Some thoughts from Non professional eyes

After three days and seven selections for the Cowboys the NFL Draft has ended. As everyone knows the Cowboys made their biggest selection on Thursday night when they traded up eight spots and selected cornerback Morris Claiborne from LSU. With Claiborne and Brandon Carr the Cowboys defense looks to be greatly improved from last season.

As far as the other six selections for the Cowboys, well there has been some head scratching as to why the Cowboys went in the direction that they did. I’m in no way an expert in evaluating talent. I won’t even pretend that I am. Those professionals know what to look for and how to rate a player. I don’t have access to game film like the experts do and I don’t have any kind of rating system for all of these players. I’m just a fan who has my own opinions. I could write an article telling everyone what the experts are saying about the newest members of the Cowboys. How they are rated and their pros and the cons, but you can go to any of the NFL sites and read the same things. So what I thought I would do is watch some game highlights on the Cowboys draft picks and give you my thoughts from my own non professional eyes. I won’t include Morris Claiborne because he is the one member of the draft class that does not need to be evaluated due to the fact that he is arguably the best defensive player in the draft.

I found some game highlights on four of the players selected except the last two players, TE James Hannah from Oklahoma and LB Caleb McSurly from Montana. I watched the game highlights as a fan and this is what I got out of them.

Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise St. – As I watched some highlights on Crawford I saw a player who was handled very easily by offensive linemen. He seemed to get pushed around and taken out of plays. Although he never seemed to give up on plays, he also was eaten up as the play passed him by most of the time. Even though he has good size at 6’4″, 275lbs. he seems to play smaller than his size.

Kyle Wilber, LB, Wake Forest – I saw highlights of Wilber lining up on the left side as well as the right side. He seemed to always be involved in the play one way or another. He didn’t seem afraid to take on an offensive lineman or tight end. He disrupted many plays in the backfield and had no problem giving up his body to put a hit on someone. He also was involved in the passing game and didn’t seem to have issues keeping up in coverage.

Matt Johnson, S, Eastern Washington – Keeping in mind that Johnson played at Eastern Washington, he looks to be a very physical player. In coverage he always seemed to make a play as he showed speed and the ability to adjust on the run. In the run game he had no problem attacking the line of scrimmage and putting a hit on someone. His tackling looked to be text book as he wrapped up instead of just diving at the ball carrier.

Danny Coale, WR, Virginia Tech – The first player that came to mind while watching highlights of Coale was the Patriots Wes Welker. He seems fearless going over the middle and is very quick, especially after catching the ball. He looks to be a possession receiver who could also get deep when needed. He also had no issues taking a hit from what I saw.

I wish I could give you my thoughts on TE James Hanna and LB Caleb McSurdy. If I am able to find some game highlights I will update my article, but for now these are my thoughts on four of the Cowboys 2012 selections.  I don’t see any of them cracking the starting lineup anytime soon if at all. I see them as projects for the Cowboys. Whether any of them will work out is anyone’s guess. If I had to select a favorite to make some noise it would be Kyle Wilber.

Good luck to the Cowboys 2012 draft class

 

 

 

 

The Cowboys welcome Morris Claiborne

Through all the mock drafts and all the interviews Cowboys fans were convinced that either Mark Barron, David DeCastro or even Michael Brockers would be selected in the first round. But as I sat watching the draft last night and also watching the Cowboys War Room on my laptop I noticed something strange happening as the draft approached the 6th overall pick in the first round. The phone was being passed around between Stephen Jones, Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett. Then they all got up from their chairs with smiles on their faces. Then the handshakes started all around the room. Many thought that the Cowboys if anything would trade down in the first round. No one expected what was about to happen.

What happened was that the Cowboys traded up eight spots with the Rams. They swapped first round picks as well as giving up their second round pick, which was 45th overall. With the 6th pick the Cowboys selected what many experts are saying is the best defensive player in the entire draft. Cornerback Morris Claiborne from LSU is the newest member of the Cowboys and will team with Brandon Carr in the Cowboys secondary. What was once a liability for the Cowboys has become a strength with Carr and Claiborne, but it also may mean the end for Mike Jenkins with the Cowboys. Reports this morning say that the Cowboys are looking to trade Jenkins. Jerry Jones has also said that he would love to somehow get back into the second round.

The second and third rounds of the draft are tonight starting at 7pm EST. What the Cowboys do is anyone’s guess at this point. As of right now the Cowboys next selection is the 81st pick in the third round.

Welcome to the Cowboys Morris Claiborne. The new look Cowboys defense is starting to take shape and we are all hoping it leads to great things.

 

Cowboys Draft Day Notes and News

Drafting Starters

According to the Star-Telegraph, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he expects players drafted in the first three rounds to be starters. Not necessarily Day 1 starters, but soon.

“Day 1 starters? You can’t say that. Nobody can say that, but at some point in their careers, you would like to think that they’re a starter, and the sooner the better,” Garrett said Wednesday at Valley Ranch, a day before the Cowboys were scheduled to pick 14th in the first round of the NFL draft.

Cowboys Mock-up

Calvin Watkins posted the following ESPN mock draft picks for the Cowboys:

Mark Barron, Alabama, S, first round.
Janoris Jenkins, Alabama, CB, second round.
Joe Adams, Arkansas, WR, third round
Akiem Hicks, Regina (Canada), DT, fourth round
James Hanna, Oklahoma, TE, fourth round
Senio Kelemete, Washington, fifth round
Chris Rainey, Florida, RB, sixth round
Tim Fugger, Vanderbilt, OLB, seventh round

Jason Garrett’s attendance at Alabama’s pro day instantly increased speculation that the Cowboys would pick safety Mark Barron, outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw or cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick in the first round.

All indications are that the Cowboys would be extremely pleased if Barron is still on the board when they get on the clock with the 14th overall pick.

Quick Hits

There are no new talks involving the team and outside linebacker Anthony Spencer. He signed his $8.8 million franchise tag Monday and reported to the voluntary workouts at Valley Ranch. However, team executive vice president Stephen Jones did say of any contract talks, ” No, but they can happen fast.”

Running back DeMarco Murray (ankle) and wide receiver Raymond Radway (leg) are progressing in their recovery from surgeries. Coach Jason Garrett said he expects to see Murray and Radway work out with the team for the veteran minicamps in June, though it hasn’t been determined if those two players will be limited in any way.

In the last two drafts, the Cowboys picked up starters from the first round in Dez Bryant (2010) and Tyron Smith (2011). Sean Lee (second-round pick in 2010) moved into the starting lineup last season and Bruce Carter (2011 second rounder) is expected to compete for a starting role this year. Can it happen again? “But your expectations are certainly first-and second-round players are starters for you sooner rather than later,” Garrett said.

Nice retirement ceremony for tackle Marc Colombo on Wednesday. He rarely spoke with reporters but was polite and always had time to talk Red Sox and Celtics. “He’s inspirational,” Garrett said, adding later, “A damn good football player.” You hope a similar thing can be done for former center Andre Gurode and inside linebacker Bradie James whenever they decide to retire, if they want to retire as Cowboys, which was the case for Colombo.

Tom Ciskowski, assistant director of player personnel, said the Cowboys don’t have any holes and when asked to expound on it said, “Well, I look at our team and what we’re hopefully going to draft over the next three days to upgrade, like I mentioned earlier. But we’ve got some depth at some positions and I just think even we’re not drafting today we can go play tomorrow. And I think Jerry [Jones] alluded to that that we’re just going to try and find the best football players that we can regardless of the position to help us.”

Some early thoughts on the Cowboys 2012 schedule

The long wait came to end last night as the NFL released the 2012 NFL schedule. So many fans could not wait to look at their teams schedules to see who they played first, did they have any primetime game, were they home or away for more than two weeks in a row, when were the division games being played. Then I’m sure most fans like me went down the schedule one game at time thinking to themselves, that game is a win and so is that game and we can’t lose to that team. By the time they got to the last game their team is normally at 13-3 or maybe 14-2. Don’t lie, we all do it and it doesn’t matter how well or bad your team was the previous season. With a new season comes new hope for all. It reminds me of a movie from 2009 called “Big Fan”. If you have not seen it, you should. It’s about a crazy Giants fan that will do anything for his team including taking a beating from his favorite player and not pressing charges. But at the end of the movie this fan and his best friend are talking about the schedule that was just released and they start doing what I have been talking about as far as thinking their team can win almost every game. It was a moment that we as fans do every year around this time.

So I’m sure by now all Cowboys fans have seen the 2012 schedule. We found out a few weeks ago that the Cowboys would be opening the season against the Giants in NJ. It’s also the eighth time in the last nine seasons that the Cowboys have opened the season on the road. Some other things that jumped out to me were that four of the Cowboys first six games are on the road. That includes their longest trip of the season in Week 2 against Seattle on September 16th.  Along with the Cowboys bye week on October 7th, I guess it can be looked at that they also have two other mini Bye weeks. After playing the Giants the first week of the season on Wednesday, September 5th, they have 11 days to prepare for their trip to Seattle on September 16th. Of course the Cowboys have their annual Thanksgiving Day game, which this season will be against the Redskins on November 22nd. They will have their usual 10 days to get ready for their next game against the Eagles, which is at home on December 2nd.  Another nice thing for the Cowboys is after returning home after their game in Philadelphia on November 11th, they don’t have to travel again until they go to Cincinnati on December 9th. That’s a nice long home stretch for them.

Week 1: at Giants – The Cowboys start the season where they ended the 2011 season . And to make matters worse they have to watch as the team that knocked them out of the playoffs and took the division title away from them celebrate their Super Bowl Championship. The Cowboys have lost 5 of the last 6 to the Giants and are 1-1 in the new MetLife Stadium.

Week 2: at Seattle – Romo returns to Seattle for the first time since that forgettable playoff trip back in 2006 when he fumbled the field goal snap.

Week 3: Tampa Bay – The Cowboys 2012 home opener against the Buccaneers who they have beaten the last four times they have played. Let’s hope the Bucs decide to wear their old orange and white uniforms that remind me of the playoff games against the Cowboys back in the early 80’s.

Week 4: Chicago – The last time the Bears came to Cowboys Stadium they dropped the Boys to 0-2 in what would end up being a 6-10 nightmare season.

Week 5: Bye Week

Week 6: at Baltimore – Last time the Cowboys and Ravens played was the last game ever played in Texas Stadium and ended up not being a memorable one. This time the Cowboys travel to Baltimore. The Cowboys have never beaten the Ravens since they moved from Cleveland.

Week 7: at Carolina – The Cowboys have won the last four meetings against the Panthers and three of those four were in Carolina. This time they will need to stop Cam Newton.

Week 8: Giants – The Cowboys will finish with the Giants before November comes around. Compare that to last season when they played the Giants twice in December. The last time the Cowboys beat the Giants at home was back in 2008, which was in Texas Stadium.

Week 9: at Atlanta – It’s the site of the Cowboys Super Bowl XXVIII victory, which seems like a million years ago for the Cowboys and their fans. Against the Falcons the Cowboys have won the last two meetings.

Week 10: at Philadelphia – The Cowboys have lost the last two meetings to the Eagles and are 2-2 in the last four in Philadelphia. The Cowboys are also 0-3 against Michael Vick as the Eagles QB.

Week 11: Cleveland – The Cowboys have won the last two meetings against the Browns. The last time they played was the season opener in Cleveland back in 2008.

Week 12: Washington – The annual Thanksgiving Day game in 2012 is against the rival Redskins and their new QB RG3, if he ends up with the Redskins with the #2 pick in the draft. The Cowboys have won the last three meetings against the Redskins and six of the last seven.

Week 13: Philadelphia – The Cowboys are 2-2 against the Eagles in the last four games in Cowboys Stadium. One of those wins coming in the 2009 playoffs.

Week 14: at Cincinnati – The Cowboys are only 1-3 when playing in Cincinnati. The last time they played there was back in 2004. Their only win coming in 1994. The Cowboys will also be playing against former Cowboys Terence Newman, Pacman Jones and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

Week 15: Pittsburgh – The last time the Steelers came to Dallas was back in 2004 when Ben Roethlisberger was a rookie. He led the Steelers to two fourth quarter touchdowns to beat the Cowboys 24-20.

Week 16: New Orleans – Back in 2010 the Cowboys played the Saints on Thanksgiving and were losing 20-6 at halftime. After mounting an incredible comeback the Cowboys led 27-23 late in the game when Roy Williams caught a pass which could have sealed the victory, but he fumbled at the Saints 11 yard line. The Saints turned that into a game winning touchdown drive and won 30-27.

Week 17: at Redskins – The Cowboys are 3-1 in the last four games in Washington. That loss coming on opening night of the 2010 season.

So there you have it. Now we sit and wait and wonder what the 2012 season has in store for the Cowboys. Will this be the season they finally make it back to the Super Bowl? Will they even make the playoffs? Will they just miss making it like in 2011? No one knows for sure, but since it’s the Cowboys we do know that the ride will be interesting to say the least.

Cowboys Notes: James & Newman Have New Teams, Felix Jones Is Staying Put

Texans Love Them Some Bradie

Linebacker Bradie James signed a one-year, $890,000 deal with the Houston Texans. He gets $250,000 guaranteed, including $65,000 up front. The Cowboys had no intentions of bringing James back as he lost more and more playing time to second-year player Sean Lee. James was a fourth-round pick for the Cowboys in the 2005 Draft, and led the team in tackles for six consecutive seasons before 2011. He was a fan favorite and very popular during his stint with Dallas. James will be reunited with Wade Phillips who is the Texans’ defensive coordinator.

Out With The Old, Out With The New

ESPN is reporting that former Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman has also found a new home. T-New has reportedly signed a one year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals according to a league source. Newman, a nine-year veteran of the Dallas Cowboys, was released this offseason. In 2011, Newman collected 53 tackles and four interceptions with one returned for a touchdown. It will be interesting to see how sports betting sites will react to Newman playing in Cincy.

Keeping Up With The Jones’

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones is denying a report that team is looking to move running back Felix Jones. Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas reported that oft-injured running back was on the trading block on Monday and that the team has had internal discussions about getting rid of Jones. Stephen Jones said:

“No discussions – or speculation – on the possibility of a trade involving Felix Jones have ever taken place among individuals in this organization who would have the authority to explore such a scenario. Any reports of apparent internal discussions along those lines would involve people who have no input or relevance in the process.”

Jones has started just 16 of 48 games over the last four seasons and has averaged 6.5 yards per carry, including a league-high 5.9 yards per carry in 2009. Last season third round pick DeMarco Murray took over Jones’ spot on the depth chart and the team is also high on Phillip Tanner, an undrafted free agent out of Middle Tennessee State. Jones s in the final year of his rookie contract. This story has legs… Felix Jones is as good as gone in my opinion.

Tony + Candice = Hawkins

Tony Romo is a new daddy… The Cowboys quarterback and his wife, Candice, became first-time parents Monday. Hawkins Crawford Romo checked in at 19 3/4 inches and 8 pounds, 8 ounces, according to Cowboys vice president Rich Dalrymple.

“It’s been fantastic,” Romo said. “You hear about it from your family and friends. Until you experience it, you really can’t put into words how it makes you feel. For me, it just feels like you can tell there’s a god. It just really shows you all the complexities of it. There’s such a sense of responsibility that it just overwhelms you. ”

Congratulations to Tony, Candice and Hawkins!

Three years of thoughts, opinions and even some crazy observations

It was three years ago this month that I had my first article published with LSS. Now over 200 articles later I’m here to say that it’s been a great ride. When Kelly and Joe first gave me the opportunity to write about the Cowboys I thought it was the greatest thing in the world. Growing up I always wanted to be a writer. I had many articles published in the local paper when I was younger that covered many areas in sports. I also went to school for a short time for Journalism. And back in 1994 I actually wrote a book about the Cowboys that covered the years 1980 through 1993. I titled it “Through the Eyes of Fan”. I never attempted to get it published because I really just wrote it for myself. So when I found out I was going to write about the Cowboys for LSS I was beyond excited.

I’m hoping that I have added something positive to LSS over the last three years. As a writer I have tried to go in many different directions. I’ve written about the Cowboys history, latest news, game recaps and flashbacks. I’ve tried to be funny with some of my articles (Dan Bailey article comes to mind), as well as writing a few controversial articles (See my last Tony Romo article). I’ve tried to cover a little bit of everything in my writing. I’ve tried my best to express my thoughts, my opinions and even some crazy observations in the last three years. I’ve written plenty of articles that people have agreed with and plenty that people have not agreed with. I welcome the numerous comments that for the most part have been informative. Of course with the positive also comes the negative. There have also been some not so nice comments about some of my articles to go along with some name calling, which makes me laugh and only makes me continue the conversation. Speaking of laughing, I have come up with a few crazy ideas for articles that have even made me laugh as I was writing them. I don’t know where some the ideas have come from, but when something hits me I just need to start writing and it really doesn’t matter where I am at the time.

Adding to my enjoyment of writing articles about the Cowboys I’ve also met some great Cowboys fans associated with LSS. It’s been amazing getting to know so many fans that live across the country. They bring so many different views about the team that I value greatly.

I would like to thank Kelly and Joe for welcoming me into the LSS family three years ago. I’m sure you have not always agreed with what I have written, but you have always allowed me to write what was on my mind.

What it comes down to is I’ve had a great time writing for LSS. It has been a dream come true for me. It has given me the opportunity to write about everything that I once could only think about writing. Being such a huge fan of the Cowboys for so many years has been incredible, but being able to write about them just makes it so much better. I look forward to even more articles that hopefully everyone will enjoy.

Here are some of my articles that I’m most proud of…

http://lonestarstruck.com/2009/04/why-do-things-need-to-change.html

http://lonestarstruck.com/2009/05/dallas-history-lesson.html

http://lonestarstruck.com/2009/07/what-is-this-game-they-call-the-super-bowl.html

http://lonestarstruck.com/2010/06/enough-already-tony-romo.html

http://lonestarstruck.com/2010/04/the-mind-is-a-powerful-thing.html

http://lonestarstruck.com/2011/06/q-a-with-former-cowboys-qb-danny-white.html

http://lonestarstruck.com/2011/11/its-a-wonderful-life-dan-bailey.html

http://lonestarstruck.com/2012/02/put-the-glasses-on-put-em-on.html

 

I Gotta write!! I Gotta be me!!