Posts

I want to be a Dallas Cowboys Geek

I want to be a Cowboys geekFor as long as I can remember, I’ve had the Dallas Cowboys in my life.  My father was a Dallas Cowboys fan, my grandmother was even a Dallas Cowboys fan, but at the time, I was too young to know what that meant.  I remember my grandmother, when asked her name, would always say “Irvin, like Michael Irvin, except no relation.”  I had no idea who he was, the Dallas Cowboys, or any of that.  I didn’t know what it meant to be a Dallas Cowboys fan, I just wore around a giant 88 jersey to school  because it had my last name on it.

Today, that’s going to change.  I have no idea what I’m going to get myself in to, but I’m very excited.  I suppose I’ll formally introduce myself…my name is Jonathan Irvin.  I’m new to the LSS team and I’m in charge primarily of the operations a.k.a. “the geeky stuff.”  Kelly and I are working on something special for the site and I hope you all will like it.  Aside from the teaser I left, I’ll be documenting my journey into the Dallas Cowboys fandom and sharing my perspective from, as Kelly describes it, “a football virgin’s eyes.”

I want to be a Dallas Cowboys geek.  I want to know what you all know and eventually I will make my pilgrimage to my first Dallas Cowboys game.  Oh yeah, I’ll  be writing about that as well.  In any regard, I look forward to get to know you all and learn what it truly means to be a Dallas Cowboys Geek.

There’s No Vacation From America’s Team

I have always thought of the Dallas Cowboys as being America’s Team, but as many in Cowboy Nation know there are other NFL teams that want the title.

On my recent trip to Richmond, Virginia I proudly wore my Cowboy gear which I thought would bring up many conversations, you know since we were so close to Redskin Country.  To my surprise I met many Dallas Cowboy fans in many places.  One in particular was our tour guide while in a cavern tour, and another in a diner. I even met an entire family of die hard Cowboy fans.

We had many conversations about how we thought the team would do this season.  What did surprise me was how many men were surprised that at a woman really knew the game of football. During a discussion about the defense and the free agents we picked up one man said, ” Wow you really do know your Cowboys!”

While at the register in a sports shop, the man asked if I was shopping for Father’s Day. I laughed and replied, “No this is for me. I am  a southern girl and we know our sports.” Then he began to quiz me about the teams, college football, basketball and the Texas Rangers. I answered all his questions and he was amazed and replied, “I may have to head that way to find a wife.”  I just shook my head and laughed.

Even during offseason and on vacation, the ‘Boys are on my mind. That’s the life a die-hard Cowboys fan for ya!  

Last Mock Off Season Of January 2012

I have been busy with my off season addiction of researching free agents and draft hopefuls again. Right now I am knee deep in mock drafts and have completed a few complete off seasons as well. I am also currently finishing up my defensive analysis, which I will post in a couple days before leaving for Florida to work for a bit. Here is the last off season mock I made and posted on my Facebook page a couple days ago. Keep in mind this is just fantasy, but I try to be as realistic as possible, keeping in mind salary CAP and position needs as well as player availability both in free agency and each round of the draft. I do this for fun and hopefully you all will have some fun reading this and coming up with your own ideas as well. It’s a long off season and we have to keep busy some how. Enjoy…
Photobucket
I want to preface this one by acknowledging the fact that there is no way to make everyone happy. The moves (or non-moves) in this one that people will complain about is not resigning Laurent Robinson and Tony Fiammetta. Also, not having better depth behind Victor Butler and Bruce Carter, so this one is a gamble. Then again, aren’t they all? Let me explain my thoughts before getting into free agents signed and the draft.

In this scenario, Laurent Robinson finds a much higher payday than Dallas is willing to shell out for it’s 4th option on offense, and decides it’s a much better idea to fortify other positions with that money. As for Fiammetta, his health concerns cause Jerry to wait until camp to see if he is an absolute need. There is no doubt, his blocking skills were directly related to Murray’s rookie success, so this one will be closely monitored. For now, the money is used to backup Romo, with the economical choice of Brady Quinn. Anthony Spencer finds a Chris Canty-like deal that is too rich for the Cowboys blood and Ryan decides he can roll with Victor Butler and a new young player from the draft. This decision also indirectly influences the first round pick in the draft.

Free Agents Signed:

Carl Nicks OG 7 years $57 million with $15 million signing bonus (contract comparable to former Saint’s teammate Jahri Evans)

This is the big move of the year. Nicks will pair with Tyron Smith to protect Romo’s blindside, giving him the time needed to make the critical reads.

Richard Marshall CB 6 years $28 million with $10 million guaranteed (contract similar to Scandrick’s)

Marshall was named defense MVP by Arizona Cardinal’s DC Ray Horton.He is a solid cover corner and tackles well. He was also used at safety last year when FS Kerry Rhodes was sidelined with a foot injury. Richard will come in and compete with Orlando Scandrick for a starting spot.

Thomas DeCoud FS 6 years $25 million with $8 million guaranteed (contract similar to Sensebaugh’s)

DeCoud became a solid starter in Atlanta, but became a CAP casualty with so many other priorities and William Moore as a fallback option. This is an upgrade for the Dallas secondary compared to resigning Elam to play SS and Sensebugh to stay at FS.

Brady Quinn QB 3 years $8 million with $4 million guaranteed

There are quite a few options here at this price, but Quinn is my flavor of the week. I could also see Chad Henne getting a look here.

 

2012 Dallas Cowboys Draft:

1. Devon Still DT/DE Penn State

Still is currently the 10th rated player and top rated DT in this years draft. I could also see Quinton Coples or Michael Brockers going here. The idea behind this pick is that I believe Courtney Upshaw will be gone by the 14th pick (probably to Buffalo at 10) and the dline has been ignored for years. If you watch today’s NFL QB’s against a 3-4 defense, most are aware of the edge rushers (OLB’s) and step up into the pocket to avoid pressure. If the pressure is also coming from the inside, it’s a different ballgame. Ratliff at NT and Hatcher and Still at DE, combined with Butler and Ware on the outside could be the upgrade in pressure that we’ve been lacking since the switch to a 3-4.

2. Ben Jones C/G Georgia

Jones is the second rated center in this year’s draft, but the perfect fir for Garrett’s offense. Ben is versatile, smart and strong. When asked what his greatest asset was at the senior bowl, his response was “My intelligence, I’m a smart guy. I can get the whole offensive line on the same page and I’m tough as hell.” One of our oline weaknesses for years was that the center doesn’t make the line adjustments. Kosier has been that guy and with age and injuries catching up to Kyle, Jones would be the perfect choice for the future at center.

3. Josh Norman CB Coastal Carolina

Norman caught the attention of scouts at the senior bowl. Although a small school player, his height, (6’2”) physicality, smoothness and great hands make him an intriguing prospect and worth the 3rd round grade he is currently receiving from most draft sights. Josh could be the steal of the draft and everyone knows Jerry likes to gamble on players with high upside to make him look like a genius.

4. T.Y. Hilton WR/PR Florida International

Hilton is another small school athlete with tremendous upside. He could potentially replace Laurent Robinson’s void as the 4th offensive option as well as provide a legitimate weapon on punt returns, finally keeping starting WR Dez Bryant off special teams. Although small in stature, (5’10” 185lbs.) T.Y.’s straight line speed, hands and elusiveness make him a weapon defenses must account for at all times.

4. (comp pick for Stephen Bowen) Tank Carder ILB TCU

Depth is needed on the inside after losing former starters Keith Brooking and Bradie James. Tank is a tough, physical player with great tackling technique. Carder was the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year in 2011.

5. Jack Crawford DE/OLB Penn State

Crawford is the second Penn State player taken in this draft and would be the third Nitny Lion on the 2012 defense joining starter Sean Lee and first round pick Devon Still. I really like his size for the position. (6’5” 270 lbs.) Crawford has tremendous work-ethic and energy and could be counted on for significant contributions during his rookie season rotating with Victor Butler on the strong side.

6. Beau Reliford TE Florida State

If Jerry doesn’t get caught up in the en-vogue two-tight end receiver option, Beau could be the cheaper solid blocking tight end needed after losing head-case Martellus Bennett to free agency. Reliford is a former basketball all-star and has the size (6’5” 260 lbs.) and athletic ability (like Bennett) to excel in Garrett’s offense.

7. Emil Igwenagu FB Massachusetts

Choosing not to resign Fiammetta right away and the slow progress of last year’s draft pick, Sean Chapas, leaves a void in the lead blocking department, which is essential to the health of the running game in Garrett’s 90’s style offense. With few teams looking for traditional fullbacks in this new era of passing prominence, Igwenagu has the receiving skills to do damage on the perimeter when not blasting holes in the running game. He was also voted team captain in 2011, something JG holds to a high regard.

 

Tony Fiammetta – Large Part Of Running Game

It has been a up and down season for fullback Tony Fiammetta.  The 2009 4th round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers was waived September 3, 2011, after battling concussion issues.  The Cowboys claimed him September 4, 2011, but was waived just four days later.  Then he re-signed with Dallas on September 13th.

We know as Cowboy fans, that to have a solid running game a fullback is needed.  A good example is Emmitt Smith and Moose Daryl  Johnson.  DeMarco Murray ackowledged the improved running game when he’s behind him.  ” Tony does a great job and I’m looking forward to having him back this week.”

In four games behind Fiammetta, Murray rushed for 611 yards. In the last three games that Tony was out due to illness with a inner-ear infection his running game fell to 198 yards.  Yes, it could be due to the teams we have played, but I think having a good fullback makes a large difference no matter what defense we are facing.

It is interesting that both Fiammetta and Moose attended Syracuse.  I am not going to quote stats like I usually do because as we all know, a fullback’s most important job  – his blocking isn’t listed in the stats.    Pro Football Weekly did name Fiammetta as their first team All-American fullback.  He also participated in the 2009 Senior Bowl.

As I do research for these articles what I find most interesting is their pre-college history.

For example Tony’s full name is Placido Anthony “Tony” Fiammetta.  He was born in Kaneohe, Hawaii August 22, 1986 to parents Vince and Esther Fiammetta. He was raised in Maryland where he attented Walkersville High School. He played both football and lacrosse all four years, and wrestled for one year. His Senior year he played one game , and  broke his leg after recording 144 yards and had three touchdowns on 19 carries.

Who thinks the Cowboys will have a better running game with Fiammetta tonight?

Or do you disagree with me and think the Cowboys don’t need a fullback like they did earlier this season?  Let me know.

A Bad Ending for A Great Prospect!

In watching the pre-season games this year a few names have stood out, but the one I was really excited about was Raymond Radway.  It seemed he had what it took to win a spot on the roster and in the final 3 seconds of preseason, his year abruptly ended with a bad break. 

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Raymond Radway was perhaps three seconds away from making the Cowboys’ 53-man roster. Radway, the undrafted rookie wide receiver from McKinney, suffered a broken left fibula and tibia and will have surgery immediately after the team returns to Dallas.

ESPN reports that Radway’s fibula and tibia are broken.  I hate to see anyone on either team hurt in a game I’m watching but in looking at that play, I could tell it was going to be a bad one!  God speed Radway!  We hope you have a fast recovery, and look forward to seeing you out there again in a Cowboys uniform!

Cowboys Third Rounder DeMarco Murray Is Ready For Prime Time

The Dallas Cowboys drafted running back DeMarco Murray in the third round of the this year’s draft.  I was surprised and pleased.

DeMarco attended the University of Oklahoma.  In his first game in 2007 he rushed for 201 yards and five touchdowns. He became the first player to score four touchdowns in a half in his Soomer debut.  He also entered the OU record book when he had a touchdown run of 92 yards.   Let me put it this way, he tied Adrian Peterson’s freshman touchdown record in 2007 with 15, that should sum up how talented this young man is.

  • All-Time Leader in Points scored (390)
  • All-Time Leader in Touchdowns (65)
  • All-Time Leader in All Purpose Yards (6,718)
  • All-Time Leader in Receiving Yards for a Running Back ( 1,571)

Most importantly with no fumbles!

He said in a recent interview,  “I also got to see Adrian Peterson for a year there. And he demonstrated how hard he worked – even when he wasn’t getting the ball. It’s just about hard work and that mind-set of competing”

DeMarco grew up being a Dallas Cowboy fan.  He was born February 12, 1988 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Murray attended Bishop Gorman High School, where he was an all-conference pick three consecutive years.  While he played at Grandview his team was 3-time Conference Champions. DeMarco earned All-state honors and Sunset Region Offensive Player of the Year award.  He was considered on of the top running backs in his class.

“Everyone overthinks it sometimes or at some point or another. You just have to relax, slow down and let the game come to you. You have to trust your eyes. Your eyes won’t lie to you. Trust your eyes; trust your keys and trust your technique and it all takes care of itself. The more reps you get can also helps. But for me it’s film that helps me the most. Even mental reps can help you see others’ mistakes so you don’t make them.”

Sounds to me like DeMarco does his homework and will give 100 percent to the team.

When asked about  injuries he replied:.

” Some say you use your thighs or hamstrings more because your knee hurts. I just think it’s all a part of God’s plan. We have no control over injuries. Its just part of life; you can walk down the street and twist your ankle. I’m just blessed to have had the career I’ve had. “

When asked what he learned most playing in college:

 ” That playing the position of running back is not just about running with the football. You have to be able to protect the quarterback. That’s one of the biggest things that was coached at Oklahoma and we worked on it all year as well as catching the football. You want to be an every-down back and not just a first-, second- or third-down back. You want to be a player that the coaches have trust in you to carry the ball as well as catch and block.  I just continue to work hard and take pride in blocking for the quarterback and catching the ball.”

The Dallas Cowboys signed Murray on July 29th to a four-year contract worth $2.97 million including  signing bonus worth $622,000.

We wish the best of luck to DeMarco and I know he will be a asset to the Cowboys!

New To The Silver & Blue: Tyron Smith – OT

By now, every Cowboys fan knows that the team selected offensive lineman Tyron Smith with their 1st round draft pick earlier this year, but did you know that it had been 30 years since the last time the Cowboys drafted that position with their first round pick? It’s true, the Dallas Cowboys selected offensive lineman Howard Richards with their first round selection 1981. That was the year that we were all was introduced to Indiana Jones and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” topped the box-office.

Whenever I write something about the newest Cowboy, Tyron Smith, I’m tempted to type in all caps because he is such a monster when it comes to his size!  The young tackle out of Southern California checks in at 6’5  and weighs 307 pounds.  Tryon’s hands were each measured at 11 inches.  The former USC star acknowledges his size as one of his main assets:

” My strength is my size,” I intimidate other guys because I’m big and I’m working on getting bigger. I want to work on my footwork. Since I’m so big, sometimes I get off balance.” 

Tyron was born December 12, 1990 in Moreno Valley California. He attended Rancho Verde High School where he played offensive and defensive line.  He earned numerous honors.  Even as a kid, Rivals.com listed him as the #1 offensive tackle prospect in the nation.  They nailed it on this one.

The analysis from USC pro-day reported that his pass blocking is his best trait,  saying he’s quick off the snap and can catch and turn his opponent away from the play. His athleticism enables him to explode out of the gate and make down-field blocks.

In his last season at USC, the Trojans allowed only 18 sacks, and averaged 189 yards per game in 2010, both were conference bests.

At Pro-day he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.91 and just as impressive for his size was his broad jump at 9-1 and his vertical at 29 inches. The ground must have shook when he landed. :-)

Smith is very comfortable blocking in an open space.  He can sink his hips to counter the bull-rush. He moves his feet well to shadow quicker speed rushers. 

It’s no wonder Smith was by far the number one offensive tackle in the draft – nobody else even came close. Romo must have been doing cartwheels on Draft Day! (Don’t strain yourself Tony!) 

Blessed with the prototype combination of size, balance and agility, he has the potential to develop into a top-flight left tackle in the NFL. He emerged as a standout in the Pac-10, winning the Morris Trophy as the conference’s top offensive lineman as voted by the league’s defensive linemen.

Among his weaknesses (hey, nobody’s perfect!) some experts say he needs to develop his football instincts, so that he won’t easily be baited by stunts. He must also key in on recognizing the blitz.  Right now, they seem to think he can be beat by speed to power  rushing moves.  But with that said, let me add that the Cowboys defense is known for their speed, so working against them in camp will help him improve on defending against a speed/rush offense. (It’s all good!)

Here are some highlights…

  • Smith was the country’s highest-ranked offensive linemen. 
  • Smith made a huge impact in his two seasons as the Trojans starting offensive tackle, before declaring early for the 2011 draft.
  • Consensus All-Pac 10 first-team choice, named the Trojans’ Offensive Lineman of the Year
  • The only player in the Pac-10 Conference to register 100 knockdowns for the season, receiving first-team all-league honors.
  • Smith had thirteen touchdown-resulting blocks and allowed only one quarterback sack in his final season. He had 23 blocks for touchdowns in his two years as starter.
  • Tyron was the recipient of the Pac-10 Morris Award, given to the league’s top lineman.

After watching video of him, and with Coach Ryan coming in, it will be interesting to see if the coaching staff can help him with his football IQ and quickly get Smith up to speed and make the improvements that will make him a starter. I believe they will.

There’s a lot to like here!

Final Mock Draft of 2011

This version of The 2011 Cowboys Mock Draft has Jerry wheelin’ and dealin’ as usual, only this time, he comes out smelling like roses. Yeah, I know. Completely unrealistic already. Well, read it anyway and see what ya think. I used my usual rankings at: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings however, this time I looked around to see what other teams could be doing as opposed to going strictly by the rankings. Trade values are standard and can be checked here: http://walterfootball.com/draftchart.php

Remember this is just for fun and maybe we can all learn a little about some of the athletes entering the league.

*Note* The first number represents the round of the draft and the number after the decimal represents the overall number of the pick.

Now on to the draft!
Photobucket

  • 1.9 **TRADE TO ST. LOUIS** St. Louis selects Julio Jones WR Alabama
    St. Louis sees AJ Green go too early to make a realistic move. Trading up to #9, where their second choice, Jones, is still available makes perfect sense for a young team in need of a play-making wide receiver. Dallas makes it interesting by trading picks 1.9, 3.71 and 6.176 for The Ram’s 1.14, 2.47, 4.112 and 7.216. St. Louis now owns picks 1.9, 3.71, 3.78, 5.145 and 6.176.

 

  • 1.14 **TRADE TO SAN DIEGO!!!** San Diego selects Cameron Jordan DE Cal OR JJ Watt DE Wisconsin.
    Both New England and San Diego inquired about pick #9 but both decided it to be too costly. Again, at 14, Dallas fields offers and San Diego comes out on top, while still having picks in the first three rounds. Dallas trades 1.14 for The Charger’s 1.18, 3.82 and 6.183. San Diego now owns picks 1.14, 2.50, 2.61, 3.89, 6.201 and 7.234.

 

  • 1.18 Anthony Castonzo OT Boston College
    PhotobucketPhotobucket
    Castonzo and/or Tyron Smith could be gone by pick 18 with a handful of teams considering taking an OT higher than they should. I’m betting on Smith being the first one taken, despite worries that he might not be ready to start right away. Dallas scouts watched Castonzo’s career religiously at Boston College. He, like Smith, is believed to be able to play either right or left tackle in the NFL. Having that versatility is a good thing on a line that is in rebuilding mode in Dallas. Gabe Carimi has been my favorite of this class to play right tackle, however he hasn’t been invited to the ranch and there is shockingly no buzz about him to Dallas what so ever. I would also consider Mike Pouncey C/OG Florida with this pick if both tackles are gone.

 

  • 2.40 Rahim Moore FS UCLA
    PhotobucketPhotobucket
    Some believe he will be gone by our pick at 40. I don’t think he is a high second rounder in any other draft year other than a year like this where the crop is extremely underwhelming in talent. Moore had a breakout year in ’09 where he picked off a whopping 10 passes, then went back to a pedestrian 1 in ’10. A safety should not be judged on interceptions alone, but we are in the market for a play maker. I hope we get the ’09 version or more of the same could be in our future. I am not a fan of this year’s safety class, but drafting one can not be ignored yet again.

 

  • 2.47 Stefen Wisniewski C/OG Penn State
    PhotobucketPhotobucket
    If I didn’t make a mock with the “WIZ”, my mock draft buddies would kill me. He is a fan favorite of Dallas mockers world-wide. Like Owen Marecic (whom we will talk about shortly) , Stefen represents everything you would want from a football player and just so happens to be a strong need at both guard positions as well as center, where the majority of experts project him to excel at the NFL level. With Davis’ skills rapidly declining, Kosier still unsigned and Gurode’s degenerative knee problems, this is a perfect pick to upgrade the o-line. Like I said earlier with the first pick, if Smith and Castonzo are gone at pick 18 and Dallas selects OG Mike Pouncey, this pick could be an OT such as Marcus Cannon from TCU.

 

  • 3.82 Marcus Gilchrist CB/KR/PR Clemson
    PhotobucketPhotobucket
    Dallas’ secondary problems are well documented and help is needed across the board. Gilchrist is a versatile corner who also excels at kick and punt returning. Marcus has 207 tackles, four tackles for loss, a sack, an interception, 19 pass breakups, three caused fumbles, two recovered fumbles, 722 yards on 27 kickoff returns, and 261 yards on 27 punt returns in 52 games (27 starts) in his career at Clemson. At the very least, he should assume Alan Ball’s #4 corner spot behind Orlando Scandrick, (who is in a contract year) helping us with youth and CAP relief during his first year in Dallas.

 

  • 4.110 Ian Williams DT Notre Dame
    PhotobucketPhotobucket
    I traded up for Ian in my last mock to pick #127 and I believe with a premium at NT in this draft, he could go even higher. Ian had a pre-combine visit with Dallas and is a prime candidate to rotate with Josh Price-Brent, allowing Ratliff to make his long awaited move to Igor Olshansy’s position at RDE. (freeing Igor’s $3.335 million salary) I know Rob Ryan said Ratliff is and will be a DT, but he didn’t say in what packages. Ratliff could be a DE in the base 3-4 package and a DT in others. I think Ryan is smart enough to put his best players on the field and having options is nice.

 

  • 4.112 Kelvin Sheppard ILB LSU
    PhotobucketPhotobucket
    Bradie James will love this pick. Although he will be Bradie’s eventual replacement, Sheppard is an LSU alum as is James. The similarities don’t stop there. Bradie was taken in the fourth round of the 2003 draft. The joke would be that Bradie will always be 9 players better than Kelvin. (Bradie at 103, Kelvin at 112) I’ll be happy if he’s just a solid contributor. His speed and reliable open-field tackling also made the former high-school track star a standout on special teams.

 

  • 5.143 Owen Marecic FB Stanford
    PhotobucketPhotobucket
    Only because this is such a strong FB class do I believe it is possible to still get Marecic at pick 143. The emergence of Charles Clay, Stanley Havili and Henry Hynoski should let one drop to Dallas here and improve at a very weak position. Marecic is exactly the type of player I want on this roster. He puts his head down and works hard. This is the extreme value pick of this draft. To boot, anyone opposed to taking a FB should look at the undrafted player responsible for ending the seasons, because of missed blocks, for both Romo and Bryant in 2010.

 

  • 6.183 Stevan Ridley RB LSU
    PhotobucketPhotobucket
    Ridley recently visited the ranch and it looks like the brass are ready to move on from MBIII and his lopsided contract. The growing belief throughout the league is that you can find good running backs in the later rounds and a high pick on one isn’t a necessity anymore. A bruising back to compliment Felix and Tashard should be relatively easy to achieve with this pick and it’s funny how Stevan is currently rated #183 overall and here we are at that exact pick. Fate? We’ll see…

 

  • 7.216 Justin Boren OG Ohio State
    PhotobucketPhotobucket
    “Not since World War II has a football player done what Justin Boren did in 2008. After two seasons at Michigan, Boren transferred to Ohio State, crossing enemy lines in the Big Ten’s most storied rivalry. Displeased with new Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez’s attitude and, in his words, “lack of values” and seemed to have difficulty adjusting to the physical demands of Rodriguez’s new no-huddle spread offense. Boren has been known to play with the nasty demeanor offensive line coaches like and was a welcome addition to an OSU line having some protection problems prior to his arrival. But while his decision to transfer alone does not raise character concerns, he must still answer questions about the way he handled himself after making that decision. He is a likely late-round pick for a team that appreciates his strength and competitive attitude.” – CBS Sports.com overview

 

  • 7.220 Willie Smith OT East Carolina
    PhotobucketPhotobucket
    The Cowboys need depth at LT and Willie should make a smooth transition having played the position the past two years in East Carolina. Like most late round prospects, he first needs to make the team. Next he needs to develop into an NFL caliber player with our elite coaches, (oline and strength and conditioning) and finally most college scouts don’t believe it would be unreasonable to think Smith could be a starter in 2-3 years. He could be a late round steal much like Jay Ratliff, who was selected 224th overall in the 2005 draft.

 

  • 7.252 Bruce Miller OLB UCF
    PhotobucketPhotobucket
    Brandon Williams needs to prove he’s not just another 2009 draft bust. Bruce Miller could be the competition he needs to finally get over the hump. Demarcus Ware believes in him, we just haven’t seen anything yet. Competition at spots such as OLB will be the key to our future strength.

 

  • Free Agency:
  • PhotobucketPhotobucket

One of these days, a CBA will be hammered out, the owners and players will kiss and make up and free agency will happen. When that day comes, the priority should be resigning our own players first, especially if the restricted tenders don’t stick. Free, Kosier, Bowen and Hatcher should be top priority. While this is being hammered out, word should get to Dawan Landry’s agent that Dallas isn’t committed to Gerald Sensebaugh and are looking to upgrade the position. A feeler is all it should take to get Baltimore to make their modest offer.

“Citing the Ravens’ history at strong safety, the Baltimore Sun does not expect free agent Dawan Landry to be re-signed this year. The Ravens have twice let the starter opposite Ed Reed walk (Will Demps, Jim Leonhard), turning the position over to in-house replacements. If Landry gets to the bidding-war stage, the team will have no qualms about pushing Tom Zbikowski or Haruki Nakamura into the starting lineup.”

Dallas could realistically sign Landry to a 3 year $12 million contract with 8 million guaranteed and steal him away from the Ravens. IMO totally worth it and much more cost effective than previously drafting the top strong safety to start and signing a free agent free safety that would want a very large contract. (Huff, Weddle) We recently went that route with a questionable player (Ken Hamlin) and it didn’t work out so well. Hopefully, Jerry plays this smart and learns his lesson.

 

See you all on the annual draft day chat right here on Lone Star Struck, where we are all sure to to laugh, cry and thoroughly debate personnel decisions in the comfort of our own “War Rooms”…Happy Draft Day Everyone!!! It’s almost here!

Gameday Graphic: Giants at Cowboys

The Cowboys will take their 1-4 record and look for their second win against the Giants in week seven. The expectations have fallen from Super Bowl favs to early draft pick favs. However, all hope should not be lost. Fans are frustrated and demand a turnaround, all we can do is hope that the team wants the same thing. Whether you’ve lost hope of not, come Monday night, Cowboys fans will be expecting a Texas size ass-kickin’ in Cowboys Stadium against their bitter rivals!

The Cowboys matchup against the Giants this Monday night. Television coverage begins at 7:30 Central time on ESPN.

The Lone Star Struck game chat will be open all day and we invite all fans to join us as we root for the Boys and share our game thoughts. Its a great experience with fans from both sides of the ball going at it, cheering for their team. We’ve had a lot of fun and excitement in the chatroom so far this year, stop by and say hi you might find you’d like to stay a while!

Enjoy the game – GO COWBOYS!

Gameday Graphic: Titans at Cowboys

We made it past the bye week, time to get back down to business. The Cowboys matchup against the Titans this afternoon. Television coverage begins at 3:15 Central time on CBS.

The all new Lone Star Struck game chat will be open all day and we invite all fans to join us as we root for the Boys and share our game thoughts. Its a great experience with fans from both sides of the ball going at it, cheering for their team.

Enjoy the game – GO COWBOYS!

All Hope Is Not Lost Cowboys Nation

I think we can all agree it’s been a rough two weeks for Cowboys fans abroad. We’ve had our hearts broken twice and have yet to see a “W”. We’ve seen some nice catches and one sweet return and a whole mess load of mistakes. Discipline has never been the Cowboys’ stronghold, at least not since Wade Phillips took over. So you want to blame Wade? Or is it Jason Garrett’s head you want on a platter?

I’ve heard a little too much of the blame game in the last two weeks. The first week it was Alex Barron. Yes, he made a bonehead mistake and even I wanted to tear him a new one after the first game, but was it his fault we were in the hole in the first place?

I don’t think there is any one solution to this mess. A successful team in any sport is when the team as a whole is working together towards one goal. If it’s true that you are only as strong as your weakest link, we are in a lot of trouble my friends.

The fact is, we are fans of the Dallas Cowboys. We experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There is rarely an in between.

We could easily get back on track and start a nice winning streak or we could end up 0-3 heading into a week 4 bye. Right now anything is possible. They say our chances of making the playoffs if we go 0-3 is only 3%. So what, when have the Dallas Cowboys ever been conventional about anything?

As we head into the weekend my die hard Cowboys fan instinct tells me, my team is going to win. Yes, I know how good the Texans are – I am well aware of their record. But in my heart of hearts I believe that the Dallas Cowboys will win this game because as a fan, thats all I will allow myself to believe. Yeah, that’s naive – I know. But you don’t declare war with no hope or belief that you have a chance to defeat the opposition. This is why they play the games.

I am not giving up on this team, not now – not ever. I will admit that my optimism has not been shining like it usually does, but that has nothing to do with my Cowboys pride I promise you that.

It would be nice to see the Cowboys come out Sunday in full force, no holds barred. Give us 110% for four full quarters, fight for blood. Play smart, play tough. Play with your heart, mind and soul.

I’d like to know what Jerry or Wade have planned to say in the locker room before the game. Give these guys some motivation, they need it. Give them the old Jimmy Johnson give-it-your-all speech. Pull out some Tom Landry inspiration, “A winner never stops trying”. Although Landry says he didn’t believe in motivation, he believed in being prepared and being confident. I still believe he had the ability to motivate and inspire his team without even knowing it.

True Cowboys fans know and believe this team can win and as for the rest, this is the chance to prove them wrong.  I know it’s hard to keep the faith in times like these, but you must realize its time like these that we need faith more than anything.

GO COWBOYS!

StarStruck Graphics

Do Bad Things Happens In Three… Weeks?

Alright I am back. After having watched the very first two weeks of the NFL season. I can’t exactly say I am thrilled. The team seems to have so much inconsistently I am actually starting to think they might be bipolar or have some sort of multiple personality disorder. There is a multitude of things that are morphing what was initially was expected to be a fairy tale season into a greek tragedy. The good thing is that the issues themselves can be fixed. The bad thing is… they have to fix enough of it to get a win this week. Usually I don’t try to put too much in a now or never scenario too early in the season but, after checking the history books of the NFL I have some startling news for my fellow Cowboy fans. No team has ever… I mean EVER!! won the Super Bowl starting the season with an 0-3 record. IN fact there is only four team that have started the season 1-2 and won the Super Bowl. This obviously a very short list that includes the 1981 san Francisco 49ers, the 1993 Dallas Cowboys, the 2001 New England Patriots and the 2007 New York Giants.

Granted there is a some good news about how some of the players have performed but there is also some bad news. The biggest problem is these bad news players are bringing the team as a whole down to a level that none of us fans thought they would be at after two weeks. The defensive backfield and the ability to cover and create turnovers is a big problem. A defense needs to have the ability to create turnovers. We have had this same issue the last couple years espescially when it comes to getting interceptions. We played the Chicgao Bears last week. The same Bears team that has Jay Cutler at the helm on offense. Mr Interception himself! I figured we would at least walk away with two inteceptions. We walked away instead with a big goose egg. This can not happen. In fact the secondary seems to almost look lost when teams start throwing down the field on the them. When I say down the field I mean over ten yards. In fact our two pro bowl cornerbacks from last year seem to be getting burned on a regular basis.

Its one thing to say that the defensive front needs to put pressure on the quarterback in order to help out the secondary. We are getting pressure but it seems that opposing offense has been tearing us apart. The Chicago Bears game I believe we may have blitzed too much. We should have left some of the pressuring the quareterback to the defensive line and the two rush linebackers. We sold out on some of these blitzes and left Greg Olson open for long run after catches. I do believe if we can cause some turnovers though that this will help out our defense and also put our offense in position to score. This week though we are going up against a team that beat the team we lost to in week one. A team known for throwing the ball… ALOT!

Our offense on the other hand seems to be lacking the one thing that we should be excelling at… running the rock. We have what a lot fo people believe to be the best running back trio in the league. So why can’t we seem to create a running game that other teams will fear? Seriously we rank 28th in the league in rushing. Thats out of 32 teams folks. We also seem to hit the 30 yard line of the opponent and Garrett suddenly decides to put a clamp on the offensive play calling. It’s like we hit a wall or something. We move down the field at break neck speed but hit the other teams 30 yard line and then we turn into the Cleveland Browns. The worst part about it happening there is that most teams feel comfortable kicking a field goal from there. Not us our field goal kicker is still finding his rhythm on that aspect of his game.

The good news and yes I said good news is…  We are one game out first place. Thats right the other NFC East teams having been doing a whole lot better. Because of that I believe we are not as far in the whole as a lot fo these NFL “experts” have made us out to be. If we show up and become the team that all of us believe we can be I think  We can cover Andre Johnson and let D-Ware do what he does best… eat a quarterback for lunch. The offense needs to committ to the running game and use it help open up the passing game and drive us beyond that 30 yard line barrier that has become our line in the sand.

Portfolio Items