Weekly Game Balls: Preseason Week 3

Introducing a new feature at Lone Star Struck – Weekly Games Balls. Every week we will choose an offensive and defensive star of the game.

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Felix Jones.

Felix JonesOne of the most exciting things to come out of Dallas in recent years is the young and talented Mr. Felix Jones. Every time Jones takes the field it’s like a whole new ball game and what’s intriguing is he’s not even the starting running back. Some have dubbed Felix “The Cat” because of his speed. Once he breaks into the open field he revs it up, leaving the competition in the dust. While he’s still new and fresh, he gives the Cowboys faithful something to believe in and hopes that it will last for years to come.

In last week’s preseason game against the 49ers Felix Jones was the only Cowboy to reach the endzone. Jones appeared in only two quarters of the game had five carries for a total of 23 yards averaging 4.6 yards per carry. While those are low numbers keep in mind it’s preseason. Jones’ longest gain was a 13 yard run that in turn lead to the lone touchdown of the night eight minutes later.

We expect great things from Felix Jones this season after being cheated out of his ‘rookie of the year’ title last season due to injury.


This week’s defensive game ball goes to Jay Ratliff.

Jay RatliffJay Ratliff has to be one of the most underrated defensive players in the game. The Cowboys’ nose tackle had a career high 7.5 sacks last season earning himself his first Pro Bowl appearance. Ratliff became the starter in 2007 when Jason Ferguson went down with injury. Ferguson was later traded, Ratliff permanently took over and the Cowboys never looked back.

Jay “The Rat” Ratliff is coming off his best season to date and there is no doubt that he is looking to return with the same aggresive attitude. At only 28 years old and a contract through 2012, expect to celebrate many more tackles and incredible sacks by The Rat, as he slams his fist to the ground and howls at the moon.

In his appearance in last week’s game Ratliff completed two tackles, both solo, and a sack, only a taste of what is to come this season.


Congratulations to The Cat and The Rat for their great play. There is no doubt we will have these two superstars featured again this season.

Trade Rumors Swirling Around Valley Ranch

From Dallas Morning News: 

Rumor has it that the Cowboys are shopping former first-round picks DE Marcus Spears and LB Bobby Carpenter at the Senior Bowl.

Carpenter simply isn’t a fit in a 3-4 defense, which makes Bill Parcells’ decision to pick him pretty puzzling. Carpenter couldn’t get on the field in any of the Cowboys’ defensive packages this season but was a solid special teams player. He wasn’t considered a reach when the Cowboys drafted him 19th overall two years ago, so some 4-3 teams might be interested.

Spears isn’t a bad player, but he hasn’t lived up to his first-round billing. To use a Tuna term, he’s J.A.G. If the Cowboys get rid of Spears, Jay Ratliff could take his job, with Jason Ferguson and Tank Johnson forming a good NT tandem.

Time to give Jerry some advice: What would you want for Spears or Carpenter? I’m not sure the return for either would be more than a second-day pick, so try to be realistic.

A Tank Will Soon Join The Big Guns in Dallas

Recently signed Terry "Tank" Johnson has been given permission to practice with the Cowboys and will join the team for Game 10 against the New York Giants. Tank was given an 8 game suspension by the NFL following some off-the-field legal issues.

The Cowboys signed the defensive tackle to a 2-year deal back in September after the loss of Jason Ferguson due to injury. Tank should fit in nice at the nose tackle position despite never playing in a 3-4 scheme. Tank has been practicing on his own in Valley Ranch and attending required counseling.

Tank Johnson was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2004. In his three years with the Bears, Johnson had 63 tackles and nine sacks. He was part of a great defensive which included Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Nathan Vasher. During Super Bowl XLI, Tank recorded 4 tackles, 1 assist and half a sack.

Johnson has had more than his share of legal problems. He was arrested for concealed possession of a handgun in November of 2005. He pled guilty to the misdemeanor charge and received 18 months probation. Three months following this incident he was arrested again and charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest, but those charges were later dropped.

In December of 2006, he was arrested once again for gun charges and violation of probation. Police found six unlicensed weapons in his home, including two assault rifles. The judge sentenced Tank to home confinement, but he was given permission to attend the Super Bowl with the Chicago Bears. After the Super Bowl Johnson pled guilty to the violation of probation charge and served 120 days in jail. He was released May 13, 2007.

The following month Tank was pulled over for speeding and driving under the influence. However, he was released and the charges were dropped. The blood test conducted at the time of the arrest later confirmed his blood alcohol content was under the legal limit. The Chicago Bears seen this as the last straw and released him on June 25, 2007.

It seems that Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys are looking to give Tank Johnson a second chance.

"Real gregarious kind of guy," said Coach Wade Phillips. "He’s ready to play, wants to play, seems excited about it. And he’s a pretty personable guy. All positives as far as I’m concerned, and he’s working hard. He listens."

Hopefully Tank will take this opportunity that he has been given by the Dallas Cowboys and turn his life around. Everyone may deserve a second chance, but ask anyone, Jerry Jones won’t give you a third chance.



Cowboys News: Cowboys sign Tank Johnson

The Dallas Morning news is reporting that the Cowboys have signed Tank Johnson to a 2-year deal. The terms are yet to be announced. Tank Johnson is a former defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears who was let go after some legal trouble.

The Cowboys became interested in Tank after nose tackle Jason Ferguson suffered a torn bicep, ending his season.

Tank was suspended for 8 games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, so you will not see him in uniform until Week 9. The commissioner could lessen his sentence to 6 games but he would have to apply for early reinstatement.


Injury Report: Week 2

Game Status:

LB Greg Ellis (Achilles)
WR Terry Glenn (Knee)

LB Kevin Burnett (Ankle)
CB Terence Newman (Foot)

Its pretty much the same as last week. However, Terry Glenn opted for the arthroscopic procedure and now may be able to play sometime around midseason.

Good luck Glenn! We wish you the best with your recovery and hope to see you soon.

Terence Newman will be a gametime decision again this week. He has participated in practice this week and is showing progress. Greg Ellis on the other hand will not play, he just hasn’t practiced enough to be active in a game. He hopes to play a limited role soon and go from there.

Jason Ferguson was placed on the injured reserve list on Tuesday ending his season. He tore his right bicep during the first half of Sunday’s game. Ferguson will undergo surgery on Friday.



Injury Update: Ferguson Out For Season

Defensive lineman Jason Ferguson has been declared out for the season after sustaining a torn right bicep during the Cowboys season opener Sunday night. This is bad news for the Dallas defense that has already suffered from injuries to starters such as Terence Newman and Greg Ellis. Jay Ratliff is expected to take Ferguson’s place for now.