Are You Ready for the “Kam-Akwasi” Cowboy?

We find ourselves meandering through the practice notes and news each day as we lead up to the Hall of Fame game today between the Dallas Cowboys and the Cincinnati Bengals. Lots of questions from the past season are on every fans mind as we get to have a look see at some of the young players the Cowboys are prepping to make the final roster to head into our 50th season and hopefully our 6th Lombardi Trophy and NFL Championship. Since I already focused on the main position that most people are focusing on this year, left tackle, I thought I would delve into the other main question that has been dogging us since Woody left with us a big hole in the secondary when he walked off into his final sunset as a player.

Free Safety is the one main position that we over look every year. Mainly because we have a couple of guys who tend to just kind of get by and barely get the job done. We were spoiled for a long time because we had Darren Woodson back there to hold down the fort and once he left we got to see just how special he really was. This year though going into the off season Jerry decided he has had enough and gave Ken Hamlin his walking papers and went out and drafted someone that everyone thought we were looking at as a cornerback but some scouts believe that he could turn into a very good free safety. I bring you Akwasi Owusu-Ansah from a small little division II school out of western Pennsylvania.  He has a lot of the same attributes that Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie had when he came out of a Division II school, DRC has a bit more speed then him but Akwasi may be a more versatile player and be able to impact the game in a couple other ways then playing in the secondary.

Akwasi was a running back n high school and was switched to cornerback when he got to college. You can see this high school background when he is returning the ball, whether it is on an interception return, a kickoff or punt return. He has those knees just pumping away and doesn’t stop those legs churning until he is brought down.  Usually not on the first attempt at tackling him either. I have watched a couple of the highlight reels of him returning kicks and seen a couple where it took five to six attempts to finally knock him on his keester..    and some he didn’t find his knee on the ground until he was striking paydirt. With his 6 foot, 200 lb frame he is that tweener between a corner and safety when it comes to size but his 4.4 range 40 yd dash time will make you forget about that quickly especially because that speed translates on the field as well.

Now I know everyone will be questioning his ability to transition from division II to the NFL in the secondary but, that is not a worry because of his talents in the return game. Returning a football on kicks in college no matter the level the same talents are needed in the NFL. Awareness and the ability to turn on a dime and also make people miss. That is something he excelled at in college. He will have time to work on his secondary skills while returning punts and he has already gotten some praise form Brett Maxie because of his ability to learn the defensive sets while recovering from shoulder surgery in the off season. He will obviously have to learn run support to play safety as he was a cornerback in college but he has long arms and great closing speed to stop plays dead, whether its wrapping the ball carrier to tackle him or using those arms to deflect balls. His closing speed though allows him to jump routes on receivers.

All in all I think that his ability to help create turnovers, which the Cowboys need a huge shot in the arm in and also his return ability coudl help us have one of the best return games in the NFL. How would you luck to be the coach or kicker trying to decide which person to kickoff to…  Akwasi or Felix. Talk about trying to pick the lesser of two evils!

Dez Bryant Out 4-6 Weeks, May Miss All Pre-Season

Update 7:45 PM

The team announced Friday evening that Dez Bryant will miss four to six weeks. Bryant was injured on the second-to-last play of Friday’s practice in the Alamodome.

An MRI confirmed the team’s fear of a high ankle sprain. Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones had expressed hope that Bryant, who had a spectacular start to training camp, would be out for only a few days or a week, but now they are faced with an injury that could have ripple effects to start the season.

With this injury, the Cowboys’ top three picks are all injured. Second-round linebacker Sean Lee has been sidelined since Tuesday with a strained quadriceps, and fourth-round safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, who had shoulder surgery in March, has not been cleared to practice yet.


Original Post 3:00 PM

ESPN Dallas reports:

SAN ANTONIO — Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant, the team’s first-round selection, was helped off the field by two athletic trainers after suffering a right ankle injury near the end of the training practice Friday.

Bryant stayed on the Alamodome turf after cornerback Orlando Scandrick broke up a pass on a crossing route. Jon Kitna’s pass was thrown slightly behind Bryant, and Scandrick appeared to land on the prized rookie’s lower right leg. He was helped off the field, with Bryant keeping weight off it.

Bryant will have an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

Let’s hope its not as bad as it sounds. All we can do at this point is wait for the MRI results.

Many Interesting Scenarios to Watch For As Draft Nears

Draft weekend is finally here. The day(s) that die-hard fans like myself liken to Christmas morning. Cowboys fans have come to expect the unexpected from Jerry Jones on draft day. His uncanny ability to wheel and deal on the clock is loved by some, and hated by others. Let’s go through some scenarios that could unfold over the next three days.

1. The Cowboys stand pat in the first round and draft the best player on their board. That means that players like Jared Odrick, Maurkice Pouncey, Taylor Mays, Devin McCourty, or Sean Weatherspoon could be Dallas Cowboys by the end of tonight. The reality of the matter is that the Cowboys have very little need at any single position this year and that will enable them to take the best player available should they choose to stay at #27.

Players to watch for in this scenario:

  • Jared Odrick – Defensive End, Penn State
  • Maurkice Pouncey – Guard/Center, Florida
  • Taylor Mays – Safety, USC
  • Devin McCourty – Cornerback, Rutgers
  • Sean Weatherspoon – Linebacker, Missouri


2. A player the Cowboys like drops considerably in the first round and they trade up to get him. I would not expect Jerry to move up a great deal in the first round since the Cowboys do not have many picks to give away in this draft. With that being said, if a player like Earl Thomas, Dez Bryant, or Mike Iupati were to slide into the late teens or early twenties, it would not be surprising to see Jerry trade up to get them.

Players to watch for in this scenario:

  • Earl Thomas – Safety, Texas
  • Dez Bryant – Receiver, Oklahoma State
  • Mike Iupati – Guard, Idaho


3. The Cowboys do not see anyone they like in the first round and trade out of the first to stockpile some picks. I would think Jerry would demand another second round pick and possibly even a fifth (Dallas does not own a fifth rounder this year) to move out of the first round. The early second round is a spot where the Cowboys would likely draft someone like Sean Lee, who they are very high on. I could see them using their original second rounder on someone like Nate Allen or Morgan Burnett if they are still on the board. Personally I do not see the Cowboys trading down much this year because of the high number of picks they had last year. When you start to stockpile mountains of picks, keeping those players on the roster starts to become an issue.

Players to watch for in this scenario:

  • Sean Lee – Linebacker, Penn State
  • Nate Allen – Safety, South Florida
  • Morgan Burnett – Safety, Georgia Tech
  • Arrelious Benn – Receiver, Illinois


4. Dallas trades away current players for draft picks. Remember that the Bengals reportedly offered a second round pick for Martellus Bennett before the trade deadline last season. Many mock drafts have Cincinnati drafting Jermaine Gresham with their first round pick, so it is not a far stretch to think that they may offer Dallas a second rounder again for Bennett. Another player who could be on the block is Marcus Spears, who likely will only warrant a fourth or fifth round pick. Some “experts” say that Marion Barber should be on the trade block, but I just cannot see the Cowboys dealing him.

Players to watch in this scenario:

  • Martellus Bennett
  • Marcus Spears


5. Dallas trades a draft pick for a player currently on an NFL roster. There are a handful of NFL players who could find new homes on draft day, and it would not be a far stretch to think that Jerry may pull the trigger on a current player if the price is right. There have been reports that Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither is on the block, and I think the Cowboys may be interested in him if the asking price was a second round pick. Recent reports have also surfaced about New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Jammal Brown being potential trade bait in this year’s draft. I could also see the Cowboys being interested in him for a price similar to Jared Gaither’s. Brown is also from nearby Waxahachie, Texas, so he has personal ties to the Dallas area.

Players to watch in this scenario:

  • Jared Gaither – Offensive Tackle, Baltimore Ravens
  • Jammal Brown – Offensive Tackle, New Orleans Saints


Your 2010 Pro Bowl Cowboys

Sadly, the 2009 season ended for the Dallas Cowboys a couple of weeks ago, but this weekend when the Pro Bowl kicks off you might reconsider tuning in. In addition to the six Cowboys elected and Terence Newman who was added last week, two more will join the Cowboys coaching staff on the NFC roster. Andre Gurode will not be playing because of knee surgery.

Tony Romo and Mike Jenkins will play in the game due to injury of the elected starters. Romo was chosen to replace Brett Favre (ankle injury). Jenkins will replace Antoine Winfield (foot injury).

That makes a total of nine Cowboys attending this year’s Pro Bowl in Miami. Philadelphia is tied with Dallas for having the most players at the game. It is also the sixth most selections in franchise history.

StarStruck GraphicsYour 2010 Pro Bowl Cowboys:

Miles Austin, wide receiver

Leonard Davis, guard

Andre Gurode, center (injured)

Mike Jenkins, cornerback

Terence Newman, cornerback

Jay Ratliff, interior lineman

Tony Romo, quarterback

DeMarcus Ware, outside linebacker

Jason Witten, tight end

Head Coach Wade Phillips and his staff

Cowboys Add Return Specialist

The Cowboys and Allen Rossum have agreed on a 1-year deal to bring the return specialist to Dallas.

From the Cowboys website:

Rossum is expected to sign a one-year, veteran-minimum contract with the Cowboys on Wednesday morning. A Dallas native who played at Skyline High School, Rossum left for Notre Dame before joining the Philadelphia Eagles as a third-round cornerback in 1998.

Philadelphia quickly learned that Rossum’s greatest talents were as a kickoff and punt returner, a role he’s filled for five franchises over the last 11 seasons. After two years with the Eagles he was traded to Green Bay, where he spent two seasons. He signed an unrestricted free-agent contract with Atlanta in 2002 and went on to play five years there before being traded to Pittsburgh for the 2007 season.

After a year in the Steel City he joined the 49ers, playing in San Francisco for all of last season and the first four games of 2009 before he was waived Monday to make room for first-round pick Michael Crabtree, who ended his holdout last week.

In 156 career games Rossum has 307 punt returns, averaging 10 yards per return with three touchdowns. He has returned 513 kickoffs at an average of 23.3 yards, with five scores.

Rossum would replace Patrick Crayton as the Cowboys’ primary punt returner. Felix Jones, Miles Austin and Kevin Ogletree have served as kickoff returners so far this season. Crayton has averaged 8.0 yards on 10 punt returns this season, but mishandled one kick Sunday, leading to a Kansas City touchdown, and then appeared hesitant to field a couple of more punts later in the game.

Rossum, who has 10 career starts at cornerback as well, will replace Cletis Gordon, who was released Tuesday after signing on in an emergency cornerback role last week.

Sounds like a good deal. Lord knows we didn’t want Patrick Crayton resuming duties after the bye week.

Thanks to Nate for giving me the heads up.

Cowboys Extra Points: Starters, Backups and Poison Ivy?

extrapts2Duke Preston is on his way to Dallas, and pending a physical could be the team’s new backup center behind Andre Gurode as reported by Nick Eatman on the Cowboys’ official site.

Preston was released by Green Bay on Tuesday after being with the team since March. The veteran could provide depth to the O-line as he can play center, tackle and guard. Preston spent the last four years with Buffalo.

Possibly one of the biggest battles this preseason has been (as expected) between Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick at cornerback. Wade Phillips said both are doing so well and it’s a tough decision, one that he probably won’t make until the season opener. Scandrick is expected to start this Saturday and Jenkins in the final preseason game.

Now here’s a doozy… Bobby Carpenter did not participate in practice today. According to Tim MacMahon at DMN Carpenter got poison ivy in his eye and it was swelled shut.

Roy Williams continues to receive criticism from the media, including former Cowboy greats, but he isn’t letting it get to him.

“It doesn’t fuel me. Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, Darren Woodson — I love it, I appreciate it.

“I appreciate it because if you sit around and have to hear how good you are all the dang time, you have to have that Jerry Rice mind-set of, ‘I’m not good enough.

“When I have guys, especially NFL greats and the greatest that played here in Dallas, saying that I can’t get the job done, and I’m not a No. 1, it makes me feel good.

“It makes me want to go out there and prove to them and everybody else across the world who listens to those guys because, obviously, everybody thinks they know it all, that I can do my job.”

Answers Needed From The 2009 Training Camp

Well, training camp is here as it started yesterday. The Cowboys enter this year’s training camp with a lot of unanswered questions. We all are seeking answers to the following questions:

Who will be the number 2, 3, & 4 wide receivers?

Who will be the starting right cornerback?

Will LB Bobby Carpenter be playing a more active role this year?

How will we ensure that all three of our running backs get carries?

Will the offensive line be able to provide better pass and run blocking?

Will wide receiver Roy Williams be able to put up comparable numbers to that other wide receiver we had?

Will Jason Garrett’s offense be able to get back to where it was two years ago?

Will the special teams be able to perform better under Coach DeCamillis?

These are some of the many questions that training camp should help to provide and yes some of the questions we will not know until the season begins. I believe that this year’s camp will be harder and more will come out of it than did last year. I believe the Cowboys have learned that you get what you put into it.

Yes, last year we started out okay, but we did not finish okay and I believe that training camp instills that work ethic that can carry you through the year. The young players on the team need to step up and play big and I think that will. I hope that we start strong out of the gate and do not let up until we have won the Super Bowl!

Mike Jenkins Grabs Starting Job At Cornerback?

Mike Jenkins is making some news lately, but it’s not what he’s saying that’s getting all the attention, it’s what he’s writing.

Jenkins has his own official blog, and he has been keeping busy calling things the way he sees them.

“Heading into training camp I’m the starter at right cornerback, and my job is to maintain that position. I’m back in Florida training at IMG to get my body right, get my head right, be mentally ready heading into the season. …It’s my job to lose, but there’s a guy behind me with nothing to lose. If he makes a mistake, it’s not going to cause him to lose his job. If I make a mistake, the coaches are going to take a long, hard look at me in that position.”

I’m all for a good healthy position battle at training camp, but I prefer to see a winner proclaimed after all is said and done on the practice field. Actions speak a lot louder than words. I admire your confidence Mike, but I hope you can follow through and back it up come training camp.

As some of you know, Jenkins recently ditched his uniform number 31 and exchanged it for 21. In a previous entry Jenkins talks about his rookie year.

My rookie season was definitely harder than I expected. I went in and thought I knew all the rules, but I learned the hard way. I learned real quick that the speed of the game is way faster and the game is much harder.

I would rate the season a 6 or 7 from 1-10. There’s a lot of room for improvement and I’m my own hardest critic.

I’m looking forward to seeing both Orlando Scandrick and Mike Jenkins, battle it our for the starting gig in training camp. Scandrick has already show some great cover skills, but hopefully Jenkins can step up in his second year with the team and show even more. 

Let the battle begin, and may the best man win…

Eleven Cowboys Headed to the Pro Bowl

What a magical year for the Dallas Cowboys. America’s Team will be sending 11 of its top players to Hawaii to be honored at the Pro Bowl. This will tie the franchise record which was set back during the 90s dynasty years.


Flozell Adams, offensive tackle

Leonard Davis, guard

Andre Gurode, center

Jason Witten, tight end

Terrell Owens, wide receiver

DeMarcus Ware, linebacker

Nick Folk, kicker 


Tony Romo, quarterback

Marion Barber, running back

Ken Hamlin, safety

Terence Newman, cornerback


Our Prayers Go Out to Ron Springs and His Family


Former Cowboys RB Ron Springs In Coma

According to published reports, former Dallas Cowboys running back Ron Springs fell into a coma in a Dallas hospital because of complications from a Saturday surgery to have a cyst removed from one of his arms.

Springs, 50, has battled complications from diabetes for 16 years and received a kidney from former Cowboys teammate Everson Walls in February.

The Washington Redskins announced Tuesday that cornerback Shawn Springs has flown to Dallas to be with his father.


Legends of the Star – Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders was and still is one of the most colorful and most polarizing players in sports. He started out his career in 1988 when he was drafted by New York Yankees. He was then drafted the following year by the Atlanta Falcons with the fifth overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. He showed up wearing thousands of dollars of diamonds and gold including a flashy silk shirt embroidered with the words "Prime Time." The name stuck with him.
Sanders had a very successful baseball career and went on to have an even better football career. He became a rare two sport star who made headlines with his play as well as his very controversial comments. He was loved and hated by millions of fans across the country.
For his first five seasons in the NFL, Deion Sanders played for the Atlanta Falcons and was the best cornerback in the league and one of the best return specialists in NFL history. He was as dynamic a player as there ever was in the game. He then signed a one-year deal with San Francisco, and became the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. His four tackles and interception helped the 49ers beat San Diego 49-26 in Super Bowl XXIX.
Soon after that, in 1995, Sanders signed a huge contract to play with the Dallas Cowboys. He was to get a $13 million dollar signing bonus, but because Jerry Jones was superstitious, he received $12,999,999.99, a penny less.His presence at cornerback helped Dallas win the Super Bowl that season. In that game, he became the only player in NFL history to catch a pass and make an interception in the Super Bowl. In 1996, Sanders started all 16 games at cornerback and eight at wide receiver to become the first two-way NFL player in 34 years. But make no mistake, with eight Pro Bowl selections as a cornerback, defense is where Sanders really shined.
During his 14-year NFL career, Deion Sanders was a perennial All-Pro and one of the most feared pass defenders to ever play the game. He is the only player to have appeared in a Super Bowl and a World Series.



Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Legends of the Star – Larry Brown


Nobody expected Larry Brown to make the team when he was originally drafted by the Cowboys in the 12th round of the 1991 NFL Draft. The smallish cornerback hailed from Texas Christian University and his numbers while in college were good, but not spectacular.

However, Larry Brown will always be remembered for his big game during Super Bowl XXX. Trailing 13-7 in the third quarter, Brown intercepted Steelers quarterback, Neil O’Donnell at the Cowboys’ 38-yard line and returned it all the way down to Pittsburgh’s 18. It was his second interception and it led to a touchdown run by Emmitt Smith.

Larry Brown’s two interceptions led to 14 second-half points and helped lift the Cowboys to their third Super Bowl victory in the last four seasons and their record-tying fifth title overall. For his efforts, he was named the MVP of Super Bowl XXX and became the first cornerback ever to win the award.

Brown became a free agent immediately after his MVP performance and signed with the Oakland Raiders, but returned to Dallas for the 1998 season, which would be his last. He retired with 14 career interceptions, 2 touchdowns, 2 fumble recoveries and was named to 2 Prow Bowls.

Larry Brown is now the cohost of “Countdown to Kickoff” on Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket, the flagship station of the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network. 

Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys.