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What Will It Take To Get Over the Hurdle?

Let’s list a few names, shall we?

  • Barry Switzer (“We did it!  We did it!  We did it” … no Jimmy Johnson did it Barry!)
  • Chan Gailey
  • Dave Campo (as head coach)
  • Norv Turner (we let him go!)
  • Bill Parcells (also let him go!)
  • Terrell Owens (needed to go!)
  • Mike Vanderjagt (couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn!)
  • Martín Gramática (don’t ask!)
  • Roy Williams (the receiver – sticker shock!)
  • Zach Thomas (is this where old men come to die?)
  • Pac-Man Jones (enough said!)
  • Ryan Leaf (I should be shot for mentioning his name!)
  • Vinny Testaverde (another Social Security player!)
  • Drew (my grandmother could move in the pocket better) Bledsoe
  • Sean Payton (only went on to win a Super Bowl with the Saints!  Under who’s mentoring?  Yes, Bill Parcells!)
  • Bobby Carpenter (how dare he wear number 54!)
  • etc., etc., etc., (yes, we could all go on!)

Two of the best coaches, we let go (Parcells and Payton).  Payton later went on to win a Super Bowl in New Orleans, while Jason Garrett relives his glorious payday and his Thanksgiving game against the Packers.  “Just throw it high to Harper,” he exclaimed after the game.

I am glad that we are not as piecemeal as we used to be!  Those years between ’96 and ’06 reminded us the die-hards that the Cowboys are an every two-decade team.

In this writer’s opinion, the team that takes the field in 2010 will be the best team since the ’92 – ’95 teams, IF, they can play as a team like the dynasty of the 90’s did!  We need one man to step up on offense (Romo, Austin, Barber?) and another to step up on defense (Ware, Newman, Ratliff, Brooking?)  It needs to be someone to keep this team [as] a team – the coach sure can’t do it!  Let’s see less of Jerry on the sidelines this year.

The time to win is now!  Start 88!  Draft him so high and then don’t start him?  Let Dez live up to that number!  The pieces are there, let’s just not hope for an end of season collapse that so many Dallas Cowboys fans have become accustomed to!

Next blog – Left side of the line, and secondary …

NFL Draft Fun…….

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

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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 
   

The Thin Line Between Love and Hate

As a daily reader of this fine blog and a fan of all who contribute in any way, shape or form, I have been pondering a few general thoughts based on some of the comments that I have read on many of the recent posts. Whether I will be able to accurately articulate my exact thoughts, remains to be seen…..but here it goes:

 

THUG LIFE

Quick question…..How many active Dallas Cowboys have been arrested and charged or convicted of a crime in the last 3 years, or even 5 years?? I am talking about players getting in trouble WHILE on the Cowboys roster. This is not a trick question, because I personally can’t think of any. Please feel free to enlighten me. There seems to be some type of conspiracy theory about the team and it’s “troublemakers”, and I am sure it is ALL because we signed Pac Man, or maybe it’s because Michael Irvin got in trouble 12 years ago. To me, it doesn’t really make alot of sense. 

I read and hear many people say we don’t need any players unless they have a perfect history or have never had any scrapes with the law, and I have to ask WHY? These men are not our political leaders, our school teachers or any type of religous leaders. They are football players. The main qualifications for the job are to be really strong and really fast.

Don’t get me wrong, the laws and rules of society should be applied to all in sports and life and yes, they are role models to kids, and yes, maybe it is hard for me and you to understand why some profesional athletes make the decisions they do, but they are not perfect, and very human. In my opinion, if a player or players make mistakes, they should pay for their crimes within the court system and then within the NFL player conduct system, but after that should we ban them for life? Should they never be given a second or even a third chance??

If you say that, No, they do not deserve other chances, then I would ask you Why? Is it because you and I do not make the millions or drive the cars, is it jealousy? Or is it an even darker issue at hand? Just something to ponder. And as far as the Cowboys go, last I checked we had a majority of our roster made up of very good guys, from Witten to Demarcus, and even all of the young guys like Deon Anderson (who without a second chance in college would not be in the NFL right now) and Sam Hurd. I just don’t understand why the Cowboys get slapped with the generic “made of bad guys, with no character” tag so often. We are definitely not the Cincinatti Bengals.

 

THE T.O. SHOW

It’s been cancelled. It’s over. He is gone. It really doesn’t matter anymore if you and I agree with it, like it, dislike it, can’t decide about it; because it’s done. Time to move forward. I hate to even bring this up, because of all the over-sensitive T.O. fans out there, but at the end of the day, he was a great player for us for 3 seasons, and great personality who provided alot of entertainment and, in my opinion, actually a good guy who got a pretty bad rap from the media and the average fan-on-the-street, but NOT a Cowboys legend by any stretch of the imagination. He will not be in the Ring of Honor, there will be no statues of him at the new stadium and no freeways named in his honor. He does rank up at the top of the NFL all-time recieving records, but he did most of his damage with the San Francisco 49ers. Did you hear that?? The 49ers! One of our all-time arch rivals! So, one last time….Goodbye T.O., thanks for the memories.

 

HALF GLASS EMPTY

This last thought is probably the most delicate, because I normally like to deal in facts, instead of “faith” or opinion….but, to me, there is just way too much negativity among the Cowboys nation! It is hard, due to the terrible end of the season last year culminating in the train wreck that was the Philly game, but where is the faith? The support? The optimism?

I am glad I live here in the metroplex and am able to follow the team in the local media, because sometimes it seems that some people are trying to convince me that we don’t have any able-bodied football players on this team, and we have a “general manager” that doesn’t even know how many yards long a football field is (it’s 100, Jerry). We went 9-7, and missed the playoffs, a very dissapointing season, yes, who can even begin to argue that but this is not Detroit or Oakland, and this is not even Green Bay or Denver.

We have a nucleus of players in place, on both offense and defense, that rank right at the top of the NFL. Do we have every little nickelback or 3rd receiver position covered perfectly and ideally? Well, no, but name me a team that does? The great and even quality players in the NFL don’t just grow on trees, unfortunately.

I will put my faith and my support behind Romo, Witten, Barber, Ware, Ratliff, Newman and the rest, and hope that we get a few breaks that all teams need and get to where we all want to go, to the Superbowl. It’s not going to be easy this year, next year or any year ever, but that’s football, that’s sport, that’s competition.

So, there you have it. Just a few random thoughts from TD….. you can love me or hate me, agree or disagree, that’s what it’s all about here! All I know is that it is a thin line, a razor thin line, between LOVE and HATE. Which side of the line are you on??
 

Cowboys Fan For LIFE – TD

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BIG GAMES, BIG DREAMS………the stretch run and more.

Gentle Musings from TD…..

 

  • There is just something about this game on Sunday……I am very excited and intrigued to see how the Boys’ handle this true test. I believe this could be a major defining moment, a win in the cold, hostile confines of Heinz Field (who names their stadium after a ketchup BTW?) and we could gain the final dose of confidence to push us back to where we all anticipated we would be before the season started.

 

  • Am I the only one really missing Felix?? Man….I was and am very dissapointed that his promising rookie season ended so quickly! Felix! We barely got to know you……

 

  • PAC MAN. All I have to say about this character is……RUN STRAIGHT AHEAD! Going to go out on a limb here and predict a punt return for a touchdown this weekend for ADAM. I will go with 65 yards, 3rd Quarter. You heard it here first.

 

  • Romo for MVP! Hey, why not? The last time I checked that meant most VALUABLE. Is there any DOUBT how VALUABLE he is to this team?? There certainly cannot be at this point. He has infused life into this team and brought back the swagger. That being said, I expect a slug fest this weekend in ‘burgh the ‘and I decided to go with Kurt Warner over Romo this weekend in my fantasy football division title game.

 

  • Plaxico Burress…..LMAO!! I probably dislike this jerk more than any other NFL’er except for maybe his dumbface QB….and that was before this season. I threw away my Christmas list when I heard that he was suspended for the rest of the regular season and ineligible to return for the playoffs. That is the best gift I could have recieved! He is no Cowboys killer, but still a tough matchup for any corner. Can’t stand him……..

 

  • Well….here we go, the stretch run…..the pundits are calling for at least a split of these last 4 games to make it to the tournament. I am beginning to think it could take more. Time for the Boys’ to keep it going and go out balling. Who would have thought before the season that we would be fighting for the wild card…..against the FALCONS!?!? Wow….guess, that’s why they play the games and that’s what makes being a fan so fun…and stressful!

 

Enjoy the Journey…….

 

Cowboys Fan For LIFE! – TD   

Da Boys and Da Broncs……Preseason Week 2.

Week 2 of the preseason has arrived! GAMEDAY! Cowboys at Broncos. 8 pm/Central.

Tonights game should be a fun one to watch. The Fort Worth Star Telegram is reporting that all of the starters will play the entire 1st quarter. Tony Romo, MB3, Witten and TO will come out around that time with the remaining starters playing the entire 1st half. That means Brad Johnson will be in with the 1st team offensive line and he needs to prove tonight that he still has something left in the tank. If he struggles, look for the Cowboys to make a move early next week. We hopefully will see an improved Pac Man tonight too. He should get plenty of time tonight to continue to knock the rust off his game. I would like to see him get a few punt returns too. Miles Austin and Sam Hurd will continue to battle it out for that 3rd WR spot.

No major developments other than that. We all need to remember that this is preseason, the coaching staff wants to evaluate players in certain situations. They also don’t want to put alot of the offensive plays and schemes on film for other teams to study. Look for a simple game plan and plenty of Felix Jones and Tashard Choice tonight.

Terrence Newman, Anthony Spencer and Kevin Burnett are all out on the defensive side due to injuries.

ENJOY THE GAME!!

Cowboys fan for life – TD

Hard Knocks Episode 2: Trains, Planes and Lowber?

It seemed like forever, the wait from the premiere episode of Hard Knocks, to the second episode tonight. I watched the first episode at least 5 times! Where as the first installment was an overview and reflection, this episode was more of an in-depth look at training camp and preparations for a (preseason) game. I still thouroughly enjoyed it again!

One of my favorite parts of this episode was a look at Zach Thomas. I know that Felix Jones and Pac Man Jones are flashier additions to the team, but I think Zach may be the most important. He looks fresh, healthy and hungry. With him and Bradie James up the middle, I think you will see alot less of those 7 yard gains on 1st down that make it near impossible to get a 3 and out.

Another cool thing in this weeks show was the overwhelming respect the players have for Coach Phillips. I read alot of blogs, columns and other Cowboy related media, and no one seems to mention or give credit to Wade. All I hear is win the Superbowl or get fired. And this may be reality, but how many coaches would find a way to let there ego get in the way and not even put his team in a POSITION to win the Superbowl. I know one for sure, and he lives in Miami now. I give Coach Phillips alot of credit and I am hoping that he gets his ring, because I truly believe he deserves it.

As far as the undrafted rookies go, I understand that HBO is trying to put a little drama into the show. Will they make it, will they not? Short answer: NO. Maybe “Ray Lewis’ Little Brother”  has a chance at practice squad, but that’s it. As far as Lowber, the “80th man on the roster” goes, I got bad news for him, the season starts with 54 players.

This show continues to have my attention gripped and I can’t wait for next weeks episode already. As far as the San Diego game goes, anyone who is concerned or worried about that should take a step back of that ledge and remember what Coach Phillips said. “These games are for getting better.” That’s all they are.

I Don’t know if Hard Knocks has any room for improvement.

 

Cowboys Fan for Life – TD


I love me some…. preseason

There are things in life that just make you happy. It doesn’t matter what bills are due, what you have to get done, how you are feeling, what you think about your ex-girlfriend. Nope, none of those things matter when you get the rare occasion to enjoy the things in life that make you truly happy. For me, one of those things is the DALLAS COWBOYS. I am excited about the start of preaseason tonight, because it is the start of the journey to, hopefully, Tampa Bay and the Superbowl. I don’t care if Romo plays 7 plays, I don’t care if TO plays 2 plays, we have arrived. We are finally to this day. The Cowboys will take the field. The wait is over. There is a god!

As for the game itself, Offensively, I am looking forward to seeing Felix Jones and Tashard Choice in an expanded role. Although, I wouldn’t expect us to show too much tonight in regards to Felix moving all over the field and lining up at different postions. It will be nice to see him get to tote it a few times though. I am also looking forward to seeing WR Danny Amendola. I want to see if he can carry his strong training camp over to the playing field. It won’t be Romo throwing to Amendola though, Brad Johnson should take over after the first few series and look for 3rd String quarterback Richard Bartel to get most of the 2nd half tonight and for the rest of the preseason.

On the defensive side of the ball, of course, I want to see what Pac-Man has up his sleeve. He has already come out in the papers predicting an interception return for a TD so, the man has confidence if nothing else. This will be his first live action in over a year. It will be fun to watch, and if he gets that PICK SIX, he’s got me sold. Don’t tell, but I am already starting to like him a little bit. Another thing to watch, Bobby Carpenter. It is time for him to start making some plays, he will get plenty of oppurtunities tonight. This is his 3rd year and his salary keeps getting bigger. Look for him to improve and produce or as Jason Garrett said on Hard Knocks: “Find the Door”.

And of course….the “I” word. Injuries. I don’t fear injuries any worse because they are playing in a game, I fear injuries every day and every play of training camp. There can be an injury in the weight room, in non-contact drills, anytime and anywhere. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope we come out clean and ready to keep getting better and keep working hard in camp.

After all, it’s a long way from San Diego to Tampa Bay.

 

Cowboys Fan for Life – TD


Rumors, Tidbits And Cowboys Draft Central

What’s up guys? Just want to give my 2 cents on some rumors and tidbits and even a little bit of reflection for the Boys. First, let me tackle this whole Pac man Jones wanting to be a Cowboy thing. This reminds me very much of how I felt when rumors first surfaced about Jerry Jones wanting Owens when he was released from Philadelphia.  At first I was very against this knowing how much T.O. had disrespected the star plus all the negative baggage he brought. Aside from that alleged suicide attempt last year, T.O. has been the ultimate teammate since he became a Cowboy. Romo even stated himself after last year’s loss to Seattle that T.O. would call him everyday after that loss to check up on him. I’m sure T.O. has kept in touch with Romo as well after the loss to the Giants last week as well and if that teary eyed T.O. defending Romo after the Giants game didn’t make you feel anything, then there’s something wrong with you. T.O. never had the off the field issues, like run ins with the law, but he was a cancer in the locker room. Looks like T.O. grew up and matured in Dallas. Then there’s the Tank Johnson signing this season. Tank did have the off the field issues plus he has even stated himself that most of his friends growing up were murdered. Tank has been the model citizen in Dallas. All I heard before the Tank signing was how wrong and detrimental to the team this would be. Now, all I hear was how god a signing this was for the Cowboys after the Ferguson injury in Week 1 against the Giants.

Now on to Pac man. Do I think the Cowboys should take a risk on a guy who loves the night life and fast women? Yes and this is why. Two words: Calvin Hill. This guy has made model citizens of both Terrell Owens and Tank Johnson. He is what most people call, Jerry Jones watch dog. This guy has done some amazing things considering the circumstances. Plus, if Pac man Jones would sign for the near minimum or some incentive laden deal, then I would be all for it. If he messed up again we could cut him and it wouldn’t affect the salary cap if at all. This is the only way I would be all for it. The guy can play football people. If you saw him play last year you know he was Tennessee’s Bob Sanders and that’s saying a lot. Plus he can return kicks. But in all likeyhood this isn’t going to happen unless the Titans release him which I believe they won’t.

Another grumbling out there is that Detroit’s Roy Williams would love nothing else but to become a Dallas Cowboy as well after his contract runs out after next season. Can you imagine T.O., T.G, Crayton and Williams in a four receiver set? DAMN!! Anyways, this isn’t going to happen people. I think Detroit will lock him up long term and I don’t think Terry Glenn will be back in Dallas next season. Another wide receivers name that has been popping up in the NFL rumor mill is Denver’s Javon Walker coming to Dallas in a draft day deal for either a 3rd or 4rth round pick. Don’t dismiss this rumor. I think this, out of all the rumors out there to be a GREAT possibility. Denver wants to get this guy out of Denver and the Cowboys have been rumored to be the team of Walker’s choice. So if it happens, remember where you heard it first.

Onto some Cowboy tidbits. I believe Dallas will sign one huge free agent this off-season. I honestly believe Dallas will sign either Marcus Trufant from Seattle or Ashante Samuel from New England and this is why. Jerry Jones is a very pissed off man as we speak. He believed, as many of us did, that this team had a great chance to compete for a championship this year. Jerry Jones stated last Monday that he has never felt as low as he did following the loss to the Giants in his 19 years as Cowboys owner. I believe Jerry to become a very imaginative and free spender this off-season and have Dallas in a prime position to be declared the early favorite come July to be Superbowl 43 Champions. Think of it guys, you think Jerry Jones hasn’t thought of the idea of opening up in 2009 at the new stadium as SuperBowl champions? If we know Jerry, don’t be surprised come March when the free-agent signing period begins.

Onto to the NFL Draft. Two words: Darren McFadden. Although this isn’t a really forgone conclusion to believe this, I believe Jerry likes, or should I say, LOVES this guy so much that this might happen. I’m going to keep this short but don’t be surprised to hear that Dallas is desperately trying to trade up in this year’s draft to get this guy. Plus having Bill Parcell’s running the war room in Miami might helps more than hurt us in trying to accomplish this. Just don’t be surprised if it happens and I for one would love to see him and Barber in a two back set. Well that’s all for now kiddies and remember, see you next Sunday. Same Cowboys time! Same Cowboys place! Same Cowboys channel!            Fredooch!