Cowboys News: Moving Right Along

Honestly, there’s not much to report lately in Cowboy land. Here are some little tidbits that may or may not be of importance along with my opinion on the subjects.

*Linebacker Bradie James has been chosen to wear the defensive communication helmet in the upcoming season. Great call, James plays every down and has been around a few years, I think he will be a great leader and I think more responsibility will do wonders for his confidence on the field.

*Terry Glenn told the media that the team asked him to settle for a $500,000 injury settlement if his knee doesn’t improve soon. This may be the best bet for the Cowboys. Sadly Glenn may have played his last game in the NFL. His ailing knee is still giving him trouble and I really don’t think its ever going to be 100% again.

*Greg Ellis has chosen to skip OTA’s today because of his reduced workout plan, he also missed the first two this week. It seems the veteran is a little worried because Anthony Spencer is seeing more field time. Really, its nothing surprising coming from Ellis. Yes he had a great season last year but he’s coming up on his 33rd birthday this summer. Certainly he understands why the younger guys are getting more time.

*Newly drafted Mike Jenkins will more than likely get the role at nickel corner as long as Pacman doesn’t get reinstated. I’m all for this, I won’t go off on a rant here but I think Jenkins will fill the position well and look forward to seeing him develop into a pro.

*Chris Canty still isn’t signed. I really hope they get something done for Canty. He is a very dedicated player who has not missed a game in his career. Playing 48 straight games not only shows stamina, but dedication.

Sources: dallascowboys.com, rotoworld.com

 

Terence Newman: Livin’ the Dream

Which Cowboy was born in Salina Kansas on September 4, 1978, plays cornerback and wears the number #41? Any Cowboy fan can answer, the fantastic (single) Terence Newman.

Newman attended Salina Central High School where he lettered in basketball, track, football and baseball. He graduated in 1998 and was listed as one of the top 20 recruits in Kansas. Terence’s senior year he played all sides of the ball. On offense he had 10 receptions  for 251 yards and three touchdowns. On defense he posted great stats with 45 tackles, and 5 interceptions. On special teams he averaged 20.9 on punt returns and scored 2 touchdowns.

With Terence’s speed, track was another sport he mastered, with records of 10.36 in the 100 meters and 21.6 in the 200.  In High School Terence was already giving back to the community by being involved with the Breakfast Buddy program that is alot like the  Big Brother/Sister programs.

The Kansas State University Wildcats is where Terence Newman shattered school records on the football field and set blazing speeds at track meets. He redshirted his first year and played football from 1999-2002. Terence became the first Wildcat to win the Jim Thorpe award which is given to the top defensive back. He was also a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award. Not only did he rule on defense and special teams but he also   played a major role on offense.   Terence played 48 collegiate games with stats of 133 tackles 10 interceptions, 32 pass deflections and forced 2 fumbles. On special teams he averaged 26.1 yards on kickoff returns, scoring 1 touchdown. On punt returns he scored 3 touchdown and had a average of 15.4 yards. 

As we all know Terence has amazing speed, which helped the Wildcat Track Team win 2 Big 12 Conference titles in the 100 meters.

The Cowboys drafted Terence in 2003 in the first round. Newman rookie season he proved he was worth being a first round pick by putting himself in the Cowboys record books by having 3 interceptions in one game, which came against the Washington Redskins.

So far in his Pro career he has 319 tackles, and 16 picks. Terence has a reputation as a shut down back. Finally in 2007, Terence joined 12 other Cowboys in the Pro-Bowl, after having a outstanding season, returning 4 interceptions for 124 yards and having 50 tackles in just 13 games due to a tear in his heel. .

Jerry Jones recently secured Terence to finish his career  a Cowboy by signing him to a 7 year $51 million dollar contract!  Making our Cowboy’s corner secure for years to come. Darren Woodson helped Terence to adjust to being a Pro Football player in Dallas so he hopes to do the same thing for our newest rookies Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick.

Terence likes to visit children in hospitals and even visits schools. In his spare time he likes to fish, play golf, and just chillin at his house.

You can check out his myspace sites and you might get a couple of surprises, who his hero’s are and what scares him. We have something in common besides football because this guy scares the hell out of me too.

Terence’s said he is living his childhood dream. Terence, all Cowboy fans are thankful your dreams are coming true in Dallas.

 

 

Barber And Newman Signings Generate Much Needed Enthusiasm

Monday night I was on the phone with my brother, John who was asking me why Marion Barber wasn’t reporting to minicamps or working out with the team. I had theories. I had opinions. I thought maybe it was Barber’s agent Drew Rosenhaus’ idea. Maybe he was trying to make Jerry Jones nervous. "Agents are always trying to get that little extra just so they, themselves can get paid", I complained. Then I blamed Jerry Jones. "Jones is going to do the same thing he did last year with Romo." Then I blamed Barber. "Barber has to understand he’s still somewhat unproven as a starter and should’ve taken the first offer." I grumbled.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only Cowboys fan that’s been frustrated over the last couple months. The signing of Pacman Jones and what some considered a questionable draft has had me pretty bummed out. I haven’t been able to think of anything positive to write about. I’d sit down to write something and go blank. Nothing was happening. Barber wasn’t signed. Dammit.

All that changed this week. We all know about the signings of Barber and Newman Tuesday so I won’t bore you with what you already know. This was huge by anyone’s standards.

Today I sit here with a big ass smile on my face. This team is headed to the Super Bowl people! Lock it in. Place your bets. Call your friends. Talk trash. Print the shirts. Order the tickets.

I can’t speak for everyone but I can say that this was the "shot in the arm" that I needed to get me pumped for the 2008 season. Thank you Jerry Jones for taking care of business. You eased the minds of countless Cowboys fans across the nation.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to to my "Ric Flair strut across the room, walk out on my back deck and "WOOOOOOOOOO!" at the top of my voice.

Did I mention the Dallas Cowboys are going to go to the Super Bowl this year?

Cowboys for Life: Barber and Newman

Terence Newman and Marion Barber are completely satisfied with their new contracts. Now they can get focused on the game. It’s important to know that your team believes in you, what a confidence booster!   

Check out this short interview from the Dallas Morning News:

Newman and Barber talk about their new contracts

Hat Tip to Romo2Owens for the link.

MB3 and T-New Get Their Money

Dallas Morning News and Rotoworld.com are reporting:

Cowboys agreed to terms with Marion Barber on a seven-year, $45 million deal, with $16 million guaranteed.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Terence Newman has agreed to a six-year, $50.2 million extension with the Cowboys.

It’s about time! Cowboy fans will be overjoyed to learn that Marion Barber and Terence Newman will be around for a while.

Great news!

 

Terrell Owens: Born-Again Cowboy

I have always had a hard time picking out a favorite player on the Cowboys.  I tend to be a “team” concept kind of guy.  It’s all about the team not the individual.  Terrell Owens, however, is different.  I have to admit that T.O. has definitely become one of my favorite players.

To be honest though, it hasn’t always been this way.  Like many other fans, when I heard T.O. was coming to Dallas, I couldn’t help but imagine all the ways this would screw up our team.  I knew about his problems in the “City of Brotherly Love” and I couldn’t forgive him for his dance of Red and Gold upon our beloved Star at midfield.  For me, the celebration on the Star was a desecration of Holy Ground – the unpardonable sin in Cowboyland.  “You can write this guy off – Don’t like him.  Never will,” I said to myself.

Then……..we bring him to Dallas.  What the…….??????

I was dumbfounded.  I couldn’t believe that a man who once stood on that Star and mocked it would now be wearing it.  As the Bible would say, we had “unequally yoked ourselves together with an unbeliever.”

Training camp of 2006 brought on some drama.  I knew the distraction had come.  I knew I had been right all along.  It passed however, and I continued to wait – all season.  Despite some obvious discontent between Owens and the Big Tuna, everything went fine.  I even began warming to T.O. – not yet a fan, but secretly starting to hope I could be a fan (although I wouldn’t admit it to anyone).

In 2007, somewhere along the way, I admit I realized that I love T.O.  (Hopefully, you won’t take that the wrong way.  I refuse to defend the idea of one man loving another here in this blog.  Ain’t nothin wrong with it.).  It’s not about his stats, which if you compare them to previous years, you can make a pretty decent case that his best year was 2007.  It’s about his attitude.  T.O. has become a real Cowboy.  If I had any doubts about this, they were all completely swept away after the playoff loss to the Giants.  Many wanted to play the blame game.  Not T.O.  “We lost as a team,” he said.  It wasn’t about T.O., Romo, Jessica, Mexico……..It was, is, and always will be about the team.  With that interview, T.O. solidified me as his lifelong fan without any doubt.

Is T.O.’s new attitude for real?  He just said recently that he wants to finish his career in Dallas.  Many have questioned this.  Not me.  I’m a believer.

Personally, I think T.O. was once an unbeliever – holding no respect for the silver and blue or the star under which we play, but like anyone can, he changed.  The man who once was never happy with the teams he played for has now found his calling.  His calling is to be a Cowboy.  He was once discontent due to being surrounded by mediocrity and a lack of dedication.  In Dallas, he has found a place where excellence and tradition come together – a place where dreams are made – a place where Championships are written in the Stars.

Yes, T.O. was once an unbeliever.  Now he is a “born-again” Cowboy.  His sins of the past are behind him now.  He plays for America’s Team.  The team that has a hole in the stadium roof so God can look down and watch His Boys play football. 

This ain’t the same T.O.  He’s a new man, on a new team, headed for a new Lombardi.

Let me say it once more………….I LOVE T.O.

Just admit it – you love him too.

 

If you get a chance, stop by and visit me at www.myspace.com/dallas_cowboys_nfl

Or  http://dallascowboysfannetworking.blogspot.com/

 

Brad Johnson Comes Home and Gives Back

Cowboy quarterback Brad Johnson came home to the Asheville area this past weekend to give back to a community that takes a lot of pride in calling him one of her favorite sons.

Brad attended Owen High School here in Black Mountain, NC from 1983-1987.  He was an all-American quarterback for Owen and an all-state basketball player on a team that featured future UNC Tarheel standout and NBA center Brad Daugherty.

He came home to participate in the Brad Johnson/Verizon Wireless Celebrity Golf Classic and the Night of the Legends Auction.  These events together are expected to raise as much as $400,000.00 for Eblen Charities – which exists to reach out to the many children, adults and families in Western North Carolina who are battling the effects of illnesses and disabilities.  At the auction, Johnson donated both a signed Cowboys helmet and one of his signed jerseys. He also spoke for the cause and visited with those in attendance, gladly posing for pictures and signing autographs.

Brad begins his 17th season in the NFL this year.  He will turn 40 on September 13th and once that happens, he will enter some elite company.  He will become only the 16th player in NFL history to play quarterback at age 40 or older.

While Brad is apparently going to finish his career as a backup QB for Tony Romo, we shouldn’t forget his past accomplishments:  From 1996-2006 he was starting QB for the Vikings, Redskins, and the Buccaneers when he was healthy. During that 11 year span, Brad started 122 of 136 games and was a member of the Buccaneers Superbowl XXXVII Championship team in 2002.

Throughout his career Brad has been known as a man with a tremendous work ethic both in football and in various community causes.  He’s another one of those Cowboy players who realizes that it’s not all about him and is willing to work for the betterment of others around him.  By the way, that outstanding work ethic is probably why, at nearly age 40, he is still playing in the NFL while I, on the other hand, already at age 40, get winded just typing here at the keyboard.

I just wanted to take a minute and tip my hat to Brad.  True heroes aren’t made just on the football field.  We all love great plays and championships for sure, but it’s important to remember the need to give back to others when we ourselves have been blessed abundantly.  So Brad, thanks for coming home and giving back.

Pearson, Casillas To Be Honored at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame

In August, two former Dallas Cowboys Stars, Drew Pearson and Tony Casillas will be inducted into the Jim Thorpe Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

When I think of Jim Thorpe I think of an exceptional athlete. Drew Pearson definitely fits that category. Drew attended the University of Tulsa where he played QB.

Drew became a Cowboy as a undrafted free agent in 1973. He played his entire 10 year career as a Cowboy. He scored 48 touchdowns and is a three time Pro Bowler. In my eyes he is one of the best Cowboy receivers of all time!

Tony Casillas played for the University of Oklahoma and was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round in 1986. He played for the Cowboys in 1991-1993, went to Jets in 1994-1995, then back to the Cowboys in 1996-1997. Tony won two Super Bowl rings with the Cowboys. Tony Casillas’ feeling on this honor:

"It is a honor to be mentioned with men like Barry Switzer, Barry Sanders, Walt Garrison and Thurman Thomas."

I am sure all Cowboy Fans are as proud of them as I am. They are both class acts!

Checking In With Some Old Friends

It looks like former backup tight end Anthony Fasano will indeed get his shot on the first team with the Miami Dolphins.

The Sun Sentinel reports that Bill Parcells has every intention of using Fasano as his starting tight end this season. He leads the competition at the position and should handily walk away with the job locked up. Here is what they say…

The battle to become the starting tight end will also be a headed one, and it’s hard not to make Fasano the front-runner considering the second round pick (in Dallas) and the fourth round pick (in Miami) the Trifecta’s invested into this 24-year-old. Fasano has started 11 games in his two seasons as a Cowboy, which gives him an experience edge over every tight end on the roster except David Martin, who contributed a career-high 34 receptions last season but was a suspect blocker. Fasano likely wins the spot if he can catch AND block effectively.

Keith Davis, who starred on Special Teams while with the Cowboys, has a shot to become the starting safety, however the Big Tuna is no fool… Davis will no doubt help to improve a dismal ST unit that was among the worst in the NFL last season. The Sentinel reports…

While Davis must prove he’s a playmaker to compete for one of the two starting safety spots, his hard hitting prowess and fearless approach will instantly help him become the Dolphins top special teams contributor. He’s started 22 games in his five NFL seasons with the Cowboys, and has played in nickel and dime packages in many others. But Davis has NEVER pulled down an interception in a regular season game, and broke up only five passes in his career according to NFL stats. Was that because of the role he was asked to play, or because he doesn’t have a nose for the ball? We’ll soon find out.

I wonder if Parcell’s is done trying to get his hands on as many Cowboys players and coaches as he can. I bet he’s wondering if there’s a way to get the Dolphins to play in Texas Stadium when the ‘Boys move into their new diggs. Sorry Bill, God only prefers to look down on Cowboys games… Dang, everybody knows that!

Will Marion Barber Return To Camp Anytime Soon?

When the only running backs on the team are Pro Bowler Marion Barber and rookies Felix Jones and Tashard Choice, it’s hard not to notice the absence of the veteran, Barber at the off-season conditioning programs and work-outs.

His decision not to accept the Cowboys one-year tender offer of $2.56 million dollars in lieu of a multi-year contract is becoming more than a mild distraction to say the least. It must be tough for rookies Jones and Choice who both were excited to get on the practice field with Barber. Both are expected to be backing up Marion Barber this season, and each would have gained some confidence, acceptance and even some wisdom from him had he been at camp.

The situation can become more volatile in the next two weeks because owner Jerry Jones has the right to lower the tender offer if Barber does not sign it by June 1st.  In the past, the enigmatic Jones has never allowed himself to be backed into a corner on the negotiating table, and this ill-advised negotiating ploy by Barber and his agent can surely backfire and turn into an ugly situation.

The odds are that eventually both sides will work something out and move past this, but until a contract is worked out the situation remains tenuous at best.

Nobody really knows if Barber is doing his own off-season conditioning. There was a report that he is in Miami and getting into playing shape, but that remains unconfirmed.

I wish that Barber would have taken the high road like Chris Canty who is also unsigned, but has attended each day of workouts. This certainly will have a negative impact on his leadership and the team-first attitude he was known for when he was splitting carries with Julius Jones.

If the Dallas Cowboys are going to capture a championship this season, they will need a strong and physically conditioned Marion Barber to do it. We passed on Rashard Mendenhall and decided to draft a complimentary type back in Felix Jones to play with Barber this season. The speedy Jones is not the every down grinder that Barber is, and Tashard Choice isn’t even in the same class as the Barbarian. Jerry Jones needs to make signing Barber a priority.

Those NFL betting odds that currently have the Cowboys as the odds on favorite in the NFC, will sink like the Titanic if Barber continues his hold out from camp.

CHATTERBOX

As a member of several Cowboys Blogs and subscriber to every online news that has anything to do with The Cowboys, I have seen lots of Chatter this week.

I thought we should open up a dialogue on all these things going on this week with you Starstruckers. It has been too quiet around here the last few days and I love stirring the pot anyway. (I am reserving my opinion on all of this because I think it would be more fun to hear from all of you.)

ROY WILLIAMS DOESN’T THINK HE FITS WITH THIS DEFENSE. According to what he has said to Greg Ellis, Roy isn’t sure he belongs in Wade’s defense. Roy’s keeping to himself, working out early and leaving at 7:30 am, before his teammates arrive at Valley Ranch. Greg appeared on The Michael Irvin Show after this came out. Greg wanted to express he was Roy’s friend and didn’t mean to cause him harm by publicly speaking about Roy’s dilemma. He says he is concerned about Roy and wants everyone to rally around him and support him. I have seen some really nasty things said by fans about Roy this past week. Really nasty.

T.O. IS ON A SITCOM AND ROMO IS SINGING AT A CUBS GAME. Many, many bloggers are griping that these two aren’t focused on their football, especially Romo, because they are appearing everywhere, other than at Valley Ranch.

MOOSE SPEAKS OUT ON TANK JOHNSON but GIVES HIS OK ON PACMAN. Daryl Johnston thought the character of Tank Johnson was questionable and spoke out against the hiring of Tank last season. He says Tank wasn’t going to lead the Cowboys to a Superbowl, so he wasn’t worth the risk. PacMan however is worth the risk, according to Moose who was quoted as saying “In this era of salary cap management, I like the way that they structured his contract," Moose said yesterday at the Cowboys Golf Club. "Now you’ve just got to keep your fingers crossed that he’s learned from what he’s done in the past and the support group within the Dallas Cowboys does its job. But it’s a tough decision. It’s a roll of the dice. You get tempted by talent”.

MARION BARBER and KEN HAMLIN STILL NOT SIGNED. Barber isn’t working out with the team and I guess he won’t until he’s signed. Jerry Jones says “Not to worry”. Ok Papa John….I mean Jerry, I won’t worry if you say so.

The Cowboys gave Barber a one-year tender of $2.56 million, the highest designation for restricted free agents. Hamlin, who was set to be an unrestricted free agent, received a franchise tag of one-year, $4.33 million.

TONY AND JESSICA……ON OR OFF? Can’t resist. Gotta get the tabloid blurb in here. Last week there were reports there were wedding bells. This week there have been numerous reports that it’s over. They haven’t been spotted together this week but they sure have both been spotted apart……hmmmmm.

Ok Starstruckers…………Talk to me!!!

 

Clint Longley: The Rise and Fall of the Mad Bomber

Clint Longley.  Does the name ring a bell? It may not if you’re under the age of 30. Because if you’re under 30, you never saw Longley play for the Cowboys, although you may have heard about him. Clint’s career with the Cowboys was brief, but not without heroics, not without drama, and certainly earns him a place as one of the most fascinating players in Cowboy history.

Clint Longley came to the Cowboys in 1974 as a rookie quarterback from Abilene Christian College. Longley quickly earned a reputation for being unpredictable and was maddening for both receivers and defenders alike. Cowboy safety Cliff Harris said, “He looks one way and then throws sidearm in another direction.  In practice, guys pull muscles trying to go where he throws the ball.” Longley earned the nickname “Mad Bomber” when one of his wayward passes smacked Coach Landry’s tower during training camp. Adding further to Longley’s mystique was the fact that his hobby was hunting rattlesnakes in his spare time.

By Thanksgiving Day of 1974, the Cowboys were struggling.  Their record was 6-5 and they were facing the Division leading Redskins on this Turkey Day.  The Boys were flat.  It was one of those rare days when even Staubach didn’t seem to have anything.  A Redskin win would guarantee them a Division Championship.  The Skins had already made a boast that they would knock Staubach out of the game, leaving Dallas with only their rookie quarterback (Longley) – and in the Redskins mind, leaving the Cowboys no chance to win the game.

With 9:57 left to go in the third quarter, the Washington boast regarding Staubach proved prophetic, as he was knocked out of the game from a hit by Dave Robinson of the Redskins.  With the Cowboys trailing the Skins by 16-3, Coach Landry quickly turned to Longley saying, “Clint, you’re in.  Good luck.”

Ummmm.  Redskins, meet the Rookie……

While many fans began to move toward the parking lot and the Redskins began to gloat in an apparent victory, the Mad Bomber took control and proceeded to bomb away.  He completed 12 of 21 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns.  The game winning touchdown was a 50 yard strike to Drew Pearson with less than 30 seconds left. The Redskins had fallen 24-23 to “the Rookie” and a new hero had emerged in Big D.

Unfortunately for Longley, he faded into the background during the next season (1975), although he did start against the Jets in the final regular season game when Staubach was again injured.  Longley came through again, leading the Cowboys to a 31-21 victory.

During training camp in 1976, The tension was palpable as the Cowboys signed Danny White and it appeared that Longley would be relegated to third string due to White’s WFL experience.  After one practice session, Longley made a derogatory remark about Drew Pearson after Pearson dropped one of Longley’s passes.  Staubach told Longley that he was getting tired of him talking about people behind their backs and stated, “Somebody is gonna knock those Bugs Bunny teeth of yours in.” 

“Are you going to be the one?” Longley said.

Staubach replied, “Yeah, I’d love to do it.”

Staubach and Longley agreed to meet at a baseball diamond adjacent to the practice field.  By the time assistant coach Dan Reeves arrived to break up the fight, Staubach had Longley pinned beneath him.

Shortly after this, at another practice session, Staubach had his head down and Longley came up and threw a punch.  Staubach was knocked into a set of scales and received a cut that took several stitches to close.  Longley quickly returned to his dorm room, retrieved his bags (which were already packed), caught a ride to the airport, and was gone.   Needless to say, the Cowboy organization traded Longley almost before the doctor could finish stitching up Staubach.

Longley ended up with San Diego for the rest of the ’76 season but eventually drifted away from football and has been reclusive ever since.  He doesn’t grant interviews and talks about his playing days with just a handful of former teammates.  Many have speculated on why Longley punched Staubach, with the most popular answer being that he wanted to be traded Remember that his bags were packed before the punch).  We will probably never know unless Longley decides to break his silence and tell us in his own words.   It’s been 32 years.  I won’t hold my breath for an answer.

Still, it’s an intriguing story in Cowboy history.  A relative unknown becomes an instant hero. Shortly thereafter, he becomes an instant villain by punching Captain America.  In refusing to discuss the incident, he has become a 30 year enigma for those of us fascinated with Cowboy history.

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