The Pro Bowl is meant to be closure

Growing up I always loved the Pro Bowl. I couldn’t wait to see all the star players from the NFL together on the same field. To me the game was always meant to be a fun time for everyone who watched. It also meant a relaxing trip to Hawaii for the players lucky enough to be selected as well as their families. I never looked at it as an important game or an overly competitive game. It was a game meant to give the fans a good show and to say goodbye until the start of the next season.

Recently there have been discussions about possibly canceling the Pro Bowl due to lack of effort from some players as well as less interest from fans. If the NFL is determined to keep playing the game the week before the Super Bowl then I will have to agree that the game needs to go away. For the last three seasons that is when the Pro Bowl has been played and I believe that is the reason why things have become so different with the game. I don’t want it to go away because of how much I enjoy it, but the game cannot survive being played before the Super Bowl. It effects player participation and it effects the fans enjoyment of the game.

The game officially became the Pro Bowl back in 1970 after the NFL and AFL merged. From 1970 through 1978 the game was played at different NFL stadiums after the Super Bowl. Starting in 1979 the game was moved to Hawaii where it was played in Aloha Stadium until 2008. Before Super Bowl XLIV in 2009 it was decided to move the game to the site of the Super Bowl in Miami and to play it the week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. In 2010 and 2011 the game was moved back to Hawaii, but it was still played the week before the Super Bowl.

So let’s look at where the problem started which was changing when the Pro Bowl was played. By playing it before the Super Bowl meant that the two teams that advanced to the Super Bowl would not have any of their players who were selected to the Pro Bowl playing in the game for fear of injury, which is understandable. The Pro Bowl is meant to be fun and enjoyable for the players and the fans. It’s the fans chance to watch the best of the best from that NFL season play and just have a good time. The NFL has always preached that they do things in the fans best interest because they are such a big part of the success of the league. If that is really true then the NFL needs to recognize that the Pro Bowl needs to be moved back to where it should be and that is after the Super Bowl.

I understand that many fans are frustrated with the effort of some players and the quality of the game, but the game also needs to be taken for what it is. It’s the gathering of the best in the league who just want to go out and have a good time. And let’s face it the rules also prevent the players from going all out, especially on defense. The rules were put in place to hopefully prevent injury and to allow the players to just have fun. The game planning if very vanilla and the rules benefit the offense more than the defense. There is no blitzing and no rushing on a punt or even field goal attempt. Also, if the quarterback gets into trouble he is allowed to intentional ground the ball. The game is built for the offense’s to showcase their talent, which is why most games are high scoring.

I don’t believe the Pro Bowl was ever meant to be a highly competitive game. The players get to be around each other and build friendships during the week leading up to the game. In the last three years the game has stopped being fun mostly because of it being played before the Super Bowl. So many of the star players have started declining the invitation to go as well as the Pro Bowl players from the Super Bowl teams not participating. I believe with the game being played after the Super Bowl players are more likely to attend so that they can relax and just enjoy the week.

When it comes to being competitive let’s take a look at some of the numbers. Most of the games have been close depending on how you look at it. In my opinion a blowout loss is winning by 20 or more points. It has been 41 seasons since the Pro Bowl started back in 1970. In those 41 seasons only seven times has a team won by 20 or more points. In 33 of the Pro Bowls the winning margin was 14 points or less and in 21 of the games the winning margin has been seven points or less. Three of the highest scoring games have come in the last three years when the game was played before the Super Bowl due to lack of interest and effort in my opinion.

As far as the attendance, in 32 seasons that the game has been played in Hawaii the attendance has been over 50,000 25 times and the other times it has not been below 48,000. Two of the lowest attendance games have been the last two seasons, which is most likely because many elite players are not participating due to getting ready for the Super Bowl or being involved in Super Bowl events.

When it comes to the success of the Pro Bowl I think the solution is simple. Move the game back to where it belongs. Play it after the Super Bowl so that those playing in the Super Bowl will be able to participate and will want to participate. Knowing the season is over and knowing that the off season starts with a vacation in Hawaii must make things so much easier on the players. They can go and enjoy themselves with their families and be around their peers so that they can say goodbye to everyone. Then they can go and play the Pro Bowl the way it was meant to be played, a fun and entertaining game for the fans. And us as fans can get closure on the NFL season to prepare for the long off season.





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…


I Gotta write!! I Gotta be me!!

My top ten Cowboys season openers

One of the best days of the year for football fans is when the NFL schedule is released every spring. Since that is still a few weeks away we were given a little treat yesterday about the Cowboys opening game. The announcement was made that the Cowboys will be opening the 2012 season on September 5th against the Giants at MetLife Stadium.

It got me thinking about other opening day games for the Cowboys. There have been many for the Cowboys of course since 1960, so I’m only going to list my top ten since I have become a fan.

1982 – Cowboys lose to the Steelers, 36-28

In the Monday Night Football opener the Steelers came to Texas Stadium looking to continue their dominance over the Cowboys. With the Steelers glory days coming to an end, they still showed they had a little left as Terry Bradshaw, John Stallworth, Franco Harris and Jack Lambert helped the Steelers to a 33-14 fourth quarter lead. The Cowboys were led by Danny White, Tony Hill, Tony Dorsett and Drew Pearson who put a good fight, but came up short in the end.

1983 – Cowboys beat the Redskins, 31-30

Monday Night Football opener as the Cowboys went to RFK Stadium to take on the defending Super Bowl Champion Redskins. The Skins jumped out to a 23-3 halftime lead. Then Danny White led an incredible second half comeback as he connected with Tony Hill twice in the third quarter. White also threw another touchdown pass in the fourth quarter as well as running one in. Tony Dorsett added 151 yards rushing and the Cowboys completed a 31-30 comeback.

1984 – Cowboys beat the Rams, 20-13

In a not so popular move Tom Landry selected Gary Hogeboom as the starting QB over Danny White to start the 1984 season. Hogeboom on Monday Night Football threw for 343 yards to help the Cowboys win in LA. He also received help from the Cowboys defense that held the Rams offense to 204 yards and collected five interceptions.

1985 – Cowboys beat the Redskins, 44-14

It was another Monday Night Football opener in Texas Stadium. The Cowboys jumped out to a 17-7 halftime lead on the Redskins and never looked back. The Cowboys defense was dominate in the game as they collected seven turnovers, which included six interceptions and two were returned for touchdowns. Five of the interceptions came from Joe Theismann who was benched in the fourth quarter by Joe Gibbs. This game also happened to be Theismann’s birthday and as he sat on the bench towards the end of the game the Texas Stadium crowd began singing happy birthday to him.

1986 – Cowboys beat the Giants, 31-28

In their fifth straight Monday Night Football opener the Cowboys welcomed a new member to the team as they faced the Giants at Texas Stadium. Herschel Walker was signed in the off-season to join Tony Dorsett in the Cowboys backfield. He quickly went to work as he rushed for 64 yards and scored two touchdowns. The second touchdown won the game for the Cowboys late in the fourth quarter.

1989 – Cowboys lose to the Saints, 28-0

In Jimmy Johnson and Troy Aikman’s first game in the NFL things did not go well. Aikman was welcomed into the NFL and only managing 180 yards passing and two interceptions. The Cowboys rushing attack only managed 2o yards as the Saints put a beating on the Cowboys.

1992, Cowboys beat the Redskins, 23-10

In what would end up being a Super Bowl Championship season for the Cowboys, they opened their season on Monday Night Football against the defending Super Bowl Champion Redskins. In Texas Stadium Emmitt Smith rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown. Issiac Holt who was part of the blockbuster Herschel walker trade in 1989 blocked a Redskins punt out of the end zone early to get the Cowboys scoring going. Kelvin Martin added a punt return as the Cowboys dominated.

1995 – Cowboys beat the Giants, 35-0

Monday Night Football in Giants Stadium and it was Emmitt Smith who took his first carry of the season 60 yards for a touchdown and then added three more scores in the game. Smith would go on to a record breaking season of 25 rushing touchdowns and 1,773 rushing yards. The victory also started what would be the Cowboys journey to their third Super Bowl victory in four years.

1999 – Cowboys beat the Redskins, 41-35 in OT

The Redskins jumped out to a 35-14 third quarter lead at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium before Troy Aikman led an amazing comeback. Aikman threw two fourth quarter touchdown passes to Michael Irvin to go along with an Emmitt Smith touchdown run. Smith also rushed for 109 yards in the game. It was in overtime where the Cowboys newest member Rocket Ismail shinned. Not only did he catch eight passes for 149 yards in the game, but the last reception came in overtime as Aikman connected with Ismail who was wide open down the middle of the field and he scored easily from 76 yards.

2007 – Cowboys beat the Giants, 45-35

In Tony Romo’s first ever season opener as a starter he threw for 345 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Cowboys to victory. Jason Witten added 116 yards receiving and a touchdown and Terrell Owens added 87 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants got close to the Cowboys at 38-35 in the fourth quarter, but when Romo connected with Sam Hurd for a 51 yard touchdown it sealed the game.

Things are looking up so far, but what’s next?

The Cowboys were true to their word about being aggressive in free agency this off-season. So far they have signed seven players. The biggest signing was cornerback Brandon Carr who takes over for Terence Newman. They also filled some holes with two offensive linemen (Bernadeau and Living’s), a backup quarterback (Orton), fullback (Vickers), linebacker (Connor) and safety (Pool). Time will tell if these moves were the right moves, but so far the Cowboys have received passing grades for most of their signings. So what’s next?

The Cowboys don’t seem to be finished with free agency with reports that they are now interested in current Packers linebacker Erik Walden, who they drafted in the 6th round back in 2008. Walden was released by the Cowboys before the season in 2008 and was claimed by the Dolphins where he played for three seasons before joining the Packers in 2010. If signed Walden, who is only 26 years old could provide more depth at outside linebacker for the Cowboys.

There is also a report that the Cowboys are looking into another Packers free agent Jarrett Bush. He is known for his outstanding special teams play, but could also add depth at cornerback. Outside of Brandon Carr, Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick the Cowboys really have no depth at cornerback since Alan Ball and Frank Walker are unrestricted free agents. Bush who is 27 years old could bring more youth and experience to the Cowboys defense.

Next month is the NFL Draft and the Cowboys are holding the 14th overall pick. There are countless mock drafts showing the Cowboys picking an offensive lineman, defensive lineman, safety and cornerback. The real positive with the Cowboys signing so many free agents at key positions that it gives them the flexibility to go after the best player available with the 14th pick instead of going after need. Below are some of the players I’ve seen associated with the Cowboys and mock drafts.

DT – Mike Brockers, LSU

CB – Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama

DT – Dontari Poe, Memphis

G – David DeCastro, Stanford

CB – Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama

DT – Devon Still, Penn State

S – Mark Barron, Alabama

It looks as though many mock drafts are focusing on defense when it comes to the Cowboys. So where do the Cowboys go with that 14th pick? Do they continue to rebuild the defense? Do they continue rebuilding the offensive line? Do they trade down and get some additional picks? With all these options plus the free agents that have been signed so far it makes this year’s draft even more exciting. As a Cowboys fan how can you not be excited with what the team has done so far to try and improve. Sure it’s hard to say goodbye to players like Terence Newman (9 seasons) and Bradie James (9 seasons) who played their entire careers for the Cowboys. Also, Kyle Kosier who played six seasons after coming to the Cowboys in 2006. With the moves the Cowboys are making they are looking to get younger in many areas and hopefully bringing in the right mix of players so that they can get to the next level and start competing for another championship.



I Will Always Be A Bradie James Fan

I’ve been very fond of Bradie James for years now. You would often find me screaming, “I love me some Bradie” or simply “BRADDDIIIEEEE” during games and game chats.

Learning that the Cowboys issued a newly signed player the #56, really hurts. Bradie hasn’t even been released or moved on to another team yet. I understand the business, but I dont have to like it.

Bradie is a wonderful person and a great veteran leader, I wish him the best in everything he does. I will always be a fan.

Welcome to the family! (Updated)

After a slow first day in free agency for the Cowboys they have been busy filling holes and adding depth to the team. Here are the newest members of the Cowboys family.

Brandon Carr, CB

The biggest signing was cornerback Brandon Carr who signed for five years after spending his first four years in the league with the Chiefs. Carr, who is only 25 years old, will take the place of recently released Terence Newman. In Carr’s four years he has eight interceptions, four of them coming in 2011. Carr will team up with Mike Jenkins who is coming off an injury plagued season in 2011. With added youth to the Cowboys secondary in Carr plus his big play ability the Cowboys secondary should improve in 2012.

“From the moment they came and got me to the moment I got to the stadium, it was just red-carpet treatment,” Carr said. “They showed they wanted me. They were genuine with their words. That played a part in the process and my decision-making. The stadium is phenomenal – the best in the world. I’m excited to get in the uniform, get in the stadium and get to work.”

“I’m ecstatic. It’s been a long, long time and I’ve been waiting for this opportunity,” Carr said Wednesday in between signing his contract and watching more tape with the defensive coaches. “To not only secure myself financially, but also to elevate my game to be at the highest level, which is the Dallas Cowboys. Now it’s time to turn my game up another notch.”

Kyle Orton, QB

The Cowboys added a quality backup to Tony Romo in Kyle Orton who signed a three year contract. With the retirement of John Kitna this off-season the Cowboys needed to bring in someone who would be ready to take over in the event of an injury to Romo. Although Stephen McGee has done a nice job filling in for Romo when called on, the Cowboys felt that more was needed. In Kyle Orton, who is 29 years old they get an eight year veteran who has started for the Bears, Broncos and Chiefs. He has thrown for over 14,000 yards in his career, twice throwing for over 3,000 yards in 2009 and 2010. He has also thrown 80 touchdowns and only 57 interceptions. Orton provides the Cowboys with a quality backup with the experience needed to get the job done if called upon.

Lawrence Vickers, FB

With the possible loss of fullback Tony Fiammetta the Cowboys went out and signed 28 year old Lawrence Vickers to a two year contract. Vickers played his first five seasons in Cleveland before moving onto Houston last season where he led the way for Adrian Foster’s 1,200+ yards rushing.  With Fiammetta in the lineup last season the Cowboys rushing game seemed to be at its best and then seems to take a nose dive after he went out for a few games with an inner ear problem.  Hopefully with the experience of Vickers as a lead blocker the Cowboys rushing attack with return to what it was with DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones.

Makenzy Bernadeau, G

With the interior of the offensive line in question the Cowboys went out and signed guard Makenzy Bernadeau from the Panthers to a four year contract. Bernadeau spent his first four seasons with the Panthers and started 20 games. He is only 26 years old and will battle for a starting job with players like David Arkin, Bill Nagy and Kevin Kowalski. Other players like Montrae Holland and Derrick Dockery are unrestricted free agents and may not return to the team.

Brodney Pool, S

Brodney Pool comes over from the NY Jets where he played the last two seasons. He played his first five seasons with the Browns. At 27 years old Pool brings more youth to the Cowboys secondary to go along with newly signed Brandon Carr. Pool played for Rob Ryan in Cleveland in 2009 where he had a career high four interceptions. The Pool signing may also signal the end for Abe Elam who was signed last year to a one year contract and is currently an unrestricted free agent. Pool signed a one year contract with the Cowboys.

Dan Connor, LB

Dan Connor comes over from the Panthers where he has played since 2008 and started 19 games. Eleven of his 19 starts came in 2011. At 26 years old Connor brings more youth and experience to the linebackers as well as depth. Adding Connor means competition with Bruce Carter for the other inside linebacker spot next to Sean Lee. Conner played with Sean Lee while both were at Penn State.  It also could mean that veterans Keith Brooking and Bradie James, who are unrestricted free agents, will not be asked back. Terms of Connor’s contract have not been disclosed yet.


Nate Livings, G

The Cowboys continue to add to their interior line with the signing of guard Nate Livings from the Bengals. Living’s has played with the Bengals since 2006 and has started every game the last two seasons. At 30 years old Living’s brings more experience to the offensive line and hopefully added protection for Tony Romo. He was signed to a five year contract.


The Cowboys also lost a few players through Free Agency. Laurent Robinson who caught everyone’s eyes in 2011 including Tony Romo’s has signed with the Jaguars. His offensive production will be missed by the Cowboys, but the Jaguars offered him $32.5 million over five years and that price was just too much for the Cowboys. The Cowboys will give a good look at current players Andre Holmes and Dwayne Harris as the third receiver. There have also been rumors that they will reach out to free agent receiver Early Doucet.

The Cowboys also lost backup tight end Martellus Bennett who signed with the division rival Giants. Bennett never really performed at the level that the Cowboys had hoped for when he was drafted. As for the fans most saw Bennett as a comedian who never took things seriously.

So far the Cowboys have done a nice job in free agency trying to fill some holes on offense and defense. The NFC East will once again be very competitive and the Cowboys will need to be improved to keep up. With the draft a little over a month away the Cowboys hope to improve even more as they are currently sitting with the 14th pick overall.


Carr, Orton and Pool In… Robinson, Newman and Buehler Out…

There’s a lot of stuff going on today, so pay attention…

The Dallas Cowboys have signed formerNew York Jets safety Brodney Pool, coach Jason Garrett said during a Thursday morning conference call.  Terms were not disclosed.

Pool played for the Jets the last two seasons and was credited with four quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and one interception last season. Garrett said the team wanted to sign Pool last year, during the brief free agency period, but was unable to due to finances.  “He has some really good ball skills,” Garrett said.

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The Cowboys signed quarterback Kyle Orton to replace the retired Jon Kitna as the backup to Tony Romo. Coach Jason Garrett was happy to add Orton saying,

“He’s going to be ready to play. Line one when you’re evaluating a backup quarterback is the ability to go in and play and help your team win and we feel like he can do that, but he also brings a lot of other things to our team, leadership, understanding of what his role is and I think he can help us in a lot of different ways. We felt like he was one of the premiere quarterbacks out there in free agency.”

Damn, that’s what I call pouring it on thick…

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The Cowboys visited with Carolina free agent linebacker Dan Connor on Wednesday and those talks will continue today, coach Jason Garrett said.

“We’re excited to meet with Dan Connor, a Penn State guy, drafted by Carolina. He’s the right kind of guy, a very productive player for them, and a very productive player in college,” Garrett said. “We’ve had a good visit with him so far and we’ll get the chance to visit with him more today and just see where we are and where he is and continue along with this process.”

On the subject of linebackers, veterans Bradie James and Keith Brooking won’t be back.  Sean Lee who is coming off a breakout 2011 season, may benefit from the addition of Dan Carter as both were teammates at Penn State.

I’d take Connor in a heartbeat… Or in half a heartbeat…

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The Cowboys finally addressed one of their biggest deficiencies of the last four seasons, and stepped up big-time signing free agent cornerback Brandon Carr to a reported five-year, $50 million contract on Wednesday, making him one of the highest paid players at his position.

It’s about freaking time!

“We’re fired up,” Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. “He’s a great guy. We loved him on tape. We got the right corner.”

Carr, 25, is a 6-foot, 207-pounder bruiser that intercepted eight passes during his first four NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. He had four interceptions last year and has broken up 59 passes in the past three seasons.

“I’m very excited,” Carr told the Cowboys’ official website on Wednesday. “I’ve been waiting for this day for a very long time. I’m humble. I’m grateful to be here. I’m blessed to be in this situation. I was blown away,” said Carr, who mentioned that he’s always been a Cowboys fan.

Somebody pinch me, I think I’m dreaming…

See ya, T-New… Don’t let the door slam your ass on the way out….

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Finally, I was sad to learn that wide receiver Laurent Robinson will not be Cowboy next season and that he signed a five-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. :-(

Robinson emerged as the Cowboys’ third receiver last season and led the team with 11 touchdown catches. Robinson said he would have loved to return to play for the Cowboys, but owner Jerry Jones never made a move to keep him in Blue and Silver.

The pressure will be on next season for Dez Bryant and Miles Austin… You better believe it…

You already know that Bueler was cut, so….

Busy day in Cowboys Land…