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2011 NFL Draft: If James Williamson was in Charge of the Cowboys…

To readers of Lone Star Struck: I’m sorry that I have not been here in a while. I’ve been swamped with school, and I knew that Kelly and the other writers have things covered mostly, so the breaking news pieces aren’t needed from me.

However, I needed to give my thoughts about the draft that is just tomorrow. Here is what I would do.

Everyone has a opinion. Everyone has an idea of what they would do if they were in charge. Many may have similar notions as others, but each one is somehow unique when it comes to detail.

Well, lets assume that I’m in charge of the Cowboys draft for one day. Lets pause momentarily while I laugh maniacally for several seconds.

Okay, now for some serious business.

I’ve been talking to a buddy of mine named J.D. He’s one of the most brilliant sports minds I’ve ever encountered, and we routinely text each other about sports, mainly our favorite football team, the Cowboys. But, we can talk about the draft or other players or even other teams.

So, today I was on the elliptical at the Fitness Zone when I get a text from good ole J.D. Well, I have ten minutes left to burn some calories on the machine, so I finished my workout, then walked over to the treadmill for a small walk and checked the message.

After the usual talking about Ryan Mallett, Blaine Gabbert and even a mention of previous drafts, the Cowboys pick came up, and J.D. and I both agreed that Dallas needs to trade the pick.

We also agreed on what players that he and I liked the most. We are both high on Louisiana State cornerback Patrick Peterson, Florida guard/center Mike Pouncey, and Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castanzo. Despite rumors that Dallas wants University of Southern California offensive tackle, Tyron Smith, J.D. and I are not high on him.

So, as we are texting, and I’m on the treadmill, a lightbulb the size of the sun turns on over my head, and I relay my idea to J.D.

Since the Cowboys have the ninth overall pick, they are in a prime position to draft a quarterback in a quarterback rich draft. And not just quarterback, but also a position for Nebraska defensive back Prince Amakamura and Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones.

Teams with mid-first round draft choices would love to move up and draft a player they believe will not fall to them, so that makes Dallas a prime candidate for a big trade. Dallas does not have a giant need that can be addressed at just the ninth pick, so not only COULD they move back a few spots and get more draft picks in exchange for a trade, but they actually SHOULD do that.

Before I go further, let me give you a key part of  the draft order real quick, so that you can follow along with my points.

9: Dallas Cowboys
10: Washington Redskins
11: Houston Texans
12: Minnesota Vikings
13: Detroit Lions
14: St. Louis Rams
15: Miami Dolphins
16: Jacksonville Jaguars
17: New England Patriots (Originally Oakland Raiders)
18: San Diego Chargers
19: New York Giants

I’m telling J.D. that a lot of quarterbacks like Jake Locker or Ryan Mallett or even Blaine Gabbert could/will be there at the ninth pick, and there is something that every football fan needs to know about the draft, so listen up.

Teams that need quarterbacks tend to reach for quarterbacks. By reach, I mean they either draft a quarterback with a too high draft selection or they trade up to grab a quarterback and pay a king’s ransom for the rookie signal caller.

Dallas has one of the premier draft picks, and they also are ahead of the Redskins who have the 10th overall pick. The Redskins are likely to draft a quarterback, so a trade with a quarterback-needy team for the ninth overall pick and maybe some more picks, like a second round pick for 2011 or a first rounder from 2012 is very reasonable.

There are three teams that I would definitely consider trading with. The Minnesota Vikings at 12, the Miami Dolphins at 15, and the Jacksonville Jaguars at 16. Any other team past the Chargers pick at 18 is a no because as you can see the New York Giants possess the 19th pick.

The New York Giants most glaring needs are offensive tackle and offensive guard. The whole point of Dallas trading the ninth pick is to get some more picks while still getting the player they desire, which if I’m running the draft, is either Anthony Castanzo or Mike Pouncey. Those two guys will not last past the Giants at 19, so any team past the Giants is out.

J.D. and I both think the Cowboys should pick up the phones and call the Jaguars, Dolphins, and Vikings and let them know that if they want a guarantee that they’ll get the quarterback they want, and not the guy that the Redskins passed up, they’ll have to pay the right price. I’d definitely secure their 2011 first round pick, 2011 second round pick, and maybe even a 2012 first round pick.

The Minnesota Vikings have a talented team, but have made some bad decisions. They did not draft a quarterback to learn from Brett Favre, so they were expecting to be the champions and worry about the quarterback issue when Favre finally retired.

Well, their lotto scratch-off ticket did not earn them the top prize or any prize. The Vikings now have needs at an aging offensive line, a weak secondary, and a quarterback. They are not as high on Joe Webb as they’d like to be, so now there is a thought of them trading for Donovan McNabb from the Redskins.

However, since they don’t know if they can get McNabb due to the lockout, the Vikings will probably reach for a quarterback, making them prime candidates to trade with Dallas.

I’d definitely squeeze the Vikings like I’d squeeze an orange for juice. They would be more than willing to pay a very high price to get a chance to draft a quarterback before the Redskins.

It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, that’s for certain.

Next, the Miami Dolphins are being coy about wanting Ryan Mallett. Ryan Mallett has character issues building up, but the Dolphins took a chance on Dan Marino in 1983 when there was a huge rumor that he had tested positive for drugs. The test results had been kept hidden from the public, so Marino fell to the Dolphins 27th pick.

I think the Dolphins see themselves as being a legitimate quarterback away from being a real Super Bowl contender, and they are not wrong. The only needs they have are quarterback and running back. Mark Ingram is probably not worth the 15th overall pick, and they can attempt at free agency to secure Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown or replace them.

Also, before any Dolphin faithful announce to the world that Chad Henne is “the guy”, may I remind them that “the guy” is not doing his job right or else they wouldn’t have been 7-9.

Ryan Mallett, however, may not slip past the Washington Redskins or the Minnesota Vikings. I’ve been torn on this kid myself, and I used to think he’d be a bad choice, but recently, I’ve found myself wondering if Dallas should take him. I like how he was honest about making mistakes in the past and is willing to change. That’s a sign of maturity and change.

If he becomes even 1/4th of what Marino was, the Dolphins are in the playoffs.

Lastly, the Jaguars are a team that doesn’t need a quarterback “immediately,” but David Garrard is 34, and why not draft a good quarterback that can replace Garrard in a few years?

I think the Jaguars will be hesitant to make the deal because they’ll probably want a guy that will fall to them, but if Jerry can use his Texas charm on them and make them see that Jake Locker or Ryan Mallett is an amazing prospect, then they may take the bait.

From there, the Cowboys simply just make the teams sweat a little bit and keep the auction going. Whoever gives up the most gets the ninth overall draft choice, and the quarterback they want.

As I was working that through my mind on the treadmill, another thought, well actually it was a text from J.D., hit me. Not only do teams want quarterbacks, but the ninth pick also could secure other skill players, namely Prince Amakamura and Julio Jones should they fall.

After discussing with J.D., we came to the conclusion that there are four other teams that might want to trade up for the ninth overall pick should either Julio Jones or Prince Amakamura fall. Beside Minnesota, the Detroit Lions also have a need for a cornerback like Amakamura, and there is no way that Amakamura falls past the Houston Texans at 12. The Texans had the worst pass defense to possibly ever grace a football field. You can guarantee that Amakamura is not dropping past them.

The Detroit Lions are definitely a team that is on the verge of actually contending, and Amakamura could definitely help out there. So, if Detroit is willing to fork over enough, they can get the ninth pick and a possible shutdown corner. They definitely need one after ranking 16th in passing yards allowed.

Now, the likelihood of that happening is small because teams don’t generally reach for cornerbacks, but quarterbacks and wide receivers? Much more likely.

Which brings us to the idea that if Julio Jones falls to the Cowboys, the Redskins are also a prime target for him to go to with their best receiver, Santana Moss, hitting free agency whenever free agency occurs. Julio Jones is a very highly touted receiver, so teams that want that big wideout will definitely want to trade up to secure him.

The teams that need a receiver are: the St. Louis Rams at 14, the New England Patriots at 17, and the San Diego Chargers at 18.

The Rams have the biggest need for receiver out of them all. Their two top receivers had season-ending injuries last year, and Sam Bradford needs a real legitimate target to have besides Danny Amendola. The Rams may be willing to exchange a great deal for Julio Jones.

The Patriots are the ideal trading mate. They have so many draft picks that it is ridiculous. They have the 17th and 28th overall picks, and they have the 33rd overall pick, which is the top pick of the second round. If you want an ideal partner, it is them. I’d love to have those three picks. However, the Patriots have those picks because they are shrewd rather than stupid.

J.D. believes that Belichick would want a chance to draft a big play wideout in Julio Jones because they traded Randy Moss and nobody else stretches the field like him.

J.D., I have to disagree man. I just don’t believe that Belichick will want to trade all that or even part of that for Julio Jones. I wish he would, but I doubt the Patriots trade up when they’ve tried to trade down.

However, I’d still give Belichick a call and see if I don’t get a “No thank you” from him. Getting the 17th, 28th, and 33rd picks would be a huge acquisition. Heck, even getting the 17th and 33rd would be huge for Dallas.

Lastly, the San Diego Chargers are a team that had special teams mishaps cost them the playoffs. The 2010 Chargers are a perfect example forever of how special teams impacts the game. They were second in scoring offense and 10th in scoring defense. With numbers like that, they should’ve made the playoffs and maybe even the Super Bowl, but they lost at least three or four games due to horrible special teams.

Instead of being 12-4 or 13-3, they were a 9-7 failure.

Now, the Chargers do need a real receiver for Philip Rivers. Vincent Jackson is still franchised, but he may hold out again, and A.J. Smith is like a bulldog with a bone in his mouth. He is not going to sway from his stance. Jackson will either not play or he’ll play on Smith’s terms.

That’s part of the reason why I highly doubt Dallas will squeeze the Chargers of anything. Not only are they already an elite team without a top wideout and since A.J. Smith is one of the most stubborn people you would meet in any walk of life, I have doubts as to the abilities of not just Jerry Jones, but anyone, to get that guy to budge.

He’s the guy who drafted Eli Manning when Eli Manning did not want to play for San Diego, and he held Manning in his grasp until the New York Giants traded Philip Rivers, a 2005 first round pick that became Shawn Merriman, a 2004 third round pick that was used to get Pro Bowl kicker Nate Kaeding, and a 2004 fifth round pick that eventually was traded to Tampa Bay for Roman Oben who was a very good left tackle for the Chargers for about two years.

So, if Smith can gut the Giants when he was in a lose-type of a situation by drafting somebody who had publicly said that he did not want to play for the Chargers, then I don’t think even Jerry Jones could get that guy in a bad deal.

That’s what the Cowboys would do if I were in charge. Will they do it? It is possible, but is it probable? That remains to be seen.

Why should Dallas do this though? Can’t they just draft whomever they want at the ninth overall spot and not worry themselves with trades?

They could do that, but it would not be prudent. They need more picks people. It is the sixth rounders at the end of the day who put you over the top. They could get a few more picks for more players and more talent and still come out with the player that they want in the end.

Also, there is one more side. Rookie players are paid on a ratio to where they are drafted. If Dallas drafts a top 10 player, he’ll want top 10 player money, but if he’s draft 15th or 16th overall, he can only ask for top 20 player money.

Not only can Dallas get more talent, but they can save themselves money by trading down.

I won’t guarantee Dallas does trade, but I will say that I’ll be surprised if the commissioner announces Dallas’s pick at the number nine spot.

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This article was originally posted an NFLtouchdown.com here

Schedule Coming Soon

The NFL will announce the 2010 football schedules on April 20th at 6 p.m. CST on NFL Network and NFL.com.

We already know the opponents we are just waiting  for the dates, times and order.

2010 OPPONENTS

HOME OPPONENTS

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Redskins

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans

AWAY OPPONENTS

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Redskins

Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings

Arizona Cardinals

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

We also know the preseason lineup:

Sun, Aug 8 vs. Cincinnati@Canton 7:00 PM
TBA OAKLAND TBA
TBA @ San Diego TBA
Sat, Aug 28 @ Houston 7:00 PM
TBA MIAMI TBA

NFL.com has a pretty cool interactive schedule feature for every team in the league. Check it out here.

Also, remember to check back after schedules are released for schedule graphics and more!

Dallas Loses 34-3, But Did Not Choke

Well, you can’t win them all. As a person and fan, I’ve have to learn to accept that. Sometimes you don’t win the big games.

This game the Cowboys lost while it is tragic they did, you can’t win them all. There are some days where it would have been close, where Dallas would’ve won, where Minnesota would’ve won, where one is a blowout like today or a close one.

It comes down to who played the better game that day and that was Minnesota. This loss was painful, but Dallas wasn’t horrible, Minnesota was just good.

If I may, I’d like to drift off for a second. Before I realized that sportswriting was my calling, I wanted to be a lawyer like in Law & Order. Well, one of the most famous legal quotes is by Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart when it came to the definition of obscenity.

“I cannot define it, but I know it when I see it.”

Well, its the same thing with Dallas. The final score of 34-3 is one that many people who didn’t watch the game would say, “Aw, they got killed! They suck! They are such pathetic chokers!”

Well, they don’t know anything. They are immature haters usually. The reality is that Dallas played a hard game, but Minnesota was just better. There wasn’t a choking moment, the Vikings just controlled the game. There was a lot of bad luck for the Cowboys.

I cannot define the difference between choking and being outplayed, but I know it when I see it, and Dallas did not choke. I can’t upload film to my computer and send ESP to you to point out where this went wrong or how this was just Minnesota playing great ball, but I can hope that you trust my instincts and believe that Dallas is still a great team.

Believe it or not, there is a lot of luck in this game, and Dallas just had some bad luck today.

What Dallas needs to do is to reevaluate themselves. Look at what needs to change on offense or on defense. They need to constantly train throughout the offseason. Preparation is half the game. Some of the best teams have had only good athletes, but they were disciplined and ready for the postseason.

Dallas was ready. I have no doubt they were ready, but they were probably inexperienced. This team now has more experience, and they will make an effort next year to go even further into playoffs. To may get that chance at a Super Bowl. To possibly get that sixth Super Bowl ring.

This was just not Dallas’ time. I truly believe that Minnesota was a team that no one could have beaten today. This team had everything going its way, and you can’t always prevent that.

Despite this loss, I am still a Cowboys fan. I love this team. I love these guys, and I’m proud of them. They seem like a team that is seriously a contender for a Super Bowl for years to come maybe.

I remember in the 1970s, one of the finest teams that was playing was the Oakland Raider coached by Hall of Fame coach and legendary announcer John Madden, was a team that was eliminated often in the postseason.

From 1969 to 1978, John Madden won 103 regular season games with the Raiders and won nine playoff games.

Before 1976 however, Madden was known as the coach who couldn’t win the big one, and his team was known as one who couldn’t finish it all in playoffs.

To paraphrase him from the 1976 America’s Game, “People say that Madden can’t win the big one. Well, before the game, tell me when there’s a little one?”

They had won big games, they had won playoff games, they hadn’t won a championship, but Madden was never discouraged because if you constantly work at it and keep trying, then you will win a Super Bowl. John Madden was very calm and very confident in his guys for the upcoming season.

He finally assembled a team that went 13-1 and won the Super Bowl 32-14. It did happen for him because he realized that sometimes great teams take a while to get it all done.

Dallas has won big games, they’ve won a playoff game, they won in December and January, so they haven’t won a Super Bowl yet, but they are on the right track for that and I believe that it will happen one day for these guys.

Even if they don’t do it next year, I’ll still be watching these guys, and I’ll still believe in them.

So, if any Cowboy reads this, know I got your back too guys.

James Williamson is also an accomplished writer for http://www.nfltouchdown.com/ and http://bleacherreport.com/

Third Times A Charm – Vote Romo!

For the third time this season Tony Romo is up for FedEx Player of the Week at NFL.com. Now come on Cowboys fans, get your votes counted! You can vote as many times as you like, so get to clicking!

Also, Romo winning is more than just for show, if he wins $1,000 will go to Safe Kids Coalition in Dallas.

VOTE HERE!

VIKINGS QB BRETT FAVRE, EAGLES QB DONOVAN MC NABB & COWBOYS QB TONY ROMO; TITANS RB CHRIS JOHNSON, JAGUARS RB MAURICE JONES-DREW & TEXANS RB RYAN MOATS CANDIDATES FOR FEDEX AIR & GROUND® NFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK HONORS

Fans To Vote For Winners On NFL.com FedEx Delivers Pedestrian Safety Improvements On Behalf of Winning Players In Their Teams’ Markets

Quarterbacks BRETT FAVRE of the Minnesota Vikings, DONOVAN MC NABB of the Philadelphia Eagles and TONY ROMO of the Dallas Cowboys are the finalists for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week honors for games played on November 1 – 2, while running backs CHRIS JOHNSON of the Tennessee Titans, MAURICE JONES-DREW of the Jacksonville Jaguars and RYAN MOATS of the Buffalo Bills are the finalists for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week, the NFL announced today.

Fans can vote for one player in each category on NFL.com/FedEx from 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday through noon EST on Friday to determine the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week. The winners will be announced Friday evening on NFL.com.

Fans will be voting for more than their favorite player. As part of the Air & Ground program, FedEx continues its support of Safe Kids USA – a national non-profit organization that works to prevent accidental injury among children – by making weekly $1,000 donations in the winning players’ names. The funding, allocated to local Safe Kids coalitions in that team’s city, is used for pedestrian safety improvements throughout the year, from upgraded crosswalks and street signage to traffic barriers and educational training.

For a second season, fans can tune into the “FedEx Air & Ground Lowdown” posted exclusively on NFL.com/FedEx starting Wednesday mornings. The show examines the nominees in the Air & Ground categories through exclusive video highlights and expert analysis. NFL Network’s RICH EISEN and MARSHALL FAULK host the weekly five-minute show.

A closer look at the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week finalists:

• Minnesota’s BRETT FAVRE passed for 244 yards and four touchdowns completing 17 of 28 passes at Lambeau Field in the Vikings’ 38 – 26 win over the Green Bay Packers.

• Philadelphia’s DONOVAN MC NABB threw three touchdowns, completing 17 of 23 passes for 240 yards in the Eagles’ 40 – 17 win over the New York Giants.

• Dallas‘ TONY ROMO completed 21 of 36 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns in the Cowboys’ 38 – 17 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

A closer look at the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week finalists:

• Tennessee’s CHRIS JOHNSON gained 228 yards on 24 carries including two touchdown runs of 52 yards and 89 yards in the Titans’ 30 – 13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

• Jacksonville’s MAURICE JONES-DREW carried the ball eight times for 177 yards and two touchdowns (80 and 79 yards) in the Jaguars’ 30 – 13 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

• Houston’s RYAN MOATS carried the ball 23 times for 126 yards and three touchdowns in the Texans’ 31 – 10 win over the Buffalo Bills.

As the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, FedEx understands the need for a winning game plan, and created the Air & Ground program to highlight superior on-field performance while delivering safe kids off the field. Because FedEx has thousands of delivery trucks out on the roads each day, the company is committed to funding pedestrian safety improvements through its 10-year partnership with Safe Kids USA.

VIKINGS QB BRETT FAVRE, EAGLES QB DONOVAN MC NABB & COWBOYS QB TONY ROMO; TITANS
RB CHRIS JOHNSON, JAGUARS RB MAURICE JONES-DREW & TEXANS RB RYAN MOATS
CANDIDATES FOR FEDEX AIR & GROUND® NFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK HONORS
Fans To Vote For Winners On NFL.com
FedEx Delivers Pedestrian Safety Improvements
On Behalf of Winning Players In Their Teams’ Markets
Quarterbacks BRETT FAVRE of the Minnesota Vikings, DONOVAN MC NABB of the
Philadelphia Eagles and TONY ROMO of the Dallas Cowboys are the finalists for
the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week honors for games played on November 1 – 2,
while running backs CHRIS JOHNSON of the Tennessee Titans, MAURICE JONES-DREW of
the Jacksonville Jaguars and RYAN MOATS of the Buffalo Bills are the finalists
for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week, the NFL announced today.
Fans can vote for one player in each category on NFL.com/FedEx from 9 a.m. EST
on Tuesday through noon EST on Friday to determine the FedEx Air & Ground NFL
Players of the Week. The winners will be announced Friday evening on NFL.com.
Fans will be voting for more than their favorite player. As part of the Air &
Ground program, FedEx continues its support of Safe Kids USA – a national
non-profit organization that works to prevent accidental injury among children –
by making weekly $1,000 donations in the winning players’ names. The funding,
allocated to local Safe Kids coalitions in that team’s city, is used for
pedestrian safety improvements throughout the year, from upgraded crosswalks and
street signage to traffic barriers and educational training.
For a second season, fans can tune into the “FedEx Air & Ground Lowdown” posted
exclusively on NFL.com/FedEx starting Wednesday mornings. The show examines the
nominees in the Air & Ground categories through exclusive video highlights and
expert analysis. NFL Network’s RICH EISEN and MARSHALL FAULK host the weekly
five-minute show.
A closer look at the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week finalists:
•   Minnesota’s BRETT FAVRE passed for 244 yards and four touchdowns completing
17 of 28 passes at Lambeau Field in the Vikings’ 38 – 26 win over the Green Bay
Packers.
•   Philadelphia’s DONOVAN MC NABB threw three touchdowns, completing 17 of 23
passes for 240 yards in the Eagles’ 40 – 17 win over the New York Giants.
•   Dallas‘ TONY ROMO completed 21 of 36 passes for 256 yards and three
touchdowns in the Cowboys’ 38 – 17 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
A closer look at the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week finalists:
•   Tennessee’s CHRIS JOHNSON gained 228 yards on 24 carries including two
touchdown runs of 52 yards and 89 yards in the Titans’ 30 – 13 win over the
Jacksonville Jaguars.
•   Jacksonville’s MAURICE JONES-DREW carried the ball eight times for 177 yards
and two touchdowns (80 and 79 yards) in the Jaguars’ 30 – 13 loss to the
Tennessee Titans.
•   Houston’s RYAN MOATS carried the ball 23 times for 126 yards and three
touchdowns in the Texans’ 31 – 10 win over the Buffalo Bills.
As the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl,
FedEx understands the need for a winning game plan, and created the Air & Ground
program to highlight superior on-field performance while delivering safe kids
off the field. Because FedEx has thousands of delivery trucks out on the roads
each day, the company is committed to funding pedestrian safety improvements
through its 10-year partnership with Safe Kids USA.

Top 10 Players In Fantasy Football

I dont know about everyone else but I do play fantasy football during the season, and with it as popular as it is I figured I’d break down nfl.com’s top 10 players and my top 10players.

          NFL Ranking 

  1. Adrian Peterson-RB- Minnesota Vikings
  2. Matt Forte-RB- Chicago Bears
  3. Michael Turner-RB- Atlanta Falcons
  4. Maurice Jones-Drew-RB- Jacksonville Jaguars
  5. DeAngelo Williams- RB- Carolina Panthers
  6. Chris Johnson- RB- Tennessee Titans
  7. Drew Brees- QB- New Orleans Saints
  8. Steven Jackson- RB- St.Louis Rams
  9. Brian Westbrook- RB- Philadelphia Eagles
  10. Frank Gore- RB- San Francisco 49ers

           My Ranking

  1. Larry Fitzgerald- WR- Arizona Cardinals
  2. Adrian Peterson- RB- Minnesota Vikings
  3. Chris Johnson- RB- Tennessee Titans
  4. Drew Brees- QB- New Orleans Saints
  5. Marion Barber- RB- Dallas Cowboys
  6. Calvin Johnson- WR- Detroit Lions
  7. DeAngelo Williams- RB- Carolina Panthers
  8. Peyton Manning- QB- Indianapolis Colts
  9. Steve Slaton- RB- Houston Texans
  10. Andre Johnson- WR- Houston Texans

NFL Draft Fun…….

Well….all this talk about the draft made me want to play a little game. What if you went back

deware.jpg

to the 2005 NFL Draft and looked at the top 15 picks (as just a small sample) and rated where they SHOULD have gone based on the production, or lack thereof, of the player. This seems like a fair amount of time to judge a player, four years to adjust, learn the system, condition and train under the watchful eye of some of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the world and be taught by some of the best head coaches and coordinators in the world. So I will list the player in order they were drafted and list a comment or two and then state my “unofficial” adjusted value (if we were drafting today, knowing what they would do – how unfair, I know, but still fun) And, here we go……….

1. San Francisco 49ers – Alex Smith, QB (Utah)
 – 4 seasons, 4 coordinators; re-structured contract to avoid being released by team.
ADJUSTED VALUE: 5th Round Pick

2. Miami Dolphins – Ronnie Brown, RB (Auburn)
 – 67.3 yards per game, overcame major knee injury to be solid contributor.
ADJUSTED VALUE: Late 1st Round Pick

3. Cleveland Browns – Braylon Edwards, WR (Michigan)
 – Pro Bowl in 2007, took step back last season, still a dangerous playmaker.
ADJUSTED VALUE: Top 15 pick

4. Chicago Bears – Cedric Benson, RB (Texas)
 – 2,340 career rushing yards, released by team after multiple arrests.
ADJUSTED VALUE: Undrafted rookie free agent

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, RB (Auburn)
 – NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, knee injuries slowed him; a feature back when healthy.
ADJUSTED VALUE: Top 10 pick

6. Tennessee Titans – Adam “Pac Man” Jones, DB (West Virginia)
 – Well known story here. NO COMMENT.
ADJUSTED VALUE: 6th Round pick

7. Minnesota Vikings – Troy Williamson, WR (South Carolina)
 –  4 seasons, 4 career touchdown receptions, penchant for dropped passes.
ADJUSTED VALUE: 5th Round pick

8. Arizona Cardinals – Antrell Rolle, CB (Miami)
 – Starter for NFC Champs, top 10 in interceptions in 2007.
ADJUSTED VALUE: Top 15 pick

9. Washington Redskins – Carlos Rogers, CB (Auburn)
 – Part-time starter for ‘Skins, 5 career interceptions.
ADJUSTED VALUE: 2nd Round pick

10. Detroit Lions – Mike Williams, WR (USC)
 – 2 career touchdowns, released by Titans; out of football.
ADJUSTED VALUE: Undrafted rookie free agent

11. Dallas Cowboys – Demarcus Ware, OLB (Troy)
 – All-Pro, 2nd in Defensive player of the Year voting in 2008, dominant force in the game.
ADJUSTED VALUE: Top 5 pick

12. San Diego Chargers – Shawne Merriman, OLB (Maryland)
 – Pro Bowl and All Pro player, injured last year but one of the top sack artists in the game.
ADJUSTED VALUE: Top 5 pick

13. New Orleans Saints – Jamaal Brown, OL (Oklahoma)
 – 2 time Pro Bowl lineman, solid starter for Saints.
ADJUSTED VALUE: Top 10 pick

14. Carolina Panthers – Thomas Davis, LB (Georgia)
 – Starter for Panthers’ D, 9.5 career sacks.
ADJUSTED VALUE: 2nd Round pick

15. Kansas City Chiefs – Derrick Johnson, LB (Texas)
 – Starter for Chiefs’ D, solid tackler and contributor.
ADJUSTED VALUE: 2nd Round pick

So, that’s just the TOP 15. And just my opinion, but only a total of 5 Pro-Bowl players in that group, a 33% percent rate, which is very bad compared to the amount of guaranteed money paid to all of those players. 

Here is the Pro-Bowl breakdown by rounds:

  • 1st Round: 7
  • 2nd Round: 4
  • 3rd Round: 2
  • 4th Round: 2 (including Marion Barber III)
  • 5th – 7th Round: 3 (including Jay Ratliff)

Some of the other notable players drafted that year include Lofa Tatupu, LB, Seattle Seahawks (2nd Round), Frank Gore, RB, SF 49ers (3rd Round), Justin Tuck, DE, NY Giants (3rd Round) and Matt Cassell, QB, Kansas City Chiefs (7th Round).

Just a fun little thing to do, it is so easy to look back in hindsight, whether you are scrutinizing Jerry Jones as a General Manager, or any other NFL General Manager. It is the product of scouting departments, hype, desire, money and a multitude of other things that determine which players get drafted where, and why they succeed or fail.

All in all, a CRAP SHOOT!! I am just glad our picks for the 2005 draft: D-Ware, MB3 and Jay Ratliff turned out so well!

COWBOYS FAN FOR LIFE – TD 
   

So Long and Farewell Texas Stadium

This place has come a long way!!!

From Big Tex to Bob Lilly. From great leaders like Tom Landry, Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, “Bullet” Bob Hayes, and the Triplett’s… Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Micheal Irvin. Texas Stadium will always be remembered as not only the stadium with the hole in the roof, but she is a star among stars.

Showcasing some of the most memorable moments in NFL history. From Tony Dorsett’s record breaking 99 yard touchdown run against the Minnesota Vikings to Emmitt Smith’s rush into history becoming the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. It is also home to 3 NFC championship game victories, and some of the world’s greatest fans, including the late Wilford “Crazy Ray” Jones, the greatest fan ever!

It is home to not only the NFL’s elite, but the world’s most beautiful and entertaining Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders! She even appeared in the intro on the 80’s drama “Dallas”.

And who can forget the memorable performances for the Salvation Army campaign on Thanksgiving day, and the electric performances and appearances by such stars like Michael Jackson, Madonna, the Eagles, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and the Jonas Brothers. Not to mention today’s stars like Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, and Marion Barber. It is also the place where the legendary quarterback Brett Favre never won a game.

There is only one thing left to say about Texas Stadium. “It is home” and will always be home. It’s the signature to stars and a place where lives were changed and legends were made. She will always be missed hosting games to the world’s greatest football team ever – The Dallas Cowboys!

So long and farewell Texas Stadium.

 

Written by Cowboys fan Terry Monroe

Dallas vs. Minnesota and a Kid Named AD

Good evening everyone,
 
Well “the boys” have their final tune-up on Thursday night when they play host to the Minnesota Vikings. This should be an interesting game even though in the opinion of this writer, I think the dress rehearsal was against the Texans. We probably will see very little of the starting units since opening day is right around the corner. If coach Phillips hold true to form, the last of the roster looks will take place before they cut down to that magic 53. In addition, I think the starters that are “banged” up need to heal before they take their opening day trip to Cleveland and go into the dog pound.
 
Unfortunately, we also will not get to see much of a kid that has a chance to be one of the most prolific runners the NFL has ever seen in Adrian “all day” Peterson. Now I know as Cowboy fans we share our true loyalty to our beloved Cowboys and everyone else is the enemy. I share those same sentiments as well, but I had the opportunity to see Mr. Peterson every Saturday when he played for my beloved Oklahoma Sooners. Yea, I know I have many University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor readers that come to this site and I certainly don’t want to rub any salt in any wounds. I just happen to live 17 miles from Norman, Oklahoma and grew up a “Okie” that also loves the Dallas Cowboys. I just won’t to say that even though he now plays for the Vikings, I have been a fan of Peterson every since he bolted from Palestine, Texas and became a star for the Sooners. In addition, over the years I have had somewhat of an opportunity to get to “AD” on a personal level as well.
 
Adrian Peterson was given the nickname “AD” by his mother when he was very young because he would be outside playing and would run everywhere he went. She said he never walked anywhere and that he is just ran all day. Peterson ran straight into the record books in his freshman season (not red-shirt freshman) but true freshman rushing for 1,925 yds and first team All-American. In addition, he finished 3rd in the Heisman Trophy balloting that same year. Even though he only played three seasons before going to the NFL he was OU’s third all-time leading rusher. After being selected 7th in the first round by the Vikings his combination of speed, strength, vision and a highly aggressive attitude toward contact, he has already been compared to the likes of past legends like Eric Dickerson, O.J. Simpson, Walter Payton, Bo Jackson, Gale Sayers, and Jim Brown. His accomplishments since coming to the Vikings include the single game rushing record of 296 yds on 30 carries against the San Diego Chargers.
 
There is a dark side to this story as well. Adrian came from a very troubled life style growing up. When Adrian was young he witnessed his brother shot to death in a gang shooting and his father went to prison for 12 years of Adrian’s life for various charges. Through all of that Adrian’s mother did everything she could to insure Adrian stayed on the straight and narrow. In speaking with Adrian on several occasions in the past he owes all his success to his mother and his various coaches. He would fly home almost every chance he had during his 3 years at Oklahoma to spend time with his mother and go visit his father in prison. Adrian has never let his success go to his head. He always carries that big wonderful smile, and always meets and greets anyone that wants to speak with him. That is a rarity in the NFL or in pro sports in general anymore. Now I know a lot of our Cowboys are very true to the fans, but there is a much higher percentage of players in the league that not only don’t really have loyalty to their respective teams but to the fans as well. I have always thought that was unfair because we pay good money each week to see our teams and then have players jump to other teams because more money is dangled in front of them.
 
Long gone are the days of Bob Lilly, Leroy Jordan, and Roger Staubach just to name a few, that played their entire careers with the Cowboys and never thought for a minute is the grass greener on the other side of the fence. Now, it is basically all about big business, huge marketing deals, and bottom lines. Still through it all we go every Saturday and Sunday and root for our teams because we love the game of football.
 
GO COWBOYS!!

Legends of the Star – Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker started his football career while playing for the University of Georgia. In his freshman year, he set an NCAA rushing record and helped his team win the national title. He earned All-American honors three consecutive years, set 10 NCAA records, 15 Southeast Conference records, 30 Georgia all-time records, and capped a sensational college career by earning the 1982 Heisman Trophy in his third and final year.

In 1983, Walker turned professional and joined the New Jersey Generals of the now defunct United States Football League. Herschel was absolutely dominating and was considered by many to be the best and most electrifying player in football. He won the leagues Most Valuable Player award and set the all-time single season pro football rushing record with 2411 yards.

In 1986, Herschel Walker joined the Dallas Cowboys, and in his first season with the team he led the NFL in rushing and scored 14 touchdowns. His best year came in 1988 when Herschel rushed for 1,514 yards. He earned Pro Bowl honors with the Cowboys in 1987 and 1988. During his years with the Cowboys he was their most talented and most popular player, but the team was not winning.

In the middle of the1989 season, the Cowboys traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings in a deal that would change the face of the Cowboys for years to come. Besides receiving 5 players, the Cowboys also received a total of six draft picks, two of which were used to draft Emmit Smith and Darren Woodson. Jimmy Johnson used the other draft picks to make trades with other teams around the NFL which led to drafting Russell Maryland with the first overall draft pick in 1991. This trade has long been considered one of the most lopsided deals in NFL history.

After continuing his career as one of the premier running backs in the league, Herschel would later return to Dallas in 1996 and retired as a Cowboy in 1997.

Walker was one of the most productive players in the history of football and even if you discount his 3 seasons with the USFL, he still had 82 career touchdowns, 8,225 rushing yards, 4,859 receiving yards, and 5,084 kickoff-return yards. He is the only player to have 10,000+ yards gained on offense and 5,000+ yards on kickoff returns.

Although his career as Cowboy was not that long, during his years with the team he was the lone bright spot despite the fact that the team never made the play-offs. His contribution to the team in terms of trade value transformed the team into the most powerful team in the NFL for an entire decade. 

Walker was one of the top running backs in the pros, gaining more yards than anyone in professional football history, counting his seasons in both the NFL and USFL. He finished his professional career with a total of 8,225 yards and 61 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 512 passes for 4,859 yards and 21 scores.

 
Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Legends of the Star – Don Perkins

Don Perkins attended the University of New Mexico and played running back and kick returner. He won many awards during his college career and in 1958 he led the nation in kickoff returns.
 
Although being initially drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the 1960 NFL Draft, he was awarded to the Dallas Cowboys who had signed him to a contract before the draft. The Colts were awarded a compensation pick instead.
 
Don immediately became the Cowboys starting running back and their first legitimate star. Along with his quarterback Don Meredith, they became the face of the Dallas Cowboys. He became the first Dallas Cowboy to rush for 100 yards in a game when he racked up 108 yards against the Minnesota Vikings on September 24th. Don was named the NFL rookie of the Year in 1961 with 815 yards rushing. He made his first Pro Bowl the following season after another big season in which he rushed for 945 yards. During his 8 seasons with the Cowboys, Don was named to the Pro Bowl 6 times and was the Cowboys career leading rusher with over 6,000 yards when he retired.
 
When all was said and done, he rushed for 6,217 yards on 1500 carries and 42 touchdowns. He also caught 146 passes for 1,310 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is currently third all time in career rushing yards for the Cowboys, behind Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett.
 
In 1976, he was inducted into the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium.
 
Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Legends of the Star – Roger Staubach

 

Roger Staubach started his great career as a quarterback for the United States Naval Academy. He made a name for himself by making big plays when he was on the verge of being sacked. His scrambling skills also made him a dangerous weapon on the ground and had great cutting ability which he used to drive defenses crazy. In 1963 he was recognized for his achievements and was awarded the Heisman Trophy. In 1981, he was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

After his college career, Roger was given the option of staying in the United States to fulfill his commitment to the Navy, but instead he chose to volunteer for a tour of duty in Vietnam, where he served as an officer.

After being drafted by Dallas in 1964, he finally joined the Dallas Cowboys as a 27-year-old rookie in 1969, after completing his military obligation. He eventually took over as the starting quarterback in 1971, and for the next nine seasons he led the Dallas Cowboys to six NFC Championship Games, and four Super Bowls, including victories in Super Bowls VI and XII.

During his career, Staubach developed a reputation for pulling out victories when defeat looked inevitable. His determination to never give up earned him the nickname, "Captain Comeback." He led the Cowboys to 23 come-from-behind victories in the fourth quarter. Seventeen of those comebacks came in the final two minutes of games.

His most famous moment was the "Hail Mary Pass" in the 1975 playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. With seconds on the clock and Dallas down 14-10, Staubach launched a 50 yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson, for a 17-14 victory. Staubach told reporters that he prayed a "Hail Mary" before throwing the pass. The name stuck and is widely used in football today.

He finished his 11 NFL career with 1,685 completions for 22,700 yards and 153 touchdowns, with 109 interceptions. He also gained 2,264 rushing yards and scored 20 touchdowns on 410 carries. At the time of his retirement, he was the highest rated passer in NFL history with a 83.4 passer rating.

The Naval Academy retired Staubach’s jersey number in 1964, and in 1981, he was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. He was slected to the Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1983, and in 1985 he was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys.