New to the Silver and Blue: Brandon Carr

When the Cowboys picked up free agent, corner-back, Brandon Carr, I knew nothing about him.  When they signed him to a 5 year, $50.1 million contract, I was shocked to say the least. After letting Newman go, we knew he would fill his spot on the roster. I was wondering if he would be able to. So far his preseason I’ve been extremely impressed with his talent. He seems to be fitting right in to the defense.

I also liked his comments on the Dallas Cowboy organization soon after signing. “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 me 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.” Carr also said  he was ecstatic after signing his contract. “It’s been a long, long time, and I’ve been waiting for the opportunity.” Carr said, “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.”  I think the work effort he put in at camp and his efforts in this pre-season so far proves he meant his words.

Carr was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round in the 2008 draft. On the final play of the chiefs 2011 season, Carr intercepted a Tim Tebow pass, not a bad way to end your season and career in KC.

John L. Carr and Kathy Robinson Carr brought Brandon Carey Carr into this world May, 19th 1986 in Flint, Michigan.  He attended Grand Valley State starting 41 of his 49 games. He helped the Lakers win back-to-back NCAA Division II national championships.  Brandon also received the Defensive Back of the Year honor by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference his senior year.

I think Brandon will improve the Dallas Cowboy defense and will be a stand out player for us for years to come. Newman was a solid player for many years. I hope Brandon Carr can be as large part of the team as Newman.

What do you think of Carr so far in this pre-season?

New to the Silver and Blue: Kevin Kowalski

If you are a Dallas Cowboy fan, you know that a lot of the most productive players current and past aren’t drafted, but undrafted free agents.

Another free agent added to the team this season is rookie center Kevin Kowalski.

Kevin is 6’2″ weighing in at 200 lbs. and playing behind center Phil Costa. Kevin has played in five games so far this season. His first snaps with Tony Romo was in a pre-season game against Minnesota, in which he handled himself amazing well since Tony had barely met him before Kevin learned he was going to play in that pre-season game.

Our offensive line coach said in a past interview ” He’s is a guy that’s always prepared, If there is anyone that’s going to come off the bench and do well it would be the guy that’s in there doing extra work and studying the tape. That’s exactly what Kevin is. Always prepared, always knows what to do.”

Kevin Kowalski, #60, was born in Macedonia, Ohio on January 2, 1989 and attended Nordonia High School where he was named to the first-team Division II All-Ohio team as a senior.

Kevin attended Toledo College and earned a degree individualized Studies. He played right guard as a freshman and was part of an offensive line that allowed just 16, sacks, tying for 19th best in the nation. He was moved to center his junior year, starting all 12 games, and anchored an offensive line that ranked 16th in the nation in total offense and 18th in passing offense. As a senior he started all 13 games at center and was invited to play in the 2011 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

Kevin wasn’t overwhelmed when he had to come in against the Giants after Costa suffered from concussion like symptoms. Since Tony and Kevin don’t practice during the week there where a few communication issues in the game. Kevin commented “It’s just something that’s kind of been expected since I’ve been here, from what happened in the preseason to early on in the season; I know that I’ve been in situations where I have had to be prepared.”

“He did a great job coming in, not having had reps with me,” quarterback Tony Romo said. “I was proud of him.”

Cowboys Third Rounder DeMarco Murray Is Ready For Prime Time

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

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

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

Most importantly with no fumbles!

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

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

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

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

When asked about  injuries he replied:.

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

When asked what he learned most playing in college:

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

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

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

Check Out Undrafted Free Agent, Orie Lemon

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wonder what his nickname will be?

The Battle Is On!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Dwayne Harris Ready To Start At # 3 WR?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome to the Cowboys!

New To The Silver & Blue: Tyron Smith – OT

By now, every Cowboys fan knows that the team selected offensive lineman Tyron Smith with their 1st round draft pick earlier this year, but did you know that it had been 30 years since the last time the Cowboys drafted that position with their first round pick? It’s true, the Dallas Cowboys selected offensive lineman Howard Richards with their first round selection 1981. That was the year that we were all was introduced to Indiana Jones and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” topped the box-office.

Whenever I write something about the newest Cowboy, Tyron Smith, I’m tempted to type in all caps because he is such a monster when it comes to his size!  The young tackle out of Southern California checks in at 6’5  and weighs 307 pounds.  Tryon’s hands were each measured at 11 inches.  The former USC star acknowledges his size as one of his main assets:

” My strength is my size,” I intimidate other guys because I’m big and I’m working on getting bigger. I want to work on my footwork. Since I’m so big, sometimes I get off balance.” 

Tyron was born December 12, 1990 in Moreno Valley California. He attended Rancho Verde High School where he played offensive and defensive line.  He earned numerous honors.  Even as a kid, listed him as the #1 offensive tackle prospect in the nation.  They nailed it on this one.

The analysis from USC pro-day reported that his pass blocking is his best trait,  saying he’s quick off the snap and can catch and turn his opponent away from the play. His athleticism enables him to explode out of the gate and make down-field blocks.

In his last season at USC, the Trojans allowed only 18 sacks, and averaged 189 yards per game in 2010, both were conference bests.

At Pro-day he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.91 and just as impressive for his size was his broad jump at 9-1 and his vertical at 29 inches. The ground must have shook when he landed. :-)

Smith is very comfortable blocking in an open space.  He can sink his hips to counter the bull-rush. He moves his feet well to shadow quicker speed rushers. 

It’s no wonder Smith was by far the number one offensive tackle in the draft – nobody else even came close. Romo must have been doing cartwheels on Draft Day! (Don’t strain yourself Tony!) 

Blessed with the prototype combination of size, balance and agility, he has the potential to develop into a top-flight left tackle in the NFL. He emerged as a standout in the Pac-10, winning the Morris Trophy as the conference’s top offensive lineman as voted by the league’s defensive linemen.

Among his weaknesses (hey, nobody’s perfect!) some experts say he needs to develop his football instincts, so that he won’t easily be baited by stunts. He must also key in on recognizing the blitz.  Right now, they seem to think he can be beat by speed to power  rushing moves.  But with that said, let me add that the Cowboys defense is known for their speed, so working against them in camp will help him improve on defending against a speed/rush offense. (It’s all good!)

Here are some highlights…

  • Smith was the country’s highest-ranked offensive linemen. 
  • Smith made a huge impact in his two seasons as the Trojans starting offensive tackle, before declaring early for the 2011 draft.
  • Consensus All-Pac 10 first-team choice, named the Trojans’ Offensive Lineman of the Year
  • The only player in the Pac-10 Conference to register 100 knockdowns for the season, receiving first-team all-league honors.
  • Smith had thirteen touchdown-resulting blocks and allowed only one quarterback sack in his final season. He had 23 blocks for touchdowns in his two years as starter.
  • Tyron was the recipient of the Pac-10 Morris Award, given to the league’s top lineman.

After watching video of him, and with Coach Ryan coming in, it will be interesting to see if the coaching staff can help him with his football IQ and quickly get Smith up to speed and make the improvements that will make him a starter. I believe they will.

There’s a lot to like here!

New To The Silver & Blue: Rob Ryan

I have to admit when I found out  Rob Ryan was being considered for the defensive coordinator spot  I was confronted by a flash of  Buddy Ryan coaching our rivals the Eagles and thoughts of him sounding off on Jimmy Johnson and the Cowboys. Now it’s funny when we hear sound bites now and again of the argument but back then I was one mad Cowboy Fan.  However that is the past, and we are now moving on to the future.

I didn’t know anything about the Ryan family when I started researching however I learned some very interesting facts.

Rob was born December 13, 1962 in Ardmore, Oklahoma.  He is the son of former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan and his twin brother Rex is the current head coach of the New York Jets.

Rob’s parents Buddy and Doris divorced in 1966 and the boys moved to Canada with their mother. In 1974 they came back to the states to live with their father.  Rob attended high school in Linconchire, Illinois.

Rob attended college at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, where our own Kelly Horn graduated, where he played defensive end opposite his brother Rex.

Rob’s resume is a long one. He began his coaching career in 1987.

Here is his coaching resume:

  • 1987 Assistant at Western Kentucky
  • 1988 Ohio State – Linebacker
  • 1989-93  Tennessee State – RB, LB and DL
  • 1994-95  Arizona Cardinals – Defensive Backs
  • 1996     Hutchinson Community College
  • 1997-1999  Oklahoma State – Defensive Coordinator
  • 2000- 03    New England Patriots – Linebacker
  • 2004 – 08   Oakland Raiders – Defensive Coordinator
  • 2009-10  Cleveland Browns – Defensive Coordinator

While that is impressive, I wanted to know how good is he at his job. He was named Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 1997 by the Sporting News for getting  Oklahoma State’s defense ranked among the best in the nation. In 2003 New England’s defense ranked 1st in the NFL in fewest points allowed, along with best scoring defense in 2001.

I was pleased to find out that his players admitted that he is a coach that demands respect but that they loved playing for him. Buddy Ryan said his son gets 100% out of each player.

Rob Ryan has an abundance of experience and unlike his father, his players respect him and he gets the best out of each player. Along with stars like DeMarcus Ware and Jay-Rat, he will also have young talent to work  with. It will be interesting to see if he can turn Mike Jenkins around and what he can turn Bryan McCann into. He has talented veterans to depend on along with the young guns to mold.

I am not a Buddy Ryan fan, but I have to admit his sons seem to have learned something  Buddy himself didn’t – Coaches must  have players respect.

I can’t wait to see what the 2011 season has to offer. With Jason Garrett at the helm and Rob Ryan pumping up the defense we will definitely improve this season. We just need to take it one game at a time.

New To The Silver & Blue: Bryan McCann

Bryan McCann caught a lot of fans attention during training camp and pre-season this spring only to be claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Ravens on September 5, 2010.  Fortunately for us he was cut by the Ravens after one game.  It didn’t take long for the Cowboys to re-sign him on September 16th. He was signed to the practice squad for a few months and was added to the active roster on November 4th.

It didn’t take long for this undrafted free agent to obtain his first NFL interception, picking off Eli Manning, returning it 101 yards for a touchdown.  That play also added him to the Dallas Cowboys record books for longest interception return once held by Mike Gaechter. McCann was also named Defensive Player of the Week.

The next week against the Detroit Lions he made a play on special teams that proved he is also a smart player that listens and learns from his coaches. McCann knew what he was doing when he picked up the ball from the three yard line and returned it 97 yards for his second NFL touchdown. Coach DeCamillis had preached since spring drills, if a member of the punt team has touched the ball the receiving team can attempt to advance it with no consequence. So even if McCann had fumbled it, the Cowboys still would of had it on the three yard line. This is a rookie we are talking about!  He is talented, smart and studies film over and over. Wow!

So where did this kid come from?

Here is a little background on undrafted free agent Bryan McCann.  He was born on September 29, 1987 in Lawton, Oklahoma. He attended Putman City High School in Oklahoma City, he was rated 20th best player in Oklahoma by and the 25th best player by the Daily Oklahoman. McCann lettered in football, basketball and track.

McCann turned down offers to play for Stanford, Northwestern, Tulsa, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, UAB and Rice. He choose to play for SMU where he played safety, cornerback and returned punts.

I can’t wait to see this young man’s future unfold.  With his work ethic and talent, the sky is the limit. I hope to see him in a Cowboy uniform for along time to come.

A Baby Moose Is On The Loose!

When I watch rookie free agent fullback #44 Chris Gronkowski I see a young Moose.

He has his size and build, and he seems to have the same heart and determination that Daryl Johnston had.

Gronkowski seems to be fitting into the offensive unit very nicely. He blocks well and as we saw in his first start against the Chicago Bears he can get open for a touchdown. Actually, that is really amazing – his first NFL start and he gets a touchdown. Not to shabby for a undrafted free agent that had to fight to get onto the 53 man roster.

So how much do the Cowboys love Chris Gronkowski? Well, just before the start of Sunday’s game, the Cowboys released fullback Deon Anderson to make room for tight end Scott Chandler. See ya, Deon…

Rookie Chris Gronkowski in now firmly entrenched into the starting fullback role.

Chris was born in Buffalo, New York December 26, 1986. Chris’s family have football running through their veins. His younger brother Rob and older brother Dan both play tight end for the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos.

Chris played High School football at Williamsville North, where he lettered for three years in football and baseball. Chris then continued playing ball when Maryland recruited him to play fullback, but red-shirted his freshman year. Chris had the eighth highest strength index on the team which was the best among running backs.

In 2007 he transferred to Arizona where he played linebacker. He went back to the starting fullback position in 2008.

Chris did not attend the NFL Scouting Combine in 2010. He declared for the 2010 NFL Draft and was thought to be a high 4th round selection, but instead went undrafted. Chris signed with the Cowboys one day later. He started his first game September 19, 2010 to catch a one yard pass from Tony Romo for his first NFL touchdown.

The Cowboys have always been good at picking up talented undrafted free agents and making them a big part of the team. I think they have found another jewel in Gronkowski.

Chris loves the game of football and gives 110% every play.  So you see… We really do have another Moose!

On a personal thank you all for all the concern over my health issues. I am feeling much better and LSS readers I am back. Hugs to all of you!

New To The Silver & Blue: Akwasi Owusu-Ansah

Here’s a quick peak into the Cowboys 4th round pick in the 2010 draft, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. First lets learn how to pronounced  his name; e-kwah-see o-woo-soo ahn-sah. Okay that didn’t help me at all did it you? I have since found out that he likes to be known simply as “Kwasi”.  Whew… I am sure once he makes the team he will earn a cool nickname too.

I had never heard of this young player before we drafted him.  From the research I have done I feel like he will be a project for Jerry Jones.  Akwasi played college football for the IUP Crimson Hawks of NCAA Division II. The Cowboys are in real need of a corner/safety player.  Can Akwasi fill that role?

Akwasi participated in the Pro Day workout at Ohio State University, where he recorded the fastest 40 yard dash time. He is 6′ 0″ and weighs 207 lbs.  He will be wearing the number 27 and his birthday is April 10,1988.

The stats I read weren’t all that impressive.  He didn’t really come into his own until his junior  year. So I wasn’t all that impressed until I watched some video of this young man play.  Wow is all I have to say.  I had to re-watch it.  When teams threw the ball to his side of the field I saw a amazing player that was determined to make a play on the ball. Which he did time after time.  He is also a top notch return man. He returned 5 kicks for touchdowns in 2009.  I think he will contribute to the team on special teams while developing his skills as a safety and adjusting to the NFL.  

Jerry Jones has developed players, look at Miles Austin and I think Kevin Ogletree is another work in progress that is a great example.  After seeing this kid play I can see why the Cowboys believe in this young players talent and determination.

New To The Silver & Blue: Sean Lee

Sean Lee, a Pittsburgh native, has gone from rooting against the Dallas Cowboys to wearing the Blue and Silver, and getting private tutoring in rookie mini-camp as he is the only linebacker in camp.

In a recent interview Lee admitted being from Pittsburgh there was no option but to root against them.

” I’m trying to recruit as many Cowboys fans as I can. As soon as I got the call from Mr. Jones, we went out and bought all the Cowboys gear we could find in  Pittsburgh-which wasn’t very much.” 

Sean Patrick Lee was born on July 22 1986. His older brother Conor, was the placekicker for the University of Pittsburgh from 2005-2008 and was the 2008 Big East Football Scholar-Athlete of the year. 

Sean began his High School career at Upper St. Clair High School. A school known for its renowned linebacker corps, playing for head coach Jim Render. Sean ‘s high school team had a terrific record of 31-4 during his three years as a starter. In Sean’s senior year they recorded a record of 11-1. He had 95 tackles and four interceptions his senior year.  In the tailback position he ran for 1,240 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also returned a punt for 75 yards for a touchdown. He was a first-team Associated Press Class AAAA All-State selection and was Male Athlete of the Year in 2005.

Sean graduated from Penn State in December 2009, with a degree in Finance, attaining a 3.09 grade point average. He is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten Conference choice and added Academic All-District honors from ESPN in 2007. Sean was the 23rd pick in the second round of the 2010 draft.

Sean was the most versatile of the team playing all three linebacker positions.

  • Freshman – left outside linebacker
  • Sophomore – middle line-backer
  • Junior – right linebacker
  • Senior – left outside linebacker.

He was one of the hardest hitters on the team and ranked in the top seven players for tackles per games in the Big Ten.

Sean seems to be an all around athlete that can become a play-maker for the Dallas Cowboys.

He is known to be a leader and one of the nicest players on the team. He lends his free time to the Make a Wish foundation, Habitat for Humanity and the Special Olympics.

It seems he is a good fit for the Cowboys, but of course only time will tell.

Sean, welcome to the Dallas Cowboys!