Very concerning to say the least!

In all my years as a fan of the Cowboys I don’t think I’ve seen a team going in so many different directions as this current team. It just seems as though no one is on the same page. Everyone seems to say something different on a weekly basis. With coaches and players on different pages how can they expect to get to where they want to go together as a team? How can they expect to achieve success? I’ve been reading a lot of quotes from the Cowboys the last few weeks and I just can’t help but shake my head and be very concerned with where things are right now and where the team is heading.

Let’s start here.

Jason Hatcher on the Cowboys leadership or lack of on the team…

“Uh, dude, I got to be honest with you. That’s a good question. That’s a good question,” Hatcher said. “I really don’t know, man.”

“Yeah, I really don’t know. That’s another thing we really need,” Hatcher said. “We need like a Ray Lewis. We don’t have that. We have talent and everything we need, but if we get like a Ray Lewis, everybody buys into him. When Ray Lewis speaks everybody listens to him, a guy like that. You really don’t got that. I think we definitely need somebody like that.”

“You have to have somebody who will hold you accountable and with a leader like that, everybody is held accountable, guys aren’t doing their own thing here or there. Everybody is going in one direction,” Hatcher said. “Once you have that, you’ll be good. We’re still looking for it.”

Jason Garrett responded to Hatcher on the Cowboys leadership.

“I don’t want to comment too much on what Hatch said. We certainly have very good leadership on our team,” Garrett said. “I don’t want to go into the names of the guys, but you know them, they set the pace for our team, and guys that we wouldn’t trade for anybody.”

Stephen Jones on the Cowboys leadership

“At the end of the day, we’ve got to do better,” Jones continued. “Whoever wants to throw it out there, maybe we better pay attention. But I think we have great men on our team who work their [butt] off and want to win. Now, do we need guys more Alpha who get in people’s faces? I don’t know. Whatever we’re doing right now is not working.”

So Jason Hatcher who has been with the Cowboys since 2006 has made it clear that Cowboys don’t have any clear leaders. He never mentioned Tony Romo, Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware or anyone else as the team leaders or even himself for that matter. Then Coach Garrett comes out and says that the Cowboys have good leadership, but yet he refuses to name even one player.  Then Stephen Jones admits that what they are doing right now is not working, but they have players who work their butts off. No one ever questioned the player’s work ethic or will to win. What is being questioned is the difference of opinion from so many people on the same team. I’m sure they all want to win. They all practice hard and give 100%. There is no doubt about those things.

I know there are many people out there who are not fans of Ray Lewis, but it cannot be denied that he is a true leader and when he speaks people listen and they follow him. Just watch his speech after they lost to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Even after a loss he took hold of that locker room and everyone was hanging on every single world he spoke. If the Cowboys had just one player who was even half the leader that Ray Lewis is they would be in better shape.

My point is that players and coaches just seem to be on different pages and seem to be going in different directions and it’s very concerning to say the least.

Let’s move on.

Jerry Jones comments on the talent level of the Cowboys.

“I see the talent level as being able to put us in a competitive situation for the Super Bowl.”

“I don’t see a must,” Jones said. “I don’t see a position that, if get to opening day and don’t have a new face there, that is terminal for us relative to competing.”

Then Jerry Jones gives this statement.

“Do we have a team that can, in my mind, do what Green Bay did this year and win, what, 13 straight? I don’t think we do, no, I don’t think we have that caliber of team, when I say that much talent. I don’t know many that do, but we don’t.”

Add in Stephen Jones comments going in another direction as far as talent on the defense.

“Obviously we are not pleased with where we are on defense,” Stephen Jones said via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “We got to get better over there. I don’t know that we got good enough talent to win over there. We have to improve it.”

Then Stephen Jones does a complete 180 and says this about the defense.

“Sometimes it’s frustrating and it’s then, ‘Why aren’t we getting it done? I think Tony’s a helluva quarterback. We have good players on defense.’ And I think we do, too. Everybody’s trying to figure out what we need to do to take the next step. I’m sure if you ask 53 guys they’ve all got differing opinions as to why we haven’t gotten it done. But we’ve got to make the next step.”

That last part of the Stephen Jones quote, which I added below really got to me and made me realize what I said at the beginning of my post. Very concerning!

“I’m sure if you ask 53 guys they’ve all got differing opinions as to why we haven’t gotten it done.”

So Stephen Jones is saying that they have an entire team that all have different opinions on why they have not achieved success. Is it just me or does that statement bother anyone else? Add in the coaches and management, which of course includes father and son that seem to go in different directions with their views of the team. I just don’t understand how things can be this way. It’s like the entire team is sitting at a four way intersection and they are all fighting on which road to take instead of working together to make a decision. Very concerning!

 

Cowboys Devoid Of Leadership

Leadership continues to be at the forefront of Dallas Cowboys headlines since the comments made by defensive end Jason Hatcher on ESPN a couple of weeks ago.

During his appearance he was asked to name the leaders on his team. His response made many Cowboys officials queasy to say the least:

“Dude. I gotta be honest with you: That’s a good question. That’s a good question. I really don’t know. It’s just another thing we really need … like the Ravens, we don’t have that. We’ve got the talent. We’ve got everything we need. I think we get like a Ray Lewis-type. Everybody buys into him. When Ray Lewis speaks, everybody listens to him. A guy like that. We really don’t got that. I think we definitely need somebody like that.”

I’m sure Hatcher never intended for his words to light up the Dallas Cowboys airwaves as much as they have, he was simply giving an honest answer to a very good question – a question I have been raising myself right here on LSS a hundred times over the last five seasons.

Isn’t it shocking he didn’t mention Tony Romo or one of the other Team Captains like DeMarcus Ware? Or even the head coach and any of his assistants? Not one name… Hatcher simply stuttered and drew a complete blank.

So now of course, you have some retorts rolling in.

  • Jason Garrett said yesterday that the Cowboys have plenty of leaders, but they can use more.
  • Owner and general manager Jerry Jones has the perfect in-house candidate: Sean Lee.

So almost three weeks later the owner and GM of the team, and the Head Coach finally respond at that’s all the came up with?

Basically they just confirmed exactly what Hatcher said, only the non-controvesial DE had 3 seconds to respond rather than 3 weeks.

Sad, very sad.

Leadership begins at the top and without it it’s hard to lead a team to it’s stated goal.

As much of a lack of leadership there is on the playing field or in the locker room, there’s a bigger void in the coaches office and the front office as well. Just saying…

Vote For The LSS Cowboys Rookie Of The Year

The Dallas Cowboys 2011 Rookie class was one of the best in recent years. The Cowboys drafted a lot of talent, but even the walk-on players were a pleasant surprise.  I have learned so much over the years writing our “New to the Silver and Blue” columns.   Let’s have some fun… We are going to have a contest for LoneStarStuck.com readers to help us elect the winner of our 1st Annual LSS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD. 🙂

There were 15 rookies on the team this season, but only a few of them took advantage of their opportunities and ran with it.  When those rookies were called on, it gave the starters some pause to look over their shoulders and sweat a little.

We want to know who you think deserves the honor of ” LSS Rookie Of The Year” !

Here are you five candidates:

Out of the fifteen I feel  these  five are  the most deserving of this honor.

May The Best Cowboy Rookie Win!

Anthony Spencer Influenced Mock Off-Season(s)

Anthony Spencer OLB

Dallas will go one of three ways with Anthony Spencer:

1. Let him walk via free agency

2. Work out a long term deal

3. Franchise him

In this mock, I’m picking the fan’s least favorite scenario and franchising him, counting $8.8 mil. against the 2012 CAP. I would NEVER do this, but Jerry is unpredictable, so I’m just mocking a “what-if”…sorry folks…

 

Free Agency:

Anthony Spencer OLB $8.8 mil. (franchised…ouch…I know…)

Laurent Robinson WR 4 yr. $15 mil. (topping Jordy Nelson’s contract)

Abe Elam SS 2 yr. $5 mil. (a necessary evil)

Duece Lutui OG 3 yr. $6 mil.+ (2 mil guaranteed. Incentive bonuses based on playing time and weight/conditioning)

Tony Fiammetta FB 3 yr. $5 mil. (who doesn’t love Tony?)

Josh McCown QB 2 yr. $3 mil. (could be worse. could be better and a lot more expensive)

Antuan Molden CB 3 yr. $5 mil. (tall corner who improved his play last year in New England)

Leonard Pope TE 2 yr. $2 mil. (blocking tight end for just above veteran minimum)

 

Cuts/Trades:

Terrance Newman cut (save $4 mil.)

Kenyon Coleman cut (save $1.9 mil.)

David Buehler cut (save $1.25 mil)

Felix Jones traded to New England during draft (save $1.17 mil.)

Stephen McGee cut (save $565k)

Phil Costa cut (save $490k)

Kai Forbath cut (save $465k)

Shaun Chapas cut (save $465k)

 

Draft:

Colts– Andrew Luck QB Stanford

TRADE Redskins trade #6, #39 and 2013 1st to Rams for RGIII QB Baylor

Vikings- Morris Claibourne CB LSU

Browns- Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State

TRADE Cardinals trade #13, #80 and 2013 2nd to Bucs for Ryan Kalil OT USC

Rams- Riley Reiff OT Iowa

Jags- Quinton Coples DE North Carolina

Panthers- Michael Brockers DT LSU

Dolphins- Jonathan Martin OT Stanford

Bills- Courtney Upshaw OLB Alabama

Chiefs- David DeCastro G Stanford

Seahawks- Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M

Bucs- Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama

Trent Richardson RB Alabama

Cowboys- Trent Richardson RB Alabama (Dallas doesn’t find a trade partner after seeing most all of their targeted players are gone and sticks with the BPA mindset, not reaching, instead taking a highly rated player who fell)

…and here’s the rest of the Cowboys draft

2) #45 Leonard Johnson CB Iowa State (RR’s man-crush at the senior bowl)

2) #63 Ben Jones C Georgia (acquired from Patriots for #83 and Felix Jones)

3) #83 to New England

4) #117 Josh Chapman DT Alabama (stock slipped due to injury. JJ loves these kind of deals)

4) #137 (comp. Pick for Stephen Bowen) James-Michael Johnson ILB Nevada

(depth behind Lee, Carter and Lemon)

5) #155 B.J. Coleman QB Chattanooga (small school QB with a big arm to replace McGee)

6) #186 Micah Pellerin CB Hampton (CB depth)

7) #224 Lamar Holmes OT Southern Mississippi (small school fatty with good feet to swing behind Free and Smith in place of RFA Jeremy Parnell)

 

2012 Roster:

QB: Romo, McCown, Coleman

RB/FB: Richardson, Murray, Tanner, Fiammetta

TE: Witten, Phillips, Pope

WR: Austin, Bryant, Robinson, Harris, Radway, Holmes

Oline: Smith, Free, L.Holmes, Kosier, Lutui, Nagy, Arkin, B.Jones, Kowalski

CB: Jenkins, L.Johnson, Scandrick, Molden, Pellerin, M.Butler

S: Sensebaugh, Elam, Church, McCray

LB: Ware, Lee, Carter, Spencer, V.Butler, Albright, Lemon, J-M.Johnson

Dline: Ratliff, Chapman, Hatcher, Lissemore, Brent, Spears, Calloway

P: C.Jones

K: Bailey

L.S. Ladouceur

 

Now here’s the option to this draft:

Dallas will go one of three ways with Anthony Spencer:

1. Let him walk via free agency

2. Work out a long term deal

3. Franchise him

In this mock, I’m picking number 2. Just like the last mock I did, this one is to provide another way to go about the off season. Signing Spencer long term lowers his CAP hit, but puts an investment in his future with Dallas that many might not like, including myself. Again, this mock is for the sake of argument and a different point of view.

 

Free Agency:

Anthony Spencer OLB 5 yr. $30 mil. ($12 mil. guaranteed)

Richard Marshall CB 5 yr. $28 mil. ($10 mil. guaranteed)

Ben Grubbs G 5 yr. $25 mil. ($20 mil. guaranteed)

Samson Satele C 5 yr. $12 mil. ($6 mil. guaranteed)

Tony Fiammetta FB 3 yr. $5 mil. ($5 mil. guaranteed)

Luke McCown QB 2 yr. $3 mil. ($3 mil. Guaranteed)

 

Cuts:

Terrance Newman cut (save $4 mil.)

Kenyon Coleman cut (save $1.9 mil.)

David Buehler cut (save $1.25 mil)

Stephen McGee cut (save $565k)

Phil Costa cut (save $490k)

Kai Forbath cut (save $465k)

Shaun Chapas cut (save $465k)

 

Mark Barron SS Alabama

1) #14 Mark Barron SS Alabama (Dallas finally gets a safety with strong modern attributes in the first round)

2) #45 Rueben Randle WR LSU (tall, rangy WR with great hands that can also return kickoffs. Replaces void left by free agent Laurent Robinson)

3) #83 Audie Cole ILB North Carolina State (will provide a strong rotation with Lee and Carter)

4) #117 Josh Chapman NT Alabama (the fat double team eater everyone has been screaming for since Jason Ferguson left for Miami. a steal at this spot, but fell due to injury. everyone knows Jerry aint scurred’.)

4) #137 (comp. Pick for Stephen Bowen) Coryell Judie CB Texas A&M (provides solid corner depth and can return kickoffs)

5) #155 BJ Coleman QB Chattanooga (replaces McGee and becomes the new big arm development at QB)

6) #186 George Bryan TE North Carolina State (known for his great hands and solid blocking skills. Just what the dr. ordered to replace Marty B)

7) #224 Lamar Holmes OT Southern Mississippi (replaces Jeremy Parnell as the swing tackle)

 

2012 Roster:

QB: Romo, McCown, Coleman

RB/FB: Murray, F. Jones, Tanner, Fiammetta

TE: Witten, Phillips, Bryan

WR: Austin, Bryant, Randle, Harris, Radway, Holmes

Oline: Smith, Free, L.Holmes, Kosier, Grubbs, Nagy, Arkin, S.Satele, Kowalski

CB: Jenkins, Marshall, Scandrick, Judie, M.Butler

S: Sensebaugh, Barron, Church, McCray, Taplin-Ross

LB: Ware, Lee, Carter, Spencer, V.Butler, Cole, Albright, Lemon, B.Satele

Dline: Ratliff, Chapman, Hatcher, Lissemore, Brent, Spears

P: C.Jones

K: Bailey

L.S. Ladouceur

** BTW Samson Satele (FA Center signed from Oakland) and Brashton Satele (ILB signed in January to a futures contract) are cousins…cool…

From America’s Sweethearts to America’s Tweethearts!

For years the world has been entertained and amazed by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. They have graced Texas Stadium and Cowboys Stadium with their beauty and incredible dance routines. Throughout the years the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have become more than just a Cheerleading squad. They became America’s Sweethearts and have toured the world for years meeting people and entertaining. There were also two movies made about them back in 1979 and 1980 to go along with countless TV appearances, their own reality show called “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team”, their own calendar plus so much more.

We as fans watch them dance from the stands or from our living rooms. We read about all their appearances and watch their auditions and the paths they take to make the squad. But now the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have made it possible to get a little closer to them. It is now possible to find out what they are up to on a daily basis and to maybe ask those questions that you have always wanted to ask them. At the beginning of February America’s Sweethearts became America’s Tweethearts as they took to the Twitter world. I was more than happy to follow the squad when I heard the news. I normally only read the Tweets from people I follow, but it was nice starting to Tweet so that I could ask these ladies questions about life as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. I was pleasantly surprised when I started getting responses from many of them. Even with their hectic schedules the squad will respond when they have time. I’m sure they are all overwhelmed by the amount of followers they have received in such a short amount of time that is impossible to answer every single Tweet. After reading so many tweets from these ladies I realized just how much they love what they do and how much they love the Cowboys. Not to mention the close bond they have developed with each other. It’s not just about going to the game and dancing and then going home. There is so much more when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Their Tweets give you a glance into their lives and the kind of people they are.

So if you are on Twitter go ahead follow the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and see what is happening with them.

@DCC_Amelia

@DCC_Mia

@DCC_Veronica

@DCC_Holly

@DCC_Kamilah

@DCC_Meagan

@DCC_Angela

@DCC_Melissa

@DCC_CassieK

@DCC_Nicole

@DCC_Alyssa

@DCC_Emma

@DCC_Colleen

@DCC_Jenna

@DCC_KatyM

@DCC_Sydney

@DCC_Mackenzie

@DCC_Brittney

@DCC_Lauren

@DCC_Alexandra

@DCC_Cassie

@DCC_Whitney

@DCC_Jackie

@DCC_Amber

@DCC_Courtney

@DCC_MeghanM

Hopefully I did not miss anyone from the squad. If I did I apologize and please let me know. I will be happy to add them into the post.

You can also follow the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders on their Twitter home page.

@DCCheerleaders

 

 

Check These Bobbleheads Out…

Who doesn’t love bobblehead dolls, right? Especially Dallas Cowboys bobblehead dolls…

I came across a couple of vintage ones on the web that I thought were worth sharing…

Circa 1964

Circa 1961-1963

Circa OMG!

New Toy Awaiting Rob Ryan Via Free Agency

With free agency little more than a month away, names are starting to surface as free agent targets of the Cowboys.

Carl Nicks is the most popular name, and possibly the most legitimate possibility to sure up the interior offensive line.

Ben Grubbs is the less popular version of Nicks, and would probably come at a cheaper price, as well.

Calais Campbell, a gargantuan defensive lineman from Arizona, could also be in the cards for the Cowboys.

But there is an extremely popular free agent name out there that no one is talking about, who I think could quite possibly be at the very top of the wish list for Jerry Jones and Rob Ryan.

Mario Williams.

Let the name, excitement, and potential sink in for a moment, and hear me out.

When you watched the Cowboys last season down the stretch, the one thing even my grandmother could take notice of was the lack of a pass rush. Demarcus Ware did have another all-pro season. Jay Ratliff, despite the fact that he is still confusingly playing nose guard, was effective when not being triple teamed. The combination of Anthony Spencer and Vic Butler was adequate at times, but not close to complementing Ware enough to be effective. Ware’s lack of a sidekick was extremely evident both times against the New York Giants, as fans watched Eli Manning take a five-step drop, drink coffee, read the newspaper, and finally toss long touchdowns to Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.

Enter Mario Williams.

Up until the 2011 season, Williams played defensive end in Houston’s 4-3 defense, and was an absolute terror. In 2011, under Wade Phillips, Williams moved to outside linebacker in the 3-4 and flourished, gathering 5 sacks in games before tearing his pectoral.

Now Imagine Ware lining up on one side, Williams on the other, and Ratliff somewhere along the defensive line. Who do you shift the protection to? Who do you double-team? Imagine all three lining up in multiple spots on the defensive line and outside linebacker spots throughout the game. How can you possibly game plan for such a ridiculous amount of wrecking power? The simple answer is, you don’t. In a motion 3-4 like Rob Ryan’s, the possibilities are infinite, and nightmarish. Imagine 6 foot 6, 283 pound Williams in a Rob Ryan system that thrives on constantly shifting players into different positions. Ryan did this often with Ware in 2011, and he consequently had his second best year statistically.

Some of you will argue that the price tag for Williams will be too high. I disagree. The Cowboys, in an extremely tight salary cap situation last season, were moments away from making Nnamdi Asomugha the highest paid cornerback in football. This year, they will have upwards of $20 million in cap space to play with.

The Giants winning Super Bowl XLVI is a blessing in disguise for the Cowboys.

Nothing makes Jerry Jones’ skin crawl more than an NFC East foe winning the Super Bowl and then claiming to be America’s Team.

Nothing makes him cringe more than losing an elite free agent prospect to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Don’t think for one second that these things won’t be on his mind when he opens up his pocketbook to ensure that Eli Manning is being peeled off the turf, Michael Vick is being run into a sideline garbage can headfirst, and whatever quarterback Washington trots out will be limping back to the bench where he belongs.

Rob Ryan expressed his interest in acquiring some new toys at the end of this season, and he is going to get them.

Jerry will find a way to put Mario Williams in a Dallas Cowboys uniform next season. Bet it.

 

“Put the glasses on! Put ’em on!”

Does anyone remember the 1988 John Carpenter movie called “They Live”? I have often thought there were many similarities with that movie and Tony Romo. It’s a story of a guy who stumbles across a pair of sunglasses that when worn wakes him from the trance he has been under and shows him exactly how the world is. Without them it showed how the world is actually brain washed to live a certain way. The world was hypnotized by messages on things they would come across in everyday life like magazines, billboards, labels on food or even road signs. To these people nothing was wrong and life was good, but what they didn’t know was that they were being controlled by a higher power. When this person stumbled across these sunglasses he saw what the world was really like. These sunglasses woke him up and as he looked through the sunglasses he saw what all those signs, billboards, magazines and labels really said. Messages like “obey”, “consume”, “watch TV”, “stay asleep”, “marry and reproduce”, “do no question authority” and other messages that had the whole world hypnotized. When it comes to Tony Romo it’s almost the same type of situation. People have been hypnotized since he became the quarterback of the Cowboys. It’s as though people without these sunglasses have been brain washed into thinking things like “Romo for life”, “In Romo we trust”, “Romomania”, “he will lead us”, “America’s QB”, “All hail Romo”. Every magazine, every news article, every sign, every label are all normal to Cowboys fans because they don’t know that they have been hypnotized into a Tony Romo world.

I know all of this because until recently I was part of that Tony Romo world. I was asleep for a long, long time. I was lucky enough to find the special sunglasses that woke me up and made me aware of what was really happening. I am hypnotized no more. I am finally awake and it feels so good!!

I’ve probably heard every excuse in the book as to why Romo has not led the Cowboys to a Super Bowl since becoming the starter during the 2006 season. Some believe it’s just not his time. Others believe that with a break here and there Romo would have a ring or two just like the Giants Eli Manning. I recently read that Tony Romo’s career completion percentage is higher than Eli Manning, Tom Brady and Troy Aikman. That may be true and he may have pretty impressive regular season numbers, but as the Cowboys quarterback the team has made the playoffs three times and is 1-3, never going further than the second round. Manning, Brady and Aikman have eight Super Bowl rings between them. But as each season passes with no Super Bowls and recently not even the playoffs the excuses continue. It’s written time and time again that Cowboys fans must continue to believe in Romo. That he has the ability to become elite and get the Cowboys back to the Super Bowl. But there comes a time when people have to be woken up from their dreams. Please put on the sunglasses and take a look around. I’m not saying it’s all Romo’s fault that the Cowboys have not reached a Super Bowl. But there comes a time when the team needs to realize that they can’t go any further with certain players and that they need to move on. Can anyone say this team is closer to a championship or even closer to competing for a championship now than they were five years ago?

When do the excuses stop? It’s time to put the sunglasses on and see Tony Romo for what he really is. He is a very good quarterback with some good stats, but maybe, just maybe he has also reached his potential. Maybe he is what he is and that’s all. It’s not a bad thing, but at the same time the Cowboys need to realize that maybe Romo can’t get them any further as their quarterback.

This whole ordeal started back in 2006 when he stepped on the field against the Giants when he replaced Drew Bledsoe. He was new life for the Cowboys and a breath of fresh air. He was something different and he was winning games with his gunslinger type of play. He was fun to watch and he was winning games which was when the brain washing started. We were led to believe that maybe Romo was the chosen one. Then in 2007 the brain washing went even deeper when he led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record and home field advantage. Tony Romo could do no wrong as far as the fans were concerned. But maybe it had a lot to do with the fact that the fans were so desperate for a quarterback since Troy Aikman retired that they fell hard for Romo, me included.

I was the biggest Tony Romo fan around. I supported him, cheered him on and wore his jersey proud. I made excuses for him when things went wrong and put him so high on a pedestal when he won you would have thought I was talking about Joe Montana. But after this past season even though he put up good numbers again, I realized that maybe things weren’t as good as I thought they were. I put on those sunglasses and they woke me up from the trance I was under. I saw a good quarterback that has won some games and also lost many heartbreaking games. I asked myself if Tony Romo was any better in 2011 than he was back in 2007 or 2009. My answer was not really! Sure he throws a lot of touchdowns and for a lot of yards, but as far as a player and a leader has he really improved any? It seems to be the same song every season when it comes to Tony Romo. All the shoulda, woulda and coulda’s when discussing Romo’s career with the Cowboys.

Even though the sunglasses have broken the trance I also understand that Tony Romo is not going anywhere. He is the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. But what happens after 2012 if he puts together another decent season, but fails to get the Cowboys to the next level? What happens if he loses more games like he did against the Jets and Lions in 2011? What happens if quarterbacks like Alex Smith or Matthew Stafford lead their teams to Super Bowl Championships? There still be so many people out there who have not tried on the sunglasses and the excuses to give Romo more time will still be spoken. To those people I offer the sunglasses of truth. Put them on and wake up to what is really going on. Almost every season it seems like the Cowboys are one of the favorites, but then teams like the Giants, Steelers, Saints and Packers come out of nowhere and become world champions. Aaron Rogers has grown into an MVP with the Packers. And as much as I hate to admit it Eli Manning has progressed every season and has become an elite player in the league.

There is nothing wrong with change. There is nothing wrong with moving in another direction. The Packers moved on from Brett Favre and the Eagles moved on from Donovan McNabb. It has happened to many teams over the years.

It feels good with the sunglasses on and to see things for what they really are, but at the same time it feels horrible knowing that nothing will be changing as the Cowboys and Tony Romo stay together. Maybe a change would work for everyone at this point. Maybe Romo would benefit from going to a new team. I read an article recently that the Cowboys would be lost without Tony Romo. That is exactly what I’m talking about as far as being hypnotized. I don’t understand that thought process. What has Romo done that would make anyone believe that 2012 will be any different for him than his other seasons with the Cowboys? I want to scream and wake the world up. I want to make sure everyone gets a pair of these special sunglasses so they will wake up and see things for what they are. It’s time for a change with the Cowboys and Tony Romo. It’s time to move on in a new direction. I beg everyone to please just put on the sunglasses and see for your selves!

“Put the glasses on! Put ’em on!”

One Can Always Hope…

Giants win the Super Bowl… Totally sucks… It could have been us… It should have been us!

Anyway, time to move forward…. Saw this on ESPN and thought I’d share it here:

SportsCenter posed the question: “Which team that missed the playoffs has the best chance of winning Super Bowl XLVII?”

Analyst Tim Hasselbeck’s answer: The Dallas Cowboys.

“Lot of talent on that football team,” Hasselbeck said. “Miles Austin not injured. Defense, another year with Rob Ryan. I think the Cowboys could be that team. … Dallas Cowboys. Tony Romo. They have the best shot.”

Herm Edwards’ prediction: “Fly Eagles Fly.”

There’s always gotta be one rotten apple… What the hell does Edwards know…

Monday is the first day teams can begin cutting players… Woohoo… See ya Terence Newman…

 

Last Mock Off Season Of January 2012

I have been busy with my off season addiction of researching free agents and draft hopefuls again. Right now I am knee deep in mock drafts and have completed a few complete off seasons as well. I am also currently finishing up my defensive analysis, which I will post in a couple days before leaving for Florida to work for a bit. Here is the last off season mock I made and posted on my Facebook page a couple days ago. Keep in mind this is just fantasy, but I try to be as realistic as possible, keeping in mind salary CAP and position needs as well as player availability both in free agency and each round of the draft. I do this for fun and hopefully you all will have some fun reading this and coming up with your own ideas as well. It’s a long off season and we have to keep busy some how. Enjoy…
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I want to preface this one by acknowledging the fact that there is no way to make everyone happy. The moves (or non-moves) in this one that people will complain about is not resigning Laurent Robinson and Tony Fiammetta. Also, not having better depth behind Victor Butler and Bruce Carter, so this one is a gamble. Then again, aren’t they all? Let me explain my thoughts before getting into free agents signed and the draft.

In this scenario, Laurent Robinson finds a much higher payday than Dallas is willing to shell out for it’s 4th option on offense, and decides it’s a much better idea to fortify other positions with that money. As for Fiammetta, his health concerns cause Jerry to wait until camp to see if he is an absolute need. There is no doubt, his blocking skills were directly related to Murray’s rookie success, so this one will be closely monitored. For now, the money is used to backup Romo, with the economical choice of Brady Quinn. Anthony Spencer finds a Chris Canty-like deal that is too rich for the Cowboys blood and Ryan decides he can roll with Victor Butler and a new young player from the draft. This decision also indirectly influences the first round pick in the draft.

Free Agents Signed:

Carl Nicks OG 7 years $57 million with $15 million signing bonus (contract comparable to former Saint’s teammate Jahri Evans)

This is the big move of the year. Nicks will pair with Tyron Smith to protect Romo’s blindside, giving him the time needed to make the critical reads.

Richard Marshall CB 6 years $28 million with $10 million guaranteed (contract similar to Scandrick’s)

Marshall was named defense MVP by Arizona Cardinal’s DC Ray Horton.He is a solid cover corner and tackles well. He was also used at safety last year when FS Kerry Rhodes was sidelined with a foot injury. Richard will come in and compete with Orlando Scandrick for a starting spot.

Thomas DeCoud FS 6 years $25 million with $8 million guaranteed (contract similar to Sensebaugh’s)

DeCoud became a solid starter in Atlanta, but became a CAP casualty with so many other priorities and William Moore as a fallback option. This is an upgrade for the Dallas secondary compared to resigning Elam to play SS and Sensebugh to stay at FS.

Brady Quinn QB 3 years $8 million with $4 million guaranteed

There are quite a few options here at this price, but Quinn is my flavor of the week. I could also see Chad Henne getting a look here.

 

2012 Dallas Cowboys Draft:

1. Devon Still DT/DE Penn State

Still is currently the 10th rated player and top rated DT in this years draft. I could also see Quinton Coples or Michael Brockers going here. The idea behind this pick is that I believe Courtney Upshaw will be gone by the 14th pick (probably to Buffalo at 10) and the dline has been ignored for years. If you watch today’s NFL QB’s against a 3-4 defense, most are aware of the edge rushers (OLB’s) and step up into the pocket to avoid pressure. If the pressure is also coming from the inside, it’s a different ballgame. Ratliff at NT and Hatcher and Still at DE, combined with Butler and Ware on the outside could be the upgrade in pressure that we’ve been lacking since the switch to a 3-4.

2. Ben Jones C/G Georgia

Jones is the second rated center in this year’s draft, but the perfect fir for Garrett’s offense. Ben is versatile, smart and strong. When asked what his greatest asset was at the senior bowl, his response was “My intelligence, I’m a smart guy. I can get the whole offensive line on the same page and I’m tough as hell.” One of our oline weaknesses for years was that the center doesn’t make the line adjustments. Kosier has been that guy and with age and injuries catching up to Kyle, Jones would be the perfect choice for the future at center.

3. Josh Norman CB Coastal Carolina

Norman caught the attention of scouts at the senior bowl. Although a small school player, his height, (6’2”) physicality, smoothness and great hands make him an intriguing prospect and worth the 3rd round grade he is currently receiving from most draft sights. Josh could be the steal of the draft and everyone knows Jerry likes to gamble on players with high upside to make him look like a genius.

4. T.Y. Hilton WR/PR Florida International

Hilton is another small school athlete with tremendous upside. He could potentially replace Laurent Robinson’s void as the 4th offensive option as well as provide a legitimate weapon on punt returns, finally keeping starting WR Dez Bryant off special teams. Although small in stature, (5’10” 185lbs.) T.Y.’s straight line speed, hands and elusiveness make him a weapon defenses must account for at all times.

4. (comp pick for Stephen Bowen) Tank Carder ILB TCU

Depth is needed on the inside after losing former starters Keith Brooking and Bradie James. Tank is a tough, physical player with great tackling technique. Carder was the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year in 2011.

5. Jack Crawford DE/OLB Penn State

Crawford is the second Penn State player taken in this draft and would be the third Nitny Lion on the 2012 defense joining starter Sean Lee and first round pick Devon Still. I really like his size for the position. (6’5” 270 lbs.) Crawford has tremendous work-ethic and energy and could be counted on for significant contributions during his rookie season rotating with Victor Butler on the strong side.

6. Beau Reliford TE Florida State

If Jerry doesn’t get caught up in the en-vogue two-tight end receiver option, Beau could be the cheaper solid blocking tight end needed after losing head-case Martellus Bennett to free agency. Reliford is a former basketball all-star and has the size (6’5” 260 lbs.) and athletic ability (like Bennett) to excel in Garrett’s offense.

7. Emil Igwenagu FB Massachusetts

Choosing not to resign Fiammetta right away and the slow progress of last year’s draft pick, Sean Chapas, leaves a void in the lead blocking department, which is essential to the health of the running game in Garrett’s 90’s style offense. With few teams looking for traditional fullbacks in this new era of passing prominence, Igwenagu has the receiving skills to do damage on the perimeter when not blasting holes in the running game. He was also voted team captain in 2011, something JG holds to a high regard.