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Cowboys Extra Points: Leadership, Legal Battles and a Ticket Giveaway

According to a USA TODAY article, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spoke up about Tony Romo:

“Contrary to some, I think he’s a natural leader.”

“I think his leadership role will naturally foment; his position and his talent at that position, and him exerting leadership is a big ingredient to us winning. … His awareness of his leadership responsibility is encouraging.”

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Martellus Bennett speaks up about the team and his youtube channel MartyBTv. Bennett says the locker room was never split and a lot of the rumors just weren’t true. He says this is “a whole new team and a whole new season”.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4316554&categoryid=2459789

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The DMN reported that litigations for the roof collapse from May 2nd are about to begin. Rich Behm has hired a high profile Dallas lawyer who admitted they have no plans to sue the Cowboys, and in fact can’t sue the Cowboys because of the workers’ compensation has received. Behm’s lawyer will be going after the company who built the structure that collapsed and left Behm paralyzed from the waist down.

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Former Cowboy Greg Ellis has caused a stir once again this time from the Michael Irvin Show on ESPN radio. Ellis reportedly claimed that DeMarcus Ware would come off the field so that Ellis could get playing time. Here is what Ellis said:

“It’s a disgrace when DeMarcus Ware comes off the field just so I can get in the game and when the coaches tell him to come on the field, he tries to hide so I can play. And you’re telling me we’re trying to win the Super Bowl?”

“He would say, ‘G, come on.’ And I would tell him, ‘No, DeMarcus, go ahead, man. You’re coming up on your contract year. Don’t mess that stuff up. Go ahead and do you, and we’re just going to do what the coaches, or whoever the powers that be, what they want to do.'”

DeMarcus Ware was on the The Ticket this morning and of course they brought up Ellis’ comments. Ware responded:

“You know, I just think that everybody got an ample amount of playing time, for what it was worth. At the end of the day, if I was off the field, there was a reason why I was off the field. Maybe Greg rushed the passer better against a certain guy. But I think at the end of the day, the time that guys got is how it is.”

Ware is just a great guy, what else can you say.

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Now for some awesome news for Cowboys fans:

The website StudyofSports.com based out of Arlington is giving tickets away to the Dallas Cowboys home opener on September 20th versus the New York Giants.

The contest runs from July 1 – August 31, 2009. The winner will be announced on September 4th.

Please visit their website for details and instructions on how to enter their contest. Here is the link:

Dallas Cowboys Ticket Give-Away!

New Facts In Collapse Investigation Are Discouraging

As the investigation regarding the Cowboys practice facility collapse continues, new information has surfaced that reveals the Cowboys knew about another tent collapse with the same company, but contracted with them anyway.

ESPN.com writes,

The Dallas Cowboys knew when they hired Summit Structures LLC to build their now-ruined practice facility that a similar fabric structure built by the company for the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority had collapsed in a storm, according to a port official.

Greg Iannarelli, the port authority’s chief counsel, said he was contacted by Cowboys official Bruce Mays not long after a warehouse built by Summit for the port collapsed during a snowstorm in February 2003. Iannarelli said the Cowboys were considering using Summit and were concerned.

“My recollection is they wanted to know what happened, and we weren’t sure at the time,” he told The Associated Press.

In another report by the DMN, they write that in that other collapse a judge ruled it was due to design flaws.

But a few weeks later, he said, port officials concluded that design and construction flaws were to blame. He said he could not remember whether he communicated those beliefs to Mays before the Cowboys hired the designer-builder, Summit Structures, in mid-2003.

A Pennsylvania judge later endorsed those conclusions and ordered Canada-based Summit to pay about $3.5 million in damages.

The Cowboys have declined to comment on why they contracted Summit in light of what they already knew about this other collapse and that it was due to design flaws.

Philadelphia Port Authority chief counsel Greg Iannarelli said he had several other conversations with Bruce Mays, the Cowboys’ director of football operations … He said he also sent Mays a copy of a Philadelphia judge’s decision in December 2006 stating that the warehouse’s collapse was due to design flaws.

All Mays would say was that he tried to do the right thing.

I’m sure we’ll hear more on this in the coming weeks.

File This One Under Bizarre

As the investigation continues into the roof collapse of the Cowboys practice facility, ESPN is reporting that investigators have now stumbled upon a strange twist.

According to their report, a consultant who helped the Dallas Cowboys with upgrades last year to their collapsed practice facility served time in a federal prison for his actions while connected to a violent drug-trafficking ring, The Dallas Morning News has reported.

Jeffrey Lawrence Galland, the former engineering director of JCI, a Las Vegas-based company, was arrested in 1994 and charged with burglary and assault after he broke into a home and pointed a gun at a woman in Great Falls, Mont., police there said, according to the newspaper. He was convicted of burglary and received probation in 1995.

Court records also portray Galland as part of a group that smuggled drugs from Washington state to Montana, the newspaper report said. Galland and an accomplice once used a shotgun and semiautomatic rifle in an attempt at collecting a drug debt, the records say.

It gets even worse.

Apparently the man who the Cowboys relied on to help upgrade the facility, submitted a resume filled with lies and distortions. He falsified educational credentials that says he received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Eastern Washington University. The school, however, told the newspaper he completed coursework toward that degree but never graduated. The resume also says he has taken classes for a master’s degree in structural engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the report said. Records show he ever attended the school, officials told the newspaper.

It all goes to the same things I harped on all last season. Character and integrity. Those two things should be our hiring criteria both on and off the field.

Rich Behm Has a Great Attitude and Ready to Work

We don’t really know too much about Rich Behm. He doesn’t talk in press conferences or pre-game shows. But as one big Cowboys family, his injury definitely hit home and we all sympathized with him and his young family.

After following stories and hearing what other personnel say about  Rich Behm, you kind of get the sense he is a real genuine good-hearted, hard-working family man who loves his job.

This report from AP really proves that even further.

DALLAS — Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Phillips says scouting assistant Rich Behm, who was paralyzed from the waist down earlier this month, is looking forward to returning to work.

 “His attitude is great and he’s looking forward to coming back to work for us. And we’re looking forward to that, too,” Phillips said Thursday night.

Behm was one of three members of the Cowboys staff seriously injured when the team’s indoor practice facility collapsed in a severe thunderstorm. Ten others were injured.

Former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin presented Behm’s wife, Michelle, a $40,000 check at the premiere of his reality TV show “Fourth and Long” at a Dallas area nightclub Thursday. Players, coaches and fans attended the event.

The donation was just a way for the community to show its support and “show how much we love him,” Irvin said.

Michelle Behm told attendees she believed her husband would walk again.

How You Can Help The Behm Family

Dallas Morning News reported that Michael Irvin’s premiere party for his reality TV show has been postponed in wake of the tradegy that occurred last weekend in Dallas.

They were supposed to have a glitzy premiere party for 4th and Long tonight at a trendy North Dallas night spot. Now comes word that it has been put back a week in deference to the events surrounding the bubble collapse at Valley Ranch.

And its now being called a premiere party “and benefit for scouting assistant Rich Behm and his family.”

Behm has been with the Cowboys organization since 2002. Although his name isn’t well known to the fans, he is definitely one of those very important behind-the-scene guys.

Here’s wishing Rich and his family the best in the difficult times that lie ahead of them.

For updates and to send messages to the family check out this site:

Rich Behm’s Road to Recovery –  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/richbehm/journal 

 

If you would like to send donations to the family, here is the info:

Rich Behm Family Trust Fund

BY MAIL:

Donations will be accepted by mail at the following location:

Bank of America

c/o Shelby Kirksey

5500 Preston Road, Suite B

Dallas, Texas 75205

Checks made payable to Rich Behm Family Trust Fund

IN PERSON:

Also, those wishing to help the family can walk into any Bank of America branch and specify that they would like to make a donation in person to the Rich Behm Family Trust Fund.

Cowboys Never Had Roof Inspected

According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Cowboys applied last year for a building permit to replace the high-tension fabric roof on the indoor practice facility that collapsed Saturday and injured 12 people. But the team never had city officials inspect any completed work, which is required by Irving’s building code.

In city documents released Monday, the team is listed as the general contractor for the reroofing project that was estimated to cost $600,000. Irving does not issue a building permit unless the general contractor is registered with the city. The Cowboys registered as a general contractor on the same day they requested a permit for the roof work.

City officials were aware that work began on the roof last year but never received word from the team that it was complete.

Team officials declined to answer questions about the work Monday.

Gary Miller, the city’s planning and inspections director, said the city probably will not pursue a building code violation citation. He said that if the building were still standing, the city’s approach would have first been to issue a warning notice.

But he said city officials will closely watch the results of any investigations.

Miller said the city’s building code requires contractors to inform the city when permitted work is done so city officials can inspect the projects.

“We rely on them to be responsible,” Miller said.

We should all brace ourselves for at least a dozen investigations, numerous law suits, and plenty of scrambling and ducking for cover as this story evolves.

I just hope that everything gets resolved quickly and that it doesn’t cast a shadow on our season. But most importantly I hope that the victims of this tragedy, particularly Rich Behm and his family, are fairly compensated and taken care of.

Where Do We Go From Here

Rather than discussing the rookie mini camp and what we may have found in our young players, we are all concerned and praying for the Cowboys staff who were affected by the tragedy over the weekend.

It certainly puts things in perspective. Can you imagine going to work, watching young guys work towards their dream, and all of a sudden -boom- you’re life is changed forever. The young scout, Rich Behm, will likely never be able to walk again.

He has a family, three young children, with whom he will never be able to chase around the yard or walk down the isle. Think about that for a moment.

Instead of preparing for the upcoming season, Joe DeCamillis will probably be going through rehabilitation for his broken back during the summer. DeCamillis just joined the team this offseason, and the Cowboys were very excited about him joining the staff. I certainly hope Joe will be back coaching very soon, but it’s really hard to say when he will be ready.

Sooner than later everyone will go back to their everyday lives and forget what happened. In my years as a Cowboys fan, I know how close this organization is. I hope that the Jones’ family is able to do something incredible to compensate Rich Behm and his young family.

We are all grateful that no lives were lost, however paralysis and a broken back are nothing to think lightly of.

Long after the headlines fade away these families will have difficulties in every day life. I pray that they are strong and able to get past this tragedy in time.

The team and organization will have to get back to work very soon. I hope they remember May 2nd as they take the field and are able to live out their dreams. It easily could have been any one of the players or staff. 

If there is anything we can take from this tragedy – let’s remember to be grateful, live each day to the fullest and never take any of life’s simplest pleasures for granted.

~May God Bless the Dallas Cowboys~

Tragedy in Dallas: Team Scout Paralyzed

The Cowboys issued a release moments ago announcing that Rich Behm, a scouting assistant, sustained a fracture to the thoracic spine that caused a severing of his spinal cord and permanent paralysis from the waist down. Behm underwent surgery Saturday night and  remains at Parkland Hospital in stable condition, according to reports.

Jerry Jones and coach Wade Phillips spent a large part of Saturday night/Sunday morning with the Behm family. More coaches and players visited the hospital today.

Jones released this statement:

“To the Behm family we extend our love, comfort, and the full support of every person and resource within the organization, Rich is a courageous member of our family and someone for whom we care deeply. We ask for all friends and fans of the Dallas Cowboys to join us in embracing him and his family with their thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time.”

Very sad news for the Cowboys family.

TD

Latest On Roof Collapse At Cowboys Training Facility

Ten people were transported to the hospital and two more were treated as walk-ins after the Cowboys’ indoor facility collapsed today, according to Irving assistant fire chief Rusty Wilson.

At least two of the injuries are considered serious. No further information was released due to privacy laws.

Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis was among those injured when the roof of the team’s practice facility collapsed during a storm.

Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple said four team support staff members were injured and all players and coaches were accounted for. He didn’t know the extent of the injuries of the four, who he said were hospitalized.

Assistant coach Brett Maxie suffered a laceration on his leg, a source told ESPN.com’s Matt Mosley.

DeCamillis was seen putting on a neck brace and being taken out of the team’s main office building on a stretcher.

Team scout Chris Hall suffered multiple arm injuries after being trapped underneath the frame, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The roof came down at about 4:30 p.m. ET during a severe thunderstorm while the team was going through the second day of a three-day rookie mini-camp. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, in a TV interview from the Kentucky Derby, said 27 rookies were going through the workout.

Witnesses said lights started flickering and shaking minutes before the collapse, prompting players, coaches, staff members and reporters to vacate the building. Several people were trying to exit the facility as the roof came down.

The storm was producing winds measured at 64 mph just before it struck the Cowboys facility, said National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Harris in Fort Worth.

A witness on the scene told Mosley that players and coaches raced back into the facility to try and locate people that may have been trapped. Coach Wade Phillips directed emergency crews to at least three trapped people, according to the Star-Telegram.

Dalrymple said rescue personnel were still going through the debris to make sure everyone was accounted for.

Irving fire-rescue officials ordered all reporters and team personnel away from the immediate area.

The roof is a large air-supported canopy with aluminum frames covering a regulation 100-yard football field.

Our prayers go out to everyone involved and we hope for a speedy recovery for those who were injured.