DoughboyCowboy’s Cowboy Round-Up

First off, Michael Irvin is on Dancing with the Stars. I was very excited about this. With his popularity and his moves from the football field, I think he is the man to beat. If he wins, next up is Troy. Go Playmaker of the Stars!

OK, now for the Cowboys… I don’t take too much into pre-season but it is nice to see the players get off the rust in a live game. Tony Romo looked good. His first series was off. But the way he moved the offense in his second series was great. Showing a little bit of what could be a great season, he spread the ball around and utilized all the weapons available to him.

Felix JonesAs soon as I seen Felix Jones run a few yards. I admit I said this out loud, “Felix I missed you”. The offensive will be awesome. This year I am really focusing on Witten and hoping he has a spectacular year. There is a hidden agenda with that one, more of that later.

The defense looked OK. While the 2nd and 3rd strings gave up a lot of points, the first team looked good. I am excited about Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware. The opposition wont know where DeMarcus will be coming from. Look out for a top 5 defense.

It was nice to see Keon Lattimore get a few reps too. I think he is a sleeper for this team if he makes the full roster. Jesse Holley was also playing in a few plays too. It was nice to see number 16 running down the field. Sometimes players who are trying for a spot on the team don’t play that much. We’ll see if he completes the dream. I still think Hawkins should of made the team instead.

I am looking forward to this Friday’s game. I wont be able to see it here in Illinois, but it will be on NFL Network on Saturday. I want to see the inside of the new stadium. Look for a great season to come!

Each Monday I will talk about the Cowboys and what I think about the team. If anyone can think of a better title let me know. I am looking forward to a great Cowboys season! – DoughboyCowboy

Linebackers Will Be a Strength For Dallas

DeMarcus Ware, Bradie James, Keith Brooking and Anthony Spencer will be our four linebackers this coming season, and it looks they will have a lot of success to go along with their talent.

We know what we are getting from 94 and also Bradie James and for the most part Brooking as well, but the question all off season will be how will Anthony Spencer do starting at outside linebacker for an entire season for the first time? Head coach wade Phillips sees great potential in Spencer, he is very athletic and knows how to play the game.

Phillips knows good talent at outside linebacker when he sees it, after all he has coached Shawn Merriman in San Diego and coached D-Ware in his most productive season as a pro to date.

Brooking was a big part of the Atlanta Falcons defense and a solid piece in the middle of that LB corps, he will bring experience, leadership, and a desire to win with him to Dallas. Bradie James is often left out of the conversation when it comes to middle linebackers not only on this team, but around the entire league James is very underated. Bradie is a force in the middle, and has been for a few years now, but is seldom talked about despite leading the team in tacles for the last two seasons.

We might have weaknesses on this team, but if they stay healthy our linebackers will not be one of them.


Ellis Shown The Door, Fans Shove Him Through

The writing was on the wall shortly after the 2007 NFL draft. The Cowboys picked Anthony Spencer, defensive end from Purdue in the first round. The 26th overall pick.

Greg Ellis, an aging veteran coming off a season-ending achilles injury saw the writing and, in turn, expressed himself – as only Greg can do – and voiced his concern about being replaced by the 6′ 3″ 255 lb prospect.

It took two years to happen but here we are. Greg Ellis, after 11 years of service, was officially released Tuesday, June 2, 2009.

I’m not disputing the fact that Ellis’ better days are past him. I’m not disputing the fact that it is time to see what Spencer truly has. These things are part of the NFL. Players get old and the young guns come in and take over. It is a natural cycle, not only in the NFL, but in life. The time has come for young blood.

Here is where I have a problem. No, it’s not with Jerry Jones(not this time anyway). It isn’t with Ellis or Spencer. My problem is with fickle Dallas Cowboys fans that seem to enjoy shoving this guy out the door after 11 years of hard-fought football service with America’s Team.

I dare the majority of these fans to show many anything they’ve done for 11 years with passion, conviction, loyalty and the dedication Ellis has shown this organization.

How soon people forget. It’s the “What have you done for me lately?” generation of football fans that forget Ellis’ 12.5 sacks in 2007 and his Comeback Player of the Year award. They don’t honor his 634 tackles, 36 tackles for losses, 197 quarterback pressures and 77 sacks over the course of the last 11 seasons. All in 162 games 156 in which he started.

All they see is Greg “The Whiner” they call him. Well I respect his honesty and at times I did question his timing. I’m not saying he didn’t have issues but he suited up in the Blue and Silver and gave his blood, sweat and tears for 11 years and, in my humble opinion, that gives him the right to voice his discord when things aren’t going, in his opinion, the way they should. He earned that voice.

We give our opinions every day about The Cowboys and have never put our bodies on the line to defend the Star. Then we’re gonna question this man?

Feel free to post your comments. Good bad or indifferent.

Here’s mine: Thank you, Greg Ellis. It has been an absolute honor to watch you play for the Dallas Cowboys. God bless you and your family. I wish you the best of luck in the future.

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Just A Few Thoughts

Sorry I have not been around lately, I just moved to college so I am still getting used to this new experience.

I have been able to watch ESPN the last couple weeks and a few things caught my eye.

1. Our generation’s version of Magic and Bird was interrupted at least for this year when LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers lost in 6 games in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Orlando Magic. Now I know this is not a basketball site but Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are the best basketball players in the world, but the dream match up will not happen between these two heavyweights, at least not this year anyway.

2. Greg Ellis will not be a Cowboy this season and Anthony Spencer will be stepping in to fill his shoes. Ellis has been a huge part of our recent success here in Dallas. We are truly losing a great player in number 98 but at the same time maybe it is time he graciously moved on. The Cowboys have a pretty stable LB corps with Ware on the outside and newly acquired Keith Brooking to help in the middle. Spencer has shown a lot of potential in his limited playing time here in Dallas.

3. Is our division the NFC East really as good as it is given credit for? Let’s break it down shall we.

The Washington Redskins are very much overrated and they never add too much talent, rather they over pay big names and they are unsettled at QB.

The New York Giants lost 1 of their 3 running backs that made up a great trio last year and they do not have a go-to receiver. Osi Umenyiora is a big part of this. If he comes back well from the injury their defense will succeed, if not they will not – simple as that.

The Philadelphia Eagles got to the NFC championship game last season almost by default. They ran into a young overachieving Atlanta Falcons team, who the Eagles were just smarter than. They still have no number one receiver for Donovan McNabb.

Last but not least our beloved Dallas Cowboys. Our number one receiver is Roy Williams, but do we really have confidence in the rest of our receivers, or are we trying to convince ourselves that they are good enough? Cornerback is a position of worry, just like receiver. Even though our young corners have shown more than our young receivers, outside of Terence Newman, we are uncertain.

GO COWBOYS and once again I am sorry I was not here for so long. Have a great day!

Cowboys Extra Points: Expectations

extrapts2Anthony Spencer will be the Cowboys starting strong outside linebacker with Greg Ellis out of the picture. The Cowboys didn’t officially cut Ellis but they gave him permission to seek a trade and sent him home from OTAs. Whether you agree with the move or not, it’s time to let go of Ellis.


Rodney Hannah has a broken hand and was unable to participate in OTAs. The tight end was on the practice squad in ’08 and is looking to battle for a spot on the roster behind Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett. Poor Rodney, great athlete but this may hurt him with a fresh rookie tight end competing with him for the spot.


The Detroit Lions picked up former Cowboy Tra Battle from waivers yesterday. The cornerback will join the team next week for workouts. Obviously the Cowboys didn’t see much in Battle.


Rookie Asaph Schwapp was arrested last week at Dallas Love Field airport for carrying ninja stars. The young fullback collects martial arts weapons and was said to be very cooperative with police. He’s unlikely to make the team but this story was interesting (or was it).


Jerry Jones has high expectations from his players as they open up the new stadium this upcoming season.

“This building could have been built for two-thirds of the cost, but it was about expectations. And I expect every player who ever walks on this field to play above their level.”

I think most of the players feel the pressure and expectations that come with beign a Cowboy, plus walking into that new beautiful monster of a stadium, hopefully it gives them ambition and motivation to give %150.


Here’s an interesting one… A blogger for New York’s Newsday wants his readers to rank the NFC East quarterbacks. Of course most of his reader’s are listing Eli as number one. Give me a break! See the article here. Of course (most) New Yorkers aren’t going to give Tony Romo his due, but you and I and everyone else knows that Eli Manning is not the best quarterback in the NFC East.

First Full Squad OTAs of 2009 Begin Monday

The Cowboys will begin the first of their OTAs on Monday. Instead of meeting in Valley Ranch, the team will practice at Standridge Stadium in Carollton, Texas.

The Valley Ranch practice facility is still under investigation and going through the clean up process following the roof collapse earlier this month.

An article at has listed 5 things to look for during these OTAs and I have added my thoughts:

1. Tony Romo in full control –This will be Tony’s year to shine. As we’ve heard way too much this offseason, Tony will be able to make plays without the pressure to get the ball Terrell Owens. Tony has been extremely quiet and out of the light (except when playing golf) and maybe that’s best for the team. But we need him to speak loudly on the field and lead this team strongly throughout the season.

2. Find an identity on offense – As I just stated Romo is the leader of this team. He needs to take control, learn his offense, and become extremely familiar with his receivers. Show everyone exactly what “Romo-friendly” means.

3. The return of Felix Jones – This is pretty self-explanatory. Our top draft pick of ’08 emerged and impressed everyone immediately. He even earned three “Player of the Week” nods from the NFL in the first 5 weeks of the season. Unfortunately Felix fell in week 6, when he tore his hamstring and was later labeled out for the season. This year we will see if Felix Jones can come back from the injury and continue where he left off. 

4. Competition at cornerback –This is a biggie. Looking at the depth chart, other than Terence Newman, we’ve got some young guys fighting for a starting role. Second year players, Orlando Scandrick and Mike Jenkins, proved that they are both capable of being quality starters. Rookies Mike Mickens and DeAngelo Smith played together at the University of Cincinnati and all eyes will be upon to see where they will fit in.

5. Anthony Spencer replacing Greg Ellis – Spencer will certainly have some big shoes to fill. But based on what he’s done in a part time role, I believe he’s up for the challenge.

Hopefully these practices and activities will bring these players together in a positive light. The loss of Terrell Owens and Roy Lee Williams, followed by the roof collapse tragedy brought negativity and gloom this offseason.

I believe these ‘Boys will grow and bond over the next few months leading up to Training Camp.

BIG “D” Issues For the Cowboys

With all the talk so far this offseason surrounding Mr. Owens, and with free agency starting at the end of this week and the draft right around the corner we need to talk about some big issues surrounding the boys defense.

First, Demarcus Ware, all signs are Jerry is going to break the bank and make him the highest payed cowboy in team history, this is by far the most important move we need to make and would solidify our pass rush for years to come.

On the other side should we let Ellis go? He scheduled to make over $6 million next year for just a 3rd down pass rusher, thats pretty steep! Unless he wanted to take a significant pay cut and less playing time, I just dont see this happening.

Which brings me to Anthony Spencer. Is he ready to play every down and live up to his draft position? He may have the skills, he just scares me. His recent arrest, and if you watched Hard Knocks, remember he didn’t show for a treatment on an injury and was fined by Wade. These things make me wonder if he’s mature enough to step up and take the position fulltime.

Now lets talk about our unrestricted free agents: Canty, Burnett, and Thomas. Canty would be painful to lose. He has been a solid force on the D-line, but the contract he is looking for might be too rich for our shrinking cap space, which leaves us either starting Jason Hatcher or Stephen Bowen. I think Hatcher would fit well he has showed me some promise in his playing time.

If Thomas and Burnett leave in free agency it would leave the biggest hole in our defense. Basically, it would leave Bobby Carpenter to play next to Bradie James. I dont know your thoughts but thats a frightening thought in my eyes. We all know Ray Lewis is out there and he has said he wants to play in Dallas, but can Jerry afford him?

After D-Ware signs I’m not so sure. Another guy that might be more affordable is Keith Brooking who is suppose to be being released by Atlanta before Friday.

The secondary has potential to be above average. T-New is solid when healthy, but thats the question can he stay healthy? As much as I love the way Roy Williams plays the run and the hits he lays, he just plain stinks in pass coverage. Like Ellis, he is scheduled to make over $6 million this year and might be cut prior to the start of free agency. Its either that or him restructuring to take a major paycut which I don’t see happening either.

My thought was to bulk him up and try him in that middle linebacker spot. I don’t think that’s too far fetched. He is made to hit and I’m surprised I haven’t heard anything like that. If he goes, who is playing strong safety? 

I don’t believe Pat Watkins is ready to step in there so I’d say move Anthony Henry to safety and let Scandrick and Jenkins compete for the corner. My vote, from what I’ve seen, is Scandrick. He just showed me way more last year than Jenkins did. One thing is for certain, count on the Cowboys picking up more corners and safeties in the draft and even free agency.

I want to hear your thoughts Cowboy fans.

Da Boys and Da Broncs……Preseason Week 2.

Week 2 of the preseason has arrived! GAMEDAY! Cowboys at Broncos. 8 pm/Central.

Tonights game should be a fun one to watch. The Fort Worth Star Telegram is reporting that all of the starters will play the entire 1st quarter. Tony Romo, MB3, Witten and TO will come out around that time with the remaining starters playing the entire 1st half. That means Brad Johnson will be in with the 1st team offensive line and he needs to prove tonight that he still has something left in the tank. If he struggles, look for the Cowboys to make a move early next week. We hopefully will see an improved Pac Man tonight too. He should get plenty of time tonight to continue to knock the rust off his game. I would like to see him get a few punt returns too. Miles Austin and Sam Hurd will continue to battle it out for that 3rd WR spot.

No major developments other than that. We all need to remember that this is preseason, the coaching staff wants to evaluate players in certain situations. They also don’t want to put alot of the offensive plays and schemes on film for other teams to study. Look for a simple game plan and plenty of Felix Jones and Tashard Choice tonight.

Terrence Newman, Anthony Spencer and Kevin Burnett are all out on the defensive side due to injuries.


Cowboys fan for life – TD

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone

It’s funny how people get so offended and hurt when the team loses (understandably, I’m one of the guilty). It’s a preseason game, not a playoff game. The good thing is we can learn from the experience and it isn’t going to hurt us one bit. Of course it’s nice to win every game no matter the caliber, but sometimes it helps not to go into the season with a "big head" or overblown confidence when you start playing teams like New England and Chicago just to name a few.

I do believe that Gramatica has lost his job as starting kicker, especially if the rumors are true that he pulled a hamstring Saturday night. Missing an extra-point kick is really not the way you impress your coach when you’re battling for the starting position. Of all teams, we certainly know how much a missed kick can hurt!

If you’re wondering when to expect Greg Ellis back on the field, good luck finding the answer. No one knows or can even speculate when to expect the veteran linebacker’s return. Jerry Jones is determined that Ellis will be back, at least that’s what he is saying in front of the cameras. I’ve heard a third medical opinion is being sought. Expect to see rookie Anthony Spencer on the field in his place when the season kicks off.

Several other injured Cowboys missed the game on Saturday. Anthony Fasano, Terence Newman and Terry Glenn did not participate but are all expected to start in the season opener. Terence Newman will likely feel pain throughout the season after being diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia in his right heel. Anthony Fasano is sitting out after receiving a sprained shoulder in the second preseason game. And last but certainly not least, Terry Glenn is still recovering after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery during Training Camp.

As the Cowboys prepare to travel to Minnesota for the final preseason game, we should keep a close watch on the roster. Several players will be cut tomorrow, bringing the roster number down to 75. I don’t think we will see much from the first string on Thursday because September 1st the team will be trimmed down to the standard 53-man roster. It’s always interesting and certainly unpredictable to see who will go and who will stay.  


#1 Draft Pick Spencer Finally Signed

The Cowboys have finally signed the #1 draft pick, linebacker Anthony Spencer. He was signed today to a $9 million, 5-year deal with $6 million guaranteed. Spencer is expected to battle Greg Ellis for a starting position, and its possible he make take over the role sometime this season.

Greg Ellis left practice on the first day of training camp with a leg injury. The 10-year veteran linebacker is supposed to talk with Jerry Jones sometime this week about his contract.

Training Camp Begins

Hey Cowboys fans! We seem to have had some technical difficulties with the site this morning, we are not sure how long the site was down but it seems to be working good now.

OK now that we got that out of the way, back to Cowboys talk!

The Cowboys have signed all but two of their draft picks by late last night. First-round draft pick Anthony Spencer and third-round draft pick James Marten are still negotiating. The plan is to have the final two signed before the start of practice today.

There are still several players who have not been cleared by doctors to begin training camp. Greg Ellis has been cleared and will be on the field this afternoon. Marc Colombo and Flozell Adams are still recovering. Colombo will not be attending this week but Adams may join the team in a few days. Also, fourth-round pick Isaiah Stanback is out with shin splints but may only miss a few days. Which is good because he didn’t attend either of the mini-camps.

Jerry Jones doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to sign Tony Romo to a mega-deal. He has been quoted saying:

"If the conditions were right, then I could be real happy before the season starts or going into a long-term deal. If it’s the other way, I can make that work."

So I guess only time will tell. I believe Romo can lead this team, I think alot of fans believe that.  He turned everything around for the Cowboys. He had us believing we could go all the way. And yes, he was part of the reason we didn’t make it, but he’s the main reason we got that far. But I have faith in Jerry Jones. He knows what he’s doing.

So as the Cowboys prepare to take the field for their first training camp practice, I’ll leave you with this pondering question:

Do you think the Cowboys should come to terms with Tony Romo before the Season starts?



A “Not So Mini” Minicamp Weekend


Alright Cowboy Fans, the first official Minicamp is well underway at Valley Ranch. Our ‘Boys are looking sharp and are ready to follow their new leaders. To the surprise of many, even T.O. showed up and ran some routes and caught several passes. Owens is still recovering from two finger surgeries but practiced and played above expectations with the team this weekend. Julius Jones also returned to Valley Ranch after spending most of the offseason in Arizona with his personal trainer.
There are a couple of Cowboys who had some complaints. Linebacker Kevin Burnett is upset about not having a starting job. Considering his competition: DeMarcus Ware, Bradie James, Akin Ayodele, Greg Ellis, Anthony Spencer, and Bobby Carpenter; Burnett is really going to have to prove that he can do better to even secure a spot on the roster, in my opinion.
Julius Jones also had a few things to say about his position on the team. He wants more freedom, he wants to be able to use his instincts rather than be told to run left or run right. Jones has been training with a personal trainer this offseason in hopes to secure his starting role.
Oh, I can’t forget the question that’s on every Cowboys fan’s mind… Who will be the holder in 2007? Well we have three candidates so far, punter Mat McBriar, back-up quarterback Brad Johnson and receiver Jerheme Urban. Maybe they should steer away from quarterbacks this time… Oh come on, I couldn’t pass that up, you all know I’m one of Romo’s biggest supporters!
Well overall, everything’s looking fantastic. Wade Phillips was excited to see his new team out on the field, and most of the team was there ready to follow his orders. Greg Ellis is still rehabbing is injury, but according to Phillips he is the starting outside linebacker and hopes to be on the field soon. Leonard Davis missed Sunday’s practice because his wife was having surgery, but should return Monday.
Believe it or not the offseason is slowly coming to an end and the new season will suddenly be upon us, so get your popcorn ready!