to the 4th and the Cowboys jumped on the opportunity.

Justin Beriault and Jay Ratliff were also practicing during the minicamp. On one play, Beriault was burned by Dan Campbell, but he finished the play by catching the TE from behind and causing a fumble, Beriault still needs more work in coverage and still looked raw in coverage. Ratliff was drafted with the Cowboys last pick, but he showed he is ready to play, and wants do what it takes to contribute to the team. Ratliff showed immense quickness off the line and on special teams.

Ware and Spears looked very good in camp, making penetration to the QB on several occasions. On one play, Ware sped past Pro-Bowler Larry Allen to the QB, the crowds cheered, but Allen refocused and dominated the other defensive players. Allen looks to be in great shape and looks to be in Pro-Bowl form again.

In Shape or Out of Shape?

Speaking of the Offensive line, LT Flozell Adams showed up 10+ pounds lighter, and received high praises from Parcells, he looked leaner and quicker. In addition, Adams dominated OLBs like Thornton and Ware. Looks like Adams is planning to return to true Pro Bowl fashion as he did in 2003. Parcells continued his praise of Marcus Spears who also showed up to camp 13lbs lighter. During the Rookie Camp, Parcells had labled Spears as “Chubby Checker or Fats Domino” Spears took heed to Coach’s advisement of losing weight and Spears delivered. Spears now has a sub-300lb weight. Looking leaner and quicker, Spears did some pretty good things on the defensive side of the ball. Swamp Thang is ready to cause havoc.

RT Kurt Vollers is another player receiving some praises from Parcells. Vollers showed up focused and showed up bigger, as in muscle mass. Vollers did some good things on the Oline at RT when he replaced starter Torrin Tucker at the end of the 2004 season, and his dedication to his body and conditioning could help him take over at RT

Every year there’s that player that shows up overweight, so who was it this year? RT Torrin Tucker…talk about dancing with fire! Not only did Tucker not play well at all at RT last year, he was replaced with Vollers at the end of the season, BUT then he comes to camp overweight? Parcells noticed this and stated that not only was he overweight, he was substantially overweight, wow!. Parcells also stated Tucker had better show him a lot more right now, this is his third year. Parcells is huge into player assessments at the year 3 marker and Tucker is on the wrong path right now, I would even venture to say Tucker may not make this team unless he improves immensely.

QB depth not quite set

With Vinny gone, Parcells was not comfortable enough in Drew Henson or

Tony Romo to start. We all know Parcells brought in Drew Bledsoe in to take over as the starting quarterback and that is the plan for the 2005 season. So, Bledsoe will be #1, Henson #2, and Romo #3, right? Well, let’s hold the horses on the #2 spot. It looks like the camp battle to really watch for could reside between Drew Henson and Tony Romo. Henson has been working all off season throwing 5000+ passes and learning the playbook, but so has Tony Romo. Let’s remember Parcells had the option to send one of both of the young guns to NFLE, but he opted to keep them both here to work on their game; mechanics, conditioning, and the playbook. It sounds like it’s a race to close to call right now – a dead heat. Parcells has even indicated that Romo may have a slight edge in regards to knowing the system. This is a camp battle we will be watching very close. Either way, it is very good to hear the level of competition is there. Ideally, it’s good to have a solid #2 QB, but if you can have a solid #3 QB, then you’re in great shape.

The 3-Headed Beast

Now, we know what Julius Jones brings to the table – strength, heart, speed, production and more, BUT without Jones, the running attack was nonexistent in 2004. We had Eddie George, and perhaps he was not given enough carries, or perhaps he had lost a step, and Parcells did not want to play Reshard Lee…2004 was a complete mess. Now comes 2005, Parcells knows that a healthy running game is a must for any team, and a QBs best friend.

Are you comfortable with Julius Jones as your starting running back? Without a doubt yes, no questions there, but what if he gets injured, who would we have? Parcells knew this had to be addressed in the offseason, so he drafted Marion Barber III (MB3) in the 4th round a projected 2-3rd rounder type back. Barber brings some solid depth at RB. Through mini camp practice, Barber exhibited good hands and speed. During one of Parcells’ press conferences he compared Barber to a former player, Leon Johnson. Saying he was the backup runner, 3rd down back, return man, a player with good receiving hands, and more. He sees Barber as that type of contributor player.

Anthony Thomas (A-Train) was recently picked up and this was a marvelous addition, signed for a one year deal, Parcells likes what he sees in Thomas during camp. Parcells described his role as the in between tackle runner, tough guy, short yardage – goal line

Leading the FS Pack

This has proven to be one of the most active offseasons in years – the Cowboys jumped out of the gate and signed impact free agents and with calculated precision beefed up the defense. One position that has a question mark looming over it is the free safety spot. The Cowboys brought in Corey Hall, but he was less than impressive, and there remains a chance the Cowboys could take a look at upcoming June cuts like Lance Schulters or Corey Chavous. For the time being it appears that FS will be filled from within the team. Throughout mini camp Keith Davis showed that he can make plays, he knows where the ball is at, knocked down a few passes and more. Right now, Davis is leading the pack for that open FS spot. Parcells likes what he sees out of Davis, but he’s torn on the issue – Davis is the team’s special teams star, and Parcells acknowledged that moving him from ST to FS will leave a void. Parcells stated, “I am torn because if he is starting, we are going to be losing a lot on special teams,” Parcells also added that, “Davis does have a knack for the ball, the ball does come to the kid. You want those players on defense.”

Other players competing for that FS spot are rookie Justin Beriault, Clint Finley, Lynn Scott, and Pete Hunter. Hunter is in the mix, and despite previous reports that he wanted to play CB or be traded, Hunter says he will do what is asked of him. Hunter has great potential at FS with his size and speed; in addition he has added some weight to his frame. We’ll see how this pans out.


From a die hard fans point of view the Cowboys are set to make great strides. The Cowboys organization as a whole has made a true commitment to turn this team around. We’ve shored up some keys positions through free agency, drafted some quality character playmakers via the draft, and have brought on some great assistant coaches into the mix.

What does Coach Parcells think? Parcells said in closing that, “We’re going to have more depth, more competition…but I don’t know what we’re going to have on the inside. I don’t know what kind of chemistry we’re going to have. I don’t know what kind of mental toughness we’re going to have. I don’t know what we’re going to do the first time we get hit in the mouth.”
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 5/26/2005 08:02:00 AM —– BODY:
Parcells Guys Editorial Cowboy players currently on the “Bubble”. The following guys should be worried about their jobs. They were once considered starters, but now they should be considering what other NFL teams could be interested in them for the 2005 season. Let’s start with Andre Gurode. This guy had the whole 2004 season to do something and prove he was a quality NFL Offensive lineman. Instead he continued to make stupid mistakes week in and week out. He had Coach Parcells on his back and that just seemed to make worse. Look for him to get one final chance; if he doesn’t show something spectacular in the first week of training camp, he’s a goner. Al Singleton is a nice complementary NFL linebacker, that’s the problem. Coach Parcells wants more of an attack defense this season. Singleton has never been a playmaker and isn’t the guy you can depend on to get you a turnover in the fourth quarter. He would be a nice back up, but I don’t think he will be happy in that role on this team. Coach Parcells will respect that and release him to find a home elsewhere. Torrin Tucker just hasn’t done anything to keep the Right Tackle job. Kurt Vollers replaced him in the last three games of the 2004 season. Many said Coach Parcells did this to see what he had in Vollers. Maybe, but I think it was as much about Coach Parcells already knowing what he had in Tucker and not liking it. Pencil in Vollers as the starter on opening day with Tucker playing in another city. Darian Barnes was brought to the Cowboys as a special teams guy, not to be the starting Fullback. He beat out Lousaka Polite last season, but not this year. Lousaka Polite has shown that he can handle the job and should beat out Barnes this year. Last season the loss of Dan Campbell hurt the Cowboys running game. With Campbell back now Coach Parcells will be running the single back set about 80% of the time. This will allow Polite to be used for his power blocking when needed. The beginning of last season must seem like a decade ago for Pete Hunter. He started last year as the “other” starting corner opposite Terence Newman. This year he is buried on the depth chart after missing most of last season to a torn knee ligament. Speculation that Coach Parcells had asked this kid to move over and try to take the Free Safety spot was discussed for a while. Hunter turned his back on the Cowboys after publicly stating that he is a cornerback and won’t play Safety. Sorry Pete, but Anthony Henry has the job now. Plus we got Aaron Glenn for the nickelback spot. That will leave Hunter on the unemployment line at some point in the near future. Let’s get some comments on these thoughts people. What do you think?
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 5/17/2005 11:36:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Guys Editorial Is Nate Newton stupid? This used to be one the guys I looked up to when the Cowboys were winning Super Bowls in the 90’s. Now he’s the guy I wish was never even on the team in the 90’s. Why is he even allowed to speak to the media when he’s already proven that he’s a joke in the eyes of all the Cowboy’s fans? It wasn’t bad enough that he got caught being a drug dealer, but now he comes out and tells everyone that wanted to be the “best dealer he could be”. Did he have his brain removed after he retired? He couldn’t have been that stupid during his playing days in the NFL could he? I was just thinking the other day about the kid from the Vikings, Onterrio Smith, who got busted with the “Whizzinator”. I was thinking he must be the stupidest guy in the world. Then comes along a former Cowboy star to blow him out of the water. At least Smith was smart enough to think about using something to disguise his dirty urine. I think if Newton was in that same position he would have told the people administering the test “I just used some coke on the way over, I wanted to fail it at the highest level because I am very competitive in everything I do”. Why did he opt to sell drugs for money? That was the exact question that came to my mind when he was arrested with 213lbs of marijuana in Louisiana. I knew Nate played for the Cowboys for a bunch of years and he wasn’t getting paid in monopoly money. I checked it out and found out he played 13 years in the NFL. He had to have some cash left from all paychecks right? Not so fast people. How was this guy an NFL player for the Dallas Cowboys? This was the question I asked myself when he was again arrested within six weeks of his first arrest. This time they busted him for having 175 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of his car. I started thinking to myself; maybe Jerry Jones was paying him in monopoly money all those years. He’s obviously too stupid to know the difference. Let’s back up a second, 213 friggin pounds! Then 175 friggin pounds. That’s 38 pounds difference. That is the exact number of plays Newton must have had a concussion and never told anyone. Now I understand his stupidity. Maybe his helmet was too tight. Maybe he had too many concussions during his career. Maybe he took steroids and his brain was affected. Who knows why this guy is this stupid, but to think that this was once a Pro Bowler NFL player who has three Super Bowl Rings is just a shame. He could have lived the rest of his life as Nate “The Kitchen” Newton, one of the greatest Cowboys of all time. Instead he will go down as Nate “The Idiot” Newton, one of the dumbest Cowboys of all time. Shame on Nate Newton and shame on all the people around him. Didn’t anyone have some solid advice for this guy that first time they knew of his ridiculous actions. Come to think of it, maybe a whole bunch of people were telling him not to do it and he chose not to listen. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit. I mean this is a guy who got busted with 213 pounds of weed. Then got busted with 175 pounds of weed. Then after making it out of jail alive and putting this all behind him brings it all back by going on the radio to say he wanted to be the bestest drug dealer he could be. Only one word can come to mind on this one, stupid.
——– AUTHOR: H Cox DATE: 5/17/2005 04:12:00 PM —– BODY:
Offensive Time By Howard Cox Dallas’ defense is in the spot light right now and with good reason. Big money was dished out to sign Anthony Henry and Jason Ferguson. Coupled with that the team also signed veteran CB Aaron Glenn. Look no further than the draft to compel even the weakest of fair-weather fans to know in-depth knowledge about the Cowboys defensive onslaught this off-season. Forgotten is the signing/drafting of offensive players to help a weak offense improve itself this coming season as well. Pushed to the back burner has been the signing of QB Drew Bledsoe and OG Mark Rivera. Also little talk has been heard about 4th round draft pick RB Marion Barber and 6th round pick OT Rob Petitti. The team also got a cheap backup at RB when they signed Anthony Thomas from the Chicago Bears. See they have also made attempts to bolster the offensive side of the ball this season too. Also much needed help will be returning from injury this season in WR Terry Glenn, TE Dan Campbell, OG Stephen Peterman and even WR Keyshawn Johnson. Let’s wonder around the other side of the ball for the possible starters and approach to scoring more points, which also contributes to victories alongside a good defense. Here is what I see being the starting eleven when the team opens up on the road against the San Diego Chargers. Quarterback: Drew Bledsoe – Last season he played for the Bills and led an offense that almost made it to the playoffs despite a very rough start. Nothing great out of last season other than maybe more touchdown passes than interceptions. He is a proven veteran, who knows he will start and knows Parcells’ offense already. A big plus over Vinnie being named the starter just before preseason began. Running Back: Julius Jones – Came back from shoulder injury last season to revive and dead running game and give serious help to offensive production. He runs with authority and will put up good numbers for an entire season. Solid addition after a year of wondering whom the next running back would be. Tight End: Dan Campbell and Jason Witten – I include both because Parcells’ style of offense uses more of a one back set. This gives two solid blockers up front for the running game and also two proven pass receivers to look for as well. Witten will continue to use size and ability to get open in the middle and Campbell just gives the team another option to do the same. Wide Receiver: Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn – Glenn gives them speed that was missing last season. His ability to get deep will open up underneath routes. That is where Keyshawn comes in with size and strength to be a solid possession receiver to move the chains. This also allows the running game some room with linebackers watching the middle and also maybe a deep route or two with safeties eyeing the middle. Center: Al Johnson – He came back from a rookie season injury to once again take the starting position away. He will keep that spot and ensure the middle of the line is solid in both run and pass blocking. Guards: Marco Rivera (RG) and Larry Allen (LG) – Rivera will come back from back surgery and shore up a weakness from the last two seasons. His offer to pay back his signing bonus speaks volumes about his commitment and it will pay off big. Parcells has already made comments about the improvement of Allen this off-season by saying, “He is running things he has never run before.” The middle of the line is solid for opening holes and protecting Bledsoe. Tackles: Flozell Adams (LT) and Kurt Vollers (RT) – Adams has lost weight and been mentioned by Parcells for that fact already before off-season workouts began. He is coming off a Pro Bowl season from 2003 and should return to that level this season. I go with Vollers here just because he ended the season as the starter at RT so he remains there until beaten out. Actually the position isn’t solid with anyone so it is just a hunch by me. Whoever gets the position will have Rivera beside him for help and Parcells riding him to keep up with the other four linemen. The offense hasn’t received as much notoriety as the defense but changes have been made. We will see an improved offense this season also and it should change the outlook at a playoff run for the third year Parcells group. Stand by for the team to be offensive as well, which is good for this situation.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/15/2005 12:09:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Road to the 3-4! We all know the Cowboys free agency and 2005 draft predicated what type of defense we were going to play in 2005 and the answer is the 3-4. Parcells stated that Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer has been working on the 3-4 ALL offseason, Parcells wants him to delve deep, really sink-in and soak up the makings of a 3-4. Zimmer has been holed up at Valley Ranch studying, analyzing, and configuring the 2005 defense. Zimmer comes from a football background, and has done some great things for the Cowboys defense, he’s shelled out top level defenses year-in and year-out, with the exception of last year. Last year was plagued with injuries and inconsistent play on the defense, at times the defense could not stop anybody and at times they played like they did in 2004 when they had that #1 Overall rated defense. Parcells is a defensive minded coach and was embarrassed with the defensive unit that was taking the field. Was it the absence of Darren Woodson? Sure some people say that Woodson’s leadership was a key factor in the defensive meltdowns, and to some degree this is true, if you look at the games in the past, before the 2004 season, Woodson’s absence impacted the defense. Last year the Cowboys tried to fill that void, but injury, uncertainty, and little confidence took its toll, along with a sputtering passing game the season seemed doomed. Now came the offseason, change was coming in the form of the 3-4, the defensive scheme that has won Parcells countless playoff games, championship games, and the Super Bowl. Parcells went with the 4-3 for two seasons, and knew the Cowboys had to make a move to get the defense fixed. Parcells stated he needed to fix the defense. So far, he has done this with several key acquisitions in free agency. The Cowboys upgraded the cornerback spot with Anthony Henry, and added former NY Jets player NT Jason Ferguson. The signing of Ferguson was a very key pickup. The NT position is very key in a 3-4 alignment and the signing of Ferguson gave us an early indication that the 3-4 was coming. Now came the NFL draft in April. Who would the Cowboys draft? Was is going the be Shawne Merriman, Mike Williams, Derrick Johnson? It appears the Cowboys had Troy States DE/OLB Demarcus Ware pegged all along. The Cowboys had studied him all season and gathered all the reports from their scouting dept, and the icing on the cake was Ware’s performance at the Senior Bowl, he lined up against the best seniors and was virtually unblockable, this sealed the deal. The other defensive player the Cowboys managed to steal with the #20 pick was LSU’s standout DE Marcus Spears. Ok, so we drafted Demarcus Ware and Marcus Spears, we still could play a 4-3 as a base with these draft picks, then came our 2nd round pick…would it be a FS? We needed a FS, maybe even a WR or Tackle. No, the Cowboys opted to draft Tennessee’s Team Captain OLB Kevin Burnett. Burnett was projected as a mid-late first rounder by some mock drafts and the Cowboys were able to snatch him up early in the 2nd round. At that #42 pick overall you could hear Cowboys fan’s around the globe say “3-4 baby, we’re going with the 3-4 all the way!” We now have the tools with the draft and free agency to make that alignment transistion to the 3-4. So, will the 3-4 be the base defense for the Cowboys in 2005? Yes, the Cowboys will be using the 3-4 as the base, but we will see different schemes in changeup and special situations, we’ll see some 4-3, and maybe a 4-6 in there on occasion. Let’s take an early look at who I have projected as the Cowboys starting 3-4 players: DE: Marcus “Swamp Thang” Spears – the LSU standout rookie will start immediately and fills a void from our free agent bust from last year, Marcellus Wiley. Spears was a key draft pick because, he was really the only true DE that had the size to excel in the 3-4. Typically you want those front 3 to be bigger type players. Spears brings that to the table, he has the power to collapse the pocket, and can stuff the run. NT: Jason Ferguson – Ferguson will anchor the 3-4 at NT and will do very well, Parcells knows what he brings to the table, after all he drafted him while he was at the Jets. The Pro Bowler brings bigtime game experience, power and leadership to the Dline. Ferguson specializes in run stuffing and draws double teams, he’s a beast in the middle. DE: Greg Ellis – at 271lbs. Ellis has less size than Ferguson and Spears who hover around 300lbs. Not to worry, Ellis has been an integral part of the Cowboys defense and his sack numbers continue to improve, he will do fine coming off the edge. He’s athletic and has the technique to continue to make plays on the end. OLB: Demarcus Ware – the speed, relentlessness, and playmaking abilities make him an instant impact player on defense. Ware was brought in to be in the QBs face all day. He has speed and can jump back into coverage if needed. Parcells has already made the comparisons to LT. Ware has Parcells full endorsement and that carries a lot of weight. Ware is coming onboard a pretty good defense and he will gain multitudes from the veterans. MLB: Dat Nguyen – how much does Parcells value Dat Nguyen? TONS! In fact, when the whole Darren Howard trade rumors erupted, Parcells was adamant on not trading away Dat. Parcells loves the heart and play of Dat, its undeniable. Dat will man the MLB spot and will excel in the 3-4, Dat was very effective at MLB when he played at Texas A&M, and will continue to do so this year. MLB: Bradie James – last year James started a few games in Dexter Coakley’s spot, but at times James seemed unsure and lost. In addition, the OLB spot demanded some outside coverage in the slot and James got ate up. James will move back to his true comfort zone at MLB where he played at LSU. The MLB position suits James better and right now this is his job to lose. By no means is this position a shoe-in for James, we’re going to see fierce competition from Fowler and Shanle. For now though, James gets my nod. OLB: Kevin Burnett – the defense is in need of more playmakers, and the drafting of Burnett high in the second round will bring that playmaking ability. Parcells loves leaders and team captains. Burnett was a two-time team captain at Tennessee; and now with the Cowboys, you’ll see how that translates into success on defense. Burnett started out as a safety, but eventually moved to OLB. With Burnett the Cowboys get a true OLB that can go into coverage with the slot and in the flat, he’ll take out the screen and the TE. Burnett is a big hitter, he’s well rounded in coverage and can come quick with the outside rush. Couple an outside rush with Ware and Burnett and we’re looking at a brutal arsenal on the outside rush. CB: Terence Newman – Newman is coming into his third season, and this will be his second season with the controversial pass interference rule that was put in place last year. Newman will be adapted and will have adjusted well. I fully expect his shutdown game to resurface in 2005. The frontline pressure from the Dline and LBs will be there, and this will do wonders for the cornerbacks and safeties. CB: Anthony Henry – the cornerback opposite Newman last year was a huge void and at times seemed like a circus carousel, going round-and-round with no resolve. Now comes the solild play of Henry, and cornerback coach Todd Bowles came along as well. The signing of Henry solidifies the starting corners for years to come. Henry will also excel in coverage and the aid of Roy Williams roaming around will help as well. The CBs have some added depth with the return of Hunter, Thornton, Frazier, Jones, and Reeves. Not to mention the Cowboys just added the Pro Bowl veteran Aaron Glenn. Glenn adds instant credibility and depth to the CB core. SS: Roy Williams – we should see Roy Williams leadership role expand this year, the “horse collar” rule will not stop Roy from taking you out. Roy is a solid tackler and the biggest hitter in the league. Not only does Roy bring the pain he also brings the psychological factor. When you’ve been bitten by the big bad dog, you tend to stay away don’t you, wouldn’t you? The upgrades on defense will allow Roy to play closer to the box and allow him to destroy people at the point of attack. FS: Keith Davis – its still early and we may see someone become available at the June cuts, but for right now, Keith Davis is the starting FS. Davis is more of the FS type player, a ball hawker, and he’s proven to be a key playmaker on special teams. Parcells will harness this skill and give Davis a shot to start at FS. FS is probably the only weakness or question mark for the Cowboys going into camp in July. We’ll keep on eyes on this. Did we leave anybody out? Glover perhaps? No worries, Glover is a true playmaker on the defensive line, and his speed and technique is undeniable. You’ll see Glover used as a transition player and situational. You simply cannot keep Glover off the field, and he will make plays. Worried about Glover in a 3-4 at NT? Don’t be, Glover has stated several times in interviews that he is looking forward to the new alignment, but the 3-4 is nothing new for Glover, Glover started out his football career in a 3-4 and did quite well. Coach Parcells has always stated the same comments. Glover WILL be used and WILL be effective. Rotation: In rotation, the depth is shaping up to be solid. DE Chris Canty is still recovering from his injuries, but is coming along well and could be ready for the early part of training camp. Before his injuries last season Canty was a highly rated player, and could be an absolute steal in the 4th round for the Cowboys. Canty has great size, long arms, and power to do same great things for the defense. In addition, we’ll see Ogbogu in the DE rotation, along with the rookie JayRatliff from Auburn. Carson and Brooks could see some rotation time at DT/NT. For the linebacker, we’ll see Al Singleton move into a backup rotation role. I see Burnett taking over early on in training camp. In the rotation, you’ll see Fowler, Shanle, and Thornton. For the cornerbacks, you’ll see Glenn, Frazier, Thornton, Reeves and Jones in rotation and in nickle and dime formations. For the safeties, you’ll see the rookie Justin Beriault in a backup role, most likely under Roy Williams and Lynn Scott for the backup role at FS. This area is still thin with lots of inexperience, We could see an addition here in the coming months in the form of a starting FS vet, or someone for depth purposes. Your starting defense: DE – Marcus “Swamp Thang” Spears NT – Jason Ferguson DE – Greg Ellis OLB – Demarcus Ware MLB – Dat Nguyen MLB – Bradie James OLB – Kevin Burnett CB – Terence Newman SS – Roy Williams FS – Keith Davis CB – Anthony Henry
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/12/2005 02:30:00 PM —– BODY:
It’s A Swamp Thang News is slow, and we were able to coin a nickname that will fit our Rookie DE Marcus Spears perfectly. Marcus “Swamp Thang” Spears. Spread the word, this defensive monster is going to be unleashed and cause havoc all day!
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 5/09/2005 06:14:00 AM —– BODY:
Parcells Guys Editorial Why Can’t Bill Parcells Coach Past 2006? Cowboy’s fans have heard time after time that Bill Parcells will not be with the team after his contract expires in 2006. Here’s the problem, neither Jerry Jones nor Bill Parcells has ever made this statement. The media just assumes that Parcells signed a four-year contract and if he doesn’t win a Super Bowl in that time frame he will simply walk away from the Cowboys. I think this is a rather poor assumption. The one issue always mentioned when people spoke about Coach Parcells past retirements was the idea he may un-retire at some point in time. The game of football is Bill Parcells passion in life. He has accomplished enough things in the NFL that if he retired today, his name would still be mentioned in the “best coach ever” conversations. Coach Parcells didn’t come back to the game in 2003 to earn more money or because he liked the scalding Texas heat in August. This man loves his job. He loves being around the players and coaches. Coach Parcells and Jerry Jones have grown to respect each other more and more as they discover each of them desire many of the same goals for this football team. I think all of these variables will be the same at the end of the 2006 season as they are today. A clean bill of health, plus some success in 2005 and 2006 will leave Coach Parcells with no other choice but to stay with Cowboys as their head coach. Some of you are saying that he is going to be 65 years old heading into the 2006 season. So what? There have been numerous coaches who have coached at that age in the NFL, many of them having very successful teams. I will give you one example. Marv Levy took over the Buffalo Bills head coaching position in 1986 at the age of 61. He led the Bills to four Super Bowls as their head coach. Levy was a lifer in the football world just like Coach Parcells. He retired in 1998 at the age of 72 after leading the Bills to eight playoff appearances in 11 seasons. If the Cowboys and Coach Parcells can duplicate those numbers in that amount of time us fans should consider ourselves lucky. Do not forget the three years before Bill Parcells; the team was 5-11 in each of those seasons. Ouch! Now I know there are two parties involved in deciding who coaches the Cowboys. So it isn’t entirely up to Coach Parcells if he indeed did want to continue coaching past the 2006 season. Jerry Jones also has a say in the matter. Jones came into the NFL in 1989 with deep pockets and a brash college coach, Jimmy Johnson. After two Super Bowl victories Johnson had enough reasons to move on in his career. The Cowboys did win another Super Bowl, but that victory for then head coach Barry Switzer will always have an asterisk. All of the players making up the 1995 team were Johnson’s guys. Plus most of the playbook never changed after Jimmy left town. Beginning in 1996 the Cowboys began a downward descent which most of us fans weren’t sure would ever end. Jerry had discarded Switzer by 1998 and hired guys he could control from the owner’s box during games. Chan Gailey in 1998 and Dave Campo in 2000. These guys were pawns and we should thank our lucky stars Jones realized after the 2002 season he needed a coach with some NFL pedigree to turn this thing around. Enter Coach Parcells and his three Super Bowl appearances. So far the Cowboys have had one great year and one terrible year under Parcells, but at least the rest of the NFL once again respects the franchise. Jerry Jones is no dummy. He knows as long as Coach Parcells is in Dallas there will be players willing to come here and the opportunity to win games will be very real for the Cowboys. I must admit the idea of Coach Parcells leaving after 2006 was planted in my brain as a matter of fact. But that all changed after listening to Jerry’s comments last week on Espn Radio’s Dan Patrick show. He said that Coach Parcells looked rejuvenated after bringing in some talented new player via the draft and free agency. Now I think Jerry would love to have Coach Parcells back after 2006. I think in some way Jerry has learned that being an owner in the NFL is his thing, being a coach in the NFL is not. Jerry shows his passion for the Cowboys day in and day out so we know he will do all he can to keep the Cowboys in the elite class of NFL teams. I hope Jerry and Bill decide to run this team together for a long, long time. Barring any health issues I think Coach Parcells does sign a contract extension one day, maybe for another four years. Hopefully by then he will be heading into training camp as a three or four time Super Bowl winning coach. Go Cowboys!
——– AUTHOR: Maxx Factor DATE: 5/03/2005 01:06:00 AM —– BODY:
The hitch-hiker’s guide to the Cowboys galaxy By Maxx Factor In a rush As many huddled around their radios, TV sets, and worked the refresh button on their web browsers like an old lady at a slot machine at an off-strip casino in Vegas, four syllables were going through the heads of most Cowboys fans while the clock ticked down on the 11th pick on draft day. “Shawne Merriman”looped about like a broken record. So obviously when the syllables “De-mar-kus Where” rang out like a fart in church, “blasphemy!” was cried. But that’s the blind faithful for you, always going with the guy that gets the most press. I’ll be the first to admit that I raised an eyebrow, but it was the 20th pick that had your dear Edwards-wanting Watson piecing this all together. Enter Marcus Spears, a big, 3-4-type body with a nose for the ball. Having watched some of his finer performances I was most impressed with his interior play. This guy can implode a line like a house of cards. We just may get to see those Ware situations happening as planned. Roy Williams joining the party sound good? Not so fast. The Cowboys have yet to seriously address the free safety position. Hopefully an effective pass rush being introduced to this defense can help a young guy out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the free safety position more of a committee this season kind of like we saw at second corner last season. If this pass rush shapes up like the Cowboys are hoping, there should be enough opportunities for big plays to go around. Peanut butter sandwiches Although the defense wasn’t “thu” problem with this team before the draft and it is even less of one now, the Cowboys chose to make their strongest point stronger at the 2005 NFL Draft. I cannot fault this strategy completely, but it’s starting to make me think about peanut butter sandwiches. That’s right. Peanut butter sandwiches. See, they taste good but there’s just too much peanut butter. They are hard to swallow without some jelly or at the very least a banana. I love Coach Parcells and all, but trying to swallow his “our defense gave up 25 points a game and you can’t win with that” logic, considering the abortive state of his offense in 2004, is like trying to choke down that peanut butter sandwich. Let me explain. Last season, Coach Parcells and Jones at different times pointed out the inconsistencies and ineptitudes of Offense ’04. If the Cowboys couldn’t get points on the board they couldn’t expect to win. The overtone last season of every Parcells press conference radiated offensive ineptitude and just about every phase of it. So last year “we had to score more points”, but this year “the defense can’t give up 25 points per game and expect to win.” Which is it? Let’s talk about 4 losses from the 2004 season that in addition to the six victories could have had very different outcomes had the offense just done anything. “PURPLE HAZE” Okay, it would be no surprise that the Vikings beat the Cowboys, but on opening day against the Vikings the Cowboys looked to actually be competing until five minutes after the 2nd half started. While the defense had their hands full containing that Vikings offense featuring you know who, the offense couldn’t score a single point in 25 minutes and 41 seconds. The Cowboys could not get past the 40 without fumbling. The 40 yard-line seems to be the Cowboys’ Waterloo all too frequently. Realistically, how can you ask your defense to keep going out there to stop Randy Moss if you keep fumbling the ball away and punting and not scoring for 25 minutes? Come on. Score points, get a lead on the Vikings defense for cryin’ out loud, and force the pass. It’s amazing how much easier that game gets than the mountain they created in the 2nd half. Remember, Randy Moss quits after a two score deficit and Minnesota did finish 8-8. “IF IT’S BROWN, FOR GOD SAKES FLUSH IT DOWN” Yes, defense wins championships for some teams. For other teams it just may get you a win against the 5-11 Browns. This was a war of attrition that the Cowboys would have never “won” had the defense not played above and beyond the call of duty. The Cowboys offense was an abortion. Again, they found it impossible to score a single point in well over 15 minutes against a defense begging to be scored on the whole game. Instead, the Cowboys turned the ball over four times with Vinnie Testeverde throwing three interceptions in the last 15 minutes and 42 seconds. It’s hard to say the Cowboys won this game. I would instead say they just didn’t lose. It was the defense, not the offense, that took the pressure off of themselves by being spared a winning drive situation in the final minutes of the game instead of a tying one. “THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS! NAH… NEVERMIND” 10 points against a 6-10 team aint gonna cut it. Going scoreless for the entire second half aint gonna cut it. Failing to convert a 4th and 1 is pathetic. You know what happens when your defense has been repeatedly put back on the field to chase Tiki Barber around the yard so often that they finally give up drives of 3:58, 3:15, and 3:15 in the 4th? You lose, that’s what. “CONGRATULATIONS, THE BENGALS JUST BEAT YOU… AND BAD” If that isn’t self-explanatory enough, then consider the lone Dirk Nowitzki ringer from downtown the Cowboys put on the board. Any questions? The Cowboys scored 3 points against the Bengals. Three points! THREE points! Who the hell only scores 3 points against the Bengals? That’s not enough to win some hockey games. Well, you have your health… Don’t you hate hearing that? Usually that is uttered when not much is going your way. For the Cowboys’ offense it means something different, for it might indicate that everything is going their way in 2005. The Cowboys had some offensive misfortunes last season and they contributed greatly to their offensive chaos. Obviously Julius Jones being sidelined for 8 games was a doozy. Losing Terry Glenn for the season was a killer. How prepared were the Cowboys to lose those two players? Not very. How prepared were they to lose just one of them? Equally as bad. Starting with the offensive line, the Cowboys are again putting their faith in Flozell Adams, Larry Allen, and Al Johnson, a unit that should be solid. The right side, however, is a bit more stressful to ponder. Marco Rivera, the big free agent splash, is a lock to take over right guard, obviously. Rivera is already an injury concern. If he is able to play effectively, this season that will be one less headache for Big Bill. But if Rivera goes the way of Darren Woodson, then you’re left with the green Stephen Peterman, flag machine Andre Gurode, and the human sled, Tyson Walter. The gaping hole (or non-gaping hole rather) at right tackle is a big pink elephant in the room. Assuming Pittsburgh tackle Rob Petitti isn’t a starter this season, we look to 3rd year tackle Torrin Tucker and 2nd year tackle Jacob Rogers. Does Torrin Tucker have that break-out season and nail down the fort? He’d better, because if not his fate lies in a conversation Tom Landry and Bill Parcells once had. Say it with me, “if a player hasn’t shown anything by his third year.. bla bla bla”. Tucker has some upside, so I would say he’s got a full count. Jacob Rodgers played left tackle at USC and there has been some speculation about moving Adams over to right tackle and putting Rodgers at left. Can Adams play right tackle? Who knows? This is why this shouldn’t and probably won’t happen. The Cowboys aren’t in the business of adding any more of these: ? The Cowboys simply cannot afford more than one significant first team injury to the offense this season. This becomes all the more sensitive considering the roll they will play in giving this young defense a chance to succeed. Before you entertain any question about the play of Jones, Johnson, Bledsoe, Rivera, Witten, or Glenn in 2005, first entertain the question: “will he be healthy?” They will all need to be healthy more than anything else they can be this season because, sadly again, the Cowboys can’t afford to lose any one of them.
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 5/02/2005 03:59:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Guys Editorial “Thugs” Need Not Apply Coach Parcells should get the award for Man of the Year. Parcells stated to the media in his rookie mini camp press conference last Friday that he does not want any “Thugs” on his team. Bravo! You have to love this way of thinking if you’re any kind of decent person living in America today. What is a “Thug” to Coach Parcells? Let’s answer that question on different levels. A “Thug” is the guy who feels he is so talented he needs no coaching. A “Thug” is the guy who thinks I am in the NFL so therefore I am above the law. A “Thug” is the guy who can’t wait to get out of practice because his new rims just came in for his $90,000 drop top. A “Thug” is the guy on the team that everyone knows is coming out with a rap album soon. A “Thug” is Derek Ross and Antonio Bryant rolled into one. Bring me stand up young men who appreciate the game of football. Don’t bring me super athletes who want to skip practice in the morning because they were out at the club all night. Bring me the scrappy kid will bust his ass out there on the field for the team. Don’t bring me super athletes who want to play full speed some of the time when the mood hits him. Bring me football players who lead by example and make the rest of the team better. Don’t bring me super athletes who run their mouth all day, then get in the huddle and don’t know the play the QB just called. Bring me the guy who says “we” whether the team wins or loses. Don’t bring me the guy who says “I” when the team wins, and “them” when the team loses. Bring me Demarcus Ware, Marcus Spears and Kevin Burnett. Don’t bring me Terrell Owens. Maybe I am showing my age, 33 for the record, but I have seen the recent trend of NFL players becoming media whores over the last fifteen years. These guys always self- promoting and trying to get everyone in the world to recognize them. Me, me, me has been accepted on some teams in the NFL, but these teams lose more than they win. When you have 11 guys on the field acting as one unit the chances for success are good. When you have 11 guys on the field and one guy wants to be the center of attention the chances for success are not very good. Think of it like a car with three wheels going left and the fourth wheel wants to make a right turn. Uh oh, better get Maaco! Coach Parcells made an interesting comment the other day. He praised the Patriots for the type of players they have on their team. He said “hey, I see what type of players have been winning championships the past few years”. I know, I know. I hate the Patriots too folks, but we all have to admit he has a point. Teams win championships in the NFL, not individual players. “Thugs” don’t play team football, they play me, me, me football. Funny how the Eagles picked up the loudest “Thug” in the game last season and lost in the Super Bowl. Plus he’s whining his way into a holdout and calling out his quarterback on his Super Bowl performance heading into the 2005 season. Bill Parcells is too old for “Thugs”, Jerry Jones is too old for “Thugs” and us Cowboy fans are too old for “Thugs”. The media outlets in this country should listen to this philosophy and stop giving all these knuckleheads the front-page headlines. Wouldn’t it be nice to see this headline someday “Thugless Cowboys win Super Bowl XL”. Go Cowboys!
——– AUTHOR: H Cox DATE: 5/01/2005 10:28:00 AM —– BODY:
Defensive Mastermind by Howard Cox Mike Zimmer made the biggest cut of his career just two years ago. When Bill Parcells took over as Head Coach he cleaned house of the old staff. Gone was most of the supporting cast when Dave Campo was fired. For some reason Parcells felt it a good decision to keep the young Defensive Coordinator on as director of his team’s defense. Why? He was first hired as a defensive assistant in 1994. His assignment was working with the nickel defense. At the end of the season the Dallas secondary was ranked as the top pass defense in the league. The story begins to unfold for the young coach who previously had no NFL coaching experience. In 1995 he was promoted to being in charge of the entire secondary. From 1995 – 1998 the Dallas secondary excels on the field. Tying the club record of 4 INTs returned for touchdowns. 1996 and 1998 Deion Sanders and Darrell Woodson both earn Pro Bowl honors. In ’97 they really achieved superior marks. Zimmer’s secondary finished #1 in the league in fewest completions allowed, #3 in net yards per pass play and yards per completion. 12 times opposing offenses were held to 200 yards or less, including 5 to 120 yards or less. Easily showing Zimmer had what it takes to coach in the NFL. So the following season he is promoted again to Defensive Assistant Coach. Once again in 1999 Zimmer’s secondary answered the call of their coach. The unit finished 4th in the NFC in passing defense. Tied for 6th in the NFL in interceptions and tying the team record by returning 4 for touchdowns. All this while injuries forced Zimmer into using 5 different starting lineups throughout the season. Looking back over his first 6 years as an NFL defensive coach you can start to see just what Parcells noticed when he arrived in Irving, TX in 2003. We must retrace back to the year 2000 first, so take another ride with me into the career of our Defensive Coordinator. Dallas then brought in a new Head Coach named Dave Campo. Why is this important? Only because during Zimmer’s time in the secondary his boss as Defensive Coordinator was none other than Dave Campo. With his promotion to Head Coach, Campo knew he needed a solid leader for the entire defense. His choice was to give the position to Mike Zimmer. Now Zimmer controlled not only the Dallas secondary but the front seven as well. A daunting task for any young coach, even more so under the spotlight of “America’s Team” and owner Jerry Jones. A few seasons had passed since Dallas ran among the top teams and the owner was attempting to put the pieces together again to get his team included in “Super Bowl talk” once again. The 2000 season wasn’t easy for the new defensive coach. Injuries caused 5 starters to miss a total of 33 games. No excuses are allowed though because injuries happen and games must still be played, and won. As a unit, during Zimmer’s “rookie” year, they answered the challenge. Once again the secondary lead the way finished ranked 3rd in the league for yards allowed and overall Dallas’ defense finished ranked 19th in total defense. A decent end to his first season but not enough to come through with playoff level football. So in 2001 all he did was improve the defense from 19th overall to 4th overall in the league. They raised the run defense from 31st the previous year to 13th, showing the biggest turnaround in the league for rushing yards allowed. Continuing to shine the secondary finished 3rd again. In 2002 Zimmer’s secondary sported 2 rookies starters in safety Roy Williams and cornerback Derek Ross. Despite having the youngest secondary in the league the unit still was able to perform solidly. Rankings didn’t look good, being 19th vs. the pass and 15th vs. the run (18th overall), but the defense still showed substantial performances. The two rookies finished with 5 interceptions each, the defense allowed just 32 touchdowns (7th best in the league) with only 10 rushing (5th best in the league). This was the resume Bill Parcells got to read when he became the head coach in 2003. Now you know the answer to the question “Why” from the opening paragraph. Dallas had a solid leader on the defensive side of the ball and Parcells knows – “Defenses Win Championships”. During Parcells first year the defense ranked overall #1 and #2 in points allowed. He knew he had made the right decision. 2004 saw one injury takes its toll on the secondary when safety Darren Woodson missed the entire season. Other personnel decisions backfired and the defense struggled greatly. Unflinching, Parcells regrouped with signing three key free agents for the defense and also restocking it with solid young draft picks. Zimmer has the goods to put together another solid defense and the league shall not be laughing once they take the field in 2005. Standing ovation for Mike Zimmer and his Defensive Mastermind!!!
——– AUTHOR: H Cox DATE: 4/27/2005 09:57:00 PM —– BODY:
The Heart of the Matter by Howard Cox Teams have spent many hours pouring over film, in depth studying of interviews and talks within their camps. They come knowing just who they will add to their roster with each pick. Some enter also planning to make trades to improve their positions or acquire more picks. They know everything about the players who desire to make the professional level. How fast they cover 40 yards, how many times they can bench press 250 lbs., how far they can jump, how high they can jump, how much weight they can squat and a number of other criteria thought to inform teams on how the players will perform at the top of their chosen profession. Among the most important attributes studied about each player is their height and weight. A player’s stock can drop just simply because he is an inch too short or a few pounds over/under weight compared to what is considered the “ideal” size for the position they play. One player, who eagerly awaited his name to be called, was among those considered too small to make much of a difference at the pro level of football. At 5’9” and about 200 lbs. he is thought to be undersized to become an everyday Running Back. The first round began, team after team named who they wanted and the young player was not among them. Dallas’ turn came around, at #17, and Emmitt Smith finally got his aspiration. The commissioner clearly stated, “With the 17th pick, in the 1990 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys take Emmitt Smith, Running Back from the University of Florida.” Elation passed through his very soul as he comprehended he was going to get the chance to prove himself in the National Football League. Everyone knows how that pick ended. Pretty good for an undersized player thought to not be much of a threat. What everyone didn’t know was the size of the heart inside that pushed him to succeed. Fast forward to last season and remember the fans, including myself, wondering just what Parcells and company were on when they traded away from any choice of Running Back they wished. The word came down confirming our worst fear, Dallas had traded away their first round pick. When next they came around a groan went up from the masses upon hearing the name Julius Jones. Who was this guy from Notre Dame? He was no Stephen Jackson. How could he possibly be the answer to take up the yoke of the Cowboys’ running game? By the end of the season that question was forgotten and I, along with all Dallas fans, were walking around with a swagger discussing the return of the proud heritage recently vacated by Emmitt Smith. Missing one year of college football had not daunted his desire to achieve the ambition of being an NFL Running Back. Other players in the league overcome much the same “doubt” due to size. Just ask opposing offensive players who have collided with Dat Nguyen or Zach Thomas. It isn’t just the physical size of the body that declares the ability but more so the size of the heart deep within. Much is stated about the capability of this year’s draft picks but let’s rest easy knowing Parcells once again has shown his talent to judge that fire burning within. Countless questions will be asked though I have but one. To each new Dallas Cowboy: How big is your heart?
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 4/26/2005 12:03:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Guys Editorial Hey Texas, Are you ready for some Bill Parcells Defense? Let me start this up with a little background on myself. I am from NY, lived here my whole life since birth and I have been a football fan since I was about 8 years old. My father was a huge football fan, in particular the Giants. So I know Coach Parcells for many years now. I was 11 when he became the head coach of the Giants and I have always followed his career in coaching. NO, I was never a Giants fan and the Cowboys Blue Star has always guided my football life. Go Cowboys! When Coach Parcells took over the Giants he was lucky because Lawrence Taylor was already in place on that team. Well now the new “LT” is going to be a part of Coach Parcells team in Dallas. DeMarcus Ware is the new “LT” and if I am wrong so what, a boy can dream can’t he? When Coach Parcells came to Dallas in 2003 Mike Zimmer’s 4-3 defense had been doing ok. Coach Parcells really didn’t have the personnel on the team to run his preferred 3-4 so he wasn’t in a hurry to make a change anyway. Now let’s jump to 2004. Somebody tell me what the heck happened to the defense that was doing ok. The Cowboys 2004 defense never seemed to even resemble the 2003 defense at any point in any game. That scenario did not rest easy with Coach Parcells this off-season and we all saw some sort of change coming. Was it time to scrap the old 4-3 defense and crossover to the Parcells style 3-4 defense? You bet your *** it was and this draft sure the heck put it in bold print if you had any doubts. The Cowboys will run the 3-4 pressure defense in 2005. I said it and I will bet the farm if need be people. Coach Parcells made one point in a post draft interview, “I told the defensive coaches to learn the 3-4 this off-season”. No one learns a new defensive scheme because there is a chance the Cowboys may use it in 2005. I have faith Coach Zimmer can do a great job running the 3-4 defense. He is a football coach and has been around football his entire life. Coach Parcells would have just let Zimmer go if he didn’t have faith in him learning the 3-4 and running it successfully in Dallas. Let’s get to these two first rounders who are going to be competing for the Super Bowl MVP trophy next February. The #11 pick, DeMarcus Ware, is the new LT as we have already learned. I am guessing double digit sacks for this rookie and I guarantee no more 12 second pass plays for Donovan “I didn’t have enough soup from my mama before the Super Bowl” McNabb. The #20 pick , DE Marcus Spears, is a rock solid player coming from an LSU program that two years ago won the national title. Marcus Spears was a big reason that team won the national championship. He will come in to the Cowboys and start immediately at defensive end opposite Greg Ellis. He has size, speed and the smarts to go along with being a high character guy. He’s already a Parcells Guy and he hasn’t even been fitted for a helmet yet! Getting both of these guys just made the NFC East a two team race and I know the Eagles players and coaches are thinking the same thing. It wasn’t enough that Coach Parcells got the top two defensive linemen in the draft, but then the Cowboys go and snag one of the best LB’s in the second round with Tennessee’s Kevin Burnett. This kid will be a starter on defense before the 2005 season ends. If I am Al Singleton I am looking to start playing the best football of my career if I plan on staying employed in Texas. Burnett is a leader first and fore most, he was the defensive team captain since his Junior season at Tennessee. He is a big LB and that’s what Coach Parcells wants for his new 3-4 defense. Solid, solid, solid draft pick and will be a Parcells Guy when his career is all said and done. I loved it when Julius Jones was on the field last year as the Cowboys running back. I hated it when anyone else was on the field as the Cowboys running back. That should change in 2005. The first of the two fourth round draft picks is RB Marion Barber III from Minnesota. How did this guy fall so far in the draft? He was a productive back his entire college career and comes from a football background as his dad played for the Jets back in the 80’s. Here’s another player who has football in his blood, and we all know Coach Parcells loves guys who have been around football their whole lives. Barber will come off the bench to spell Julius and I know at some point next season I will be yelling “Go Barber, Go”. Trade, we have a trade. The Cowboys traded with none other than the hated Eagles to move up and grab DE Chris Canty in the fourth round. This guy has a few injuries to get over before he gets on the field, but when that is all taken care of this guy is going to be awesome. He blew out his knee last fall, but it’s on the mend so that should be ok in time. Now this other injury may be more of a concern. Canty was hit in the face with a bottle as an innocent bystander and suffered a detached retina, ouch! He stated in his post draft conference that he isn’t concerned and that the injury will be monitored and should fully recover from the injury. I sure hope so, this guy could be the steal of the draft with his size and athleticism at 6’7, 290lbs. There are two positions on this team where there is no sure fire starter in place, Free Safety and Right Tackle. We drafted two guys in the sixth round we hope can come in and give us their best shot to try and fill those positions. Safety Justin Beriault comes from Ball State as a candidate for the open Free Safety spot. He wasn’t spectacular in college but Coach Parcells must have seen something in him. Beriault said when Coach Parcells spoke to him he told him there was an empty spot at Safety and asked him if he wanted to come down and try to take it. Of course the kid said he would, wouldn’t you? That pesky Right Tackle position was supposed to be solved in last years draft with Jacob Rogers, no such luck. Rob Petitti was considered a good lineman his entire college career at Pitt, but as is often the case with late round draft picks he has a red flag on his record. Petitti has had problems with his weight ballooning out of control at times and will need to get down to a playing weight determined by Coach Parcells. If this kid can control his weight the Right Tackle spot could be his for years to come. Seventh round pick, DT Jay Ratliff from Auburn, must have been doing something right because the defense he played on last season was awesome. I don’t know if he can garner much playing time as there is a log jam all of a sudden on the defensive line, but Coach Parcells will give him every opportunity to go into training camp and shock the world. I’m rooting for you rookie! Grade for this draft: Super Duper! Coach Parcells is getting guys who remind him of players that helped him win two Super Bowls with the Giants. I can go with that. Let’s just let Coach Parcells do his thing on defense. He tried to cook up a Super Bowl team with someone else’s ingredients and we got to eat our burnt defense week after week in 2004. So now we can sit back in 2005 and watch him cook up one of his favorite 3-4 dishes in 2005 and hopefully we are chewing on a Super Bowl XL victory next February. I know one thing, I’m starving for a dominant defense and we have one the best cooks in the world with Coach Parcells in the kitchen!
——– AUTHOR: Brian Aust DATE: 4/24/2005 06:44:00 AM —– BODY:
Ware’s the Love? by Brian Aust Bill knew the stakes. He knew that everyone expected the Cowboys to use their position in this draft to pick up impact players. Lucky for Bill, when the draft dominoes cascaded to the Cowboys, the nameplate for every front-seven defender was left untouched. After months of waxing it microscopic on the catalog of NFL prospects, taking special care to evaluate those that could possibly be taken with their two first-round picks, Bill couldn’t ask for an easier choice – just take the top guy. When the NFL Commissioner introduced Demarcus Ware as the newest Cowboy, a smile invaded my face. Despite the defensive effort of an admittedly confused brain, the smile simply took over. I enjoyed that moment for two reasons. First, because I trust Bill. Even though I have only witnessed Ware play twice, despite his apparent lack of size and taking into consideration he came from a small school, I know the Cowboys brought in a special player. Bill had his choice and he picked Ware. That says something. Secondly, I knew that with Shawne Merriman and Derrick Johnson left on the board at the time the Cowboys picked, Bill’s decision would bring unrest in Cowboys camps throughout the country. No one enjoys a good dust-up more than yours truly. Given Bill’s legacy, I had a hard time believing that I would be put in a position to defend Bill’s choice. Just the same, I began blinking over ink just in case some devout Merriman-follower tried to tell me how Bill mortgaged Dallas’ future. I had already taken in what the “experts” had to say about Ware. I needed fresh meat for the doubting jackals. I turned to them most credible source of information regarding football players – the opinions of people that know the player the best – those that coached him, those that game-planned for him, and the player himself. “Demarcus Ware is a nobody” the stubborn Merriman-fan will likely contend. “There’s a reason he played at Troy,” Mr. Stuck-on-DJ would follow up with, showing his complete disregard for the history the Cowboys have with small school players. Middle Tennessee State head coach Andy McCollum, in an article by the Troy Messenger’s Andy Brown, disagrees. “Defensively, this is probably the best team we have seen all year – and that includes Florida,” said McCollum said of Troy. “Their defensive end, Demarcus Ware, is as good as there is in the country,” McCollum added. “He will make a lot of money playing this game. He’s a difference maker and he’s a great person. He has a great attitude and great character. He plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played.” Troy State head coach Larry Blakeney adds his two cents to the argument through Andy Brown and the Troy Messenger as well. “The success Demarcus has had here over his four years doesn’t surprise me at all,” Blakeney said. “It doesn’t surprise me because I know what kind of person Demarcus Ware is. I know how hard he works to be the player that he is.” Blakeney adds, “There’s no telling what Demarcus could do if I could get the officials to call some holding penalties and stop offensive linemen from holding him on every single play. I mean every single play! He might lead the world in sacks if I could stop that from happening.” “Demarcus is going to be held,” Blakeney continued. “He’s going to get a chip block from the running back on his way out of the backfield and he’s going to get double teamed on every play, but he is still going to make plays.” Blakeney is right about making plays. Ware was among the nation’s leaders in sacks and tackles for loss, which becomes more impressive when you figure Troy State, in its I-A infancy, traded punches with the likes of LSU, South Carolina, Missouri and Marshall in 2004. Nearly every story on the Trojans mentions Ware in some capacity – either by detailing how extensive the “Stop Demarcus” game plan was, or by listing his game-changing highlights. Ware has spent years reading coverage of a team where he’s the only thing worth writing about, yet he hasn’t strayed from humility. When Andy Brown of the Troy Messenger asked Ware where the credit for his success should go, Demarcus wasn’t interested in self-serving. “Really, I just have to give it all up to my teammates,” Ware said. “The other guys on the defensive line do a great job of taking on blocks and freeing me up to make plays. Without them doing what they do, I wouldn’t be able to have the success I have had. I just have to thank them.” Pardon the pun, but “Ware’s the love” Mr. Merriman-fan and Mr. Stuck-on DJ? Demarcus Ware is a catalytic, up-field playmaker that earns the respect of everyone he meets – on and off the field. He’s humble. He’s coachable. He has everything you could wish for in a Cowboy. Most importantly, he has something that Merriman and DJ do not – the endorsement of one of the greatest coaches in history.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/23/2005 11:37:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells: Day 2 Draft Magic Without a doubt, the Cowboys are on a misson, they have proven it with free agency, and this philosophy continued on Sat on Day 1 of the 2005 Draft. Without a 3rd rounder we missed out on some good quality prospects. Another issue at hand is the free safety situation. Will it be addressed in the draft? It was hoped we would pick up Pool or Bullocks, but they were quickly gobbled up before we could blink, we’re not even sure FS was going to be targeted with that 2nd rounder, but if we intend to hit on a FS, it should be early on Day 2, as in the 4th round. Who else could we be looking at drafting on day2? Here are some positional players of intereset still available: Cowboys Interested** Safety: Sean Considine FS 6’0” 205 Iowa** Gerald Sensabaugh FS 6-2 210 North Carolina Donte Nicholson SS 6’2” 210 Oklahoma James Butler FS 6’3” 210 Georgia Tech Vince Fuller FS 6’0” 185 Virginia Tech** Ernest Shazor SS 6’4” 225 Michigan Brandon Browner CB 6’4” 205 Oregon State Offensive Tackle: Wesley Britt OT 6’7” 315 Alabama David Stewart OT 6’6” 320 Mississippi State Anthony Alabi OT 6’6” 325 TCU Michael Munoz OT 6’5” 315 Tennessee Running Back: Ciatrick Fason RB 5’11” 215 Florida T.A. McLendon RB 5’11” 215 NC State Marion Barber RB 5’11” 215 Minnesota Darren Sproles RB 5’7” 185 Kansas State Cedric Houston RB 6’0” 220 Tennessee Alvin Pearman RB 5’10” 205 Virginia** Lionel Gates RB 6’0” 225 Louisville Wide Receiver: Fred Gibson WR 6’4” 200 Georgia J.R. Russell WR 6’3” 205 Louisville** Jerome Mathis WR 5’10” 180 Hampton** Craig Bragg WR 6’2” 190 UCLA Steve Savoy WR 5’11” 195 Utah Airese Currie WR 5’11” 185 Clemson** Reggie Harrell WR 6’3” 215 Texas Christian** Defensive Tackle: C. J. Mosley DT 6’3” 305 Missouri** Anttaj Hawthorne DT 6’3” 295 Wisconsin Lynn McGruder DT 6’3” 300 Oklahoma Anthony Bryant DT 6’3” 335 Alabama Lorenzo Alexander DT 6’3” 305 California Defensive End: Chris Canty DE 6’7” 283 Virginia Bill Swancutt DE 6’4” 260 Oregon State** George Gause DE 6’5” 270 South Carolina Trent Cole DE/OLB 6’4” 250 Cincinnati** Jonathan Goddard DE/OLB 6’0” 245 Marshall Guard: Elton Brown G 6’6” 335 Virginia Chris Kemoeatu G 6’4” 335 Utah** Pete McMahon OT/G 6’6” 335 Iowa Wes Sims OT/G 6’5” 310 Oklahoma Linebacker: Lance Mitchell ILB 6’2” 240 Oklahoma Robert McCune ILB 6’1” 240 Louisville** Derek Curry OLB 6’3” 235 Notre Dame Derek Wake OLB 6’3” 245 Penn State Mike Goolsby ILB 6’3” 245 Notre Dame
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 4/20/2005 07:29:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Guys Editorial Who was the best draft pick in Dallas Cowboy’s history? The criteria are pretty simple here. I based the decision on which player I thought had the most impact on the Cowboys relative to where he was chosen in the draft. I looked over every draft in the history of the Cowboys and the answer to this question was pretty simple after my research was done. Emmitt Smith was by far the best draft pick in Dallas Cowboys history. I guess the percentage is pretty high that most would say he is the best Dallas Cowboy player ever, but that’s what also makes him the best draft pick ever. There were others who were awesome draft day selections. There were others who were definitely worthy of making the final list. I just could not find anyone who did what Emmitt Smith did coming from where he was selected in the draft. I don’t really think anyone would even consider challenging me on this either. Here are the top five draft picks I came up with before deciding that Emmitt was the winner by a large margin, they are listed in no particular order. Bob Lilly – 13th player selected in the 1st round, 1961. How about the first official draft pick in the team’s history becoming one the best defensive lineman in NFL history. Not bad for a team pretty new in the art of drafting, we can thank Coach Landry for this pick. Now is he a better pick than Emmitt? No, because Lilly wasn’t the best defensive lineman of all time and the team only won 1 Super Bowl while he was a Cowboy. Roger Staubach – 129th player selected in the 10th round, 1964. Rodger Dodger was such a great pick because there a chance he would never even play for the Cowboys. Staubuch attended the Naval Academy and after graduating he was committed to four years of service for the Navy. He became the starting QB in 1971 and led the Cowboys to four Super Bowls in the 70’s, while winning the big game in 1971 and 1977. Now is he a better pick than Emmitt? No, because while he was maybe the greatest Cowboy’s QB of all time (calm down Aikman fans) and he was a 10th round selection he wasn’t the NFL’s greatest QB of all time, plus he only has two rings to Emmitt’s three. Add in the fact that Emmitt has no SB losses, while Roger has two gives Emmitt the edge in my book. Chad Hennings – 290th player selected in the 11th round, 1988. Hennings was another Military man, he attended The Air Force Academy, who was drafted late because of his military commitment. He was voted as the top Defensive Lineman in 1987 by winning the Outland Trophy Award. Henning would have been a first rounder had he not been committed to the fulfilling his military obligation. Now I know he wasn’t a Hall of Famer, but he makes the list because he was a member of three Super Bowl teams after being selected in the 11th round. Was he a better draft pick than Emmitt? No, I don’t care if he was taken in the 110th round he cannot compare to Emmitt as far as what he meant to the Cowboy’s Super Bowl teams. Herschel Walker – 114th player selected in the 5th round, 1985. He was drafted while he was playing in the USFL. Again this was a similar situation to Staubach and Hennings in that there was a chance this guy may never play for the Cowboys. Luckily the USFL folded and the Cowboys owned the rights to sign him to a contract. Now while he may have had some success while playing in his short career for the Cowboys, the real reason he gets a vote from me is because of the block buster trade with the Vikings in 1989. If the Cowboys didn’t have him to trade they may never have even won one Super Bowl never mind winning three in four years. Now taking into consideration all the draft picks the Cowboys received back in that trade, one of which was used to select Emmitt Smith, and the few good years he had for the Cowboys ask the question. Was he a better draft pick than Emmitt Smith? No, because even though the Cowboys were able to get Emmitt and a host of other players with all those draft picks someone still had to make the choice to take Emmitt Smith with one those picks. So I guess to be fair I have to at least give the Herschel Walker draft pick the number two spot behind Emmitt Smith because in a round about way Herschel did bring us the greatest running back of all time. Emmith Smith – 17th player selected in the 1st round, 1990. The NFL’s All-Time leading rusher! Three Super Bowl trophies in his possession, one Super Bowl MVP trophy, 1993 NFL MVP, Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1990, 4 NFL Rushing Titles, 11 straight 1000 yard seasons, NFL’s All-Time Rushing TD leader, 7 Pro Bowls, 6 time NFL All-Pro and here’s my favorite one – NFL All-Time rushing attempts leader. Wow. How the heck did 16 teams pass on this guy in 1990? Even if you had the best running back in the league in 1989 you should have taken Smith. Some of you may be saying well he was a great pick, but he was a first rounder and he should have been this great. Sorry to burst your bubble, but let’s take a look at some guys drafted within the top ten picks in the year of their draft that should have been great running backs. Bo Jackson was the # 1 overall pick in 1986, Alonzo Highsmith was the # 3 overall pick in 1987, Tim Worley was the # 7 overall pick in 1989, Blair Thomas was the # 2 overall pick in 1990, Garrison Hearst was the # 3 overall pick in 1993, Ki-Jana Carter was the # 1 overall pick in 1995. That’s six guys who were drafted around the same time as Emmitt who never even came close to accomplishing the things Emmitt accomplished. No one could have said back in 1990 that Emmitt would wind up becoming the NFL’s All-time leading rusher while leading the Cowboys to three Super Bowls, but after watching him for all these years I can say that he was definitely the greatest draft pick in Dallas Cowboy’s history.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/19/2005 08:13:00 PM —– BODY:
Final Part – Onward to NFL Draft 2005: Day 1 Scenarios and Other Positional Needs So Draft Day is upon us, its clear the Cowboys top three priorities in this draft should be DE, LB, and Safety. These three picks need to be sure shot starters, the talent level for these three guys needs to be a virtual sure thing if we plan on fill the voids on defense, anything less will be detrimental to the team. Even if we trade down picks and pick up some more 3rds or another 2nd at best, we’ll take a stab at what the first three picks could be. 3 Picks to Dominance 1. Shawne Merriman 2. Marcus Spears 3. Pool/Bullocks 1. Derrick Johnson 2. Justin Tuck 3. Pool/Bullocks 1. DeMarcus Ware 2. Marcus Spears 3. Pool/Bullocks 1. Shawne Merriman 2. Darryl Blackstock 3. Pool/Bullocks *1. Marcus Spears 2. DeMarcus Ware 3. Blackstock/Burnett Spears Factor Why the interest in Marcus Spears, he’s not a speed pass rusher, isn’t that what we need? Well, maybe Spears in not a pure speed rusher, but Spears can get to the QB, he’s big and strong, his technique is well rounded enough to cause havoc. The reason you may see Spears drafted is because he is really the only DE that has the size and skills to play in either a 4-3 and 3-4 with success in BOTH alignments. If you want a good front in a 3-4 you want size and power, Spears fills these requirements. In the 4-3, he’s your rusher, and your run stuffer at the sametime. Also, don’t be surprised if Spears is the Cowboys target with either the 1st or 2nd first rounder. If you look at our last Scenario* you’ll see Spears go first, then Ware, then Blackstock or Burnett, this screams 3-4 all the way home, and man, would that be brutal – you want 3-4, this scenario will get you there, throw in the other LBs we have and the LB core is deep. Watch the Spears pick. Other Positional Needs Predicting the draft is almost impossible to predict, so while we think it could be defense all the way with our 1st three picks don’t be shocked at all if we take a shot at a WR or OT. Also, somewhere in this draft we need a solid backup RB, and even another DT would be good for depth purposes and more. Here are some other prospects the Cowboys may be looking at: Wide Receivers • Mike Williams – USC – 6’4” 230 4.58/40 (Early 1st, unlikely pick, but possible if he falls) • Troy Williamson – S.Carolina – 6’1” 205 4.32/40 (possible pick mid 1st+) • Roddy White – UAB – 6’1” 204 4.45/40 (late 1st early 2nd rounder) • Terrence Murphy – Texas A&M – 6’1” 202 4.39/40 (2nd rounder) • Brandon Jones – Oklahoma – 6’1” – 208 4.45/40 (3rd-4th rounder) • Craig Bragg – UCLA – 6’1” 200 – 4.50/40 (4th rounder) • J.R. Russell – Louisville – 6’3” 206 4.56/40 (4th rounder) Offensive Tackles • Alex Barron – FSU – 6’7” 320 4.83/40 (early 1st rounder) • Khalif Barnes – Washington – 6’6” 305 4.92/40 (mid 1st rounder) • Jammal Brown – Oklahoma – 6’6” 316 5.03/40 ( mid 1st rounder+) • Adam Terry – Syracuse – 6’6” 330 5.37/40 (2nd rounder) • Michael Munoz – Tennessee – 6’5” 305 5.30/40 (3rd rounder) • David Stewart – Ole Miss – 6’6” 325 318 5.25/40 (4th rounder) • Adam Synder – Oregon – 6’5” 316 5.04/40 (4th-5th rounder) Running Backs • Ciatrick Fason – Florida – 6’1” 209 4.57/40 (2nd rounder) • J.J. Arrington – California – 5’9” 214 4.40/40 (2nd-3rd rounder) • Ryan Moats – Louisana Tech – 5’10” 210 4.46/40 (3rd rounder) • Eric Shelton – Louisville – 6’2” 245 4.53/40 (3rd rounder) • Cedric Houston – Tennessee – 5’10” 223 4.60/40 (4th rounder) • Darren Sproles – Kansas St. – 5’7” 187 4.47/40 (5th rounder) • Maurice Clarett – Ohio St. – 5’11” 236 4.67/40 (5th rounder) • Alvin Pearman – Virginia – 5’9” 205 4.54/40 (6th rounder) Defensive Tackles • Travis Johnson – FSU – 6’4” 296 4.90/40 (mid 1st rounder+) • Shaun Cody – USC – 6’4” 292 5.03/40 (late 1st rounder) • Jonathan Babineaux – Iowa – 6’2” 286 4.87/40 (3rd rounder) • C.J. Mosley – Missouri – 6’2” 312 5.09/40 (3rd rounder) • Atiyyah Ellison – Missouri – 6’4” 305 4.95/40 (4th rounder)
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/18/2005 09:45:00 PM —– BODY:
Part III – Onward to NFL Draft 2005: Safeties We’ve examined what appear to be the Cowboys top two immediate needs with DE and LB. When talking about holes in the defense, you must consider the gapping hole vacated by future hall of famer Darren Woodson. Right now, we know Roy Williams will occupy the SS safety spot, so what the Cowboys will be looking for is a coverage Free Safety. This draft class is not deep with top tier safeties, so if the Cowboys want to get someone who can step on the field and start on opening day, then safety should be looked at on Day 1, most likely in the 2-3rd round. We’ll take a look at some players that will fit the mold of what we’re looking for, in addition, we’ll examine a few CBs who could be drafted to move over to FS. • Brodney Pool – Oklahoma – 6’1” 202lbs. 4.54/40 Pool could be the perfect fit for free safety. Pool has been consistent at OU, part of a defense that has dominated while he was there. Good burst speed, ball hawk playmaking abilities, and game experience with a good defensive unit will make Pool a targeted player come draft day. Draft thought: Has the physical tools and game experience to step on the field and start immediately fo the Cowboys. (drafted late 1st/early 2nd) • Josh Bullocks – Nebraska – 6’0” 201lbs. 4.55/40 Bullocks has pretty good cover skills for the TE and slant slot WR, has the quickness to play in coverage and make plays in the middle of the field.Cowboys attended the Huskers ProDay and Bullocks could be the guy drafted to fill the free safety void. Draft thought: More of a coverage guy and not a big hitter, he will blanket players and go for the playmaking INTs. (drafted mid 2nd round+) • Sean Considine – Iowa – 6’0” 212lbs. 4.50/40 A natural player at free safety and well rounded for the spot. Considine is a guy that has excelled at coverage, and going for the ball, in addition, he will lay the wood on you when given the chance. His variety of skills for a free safety will interest the Cowboys on draft day Draft thought: Tough player who has a lot of heart and excels at his position. Should do well in the right system (drafted 3rd round+) • Vincent Fuller – Virginia Tech – 6’1” 190lbs 4.47/40 After Fuller, the free safety talent becomes a complete lottery and talent level drops off significantly. Fuller has good work ethic, consistent play and will make coverage plays, break up passes, and can make the hit when needed. Don’t be surprised if the Cowboys wait until early day 2 to try someone at FS. Draft thought: Fuller played in a pretty good defensive unit, and should do well in a Cowboys system if called up. (drafted 4th round+) Other Notable Players to Watch: • Corey Webster – LSU – 6’0” 200lbs. 4.59/40 ( size, speed, coverage skills, and a hitter could make the move) • Marlin Jackson – Michigan – 6’1” 200lbs. 4.45/40 (great speed, physical player, could excell at move to FS) • Jordan Beck – Cal Poly 6’2” 233lbs. 4.45/40 (game experiance, speed, may be drafted for FS Day 2 pick) Next: Other Priorities
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/17/2005 01:04:00 PM —– BODY:
Part II – Onward to NFL Draft 2005: Linebackers We’ve taken an indepth look at some impact defensive ends that the Cowboys could be targeting. In our latest installement we’ll look at some linebacks the Cowboys may be looking at. We know Shawne Merriman and DeMarcus Ware are “tweener” types, so we won’t rehash what they can bring to the table; however, keep them in consideration when talking about LBs.

Cowboys Priorities on Day 1 should address DE ,but LB is a close second. The two guys that bring the Cowboys most versatility are Merriman and Ware. The Cowboys will have the opportunity to pick up any of these other LBs if they are still available and a need when its time to draft. The Cowboys let Coakley go, so for the 4-3 there’s a hole there, and Bradie James failed to get the job done last year when given the opportunity. LB could be addressed early. Lets take a look at some linebackers the Cowboys may be targeting.
• Derrick Johnson – Texas – 6’3” 242lbs. 4.52/40 Its unclear how much interest if any the Cowboys may have in drafting DJ. There’s a good chance he may not even be available at #11, but if he still available, the Cowboys should look into drafting the playmaking LB. From all the linebackers projected to go early, Johnson brings gamebreaking plays on defense, forced fumbles, strip aways and bone crushing hits. He’s all over the field and will be an impact starter. Will excell in a 4-3, and will do well in a 3-4. He has the quickness to make that outside rush a success. Draft thought: Johnson is a sureshot pick for our weaknesses at LB, can play in a 4-3 or 3-4, very athletic to be a great linebacker in any defensive scheme. (drafted #2-15 overall) • Darryl Blackstock – Virginia – 6’3” 247lbs. 4.70/40 Blackstock is another solid linebacker the Cowboys will have a shot at late in 1st or 2nd round. Blackstock has great size and has been very consistent at Virginia, a tackling machine with 237 tackles and 27 sacks during his 3 years as a starter. If the Cowboys draft DE early, and they are targeting a pure linebacker, Blackstock could be the guy. Draft thought: With a gapping holes in the LB core, Blackstock will bring an immediate boost and impact starter. He will produce and make plays. (drafted #25-early 2nd) • Kevin Burnett Tennessee 6’3” 239lbs. 4.58/40 Looking for someone who has speed and will make the tackles anywhere in the field? Burnett could be another top notch linebacker targeted with our 2nd first round pick. Burnett brings very solid play at his position and team leadership, in addition he’ll bring a solid rush on the blitz. Burnett had 120 solo tackles last season, lots of production and production is something the Cowboys need from the linebacker position. Draft thought: Solid play is what will bring Burnett onto the Cowboys radar come draft time. Production and consistency. (drafted #25-early 2nd) • Robert McCune – Louisville – 6’1” 240lbs. 4.42/40The fastest LB coming out this year, a pure speedster and makes big hits all over the field, speed to penetrate the line and will wreak havoc and makes plays in the backfield. McCune is more of a MLB. Will do well in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. Draft thought: Speed to get to the backfield and quarterback make him a linebacker of interest. (drafted mid 2nd round+) • Barrett Ruud – Nebraska – 6’2” 250lbs. 4.65/40Cowboys have shown interest in Ruud, by attending Huskers Proday. Ruud has a nonstop motor and explosive attitude that encompasses field leadership and more. Has all the makings of an impact player, and steal in this years draft. Ruud may be underrated and overlooked with all the hype of other big names, but Ruud has the game experience, intelligence, and physical tools to start on opening day. Draft thought: More of an inside linebacker and sideline-to-sideline specialist, he doesn’t let many running backs get past him, his game experience and game intelligence have him on the Cowboys board. (drafted mid 2nd+) Other Notable Linebackers to Watch: • Channing Crowder Florida 6’0″ 252lbs. 4.71/40 (knee injuries, but has recovered, risky Day1 pick) • Jonathan Goddard Marshall 6’0” 238lbs 4.68/40 (listed as DE and sack artist, but will play LB in pros late day1+) • Derek Curry – Notre Dame 6’1” 236lbs. 4.83/40 (lots of game experience solid tackler Day 2 pick) • Keelan Jackson – Texas A&M 6’1” 230 lbs. 4.70/40 (solid tackler and special teams Day 2 pick) • Trent Cole – Cinncinnati – 6’2” 238lbs. 4.78/40 (played DE will excel as passh rushing OLB in 3-4, drawn the attention of Cowboys watch for this guy, early Day 2 pick) • Jordan Beck – Cal Poly 6’2” 233lbs. 4.45/40 (game experiance, speed, may be drafted for FS Day 2 pick) • Robert Rodriguez – UTEP 6’0” 237 lbs. 4.83/40 (special teams tackling specialist Day 2 pick) Next: Safeties
——– AUTHOR: H Cox DATE: 4/17/2005 12:27:00 PM —– BODY:
Wishing Upon A Star by Howard Cox
The year is 1959 and aspiring NFL team owners Clint Murchison, Jr., and Bedford Wynne approach New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Tom Landry to become their Head Coach when they are awarded an expansion franchise by the NFL. The NFL came calling and awarded them a team during the annual meeting on January 28th, 1960. The “Star” was beginning to shine. Early on the team struggled, with a first year record of 11 losses and 1 tie, finishing last in the Western Conference. The effort, to build a good team, continued until 1965 when the team finally finished with a .500 record of 7 wins and 7 losses. The NFL was about to awaken to a new challenger amongst already proven playoff teams. At the completion of the 1966 season the Dallas Cowboys, who had been moved to the NFL’s Eastern Division, were on top with a record of 10-3-1. Playing in the NFL Championship game they were defeated by the Green Bay Packers. A bad ending to a good year, but also a beginning to a run of 8 years in the playoffs and proof that Dallas’ “Star” was shining brightly on the NFL scene. For an eleven-year span of 1975 to 1985 the team regularly played in the midst of other powerhouse teams. Then the team’s luster started to wear off and once again difficult times were faced. Fans were wondering when the “Landry Magic” was going to return and power to team to glory again, but that was not going to happen. Then the unthinkable happened in 1989. Jerry Jones purchased the team and immediately became enemy #1 when he fired Tom Landry as coach. Following this move he hired a long time friend Jimmy Johnson to coach his team. Great petulance began to simmer in Texas and around the nation from faithful Cowboys followers. By 1993 all was forgotten after the new duo had driven the team back to the elite of the NFL. Egos clashed and Jimmy Johnson walked away leaving a hole in the heart of Cowboys’ country. Success remained with the team for two short years after that but the “Star” was once again heading for a dimming performance. Jerry Jones is still the owner and made some questionable moves. Dallas faithful have called for his head just a few short years after hailing him during the team’s rise to glory. Once again he has hired a great coach in Bill Parcells. In their first year working together the team sparked itself to a playoff appearance. This spawned great hope within fans figuring the team had once again began to rise. 2004 put a damper on the new rush of successful fillings tagging along with the team. Which way was the team actually going, one year removed from the playoffs, finishing third in the division? Everyone was noting holes and questions on how to fill them. Knowing his course Jerry Jones, along with Coach Parcells, went out to polish the fading “Star”. Free agents Anthony Henry, Drew Bledsoe, Marco Rivera, and Jason Ferguson were signed to fill some of those holes. With the NFL draft just a week away, and the sparkle beginning to grow, the War Room crowd look deeply into who they feel will aid the team further in the climb back to recognition of being “Playoff Caliber”. The wish is for those chosen to restore the “Star” on the Cowboys helmets to shine brightly for years to come.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/16/2005 01:07:00 PM —– BODY:

Onward to NFL Draft 2005: Defensive Ends

With less than a week to go, the Cowboys will finish up any last minute interviews with possible prospects and complete their draft board. You’ve seen all the mock drafts throughout the season, and now its time for the real draft to get here. This could be one of the most pivotal Cowboys Drafts in years and I expect the Cowboys to draft smart and with a chessmaster’s aptitude in order to get those impact starters on day 1 of the NFL draft. I’ll examine some team needs and priorities and some other draft thoughts.

So, at this point, the Cowboys have made moves in free agency with starters at DT with Jason Ferguson, RG with Marco Rivera, and CB with Anthony Henry. What’s left to fill?….lots.

Cowboys Priorities on Day 1 should address DE. This is a definitive consensus among the organization and fans all around. The Cowboys have desperately missed the speed pash rush of a Charles Haley type. This will be addressed early. Lets take a look at some defensive ends the Cowboys may be targeting.

Defensive Ends

• Shawne Merriman – Maryland – 6’4’’ 272lbs 4.60/40

The Cowboys have shown interest in Merriman, he is athletic and is versatile, which is why Parcells & Co. may be looking at Merriman. Merriman can play in stance at DE or standing up OLB. His versatility puts him at the top of the list. Taking Merriman at 11 is a possibility, and depending what the Cowboys draft with #20 or #42, Merriman may be drafted to fill the OLB spot vacated by Coakley. Merriman would do well as OLB in a 4-3 and probably excel in a 3-4 as a pass rushing LB. Merriman is a big hitter, playing OLB would be a good addition, coupled with Roy Williams in the box, the big hit combo’s could spell doom for opposing offenses.

Draft thought: Merriman’s atheleticism and quickness make him one of the top defensive players this year, Merriman would excel as a 4-3 DE (drafted #2-15 overall)

• DeMarcus Ware – Troy – 6’4’’ 260lbs 4.55/40

You want speed, Ware can get to the QB with quickness on a regular basis. Ware is another versatile player that specializes in OLB rush, but can also play at DE. Ware has good onfield experience playing since his freshman year, another desirable asset. Ware has been a focal point of discussions at Valley Ranch. His experience, speed & explosiveness are very enticing.

Draft thought: Although Ware is one of those “tweener” types, I think he would be drafted for OLB and a big weapon in a 3-4 formation, pure havoc creation. Cowboys could get their guy as a OLB and take DE with their second first rounder. (drafted #10-32 overall)

• Marcus Spears – LSU – 6’4’’ 300 lbs 5.00/40

Spears is a big body that eats up space and can get to the QB. His versatility will get him drafted as a DE and DT. Spears is a prospect that the Cowboys spoke with at the Senior Bowl. Spears brings a consistent rush from the DE spot, and can make some plays in the backfield. Spears would do very well in a 4-3 or a 3-4. In the 3-4, you really want some big ends to surround a big NT. Taking Spears would accomplish this need. Hovering around 300 lbs he would be a DE in the 3-4, coupled with Jason Ferguson at NT, and Glover or Ellis at the other DE. This would be a solid 3-4 front, and a solid 4-3 front. You get your value from Spears with his size and bigtime game experience.

Draft thought: Get the big guy for DE spot and get your speed OLB, and we could be on our way to a 3-4 formation that could succeed. (drafted #9-20 overall)

• Justin Tuck – Notre Dame – 6’5’’ 275lbs 4.72/40

Started out at LB, was moved to DE where he became ND’s alltime sack leader. Tuck brings speed, agility, stamina, and experience to the field on every play. His main goal is to be in the QBs face at all times, in an interview I conducted with Tuck he stated, “fun for me on the field is sacking QB’s and hitting someone in the mouth.” Tuck will bring the outside speed rush since we had Haley. Adding Tuck with Ferguson, Glover, and Ellis will define a dominant front four for years to come. Could Tuck be our gem as Julius Jones was last year. Bring in another Fighting Irish player and we’re in business on both sides of the field. You can bet the Cowboys have been watching him and a reference from Julius Jones should do well.

Draft thought: Tuck will excel in the 4-3 as a pass rushing DE, a big hitter, and high work ethic make him a desirable pick for the Cowboys. (drafted 15-32 overall)

• David Pollack – Georgia – 6’2’’ 275lbs. 4.75/40

You want speed, leadership, experience, and playmaking ability? Pollack may be your guy. Could he be a “Parcells Guy”? He fits the description. Pollack has been a focal point in the Georgia Bulldogs defense and has played since his freshman year. Pollack has bigtime game experience playing in big rival games, and has played at a high level. His playmaking ability and ability to change the tide on defense make him a big asset. Whether its getting in the QBs face, or busting plays in the backfield Pollack does it all, perhaps one of the better well rounded DEs coming out this year. Height may be his only knock for a DE, but then again, don’t tell that to Colts Dwight Freeney (6’1’’)

Draft thought: Pollack will do well in a 4-3, will play DE, and will play his heart out. Bigtime motor and wills himself to make plays happen. (drafted 15-32 overall)

Other Notable Defensive Ends to Watch:

• Dan Cody – Oklahoma – 6’5’’ 260lbs. 4.75/40

• Matt Roth – Iowa – 6’4’’ 270lbs. 4.80/40

• Bill Swancutt – Oregon St. – 6’4’’ 270lbs. 4.90/40

• George Gause – S.Carolina – 6’5’’ 275lbs. 4.75/40

Next: Linebackers
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 4/14/2005 07:50:00 PM —– BODY:
ParcellsGuys Editorial 2005 NFL Schedule, Part 2: Win Division Road Games or Else

The second half of the Cowboys 2005 schedule has the team going on the road to face each of it’s divisional rivals. You can bet the farm that these games will determine whether the Cowboys make the playoffs this season.

Week 10: What a way to being the second half, on the road in Philly against the defending NFC East champs on Monday Night Football. This could catapult the team into NFC East favorites or drop the team to NFC East cellar dwellers. Having a running game working effectively in road games will get you a close game win. Whether the Cowboys can do that will determine the outcome of the game. The Eagles will be hyped up to play this game so the first quarter will determine the course of this match up. I hate to say the Cowboys will lose this one, but it will be an uphill battle from the kickoff.

Week 11: The Lions come to Dallas and by this time in the season we should know if Joey Harrington held off free agent pick up Jeff Garcia for the Lion’s Quarterback position. Neither one of these guys scares anyone but Garcia offers up more of a challenge for the defense because of his ability to scramble. Detroit could either be really good by this game or really bad by this game, it all depends upon the QB play. Coach Parcells will have this team focused to beat the Lions, as it’s the game before Thanksgiving, Cowboys win by a field goal.

Week 12: Turkey Day and the always tough Broncos are in town for the holiday. Mike Shannahan is a master at the run game and usually has someone formidable in his backfield along side Quarterback Jake Plummer. As far as the defense, I am not sure the Broncos are as smart at building a formidable unit. The recent signings of all the Ex-Browns to play defense for the Broncos this season had to be considered strange as last season’s Browns Defense was horrible. Good for the Cowboys though as I can see it now, Julius Jones will have over 100 yards and at least 3 TD’s. Cowboys win by 21.

Week 13: Another division road game as the Cowboys go to New York to meet the Giants. This could be a cold weather game as it’s in the first week of December. Eli maybe a bit more comfortable with Giant newcomer Plaxico Burress by this one, so the Cowboy defense had better be playing shut down football this late in the season. Maybe the Giants will offer up an early Christmas gift and the Cowboys will get out of the Meadowlands with a win. This will be a toss up game and should be a nail biter.

Week 14: Chiefs are bringing one of the games best offenses to Texas Stadium. Chiefs Tight End Tony Gonzalez is a tough match up for any team, but the Cowboys have a great group of coverage linebackers with Dat Nguyen in the middle. The Chiefs defense is being rebuilt as we speak, but I think the Cowboy offense can hang in their long enough to make it a good game. Drew Bledsoe should have it easy in a Dallas win.

Week 15: Last division game on the schedule as Coach Parcells brings his troops into D.C. for a must win against the Redskins. This could be the most important game of the season and may possibly be for a division title. Seems the Cowboys have the Skins number the last few seasons and I hope it continues in this game. A very tough road game versus a team that could be fighting for a playoff spot as well, hoping for a Cowboys win but wouldn’t bet any money on it.

Week 16: The Panthers came on strong late last season after some early injuries decimated their roster. These guys bring it when the gun sounds and especially at home in Carolina. Last regular season road game for the Cowboys and I hope this isn’t a must win, the Cowboys have not played well in any games at Carolina to date. No real strength on either side of the ball for Carolina, they aren’t flashy but they win games. Carolina Quarterack Jake Delhomme wasn’t as spectacular last season after coming off the Super Bowl in 2003. He may have come back to earth and let’s hope he’s not putting up big numbers when the Cowboys arrive in town. Come up with a masterful game plan Coach Parcells and the Cowboys might win this one.

Week 17: Season finale against the Rams at home. High-powered offense goes with the Rams no matter who is on the team, but this is another team that struggled on defense last season and squeaked into the playoffs. I think the Rams will be worse on defense this season and won’t be a factor in the playoff race. I see the Cowboys winning this one easily whether it’s for the playoffs or not.

Playoffs, playoffs, playoffs! This team should be in the “tournament” come January and can go far if they play Coach Parcells football. I will hold up from predicting any Super Bowl appearances, but with a little good fortune you just never know.
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 4/13/2005 06:17:00 PM —– BODY:

ParcellsGuys Editorial

2005 NFL Schedule, Part 1: Rough Beginning for the Cowboys

The NFL Schedule brings a kind of relief to football fans, sort of the same way a car repair bill brings relief to all of us when we at least know the extent of the damage. Let’s assess the damage this schedule can do to our hopes of a Super Bowl XXXX victory.

Week 1: Opening the season on the road is always tough. The Cowboys get the Chargers to open it up in 2005. A lot of people voted this Charger team the surprise team of the league last season. Quarterback Drew Brees showed he had a little fight in him after the Chargers got highly touted Quarterback Philip Rivers in the 2004 Draft. Brees put himself in the Pro Bowl and will be looking to continue his upswing this season. For the Cowboys to win this game though they must stop the real MVP of the Chargers, Running Back Ladamian Tomlinson, from grinding out first downs. This young gun is one of the best in the league and with players such as Tight End Antonio Gates also out there on offense the Cowboy’s defense must start the season strong in San Diego. Close game that could go either way.

Week 2: All you need to know is Coach Parcells vs. Coach Gibbs and people are going to watch this one. Throw it on Monday Night Football at Texas Stadium and the entire world will tune in for another classic NFC East battle. Skins are still a little rocky at the QB position I think with Patrick Ramsey starting from the get go. They swapped wide receivers with the Jets and now the Cowboys must defend against Santana Moss and his blazing speed, along with Running back Clinton Portis and his well, blazing speed. I hope this new 3-4 alignment that may be in place by then is ready for all that speed. The Redskins defensive had an outstanding year in 2004 as they wound up rated #1 in the NFL. I’m glad the Cowboys offense will be tested early and I hope to watch them flourish with a nice game from Running Back Julius Jones, he likes the prime time games as we saw last season. Cowboys should win this one.

Week 3: The Cowboys go on the road to San Francisco and this won’t be the weeks most sought after game on the Direct TV Ticket. No Ifs, Ands or Buts about it. If the Cowboys don’t beat this rebuilding team there could be a storm brewing early in Dallas for Coach Parcells and Mr. Jones. I would list the 49er’s best player here, but he hasn’t been drafted yet and no one knows whom they are even targeting with the NFL Draft less than two weeks away. Take that Joe Montana and that damn 1981 NFC Championship game. Cowboys should win in a rout over this terrible 49er team!

Week 4: Is it a new NFL rule that the Cowboys must play against Randy Moss once a season? This guy is in “Raider Nation” and that’s where the Cowboys head to in another road game. Playing in Oakland last year would have been much easier as the Raiders stunk it up most all of the 2004 season, but with some key free agents added and the trade for the “Mouth of the South” the Raiders should be better in 2005. If the Cowboy’s D can get some pressure on Raider Quarterback Kerry Collins and control the new starting Running Back LaMont Jordan the Cowboys can win. If not and the game turns into an offensive explosion I don’t see the Cowboys with enough big play fire power to win that type of contest. This game might be one of those Coach Parcells’ gems where he knows the best defense is Julius Jones carrying it over 30 times. I am not betting against Coach Parcells, Cowboys win by controlling the clock.

Week 5: I hate them, you hate them and I know most of the Cowboy players have to hate them. Especially with Mr. Big Mouth himself wearing the green and black. Eagles come into Texas Stadium for key division game that is a must win. It’s a must win because we don’t want the Eagles to win any games all year, LOL. This could be a big game for Cowboy Tight End Jason Witten. He is solid in the short passing game and could catch over 10 balls. Being so familiar with this team it comes down to a battle of the little things that decide these tough division games. Play smart and don’t make big mistakes on defense. Not much more to say about this game as we have seen it all before, the best team on this given Sunday will win the game.

Week 6: Bring on another division rival, Giants will be coming into Texas thinking about that last second win in the final week of the 2004 season. Look for the Cowboys to test the Giants defense in this one. If the 3-4 is in line by this time for the Cowboys it will be an advantage because Giant Quarterback Eli Manning is still only in his second season and won’t be putting up Peyton like numbers just yet. A new style defense should put some added pressure on the youngster’s shoulders. I would expect Coach Parcells to try and pressure him into some mistakes by taking chances on defense now that he has two solid corners with Newman and Henry. Game’s in Texas, Cowboys win this one at home in a blowout.

Week 7: I hope that luck we had in Seattle last season is again hanging out on this road trip to Qwest field. The Seahawks seem to put up big numbers on offense most weeks, but don’t ever seem to be consistent on defense. I don’t look for that to change anytime soon. They spent the off season resigning their offensive stars and losing key defensive guys in Defensive End Chike Okeafor and Cornerback Ken Lucas to free agency. This will be a high scoring game like last season and I expect the team that scores last will win. Remember the Seahawks are in the NFC now so this could somehow be a playoff tiebreaker for the winner. Toss up game.

Week 8: Cowboys end the first half of 2005 with a nice easy home game against a team they always beat, the dreadful Cardinals. Hold your horses people. This Cardinal team has upgraded over last season in some areas and Coach Dennis Green is no slouch. Even with that said I don’t see a winning Quarterback on that roster. Kurt Warner was signed and I would assume he’s the starter, but he isn’t the same Kurt Warner that led the Rams to a few Super Bowls. This will be a nice day for Wide Receiver Keyshawn Johnson and Quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Cardinals will always play tough with Green calling the shots but they should be beaten on the road by this Cowboy team.

Week 9: Bye week comes right at the midway point, like it should be. Thanks NFL Schedule makers and please do the same next season.

Check back tommorrow as I take a look into the second half of the Cowboy’s 2005 Schedule!

——– AUTHOR: Brian Aust DATE: 4/13/2005 05:03:00 AM —– BODY:
The “Okie” Pokey By Brian Aust While trying to dodge the post-SportsCenter, pre-slumber boredom that sneaks up on me most nights, I found my muse. Clare Danes, in mid battle with the female villain in Terminator 3, exclaimed, “Why don’t you just DIE, (expletive deleted)!” There’s little pride in acknowledging my inspiration comes from a big budget “B” movie, but, Clare’s angst struck a chord. Every time I read speculation into the Cowboys moving to the 3-4 defense, I wish death upon that troublesome rumor. Everyone calls the NFL a copy-cat league. So far this off-season, the Broncos, 49ers and Browns have lined up at the Xerox machine with the “Championship Blueprint” in hand. The Cowboys have been more timid in their approach, as if they think the machine might be out of toner. Personnel issues underpin the organization’s reluctance. At the status-quo, the Cowboys don’t have the type of players that thrive in the “Okie” scheme. Even if the Cowboys use their top draft choices to flesh out a 3-4 roster, the team would likely hinge on proven players switching positions and inexperienced rookies making immediate contributions. The addition of Jason Ferguson gave the Cowboys some flexibility along the line, but should the Cowboys want shift to the newest fad in defense, it would likely translate into position changes for some Cowboys staples. LeRoi Glover, for instance, wouldn’t have a traditional tackle position to line up in. Since it’s unlikely that Cowboys would keep the perennial Pro Bowler on the bench, it’s possible he would move out to end. Physically, Glover can pass for a 3-4 end, but, asking a 10-year veteran to change style and technique does bring with it some risk. Greg Ellis, at 6 feet 6 inches and 271 pounds, is too small to play end in the 3-4, and may be better suited to play outside linebacker. With a frame that mirrors New England’s Willie McGinest (6’5”, 270), Ellis would find himself with a host of new duties, including some responsibility covering the tight end. No current Cowboy fits the mold of an “Okie” defensive end. Glover may be a band aid on one side, but, the ‘Boys would likely have to use one of their first round picks to fill the hole opposite him. LSU’s Marcus Spears and USC’s Shaun Cody are both considered to have ideal 3-4 size. Most NFL gurus will acknowledge that the defensive line is the most crucial element to successful execution in a 3-4 alignment. After mixing and matching up front, the Cowboys would have do take a hard look at their line backing corps. Inside linebackers in the 3-4 set have to be intelligent, instinctual and athletic. Dat Nguyen would likely handle his share of the load, even with is average coverage skills. Bradie James would be a candidate to play alongside Nguyen, considering he roamed the middle in college. James’ size would act as a good compliment to the undersized Nguyen, but his field awareness has been criticized. The Cowboys would be taking a risk moving James back inside after two years playing outside. Assuming the Cowboys follow the 3-4 formula and conclude Ellis is too small to play end, he would fill the hole at strong side linebacker with Eric Ogbogu providing depth behind him. Al Singleton, physically on the small side, isn’t a good fit in the new defense. Kalen Thorton, a project player that has been mentioned in 3-4 talks around the Ranch, may get a chance to prove himself in the new configuration. Most likely, though, the Cowboys would address the weak side position through the draft. Both Shawne Merriman and DeMarcus Ware are ideally suited to playing linebacker in the 3-4. I bring these adjustment issues to the forefront for two reasons. The first is to pander to my self-indulgent need to make cheap reference to an all-time wedding dance classic. So, without further ado: You bring a draft pick in, you move a Pro Bowler out, you do the “Okie” Pokey and you turn your team inside out, and that’s what it’s all about (give yourself bonus points if you actually broke into song just now). My final reason is to point out that switching schemes is too much, too fast, with too much risk – especially for a defensive unit that finished in the middle of the pack last year. By sticking with the 4-3, the Cowboys keep their options open to address other needs with their two first round picks. Other draft day scenarios, such as trading for the Saints’ Darren Howard and trading out of the first round, are also made possible by sticking with the status quo. So, for the love of God and his favorite team, let these rumors die. I enjoy your feedback regarding my writing. Post your comments here, or e-mail them to me at baustie1212@yahoo.com.
——– AUTHOR: Brian Aust DATE: 4/09/2005 10:49:00 PM —– BODY:
Preparing for the Draft by Brian Aust Draft day is about preparation. Teams self-evaluate. They pour over film, attend workouts and assemble the “Big Board.” Then, teams go cloak and dagger, doing everything in their power to make sure their position stays masked. The media gear up. They pour over film, attend workouts and assemble their own “Big Boards.” They push out terabytes of text that slowly confuse the sports world into thinking that the actual draft is but a ceremony. I used to go the store. I used to buy one bottle of bubbly and one flask of whisky. I prayed. I turned my cell phone off. I prayed again. And then, with the future of my beloved Cowboys in balance, I turned the TV on. Last year, the pieces fell into perfect Tetris formation. The missing block was waiting, and I was breaking out the bubbly. Then, just as the cork was about to be sent to the ceiling, the Cowboys traded back. I didn’t understand. Mel Kiper Jr. said the ‘Boys would be salivating if Jackson dropped all the way to 22. I started to dread the post-draft grades. I became ill at the thought of messages piling up in my voicemail. I put down the champagne, and I snapped up the flask. Then, as I started to lift the bottle to my lips, my memory went into playback mode. I saw Eagles fans cheering “Ricky! Ricky!” And then, I heard them booing as Donovan McNabb held up his jersey. Now there’s some perspective. I decided then that it comes down to trust. Having faith erases all doubt. If I could convince myself to trust the Cowboys organization, then I need not worry about the media nor the bastards that feel a need to clown me via voicemail. If Jerry Jones were left to his own devices, I wouldn’t find serenity. From 1997 to 2002 – the period I less-than-affectionately refer to as “The Jerry Jones Thinks He Can Coach” years – there isn’t much proof that the Cowboys phoned in a pick. The Cowboys will start the upcoming season with a measly four starters from the JJTHCC years – Adams, Ellis, Nguyen and Williams. Then, in 2003, the heavens opened up and gave unto us…Bill. Bill’s first four choices – Newman, Johnson, Witten and James – will all begin 2005 atop the depth chart. Even last year’s controversial move has Bill looking masterful. When Julius Jones came back from injury to carve up defenses, I made a vow – I will forever trust in Bill. Bill knows the draft. This year, no matter what the Cowboys do on draft day, you won’t hear a grumble or groan from my direction. You will, however, hear the sound of a cork busting free.
——– AUTHOR: ParcellsGuys.Com DATE: 4/08/2005 10:34:00 PM —– BODY:

Parcells Guys Editorial – Will Bill and Jerry Do It Again?

Think back for a moment to the 2004 Draft. We all knew that the Cowboys were going to take a running back with their first round pick. We were all wrong as the Cowboys traded out of the first round and wound up selecting Julius Jones in the second round. Will the Cowboys do it again this year?

Personally I say no way would I trade out again. This team needs some impact players in the worst way and they need them now. I don’t think trading down and accumulating any 3rd, 4th and 5th round picks does anything for the 2005 Cowboys.
There should be a different philosophy heading into this draft for Coach Parcells and Mr. Jones. Going into last year’s draft the Cowboys were coming off a successful 2003 campaign where the team was headed in the right direction, or so it seemed. After a dismal 6-10 record last season I think both of these guys must feel like the time is now, and I mean right now, to get this team back on the winning track!

Now granted, after all was said and done the Julius Jones deal was considered genius by many. The Cowboys wound up with a quality running back and a first round selection this year, but I don’t think the Cowboys can afford to take the chance that this will happen two years in a row. Not after so many unsuccessful drafts in recent years and the fact that other than Jones the 2004 draft wasn’t so great.
Last season’s draft might even be considered an incomplete if anyone was grading the performance of the players chosen. The second round pick, Right Tackle Jacob Rogers, never got in one game and is now projected to back up Flozell Adams at left tackle. The 3rd and 4th round picks, Offensive Guard Stephen Peterman and Cornerback Bruce Thornton, never had a chance as both were sent to Injured Reserve with season ending knee injuries. Peterson was lost in preseason and Thornton went down in early in the season. The fifth round pick, Tight End Sean Ryan was on and off the roster a number of times and was a non factor. Here’s the best part, all three seventh rounders made the team. Wide Receiver Patrick Crayton, and Cornerback’s Nate Jones and Jacques Reeves were on the field for a number of games. They played like seventh rounders, but at least they contributed for Coach Parcells.

The Cowboys should go into the draft on April 23rd thinking about getting two first rounders that can contribute in 2005 and beyond. I say concentrate on the Defensive End and Safety position with the two first round picks. Maybe a Wide Receiver if USC’s Mike Williams makes it anywhere near the 11th pick, not likely though. Take the rest of the draft to look for a Right Tackle and maybe a Linebacker. A lot of people are saying go after a back up running back, I don’t think that is going to happen. A good backup runner may already be on the roster, Eric Bickerstaff or ReShard Lee will do an adequate job behind Jones. Besides, this team has enough holes that at no point should they be looking for quality backups at any position.
Wouldn’t it be something if the Cowboys shocked the world and traded up in the draft for a guy like Mike Williams or the Linebacker from Texas, Derrick Johnson. We all know how much Coach Parcells and Mr. Jones hate losing, so this may be the year us Cowboy fans are dropping our jaws come draft day.

See ya all next week, Go Cowboys!
——– AUTHOR: Brian Aust DATE: 4/08/2005 03:16:00 PM —– BODY:
The Emmitt Smith Example by Brian Aust The 2005 NFL season will likely be remembered as the year the Patriots earned their dynasty label, firmly entrenching their place among the elite teams in history. Before the latest act in the New England plot was written, though, true greatness stood for a final curtain call. With everyone consumed by one team’s date with destiny, the NFL community begrudged Emmitt Smith a headline. Emmitt’s retirement brought with it the customary commentary and analysis, and Emmitt’s place in history was made a question. “They” spent time assembling a rank order of the most dominating ball carriers throughout history – arguments often rooted in subjectivity and hinging on personal opinion. The top-fives and top-tens varied from expert to expert, and the foundation of Emmitt’s legacy remained unclear. With no answer for a begging question, the question itself becomes subject to analysis. What does it mean to be the Greatest? The Lazy One would lean on a dictionary, hoping to extract answers from a rigid definition. The Curious One, though, would seek out the meaning. Lucky for Mr. Curious, sports fans have a blue print for greatness – they have seen it before. To be great obviously includes individual accomplishment. “They” don’t call Wayne Gretzky “The Great One” because he came close to breaking point records. He OWNS those records. Gretzky’s combined point totals make dwarves out of those closest to him. Not only did he surpass Gordie Howe’s seemingly untouchable record, he set the bar high enough to leave little question to his legacy. How does Emmitt stack up? He too broke what seemed like an untouchable record, Walter Payton’s mark for career rushing yards. Along the way, Emmitt shattered the record for most touchdowns scored by a runningback, reaching the end zone 175 times – 50 more times than Jim Brown and Walter Payton, 75 more times than Barry Sanders. When talking team sports, though, “they” don’t always focus on the individual. Were that true, “they” would have to appoint Kareem-Abdul Jabbar the greatest to ever step onto the court. The sports world doesn’t deny his ability to score, but Jabbar isn’t considered the Greatest. That label is reserved for Michael Jordan. Individual records do not matterbecause Jordan’s dominance lifted his team to six championships. The bigger the stage, the more crucial the situation, Jordan came through for his team. He was the lynch pin for a dynasty. For that, the sports nation will never deny Jordan his claim to the throne. Emmitt Smith was part of his own dynasty. The Cowboys broke new ground in the NFL. Three titles in four years, until this year, was an accomplishment exclusive to the Cowboys of the early 90s. Of the players that get mentioned in the “Greatest Running Back Ever” debate, no running back enjoyed as much team success. Not Walter Payton. Not Jim Brown. Not O.J. Simpson. Not Earl Campbell. Emmitt, rarely missing a game during that stretch, carried the Cowboys when they needed him most. Time after time, when Dallas needed a player to step up, Emmitt Smith answered the call – a fact illustrated by his Super Bowl MVP honor. When the Detroit Lions made their way into the playoffs, in comparison, Barry found himself out of the game plan. Despite his obvious game-changing ability, Sanders’career included less-than-great performances in playoff games low-lighted by a negative rushing performance in a wild card game against Green Bay. It seems our model of greatness includes both individual and team success. No back makes a better unified example of this inductive model than Emmitt Smith. Those who refuse to place him alone at the top venture into more subjective arguments. It’s at this point where “they” claim right to their opinion. Oddly, being part of a Dynasty dims Emmitt’s legacy in “their” eyes. His supporting cast, which included one of the greatest offensive lines in NFL History, is given credit for Smith’s accomplishments. Yet, people don’t hesitate to label Jerry Rice the best receiver in history. Didn’t he have the benefit of Hall of Fame quarterbacks throughout the majority ofhis career? Is anyone allowed to say, “Had Cris Carter been on a better team, he would have owned allthe individual records.” No. Jerry Rice is as much aproduct of his environment as Emmitt Smith, which is to say that their greatness is assumed regardless of those who surrounded them. “They” also like to point out that Emmitt’s biggest accomplishment – surpassing Walter Payton’s all-time rushing mark – isn’t noteworthy because Barry Sanders was within striking distance of the same record when he retired. Theoretically Sanders would have passed Walter had he wanted to continue and been able to stay healthy. The important element of that argument revolves around Barry’s desire. If you’re talking about the Greatest, should the question of desire ever come up? Jim Brown left football in his prime to pursue other avenues, including a movie career. Emmitt not only had the ability to be the Greatest, he had the drive. “They” also seem to hang up on style. Barry Sanders kept you on the edge of your seat, and often times left you breathless. So does Vince Carter. So does Michael Vick. So did Dominique Wilkins. Any “Great” ones in that bunch? Why not? Because Greatness has nothing to do with style. Emmitt wasn’t the greatest runner of all time. Emmitt wasn’t the greatest blocking back ever. Emmitt wasn’t the greatest backfield receiver of all time. Emmitt wasn’t the greatest leader of all time. However, he did it all better than anyone else has ever done it all. That is what it means to be the Greatest. It will likely be another five years before this debate surfaces again. When Emmitt Smith is inducted to the Hall of Fame on his first ballot, perhaps “they” will have taken the time to review his career and come to the realization that, given what Smith has accomplished and the manner in which he accomplished it, it is a lot harder to argue against him than it is to argue for him. Thanks, Emmitt, for providing us all with another model of Greatness.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/07/2005 12:44:00 AM —– BODY:
This Years Steven Jackson Is… This years Steven Jackson is Maryland’s tweener DE/OLB Shawne Merriman. By now, if you’re a Die Hard fan like most of us are, then you’ve “heard” of him and seen his name on countless mock drafts all over the net from the mass media to your nfl fan site mock drafts. Now you’ve heard of him because his name is out there as a projected player that fans want. But who is this Shawne Merriman, and have YOU ever seen him play? Who annointed him the Cowboys must have? Honestly, I never saw Merriman play, so I myself am going by what “other people” are saying about Merriman…and this is where mock drafting and draft hype crosses into the gray area. From most fans points of view we’re going by alot of hear-say, truthfully, that’s what mock drafting and draft hyping is for the most part, plain and simple and this does not go for the highly touted Merriman, this goes for any prospect being discussed anywhere… have you ever heard a fan say “I’m warming up to this guy” well, there it is, the average fan will say this if there are being influenced in some form or fashion, whether it be a well written scouting report or fellow peers jumping on that bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, from what I’ve read on countless scouting reports, he “sounds” like a great prospect. Question is, are the Cowboys even taking a serious look at drafting Merriman? Comparetivly, this was the same scenario as last year with Steven Jackon, everyone wanted him, he was going to be gone by the Lions pick, no way he falls to us…and guess what? Jackson somehow did fall to us, and every Cowboys fan around the globe was in utter dismay when we traded completely out of our 1st round pick, with Jackson right there… Point is this, as a fan you just never really know what your team is going to do with their picks as much as you would like them to. So, with NFL draft day 2005 just over two weeks away, remember this and don’t be surprised at all if Merriman is there and we pass. Would I take Merriman? Yes I definitely would, but that’s just me going on what I’ve heard.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/28/2005 05:26:00 PM —– BODY:
Joe Rodriguez’s Exclusive Interview with Notre Dame’s Alltime Sack Leader Justin Tuck Rodriguez: When did you make the decision to declare for the NFL draft, and what helped you make that decision possible? Tuck: Well, after thinking about it and talking with my family I deciding that this was the best thing for my family and me. I think that the firing of Coach Willingham had a impact on it, but the biggest factor was that I will graduated in May. =============================================== Rodriguez: Who was your favorite NFL player to watch growing up? Tuck: LT and Reggie White and Mike Singletary =============================================== Rodriguez: Is there anyone in the NFL now that you could compare yourself to? Tuck: Jevon Kearse and John Abraham =============================================== Rodriguez: When you lineup on defense what goes through your mind? Tuck: I just try to block everything out, because at that point you have done the work in practice all week, so now it is time to have fun. So I’m all about having fun and fun for me on the field is sacking QB’s and hitting someone in the mouth. =============================================== Rodriguez:How would your rate your pass defense vs. run defense? Are they even or do you have more expertise versus the other? Tuck: I think right now I’m more skilled at getting to the QB and my run defense has improve every year. So i would that I’m slightly a better pass rusher. =============================================== Rodriguez: What is your main goal coming into the NFL? Tuck: Be the Best. =============================================== Rodriguez: Can you tell me how a team would benefit by drafting you in this 2005 NFL Draft? Tuck: They would be drafting a leader, and someone with a great work ethic. Also they would be getting someone that can pressure the QB. =============================================== Rodriguez: Could you envision yourself playing LB in a 3-4 alignment? What advantages or disadvantages could you see playing LB in a 3-4 alignment? Tuck: I could see myself doing that because I started my college career at LB, but I would rather play DE. =============================================== Rodriguez: Have any teams shown interest in you now that you have declared for the draft? Tuck: A lot of teams have shown interest. =============================================== Rodriguez: In today’s NFL, are there any defensive units that impress you, if so, which ones and why? Tuck: New England, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Washington. =============================================== Rodriguez: How would you say you perform in “bigtime” games late in the 4th Quarter? Do you still have gas to make plays? How do you get it done? Tuck: I think I perform better in big time situation. I think that started in high school. But late in the 4th when your team needs a big play you just have to suck it up and get the job done. Some people just want it more and I just happen to be one of those people. =============================================== Rodriguez:Your former teammate Julius Jones was drafted by the Cowboys, have you spoken with him about coming into the NFL? Tuck: Not yet, but I will soon. =============================================== Rodriguez: Was there anyone that College (offensive lineman) that did a good job slowing you down? If so, who? Tuck: I think the two best off. linemen that i faced was Alex Barron (FSU) and Barnes (Washington). =============================================== Rodriguez: Who knows what team will draft you, but if the Cowboys drafted you what would that mean to you? Tuck: Smiles. I would be happy because that was the team that I was in front of the T.V. watching when I was growing up. So I would be very happy. VERY HAPPY. =============================================== **Thanks to “Tuck” for participating in our interview, good luck in the draft!**
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/14/2005 09:20:00 PM —– BODY:
Deep Pockets & Impact Free Agents As hard as it is to believe, Cowboy Die Hards know we still have holes to fill via the remaing Free Agency Season or the NFL Draft. One thing is for sure, the Cowboys have set themselves up for a fantastic NFL Draft. Jerry Jones has opened up the Jones Vault and signed – sealed – and delivered the players. By filling key positions with upper echelon players the Cowboys are set to further roster upgrades via the Draft. Free Agency Holes: DT – Filled with DT Jason Ferguson (Jets) CB – Filled with CB Anthony Henry (Browns) RG – Filled with RG Marco Rivera (Packers) DE – ? RT – ? OLB – ? SS – ? Howard Trade and Merriman Selection: With the trade for Darren Howard still in limbo, the Cowboys will most likely fill the remaining holes in the draft. If Howard is attained in a trade, the Cowboys will still be targeting DE/LB Shawne Merriman. If Howard is NOT added via trade, Merriman is still the favorite pick in most circles. Its not as easy as it seems though, there are several teams that are coveting Merriman, mainly the Lions who pick #11, and a handful of teams after us could very well tradeup and leapfrog to draft him. Trading for Howard means giving up our 2nd rounder. In this case, we’ll be trading down our #20 pick to recoup another 2nd rounder and somemore later picks.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/01/2005 07:45:00 PM —– BODY:
Let Mortal Kombat Begin! (Free Agency Is Here) We’re on the cusp of Free Agency. Tomorrow officially begins what better mark a fresh beginning to a new year in Cowboys Football. We need to be fast and furious – signup true quality players with some youth to help complete the puzzle to Project:Domination 2005. This is what I’m calling our year, will we be dominant? We’ll we see. One thing is for sure, we have the Owner, and we have a very healthy salary cap to make improvements. Top Positions that need to be filled this FA season: #1 Defensive Tackle #2 Cornerback #3 Right Tackle #4 Safety Keep your eyes on the guys we sign, it will be a sign of what defensive scheme we’ll run. Alright, let’s get to it, let’s get it done.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/12/2005 05:08:00 PM —– BODY:
Drew Bled-NO! Speculation has mounted on Drew Bledsoe coming to Dallas if he’s released from the Bills. Some fans want him, and some don’t want him here. I am not in favor of going that route. Well why not?? Let me just say this, Sure Drew is younger than Vinny, but at this point in his career Bledsoe’s accuracy has been horrendous. He has been unable to hold his starting job, he lost it for good in favor of a very young Tom Brady, and now he will lose his job to Losman. Let’s face it guys Bledsoe is not much of an upgrade to Vinny. If we want inaccuracy we already have it with Vinny, Bledsoe is of the same clothe, no mobility, classic pocket passer, inaccurate. I say NO to Drew Bledsoe. In addition, Drew would need to come in and learn or re-learn a Parcells offense. Let’s play Henson once and for all. The growing pains may come, but that’s way its got to be. To me we are setting Henson up for success, by giving him tools like Keyshawn, Glenn, Witten, and Julius Jones. If we add some consistent protection and maybe another offensive player Drew will have a solid surrounding. Going with Bledsoe would mean a 2-3yr deal, thus virtually leaving Henson out in the cold to rust away.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/05/2005 11:43:00 AM —– BODY:
Michael Irvin SNUBBED From Hall of Fame! I said this last year, when the “media” failed horribly and did not induct Bob Hayes, history repeats itself in 2005. That’s right, Irvin was snubbed from the hall of fame. Who got in? Only FOUR players!: Dan Marino, Steve Young, Fritz Pollard, and Bennie Friedman. I can’t tell you how upsetting and disappointing this is! The voting process is left in the hands to “major” media reports nationwide, and this needs to be overhauled. I think I can speak for ALL Dallas Die Hards when I say with conviction …(_ _ _ _) YOU – you idiot voters!!! Really, I want to cuss worse, but I’ll leave that to you guys at home, just know we’re ALL feeling the same as you inside. Michael, you know inside you’re a hall of famer, we know you’re a hall of famer WR. Sorry for the bad news, but as Dallas Cowboys fans, we all know what this is about, and why this has happened, and will continue to happen.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/04/2005 06:49:00 PM —– BODY:
Super Bowl Prediction Super Bowl time is upon us. The New England Patriots vs. The Philadelphia Eagles. So, who’s gonna win. I’m going to just say I’m not going against the underrated Patriots, the team the media virtually dismissed and forgot about towards the end of the season and in the playoffs. The Patriots have been solid all year long and nothing is going to change this weekend. If the Patriots can shutdown the best offense and NFL MVP in the playoffs, plus the highly rated offense/defense of the Steel Curtain, what do the Eagles have to offer. I’m predicating that this game will either by close like: Patriots 27 Eagles 20 OR A complete and utter blowout like: Patriots 49 Eagles 24 In both predcitions the Eagles lose. Am I bias, yes, hell yes, I hate the Eagles. Am I objective yes. The truth is that Eagles have not played high caliber teams in the NFC, its a weak conference right now. The only way the Eagles pull this one out is if the Patriots have a meltdown and turn the ball over. Other than that expect to see the same old dominating Crennel defense, and Weis Offense tear that ass up. The Patriots have a lot of talent with coaching and players.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/22/2005 11:54:00 AM —– BODY:
Championship Game Predictions NFL Championship Weekend is here. We have the NFC’s Falcons @ Eagles and the AFC’s Patriots @ Steelers. Who’s gonna win? Obviously I am biased, and absolutely hate the Eagles with a passion, so naturally I want them to lose their 4th straight championship game, that would be great. Unfortunately, I think this may be the year the get over the hump against the Falcons. I do hope the Eagles lose though. NFC Prediction: Falcons @ Eagles Falcons 20 Eagles 31 In the AFC we have a great showdown between two powerhouses. The Steelers will host the Patriots. This is a no brainer for me. The Patriots win this game. Sure the Steelers one the first time around, but we’re talking about the defending Champions coached by Belichick & Co. Belichik WILL have the Patriots ready and the players are ready to show people why they should not have forgotten about the Patriots in these playoffs. The Big Ben winning streak will come to an end. AFC Patriots @ Steelers Patriots 33 Steelers 26 These predictions could be wrong, and remember the old adage, Any team can win on any given sunday… Upcoming: SuperBowl Prediction then Senior Bowl & Early Draft Talk
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/14/2005 07:17:00 PM —– BODY:
Season’s End Player Grades & Analysis In this article we’ll breakdown the major players of 2004, 1st Teamers/Notables and their performance. QBs Vinny Testaverde – let’s face it Vinny simply did not do well at all. Our offensively held its own and actually did a pretty good job blocking for Vinny, but he simply was way too inaccurate and killed drives in virtually everygame this year. Old age and rookie like mistakes from Vinny make it hard for fans to have hope should Vinny return as a starter in 2005. Grade: D Drew Henson – what can be said here, we did not see enough of him to make a solid sound judgement on the rookie. One thing is for sure, when he did get his chance it was exciting. He has a strong arm and nice velocity. We’ll hope he can start for us in 2005 Grade: Incomplete Tony Romo – same as Drew Henson in regards to playing time. He played well in preseason, but did not play a single down in the regular season. Could be a good candidate for NFL-Europe. For Romo, he’s in a different situation. I think Romo will be the one to goto NFLE. Same boat as Hutch last year, we know he’s going to be a backup, so it’s time to take a closer look with NFLE to see if we will keep investing time in Romo. Grade: Incomplete RBs Julius Jones – A broken shoulder blade sidelined Julius for about half the season, but when Julius came back he came back with a roar! Julius instantly quieted the critics, and became an instant impact player for us. Julius has youth, strength, quick burst, elusiveness, power, and perserverance to show the world he is the man. Estimates show that if Julius would have played all season, we probably would have made a better run than what we did in 2004. Julius is here, so get ready for 2005, he’s going to make defenses shiver. Grade: A Eddie George – All along we knew Eddie would be the backup, but with the injury to Julius we were forced to start a backup type Rb in his place. No disrespect to EG, but his time has passed. He is one of the classiest players in the league, and even when his carries were taken with the return of Julius he knew his place and did not say much. I actually feel sorry for George, that’s no way to end a career, but that’s how it is. Eddie, thanks for being aboard and good luck to you in 2005. Grade: D ReShard Lee – When Julius was out and George was struggling to gain any yardage, fans wanted Lee in the game. In the preseason he sure looked the part, in fact he looked really quick and impressive. Only problem is that he fumbles and a we all know a fumbling back won’t do much in this league. Appeared to be in Bill’s doghouse most of the year. Lee did ok in the return game, and in 2005 he made have to stepup if he wants to make the team. Grade: C- FBs Darian Barnes – played most of the year, but not much production coming out of the backfield, decent blocker, but overall, not much here to rave about. Grade: C- Rich Anderson – played RB/FB this year, injuries really hampered Richie’s effectiveness in 2004. He did not make plays like he did in 2003, a major droppoff in production. Aging and injuries could lead Richie to retire. Grade: C Lousaka Polite – barely played anything, was on and off the practice squad. Thought by some to be a younger version of Richie Anderson, he can catch out of the backfield, and has more speed than Barnes. We’ll see what happens to Polite in 2005 Grade: Incomplete TEs Jason Witten – oneword…’badass’ we have a catching TE, finally. Tough as nails, makes plays, plays injured, you won’t see Witten pussie out like Shockey. Witten had great offensive production and shattered Cowboys Fan Favorite Jay Novacek’s receptions record. Could have been that he carried more load due to injuries to the WRs. Anyway you slice it, Witten comes to play everydown and is an integral part of this team. Grade: A+ Dan Campbell – Campbell is a deceptively good catching TE. His injury was a loss in regards to his game experience and his good blocking in the running game. Campbell’s return in 2005 will be greatly appreciated. Grade: Incomplete Sean Ryan – more of a straightup blocking end. Ryan was on and off the practice squad, but cracked into the starting 53 and did some blocking for us, but nothing more than a blocker. His improvement in 2005 preseason will be a break or make for Ryan. Grade: C- WRs Keyshawn Johnson – he came in to do what we expected him to do. Make plays, take hits, catch the damn ball. Keyshawn’s load was increased with Glenn’s injury and Key stepped it up. He’s not going to be the deep threat or the speed WR that makes exciting plays, but he is very productive and his return in 2005 will be a great thing for whomever is throwing to him. Grade: A Terry Glenn – I’d go out and say Glenn is an impact player, and his injury really dealt our offense a heavy blow. Glenn still has great speed, and playmaking abilities. Gleen is our deep threat, but with the foot injury it will be interesting to see if he can recover fully in 2005, let’s hope so, we need Glenn back in 2005. Grade: A Terrence Copper – a rookie who made the team with his special teams plays and tackles, but additionally, Copper made some decent catches when he was given the chance. He has size and speed and has potential to do something more for us in 2005. FA and the draft will effect what we do with him. Grade: C Patrick Crayton – another rookie that made some plays for positive yardage. Fans were calling for Crayton when the return game struggled. Crayton was even cut at one time during the season, enraging many fans and baffeling many, but Crayton passed waivers and was re-signed. Craytong came back and made the starting 53 and held his own. Grade: C Randal Williams – what can be said here, many fans including myself were calling for RW to make a splash in 2004, but he simply faded away and did not do anything, dropped passes and was totally ineffective. The Preseason standout will not make this team in 2005. Grade: D- Dedric Ward – horrible play in the return game. Inneffective play. Has been cut since the end of the season and that speaks enough. Grade: F Quincy Morgan – say what you will about the “AB for Morgan” trade, what’s done is done. time to move on. Do you see Morgan as a starting WR with the Cowboys? He seemed to be missing in action for most of the season. He has some potential, but what does that even mean? This guys has been in the league for (4) years already. He’s either going to do something or not by now and the time he has had with us has not shown me much to be optimistic. Grade: D Offensive Line Flozell Adams – possibly one of the most disappointing players this season, what happened to the ProBowl play from 2003. In 2004, “The Hotel” was vacant. It sure felt like Flo was guilty of an offsides charge in virtually everygame, this may not be true, but that’s what sticks out the most from Flozell – the constant offsides calls that would kill drives, couple these senseless penalties with Vinny’s horrid play and this spelled utter doom for many drives. Grade: D Larry Allen – what a difference an offseason made for LA. Remember that meeting that LA had with Parcells before the start of the year. What was said in that meeting? Who knows, but one thing is for sure, Larry Allen played like the LA we have grown to depend on. Solid play, solid blocking and utter domination of many of the best defensive players in the league. Allen was back, and earned another Pro Bowl nod. Allen got it done. Grade: A Al Johnson – in his second year at center, but pretty much a rookie since he was on IR his rookie year with a knee injury. Johnson was beat on occasion, but he showed determination and held the starting center position with a vice grip and held it the rest of the year. Johnson steadily played better in each game, however, he still needs more work on reading defensive packages and blitzes. With a full season under his belt and another offseason coming up, Johnson should be poised to do even better in 2005. Grade: C+ Andre Gurode – one of those 3rd year players that needed to show something, and he did show us something…he is not going to be here in 2005. Horrible run blocking and pass blocking hurt Gurode, and seemed lost most of the season, ultimately Gurode was benched. Grade: D Torrin Tucker – a virtual clone of Gurode, bad blocking, penalties, and poor decision making. May have played his way out of the Cowboys team as a whole. Grade: D Defensive Line Greg Ellis – the quiet leader stepped it up and really cranked it up another notch towards the end of the season. Ellis has been a consistent player for us for years now, more help on the line could lead to a pure explosion from Ellis. Ellis made plays, forced fumble, sacks and more all year long. A true asset on the defensive line. Grade: A La’Roi Glover – another solid year and another Pro Bowl nod only confirm what we already know. Up the middle pressure and runstopper that causes havoc in the deep trenches. Give Glover a solid tackel next to him and the re-emergence of a doomsday defense could rear its head once again. Grade: B+ Leonardo Carson – virtually ineffective next to Glover, not much production out of Carson or his backup. Some fans even have a hard time remembering who the player is that plays next to Glover…”what’s the name of that guy that plays next to Glover?” Exactly my thoughts here, where was Carson all year? Unfortunately Carson ended a horrible year with the worst play of the year, the stupid unsportsman like conduct play for 15yards, when he hit Manning. Grade: D- Marcellus Wiley – held in high regard and spoken highly off during the offseason by Bill, but this guy was a clone of Ekubust if not worst. We replaced Ekubust with a Free Agent Bust. Whether he was held back from be the rusher he said he was going to be is not really known for us for a fact. In any event, Wiley did not do anything too noticeable. He seemed to do more in the last games of the year, but it was too little too late. Wiley’s chances to stay on the team are up in the air despite signing a fat contract last offseason. Grade: F LBs Dexter Coakley – a defensive star during his early carerr, Coakley’s speed and playmaking skills have steadily taken a downward spiral. At one point he was benched in favor of Bradie James, however Dexter was back in. He held his own, but does not appear to be in the future plans for a Parcells ran team. Parcells has steadily been bringing in bigger LBs which he has always been accustomed to. Coakley’s payrate for 2005 is really high and he could be a cap casualty in the offseason. Dexter has been a loyal soldier and done well for us.It will be sad to seem him off the team. Grade: C- Dat Nguyen – didn’t appear to play the same as in 2003, he numbers are close but the play was a little off it seemed, a few missed tackles here and there, but so did most of the other defensive players. Dat remains a very solid rock at MLB. He’s a keeper in my book. Parcells likes him, fans like him, and he he one of the more consistent players on the roster. Grade: B Al Singleton – did he play? Jokes aside, I think Al’s days are also numbered, he’s just too slow, missed tackles and an average LB at best. He’s been a decent stop gap, but its time to bring in someone to take over. Grade: C- CBs Terence Newman – appeared to be in the perverbial “sophmore slump,” but then again it could have also been a result of the new rule that crippled many of todays star cornerbacks as well. With another year under his belt and another year with this new rule in place Newman will be back to domination. A reversal of the new rule will be discussed in the offseason by the many officials and a rule reversal would be great news. Grade: C+ Lance Frazier – replaced injured Pete Hunter, Bruce Thornton, and Tyrone Williams by midseason, Frazier has a lot of potential, scrappy corner with confidence and swagger. Frazier will be retained and will challenge for the starting spot against a full roster of CBs. If anything Frazier could also be moved to the nickel CB. We’ll see what happens/ Grade: C- Pete Hunter – was the favorite by Parcells to start opposite TNew, but when it came to play, Hunter was burned on several occasions in preseason and was eventually injured very early in the season. Hunter will be in the mix, but will have a hard time making the team if we sign a FA or draft a CB, same goes for the rest of the CBs on the roster. Grade: C- Bruce Thornton – rookie from Georgia with leadership skills, took awhile to get in the game, but he too was shelved with a season ending knee injury. Potential, but did not see enough to know what we have in Thornton. Grade: Incomplete Nate Jones – a rookie that actually played throughout the season, mainly on special teams and in nickel and dime situations. Not much of any impact by Jones. a late round pick in 2004 will still have a hard time making the team if more CBs are added. Grade: C- Jacques Reeves – same as Nate Jones, word for word. Grade: C- Safeties Roy Williams – thought to have had a slump season by some. To me Roy played well and still earned a Pro Bowl Nod for 2004. Roy was forced to play alone backing up the CBs, the safety next to him were nonimpact and non existant for the most part. Roy was kept out of the box where he made a lot of plays the previous years, he struggled to make a big splash; however, Roy is still our best psychological weapon on the team. WRs are always aware of Roy Williams, you can ask several players that failed to complete their seasons. Roy Williams will hurt you, plain and simple. Being hurt is painful, and no one likes pain. A revamped Defensive Line could bode very well for Roy win 2005, we’ll see him in the box again and more domination in the secondary as well. Grade: B+ Darren Woodson – what can be said of our fellow compradre? He never could recover from his neck surgery and this led to his retirement. Woodson is one of the best players the Cowboys organization has and will ever have. Loyalty is something Woodson was, a dieing breed. You will never see another Woodson again. Woodson is head above the shoulders of the rest in the league. Grade: A+ for all the years! Tony Dixon – a 2nd round bust, its official. Dixon played crappy and will not be a Cowboy anymore, sorry to be so quaint, but that’s as simple as its going to get here. thanks! Grade: F- Lynn Scott – I’ll take Scott over Dixon any day, but in the end Scott is not going to be Woodson’s replacement, no one can replace Woodson, but as far as someone with playmaking ability its not Scott. He made some decent tackles for average type player, seemed to give it his all. Grade: C- Keith Davis – listed as a safety, but this year Davis made his mark in special teams, the re-ermegence of a special teams specialist was back and it was in Keith Davis. Davis was on the bubble to make the team, he was almost left for dead when he was given a second shot when he was sent to NFLE. He shined in NFLE and cameback to join the Cowboys and made the team, and ever since then Davis shined on Special Teams. Parcells has hinted he may give the standout a shot at safety where he excelled in Europe as a playmaker and ballhawk, then again Parcells may be reluctant to take Davis off special teams. We’ll see what happens. One thing is for sure, if we don’t draft or sign a Safety, don’t be surprised. Davis may just get his shot. Grade: B+ Kickers Billy Cundiff – there’s a reason we brought in competition for Cundiff in 2004, unfortunately no one stepped up to beat him, sounds bad now that we look at it that way considering how bad Cundiff played this year. I want to feel condfident when the field goal team goes on the field, not anxious and nervous. Cundiff kicked his way off the team. Grade: D- Mat McBriar – oddly enough this was another diamond in the rough… a punter of all things in 2004. That’s right, McBriar did pretty damn good in his first year with us as our punter. This guy can boot those punts out. Good pickup here, with more improvement in special teams and the punter, teams will be pinned back on a regular basis next year. Grade: A Notable Players to Watch: Some players to watch in 2005 will be Bradie James, Kalen Thornton, Ryan Fowler, and Scott Shanle. If there are changes made in regards to Coakley and Singleton, some of these guys could be big contributors on defense whether its a replacment for a departed starter at LB or whether its contribution is some sort of 3-4 setup or 3-4 hybrid. Also, keep your eyes on Jacob Rogers and Stephen Peterman, these guys appear to be slated to battle it out for starting spots on that Oline. Rogers played some on special teams, backed up Tucker most of the year and later backed up Flozell at LT at the end of the year (his natural spot) With Gurode likely gone, we should see the scrappy Peterman back to make a serious run at RG. What else could we see in store for the Oline? I’m making the prediction that Parcells will make the decision to move Flozell to RT and start Rogers at LT, of course this all depends on the outcome of the draft and free agency. If nothing changes, we could see the lineup like this Rogers – Allen – Johnson – Peterman – Flozell. Its not a far fetched idea either, Flozell played RT in college and his rookie year, so it would not be a big deal to make the move. Rogers excelled at USC blocking for Palmer and Leinart, only downside is that Rogers has had several operations throughout his football career.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/03/2005 10:21:00 PM —– BODY:
A Losing Season Good For Future I’m about as Die Hard as any other Cowboys Fan, but now that the dust has settled and I begin to comprehend what happened to us in 2004, I think deep inside this is not as bad as it feels. All our hopes were high, maybe too high, that’s why the let down and mistakes are so amplified. This being said, our 6-10 record will help us out for the 2005 season. No one hopes for wins, but we do have a high pick, around #11, and our Buffalo pick is around #18 or so…there are some definite impact players that will come to us at those picks. In addition, our losing season will be motivation for coaches and players to get this thing going into the playoffs in 2005. Look, we have some positive to look at, especially with regards to the young players on this team. in 2005, we’ll have Newman back at CB, with more experience and more experience with the new rules that were set in place this year, RB is not a question mark for 2005 – Julius Jones is the real, so that is set, Witten will be in year 3yr, can you imagine what Witten will do in 2005. Our offseason focus will probably be on defense whether its via the draft and/or free agency. The defensive unit needs a few more tweaks, and not some stop gaps, we need proven playmakers. Let’s learn from the mistakes and experients of 2004 and get going for 2005! Next: Player Report Cards/Analysis
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/26/2004 06:37:00 PM —– BODY:
Vinny, Please Retire…. The Cowboys beat the Redskins 13-10, so we goto 6-9 with one game to go. We are officially out of playoff contention. Now that we are mathematically elimanated from the playoffs, will we see Romo or Henson? Who knows. What we do no is that Vinny did NOT get the job done, he cannot drive the bus. Vinny, please call it a day and retire.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/12/2004 03:38:00 PM —– BODY:
Vinny, offers best cbance to win? Really? Another loss, and same old- same old, but wait…Vinny offers the Cowboys the best chance to win doesn’t he? I think I can guess your answer to this…All I have to say, is that we need a QB in 2005, and its going to be anyone expect for Vinny. Vinny, don’t Vinny the snap……Vinny, please don’t throw another Vinnyception. We’re not going to be an old horse to death, but you can refer to the previous editorial. My gameplan for the next (3) games: We travel to Philly, let’s have Vinny start his last game in the NFL here. I’m guessing we lose here, Philly is just too much for us to handle right now. So, that will drop us to 5-9, virtually out of the playoffs. Last two games, we have the Redskins at home, and on the road in NY – here is were we need to look at Drew Henson closer, that’s it and that’s that! I truly hope we can make a run and go 8-8 and make a WildCard, but with Vinny I’m not holding my breath.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 11/21/2004 04:24:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells, Please Keep Them Benched Deep in our hearts we knew the Cowboys were probably going to lose against the Ravens on the road. Surprisingly enough though, the Cowboys played very well on defense and had the lead 3-0 at the half. Unfortunately the season’s dreaded play would rear its ugly head again, the main culprit – Vinny Testaverde. Testaverde single handedly brought the Cowboys back down with his two INTS for TDs, can you play anyworse, this is just icy on the cake. Vinny has thrown a whole lot of COSTLY INTS over the last 3 games. Bringing in Henson may have been too little too late, but you know what? Henson looked pretty good considering the circumstances – hostile environment, down 30-3, highly rated defense. Not only did Henson replace Vinny, but he was 6 for 6 with deadon accuracy, he ran for a key first down, and he threw for a TD. Its just common sense to bench your struggling QB, and added to that, Henson will earn some valuable playing time – very key for his development. We knew the results, we knew what was going to happen, so why did Die Hard fans alike watch the game? Simple, we’re all Die Hard to the bone, and we want to win, but morever, we wanted to “see” what Julius Jones would do since his injury in week 2. Julius Jones looked pretty good against the highly rated Ravens defense. In addition, we got a bonus when Drew entered the game. Perhaps, its too early to praise these two rookies, but its better than what we’ve been playing with for about 9 weeks….Backups in the starting rotation. Its hard to win with backups in the starting lineup in very key positions like QB & RB. That being said….Coach Parcells, please keep the backups Vinny and George on the bench.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 11/07/2004 02:36:00 PM —– BODY:
Another Meltdown, Surprised? The Cowboys struggles continue, and one staple of this struggling play is that of QB Vinny Testaverde. In the last (2) Games Vinny has thrown 6 INTS! His throws have been inconsistent, and thrown without any whip on them. I watched in agony as he threw more INTS in a game we desperately needed to win. Fans alike have hoped that Vinny would lead the team on offense, but this simply has not manifested through the 1st half of the season. Now comes the decision that Parcells will need to make very-very soon….Is it time to work in Henson? With another convincing loss, the Cowboys drop to (3-5) on the year. With (3) games in the next 11 days, this team will face a huge challenge. If the Cowboys can sweep those game, we’re sill in the hunt, if we lose all three, its over – you can turn out the lights. What’s the outlook? Looking at how we have performed at home and on the road, the latter seems more realistic, unfortunately. Can we beat the Eagles, Ravens and Bears in that 11 day stretch? Die Hards will no doubtally conitinue to support our Cowboys, we still bleed blue, but right now fans everywhere are crying blue…
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 10/17/2004 10:07:00 PM —– BODY:
Can’t Win at Home? Now what? Yet another very disappointing lose at HOME, two straight home loses. What is going on you say? Well, were could you begin? Is it the defense, the offense, special teams, coaches? I think so, this is a complete breakdown. The Cowboys cannot get on track, and the scary thing is that we cannot win at home! This begs the question, if we can’t win at home, how can we win in hostile away games? We play the Packers next, and guess what its not looking so good. Its not one person, its not “someone has to step up” ITS the WHOLE team has to step it up and they better pick it up right now. Sure the season is early, but how many loses can we take before players moral heads south and the 5-11 mindset rears its ugly head. Buckle your seatbelt this could be a bumpy ride. God I hope not, but we have not done much to suggest otherwise.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/13/2004 02:14:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Lose to Vikings Again… The Vikings have had the Cowboys number over the last couple of years. Moss is virtually unstoppable. He did not get many yards but the TDs are the ones that count and Moss made TD catches that hurt us. More offensive penalties killed several key drives. We lost 35-17, it could have been closer, but the Vikings were just the better team on Sunday. Postives: ReShard Lee is a playmaker type running back – he looked great. Antonio Bryant made several catches in traffic and looked pretty good Negatives: Tony Dixon cannot tackle Hunter continues to struggle Overall defense looked horrible No pass rush from the front four Secondary coverage was suspect – blown coverages Offensive line penalties Muffed field goal We can keep going…. Next: Cleveland @ Dallas 3:15 CST
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/10/2004 04:55:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys @ Vikings Prediction The Vikings have dominated the Cowboys in recent years, but that was before the Bill Parcells came aboard. The big talk has been centered around the Vikings Moss…can we stop him, how do we stop him, can we win at Minnesota? Many questions, with many possibilities. The media has overshadowed our potential to light it up on offense as well. With an accurate QB in Vinny and a pretty good core of receivers we could very well go toe-to-toe against the Vikes offensively. Remember at the beginning of the year, the Cowboys were actually ranked #1 in total offense for the first couple of weeks – not the Rams, not the Vikes, it was the Cowboys. All of this without Vinny, George, or Keyshawn. The Vikings defense is mediocre and is very capable of giving up a lot of points. I predict that we will see a pretty good showing by our offense. The Vikings cannot shutdown our various array of weapons. Can they cover Glenn, and can they stop Keyshawn, what about AB? Can they stop Witten from making key 3rd down conversions? How about slowing down our DEEP backfield. You think the Vikings have a deep RB core, maybe, but I like our depth better. We’ll shove Richie Anderson down their throat, along with George, we’ll use Julius to make people miss, and Lee will hit the line and leave their D looking back at a dust cloud – that’s how good our depth is at RB. Ball control and time control is Parcells type football, and we definitely have the personnel to run on them all day long. Don’t count our receivers out either, we are capable of making plays through the air with playmakers like Keyshawn and Jason Witten with the clutch city catches. On defense, we will retain the #1 Defense in the league again this year. Expect to see a lot of different looks from our defense. stunts, blitzes, zone blitzes, safety blitz, nickel and dime packages, we’ll see a 3-4 set to throw them off, we could see Bradie James and Kalen Thornton making plays in a 3-4 lineup. Trust me, the Vikings will have their hands full on the line of scrimmage with Glover, Ellis, Wiley and Eaton. You want speed and muscle on defense, well, we have it. Moss will make some catches, but its going to take more than Moss to beat us this time around. We are a team to be reckoned with. Cowboys 27 Vikings 24 Football is here!!!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/01/2004 11:13:00 PM —– BODY:
Hunting For A Cornerback! When there’s a weakness in our starting lineup it sticks out like a sore thumb. For example, last year it was Quarterback and Running Back. It would appear that those to holes have been filled with some real talent, only time will tell. Defensive End was addressed as well when the Cowboys signed Marcellus Wiley. Cornerback and Defensive Tackle are two other spots that needed help. We’ve added some depth at DT with the emergence of Leo Carson and the addition of Chad Eaton. Only thing left on defense is the RCB spot. Pete Hunter is the favorite to win out the spot, but his play in the preseason has been very suspect and of concern. The other two players have less experience than Hunter ; like, Powell and Thornton. Powell has been severely burnt more than once, and Thornton has not played as much. The concerns are mounting, Parcells has stated, “someone has to step up” Parcells has even commented that if needed he could “pinch” someone and get a guy. Who? I’m not sure, could be Ty Law, McKenzie or someone else. One thing is for sure, we’re still in the hunt for decent CB, if anything Hunter and Co. will be the stop gappers for this year and you can bet that we’ll be in great position for next years draft. There will be a couple of pretty good CBs coming out next year. Eventually someone will step up or someone will showup via the draft.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/21/2004 06:40:00 PM —– BODY:
From Conditioning to Clinching The media has pegged the Eagles to win out in the NFC East…again, and that is not a far fetched prediction, will it happen? That’s another question. The East could be one of the most competitive divisions in the league and the East promises to be an all out rumble this year and players better be well coached and conditioned if they want to make that run to the playoffs. What’s it going to take to clinch the NFC East this year? Without a doubt the Eagles have dominated the East for several years, but the Cowboys are gaining ground and will be right on their tails if not better in 2004, not to mention, its only a matter of time before Gibbs whips the Skins back into shape. The Eagles know this, and are running out of time – the window is closing on them. So, what do the Eagles do this offseason? They sign Terrell Owens and injury prone DE Jevon Kearse. Signing these two marquee names does not guarantee anything, lets not forget that the Eagles lost some core leaders like CBs Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor, RB Duce Staley also jumped ship. One key to victory this year will be conditioning, and the Cowboys have one of the best, if not THE best conditioning coach in Joe Jurasek. Under Jurasek the Cowboys have had less injuries than the rest of the East. With a better head coach and retooling of the starting lineups the Cowboys will rely on Jurasek’s conditioning program to enable our guys to outlast the rest of the division. Its early in the preseason, and teams like the Redskins and Eagles have already incurred major injuries to key players that will have them out for the year. In Washington, they lost OT Jansen to a season ending injury, this will only hurt the Skins already weak offensive line, do not expect newly acquired RB Clinton Portis to have the same level of success in Washington as he did in Denver. Talent at RB does make a difference and there’s no doubt that Portis will be dangerous, but he will only be as good as his line is this year. The Eagles have already lost key players like ND Kalu, Grasmanis, Buckhalter, Ike Reese, and Trotter to name a few. The Cowboys have a lot of positives that could help them make a serious run at clinching the East and another trip into the playoffs, the key could come down to conditioning.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/15/2004 10:51:00 AM —– BODY:
Cowboys/Texans Postgame ViewsWell, I was way off on my prediction, lol. I know it was a preseason game, but the Cowboys stunk it up bigtime. I saw the game, and the whole time I was hoping to catch a camera shot of Parcells, I’m sure he was fuming and angered by the poor-poor performance. Redzone penalties, holding, offsides, dropped balls, overthrows, and INTS stopped the Cowboys from doing anything postive as a unit. Now, what do we know from last nights game? Let’s look at the good and bad news here: 1) Pete Hunter did not do good at all – the Texans threw at him all day, the spot opposite Newman is still open. 2) Eddie George looked slow 3) Dixon played sufficiently 4) ReShard Lee WILL make this team, he ran very well, good speed and fluid, hit the line like a bullet. 5) Henson looks very good, quick release, high velocity and moved the offense pretty accurate except for the endzone INT 6) Julius Jones is the real deal, forget about George taking the bulk of the carries, Julius runs like a veteran Cowboy of yesteryear. Bounce outs, quick cuts and jukes all made pretty good chunks of yards. 7) Patrick Crayton looks good and I expect him to make the team, Zuriel will be out. 8) The Oline held up most of the game, very good protection for our QBs, sure there was some pressure, but much improved from last year. For the rookies – Peterman played well but did get beat a few times and pushed around, he held his own and will improve. Jacob Rogers is a huge OT, and he did a good job last night. The battle for RT will come down to the end as Tucker played pretty good as well. 9)Plays of the game was a semi-deep pass from Henson to Randal Williams and a sideline pass from Henson to Crayton. 10) I liked the play of backups Bradie James and rookie Ryan Fowler, they played well – both were all over the field making tackles. I have to give the Texans sooome credit though, they played very well, and their two first rounder rookies Dunta Robinson and Jason Babin made some plays – they are going to be immediate impact players for that team. I’m Parcells and Co. will be chewing some ass this week. We need more work.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/14/2004 02:27:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys vs. Texans Prediction First preseason game at Reliant Stadium for the Governors Cup. I predict a victory. Cowboys 27 Texans 24
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/14/2004 01:32:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Making His Team The Cowboys kick off the preseason today at Houston, and man has this team been overhauled or upgraded in comparisons to this time last year. Parcells is clearly making HIS team his way. We started out slow in free agency, but historically Parcells has done the same with his previous teams, so we can expect the same thing for 2005 and beyond. Moreover, Parcells has removed “weaklinks” from this team since his arrival. Notable starters that have been cut from last years team are RB Troy Hambrick and QB Quincy Carter, both were given the opportunity to shine, but both ended up being failing and ultimately shown the door. What we didn’t know is that QC had a substance abuse issue, so all the planning and manuvering by the Cowboys this offseason were planned from the get-go. As soon as we lost our Wild Card game to the Panthers, we knew there was going to be change. Deep in your heart you know QC was not going to get it done – sure he seemed like a nice guy, but that will not get it done in the NFL. So, who could we get to replace QC? The Cowboys scout team knew the good QBs from this years class would be long gone by our #22 pick and this was true – some fan favorites Philip Rivers, and Ben Rothlisberger were long gone. Knowing that these guys would probably be gone, the Cowboys made a move before the draft and traded for former blue chipper QB Drew Henson whom the Texans drafted in hopes that he would return to football. The wheels were in motion, so Parcells knew he would need a viable mentor and someone who can add depth at QB. Vinny Testaverde’s name was being rumored from the end of the regular season, so as soon as he was released from the Jets, he was in Dallas. This would be the final piece in getting rid of Quincy Carter a second round bust…. Now looking ahead, we know Vinny will start this year, BUT will our Oline hold up for the classic drop back quarterback, if not Vinny (40) could take some hits and could very well get injured. An injury to Vinny would most likely throw Henson into the Lions den sooner that expected. Whether its the 2004 or 2005 season, Henson is the heir apparent to Aikman, and he better be ready. Early reports have Henson doing very well in camp, showing laser sharp accuracy, high velocity, and NFL arm. The plan from the get go was to get these two guys aboard and phase out QC – another relic from a dismal offensive era. The new era is here, and Parcells continues to mold his team.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/01/2004 09:41:00 PM —– BODY:
Training Camp is Here! Well Cowboys Training Camp is in full swing, and the big names have already made some impressions. Eddie George has the focus of a wide-eyed rookie showing durability, strength and experience. George has been making people miss, breaking tackles, and finding the holes in the Oline. Antonio Bryant is being watched closely by everyone, and AB early on has been making big time catches downfield. Larry Allen is well conditioned, well alot better than previous seasons. LA is exhibiting a much improved work ethic and looks good so far. Parcells has stated that Julius will be tested in training camp and will get many carries and opportunities to show what he can bring to the team. Early on, the only disappointing play is coming from WR Randal Williams. Williams is liked by many fans and many have hoped he would have the breakout year, usually Randal has had great camps and pretty good preseasons, is he unmotivated? We hope he can be an asset in the offensive scheme, but he will need to be consistent in camp and beyond. In other news, Woodson is recovering from his disc surgery, and the team is reporting that he will miss the team opener and should be ready between weeks 2-3 depending on how his rehab comes along. All drafted rookies have indeed been signed – now they will need to earn that Star.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 7/03/2004 03:39:00 PM —– BODY:
Pre-Training Camp Positional Grades With training camp looming less than 4 weeks away, I’ll take a look at our pre-training camp positional grades, once camp has completed, we’ll revisit and see if we have improved by position. QuarterbacksLet’s be honest here, We have some “potential”, but potential does not win games. Quincy Carter has been under Parcells system for a year now, so he should have a better season, the key will be his ball throwing decisions – will he get flushed out of the pocket and throw a senseless INT? or will he clutch it out? Then we have Veteran QB Vinny Testaverde…Testaverde was brought into Dallas to Mentor the heir apparent Drew Henson, BUT should QC fail to be productive early, we could see Vinny in the game. Vinny will mentor all our young QBs, along with Sean Payton the QB corps should be better improved. Vinny has been productive everywhere he has played, so his presence will be valuable this season. Drew Henson is the next guy on the depth chart. He hasn’t played football in years, but that didn’t stop several NFL clubs from taking a look at Henson at the Texans private workouts. He has the prototype NFL build, and NFL arm. For now, Henson is a season project – we all know this. Romo is a fans favorite, and although he has not played in any regular season games, he has a strong arm, and his style of play is reminiscint of Brett Farve, Romo qualifies to be on the practice squad this year, after that he will probably make the move into our lineup after Vinny Retires in 2005. Hutch will be gone. Overall Pre-Training Camp Grade: C+ Running BacksAre running back are young a raw. Rookie RB Julius Jones will be penciled in as the starter, but we can expect the rookie to share the load for now with Veteran RB Richie Anderson. Parcells has moved Richie to the running spot, so the 1 – 2 punch could be lethal this year. Julius is shifty, well balanced and elusive. I expect to see some Emmitt-like runs from Julius this year. RaShard Lee is another young back to look out for this season. Lee will probably battle it out with Cason for the backup spot, more now since Bickerstaff is out for the year. Expect to see multiple backfield formations, with Julius as the featured back, and Richie coming in on third down plays. Overall Pre-Training Camp Grade: B+ FullbacksFullbacks is an interesting position this year, since Parcells is moving Richie from FB to RB. Training camp will be very pivotal for the FBs that we have. Jamar Martin is reportedly in Parcells doghouse for showing up out of shape and overweight. Parcells is looking for “his guy” at FB. Parcells brought rookie Lousaka Polite who has good ball catching skills along with blocking skills – his scouting report sounds similar to Richie. Parcells likes FB to catch from the backfield and Polite will make a serious run. We also acquired Barnes from Tampa Bay, who is mainly a Special Teams specialist, but he will be in the hunt as well. Overall the FB spot is totally open, and really is a question mark for us. Inexperience and youth make the FB spot weak right now. Again, there is potential, but we’ll have to see if that will manifest into solid quality play this year. Overall Pre-Training Camp Grade: C- Tight EndsIt’s been a very long time since Cowboys fans have been excited and confident in the TEs position. Well this year we have some great expectations, and we have some great guys in the TE corps. Jason Witten…one word “Tough” this was one of the bright spots in last years stagnant offense. Witten exhibited he could follow his routes through, catch the ball, block, and take big hits… all of this while playing with wires in his jaw. Witten has had a solid offseason workout and has been hard at work. Fans are awaiting his dominating year this year. In addition, Campbell will be back, and he is another solid TE with good catching hands and great blocking. We also have Robinson, who’s only job is to snap, and he’s been rock solid thus far. Cowboys drafted a true monster type TE in Sean Ryan from Boston College, expect Ryan to be involved in SPecial Teams play and in the offensive blocking schemes, this guy is huge. We also have James Whalen who has been plagued with nagging injuries, but when he is healthy he is a star on Special Teams, Whalen could be on the bubble this time around though. Overall Pre-Training Camp Grade: A Wide ReceiversEarly last season there was talk that we had one of the best Trios in the league with Galloway, Glenn, and Bryant…Well, that talk quickly faded after we got out to a fast start, but quickly faded. Galloway is gone, in his place with have “The Key” – Keyshawn Johnson. Keyshawn will be an immediate boost to player moral/motivation and leadership, especially playing for Parcells again. We have Terry Glenn who was very-very streaky, you just never knew which Glenn was going to show up. Glenn had some great games, but then he had some lameduck games. Then we have the volatile Antonio Bryant who had one good game in NY, but quickly faded into the distance. Dropped balls plagued AB the entire season, and fans question his play – was the dropped balls caused by off-the-field issues; drugs, women, partying or was it a depth perception issues – a visual impairment? Well, this offseason we came to learn that AB infact DID HAVE and visual problem, he had blurred vision. AB had lasik surgery, so this should be a nonissue this year. This is make or break for AB, he needs to shutup and be the playmaker he thinks he is. Another notable WR in our depth chart is another fan favored hopefull in Randall Williams. Williams reportedly runs a 4.3-4.2/40, that is just blazing speed. Williams has always shined in the preseason, but has never been given the real opportunity to shine in the starting three. Williams is a big receiver, with a solid build. Williams will probably have a bigger role this season. Two other rookie WRs to watch this camp will be James Newson and Brandon Middleton. Newson has good size, the only knock on Newson is his speed – kinda slow/average. Middleton the other interesting WR to watch, coming out of college Middleton was ranked in the top 15 for WRs in the NCAA, makes plays after the catch and has stated his style of play is similar to Carolina’s Steve Smith, both similar builds in size.We have some options this year at WR, but Keyshawn and Glenn are not getting any younger. Overall Pre-Training Camp Grade: B Offensive LineThe big story this offseason was centered around Pro-Bowl Guard Larry Allen. Parcells, Jones, and LA have seemingly diffused the impasse for now. LA has been hard at work at the Cowboys facility working out with teammates. We know Allen and Flozell will have the leftside anchored down. Center should be very competitive this camp. Al Johnson will probably end up taking over at Center after being out last year from injury, but Matt Lehr will challenge and will make Johnson earn his spot. RT is up in the air right now as well with Torrin Tucker and Rogers in the thick of it, but second rounder Jacob Rogers is expected to make his way into the staring rotation as well. RG will be battled out between Andre Gurode and rookie third rounder Stephen Peterman. Its forseeable that we could have the right side played by two rookies, training camp will be interesting to see this year. We do have depth on the Oline as well. Overall Pre-Training Camp Grade: B SecondaryLittle by little our secondary is shaping up to be one of the most dominating in the league. Here we go – the bright spots at our secondary are: LCB Terence Newman, SS Darren Woodson, and FS Roy Williams…RCB is the only missing link right now. Who will play opposite TNew? Right now, we’re hearing Pete Hunter is the favored CB, Hunter has great height, and very speedy for his size. Alot of fans remember the bad play of Hunter last year, but he was playing out of position caused by Mitchells injury for that nickel slot. Hunter was inconsistent and burnt several times, but in 2004 Hunter returns to his natural spot at RCB. Hunter will be closely looked at by EVERYONE, and if there is any hesitation or inconsistent play, look for rookie CB Bruce Thorton to take his place. Thorton played very well for the Bulldogs and was their team captain for the #8 defense in NCAA. Thorton has great leadership and cover skills. Thorton made some noise during minicamps while he brokeup several passes, we’ll see how he does against the veterans in camp with pads. Either way, Thorton will add solid depth at RCB,maybe in the nickel slot later. Parcells also added some depth in drafting Nate Jones and Jacquees Reeves. Overall Pre-Training Camp Grade: B+ LinebackersOur linebacker corps have always been solid for years, and this year is no exception. We will continue to see probowl play from MLB Dat Nguyen, Strongside LB will be played by AL Singleton, and perhaps one of this years most competitive spots at Weakside LB will be between Dexter Coakley and 2nd year player Bradie James. During minicamp, we got a preview of the LB lineup when James started over Coakley, which lit a LB contraversy by the media. Fans alike had James pegged to replace Singelton who is older and slower. We’ll all watch how this plays out. Either way, LB will be solid once again. Hopefully Dat will his his deserved Pro-Bowl Nod this year! Overall Pre-Training Camp Grade: A Defensive LineAnother area of excited anticipation from fans comes because of the arrival of LE Marcellus Wiley. The past few years LE has been played by Greg Ellis who was playing out of position. With the arrival of Wiley, we’ll see Ellis playing at his natural RE spot. Wiley could be what Haley was for us in the 90s. Wiley plays hard on every play, and has bigtime playing capabilities. Parcells has praised Wiley’s offseason workouts and dedication to the team. Wiley will help add pressure, and allow someone two make plays in the backfield and visa/versa. With the addition of Wiley, we will see more sacks from Glover, and Ellis, in turn these sames players will help Wiley regain his confidence now that he’s around quality defensive players. The only question mark in the Dlineup is the DT spot next to Glover, will it be Blade or Stewart, and will that person stay consistent the whole year. The only knock I had on Blade last year, was that he played fiercely early on, but he quickly faded and we saw more and more rotation in his spot. We’ll see who comes to play this year. Overall Pre-Training Camp Grade: A-The 2004 Offseason has been very exciting and interesting thus far, and I’m sure we’ll have some more surprises during camp and the preseason. Our outlook for this season should be positive, We’ll be under Parcells 2nd year rebuilding plan, so realistically we should make the playoffs again, BUT year 3+ is where the domination will be in full gear. The master of the draft made some noise by skipping out on Jackson, but what the mainstream media does not understand is that Parcells does his homework, and is very calculating in his decision making.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 6/09/2004 10:44:00 PM —– BODY:
Bryant on Thin Ice! Well, well-well, just when Antonio seemed to turn it around he goes off on the head coach, Bill Parcells. Maybe the reason AB does not get the ball is because he is not cerebral! Are you insanely stupid as to throw a childish tirade in your coach’s face?!! From a fans point of view we have hoped to see AB evolve into that #1 WR role, but he seems to be self destructing, With a poor outing last season, and now this….Do not be surprised if AB is released or traded out. Parcells does not mess around, look at former CB Ross. Had that “potential”, but made some very poor judgments while in Dallas, AB is taking the same flight. Coincidently, AB is friends with Ross – makes you wonder. We have options for WR this year and for next years draft, so losing AB would not hurt us. Can you remember what AB has done for us since he has been here? AB will be a RFA at the end of the season, and the way its going I wonder if we’d even re-sign him. Antonio Bryant, get your shit together man! Shut up and play.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/29/2004 10:48:00 AM —– BODY:
Memorial Day – Day of Remembering Well, it’s Memorial Day Weekend now. Its really good to take a moment to define the real meaning of our Memorial Day holiday. Its not just another day where we have off from work or school, its a day of remembrance. Remember your family, friends abroad alive or deceased. For me I have a great respect for the men and women that serve in the armed forces of our great nation. For me I will be remembering all our soldiers that are giving it all overseas in Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, Haiti, Bosnia, Korea, and all the other parts of the world. The site owner of thedallascowboys.net also has the same gratitude that I hold for vets current and retired, its a great site to be associated with, and I’d like to thank Joe for this opportunity to write for his site on a daily basis. With Memorial day so close to the 60th Anniversary of D-Day, I’d like to remember all our fallen soldiers that gave it all on June 6th, 1944. That was the bravest generation. Without them and their bravery our world may have been dominated by tyranny. Remember your World War II Vets. And from me to all vets in the service now or in the past – THANK YOU!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 5/15/2004 09:29:00 PM —– BODY:
A Pre-Season Outlook For 2004With the lose to the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs still fresh in many players’ minds, the goals for this young team are high. The appetite for domination, the swagger, the hunger is what will keep the Cowboys rolling in 2004. The players believe in Parcells, and they believe in his system – his style of football. So, what is “Parcells Football?” Parcells Football is your classic throwback type style. Its smashmouth, its domination on both sides of the ball,, its discipline, its game control…and this year will mark the true return of the “Doomsday Defense”, the offensive side of the ball is still in rebuilding mode, but the defense will return to the field with great intimidation, and the swagger from days past. When we look at the defense we have a collective squad of young players that are looking to repeat what they did last season. The Cowboys have upgraded the DE spot vacated by Ekubust, by signing Marcellus Wiley. Wiley will lineup on LE, and Greg Ellis, will move back to his natural RE spot where he dominates. We should see some great front four play – which should cause havoc on QBs around the league. With this new pass rush, we should see hurried throws, underthrown/overthrown balls, which will lead to some big hits in the secondary from our two hitmen Woodson & Williams lurking around. In addition, we should expect to see more interceptions and forced turnovers by our defensive squad. For training camp, we should see fierce competition from LB Bradie James and the CB spot where Pete Hunter is tentatively penciled in at the starting spot opposite of Terence Newman. Hunter will be battling it out with rookie CB Bruce Thorton. Now for the offensive side of the ball, we have some changes. RT Ryan Young is gone, and RB Troy Hambrick was recently shown the door. Thus far, the biggest news this offseason has been the status of Pro-Bowl Guard Larry Allen, well as of right now the Parcells/Allen impasse seems to have been layed to rest…for now. The main issue was LA’s conditioning. Reports state that Allen was asked to workout on his own before the draft, so Allen was working out at a local YMCA; however, Parcells and Allen recently had a “sit down” and seemingly have resolved some issues at hand. Allen is now working out with the team at the team’s facilities. Hambrick is out – reports state that Hambrick did not want to be a backup to rookie Julius Jones, so his agent asked for his release…he is gone. So, how is the O-Line going to shape up? Well, with the re-emergence of Allen, he will be back at LG, and could have a true Pro-Bowl year, we’ll see. We know this: Flozell, Allen, and Johnson are penciled in as the starters. The competition on the right side will be fierce, We’ll see Torrin Tucker, Kurt Vollers, and rookie Jacob Rogers battle it out at Right Tackle. Third year player RG Andre Gurode will get one final chance play upto team expectations, but look for the 3rd round steal Stephen Peterman to possibly leapfrog into the starting lineup, the same could apply for Jacob Rogers in the RT battles. In Summation, the Cowboys have made very wise decisions this offseason: a couple of good quality free agents, and a pretty good addition of rookies drafted and undrafted. If you look at what Parcells has done in the past and right now, you will see he builds his teams up young via the draft. Free Agency is not a high staple in rebuilding, but it is still a viable outlet for adding a starting playing here and there, but mainly for depth purposes. Impact players to watch: The emergence of Jason Witten – he could have a big year. Terence Newman WILL see more wounded ducks fly his way, and he as well as the rest of the secondary will have more INTS. Keyshawn Johnson will bring that sideline fire and will be a playmaker for us. Rookie running back Julius Jones should be a very welcomed addition to the offense as well. Roy Williams we be knocking players out because the upfront rush will force the ball to be thrown early, thus leaving some receivers out to dry. BAM! you just got knocked out…
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/30/2004 08:17:00 PM —– BODY:
Rookies Big Day Out All Cowboy Rookies and Undrafted Free Agents had their first big taste of being part of America’s Team – The Dallas Cowboys. It’s a boyhood dream that many young athletes dream about, playing for one of the most prestigous professional sports teams in the world. Making it this far is a dream come true in itself, but these young ones have a far-far way to go before they can say they are official Cowboys. To Parcells its all about performance on the field NOT their potential. The journey for these young kids begins now. Time to earn that star gentlemen. Here’s how the rookie clinic went: ” Quarterback Drew Henson took almost all the snaps during his first practice Friday. Of course, the only other quarterback in Friday’s rookie mini-camp was Brett Mitchell. Bill Parcells and Jerry Jones seemed pleased by what they saw from Henson, although Parcells admitted to getting Henson and Mitchell’s numbers mixed up early in the almost two-hour practice. The Cowboys’ eight rookies were all in attendance as well as 13 free-agent rookies who were signed over the past few days. An NFL rule doesn’t allow any veterans to participate in rookie camp, but plenty of veterans showed up to watch the practice. Quarterback Quincy Carter watched with great interest as Henson threw passes to the likes of Northwestern Oklahoma’s Patrick Crayton and Houston’s Brandon Middleton. Parcells and his coaching staff took the players through a typical training camp-type practice, which included individual and team drills. Here are the high and lows from Friday’s rookie camp: The Henson report: Drew Henson was 22-of-36 in 1-on-1 and team drills Friday. He looked sharp on middle screens and out passes, especially since he was throwing into a 10-15 mph wind. Henson had plenty of arm on deep routes, but overthrew his receivers several times. He did connect with receiver Patrick Crayton on a deep pass. On several crossing routes, Henson led his receivers perfectly. He lost some of the zip on the ball late in Friday’s practice. Catch of the day: Tight end and fifth-round pick Sean Ryan made the best catch of the day when he dove to make a fingertip grab of a Henson pass. Ryan made several tough catches, but he did let one slide through his hands. Brandon Middleton, a free-agent rookie receiver out of Houston, reached back across his body to haul in a pass from Mitchell. Several receivers trapped balls against their chests, but Middleton did a nice job of catching the ball away from his body. Who was watching practice: Carter arrived just in time to watch Henson complete a deep pass in the end zone. When Crayton made a nice grab, running back Aveion Cason (who has added 15 pounds of muscle) and receiver Zuriel Smith grabbed a roster to see who made the catch…Cornerback Terence Newman, offensive tackle Torrin Tucker, offensive tackle Javiar Collins, cornerback Jemeel Powell, cornerback Andrew Davidson and right guard Andre Gurode all watched practice from the sidelines. Jones is Parcells’ water boy: Second-round draft pick and running back Julius Jones retrieved cups of water for Parcells during Friday’s practice. Last season, first-round pick Terence Newman was in charge of taking care of Parcells. After the first break Friday, Jones showed nice acceleration toward the water bucket. Parcells took the cup of water without a word. Jones looks sharp in first workout: Jones showed his 4.38 speed on several running plays Friday. The Cowboys also worked at getting Jones the ball on middle screens. He shared time with ReShard Lee, who was on his way to making the team in training camp last season when he injured his right knee. Rogers and Peterman work on the right side: Second-round pick Jacob Rogers worked at right tackle and third-round pick Stephen Peterman worked at right guard. Incumbent starter Andre Gurode watched each play with interest from the sidelines. Quick hits: Seventh-round pick Nate Jones of Rutgers picked off Henson during the 7-on-7 drill. Jones showed nice closing speed before snagging the pass…Free-agent rookie fullback Lousaka Polite of Pittsburgh looked caught several passes out of the backfield. He was one of the best fullbacks that didn’t get drafted…Free-agent rookie receiver James Newson made a great move before catching a pass from Henson.” Thanks to Eleven50nine for these tidbits.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/28/2004 12:06:00 PM —– BODY:
Grading The Draft Graders… I’ve been looking around the net at various popular mainstream and independent football sites, and a few have been giving the Cowboys low grades, and denounced the Cowboys as losers on draft day. You know who we’re talking about, and the fact is that these guys have no clue what they are talking about. As a true football fan, and a true fan of the Dallas Cowboys. I know the Cowboys had a pretty good draft – no way I’m I saying we had a A+ draft, but I sure the hell am not saying we had a subpar draft. These so called experts have no true sense of what “Parcells Football” is and what in entails. A good point was made by one our our site contributors on thedallascowboys.net radio, David Lord states, “If you look at what Parcells is doing, he is stock piling, we picked up Keyshawn a blocking receiver, Tight end Sean Ryan, drafted Rogers, Drafted Peterman” ….”We’re going to see smash mouth football” and I could not have said it better. As a contributor to the site, I just laugh when I see these ridiculous post draft grades!! Experts get a clue! Research Parcells football! Furthermore, I came across this interesting article about these so called draft experts: As one league insider explained to us on Monday, the media generally doesn’t know what it’s talking about when it comes to the evaluating NFL talent. “I don’t remember the last time a sports writer spent millions on scouting a football player,” the source said. “They spend $15.95 on draft books by [Mel] Kiper or Pro Football Weekly and think they have all the answers. What they fail to realize is Kiper and the kid from Pro Football Weekly have never scouted a game in their lives. They get info from scouts and the only info they get is what scouts want to tell them. They have no idea about medical information or character information, which is huge in the evaluation process. “It always amuses me when I read their reports because they know less than 25 percent of what the average scout knows. Yet the press use their books as expert opinions and even steal some of those reports when they give an opinion about a player. In short, they have no clue and never will.” In summary, I’m grading the draft graders, and I give them a F- for (expletive here) idiots!! Get a clue.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/25/2004 07:11:00 PM —– BODY:
Quick Cowboys Draft Review Jackson and Jones dropped into our laps and we traded out, for all intents and purposes we made a huge deal in the trade. The Bills grossly overpaid. By FAR, we got the best end on this deal, and the icing on the cake is that the Cowboys were looking at drafting Julius all along. We take the Bills 1st rounder next year, we got the early pick in the second from them and took Julius, and a 5th rounder which allowed us to garner (3) more picks in the 7th round. Parcells had this planned, just waited for the best suitor, and that team was the Bills. We are stock piled! In the 2nd Round we take our first draft pick with Running Back Julius Jones of Notre Dame. Expect Julius Jones to be an immediate starter -no brainer. Jones will bring a different running type back in comparison to Hambrick. Jones runs well between the guards and tackles. This is important, Jones also has the quick burst to bounce and skip outside. Later in the 2nd, we take OT Jacob Rogers, to me this pick is questionable because of all the back to back injuries from 2001-2003, Will he get injured this year in training camp, pre-season…He’s a big solid player, and dominating when he plays, but the injury prone qualities worry me with this pick. If Rogers can improve his durability and stay healthy, then Rogers could crack into the starting lineup, If anything Rogers will add DEEP depth for the tackles area. In the 3rd, the Cowboys take Offensive Guard Stephen Peterman. What a complete steal for us in the 3rd round. Peterman was highly rated coming into the draft and was expected to be gone by the mid to late 2nd round. Peterman slipped down, and we took the brutal blocker out of LSU. LSU had a very solid Oline for the last 2 years or so, and Peterman was part of that reason. Peterman is strong, plays with some mean streak in him, and will push you around. Great steal with the 3rd pick. In the 4th we took Cornerback Bruce Thorton, a converted RB. Thorton as special teams experience, and could battle it out with Pete Hunter for that other Corner spot, will add good depth at corner. In the 5th, many guys were hoping we draft DT or CB here, and we may have, but the player Parcells wanted was on the board so we took Tight End Sean Ryan. Many fans could not understand this selection. But if you have any sense of what “Parcells” football is, its old school smash mouth. Parcells likes the throwback type guys, and Ryan in the 4th was an interesting pick, but look at the kid….he’s huge, and a hardnosed blocker out of Boston College. 6-4 270lbs. this guys adds a big body that will be utilized in the Cowboys blocking schemes. Ryan was brought in to help out, and help pull and block for Julius and the other RBs. In the 7th Round Parcells is looking for a solid Return specialist, and the last (3) picks in the 7th Round were ALL calculated picks to find that return guy. Last season, Zuriel Smith showed some flashed, but was ultimately benched in favor of Galloway. Zuriel’s days may be numbered with these picks. The Cowboys took CB Nathan Jones from Rtutgers who had very-very impressive return numbers there, had speed, and good field vision, and good hands. The Cowboys also too WR Patrick Crayton who is very versatile and Parcells really likes him, could draw comparison the former player Woody Danztler -he will also compete for a special teams spot. And with the final pick the Cowboys took a Purdue track star in CB Jacques Reeves. Reeves has bigtime gamebreaking speed, an all star for Purdue’s Track and Field Program. Reeves is another guy who will battle it out on special teams, could add depth at corner as well.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/25/2004 12:57:00 PM —– BODY:
NFL Draft 2004 The 1st day is behind us, and I’m sure fans are going crazy with what has occurred, but Parcells knows what he’s doing. We are rebuilding for a serious run at the SuperBowl by 2005, and this year we will improve more. Here’s a recap of the NFL 1st round: 1 Chargers* – QB Philip Rivers #2 Raiders – OT Robert Gallery #3 Cardinals – WR Larry Fitzgerald #4 NY Giants* – QB Eli Manning #5 Redskins – S Sean Taylor #6 Browns* – TE Kellen Winslow #7 Detroit* – WR Roy Williams #8 Atlanta – DeAngelo Hall #9 Jackonsville – WR Reggie Williams #10 Houston – CB Dunta Robinson #11 Pittsburgh – QB Ben Roethlisberger #12 NY Jets – LB Jonathen Vilma #13 Bills – WR Lee Evans #14 Chicago – DT Tommie Harris #15 Tampa Bay – WR Michael Clayton #16 Eagles* – OT Shawn Andrews #17 Broncos – LB DJ Williams #18 New Orleans – DE Will Smith #19 Miami* – OG Vernon Carey #20 Minnesota* – DE Kenechi Udeze #21 New England – DT Vince Wilfork #22 Buffalo* – QB JP Losman #23 Seattle – DT Marcuss Tubbs #24 St. Louis – RB Steven Jackson #25 Packers – CB Ahmad Carroll #26 Cincinnati – RB Chris Perry #27 Texans* – DE Jason Babin #28 Carolina* – CB Chris Gamble #29 Atlanta* – WR Michael Jenkins #30 Detroit* – RB Kevin Jones #31 San Francisco* – WR Rashaun Woods #32 Patriots – TE Ben Watson *Trade occurred
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/20/2004 01:35:00 AM —– BODY:
LA Rumors Come To An EndIn an interview conducted last night, Owner Jerry Jones indicated that Larry Allen would most likely return as a Cowboy and believes it is highly unlikely that he would be traded on draft day….Jones went on to say, “At this juncture I don’t see (a trade) happening. I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to see Larry in Dallas Cowboys colors this season.” Could this be another of Jerry Jones diplomatic speeches? Who knows, but by the sounds of it, Allen will probably return for this season. So, how will this news effect the draft? Well, with Allen returning it would be hard to see us drafting O-line at #22, but more likely RB/DT/CB RB is back on the radar in the 1st because the Patriots traded a 2nd rounder to the Bengals to acquire Corey Dillon. The Patriots were projected by many including us, to draft RB Steven Jackson. With the Pats getting Dillon, this could lead both Steven Jackson and Kevin Jones to drop in our laps…but wait, word out of Philly is that they are in talk to trade up to #16 to possibly acquire Jackson. We will have to see, we could very well luck out and land Jackson, and Kevin Jones may be another RB to watch. -if neither are available or we opt out, then look for us to take D-line or CB.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/16/2004 11:58:00 PM —– BODY:
Latest Rumors – Fact or Fiction? Well, when news was released that Allen was on tour in an attempt to broker a deal the crazy rumors could not come any faster! The most absurd rumor came from John Clayton, were he suggest the Cowboys would offer the Raiders: Larry Allen, Dexter Coakley and the #22 pick for their #2 pick overall. This rumor is so off base and lopsided it would be the biggest draft coup next to the Hershel deal. – This rumor is fiction. Would be nice, but no way this would happen! The second rumor belted out today is more plausible. Some Detroit Media Outlets are indicating that the Lions are prepared to make a deal for Allen which would send Allen to Detroit for the Lions 2nd round pick upping the anty and Oaklands supposed 3rd round offer…. Again, nothing is set in stone, but this makes more sense for both clubs. The Cowboys are looking to get a 2nd rounder for Allen, and the Lions may be the team to deal. One thing is for sure, if we do infact land Detroits 2nd round pick, this will be bigtime aid for the Cowboys. Many starting positions remain up in the air, this is why the 1st day of the draft will bring in some rookies to start immediately. Whomever is drafted Rounds 1-3 WILL be expected to play at a high level and be expected to contribute early. Let’s wait for the murkey waters to clear up before we start going crazy with more draft scenarios. Don’t you love the offseason?
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/15/2004 02:37:00 AM —– BODY:
Larry Allen On The Move?The Cowboys AND Larry Allen are wasting no time in finding a trade partner that will ship LA for a 3rd rounder. Allen just flew to Oakland, and is on his way to meet with Detroit. Trading LA to one of those two teams would be draft gold considering the depth in this year’s draft. We could be looking at (2) 3rd rounders if a trade can be made. Don’t be fooled that the 3rd round is nothing good to talk about, on the contrary, this year’s talent pool is deep, so we’re getting 2nd round talent poored over into the 3rd round. So, if we can get that EARLY 3rd round, plus the one we already have, we will be looking good for the draft.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/08/2004 10:01:00 AM —– BODY:
What To do – What To Do?… Strong indications sound like the Cowboys are looking to trade Larry Allen for a draft day pick this year. It’s no news that we only have (5) picks this year, Rounds 1-5..and that’s it. If the Cowboys could trade Allen for a draft pick this year, it would be of great value. Speaking of “value” what would Larry Allen’s Draft Pick value be worth at 31yrs old and with questionable health, mainly his knees? Some believe we could get a 2nd rounder for Allen, but this is really pushing the envelope on a player who has been projected to have at LEAST 2 yrs left of playing time. A 2nd rounder for 2yrs of play is just to much to give up, with not much return. You can forget a 1st rounder. It’s more likely that the Cowboys could seek out a 3rd-4th rounder this year, which is not bad at all, considering how deep this year’s draft is with talent. Another scenario is that the Cowboys could use LA to trade up in a particular round, like the 2nd or 3rd round, plus a draft pick in 2005. If the Cowboys are successful in trading out LA, then you can almost bet the bank that the Cowboys will be targeting the best Guards coming out this year. Vernon Carey, Chris Snee, or Justin Smiley. Parcells is a draft guru, and a battle hardened draft day vet, so you can have some comfort that the pinpoint-calculated Parcells WILL have another good draft for the Cowboys.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 4/03/2004 12:58:00 PM —– BODY:
Latest News Well, looks like Larry Allen is on another collision course with Parcells again. Although team workouts/conditioning programs are voluntary, Larry Allen has been the most notable no-show. Last year LA showed up to camp overweight and out of shape, and it appears that he will have a repeat season all-around. It’s usually important that offensive linemen participate in team workouts since they are the most likely to bulk up and get out of shape faster. Well, what about those that argue, its not a big deal, after all the workouts are voluntary aren’t they? Yes, this is true, but this is like any other job atmosphere – if your bosses say something is voluntary, it is most likely in your best interest to volunteer, if you don’t it just looks bad. It’s not good for team cohesion and coach/player cohesion. If Allen has another repeat season, we can expect DeMingo Graham to step it up in his place. Mario Edwards continues to work out daily at the Cowboys facilities and with the CB spot still open and unresolved, we could see the Cowboys re-signing Edwards to another 1yr deal for insurance purposes soon. If not, we are probably looking to draft a CB in the 1-2 rounds. The Draft: With the NFL draft just 3 weeks away, the Cowboys will have their work cut out for themselves come draft day. As it is today, our top priorites are RB,CB, OLine, any of which could be drafted in the 1st round. I do see these positions going 1,2,3 – pick your shuffle. Our 1st day picks are going to be expected to start and contribute. Let’s see what unfolds.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/31/2004 07:52:00 AM —– BODY:
A Slow WeekWell, nothing major in the past week or two, with the exception of the signing of OT/OG Demingo Graham. The Cowboys had hoped to sign Texans FA Greg Randall, but apparently he is shopping himself around for the best pay day -he probably won’t sign here… Other than that old news, the Cowboys are in Florida attending the annual NFL Team meetings, which will wrap up April 1st. News is that Parcells is hard at work studying some film and taped interviews of potential draftees. We should expect the Cowboys to begin flying in a couple of guys that they may draft April24th-25th.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/22/2004 12:24:00 PM —– BODY:
The Offseason Thus Far Who said the Cowboys were not doing anything to improve the team. Let’s take a quick look back at what we’ve done thus far in the offseason. For starters, we almost lost DC Mike Zimmerman. Jones/Parcells convinced him stay with the Cowboys rather than take the Huskers job that no one wanted. Payton was to be the new Raiders Head Coach, but in the strangest twists of events, Payton bowed out, and decided to stay on with the Cowboys. In addition, the Cowboys, fired their wide receiver coach McNulty, and hired WR Coach Todd Haley, who coincidently work for Parcells, and helped mold our Keyshawn into a ProBowl receiver. Utter brilliance by Parcells – I think he planned to get all three reunited – Parcells, Haley and now Keyshawn from the get-go. The release of Toby Gowin 🙂 The release of Ryan Young – too many injuries and inconsistencies, he just didn’t work out. There was no question that DE was a need that should be addressed in the offseason, and the Cowboys had us sweating bullets, but ended up getting a player for a good deal and a lot of upside in Marcellus Wiley, formally of the Chargers. Wiley will be an immediate impact starter, and his presence will alleviate the double teams on Glover and Eliss. Great Pickup. Then we have the Keyshawn for Galloway Trade. Did we ever think this deal was ever going to get done? It seemed dead, but Galloway manned up and decided to make some concessions to leave Dallas for Tampa. So, now we that “personality” in our WR core that should rev up the other receivers. Experience and team leadership under Parcells will make Keyshawn a well valued pick up. Finally, we have the Drew Henson trade…we traded our 2005 3rd rounder to the Texans, and now we have a legitimate QB prospect who was highly rated coming out of Michigan, and if he would have re-entered the draft, he was rated as a late 1st to late 2nd rounder – not bad, BUT he will have a lot of work ahead of him. He is not penciled in as our starter, and we should realistically see him understudy this year, and then be fully ready by next season. Then again, you never know 🙂 Let’s see what happens here. So, in retrospect, we have done ALOT to improve the team by keeping our coaching staff, and making calculated/pin-pointed player acquisitions w/Wiley,Keyshawn, and Drew Henson. What’s left to address? With out a doubt its the RB position – and lets be real about this, the players that are floating around out there are few and probably not worth being our undisputed workhorse. Draft 2004 will definitely address RB – count on it! OT, could be shored up with some FA guys or cap casualty guys later, but could also be filled via the draft. CB, is still a question mark. We need someone decent on the other side of our shutdown guy Newman. CB FA’s are pretty much depleted of such talent. Don’t be surprised if we re-sign Mario to another 1yr deal for insurance incase we don’t get our guy via the Draft. DT, is another position that will probably be looked at in the draft, along with WRs.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/13/2004 06:20:00 PM —– BODY:
The New Gun, Drew Henson – Armed & Dangerous! So, we picked up Drew Henson, what does this mean? It means Quincy is skating on thin ice, and if he continues to be make bad decisions, then you can bet the house that Henson will be ready to jump into action and show his stuff. Henson is your typical prototype QB, great size, build and accurate! Henson is about 6-4.5 235 lbs. and physically fit to play in the big leagues. In summary, Henson is big, strong, and athlectic quarterback that exhibited his ability to lead the team downfield with accuracy and that field general leadership that is needed to run the soldiers downfield into enemy territory. Henson, is a healthy-stout player that was never injured and never missed a game from any type of injury. He is quick off the snap, and knows how far to drop back. He won’t hold the ball low, so we shouldn’t see the ball come out – he has great hands and great quarterback mechanics. If Henson gets in trouble, like a strong pass rush or blitz, Henson has the mobility to elude the unblocked pass rusher. Overall, we can expect Henson to have good awareness in the pocket. He’s not known to throw those illadvised passes, so that is a big plus – he is smart and very coachable. Henson has NFL arm strength, and can throw the bullet, dumpoff, deep ball and the light feather pass with accuracy. Some reports I have found say that Henson’s only weakness may be with timing patterns and look for other open receivers other than the primary WR. We will see…I’m sure Parcells and Payton will do a great job in preparing him for the next level. OVERALL: Henson was highly sought after by many other NFL teams, because they scouted him before and knew what he was made of. Henson’s strong arm and size are what NFL scouts like, and the Cowboys have made a wise decision. Henson has been playing sports since he left Michigan, so he is in great shape and has built some muscle mass to add to his build, so for a rookie, he has already progressed physically. The Aikman comparisons have begun, and rightfully so…they both have that “look” and the build. Henson is just turned 24 Feb. 13… Drew, Welcome to Dallas baby!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/11/2004 12:42:00 AM —– BODY:
What happened?I’m sure virtually every Cowboys fan is in utter dismay as to why we have not done anything to improve the team via Free Agency, not even “midrange guys.” All the Upper Tier and Mid Tier guys are gone. So, what can we logically deduce from this inactivity? 1. RB WILL be addressed via draft (1st Round) 2. OT Will be addressed via draft (3-5 rounds) 3. CB Will be addressed via draft (2-3 rounds) 4. QB could/might be addressed via draft (1-2rounds) 5. DE may be addressed via draft if we fail to sign Wiley (1-2 rounds) Where do we stand on Keyshawn? With the Galloway trade all but dead, the Bucs will cut Keyshawn in the next (2) weeks, before the April 1st deadline for his roster hit. Then we will sign him – In the meantime, the Cowboys will continue to feel out any trade ops for Galloway, but they will ultimately cut him if there are no takers. The David Boston RUMOR: Forget about it, do you really want to sign another injury prone WR? We are’nt going to go after Boston – we could keep Galloway if that’s the case.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 3/03/2004 12:05:00 PM —– BODY:
Free Agency Thin On TalentAt the beginning of the year there were a lot of big names out there that would become free agents, but as suspected, many of those big named players were given the Franchise Tag or Traded. So are the Cowboys going to really battle it out to sign some of the tops guys remaining like Jevon Kearse, Grant Wistrom, or Duce Staley? So far, it’s expected that the ‘Skins will blow more money and get Kearse, and Wistrom is leaning towards reuniting w/Vermeil in K.C.,… At this time Staley is still out there, but probably not for much longer there are going to be other offers from Atlanta, Detroit, and Tampa. Normally, the Cowboys don’t rush into signing players, but this year they may need to bump it up a notch if they want to fill some key spots. It’s apparent that we are still in the market for a QB, keep your eye on a Henson trade, and we should also expect Garcia to workout with the Cowboys. OT is another position that will be another priority, since we released Young, and the line is already thin as it is. RB will need to be addressed with Garner or Staley, but Garner is likely to end up in Tampa, since Tampa lost Thomas Jones to the Bears today. Garner will likely sign with Chucky & Co. Staley would be the last viable RB out there, unless we were to trade for Dillon, which is looking bleak at this time. DE should be addressed, but the talent pool will take a hit with Kearse and Wistrom if they sign elsewhere. CB will be addressed, there are more players out there right now, so we should be able to land a legitimate CB. Overall though, this Free Agency season is thin, and the Draft 2004 will be key for the Cowboys, in regards to filling thin player positions.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/23/2004 01:11:00 PM —– BODY:
Jerry Jones on Quincy, QB Rookies and Running Backs Jerry Jones continues to make interesting statements that are sometimes vague, but at the sametime could be taken as hints of what the Cowboys may do in the draft. For the most part, fans know the QB free agency market took a hit when the ‘Skins took him out of the running – and what’s left are very mediocre vets, that are equal or below Qunicy’s play. This being said, its looking more and more that Quincy will indeed be our starter in 2004. Jerry Jones further reinforced this by stating “From the standpoint of free agency, I don’t see [us signing a veteran quarterback],” and Jones went on to say, “It could [change] but, from whom I see out here, who could become available, I don’t see it.” So probably No from the Standpoint of Free Agency, so it would appear the other more viable standpoint would be through the Draft… “We got a couple in this draft that are right up there in terms of [Troy] Aikman in terms of what these grades are going to be,” Jones said. So, if not FA and rather the draft, who could the Cowboys be pondering on? Philip Rivers, that’s who and the way certain teams are shoring up their own QB concerns -its looking like Rivers will be there at 22, unless someone like Green Bay moves up and snatches him up. Speaking of running backs, Jones has stated that getting a top FA RB or rookie RB is a top priority this offseason. “We had an opportunity (S.Davis) last year, and we thought we were in better shape than we were,” owner Jerry Jones said. “Obviously, now, we need a running back.” With the strong rumors that the ‘Skins are looking to close out a trade with Denver to obtain Portis, this will up the ante on what we do in the FA RB market. From what Jones is saying and what our hated rival may get with Portis (instant-impact offensive upgrade) I would see us making a strong run at signing Dillon, once he’s released. Then we draft a RB in the second, Turner may be the best pick if he is still there in the 2nd round. He has turned heads and is looking impressive at the combines, and is free from injuries. Turner’s coach has also given a strong recommendation to Parcells. The Key is what position players we shore up before the draft. The favorable scenario would be that we pickup DE Grant Wistrom who will hit the market since the Rams tagged OT Pace instead; and if we get a player like Dillon, Staley or even Garner then we will have a greater flexibility come draft day. Of course, Free Agent & Draft scenarios are a volatile inexact science, so we will have to continue to wait and see. The Torture continues…
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/22/2004 12:38:00 PM —– BODY:
The Latest NFL Acquisitions, and Combine News Although trade and FA season don’t officially begin until March 3, there are some movers, and everything will be finalized that day. We’ll update you on some recent news that are of importance to the Cowboys. – The Miami Dolphins have traded their 2005 2nd Rounder to acquire the Eagles QB A.J. Feely, now this may mean they are out of the market to get Henson or Rivers via the Draft or not, but still an interesting development. – Very interesting news came out of St. Louis when they opted to Franchise tag OT Orlando Pace instead of DE Grant Wistrom. It’s on now – time to make our move and get a quality DE. – The Raiders have Franchise Tagged Charles Woodson, and the Ravens are probably going to do the same with McAlister, so the top 3 CBs will most likely be out of the market, probably to high for our tastes anyway; however they are still some other quality CBs out there: Jags Fernando Bryant, Eagles Bobby Taylor, and Bills Antoine Winifield are going to test the FA market. – QB Mark Brunell finalized a deal with the ‘Skins, this stretches out the ‘Skins cap hits further in the coming years, in addition, the ‘Skins are still trying to shop an outrageous trade (a 1st rounder, 2nd rounder and player of their choice) for Bailey who has been tagged at 6.8 million, this could also take them out of the running to get Staley or Dillon. – Draft coin toss: the Browns won the toss and will draft the #7 pick overall and Atlanta will draft #8. Speaking of running backs, Jones has stated that getting a top FA RB or rookie RB is a top priority this offseason. “We had an opportunity (S.Davis) last year, and we thought we were in better shape than we were,” owner Jerry Jones said. “Obviously, now, we need a running back.” Now lets examine some NFL Combine News. As you know the Combines are being televised on the NFL network, but the actual live coverage has been light and honestly disappointing – too much talking, and not enough real coverage. – Clarett had his first interview with the Cowboys and there should be nothing to read into this. The fact remains that Clarett has “potential,” but he still has some growing up to do in order to play with the big boys. Clarett came into the Combines overweight and puffy, and declined to workout. Clarett has also stated that he will hold his own private workout session in early April. Clarett is dropping quickly on many mock boards and probably the same on NFL GM boards as well. It would not surprise us if Clarett gets bumped down to a 3rd rounder, and then holds out throughout camp. We could be wrong, but the negativities continue to overshadow the “potential.” – DT Randy Starks (Maryland) had a disappointing bench workout… – DT Vince Wilfork (Miami, FL) has trimmed down from 340 to 323, 36 reps. – DT Isaac Sopoaga (Hawaii) benched 550 lbs at 42 reps! – DT Dwan Edwards no numbers yet, but will do all drills at combine. – RB Chris Perry will hold workouts at Michigan – RB Kevin Jones will hold workout at Virginia – RB Steven Jackson will hold own workout on ProDay Oregon St. – RB Michael Turner looked impressive and chiseled – RB Greg Jones stated he is still not 100%, rather 95% and did not work due to right hamstring pull – RB Cedric Cobbs very slow 40 @ 4.7 – RB Tatum Bell ran 4.42 on 40 yrd. dash – OT Nat Dorsey somewhat disappointing, showed up flat no muscle tone. This is all we have seen and are able to report at this time, we will continue to update breaking Combine News.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/16/2004 09:58:00 PM —– BODY:
Gibbs To Be Very Formidable Opponent Redskins’ coach Joe Gibbs is looking to return his team to prominence sooner than later. In fact, we should expect that the Parcells vs. Gibbs rivalry to be the best league rivalry again. Although Parcells has beaten Gibbs Redskin’s more than Gibbs has beaten Parcells that doesn’t mean one is better than the other. This year will bring another year of great games, especially when we face the ‘Skins – look out! Gibbs has been busy trying to rebuild his team, and this years draft could be a goldmine for Gibbs. Could Gibbs walk away with a whopping (3) First Round picks in this years draft? If some of the rumors become a reality – you can count on it.. Overall, the ‘Skins have the #5 pick overall, BUT if they trade Bailey, they would have another 1st rounder possibly via Detriot #6 or Chiefs #30 – two teams that have shown interest in Bailey. AND if Ramsey gets traded, they would get yet another 1st rounder via Dolphins #20 -who have stated they would part with their pick to acquire Ramsey. (3) First rounders for the ‘Skins would be an amazing draft coup. With a deep draft drenched with talented players, the ‘Skins could walk away with (3) immediate impact starters. #5 Overall #6 via Detriot?? (Bailey) or #30 via Chiefs?? (Bailey) #20 via Dolphins?? (Ramsey) This is why Gibbs will be a very formidable opponent for years to come.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/07/2004 03:06:00 PM —– BODY:
One Less Option At QB Various reports state that the Redskins are in the final stages of closing out a trade with Jacksonville by this week. Terms of the Trade have not been disclosed yet, but it looks like we can scratch Brunell of the list of possible vet QBs to bring into Dallas, if we chose to go that route. So while many wanted Brunell to be a Cowboys it is not to be. At 33, Brunell would have been a short term gap stopper, and he has a history of getting injured in is late age. So, are people talking about Kurt Warner yet? I sure hope not. Warner is definitely not going to be the answer at QB. So who then?… Griese, Fielder? no way. Even though they are both expected to be released by the ‘Fins, they are mediocre Qbs at best. Well, what about CFL’s Ricky Ray? or Drew Henson? No, I doubt it. We do know that the Steelers, Packers, and Bills are interested in Both. I think the removal of Brunell from the QB market is somewhat pivotal for the Cowboys. The Cowboys are probably going to focus their attention on upgrading other positions via Free Agency. We need to go after DE Grant Wistrom, maybe a CB, and maybe a WR like Darrell Jackson or Dennis Northcutt. Signing Wistrom will let us concentrate on some quality rookies in the top rounds, we would not need to rely on the draft to get someone to fill the DE position. I think we could make a move to move up in the draft to get a RB (Jackson or Jones) or Philip Rivers in the 1st.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 2/01/2004 04:08:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys Hall Of Famer Nominees Shutout, Again! Well, well, well – can anyone smell bias in the air? How in the heck did two of our Cowboys Legends get shunned out from final induction into the NFL Hall Of Fame. The late “Bullet” Bob Hayes and Rayfield Wright made it to the final six, and it finally seemed like a deserving done deal… Not to be though, some how the 39 boy committee bumbled and fouled up one of the highest honors a football player can garner – an induction into the Hall Of Fame. Cowboys Fans are outraged, as well we should be – this is truly one of the biggest travesties to deal out to the Hayes and Wright families! So who makes up this 39 man, I mean 39 boy committee? I have received many emails with the same guilty party names attached. Ladies and gentlemen, we present the partners in crime: Arizona Andy Bagnato, Arizona Republic Atlanta Furman Bisher, The Atlanta Journal Baltimore Mike Preston, The Baltimore Sun Buffalo Mark Gaughan, Buffalo News Carolina Charles Chandler, Charlotte Observer Chicago Don Pierson, Chicago Tribune* Cincinnati Chick Ludwig, Dayton Daily News Cleveland Tony Grossi, Cleveland Plain Dealer Dallas Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News Denver Woodrow Paige, Denver Post Detroit Jerry Green, The Detroit News* Green Bay Cliff Christl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Houston John McClain, Houston Chronicle* Indianapolis Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star Jacksonville Sam Kouvaris, WJXT-TV Kansas City Bob Gretz, KCFX Overland Park, KS Miami Edwin Pope, Miami Herald* Minnesota Sid Hartman, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune New England Ron Borges, Boston Globe New Orleans Pete Finney, Times-Picayune New York (Giants) Vinny DiTrani, Bergen Record New York (Jets) Paul Zimmerman, Sports Illustrated* Oakland Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange Philadelphia Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News Pittsburgh Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette St. Louis Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch San Diego Jerry Magee, San Diego Union Tribune* San Francisco Ira Miller, San Francisco Chronicle* Seattle John Clayton, ESPN/ESPN Magazine Tampa Bay Tom McEwen, Tampa Tribune Tennessee Jeff Legwold, The Tennessean Washington Len Shapiro, Washington Post* PFWA Adam Schefter, The Denver Post At Large Jarrett Bell, USA Today At Large Dave Goldberg, Associated Press* At Large Peter King, Sports Illustrated At Large Bob Oates, Los Angeles Times At Large Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com At Large Mike Wilbon, Washington Post This shunning of our players is becoming a regular letdown, and beginning to develop a sinister pattern – I think it’s time for the NFL to step in and overhaul how players are voted in, otherwise this whole process will be without credit. So what other Dallas Cowboys are getting the cold shoulder? Cliff Harris Charlie Waters Drew Pearson Chuck Howley Harvey Martin Ed “Too Tall” Jones Lee Roy Jordan This is utter insanity, can you believe it? What will the future hold for Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Moose Johnston… the way its going, don’t be surprised if our most recent stars get kicked to the curb too. Sure, we know not everyone can be inducted into the “Hall,” but it sure seems like these people have something against great players – dallas cowboys… To the 39 boy commitee: You should be deeply embarressed and ashamed. Now get your crap together and man up!
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/28/2004 02:35:00 AM —– BODY:
Scenarios For Improvement – OffSeason Wishlist Part I Let’s delve into some interesting offseason moves that we believe will significantly improve the Cowboys. The two main positions that need a bigtime upgrades are at QB and RB. Now, if we decide to keep QC as the starter, then let’s give him a big time running back. If we don’t stick with Carter, then we need to upgrade via the draft. Here are some scenarios we came up with – take a look. (If we stay with Carter)Here’s what the Cowboys should do in the offseason. -Sign DE Grant Wistrom -Sign WR Dennis Northcutt or WR Darrell Jackson Now on draft day, Trade Dexter Coakley & our 22nd pick to Atlanta and move up to the #7 pick. (Jim Mora Jr is a defensive guy and would love to add Coakley) Trade Galloway for a 3rd or 4th Rounder With the #7 Pick draft the best back this year – Steven Jackson 2. CB Keiwan Ratliff – Florida Gators (address our CB needs) 3. OT Carlos Joseph – Miami (address the OT needs) 4. WR Keary Colbert – USC (add quality depth with a slot possession WR) 5. OG Sean Locklear – N.C. State (future Larry Allen replacement) (If we decide NOT to stay with QC)Here’s what the Cowboys should do in the offseason. -Sign DE Grant Wistrom -Sign WR Dennis Northcutt or WR Darrell Jackson Trade Galloway and 4th Rounder to Bengals for Corey Dillon. OR Sign Duce Staley to a 3yr deal. Now on draft day, Trade Dexter Coakley & our 22nd pick to Atlanta and move up to the #7 pick.(Jim Mora Jr is a defensive guy and would love to add Coakley). With the #7 pick overall we draft the best QB available probably – Philip Rivers. 2. OT Max Starks – Florida or OT Tony Pape – Mich. (address the OT needs) 3. RB Greg Jones or RB Cedric Cobbs (Parcells 3rd RB gem & future) 4. -traded to Bengals for Dillon- or if we sign Staley then WR Keary Colbert – USC 5. OG Sean Locklear – N.C. State (future Larry Allen replacement) Historically, Parcells has been known to be very active on Draft day in regards to moving up in the draft or adding picks. The two most likely players to be used for draft trade will probably be Dexter Coakley and Joey Galloway. It may be somewhat far-fetched, but we should seriously look into moving up somewhere in the draft this year.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/24/2004 11:23:00 PM —– BODY:
Senior Bowl Favorites – Rivers & Jones Stock RisingRest assured the Cowboys scouting team was in full force at this year’s Senior Bowl. Some key positions of interest for the Cowboys had some players that played well. I gotta tell you. The new buzz is going to be N.C. State’s QB Philip Rivers and I’ve liked this guy’s play all year long and think he’s been severely underrated as a top pick in this years draft. After watching Rivers take command and drive for 3 straight scores I like this QB more. River’s stock may have skyrocketed after his leadership and commanding presence on the field. Some people want to criticize the way he throws the ball, they call it a 3/4 throw. This is the silliest critique I’ve heard. Shoot, depending on what the Cowboys do in Free Agency, Rivers may have upped his rank on the Cowboys board. This guy will not go past the mid 2nd round. Another player that showed amazing skills was Florida States RB Greg Jones, did you see this kid run? Jones suffered a knee injury in 2002 and has continued to recover from it, but wow! Jones pulled out all the moves – he ran over people, ran threw tackles with authority, bounced out and made some nice cuts upfield. I guarantee you, Greg Jones’ stock has risen considerably. Very Physical runner. I could see Jones high on the Cowboys board, and probably higher now. Even though the Senior Bowl games are designed to showcase the passing game, Greg Jones took full advantage at every touch of the ball. Other backs that did well all week and somewhat in today’s game were Tatum Bell, Bell has a quick burst and can make cuts on the dime; Michael Turner continued to play well all week and in today’s game he ran with power and kept his feet moving, it took 2-3 guys to bring him completely down; and Cedric Cobbs was the other back that played well and scored a TD. Jones ruled all in today’s game. The only thing that may hurt Jones is the knee recovery factor, but then again, today’s game may have dispelled those thoughts. The NFL combine will test Jones’ physical endurance and more. The NFL combine may be the last thing to totally assure Jone’s capability to play big time football. Another possible interest for the Cowboys may be Darnell Dockett, but after this weeks monster dominating play and big time plays in today’s game, he may not be available at the 22nd pick if that’s what the Cowboys decide to do. Dockett’s stock will surely up him in the draft boards of many teams. Dockett will be an immediate impact starter, you can guarantee it. Some receivers that we liked in today’s game where Ohio’s WR Michael Jenkins. Jenkins played very well and showed big time clutch catch abilities. Impressive play. Same thing for VTech’s WR Ernest Wilford – great size and speed and sure hands will make Wilford a great addition for any team in need of a WR, including the Cowboys. LSU’s WR Devery Henderson, also has great size and runs his routes well. The Rivers to Henderson hookups were amazing plays, they were clicking on all cylinders. USC’s WR Keary Colbert known to be a smart and very physical player found his way into the endzone as well. Colbert’s great ability to gain yardage after the catch will be a great asset to teams looking to upgrade the Slot position. This year’s draft is going to be very exciting, and I’m sure Parcells will make some draft moves to get the guys he wants. Is it possible that Parcells may be interested in drafting Rivers? I bet he moved up significantly on his board, the question is, will he be there at the 22nd pick. The draft hype has surrounded our immediate need to fill the RB or DE position, but what if QB Philip Rivers is available – do we draft him? I know we’re going to see a lot of board activity surrounding Rivers as a possible pickup. I would feel good about picking him up – this kid has leadership presence all over him. It’s going to be interesting.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/24/2004 10:37:00 PM —– BODY:
Free Agent Rumors Continue You see them everywhere, any fan that goes into any Cowboys Message Board will likely come across topics like “Dillon a Cowboy?” – “Duce a Cowboy?” – “Sign Kearse!” – “Bring In Brunell” – and so on and so on.. Let’s look into the latest rumors and the chances of landing any of those names floating around. Let’s start with the most talked about rumor – “Dillon a Cowboy?”First, lets be smart about this rumor. Dillon is coming off his worst season ever, and had nagging injuries all year long. In addition, Dillon will be 30 by the regular season. We ALL know what happens when a workhorse RB hits 30, its just a fact of life – the productivity declines drastically. If we are looking for a short term solution, then sure, lets take a look at making a deal with Dillon….but one thing that will stop the presses comes from NFL team executives stating that Dillon will go to the highest bidder. The teams in the running are the Buccaneers, Cowboys and Redskins. So wait, are we talking about a bidding war for a 30 y/o Dillon? Yes, so if this is going to be the case, forget it, Dillon will not be coming to Dallas. Jones is not in the market to have a bidding war on an aging player. Those hoping Dillon will just be released can count that out too. The Bengals will juice this out as best as possible. Dillon will count more than $3 million against the cap next season. Next we have Duce Staley – “Duce a Cowboy?” If anything, Duce would be the most realistic pick up. Duce is a true Free Agent, so its his decision to where he wants to sign. If he’s looking to bait teams into a bidding war, then he too will not be a Cowboy. BUT if he wants to win and wants a chance to advance in the playoffs then he could strike a deal with the Cowboys. Staley will be 29. On the Defensive side, we have Jevon Kearse – “Sign Kearse!”C’mon guys this is a no brainer, do you want to throw money at another aging player that wears a tshirt on the sideline every other week or more? Sure Kearse is awesome when he’s healthy, and we emphasize when he’s healthy. We need everydown production. Plus, the latest news as of today states that If the Titans are going to use the franchise tag, they must apply it by Feb. 24. There’s also the possibility, of course, that the Titans choose not to re-sign Kearse. The Titans have begun talks and would like to resign Kearse asap. ”We have some work to do, but it’s pretty simple: either we get it done before he becomes a free agent or they elect to franchise him,” Rosenhaus said. ”That’s where we’re at. We’re working on it.” Don’t get me wrong, if Kearse was a healthy horse, then sure – definitely, let’s give it a shot. Another Hot rumor is Mark Brunell – “Bring in Brunell!” As of right now, this rumor is probably as hot as it is in Tampa and Miami. Miami has some interest in bringing in Brunell. Marino, the new VP of the Dolphins does not see Fielder or Griese as the future for the Dolphins. And then you have the rumblings in Tampa. Gruden wants to bring in Brunell, which would lead the door open for the Bucs to cut Brad Johnson. Now this opens another can of rumors – if Brunell is brought into Tampa, then Johnson would probably be cut, so this could be someone we would bring in to challenge QC for the starting job. This has been one of the most interesting NFL seasons in years, so I’m sure the 2004 offseason will be full of surprises. Let’s see what happens.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/22/2004 02:12:00 AM —– BODY:
Raiders Head Coach Position Still Vacant! As you should know by now. Sean Payton interviewed (3) times with Al Davis, and had basically accepted the job. In fact, an official team press conference to introduce Payton was supposedly to have happened sometime Thursday…. Davis offered Payton the job, and in a weird chain of events, Payton has now turned down the position after all. After much thought and inside recommendations from Jerry Jones and Parcells, Payton will remain the QB coach with the goals to complete a mission that he is dedicated to finishing. With all the news of Zimmer, Carthon, and Payton interviewing for various coaching positions we seem to be overlooking the strong determination of Owner Jerry Jones’ commitment to keeping his staff together for another strong run in 2004 and beyond. Jones knows what its going to take to get back to the big game and he has shown steadfast dedication to excellence, anything less would be inexcusable.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/19/2004 02:36:00 PM —– BODY:
Parcells Upgrades Coaching Staff Parcells wasted no time in upgrading his coaching staff by firing WR Coach, John McNulty. Parcells quickly hired former Jets/Bears assistant Todd Haley. Haley is a Parcells guy, and worked under Parcells while with the Jets. Haley helped mold Keyshawn Johnson into a pro bowler. In addition, Haley has been an integral part of his former teams wide receivers success. The Cowboys are hoping to improve their wr’s catching abilities. The talent is there, but the current WR core had a dismal season this year. 2nd year WR Antonio Bryant was the most visible disappointment with all his dropped balls and lack of concentration. Haley should be able to make Bryant harness his potential and improve his game next year. Bringing on Haley should be a move in the right direction for our wide receivers.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/17/2004 05:00:00 PM —– BODY:
Possible Draft Picks Let’t take a deeper look at some of the Rookie Prospects of interest at TheDallasCowboys.Net WarRoom. The 1st round pick is going to be interesting. I believe what we do in free agency will sway what we pick up at the 22nd pick. 1Round RB Michael Turner – Northern Illinois: While it would be nice to get a Steven Jackson or Kevin Jones, its highly unlikely they will be there at 22. So this brings us to what may be the secret gem for the Cowboys – The Portis type steal. Size, strength and speed will make Turner a great addition to the Cowboys offense. Turner has the burst speed to take it outside on a sweep, or sprint up the middle with power. Turner is also dangerous coming out of the backfield, he is very fluid and elusive, and can make people miss. It takes more than an arm tackle to bring this guy down. 1Round Alternate DE Antwan Odom – Alabama: If available, Odom would be just the guy to bolster up our shallow DE position. Odom is ready to take it to the next level. This junior prospect has the size at 6′-5” 280 to bring down the quarter back or bust up plays in the backfield. Bringing on Odom would add another weapon to our already strong defense, but it would also allow double teams to be ineffective – O lines would not be able to doubleup our defenders. Odom has an amazing burst off the line and quick feet to change directions to make a run down tackle. If we go Offense with the 1st pick then the 2nd rounder would be defense- 2nd Round DE Nathaniel Adibi – Virginia Tech: Adibi in the 2 round would be an exceptional pick up here. Adibi has a lot of playing time under his belt by playing all his games since he was a freshman. Adibi is slightly faster than Odom, and can come off the Line with some amazing speed, and could come around the corner to make the big hit sacks, and cause fumbles. 2nd Round Alternate CB Will Poole – USC : The Cowboys will likely draft a CB somewhere in the draft, and Will Poole would be a good selection here. Poole has played early in college and this has paid big dividends. Poole is big, fast, and physical. He can shut you down, tackle RBs, and make some hits. A well rounded CB, Poole would probably crack into the starting rotation. 3rd Round OT Carlos Joseph – Miami (FL.): Joseph may not be here at the 3rd round, but if his name is still on the board, this would be a pretty good selection. Joseph is a big, strong intimidating Tackle at 6′-6′ 340lbs. Joseph is a scrapper and will knock you down on a regular basis. Joseph registered 41 pancakes his senior year. Equal abilities to Run Block and Pass Block. 3rd Round Alternate WR B.J. Johnson – Texas: Not to be overshadowed by his team mate Roy Williams, a probable high 1st rounder, Johnson has made many clutch plays throughtout his career at Texas. This is a big time playmaker and if untaken by the 3rd round here, we need to pick him up. The Cowboys will need to upgrade the WR position somewhere in this years draft and Johnson would be a absolute steal pick here. Johnson could shore up the WR core with solid reliable hands. Something the Cowboys are missing. Johnson runs his routes and is known to be a great student of the game as well. Johnson’s gameplan study has enabled him to make some big time plays and find spots to get the ball. Johnson is also physical and will take the big hits in the middle. 4th Round DT Dwan Edwards – Oregon State: Edwards could be another hidden gem in this years draft. Edwards will probably be drafted anywhere from the 2-4 round. Edwards has a powerful lower body and is difficult to block out against the run. Edwards is a big time run stopper and is able to sniff out the run. Edwards could make strong competion to be in the starting rotation along side Glover, or at least in the DT rotation. Bring him in on run plays and the running game will be completely shutdown. 4th Round Alternate OT Rodney Reed – LSU: Part of that viscious O-line at LSU, Reed is a well rounded Tackle. With great technique and feet/hand skills Reed could be a good addition at the OT position. At 6′-4” 292 Reed could probably even be moved over to an OG position if needed. Reed is known for his greeat on & off the field leadrship. An all around smart player that could add some valued leadership and depth on the O-line. 5th Round OLB Pasha Jackson – Oklahoma: This years OLB crop is not the best this year, but Jackson has played in a lot of big time games, and has game experience which could be molded in the NFL. Jackson can make some big hits, and may be considered for special teams play or backup to one of our OLB’s. 5th Round Alternate: CB Jabari Greer – Tennesse: I wouldn’t be surprised if Parcells takes 2 CBs somewhere in the draft and with the Cowboys last pick in the 5th round, Greer could be another good pickup. Greer is a speedster, and even a track star for Tennesse’s track & field team. Greer could also add some needed depth at CB, and could compete for a nickel/dime position. Finally, let’s look at some “sleeper picks” that could go anywhere from the 2nd-7th rounds. OG Monrenko Crittenden – Auburn: Why Crittenden? Well, its possible that the Cowboys may want to look ahead for a solid replacement for Larry Allen. Allen has maybe 1-2yrs max left in him. Crittenden is a big OG at 6′-5” 350lbs and will blow defenders off the line. Crittenden specializes in Run Blocking, but can also pass block as well. Crittenden has been a favorite blocker for their running backs Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams, so some of their success can be attributed to Crittenden. OG Lamar Bryant – Maryland: Another OG possibility is Lamar Bryant. Bryant could be a strong choice in the 3rd Round. Another future replacement for Larry Allen. Bryant is a mauler off the line and has well rounded skills in run blocking and pass blocking. Very athlectic and nasty mean streak in the trenches make Bryant a sought after OG, that will be a starter. SS Arnold Parker – Utah: Woodson does not have many years left in him, so looking to the future could land Parker as a selection by the Cowboys. Parker may be drafted anywhere from late 3rd- 5th round. Parker has good size, great closing speed, and Parker will lay the wood on you. CB Ahmad “Batman” Carroll – Arkansas: Another possible prospect that me be on the Cowboys board. Carroll may be picked up in the late 2nd-late 3rd round. Carroll would be another great pickup. Carroll has blistering speed runs the 40 in 4.35. Great man on man coverage and valuable recovery speed when needed. Great vision and speed make him a possible pick up. WR Keary Colbert – USC: Colbert could be a spark plug receiver that makes big plays, and after the catch yards by dishing out hits rather than receive them. Colbert is very physical with the TE/FB agressiveness. You won’t see Colbert run out of bands that much. His sure hand and agressive nature could land him in Valley Ranch. Take your choice – we need Colbert or B.J. Johnson in our offensive schemes. RB Jarrett Payton – Miami (FL.): Possibly one of the most underrated RBs in this years draft. Should be drafted anywhere from the 4th-5th Round. No negative off field baggage – Payton has size, strength, and heart to be a pretty good back in the NFL. Payton’s high competiveness may have him competing for a RB rotation position. Depending on what the Cowboy’s do in the offseason at RB, Payton could be a huge steal in this years draft.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/12/2004 01:35:00 PM —– BODY:
The Free Agent Break Down 2004 We’ll be taking a look at some possible free agents of interest that may help add depth to the Dallas Cowboys. Obviously, this is not Fantasy Football and the Cowboys aren’t going to be throwing out tons of cash, but look at the Cowboys to talk and possibly sign a few of these players. We’ll list some key Unrestricted Free Agents and a few Restricted Free Agents. The Cowboys are in need of a quality RB, and free agency 2004 has a few names out there that the Cowboys may want to look into- Running Backs: 1. Duce Staley – Eagles 2. Rudi Johnson – Bengals (Restricted FA) 3. Kevan Barlow – 49ers (Restricted FA) Another position the Cowboys could add some depth is at Defensive End- Defensive Ends: 1. Grant Wistrom – Rams 2. Lamar King – Seahawks 3. Jevon Kearse – Titans 4. Rob Burnett – Miami Next, we have to look into signing a CB. Like Parcells said, “You can never have enough DB’s” Here are a few names out there- Cornerbacks: 1. Chris McAlister – Ravens 2. Fernando Bryant – Jaguars 3. Bobby Taylor – Eagles 4. Shawn Springs – Seahawks 5. Charles Woodson – Raiders 6. Champ Bailey – Redskins Depending on what the Cowboys do about Joey Galloway in the offseason, the Cowboys may want to add a Wide Receiver as well- Wide Receivers: 1. Dennis Northcutt – Browns 2. Darrell Jackson – Seahawks 3. Terrell Owens – 49ers 4. Steve Smith – Panthers (Restricted FA) 5. Marcus Robinson – Ravens Defensive Tackle is another area where depth could be added- Defensive Tackles:1. Ted Washington – Patriots 2. Paul Grasmanis – Eagles 3. Keith Traylor – Bears 4. Warren Sapp – Bucs Free Agency Begins Feb. 29th. Look for the Cowboys to be very active in Free Agency. The Cowboys will have around $8 million to play with. Key Dates To Remember- Collegiate Players must declare eligible for Draft Jan. 15, 2004 Franchise Tagging Begins Feb. 6 – Feb. 20, 2004 Free Agency Officially Begins Feb. 29 – July 15, 2004 (day before training camps begin) Restricted Free Agency Begins Feb. 29 – Ends April 18, 2004 NFL ROOKIE DRAFT Begins April 24 – April 25, 2004 in New York What if a team signs a Free Agent designated with the “Franchise Tag”? A: The Franchise Tag is a tool that NFL teams can use for 1 player per team. This means the previous team has exclusive rights to negotiate a contract. Now, if a team were agressive enough and were to sign a “tagged” player anyway, then the acquiring team would need to compensate (2) First Round Draft Picks. What if a team signs a Restricted Free Agent? A: In Brief, this is similar to the above. Basically, if another team were to successfully sign a RFA, then compensation would have to be given up, usually draft picks – anywhere upto a 7th rounder Next: Possible Draft Picks
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/07/2004 03:14:00 PM —– BODY:
New Head Coaches In NFC East The Giants signed Tom Coughlin as their new head coach and the Redskins re-signed Joe Gibbs. Gibbs has spent his most recent career in NASCAR racing. Looks like Parcell’s & Co. will be playing in some fierce games next year in the NFC East. Could the NFC East be a powerhouse division again? It is quite possible, if anything the games will be interesting. Everyone in our division will have something to prove. The Parcells/Gibbs rivalry will be back. And Remember, Coughlin was once a coach under Parcells. Get ready for some great games.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/05/2004 08:02:00 PM —– BODY:
WR Tim Brown Coming To Dallas? Corey.. That’s right, Tim Brown has been making the notion of finishing his career as a Dallas Cowboy. Brown first made such possibilities on the Fox Pre-Game Show on Wild Card Weekend, stating he “could contribute to the (Cowboys) offense”. No we hear about it again in an interview on NFL.com with Rich Eisen. When Eisen asked Tim Brown of any teams he would want to play for he stated, “At this particular point, you know, Rich, to be honest, Year 17 I’m not trying to uproot my family and go to New England or some place like that. I make my home in Dallas and my father would love to see me wearing that star on my helmet. That probably would be the only team I would play for. If I couldn’t play for the Cowboys, I probably would look at retiring.” Sure Brown is old, but who knows maybe this future hall of famer could do well in his last years, maybe help the Cowboys get to the “Big Show” I think Brown feels that he is going to be released, so his letting it be known that he would like to finish out his career in Dallas. Lets see what happens. The offseason promises to be a very exciting time for the Dallas Cowboys and the fans. Yeah, we got blown away in our return to the playoffs, but you know what? The Cowboys are on the rise. There is more speculation on the status of Bengals RB Corey Dillon. Dillon has been very outspoken, and even stated he wanted out of Cincy, and traded to Dallas. Corey still has 2 yrs left on his contract, so the Bengals have several options – release Dillon and take the cap hit, Trade Dillon, or keep him. The latter seems unlikely, most of his teamates are fed up with his desire to leave the Bengals, they want him gone too. “If you don’t want to be here, if you don’t want to pay the price this man (coach Marvin Lewis) is demanding you pay, get ’em out of here, man,” said offensive tackle Willie Anderson, who blocked for Dillon and took his comments personally. “Bye. Good riddance.” We probably won’t hear much until Cincy’s other RB, Restricted Free Agent Rudi Johnson is re-signed, once this is done, look for the Bengals to make a move. If we’re talking about a trade, the Cowboys would have to look at the pros/cons to a trade. The most probable player to be traded would probably be WR Joey Galloway. The Bengals would improve their WR even more, and remember, Galloway came out of Ohio State. The main thing is what kind out cap hit would we be trading for, how much is Dillon getting paid – could we restructure it? They are many questions, but I’m sure as the offseason progresses we will know soon enough.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 1/03/2004 11:37:00 PM —– BODY:
Turn Out The Lights, The Party’s Over Well, most people predicated the Cowboys to win against the Panthers including myself. I guess we were all brought back down to earth. Although we had a relatively successful season this year at 10-6 we still have major issues to address in the offseason. Some state that this was a make or break game for Quincy Carter. I think he made some bad plays, that aided in the loss, but he was not the only one. It seems like no one showed up to play. So, will QC’s playoff loss guarentee the Cowboys will bring in a free agent QB. That would be a logical assumption, but that will probably be determined with what the Cowboys do with the RB situation. If the Cowboys are able to land a quality RB, then this maaaay allow QC to stay as the starting QB. On the other hand, what if the Cowboys get a quality QB in the offseason AND a quality rookie RB? Peyton Manning is the biggest name out there. Mark Brunell will probably be in the market, as well as Kurt Warner. ANd rumors are swirling that Drew Bledsoe will be released by the Bills. YES, the offseason is going to be very interesting and exciting. The Cowboys can only improve on what was already a great turnaround year.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/29/2003 04:45:00 PM —– BODY:
NFC Playoff Predictions – Rematches & More Rematches Well, the playoff picture is set. Wow – What an amazing season it has been and I’m sure there will be more exciting games in the coming weeks. Lets talk about how the Cowboys come into the picture. As you know by now, the Cowboys lost yesterday, dropping us to the 6th seed. But really, this could be a great thing. Why? Well, we will be playing Carolina again, so we know we can beat them, this time around may be harder, but a win at Carolina is very possible – assuming we don’t have turnovers. Green Bay will host the Seahawks, Green Bay should be able to win, Favre has his team on fire. So wins by Dallas and Green Bay would advance to the next round, where: Dallas would travel to Philadelphia in a rematch. We split the games this season, so the Eagles are definitely beatable at home. The Key is turnovers and a better gameplan than the one the Cowboys had last time around. Green Bay would travel to St. Louis. This is could be a great matchup. If the Cowboys win in Philly, they would then travel again to St. Louis or Green Bay. At this point I would prefer to play the Rams in the Championship. I like the matchups. The Cowboys matchup pretty good with the Rams, who ever the QB is Bulger or Warner, the Cowboys will have some opportunities for some INTS, bit of their QBs have been pretty erratic. Not say that the Cowboys don’t have QB issues as well. Quincy will need to play his smartest ball in the playoffs, or you can stick a fork in the ‘Boys. The team that could be in the Championship game as well is the Packers, this team is on fire, and Favre is playing at a high level, with determination and probably playing as a tribute to his father which passed away last week. The entire Playoffs could end up being full of key rematches. 1st we will be playing Carolina, if we win we would rematch Philly, if we win would would play the NCF championship, could be an oldschool rivalry rematch against the Packers, and finally, in the SuperBowl, the Cowboys could rematch The Patriots! Talk about some craziness. Of Course, these are all what ifs, remember the cliche – anyone can win on any given sunday. Either way, the Cowboys have surpassed all expectations so far, everything else is icing on the cake. Next Game: Wild Card (Sat) – Dallas @ Carolina 7PM (cst) on ABC
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/28/2003 06:21:00 PM —– BODY:
2004 Playoff Picture Clear Now The playoff schedule has cleared up in the NFC. The Cowboys will be playing The Carolina Panthers in the Wild Card Weekend. Green Bay will host The Seahawks. Rams & Eagles ahve 1st Round Byes. Next Game: Wild Card – Dallas at Carolina
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/28/2003 03:15:00 PM —– BODY:
Playoff Picture With the Cowboys lose, the Cowboys will be on the road as the 6th Seed. Seattle is in, The Packers can still get in if they beat the Broncos, and if Minnesote loses to Arizona. We’ll update the complete NFC schedule later.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/28/2003 03:09:00 PM —– BODY:
More Interceptions, Cowboys LOSE 13-7 The Cowboys lose at New Orleans 13-7. In yet another dismal offensive outing by Quincy Carter, the Cowboys blow a chance to close out the regular season with a win. The Cowboys seemed to be moving the ball OK, but Quincy’s bad decisions cost them another game. QC threw for 1 TD and 3 INTS, if the Cowboys want to advance in the playoffs then the consistent INTS must stop. Quincy finishes the season with 17TDS & 21 INTS. The Cowboys are still in the playoffs, but their seeding positioning may change.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/22/2003 11:42:00 AM —– BODY:
Playoff Bound – The Cowboys are in!! Parcells & staff have done it, they have done what was once thought to be an unattainable goal. Jerry Jones went on to state “This season is beyond expectations,” “You have to give credit to coach Parcells.” Well guess what, with great coaching and players believing in themselves The ‘Boys have clinched a playoff birth. Besides a few penalties, everyone played well for the 2nd straight week. Scoring was made by TE Jason Witten, and 4 field goals by Cundiff. The Eagles lost 31-28 at home in OT against the 49ers, so there is still a chance the Cowboys could win the NFC East, should the Eagles lose on the road against the ‘Skins. Begs the Question? Let’s briefly talk about Antonio Bryants play. Yesterday, once again he dropped a key pass were he could have scored. The ball basically hit him in the face. This is becoming a weekly thing with Bryant this year. So, his play has been increasingly inconsistent. So, it begs the question – what is going on with Antonio? Does he need glasses? Does he have a depth preception problem? Is he on drugs? He is NOT concentrating on catching the ball, there is something there. Bryant will be entering his third year next year, and Parcells has stated that players need to “show” him something in a players third year or they will be cut. Final Regular Season Game: Dallas at New Orleans
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/18/2003 01:16:00 PM —– BODY:
Dallas Pro Bowlers Announced TodayThe NFC Pro Bowl roster was announced Today and the Cowboys have four players going to Honolulu, Hawaii., the most since 1999. However only two of those four are first-team selections: Roy Williams and Flozell Adams. The other two selections are Larry Allen, this will be his 8th ProBowl! and La’Roi Glover was selected to his fourth straight Pro Bowl, the second as a Cowboy. Pro Bowl starters will be announced Wild Card Weekened (Jan. 3-4, 2004). I know what you’re thinking – only four players??! That’s right. And while thess are the most Pro Bowlers selected since 1999, there definitely could have been a few more than just four players. Players that I think should have been selected: Darren Woodson, Dat Nguyen, Richie Anderson, and Terrence Newman. Both Darren and Dat have played solid ball all year long. Richie Anderson has been a huge boost to our offensive, and Terrence Newman was thrown into the “lion’s den” and has played like a seasoned veteran.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/14/2003 06:31:00 PM —– BODY:
Cowboys SHUTOUT Redskins 27-0!!When asked about the importance and possible playoff implications against the Redskins, Parcells stated, “We won’t make it..” if the Cowboys were to lose; however, the Cowboys responded with a great game by shutting out the Redskins. Overall, the Cowboys were clicking on all cylinders: the special teams; kicking game; defense; and the offense. Players of the game were Terrance Newman with 3 ints and Troy Hambrick with 188 yrds. rushing. The Cowboys now improve to 9-5, and need 1 more win to clinch their wild game. The Cowboys will be playing the Giants at Tx Stadium and then finish the season on the road at New Orleans. Let’s hope this game gave the Cowboys the inspiration they needed. Next Game: Dallas at Home vs. Giants
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/09/2003 01:11:00 PM —– BODY:
Quick Glance at 2004 Draft NeedsWith 3 regular season games left, we now know the needs of the Dallas Cowboys. I have put together a quick glance of some players to watch for 2004’s NFL Draft. Remember everything is predicated on what the Cowboys do with Free Agency this offseason. Below are some prospects to watch (in no particular order). It is safe to say the Cowboys should draft a RB in the 1st Round – here are some top RBs: 1. Kevin Jones Jr. Virginia Tech 6-0 215 2. Steven Jackson Jr. Oregon State 6-1 230 3. Carnell Williams Jr. Auburn 5-11 200 4. Cedric Benson Jr. Texas 6-0 205 Next we need a DE to replace Ekuban – here are a few DEs: 1. Will Smith Defensive End 6-3 260 Ohio State 2. Antwan Odom Defensive End 6-4 280 Alabama 3. Chris Canty Defensive End 6-5 270 Virginia 4. Bo Schobel Defensive End 6-5 265 TCU 5. David Pollack Defensive End 6-2 270 Georgia Next we need to add some depth to secondary – here are a few CBs: 1. DeAngelo Hall Jr. Virginia Tech 5-11 200 2. Marlin Jackson Jr. Michigan 6-1 185 3. Derrick Strait Sr. Oklahoma 5-11 195 4. Chris Gamble Jr. Ohio State 6-2 185 5. Keiwan Ratliff Sr. Florida 5-9 170 6. Nathan Vasher Sr. Texas 5-10 175 7. Shawntae Spencer Sr. Pittsburgh 6-2 185 8. Joey Thomas Sr. Montana State 6-2 195 9. Keith Smith Sr. McNeese State 5-11 185 10.Vontez Duff Sr. Notre Dame 5-11 195 Of course this is just a glance at potential picks for 2004 for areas of need. We will revisit this discussion more in the offseason.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/07/2003 04:46:00 PM —– BODY:
Eagles Destroy Cowboys 36-10In yet another disappointing outing, the Dallas Cowboys went into Philly with the hopes of pulling out a key win. Unfortunately, this was not be as the Cowboys failed to move the ball effectively – which seems to be the crux of the Cowboys. The Defense played well, but they could only hold up for so much, and without any help coming from the offense, the team as a whole imploded in the 2nd half. Parcells had stated earlier in the week that mature teams find a way to win despite bad officiating, injuries and adversity. Well, today’s game proved his point. The Cowboys are not ready to take that next level just yet. Let’s discuss something interesting – the offensive gameplan. It seems that the gameplan was centered around running the ball which could open up the passing game. The running game was decent today, but Quincy turned the ball over 2 times when he threw the ball, plus one fumbled handoff. Obviously, Parcells knew that “turnovers” would make a huge difference in the game, so the question begs…Does Parcells not have enough confidence in Quincy? It sure is a possibility, but we don’t know. Moreover, Parcells has stated that the month of December would be a key month in evaluating Quincy’s progress. If Carter continues to make bad decisions, he will not be the starter next year. Look for the Cowboys to make an upgrade. Holes that need attention: Quarter Back – Depending on how Quincy finishes the rest of the season, the Cowboys may need to pickup a quality QB in freeagency. I don’t see the Cowboys drafting a rookie QB and then expect him to run the team. Running Back – Hambrick has shown some flashes, but it simply is not going to get the job done if the Cowboys are looking to get deep into the playoffs and win a Super Bowl. Defensive End – Ebenezer did not play, instead he was replaced with Eric Ogbogu. The only bright spot at DE play is Greg Elliss. Look for the Cowboys to upgrade the DE in the offseason. Corner Back – Releasing Derek Ross has made our CB core thin and weak. Mario Edwards was signed to a 1 yr deal. I think we know why, Edwards is being evaluated, and he has played horrible lately. Our CB depth will be improved in the offseason. Depending on what the Cowboys do in the offseason, as far as Free Agency acquisitions go will play a big role on on draft needs. Next Game: Dallas at Washington
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 12/02/2003 10:30:00 PM —– BODY:
CB – Derek Ross RELEASEDIn a surprising move, the Dallas Cowboys released 2nd year CB – Derek Ross. Ross had a good season last year with 5 INTS; however, Ross has been plagued with injuries, sloppy play, and missed meetings. Parcells, was fed up with Ross and let him go without blinking. Ross is GONE. Many people believe this stark move was a message to the team. Hopefully, it will get across – knowing “Parcells football” I think it will. Pete Hunter and Mario Edwards will need to step it up. The Cowboys brought up Erik Bickerstaff and Rashard Lee, both RBs. Zuriel Smith may get another shot at Special Teams, lets hope he doesn’t fumble the ball.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 11/28/2003 12:43:00 PM —– BODY:
Thanksgiving Meltdown w/ all the trimmings… What can be said about this huge team meltdown. Every aspect of the Cowboys played horrible. The Cowboys had key bad plays on Special Teams, Offense and Defense. Penalties and Turnovers also decimated the Cowboys. NO ONE played well…Richie Anderson was the only glimmer of light, and that was it… Toby Gowin continues to struggle – its time to get someone in to replace him. What a complete bust! We need someone that can punt more than 25yrds… The Running game – what’s new, we cannot run the ball, thus the best defenses are going to double team our wideouts. If we end up making the playoffs, we won’t get far with passing the ball the entire game. This was a key game for us, and we lost BIGTIME. What happened to our #1 defense? Well it was picked apart by feidler &co. For now, we (8-4) drop to 2nd place in the NFC East. Let’s hope the (8-3) Panthers beat the (8-3) Eagles this Sunday,… if not, we will do it for them the following week. Next Game: Not this Sunday, but the next – Cowboys at Eagles
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 11/25/2003 11:57:00 AM —– BODY:
Cowboys Defeat Panthers!Yes, the Cowboys showed up and played a hell of a game. This win was huge, with this win we move atop the NFC at 8-3. The Cowboys played good defense, and finally were able to move the ball against one of the premier defenses in the NFL. After the game ended, Parcells praised his team, stating this was a “big game, our boys played well”… There are other teams with the same record as the Cowboys: Eagles, Panthers, and Rams. The Cowboys play their traditional Thanksgiving Game on Thursday against the struggling Dolphins. Kickoff is at 3:05 CST Another key game this weekend is going to pit the Eagles vs. Panthers. I will be routing for the Panthers. Its a known fact that the Eagles have also struggled against the top defenses in the league. They have pulled out a couple of games, on some luck. I don’t think they will be the Panthers, but we’ll see what happens. Chatter of Home Field advantage is starting up – although it is still too early to say, it is beginning to as a real possibility. Next Game: Cowboys vs. Dolphins (Thanksgiving Tradition Game)
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 11/18/2003 06:22:00 PM —– BODY:
Keyshawn Johnson Forced To Sit OutThis may be nothing of concern, but who knows. Reports state that Buc’s coach Jon Gruden has been extremely unhappy with Keyshawn’s comments against Gruden and the organization. Gruden has deactivated/suspended Keyshawn for the remainder of the season. The Buc’s state there is no use is releasing Keyshawn since he is still under contract the rest of the year. Interestingly enough, Keyshawn has reported that he has placed his home up for sale. In addition, Keyshawn has stated he wants to play under coach Parcells in Dallas. Let’s keep an eye on this and see what happens.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 11/17/2003 12:37:00 PM —– BODY:
Pats vs. Cowboys – NO OFFENSEWell, what a dissapointing game. As usual, our defense continues to shine, but our offense stumbles. It appears that our offense won’t be able to move the ball against good defenses – case in point: The Bucs and Pats. AND we play Carolina next week! To top that off, the offense has way too many penalties. Our offense is not good enough to move the ball on 2nd & 20, etc. The running game is stagnant, we had to completely abandon it in the 2nd half. The special teams play was horrid. AND one thing I am noticing is the bad plays of Antonio Bryant. Everyone seems to be high on Bryant, but he drops way too many key balls!!! Bryant is reminding me of Alexander Wright, remember Wright? Fast and made a couple of good catches, but in the end he would drop too many passes! If Bryant doesn’t get his crap together, he’s going to be gone. One thing is for sure, we DO NOT have a running game. And without a running game, defenses can double team and shutdown our receivers. So, we dropped a game, and now we are tied with those sorry eagles who happen to be peaking and are on a hot roll. At 7-3 and 6 games to go, if we can win at least 3 of those 6 games we will be in the playoffs as a wild card. The playoff picture in the NFC should start to clear up in the next 3-4 weeks. By then we will have played Carolina, Miami, Philly,and the Skins, then finish the year with games with the Giants and SAints. My prediction on how we will fair: 10-6 or 9-7 with a wild card Next game: Dallas at home vs. Carolina Panthers
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 11/10/2003 09:03:00 PM —– BODY:
Another victory for the ‘boys. We are now sitting atop the NFC East as 7-2 !!!!!! The rest of our schedule will definitely be a huge test. Lets hope we continue onward to the Playoffs! Coach Parcells has really brought this team up from the ashes. I would have to vote to make Parcells coach of the year. Biggest surprise of the year: Quincy Carter – QC has really turned it around, and seems to improve every game. Looks like great coaching and strong work ethic are getting Carter were he needs to be. Biggest disappoint of the year (so far): Zuriel Smith – Smith looked promising, but after some fumbling, he landed himself on the bench or on the inactive list. Next Game: Dallas at New England
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/16/2003 01:48:00 PM —– BODY:
Wow what an amazing game. The monday night football game definitly was a nailbitter. It had a lot of ups and downs, but the win is what matters in the end. Carter really played some clutch football when we needed it. I was truly impressed with his gameplay. This game was a great test for Carter & Co., we need consistancy from them the rest of the year. What about Billy Cundiff!, Man him showed up and came in the clutch too. I think Parcells will have an easier bye week since Cundiff and QC both played very well. DT Willie Blade was in the starting lineup, back from an injury from the preseason. He looked quite impressive. He needs to get his stamina back up though. We have a bye week for week 3, this should help the team rest any injuries we may have. Week 3 bye week, Week 4 we play the Jets back to NY for Parcells. I think we can win this game as well. *as a side note, how ’bout those eagles, lol. I love it 0-2.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 9/15/2003 08:24:00 PM —– BODY:
Its week 2 for the Cowboys this week. We play the Giants on Monday night. We need to win this game tonight. I think the outcome of tonights game will effect any moves we do during our bye week next week. Tonight we need some big defensive plays, get some turnovers and sacks. We need to have some good special team plays tonight if we want any chance to win the game. Lets see what happens tonight.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/27/2003 02:22:00 PM —– BODY:
Jackonville has apparently been shopping Mark Brunell to several teams including the Dallas Cowboys, I kinda wish we would pick him up, although I wonder what the Jags want in return? Brunell is getting old, and has become injured in recent years. We’ll see. If no one makes a trade, he wil be cut next year, maybe then we will need him.
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/23/2003 09:15:00 PM —– BODY:
Quincy Carter has just be named the starting QB for the Cowboys. I’m not a big fan of Carter or Hutchinson, but this pre-season I agree with Parcells. Carter played better so far. Honestly, I hope Tony Romo will beat out Hutchinson for the backup position. I really like Romo, good arm, and mechanics. He may be our secret gem, we’ll see. The thing about Carter is that he appears to get rattled easy, his confidence will be tested early, I’m sure we’ll see a lot of blitz packages. On the running game, Hambrick has shown some flashes, but that area seems to be in questions still. I liked what I saw in Adrian Murrel versus Pittsburg, he may be able to help us out too. We will see. Let’s Keep our fingers crossed. We still need to fill some holes. Dallas Cowboys Official Website
——– AUTHOR: Joe Rodriguez (Owner) DATE: 8/23/2003 04:12:00 PM —– BODY:
What will Bill “Tuna” Parcells bring to the Dallas Cowboys this year? 1 word- DISCIPLINE and with a new found power, the discipline coupled with expert/proven couching will yield success. As die hard fans, we will need some patience, but we should be contenders in another year or 2. Last 3 seasons we were 5-11, this year I predict we will finish anywhere from 7-9 to 9-7, we still need to fill some holes in the team.

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