First Team Offense And Dez Bryant Not Playing Against Miami In Preseason Finale

I don’t know if there has been larger pressure on any Dallas rookie than there is on Dez Bryant. Over the last several years television and NFL coverage has expanded which has put every NFL team under a microscope.

Combine that with the fact that Dez Bryant was suspended by the NCAA for lying about corresponding with Deion Sanders, and also the fact that he’s such an amazing talent with a team that many believe will go to the Super Bowl where their own stadium is hosting, and you get a kid who’s got a mountain on top of him.

Well, he’s going to have to wait a little longer to show what he can do because Jerry Jones has announced to the press that Dez Bryant will NOT be playing this Thursday in preseason.

As many of you know, I had the opportunity to see Dez Bryant at the first training camp, and while I do not have a degree in psychology, I believe I can give you an insight as to his character.

I think Jerry Jones wants to ease Dez Bryant into the league, but Dez has a chip on his shoulder and wants to show the world why he’s going to be the next great receiver.

He was the first player on the field at camp. He was practicing before everyone else, and he actually looked like he worked harder than everyone else. I saw him jumping for balls, diving to make catches, getting on his knees, and one-handed catches.

He refused to carry Roy Williams pads not because he wants to break tradition, but because he is so focused on coming into the National Football League and proving himself. I think he has the same attitude as Randy Moss did when he entered. He was spurned by many NFL teams, and he wants to say, “Look at what you passed up on. Choke on this.”

Dez Bryant suffered a high ankle sprain, probably from over-exerting himself, and Jerry Jones has stated that he felt the Cowboys organization was rushing Dez. Well, I think Dez disagrees because he has spoken many times about how he wants to play in the preseason finale.

Well, Jerry Jones is going to intervene, and I think Dez will be upset, but he’ll keep it to himself. I can empathize with his desire to help the team. He has a huge heart, and he wants to help his teammates.

He was the first guy in the top round to sign with his perspective team. His agent was the guy who orchestrated the holdout for Michael Crabtree, the receiver that the 49ers drafted, and yet, despite being in a situation where Eugene Parker, the said agent, could have milked the Cowboys for as much as possible; Dez Bryant is signed before anyone.

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A Cowboys Fan In Pennsylvania

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a Cowboys fan that lives in Pennsylvania. Poor guy is surrounded by Eagles and Steelers fans. I told him he was brave to wear his Cowboys gear out there but he’s true to his team like so many of us are. His name is Tom Kenderdine and he’s definitely True Blue!

First off, how long have you been a Cowboys fan?

Well, I have been a fan my entire life , so 39 years next month…don’t remember not being a Cowboys fan

Who are your favorite players? I couldn’t help but notice you have alot of pictures of you with Jason Witten.

Love Jason Witten, Felix Jones, and Mike Jenkins. If you go all time, then Michael Irvin.

The Cowboys are 1-2 in the preseason. What do you think of how the Boys are doing so far?

The only thing that worries me is the injuries. Preseason doesn’t mean much. But the defense getting manhandled saturday is a little worrisome. This week will show a lot, need more fire.

How do you think their chances are for the regular season and for repeating as NFC East Champs?

Real good, I like the mix of youth and experience. Romo needs to play well and the o-line needs to be better. Can’t throw away games early in the season like we did last year. Come out quick and put Washington away and that team will self destruct. The Eagles will be the main challenge again.  Kolb is going to be good.

Do you think they can play the Superbowl on their home turf?

Good chance, as a Cowboys fan I say definitely. But as a sports fan too early to say Superbowl. First, let’s get to the playoffs, get home field advantage and then we got a real good chance. Don’t want to play in Green Bay in January! lol

I find what you said about the Eagles quite interesting. They weren’t much of a challenge to the Cowboys last season. We spanked them 3 times.

Yes we did, and the year before they crushed us twice. So momentum means a lot. Kevin Kolb is going to be harder to defend then McNabb. He is more accurate so you won’t be able to blow any coverages. All 3 games last year, McNabb missed an open receiver and that may have changed momentum early. They are a good team and healthy, which they weren’t on defense last year. Plus their starting center was hurt. So don’t sleep on them….and yes that pains me too say that.

What’s your favorite Dallas Cowboys moment?

1992 NFC Championship. Slant to Alvin Harper. Score was 24-20. He made it to the San Francisco 8 yard line and put the game away.

Have you been to both Texas Stadium and the new Cowboys Stadium?

Been to Texas Stadium once and I’ll be going to Cowboys Stadium in October for the Titans game on the 10th.

What do you feel are the Cowboys’ strengths and weaknesses? Alot of people claim it’s the offensive line while others like to blame Tony.

The O-line is the biggest weakness by far. They are the reason we lost last season to Minnesota. Next would be the returns. You can’t expect your offense to go 70 or 80 yards every time. Tony is doing just fine.

Do you have any traditions or rituals you do before a Cowboys game?

Not much anymore. I used to have 2 Cowboys trolls I held for the entire game. Now I just don’t let anyone in my house lol. This is my first year being on Facebook during football season so this year will be different, I have a couple friends I’ll text with.

So you usually watch the games at home? If I can’t watch them at home, I usually go to a sports bar or something.

Yep, I don’t drink so no reason to go to the bar. Plus, I am very focused during the games and don’t play well with others lol.Also, I live in PA, only 2 hours from Philly. So, it would not be a good idea for me to go into public to watch the Cowboys games.

F the haters! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I got to see Romo’s first start in Carolina. That was awesome! Really cool people there.

Thanks Tom for allowing me to pester you for a while. You really are True Blue!

Back to the drawing board

The third preseason game is supposed to be a measuring stick for each team and to set the stage for their regular season. I’m thinking someone forgot to tell the Cowboys this because of their performance tonight against the Texans. I’m writing this post with the score 23-0 Texans in the third quarter because I don’t see much need to wait until after the game.

From the opening kickoff the Cowboys looked tired and slow. At least that is what I’m hoping it was because if they weren’t and the Texans were as fast and explosive as they looked, then the Cowboys are in trouble. The offensive line could not handle any blitzes the Texans threw at them. It was total domination for the entire first half by the Texans. The running game was non existent for the Cowboys. Through three quarters they had a total of nine yards rushing. Even though Tony Romo’s numbers looked good, he had almost no time to get anything going. The entire offense never was able to get into a rhythm. Before the end of the third quarter the Cowboys offense had used up all three of their second half time-outs.

The defense was not much better as the Texans offense did what they wanted most of the night. Receivers were left open and their running game shredded the Cowboys defense, as Adrian Foster rushed for 110 yards before the third quarter was over. The Cowboys defense always seemed a step behind the Texans offense. Even when DeMarcus Ware stepped up and made a play by stripping the ball from Matt Schaub and then recovering the fumble, the Cowboys were called for a defensive penalty giving the Texans a first and goal, which they converted into a touchdown on the next play.

Tony Romo as well as Wade Phillips showed how unhappy they were during the game. It could be seen in Phillips face and it could be heard from Romo during a sideline interview. As a fan I don’t concern myself with wins during the preseason, but I do concern myself with performance. The Cowboys on offense and defense did not perform well against the Texans.

While writing the post and continuing to watch the game, the Cowboys finally found the end zone with a John Kitna to Kevin Ogletree 24 yard touchdown pass. There is now two weeks until opening day in Washington. This team needs to be ready and focused. I don’t have any doubt they will be, but tonight was very disturbing for a third preseason game.

Danny McCray Drawing Rave Reviews

Tom Osborn of MySanAntonio.com had an interesting read about Danny McCray who we haven’t heard too much about early in training camp.

However, McCray jumped onto our radar after his breakthrough performance last week with a spectacular performance on special teams.

Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis has been impressed with his play on Special Teams and it now appears he may have secured himself a spot on the roster.

“We were looking at him because he was in the mix of possible draft choices, and this other guy, No. 44, kept showing up, making a lot of plays on special teams,” DeCamillis said. “He was in on a lot of tackles. He was a good blocker.”

No. 44 was Danny McCray, Jones’ backup.

The Cowboys signed the Spring Westfield graduate as an undrafted free agent, thinking he could be a special teams ace. Now wearing No. 40, McCray leads the team in preseason special team tackles with five, including an eye-opening three in last week’s 16-14 win over San Diego.

“Man, that might have been my best special teams game in my whole career,” said McCray, 22. “I don’t know what happened, man. The ball was just everywhere, and I just seemed (to be) right where it was.”

McCray also drew a block-in-the-back penalty, pinning the Chargers inside their 10. And when fourth-round draft pick and fellow safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah fumbled returning a kickoff, McCray was there to pounce on it.

“McCray played outstanding,” Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips said. “They couldn’t block him. He was making plays on all of their guys.”

As I said earlier in the post, McCray’s special teams play likely will land him a spot on the 53-man roster, especially if he plays well in the final two preseason games, including tonight’s matchup with the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium.

The Infamous Three-Headed Monster


The Dallas Cowboys are extremely lucky to have three great running backs. I think its safe to say that each of these players could easily be starters for any other team, but the Cowboys choose to use them as a three-headed monster.

Marion Barber - Barber was drafted by the Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. During the 2007 season, Barber’s power running back style earned him the nickname Marion the Barbarian and he was the league leader in breaking tackles, reflecting his personal mantra of “hit or get hit.” Barber rushed for 975 yards on 204 carries and 10 rushing touchdowns with a 4.8 yards-per-carry rushing average. He caught 44 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns. On December 18, 2007, he was named to his first Pro Bowl despite officially being a backup. On May 20, 2008, he signed a seven-year deal, $45 million with the Cowboys with $16 million guaranteed. The emergence of Tashard Choice and Felix Jones, and injury problems limited his success during the 2009 season. However, he played in 13 games despite a torn quadricep muscle.

Felix Jones – Jones was drafted by the Cowboys 22nd overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. He has developed the nickname of Felix “The Cat” Jones for his quick movements and speed. He signed a professional contract on July 26 for $10.53 million, with $7.67 million guaranteed, including a $3.57 million signing bonus. On 15 September 2008, during a Monday Night Football game versus the Philadelphia Eagles, Jones returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.  In his 3rd NFL game, Jones ran for a 60-yard touchdown against the Green Bay Packers on September 21, 2008. In Week 6, in the game against the Arizona Cardinals, Jones injured his left hamstring and would be out for the rest of the year due to a torn ligament suffered during rehab of that injury. In his second season in the NFL Jones has received more carries per game than his rookie year, despite being one of three running backs used in the Cowboys offense.  Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has slowly been giving him more rushing attempts. Jones believes that “Patience is a virtue. You need it. You need to have patience. Just wait, your time is coming.”

Tashard Choice – Choice was selected in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. His first career carry came in the season opener against the Cleveland Browns, where he had 5 carries for 26 yards. He was used primarily on special teams during his rookie season. After injuries to Marion Barber and Felix Jones, Choice had his largest workload of the year against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had the league’s best rushing defense. Choice amassed 23 carries for 88 yards, and caught 5 passes for 78 yards. The following week against the New York Giants, Choice scored his first career touchdown. He finished his rookie campaign with 472 yards rushing, 185 yards receiving, and 2 touchdowns. In 2009, Choice began the season behind Marion Barber and Felix Jones on the depth chart, but injuries gave Choice more playing time in week 3 against the Carolina Panthers. Choice had 18 carries for 82 yards and one touchdown in a Dallas win. Choice was used by the Dallas Cowboys mostly in what they called the Razorback formation, a variation of the Wildcat offense. Choice finished the season with 349 yards rushing, 132 yards receiving, and 3 touchdowns.

Bio source – wikipedia.com

Kickin It LSS Style!

David Buehler – Buehler was drafted in the 5th round by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2009 NFL Draft, and the first kicker taken. At the end of his rookie year, Buehler finished the regular season with 29 touchbacks, the most of all NFL kickers. That number also set a new franchise record for most touchbacks in a single season. The previous record was 27 by Lin Elliot in 1992. As of July 2010, Buehler is the only placekicker on the Cowboys roster. So far this preseason, Buehler has made six of seven attempted field goals.

L.P. LaDouceur – Ladouceur joined the Cowboys three games into the 2005 season and has provided consistency at long snapper. He has made clean snaps on 276 punts, 109 field goals, and 176 PATs in his career, including the playoffs. He made his NFL debut at Oakland and snapped cleanly on five punts and two field goals. He finished the season with clean snaps on 70 punts, 25 field goals and 28 PATs. He was flawless on every snap attempt of the season while also contributing three special teams tackles.

Mat McBriar – McBriar was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys from the University of Hawaii. In 2006, McBriar made headlines with a 75 yard punt which made the record books as the second longest in Cowboys’ history. Also in 2006, he has been named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice for his outstanding punting ability. On February 28, 2007, the Cowboys extended McBriar’s contract to a 5-year, $8.5 million contract. He also received a $2.5 million signing bonus. This contract makes McBriar the highest-paid punter in the league.

Bio source – wikipedia.com

53 Man Roster Prediction

Quarterbacks (2)
Tony Romo, Jon Kitna
In order to get the proper depth elsewhere, McGee needs to be sacrificed to the Practice Squad. I doubt any team snatches him up.

Running Backs (3)
Felix Jones, Marion Barber, Tashard Choice
Again, this year it’s the same bunch. Lonyae Miller is a good fit for the practice squad.

Fullbacks (2)
Deon Anderson, Chris Gronkowski
Gronkowski is chosen over Tight End Scott Sicko because he is a better blocker. His skill set is somewhere between Fullback and Tight End.

Tight Ends (2)
Jason Witten, Martellus Bennett
Phillips would have been on this list and a sacrifice would have to be made elsewhere had he not been placed on IR.

Wide Receivers (6)
Miles Austin, Roy Williams, Dez Bryant, Patrick Crayton, Kevin Ogletree, Sam Hurd
Ogletree better step it up in these next two games. I love his ability and fire, but he has been doing nothing this off-season to take the next step. Hurd wins over Holley, who resumes his spot on the Practice Squad.

Offensive Linemen (10)
Doug Free, Kyle Kosier, Andre Gurode, Leonard Davis, Mark Colombo, Montrae Holland, Alex Barron, Robert Brewster, Phil Costa, Sam Young
Costa will backup Gurode and swing to Guard when needed. Young is too valuable to let go at Tackle. He could be a future starter.

Defensive Ends (4)
Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher, Igor Olshansky, Stephen Bowen
I really expected Dixon to step up and force them to keep 5 ends. He disappeared and so did his chances with this squad, since this is his 3rd year and no longer eligible for the Practice Squad.

Nose Tackles (2)
Jay Ratliff, Josh Brent
Siavii loses the battle to the younger Josh Brent who just has more upside.

Inside Linebackers (4)
Keith Brooking, Bradie James, Jason Williams, Sean Lee
I would cut Jason Williams, but Jerry won’t so he stays. Lord help us if he has to play any significant time. The boy just ain’t ready now, if ever.

Outside Linebackers (4)
DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Brandon Williams, Victor Butler
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the backups at Outside Linebacker. Can you say PLAYERS? Sorry Octavien. I like ya, but we can’t keep everybody we like.

Cornerbacks (5)
Mike Jenkins, Terence Newman, Orlando Scandrick, Cletis Gordon , Bryan McCann
I may have gone a bit overboard in the secondary, but all these guys can play. So much talent and future starting possibilities are at the bottom of the Corner and Safety lists.

Safety (6)
Alan Ball, Gerald Sensabaugh, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Mike Hamlin, Barry Church, Danny McCray
Church and McCray are special teams beasts and are up and coming players at safety. Hamlin needs to show something in these next two pre-season games while starting in place of the injured Sensabaugh.

Specialists (3)
David Buehler, Mat McBriar, L.P. Ladouceur
Buehler needs to keep up the good work at field goals. If not, we sacrifice a bubble player and sign a vet. McBriar rules and Ladouceur is one of the most under-appreciated players on the roster. Show some Long Snappin’ Love!!!

Random Thoughts on Some Random Cowboys

After watching this past weekends game against the Chargers, I was going to write a post about how I thought they did. Breakdown the game and analyze it. But then I thought to myself, why? It’s only preseason, right? This is why they play these games. Not so much to win, but to work on things and get better. To allow those unknown players and draft picks a chance to show what they have on the field. We as fans know what the offense is capable of. They are loaded with all the weapons and firepower needed to be an explosive offense. I have no worries that come week one against the Redskins that the offense will be ready to go.

What I wanted to write about was a few players that I have been watching this preseason. I’m not going to throw a much of stats into my post or breakdown their positions. I’m just going to write about my gut feelings about a couple of players.

Victor Butler, Going back to late last season there seems to be something special about him. And that has continued into this preseason. Almost like he has opened his eyes and is ready for that next level. Similar to Anthony Spencer who came on strong last season. With Butler he always seems to be around the ball and that includes being in the backfield for the big play. I like what I’m seeing from Butler and have no problem with him in the game when Ware or Spencer need a break.

Sean Lee, I will be the first to admit that I looked at my television funny on draft day when the Cowboys traded up to select Sean Lee. I watched the Cowboys war room as they were all excited about Lee being part of the Cowboys. Against the Chargers I saw a player that still needs a lot of work. but who better to learn from than Keith Brooking and Bradie James. I also see a player who knows how to blow up a play. He explodes to the ball and makes the play. I get the feeling that when he was on the field against the Chargers that he felt like he really belonged out there and wants to prove that. With Lee I think the Cowboys have the full package and as the season moves on he will continue to get better and stronger at his position.

Cletis Gordon, There is just something about this player. He is a veteran and he is hungry to prove himself. It amazes me that he is only talked about as the fourth cornerback in a Cowboys training camp where the word has been competition from day one. I think he should be talked about as someone who is challenging for the third cornerback spot. I’m not a huge fan of Orlando Scandrick. Maybe it’s because he seems to be beat a lot and his tackling isn’t the greatest. That’s my opinion of course. I like Gordon as the third cornerback on the Cowboys and I think he should have the opportunity to beat out Scandrick.

Barry Church, He did very well in replacing Gerald Sensabaugh against the Chargers. No, I don’t believe he should replace Sensabaugh, but when it comes to depth on the team, I like what Church brings to the table. He is a big,  physical safety and he will also add to the strength of the special teams.

Danny McCray, He could make the team because of his special teams play just like Bill Bates in 1983. Coincidence that McCray is also wearing Bates’ old number 40? He seems to be unblockable on special teams and is always around to make the tackle or assist with it. I would like to see what he can do at the safety position in the final two preseason games.

So those are just some of my thoughts on a few players. No stats, numbers or analyzing their play. Just my gut feelings on a few players that just might start making a name for themselves as the season moves forward.