News and notes as we move into 2010

I was reading some things on and thought I would share some of them with you as we are now about one hour before entering 2010.

Redskin Fined

I’m sure everyone remembers the hit that Patrick Crayton took on his only reception last Sunday night. It was a shot to the head by Redskin linebacker London Fletcher. The NFL has fined Fletcher $10,000 for the hit, calling it “striking a defenseless receiver in the head area.”


The Cowboys named Kyle Kosier the winner of the Ed Block Courage Award on Thursday. Kosier missed most of the 2008 season after suffering a broken foot. Past winners of the award have been…Keith Davis, Jay Ratliff, Flozell Adams and Dan Campbell.

“With the list of the guys that have won it, it’s an honor to have my peers think of me that way,” Kosier said.

The Cowboys also named Joe DeCamillis the winner of the Special Courage Award. As everyone remembers it was DeCamillis who suffered a broken neck when the Cowboys indoor facility collapsed back in May. Then this past week he had an emergency appendectomy before the Washington game. Also while doctors were operating they repaired a hernia that DeCamillis didn’t even know he had.

“He deserves it more than any of us for what he’s gone through for the last six or seven months,” Kosier said.

A Different Feeling

Jason Witten says the feeling from this team is a lot different from the 2008 team heading into the final week of the season against the Eagles.

“We still felt we could win that game,” Witten said. “But the focus this team has had, the preparation, is a totally different feel.”

“I think that has shown over the last few weeks, not just the off the field stuff, but on the field, the way we’re playing, the way Tony (Romo) is playing and all that goes into that. I think we’re all just feeding off one another.”

“We’ve earned the right to get to this spot,” Witten said. “Yeah, that was good making the playoffs. We’re one of 12 teams.”

“But we’re still playing for a lot more than that. We were talking about that earlier. If we can win this game, it gives us a huge platform to win in the playoffs.”

“We know win or lose, we’ve got to move forward. That’s what good teams do.”

No Confidence Lost

The other day Roy Williams said that he believed Tony Romo had lost confidence in him and that he couldn’t blame Romo because of his play. Today Romo spoke and said that was not the case and that the team still has confidence in Williams.

“We haven’t lost any confidence in Roy,” Romo said.

“That’s part of this football team. People want to look at themselves and improve. I’m the same way. We all do that. Whether or not you express it to others, that’s part of being in this locker room is to continue to improve. I have to continue to work on that, so does Jason Witten, everybody around here does.”

“No one has lost any confidence in Roy. Roy is a huge part of this going forward and he knows that. Hopefully, we’re all going to have some good football ahead of us.”

Never Forgotten

DeMarcus Ware was asked how long it took for him to get over the 44-6 loss to the Eagles last season.

“Never,” he said. “It was a beating when we went up there last year. You usually don’t get used to a beating.”

“You don’t forget about those games. You’ve got to let them motivate you and keep moving on.”

100 Yard Rusher

The Cowboys have the only defense in the NFL that has not allowed a 100 yard rusher in 2009.


With Marc Colombo and Patrick Watkins not participating in practice Wednesday it means they will not be returning this week. There is still a chance they will be available for the Cowboys first playoff game. My question is do the Cowboys risk putting Colombo back in at this point with Doug Free doing a fine job in his place?

Unrestricted? Maybe Not

As reported on With the possibility of an uncapped year in 2010, there are many players that may go from unrestricted to restricted free agents. In a normal year four years of service qualifies a player for unrestricted free agency, but in an uncapped year that goes to six years. Here are the Cowboys players on that list.

Miles Austin

Stephen Bowen

Jason Hatcher

Gerald Sensabaugh

Marcus Spears

Pat Watkins

Sam Hurd

Pat McQuistan

Shaun Suisham

Duke Preston

Cory Procter

Cletis Gordon

Happy New Year everyone!!! Welcome to 2010 and GO COWBOYS!!!!!

Happy New Year Cowboys Fans!


It’s been a heck of a ride this year at Lone Star Struck, and though we’re sad to see 2009 go, we are absolutely pumped for a new year in 2010.

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I am so honored and privileged to be part of a Cowboys fan site that have some of the most passionate, knowledgeable and articulate fans in the Dallas Cowboys Blogosphere. You have helped transform a simple fan site into a thriving Cowboys community that continues to grow each day.

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Thank You, Thank You, Thank You…

We wish all of you a very healthy and Happy New Year in 2010!

Time to End the Drought

It’s probably been burned into your brain by now, but its hard to believe the last time the Cowboys won a playoff game was on December 28, 1996. Its really hard to imagine.

Someone asked me when the last time they won in the playoffs the other day and I said 1996, then all of a sudden it dawned on me, my son was born in 1996. My son is now a teenager and even though it seems like he was a baby only yesterday, it hurts to say that the Cowboys have not won a playoff game in his lifetime.

We’ve had some memorable moments and some incredible players who probably deserved to compete in the playoffs and even the Super Bowl. Some of them have, after they moved on to other teams.

This year may be the year. Its kind of a fairy tale story if you think about it. We lose our number one receiver, one of the best in the game, along with several defensive key players. There was also the tragic freak accident in Valley Ranch back in May when our practice facility collapsed. Mid-season we were having trouble both on offense and defense and many thought the team was falling apart. Just recently we had to replace a very important player because he just wasn’t getting the job done.

All of these things would usually lead to the downfall of any team in any sport. But not these Cowboys.

These Cowboys have heart. They want to win, and they are making it happen.

I don’t know about you but I’m really proud of these guys. They never gave up, even when the front pages reminded us of past Decembers, and now they have clinched a spot in the playoffs.

The season finale means a lot to us fans, and the players too I am sure, but no matter the outcome we will be playing beyond Week 17. We definitely seek payback for the shame they bestowed upon us. The numbers 44-6 will haunt us forever, but we need to show them how the Cowboys finish things in the grand o’ state of Texas. We can’t let them relive that game in any way shape or form.

With the Cowboys and Eagles both securing playoff spots, this game is personal. Yes, it can also give us the division championship title and home field advantage and those are important but I think above all its about evening the score. We have already beat the Eagles once this season, lets go for the sweep! There’s something about the last game of the season, you just want to go out on top… especially when its a hated division rival.

Its time to say goodbye to the playoff drought we’ve sadly become accustomed to, its time to take it to the next level. And come February hopefully my son can say he’s witnessed a Cowboys playoff victory!

Pro Bowl Rosters Released

The 2009 Pro Bowl Rosters have been released and the Dallas Cowboys will be well represented with a total of six players. Two of them are starters and the other four are reserves. I don’t expect any of them to actually play in the Pro Bowl since they will be too busy getting ready for the Super Bowl. The Pro Bowl in case you did not know will be played the weekend between the Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl this season in Miami.

Dallas Starters

Andre Gurode

DeMarcus Ware

Dallas Reserves

Miles Austin

Jason Witten

Leonard Davis

Jay Ratliff

I can’t really argue with the selections that were made. I would have liked to see Bradie James, Keith Brooking and Mike Jenkins because I think they deserved it this season. But like I said earlier in my post. The Cowboys will be too busy practicing for the Super Bowl and won’t be worrying about the Pro Bowl.

Flashback: Dallas vs Philadelphia – 1991

So here we are. The last game of the 2009 regular season against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys have already earned a spot in the playoffs and have a chance to win the NFC East if they beat the Eagles on Sunday. They also have an outside chance of getting the #2 seed and a bye. I guess you could say that the last two weeks have been kind of a coming out party for the Cowboys. They go to New Orleans and beat the undefeated Saints, then they go to Washington and shutout the Redskins.

I guess the term “coming out party” was the reason why I selected this game against the Eagles from 1991. It was coach Jimmy Johnson’s third year in Dallas. You could see the progress of the team. The talent level was also increasing. They just needed to get over that hump and get themselves into the playoffs. So on a cold mid December day in 1991 the Cowboys went to Philadelphia’s Veteran Stadium with a 9-5 record looking to get over that hump. The game was not too exciting and the stats will not jump out at anyone, but what you did see was a team coming together and doing something they had not done since 1985. They earned their way into the playoffs.

The Cowboys jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a Ken Willis 50 yard field goal. They increased their lead to 5-0 when Manny Hendrix tackled John Booty in the end zone after the Eagles fumbled the ensuing kickoff.

The Eagles came right back in the second quarter and took the lead 7-5 when quarterback Jeff Kemp connected with Maurice Johnson on a 31 yard touchdown pass. The Eagles added a field goal before halftime and took a 10-5 lead into the locker room.

The only points in the third quarter came from another Ken Willis field goal which cut the Eagles lead to 10-8. The Cowboys would take control of the game in the fourth quarter.

Dallas punt returner Kelvin Martin fielded an Eagles punt his own 15 yard line and raced up-field.  After breaking a few hand tackles Martin found himself at midfield with only Eagles punter Jeff Feagles in front of him. Feagles lunged at Martin’s feet, but Martin was able to keep his balance. After getting past Feagles it was Eagles running back Robert Drummond who was racing after Martin from behind. As Martin passed midfield he saw that Dallas cornerback Issiac Holt, who was now in front of him was directing Martin to go to his right. As Martin passed him, Holt took aim at Drummond and hit with a bone crushing block that made every highlight film that night. Martin finished his 85 yard punt return for a touchdown and gave the Cowboys the lead at 15-10. I tried my best to find the video of Issiac Holt’s block because it was one of the best blocks I have ever seen. You could actually see Drummond crumble to the ground.

“That block will make ESPN’s highlights,” Avezzano said. “That guy would have caught Kelvin.”

The Eagles answered back with a field goal and closed the Cowboys lead to 15-13. There was still 9:46 left in the game and the Cowboys had the ball at their own 20 yard line. Instead of going conservative, offensive coordinator Norv Turner ran a play-action pass on first down. Eagles linebacker Byron Evans bit on the fake which allowed Jay Novacek to run past him. Cowboys quarterback Steve Beuerlein hit Novacek in stride for a 32 yard gain putting the Cowboys in Eagles territory.

“It was very aggressive play-calling,” Beuerlein said. “Norv (Turner, the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator) knows you’ve got to make plays to win ball games – and he gave us a chance.”

Steve Beuerlein did not have a great game. He was only 9 of 31 for 145 yards. He also started the game with ten straight incompletions. But the important thing was that he never turned the ball over and neither did anyone else on the Cowboys.

The Cowboys continued their drive after the Novacek reception and found themselves at the Eagles four yard line. Beuerlein then found Michael Irvin in the end zone for the touchdown and a 22-13.

The Cowboys would add a third Ken Willis field goal to finish out the game and walked away with a 25-13 win. The win also clinched a playoff spot for the Cowboys for the first time since 1985 and the first time under coach Jimmy Johnson.

“We shocked the house,” Cowboys safety James Washington said.

“At halftime, the whole talk was that we were one play away from taking the lead,” Johnson said. “Just hang in there, be patient and execute the plan.”

“It’s our biggest win to this point,” Johnson said. “But we’ve got bigger wins coming.”

Dallas would finish the 1991 season with an 11-5 record. They would have to travel to Chicago in the first round of the playoffs where they upset the Bears 17-13. But then their season would come to an end in Detroit the following week as the Lions handed the Cowboys a horrible 38-6 loss.

You can view the box score here…

UPDATE: I was able to locate the video of Kelvin Martin’s punt return. This video starts with the punt return and then shows other highlights from 1991 and 1992.

In Case You Missed It, The Cowboys Clinched A Playoff Spot

I’ve been away the last few days and haven’t really had a chance to read up on what I thought would be a mountain of excitement from Cowboys fans in the blogosphere, and man, was I surprised.

Does anybody realize that the Cowboys clinched a playoff berth on Sunday night, or has the reality of that situation not sunk in yet?

Last week, one of my co-writers on this site (Michelle G.) penned an excellent piece on her take on being a fan, and in response there were several supporting and opposing comments from our wonderful readers. That was one thing, but this is strictly another… Where’s all the Silver and Blue?

Why is everyone so quiet?

Is it because your confidence in the team to succeed is so low that you are afraid to embrace the post season?

Are you having nightmares centering around bobbled snaps, overthrown passes, and blown coverages?

It’s bad enough that when compared to the rest of the NFL, we have the most quiet stadium in the game despite crowds numbering over 75,000. Maybe that’s because so many of those who attend are from the corporate side and are there thanks to all the major companies’ who buy blocks of tickets numbering in the thousands to attract clients and keep employees happy. But right now, I’m wondering where the die hard fans are and why they’ve been as quiet as a nest of church mice.

Being from New York, I guess I became so accustomed to the throngs of screaming and cheering fans who make their presence felt in every game. A win is always a good cause for millions to celebrate that night at bars, clubs and living rooms across the entire state. Clinching a playoff spot sends fans into a sheer frenzy with a fever pitch that would leave non sports fans in the street wondering what the hell just happened. There would be dancing in the streets even though nothing has been techinically won yet, and if they do win it all? Then watch out… because all of America can then watch it on their high definition TV’s, as that is all you’ll see for the next few days on ESPN and Fox Sports.

Regardless, I am celebrating this latest Cowboys victory the only way I know how… LOUD and PROUD!

I don’t know about you guys, but I have been on Cloud Nine since the Dallas Cowboys shutdown the Washington! Nothing has been able to wipe away my smile yet. I tell everyone who is willing to listen about our ‘Boys and how freaking proud I am of them!

I am so pumped up for the season finale that only Armageddon could keep me from watching every exciting second of the game. I’m treating it like a holiday… a second New Years celebration… meals, snacks and beverages have to be planned… make sure the noise makers and party hats are in good supply… We’re finally going to get our revenge against those damned forsaken Eagles!

And then after that game, the next stop will be round one of the NFL Playoffs!

As Frank Barone would say… HOLY CRAP!

Lets Go Cowboys! And just as importantly, Lets Go Cowboys Fans!!!

The Cowboys Are Playoff Bound!

Oh what a great feeling it is! The Cowboys are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs after tonight’s win over the Redskins, no matter what happens next week against the Eagles.

Orlando Scandrick

Even though it really seemed like the Redskins gave up long before the game ended, the Cowboys definitely deserve their spot in the post season. From the beginning of the season until last week, no one (outside of the Cowboys faithful) believed this team could go anywhere and here they are, in control of their own destiny.

The only thing left to decide is home field advantage and the division title. It all comes down to the last game of the season, once again, versus the hate Eagles but this time at home in our house!

Things to Note:

– Its the first time in 5 years that the Cowboys have swept the Redskins.

– If the Cowboys beat the Eagles next week they secure home field advantage. If the Vikings lose, the Cowboys, Eagles or Packers could earn the first round bye week.

– The game next week has been moved from noon to 3:15 p.m., the NFL moved the Jets – Ravens game to prime time over the Cowboys – Eagles game. (Big mistake in my opinion.)

Are You a True Fan?

First of all, I want to wish all my fellow Cowboys fans Happy Holidays! I hope you all get everything you wish for and more.

I’m going to tell you all what I consider to be a true fan. Some of you may agree, and some may not. This is just my opinion. To me, a true fan is someone who still loves their team even if they are 1-15….or 16-0. No matter how many senseless mistakes they make that cause them to lose a game, a true fan will love them regardless. It’s like your own children, no matter how much they screw up, you’ll love them no matter what. Well, that’s how I am with the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, I’d much rather see them win every game but that is next to impossible. Even the Patriots couldn’t do that a few years ago.

Any team can win at any time and our Cowboys proved they got the skill and heart to win last week against the previously unbeaten New Orleans Saints. Can they do it again? Sure they can! Will they? I think that remains to be seen. They need to win both of their remaining games in order to solidify a playoff spot. I don’t see much opposition coming their way from the Redskins but the Eagles are another story. I’m praying Denver can beat Philly today and Dallas beats Washington tonight. That will put our Boys back in a tie for 1st place in the NFC East. And we all know that the game next week will be a battle for sure. Gonna keep my fingers crossed!

Now, I’m going to address the situation with Nick Folk. I caught some flack a few weeks ago when I said that Dallas needed to let him go. Was it a smart decision? I think so. The poor guy just hasn’t been the same since his off season hip surgery. I was sad to see this happen to someone so young (26 years old) and who had made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season! Folk helped the Cowboys to alot of wins over the last couple years and yet he also cost them some games.

I’m rather nervous about whether or not Suisham will be able to step up to the plate but what’s done is done and there isn’t much we can do to change it now. I honestly don’t think the Cowboys will keep him unless he has a stellar performance during the next 2 games and possibly in the playoffs. And yes, I still think Jerry Jones should fire Wade Phillips. He just doesn’t seem to click well with the team. I’ve even heard talk about how Jason Garrett would make a better head coach than Phillips although I don’t necessarily agree. If Phillips remains in Dallas for another season, I’ll be truly surprised. You never know what Jerry Jones will do.

Taking Care Of Bussiness…

Sportscasters and sports journalist everywhere are making way too much about what needs to happen for the Dallas Cowboys to clinch a spot in this season’s post season.

I don’t really know why these things have to be so overly complicated to the point of utter confusion…

The bottom line is this…


The Dallas Cowboys are in control of their own destiny.

They have tonight’s game against the Washington Redskins and next week’s finale at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Here is the magic formula…

If the Cowboys win these last two games of the season, not only will they clinch a playoff berth, but they would also secure first place atop the NFC East division.

Now if by some small chance the Cowboys do fail to win tonight, something that I find very unlikely, we’ll worry about the ramifications another day. For now, just keep the optimism levels up, stay away from the doomsday fans, and stop listening to Keyshawn Johnson and all the rest of them clowns on Fox and ESPN.

Lets Go Cowboys!

Coming Out Party

How many of you out there are familiar with the film “Gangs of New York”? There was a scene were both gangs would stand across from one another face to face, ready to go to war. Those standoffs happen all the time during rivalry week. In 1999, I made it known to the world that I was a proud Dallas Cowboys fan. I’ve been riding with them since 1992 but in a Redskins house, I was quiet and I didn’t want to tell my father. I got the power to tell him days before the season opener; Dallas vs. Washington at the then Jack Kent Cooke Stadium.

September 12, 1999 was my coming out party. That week at school was hectic. Monday to Wednesday was like any other day before the football season starts. Predictions, trash talk, and fist fights. Yes, fist fights. The Cowboys-Redskins rivalry isn’t as intense as it was in the 70’s and 80’s. Yeah, tell that to the fans. The DC area is a Crockpot of Redskins and Cowboys fans stewing in the same water. The fist fights were not only in the high schools, it was in the streets, bars…pick a place. I’m getting off topic, back to my school. It was the first time in my life I was not only around Cowboys fan, but we also outnumbered the Skins fans. Trust me, if this ever happens to you, take full advantage of it.

After three days of babbling back and forth, on Thursday the colors, jerseys, hats, headbands, airbrushed t-shirts…it was wonderful, I kind of felt bad for the Steelers and Eagles fans at the school. That’s right, during rivalry week your team doesn’t matter! That day after school, I took the bus to the mall. While there I walked into Head2Head, the only shop in the area that sold Cowboys merchandise. With my McDonalds check I bought a custom made Cowboys headband with the number #8 and #22 on it. Then I brought my very first Cowboys jersey, Michael Irvin. That Friday morning I walked out the house with my Dad’s jaw on the ground. Me wearing all my Cowboys gear with pride. My Dad yells “My son is a (Bleeping) Cowboys fan?” Then when he saw the jersey he said “Anyone but Irvin!”

That day at school several times the fans had a standoff full of yelling, spitting, and cursing. Fights happen and friends didn’t talk. That Sunday me and my dad were cheering for our own team. Sadly, this was a bonding experience, and it was fun. With all of this, we get the drama of overtime. Troy Aikman saved the day by bombing a big one to Rocket Ismail. One of the biggest overtime wins for opening day was my first game a true blue Cowboys fan. I loved and followed the team since 1992 and I called myself a fan in secret. September 12, 1999; the second the game started my blood turned Blue and Silver and it has been that way since.

Forever a Cowboy! Let’s Go Cowboys!

Fantasy Report: Week #16 Picks

Week #16 – Fantasy Football Playoffs

Congratulations, Because if you are still reading this going into week 16 then you must have made your Fantasy Championship! Most leagues (ESPN excluded) end in week #16 because there is just too many players out in week 17. Because most teams stop playing in week 16, this will be my final Fantasy Football report for this season.


1)      A. Rodgers – GB

2)      D. Brees – NO

3)      T. Brady – NE

4)      M. Schaub – HOU

5)      P. Rivers – SD


1)      C. Johnson – TEN

2)      F. Gore – SF

3)      A. Peterson – MIN

4)      R. Williams – MIA

5)      B. Wells – ARZ


1)      A. Johnson – HOU


3)      B. Marshall – DEN

4)      R. Moss – NE

5)      W. welker – NE


1)      V. Davis – SF

2)      A. Gates – SD

3)      T. Gonzales – ATL

4)      B. Celek – PHI

5)      J. Finley – GB

ARZ – May hold out some players in week 17, but all should play in week 16

ATL – Grab Jason Snelling

BUFF – Brian Brohm may start at QB

DAL – Must win

GB – Needs a win to clinch a Playoff spot

IND – Will start pulling starters early this weekend

NO – Will start all players as they need 1 more win to clinch home field advantage

PHI – Westbrook should be back.

Good luck ALL! Watch the IR reports.

– Gremlins