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Random Observations

-Miles Austin is a GREAT receiver. He is elite. Period. Dez Bryant will make this offense unstoppable when he finally starts opposite Austin.

-2009 Ball State 3rd round pick Robert Brewster is still a year away from being an NFL caliber OT or G. Missing his rookie year due to injury, he just doesn’t have “it” yet. I would release him on the final cuts and try to get him back on the practice squad. If not, oh well. We need solid backups to survive this Super Bowl run.

-The tight end situation is terrible. It went from a strength on the team to a worry with John Phillips tearing his ACL. Although, if Sicko progresses this year, it gives us an out with Martellus Bennett should he continue his mundane play.

-Alex Barron needs coaching. Hudson Houck must change this guy’s bad habits or he will be a one and done as a Cowboy. You don’t pay good money for Pat McQuistan production.

-No way do you cut Deon Anderson. If you want Chris Gronkowski on the final 53, you must deplete another position’s depth and keep two fullbacks. Deon has been a fantastic blocker and a surprise threat out of the backfield as a receiver.

-David Buehler is doing a good job. Kickoffs, as usual, have been stellar. Touchback after touchback. Field goals have been good enough to keep believing in him. I love that he is working with Chris Boniol.

-Jon Kitna will be a solid backup should we, God forbid, need him to hold the fort for a few games.

-The linebackers on this team are off the hook. Our starters dominate. Bradie James and Keith Brooking will be the vocal leaders on this very strong defense. There are surprises such as Leon Williams that will make the final cuts a very hard job.

-Too much is being made of win/loss, Redzone failures and other trivial statistics in the preseason.

-5 preseason games could make you a tired team in January.

-Wade Phillips is awesome. His defense rocks and he has survived the headhunters of Dallas (media) through hell and back.

Cutting The Fat

With just mere hours until teams need to cut rosters to 53 for the season, Dallas and Wade Phillips will have some tough choices to make. I dont envy Phillips or any head coach this time of year for what they must do in cutting the fat and forming a team that will start the season. But like it or not, it is part of the job and part of the business.

Rookie Linebacker Stephen Hodge is one of those players fighting for a roster spot. However for Hodge his chances are slim and the options that the coaching staff have for him will result in another tough decision no matter what they choose. During the offseason Hodge had his knee scoped and has not been able to practice much because of it. That makes it tough for someone to make a team if he cant be evaluated properly. His persistent swelling in his knee is really complicating matters. Dallas can protect his rights by placing him on injured reserve and shutting him down for the season in hopes that he can be ready for next season. They can take a chance and release him hoping no other team picks him up, and then resign him to the practice squad. But because there are a few other injured players Dallas is waiting on, the chances of Hodge making the roster is slim. This is the tough side of the business.

Now on the other hand Dallas claimed Linebacker Curtis Johnson off waivers after the Colts cut him because of an injured hamstring and there is a good chance he will make the 53 man roster without ever getting on the field for the Cowboys because of the injury. He will not play in Fridays last preseason game. They really like the former Colt who played as a 4-3 defensive end but will be converted to an outside linebacker in the 3-4. “We knew about him coming out of college” Phillips said of Johnson who played 7 games with the colts last season. There is no way Dallas would pickup an injured player a few days before cuts if they didnt know what they where getting. They are high on his special teams abilities and after putting LB Brandon Williams on injured reserve, and LB Jason Williams nursing a high ankle sprain that will keep him out 4-6 weeks, Johnson should be back soon and should make the roster.

Wide Receiver Travis Wilson who has been on injured reserve was released and given an injury settlement… Backup offensive lineman Cory Proctor’s roster spot may be in jeopardy after Dallas signed 5 year veteran Duke Preston who plays the same positions. And it was Preston during practice snapping to Quarterback John Kitna not Proctor who didnt even get any work in during the drill… Fourth round pick Quarterback Stephen McGee is also sitting on that bubble. He is nursing a strained MCL and has been considered OK at best when he is able to participate and healthy. One thing going for him is the fourth round choice the Cowboys used on him, that may get him a spot for a little while anyway.

Lets see what happens in the next few days when the fat is cut, because a lot of the guys we have been watching in preseason wont be there for long, and you know there will be some surprises.

Chiefs Sign Former Cowboys TE Tony Curtis

As reported by dallascowboys.com, 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.

IGOR TIME!!

From the MICKAROO, Mickey Spanola of DallasCowboys.com:

Free agent defensive end Igor Olshanky came into town during Thursday’s commotion for a visit, and the Dallas Cowboys made sure he didn’t leave town on Friday without signing a contract, which is exactly what he did around 5:30 p.m. (CST), putting his name on a contract. Olshanky, a five-year starter in San Diego, signed a four-year, $18 million contract, with roughly $8 million guaranteed.

This move is in direct response to three-year starter Chris Canty signing his unrestricted free-agency deal with the New York Giants this past Saturday, leaving the Cowboys without much experience at the right defensive end spot. The only backups of note are three-year veterans Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher. The Cowboys did sign least years’s practice squad defensive end Marcus Dixon to the 80-man roster.

I like it! More info to come…………………

New York Giant Receivers = Gun Magnets?

Once again I had to  travel no further than the NFL website for my article. So let me shoot straight here i think that the Giants receivers are gun magnets. 1. Steve Smith robbed at gun point, 2. Plaxico Burress shot himself, and now the most recent Taye Biddle(read article).

New York Giants receiver Taye Biddle is recovering from gunshot wounds to his hand and leg after being shot while visiting family in his hometown.

Decatur police said in a statement Thursday that Biddle was shot outside a residence and was treated and released from a hospital. Police said there was no evidence Biddle caused or provoked the shooting.

“He had surgery on his hand today,” Biddle’s friend, Bruce Jones, told The Decatur Daily Thursday. “He told me his leg is OK, and he ought to be fine.”

The 25-year-old Biddle grew up in Decatur and played college football at the University of Mississippi.

Police have not made any arrests in the case.

Biddle was promoted from the Giants’ practice squad after receiver Plaxico Burress was suspended for a game in September.

After this I cant help but wonder why are all their receivers dealing with guns going against them here lately. My hopes and prayers go out to Taye Biddle for a speedy recovery even though I hate the Giants with all my heart. I also pray that all this non-sense with guns should end sometime soon how many people are going to have to get hurt and killed for this to sink in to people. The NFL has already lost one great player in Sean Taylor due to some stupid people with a gun breaking into house. So with that I will end this entry with my prayers going out to every NFL player along with every person in  the world and to our new President Barrack Obama and may he be safe throughout his term and for the rest of his life.

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