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Mum is the Word

“A Leader is someone who is building a light house while everyone else is building Ships. “

  
“It is not only what we do,
but also what we do not do,
for which we are accountable.”
Moliere 

I can’t remember to this day who said that 1st quote and I apologize for not knowing from the top of my head who said it, but I believe that those 2 simple quotes say volumes about the Dallas Cowboys 2008 season. Metaphorically speaking, well the 2008 season can be summed up in a million ways.

Over the past 14 years, I have always tried to kid myself into believing that this was the year that we had a chance to get back to the super bowl. Even with the Chan Gaily, Dave Campo, Bill Parcells and now Wade Phillips era, I always tried to make myself believe this team, one way or another had a shot at being Super Bowl champs. And maybe we did, oddly enough. I know many of you share this thought process with me, and me myself being the optimist, I just couldn’t help it. I just couldn’t help myself into believing into this year round passion I have for the Dallas Cowboys.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to write a negative piece about the dismal 2008 season because believe me, dismal is saying it lightly.  I am just trying to conjure up what I think is really wrong with America’s Team. For one, I don’t blame Jerry Jones although the majority disagrees probably.

In all honesty, I think we have the best owner in pro sports. I have heard repeatedly from former players to former coaches that no one in the NFL wants to win as badly as Jerry Jones. Would you guys rather have an owner like the Clay family in Detroit who accepted mediocrity after going 0-16 this past season? Everyone from the GM to the bottom should of been fired including players. I believe that the reason many fans are so critical of Jerry Jones is due to the fact, and I say fact, that the Dallas Cowboys fans are probably the most passionate fans in all of sports.

Do you guys honestly believe that Jerry Jones doesn’t toss and turn in bed thinking of what went wrong this past season and what he can do better to improve the team? Come on guys seriously…. give the guy a break. Jerry Jones I believe wants to win as badly as you, me and every other die hard fan wants the Dallas Cowboys to win. So lay off Jerry, the guy gave you 3 super bowls. How teams in the NFL have even been to 3 super bowls?

The problem with the 2008 season in herein lies in 2 very powerful things: Accountability and Leadership. Thats why we went 9-7 this past year and couldn’t win a game to save our lives at the end of the season. Mum was the word. No one spoke and when they did, they were treated as a cancer.

ESPN did a wonderful job of bias journalism in the great way they exploited Terrell Owens relationship with Romo and Witten. Do I believe Terrell Owens was a cancer on this team? No, I honestly believe that when Owens spoke out against the offense and Romo’s & Witten’s relationship at the end of the season, he was just being T.O.. I don’t believe he didn’t say anything that wasn’t true and already stated. Do some research and see what I mean. And I do believe that Terrell Owens was made the scapegoat for the 2008 season. Thats why he isn’t here anymore. Do you guys believe that if Dallas would of beaten Philly or Baltimore at the end of the season and made the playoffs and made it to the NFC Championship game or Super Bowl and lost, Terrell Owens would of still been released?

I am trying to look at this past season as a realist instead of a dreamer. There are deeper and more troubling issues than Terrell Owens on this team. Terrell Owens is only one part of the equation and I really hope Roy Williams, the receiver, is what Jerry Jones touts him to be. Jerry Jones also believed at one time Quincy Carter was the next Donovan McNabb if you guys remember and we all remember how that experiment ended but then again Quincy Carter wasn’t a first round pick so I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

In lamen terms, we needs leaders on this team and people who hold themselves accountable. Leaders as in Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Ray Lewis, Brian Dawkins type leaders. Very respected by teammates and feared by opponents and always are the ones that take the blame in losses and always say that they couldn’t have won without their teammates when they win. We might have players like these on this team and I know Demarcus Ware, Tony Romo, Jason Witten and Bradie James can be that type of player if they want to be or should I say, choose to be. Then again, Leaders aren’t raised, they are born so we will see. Here is finally saying goodbye to the 2008 season officially.

How Soon Before We Have A Name?

The idea of writing a blog with wild predictions and suggestions about the upcoming draft was shot down, by yours truly,  when I realized I could not have been more wrong about, well, pretty much everything so far this off-season.

What things you ask? Well let’s see. Ray Lewis will be a Cowboy. Um…no. Roy Williams(Safety) will not be cut. Um…no. T.O. is coming back. Um…you get the point. Should I go on? Um…no.

So instead I’ve decided to write about the new stadium in Arlington. Specifically what this stadium should be called. A lot can be said about a name. I’m definitely glad my name isn’t say…Sue for instance. No offense to any guys named Sue. But Cowboy Sue? I don’t think so. I think I should move along.

I’m going to throw a few suggestions out there as far as the name of this beautiful structure that will house America’s Team for the next several decades. Now if for some reason it already has a name and I missed that memo, please just smack me in the back of the head. It’s been a rough month.

Texas Stadium. Now that is pretty simple, right? But we all know there will only be one Texas Stadium. Would it be right to name the new girl the same as the old girl? Probably not.

North Texas Stadium. It’s almost redundant. I mean, I don’t hate it, but it lacks originality. But it is North Texas.

Jerry’s World. I mean after all, Ole JJ has poured a ton of dough into this gem. He has the right if he so chooses. Maybe Jerry Jones Stadium or Jones Field. The Jerry Dome. Um…maybe not?

Geico-Diet Pepsi-Texaco Stadium. We all know corporate sponsorship is a big deal nowadays. Jerry loves money and what better way to generate revenue than to have big wigs sponsoring the stadium. Maybe George Strait could do a duet with that lizard from the Geico commercials. Not sure they make cowboy hats that small.

The 1-B. Seeing as how every writer that even mentions the new stadium has to mention that it’s either The Cowboys $1 Billion Stadium or Jerry Jones’ $1 Billion Stadium, we’ll just call it the 1-B. Like, “I’m going to see Reba at the 1-B this weekend.” Has a ring to it doesn’t it?

So there are a few suggestions for you guys and gals to ponder over. If you have better ones(and I’m sure you do) by all means comment. I’m just throwing some out there for ya. I mean really… what the hell do I know?

But seriously, in my humble opinion, I know what it should be named.

Tom Landry Memorial Stadium. A fitting tribute to a man that was the face of the Dallas Cowboys for almost 40 years. A man that has earned the right to have something this grand named after him.

I may have been wrong about my off-season opinions. But in my heart, as a life-long Cowboys fan, I know I’m right about this one.

 

Why Jerry Needs To Fire The GM

First off let me say I love Jerry Jones as the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, his love and commitment to win is evident in the way he speaks about the Dallas Cowboys, now with that said:

Since Jerry bought the Dallas Cowboys 20 years ago he has had six head coaches two of them seemingly had some control over personnel, the rest were just Jerry’s puppets. When Jimmie Johnson was the head coach we had some outstanding drafts taking Aikman, Emmitt and Maryland as his first round picks, which led us to 3 super bowls, but after Jerry’s ego wouldn’t allow Jimmie to have more power  or take credit for the success. They parted ways and along came the puppets Switzer , Gailey , and Campo the drafts were horrible during these years taking players like Quincy Carter, Shante Carver, Dwayne Goodrich, David Lafleur and Sherman Williams with our first picks.  If any general manager in football had drafts like these he would be long gone wouldn’t he? luckily in 2003 I thought Jerry was checking his ego finally when he hired Parcells who is one of the best talent evaluators in NFL history. Parcells drafts included most of the incredibly talented team you see on the field today including James, Ware, Barber, Newman, and of course signing Romo.

There are only two teams in football that the owners act like the GM the Cowboys and the Raiders. Luckily we had  Parcells for three years or we would be right where the Raiders are, terrible. Jerry’s problem as a GM is that he has no eye for talent and that he always wants to make a big splash. The drafts between Johnson and Parcells were just horrible, then going after players like Deion, Eddie George, Chris Warren, Joey Galloway and most recently Pacman, T.O.  and Roy Williams. Doesn’t this sound like someone who just wants a big splash rather than keeping, let’s say the two first rounder’s for Galloway and building a solid team? The examples are endless during the puppet years and that’s the reason we haven’t won number six. Right now we have the talent to win number six but that’s not going to last forever. Jerry please fire yourself as general manager.

Boys 4 Life

A Stunning Sight on the Horizon…

It’s there. Everyday; watching me, saying good morning to me, mocking me with it’s enormous size and strength as if it is telling me: “I will outlive you and your grandkids!!”, and then gently saying goodnight as the sun sets to the west and the lights glow from within.

What you ask? Oh, well of course the new Cowboys stadium just off of Interstate 30 in Arlington, Texas. I pass the stadium everyday and night on my commute to and from work in Dallas. It is the most amazing thing I have seen as far as a building built by human beings. You begin to see the top of the stadium from at least 30 miles away, if not farther. It towers on the horizon. Then as you get closer, you can’t help but to stare at it (luckily the traffic on I-30 gives you plenty of time to do so safely). The view from the highway, which is not far, still does not do it justice. It is once you head south on Collins Street that you begin to realize and comprehend the size and strength. Then when you get right up next to it, you can’t help but just say “Wow!” as well as “So that’s what a billion dollars gets you these days.” Thank you Jerry Jones, this will be his lasting gift to the fans and citizens of the metroplex. It will be much more than just the home of the Cowboys; early rumors and confirmations include the NBA All-Star game, NCAA Final Fours, various major college regular season football games, the Cotton Bowl Game, major and massive conventions and concerts, the 2018 World Cup and of course, Superbowl 45 in less than 2 years.

I have watched with great delight as the stadium has grown from it’s infancy. I have also followed and listened to all of the rumors and controversy that comes along with something so grand and permanent. I am sure there were people complaining about the Romans building the coliseum back in the day, but that’s just human nature. I don’t know how you could see this building now though and not at least admit it is an upgrade to our area and city, and will help stimulate the local economy in so many ways, from jobs to taxes to surrounding development, not to mention all of the people that are probably going to be getting their tailgate supplies at that Wal-Mart right next door. Don’t go there on accident on a Sunday in the fall, you may be there a while!

I am hoping to be in the building for the first game, I know it would be a memory that I would never forget, but if not then I will be there as soon as I can and will take a moment to thank Jerry Jones, all of the construction workers and support staff and everyone else who was a part of creating, planning and building what will be the greatest stadium in the world!! 

Cowboys Fan For Life – TD

P.S. Here are a few pics of the stadium I took this evening. Enjoy.

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Michael Irvin To Host Cowboys Reality Show

In the age of American Idol and Survivor it shouldn’t come as a great shock that the Dallas Cowboys are getting in on the action. According to reports Michael Irvin has pitched an idea for a football based reality show that will have the winner taking the last spot on the 80-man roster heading into training camp.

Irvin:”I don’t know if you can walk upon any group of guys that wouldn’t say they dreamed of playing in the NFL when they were playing in their front yard. So we’re going to take a group of guys from their front yard, dwindle them to one and give that guy the opportunity of a lifetime.”

I don’t like it.

Everyone loves a “rags to riches” story. We all find ourselves rooting for the underdog. Who doesn’t watch the movie Rudy and feel a welling deep inside and a desire to chant “RUDY, RUDY!” Stories like that sell. No doubt about it. And the fact that it will sell is the real reason Jerry Jones gave the go ahead.  The show will air on Spike TV this summer.

I see it as yet another side show carnival distraction.

“I don’t see how you can make this a negative for the Dallas Cowboys,” Irvin said. “We all talk of doing good things for the community, for people, giving people opportunities. Jerry has stepped up and said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’ “

Of course he did. Jones loves money. The blue star we all revere so much has turned into a marketing logo. Like the golden arches of McDonalds or bold red logo of Coca Cola. This is more about the money and the exposure of the brand that is the Dallas Cowboys more than it will ever be about fulfilling some guy’s childhood dream of playing professional football.

Need more proof about Jones’ desire to generate revenue trumps his real desire to put a focused, disciplined championship caliber team on the field? The pimping out of Texas Stadium. From selling the endzones, swatches of the field’s turf and actual used stadium seats to selling Farewell to Texas Stadium t-shirts, hats and coffee mugs, Jones has proven it’s all about the money. Not to mention the utter and complete distraction that was the Farewell to Texas Stadium Extravaganza scheduled immediately after a very important late season game against a stout Baltimore Ravens team. This event could have easily been scheduled for the next day but that wouldn’t have given his Cowboys maximum exposure. All about the money. Show me the money.

The HBO series Hard Knocks was a distraction for this football team. The show was very entertaining but was not in the best interest of this football team. I was as excited as anyone when it was announced that the Cowboys were back on board with Hard Knocks. But now I regret that it ever happened.

Stories like this compel me to believe that we are so far away from where we need to be.  It’s a bleak reminder of the day and age in which we live.

I’ll tune in to the latest Cowboys show just like everyone else. That’s what Jones and Irvin are banking on. Pun intended.

Jerry Jones Finally Has No Comment

December 26, 2008

“The coaches are in place. I’ve said that. How can I be any clearer?” Jones said. “Look, I’ve said that our coaching staff, as far as I’m concerned, is in place. I just want to make the statement rather than answer questions, because your questions imply certain things that I don’t want to imply.

“I’m saying that when I look at where we are coaching staff-wise and when I look at where we are personnel-wise, I see a team that is in place to compete for several years.”

Wow. That was my initial reaction to the statement by Jerry Jones the day after Christmas.  Maybe Jerry Jones has such confidence in his staff that, regardless of the outcome against Philadelphia in the regular season finale, that he will stick his neck out and proclaim “no changes”. How many of us cringed when we saw that footage? But hey, if Jerry says it’s so we have to go along with it. After all, he’s brought 3 Lombardi Trophies to Dallas in the last 19 years. Who are we to question Mr. Jones? He obviously knows what he’s talking about. Right?

December 30, 2008

Dallas fires Special Teams coach Bruce Read. Any Cowboys fan I’ve talked to said this was the right move after Read’s disastrous season in 2008.  Now this wasn’t a shock. Let me rephrase that. It wouldn’t have been a shock had Jones’ vehement proclamation just 4 days earlier not been uttered. Surely that will be the only change. Right?

January 16, 2009

Dallas fires defensive coordinator Brian Stewart. Now this one is a tough call in my opinion. It was reported that late in the season Wade Phillips took over the reigns of the defense and, as a result, the defense began playing at a much higher level. No doubt the defense came alive late in the season. Apparently Stewart was just standing on the sidelines with his headset turned off? Maybe he was listening to Brad Sham and Babe Laufenberg calling the games each week? Sorry, I got sidetracked.

My point is if the staff is in place why was Stewart fired? Why was Read fired? Why is Jerry Jones’ favorite phrase as of late “no comment” in regards to the newly unemployed staff that is now “in place” at the employment office. The personnel  is also in place. But when asked about the future of Terrell Owens again we get a big fat “no comment”. 

In early December, after the loss to Pittsburgh, Jerry Jones questioned the toughness of Marion Barber. That was just stupid. Period.

What really happened this season is Jerry Jones continually put his foot in his mouth. He made comments that bit him on the ass so now he’s making no comment at all. It is a fresh approach I’ll give him that much. The guy hasn’t been this quiet since he bought the team back in 1989. I find it very refreshing. My dream is that someday soon  Mr. Jones will wake up one morning and realize his team needs a new GM. But until then, at least as far as JJ is concerned, no news is definitely good news.

It Is Not Time to Panic Cowboy Fans

Good Afternoon Cowboys Fans:

I am over the initial shock now of last weeks “drubbing” at the hands of the St. Louis Rams, a team in all actuality should not have been on the same field with the Cowboys.

I sometimes think expectations are a little high in Dallas from the fan base and especially from Jerry Jones. At the start of the season all the NFL analysts, “armchair quarterbacks” and sports reporters across the country had already penciled in the Cowboys to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. They got off to a fast, 3-0 start and everyone was on the bandwagon. Then the Redskins came to town in week four and kind of humbled us. Two weeks later, the Cowboys went to the desert to play the Arizona Cardinals and quite frankly I think were beaten in all three aspects of the game (offense, defense, and special teams)… and the Cardinals’ played with much more intensity.

After the shameful exhibition the Cowboys put on last week in St. Louis, there has many a doubt surfaced as to whether the Cowboys can even make the playoffs, much less fulfill the pre-season Super Bowl expectations. All the people want to talk about is the plethora of injuries, a cancer at corner and a ticking time bomb at wide receiver, and most skeptics do not believe the Cowboys can overcome all this adversity and once again climb that mountain to become a Super Bowl contender. I am not one of those skeptics… and here are a few reasons why:

Brad Johnson even though he did not show it in St. Louis last week is not a typical back-up quarterback. You will not see him panic under pressure and run out of the back of the end zone for a safety. He will be the first to admit his arm strength and some of his talent has eroded over the course of his 17 year tenure, but I think he can still manage a game as good as anyone. I think if Cowboy’s Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett will not take as many “shots” down the field, but instead put Johnson in position to make plays and minimize the risk. We have to live with the fact Romo is hurt right now and get past the next 2-3 weeks. Johnson has a Super Bowl ring and still knows what it takes to win.

MB3 what can you say? He truly is a work of art and shows the heart of lion every time he straps on the star. Barber does not have the size of a Larry Johnson, (Kansas City) or a Frank Gore, (San Francisco). He is certainly not the fastest back in the NFL, but no one plays with as much heart as MB3. At this point in the season, Barber is my odds on favorite for MVP of the Cowboy’s offense.

As an opposing Defensive Coordinator, I would lose some sleep at night trying to come up with a game plan to stop the Cowboy’s offense. With T.O., Patrick Crayton, and now newly acquired Roy Williams, the Cowboy’s should have the best 3 receiver combination in the league. Now throw in Jason Witten and when the opposing Defensive Coordinator does get to sleep, it turns to nightmares. Over the next 2-3 weeks until Romo gets back and playing Brad Johnson, who has weaker arm strength, the long ball is not as big a factor. I am still convinced if Jason Garrett and Brad Johnson control the game clock with long time consuming drives and big doses of Barber, while complimenting him with 15-20 yd outs to the receivers and some across the middle plays to Witten, the Cowboys can play with almost any defense in this league. When Romo returns then “hell’s fury” will be unleashed in Dallas again!!

It was tough losing Felix Jones for a few weeks to the hamstring, but Cowboy fans don’t count out Tashard Choice. I had the brief opportunity to watch Choice when he was at the University of Oklahoma. Unfortunately, he transferred shortly after when it was apparent the writing was on the wall. A RB named Adrian “AD” Peterson came to town and Choice’s chances of playing the next 2-3 years at OU were going to be almost non-existent. He transferred to Georgia Tech and became a 3 year star. I think Choice was a steal in the 4th round and will produce big numbers for yrs to come in Dallas. Choice does not have the blazing speed or pass catching ability of Jones, but he has better vision and lower body strength. Combine that with the power of MB3 and they should beat, bruise and batter any defense.

Jason Witten has always been Tony’s security blanket and for next few weeks he should be the same for Brad Johnson. I think he is the best TE in the game today. I think linebackers and safeties don’t have the agility to stay with Witten and I am convinced most corners do not have the size or certainly the strength to matchup with him either. If they slow down the game with Johnson, I think Witten will be a major player in the next few weeks until Romo returns.

After Romo took a beating at the tune of 20 times in Arizona and broke his finger, everyone started pointing their fingers at the Cowboy’s offense line. However, no one pointed at the receivers for getting locked up in coverage or Romo for double-pumping to many times in the pocket. I did not see Tony one time in that game just take off and go get a 1st down.

The Cowboys have some Pro-Bowlers (Andre Gurode, Leonard Davis and Flozell Adams) on their offensive line, and the entire unit going into the St. Louis game had only given up 7 sacks. Keep in mind too, that the Cowboys have lost starting LG Kyle Kosier for most of the season. Even though Proctor has done well, he is still not a healthy Kosier.

Defensively DeMarcus Ware is a beast and despite drawing double teams all the time still leads the team in sacks with six (6), and is second on the team in tackles (32). What is so impressive about Ware is that he can play from the left side or the right side. In addition, he has the ability to rush the passer, defend the run and run with backs and tight ends in pass coverage. 

In addition, I have always believed the best way to protect a weak secondary is to blitz, rush the corners, blitz and rush the corners some more. Just the other day, I was talking to my good buddy, BIG, which incidentally besides me, just might be the biggest Cowboy fan I know! He said we have to keep pressure on the opposing quarterback and force turnovers. With the depleted secondary, the DEs’and LBs’ have to step up and make the big plays. I believe that other than long 3rd downs, we are foolish to sit back and play zone coverage. The Cowboys only have 15 sacks for the season and with that kind of talent up front they should be way ahead of that total.

D.Ware has a third of them himself and he is always double-teamed. Chris Canty and Marcus Spears have to collapse the pockets which should allow Greg Ellis and Kevin Burnett to blitz more. Heck I am not even opposed to seeing Zach Thomas or Bradie James blitz some from the inside linebacker position. I would think that would be some kind of a secret weapon, because I doubt many Defensive Coordinators expect to see a blitzing Zach Thomas.

The indefinite suspension of Adam “Pacman” Jones was kind of sad, but a hell of a lot more embarrassing in my opinion. Not to mention a major distraction to the team this early in the season. I don’t think that it is nearly as significant as the lingering injuries to Terrence Newman though, who is expected to be out at least another month. I do think when he returns (if it is not too late), the Cowboys will be ready to make the run.

A lot of people don’t like Anthony Henry, but he is a big and certainly physical corner, and I think Mike Jenkins has shown some promise already. I watched Jenkins many times in college and he is a “big time” playmaker. He just needs time to graduate from the college to the NFL level and that kind of leap takes time.

Where I think we are hurting in the secondary is in the nickel and dime corner package. I think if they would utilize Orlando Scandrick more and continue to get more help from the blitz packages; it will in turn make that part of our defense even better. Losing SS Roy Williams was a blow because he is also such a “run stuffer”, but injuries are part of this game and Pat Watkins, Pro Bowl FS Ken Hamlin will have to step up and make big plays. Something I would like to see more of is too is punishing the opposing receivers more after the catch. I think this secondary has lost a lot of respect, especially because the secondary is giving up way to many balls over the middle. In the past, when an opposing receiver came over the Cowboy’s middle, they became a sacrificial lamb! 

The bottom line is this Cowboy fans:

“Don’t Panic”!

We will still make the Playoffs!!

I am more concerned in getting that “monkey off our back” and winning that playoff game once we get there. Have a great Sunday everyone and GO COWBOYS!!

Cowboys-Rams: A Fan’s Agony To Receive One Gift and Have Another Taken Away!

Good Morning Cowboy fans:

As the Cowboys enter week 7 of the NFL season, I am somewhat of a “train wreck” over everything we as fans have had to endure this week. I have been on vacation the last two weeks so I have definitely had some time to reflect and “arm chair quarterback” some ideas in my mind if Jerry decides to call.

As my week began on Monday, I was still smarting from the fact we had just literally gave a game away in Arizona to drop to 4-2, when the news began to trickle in.

Our beloved Cowboys were beginning to crumble at our feet. First it was the news that our field general Tony Romo had broken a finger on his throwing hand and would be out up to four weeks. Shortly thereafter, it was learned that Felix Jones would miss two weeks with hamstring issues and finally the news began to trickle out that “Pacman” Jones would be suspended by the Commissioner of the NFL for four games due to his after hour activities which was deemed detrimental to his probation placed on him by the NFL Commissioner when he was reinstated a little over 6 weeks ago.

Adam Jones has or had a very good opportunity to be one of the premier defensive backs in the league and a real gift to the Cowboys. I really felt that when Terence Newman returned to the lineup the Cowboys had two Pro bowl caliber “shutdown” corners. Now that gift has been taken away from the team and us as fans all because of his foolish decisions.

So, with all that said it has not been a good week for Cowboy fans!

I do feel confident in Brad Johnson to lead the team while Romo is out. With the injuries to Terence Newman and Felix Jones, and the verdict still out on Adam Jones, the younger players like Michael Jenkins and Tashard Choice will have to step up and play key roles in the Cowboy’s defensive and offensive game plans.

Well Jerry Jones has never one to be out-done on any deal. After all the bad news we could endure so far, Jones came out of the NFL meetings with a gift to replace the one that had been taken away. The Cowboys announced on Tuesday that they had reached a lucrative deal with former Detroit Lions wide receiver Roy Williams. I for one am ecstatic that Williams is coming to Dallas. Jerry Jones’ pursuit of Williams was almost as ardent as that of Adam Jones’. The Cowboys owner had attempted to trade for Williams over the last two years but could not get the Lions to agree.

So, with just a few hours before the 3 p.m. trade deadline Jones began earnest negotiations with the Lions to bring Williams to Dallas. With at least nine selections in next year’s draft, the Cowboys felt comfortable in giving up their first-, third- and sixth-round picks in return for Williams and Detroit’s seventh round pick. The Cowboys immediately worked out a contract extension to keep the Odessa, Texas native and University of Texas star in Dallas through 2013. The deal said to be in the 45 million dollar range will more than likely give Williams’ a chance to finish his career as a Cowboy.

Williams came in to the league in 2003 as the Lion’s first pick and went to the Pro Bowl in 2006. Since that time his numbers have fell off considerably due in part, to many quarterback and coaching changes that also resulted in many different offensive schemes as well.

When Williams was drafted by the Lions, all they could talk about was his great character and the talent he possesses. Now he joins Terrell Owens to form a dynamic duo at receiver that will feature not only good size but game breaking speed. That combination should play havoc on any opposing secondary.

Thanks Jerry, I am feeling better already!

Brad Johnson is on the spot this week. So are T.O. and MB3 on offense and DeMarcus Ware and Greg Ellis on defense. Pro Bowl players must perform at a Pro Bowl level to help the Cowboys overcome the loss of Romo and the others when the Cowboys travel to St. Louis on Sunday to play the Rams. I think the two players that will have the biggest impact on this weeks game is Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton. Both play wide receiver, but they will be filling different roles against the Rams. With Adam Jones gone, Crayton will be handling the punt return duties and without Felix Jones on kickoff returns that will be the responsibility of Miles Austin. The Cowboys have to maintain good field position. Johnson is not Romo. He has neither his arm nor his mobility. So sacks figure to increase and big plays decrease with a 40-year-old quarterback at the controls. The Cowboys will need more plays to cover more yards to fuel scoring drives.

Field position will be critical Sunday against the Rams. The longer the kickoff and punt returns by the Cowboys, the shorter the field for the offense. With Felix Jones out, Austin figures to return kickoffs and with Adam Jones out, Crayton figures to return punts.
The Rams are strong in the kicking game and we will need long kickoff and punt returns to shorten the field for Johnson and the offense. I think the game will be slowed down considerably compared to what we normally see with Romo. Johnson will be a lot more deliberate with his decisions on the field, I am sure a very good run oriented offense has been put into place this week. That will allow Johnson and the offense to control the clock and have very few mistakes.

In the end the Cowboys will do just fine and get out of St. Louis with a win. My prediction is Cowboys 28-17.

The Cowboys? Is it Crisis Mode or is it Only Memorex?

Good morning Cowboy fans:

We are six weeks into this season; I have to ask all the Cowboy faithful the same question I kept asking myself over and over yesterday? Is this Dallas Cowboy’s team already in crisis mode or is it only Memorex? As the sun comes up over Valley Ranch this morning, I don’t think the 30-24 overtime loss on Sunday to the Arizona Cardinals will go over very well.

The Cardinals?

Seriously?

I believe I can safely say that is not the Cardinal’s team of old. I watched a Cardinal’s team that did not fear the mighty Cowboys and may have set precedence around the league that no team needs to again.

Was that the case at University of Phoenix Stadium?

I just kept asking myself that same thing. When my cell phone began ringing right after the game, all I could tell people was “I don’t know, they’re not the same Cardinals everybody is used to beating up on”.

The bigger question might be reversed: Who exactly are these Cowboys? All seemed fine in early September, with wins coming against Cleveland, Philadelphia and Green Bay. All of a sudden comes a slip-up at home against Washington, and followed up by a totally uninspired win against the Bengals.

Earlier this week the talk around the NFL began with story lines like, “Coach Wade Phillips isn’t tough enough”, “T.O. wants more touches and the star of the NFL’s Bad Boys “Pacman” Jones is showing off his old TNT wrestling skills in one of Dallas’s finer hotels, drawing headlines across the nation”.

Naturally, when Dallas started slow in the desert, I concluded that the Cowboys were distracted, haunted by a week of controversy. After the game, it turned into a main storyline from the west coast to the east coast and all parts in between. Are the Cowboys now in crisis mode or this picture only Memorex?

I personally think that this is a big misconception that stuff like that can affect a pro team. Jerry Jones’s Cowboys dealt with all that type of hype in 1990s’ and still walked away with three Super Bowl titles.

The thing that I am finding so hard to understand is that the Cowboys own one of the league’s best offenses and ran on seven cylinders most of the time yesterday. Now I know Tony threw for 321 yds and three touchdowns, but he also fumbled three times while losing one. T.O. only caught four passes. Jason Witten got more attention for false-start penalties until he caught the 30-yard pass just before Nick Folk kicked the 52-yard field goal to send the game into overtime.

What exactly happened to that high-octane offense?

You got me on that one!

Was it the special teams that gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown so quick that a lot of fans were still standing in the pre-game concession line? The same specials team, incidentally that allowed the game-sealing blocked punt? Was it a much uninspired Tony Romo and Terrell Owens that looked like they both wanted to be somewhere else? How about the offensive line that spent more time picking Romo up off the ground than they did picking up on-coming Cardinal rushers?

Through it all, I will try to add some perspective to yesterday’s game. I will give the Cardinals credit for a nice win, and I can only hope this game was a real eye opener. I can hope this team can come to the reality that this is the NFL, and the NFL stands for just that, The National Football League; I would like to say to the team though; The NFL can also stand for “Not For Long” if they keep playing like they played on Sunday”.

I honestly did not think the Cowboys would be sitting 6-0, but I knew that was the possibility. I did not ever dream that this team would become so lethargic and complacent as they have shown since winning there first 3 games. Right now Cowboy fans at this moment; I don’t know what this team needs to do. So I ask all the Cowboy faithful out there? “Is this team in crisis mode, or is it really just Memorex”? Only next week will answer that for all of us.

The Ralph Neely Bowl and the Governor’s Cup

Cowboys fans no need to worry or go find the highest building with a very small ledge. A 0-2 start in pre-season, as long as it’s not accompanied by crippling injuries, means absolutely nothing. I think all coach Phillips really wants is to get to the Sept. 7 opener in Cleveland with all hands on deck.

I think the coaching staff has been very encouraged with camp and the pre-season so far. The Cowboys have definitely upgraded their personnel over the one that posted a 13-3 season in 2007 and at this point good health is all that counts.

So this brings us to Friday night when the state’s two NFL teams collide on national TV  at Texas Stadium. As preseason football goes, this will be as good as it gets. I have heard that both teams plan to play their starters into the third quarter. There may even be more than the usual intensity.

After all, the Governor’s Cup is on the line!!

As far as bad blood, however, none really exists between the two teams. The Texans, though they are responsible for the single most embarrassing moment in (what a lot of football purist say) Dallas’ history they will never be a rival to “America’s team”. Still Jerry will not ever forget what happened in 2002 when the Texans became the first NFL team in 41 years to win an expansion season opener at the expense of our beloved Cowboys.

Jerry Jones has never been one to take anything lying down. The Cowboys have since rebounded to become one of the top three or four teams in the NFL and they are playing their final season in Texas Stadium. Next year they move into the spectacular “JerryWorld”, which by most accounts is the be all and end all of modern stadiums. So Reliant stadium get ready to take a back seat again!

Now lastly let me close with some history that most Cowboy fans may or may not know. Back in the mid 1960’s when the Houston Oilers (now Texans) were part of an upstart American Football League. I have to tell you it was all out war between the AFL and the NFL. The two operations held separate drafts and were hot on the heels of college stars like Billy Cannon and Joe Namath.

But it was an offensive lineman from Oklahoma named Ralph Neely who turned the Oilers into longtime Cowboy’s owner Tex Schramm’s mortal enemy. Both Houston and Dallas signed Neely. At that time Oiler’s owner Bud Adams promptly filed suit against the Cowboys.
In a Houston courtroom, Dallas seemingly won the battle and lost the war. Neely was awarded to the Cowboys, but at a steep price. The judge ruled that Houston would get Dallas’ No. 1, No. 2 and its two No. 5 picks in the 1967 common draft between the newly merged NFL and AFL.

As if the draft choices weren’t a bitter enough pill for Schramm and the Cowboys to swallow, the judge decreed that Dallas must play five preseason games against the Oilers, with three of them in Houston. Nevertheless, the Cowboys dutifully came to Houston to play the Oilers at Rice Stadium in 1967 for the first of a series of exhibitions that came to be known as the Ralph Neely Bowl. Neely, by the way, quickly became an All-Pro tackle and started 12 years for Tom Landry.

They have played over 30 more times in pre-season since that 5 year shotgun wedding we had to go through.

The Governor’s Cup still means a lot to some, but will never mean what it meant to Tex Schramm and Bud Adams.

Time To Piss Off The Californians

I know this next statement is going to make many people angry with me but it’s been bugging me for awhile now.

The Dallas Cowboys Training Camp should always be held in Texas. Period.

It’s true that the Dallas Cowboys are America’s Team. Just look at the Hard Knocks ratings. They were through the roof. It was one of the highest rated TV shows HBO has had in a while. Yet, what bothered me the most when watching Hard Knocks was that the Cowboys were in sunny California instead of the confines of the Alamodome in San Antonio. I know that it’s the City of San Antonio’s fault that the Cowboys are not there as well this year so I really shouldn’t be whining but it bothers me a whole bunch that I was not able to travel to San Antonio this year to see the Boys in Training Camp.

Believe me when I say this as well, I wrote the Alamodome director, scheduler, San Antonio mayor and city councilmen on the dissapointment and lost revenue the City of San Antonio lost due to scheduling a church convention at the Alamodome during the proposed Cowboys Training Camp this year which cause Jerry Jones to move Training Camp to Oxnard. I was pissed and still am about that. The Dallas Cowboys belong in Texas. Not in sunny and shaky California. You all in California already have 3 NFL franchises to go look at all you want. Now, we rented you a 4th? Shame on you California for being greedy. 

How about this Cali? We will send you Mickey Spagnola, dallascowboys.com beat writer, and a bucket of hot wings from Wing Stop for the next 20 years and you will let us keep the Cowboys where they belong? In Texas. Speaking of Micky Spagnola, I wrote him a nice little email on how I felt about his article on why the Cowboys should call Oxnard home forever during Training Camp. I don’t think he is going to be happy or laugh about it. I will just leave it at that. Sorry if you guys outside of the State of Texas don’t agree with me but many Texans do. MANY! Peace ’til next time!


No Country For Old Men…With Bad Knees

I think everyone would agree that getting old sucks. I turned 40 on Monday so I know first-hand the magnitude in which it can suck! But on the bright side, the older you get the more memories you have. I have tons.

For instance, watching The Doomsday Defense dismantle the Denver Broncos and former Cowboy Craig Morton in Super Bowl XII. Then after the game I watched as Harvey Martin crushed an "Orange Crush" pop can during the locker room celebration.

Then there are not so fond memories like Super Bowl XIII against The Steelers. The horrible pass interference call against Benny Barnes when his feet got tangled with Lynn Swann’s which led to a Steelers score. And of course Jackie Smith. The drop. Dallas should have been the first team to win 3 Super Bowls. WE WERE ROBBED!!

Of course there was "The Catch". Montana to Clark in the NFC Championship. Should be called "The Lucky Catch". I also remember "The Fumble" by Danny White, deep in 49er territory on the ensuing drive.

And I could write a 10,000 word essay with one hand tied behind my back about the greatest dynasty in NFL history. Who might that be you ask? The 90’s Cowboys of course. This team could have and SHOULD have won at LEAST 4 in a row.

But this blog isn’t as much about my memories as it is about what it must be like to be an NFL player in the twilight of your career. Specifically Terry Glenn. Glenn’s career has had its ups and downs. He’s only played a full 16 weeks in 3 of the 12 seasons he’s been in the league so far. With 2 of those being for The Cowboys.

I think Glenn is a great player. Very professional. Super hands. Bad wheels. He’s struggled with injuries throughout his career and now time is not on his side. This will be his 13th season if he even plays at all. I personally think he should sign the $500,000 injury settlement. This way everyone is covered. Seriously, Jerry Jones could just cut the guy and he’d get nothing. He can’t pass a freakin physical and Jones is offering him 500 G’s! Not quite as sweet as the deal Glenn got last year. $5 million for 4 plays.

I feel for Terry Glenn. To a point. But he’s almost 34 with a huge bank account and he’s had the honor of playing for the greatest sports franchise on the planet. But he has bad knees. I’m 40 living paycheck to paycheck and I drive a truck for a living. And I also have bad knees.

Terry, you have my sympathies…