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Kevin Ogletree: Trying Hard Or Hardly Trying?

I don’t know where this is coming from and how much of it just overblown, but I came across an article on ESPN.com that took a swipe at Kevin Ogletree’s character.

Tim MacMahon believes that the Kevin Ogletree, who kept making plays a year ago in the Alamodome when he was fighting for a roster spot, no longer has that same sense of urgency in this training camp.

The Cowboys still like Ogletree’s potential and believe he was a steal as an undrafted free agent. He showed his promise by making plays in a limited role as a rookie. Other than Dez Bryant, there might not be a more explosive receiver on the roster. He will be on the 53-man roster.

However, if Ogletree wants a significant role this season, he better flip the switch soon.

Ogletree has dropped too many balls this camp. He has failed to fight for the ball too many times. An example came on a crossing route during Thursday morning’s practice, when he allowed undrafted rookie cornerback Bryan McCann to knock the ball out of his hands.

MacMahon also says that he has Cowboys sources that are saying Ogletree has a sense of entitlement. That may or may not be true, but sometimes confidence in one’s abilities can be mistaken for a sense of urgency.

I don’t mind seeing a little swagger on the team, and would especially love to see that among some of the veterans.

The article concludes by saying that Ogletree doesn’t appear to have the right attitude. Really? One week into training camp and we’re already making judgment calls?

Needless to say, I disagree with MacMahon on this one, and I’d advise him to let the rest of training camp play out before calling someone out.

Weekly Game Balls: Preseason Week 4

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Kevin Ogletree.

In the finale of the short preseason, Kevin Ogletree once again impressed and pretty much locked in his spot on the 53-man roster. Rookie Ogletree made it easy for coaches to make the decision to cut Isaiah Stanback and go with him as the 5th wide receiver.

“Every ball is important to me, every down, every play,” Ogletree said. “So when you take that approach and you’re as hungry as I am to try to make the team, you do what you can.”

Ogletree caught two passes for a total on 14 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter before leaving last Friday’s game with an eye contusion.

Star50

This week’s defensive game ball goes to Pat Watkins.

Pat Watkins dominated the game last Friday proving he deserved his spot on the roster. The fourth-year safety made a clutch tackle on a fourth-and-one with 1:59 left in the first half that prevented a Vikings touchdown. Then he blocked a field goal with nine seconds left on the clock, to end the first half and prevent another Vikings scoring opportunity. Finally, he opened the third quarter with a a dazzling 23-yard interception return for a touchdown. It was a big day for the Cowboys’ backup safety.

“I had a feeling like I was going to have a good game, and I had a couple people send me text messages with predictions,” Watkins said. “Someone predicted six tackles and an interception. Somebody else predicted eight tackles. So after that maybe I need more predictions to help me out.”

Whatever it takes Watkins, keep up the good work!

Star50

Congratulations to Kevin and Pat for their outstanding play.

Runners-up: Steven Octavien for his 44-yard interception returned for a touchdown and Jesse Holley for his brave 82-yard punt return for a touchdown that in turn won the game.

Cutting The Fat

With just mere hours until teams need to cut rosters to 53 for the season, Dallas and Wade Phillips will have some tough choices to make. I dont envy Phillips or any head coach this time of year for what they must do in cutting the fat and forming a team that will start the season. But like it or not, it is part of the job and part of the business.

Rookie Linebacker Stephen Hodge is one of those players fighting for a roster spot. However for Hodge his chances are slim and the options that the coaching staff have for him will result in another tough decision no matter what they choose. During the offseason Hodge had his knee scoped and has not been able to practice much because of it. That makes it tough for someone to make a team if he cant be evaluated properly. His persistent swelling in his knee is really complicating matters. Dallas can protect his rights by placing him on injured reserve and shutting him down for the season in hopes that he can be ready for next season. They can take a chance and release him hoping no other team picks him up, and then resign him to the practice squad. But because there are a few other injured players Dallas is waiting on, the chances of Hodge making the roster is slim. This is the tough side of the business.

Now on the other hand Dallas claimed Linebacker Curtis Johnson off waivers after the Colts cut him because of an injured hamstring and there is a good chance he will make the 53 man roster without ever getting on the field for the Cowboys because of the injury. He will not play in Fridays last preseason game. They really like the former Colt who played as a 4-3 defensive end but will be converted to an outside linebacker in the 3-4. “We knew about him coming out of college” Phillips said of Johnson who played 7 games with the colts last season. There is no way Dallas would pickup an injured player a few days before cuts if they didnt know what they where getting. They are high on his special teams abilities and after putting LB Brandon Williams on injured reserve, and LB Jason Williams nursing a high ankle sprain that will keep him out 4-6 weeks, Johnson should be back soon and should make the roster.

Wide Receiver Travis Wilson who has been on injured reserve was released and given an injury settlement… Backup offensive lineman Cory Proctor’s roster spot may be in jeopardy after Dallas signed 5 year veteran Duke Preston who plays the same positions. And it was Preston during practice snapping to Quarterback John Kitna not Proctor who didnt even get any work in during the drill… Fourth round pick Quarterback Stephen McGee is also sitting on that bubble. He is nursing a strained MCL and has been considered OK at best when he is able to participate and healthy. One thing going for him is the fourth round choice the Cowboys used on him, that may get him a spot for a little while anyway.

Lets see what happens in the next few days when the fat is cut, because a lot of the guys we have been watching in preseason wont be there for long, and you know there will be some surprises.

Cowboys Make Moves for 75 Man Deadline

Watch out for several moves today around the league as the 75-man roster deadline looms.

The Cowboys have already made their transactions.

Rob Phillips reports,

The Cowboys trimmed their preseason roster to an NFL-mandated 75 players on Tuesday by releasing rookie WR Julian Hawkins, placing rookie LB Brandon Williams (torn ACL) on injured reserve and placing rookie OL Robert Brewster (torn pectoral muscle) on the physically unable to perform list.

Nothing really unexpected or controversial there.

Deadlines

September 1 — Roster cutdown to maximum of 75 players.

September 5 — Roster cutdown to maximum of 53 players.

A Look At Our CB/Safety Depth After Draft

Well after a very interesting draft weekend I figured I would list our CB/Safety Depth Chart for everyone to our depth at the positions now.

 

 Please note that the only the starters listed are guaranteed depth chart positions as of right now numbers 2+ are my predicted spots.

So with this depth at secondary we are set for some interesting training camp battles to stay on the roster. I personally see Jerome Carter, Michael Hawkins, Pat Watkins, and Stephen Hodge to be cut before the 53 man roster is due in.

IGOR TIME!!

From the MICKAROO, Mickey Spanola of DallasCowboys.com:

Free agent defensive end Igor Olshanky came into town during Thursday’s commotion for a visit, and the Dallas Cowboys made sure he didn’t leave town on Friday without signing a contract, which is exactly what he did around 5:30 p.m. (CST), putting his name on a contract. Olshanky, a five-year starter in San Diego, signed a four-year, $18 million contract, with roughly $8 million guaranteed.

This move is in direct response to three-year starter Chris Canty signing his unrestricted free-agency deal with the New York Giants this past Saturday, leaving the Cowboys without much experience at the right defensive end spot. The only backups of note are three-year veterans Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher. The Cowboys did sign least years’s practice squad defensive end Marcus Dixon to the 80-man roster.

I like it! More info to come…………………

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.

Cowboys News: A Roster Move

The Cowboys signed rookie cornerback Alan Ball to the 53-man roster yesterday and waived nose tackle Remi Ayodele. Ayodele has been inactive since Tank Johnson was signed, which also happens to the last time the Cowboys made a roster move. This year the Cowboys have only made 10 roster changes, compared with last years 53 at this point of the season.

With Terence Newman’s season long leg injury, Ball will hopefully provide a decent backup if needed. Ball had a decent preseason but a minor knee injury kept him from the team and left him on the practice squad.

Signing the seventh round pick rookie also gives the Cowboys the rights to him. If practice squad players are not signed, they become free agents after the season.

dallascowboys.com

 

Cowboys News: Gramatica Released

The Cowboys released Martin Gramatica today after spending less than a month on the Injured Reserve list. Gramatica injured his hamstring during the third preseason game in Houston and was placed on the IR to open a spot on the 53-man roster.  

Gramatica can sign with another team at this time, but if he does he risks any grievance pay from the Cowboys. He received a $200,000 signing bonus in the offseason.

During Training Camp and Preseason, Gramatica had some competition for starter kicker with rookie Nick Folk. Nick Folk has been amazing in his first 3 starts, completing 6 of 7 field goal attempts (his only missed field goal was blocked).

After the failure of Mike Vanderjagt last year, Gramatica came to be a Cowboy, and with him brought hope. We wish you the best of luck Gramatica and thanks for your hard work!

Cowboys News: Cowboys Cut Nine, One To Go

The Dallas Cowboys have cut nine players and will have to cut one more by tomorrow. That will bring the roster total to 75. On Saturday they will have to cut 22 more players to bring the count to the league-mandated 53-man roster.

Players that were cut include:

RB Jackie Battle

WR Jamel Richardson

NT Ola Dagunduro

LB Dedrick Harrington

OT Jason Hilliard

LB Alex Obomese

WR Jerard Rabb

WR Jamaica Rector

Jamaica Rector has missed the past three weeks with a knee injury. Last year Rector was awesome in preseason but didn’t play much after that. Jackie Battle is also injured but I think we all knew Tyson Thompson was going to get the spot as the 3rd running back. Both Rector and Battle were given injury settlements.