The Ralph Neely Bowl and the Governor’s Cup

Cowboys fans no need to worry or go find the highest building with a very small ledge. A 0-2 start in pre-season, as long as it’s not accompanied by crippling injuries, means absolutely nothing. I think all coach Phillips really wants is to get to the Sept. 7 opener in Cleveland with all hands on deck.

I think the coaching staff has been very encouraged with camp and the pre-season so far. The Cowboys have definitely upgraded their personnel over the one that posted a 13-3 season in 2007 and at this point good health is all that counts.

So this brings us to Friday night when the state’s two NFL teams collide on national TV  at Texas Stadium. As preseason football goes, this will be as good as it gets. I have heard that both teams plan to play their starters into the third quarter. There may even be more than the usual intensity.

After all, the Governor’s Cup is on the line!!

As far as bad blood, however, none really exists between the two teams. The Texans, though they are responsible for the single most embarrassing moment in (what a lot of football purist say) Dallas’ history they will never be a rival to “America’s team”. Still Jerry will not ever forget what happened in 2002 when the Texans became the first NFL team in 41 years to win an expansion season opener at the expense of our beloved Cowboys.

Jerry Jones has never been one to take anything lying down. The Cowboys have since rebounded to become one of the top three or four teams in the NFL and they are playing their final season in Texas Stadium. Next year they move into the spectacular “JerryWorld”, which by most accounts is the be all and end all of modern stadiums. So Reliant stadium get ready to take a back seat again!

Now lastly let me close with some history that most Cowboy fans may or may not know. Back in the mid 1960’s when the Houston Oilers (now Texans) were part of an upstart American Football League. I have to tell you it was all out war between the AFL and the NFL. The two operations held separate drafts and were hot on the heels of college stars like Billy Cannon and Joe Namath.

But it was an offensive lineman from Oklahoma named Ralph Neely who turned the Oilers into longtime Cowboy’s owner Tex Schramm’s mortal enemy. Both Houston and Dallas signed Neely. At that time Oiler’s owner Bud Adams promptly filed suit against the Cowboys.
In a Houston courtroom, Dallas seemingly won the battle and lost the war. Neely was awarded to the Cowboys, but at a steep price. The judge ruled that Houston would get Dallas’ No. 1, No. 2 and its two No. 5 picks in the 1967 common draft between the newly merged NFL and AFL.

As if the draft choices weren’t a bitter enough pill for Schramm and the Cowboys to swallow, the judge decreed that Dallas must play five preseason games against the Oilers, with three of them in Houston. Nevertheless, the Cowboys dutifully came to Houston to play the Oilers at Rice Stadium in 1967 for the first of a series of exhibitions that came to be known as the Ralph Neely Bowl. Neely, by the way, quickly became an All-Pro tackle and started 12 years for Tom Landry.

They have played over 30 more times in pre-season since that 5 year shotgun wedding we had to go through.

The Governor’s Cup still means a lot to some, but will never mean what it meant to Tex Schramm and Bud Adams.

Hard Knocks Episode 2: Trains, Planes and Lowber?

It seemed like forever, the wait from the premiere episode of Hard Knocks, to the second episode tonight. I watched the first episode at least 5 times! Where as the first installment was an overview and reflection, this episode was more of an in-depth look at training camp and preparations for a (preseason) game. I still thouroughly enjoyed it again!

One of my favorite parts of this episode was a look at Zach Thomas. I know that Felix Jones and Pac Man Jones are flashier additions to the team, but I think Zach may be the most important. He looks fresh, healthy and hungry. With him and Bradie James up the middle, I think you will see alot less of those 7 yard gains on 1st down that make it near impossible to get a 3 and out.

Another cool thing in this weeks show was the overwhelming respect the players have for Coach Phillips. I read alot of blogs, columns and other Cowboy related media, and no one seems to mention or give credit to Wade. All I hear is win the Superbowl or get fired. And this may be reality, but how many coaches would find a way to let there ego get in the way and not even put his team in a POSITION to win the Superbowl. I know one for sure, and he lives in Miami now. I give Coach Phillips alot of credit and I am hoping that he gets his ring, because I truly believe he deserves it.

As far as the undrafted rookies go, I understand that HBO is trying to put a little drama into the show. Will they make it, will they not? Short answer: NO. Maybe “Ray Lewis’ Little Brother”  has a chance at practice squad, but that’s it. As far as Lowber, the “80th man on the roster” goes, I got bad news for him, the season starts with 54 players.

This show continues to have my attention gripped and I can’t wait for next weeks episode already. As far as the San Diego game goes, anyone who is concerned or worried about that should take a step back of that ledge and remember what Coach Phillips said. “These games are for getting better.” That’s all they are.

I Don’t know if Hard Knocks has any room for improvement.


Cowboys Fan for Life – TD

Three Phrases of the Game

To be a champion caliber team you must be consistent in all phrases of the game. We all know about Dallas’s offense, Tony Romo with all his weapons, Barber and Jones’s running attack behind our fantastic offensive line. The defense is getting more respect and recognition as they improve every week (not counting the Lions game.) Phrase three is Special teams. I don’t feel like our kick return team gets the credit they deserve.

Miles Austin in his second year makes you sit on the edge of your seat every time he gets the ball. His long return is sixty yards. I just know he is going to break one all the way. Austin is averaging twenty-six yards on eighteen returns.

Tyson Thompson shows he is a talent with his return ability also. Tyson’s average is a little lower than Austin’s at twenty-three.six, but his long return is seventy-two yards.

I look forward to seeing rookie Isaiah Stanback come back from his injury. I have to agree with the Cowboy staff that Stanback is exciting to watch. His long kick return is thirty-five yards but he has only had three returns with a average of twenty-six yards.

Between these three and more recently Miles Austin, the Cowboys have had good field position on most possessions. Of course, it would be a dream come true if we only had punt returns meaning our defense didn’t allow a score! WOW!

With Patrick Crayton and Terence  Newman returning punts, we haven’t had stunning returns but, they average twelve yards per return that equals our opponents. Even though we haven’t returned a punt or kick return for a score with all the talent we have on special teams it will come. They are saving it for the playoffs!

Although special teams need to improve in some areas they show improvement each week just as the offense and defense.

What I respect about the 2007 Cowboys is the way coach Phillips has blended all three phases to work together as a team. The media and fans shine the light on certain players but, they know that it takes every player in the locker room to win and that is why we are the NFC East Champs!

 Contributed by Raina Middleton


Cowboys News: Tank In, Anderson Out

Tank Johnson is finally off suspension and has been activated by the Cowboys. Tank will be ready to play his first game as a Cowboy Sunday against the Giants. He will probably not start but is expected to give Jay Ratliff some relief, especially in run situations. 

The Cowboys didn’t have to cut anyone to make room for Tank because of an injury that occurred Sunday night. Fullback rookie Deon Anderson suffered a torn rotator cuff injury and has been placed on Injured Reserve. Because of the injured Oliver Hoyte, Anderson received alot of additional playing time. Hoyte has been cleared to play but Coach Phillips doesn’t want to activate him until he is 100%. The Cowboys could make a move for another fullback.

Isaiah Stanback and Pat Watkins were also injured during the game against the Eagles. Stanback injured his shoulder and Watkins sprained his ankle. Both injuries are minor and they had an extra day to rest. We will know more when they return to practice on Wednesday.

You may have noticed that Tyson Thompson was absent Sunday. Isaiah Stanback was activated in place of Thompson. Coach Phillips decided to try something different on kick returns.

"We were trying to get a spark there," Phillips said of the change. "We had been doing OK with it; it was just for a change of pace. We wanted to see what he could do there. (Stanback) has a lot of ability and he’s been showing up in practice as a receiver and we wanted to try to get him to the game and see what he could do in the ball game."



Injury Report: Week 5

Game Status:

S Courtney Brown (Biceps)
WR Terry Glenn (Knee)
CB Anthony Henry (Ankle)

FB Oliver Hoyte (Neck)

S Keith Davis (Shoulder)

LB Greg Ellis (Achilles)
CB Terence Newman (Foot and Knee)

With the temporary loss of the very productive Anthony Henry, we will finally get the chance to see Terence Newman back in his starting role. He had a good practice on Friday and we expect him to have a fairly decent game.

There are reports that Terry Glenn has started the rehab for his knee. If all goes well, he should be ready to play in 4 to 5 weeks.

Keith Davis hasn’t practice all week after a shoulder injury that kept him out of last week’s game against the Rams. Coach Phillips says Davis has a "50/50" chance of playing and will be a game time decision.

Greg Ellis had an excellent game last week and we expect he will only improve as the season progresses. You will probably only see him in the nickel defense as a pash rusher, until he heals more.


Injury Update: No More Preseason For Newman

As you may have heard Terence Newman has been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. Basically he has severe pain in his heel when he walks or runs. Newman missed last week’s game against the Broncos and will miss the rest of preseason. Coach Phillips expects Newman to start the season opener on September 9th but the injury will likely bother Newman the rest of the season.

This is bad news, considering his backups are veterans Aaron Glenn and Anthony Henry. Newman’s shoes are not easy to fill and he is one of the most underrated cornerbacks in the league. In 2006, Newman had 63 tackles, 54 of which were unassisted.

He has been a proven leader on and off the field and would be a great loss to the Cowboys. Lets hope to see "T-New" out on the field and ready to rumble when the ‘Boys take the field September 9th against the New York Giants.


Cowboys News: Glenn Will Miss the Final Two Preseason Games

It has been reported that Coach Wade Phillips has ruled out the return of Terry Glenn for the final two preseason games. When Glenn had arthroscopic knee surgery on August 1st, he was projected to be back for the final preseason game, however that no longer seems probable. Coach Phillips said Glenn will return to practice after the August 30th game. Glenn hasn’t had any setbacks in his rehab and the team isn’t worried about the veteran’s lack of practice.

"No, it’s not a real concern," Phillips said. "He knows what to do and he knows how to do it and as long as he’s ready physically, I think he’ll be ready to do it."

As for the rumors going around that Terry Glenn has re-aggravated his knee, Coach says he has no idea where that information came from. Glenn should be ready to go for Week 1, September 9th against the Giants.

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Minicamp Opens This Weekend


Little by little we are inching our way towards football season. The Cowboys released their schedule for minicamp which starts Saturday, May 12th.

Saturday, May 12

10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PRACTICE (Open to the Media)

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. OPEN LOCKER ROOM TO MEDIA


3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. PRACTICE (Open to the Media)

Sunday, May 13

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. OPEN LOCKER ROOM TO MEDIA

1:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. PRACTICE (Open to the Media)

Monday, May 14

10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PRACTICE (Open to the Media)

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. OPEN LOCKER ROOM TO MEDIA


3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. PRACTICE (Open to the Media)

So far no word on if any of our draft selections will be in attendance.

It will be great to see some of the guys in uniform again and talking about the upcoming season and not last season.

The Cowboys also released their agenda for the Dallas Cowboys Kickoff Event!

On Tuesday, July 24 fans will pack the stands of the Alamodome to welcome the "Boys" back to San Antonio and signal the start of the 2007 season.

The Dallas Cowboys Kick-Off Event will feature appearances by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Cowboys new head coach Wade Phillips, your favorite Cowboys players, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and team mascot, Rowdy.

Grammy winning artists Los Lonely Boys will perform as part of this high energy show. Come out to this FREE event starting at 7:00PM to help kick off the beginning of the Cowboys football season!


Wade Phillips to be Cowboys Head Coach


  A formal announcement will be made today at 5 p.m., but reports are saying Wade Phillips is the Dallas Cowboys next head coach. Phillips was the only candidate who would keep the 3-4 defense and Jerry Jones did not want to have a losing record for 2 years while a coach came in and redesigned the team. Phillips was also supportive of Jason Garrett the new offensive coordinator hired by Jones.

The San Diego Chargers went 14-2 in the regular season with its defense run by Wade Phillips. Phillips was the head coach of Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills with a 48-39 record.