LSS Exclusive: Deion Sanders – More Than Meets the Eye

Speaking in a small group to Deion Sanders was an enlightening experience. The flamboyant entertainer is also a reserved and humble individual. He is a man who puts others first. You will hear Deion speak of family, and that certainly includes his immediate family and his mother – but he also has an extended “family”. He traveled to Canton with seven buses that included his TRUTH football family.

His respect for older players is honorable. He mentioned that they made everything possible for his era of players and today’s era. In fact, Deion was overwhelmed at a Hall of Fame luncheon that included some of those players. He said, “You look over your shoulder and you see all these guys who shaped the game, all these guys who made a way for you. The guys who sacrificed for you to do what you do. They made significantly less than what you earned even though they were deserving.” He said he was “touched”. “Touched by stories of those players who only received a small wage for their part.” And he was understanding and compassionate for their trials.

Deion is also fan, like most of us – and he wears it on his sleeve. Fans have an enthusiastic way of sharing football stories and he is no different. That big smile we see from Deion “the entertainer” was quite evident coming from Deion the fan, “you understand I grew up on Bob Greise…Mean Joe and Mike Haynes.” It was easy to see how highly those players are regarded in his eyes and in his smile.

Deion’s enshrinement speech included a thank you to God. He also thanked his spiritual advisers. And as only Deion can do, he then thanked Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube for coming. He spoke of his childhood. And he spoke of responsibility. He spoke of family and he spoke of commitment. The fireworks that typically follow an enshrinement ceremony actually began when his name was announced. So to speak. He was the last enshrinee Saturday night and the crowd on hand came alive, hanging on his every word.

Because in the spotlight he IS “the entertainer”. But when the lights are turned off, he is a man who could not even focus on his enshrinement or the significance of this weekend until Friday. That is because through Thursday, his focus was on the young members of his football “family”. 

After Saturday’s ceremony, when the stadium crowd had gone, you could see Deion in the NFL Network broadcast area. The honor of what took place that evening had finally set in. And so did the emotions for a person who had reached such a pinnacle in their field. When he was finished with the broadcast he came out and hugged his extended family. They were all so proud.

Each of his five children wore their dad’s colors that night. The colors he wore so proudly over his 14 year career with 5 different teams. He never mentioned which of the colors he looked best in. Or which one was his favorite. Personally I believe his new favorite color is Light Hagger Gold. Deion said on Sunday, he wants to wear his gold jacket whenever possible. He wasn’t going to take it off. He said he was even going to wear it on the NFL Network until they make him stop.

He is proud of his accomplishments as a player and of the abilities he once had. Deion now looks to future possibilities to touch other people – especially the children in his life. He enjoys numerous friendships with ex-teammates and with ex-opponents. And he even established a new friend in fellow 2011 enshrinee Chris Hanburger.

Deion truly believes in himself and he believes in his relationships with others. He is extremely proud of his actions as a person. That is simply due to the fact that with Deion…there IS so much more.

We welcome Blaine to the LLS team and thank him for covering the HOF Ceremony for us.

A few thoughts from Cowboys-Broncos

It was great to finally get back into football last night as the 2011 Cowboys started their preseason with a 24-23 come from behind win against the Broncos. The starters were out of the game early, which meant a chance for the other players looking for a spot on the team to show their stuff. With any first preseason game there were some good things and some bad things. The new Rob Ryan defense is still a work in progress as there seemed to be some confusion in the secondary at times. The starters on offense moved the ball early and came away with a field goal. I guess you really can’t take much from the first game. For me it was fun to watch the younger players and to see who stood out. I came away with a few thoughts as I watched.

-The kicking competition between David Buehler and rookie Dan Bailey could be the best battle of camp. Buehler kicked a 42 yard field goal in the first quarter, but it was not pretty since at first it did not look to be good. Bailey kicked off four times in the game and all four went into the end zone, two of which were touchbacks.

-The secondary gave up some big plays during the game and it looked like communication was an issue at times. Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins did not play, but safeties Gerald Sensabugh and Abe Elam did start. 

-I’ve been a big Victor Butler fan since he came to the Cowboys. Against the Broncos he seemed to be in the backfield many times. I expect big things from Butler this season and it could end up being a problem for Anthony Spencer if he doesn’t pick up his game.

-Felix Jones looked good as he broke free for an 18 yard run in the first quarter and also added a 16 yard gain on a screen pass from Tony Romo two plays later.

-Rookie Tyron Smith seemed to play well in his very first pro game. He played the first half and showed how athletic he is on many plays as well as how strong he is. I think moving Kyle Kosier to RG will only help Smith in his development.

-I’m sure the Cowboys are looking for someone to step up in the punt return game. On the Cowboys four punt returns they totaled -1 yard. As far as kickoff returns, it was rookie Raymond Radway with a 40 yard return and fellow rookie Dwayne Harris added a 32 yard return during the game.

-Speaking of rookie wide receiver Dwayne Harris. He continue to impress in his first game as he caught a short pass from Stephen McGee and then out raced the Broncos defense for a 76 yard touchdown to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Then with 15 seconds left in the game and on 4th down it was once again Harris who scored on a 13 yard touchdown pass from McGee to get the Cowboys to within one point. Harris ended the game with 5 receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns. He could push Kevin Ogletree for the third wide receiver spot as the preseason continues.

-The backup offensive lineman did not do a great job of protecting Stephen McGee at times. Depth on the line should be a concern. When they did protect McGee he played well and seemed to have more confidence as he threw for 208 yards and three touchdowns against the Broncos.

These are just a few of my thoughts coming out of the first preseason game. I love that there is competition at certain positions and that the team is open to that since in past years it seemed it was never that way. I look forward to the position battles continuing and what the final roster will look like once the regular season starts. Next up for the Cowboys is San Diego next Sunday night at Cowboys Stadium. 

 

Pre-Season Game #1 – Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys

I thought this day would never get here!

The Dallas Cowboys will host the Denver Broncos tonights at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. Kick-off is at 7:30 PM CST and will be broadcast live in the Cowboys local viewing area or re-broadcast on Friday on the NFL Network .

Updated Injury Report

Pos. Player 

Injury 

Status 

C Andre Gurode

Knee

Placed on PUP list

LB Bruce Carter

Knee

Placed on non-football injury list

RB DeMarco Murray

Hamstring

About one week, placed on non-football injury list

RB Tashard Choice

Calf

About one week

LB Keith Brooking

Hamstring

About one week

WR Teddy Williams

Hamstring

Out indefinitely

K Kai Forbath

Quadriceps

Placed on non-football injury list

CB Terence Newman

Groin

Five to six weeks

G Montrae Holland

back

Day-to-day

CB Mike Jenkins

neck

Limited but practicing

NT Jay Ratliff

hip

Day-to-day

WR Titus Ryan

foot

Out indefinitely

What To Expect Tonight

Don’t expect quarterback Tony Romo and most of the regulars to get more than one or two series against the Broncos tonight, but it will be great just to see our guys all suited up and on the field at Cowbys Stadium.

There are plenty of rookies in training camp hoping to win spots on the opening week roster so expect to hear plenty of new names, many of which we’ve highlighted in the last two months here on LSS. Players who should log plenty of time include running backs DeMarco Murray and Lonyae Miller, wide receivers Raymond Radway and Lyle Leong, linebackers Alex Albright and Orie Lemon, and offensive linemen, Tyron Smith and David Arkin.

For Jason Garrett, tonight’s his first preseason game as the Cowboys head coach and he will set the barometer for what he expects from his players on the field in terms of focus, determination and attention to detail.

Rob Ryan also debuts as defensive coordinator and will look to fine tune his new defensive schemes which some players are still struggling to adapt to.

Five Things To Look For This Pre-season

Charean Williams of the Star-Ledger with a good primer on what we should look for.

1. Return of Romo and Dez

Tony Romo hasn’t played since breaking his left clavicle in an Oct. 25 game against the New York Giants. He missed the last 10 games. Romo and Dez Bryant played only six games together, with Bryant catching 18 passes from Romo for 211 yards and a touchdown. Bryant was a candidate for offensive rookie of the year honors last season before breaking his right fibula while returning a kickoff in a Dec. 5 game against the Indianapolis Colts.

2. Blocking for Romo

The Cowboys released right tackle Marc Colombo and right guard Leonard Davis. First-round pick Tyron Smith is replacing Colombo, while veteran Montrae Holland was penciled in as the starter at right guard. But Holland has been out since Friday with a lower back injury. So the Cowboys moved veteran Kyle Kosier from left guard to right guard to provide Smith with a veteran next to him. Rookie David Arkin will start at left guard tonight, while second-year center Phil Costa will start in place of Andre Gurode, who is rehabbing from off-season knee surgery.

3. Kicking competition

Rookie Dan Bailey has been the better field-goal kicker in a duel of kickers, but veteran David Buehler has the edge in kickoffs. In his first season as the team’s place-kicker, Buehler made only 24 of 32 field goals and missed two extra points last season. But he has 51 touchbacks in two seasons. Though Jerry Jones said the Cowboys could employ two kickers this season, as they did in 2009, it’s more likely the job is Buehler’s or Bailey’s.

4. Rob Ryan’s defense

The Cowboys ranked 31st in points allowed last season at 27.3 points per game. The 436 points surrendered was the most in Cowboys history. Players claim Wade Phillips’ defense became “predictable” last season. New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is anything but, with an 80-page playbook. With only one different starter — free-agent signee Abe Elam has replaced Alan Ball at free safety — the Cowboys are counting on Ryan to take them back where they were in 2009 when they ranked among the best.

5. Cornerbacks, anyone?

The Cowboys offered free-agent prize Nnamdi Asomugha $10 million a year. The cornerback signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, leaving the Cowboys to hope Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins rebound this season. Newman played through a rib injury last season when he allowed 58 receptions for 871 yards and three touchdowns. Jenkins lost his confidence early, allowing 54 receptions for 935 yards and five touchdowns. Now, both are injured. Jenkins is out with a stinger. Newman has a groin injury that will keep him out at least through the preseason. Orlando Scandrick and Alan Ball will start tonight, but Bryan McCann and rookie Josh Thomas will get their chances to shine.

Team Notes

** Tony Romo said earlier in camp that he was throwing the ball as well as he ever had in his career, but the results were mixed. Over the last five days, however, he was on fire. He had a great scrimmage and was great the next day.

** Dez Bryant’s best play of camp was not any catch or run, even if he had a few of them. Bryant’s best play was his reaction after DeMarcus Ware picked off Romo near the goal line and sprinted to catch up to the All-Pro linebacker and punch the ball free for a fumble.

** While Bryant draws oohs and aahs from onlookers, Miles Austin went somewhat unnoticed. I’m not sure he had a drop inside the Alamodome, and he looked Terry Glenn-like with some of his grabs down the middle of the field. Tremendous body control.

** Lonyae Miller could force the Cowboys to keep four tailbacks. The best part of his camp? According to Jason Witten, Miller has not yet missed a blitz pickup — and against this defense, that is saying something. With the Jets looming in the opener, that means a lot.

** Tyron Smith will benefit greatly from having Kyle Kosier next to him. Several defensive players said once Smith gets his hands on them, they can’t break free. But he has to figure out whom to block in a hurry. This was a good move by the coaches to flip Kosier to right guard.

** Not sure there is a leader in the fullback race between Chris Gronkowski, Shaun Chapas and Jason Pociask. I’d like to see all of them keep their feet moving as they block. Chapas is probably the best athlete but this could drag on until the final cuts.

Site Note

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Cowboys Third Rounder DeMarco Murray Is Ready For Prime Time

The Dallas Cowboys drafted running back DeMarco Murray in the third round of the this year’s draft.  I was surprised and pleased.

DeMarco attended the University of Oklahoma.  In his first game in 2007 he rushed for 201 yards and five touchdowns. He became the first player to score four touchdowns in a half in his Soomer debut.  He also entered the OU record book when he had a touchdown run of 92 yards.   Let me put it this way, he tied Adrian Peterson’s freshman touchdown record in 2007 with 15, that should sum up how talented this young man is.

  • All-Time Leader in Points scored (390)
  • All-Time Leader in Touchdowns (65)
  • All-Time Leader in All Purpose Yards (6,718)
  • All-Time Leader in Receiving Yards for a Running Back ( 1,571)

Most importantly with no fumbles!

He said in a recent interview,  “I also got to see Adrian Peterson for a year there. And he demonstrated how hard he worked – even when he wasn’t getting the ball. It’s just about hard work and that mind-set of competing”

DeMarco grew up being a Dallas Cowboy fan.  He was born February 12, 1988 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Murray attended Bishop Gorman High School, where he was an all-conference pick three consecutive years.  While he played at Grandview his team was 3-time Conference Champions. DeMarco earned All-state honors and Sunset Region Offensive Player of the Year award.  He was considered on of the top running backs in his class.

“Everyone overthinks it sometimes or at some point or another. You just have to relax, slow down and let the game come to you. You have to trust your eyes. Your eyes won’t lie to you. Trust your eyes; trust your keys and trust your technique and it all takes care of itself. The more reps you get can also helps. But for me it’s film that helps me the most. Even mental reps can help you see others’ mistakes so you don’t make them.”

Sounds to me like DeMarco does his homework and will give 100 percent to the team.

When asked about  injuries he replied:.

” Some say you use your thighs or hamstrings more because your knee hurts. I just think it’s all a part of God’s plan. We have no control over injuries. Its just part of life; you can walk down the street and twist your ankle. I’m just blessed to have had the career I’ve had. “

When asked what he learned most playing in college:

 ” That playing the position of running back is not just about running with the football. You have to be able to protect the quarterback. That’s one of the biggest things that was coached at Oklahoma and we worked on it all year as well as catching the football. You want to be an every-down back and not just a first-, second- or third-down back. You want to be a player that the coaches have trust in you to carry the ball as well as catch and block.  I just continue to work hard and take pride in blocking for the quarterback and catching the ball.”

The Dallas Cowboys signed Murray on July 29th to a four-year contract worth $2.97 million including  signing bonus worth $622,000.

We wish the best of luck to DeMarco and I know he will be a asset to the Cowboys!

Drew Pearson To Be Inducted In The Ring of Honor?

Drew Pearson will be the next player inducted into the  Cowboys’ Ring of Honor, is the rumor floating around Cowboy Nation.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, citing an anonymous source, reported Saturday that Pearson is the one. And last fall, Roger Staubach told a Dallas TV station that Pearson would be the next player added to the list.

The Ring of Honor has 15 players in it, plus Tom Landry and Tex Schramm.  Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is the sole decision-maker and hasn’t added anyone  since Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin went in during the 2005  season.

Jones said Saturday that he intends to add a player to the team’s Ring of  Honor at Cowboys Stadium this season, though he wouldn’t name the player.

“We would like to make that announcement separately, but we are; we are  planning to,” Jones said.

There has been speculation for a while that Pearson would be Jones’ choice.  Pearson played for the Cowboys from 1973-83 and had 489 catches for 7,822 yards  and 48 touchdowns. He was a three-time All-Pro and was named to the league’s  All-Decade Team of the 1970s.

Pearson first made the No. 88 famous in Dallas, with more big catches than  any other receiver in the team’s history. His Hail Mary reception in the waning  moments of a 1975 playoff game against the Vikings is one of the most famous in  NFL history. He also clinched a ’73 playoff victory over the Los Angeles Rams  with a touchdown catch, and he was on the receiving end of Clint Longley’s pass  in the 1974 Thanksgiving Day comeback against the Redskins. He also had two  touchdowns in a playoff victory over the Falcons in 1980. Pearson’s big catches  earned him the nickname “Mr. Clutch.”

Pearson said he would welcome inclusion into the Ring of Honor.

“Every time I stepped on that Texas Stadium turf to play a game for the Dallas Cowboys, I looked up at that Ring of Honor,” he recalled. “I wanted to be the kind of player who deserved that type of recognition. It motivated me. This would be the highlight of my career.”

Deion Sanders’ name has been rumored also.  I read that he didn’t feel comfortable about it because he only played half of his career with the Cowboys. I’m one of who those that believe that the Ring of Honor should be reserved for those that have spent their entire career or at least most of it as a Dallas Cowboy.

For more on Drew Pearson read this post by Joe D who included him in his “Legends” series.

Getting Up To Speed

If you’re like me, the last off season has been worrisome with the lock-out, not knowing what changes to expect or even if there would be a season this year.  I have to admit, I have stayed away from writing about the Boys because I didn’t want to come across as cold or unconcerned about this season…the truth is, I was mad about it.  We all know that the NFL is a money making machine and for the most part, we are all willing to pay our share to revel in our teams victories, but making the fans believe that there may not even be a season is just cruel.  It seems to me that greed plays far more a roll in the NFL than it should.  But, enough about that, the lock-out is over, practices are in full swing and games begin this week!  It’s about time; this off season has felt like the longest in history!

In trying to make it though until practices started and not much happening in the off season with cuts, etc., I had to get up to speed on what all has happened and thought there maybe others who needed to do the same.  Below is the listing of the cuts and signings the Cowboys have made this year so far to bring us all current.  A few I totally agree with, a few I don’t, and honestly a few I’ve never heard of but will have high hopes for this year.  How do you feel about the cuts or the signings?

I have had enough of the excuses, enough of the bitter disappointments, enough of the changes and re-building…I want to see some major “W’s” in our column this year and expect a play-off run all the way through to the big game.  It’s time for our team to shine again and make everyone remember why the Dallas Cowboys are America’s Team!

 

8/3Jason Hatcher re-signed/unrestricted
free agent (three-year contract).Abram Elam signed/unrestricted
free agent (one-year contract).

Gerald
Sensabaugh
re-signed/unrestricted free agent (one-year contract).

8/2Kai Forbath signed.Lawon Scott cut.

Jeff Moturi cut.

8/1James Cleveland signed.Jimmy Saddler-McQueen acquired from waivers.
7/31Tysson Poots signed.
7/30Jesse Holley re-signed/exclusive
rights free agent.Bryan McCann re-signed/exclusive rights free agent.

Alan Ball re-signed/restricted
free agent (one-year contract).

Kenyon Coleman signed/unrestricted
free agent.

Kyle Kosier re-signed/unrestricted
free agent (three-year contract).

Doug Free re-signed/unrestricted
free agent (four-year contract).

7/29Marcus Spears re-signed/unrestricted
free agent.DeMarco Murray signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Alex Ibiloye signed.

Bruce Carter signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Frank Warren signed.

Lawon Scott signed.

7/28Kelvin Smith cut.Travis Bright cut.

Shaun Chapas signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Chris Jones signed.

Keenan Mace signed.

Laupepa Letuli signed.

Collin Zych signed.

Billy Blackard signed.

Orie Lemon signed.

Chris Randle signed.

Corey Adams signed.

Josh Thomas signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Alex Albright signed.

Tyron Smith signed/draft choice (four-year contract (fifth-year option)).

Zack Eskridge signed.

Dwayne Harris signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Mario Butler signed.

Kevin Kowalski signed.

Bill Nagy signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Jose Acuna signed.

Phillip Tanner signed.

Lyle Leong signed.

Dan Bailey signed.

Raymond Radway signed.

David Arkin signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Marion Barber cut.

Leonard Davis cut.

Marc Colombo cut.

Kris Brown cut.

Troy Bergeron cut.

Robert Brewster
cut.

Roy Williams cut.

7/25Alan Ball Restricted
Free Agent.Gerald
Sensabaugh
declared free agent.

Marcus Spears declared
free agent.

Leon Williams declared
free agent.

Alex Barron declared
free agent.

Kyle Kosier declared
free agent.

Jason Hatcher declared
free agent.

Stephen Bowen declared
free agent.

Doug Free declared
free agent.

Sam Hurd declared
free agent.

Chris Greisen declared free agent.

 

Check Out Undrafted Free Agent, Orie Lemon

Another Oklahoma State player agreed to terms with our Dallas Cowboys.  His name is Orie Lemon.  Yet another undrafted free agent!!  

Orie, a coverted quarterback, is an inside linebacker, and for those that don’t  know I live in Oklahoma (Yes I am a Okie!) and I watched Lemon play and explode in his Senior year.  This young man is talented. I can’t believe some of the good players that went undrafted this year.

A first-team All-Big 12 honoree as a Senior in 2010.  Lemon’s calling card was productivity, as he ranked among the national leaders with 133 tackles and had 101 solo stops. He garnered Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Orie stands 6’1′, 243 pound-er a good size for a linebacker.  I would like to see Bradie James take this young talent under his wing.  Orie reminds me a little of Bradie.  He’s averaged 10 tackles a game, but he also has speed – running a 4.87 in the 40 yard dash.

As a senior at Yates High School, Lemon, who played quarterback,  passed for 1,214 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for 600 yards and 12 touchdowns. He made the Dallas Morning News Top 100 list and was recruited along with OSU by  Arkansas, Houston, Tennessee, LSU and USC.

Best of Luck in camp and I think we will be seeing this young man stick anif he can stay within himself and do his thing. 

I wonder what his nickname will be?

Big decisions for Jerry Jones come 2012

As the Cowboys prepare for the 2011 NFL season there are many questions. How fast will the players be able to learn the new Rob Ryan defense? How will the offensive line respond with Montrae Holland and rookie Tyron Smith in as starters on the right side? Will the Cowboys go after a safety in free agency or just play with the players they are already have?

The Cowboys have not been active in free agency since the lockout ended. They have also cut many players like Marion Barber, Roy Williams, Marc Colombo and Lenard Davis just to get under the new salary cap. They have resigned key players like Doug Free, Kyle Kosier, Gerald Sensabaugh, Jason Hatcher and Marcus Spears.

I understand that the 2011 season hasn’t even started yet, but with so many salary cap issues currently for the Cowboys things will not get any better come 2012. The Cowboys have some key players whose contracts end after this season. Add to that over $20 million of dead money against the 2012 salary cap. The Cowboys are going to be faced with a lot of important decisions come next season.

Some of the players that are in the last year of their contracts are…

Martellus Bennett

Keith Brooking

Tashard Choice

Montrae Holland

Bradie James

Matt McBriar

Orlando Scandrick

Anthony Spencer

Gerald Sensabaugh

Alan Ball

Obviously the Cowboys are not going to be able to sign everyone. There are decisions that will have to be made. Some very tough decisions that may just affect the team in many areas. Would Bradie James be the top priority for the Cowboys to resign? Or maybe the Cowboys are thinking that the future is now at the middle linebacker spots with rookie Bruce Carter (depending on his recovery from knee surgery) and Sean Lee. Matt McBriar has been one of the leagues best punters. Do the Cowboys make sure he is resigned or do they let him go?  What happens if Anthony Spencer has a great season and really excels in the new defense? There are so many questions for many of the players on the list.

The first obstacle is the salary cap and which players the Cowboys can afford to resign and which ones they believe they can afford to let go. I’m no cap expert, but it’s going to be an enormous challenge for Jerry Jones come next season. It’s scary to see so many players becoming free agents on one team. There looks to be big changes for the Cowboys in the future. Time will tell if those changes will make them a better team or not.

 

What Are We Doing?

The Cowboys went 6-10 in 2010; Very disappointing after going 11-5 and winning the division championship in 2009.

The Cowboys have not done anything drastic this offseason. The best moves the team has made is eliminating dead weight. Roy Williams was a bust. Plain and simple Often ran the wrong route or dropped the ball. He hurt the team more than he helped. Marion Barber is no longer “strong” or explosive. He hasn’t had his burst for years. He also hurt this team more than he helped last year. The Offensive line struggled, that is why Leonard Davis was let go.

In 2010 the two biggest weaknesses were offensive line and defensive backfield. Dallas addressed the Tackle position in the draft selecting Tyron Smith. Doug Free was resigned to a big contract so the OT are set for the foreseeable future. Kyle Kosier was resigned at Guard and Montrae Holland is currently penciled in as the other guard with Andrew Gurode still at center. OL is always a work in progress but I believe this unit will be improved this year.

Last year, Tony Romo and Jon Kitna has plenty of weapons on offense. Three running backs plus Miles Austin, Roy Williams, Jason Witten, and last year’s first round pick Dez Bryant. Jason Garrett’s biggest task with the offense is to find balance between running and passing. Felix Jones, for the first time in his career will be the premier back with Tashard Choice and 3rd round pick Demarco Murray backing him up. Wide receiver depth isn’t great but Miles, Dez, and Witten are as good as they get around the league, if Miles and Dez are both consistent.

Now onto the defense – we all know Jerry Jones perused Nnamdi Asomugha. Now personally I was not a huge fan of this move. Yes, he is the best CB in football. But this team has other needs. Terrence Newman and Michael Jenkins need to play to their 2009 forms, no guarantee of course. Safety is the biggest concern. Last night, the Cowboys resigned Gerald Sensabaugh. Its been long expected that Abe Elam, who played for Rob Ryan in Cleveland, would eventually sign here as well. If the Cowboys can get consistent play from their safeties and corners, that is worth a few more wins alone. I think Rob Ryan alone is worth a few wins. Wade Philips was soft. Ryan will not tolerate misplays or mistakes. He will get in Newman’s face until he fixes what he did wrong.

Front seven was a concern at times last year too. Cowboys are still in need of another DE. Marcus Spears resigned to play on one side next to Jay Ratliff. Despite inconsistency and injuries, signing Spears was probably the right move. The one position that is most assuredly set is linebacker. Demarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer on the outsides and Bradie James and Keith Brooking on the inside. Inevitably, Brooking will get hurt and Sean Lee will be able to take over, something I am really looking forward to (not that I want Brooking to get hurt, but I am a big Sean Lee fan).

The Cowboys were 11-5 in 2009. 6-10 in 2010. A lot of same players, no drastic changes. Of course injuries played a role a bit last year. But I think coaching was the biggest factor. There was a big difference between Wade Philips’ Cowboys last year vs. Jason Garrett’s Cowboys and it wasn’t just record. Accountability, player’s excitement, work ethics all seemed improved under Garrett. Now Garrett gets training camp and Rob Ryan is aboard as defensive coordinator. I don’t like making predictions. The Cowboys probably won’t be 11-5 but I can say will not be 6-10. I would say somewhere between and competing for playoff spot. This team has a ton of talent. I think this coaching staff will get maximum effort and performance out of the players.

The Battle Is On!

The Dallas Cowboys are known for signing undrafted free agents and making them Superstars.  They may have another  in the making when they signed former Oklahoma State standout kicker Dan Bailey.

The 2010 Lou Groza Award winner as the best kicker in college football, Bailey was tabbed as the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year.

Dan Bailey wears the #5, and was born January 26, 1988 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He attended Southwest Covenant school in Yukon, Oklahoma.  His frame is a good size for a kicker at  6ft and weighing in at 197 pounds.

He entered the OSU program as a walk-on and left as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 370 career points. He set a single season school record with 27 field goals.  Bailey ranked second in the nation in scoring his Senior year and set a school record by hitting his first 182 extra point attempts.

After not being drafted and months of down time he is now in training camp with the Dallas Cowboys trying to win the starting spot for the teams placekicker.  Bailey, who missed only two extra points during his career at OSU, appears ready to take on the challenge. ” I am excited,” Bailey said ” I think it is a good opportunity.”

With Brown being being cut that leaves Bailey and David Buehler.  Buehler struggled at times last season with field  goals inside the 40 yard line.

“If it works out, great,” Bailey said. ” If not, it’s still a great experience.”

In his first practice, he made 4 of 4 , but his 35 yarder hit the left upright and  went in when a rusher flew at him.

We all know kickers don’t get all the fanfare the other players get, but they suddenly become the single most important person in the stadium when the game is tied with seconds left on the clock.

Is Dwayne Harris Ready To Start At # 3 WR?

With the Cowboys releasing Roy Williams and Sam Hurd, that officially makes Dez Bryant the starter opposite Miles Austin.  So who will fill the #3 spot? 

Many Cowboys and East Carolina  Pirates are hoping it will be the Cowboys 6th round draft pick rookie Dwayne Harris.  Of course he will have to compete against and beat out Cowboy veteran Kevin Ogletree first.

Harris signed a four year deal with the Cowboys.  Terms of the contract have not been disclosed.

The former ECU receiver finished his career with 268 catches and 3,001 yards, which are standing school records.  Dwayne had 101 receptions his senior year for 1,123 yards.  He scored ten touchdowns and was named Conference USA player of the year.

Harris played quarterback at Tucker  High School, where he led his team to a 10-1 record and a Regional 6-AAA Championship in 2006. He also was an All-State selection by the Georgia High School Coaches Association as a Senior.  He was named MVP in the North-South All Star Game.  Coach Bill Billard had to of been pleased to see his quarterback also run for 524 yards and score seven touchdown’s.  It is easy to see why he was the teams’ Captain. Of course he lettered in football, but also basketball and baseball.

Dwayne Harris was born September 16, 1987 in Atlanta, Georgia.  He enjoys following basketball and credits his family, and his mother most of all, as the most influential people in his career.   If he could spend one day with anyone it would be Jackie Robinson.

Dewayne is 6 ft tall and weighs in at 205 lbs.  His fans say he is a exceptionally athletic, speedy, talented and a multi-purpose athlete.   One fan says she can’t wait to hang a poster of him in a Dallas Cowboys uniform on her bedroom wall.

It will be interesting in training camp to see who gets that number three wideout spot.

I am looking forward to seeing his amazing talent this pre-season and watch Harris compete with Ogletree for the job.  

Welcome to the Cowboys!

Welcome back Cowboys. Oh, how we have missed you!

Finally, I’m here to report actual football news from Cowboys training camp. It has been a crazy week since the players and owners agreed on a new CBA. So many players have been released around the league. Free Agency has not disappointed as players have been changing teams quickly. Add in some trades and those with Twitter accounts know how much it’s been on fire with updates this week.

Onto the Cowboys as they got into the news early with the release of some popular players. Since the Cowboys were above the cap they needed to make some business moves by releasing Marion Barber, Roy Williams, Leonard Davis and Marc Colombo. Then yesterday it was reported that the Redskins signed free agent Stephen Bowen away from the Cowboys, and it may not end there as reports are saying that free agent Jason Hatcher has plans to visit the Broncos on Friday. The bad news with all the players that have been released by the Cowboys means that they will have over $20 million of dead money against the cap in 2012.

The Cowboys took care of their number one priority as they signed left tackle Doug Free to a new four year contract. They have also come to terms with left guard Kyle Kosier on a new contract.

The Cowboys have completed signing all of their 2011 draft picks as of early Friday morning. The last two signing were running back DeMarco Murray and linebacker Bruce Carter.

News from the Cowboys first training camp practice from DallasNews.com

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah was helped off the field at the end of practice after he fell to the ground while defending a pass against Martellus Bennett. He was seen walking to the locker room after practice and it was thought he just suffering from cramps. Let’s hope so.

Rookie first round pick offensive tackle Tyron Smith was taken to school by DeMarcus Ware during practice as he was beaten many times by Ware and also had two false start penalties. Ware plans to help Smith as much as he can while also learning Rob Ryan’s new defense. What better way to learn the ropes than from the best pass rusher in the league.

Tony Romo showed great accuracy and his passes were sharp as he showed no effects from his broken collarbone suffered in 2010.

New starting wide Receiver Dez Bryant also coming back from an injury that ended his 2010 season showed why he is now a starter as he caught every pass thrown his way and also showed off his speed and athleticism. Miles Austin had a nice practice as well and ended the day with a catch on deep pass down the right sideline.

Undrafted free agent kicker Dan Bailey from Oklahoma St. who was the nations best kicker in 2010, was very impressive in his first practice with the Cowboys. He made all five of his field goal attempts. While David Buehler missed on a 35 yard attempt. This could be an interesting competition to watch as training camp moves on into the preseason.

As far as what free agents the Cowboys might be considering? News reports are that they are interested in defensive end Cullen Jenkins from the Packers and safety Abram Elam from the Browns.  It was also reported this morning by Adam Schefter of ESPN that the Cowboys could still be in the running for cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.

It’s nice to finally report some real news about the Cowboys. Welcome back Cowboys. Oh, how we have missed you!