New to the Silver & Blue: Jason Williams

Learn all about the latest Dallas Cowboy players to don the “Silver and Blue” in this
new Lone Star Struck exclusive series by Raina Middleton.

I am going to kick off this new series with the Cowboys first pick in the 2009 NFL draft, linebacker #58 Jason Williams.

Jason attended Western Illinois College. He stands 6-1 and weights 238. From the research I have done on Jason he seems to be one of the most underrated players in the draft. Jason switched from strong safety to weak side linebacker in his sophomore year. He ranked among the nation’s leaders in forced fumbles and tackles behind the line of scrimmage in the last three years.

Jason attended DeSable High School in Chicago. He was highly regarded for his rushing and passing ability as a linebacker. Jason rushed for 2,988 and threw for 3,015 yards. He had a total of 71 total touchdowns in his high school career, which led to a undefeated season his Senior year and earned him two All-City and All-Section honors.

Williams enrolled at Western Illinois as a 200 pound athlete in 2004, where he red-shirted. In 2005, he appeared in 10 games, not seeing much action early in the year being listed third on the depth chart at strong safety. His special team talent helped him get a starting position for the team’s two final games. When he got the chance to play he took advantage and had 23 tackles with a stop for a loss and one blocked kick.

In 2006 Williams continued to be a terror on special teams. Jason switched to weak side linebacker, he was the only defender to start all 11 games. He received the teams’ Green Beret Award for his talent on the kicking game. He also ranked second on the team with 92 tackles, three sacks, and 10.5 stops for a loss and he also caused three fumbles.

In 2007 Jason was on fire, He made All-American and All-Gateway conference first-team choice,finished second in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year. He also led the team with 107 tackles and eight sacks. He led the conference with 16.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He also recovered two fumbles.

Williams’ senior year in 2008 he was named a consensus All-American and a unanimous All-Gateway Conference first-team selection. He came in 4th in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in the FSC ranks. He started every game as a weak-side linebacker, leading the nation with a school season-record six forced fumbles, the second best total by a Gateway player. He finished 2nd in the league with team high 17 stops for a loss and had 4 sacks among his 67 tackles 39 being solo’s.

So after researching Jason Williams I can now understand why he was considered underrated in the draft.

He certainly seems to have the talent to be an impact player and I look forard to seeing him wreak havoc on the footbal field in 2009!

Ellis Shown The Door, Fans Shove Him Through

The writing was on the wall shortly after the 2007 NFL draft. The Cowboys picked Anthony Spencer, defensive end from Purdue in the first round. The 26th overall pick.

Greg Ellis, an aging veteran coming off a season-ending achilles injury saw the writing and, in turn, expressed himself – as only Greg can do – and voiced his concern about being replaced by the 6′ 3″ 255 lb prospect.

It took two years to happen but here we are. Greg Ellis, after 11 years of service, was officially released Tuesday, June 2, 2009.

I’m not disputing the fact that Ellis’ better days are past him. I’m not disputing the fact that it is time to see what Spencer truly has. These things are part of the NFL. Players get old and the young guns come in and take over. It is a natural cycle, not only in the NFL, but in life. The time has come for young blood.

Here is where I have a problem. No, it’s not with Jerry Jones(not this time anyway). It isn’t with Ellis or Spencer. My problem is with fickle Dallas Cowboys fans that seem to enjoy shoving this guy out the door after 11 years of hard-fought football service with America’s Team.

I dare the majority of these fans to show many anything they’ve done for 11 years with passion, conviction, loyalty and the dedication Ellis has shown this organization.

How soon people forget. It’s the “What have you done for me lately?” generation of football fans that forget Ellis’ 12.5 sacks in 2007 and his Comeback Player of the Year award. They don’t honor his 634 tackles, 36 tackles for losses, 197 quarterback pressures and 77 sacks over the course of the last 11 seasons. All in 162 games 156 in which he started.

All they see is Greg “The Whiner” they call him. Well I respect his honesty and at times I did question his timing. I’m not saying he didn’t have issues but he suited up in the Blue and Silver and gave his blood, sweat and tears for 11 years and, in my humble opinion, that gives him the right to voice his discord when things aren’t going, in his opinion, the way they should. He earned that voice.

We give our opinions every day about The Cowboys and have never put our bodies on the line to defend the Star. Then we’re gonna question this man?

Feel free to post your comments. Good bad or indifferent.

Here’s mine: Thank you, Greg Ellis. It has been an absolute honor to watch you play for the Dallas Cowboys. God bless you and your family. I wish you the best of luck in the future.

**Check out my youtube channel**

Gerald Sensabaugh: The Jolly Jumper

Gerald Sensabaugh was born on June 13, 1983 in Oakland,California but was raised in Kingsport, Tennessee. Where he attended Dobyns-Bennett High School where he was a standout in football and track. In football, he helped lead his team to two consecutive Class 5A Semifinals, and during his senior year he also played offense recording 42 receptions for 420 yards and 7 touchdowns and was an All-Big Nine Selection. In track he won a state championship in the long jump.

Gerald started his college career at East Tennessee State University but transferred to the University of North Carolina as a senior when ETSU disbanned their football program. He finished his one-year UNC career with four interceptions, five fumble recoveries and three touchdowns. He also tied an NCAA single-game record after blocking three punts in one game.

Gerald recorded a 46″ vertical at the NFL Combine, the highest for an NFL player on record(this is also why I here-by give him the nickname The Jolly Jumper). He was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round(157th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft.

Gerald started every game of his rookie season, one of few to do so. After perfoming well on special teams he got a chance to start the remainder of the season at Strong Safety when Pro-Bowler Donovin Darius got injured. In 2006 he continued to play well on special teams and, then halfway through the season, he yet again became a starter when Darius suffered a season ending knee injury. On March 10,2009 the Dallas Cowboys and Gerald Sensabaugh agreed to terms on a one-year contract after he had the best season of his career in 2008 recording 70 tackles 8 pass deflections and 4 interceptions.

Gerald has been invited to be a teacher almost every year at Jason Wittens football camp, which is held in Jasons home town of Elizabethon, Tennessee just a mere 30 minutes from Geralds hometown of Kingsport, Tennessee.

Gerald has had three arrest since 2007. The first being for doing a wheelie on his bike. The second for having a gun with an expired permit in his possesion. The third for driving on a suspended license.

Cowboys 2009 Draft (Fixed)

I know hind sight is always 20/20, but looking back at this draft I see major flaws in the Cowboys draft strategy this year. The “big idea” was to acquire depth and special teams play as well as create competition with a large number of players.

The problem is, many picks will go wasted because of a lack of roster spots available for them all to make it. Also, it seems there was too much focus on players that specialize in a certain area of their total position’s responsibilities.

For example, a strong safety that can’t really play safety but is big enough to maybe play linebacker, but is supposed to be a special teams beast, or a kicker that won’t kick field goals but might play some sort of special teams positions as well as kickoff into the endzone. There are others.

If I’m a general manager, I’m taking FOOTBALL PLAYERS. If you are an outside linebacker you better be able to rush the passer and drop back into coverage, because those are two HUGE parts of your responsibility. I’m NOT taking any “tweeners” either. There are certain types of sizes and shapes for the front seven of a 3-4 defense and even though Ratliff has proven this theory wrong, it is not something that most 3-4 defenses have luck with.

Now I’m not saying that some of the players we did take aren’t “football players”, but I am saying the players we COULD HAVE taken at the same pick were more complete and, in most cases, more highly touted.

The kicker and tight end deal, as well as their explanations for taking them, degraded this grade from a C+ to my final 2009 Cowboys draft grade of a C-.

This revised draft is not fair, in the sense, that I could see ahead and see where certain players fell. However, other than the 7th round trade up, the players I took and the positions they play, in my opinion, would have seriously upgraded our overall draft strength. Trade downs and the one trade up that we actually did are included in this revision.

This is my “revised” draft:

Trade 20. 82. 192. To Detroit Roy Williams WR and 210
51 Trade To Buffalo For 75 And 110
69. Tyrone Mckenzie SOLB
75. Rashaad Johnson FS
101. Marcus Freeman WILB
110. Lawrence Sidury Jr. WOLB
117 Trade To Tampa Bay For 120 And 229
120. Scott Mckillop SILB
Trade 156 And 210 To Atlanta For 143. Jamon Merideth OT
166. Herman Johnson OG
172. Mike Hamlin SS
Trade 197 And 208 To San Diego For 189 Coye Francies CB
227. Mike Mickens CB
229. Manuel Johnson WR/PR

After Draft Signings:

Possibly Stephen Mcgee QB
Cullen Harper QB
Rudy Carpenter QB If Mcgee Isn’t Available
Darry Beckwith ILB
Alex Boone OT
Dallas Reynolds C/OG/OT

D Day Is Over

This years draft wasn’t the very best but I must say it was deep. A good hand full of sexy picks, a few sleepers and potential bust in this draft kept it interesting. As we all know the whole point of the draft is to fill in a spot or grow talent in a successful system. In the Cowboys case it’s a little of both.

Jason Williams is here to fill in the spot that Greg Ellis will leave in a year or two. Mel Kiper didn’t like the pick, which in my book is a good thing. His numbers are nice and he is in a nice 3-4 scheme, which he can do some real damage in. If he can keep up with the speed of the NFL, look out.

Robert Brewster is coming in to a system of great lineman with Adams, Colombo, and Davis. Unfortunately he will be played a couple times this year due to fact the injury bug bites the Cowboys o-line once a year. I love this guy’s size, 6’4 325 pounds. Damn.

Stephen McGee, a great pick up for the Cowboys. While backing up Kitna and Romo, two great QB’s, he should study and learn the game the way it should be played. What is his potential you ask? You got me, quaterback’s are tricky that way.

In the case of Victor Butler and Brandon Williams its more of a means of beefing up the Defensive Ends pot the Cowboys have already. With Spears having a up and down couple of years, and Spencer not living up to his own draft pick, this seems like a gut check pick.

The corner backs DeAngelo Smith and Mike Mickens, both teammates from the Bearcats were nice pick ups, but all is not good with the state of the secondaries in Dallas. Mike Jenkins is getting there and Orlando Scandrick is learning the nickel back position, the real focus is the fact were getting burned with Terrence Newman being the only lock down corner. I see both of these players as steals. I’m interested on seeing how these two play out.

Safeties Mike Hamlin and Stephen Hodge will be coming into a beat-up mix of safeties. Ken Hamlin should see some help with Mike Hamlin who was a bit of a head hurter at Clemson. Stephen Hodge unfortunately might be moved to the Special Teams with Keith Davis being gone. Hopefully this will be a chance for him to step up and show us what he got.

Kicker David Buehler, I think it goes without saying has everyone scratching their heads in confusion. So much so we (Along with anyone else) are finding excuses for him being on the team. “Oh he’s got a great leg; he’s going to be great in kickoffs.” While Folk isn’t a great kickoff guy it’s not like he’s chucking it out of bounds or in the stands. Also in these cases you have your punter do the kickoffs. But for whatever reason the guy runs a 4.5, that’s faster then some linebackers so I guess…let me stop. I’m finding an excuse for him being here. I mean I welcome everyone to Dallas but come on. I need a reason.

Tight End John Phillips was a late pick and rightfully so. As a Terps fan, I got to see this guy run over a few of my boys while his stay in Virginia. Not a great TE but we can plug him in. Tony Curtis who played the roll of blocking tight end is replaced. I am worried about his ability against quicker linebackers but we’ll what he’s got soon.

Finally, Manuel Johnson was our last pick. I’m gonna be honest folks, unlike Phillips, Hamlin, Smith and Mickens; I’ve never heard, seen or even smelled this guy. I’m not going  to take the Trey Wingo route and talk out of my butt here. I’d like to see how he plays. Hey, Patrick Crayton was a 7th round pick too.

All in all the draft was interesting. I, like a lot of Boys’ fans, was smashing his head into a wall when we gave up a pick to the Bills. Or the fact we got another kicker when we could have gotten another as a free agent. If it wasn’t for good ol’ sweet beer, how many of us would have focused to much on the guys at ESPN without going into a blind rage? (Thank God for NFL Network.)

I would like to thank; this was the first draft I sat and watched, with passion and more importantly from start to finish. A new milestone for me as a Cowboys fan.

Let’s go Boy’z!

Cowboys Come Away From Draft With ‘Dirty Dozen’

In a draft where the Cowboys didn’t make a pick until the third round, 12 players were selected in the second day of the draft to add tremendous depth and talent to an already stacked roster.  Although most of the picks aren’t household names or especially ‘sexy’, there is certainly no absense of talent in any of the players selected by the Cowboys.  And with that, here is a rundown of the draft class of 2009.


Jason Williams – Outside Linebacker, Western Illinois

Like most Cowboys fans, I scratched my head when Jason Williams’ name was announced at the podium.  But the more I read about him, the more excited I became about the pick.  From tiny Western Illinois, Williams has the exceptional size and speed to play linebacker in Dallas’ 3-4 scheme.  The selling point for me were the outstanding statistics racked up by Williams last year.  As a senior for the Leathernecks, he forced 6 fumbles and had 17 tackles for loss.  Williams also ran the fastest 40-time of any linebacker, registering times in the 4.4 range.  Williams has all the tools to be an outstanding linebacker for the Cowboys for years to come.  Look for him to get on the field early in passing situations and especially on special teams.  Cowboys fans need not worry about the opinions of ‘analysts’ like Mel Kiper of Jason Williams.  If you remember, Kiper was the one who scrutinized the Cowboys for taking Demarcus Ware over Shawne Merriman.  We all know how that turned out. 



Robert Brewster – Offensive Tackle, Ball State

With significant depth issues last year after Kyle Kosier went down with injury, drafting an offensive lineman was a neccesity in this draft.  Robert Brewster is a gargantuan specimen, standing at 6 foot 4 and weighing in at 325 pounds.  Though he played primarily offensive tackle at Ball State, look for the Cowboys to slide him inside to guard due to his enormous size and his earth moving ability.  One would have to think that Brewster would eventually replace Kyle Kosier at left guard in the coming years.  In the mean time, look for the Cowboys to utilize Brewster’s versatility and his ability to provide depth at the guard and tackle position. 



Stephen McGee – Quarterback, Texas A&M

Though the Cowboys traded for Jon Kitna earlier this year, there was reason to believe that they would pull the trigger on a quarterback prospect in the second day of the draft.  The Cowboys get a terrific development project in Stephen McGee, who possesses the frame and arm strength that will certainly be effective at the NFL level.  Though he may not be much more than a backup for the Cowboys in the next couple of years, he will be a definite upgrade over Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger.  McGee has all the tools to step in for Tony Romo in case of injury and play effectively.  McGee is a great value pick for the Cowboys in the fourth round.  It will be interesting to watch him develop in the coming years. 



Victor Butler – Defensive End, Oregon State

With the selection of Victor Butler, the Cowboys acquire another athlete with great size who can put pressure on the quarterback.  Butler provided a significant pass rush for the Beavers, registering 22.5 sacks in the last 2 years.  Butler played defensive end in college, but he will most certainly move to a linebacker spot in the 3-4 scheme.  Like Jason Williams, look for Butler to play a great deal on special teams, and look for the Cowboys to utilize his pass rushing ability in passing situations. 



Brandon Williams – Defensive End, Texas Tech

In Williams, the Cowboys get one more pass rushing specialist to add to their already stocked arsenal.  Like Jason Williams and Victor Butler, Brandon Williams had an extremely successful senior year, recording 12.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks for the Red Raiders.  At 6 foot 5, 252 pounds, Brandon Williams projects to be an outside linebacker for the Cowboys.  He will provide great depth behind Demarcus Ware, Greg Ellis, and Anthony Spencer.  Look for Brandon Williams to contribute mostly on special teams.  But don’t be surprised to also see him contribute in pass rushing situations as well, like his fellow pass rushing counterparts from this draft. 



DeAngelo Smith – Cornerback, Cincinnati

With the imminent departure of Pacman Jones at the end of last season, the Cowboys needed to add some depth at the cornerback position.  Like all the defensive players selected by the Cowboys, DeAngelo Smith had an exceptional college career.  He had 10 interceptions in his last two years with the Bearcats, 8 coming in one season.  He will help make cornerback one of the deepest positions on the roster, and will also provide the Cowboys with some return ability on special teams.



Michael Hamlin – Safety, Clemson

It’s been no secret in recent years that safety has topped the list of needs in Dallas.  Michael Hamlin was a great value pick for the Cowboys in the fifth round, as many analysts and mock drafts projected him to go as high as the second round.  The Cowboys get a player with great size in Hamlin, who is of no relation to Ken Hamlin.  Michael Hamlin had 6 interceptions his senior year at Clemson, and should provide some stiff competition for the starting safety spot opposite Ken Hamlin. 



David Buehler – Kicker, Southern Cal

Certainly one of the most suprising picks of the draft.  David Buehler possesses surprising strength and size for a kicker.  Buehler amazingly benched 25 reps at the combine, more than a handful of linemen who tested out.  He also ran a 4.5 40-yard dash, faster than his fellow USC teammates, Rey Maualuga and Clay Matthews.  Don’t expect Buehler to unseat Nick Folk as the starting kicker, but look for him to provide some competition in training camp and possibly win the kickoff specialist job.  Buehler is also a great tackler, and his intriquing physical prowess will certainly be interesting to watch on special teams.



Stephen Hodge – Safety, Texas Christian

The Cowboys got a hometown product in Stephen Hodge.  He is exceptionally big for a safety, but ran a decent 40-yard dash at the combine.  He will join a now crowded secondary, and will likely be a backup.  Hodge was terrific on special teams at TCU, so look for him to contribute very early in that aspect.  He has the ability to take over the title of ‘Special Teams Ace’, a label that was left vacant by Keith Davis. 





John Phillips – Tight End, Virginia

The Cowboys were obviously looking for depth behind Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett when they drafted John Phillips.  Phillips is a great blocker, and has some history with Cowboys tight end coach John Garrett, who coached for Virginia prior to his arrival in Dallas.  With the loss of Tony Curtis, look for John Phillips and Rodney Hannah to battle it out for the number three tight end spot in training camp. 




Mike Mickens – Cornerback, Cincinnati

Having drafted his teammate DeAngelo Smith two rounds earlier, the Cowboys pulled the trigger on another talented cornerback from Cincinnati in Mike Mickens.  This pick could be the steal of the entire draft in my mind.  Had it not been for a knee injury during his senior year, Mickens would have gone in the second or third round without question.  He had 6 interceptions during his junior year, and 4 interceptions his senior year, despite being hampered by his knee.  Once he gets healthy, look for Mickens to have a significant impact in the secondary. 



Manuel Johnson – Wide Receiver, Oklahoma

One has to believe that the Cowboys would have pulled the trigger on a receiver much earlier in the draft had a decent talent fallen into their laps.  Manuel Johnson was overshadowed in a talented Oklahoma offense that included Juaquin Iglesias and Jermaine Gresham, but still put up decent numbers, catching 42 passes for 714 yards and 9 touchdowns.  He isn’t as tall as you would like, but has exceptional hands and runs great routes.  Look for him to do battle with Isaiah Stanback for the number five receiver spot in training camp, with the loser most likely getting cut or sent to the practice squad. 





Is there a worse group of analysts on the planet than the ones that covered the draft on ESPN?  The analysis and commentary started out terrible with the likes of Chris Berman and Keyshawn Johnson on the first day, and got exceptionally worse on the second day when Trey Wingo and Ron Jaworski took over their duties.  And of course Mel Kiper was unfortunately present for both days, and Todd McShay chimed in with irrelevent analysis periodically as well. 

Seriously, these guys are the most sorry cast of analysts I’ve ever seen in my life.  If it wasn’t Keyshawn Johnson chiming in at every given moment about USC, then it was Ron Jaworski refusing to shut up about a no name quarterback from Central Washington.  Couple all that with the fact that Trey Wingo doesn’t know a single thing about football, and it made for an extremely annoying afternoon of irrelevent, talking heads analysis. 

What’s more annoying, Mel Kiper’s inaccurate analysis of every single pick, or his horrendous hair?  His hair is so bad that it actually takes away your focus on his exceptionally terrible analysis.  My good friend Mark compared Mel’s bush to the hair of Eddie Munster.  Surprisingly accurate to say the least.

On one occasion, when the Cowboys were on the clock at #117, they traded the pick to Tampa Bay, and moved down three spots to #120.  When the Bucs drafted Kyle Moore from USC, Trey Wingo reported that he was drafted by the Cowboys, rather than the Bucs, totally oblivious of the fact that they had traded the pick.

On another occasion, the Cardinals drafted Herman Johnson from LSU.  After the Cardinals made the pick, these morons talked for five minutes about how big of an impact he would have for the Carolina Panthers. 

Erin Andrews did a commendable job of being equally as annoying as the group of talking heads.  She shoved her microphone into the face of nearly every first round pick moments after they stepped off the stage with Commissioner Goodell.  And how ridiculously stupid was the reporting that she did with Quan Cosby and Bill Cosby?  Not only was Bill Cosby clearly not interested in answering her irrelevent questions, but he was asleep half the time as well.  If this wasn’t enough, she rudely continued her nagging questions after it was quite clear that Quan Cosby was not going to be drafted. 

Equally as annoying was the horrifically stupid electronic draft board that Michael Smith fiddled with for both days.  Why it was neccessary to implement such a pathetic piece of equipment is beyond me. 

The worst thing of all, though, had to be the EA Sports virtual player breakdown that Tom Jackson toyed with in the studio.  What is more hilariously stupid than watching a fat, former player analyzing a player’s abilities while standing amongst life-sized virtual players?  I know it’s their job to promote EA Sports, but this was so outlandish that it made me never want to buy Madden ever again. 

For those of you who were able to watch the draft on NFL Network, consider yourselves lucky, for this was the poorest reporting and analysis that I have ever seen in my life.  It is truly unbelievable that these guys actually get paid for such horrific commentary.  The self-proclaimed draft experts, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, may have given a low draft grade to the Cowboys, but they, as well as their fellow colleagues certainly get an F in my book for their God-awful coverage of the 2009 NFL Draft.

NFL Draft Day Central – Live Chat – Day 2

This morning, the Dallas Cowboys will basically control the flow of the draft with the boatload of picks they have accrued including the two additional ones they acquired on day one of the draft, when they traded their one second round pick to Buffalo.

As we did during Day One, we will continue to update this post as the Cowboys make their selections.

A dozen picks for the ‘Boys to play with:

No. 69 (third round) – OLB Jason Williams – Western Illinois
No. 75 (third round) – OT Robert Brewster – Ball State
No. 101 (fourth round) – QB Stephen McGee – Texas A&M
No. 110 (fourth round) – OLB Victor Butler – Oregon St.

No. 120 (fourth round) – DE Brandon Williams – Texas Tech
No. 143 (fifth round) – CB DeAngelo Smith – Cincinnati
No. 166 (fifth round) – S Michael Hamlin – Clemson
No. 172 (fifth round) – K David Buehler – USC

No. 197 (sixth round) – S Stephen Hodge – TCU
No. 208 (sixth round) – TE John Phillips – Virginia

No. 227 (seventh round) – CB Mike Mickens – Cincinnati
No. 229 (seventh round) – WR Manuel Johnson – Oklahoma

LSS Draft Chat

At today’s Lone Star Struck Draft Chat a good time was had by all. I was very happy to be a part of it for over five hours. I talked to many true Dallas fans and also learned many things from them. What I liked most was that so many who were involved had their own opinions about things, but there were never any arguments or name calling. That is not the case on other Dallas forums I have been a part of. I’ve been called names and told that I was not a Dallas fan just because someone did not agree with me.

Today was about getting together and discussing things about the draft, the Cowboys and even other things that didn’t have to do with football at times. We talked about the different players as they were selected and what the Cowboys should do when it was finally their turn. We all respected each others opinions and had fun as the discussions rolled on through the hours and changed over and over. Although the Cowboys did not make any selections today, Sunday serves up 12 total picks for the Cowboys and another great Draft Chat session with some great fans.

Thank you for letting me a part of it!

The Reason For The Trade at Pick 51 has reported the reason why Jerry Jones and the Cowboys traded their first pick of the draft (#51) to the Buffalo Bills.

Sources inside the Cowboys organization tell me the reason Jerry Jones opted not to pick at 51 is because all of the players at the Cowboys’ positions of need were taken. The Cowboys entered the draft looking for safeties and wide receivers, but Louis Delmas went at the top of the second round to the lions, Patrick Chung went next at No. 34 to the Patriots and Brian Robiskie went to the Browns two picks later. With those guys off the board, Jones set his sights on offensive lineman Max Unger. But when the Seahawks took Unger just two picks before their own, Jones decided the Cowboys would be able to get a bigger bang for their buck with tomorrow’s price tag and moved back into the third and fourth round.

So does that mean Jones made an error by not trading up to get a player the Cowboys needed?

No More Excuses

With the 2009 NFL Draft just around the corner, Cowboys fans across the nation have more questions than answers. The uncertainty of 2009 has many of us anxious to get this thing started. Predictions of 8-8 by so-called experts have many of us feeling frustrated and insulted.

Opinions of how to reach the pinnacle of the NFL vary as much as the hundreds of mock drafts being put together by football minds all over the country.

I see debates on various sites about who’s to blame and what the answers are. T.O. should not have been released. Owens should have been released. Felix Jones should be the starter. Tashard Choice should be the starter. Marion Barber should be the starter. Romo’s not the answer. Romo is without a doubt the answer. Wade should be fired. Jerry should fire himself.

With the possibility of a Miles Austin exodus looming over our heads, I’m one very nervous Cowboys fan without any real answers.

Keep in mind these are just the surface issues. I could probably write a 5,000 word essay just dealing with the questions Cowboys fans have. With no real answers.

I’m compelled to believe we can all agree on one thing. The time for excuses is over.

No more riding on our laurels. No more talk about 13-3 or 13 Pro Bowlers. No more “But this team did this and that team did that”. Time to lay to rest 2007 and 2008. The only true way to move forward is to( as cliche as it may sound) put the past behind us and don’t look back. No more talk about 44-6.

The pressure on this team to succeed – from top to bottom – is more intense than at any time that I can remember. This season will answer many questions. It is a make-or-break year for this organization. The time is now for Mr. Jones, Mr Phillips, Mr. Garrett, and Mr. Romo.

The time is now. No more excuses.

The Quiet Days of Offseason

A month away from the NFL draft and everything in Cowboys land seems a bit quiet for my taste. No more T.O. drama, no more Romo/Jessica sightings, no more throw Wade under the bus talk. Seems too quiet doesn’t it?

First off let me talk about my boy Demarcus Ware. I am still wondering why the Jones boys haven’t signed him to a long extension yet. Ware should become the richest player in NFL history within the next couple of weeks though. The guy deserves it. He was about half a step this year of having about 30 sacks. The NFL even took one away from him. James Harrison is good but he isn’t nowhere near Demarcus Ware’s playing level, 101 yard interception return for a touchdown in the Super Bowl or not.
Some Terrell Owens news. Ugh! Terrell Owens states that Jerry Jones reneged on his word to keep him in Dallas and that Stephen Jones and a couple others were behind his surprising release. Let me say this one last time. I actually loved Terrell Owens on this team. There is no way in God’s green earth you can convince me that Roy Williams, the receiver, is a legitimate # 1 receiver in the NFL. He hasn’t proven it, Detroit or not. I think way too many fans are being way too optimistic about Roy Williams. Sure he has better hands but he can’t stretch the field and he isn’t the hardest worker in the world. I really hope he proves me wrong. Back to T.O.. Yes, Jerry probably did back stab Terrell Owens to an extent but I really think this helps Romo more than anybody else on this team. This is going to be a make or break year for Romo. It’s his team now.
The NFL schedule does not come out until later this spring but sources say that Dallas will open Week 1 in Denver in the FOX 3 PM slot. They will also host the Oakland Raiders on Thanksgiving. I think playing in Denver Week 1 is gonna be awesome. Sources also said that Dallas will not open in the new stadium until Week 3 either in a Sunday night or Monday night game. I bet it’s either Philly or the Giants. On an unrelated note, sources state Jerry Jones is asking the NFL  for permission to change the navy blue jerseys (technically home jerseys) for the 2011 season to commemorate the hosting of the super bowl in the new stadium. I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad or to what extent the jersey change will take effect. I guess we will not find out until the 2011 season.
Dallas Cowboys Coach Wade Phillips stated that it takes a full 4 seasons before anyone can judge a coach in the NFL. San Francisco 49ers Coach Mike Singletary stated when told of this that he thought this was a win now league. I couldn’t of said it better myself. Thats why Jerry Jones should of fired Wade Phillips when this season ended. I couldn’t help but shake my head when I read that. I wonder what Jerry Jones thought of that statement by Wade.  Let’s make our # 1 receiver the scapegoat I guess and cut him. Oh didn’t we already do that?
Training Camp in San Antonio. Guys I can’t wait. I already asked for that first week off of work so I can be there. It’s gonna be awesome. See ya there Shelby!!!      

NFL Draft Fun…….

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

13. New Orleans Saints – Jamaal Brown, OL (Oklahoma)
 – 2 time Pro Bowl lineman, solid starter for Saints.

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!