A Fans Point Of View

I thought that this blog would be a little different than the last one I have written. I feel I have let my fellow writers down since I started writing for Lone Stay Struck. I never did “officially” introduce myself.

Well, I feel that there is no better time than now to tell you a little about me and my desire, passion and love for the Dallas Cowboys. Here is just a small example of what I go through each and every week as I prepare for the next game.

MONDAY: As I slowly make my way out of bed and into the shower I reflect on the game and a smile comes to my face I think to myself, WOW, The Cowboys just beat the Eagles for the third time this season, second time in a row. After a long day a work and a lot of trash talking back and forth, I finally collect my debts owed to me from the “haters” that bet against the Cowboys. I get home from work and immediately turn on sports center to catch up on the sports news of the day, and of course watch more highlights of the game. Monday is also poker night, and more trash talking and reflecting on a great game.

TUESDSAY: Out of bed and into the shower and on my way to work. Now the talk shifts to the following week’s game. I hear, Cowboys can not beat the Vikings, Favre is too good, and the Eagles don’t have Adrian Peterson. No the Eagles do not have Peterson, but the Boys still have Ware and Spencer, a comeback that causes silence.

WEDNESDAY: Had to work overnight and get home just in time to get the kids up for school and my son asks me, “Dad, do the Cowboys play today?” I feel proud as I now know I am raising my son the right way. Starting to get hyped up and excited, only a few more days until the big game. I make sure my jersey, beanie and jacket are clean and ready to be worn. Once again, poker night, and more trash talking and reflecting on a great game.

THURSDAY: Again had to work overnight, wife get kids off to school and I get to rest. Cowboy’s slippers, pajamas, cup and Sports Center to start my day. I make my arrangements on where I am going to be watching the game. Unfortunately, this time I know I have to work on Sunday so I am going to record the game and come home from work and watch it.

FRIDAY: I jump out of bed grab the phone and start calling my dad, brother and friends to talk about the game. I double check to make sure I have what I need on Sunday and make more phone calls. Hyped up and ready to go, cant’ wait for Sunday, GO COWBOYS!!!!!!!

This is just a small version of what I go through week in and week out throughout the football season. As you can imagine it can be hectic and fun all in one. Hopefully I did not bore you too much while telling you a little about me and how I make it week to week while our Cowboys make their run to the Super Bowl.

Cowboys Extra Points: Tackles and Trash Talk

Gerald Sensabaugh has been fined by the NFL for a horse collar tackle during last Sunday’s game.

Josh Ellis reports,

Safety Gerald Sensabaugh received notice Wednesday of a $5,000 fine for a horse collar tackle in the second quarter of Sunday’s win over Tampa Bay.

Though no flag was thrown, the league’s official review concluded the first-year Cowboy had illegally pulled down Bucs running back Cadillac Williams from behind. Sensabaugh said he thought it was a legal tackle because he had grabbed Williams’ jersey, not the inside of his pads.

I clearly remember the play, and I even questioned if it was a horse collar during our live game chat. Seems a little harsh to fine someone $5,000 when no penalty was called, and no one was hurt.

* * *

Tony Romo has been nominated for the NFL’s FedEx Air & Ground Player of the Week Award. You can vote up until Friday at 11 a.m. CST. Place your votes – Romo is up against Drew Brees and Joe Flacco.

Oddly enough former Cowboy Julius Jones is up for the ‘Ground’ award, along with Thomas Jones and Adrian Peterson.

* * *

Linebacker Stephen Hodge had microfracture surgery on his left knee while linebacker Brandon Williams is expected to have his reconstructive knee surgery within the next couple of weeks.

* * *

Felix oh Felix! Please stay healthy!

Felix Jones was limited in play during last Sunday’s game due to a bruised thigh, and will possibly be limited this week as well. Here is what has been posted on the Cowboys official website.

RB Felix Jones – quad (9/13) – Although he continued to play, Jones was limited after suffering a quad injury during a big tackle in the first quarter. The Cowboys held him out of some third-down plays and replaced him in the second half with Miles Austin on one kickoff return.

* * *

Have you heard what Brandon Jacobs said yet?

“No question,” he replied. “I hate the Cowboys with a bloody passion.”

I asked him what the difference between a “regular passion” and a “bloody passion” was.

“You want to go into the game as being assassins,” he said, referring to the feelings of bloody passion, “instead of tough football players in a game like that.”

He most likely heard what DeMarcus Ware said, “I hate those New York Giants!”

Nothing like some good old fashioned division rivalry trash talk! Bring on those Giants!

StarStruck Graphics

Fantasy Football Running Back List

Hey everyone, I hope everyone has had a good week since my last post. A lot has gone on in the Dallas Cowboys organization this week. With T.O. running his vapid mouth again, to the Greg Ellis situation, we sure have had a lot to talk about. I recently watched a feature on which was  a round table discussion with Deion Sanders, Warren Sapp, and Marshall Faulk. They seem to think that Dallas is going to have a hard time winning 8 games this year. Lets hope that they are wrong. I personally, don’t care about ANYTHING Warren Sapp has to say about anything. Heres hoping that the Cowboys are the sleeper story of the next NFL season. I really need something to shut up the haters that live in my part of the world. The Baltimore/Washington DC area….Enemy Territory.

Anyhow, getting down to business at hand, I promised to start with the Fantasy ranking of each position. As preseason comes around, some of these rankings may change, due to injuries and other factors. I am going to start with the rankings for Running backs. I will be doing a top 12 list for all positions, due to the fact that most Fantasy leagues that I have played in have about that many teams competing. The numbers I put up in this article are based on LAST Season.

  1. Michael Turner (ATL) – I may get flak for putting him at the #1 spot for this season, but I think that his numbers might be better than Adrian Peterson’s. This guy was a beast in every aspect of Fantasy football last year. Turner ran for 1,699 yards and scored a hefty 17 touchdowns for the season. He rarely fumbles, only losing the ball 3 times. He gets lots of touches in the Falcons offensive scheme and makes the most of them, averaging 106 yards per game.

  2. Adrian Peterson (MIN) – This guy is a beast in every aspect of Fantasy football. He had 20 rushes over 20 yards last season, and also pulled together 1,760 yards rushing for the season. This guy is a workhorse if there ever was one. The only downside to having him as your main running is that of all the premier Running backs in the league, he only scored 10 touchdowns all season and also coughed up the ball 9 times.

  3. Clinton Portis (WAS) – Even though he plays for the hated Redskins, Portis is a solid 1st round pick. He gets a lot of touches and averages about 4.5 yards per carry. He rushed for 1,487 yards last season. Portis can sometimes be streaky though. Last season, he exploded in the beginning of the season and kind of dropped off when the Redskins imploded last year. He also only scored 9 touchdowns. Bottom line, Portis will give you good numbers.

  4. LaDainian Tomlinson (SD) – In past years L.T. was almost a sure bet for being the #1 overall Fantasy draft pick. However it is widely speculated that his performance is dropping off. I don’t know if I agree with this consensus, but it does seem to be a fact. Tomlinson ran for 1,100 yards last season and put up 11 TD’s. He didn’t have the carries that he usually did, due to injury, and if he stays healthy this year, he is definitely someone you want to pick up in the 1st round.

  5. DeAngelo Williams (CAR) – He had a great season last year averaging 5.5 yards a carry and putting up 1,515 yards for the season. He was limited to only 273 carries but managed to score 18 times. His Fantasy numbers were great last year, the only question is, Will he be able to repeat the same success as last season?

  6. Brandon Jacobs (NYG) – Jacobs is a bulldozer of a running back, he ended up in opponents end zones 15 times last season, and averaged 5 yards a carry. While he doesn’t get the carries some of the other premier backs do, he definitely makes the most of them. If he is still on the board in the 1st round by the time your pick comes along, he might not be a bad choice.

  7. Steven Jackson (STL) – Although Jackson has had some injury issues in the past, he still gets the ball quite a bit with St. Louis’s receiving a liability. He got 253 carries last season and scored 7 times. Averaging 4.1 yards a carry isn’t anything to scoff at, but he also lacks that great offensive line. That being said, I expect Jackson to have a better season this year than last year.

  8. Thomas Jones (NYJ) – Jones got off to a very slow start last year, however got his game going good at the end of the season. He rushed for 1,312 yards and put up 13 touchdowns. However it remains to be seen if he gets his contract woes fixed. With a new head coach and a new QB in Sanchez, I expect the Jets to rely heavily on their running game, very similar to the pre-Flacco Ravens.

  9. Matt Forte (CHI) – Forte had some impressive numbers last season rushing for 1,238 yards and putting up 8 touchdowns. I might have even put him higher on the list. Hard to tell what his production will be next year. I do expect him to get more touches and have, at least, a slightly better season than last year.

  10. Chris Johnson (TEN) – One of the only reasons why I put Mr, Johnson towards the bottom of this list is because of how heavily he has to share the ball with Lendale White. Lendale seemed to get most of the goal line carries and took a lot away from the value of Johnson. Even with that being the case, He still put up good stats. 1,228 yards rushing, and 9 TD’s. Had he have gotten those goal line touches, he may even be in the top 5 RB’s in the league.

  11. Brien Westbrook (PHI) – Westbrook’s numbers have declined in the past few years, however what he lacks in touches, he makes up for in receiving. He put up a total of 14 TD’s last year and rushed for just under 1,000 yards. He might not rush more yards than some running backs but he is a dual threat and that makes him worth picking up.

  12. Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX) – Jones-Drew is an up and comer and possibly should be higher on this list. He should get more carries this year than he did last year. Even with that being said he still put up 12 touchdowns with only 197 carries. If he gets another 50-80 carries he will put up huge numbers.

Okay so there you have it. Remember these lists aren’t gospel. If you know someone with a crystal ball that can read the future, you might want to check in with them. I hope that this article, at the very least, gives you something to think about for your pick for your running back. What do you guys think? Who are you hoping to pick up? Any sleepers out there that you might be able to pick up on the sly? Let me know. As always, I wish you guys the best and have a great weekend.

Drafting in Fantasy Football

Hello Cowboys fans! This is my first of, hopefully, many articles for Lone Star Struck. I will be doing the Fantasy Sports article from here on out. My intention is to write an entertaining column about a game most of us now play. I have been playing since 1999, and I have also, for the last 6 years, been the commissioner for the league that I play in as well. Fantasy Football has come a long way in the last few years. You can now get your Fantasy scoring while watching games and they have entire shows dedicated to it during the week and early Sunday mornings. To say that Fantasy Football is a huge part of being a fan of NFL football is an understatement. Playing Fantasy Football is a great way to immerse yourself in the game, plus it also can help you learn about the sport in ways you previously may have looked over. I know, that for me, Fantasy Football has made me a better fan and it also has helped me learn about how teams/players other than the Cowboys are doing. Knowledge is always a good thing. Being as we are all Dallas Cowboys Fans, I will always include information and my opinions on Cowboys. As awesome as it would be to have a team of all Cowboys (I did that in 2002, and won more than I thought I would) sometimes isn’t at all feasible.


That being said, The first thing I’d like to discuss is how you should rank your picks by position. Some of you that have been playing for awhile may already know this, and this may be a good time to start planning out your team. For those of you that have never played before and intend on this season being your first, I hope this information is helpful to you. Just because this might be your first foray into Fantasy Football, it sure doesn’t have to LOOK like it.

  1. Running Back – Think of the running back as the main workhorse for your team. There is a reason why, in past years, Ladainian Tomlinson and guys like Adrian Peterson go first. Your main running back should be a guy who either A) gets ALL the touches on running plays or B)at least 75%. Depending on your league rules, Your main running back will most likely supply you with 30-40% of the points you will get on Sunday.


  2. Quarterback – Your Quarterback is high up on your list due to the fact, that like your main RB, he will likely put up a majority of the points on a good day. For maximum effect, try to match him up with his #1 receiver. This will double your points. For example, if your QB throws a 50 yard TD pass to to your receiver, they will both score the points for the 50 yards and the touchdown. A good quarter back is someone who will average over 250 yards a game and 2 touchdowns.


  3. 2nd Running Back – A good choice for your second running back is the type of back that gets the ball on 4th and 1. He might not get the touches like your #1 RB, but he puts up a good amount of points. A lot of teams have backs like this in this day and age of the multiple RB system


  4. Wide Receiver – Try to match your number one receiver with your QB’s #1 Receiver on his team. Like I said previously, this doubles your points, If you cannot, try to pick a premier WR. WR’s are tricky in Fantasy football, a guy like T.O. Can catch 4 touchdowns in one game and do nothing the next. It is usually wise not to count on your WR’s in Fantasy as they can be fickle. Think of anything they get you, as a bonus.


  5. Defense – In most leagues you will pick a teams entire defense. In past years teams like Baltimore, Tennessee and Pittsburgh have been strong picks. Any defense that holds other teams to 14 points or less are good choices. Look for teams that have lots of sacks and interceptions. Your Special Teams unit will also be your Defensive pick. So teams like the Bears might be a good choice due to players like Devin Hester and the like.


  6. Tight Ends– Make sure you get a receiving TE, because in most leagues, you don’t get points for blocking. Guys like Jason Witten and Kevin Boss are usually good picks.

Well, that about wraps it up for this article. I just want to add, that this is a very general and very basic guideline for how your draft should go. WR’s and your Second RB are interchangeable depending on what is available. In coming articles I will be ranking the top 12 guys at each position so that you can have your list ready for Draft Day. Thanks for reading and I hope that this comes in handy for you beginners and even for some of you veterans out there.

Tashard Choice: The Peoples Choice

Tashard “Duece” Choice was born on November 20, 1984 in Thomasville,Georgia. Tashard attended Lovejoy Highschool where he wore #2, thats where he got his nickname “Duece”. Choice was a finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman and graduated in the top 20 of his class with a 3.9 gpa.

Tashard attended Georgia Tech where he earned Second Team All ACC and ESPN All Bowl Team honors in 2006 and ACC All Academic Team, First Team All ACC and Honorable Mention All America by Sports Illustrated 2007.Tashard Started his College football career in 2003 at Oklahoma where he redshirted his freshman year.

In 2004 Tashard served as a back up for true freshman Adrian Peterson. Peterson went on to be a Heisman Trophy finalist and Oklahoma found itself in the BCS title game once again. Tashard Choice only took 22 carries and gained 100 yards the entire year (all in two games). His best game at Oklahoma saw him garner 71 yards on 16 carries against Texas Tech. At the end of the season, his mother fell ill and Tashard Choice applied for a medical hardship to return home and play for Georgia Tech. His hardship was granted and he transferred to Tech by Spring 2005.

In 2005 Tashard arrived at Georgia Tech as a Sophomore and found himself behind P.J. Daniels on the depth chart, Daniels and Choice combined for over 150 all purpose yards per game and 11 touchdowns. Tashard Choice’s most notable appearance occurred in the upset of then #3 Miami Hurricanes. P. J. Daniels was injured in practice so Tashard Choice was announced the starter for the game. He carried the football 29 times for 84 yards and a touchdown. The victory guaranteed Tech a bowl appearance and solidified Tashard Choice’s role as a competent starter for the 2006 season.

In 2006 Tashard lead the Yellow Jacket rushing attack. becoming the first Yellow Jacket to rush for 1,000 yards since P.J. Daniels in 2003. Tashard Choice set several Tech records in 2006. He rushed for over 100 yards per game 9 times and had 7 straight 100 yard efforts, both Tech records. Tashard Choice accounted for 12 of Tech’s 42 offensive touchdowns. Tashard Choice along with All-American Calvin Johnson and senior quarterback Reggie Ball took Tech to the Atlantic Coast Conference Title Game as the Coastal Division Champions. Choice would also lead Tech to its tenth straight bowl game against West Virginia in the 2007 Gator Bowl. Choice sliced and diced his way through opponents in 2006 and is a preseason pick for several 2007 Heisman Trophy lists.

In 2007 Tashard lead the Yellow Jackets powerful ground game behind four returning starters on the offensive line and veteran fullback Mike Cox. As the reigning ACC Rushing Champion, Tashard Choice was looking to improve upon 2006’s 9 win season with new offensive coordinator John Bond featuring the single back formation. Tashard Choice currently had 1,310 yards rushing on 249 attempts and 10 touchdowns even with injuries to his hamstring and to his knee. Tashard Choice concluded his NCAA career on the “Smurf Turf” of Boise against the Fresno State Bulldogs in the Humanitarian Bowl. He was used in a limited role in Georgia Tech’s 40-28 defeat. Tashard Choice best statistical game was against the University of Miami, posting 204 yards rushing with a sore hamstring. he also recorded his first passing touchdown of his career to Taylor Bennett.

Tashard’s Pro Career started in 2008 when he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the NFL Draft made his first touchdown during the first 2008 pre-season game against San Diego. Choice made his first start agaist the Pittsburgh Steelers running for 88 yards against the then #1 rushing defense in the league. Tashard finished the season with 472 yards off of 92 attempts, He averaged 5.1 yards per carry and had two touchdowns. Tashard has plenty more seasons to contribute to the Dallas Cowboys like he did in his 3 game starting span with Marion Barber going down with a toe injury and Felix Jones being out all season and with the performances Tashard had he has grasped his role in the Dallas Cowboys offense for 2009.

Dallas vs. Minnesota and a Kid Named AD

Good evening everyone,
Well “the boys” have their final tune-up on Thursday night when they play host to the Minnesota Vikings. This should be an interesting game even though in the opinion of this writer, I think the dress rehearsal was against the Texans. We probably will see very little of the starting units since opening day is right around the corner. If coach Phillips hold true to form, the last of the roster looks will take place before they cut down to that magic 53. In addition, I think the starters that are “banged” up need to heal before they take their opening day trip to Cleveland and go into the dog pound.
Unfortunately, we also will not get to see much of a kid that has a chance to be one of the most prolific runners the NFL has ever seen in Adrian “all day” Peterson. Now I know as Cowboy fans we share our true loyalty to our beloved Cowboys and everyone else is the enemy. I share those same sentiments as well, but I had the opportunity to see Mr. Peterson every Saturday when he played for my beloved Oklahoma Sooners. Yea, I know I have many University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor readers that come to this site and I certainly don’t want to rub any salt in any wounds. I just happen to live 17 miles from Norman, Oklahoma and grew up a “Okie” that also loves the Dallas Cowboys. I just won’t to say that even though he now plays for the Vikings, I have been a fan of Peterson every since he bolted from Palestine, Texas and became a star for the Sooners. In addition, over the years I have had somewhat of an opportunity to get to “AD” on a personal level as well.
Adrian Peterson was given the nickname “AD” by his mother when he was very young because he would be outside playing and would run everywhere he went. She said he never walked anywhere and that he is just ran all day. Peterson ran straight into the record books in his freshman season (not red-shirt freshman) but true freshman rushing for 1,925 yds and first team All-American. In addition, he finished 3rd in the Heisman Trophy balloting that same year. Even though he only played three seasons before going to the NFL he was OU’s third all-time leading rusher. After being selected 7th in the first round by the Vikings his combination of speed, strength, vision and a highly aggressive attitude toward contact, he has already been compared to the likes of past legends like Eric Dickerson, O.J. Simpson, Walter Payton, Bo Jackson, Gale Sayers, and Jim Brown. His accomplishments since coming to the Vikings include the single game rushing record of 296 yds on 30 carries against the San Diego Chargers.
There is a dark side to this story as well. Adrian came from a very troubled life style growing up. When Adrian was young he witnessed his brother shot to death in a gang shooting and his father went to prison for 12 years of Adrian’s life for various charges. Through all of that Adrian’s mother did everything she could to insure Adrian stayed on the straight and narrow. In speaking with Adrian on several occasions in the past he owes all his success to his mother and his various coaches. He would fly home almost every chance he had during his 3 years at Oklahoma to spend time with his mother and go visit his father in prison. Adrian has never let his success go to his head. He always carries that big wonderful smile, and always meets and greets anyone that wants to speak with him. That is a rarity in the NFL or in pro sports in general anymore. Now I know a lot of our Cowboys are very true to the fans, but there is a much higher percentage of players in the league that not only don’t really have loyalty to their respective teams but to the fans as well. I have always thought that was unfair because we pay good money each week to see our teams and then have players jump to other teams because more money is dangled in front of them.
Long gone are the days of Bob Lilly, Leroy Jordan, and Roger Staubach just to name a few, that played their entire careers with the Cowboys and never thought for a minute is the grass greener on the other side of the fence. Now, it is basically all about big business, huge marketing deals, and bottom lines. Still through it all we go every Saturday and Sunday and root for our teams because we love the game of football.