Check Out Undrafted Free Agent, Orie Lemon

Another Oklahoma State player agreed to terms with our Dallas Cowboys.  His name is Orie Lemon.  Yet another undrafted free agent!!  

Orie, a coverted quarterback, is an inside linebacker, and for those that don’t  know I live in Oklahoma (Yes I am a Okie!) and I watched Lemon play and explode in his Senior year.  This young man is talented. I can’t believe some of the good players that went undrafted this year.

A first-team All-Big 12 honoree as a Senior in 2010.  Lemon’s calling card was productivity, as he ranked among the national leaders with 133 tackles and had 101 solo stops. He garnered Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Orie stands 6’1′, 243 pound-er a good size for a linebacker.  I would like to see Bradie James take this young talent under his wing.  Orie reminds me a little of Bradie.  He’s averaged 10 tackles a game, but he also has speed – running a 4.87 in the 40 yard dash.

As a senior at Yates High School, Lemon, who played quarterback,  passed for 1,214 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for 600 yards and 12 touchdowns. He made the Dallas Morning News Top 100 list and was recruited along with OSU by  Arkansas, Houston, Tennessee, LSU and USC.

Best of Luck in camp and I think we will be seeing this young man stick anif he can stay within himself and do his thing. 

I wonder what his nickname will be?

The Battle Is On!

The Dallas Cowboys are known for signing undrafted free agents and making them Superstars.  They may have another  in the making when they signed former Oklahoma State standout kicker Dan Bailey.

The 2010 Lou Groza Award winner as the best kicker in college football, Bailey was tabbed as the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year.

Dan Bailey wears the #5, and was born January 26, 1988 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He attended Southwest Covenant school in Yukon, Oklahoma.  His frame is a good size for a kicker at  6ft and weighing in at 197 pounds.

He entered the OSU program as a walk-on and left as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 370 career points. He set a single season school record with 27 field goals.  Bailey ranked second in the nation in scoring his Senior year and set a school record by hitting his first 182 extra point attempts.

After not being drafted and months of down time he is now in training camp with the Dallas Cowboys trying to win the starting spot for the teams placekicker.  Bailey, who missed only two extra points during his career at OSU, appears ready to take on the challenge. ” I am excited,” Bailey said ” I think it is a good opportunity.”

With Brown being being cut that leaves Bailey and David Buehler.  Buehler struggled at times last season with field  goals inside the 40 yard line.

“If it works out, great,” Bailey said. ” If not, it’s still a great experience.”

In his first practice, he made 4 of 4 , but his 35 yarder hit the left upright and  went in when a rusher flew at him.

We all know kickers don’t get all the fanfare the other players get, but they suddenly become the single most important person in the stadium when the game is tied with seconds left on the clock.

New To The Silver & Blue: Rob Ryan

I have to admit when I found out  Rob Ryan was being considered for the defensive coordinator spot  I was confronted by a flash of  Buddy Ryan coaching our rivals the Eagles and thoughts of him sounding off on Jimmy Johnson and the Cowboys. Now it’s funny when we hear sound bites now and again of the argument but back then I was one mad Cowboy Fan.  However that is the past, and we are now moving on to the future.

I didn’t know anything about the Ryan family when I started researching however I learned some very interesting facts.

Rob was born December 13, 1962 in Ardmore, Oklahoma.  He is the son of former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan and his twin brother Rex is the current head coach of the New York Jets.

Rob’s parents Buddy and Doris divorced in 1966 and the boys moved to Canada with their mother. In 1974 they came back to the states to live with their father.  Rob attended high school in Linconchire, Illinois.

Rob attended college at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, where our own Kelly Horn graduated, where he played defensive end opposite his brother Rex.

Rob’s resume is a long one. He began his coaching career in 1987.

Here is his coaching resume:

  • 1987 Assistant at Western Kentucky
  • 1988 Ohio State – Linebacker
  • 1989-93  Tennessee State – RB, LB and DL
  • 1994-95  Arizona Cardinals – Defensive Backs
  • 1996     Hutchinson Community College
  • 1997-1999  Oklahoma State – Defensive Coordinator
  • 2000- 03    New England Patriots – Linebacker
  • 2004 – 08   Oakland Raiders – Defensive Coordinator
  • 2009-10  Cleveland Browns – Defensive Coordinator

While that is impressive, I wanted to know how good is he at his job. He was named Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 1997 by the Sporting News for getting  Oklahoma State’s defense ranked among the best in the nation. In 2003 New England’s defense ranked 1st in the NFL in fewest points allowed, along with best scoring defense in 2001.

I was pleased to find out that his players admitted that he is a coach that demands respect but that they loved playing for him. Buddy Ryan said his son gets 100% out of each player.

Rob Ryan has an abundance of experience and unlike his father, his players respect him and he gets the best out of each player. Along with stars like DeMarcus Ware and Jay-Rat, he will also have young talent to work  with. It will be interesting to see if he can turn Mike Jenkins around and what he can turn Bryan McCann into. He has talented veterans to depend on along with the young guns to mold.

I am not a Buddy Ryan fan, but I have to admit his sons seem to have learned something  Buddy himself didn’t – Coaches must  have players respect.

I can’t wait to see what the 2011 season has to offer. With Jason Garrett at the helm and Rob Ryan pumping up the defense we will definitely improve this season. We just need to take it one game at a time.

Dez Is How We Do It In Big D

Many may be worried about his integrity.  Many may be worried about his stamina, having played very little ball in his final college season at Oklahoma State.  But today, Dez Bryant proved his drive by being the first player to take the field for the kickoff of training-camp.

According to the Associated Press, Bryant was on the field 45 minutes early wearing his coveted number 88 jersey. 

He began catching passes soon-after from undrafted rookie QB Matt Nichols.

“I want to help this team. I want to compete. I can’t wait to start playing football again,” Bryant said in a statement that was released by the Cowboys earlier in the week.

Bryant’s willingness to get his deal done and hit the field so readily, stand to backup these statements.

Only time will tell if those double-eights on his shoulders will become too much weight to bear.

Many Interesting Scenarios to Watch For As Draft Nears

Draft weekend is finally here. The day(s) that die-hard fans like myself liken to Christmas morning. Cowboys fans have come to expect the unexpected from Jerry Jones on draft day. His uncanny ability to wheel and deal on the clock is loved by some, and hated by others. Let’s go through some scenarios that could unfold over the next three days.

1. The Cowboys stand pat in the first round and draft the best player on their board. That means that players like Jared Odrick, Maurkice Pouncey, Taylor Mays, Devin McCourty, or Sean Weatherspoon could be Dallas Cowboys by the end of tonight. The reality of the matter is that the Cowboys have very little need at any single position this year and that will enable them to take the best player available should they choose to stay at #27.

Players to watch for in this scenario:

  • Jared Odrick – Defensive End, Penn State
  • Maurkice Pouncey – Guard/Center, Florida
  • Taylor Mays – Safety, USC
  • Devin McCourty – Cornerback, Rutgers
  • Sean Weatherspoon – Linebacker, Missouri


2. A player the Cowboys like drops considerably in the first round and they trade up to get him. I would not expect Jerry to move up a great deal in the first round since the Cowboys do not have many picks to give away in this draft. With that being said, if a player like Earl Thomas, Dez Bryant, or Mike Iupati were to slide into the late teens or early twenties, it would not be surprising to see Jerry trade up to get them.

Players to watch for in this scenario:

  • Earl Thomas – Safety, Texas
  • Dez Bryant – Receiver, Oklahoma State
  • Mike Iupati – Guard, Idaho


3. The Cowboys do not see anyone they like in the first round and trade out of the first to stockpile some picks. I would think Jerry would demand another second round pick and possibly even a fifth (Dallas does not own a fifth rounder this year) to move out of the first round. The early second round is a spot where the Cowboys would likely draft someone like Sean Lee, who they are very high on. I could see them using their original second rounder on someone like Nate Allen or Morgan Burnett if they are still on the board. Personally I do not see the Cowboys trading down much this year because of the high number of picks they had last year. When you start to stockpile mountains of picks, keeping those players on the roster starts to become an issue.

Players to watch for in this scenario:

  • Sean Lee – Linebacker, Penn State
  • Nate Allen – Safety, South Florida
  • Morgan Burnett – Safety, Georgia Tech
  • Arrelious Benn – Receiver, Illinois


4. Dallas trades away current players for draft picks. Remember that the Bengals reportedly offered a second round pick for Martellus Bennett before the trade deadline last season. Many mock drafts have Cincinnati drafting Jermaine Gresham with their first round pick, so it is not a far stretch to think that they may offer Dallas a second rounder again for Bennett. Another player who could be on the block is Marcus Spears, who likely will only warrant a fourth or fifth round pick. Some “experts” say that Marion Barber should be on the trade block, but I just cannot see the Cowboys dealing him.

Players to watch in this scenario:

  • Martellus Bennett
  • Marcus Spears


5. Dallas trades a draft pick for a player currently on an NFL roster. There are a handful of NFL players who could find new homes on draft day, and it would not be a far stretch to think that Jerry may pull the trigger on a current player if the price is right. There have been reports that Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither is on the block, and I think the Cowboys may be interested in him if the asking price was a second round pick. Recent reports have also surfaced about New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Jammal Brown being potential trade bait in this year’s draft. I could also see the Cowboys being interested in him for a price similar to Jared Gaither’s. Brown is also from nearby Waxahachie, Texas, so he has personal ties to the Dallas area.

Players to watch in this scenario:

  • Jared Gaither – Offensive Tackle, Baltimore Ravens
  • Jammal Brown – Offensive Tackle, New Orleans Saints


2010 NFL Draft: Is Jerry Jones Tipping His Hand?

With the NFL Draft less than a month away, has Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tipped his hand?

By now most of you are familiar with Dez Bryant, the star wide receiver from Oklahoma State. The Star-Telegram recently wrote that  Bryant may have validated himself as the “best receiver in the NFL Draft” during his most recent workouts.

Bryant is a homegrown talent who hails from Lufkin, Texas. As a senior he was a member of the Texas Football Super Team first-team and was All-state selection after recording 53 receptions for 1,207 yards with 21 touchdowns.

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had some glowing remarks,

“He had a solid day.  I don’t know how it will affect him, but he has terrific hands, catching ability, and I really think he looked best running his routes and making plays on the ball.”

KTRE Sports Director, Nick James, said the following:

 “Dez looked explosive. He ran well, he caught the ball well and he looked like he was in shape.”

Jones and the rest of the Cowboys’ top brass will get their first up-close look at Bryant today and Thursday.

Yesterday, it was learned that Jerry Jones also plans to have dinner tonight with Bryant before a visit to Valley Ranch on Thursday.

The thing that interests me is why the sudden interest by the Cowboys in Bryant when everyone expects him to be long gone before the Cowboys select 27th in the draft?

With the emergence of Miles Austin and some great playmaking flashes from Kevin Ogletree, I didn’t see wide receiver as an area of deep concern for the Cowboys.

Although he was expected to be a definite top ten pick,  Bryant could drop a little bit due to questions about his character, but definitely not as low as 27th.  His stock has dropped simply because he was suspended for most of his senior season for lying about his involvement with Deion Sanders, yet another Cowboys connection.

Will the Cowboys make a push to trade up and select him on Draft Day? Who really knows, but it’s something worth keeping our eyes on.

Heck, he already owns an orange Cowboys jersey, how about a silver and blue one too?