Preseason Schedule Looks Familiar

The 2008 Preseason Opponents have been announced.

@ San Diego – Saturday Aug. 9th

@ Denver – TBA

Houston – Friday Aug. 22nd, 7pm

Minnesota – TBA

Final dates and times are still to be announced.

Last preseason Dallas played Indianapolis, Denver, Houston and Minnesota.

The Cowboys regular season schedule is expected to be finalized in the next two weeks.


Washington, NY Giants, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Tampa Bay


Washington, NY Giants, Philadelphia, Arizona, St. Louis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Green Bay

Rumors are the Cowboys will open the season against the Browns on a Sunday afternoon, as soon as we know the official schedule we will pass it on to you, along with custom made schedule graphics, stay tuned. 



The Cowboys Should Come Out “Smelling Like a Rose” on Draft Day

In weeks leading up to free agency, the buzz was the Cowboys would trade up to secure the number one pick in the 2008 NFL Draft and grab Arkansas’ stand-out running back Darren McFadden. Those rumors have since subsided but there are plenty of fans that think this is a great idea. I’m not one of them.

Please don’t misunderstand. I realize McFadden is a great player and is probably worthy of a top 5 spot in this year’s draft. But having him isn’t a necessity for the Cowboys to ensure success in the foreseeable future. In fact, this year’s class of running backs is loaded with talent. Talent that can be obtained easily without any need of changing position in the draft or giving away any picks.

Oregon Duck Jonathan Stewart has tremendous up-side. At 5-10 and 235 lbs this kid still managed to run a 4.44 40, has a vertical leap of 36.5 and benched 225 lbs 28 times at the combine in Indianapolis. Are you kidding me?? This guy is a bruiser and would be an amazing compliment to Marion Barber.

East Carolina’s Chris Johnson was the fastest running back at the combine(4.20 40) and could be easily snatched up in the second round. At 5-11 and 200 lbs he’s not the biggest back out there but could definitely add that "wow factor" Jerry Jones has been talking about.

Of course there are other areas the team needs to address besides running back. We all know the wide receivers are not getting any younger. T.O. is solid but I worry about the oft-injured Glenn. Patrick Crayton is a good-but not great receiver. No worries. That’s the beauty of having two first round picks.

Longhorn Limas Sweed is a no-brainer late in the first round. The 6-4 216 lb receiver ran a 4.46 40 and just imagine him lining up across from T.O.. Now THAT is a "wow factor".

Michigan State’s Devin Thomas. At 6-1 215 lbs he ran a blazing 4.32 40 at the combine. He could easily fall to the second round.

In my next blog I’ll discuss the defensive prospects in this year’s draft. But I’d like to add that I think Jerry Jones needs to get on the phone with Arthur Blank and start working on a deal to land DeAngelo Hall before it’s too late.

Cowboys Free Agents Update

Of 15 Free Agents, only 4 are left to question their future. Three players left the team, four were signed, three were tendered and one was franchised.  

Unrestricted Free Agents (6)

  • LT Flozell Adams  – SIGNED
  • S Ken Hamlin – FRANCHISED
  • RB Julius Jones – WENT TO SEATTLE
  • S Keith Davis – WENT TO MIAMI
  • CB Jacques Reeves – WENT TO HOUSTON
  • CB Nate Jones *UPDATE* – WENT TO MIAMI

Restricted Free Agents (5)

  • LS L.P. Ladouceur – SIGNED
  • RB Tyson Thompson
  • OL Joe Berger – ISSUED TENDER

Exclusive Rights Free Agents (4)

  • DE Stephen Bowen – SIGNED
  • OL Cory Procter
  • CB Evan Oglesby
  • TE Tony Curtis – SIGNED


This Might Explain Some Things – NFL Salary Cap

A lot of fans are continuously asking why we aren’t signing Marion Barber – you say ‘do it now’, ‘give him the money!’ Well the truth is the Cowboys don’t have the money because of the salary cap. They have $3.9 million left and are number 30 of 32 in the list of NFL teams money left under the cap. We still need some funds for the draft, in which the Cowboys hope to pick up some future stars.

That’s why they issued Barber the highest tender, it was the best way to keep him safe. God forbid someone makes Barber an offer and the Cowboys have to counter-offer, they will have to move some numbers. If all goes well, Barber will probably get a long term deal this summer or during the next season. Don’t sweat it!

NFL Salary Cap Facts:
2008 numbers: Cap = $116 million, Floor = 85.2% of cap = $98.8 million

In transitions, if a player retires, is traded, or is cut before June 1st, all remaining bonus is applied to the salary cap for the current season. If the payroll change occurs after June 1st, the current cap is unchanged, and the next year’s cap must absorb the entire remaining bonus.

Because of this treatment, NFL contracts almost always include the right to cut a player before the beginning of a season. If a player is cut, his salary for the remainder of his contract is not paid, and never counted against the salary cap for that team. A highly sought-after player signing a long term contract will usually receive a guaranteed signing bonus, thus providing him with financial security even if he is cut before the end of his contract.


Although the following article is about how most teams have more money than they can spend, the Cowboys aren’t really one of those teams. Check out this article.

Increase has teams well under salary cap – Yahoo! Sports

Ferguson Traded to Miami

Today from

The Cowboys are trading Ferguson to the Dolphins for a 2009 sixth-round pick, and the teams will swap sixth-rounders this year. Dealing Ferguson clears about $2.4 million on this year’s salary cap.

Ferguson, an 11-year veteran, signed a five-year deal with Dallas that included a $9 million signing bonus in 2005. He missed nearly the entire 2008 season with a torn biceps tendon suffered in the regular-season opener against the Giants, however, and became expendable when Jay Ratliff filled in capably for the final 15 games and signed a five-year, $20.5 million extension in December.


Nice move! When Ferguson got injured we were worried but Jay Ratliff did more than fill his shoes, and in the process earned himself a nice contract. Now we opened up a roster spot and have more money to deal.

Flozell Will Finish His Career a Cowboy

A few more hours and his fate could have been much different, but now Flozell Adams’ career is set in place. Adams signed a 6-year deal worth around $42 million on the last day before free agency signing began. The new contract includes $15 million in guaranteed money and about $13 million in signing bonus.

Flozell Adams was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the 1998 Draft. He is a 4-time Pro Bowler and also selected All-Pro second team in 2007.

Adams told the press that he was happy to be in Dallas and never thought of leaving. He will turn 33 in May, so this deal ensures he will finish his career as a Dallas Cowboy, exactly where it began.

Player News: Marion’s Got Protection, Flozell Signs

Restricted free agent Marion Barber has been tendered for $2.562 million. Any team looking to propose an offer to Barber would also have to give up a first and third round draft pick if the Cowboys failed to match the offer. I think that pretty much ensures Barber will be a Cowboy next season. The Cowboys will probably offer the Pro Bowl running back a long-term contract after free agency.

Chris Canty was also tendered for $2.017 million, any team going after Canty would have to give up a first round draft pick in the deal. Canty is a 3-year veteran who had an impressive year in ’07. I would like to see him remain in Dallas.

Guard Joe Berger received the $927,000 tender.

Irving native Tyson Thompson was not offered a tender and therefore will probably no longer be in Dallas.

Fullback Oliver Hoyte was waived today. He spent alot of time injured and never really brought anything to the table. His football career may come to an end.

Unrestricted free agents include Julius Jones, Keith Davis, Flozell Adams, Nate Jones and Jacques Reeves. The Cowboys may go up until the 11pm deadline negotiating with Flozell Adams. I wouldn’t be surprised if Keith Davis ends up in Miami. As for Julius, Nate and Jacques, good luck out there guys!

***UPDATE: The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Flozell Adams has agreed to a multi-year contract, terms to be announced tomorrow.***

Barber and Cowboys to Talk This Week

According to reports at the Star-Telegram, the Cowboys are expect to start talks with Marion Barber and his agent this week at the NFL Combine. Barber is a restricted free agent that had a very impressive season this past year and looks to make a long term deal with the Cowboys.

For those of you who remain interested in Darren McFadden, I don’t think this is going to happen. The Cowboys have $13 million left in their salary cap and have to take care of their free agents and draft picks. McFadden would cost the Cowboys a lot of money that they just don’t have to spend. Stranger things have happened but I don’t see it.

Personally, I think the Cowboys should hold on to Marion Barber and draft another running back. They are going to need a backup. Julius Jones is definitely not sticking around and Tyson Thompson did horrible last year, even thought he didn’t get much of a chance. I’m not sure how many running backs are available in free agency, I doubt very many good ones. They are definitely hard to come by.

Lock up Barber! Do it NOW!


We’ll Get Through It, It’s Just a Matter of Time

Sundays just don’t seem the same anymore. The hype has disappeared. Football season seems so short, just as it starts to get interesting, its over. Now we have to wait for spring and summer to pass before we get to enjoy our favorite pastime again.

But think about it…My niece Kinzie, she enjoys cheering on the Cowboys!

Preseason is in August… Training Camp is in July… then there’s mini camps that start as early as May and the NFL Draft in April. So, really we just have to get through the rest of February and March. February is half over now, free agency starts at the end of the month. Hell, by the time you get back from your Spring Break vacation it will be time to start studying the players again! See, nothing to worry about – football will be back in no time at all!

I know, I know… its not the same, but its always been this way. Maybe when you have such a good team you just can’t wait to see them out there playing again. Or just maybe when you have a great team that loses in the end when it counts the most, you just want to see them get another shot. Either way, I miss those Cowboys. I can honestly say I don’t miss the insane drama the media created for them, or that ‘one’ girl who presumably jinxed the team with a dream. But I miss the action.

I miss the escape moves pulled off by MB3 & Romo and the nearly impossible bombs that reached the end zone just in the "Nick" of time. I miss Terrell Owens’ big smile and his confidence that no one could tarnish. I miss the Helmetless Warrior and the "Ware" wolf and the Sack Monster. I miss hearing old Cowboy stars like Moose, Deion, Emmitt and Troy talk about the Cowboys before a big game, usually defending them when others would express only negative thoughts.

2007 was definitely a memorable year for Cowboys fans. Whether you choose to remember it for the good, the bad or the ugly is up to you. I, for one, will remember the great moments. I’ll remember when I first learned Tony Romo got his contract. And when he broke records, left and right. What about when Terrell Owens was named "NFC Player of the Month" last November. Yeah, I know, I’m an optimist. I always have been, and I don’t think its a bad thing really. It gets my heart broken every once in a while, but it also keeps a smile on my face and hope in my heart.


Veteran Star, Rookie Pro Bowler

Prior to this past season Greg Ellis never finished a season with more than nine sacks. Despite coming off a big injury in 2006, Ellis had an astonishing performance finishing with 12 1/2 sacks in 2007. He was awarded NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year for his amazing year that didn’t even begin until week 4.

During the off season last year, a lot of people wondered about Ellis’ allegiance to the Cowboys. He complained openly about wanting a contract renegotiation. Initially, he did not get his wish but right before his debut since his injury, $2 million was added to Ellis’ contract.

In his ten years with the Cowboys Ellis has had some bumps along the way, but in the end he has always come through as a dedicated player. He is known as a mentor and a role model on the field and in the locker room.

You’ve got to give credit to a veteran who can come off an injury like he did and have his best season as a professional football player. Ellis was honored to be finally be selected to play in Hawaii.

"It’s a great feeling to be honored, to be going to the Pro Bowl," Ellis said. "You can’t put too much on it. A lot of guys like myself that have never been and they should’ve gone, in my opinion. But when you’re number is called to go, it’s a tremendous honor."

Once again, congratulations to Greg Ellis, its been a long time coming!


Check out this video clip of Ellis and Williams, the 12th and 13th Cowboys selected to this year’s Pro Bowl.

NFL Network talks with Cowboys LB Greg Ellis and S Roy Williams

Pursuit of Perfection Fails to Finish

In the end 18-0 was just not enough.  18-1 doesn’t earn you a Championship when the loss comes in the last game.  You have to be able to finish to claim the title of Superbowl Champions.  I think it was Fox announcer Curt Menefee that I heard say, “The Patriots came in undefeated while the Giants came in undaunted.” That just about sums it up. As many of you know, I was rooting for the Giants in this game while many of my other Cowboy friends wanted the Pats to finish their season undefeated and go down in history (while many Cowboy fans also couldn’t have cared less).  I really didn’t think the Giants would accomplish this, but my hat is off to the G-Men.  They had a job to do and did what no other team has been able to do this season.

The Giants defense was definitely the key in this game.  The defense was able to put so much pressure on Tom Brady that the Pats were never able to get in rhythm and stay there.  Brady was sacked 5 times and hit 9 other times while throwing the ball.

As Cowboy fans, why should we care?  Well, here are my thoughts for what they’re worth:  The Giants defense pressured Brady just like it did Romo in our last game against the Giants.  While many people have wanted to play the blame game and not give the Giants credit for the win over the Cowboys, I for one, will do so. Our loss to the Giants had nothing to do with Jessica Simpson, or Mexico, or assistant coaches being distracted. Jessica didn’t play in the game.  The game took place in Dallas, not Mexico.  The coaches didn’t drop the balls, botch the plays, or fail to protect Romo.  Like T.O. said in his interview after the game: “We lost as a team.”

Protection was something Brady would have loved to have had yesterday. The Giants defense just kept getting into the backfield and I’m sure that Brady was hearing footsteps coming up behind him on every play by the end of the game. I don’t blame Brady for this loss and I don’t blame Romo for ours.  A quarterback is one man, while a win/loss is a team effort. The Giants outplayed the Patriots, and, much as it pains me to say it, they outplayed the Boys.

I do take some consolation in the fact that the Patriots will not be considered “The Greatest Team of All Time” now. They are just one of the other 31 teams who failed to finish.

One final thought for what it’s worth: Our Cowboys played the Giants three times this season, winning two, but losing the one that counted. The Patriots played the Giants twice this season, winning one, but losing the one that counted.  If you add up the score of the Giants v. Patriots games you come up with 8 quarters of football and a final cumulative score of 52-52.  The Cowboys, on the other hand, played 12 quarters of football against the Giants and finished with a final cumulative score of Cowboys 93-Superbowl Champions 76. Now, I know that’s not much consolation to my Cowboy friends out there but I find some satisfaction in it (not much, but some….).  Should we have beaten the Giants at home and advanced further in the playoffs? Yes, we should have, but we didn’t.  Could we have beaten the Patriots in the Superbowl?  Yes, I think we could have, but that question will have to remain unanswered.

To the Patriots, I say, we Cowboys know how you feel.  It’s tough to have so much promise and potential and fall short at the end.  We know…..

To the Giants, who have not, and probably will not, get the respect they deserve from most, I tip my hat to you on a good season and the ability to finish well. Wear your crown proudly. You are Champions and I freely admit it. 

However, keep your ears to the ground during the offseason. Down in Texas, horses are getting re-shoed and saddles are being polished. If you listen closely, you will begin to hear the thunder of distant hoof beats and the crack of whips.  All too soon, you will see Stars on the horizon.  It’s not your fan club coming to pay homage.  It’s a cattle drive decked out in Silver and Blue coming to trample you and take your crown.  So, enjoy this one Giants. We’re thinking of you here in Texas.  Can’t wait to see you.

Contributed by Rich Isaacs


Barber? Jones? McFadden? Who’s Going? Who’s Staying? Who’s Coming?

Originally, I had planned to write this blog on why I think we should go ahead and trade Julius Jones and keep Marion Barber. I have thought for the most of the season that Barber is the future in the Cowboys backfield. While Jones is a good back and can certainly be the lead man in another offense, I think he has seen the writing on the wall in Dallas, and realizes that he is going to be relegated to a supporting role for Barber. Because of this, I think Jones slacked off this season. When he gets the chance to carry the ball, he spends his time dancing around the backfield, waiting for a hole to open up. Barber, on the other hand, tends to make a hole if one isn’t readily available.

My reasoning here is, that Julius Jones, while a talented and hard worker, has lost heart, due to his realization that Barber is now perceived as the premier back. Julius knows that he can be the top back in many other offensive schemes, just not here with the Cowboys. Therefore, I was going to argue that we should get a contract on Barber and lock him in long term and let Jones go with our best wishes since I don’t think we can keep both.

Then – from stage left, enters Darren McFadden of Arkansas. The rumors are flying that Jerry Jones wants McFadden and wants him badly. Miami, of course, would have the first shot at McFadden (or anyone) due to having the first round draft pick this coming year. As we all know, we have already had a mass exodus of coaches from Dallas to Miami to join the Big Tuna. In thinking about this, it seems that Jerry Jones has been very cooperative in this process, and has allowed these guys to leave without much effort to keep them. In addition, it is also rumored that Miami wants Barber.  Could there be a deal in the works to let assistant coaches go without a whimper, while also tossing Barber into the mix at some point in order for the Cowboys to get their hands on that first round draft pick?

To be honest, I have no idea. All I know are the rumors I hear on the sports shows and the other blogs and fan sites I read. I love Barber and don’t want to see him go. However, I loved Herschel Walker and thought his trade was one of the most stupid things I had ever seen – at the time it happened. Of course, I realized later, that “The Trade” as it would come to be known, was a brilliant coup on the part of Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson to lay the foundation for a dynasty, while Minnesota ended up feeling like they had bought a huge “lemon” from the shadiest used car dealer in town. Ultimately, the final results of “The Trade” brought some now familiar names to the Boys – Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith, Darren Woodson, and Clayton Holmes.  For Minnesota, the results brought – relative obscurity.

My thoughts here are this, I know Jerry Jones is a smart business man. He knows how to cut a deal, and has proven that time and again in the past. I admit that I have thought him crazy at times in the past and then later, I was proven wrong when the impact of these deals have been brought to light. Jones obviously has some neurons and synapses firing in his head that don’t work so well in my noggin. But please, let’s not make the mistake Minnesota did – thinking they were one back away from a championship, they sold their soul (and their supporting cast) to get him.

Again, I love Barber and think he may be the toughest back out there. McFadden is, without a doubt, extremely talented, yet unproven in the NFL. Barber has already proven himself with the Cowboys. Aren’t there other possible ways of getting McFadden without giving up Barber? Is all this just unfounded rumor with no basis in reality? Many have said so. They say there’s no way Jones will let Barber go. It’s a given that Jerry Jones will sign him. I thought so too, but why hasn’t he done so yet? What’s the hold up? As a restricted free agent, my understanding is that you simply have to tender him an offer to lock him in, but this, as of yet, hasn’t happened.

For the most part, in this blog, I am just thinking out loud. I certainly don’t pretend to be an expert – just a devoted fan trying to figure out what’s going on. What do you, the readers think? Please feel free to share your thoughts with me. Is all this a possibility? Am I nuts? Hit me back. Let me know what you think.

Contributed by Rich Isaacs