Breaking Records and Taking Names

What a season it’s been! There’s no way the Dallas Cowboys are 12-4 without every member on the 2014 team. Their accomplishments were definitely a team effort. Along the way these 4 players made stand out achievements and broke franchise and league records.

Dez Bryant

16

TOUCHDOWNS

Bryant broke the single-season touchdown reception record with 16. (Surpassing Terrell Owens – 15)

BryantRecord

Demarco Murray

1845

RUSHING YARDS

Murray broke Emmitt Smith’s single-season rushing record. Also, he led the NFL in rushing yards. (Notably, Murray also surpassed 100 yards on the ground in 12-of-16 contests.)

rushing2014

MurrayRushingRecord

Tony Romo

33270

PASSING YARDS

Romo passed Troy Aikman to become the Cowboys as the all-time leading passer in franchise history.

RomoRecord

Dan Bailey

90

PERCENT ACCURACY

Bailey became the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history, and also holds the NFL’s title of best field goal percentage.

BAILEYRecord

While these four leaders of the team are humble about their milestones, they continue to focus on the post-season. I guess that’s what makes them so outstanding!

Congratulations #88, #29, #9 & #5! We know you aren’t finished yet!

 

They’re Back! Official Referees Return Tonight

Time to celebrate – the official referees will replace the replacement referees in tonight’s Thursday Night Football game. After three weeks of bad calls and confusion the league and Referee’s Association have agreed to terms on an 8-year deal.

The NFL reports:

The NFL reached an eight-year agreement with the NFL Referees Association on Wednesday night to end the lockout, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the refs will be back on the field starting Thursday night.

The new collective bargaining agreement is the longest between the league and game officials in NFL history.

“The long-term future of our game requires that we seek improvement in every area, including officiating,” Goodell said in a statement released by the league. “This agreement supports long-term reforms that will make officiating better. The teams, players and fans want and deserve both consistency and quality in officiating.

“We look forward to having the finest officials in sports back on the field, and I want to give a special thanks to NFL fans for their passion. Now it’s time to put the focus back on the teams and players where it belongs.”

Goodell temporarily lifted the lockout so officials can work Thursday night’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens (8 p.m. ET on NFL Network). Officials will vote on the agreement Friday and Saturday in Dallas, and a clinic for them will be held after the vote.

NFL.com

Of course Cowboys’ fans will remember when Kevin Ogletree slipped on a referee’s hat in the endzone, that very well could have cost them a touchdown in the game against Tampa Bay. Who knows if it would have been a touchdown but fortunately the Cowboys beat the Bucs 16-10 and Ogletree was not injured.

The league released the following terms of the agreement:

» The current defined benefit pension plan will remain in place for current officials through the 2016 season (or until the official earns 20 years of service). The defined benefit plan then will be frozen.

» Retirement benefits will be provided for new hires, and for all officials beginning in 2017, through a defined contribution arrangement, which will have two elements: an annual league contribution made on behalf of each game official that will begin with an average of more than $18,000 per official and increase to more than $23,000 per official in 2019, and a partial match on any additional contribution that an official makes to his 401(k) account.

» Apart from their benefit package, the game officials’ compensation will increase from an average of $149,000 per year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 by 2019.

» Beginning with the 2013 season, the NFL will have the option of hiring a number of officials on a full-time basis to work year-round, including on the field.

» The NFL will have the option to retain additional officials for training and development purposes and can assign those additional officials to work NFL games. The number of additional officials will be determined by the NFL.

Dez Bryant Detained After Nightclub Scuffle

Update:

According to WFAA-TV, Bryant was detained by police after a Sunday night fight at a Miami nightclub.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Bryant was not arrested or charged.

Original Post 10:00 AM

Robert Littal of BlackSportsOnline.com is reporting that Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has possibly been arrested.

A source informed Littal that Bryant was involved in a physical altercation at a Club last night and that he was possibly incarcerated.

If true, this wouldn’t be Bryant’s first scuffle with the law. The Cowboys’ talented young receiver has frequent bouts with immaturity and making the wrong decisions.

A couple of weeks ago the Cowboys expressed concerns about Bryant.

“We’ve obviously sat down with him on numerous occasions to give any advice we can,” Stephen Jones said on Sirius/XM radio. “Hopefully he’ll be able to correct those things so it doesn’t affect what he can accomplish on the field. If you don’t clean those things up, they tend to affect your career. He understands that.”

Details are still sketchy, but I’ll update this post as more information becomes available.

Call Him Mr. Glass

As I pointed out on September 29, we need a workhorse every-down running back and Felix Jones, who I referred to as Mr. Glass in that post only proved what I said all along.

Jones has been placed in a walking boot this week and is expected to be out anywhere from two to four weeks according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News.

Jones suffered a high ankle sprain in the second quarter of the team’s loss to New England and didn’t return.

Jones has fought through a dislocated shoulder to stay on the field this season. He won’t be able to do that with this injury.

Jones will miss the St. Louis and Philadelphia games at a minimum meaning he won’t return to the field until November.

We’ll save a drumstick and some pecan pie for you, Felix.

Going For The Kill

Anybody who knows me personally, understand my outlook on football and baseball; GO FOR THE KILL NO MATTER THE SCORE!

My buddies and I also refer to it as PLAYING FOR BLOOD!

I have long killed the Cowboys for this basic lack of KILLER instinct. For the better part of the decade this ultimate level of competitiveness has been widely unseen. And that explains all the late game and late season collapses. Only The Strong Survive!

Color me shocked when I read owner Jerry Jones comments after another heartbreaking loss on Sunday.

First of all, this is what he said from the owners box when the Cowboys punted the ball back to the Patriots with more than 3 minutes left on the clock.

“They’re gonna get at least a field goal,” Jones grumbled in his luxury suite after the Cowboys, clinging to a three-point lead with less than three minutes remaining, punted the ball back to the Pats following three consecutive running plays. “We’ll be lucky to get to overtime.”

I grumbled EXACTLY the same words, and of course the inevitable happened leading Jones to say this:

“When you get in a situation like that, you’ve got to go for the kill.  I felt like we could’ve been more aggressive. Our defense had been good all day, but you knew Brady had a length-of-the-field drive in him – so it didn’t surprise me at all when he took them down at the end.”

Wow, is Jerry Jones finally coming around and to his senses? Did he really say we had to go for the kill? I guess Hell has freezed over – now if only he could preach that message to Tony Romo and the rest of the team.

Go For The Kill Cowboys! Don’t Just Say It – DO IT!

Things May Look Bleak For America’s Team, But There’s Still Hope

    Tom Brady #12 Of The New England Patriots Shakes

Many fans question just what it means when analysts refer to a professional sports team as “America’s Team.” This is a label that at different times has been placed on different teams. However, it is perhaps most closely associated with the Dallas Cowboys. Basically, this means that the Cowboys are the most beloved team in the country, or at least have been at times. While most teams have fans primarily within their own home cities, the Cowboys are different, with fans from Dallas, to other major cities, to states like Idaho that lack their own teams. These fans across the country commonly tune in to direct Tv to keep tabs on the Cowboys each NFL season.

Once again this season, the Cowboys entered the year with plenty of hype, with analysts and writers constantly addressing the question of how far this year’s team could go. For the past several years, the Cowboys have been seen as a very talented team with a roster that is fully capable of reaching and competing in the playoffs. However, Dallas has consistently underachieved in recent years, largely thanks to the up-and-down play (and questionable clutch ability) of quarterback Tony Romo. In fact, the Tony Romo situation is beginning to become baffling. The quarterback is continually counted among the top in the NFL, despite the fact that he does not consistently put up top numbers, and cannot seem to keep pace with other “elite” quarterbacks.

So far, the Cowboys are off to a bit of an average start, going 2-3 over the course of the first 5 weeks (with one bye week). They opened the season with a close loss on the road to the Jets, then rolled off back-to-back wins against two surprisingly good teams in the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins. In week 4, the Cowboys suffered a loss to the Detroit Lions, who are one of only two remaining unbeaten teams. On Sunday, the New England Patriots, led by Tom Brady, gave the Cowboys another sobering and crushing defeat in 20-16 loss that came in the final seconds of the game. Ultimately, the season is still promising, however, as the schedule has been difficult and the team is still technically alive in a division that is, so far, underperforming.

It will definitely be interesting to see where the Cowboys go from this point in the season.

Our next contest is against the 0-5 St. Louis Rams followed by the last place Philadelphia Eagles and the 2-3 Seattle Seahawks. After that we have a tough, but not that tough, game against the Buffalo Bills and after that things get really interesting as we play four of our last seven games against division rivals.

Things haven’t been easy for the Cowboys thus far, but from this point forward the schedule becomes easier for the most part, and the Cowboys may still end up in good position to compete for a playoff spot. Either way, we can be sure of one thing: America’s Team will certainly be covered closely over the course of the coming months.

Robinson Always Wanted To Be A Cowboy

Brandon George of Dallas News writes that wide receiver Laurent Robinson has admitted that he’s always wanted to play for the Cowboys.

Robinson is quickly gaining popularity among the fan base especially after his big day last Sunday when he caught seven catches for a career-high 116 yards in the Cowboys’ 34-30 loss.

George quotes Robinson’s mother Linda Brown, who said her son called her after his visit to Dallas while still with the Chargers.

“He said, ‘Mom, I would love to play for the Cowboys,'” Brown said. “I said, ‘I don’t want to even hear it. You’re a Charger!’ I was thinking in my mind that it’s never going to happen. And now it’s all worked out for the best. He loves it in Dallas.”

Robinson is making his way up the team’s depth chart and has now moved into the team’s third receiver spot -after vaulting ahead of Kevin Ogletree who continues to struggle.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett spoke glowingly about his new-found talent at wide receiver:

“I thought he played really well in this most recent game. I thought he got off to a really good start in the Washington game for someone who hasn’t been with us for training camp and was on and off our roster in the early part of the season. He really stepped in and understood what to do and how to do it.”

“The quarterbacks have a real comfort level throwing the ball to him. I think has the ability to run past defenders but also make some plays underneath. I think he’s played well and he’s only going to improve. He goes about it the right way, works very hard. We’re excited to have added him to our team.”

A lot of things went wrong on Sunday… Laurent Robinson wasn’t one of them. I look forward to seeing him continue to grow and take on a more substantive role on the team.

Romo Named NFC Offensive Player of the Week

For the fifth time in his career and the first time in nearly four years, Tony Romo was named  the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week.

Romo led the Cowboys to a thrilling comeback victory last  Sunday against the 40ers with an impressive 345 yard- two touchdown performance.

What made last weekend’s performance all the more impressive was how Romo came back from a punctured lung and broken rib to win the game 27-24 in overtime.

For the Cowboys, this is the first NFC Offensive Player of the Week award since 2009 when Miles Austin won the honor after a 250 yard day in an overtime win over Kansas City.

Congratulations!

The Cowboys Reflect On 9/11

What an emotionally charged evening it will be tonight when the Cowboys take on the New York Jets on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

DallasCowboys.com had a nice tribute piece compete with video that is definitely worth a look.

They also have four narratives from current Cowboys who were very close to the events of that fateful day. Here are two of them.

Jesse Holley, Roselle, N.J.

“I was at school when it happened, and every TV in the school suddenly was on the news. You know how things go, there were whispers all over the school, and every classroom you went into was just complete silence. All the teachers stopped their lesson plans, everybody stopped what they were doing, and we were locked onto the TV in each classroom, just watching and praying for everybody that was there, and checking on your family members that might have been in that area to see if they were OK.

“Being that close to the city, it was a scary situation because you didn’t know when the next one was going to come. You didn’t know where it was coming from. You just hoped that it was the end of the madness for that day.

“That afternoon we went out to the practice field for football practice, and you could still see the smoke coming from the buildings all the way in Roselle, N.J.

“It was hard to concentrate. We had a couple of guys whose moms, dads, brothers actually worked in the city, so we were trying to conduct practice that day, but it was a situation that you just couldn’t even focus on the matter at hand. At that time we just wanted to come together as a group and try to be together, make sure nobody was apart. If you had a situation or problem you were able to get some help and have some guys around you.

“I remember we had one kid on our team whose brother was an FBI agent, and actually worked in the city. He was a really good friend of mine, and he was really down. It just so happened that his brother was running late that morning going to work, and didn’t make it into the city on time, was on his way to work when it happened. And that was a blessing because if he had been at work he would’ve been right there at Ground Zero. He wouldn’t be here today.

“I just remember it vividly. You can still smell the smoke. It’s something that you’ll never forget, a lasting memory that you’ll have forever. It was a horrific situation, one I hope we never have to relive.”

Jason Garrett, Manhattan
“We played Denver on Monday night, in Denver, Sept. 10. My memory of that is it was a rough game for us. Eddy McCaffrey, the receiver for Denver, tore his ACL and was going to be out for the year. Morten Andersen was our kicker, and he missed an extra point because the holder didn’t get the ball placed properly. He came over to me on the sideline and said, ‘You’re holding next week.’

“We got back to the Newark airport at, say, 5 o’clock in the morning, and I was living in the city. So we took a bus from the airport to our complex, and then I drove into the city. My memories are the big story on the radio that morning was Michael Jordan coming back from retirement. I probably got back to my apartment at 7, and my wife and I watched the Today Show for a half hour, and I went to sleep. Now it’s Tuesday, we’re working the next day, I’ll catch up on some sleep on the day off. Probably an hour or so later the sirens going past my windows were just unbelievable.

“We lived at 79th and West End, and West End is a quiet street commercially, even though there’s always noise in New York. But it was just ridiculous, siren after siren. I wake up kind of, ‘What is going on?’ At that time we got a phone call, and Eric Bjornson, who used to play here, a good buddy of mine, called from California and said, ‘Are you guys OK?’ We’re like, ‘What do you mean, OK?’

“‘Turn the TV on.’

“So we did, and probably a half an hour later the second plane went in. You’re watching it on TV, probably four or five miles from the site, and it all feels like a movie. Looking at it on the screen, it doesn’t feel like it’s real life right outside your window. I have a number of friends who worked down in that Wall Street area, in and around those building, so the first inclination is, are those guys OK? You try to make the phone calls and you can’t get through to anybody.

“One of the most interesting memories I have is that the weather was so beautiful that day and that entire week. Just beautiful blue sky, you couldn’t describe it unless you saw it. And then you see people coming from Lower Manhattan north, just walking with their briefcases, north, away from the whole thing. In my mind their suits are kind of tattered. Sometimes your mind kind of conjures those things, but that’s my memory, everybody coming from the south to the north. People were very much in a daze.

“My memory is they didn’t officially cancel or postpone that week’s games until like Thursday, which was ridiculously long given the circumstance. And then when you’re in the city, at different points, you’re not allowed to leave. They’re blocking all the bridges and tunnels. Those logistics of life crept in quickly.

“I played a couple more years with the Giants. Immediately it was an incredibly emotional time. The number of people killed in the tragedy was so pervasive. The firemen, the policemen, all the people you saw on a daily basis were affected by it, and indirectly you were affected by it. It was just really, really emotional and sad.

“But then after that, my memories are of a sense of pride in how people responded to it. I remember immediately afterward there was a call to go give blood. And by the time we went to do it, 24, 48 hours later, they were saying we don’t need any more. People rallied around and were supportive of each other. It’s such a diverse place, but you got the feeling everyone was unified in their response.

“During such a tragic time, the immediate response was just so great, loving and caring and compassionate. Those are my memories as much as anything else. And then it fades from memory a little bit, but I don’t think it faded there. It was in the forefront of everybody’s mind for a long time.”

Cowboys Sign Jason Witten To 5-Year Extension

As first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Dallas Cowboys have signed seven-time Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten to a five-year contract extension.

The report has now been confirmed by Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas.

The Dallas Cowboys on Sunday made sure tight end Jason Witten would be a Cowboy for life with a five-year contract extension. A source familiar with the deal told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter the deal is worth $37 million and includes $19 million guaranteed.

Witten’s deal comes two days after the club signed Jay Ratliff to a five-year extension worth $40 million. The Cowboys and Witten concluded the deal at the team’s Newark hotel late Saturday night.

Like Ratliff, Witten had two years left on his contract and was not scheduled to hit the open market until 2013. He signed a seven-year, $29.5 million deal in 2006 that included $12 million guaranteed, which was the most at the time for a tight end.

Witten commented on the extension via Twitter this morning and said:

“I am blessed to say that I will retire a cowboy!Thx to the jones family, and all the cowboy staff! True honor to put on the star!! #gameday,” he wrote.

Witten, 29, is coming off a 94-catch, 1,002-yard season in 2010 in which he also had a career-high nine touchdowns. By next season, he could become the Cowboys’ all-time leader in receptions.

Getting Up To Speed

If you’re like me, the last off season has been worrisome with the lock-out, not knowing what changes to expect or even if there would be a season this year.  I have to admit, I have stayed away from writing about the Boys because I didn’t want to come across as cold or unconcerned about this season…the truth is, I was mad about it.  We all know that the NFL is a money making machine and for the most part, we are all willing to pay our share to revel in our teams victories, but making the fans believe that there may not even be a season is just cruel.  It seems to me that greed plays far more a roll in the NFL than it should.  But, enough about that, the lock-out is over, practices are in full swing and games begin this week!  It’s about time; this off season has felt like the longest in history!

In trying to make it though until practices started and not much happening in the off season with cuts, etc., I had to get up to speed on what all has happened and thought there maybe others who needed to do the same.  Below is the listing of the cuts and signings the Cowboys have made this year so far to bring us all current.  A few I totally agree with, a few I don’t, and honestly a few I’ve never heard of but will have high hopes for this year.  How do you feel about the cuts or the signings?

I have had enough of the excuses, enough of the bitter disappointments, enough of the changes and re-building…I want to see some major “W’s” in our column this year and expect a play-off run all the way through to the big game.  It’s time for our team to shine again and make everyone remember why the Dallas Cowboys are America’s Team!

 

8/3 Jason Hatcher re-signed/unrestricted
free agent (three-year contract).Abram Elam signed/unrestricted
free agent (one-year contract).

Gerald
Sensabaugh
re-signed/unrestricted free agent (one-year contract).

8/2 Kai Forbath signed.Lawon Scott cut.

Jeff Moturi cut.

8/1 James Cleveland signed.Jimmy Saddler-McQueen acquired from waivers.
7/31 Tysson Poots signed.
7/30 Jesse Holley re-signed/exclusive
rights free agent.Bryan McCann re-signed/exclusive rights free agent.

Alan Ball re-signed/restricted
free agent (one-year contract).

Kenyon Coleman signed/unrestricted
free agent.

Kyle Kosier re-signed/unrestricted
free agent (three-year contract).

Doug Free re-signed/unrestricted
free agent (four-year contract).

7/29 Marcus Spears re-signed/unrestricted
free agent.DeMarco Murray signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Alex Ibiloye signed.

Bruce Carter signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Frank Warren signed.

Lawon Scott signed.

7/28 Kelvin Smith cut.Travis Bright cut.

Shaun Chapas signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Chris Jones signed.

Keenan Mace signed.

Laupepa Letuli signed.

Collin Zych signed.

Billy Blackard signed.

Orie Lemon signed.

Chris Randle signed.

Corey Adams signed.

Josh Thomas signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Alex Albright signed.

Tyron Smith signed/draft choice (four-year contract (fifth-year option)).

Zack Eskridge signed.

Dwayne Harris signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Mario Butler signed.

Kevin Kowalski signed.

Bill Nagy signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Jose Acuna signed.

Phillip Tanner signed.

Lyle Leong signed.

Dan Bailey signed.

Raymond Radway signed.

David Arkin signed/draft choice (four-year contract).

Marion Barber cut.

Leonard Davis cut.

Marc Colombo cut.

Kris Brown cut.

Troy Bergeron cut.

Robert Brewster
cut.

Roy Williams cut.

7/25 Alan Ball Restricted
Free Agent.Gerald
Sensabaugh
declared free agent.

Marcus Spears declared
free agent.

Leon Williams declared
free agent.

Alex Barron declared
free agent.

Kyle Kosier declared
free agent.

Jason Hatcher declared
free agent.

Stephen Bowen declared
free agent.

Doug Free declared
free agent.

Sam Hurd declared
free agent.

Chris Greisen declared free agent.