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Football On My Mind…….

Hey guys, just a few things to discuss. First, I would like to congratulate the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers on reaching Super Bowl 43. Much props to both teams. Honestly, I am pulling for the Cards on this one. On a side note as well, Imagine if Terrell Owens would of pulled that Boldin Act yesterday after they won. ESPN would of been all over that. On to the Boys………..

First I would LOVE to say that Demarcus Ware was, to put it eloquently, ROBBED. I will give James Harrison as much props as the next guy but he is nowhere near Ware’s capability. In Harrison, you get a great passrusher. In Ware, you get the complete package. This just goes to show the unwavering Bias that is thrown, or has been thrown for decades at your Dallas Cowboys. I was quite honestly shocked that Emmitt Smith won the league MVP in 1995 and thats when I thought girls were still icky!! Demarcus, you dominated the defensive side of the ball all year long. You deserved it more than anyone in the football land. Kind of ironic that Ware wins the Dick Butkus award for the NFL’s best linebacker. I thought that was Harrison, oh wait….

Second, Terrell Owens is one of my favriote players on this team. I honestly believe ESPN is on a witch hunt to make T.O. a cancer. He is the only guy all year that showed any emotion on the field when this went wrong. For you Cowboy fans out there wanting T.O. out i can only say this. If T.O. is gone next year and we dont replace him, this team doesnt win 8 games next year. Easy as that. Yes, T.O. is getting old by NFL standards but the guy is still the best receiver on this team. Unless Dallas releases T.O. and then signs a Pro Bowl reciever somehow then I would probably be ok with it, but quite honestly it aint happening. Terrell Owens will be a Dallas Cowboy next year. I would be shocked if he isnt. I just got my authentic T.O. jersey this year too. Damn It!!

Third, Ray Lewis is gonna be a free agent and there is talk Jerry Jones is gonna go after the guy big time. I say, I LOVE IT. Ray Lewis is exactley what this defense needs. I know I am gonna get alot of slack for this but I really love the Ravens defense. Its a punch you in the mouth and point and laugh at you in the face kind of defense we need. They are nasty, mean and play as one unit. Thats all due to Ray Lewis. The guy plays with alot of emotion and wears his heart on his sleeve. He makes average players around him great. I would honestly as well be shocked if Baltimore lets him go and doesnt franchise him, but I would love to see the guy in a Cowboy uniform. Hey Mosh, get those Ray Lewis jerseys orders ready for just in case.

Fourth, Brian Stewart was fired. Big Deal. I believe the real problem of the Cowboys awkward 2008 season is deeper than Brian Stewart. Wade Phillips for one should not be coaching this team. Wade Phillips is an awesome defensive coach but when it comes to Head Coaching the guy sucks. With this many Stars on this team, you have to have a disciplinarian. A Jimmy Johnson / Bill Cowher type of coach. Its very sad, frustrating, depressing and everything else x100 the way our season went. And every week after a loss, Phillips just sugar coated everything. I would love to see the Cowboys bring in Mike Martz to see if he can recreate the Greatest Show on Turf. The guy also doesnt take bullcrap from anybody. Thats not gonna happen cause Garrett wasnt offered a head coaching job anywhere.

And Fifth, finally, I am ecstatic the Boys will be in San Antonio for training camp this year. I will be there for a whole week. Can’t wait for that to happen. Thats all for now.  

Cowboys-Rams: A Fan’s Agony To Receive One Gift and Have Another Taken Away!

Good Morning Cowboy fans:

As the Cowboys enter week 7 of the NFL season, I am somewhat of a “train wreck” over everything we as fans have had to endure this week. I have been on vacation the last two weeks so I have definitely had some time to reflect and “arm chair quarterback” some ideas in my mind if Jerry decides to call.

As my week began on Monday, I was still smarting from the fact we had just literally gave a game away in Arizona to drop to 4-2, when the news began to trickle in.

Our beloved Cowboys were beginning to crumble at our feet. First it was the news that our field general Tony Romo had broken a finger on his throwing hand and would be out up to four weeks. Shortly thereafter, it was learned that Felix Jones would miss two weeks with hamstring issues and finally the news began to trickle out that “Pacman” Jones would be suspended by the Commissioner of the NFL for four games due to his after hour activities which was deemed detrimental to his probation placed on him by the NFL Commissioner when he was reinstated a little over 6 weeks ago.

Adam Jones has or had a very good opportunity to be one of the premier defensive backs in the league and a real gift to the Cowboys. I really felt that when Terence Newman returned to the lineup the Cowboys had two Pro bowl caliber “shutdown” corners. Now that gift has been taken away from the team and us as fans all because of his foolish decisions.

So, with all that said it has not been a good week for Cowboy fans!

I do feel confident in Brad Johnson to lead the team while Romo is out. With the injuries to Terence Newman and Felix Jones, and the verdict still out on Adam Jones, the younger players like Michael Jenkins and Tashard Choice will have to step up and play key roles in the Cowboy’s defensive and offensive game plans.

Well Jerry Jones has never one to be out-done on any deal. After all the bad news we could endure so far, Jones came out of the NFL meetings with a gift to replace the one that had been taken away. The Cowboys announced on Tuesday that they had reached a lucrative deal with former Detroit Lions wide receiver Roy Williams. I for one am ecstatic that Williams is coming to Dallas. Jerry Jones’ pursuit of Williams was almost as ardent as that of Adam Jones’. The Cowboys owner had attempted to trade for Williams over the last two years but could not get the Lions to agree.

So, with just a few hours before the 3 p.m. trade deadline Jones began earnest negotiations with the Lions to bring Williams to Dallas. With at least nine selections in next year’s draft, the Cowboys felt comfortable in giving up their first-, third- and sixth-round picks in return for Williams and Detroit’s seventh round pick. The Cowboys immediately worked out a contract extension to keep the Odessa, Texas native and University of Texas star in Dallas through 2013. The deal said to be in the 45 million dollar range will more than likely give Williams’ a chance to finish his career as a Cowboy.

Williams came in to the league in 2003 as the Lion’s first pick and went to the Pro Bowl in 2006. Since that time his numbers have fell off considerably due in part, to many quarterback and coaching changes that also resulted in many different offensive schemes as well.

When Williams was drafted by the Lions, all they could talk about was his great character and the talent he possesses. Now he joins Terrell Owens to form a dynamic duo at receiver that will feature not only good size but game breaking speed. That combination should play havoc on any opposing secondary.

Thanks Jerry, I am feeling better already!

Brad Johnson is on the spot this week. So are T.O. and MB3 on offense and DeMarcus Ware and Greg Ellis on defense. Pro Bowl players must perform at a Pro Bowl level to help the Cowboys overcome the loss of Romo and the others when the Cowboys travel to St. Louis on Sunday to play the Rams. I think the two players that will have the biggest impact on this weeks game is Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton. Both play wide receiver, but they will be filling different roles against the Rams. With Adam Jones gone, Crayton will be handling the punt return duties and without Felix Jones on kickoff returns that will be the responsibility of Miles Austin. The Cowboys have to maintain good field position. Johnson is not Romo. He has neither his arm nor his mobility. So sacks figure to increase and big plays decrease with a 40-year-old quarterback at the controls. The Cowboys will need more plays to cover more yards to fuel scoring drives.

Field position will be critical Sunday against the Rams. The longer the kickoff and punt returns by the Cowboys, the shorter the field for the offense. With Felix Jones out, Austin figures to return kickoffs and with Adam Jones out, Crayton figures to return punts.
The Rams are strong in the kicking game and we will need long kickoff and punt returns to shorten the field for Johnson and the offense. I think the game will be slowed down considerably compared to what we normally see with Romo. Johnson will be a lot more deliberate with his decisions on the field, I am sure a very good run oriented offense has been put into place this week. That will allow Johnson and the offense to control the clock and have very few mistakes.

In the end the Cowboys will do just fine and get out of St. Louis with a win. My prediction is Cowboys 28-17.

The Secondary Is A Primary Concern

With the draft just around the corner, some feel it’s time to start thinking about a corner. It certainly seems that the deal for Tennessee Titan Adam Jones is inevitable but, considering his past antics, that brings little security at the position.

The Dallas secondary isn’t nearly as inept as some "experts" would have you believe. Pro Bowl CB Terence Newman is coming in healthy this year which is huge. Anthony Henry holds his own most of the time. Henry had 6 interceptions in 13 games last season. While not stellar, that is still more than the two previous seasons(28 starts) combined. Newman had 4 INT’s in as many games.

This "lacking secondary" had 19 INT’s last year. Tied for 4th in the NFL in INT’s doesn’t seem lacking or inept to me. The secondary was and is above average in every category. Things have a tendency to get skewed because of the occasional big play given up by the secondary. Just keep in mind the injuries suffered by Newman and Henry throughout the season. Newman fought through foot and knee injuries throughout the 2007 campaign. Henry had a nasty ankle late last season. So the alarm about the Dallas secondary- at least the CB’s- is much ado about nothing.

We all know Roy Williams isn’t a traditional safety. I’ve been a huge critic of Williams over the last 2 seasons. Williams is a great run defender. He had 30 more tackles in 2007 than in the previous season. But I’m sure everyone will agree that if there is a hole in the secondary. That hole wears the number 31. He can’t cover TE’s like Shockey or Cooley consistently.

A 2/28/2008 report in the Star-Telegram brings up concerns about Williams’ behavior in relations to the players and staff. The Star- Telegram reports: " He has become a bit of enigma in the locker room; the defense normally goes out to eat as a unit on Thursdays during game weeks, but Williams seldom attends. He has displayed a tendency to blame others for pass coverage breakdowns, something his teammates have noticed… Coaches, former coaches, teammates and ex-teammates have tried to talk to Williams, but they often receive the same defiant and defensive posturing he takes with his "friends" in the media."

Why not trade Williams? Nobody is going to take the salary cap hit that Williams would bring to the table. He signed a 4 year, $25 million extension in 2006. Trade him? Not gonna happen.

So as we approach the April 26 2008 draft, do we need go to after a corner? Maybe we consider a safety instead? Maybe use Williams in short-yardage and goal line situations in 2008? I don’t pretend to know all the answers to these questions. What I do know is this team is so so close to that illusive 6th trophy. It’s there for the taking. Right around the corner.

Remembering Buddy Dial

January 17, 1937 – February 29, 2008

Gilbert Leroy “Buddy” Dial passed away on Friday, February 29th, at the age of 71.  Dial was a star wide receiver who played 8 years in the NFL, first for the Pittsburgh Steelers and then for the Dallas Cowboys.

Dial played with the Steelers from 1959-1963 and was then traded to the Cowboys per his request in 1964 and remained with the Cowboys until his retirement in 1966.  During his career Dial made 261 receptions for a total of 5,436 yards and 44 touchdowns.  His best year was in 1963, with the Steelers, when he caught 60 passes for 1,295 yards and 9 touchdowns.  His per catch average remains the second-highest in NFL history at 20.8 yards per catch.  Dial made the Pro Bowl in 1961 and 1963, and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the National High School Hall of Fame.

The bulk of Dial’s productivity came during his years with Pittsburgh. In his final three years with Dallas, Dial was not as productive due to nagging injuries that eventually left him largely disabled after his football career was over.

Dial passed away Friday, February 29th in a Houston Hospital after being recently admitted for treatment of cancer and pneumonia.

Player News: Marion’s Got Protection, Flozell Signs

Restricted free agent Marion Barber has been tendered for $2.562 million. Any team looking to propose an offer to Barber would also have to give up a first and third round draft pick if the Cowboys failed to match the offer. I think that pretty much ensures Barber will be a Cowboy next season. The Cowboys will probably offer the Pro Bowl running back a long-term contract after free agency.

Chris Canty was also tendered for $2.017 million, any team going after Canty would have to give up a first round draft pick in the deal. Canty is a 3-year veteran who had an impressive year in ’07. I would like to see him remain in Dallas.

Guard Joe Berger received the $927,000 tender.

Irving native Tyson Thompson was not offered a tender and therefore will probably no longer be in Dallas.

Fullback Oliver Hoyte was waived today. He spent alot of time injured and never really brought anything to the table. His football career may come to an end.

Unrestricted free agents include Julius Jones, Keith Davis, Flozell Adams, Nate Jones and Jacques Reeves. The Cowboys may go up until the 11pm deadline negotiating with Flozell Adams. I wouldn’t be surprised if Keith Davis ends up in Miami. As for Julius, Nate and Jacques, good luck out there guys!

***UPDATE: The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Flozell Adams has agreed to a multi-year contract, terms to be announced tomorrow.***

Player News: Offensive Concerns

I just wanted to share some tidbits I found while browsing Cowboys news. Not much is going on but Jerry Jones did share some of his thoughts on some positions and players.

Jerry Jones said he is confident that Terry Glenn will be a factor next year. He admitted he hadn’t talked to Glenn but from what he understood from other inside sources, Glenn is going to play without surgery and will be ready to go.

There is concern about injury in the position after what happened with Glenn and Owens in the postseason. Behind those two veteran players are Patrick Crayton, Sam Hurd, Miles Austin and Isaiah Stanback for starters. The Cowboys have some nice up-and-coming players but what happens if or when your older veterans get injured? Good question…

Jones also talked about the possibility that Flozell Adams may not be with the Cowboys next year. He said a deal could still be made but in the case that he leaves, Leonard Davis could start at left tackle.

Despite his tendencies to rack up false start penalties, Flozell was a great part of Tony Romo’s success. Covering Romo’s blind side is a huge job that Flozell handled very well. Davis played right guard and was also elected to the Pro Bowl in that position, so if he moves to LT we in turn lose a Pro Bowl right guard. I think we need to try and keep Flozell if at all possible.

 

Sunday Spot by Fredooch

Hey guys whats up? Sorry I didnt write on my Spot last week but I was busy attending to some personal things but I am back. I got many emails asking me what happened! Geez! I miss one Sunday and you guys freak! Chill out guys! I’m Back! So lets get started with some Tidbits & Notes.

The NFL Combine is going on as we speak. I really dont put too much into this aspect of Pre-NFL Draft workouts. There have been several high profile collegiate athletes who perform at the NFL Combine to stellar reviews only to become NFL Busts. I prefer to look at game situational film and overall performance from the 1st to 4rth quarter if Im in an NFL War room. I just dont get it but anything to parade these future Hall of Famers around is great by NFL standards I guess. Thats my 2 cents on that.

The Dallas Cowboys signed Zach Thomas to a 1 year 3 million dollar deal. Now I know many of you are groping and griping about this signing stating that we have more pressing needs than a has been, concussion prone linebacker. Personally, I think it’s a great signing for 3 reasons. First, It’s CHEAP! Thomas will make 1 million in base, got a 1 million dollar signing bonus and the other million is incentive laden. So that means, Thomas would have to beat out Ayodele for starting positon during training camp, start 16 NFL regular season games, have over 100 tackles, make the Pro Bowl, and be voted an All-Pro probably to make the other million count in his favor. So all this deal is costing us is 2 million dollars up front. Not bad for a 7 time Pro Bowler. Second, Thomas passed a medical evaluation by the Cowboys medical staff. He is at 100 % people. Dallas would not of signed him considering how severe the concussion he suffered last year was and if there were still any lingering effects. Thomas is a tackling machine. If he is anywhere near what he is capable of and performs at that level, we just might of signed the STEAL of free-agency this year. And Third, He is and grew up a HUGE COWBOY FAN. Thomas compared yesterday’s signing to that of how he felt on Draft Day. His family was so ecstatic by the signing as well. Thomas stated he felt so re-energized and ready to go. So you see folks, chill out on this signing. It might be a blessing in disguise.That my 2 cents on that!

I have a HUGE GRIPE to pick with the city of San Antonio. Due to scheduling problems at the Alamodome, the Dallas Cowboys will not hold training camp in San Antonio, Texas this year. I am PISSED people! If the Dallas Cowboys signed a 5 year contract to hold training camp in San Antonio last year wouldn’t that make the city of San Antonio in breach of contract? Or the Alamodome? What puzzles me is that someone with a college degree in the scheduling department at the Alamodome would schedule a Church convention during the time the Cowboys would be in San Antonio during training camp. I just don’t get it. I am sure that the city of San Antonio is going to lose millions of dollars in revenue and tourism because of this fiasco. It’s a shame, really a shame. I have tried repeatedly to get in contact with someone who makes decisions at the Alamodome to no avail. I have tried both emailing and calling them. Can never get a straight answer. Oh well, theres always next year right? That my 2 cents on that! 

Finally, I will be conducting the 1st ever LoneStarStruck NFL Mock Draft next week. Be sure to look out for that one. I will be creative as well folks. I will throw in some draft day trades in there. It’s really not going to be anything like any of the other NFL Mock Drafts the other guys have, so be sure to check it out. Also if any of you guys want to hit me up on myspace, here is the link! Send me a friend invite! Cowboys Alliance . Thats my 2 cents on that! So thats all for now kiddies! See ya next time! Same Cowboys Time! Same Cowboys Place! Same Cowboys Channel! 

Dallas signs Zach Thomas to One Year Deal

The Dallas Cowboys have signed veteran Pro Bowl linebacker Zach Thomas to a one year deal worth approximately 3 million dollars. It is expected that Thomas will compete with Akin Ayodele for the starting job come training camp. AKin Ayodele’s performance in the latter half of the season came into question as both his presense and tackles diminished as the season wore on. It is also no secret that Dallas coach Wade Phillips loves Zach Thomas and strongly believes he is still capable of playing at a Pro Bowl level. Thomas was offered a contract by both the Patriots and Saints before deciding to sign with Dallas this morning. Texas native Thomas also grew up a Cowboys fan. 

Cowboys Designate Hamlin as Franchise Player

According to several NFL sources, Pro Bowl safety, Ken Hamlin has been designated with the franchise tag by the Dallas Cowboys.

Ken Hamlin is coming off of a fine season in which he established himself as a force in the secondary and earned Pro Bowl honors in the process. It was believed that after the season the Cowboys would sign the 27-year old to a long term deal, but that still may happen despite the franchise designation.

There was some speculation that Flozell Adams may have gotten the tag instead so that the Cowboys could keep the 33-year old tackle on a one-year deal rather than giving him a longer term deal. However that speculation ended when it became apparent that the team would have had to pay him about $9 million dollars for the season.

Hamlin will be paid $4.4 million next season.

Players who are designated franchise players receive a salary that is the average of the top five players at their position.

The bottom line is we have Ken Hamlin in the fold and that’s a good thing!

Go Cowboys!

 

Veteran Star, Rookie Pro Bowler

Prior to this past season Greg Ellis never finished a season with more than nine sacks. Despite coming off a big injury in 2006, Ellis had an astonishing performance finishing with 12 1/2 sacks in 2007. He was awarded NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year for his amazing year that didn’t even begin until week 4.

During the off season last year, a lot of people wondered about Ellis’ allegiance to the Cowboys. He complained openly about wanting a contract renegotiation. Initially, he did not get his wish but right before his debut since his injury, $2 million was added to Ellis’ contract.

In his ten years with the Cowboys Ellis has had some bumps along the way, but in the end he has always come through as a dedicated player. He is known as a mentor and a role model on the field and in the locker room.

You’ve got to give credit to a veteran who can come off an injury like he did and have his best season as a professional football player. Ellis was honored to be finally be selected to play in Hawaii.

"It’s a great feeling to be honored, to be going to the Pro Bowl," Ellis said. "You can’t put too much on it. A lot of guys like myself that have never been and they should’ve gone, in my opinion. But when you’re number is called to go, it’s a tremendous honor."

Once again, congratulations to Greg Ellis, its been a long time coming!

*****

Check out this video clip of Ellis and Williams, the 12th and 13th Cowboys selected to this year’s Pro Bowl.

http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80696539

NFL Network talks with Cowboys LB Greg Ellis and S Roy Williams

Lucky Number 13

It was announced today that Greg Ellis will join the dozen other Cowboys in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl next month. Ellis will replace the Bears linebacker Lance Briggs on the roster.

It was thought by many that Greg Ellis was snubbed when he was not selected for the Pro Bowl this year. He had a career year and was also named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year.

This is Ellis’ first Pro Bowl selection in 10 years. Congrats!

The 13 Pro Bowl Cowboys 

Starters:
WR Terrell Owens
TE Jason Witten
OT Flozell Adams
G Leonard Davis
C Andre Gurode
OLB DeMarcus Ware
K Nick Folk
*QB Tony Romo
**S Ken Hamlin
Backups:
OLB Greg Ellis
S Roy Williams
RB Marion Barber
CB Terence Newman
* – Likely starter for Packers QB Brett Favre, who has announced he will not play in the game.
** – Named as a backup safety but will move into starting lineup for late Redskins safety Sean Taylor.

Info from dallascowboys.com

Looking at Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents (6)

  • LT Flozell Adams
  • S Ken Hamlin
  • RB Julius Jones
  • S Keith Davis
  • CB Jacques Reeves
  • CB Nate Jones

Restricted Free Agents (5)

  • RB Marion Barber
  • DE Chris Canty
  • LS L.P. Ladouceur
  • RB Tyson Thompson
  • OL Joe Berger

Exclusive Rights Free Agents (4)

  • DE Stephen Bowen
  • OL Cory Procter
  • CB Evan Oglesby
  • TE Tony Curtis

In my opinion the Cowboys must keep Marion Barber, Chris Canty, Ken Hamlin and Tony Curtis. I believe all of those players will help the future of this team. Some might add Flozell in with those names, but he just has too many penalties, and we all know when it comes down to it, penalties can make or break a game. Free agency signing period begins February 29th.

Cowboys fans have fallen in love with Marion Barber. With his rough style that earned him 10 touchdowns and 975 yards as the back-up running back to Julius Jones, its clear why they love him.

 

 

Chris Canty started to shine this year. The 25-year old defensive end had 3.5 sacks and 43 tackles. He is a restricted free agent, but is expected to sign a deal similiar to Jay Ratliff’s 5 year-20 million.

 

 

Ken Hamlin, who signed a one year deal last year, has had a successful year. He had 5 interceptions, 62 tackles (45 solo) and will start in the Pro Bowl next month. That’s more than enough reasons why the Cowboys should give him a contract.

 

 

Tony Curtis, the third string tight end, showed great potential earning 3 touchdowns from only 3 receptions in 2007. He also looked really good in pre-season. Being an exclusive rights free agent, he really has no say in the matter, but I’m sure he will be a Cowboy in 2008.