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Someone is always watching!

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the Redskins have assigned Morocco Brown, director of pro personnel, to watch all five Cowboys preseason games to prepare for the season opener in Washington on September 12th.

Owner Jerry Jones has no issues with opponents scouting the Cowboys. Jones brought up a conversation he had with former NFL head coaches Don Shula and Marty Schottenheimer after the 1992 season. Both coaches said they knew what was coming on every offensive play during their games against the Cowboys, but they were never able to stop it.

In other news ESPNDallas.com is reporting that cornerback Jamar Wall who was the Cowboys sixth round pick this year has agreed to terms.

That leaves Dez Bryant and Sean Lee still unsigned. Reports over the last 24 hours were that the Cowboys and the agent for Dez Bryant have been talking and trying to avoid any kind of holdout. No news has been reported on what is happening with Sean Lee.

A Stranglehold On My Most Hated Team

Since becoming a fan of the Cowboys back in 1978 there has always been one team that I have hated more then any other in the NFL. Not the Redskins or the Eagles or the 49ers or the Steelers. That most hated team has always been the team from New Jersey called the Giants. It could be because I’m from the area and the Cowboys have always played them twice a season. It could be because they have had some really good players over the years and also some players that I’ve disliked. It could also be that I’m surrounded by their fans, some of which are Bandwagon Fans. I just can’t handle the majority of Giants fans and normally a day does not go by that an argument does not break out about the Giants and the Cowboys. There have also been some games over the years that have got under my skin. 

Sept, 1981 – The Cowboys beat the Giants 18-10. Yes, the Cowboys won, but not before I took a tumble down the steps in my house as I celebrated the Cowboys taking a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. I blame my fall on the Giants of course.

Dec, 1981 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 13-10 in overtime in the final game of the regular season.

Dec, 1985 – The Cowboys beat the Giants 28-21 to win the NFC East, but in the process the Giants knock Danny White out of the game as well as backup quarterback Gary Hogeboom.

Nov, 1986 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 17-14 and also loses quarterback Danny White for the rest of the season with a fractured wrist.

Sept, 1988 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 12-10 when the officials ruled a safety on the opening kickoff, but after the game said the play should have been ruled a touchback because the ball was muffed, not fumbled.

Nov, 1991 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 22-9 in one of the worst officiating games in history. Four of the worst calls ever seen resulted in 17 points for the Giants.

Jan, 1994 – The Cowboys beat the Giants 16-13 in overtime. The game is known for Emmitt Smith winning the game with a separated shoulder. But it’s also the game that the Giants offensive line chop-blocked Russell Maryland and Leon Lett.

Oct, 2000 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 19-14. Troy Aikman threw a career high five interceptions. The first interception coming on the very first play of the game. The worse part was that I was there in the Giants Stadium crowd to witness it.

Jan, 2008 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 21-17. The Cowboys finished the season 13-3 and had home field advantage in the playoffs. Even through the Giants won, it was Patrick Crayton who helped the Cowboys to defeat.

Sept, 2009 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 33-31. The Giants destroy the home opener for the Cowboys and their new Stadium.

I’m hoping in 2010 the Cowboys will get some revenge on the Giants for losing four of the last five meetings. The Giants are by far my most hated team when it comes to the Cowboys. Like I’ve said, it could be the team itself and the history with them. It could be because I’m in Giants country or it could just be because I am surrounded by their fans and I hear it year after year. The Giants winning the Super Bowl in 2007 after beating the Cowboys in the playoffs only increased my hatred for the team.

Recently I was in New York City with my family for the day. We ended up at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Walking around I found myself in the sports room with Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan, Joe Namath and David Wright just to name a few. I then turned and found myself standing right in front of Eli Manning. I looked at my wife and then back at Manning. I knew what needed to be done, so I lifted both hands at the same time my wife lifted her camera. For Cowboys fans everywhere here is what I needed to do…

Two Draft Picks Signed Today

The Cowboys got to work signing their 2010 draft picks today with training camp only ten days away. Defensive end Sean Lissemore and offensive tackle Sam Young both signed four year deals.

During the teams OTA’s Lissemore practiced at nose tackle behind Jay Ratliff and Junior Siavii, as well as defensive end. Young practiced at both left and right tackle positions which could help with the depth on the line.

Now it’s onto the rest of the draft picks…Sean Lee (second round), Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (fourth round) and Jamar Wall (sixth round). First round pick Dez Bryant may take some time to sign due to the ongoing talks with the new CBA. Let’s hope Bryant doesn’t miss too much camp.

Updates to come as the other draft picks sign.

18,355

October 27th, 2002 – I had seen Emmitt and the Cowboys just a week earlier in Arizona.  When I purchased the tickets, I knew I would have a chance to see the all-time rushing record broken.  I fell just 93 yards short and Emmitt went on to break the record at Texas Stadium the following week.

As Emmitt heads for the hallowed halls of Canton it can be said, with confidence, that this record may never be broken again.  In this new era of the two and three-headed running backs by committee is it even conceivable?  There is only one active player even in the top 10 in regards to all-time leading rushers (LaDainian Tomlinson), and he is still almost 6,000 yards away.

As a stats guy, I recognize that it is possible for LT to surpass Emmitt.  In fact, LT’s career rushing stats through 9 seasons are actually better than Emmitt’s career stats by an average of 164 yards per year.  Although I said possible, I am not saying probable!  Now that LT has moved on to the Jets’ ground and pound offense, you have to wonder whether he will get the touches or even have the fortitude needed to surpass Emmitt.

Off in the distance, you will almost always hear the “but if Barry hadn’t retired”, or the “if Barry would’ve had a line like Emmitt’s” argument.  These arguments are most always from Dallas haters rather than from actual fans of Barry himself.  Again, statistically it was possible, admittedly even probable – but it didn’t happen that way!

What did happen was that the hole in the roof was used for someone else to watch the Cowboys play that day.  That day, a bit of “sweetness” was used to shine the star a bit brighter forever more on the helmet of the great number 22.

Link: Winning Matters To Tony Romo

Rick Gosselin at the Dallas Morning News has an awesome article about Tony Romo being an elite quarterback today. Gosselin explains all of the accomplishments of the young star in his short career.

Being one of the best quarterbacks in the league doesn’t always equal a Lombardi trophy (just ask Dan Marino), but this statement from Romo proves that he realizes that. And when a leader understands that his team comes before his own ego, that’s when you have a winning team. That’s when you know he’s going to get the job done!

“At the end of the day, winning is what counts at my position,” Romo said Wednesday before a promotional appearance for Starter apparel at an Arlington Wal-Mart. “As I get older, it doesn’t matter to me if I throw for 100 yards a game or 400 if we win. You’re a far better quarterback when you throw for 150 yards and win than when you throw for 320 and lose. Stats are just stats.”

“For my perspective, [statistics] are something that kind of just happen in the process of winning or in an effort to be the best you can be.”

The DMN article also included this impressive chart. Romo will work his way up to the top, while on his journey to the Cowboys sixth Super Bowl victory. Believe that!

Bracing For A New Season: Three Up And Three Down

It has been an agonizingly slow news day for the Cowboys… more like a  week… or better yet, a month…

So I took a quick look at the projected roster for the upcoming season and tried to detect some potential concerns or problem areas. I didn’t see any glaring holes or huge problem areas, but there are a few mild concerns as I see it.

Some Concerns

Alan Ball – Ball will be the first choice to fill the shoes of the departing Ken Hamlin at safety. Nobody expects him to duplicate the former Pro Bowler’s presence on the field and in the locker room, but expectations still will be high for a team that need all aspects of it’s game to be firing on all cylinders. Especially, in the secondary. Ball has shown some flashes in his limited playing time so I remain hopeful, but I’m also realistic and realize that until he actually goes out there and impresses, he is still a question mark.

Marion Barber – The “Barbarian” will most likely see a reduced role this season similar to one he enjoyed when Julius Jones was last here. For a big dude, he seems to wear down easily as an every down back, and with Felix Jones making a strong case for increased playing time, Barber may only get touches in short yardage situations and possibly at the goal line. He may not like his reduced status so keep an eye on the situation. By the way, with a nickname like “The Barbarian”, he sure has been very brittle and it don’t take much for him to get removed from a game. He better toughen up before they change his moniker to “Maid Marion”.

Roy Williams – Yeah I know it sounds like I’ve been picking on RW ever since the Cowboys traded for him, but my concerns were justified and time did prove me right. I’m still bugged by the fact he is still here. Yes, I know he has a boatload of cash coming to him, but winning trumps everything including greenbacks. Whereas before my concern was giving RW a superstar mega-deal for what was just a garden variety receiver, now my concern is how do we get Kevin Ogletree and Dez Bryant the playing time they deserve while at the same time keeping RW from back-biting and inciting turmoil in the locker room?

No Worries

Doug Free – I’m not as concerned as others about Doug Free taking over for Flozell Adams. Adams has been on a downward slope for the last two seasons, and our O-Line was getting a little long in the tooth. Free looked fantastic while filling in for Mark Colombo last season, and I believe he will be an upgrade over Flozell this season. His youth will help recharge an aging O-Line.

Tony Romo – I believe Tony Romo is still going to get better even though right now he’s a Top 10 QB. He has a thirst for knowledge and always shows up better prepared for the season than anyone else on the roster. He has great skills, but is also a thinking man’s quarterback and I believe that will ultimately add up to a couple of Super Bowl rings before he is through.

David Buehler – I’m not at all concerned about David Buehler getting the job done as a placekicker. When he was with the Trojans, he was unexpectedly called into service to kick a filed goal due to an injury. He nailed a 49-yard field goal and the Trojans won the game. For USC, it was the longest successful field goal since 1988, a two decade span. Am I worried about Buehler? Nah… The kid’s a grinder…

Training Camp Less Than A Month Away

Training camp is just right around the corner, less than a month away actually. The dates and times of the camp were announced yesterday. The Cowboys will split dates between San Antonio, TX and Oxnard, CA.

Camp will open July 24th in San Antonio and run through August 6th before the team transfers to Oxnard from August 13th-27th. In between the journey the Cowboys will have two preseason games, one being the Hall of Fame game in Canton, OH versus the Bengals on August 8th, and the other the preseason opener against the Raiders August 12th at Cowboys Stadium. During that week the team will practice at Valley Ranch before their trip to California.

You can find the full camp dates and times on the Cowboys official website.

Training camp is open to the public. If you attend and would like to share your experience and/or photos with Lone Star Struck don’t hesitate to contact us or email me direct at lonestarstruck at aol dot com.

I’m Sorry, Did You Say You Were A Real Fan?

Monday, December 14, 2009 (Day after losing to the Chargers)

Mike: How can these guys play such a bad game? They knew how important this game was after losing to the Giants last week.

Dan: I know. That’s two in a row. Another great December run for the Cowboys! They’re done!

Mike:I just don’t understand it. Romo and Phillips needs to go! I can’t watch this team anymore!

Dan: Agreed. No way they make the playoffs, again!!

Monday, January 4, 2010 (Day after beating the Eagles and winning the East)

Mike: Oh man, did you see our Boys beat up those Eagles?

Dan: I knew they could do it. They are the team to beat right now in the NFC. No doubt!!

Mike: You know it. Phillips has our defense playing great right now.

Dan: Our Boys have everything it takes to make a Super Bowl run. Look out!!

*Names have been changed for their own protection*

I’m sure we all know these kinds of people. They bash the teams they say they are die-hard fans of one minute and then praise them the next minute. They always want to go and hide when the team loses and then want to shout from a roof top when they win. These are not true fans. These are what I like to call “Bandwagon fans”. I’ll be the first to admit that I get upset when the Cowboys lose and I will also talk about if someone didn’t play well or made a mistake. To give up on a team you say you are a die-hard fan of when things are not going right and then jump back on board when they are going right is just wrong. It just does not make sense to me when people do that. Be true to the team that you say is your favorite and support them through the good times and the bad times. That is what makes you a real die-hard fan.

I worked with a person last season who said he was a die-hard NY Giant fan. He was “Big Blue through and through” in his words. He loved them and would not stop talking about them when they were 5-0 last season, but after they started losing and giving up 40+ points in games he hated them. He didn’t want anything to do with them. They had become a horrible team and he did not want to be associated with them. As the season went on he jumped onto the NY Jets wagon and not a word about the Giants came from his mouth. Then a week after the Super Bowl it was no longer about the Jets because his cube at work was now decorated in New Orleans Saints colors. How can someone call themselves a die-hard fan of any team when they can’t stick to one team? This person went through three teams in one season. Each time saying he was a die-hard fan of each team, but only when they were winning. I’m happy to report that I no longer work with that person.

It actually gets me mad to the point I have to walk away because talking to these kinds of people is useless. They just don’t get the true meaning of being a diehard fan of a team. During the 2007 season I knew someone who wanted Tom Coughlin fired from the NY Giants. This same person wanted Eli Manning benched and Jared Lorenzen to be the starter. Of course when the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl that season, then Coughlin became a great coach and did a great job with the team and Manning was the greatest quarterback ever.  

As a fan you also have the right to criticize players and coaches. Everyone does it during a long season, but at the same time you cannot give up on a team. As a Cowboys fan I’ve suffered through three straight championship losses in the 1980s. A three win season in 1988 as well as a one win season in 1989. It was beyond frustrating at times, but when they became the team of the 90s it was great. Why? Because I knew deep down that I never gave up and never stopped being a die-hard fan.

I’m always asked during baseball season if I’m a Yankees fan or a Mets fan. I always say that I’m not a fan of either. I watch both teams and I want both to do well. That makes me simply a person who follows baseball, but I am not a fan of either team. I cannot call myself a fan of either NY baseball team when I enjoy watching both teams. Either someone is a fan or they are not. Someone cannot be a Yankees fan and a Red Sox fan or a Mets fan and a Phillies fan. How about if someone said they were a die-hard fan of the Cowboys and the Giants? If you were a die-hard fan yourself I’m sure you would look at that person like they were crazy.

Being a true diehard fan of a team is the greatest thing in the world. There is nothing better than feeling like you are part of a team and believing that you are going through what they are going through. To all the diehard fans (and you know who you are), I say keep it up. For all those bandwagon fans (and you know who you are), I share this poem with you that was written for bandwagon fans that I’m around every day.

ODE TO A BANDWAGON FAN

As we continue on with this NFL season.

A Bandwagon fan is among us with no reason.

He smiles when they win and hides when they lose.

He can’t tell you the player’s names,

But knows enough with the Internet and news.

He’s a Bandwagon fan through and through.

Please stay safe because all that jumping can be brutal.

Never a dull moment in a Bandwagon fans life,

Most likely because he can’t decide which team is right.

It gets a little confusing week after week,

To those Bandwagon fans who love to leap.

Stay on or Stay off.

That it always the question.

It all depends on the score the day after.

So I plead and I beg to the Bandwagon fans,

Stop rocking the cart and become a real fan.

Enough Already Tony Romo!

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has been under the microscope since he became the starter during the 2006 season. It seems as though he has been in the news almost every week for something he is doing or has done. The media loves to report everything about Romo and then they say how it makes him an incomplete quarterback in the NFL. They criticize everything that he does on and off the field. So I’ve decided to do the same thing and do a report on Tony Romo and all the bad things he is involved with, along with some other current and former NFL players.

News Flash….

Former NY Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor has been indicted on rape charges, as well as sexual abuse and criminal sexual act with a minor. He faces four years in prison if convicted.

News Flash…

Tony Romo likes to play golf.

News Flash…

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberber has been suspended for the first six games of the 2010 NFL season after being accused of rape.

News Flash…

Tony Romo enjoys his social life, which includes dating.

News Flash…

After acquiring Santonio Holmes in a trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers, the NY Jets learned that Holmes will be suspended the first four games of the 2010 NFL season for violating the NFL substance abuse policy.

News Flash…

Tony Romo likes to play basketball.

News Flash…

Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing has been suspended for the first four games of the 2010 NFL season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.

News Flash…

Tony Romo likes speak with young adults about the importance of making the right decisions.

News Flash…

Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Shawn Rogers arrested for carrying a loaded gun in an airport.

News Flash…

Tony Romo likes to play soccer.

News Flash…

Miami Dolphins players Ronnie Brown and Will Allen arrested for DUI.

News Flash…

Tony Romo enjoys vacation time with family and friends.

News Flash…

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill arrested for domestic violence and marijuana possession.

News Flash…

Tony Romo loves to smile (Which is some people’s world means he is not dedicated to football)

News Flash…

Donte Stallworth is making a return to the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens in 2010 after serving a one year suspension after killing a person while driving drunk. He served 24 days in jail and will be under house arrest for two years and cannot drive for four years.

News Flash…

Tony Romo likes to be involved in different charity events.

Tony Romo loves the game of football. He loves being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and has become a leader for them. He is dedicated to getting better every season and is dedicated to his teammates. He never puts anything ahead of football. In his first three full seasons as the starter he has a 33-15 record and has led the Cowboys to two division championships. He loves life and enjoys everything about it. He likes to be with family and friends. He doesn’t concern himself with the media. He goes about his business and controls only what he can like his attitude, work ethic and faith. He has become a role model for many young children.

What is my point with this post? Get off of Tony Romo’s back and give him the credit he deserves for everything he has accomplished in a short time. And stop worrying about what he does on a daily basis when the focus should be on the people that are doing the wrong things in life and getting themselves into trouble.

Austin Signs A Tender, Long Term Contract Getting Closer

On Friday, the Cowboys and WR Miles Austin Came to an agreement on a Tender deal, signing him to a $3.168 Million Dollar Tender. This happened on the last day of their organized mini camp workouts. Jerry has publicly stated that he wants to sign Austin to a long term deal, and with this signing of the tender it gives us more belief that the long term deal will actually happen, as I am sure we all hope for. Had they waited to get sign the tender the Cowboys could have reduced the deal to $1.65 million or just 10% of his 2009 salary. With the signing of the tender at twice the amount he could have gotten, the belief that a long term deal could happen makes me feel a whole lot better.

After not even being a starter, Austin came in the game last October and SHOCKED the NFL nation with an astounding performance, grabbing 10 catches for 150 yards and 2 scores, leading the Cowboys to the victory in overtime against the Chiefs. He ended the season with a total of 81 receptions for 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The season is getting closer and I am getting more anxious to see our Cowboys be the first team in history to play the superbowl AT HOME!!!!!!!!  And oh by the way, getting a new Dallas Tattoo just before the season starts and I will post pics as soon as I get it. MUAHAHAHAHAHA

GO BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Preseason Schedule Finalized

The dates and times have been finalized for the 2010 Preseason. With five “meaningless” games before our run to 6 begins, lets hope and pray our boys stay healthy.

Here’s the schedule:

Aug. 8, 7 p.m. vs. Cincinnati (Canton, Ohio)

Aug. 12, 8 p.m. vs. Oakland (Cowboys Stadium)

Aug. 21, 8 p.m. at San Diego

Aug. 28, 7 p.m. at Houston

Sept. 2, 7 p.m. vs. Miami (Cowboys Stadium)

Times Have Changed But the Stars Remain the Same

The entire world has changed since social media took over the internet. It has brought a sense of reality that everyone really is human. I think in the beginning even I got excited to know that I was friends with a famous football player, or at least I thought it was him. Who really knows who is running the page, maybe an agent or a media manager? Heck, it could even be a cousin or sibling. At times we would find out it was someone impersonating the pro athlete we adored so much. Ahh the days of Myspace and the addiction that came with it…

Twitter and Facebook are the big thing now. With Twitter they now verify if it really is the celebrity, which I guess is a good thing. Do you really think they have time to sit down and tweet when they are in the middle of the playoffs or after a big game? I don’t know, why not. I don’t leave home without my cell phone and thats the easiest way to update statuses these days.

What if these forms of communication existed back in the day? Do you think Emmitt Smith would tweet that he has new t-shirt designs on his website or would Herschel Walker question if he was going to get traded? The whole world would know the instant Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys or that Troy Aikman had decided to retire. Back then we had to wait for the morning newspaper. Today all you have to do is sign on to Twitter or check your rss feeds and you’re instantly in the loop.

You may have seen Tony Romo’s face on the cover of a magazine or maybe you seen rumors about him on TMZ back when he was dating celebs, but you will never see Tony Romo trying to promote himself online. I know this for a fact because last year we had a run in with an impersonator who offered an interview. Luckily we got past that without much harm.

Recently, we had the honor to do a Q & A with the great Jay Ratliff. It felt really good to get such a wonderful player on our site. Jay reached out to us because he said he wanted to speak to true Cowboys fans, wow what a compliment to Lone Star Struck. Thanks again Jay!

While some people still get STARSTRUCK whenever they get to meet a professional athlete, I think these days social media has softened the excitement. We get to see personal photos and learn what they did over the weekend. We actually get a chance to be part of their lives.

Even though I believe everything I just said honestly, I’d still scream like a school girl if I was ever in the same room as Troy Aikman or Roger Staubach. No matter where the world wide web takes us, the legends will always be untouchable.