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HELP! True Blue Fan Stuck in Bear Country…

I have been a Cowboys fan since the late 70’s early 80’s. Unfortunately I am stuck in Illinois, an hour and half away from Chicago, in a little town of about 15,000 people. So needless to say most of the fans here are Chicago Bears fans. Some of my best friends are major Bears fans. Everywhere I look I see that annoying Bears head.

I drive around in a yellow truck. So I stand out. But my truck is decked out in Cowboys emblems – steering wheel cover, mats, a big true blue sticker on the back.

The offseason has been very trying this year. I had to hear all the crap about T.O. and then listen to the talk about Jay Cutler. OK, they finally have a decent QB but they will still stink. HA. Anyway this is my first and I hope many blogs about the Cowboys.

OK lets talk about the Cowboys and T.O. since I mentioned that. I was a little upset that they released him. With all the injuries to everyone last year, I don’t think the offense had time to click. Roy Williams was hurting, Tony was hurting but I don’t think would really admit it. I would have loved to see what the offense would have brought this year. Tony, T.O., Williams, Witten, Barber, and Jones. I would just had to say WOW. I know T.O. would have complained about the ball not coming his way, but we will never know what would happened.

Now lets really see if getting rid of T.O. was actually a move to make the team “Romo-friendly”. What exactly is “Romo-friendly” anyway? Oh well, we will see.

I bleed Blue and Silver throughout my veins. I have converted my fiancee also. I have a little one on the way too. Another Cowboys fan in this Bear town. I’m getting the numbers up. Ha Ha. Thanks for reading.

– Aaron “DoughboyCowboy”

How Do We Replace T.O.’s Game?

So here we are three days after we let Owens go, a huge mistake in my opinion. How exactly are we going to replace his offense?

Roy Williams will assume the number one spot although he has yet to prove he deserves it. He is paid like a number one receiver, but I cannot see him commanding the same respect that defenses showed Terrell.

As of right now Miles Austin is slotted as the number two receiver, with Crayton still in the three slot. Miles has game, but a number two receiver? I’m not so sure about that. Crayton is where he needs to be. He has proven he can thrive in the slot position.

Then there is Sam Hurd and Isaiah Stanback. Hurd was showing some promise in 2007, but injuries kept him from playing all of last season. Stanback in my eyes is a bust, he has shown little promise as a receiver.

Which leads me wonder, is this who Tony will throw to in 2009?

Now some might think Witten will step up another notch, but I actually think losing T.O. is going to hurt him more than any other player on this team. I have a feeling defenses will be doubling Witten and leave Roy in one on one coverage. Now if Roy can run some decent routes and make some catches it will ease the pressure off of Witten, but that remains to be seen.

Martellus Bennett could be a wild-card in all of this. If he can take the next step, he may be able to make some big plays with all the attention focused on Witten. Lets hope his mind is on the game and that he has matured in the offseason, because he has big-time talent. 

Is Jerry going to  add a veteran to move into the two spot? There isn’t much out there in free agency to fill the spot, Marvin Harrison maybe? Other than that, the best available WR is Bobby Engram, yikes!

There are some rumors that Torry Holt will be released and that the Browns are shopping Braylon Edwards… either of these two would fit in nicely across from Roy.

How about the draft?

Picking 51st in the draft, makes it unlikely that we will grab a receiver that can jump right into the starting lineup like a Michael Crabtree would. I have seen the name Juaquin Iglesias show up a lot in mock drafts for the Cowboys. He is a 6’0″ 205 lb. senior from Oklahoma, and has decent speed, running a 4.45 40, but jumping right in as a starter is a long shot at best .

I don’t know about you, but this Cowboys fan is extremely concerned about our receiving corps. I am hoping that Jerry Jones has something up his sleeve or it could be a very ugly season.

BIG “D” Issues For the Cowboys

With all the talk so far this offseason surrounding Mr. Owens, and with free agency starting at the end of this week and the draft right around the corner we need to talk about some big issues surrounding the boys defense.

First, Demarcus Ware, all signs are Jerry is going to break the bank and make him the highest payed cowboy in team history, this is by far the most important move we need to make and would solidify our pass rush for years to come.

On the other side should we let Ellis go? He scheduled to make over $6 million next year for just a 3rd down pass rusher, thats pretty steep! Unless he wanted to take a significant pay cut and less playing time, I just dont see this happening.

Which brings me to Anthony Spencer. Is he ready to play every down and live up to his draft position? He may have the skills, he just scares me. His recent arrest, and if you watched Hard Knocks, remember he didn’t show for a treatment on an injury and was fined by Wade. These things make me wonder if he’s mature enough to step up and take the position fulltime.

Now lets talk about our unrestricted free agents: Canty, Burnett, and Thomas. Canty would be painful to lose. He has been a solid force on the D-line, but the contract he is looking for might be too rich for our shrinking cap space, which leaves us either starting Jason Hatcher or Stephen Bowen. I think Hatcher would fit well he has showed me some promise in his playing time.

If Thomas and Burnett leave in free agency it would leave the biggest hole in our defense. Basically, it would leave Bobby Carpenter to play next to Bradie James. I dont know your thoughts but thats a frightening thought in my eyes. We all know Ray Lewis is out there and he has said he wants to play in Dallas, but can Jerry afford him?

After D-Ware signs I’m not so sure. Another guy that might be more affordable is Keith Brooking who is suppose to be being released by Atlanta before Friday.

The secondary has potential to be above average. T-New is solid when healthy, but thats the question can he stay healthy? As much as I love the way Roy Williams plays the run and the hits he lays, he just plain stinks in pass coverage. Like Ellis, he is scheduled to make over $6 million this year and might be cut prior to the start of free agency. Its either that or him restructuring to take a major paycut which I don’t see happening either.

My thought was to bulk him up and try him in that middle linebacker spot. I don’t think that’s too far fetched. He is made to hit and I’m surprised I haven’t heard anything like that. If he goes, who is playing strong safety? 

I don’t believe Pat Watkins is ready to step in there so I’d say move Anthony Henry to safety and let Scandrick and Jenkins compete for the corner. My vote, from what I’ve seen, is Scandrick. He just showed me way more last year than Jenkins did. One thing is for certain, count on the Cowboys picking up more corners and safeties in the draft and even free agency.

I want to hear your thoughts Cowboy fans.

Jason Garrett Will Remain in Dallas

ESPN is reporting that Offensive Coordinator and former Dallas Cowboys player Jason Garrett will be staying in Dallas. He has turned down the Atlanta and Baltimore head coaching jobs.

Owner Jerry Jones met with Garrett last night and it is believed that Jason Garrett will receive a substantial raise along with the promise that he will supercede Wade Phillips as head coach in the next couple of years.

This is great news for the Dallas Cowboys and fans alike. Garrett, once Troy Aikman’s backup QB, led the offense to a record-breaking season.

Despite the rumors, I never thought Garrett would leave. He was hired before head coach was filled last offseason, and it was pretty apparent that he would eventually take over the team. His loyalty to the team and Jerry Jones has basically insured this now.

From Romo to Owens, We’ve Come A Long Way

What a great feeling it is to be a Cowboys fan! Can you believe we are 9-1! We have many reasons to be happy, and very few to complain about. But I have a huge complaint I want to share with all of you. Where is the love? Where is the respect?

The Dallas Cowboys have won 9 of their last 10 games. They have more than proven what they can do, and done it with class. But everytime you turn on ESPN or check out news around the internet, they are being bashed. Excuses are being thrown out there, when in reality the Cowboys are definitely the team to beat in the NFC.

Tony Romo has been a blessing. He has come in every game and played his heart out. I won’t say he hasn’t made mistakes, but I dare you to try and give me a time when he didn’t get back up and make up for it. He plays with everything he has until the last second of every game. As for certain commentators who say, "Sure, who couldn’t succeed with the weapons he has on the field…". Well, I think we all know thats just not how it works. We had the same receiving corps last year, (pre-Tony Romo) and we did not have the same results. Romo is definitely proving game after game that he is one of the elite quarterbacks in the league today. And Cowboy fans, how exciting is that? It’s only his first year! We have alot to look forward to.

The player who deserves the most respect, is getting the least. Yes, I’m talking about Terrell Owens. In the offseason, I believe Owens promised us 20 touchdowns this season. Well right now he’s up to 12, it’s very possible he could go over 20. He also has 1,028 yards, averaging over 100 yards per game with 6 games left to play. So tell me, where is the love? I understand his past, and his ego and everything that has given him this reputation, but he is doing everything right this time around. He brings a fire to this team, he gets out there and gets his teammates pumped. I know you seen him on the sidelines after his touchdowns, he was fired up! T.O. keep doin’ whatcha doin’, we love ya man!

No matter what this team does, people will either love them or hate them. It’s always been that way, that will never change. My point is all about RESPECT. Keep on hating, it only makes play harder!

HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!!!

 

 

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!

A “Not So Mini” Minicamp Weekend

 

Alright Cowboy Fans, the first official Minicamp is well underway at Valley Ranch. Our ‘Boys are looking sharp and are ready to follow their new leaders. To the surprise of many, even T.O. showed up and ran some routes and caught several passes. Owens is still recovering from two finger surgeries but practiced and played above expectations with the team this weekend. Julius Jones also returned to Valley Ranch after spending most of the offseason in Arizona with his personal trainer.
 
There are a couple of Cowboys who had some complaints. Linebacker Kevin Burnett is upset about not having a starting job. Considering his competition: DeMarcus Ware, Bradie James, Akin Ayodele, Greg Ellis, Anthony Spencer, and Bobby Carpenter; Burnett is really going to have to prove that he can do better to even secure a spot on the roster, in my opinion.
 
Julius Jones also had a few things to say about his position on the team. He wants more freedom, he wants to be able to use his instincts rather than be told to run left or run right. Jones has been training with a personal trainer this offseason in hopes to secure his starting role.
 
Oh, I can’t forget the question that’s on every Cowboys fan’s mind… Who will be the holder in 2007? Well we have three candidates so far, punter Mat McBriar, back-up quarterback Brad Johnson and receiver Jerheme Urban. Maybe they should steer away from quarterbacks this time… Oh come on, I couldn’t pass that up, you all know I’m one of Romo’s biggest supporters!
 
Well overall, everything’s looking fantastic. Wade Phillips was excited to see his new team out on the field, and most of the team was there ready to follow his orders. Greg Ellis is still rehabbing is injury, but according to Phillips he is the starting outside linebacker and hopes to be on the field soon. Leonard Davis missed Sunday’s practice because his wife was having surgery, but should return Monday.
 
Believe it or not the offseason is slowly coming to an end and the new season will suddenly be upon us, so get your popcorn ready!

 

Cowboys Fans Have A Lot To Look Forward To

 

 

I’ve been asked by several friends how far I think the Cowboys will go this year. I honestly think we can go all the way. Of course as a Cowboys Fan I’m supposed to say that, but I truly believe it now.
 
One reason I believe this is true, going into the draft this Saturday, we have no desperate needs. I know that all of our starters are great players and there are no concerns in any particular area. I’m pretty sure Wade and Jerry are going to draft players for the future but right now we are "locked and loaded".
 
Our weaknesses last year have been strengthened this offseason. A completely reconstructed coaching staff and the players signed in the offseason were great moves by the Cowboys. You will see major improvement in our offensive line with Leonard Davis. Then there is Ken Hamlin, who along side Roy Williams will be monstrous.
 
Not to mention our young players who learned so much in the past year. Tony Romo has more experience under his belt, including the crushing last play of the season. Believe it or not, that play will make him a greater player. Then of course what about our big 06 draft pick, Bobby Carpenter. He is going to be huge this year. He only played a few games last season and we got a taste of what he has to offer. Tyson Thompson is well and ready to play. He was very exciting to watch on returns last season until his ankle injury cut his season short. I could go on and on listing players who have matured since this time last year.
 
Our veterans will shine as well. Greg Ellis should be back on the field and as good as new. I think Terell Owens will thrive more this season if he remains a Cowboy. Now that he has been in Dallas for a year, the hype will die down and plus the surgeries on his finger should have him catching more passes in those crucial situations that were missed last season. Don’t get me wrong he had great numbers last year, but imagine what he can do when he is at 100%.
 
We certainly have alot to look forward to as Cowboys fans this year. There is no reason anyone should doubt that this team will be anything less than spectacular.

Who Dat?

Dat Nguyen is back at the ranch! He has been named assistant linebackers/defensive quality control coach. Nguyen, a former linebacker, played for Dallas for seven seasons (1999-2005) before being forced into retirement due to a neck injury. He was one of the best who ever played at Texas Stadium and the first Vietnamese American to play for the NFL. He lead the team in tackles three seperate times in 2001, 2003, and 2004. Nguyen finished his career with 516 tackles in sever short seasons, which includes being sidelined 2 different times for half the season because of seperate injuries.

It will be nice having Dat back with the team. Its a wonderful thing when a professional athlete can return to the sport that they love and be a part of that team’s success. Nguyen is the second former player to be added to the coaching staff this offseason. He will join Jason Garrett, who was hired as an offensive coach.

 Welcome Back Dat!

Boys Will Be Pros

 

 

I’m looking forward to seeing five Cowboys in the Pro Bowl this year. Since I really have no interest in this years Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl will give me my last football fix this season. Its a long way til August and pre-season. However, the offseason at the Ranch will be pretty interesting this time.

These ‘Boys are the five that most deserve this honor. Roy Williams and Jason Witten have been to the Pro Bowl before. Mat McBriar, Tony Romo and DeMarcus Ware are all making thier first appearance.

Some people think it was a knock on T.O. when the NFL didn’t select him to the Pro Bowl. But I think the Pro Bowl should not only reflect the stats but the man behind them. I think it should be a all-around "professional". There were some things that he did this past year that would contradict that and I’m sure thats why he wasn’t selected.

Congratulations to the five Cowboys who will be heading to Hawaii on Feb. 10th.