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FORWARD PROGRESS: Weapons Of A Different Breed

Forward Progress

Training camp is finally here! Rejoice Cowboys fans! Another beginning will soon be upon us, and this is the first step along the lengthy journey of the season. You win in December and in playoff games and in Superbowls by preparing both physically and mentally here in late July and August. I didn’t get a chance to hear much of the “State of the Cowboys” address by Owner Jones and Coach Wade, but let’s be honest, I don’t think I missed a whole lot other than some cliche’s and some hopeful optimism, not that there is anything wrong with that. I must admit that it is hard to be so close, yet so far away from real football. In a way, I am going to have to fight through a lot of the things that are going to be brought up and mused upon over the course of the next 3 or 4 weeks. You know, the usual suspects: Can Romo win in December? How will the offense perform without Terrell Owens? Can Wade get his players to stay motivated? Blah, blah, blah! I understand that the media has a job to do, but I am just not interested in the same ole, same ole.

Some of the things that I am looking forward to finding out over the course of training camp will be how the new additions to the defense are going to fit in, who will win the number two spot at wide receiver and maybe, just maybe, get a glimpse at how Jason Garrett plans to manage all of his unique weapons.

Ah yes, Mr. Garrett and his weapons. I can’t think of a Cowboys team in the past with a more unique set of offensive weapons than this 2009 outfit. It will be a challenge and a delicate balance to efficiently use all of the running backs and tight ends, as well as develop the chemistry and timing between Romo and Roy Williams and the rest of the receivers. I am excited to see what Garrett can do with this group. I still have confidence in Garrett, I think he did have some challenges and obstacles dealing with Owens last year and in the end I believe that it affected his play calling and game planning. That is just my opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

I think that the best thing for Garrett, Romo and the entire franchise would be to have the heart and soul and identity of this team actually be the running game. If you are able to establish the run week in and week out, then it makes everything else so much easier. You can control time of possession, and gain valuable field position by churning out those first downs. Honestly, if we are unable to establish THIS team’s running game than there will have to be major changes in many areas next off-season. The extremely well compensated offensive line, led by Leonard Davis, are just flat out going to have to open some holes and then let the three headed monster do it’s thing. We have 3 backs who could arguably be starters for almost 20 other NFL teams at least. There are other great backs in the league, but I can’t think of any teams who would turn down Marion Barber or Felix Jones, and very few who would not like to have a guy like Tashard Choice somewhere in the mix. All that being said, there are no excuses to not dominate in the running game this year.

Once we soften up the line of scrimmage, we can open up our can of beans and rice! We should be able to carve up the middle of the field as well as any team in the league with our dynamic tight ends. We have the top tight end in all of football in Jason Witten, who also will contribute to the running game with his solid blocking, and then the young, explosive Marty B as his sidekick. This will be one of the most exciting things to watch this year for me. It’s not exactly rocket science here. When it’s third down and six, look for Beans and Rice.

And then, when it’s time to really put it on them, as my boy Nate the Cowboy Ninja would say, just dial 9-11. Romo to Roy Williams, and don’t forget Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd. This is where the majority of the big gains will and should come from and if the running game is established and the middle of the field has been softened up by the tight ends, it will be easy pickings for an accurate passer like Romo.

Man, just looking at all of the options gets me really excited, we have the weapons. It’s time to optimize them and, bottom line, that’s on the shoulders’ of the coordinator.

Cowboys Fan for Life – TD

Warner To Stay in Arizona

One of the main stories this off-season I have decided to follow was that of Kurt Warner and his future with Arizona after leading them to the Super Bowl in the 2008 season. So when I seen that Warner had re-signed with the Cardinals on a two-year $23 Million contract I had to write about this and talk about what I thought about this deal.

Here are some details on Warners contract.

The deal includes a $15 million signing bonus. Combined with a $4 million salary for the first year of the contract, $19 million is guaranteed. Warner does believe this is his final NFL contract.

Warner had knew he wanted to be in Arizona even when he was visiting the 49ers. Warner said: “I told my wife probably 45 minutes into it that I just felt God say, ‘You’re supposed to be in Arizona,”‘ Warner said, “and I told her that. She tried to tell me to stay open, but He just continued to confirm it.”

Warner said the 49ers made him an offer that was larger than the one he agreed to in Arizona. But on the flight back from San Francisco, he said he called his agent, Mark Bartelstein, and told him to do what was necessary to get the Cardinals deal done.

Warner also cares very much about his fellow members of Arizona here is what I found to prove how much he really loves his team.

Earlier in the negotiations, Warner had offered to give $1 million per year of his contract toward a new deal for Boldin, but that provision wasn’t in the final agreement. Boldin has asked to be traded because he believes the Cardinals failed to follow through on a promise for a new contract a year ago. Graves said the team still plans to eventually address Boldin’s desire for a long-term contract.

Warner started all 20 games for Arizona last season. In 16 regular-season games, he completed 67 percent of his throws for 4,583 yards and 30 touchdowns, with 14 interceptions. He finished second in the NFL in completions, completion percentage and passing yards.

In four playoff games, Warner was even better, completing 68 percent of his passes for 1,147 yards and 11 touchdowns, with three interceptions.

But for one extremely costly interception, Warner was brilliant in Arizona’s 27-23 loss to Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl, completing 31 of 43 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns.

In addition, Warner was named the NFL Man of the Year for his off-the-field contributions, as well as his playing excellence.

These details were found on the NFL website. All I can say is congrats Kurt on deciding that Arizona was where you where meant to retire at in the NFL. What I have to say on Arizonas behalf is that they made a smart move signing Kurt back on the revised deal his agent offered because he almost whent to another NFC team which could have came back to haunt them in the regular season and or on the playoff road to the Super Bowl in 2009.

So I now ask you all to leave your comments on Warners deal and if you have debates about the details or my opinions I have stated please let me know I am deeply interested in hearing your opinions about the issues I write about and the rest of LSS write about.

Fitzgerald Having Amazing Playoff Run

All I can say is that I have been totally stunned at Fitzgeralds perfomance during the playoffs so far. I was browsing the NFL site and saw these stats and facts and thought i would share them with you all. As a Cowboy fan it sickens me to see two of the teams that knocked us out of playoff contention in the Super Bowl this year. But I will have to say go Cardinals and I also have to admit that Fitzgerald is my favorite Non-Cowboy player in the NFL.

Arizonas Larry Fitzgerald is on a Playoff run that matches any other wide receiver in NFL playoff history.

Fitzgerald followed up two 100-yard receiving games in the Cardinals’ first two playoff games with another outstanding day in the NFC Championship Game against the Eagles, finishing with nine receptions for 152 yards and three touchdowns.

His prolific run during his first postseason puts Fitzgerald in exclusive company. Fitzgerald’s 419 receiving yards during the 2008 playoffs are the most in a single postseason, since 1970, as well as the most by any player in NFL history during his first three career playoff games.

Most receiving yards, single postseason
Year Player Team Games Yards
2008 Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals 3 419
1988 Jerry Rice 49ers 3 409
2003 Steve Smith Panthers 4 404
1983 Charlie Brown Redskins 3 401

The rest of Fitzgerald’s 2008 playoff numbers also stack up against the best. His five touchdown receptions rank second all-time (behind Jerry Rices’ six during the 1988 playoffs), and his 23 receptions are tied for third all-time, trailing New England’s Wes Welker (2007) and Carolina’s Steve Smith (2005), who each totaled 27.

Fitzgerald has one more game to reach the top of each of these lists. So lets all root for Fitzgerald on Feb.1 to get all these records. Also for the Cardinals to stomp Pittsburgh into the ground.

GO CARDINALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is the bad Romo starting to outweigh the good??

I wanted to give myself some time to recover before I typed anything I would regret.  I needed to sleep on it to make sure I really felt this way.  The problem was I couldn’t sleep.  The thought that kept going in and out of my mind was: Has the bad Tony Romo started to outshine the good? 

Another game, another turnover.  In this case it was turnovers.  Make no doubt about it, this one hurt.  I will not say that the last INT was entirely Romo’s fault.  But as he said it came out of his hand so he will put that one on him.  It goes without saying: Tony is the best cowboy QB since Aikman.  That we know.  The question is can he lead this team to the Super Bowl?  Hey, 13-3 regular seasons, home playoff games and potential playoff runs don’t happen every year..just ask the Patriots.  An 0-2 post season record and at least one turnover in 15 of the last 16 games will not get it done.  It was after the first INT that I yelled out my first, “every game”.  After the third I starting to get the scary vision that Tony Romo may end up being a new version of Jake Plummer.  He can make plays with his feet, he will be exciting as hell, but he will have at least one turnover every game.  The way the defense played yesterday, and for the past month, they deserved better.  Look what Big Ben did.  I know he was at home but he made the plays to win. Before this year I would have given you two QB’s that I would rather have than Romo(Brady & P Manning).  Now, I can think of 5…with at least 8 more that are very debatable. 

Hey, the season is not over and Tony’s career can not be defined by one bad game.  He will have the next 3 weeks and hopefully more to prove he can lead the Cowboys to the big game.  But make no mistake about it.  The bloom is off the Romo rose.  A disapointing finish to this year will do nothing but make these rumblings a whole lot louder.