Can Kevin Ogletree Claim The #4 WR Spot?

As I made my daily trek for Cowboys news on the internet this morning, I cam across this interesting post by Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

Tim takes a look at wide receiver Kevin Ogletree and ponders his role for the upcoming season. He writes,

Undrafted receiver Kevin Ogletree proved as a rookie that he can contribute to the Cowboys. Now, he’s trying to prove that the Cowboys can rely on him.

After a full offseason, Ogletree feels confident that he has a firm grasp of the playbook. He practiced at all three receiver positions, trying to maximize his chances to get on the field.

The Cowboys don’t have any questions about Ogletree’s ability. They like his speed, quickness, elusiveness and hands. They don’t know yet about his dependability.

I was very impressed with what I saw of Ogletree in limited playing time last season. He seems to have a nose for the ball, a flair for the dramatic, and though it was mentioned in Tim’s post I thought Ogletree showed some explosiveness and burst.

As it stands now, Ogletree is probably ranked fifth on the depth chart behind Miles Austin, Roy Williams, Dez Bryant and Patrick Crayton at wide receiver, but with a solid training camp that could change.

I think that Ogletree’s immediate future is somewhat tied to Crayton’s. It is still uncertain what role Crayton will have on this team if any, especially if he holds to his current demands for a trade or release.

Even so, Ogletree has shown some flashes that would indicate he could pass Crayton up on performance alone when training camp begins. It’s one of the things to keep on eye this pre season as the Cowboys decide who makes the wide receiver corps and who will be on the sidelines when they take on the Washington Redskins for the season opener.

Who do you think will claim the #4 WR spot on the roster?

[polldaddy poll=3463589]

Bracing For A New Season: Three Up And Three Down

It has been an agonizingly slow news day for the Cowboys… more like a  week… or better yet, a month…

So I took a quick look at the projected roster for the upcoming season and tried to detect some potential concerns or problem areas. I didn’t see any glaring holes or huge problem areas, but there are a few mild concerns as I see it.

Some Concerns

Alan Ball – Ball will be the first choice to fill the shoes of the departing Ken Hamlin at safety. Nobody expects him to duplicate the former Pro Bowler’s presence on the field and in the locker room, but expectations still will be high for a team that need all aspects of it’s game to be firing on all cylinders. Especially, in the secondary. Ball has shown some flashes in his limited playing time so I remain hopeful, but I’m also realistic and realize that until he actually goes out there and impresses, he is still a question mark.

Marion Barber – The “Barbarian” will most likely see a reduced role this season similar to one he enjoyed when Julius Jones was last here. For a big dude, he seems to wear down easily as an every down back, and with Felix Jones making a strong case for increased playing time, Barber may only get touches in short yardage situations and possibly at the goal line. He may not like his reduced status so keep an eye on the situation. By the way, with a nickname like “The Barbarian”, he sure has been very brittle and it don’t take much for him to get removed from a game. He better toughen up before they change his moniker to “Maid Marion”.

Roy Williams – Yeah I know it sounds like I’ve been picking on RW ever since the Cowboys traded for him, but my concerns were justified and time did prove me right. I’m still bugged by the fact he is still here. Yes, I know he has a boatload of cash coming to him, but winning trumps everything including greenbacks. Whereas before my concern was giving RW a superstar mega-deal for what was just a garden variety receiver, now my concern is how do we get Kevin Ogletree and Dez Bryant the playing time they deserve while at the same time keeping RW from back-biting and inciting turmoil in the locker room?

No Worries

Doug Free – I’m not as concerned as others about Doug Free taking over for Flozell Adams. Adams has been on a downward slope for the last two seasons, and our O-Line was getting a little long in the tooth. Free looked fantastic while filling in for Mark Colombo last season, and I believe he will be an upgrade over Flozell this season. His youth will help recharge an aging O-Line.

Tony Romo – I believe Tony Romo is still going to get better even though right now he’s a Top 10 QB. He has a thirst for knowledge and always shows up better prepared for the season than anyone else on the roster. He has great skills, but is also a thinking man’s quarterback and I believe that will ultimately add up to a couple of Super Bowl rings before he is through.

David Buehler – I’m not at all concerned about David Buehler getting the job done as a placekicker. When he was with the Trojans, he was unexpectedly called into service to kick a filed goal due to an injury. He nailed a 49-yard field goal and the Trojans won the game. For USC, it was the longest successful field goal since 1988, a two decade span. Am I worried about Buehler? Nah… The kid’s a grinder…

Poll Results: Key Position Battles

At the beginning of Training Camp we asked this question:

Which of these key position battles do you think will be the most interesting?

Poll ResultsThe results were a dead heat between Jenkins/Scandrick (38%) and Crayton/Austin (38%).  In third place was the battle at offensive guard position with Kyle Kosier and Montrae Holland who received 15% of the votes. Finally, linebackers Bobby Carpenter and Jason Williams received a measly 8%.

This poll is full of so much irony. In the end Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick have been told they are both starters who will alternate starts and playing time. Miles Austin didn’t really show us that he deserves to start over vet Patrick Crayton. Kosier and Holland?… boring. Bobby Carpenter and Jason Williams, well that was easily answered when Williams got injured.

Maybe we should have had a 5th choice between Isaiah Stanback and Kevin Ogletree, but who knew?

New poll: What are your expectations for the upcoming season?

Chiefs Sign Former Cowboys TE Tony Curtis

As reported by, The Kansas City Chiefs have signed Tony Curtis to fill in a roster spot left open when they traded Tony Gonzales to Atlanta.

The Kansas City Chiefs announced the signing of former Cowboys tight end Tony Curtis today. Curtis was one of five restricted free agents for the Cowboys this season, but the team did not submit a tender offer for the former undrafted free agent.

Curtis came to the Cowboys after the 2005 draft and spent more than a year on the team’s practice squad. He had a short stint on the active roster in 2006, then went to NFL Europe in 2007.

A 6-5, 251-pound project out of Portland State, Curtis may best be remembered for his three catches in 2007, all of which went for touchdowns. He proved versatile as a blocker this season, filling in for injured fullback Deon Anderson against Green Bay in Week 3.

It was Curtis who blew his assignment on the blocked punt against Arizona that not only cost the Cowboys the game, but put Mat McBriar out for the season. He began the season as the usual No. 2 tight end, but eventually saw his playing time decreased as rookie Martellus Bennett matured in the offense.

The Chiefs had previously met with Cowboys unrestricted free agent safety Keith Davis this off-season, but the special teams captain left without an offer.

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.

Two Plays Away From 2-3?!

A win is a win in the NFL.  There are no style points.  No polls.  We all know the old adage “on any given Sunday.”  Hey, I will take the Cowboys 31-22 win anytime.  That being said something is not right with this team right now.  The fact of the matter is we are two fumbles away, in Dallas teritory, from facing a 2-3 start.   Now, those fumbles did happen and we are 4-1.  But to think that Dallas is one of the elite teams in the NFL is just not true.  They are not the best team in the NFL.  They are not the best team in the NFC.  Heck, they are the 3rd best team in the division right now!!   There is a sense of accomplishment that this team has that is quite simply not warrented.  WE DID NOT WIN THE SUPER BOWL LAST YEAR!  We could not beat the Giants at home, a team that we beat twice already, to get the the NFC Championship.  Do I think they could beat anyteam, anywhere right now…..yes!  But there are a few things that MUST be figured out before this team takes that next step:

  • Tony…I love ya…”your my quarterback”….but what is going on?  INT’s in 8 straight games?  Another lost fumble?  It’s becoming more clear that is may be feast or famine with our QB. I wouldn’t trade him for anyone but HE HAS TO PLAY BETTER. 
  • T.O?  Snap out of it..your getting the ball & making plays. What more do you want?
  • Patrick Crayton has to step up and stop with the key drops.  I know he found the ball in the end zone yesterday but he has to be more consistant.
  • I know I knock Anthony Henry but Terence Newman has got to stay healthy.  With him and A Jones, by the end of the season could really be dominating.  The only place I want to see A. Henry is in nickle or dime coverage.
  • It’s kind of ironic to me how MB3‘s playing time is almost coming full circle.  He was the 3rd down back for J Jones, getting a few carries a game.  I can see this happening to F Jones.  I AM NOT KNOCKING MB3 but F Jones is a better pure runner.  Would 20 carries for MB3 & 12 for F Jones be a bad thing?
  • What is going on at home?  I truly think that this team is far too overconfident at home and has a us vs the world mentality on the road that works better for this team.

All that being said we are still 4-1 and if we can win at Arizona and follow that up with a win at St Louis all of a sudden 6-1 looks pretty good.  Pretty good would be ok for most teams in most years…just not what the expectations are for this year. 

Cowboys News: Tank In, Anderson Out

Tank Johnson is finally off suspension and has been activated by the Cowboys. Tank will be ready to play his first game as a Cowboy Sunday against the Giants. He will probably not start but is expected to give Jay Ratliff some relief, especially in run situations. 

The Cowboys didn’t have to cut anyone to make room for Tank because of an injury that occurred Sunday night. Fullback rookie Deon Anderson suffered a torn rotator cuff injury and has been placed on Injured Reserve. Because of the injured Oliver Hoyte, Anderson received alot of additional playing time. Hoyte has been cleared to play but Coach Phillips doesn’t want to activate him until he is 100%. The Cowboys could make a move for another fullback.

Isaiah Stanback and Pat Watkins were also injured during the game against the Eagles. Stanback injured his shoulder and Watkins sprained his ankle. Both injuries are minor and they had an extra day to rest. We will know more when they return to practice on Wednesday.

You may have noticed that Tyson Thompson was absent Sunday. Isaiah Stanback was activated in place of Thompson. Coach Phillips decided to try something different on kick returns.

"We were trying to get a spark there," Phillips said of the change. "We had been doing OK with it; it was just for a change of pace. We wanted to see what he could do there. (Stanback) has a lot of ability and he’s been showing up in practice as a receiver and we wanted to try to get him to the game and see what he could do in the ball game."