Latest Cowboys Free Agent News

The Cowboys have approximately $40 million dollars to spend under the $127 million dollar salary cap for the 2009 season. They can clear up even more salary depending on how they wish to proceed with some of their restricted free agents and whether they intend to cut any other players (Roy Williams).

* I actually wrote this at 10 AM and scheduled it for early evening. Since then the Cowboys traded Anthony Henry for John Kitna. Henry was owed $4.6 million for 2009, while Kitna will be paid $1.9 million. That clears up an additional $2.7 million in salary cap room.

The Washington Redskins struck a huge blow in the NFC East when they signed Albert Haynesworth to a record breaking deal, the highest ever for a defensive player. The Haynesworth deal might have a huge impact on the Cowboys’ negotiations with linebacker DeMarcus Ware, as I’ve written previously. Haynesworth’s new contract is worth $100 million over seven years. According to reports, he is guaranteed $41 million, the most ever for a defensive player.

Defensive end Chris Canty is getting a lot of phone calls in the last 24 hours, and it’s looking like his departure from Dallas is now a foregone conclusion. The New York Giants have invited Canty to be wined and dined in NYC today. The Giants have always loved Canty and were thrilled that the Cowboys didn’t sign him to an extension last season. Other teams that will be meeting him include Tennessee, Seattle and San Francisco.

Lightning Round

Ray Lewis to the Cowboys? Thumbs down… Maybe three years ago…

Sign Keith Davis to an extension? Thumbs up… We should have done it in 2007…

Quincy Carter busted for DUI, marijuana? Thumbs down… He’s still making us look bad…

Cutting Brad Johnson? Thumbs up… He never blended in…

Rex Grossman wants to be Cowboy? Thumbs down… He sucks and news flash: everyone wants to be a Cowboy!

Later Cowboys friends…

Cowboys Sign a 5-Time Pro Bowl Linebacker

ESPN is reporting that the Cowboys have signed inside linebacker Keith Brooking to a three-year deal. Brooking has spent his entire 11-year career as an Atlanta Falcon.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl 5 consecutive years from 2001-2005.

Career highlights and awards
Selected NFL statistics
(through Week 17 of the 2008 NFL season)
Tackles     972
Sacks     17.0
INTs     12

 

The 33-year old veteran has shown extensive leadership qualities in his career. In 2003, he founded The Keith Brooking Children’s Foundation. He provides great character to any team.

Breaking News: Cowboys Trade For Lions QB Jon Kitna

NFL Network has just reported that the Dallas Cowboys have acquired Detroit Lions quarterback Jon Kitna for cornerback Anthony Henry.

The trade of Henry will most likely mean a starting job for Orlando Scandrick or Mike Jenkins.

Kitna signed with the Detroit Lions as an unrestricted free agent in early 2006. He started every Lions game in 2006 and 2007.

In 2008, Kitna was injured and placed on Injured Reserve in week 5. He did not return for the remainder of the season.

The team ended the regular season with an 0-16 record.

Jon Kitna made a statement saying that he doesn’t expect to be back next season with the Lions.

This would have to be looked at as a considerable upgrade at backup QB over the recently released Brad Johnson. Kitna could easily step in and start in case of an injury to Romo. Hopefully we will never have to use him, but it will be comforting to know he’s there if we need him.

Don’t Expect Any Big Splashes in Dallas This Offseason

Did Cowboys fans realize free agency started yesterday? There hasn’t been a peep from Valley Ranch and I believe Jerry already warned us there wouldn’t be many changes.

I’m sure you heard about the huge Albert Haynesworth signing with the Redskins. An astonishing $100 million over 7 years immediately made Haynesworth the top paid defensive player in the league. The truth is he may only get half of that money, but that’s beside the point.

The Washington Redskins actually made a lot of noise yesterday, and early. They released Shawn Springs, signed DeAngelo Hall, Derrick Dockery, to name a few. The ‘Skins had scheduled to met with Free Agent Chris Canty, but later cancelled on him.

Speaking of Chris Canty, he is being labeled as one of the best free agents on the market right now. Canty said that there is little to no chance he will be a Cowboy. He has scheduled visits planned with 49ers, Packers, Seahawks, Titans and meets with the Giants tonight. I would definitely prefer he go to a team outside of our division. We will just have to wait and see who grabs him.

The Cowboys still have to make decisions with quite a few free agents. There’s linebackers Zach Thomas, Kevin Burnett, and Carlos Polk; safety Keith Davis; back up quarterback Brooks Bollinger; and defensive tackle Tank Johnson.

I expect the Cowboys to lock up Keith Davis, who came back to the team after serving some time with Parcells down in Miami early last season. Davis plays an important role on our Special Teams unit and brings leadership to that part of the game.

I’m pretty confident the Cowboys will part ways with veterans Zach Thomas and Tank Johnson. Brooks Bollinger could be kept, just because the Cowboys released Brad Johnson. Bollinger didn’t get much time on the field last year. After last year, I hope the Cowboys will take the role of backup quarterback more seriously and find a suitable backup, but it’s highly unlikely.

With three free agent linebackers (Thomas, Polk, Burnett), we could be left with some big holes to fill. We need to really do our research for the draft and hope we get lucky and secure some fresh future stars.

Don’t expect an exciting offseason with big signings, it’s not likely the Cowboys will be making any splashes. Jerry has been known to surprise, but considering the salary cap and the big names already on the team, I don’t think he has much of a choice.

Keep in mind, this could all change in an instant, if safety Roy Williams is let go… 

It’s The End Of An Era For Roy Williams

The writing appears to be on the wall for the one-time untouchable safety, Roy Williams. Several sources are now reporting that it’s not a matter of if Williams will be traded, but when.

The once beloved Cowboy, has fallen on hard times in recent seasons and has seen his stock fall considerably due to ineffectiveness and injuries.

A change of scenery now looks like the best thing for the player once known as Superman.

The Dallas Morning News made it as clear as day when they reported that Roy Williams has played his last game for the Cowboys.

According to their sources, the Cowboys’ front office has been calling around the league to determine the veteran safety’s trade value.

They even go as far as saying that if the Cowboys fail to find a trade partner, he will most assuredly be released.

It’s hard to believe how far the five-time Pro Bowler and former first-round pick from Oklahoma has fallen.

It’s always sad to see such a prominent star disintegrate the way that Williams has, but it just seemed like the game changed and ultimately passed him by. In another era, he may have gone down as one of the greatest players at his position, but the league has become too intent on minimizing the toughness and brutality that originally made football the game it is today.

Rule changes like the one that banned the horse-collar tackle spelled doom for Williams, and he never seemed able to adapt.

So now the Cowboys have chosen to adapt without him.

Thanks for the memories Roy…

THE UNOFFICIAL START TO THE 2009 SEASON

Free agency started overnight and for a lot of us fans the new season has just begun.

The bad taste that has been in my mouth since the Cowboys lost in Philadelphia is slowly disappearing. Even though the Cowboys are not projected to make any big signings, this is what being a Cowboys fan is all about. You know what I mean don’t you?

Debating who should back up Tony, or  looking for a veteran safety, corner, or inside linebacker… Cowboys talk is just great!  

Then we have the draft.

The draft is probably my favorite weekend of the year. Mock drafts followed by mock drafts, and even more mock drafts, I just cant get enough!

Then OTA’s, mini-camps, and talking about how players are looking, and  what our chances are in 09. 

I just cannot get enough Cowboy chatter. Then before you know it its July and we are talking training camp which I will be attending for the first time in my life! And just like that we are breaking down our first matchup in week one. 

Isn’t this is what being a die hard Cowboys fan is all about.

Brad Johnson Officially Released

Cowboys fans may be relieved to learn that backup quarterback Brad Johnson has been released from the team. Johnson went 1-2 in 2008 when filling in for an injured Tony Romo.

The Dallas Morning News reports:

The Cowboys have officially decided to part ways with Brad Johnson, informing the veteran backup quarterback of his release Thursday.

Johnson started three games and the Cowboys went 1-2 during Tony Romo’s absence with a fractured pinkie. Johnson completed 41 of 78 passes for 427 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions last. He was also sacked eight times.

The move saves the Cowboys about $2 million against the salary cap. He was scheduled to make $2 million this season and was due a $500,000 roster bonuses. He also had $1 million in incentives.

The Cowboys will be in the market for a backup in free agency and could bring back Brooks Bollinger, who is also a free agent.

Farewell dude.

When Are Legends Born?

 When Emmitt Smith was drafted in 1990, the first thing I said was “Who is this guy and what the hell is he wearing??”.  All reports said he was too small and too slow to be a feature back in the NFL. Then we all watched him evolve from this kid in the ugly jumpsuit into a Pro Bowler, then an All Pro, a Super Bowl MVP, NFL’s All Time Leading Rusher and in 2010, a Hall Of Famer.

Ever stop to think when is that pivotal moment when a player becomes a legend? Is it after they retire? Is it a particular game that elevates them to the next level?

It seems to happen without us knowing it. Sorta like how your kids grow up right in front of you. They seem to go from playing tee-ball one day to graduating high school the next. Of course you watched it happen, yet it’s all a flash to you now. Or is it just me?

Troy Aikman looked like a fish out of water his rookie year. I personally saw him as a draft bust after that miserable 1-15 season.  I knew this guy couldn’t take Dallas to the Promised Land. He seemed to have all the tools but I wasn’t confident at all in his ability to run a team. Then we all watched him evolve into a Pro Bowler, an All Pro, a true leader, a field general, a Super Bowl MVP,  the winningest QB in a single decade (90 wins in the 90s) and a Hall Of Famer.

Obviously Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith are once in a generation players.  But so were Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett. All is not lost when the legends retire from the game. Shoes have to be filled. History in Dallas has proven it is not a matter of if they will be filled but when they will be filled.

Today’s Cowboys are no different than the ones of Cowboys’ past. We will watch in disgust and dismay as they make their own mistakes and pay their own dues. We will watch these young men and not even realize that they’re evolving right before our eyes. When the rookies become stars and the stars become legends.

Watching these kids become men and these men become legends is a gift one will learn to appreciate more as the years go by. I know I have.

Farewell Texas Stadium

Hey Cowboy Fans!

I hope this finds you all well. Until a moment ago, my heart was heavy about the Farewell of Texas Stadium. A very dear friend sent a video to me tonight. It was Yogi Berra talking about the end of Yankee Stadium. Now, I’m no Yankee fan but I know who Yogi is and I was touched by his words. I found a great deal of inspiration and strength in this 2 minute video… and I shed a few more tears because he was right.

I realized that I won’t miss this place. It will live on forever through US… the fans. We have priceless memories inside of each of us that, if we think real hard, we can go back to that moment in time and live it over and over again. Soon, we will move into our new home… a home even more worthy of America’s Team; even though we never thought we would see the day that something could replace our beloved Texas Stadium.

During the three days at Farewell Fest, I met fans of all ages that were eager to share the most amazing stories of the Cowboys and Texas Stadium. Thankfully, I was with friends that kept me laughing or I might have spent the weekend in tears! I was having the hardest time with this because as long as I can remember, Texas Stadium and the Dallas Cowboys have been hand in hand. I heard stories of joy and celebration, heart-ache and disappointment… and everything in between. There was one common theme to these stories that was unspoken between us but understood: WE ARE FANS OF THE DALLAS COWBOYS and we will follow them where ever they may go.

The other unspoken theme that I did not realize until I watched this video of Yogi Berra was: Texas Stadium WILL live on forever. While this seems like the end, it is really only the beginning! This move opens doors to us that we had only experienced in our dreams: a Super Bowl in our house, for instance! The idea of this opens the doors to many more dreams like our Dallas Cowboys WINNING a Super Bowl at home and much MUCH more! Like the Dallas Cowboys, we can now enjoy these thoughts that are larger than life in a stadium that can be seen from space!

I am not old enough to remember Texas Stadiums first moments of glory. I have said many times, “Man, I wish I had been there then.” I AM GOING TO GET MY CHANCE!! My children will some day sit down with their grandchildren and say, “Your great-grandma and great-grandpa took me to Texas Stadium when I was your age. They were there the first time the Cowboys played in the stadium in Arlington.”

WOW! I get my chance and SO DO YOU!! Suddenly, I am no longer heart heavy. I am more excited than ever!! So, to my friend that send me the video of Yogi: THANK YOU! Thank you from the bottom of my star-shaped heart! I will not soon forget that through the miles and miles that separate us, you understood what I was going through and knew exactly what I needed to see and hear. Which, of course, reminds me of how lucky I am… HOW LUCKY WE ALL ARE right here, right now… to be FANS OF THE GREATEST NFL TEAM IN THE WORLD!

And, I’m lucky to be friends with the GREATEST FANS of the GREATEST TEAM: America’s Team! For that, I want give each of you a personal THANK YOU! Thank you for allowing me to come into your lives each week. I suddenly feel like the luckiest fan in the world and I hope you do, too.

I’m going to close with two videos I made special for you… My LoneStarStruck family and friends. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed having the opportunity to be in the right place at the right time.

COWBOYS FOR LIFE!!
Shelby

PS. The second video gives you information about where you can see MORE videos from Farewell Fest such as: player interviews, sights and sounds and much much more!

BIG “D” Issues For the Cowboys

With all the talk so far this offseason surrounding Mr. Owens, and with free agency starting at the end of this week and the draft right around the corner we need to talk about some big issues surrounding the boys defense.

First, Demarcus Ware, all signs are Jerry is going to break the bank and make him the highest payed cowboy in team history, this is by far the most important move we need to make and would solidify our pass rush for years to come.

On the other side should we let Ellis go? He scheduled to make over $6 million next year for just a 3rd down pass rusher, thats pretty steep! Unless he wanted to take a significant pay cut and less playing time, I just dont see this happening.

Which brings me to Anthony Spencer. Is he ready to play every down and live up to his draft position? He may have the skills, he just scares me. His recent arrest, and if you watched Hard Knocks, remember he didn’t show for a treatment on an injury and was fined by Wade. These things make me wonder if he’s mature enough to step up and take the position fulltime.

Now lets talk about our unrestricted free agents: Canty, Burnett, and Thomas. Canty would be painful to lose. He has been a solid force on the D-line, but the contract he is looking for might be too rich for our shrinking cap space, which leaves us either starting Jason Hatcher or Stephen Bowen. I think Hatcher would fit well he has showed me some promise in his playing time.

If Thomas and Burnett leave in free agency it would leave the biggest hole in our defense. Basically, it would leave Bobby Carpenter to play next to Bradie James. I dont know your thoughts but thats a frightening thought in my eyes. We all know Ray Lewis is out there and he has said he wants to play in Dallas, but can Jerry afford him?

After D-Ware signs I’m not so sure. Another guy that might be more affordable is Keith Brooking who is suppose to be being released by Atlanta before Friday.

The secondary has potential to be above average. T-New is solid when healthy, but thats the question can he stay healthy? As much as I love the way Roy Williams plays the run and the hits he lays, he just plain stinks in pass coverage. Like Ellis, he is scheduled to make over $6 million this year and might be cut prior to the start of free agency. Its either that or him restructuring to take a major paycut which I don’t see happening either.

My thought was to bulk him up and try him in that middle linebacker spot. I don’t think that’s too far fetched. He is made to hit and I’m surprised I haven’t heard anything like that. If he goes, who is playing strong safety? 

I don’t believe Pat Watkins is ready to step in there so I’d say move Anthony Henry to safety and let Scandrick and Jenkins compete for the corner. My vote, from what I’ve seen, is Scandrick. He just showed me way more last year than Jenkins did. One thing is for certain, count on the Cowboys picking up more corners and safeties in the draft and even free agency.

I want to hear your thoughts Cowboy fans.

Don’t Miss T.O. Thursday on CNBC

Tonight Cowboys star wide receiver Terrell Owens will be featured in a documentary about the rise of black men in America.

 The CNBC documentary entitled “Newbos: The Rise of America’s New Black Overclass” will cover a variety of multi-millionaire African Americans who rose from working class to wealthy class.

The program airs at 10 p.m. central time on cable channel CNBC.

Other celebrities profiled in the documentary include Lebron James, Torii Hunter, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Wyclef Jean, Lil’ Wayne, Williams Brothers of Cash Money Records, Fort Worth native Kirk Franklin and Bob Johnson.

 

**UPDATE**: Due to the Presidential Address airing this evening “Newbos” has been moved to Thursday, February 26th   9p | 1a ET.

The Jerry Jones Era – Hits and Misses

I came across this list of key moments in the Jerry Jones era while reading the Star-Telegram and thought I’d share it here. Overall, it’s a good history of the impact Jones has had on the team, however I think it’s a little light. I would have included the Emmit Smith and Michael Irvin acquisitions to name a couple.   

Feb. 25, 1989: Jones buys Cowboys Arkansas oilman Jerry Jones buys America’s Team and the lease rights to Texas Stadium. He also announces that University of Miami coach Jimmy Johnson will replace the legendary Tom Landry.

April 18, 1989: Sale approved, Schramm resigns NFL owners OK the sale of Cowboys to Jones. Longtime president Tex Schramm resigns after 29 years with the team to become president of the World League of American Football.

April 20, 1989: Aikman signs The Cowboys, holding the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft for only the second time in their history, announce the signing of UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman to a six-year contract.

Oct. 13, 1989: Herschel Walker trade In the largest trade in NFL history, 18 players and/or draft choices are involved when the Cowboys trade Walker to the Vikings.

Jan. 17, 1993: Cowboys upset 49ers for NFC title The Jones-Johnson rebuilding project leads to a 30-20 victory in San Francisco for Dallas’ first Super Bowl berth since 1978.

Jan. 31, 1993: Cowboys win Super Bowl XXXVII Troy Aikman throws four touchdown passes to lead the Cowboys to a 52-17 win over Buffalo and earns the game’s Most Valuable Player award. It’s Dallas’ first NFL title since 1977.

Jan. 2, 1994: Smith leads team to 1993 NFC East title Playing the second half with a separated shoulder, Emmitt Smith leads the Cowboys to a 13-10 overtime win over the Giants in the Meadowlands with NFC home-field advantage on the line.

Jan. 30, 1994: Cowboys repeat as Super Bowl champs Smith rushes for 132 yards and two second-half touchdowns as Dallas rallies to beat Buffalo 30-13 in Super Bowl XXVIII. Smith is the game’s MVP.

March 29, 1994: So long, Jimmy Jimmy Johnson surprisingly steps down as coach of the Cowboys after his relationship with Jones deteriorates.

March 30, 1994: Hello, Barry Barry Switzer becomes the third head coach in team history, replacing Johnson. It’s the longtime University of Oklahoma coach’s first NFL job.

Sept. 9, 1995: Deion Sanders signs Flashy and flamboyant defensive back Deion “Prime Time” Sanders signs a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Cowboys, becoming the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL.

Jan. 28, 1996: Cowboys win Super Bowl XXX The Cowboys become the first team to win three Super Bowls in four seasons with a 27-17 victory over Pittsburgh. Cornerback Larry Brown has two interceptions and is voted MVP.

Jan. 5, 1997: Cowboys lose to Panthers in divisional playoffs The Cowboys beat the Vikings in the wild-card round before losing 26-17 at Carolina. Jones’ team hasn’t won a playoff game since.

Jan. 9, 1998: Jones fires Switzer Discord between Switzer and Aikman plays a role in Switzer’s departure after four seasons despite a 45-26 overall record and one Super Bowl title.

Feb. 12, 1998: Jones hires Gailey Steelers offensive coordinator Chan Gailey becomes the Cowboys’ fourth head coach. His teams go 18-14 in two seasons, but fail to win in two playoff appearances.

Jan. 26, 2000: Jones promotes Campo After the departure of Gailey, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dave Campo becomes head coach. He lasts three seasons, going 5-11 in each of them.

Jan. 2, 2003: Jones hires Parcells Two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Parcells is brought in amid much national fanfare to turn the struggling franchise around.

Nov. 2, 2004: Arlington voters approve Cowboys’ new stadium A referendum to use public funding to finance a portion of the team’s new home passes with 55 percent of the vote.

March 19, 2006: Jones signs T.O. Controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens joins the Cowboys.

Feb. 8, 2007: Wade arrives Following Parcells’ resignation as coach, Chargers defensive coordinator and longtime NFL coach Wade Phillips becomes the Cowboys’ seventh head coach.