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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…
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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.

 

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!
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  • 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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    “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
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    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
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    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:
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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!

Injury Bug Bites Again

It saddens me to bring this news to all of you. Our defense has taken what I consider to be a pretty tough blow. Defensive End Marcus Spears is now out 4 – 6 weeks with a sprained MCL. It happened Thursday towards, ONCE AGAIN, the end of a day or practice. It was the last full practice at the Alamodome in San Antonio Tx.

Here is the full story:   http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/news.cfm?id=44DB5EFC-CE85-5006-0C9CFC8E4E0D47EB

On a better note, I was fortunate enough to attend the first practice of the season this year at the Alamodome in San Antonio. I took my 7yr old son who had never seen the Cowboys live before. Yes it was only a practice but to hear him scream when Tony Romo ran out onto the field cheering the Cowboys on, made me a VERY proud father.

I am so totally excited about the upcoming season. I have had a very tough offseason but things seem to be coming together for me. Sorry I have not had the chance to post much this off-season.  Looking forward to the game Sunday night against the Bengals when the Cowboys start their run to the Super Bowl.

Update On Our Free Cowboys Book Giveaway!

Great news Cowboys fans!

I just heard from the publisher and Sports Illustrated, that we can extend our FREE Dallas Cowboys Book Giveaway until the new release date which has been pushed back to August 23rd.

The new release date will be closer to the start of the season and generate even more excitement as we begin our 50th year of Cowboys football.

So if you haven’t registered yet, we are now extending the contest for three more weeks!

Check out the following details and maybe you can be the lucky winner of a brand new 42″ High Definition TV!

CHECK THIS OUT COWBOYS FANS!

HAVE YOU REGISTERED FOR THIS AMAZING GIVE-AWAY YET?!

We are excited to announce that in partnership with EMG Promotions and Sports illustrated, Lone Star Struck has been authorized to give away 25 FREE hard cover editions of the soon to be released: The Dallas Cowboys: 50 Years Of Football.

Also, one lucky Grand Prize winner will be randomly selected to win a brand new 42″ Flat Screen HDTV. Watch your favorite team all season long in brilliant high definition!

26 WINNERS FROM OUR SITE WILL WIN!

Register Now for your chance to win this dazzling Flat Screen TV or one of the 25 FREE editions of “The Dallas Cowboys: 50 Years Of Football“.

The rich heritage of this famous football team is captured in an extraordinary collection of stories, a spectacular selection of images from the best photo archive in all of sports, and a mind-boggling array of stats, arcane, anecdotes, and memorabilia celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Dallas Cowboys.

The are loved and they are hated. There is no team in the NFL, no football in the nation that stirs as much emotion, coast to coast, as the Dallas Cowboys. They are ‘America’s Team.’ Born in 1960, the Cowboys did not win a game in their first season, finishing 0-11-1. From those humble beginnings emerged a franchise for which winning, and winning it all, was expected. Eight Super Bowl appearances, five Super Bowl victories’ and, oh, the glory and the glamour that has surrounded this team.

LoneStarStruck,.com would like to give 25 lucky winners the chance to win a copy of Dallas Cowboys: 50 Years of Football! Those that sign-up also qualify to win a flat screen television to enjoy the Dallas Cowboys and the up-coming 2010 NFL season.

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…

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Admitting Depression Is The First Step To Recovery

  Well after what has seemed to be an eternity, I have decided to crawl out of my off-season hole and get back into the real world. I apologize to my co-writers and to our Lone Star Struck fans for not blogging about our Cowboys. Ever since that loss to the Vikings, I have been in, what I did not want to believe, a depressed state of mind. I have finally realized that loss affected me more than I thought it did. I said right after the loss, just like most of us did, its ok we got our first playoff win in 12 years. We had a great season and this season was a step forward. While all of that is true, that loss devastated me. Not because it was such a great season and I know we have the team to go all the way, but because the way we lost that game.

 We were the better team going into that game and EVERYONE knew it. The Cowboys were FINALLY getting the credit they deserved. A stout defense, an offensive line that protected and made holes for 3 GREAT running backs. A TRUE CONTENDER! I do not know what happened that dreadful day but I am now admitting it is eating me apart from the inside out. That is all I can think about and the only way to get back to myself is to write about it.

 As for the upcoming season. Free agency has just started and what an active season it is. The SECOND and maybe even third best defensive end in the league, Julius Peppers, has gone to Chicago. Of course the first being Demarcus Ware and second Anthony Spencer. Although I think we might all agree that Spencer needs a year or two more experience! With all the free agents out there and all the teams that need help in their areas, I have not heard much talk about the Cowboys needs. To me, that means we don’t have any real “needs”. We have what we need to take this team to the next level. We are a championship team.

Where Are The Haters Now

First of all I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and want to wish you all a very happy new year. I hope you all have a great 2010. Sorry I have not been writing but every family needs a vacation once in a while and ours was wonderful.  Like almost everyone else I have more than 1 new year’s resolution. My main resolution this year is to go to a Super Bowl party for the Cowboys next month. The way they are playing right now, that is one new year’s resolution that will NOT be broken.

As for the game what an outstanding performance our Boys have been putting up the last few weeks. Tony Romo is playing to the top of his potential shutting all the critics up each and every week. Yes he had one interception against the Eagles, but I feel that if a ball is tipped at the line of scrimmage and then caught, that should not be counted against the quarterback. Not his fault just a great defensive play.

The defense played great but I do have one small concern: the wide receivers for the Eagles were pretty wide open a lot during the game. We really need to tighten up that defense because they will not be dropping those passes every week.

I love to go hang out at the local sports lounge where the “haters” have hounded me all year long saying the Boys suck, Romo is sorry, they will not win anything, won’t even make the playoffs. I walked into the SAME place Sunday night after the Cowboys shut out the Eagles and those SAME people were high-fiving me and giving our Cowboys props, and one of them even said they actually have a chance of making it through the playoffs this year. Yes, I made him say that 4 more times haha.

So to all the bandwagon fans out there, who were criticizing the Cowboys week in and week out, who never gave them a chance to do anything, I simply have one thing to say:

HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS BABY!!!!!!!!!

Injury Update: Ware, Hamlin News

After a huge scare last weekend, we could likely see DeMarcus Ware back on the field this Saturday night in New Orleans.

Coach Phillips reported that if the game had been Wednesday, Ware would not have played but it would have been close. He hasn’t lost any strength or motion, it seems to be more of a soreness issue. If by chance Ware does not play, Victor Butler will be his replacement.

Safety Ken Hamlin has missed the last four games with an ankle injury but is now fully recovered and ready to roll. Hamlin is pumped up about the Saints game this weekend and cannot wait to get back into the action.

“I’m a competitor. I want to be out on the field.

“It’s going to be an exciting game. I’m ready to get back and start playing.”

Tight end Martellus Bennett will be out again this week after suffering a concussion two weeks ago. He hasn’t practiced since the injury occurred. Rookie John Phillips will replace Bennett in the lineup.

Safety Pat Watkins is also out with a sprained left PCL. Alan Ball will fill Watkins shoes as backup safety and on special teams. Ball has started the four games that Ken Hamlin has missed.

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Personally I’m praying for Ware’s recovery, you definitely need your best defensive player in the game when you are going up against one of the best, if not the best, offenses in the league. The Cowboys need this win desperately after losing their division lead and any hopes of a playoff run could be determined this weekend.

Breaking News: DeMarcus Ware Carted Off the Field

With the game tied at 10 and 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter, DeMarcus Ware appeared to have suffered a neck injury. The game was delayed for 12 minutes while they tended to Ware on the field until finally carting him off.

As he left the field Ware could be seen giving a thumbs up to the crowd who cheered for him and gave their best wishes.

He was replaced in the lineup by Victor Butler.

We will give you more details as news filters in.

On behalf of everyone at Lone Star Struck our prayers go out to DeMarcus Ware for a speedy recovery.

UPDATE 5:53 p.m.: CBS Sports is reporting that DeMarcus Ware may have sprained his neck and is undergoing precautionary x-rays. They also reported that Ware had full movement. Needless to say this is good news.

Dallas Injury Report: Buehler Might Need MRI

Add another injury to the list. Kickoff specialist David Buehler has a a bruised pinky toe.

The report comes from Nick Eatman at dallascowboys.com:

If the injuries weren’t enough from Sunday’s game, now it appears that kicker David Buehler has a bruised pinky toe on his right foot. He suffered the injury while covering a punt.

Head coach Wade Phillips said the team is aware of the injury, which occurred when the rookie was stepped on during the play.

Buehler was noticeably limping in the locker room on Monday and said it’s a painful injury. There’s a good chance he could have an MRI to check for a fracture.

While Buehler is right-footed, he said the injury would’ve been worse on his left plant foot.

If for some reason he doesn’t play, the Cowboys would at least have Nick Folk to handle the kickoffs.

Hat tip to Nate the Cowboy Ninja for the news.