Which team will be the last one standing?

What do all these predictions for Super Bowl XLV really mean? I’ve watched over the last few weeks as analysts have broken down every team and given their professional opinions on what they think will happen in 2010. But isn’t that all it is? Just thoughts and opinions? I find it hard to believe there is an exact science to make these predictions. I understand that those I watch on TV are former players and former coaches, but do they really have more to go on to make predictions? When you really think about it all these predictions are just guesses on their part. I like to have fun with these picks every season and not take them seriously, except of course when it comes to the Cowboys. So here are my guesses for the 2010 NFL season.

AFC East – NY Jets

AFC North – Baltimore

AFC South – Houston

AFC West – San Diego

AFC Wildcards – Indianapolis and Oakland

_____________________________________

NFC East – Dallas

NFC North – Green Bay

NFC South – New Orleans

NFC West – San Francisco

NFC Wildcards – Minnesota and Atlanta

______________________________________

AFC Championship

Houston over Baltimore

NFC Championship

Dallas over Green Bay

_______________________________________

Super Bowl XLV

Dallas over Houston

Yes, my guess is an all Texas Super Bowl in Texas, with the Cowboys coming out on top. Enjoy the season everyone.

The Future is Bright with Miles and Dez

In honor of Miles Austin’s new contract extension I’d just like to say how freaking awesome it is to know that we have Austin and Dez Bryant locked up for at least the next five years!

Cowboys signed Miles Austin to a six-year extension. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the total package is worth $57 million.

Dez Bryant received a five-year, $11.8 million contract  that includes $8.5 million in guarantees.

HOW BOUT THEM COWBOY WIDE RECEIVERS!

Congratulations To The Winners Of Our FREE Book Give-Away and Flat Screen TV!

I am so excited today, because I just received a very special email from EMG Promotions!

It is the Official List of all 25 winners of our FREE Dallas Cowboys Book Giveaway and the Grand Prize Winner for the FREE 42″ Flat Screen TV from Tiger Direct!!!

Before I reveal the names of all the LUCKY WINNERS, I have to thank all 7,560 of you who registered to enter this FANTASTIC LONE STAR STRUCK PROMOTION!

To me, you are all winners for being such DIE-HARD DALLAS COWBOYS FANS and great supporters of our site!!!

Tremendous THANKS also go out to the following:

Marinthia Thomas of EMG Promotions for her tremendous help and support in pulling this whole promotion off.

Joe DeCaro of Lone Star Struck who helped run things on our end and ensure that everything went as smoothly as possible.

Tiger Direct for providing the beautiful 42″ Flat Screen TV that went to our Grand Prize Winner.

AND… Sports Illustrated for providing us with 25 free copies of an amazing new book about the team we love so much. Thank You for publishing such a complete and phenomenal keepsake book chronicling fifty glorious years of Dallas Cowboys Football!

And the winners are…

The winners of a FREE edition of “The Dallas Cowboys: 50 Years Of Football” by Sports Illustrated are:

  1. Ronald St. James – Wells, ME
  2. Robert D. Lopez – Cathedral City, CA
  3. Chris Gonzales – Lubbock, TX
  4. Lisa LoPipero – Kings Park, NY
  5. Meredith Peters – Round Pond, ME
  6. Diane Comby – Philadelphia, MS
  7. Dolores Sweeney – Austin, TX
  8. Veronica Romero – El Paso, TX
  9. Louis Davila – Henderson, NV
  10. Denise Stuyvesant – Corpus Christi, TX
  11. Kimberly Vetrano – Pomona, NY
  12. Joyce Judson – Water Valley, MS
  13. William Adams – Coos Bay, OR
  14. Richard Steele – Clarksburg, WV
  15. Billy Clark – Lawton, OK
  16. Robert Schuerch – Warrenton, NC
  17. Ben Hannah – Knoxville, TN
  18. Kathryn Osborne – Orlando, FL
  19. Darrell Bacon – San Antonio, TX
  20. Denise Harty – Morrisville, PA
  21. Sherry Gary – Auburndale, FL
  22. Jim Forrest – Freeland, MI
  23. Stephen Stevenson – Houston, TX
  24. Walter Starks – Monroe, OH
  25. Rhonda Duff – Pennington, AL

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU!!!

Please send us photos of you and your new books when you recieve them so that we can post them in a future blog here at LSS, Your Ultimate Dallas Cowboys Fan Site!

If you didn’t win a free edition of this “must-have” Dallas Cowboys book, you can click on the link below to purchase your copy for less than $20 from Amazon.com. 

Sports Illustrated The Dallas Cowboys: 50 Years of Football

And now for the moment of truth…

GRAND PRIZE WINNER

The winner of a brand new 42″ Flat Screen TV from Tiger Direct is…

Lori Brawley of Fort Lauderdale, Florida!!!

Congratulations Lori!!!

All winners will be contacted by a representative from EMG Promotions, either by phone or email and will have 14 days to respond. If you don’t respond to claim your prize in that time, you will forfeit your prize and another winner will be chosen.

Thanks again to everyone who registered for our promotion. We had a lot of fun with it and we look forward to many more giveaways here at lonestarstruck.com.

Remember to check our site daily for the latest Dallas Cowboys news, blogs, and opinions. And of course LSS is the only Cowboys site for all your FREE Team Graphics, Schedules, Wallpapers, and Merchandise! Like our banner says, we are  Your Ultimate Dallas Cowboys Fan Site!

Is There A True Reason To Be Concerned?

Well the pre-season has finally come to an end. THANK GOD!!! Let me start off with a side note, I would love to only have 2 pre-season games. Too many people get hurt in the pre-season. I would not say they don’t play as hard but they play different than they would in the regular season. Different play calling, doing things in pre-season you would not normally do “just to see if they can do it” To me, THAT is what is getting these players hurt during pre-season. They are professionals; they should be ready to play whenever they are asked.

Ok enough with that side note, now to my real reason for posting. Is there a legitimate reason for concern for the season this year? Whether that concern is our offensive line or our defense as a whole?  Or do we chalk the bad losses and tight wins up as “O its only pre-season we have nothing to be worried about”. Well I did a minor breakdown of stats from our pre-season games this year.

These are off of NFL.COM

HALL OF FAME GAME – COWBOYS VS BENGALS

THEIRS                                                             OURS

First downs 10                                                first downs 17

Passing yards 136                                          passing yards 212

Rushing yards 43                                            rushing yards 85

Total net yards 179                                        total net yards 297

RED ZONE 1/2 50%                                         RED ZONE 0/3 0%

WEEK 1 VS RAIDERS

THEIRS                                                              OURS

First downs 18                                                first downs 13

Passing yards 188                                          passing yards 197

Rushing yards 129                                         rushing yards 66

Total net yards 317                                       total net yards 263

RED ZONE 1/3 33%                                        RED ZONE 0/4 0%

WEEK 2 VS CHARGERS

THEIRS                                                            OURS

First downs 19                                                first downs 11

Passing yards 202                                         passing yards 140

Rushing yards 92                                           rushing yards 54

Total net yards 294                                       total net yards 194

RED ZONE 2/2 100%                                    RED ZONE 2/4 50%

WEEK 3 VS TEXANS

THEIRS                                                              OURS

First downs 24                                                 first downs 17

Passing yards 208                                           passing yards 226

Rushing yards 173                                          rushing yards 13

Total net yards 381                                         total net yards 239

RED ZONE 1/4 25%                                         RED ZONE 0/2 0%

WEEK 4 VS DOLPHINS

THEIRS                                                              OURS

First downs 20                                                first downs 22

Passing yards 226                                          passing yards 295

Rushing yards 102                                         rushing yard   79

Total net yards 328                                       total net yards 374

RED ZONE 2/4 50%                                      RED ZONE 1/2 50%

TOTALS

First downs        91                     to             86

Passing Yards    960                  to            1070

Rushing Yards   539                  to             297

Total net Yards 1499                to             1367

Red Zone           7/15  46%        to             3/15 20%

Now I do realize the last pre-season game against the dolphins was all backups, however I personally feel that needs to be brought up because if you look at the game, they had a really good offensive showing. What does that say for our starters? Not a lot but you HAVE to look at the protection that Kitna got vs. what Romo got in the other games. I guess that is just the battle during pre-season trying to win a spot on the team.

My concern is the pass defense against the short 5 – 10 yard pass. Every game this year, that I was able to catch I saw the apposing team complete those passes right down the field almost every time. One play in particular comes to mind. Week 3 vs. .the Texans. Jacoby Jones was wide right and Sensabaugh was defending him. When Schaub took the snap and Jacoby took off, Sensabaugh was right with him. However, Jacoby stopped and turned around running a 5 – 7 yard hitch route. Well I know because I was really paying attention to that 5 – 10 yard pass defense, that Sensabaugh SAW him stop and turn, but he just kept running up the field leaving Jones WIDE open for that 7 yard reception. They are so worried about getting beat deep, they are giving up those plays all game long and the apposing team is driving right down the field on them it seems like every possession.

So in my opinion, the defense, which doesn’t get me wrong I LOVE our defense, does concern me. I think that we will be able to work out the kinks and make a great run at a great season, just wanted to get some other points of view on the subject.

GO COWBOYS!!!!!!!

Flashback, Cowboys vs Redskins – 1979

It was December 16, 1979 when the Washington Redskins came to Texas Stadium tied with the Cowboys for first place in the NFC East with 10-5 records. This game would turn out to be one of Roger Staubach’s finest moments as well as his last great comeback in his Cowboys career.

The NFC East showdown between these heated rivals did not start out the way the Cowboys had wanted. On the Cowboys first two possessions of the game they fumbled and the Redskins took full advantage of the recoveries.

It took only two plays on the Cowboys first possession before rookie Ron Springs fumbled at the Cowboys 34 yard line. The Redskins took over and drove to the Cowboys three yard line. On third and goal Larry Cole sacked Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann and forced the Redskins to kick a field goal by Mark Mosley for an early 3-0 lead.

On the Cowboys second possession they once again fumbled the ball away. This time it was Robert Newhouse who gave the ball to the Redskins on the Cowboys 45 yard line. The Redskins drove to the Cowboys one yard line, but this time Theismann made sure there would be no field goal attempt as he scored himself, giving the Redskins a 10-0 lead.

With the Redskins leading 10-0 going into the second quarter and the Cowboys offense showing no signs of life, the Redskins offense went back to work with an 80 yard, 7 play drive. They finished the drive when Theismann connected with running back Benny Malone who eluded a tackle by D.D. Lewis. Malone raced down the right sideline for a 55 yard touchdown giving the Redskins a commanding 17-0 lead.

The Cowboys offense seemed to wake up on their next possession. They put together a 13 play, 70 yard drive. From the Redskins one yard line it was Ron Springs who would make up for his earlier fumble as he scored the Cowboys first touchdown of the game. The Redskins were now leading 17-7 with a little more then four minutes left in the first half.

With only 1:48 left in the first half the Cowboys got the ball back on their own 15 yard line. Staubach went to work as he connected with Tony Hill three times and Drew Pearson once to get to the Redskins 26 yard line. With only nine seconds remaining Staubach connected with Preston Pearson for the touchdown as Pearson made a diving catch in the end zone. The Cowboys had fought their way back into the game with two second quarter touchdowns. They went into the half down 17-14.

In the third quarter the Cowboys defense shutdown the Redskins offense. The Cowboys offense took advantage and scored the only touchdown of the quarter, which gave them their first lead of the game. After a short Redskins punt the Cowboys took over at their own 48 yard line. They needed only nine plays, which included a Butch Johnson reverse that gained 13 yards. Preston Pearson took a short pass from Staubach and got the Cowboys to the two yard line. Like Ron Springs in the first half, it was now Newhouse’s turn to make up for his earlier fumble. He scored from the two yard line, giving the Cowboys a 21-17 lead.

Early in the fourth quarter the Redskins drove to the Cowboys 7 yard line where they would have to settle for a Mark Mosley 24 yard field goal. That made the score 21-20 Cowboys.

Staubach threw his only interception of the game when he went deep over the middle from his own 13 yard line where there was no receiver in sight. Redskins safety Mark Murphy came down with the ball and returned it down to the Cowboys 25 yard line. On the Redskins first play Theismann threw into the end zone for receiver Ricky Thompson. Cowboys safety Cliff Harris bumped Thompson and was called for pass interference. The penalty placed the ball at the Cowboys one yard line where John Riggins scored to give the lead back to the Redskins, 27-21.

With less than seven minutes to play in the game, it was Riggins who seemed to put the game out of reach for the Cowboys.  Riggins broke to the outside at his own 34 yard line as he outran Cowboys linebacker Mike Hegman and then broke a tackle by Cliff Harris. Riggins then raced away from Cowboys cornerback Dennis Thurman down the right sideline and scored from 66 yards for a 34-21 Redskins lead.

With 3:49 left in the game, Randy White recovered a Redskins fumble. Roger Staubach only needed three plays to get the Cowboys closer as he connected with Ron Springs for a 26 yard touchdown. Springs caught the pass at the five yard line and dragged Redskins cornerback Ray Waddy into the end zone. The Redskins still had a 34-28 lead with 2:20 left in the game.

With time running out and the Redskins facing a third and one, veteran Larry Cole threw Riggins for a two yard loss and forced the Redskins to punt.

The Cowboys stood 75 yards away from an NFC Eastern Division title. Roger Staubach went back to work like he had done so many times in his career. He drove the Cowboys in only seven plays. During the drive he connected with Tony Hill for 20 yards, then to Preston Pearson for 22 yards. With 1:01 left in the game Staubach went back to Preston Pearson for a 25 yard gain to the Redskins 8 yard line. From there Staubach lofted a pass into the end zone that Tony Hill came down with.

The Cowboys won the game 35-34 over the Redskins and also won their 11th Eastern title in the teams 20 year history. The win also gave the Cowboys a week off and home field advantage in the playoffs. With the win it also knocked the Redskins out of the playoffs

Roger Staubach finished the game with 336 yards passing and three touchdown passes. It was also the 21st time he guided the Cowboys to a fourth quarter win and the 14th time he turned defeat into victory for the Cowboys in the final two minutes of a game.

Tony Hill led all receivers with eight receptions for 113 yards and the game winning touchdown. Preston Pearson followed Hill with five receptions for 108 yards and one touchdown. Rookie Ron Springs who started in place of the injured Tony Dorsett, rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown. He also added 58 receiving yards with one touchdown.

“What can I say about him?” asked Tom Landry. “Roger is simply super in these kinds of situations. He’s done it before and knows he can do it.”

You can see the games box score here.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197912160dal.htm

Video of Larry Cole’s third down stop of John Riggins last in fourth quarter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLqUYWmsCug&feature=related

Video of some plays from winning Cowboys drive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs1saZ6tgCk

There’s No Place Like Home

The most wonderful place on Earth… Cowboys Stadium!

Hopefully our ‘Boys can make some great memories at  home this year and who knows they could be not only hosting the Super Bowl in Arlington but… dare I say it?

Nah, we don’t wanna jinx it. Here’s to a winning football season!

GO COWBOYS!

Enjoy this Cowboys Stadium wallpaper!

Click your screen size below to get your wallpaper.

600×800

1024×768

1600×1200

1600×900 (widescreen)

Cowboys Cut 20 Players

Complete list of players cut by Saturday’s deadline:

OT Will Barker
OG Travis Bright
DE Marcus Dixon
RB Herb Donaldson
TE DajLeon Farr
CB Cletis Gordon
WR Jesse Holley
WR Manny Johnson
OLB Curtis Johnson
CB Bryan McCann
RB Lonyae Miller
LB Steve Octavien
TE Jason Pociask
TE Martin Rucker
DT Jimmy Saddler-McQueen
LB Brandon Sharpe
DE Junior Siavii
OL Mike Tepper
CB Jamar Wall
CB Teddy Williams

A Final Farewell to Patrick Crayton

As we say our goodbyes to Patrick Crayton, lets reflect on his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys and some of his career highlights.

Crayton attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University where he was a quarterback during his senior year and a wide receiver in his previous three seasons.

In four years, he amassed 5,688 all-purpose yards, including 3,718 yards in total offense and 46 touchdowns, setting several NWOSU records including throwing 19 touchdowns as quarterback.

He was drafted by Dallas in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

2004 – Received more playing time than initially expected due to injuries and had a few shining moments that got the coaching staff’s attention.

2005 – Feeling they had themselves an emerging star, the Cowboys cut Quincy Morgan opening up more playing time for Crayton. He didn’t disappoint. In his first game he had six receptions for 89 yards and one touchdown. However, he sustained a broken ankle a few games later and he never recovered.

2006 – Coming back from a serious injury, Crayton recorded his first 100-yard game while filling in for an injured Terry Glenn. Bill Parcells would later say that Crayton has the best hands on the team. Crayton dived into the endzone for big touchdown in the wildcard playoff game which the Cowboys ultimately lose to the Seattle Seahawks.

2007 – Crayton is now the number two wide receiver and the Cowboys signed him to a four-year contract extension worth $14 million. He rewarded them with a 697 yard, 7 touch down season.

2008 – Crayton only started seven games after being replaced by Roy Williams in week five. He still finished with 39 passes for 550 yards and four touchdowns. He also got plenty of playing time on special teams returning 15 punt returns for 143 yards.

2009 – Starting just six games this season, he caught 37 passes for 622 yards and sets a career high with a 16.8 yards per catch average. He also hauls in a career long 80 yard touch down reception. On special teams he scored his first punt return touchdown and would finish with 36 punt returns for 437 yards and 2 TDs, second best in the league.

Cowboys Trade Crayton To Chargers, McQuistan To Dolphins

In a surprising move, the Cowboys have just completed a couple of trades.

First, the Cowboys and Chargers agreed to a deal which sends wide receiver Patrick Crayton to the Chargers for a  seventh round pick in 2011.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the Chargers are in a contract dispute with wide receiver Vincent Jackson , who has threatened to sit out the season, and wanted an experienced wide-out which they certainly get in Crayton.

A seventh round pick in 2004, Crayton caught 196 passes for 2,888 yards and 23 touchdowns for the Cowboys. His best year came in 2007 in which he caught 50 passes for 697 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 starts. He also averaged 9.6 yards per punt return and had two touchdowns last season.

Then in another move, the Miami Dolphins acquired offensive tackle Pat McQuistan from Dallas.

It is still uncertain what the Cowboys got in return, but the trade has been confirmed. It could end up being another late round pick as they got for Crayton.

Looks like it was a busy day for the Jones’ gang.

Q & A with Jaime Aron, Dallas Cowboys: The Complete Illustrated History

Here is a great Q & A with author Jaime Aron of the newest and latest  book celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys: The Complete Illustrated History offers a complete and entertaining history of this iconic franchise’s first 50 years, celebrating the great players, teams, and moments through stories, stats, and almost 200 images.

Author Jaime Aron explores both on-field moments and off-field exploits to provide a thorough discussion of the events from each season that shaped the franchise from its dubious start to its championship rise and all sorts of twists and turns.

Special features include profiles of top players, coaches and front-office leaders, stories behind longtime rivalries and traditions, and closer looks at the greatest games in team history, including each of their Super Bowls.

With a foreword by Cowboys legend Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys: The Complete Illustrated History is the ultimate celebration of the silver and blue for Cowboys fans of all ages.

What did you discover in researching this book that readers will be excited to learn?

There’s a clear pattern to Cowboys history that bodes well these days. Since its inception, this club has gone from struggling to soaring, then back again. This is clearly one of the up cycles, with Tony Romo in position to join Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman as quarterbacks who’ve led the Cowboys to a Super Bowl championship. (Of course, he has to do it twice to truly enter the league.)

What differentiates this book from any other book about the Cowboys?

We break down the first 50 years by quarterback – a short-hand that makes sense in many ways. Think of 1964, realize it was the Don Meredith era and you have a pretty good idea of what happened. Ditto for 1984 and the Danny White years.

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman each wound up with two chapters, which is sort of fitting. But it’s also functional, because their tenures needed to be divvied up. Roger went through the years he and Craig Morton battled for the job, then the glory days once he’d turned the Cowboys into “America’s Team.” Troy had the wild ride from 1-15 to multiple Super Bowl champions, then the years Jerry Jones spent trying to recapture that glory. Tony Romo has clearly earned his own era. But what about those years post-Troy, pre-Tony? Since there was no single player worthy of naming rights, we called it “Eight is Enough,” since that’s how many starters there were.

What is the thing that the media will find most interesting about the book?

I hope reporters will get out of it the same thing as readers: Reminisce about the years you were following the team, and learn about what happened when you weren’t. The extra benefit for reporters is that this book can be a handy reference tool because it brings to life, in pictures and stories, things that the media guide list as names and numbers – from players to games to seasons.

Tell me about the photography in the book.

There are some classic shots you’ve seen before – like Landry being lifted off on his players’ shoulders after winning the Super Bowl, Drew Pearson catching the Hail Mary and Jason Witten running down the field in Philadelphia without a helmet – but only some.

Instead, a variety of archives were searched for other, fresher images that tell the story just as well. Some of my favorites are Jim Brown running away from tacklers in a practically empty Cotton Bowl in 1960, Mel Renfro alone and dejected on the bench still wearing his helmet at the end of Super Bowl V, and Daryl Johnston flipped upside down, but still gripping the ball, during his heyday.

Another favorite is that on the pages featuring each of Dallas’ five Super Bowl wins, there are action shots and either the cover of the game’s program or a copy of the ticket.

What is your personal involvement with the subject?

I grew up a Cowboys fan in Houston, then moved to Dallas to work for The Associated Press in 1992 – just in time to see the Cowboys win the Super Bowl in three of the next four years. I became the AP’s beat writer for the Cowboys in 1999, so I covered every event in the book since then. I’ve gotten to know many of the folks from previous generations along the way, and by having written other Cowboys books, including one on Tom Landry.

What is your favorite part of the book?

I loved reading and writing about Clint Murchison Jr. What a clever, colorful fellow. Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban have nothing on ol’ Clint, mainly because he steered clear of running the team. He left that to Tex and Tom, and felt so strongly about it that he wanted the next owner to do so, as well.

I’ve said before that Murchison belongs in the Ring of Honor strictly for his role as the club’s founder. I think there might be a better chance for it if Jerry realized how much he and Clint are kindred spirits.

Is there anything else you would like to add about the subject or the book?

Something else that fascinated me was the 1971 team.

That was the most important season in franchise history, yet the team has become the most overlooked. It was important because they ended the reputation for “not being able to win the big one,” which quickly morphed this club into becoming “America’s Team.” Because that morphing was so quick, and there was so much success with so many colorful teams and players, the ’71 club was mostly forgotten.

Consider this: They started the year with their reputation as chokers, with Craig Morton as their quarterback and with the Cotton Bowl as their home field. They ended the year as Super Bowl champions, with Roger Staubach as their quarterback and Texas Stadium as their home field.

There is a lot more to the ’71 club and what a turning point that season was, on and off the field – so much that I’ve started writing a book about them that will be released by MVP Books next fall.

To purchase your copy, follow the link below: Dallas Cowboys: The Complete Illustrated History

Teams Asking About Sam Hurd’s Availability

It is being reported on ProFootballTalk.com that Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning news has said teams have called asking about Sam Hurd’s availability. Archer has said that the Chiefs and Rams could be possible teams interested.

Sam Hurd has been a big part of the Cowboys special teams over the last few years. But with Miles Austin, Roy Williams, Patrick Crayton, Kevin Ogletree and rookie Dez Bryant ahead of him, Hurd is not likely to get any playing time at receiver.