Another Day In Cowboy Land

For the Dallas Cowboys and their fans the crack of pads, the ear splitting screech of whistles followed by the hollering of instructions usually signifies the approaching end to summer and the beginning of a new season. We are well into training camp with one pre-season game under our belts (shhh lets pretend that didn’t happen).

Roy WilliamsAs is expected and normal across most camps, the Cowboys have had their share of bumps and bruises but (knock on wood) nothing serious. We all held our breaths with the news of Roy Williams’s wrist injury, but the sprain only kept him out of practice for a day. His status for Friday night’s second pre-season game is unknown right now, but I would be surprised if he doesn’t get in for a drive or two.

The secondary got stronger as well with Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins back in practice. Jenkins missed about a week with a sprained right ankle.

Sporting News Today is reporting that backup quarterback Jon Kitna and center Cory Procter have been having trouble with the snap through out camp and it actually carried over to the game against the Raiders which resulted in a 16 yard loss on one play, and a missed field goal on the drive. Obviously it is still early and is something they will continue to work on. Let’s cross our fingers and hope Kitna wont be needed this season anyway.

Bradie James is looking to become a nice compliment to DeMarcus Ware and help take some pressure of him when they attack the quarterback. The Dallas Morning News reports that James had two sacks against the number two offensive line and showed some speed in doing so.

With the dismissal of Terrell Owens the offense is looking to use a two tight end set as another weapon this season. We all know what Jason Witten can do, and now with second year man Martellus Bennett as the second tight end these two make it very hard for opposing defenses to cover. Bennett is a big strong target with good hands and knows how to block as well. This duo is going to be hard to stop, watch out!!

Let’s see how things fare for the Boys on Friday night in their new stadium against the Titans. It will bring us one step closer to the regular season and the hopes and dreams of the Super Bowl.

The Wonderful and Powerful Mr. Felix Jones

I began browsing sports news this morning when I stumbled across an article at the Dallas Morning News. The article entitled “Dallas Cowboys RB Jones stays one step ahead” is all about Felix Jones and how he has improved. I thought to myself, “Wow, we have barely seen what he has and fell head over heals in love with him, and now they say he has improved his routes?!”

Here is what running backs coach Skip Peete had to say,

“One of his biggest attributes is not the first guy he’s trying to make miss, but the second guy. He’s already starting to work to see where that guy is coming from and getting his next move, his next decision-making process started.

“Some guys will run and make a move on the guy directly in front of him, then start running again. There is no slowdown with Felix. He will see the next guy and is ready to create and make a move. It looks like it’s all one motion.”

Here’s Felix,

“You have to look forward to the next move. If you have somebody already set up to get past them, you are looking forward to making another move to get to the end zone.

“It’s hard to put into words, but once you see your blocker in front of you, you have confidence in him and know that he’s going to do his job, you automatically look for the next guy.

“I’m sure I’m not the only one who has that ability, to look forward to the next move. But it is a blessing.”

Amazing. Confidence, intelligence and talent, Felix has it all. If last year’s 30 carries were just a taste of what Felix can bring, we are in for one hell of a show!

I realize there is a ton of hype about this guy and he hasn’t even played a full season, but the excitement is so hard to hold back.

Say it with me now, FELIX! FELIX! FELIX!

Williams and Newman Return to Practice

Terence NewmanRoy Williams and Terence Newman both returned to practice today. That’s definitely good news for the team.

Williams only missed one day of practice (Sunday) after coming down hard on his wrist. X-rays came back negative. He practiced Monday with a brace on his sprained wrist. Word has it he was the first one to catch a pass from Tony Romo at practice.

Newman finally returned after missing just over a week. The veteran cornerback was sidelined August 8th after straining his groin. After hearing the news, thousands of Cowboys fans sighed all over the nation, “Oh no, not again!”

In all seriousness, the Cowboys really don’t need another injury filled season after last year. Terence Newman really needs to stay healthy for once, and losing our number one receiver, who is already taking so much heat before he’s been given a chance, would really bring the team down.

Cowboys Trim the Roster to 77

The Cowboys decided to waive running back Alonzo Coleman today as reported at DMN. Coleman has missed most of camp due to injury and will receive an injury settlement.

The 25-year old joined the Cowboys in 2007 as an undrafted free agent and spent two years on the practice squad. According to NFL Practice Squad Rules no player can spend more than two years on any one team’s practice squad, therefore the release makes perfect sense.

Coleman has shown talent and if he recovers from injury could join another NFL team.

With the Cowboys three-headed monster in Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice it was almost a given that Coleman was on his way out.

Looks like Keon Lattimore will get his chance after all.

Cornerback Michael Hawkins was also released today. He was cut out right because he was due to return from injury today and will not receive an injury settlement.

That leaves the Cowboys roster at 77, however that includes Robert Brewster who is out for the season so really the number is 76. The team must cut the roster down to 75 by September 1st.

Another Star to Dance With the Stars

The great Michael Irvin has decided to take on yet another project. He wants to follow Emmitt Smith’s fancy footsteps on Dancing with the Stars television competition.

AP reports:

NEW YORK – Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin will join 15 celebrities from the worlds of entertainment and sports in kicking up their heels on the new season of “Dancing With the Stars.”

Other hopefuls include entertainer Donny Osmond; singers Mya, Macy Gray and Aaron Carter; actors Melissa Joan Hart, Debi Mazar and Ashley Hamilton (son of George); models Joanna Krupa and Kathy Ireland; reality stars Kelly Osbourne and Mark Dacascos (“the Chairman” on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”); mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell; professional snowboarder Louie Vito; Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin and 62-year-old former congressman from Texas Tom DeLay.

The contestants were announced on Monday’s “Good Morning America” by “Dancing” host Tom Bergeron.

He also unveiled a new competitive twist.

“In the middle of our season, over three weeks, we’re going to have double eliminations,” said Bergeron. “We’ll lose about half of our cast within that period. It will be a ballroom bloodbath.”

Samantha Harris returns as co-host, with the panel of judges including ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer-choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

The ninth season of the hit ABC show premieres Sept. 21.

DoughboyCowboy’s Cowboy Round-Up

First off, Michael Irvin is on Dancing with the Stars. I was very excited about this. With his popularity and his moves from the football field, I think he is the man to beat. If he wins, next up is Troy. Go Playmaker of the Stars!

OK, now for the Cowboys… I don’t take too much into pre-season but it is nice to see the players get off the rust in a live game. Tony Romo looked good. His first series was off. But the way he moved the offense in his second series was great. Showing a little bit of what could be a great season, he spread the ball around and utilized all the weapons available to him.

Felix JonesAs soon as I seen Felix Jones run a few yards. I admit I said this out loud, “Felix I missed you”. The offensive will be awesome. This year I am really focusing on Witten and hoping he has a spectacular year. There is a hidden agenda with that one, more of that later.

The defense looked OK. While the 2nd and 3rd strings gave up a lot of points, the first team looked good. I am excited about Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware. The opposition wont know where DeMarcus will be coming from. Look out for a top 5 defense.

It was nice to see Keon Lattimore get a few reps too. I think he is a sleeper for this team if he makes the full roster. Jesse Holley was also playing in a few plays too. It was nice to see number 16 running down the field. Sometimes players who are trying for a spot on the team don’t play that much. We’ll see if he completes the dream. I still think Hawkins should of made the team instead.

I am looking forward to this Friday’s game. I wont be able to see it here in Illinois, but it will be on NFL Network on Saturday. I want to see the inside of the new stadium. Look for a great season to come!

Each Monday I will talk about the Cowboys and what I think about the team. If anyone can think of a better title let me know. I am looking forward to a great Cowboys season! – DoughboyCowboy

Roy Williams Goes For X-rays on Wrist

It is being reported by ProFootballTalk.com that Roy Williams went for x-rays on his left wrist Sunday afternoon. The injury happened when Williams came down hard on his wrist during the morning practice. Williams was on the practice field Sunday morning, but was absent from the afternoon session. Sam Hurd took his spot with the first team offense.

Let’s all hold our breath that the injury is not serious.

Good news as far as one injury is that Mike Jenkins was back at practice Sunday. Jenkins has missed the last week of practice as well as the first preseason game against the Raiders.

News and Notes Heading Into Second Preseason Game

So we all could not wait for the first preseason game this past Thursday. It would be the first time watching them play since the embarrassment of the Philadelphia game. We all watched the pregame warm-ups and interviews. And then we all sat and watched and chatted with each other as the game moved along. We saw some good things from our offensive weapons in Romo, Jones, Barber, Bennett, Williams and of course Mr. Dependable Jason Witten. We saw some flashes of what Hurd can do, if he can stay healthy. We also saw that same terrible penalty monster that is the Dallas Cowboys. And we saw the Raiders, yes the Raiders do some good things to the Cowboys and beat up on them 31-10. Next game is this coming Friday night against Tennessee in the new Cowboys Stadium. The game is on National television to show off the new stadium. So those of us who watched the Raiders game on the Web do not need to worry about the delay in action on the field and having someone who is watching it on TV tell us that the field goal by Folk is no good before we even saw him line up. Just kidding Kelly.

Here are some of the latest things coming from Cowboys camp.

Anderson released

Defensive tackle Tim Anderson who was signed January 26th has been released according to DallasNews.com. He played against the Raiders with his injured ankle and did not record a tackle. That leaves Junior Siavii and Jonas Seawright as the backups to Jay Ratliff right now.

Newman and Jenkins

It’s been reported by DallasNews.com that Wade Phillips said most of the injured players from last week will be back at practice this Monday. That includes Terrence Newman and Mike Jenkins. That is very good news for the Cowboys secondary.

Carpenter not to blame

Wade Phillips is not pointing the finger at Bobby Carpenter for bad play against the Raiders as reported by DallasNews.com.

“He made a lot of plays. He was in the right places a lot,” Phillips said. “He made a nice play on the play play where he broke up the tight end going down the middle, he covered well. I thought he played well in the game. Now the group didn’t play well that he was playing with, but he made plays all over the field, and he played like he’s been practicing.”

Jones feels like a rookie

Felix Jones is very happy to be back on the field again after a not so special 2008 season. For those of us who remember the excitement we felt in 2007 when Marion Barber came off the bench. We now have that same feeling now with Felix Jones. There is a feeling that great things will happen whenever he gets his hands on the ball.

“There’s something about him. He’s a gamer,” tight end Jason Witten said after practice Saturday. “You see him in practice, he looks good. But when he gets in games, he makes a lot of big plays. He’s a huge part of this offense that a lot of times we don’t think about.”

“His approach, he’s just kind of quiet,” Witten said. “He let’s his actions speak louder than his words.”

“He makes people look like they’re out of position when they’re in position. He’s just very effective,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “He really is instinctively clever.”

“I worked very hard the whole offseason to prepare for my rookie year. It kind of got my head right and pointed in the right direction,” Jones said. “After getting hurt, it kind of got me thinking I need to get my mental part right as well. Now, I feel like everything is clicking the way it should be.”

“It was an amazing feeling. This is what I live for, what I practice so hard for,” he said, recalling the time spent rehabilitating his injuries. “Thinking positive, knowing I’m going to be back on the football field one day kind of helped relieve a little bit of the negative thoughts that I had.”

“Sometimes, I kind of get treated like one too, but it’s OK, comes with the territory. I haven’t played a full season,” he said. “But I think it’s going to get better for me.”

Quote of the day

Asked if the team received any injuries from the Raiders game Wade Phillips said.

“We didn’t really play hard enough to get any injuries”

So Fresh and So Clean

Please pardon the mess around here today. Due to uncontrollable circumstances I had to do some dirty work on the technical end of the website. However, things seem to be going smoothly and in a few hours everything will be back to normal and no one will ever know my dirty little secret (LOL).

The graphics section was not harmed in the process so if that’s what you seek, you should have no problem.

gfx.lonestarstruck.com (Graphics shortcut to bookmark)

Thanks for your patience…

I’ll leave you with this most refreshing sight. GO COWBOYS!

Tony Romo

Second Verse, Same As The First

Cowboys Raiders Football

For those of us who expected to see a new and energized Cowboys team on the field last night, what a let down the first pre season game was. It seemed remarkably similar to the beating we got in Philadelphia to end last season. Sure, many of the faces were different, but the results were shockingly familiar as the Silver and Black pounded the Silver and Blue 31-10.

Usually, I don’t get too riled up over the results of a pre season game, especially the first one of the season, but last nights embarrassment had too many instances that brought back the failures and missteps of last season.

To begin, our defense allowed 456 total yards including an un-godly 280 yards rushing. Wow, you can’t really get much worse than that. And yes, our starters only played in one quarter, but when the Raiders piled on in the second half, it was mostly their third team players. That was totally demoralizing to say the least.

And what the hell was all those penalties? I thought Phillips said he was going to focus on minimizing the penalties? The Cowboys lost over 100 yards on 11 penalties last night.

There were plenty of positives to take away from this game and most of them were on offense.

Felix Jones is absolute gold and an electrifying presence when he’s on the field. He had a pass and one rush for 29 yards, and had a key block that setup the Cowboy’s lone scoring drive.

Sam Hurd had a fantastic day and hauled in five catches for 79 yards. If I am Miles Austin, I’d be worried right about now. Austin looked slow and had a dropped pass in the game. If he expects to be the third receiver, he may wants to take lessons from Sam Hurd.

I don’t know how to read Tony Romo’s performance. He had one terrible drive followed by one impressive scoring drive. After a three and out, he came back the second time around and engineered a picture perfect drive which included utilizing all of his weapons. The touchdown strike to Witten capped a drive that featured Martellus Bennett, Roy Williams, Marion Barber and Felix Jones. It’s all part of the new philosophy of spreading the ball around.

The first team offense only played the first quarter, but in those 15 minutes they showed glimpses of what could be one of the top offenses in the league in 2009.

Special Teams continues to struggle. Last night seemed like we were watching replays from last season; bad coverages, dropped balls, missed field goals, poor returns, and a muff that led to a Raiders touchdown. Ummm… I hope this wasn’t the improvement that Wade Phillips has been yapping about.

Overall, it was a lackluster performance that left much to be desired. I’ll give Top Gun performances to Sam Hurd, Felix Jones, Jason Witten, Gerald Sensabaugh, Jay Ratliff and Marty-B. On the other hand, these guys need to step it up and get their asses in gear; Stephen McGee, Orlando Scandrick, Miles Austin, Bobby Carpenter, Kyle Kosier, and Isaiah Stanback to name a few.

Anthony Spencer may have been on the field physically, but mentally he simply mailed it in. It was as if he wasn’t even there. He blew at least three easy coverages and then got burned for an 18-yarder he should have easily snuffed out. He never even got a whiff of the raiders quarterback. Terrible job.

Bobby Carpenter just needs to go. Even against third teamers he is a non-factor and has been absolutely worthless since the day he got drafted.

Wade Phillips was clearly pissed off after the game and when asked whether the Cowboys suffered any significant injuries, he he threw his team under the bus.

“We didn’t really play hard enough to get any injuries.” 

Ouch! I guess that says it all.

We’ll try to turn things around against the Tennessee Titans next week when we take the field in our new home. Until then, Go Cowboys!

A New Season, A New Beginning

It’s been seven months and 14 days since the Dallas Cowboys last took the football field. It was a cold day in Philadelphia and the Cowboys were expected to fight the finish in a game that meant everything.

Instead they were brutally beaten their rivals in the worst defeat in over 20 years. The Cowboys faithful were devastated, a pain that lasted a long time.

Maybe it happens every year, but this offseason seemed to last for eternity. So much has happened. So many familiar players are gone, and a ton of new faces have joined the team.

DeMarcus WareLest we forget the warriors that return to field wearing the star proudly on their helmets ready to give their all for the brothers they have grown to love and respect.

Now, tonight… though it’s preseason, it’s a new beginning. A fresh new season with a clean slate is upon us and despite the absence of last year’s extremely high expectations we, the Cowboys faithful, have so much to look forward to.

Not only are we the biggest name in all of sports, we now have a home that’s the biggest and best in the nation, even the world. We will fill that beautiful stadium with plenty of shining stars accompanied by devoted star struck fans in hopes of countless victories that will take us to the top.

We don’t care that we weren’t picked by ESPN or Sports Illustrated to go all the way. No, we don’t need their blessing or ridiculous high expectations. We as Cowboys fans believe at the beginning of every season that IT’S OUR SEASON! And, until the last game is played we don’t give up on that dream.

Tonight the game may not be worth anything on paper, but it represents the new 2009 football season and to diehard fans it will be a celebration. We will celebrate our team and our dream to become the best in game. We will get a look at what we can expect and for some young, inexperienced players it will mean do or die. How they play in these preseason games will determine their future and whether their lifelong dreams will become a reality. So, in essence these games mean so much more than practice.

I will be watching the game at home. Several staff members from this site will be chatting with Cowboys fans and friends during game time in our Gameday Live Chatroom. All are invited and welcome to join us!  It’s a fun time and even if you don’t have the game broadcast in your area, you can keep up with what’s going on and discuss the game with other fans.

Hope to see you at game time; chat begins at kickoff although some of us may arrive early for the pregame.

Let’s enjoy these four weeks of preseason and then the season officially begins, September 13th.

Get your game faces on Cowboys fans – FOOTBALL SEASON HAS BEGUN!

I’m Ready For Some Marty B And Felix Jones

martellus1

Are you ready for some football!!!

I am so excited for our first pre season game against the Oakland Raiders. Last season seems like an eternity ago, but finally we can put all of that behind us and begin to focus on the here and now; a brand new Dallas Cowboys season!

There are two players I’ll be looking forward to see in action in the first pre season game; Martellus Bennett and Felix Jones.

I know the starters probably won’t play for more than a quarter, but I can’t to see how the Raiders will defend against both Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett lined up as receivers. I think it’s an incredible move to utilize the talents of both Witten and Bennett on the field at the same time.

According to Clarence E. Hill Jr., Martellus Bennett has been such a force in the off-season and training camp that the Cowboys plan to use the two-tight end offense as their primary formation. With Bennett on the field with perennial Pro Bowler Jason Witten, the Cowboys hope to keep opponents off balance and take advantage of obvious mismatches.

Felix Jones

In addition to Bennett, it will be great to see running back Felix Jones on the field again after missing most of the season due to injury last season. I’m hoping to see that same electrifying play that for a time made him one of the most exciting players on the team.

The Cowboys have made it no secret that they plan on opening up more opportunities for their young and versatile running back. They even plan to run some plays using the Razorback formation. Felix Jones can be an explosive weapon, especially when he gets loose in an open field where his speed makes him both dangerous and elusive. Wade Phillips and company are trying to figure out how to exploit that explosiveness, and just the mere thought of it makes my mouth water.

Before the toe injury ended his season last year, we got a glimpse of just how talented Jones was whenever he had the ball in his hands.  Jones made the most of his limited playing time in ‘08, and averaged 8.9 yards on 30 carries and returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. He also had three touchdown runs of 20 yards or more, including a 60-yarder at Lambeau Field. Wow!

I expect we’ll see plenty of Felix Jones in the pre season starting with tonight’s game. Watching Felix Jones emerge as one of the NFL’s most exciting players will be one of my favorite parts of what is bound to be a fantastic season for the Cowboys.