Should the Cowboys say goodbye to Choice and Bennett?

Welcome to the first day of summer 2011. Here we are with no free agency and no OTA’s or any kind of a normal off-season schedule. The good news is that I’m hearing some positive things from the labor meetings as far as progress. I’m hearing that a deal might be done by the 4th of July weekend which would be very nice for everyone. Of course these are all rumors, but at this point I’m willing to grab onto anything in hopes that it’s true.

Once a deal is done between the players and the owners free agency should start up soon after that. A lot of talk is focused around how much the Cowboys will be involved in free agency. Will they sign a safety? Will they sign a cornerback? I would like to turn the tables and discuss a few players that the Cowboys should say goodbye too.

The majority of things I’m hearing are that Marion Barber will most likely be released by the Cowboys. I guess I’m in the minority when it comes to Barber because I think the Cowboys should hold onto him now that DeMarco Murray is on the team. If Jason Garrett can put Barber back into the role that he had back in 2006 and 2007 I think it would benefit Barber and the Cowboys. Because of Barber’s running style he needs to stay fresh and be able to come in and get that tough yard in the second half when the defense is tired or be able to slam his way into the end zone just like he did during the ’06 and ’07 seasons when he scored 24 touchdowns. Barber is not a starting running back in the NFL. He needs to do what he does best and punish a defense with his hard running. Of course the Cowboys running game in 2011 all ties into the offensive line. The line must improve for the running game to have success. With the drafting of DeMarco Murray I think he can step in as the change of pace back behind Felix Jones. The Cowboys will then have their one two punch with Jones and Murray with Barber working the short yardage as he once did.

Some of you may be saying, but what about Tashard Choice? It was obvious that Choice was not a big part of the Cowboys’ offense in 2010. I’m not sure about the reasons, but he only carried the ball 66 times. Some say it was because of his fumble during the opening game of 2010 against the Redskins. I’m not too sure about that because if anyone should take the blame it should be Garrett for calling the play in the first place instead of just taking a knee. The reasons aside it seems as though Choice is not a big part of the Cowboys’ offense so why not trade him now since this is his last season under contract. If the Cowboys keep Choice he will most likely look toward free agency after the 2011 season anyway so why not try to get something for him now? Of course this also depends on whether the players get what they want in the new CBA as far as unrestricted free agency after four years of service, which will be where Choice is after 2011. Getting something for Choice now makes more sense for the Cowboys instead of having him sit on the sideline and giving him the ball a few times during this season. I’m sure Choice believes he can be a starter in the league and he has done some good things for the Cowboys, but the situation is what it is. Making Choice trade bait to see if any team would bite would benefit the Cowboys as well as Choice. 

There is another player who is heading towards free agency after the 2011 season that I believe has no future with the Cowboys. That player is Martellus Bennett who is entering his fourth season with the Cowboys. Bennett is averaging 22 receptions a season and 234 yards. He is another player that the Cowboys need to look into trading before he looks towards free agency after the 2011 season. Just like with Choice it might be better to get something for Bennett now instead of him leaving and not getting anything for him. The difference between Choice and Bennett is that Choice has brought something to the team from time to time and Bennett has brought nothing in his four seasons. He has a lot of potential, but has not shown it week in and week out. There is an old saying that goes “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. With Bennett I think back to HBO’s Hard Knocks when Bennett would laugh at Coach John Garrett when he was told to do something. That will always be my first impression of Bennett. He is a  guy who just never seems to take the game seriously when he needs too. Of course this is just my opinion from what I’ve seen of Bennett and after four years I believe it’s time for the Cowboys to move on. 

Just ask yourself these two questions…

How much will Choice and Bennett help the Cowboys in 2011?

Will things be any different for either of them in 2011 with the Cowboys?

I believe their roles will remain the same with the Cowboys, so why not try to trade them and get something back? I don’t believe they are the difference between the Cowboys making the Super Bowl and not making it. With DeMarco Murray on the team he can step in and take on that role of backup to Jones. Also, all reports are that John Phillips is recovering from his knee surgery and will be ready when the Cowboys open camp so that he can backup Jason Witten.

These are just a couple of thoughts that have been going through my mind over the last few weeks. I believe it will make the Cowboys better and it will also help Choice and Bennett move on with their careers.

Are You Ready For Some Football???

In our lives things are constantly changing. We may change jobs, make new friends, start a new relationship, move to a different place, and so on. With all the chaos life throws at us, there’s one thing that remains constant. I don’t have the same friends as I did when I was a teenager, I don’t even live in the same state, but one thing has remained the same – I have always been (and always will be) a Dallas Cowboys fan. Every year come summertime I knew I could count on training camp and preseason games to lead us right into the grandest season of all – football season!

This lockout is on a path to destroy that constant. I think deep down inside we all believed the powers that be, will work out a deal and get us back on track and everything will be touchdowns and field goals. On the surface we also know that there’s an equal chance those powers will screw everything up and the unbelievable could happen – a late season, a partial season or (God forbid) no football season!

I’ve been very quiet this offseason. Of course there’s been no action or rumors to speak of regarding free agency, trades, releases, etc. There’s been no mini camps, no rookie camps, no mouthy veterans demanding trades or bigger contracts. But I think I’d blame my silence more on the anger and depression of the lockout.

It must be so awful to have to argue over millions even billions of dollars. The greed of this entire ordeal just makes me sick to my stomach. The sad thing is that in the end the people this mess is going to hurt the most are the fans and the industry that works for these greedy gazillionaires.

It’s probably okay for Jerry Jones and Tony Romo to miss one season, they’ve got plenty of money in the bank. What about the concession stand workers or the guy who paints the lines on the field? What about the parking attendants and the ticket vendors?

You can say football is just a game, but it means a lot more when you really break it down. Okay, so maybe this isn’t my day job – but I certainly miss having blogs to publish or graphics to design. I miss having something to discuss with my buddies. I miss our LSS chats and debating topics in the comments. Yeah, there’s plenty of history to go through and probably things we could come up with to discuss – but it’s just not the same when we have this lockout looming in our minds.

I’m sure eventually everything will work itself out and we can look back at the Lockout of 2011 and shake our heads. However I’m not confident that it will be in time  to put together productive, contending teams without altering the current schedules and deadlines.

Life will go on for us regular folks, with our without football. We may not like it, but it’s completely out of our hands. I hope to post some good news for the fans in the next couple of weeks. Usually we’d be counting down the days until the season opener, 81 days by the way… But at this point all we can do is HOPE.

…Hope that the team that we devote so much passion and time towards returns the favor and first of all has a football season and second of all gives us great reasons to scream that phrase we all love to scream – HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!

NFL Labor Talks Almost Blow Up

I hope everyone enjoyed their Fathers Day weekend. Here is something that some of you may have missed.

After what seemed like some significant progress regarding negotiations to end the NFL lockout, word has it that they came very close to blowing up again.

Two weeks ago, as I reported here on LSS, there were some secret meetings taken place, reportedly without any lawyers present – just the player representatives and owners.

The Washington Post reported that a framework to an agreement was being laid out and that the lockout could come to an end within two to three weeks.

Unfortunately, on Saturday reports began to filter in that not only were the rumors as positive as had been projected, but that all talks almost broke down after lawyers were invited back to the bargaining table.

Adam Schefter of ESPN explains,

At a time when many are waiting for and anticipating a deal between owners and the NFL Players Association, there was a point Tuesday when talks clearly regressed.

One person close to the talks even went so far as to say, “This almost blew up yesterday.”

How close it did is a matter of opinion. Fact is, the moment came shortly after lawyers from both sides were brought back into the process at an undisclosed location in the Washington, D.C., area. As tensions rose and anger grew, two sources said NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith instructed his lawyers to “stand down.”

With the lawyers removed from the direct negotiations, the process was said to get back on track and to a good spot. The scenario is an example of just how tenuous these talks can be and how quickly they can be derailed.

Multiple sources familiar with the talks said progress is being made, but they cautioned there’s “a lot of drama and a lot of room for mistakes left.” 

To say this is going to be done in two weeks, one source said, “is borderline insane.”

Terrelle Pryor: Well worth the risk

What happens next month during the NFL Supplemental Draft if Terrelle Pryor has not been selected and the Cowboys are sitting there in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th round with a decision to make. Is he worth giving up a pick in the 2012 draft?

I don’t follow college football like I follow the NFL. I can only go by watching highlights of players and listening to certain people who report on college football.  I also go by my gut feeling about players. With Terrelle Pryor something is telling me that he is well worth giving up a pick in next year’s draft. I understand the stories about him driving a car that he shouldn’t have been driving and with a suspended license and selling autographed memorabilia, but the upside to this player is too high to ignore. I’m not saying he can be a franchise quarterback. Maybe he can after a few seasons. What he can do right now is add something to the Cowboys to make them more dangerous.

I think Pryor can add another dimension to the Cowboys offense. He adds excitement and is an added threat. If the Cowboys also continue with their Wild Cat offense Pryor would be perfect. He brings a strong arm to the offense as well as speed and toughness. Why not take a chance on a player like Pryor? The Cowboys need a shot in the arm in my opinion. They have been doing the same things on offense for years. They need to go out there and take a chance on an exciting player like Pryor.

There is no question that Tony Romo is the Cowboys quarterback, but he’s also 31 years old and on the back end of his career. John Kitna is a solid backup and did a good job as Romo’s replacement in 2010, but he is 38 years old and maybe the Cowboys need to start looking at getting younger. Stephen McGee is only 25  years old, but my feeling is that he is not the Cowboys future.

I believe the Cowboys need to seriously consider getting Terrelle Pryor because of his upside and what he brings to the game. Maybe Pryor can become a franchise quarterback in a few years learning under Romo. No one can really say for sure. They can just state their opinions. In my opinion if the Cowboys have the opportunity to select Terrelle Pryor next month in the supplemental draft they need to take full advantage of it and grab him before another team does.

Jason Witten Ranked #36 In NFL Network Top 100

The NFL Network continues to run down the Top 100 Players in the NFL and checking in at #36 was none other than Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.

The Top 100 is voted on by the players so this just shows how highly regarded Witten is among his peers. Antonio Gates has not been ranked yet, but it’s assumed he will be the top ranked tight end with Witten a solid second.

With Witten being announced today at No. 36, he joins teammates Jay Ratliff No. 75, Tony Romo No. 72, Miles Austin No. 70 and Andre Gurode No. 57  who were already picked earlier.

The NFL has said that there is one more Cowboy who has yet to be announced, and there is no doubt that it will be linebacker DeMarcus Ware who should easily slide into the Top 10, or maybe even the Top 5. Of course we will let you know when the announcement comes.

Witten is one of the NFL’s top pass-catching tight ends and in my opinion he has some of the best and surest hands in the game. He also has a nose for the end zone as Cowboys fans have seen and enjoyed over the last few seasons.

We at LSS, congratulate Jason Witten and all the other Cowboys who have made the cut and we look forward to seeing DeMarcus Ware crack the Top 10 of this prestigious list.

Okay, now I’m ready for some football!

Not So Secret Meeting Brings Players and Owners Back To Bargaining Table

Roger GoodellIt’s been a difficult offseason for Cowboys fans this year, mostly because of the ongoing lockout. The Cowboys news has been so sparse that most blogs will post just about anything including Felix Jones’ favorite Ninja Turtle (Donatello), Tony Romo’s choice of cake for his wedding, J-Rat’s new diamond studded toothbrush, Dez and his attempted jewel heist, and the world’s largest scoreboard getting a tune-up.

Well – maybe the days of rehashing the same old and tired rants or posting about silly non-football stuff will soon be coming to an end. Maybe, in a week or so, we can start posting about real Cowboys news again… Real Cowboys trade talk based on sourced information and not speculation… Real Cowboys news that we’ve been craving for nearly four months now…

There’s some news floating around that the owners and the players are talking again, in what might be the most unsecretive, secret meeting since FDR, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin got together at Yalta.

Dallas Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones was among five NFL owners that met secretly with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, the head of now decertified NFL Players Association (NFLPA), in Chicago on Wednesday according to several reports.

Federal mediator Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan was in attendance and he canceled scheduled mediated sessions next week so the players and owners can continue to “negotiate in secret”.

The secret meeting is so secret that both sides released a joint statement (in secret of course) regarding their progress.

“The parties met pursuant to court mediation. Owners and players were engaged in confidential discussions before Chief Magistrate Judge Boylan. The court has ordered continued confidentiality of the mediation sessions.”

One source said any potential deal still was a ways away; however, the hope would be that the two sides could reach an agreement sooner rather than later, potentially even later this month.

The key words there being “sooner rather than later” and “later this month”.

This sounds like a ground breaking achievement considering all the rancor that we’ve seen from both sides thus far. Any negotiation can only come from both sides getting together to discuss the issues, and it looks like both sides were willing to do just that, albeit in secret (not really).

Of course, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is knee deep in all of this and while everybody else involved refused to comment, Jones as always had something to say,  “We’re trying. I think the fact that we’re meeting is good.”

One unidentified player added, “That was the point of the meeting. No lawyers.”

We can only hope that some substantial progress comes out of this and that this black cloud hovering over the 2011 NFL season is finally lifted and we can start talking and blogging about real football again soon.

Stay tuned…

Turning back the clock

I can only speak for myself, but I’m beyond tired of all the news about the NFL Labor negotiations, all the news about the judge’s decisions and all the news about the Eighth Circuit Court’s decisions. The Lockout is on, the Lockout is off and then back on again. Kind of reminds me of that old commercial for “The Clapper”.

With that being said I found myself in my basement this past weekend looking through some old Cowboys stuff. I came across two old photo albums that were filled with Cowboys articles and pictures that I had collected throughout the 1980’s. In all I must have filled about 35 photo albums in the 80’s and early 90’s. Over the years I threw away most of the albums, but I held on to the first two because they were the most special.  I started collecting these items when I was about 13. Football was fresh and new back then.  There were no other worries in life when I was a kid watching football. It was all football, all the time. It was fun searching for pictures and articles about the Cowboys. It was also a challenge at times. I would go through the sports magazines in my art classes in elementary school and middle school. Teachers would use the old magazines for different projects so many of them were ripped up. But if I came across something about the Cowboys I would think it was gold. I would buy four or five newspapers the day after Cowboys games in hopes that they would have pictures from the game. I would beg my Mother for magazines only to get them home and cut them up to put everything in the photo albums.  I would also beg my Mother to order the Cowboys calendars through the Scholastic Book program at school, when others would be ordering books to read. Everything had to be Cowboys related. There was nothing else that mattered.

It was great sitting at home looking through these old photo albums and just reliving some great times from when I was younger and remembering some great players. I thought I would share some of the pictures I found with everyone. There are endless memories when it comes to the Cowboys and I love thinking back to many of those times from when I was just a kid.

As much as I would like to give credit to all the publications that I got these pictures from, there were just so many and it’s been so many years since then. But I will list as many as I can…Sports Illustrated, Sport Magazine, USA Today, Journal News, TV Guide, Sporting News, Daily News, Dallas Cowboys Weekly, NFL Digest and Pro Magazine. If I missed any I apologize. As far as the music, the CD is called “The Power and the Glory”. It has all the original music and voices from NFL Films. If you don’t have it yet, you really should get it for yourself.

I hope everyone enjoys the video as we suffer through these hard times with the NFL.

‘Only In America’ Will Feature Cowboys Cheerleaders Tomorrow

The History Channel will feature a segment with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders on it’s program, “Only in America” tomorrow night.

About the show: Larry the Cable Guy believes the United States of America is the greatest country on the face of the earth and he’s out to prove it. In Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy, Larry crisscrosses the nation, going totally off the beaten path to find the people, places and things that define this nation’s unique history.

Larry the Cable Guy gets ‘trained’ with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, during the shooting of an episode from HISTORY’s “Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy.” The episode will air May 17 at 9/8c on HISTORY.

Ron Springs passes away

Dallas Cowboys running back Ron Springs has passed away at the young age of 54. Springs was diagnosed with diabetes in 1990 and things just got worse as the years went on. In 2004 Springs was put on a waiting list for a new kidney and in 2005 he needed to have his right foot amputated due to the diabetes. In 2006 good friend and former teammate Everson Walls decided to donate one of his kidneys to Springs after finding out he was a match. In March of 2007 the operation was done and things seemed to be improving for Springs. But in October of 2007 Springs went in for a minor procedure to remove a cyst from his arm and fell into a coma after cardiac arrest and never woke up.


Ron Springs and Everson Walls shared a special friendship that only got stronger after Walls donated one of his kidneys. Here is their story courtesy of ESPN.

They created the Gift for Life Foundation to promote awareness of Diabetes and kidney disease.

The Cowboys drafted Ron Springs in the 5th round of the 1979 draft. Springs became the first rookie to start for coach Tom Landry in 1979. He played for the Cowboys from 1979-1984. In his years with the Cowboys he rushed for 2,180 yards and 28 touchdowns. He added 2,028 yards receiving on 212 receptions and scored ten touchdowns. Springs finished out his NFL career with Tampa Bay in 1985 and 1986.

I have two favorite highlights from Ron Springs career with the Cowboys. One was from 1981 when he scored the winning touchdown on Thanksgiving against the Bears to give the Cowboys a 10-9 win.

The other was from 1983 against the Raiders when Ron Springs threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to quarterback Danny White.

Ron Springs is survived by his wife, Adriane, and son Shawn Springs, who played cornerback from 1997-2009 for Seattle, Washington and New England.

Pictures provides by.

Journal News

The Odds Are Pretty Good For Cowboys This Season

When you consider how poorly the Cowboys performed last season, you will be amazed to know that the odds of them winning a Super Bowl this season are pretty damned good at 16:1.

I checked out the the latest odds for all NFL teams and you will note that only six teams have better odds of achieving a Super Bowl win than the Cowboys.

All the more amazing is that when the last season ended, the Cowboys had 17 teams ahead of them in the Week 18 Power Rankings by ESPN

Green Bay Packers  7/1

New England Patriots  7/1

Pittsburgh Steelers  11/1

San Diego Chargers  12/1

Baltimore Ravens  14/1

New York Jets  14/1

Atlanta Falcons  16/1

Dallas Cowboys  16/1

Indianapolis Colts  16/1

New Orleans Saints  16/1

Philadelphia Eagles  16/1

New York Giants  18/1

Chicago Bears  28/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers  30/1

Detroit Lions  35/1

Houston Texans  35/1

Kansas City Chiefs  35/1

Minnesota Vikings  35/1

Oakland Raiders  40/1

San Francisco 49ers  40/1

St. Louis Rams  40/1

Miami Dolphins  50/1

Tennessee Titans  50/1

Washington Redskins  50/1

Cincinnati Bengals  60/1

Denver Broncos  60/1

Cleveland Browns  65/1

Jacksonville Jaguars  65/1

Arizona Cardinals  75/1

Seattle Seahawks  80/1

Buffalo Bills  100/1

Carolina Panthers  100/1

Anyhow, I’m psyched that the oddsmakers think we have a better chance to win it all than both the NY Giants and Redskins, and the highly touted Eagles have no better chance than we do.

Cowboys Work Is Not Done, There’s Still Some Hidden Gems To Uncover

Dallas' Miles Austin and Tony Romo. (Getty Images)

The Cowboys’ 2011 draft is now behind us, but must Cowboys fans know that some of the greatest rookies in recent memory were undrafted and that the Cowboys have always been able to spot and sign those overlooked diamonds in the rough.

Rob Phillips of, reminded me of how remarkably successful Jerry Jones and company have been over the years at surveying the unsigned rookie landscape and how big it’s paid off for them time and time again.

The names “Tony Romo” and “Miles Austin” are proof enough. No other NFL team has two multi-time Pro Bowlers – Romo in 2003, Austin in 2006 – who slipped all the way past the “Mr. Irrelevant” pick.

Recruiting them to Dallas were separate home runs. But in recent years the Cowboys have also hit solid singles and doubles in post-draft free agency. Nine others finished the 2010 season on the roster: Safeties Barry Church and Danny McCray (2010), cornerback Bryan McCann, fullback Chris Gronkowski (2010), guard/center Phil Costa, wide receivers Teddy Williams (2010), Kevin Ogletree (2009) and Sam Hurd (2006), and defensive end Stephen Bowen (2006).

Hurd and Bowen have been dependable backups for five seasons – last year Hurd served as special teams captain and Bowen started eight games for an injured Marcus Spears. Church and McCray became fixtures on Joe DeCamillis’ special teams units. McCann’s two touchdowns (an interception return and a punt return) helped Jason Garrett win his first two games as interim head coach last November.

Of course it’s not easy to try and find the next impact player from among the also-rans, but we’ve proven on many occasions it can be done and well worth the effort.  As Phillips says, the league is filled with plenty of guys who beat the odds after 250 others heard their name called by the commissioner.

The only sad part in all of this is this damned lockout which still persists and makes negotiating a mute point.

But one thing the Cowboys do have going for them is their brand name. If given the choice, what rookie wouldn’t want to play for America’s Team? We have a marquee brand. It’s an advantage many other teams don’t have and sometimes it’s all the edge we need.