Cowboys Secondary is a Primary Concern

We are three weeks into free agency and I have to admit am very concerned about our secondary situation.

First, we release Adam Jones, which even though he has skills was a must move. Then we trade Anthony Henry for our new backup quarterback. I still don’t understand the move with free agents like Garcia and Leftwich still out there looking for jobs.

Another questionable move was the Roy Williams release. As bad as he was in pass coverage, he is better than what we have right now.

The only addition to  the secondary is Gerald Sensabaugh, who is mediocre at best. Although Sensabaugh did have his best year in Jacksonville in 2008, he has had some trouble with the law. After being arrested three times, the latest in February, he may start the season on suspension by the NFL. This signing baffles me. He is the exact type of player the Cowboys are trying to avoid, but thats another story for a different time.

Safeties… So as of right now Ken Hamlin and Patrick Watkins are our starting safeties, with Tra Battle and Courtney Brown as backups. Sensabaugh will jump into the starting lineup whenever he is available to play. This absolutely scares me that we have no one better than him to start. Keith Davis is still on the roster but expected to sign somewhere else shortly. There is very little left out in free agency. A Darren Sharper or Mike Brown maybe, but signing Sensabaugh tells me Jerry is not looking for another safety in free agency. I have seen Patrick Chung in a lot of mock drafts being there for the Cowboys at pick 51. He is a Roy Williams type that has better speed to play the pass. He would be a nice addition to the secondary and I could even see him jumping into the starting lineup at some point in ’09. After Chung the pool of safeties is not very deep so lets hope he stays out there for the ‘Boys.

Cornerbacks… Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins are the starters right now, with Scandrick and Ball as their backups. This is the scariest position for the Cowboys in my mind. With three of the four corners having 2 years or less experience in the NFL and Newman constantly being injured, it seems like a recipe for disaster. I hear people say we need to let the younger guys develop. That’s the smart thing to do, but you don’t develop them by throwing them out into the starting lineup on a team that should be contending for the Super Bowl. Jerry needs to sign a veteran so the younger guys can learn by being out there on 3 or 4 receiver sets.

Scandrick and Jenkins have skills but I’d much rather see them learning against a 3rd or 4th receiver rather than getting torched by a one or two. Ken Lucas was released last week, I would love to see Jerry go after him. Other than that Dre Bly and Chris Mccallister are the only semi-decent corners left. Taking a corner in the draft just isn’t going to happen. The ‘Boys have three young talented guys they just need some guidance from experienced veterans. I don’t even want to think about how devastating it would be if Newman got injured, but recent history has shown us there is a good chance.

I know a lot of you are saying as long as we get pressure on the quarterback the young guys will be fine, right? Yes, we led the league in sacks last year, but (and I am not going to throw a big stat at you) the Cowboys had no consistent pressure at all! (Igor Olshansky should help.) Games like the Tampa, Seattle, and San Francisco  are a great examples. Yes we won the games and yes we stopped them in the red zone, but these three pathetic offenses moved the ball on us at will between the twenties. If those were decent teams we could just as easily lost.

Honestly, I hope I am wrong and that the young guys thrive. I just don’t see how we can contend for our sixth ring with the secondary in the shape it’s in.

 I am going to leave you with my stat of the offseason. The Cowboys only had 8 interceptions last year. Yes, that’s right, only 8! One pick was by a pass rush specialist, Greg Ellis, and four by Newman, that leaves only 3 picks by the rest of the secondary. That is pathetic! Only Detroit and Denver had less interceptions than the ‘Boys did last year. The Cowboys need to improve the secondary or we have no chance of contending for the Super Bowl in ’09.

How Do We Replace T.O.’s Game?

So here we are three days after we let Owens go, a huge mistake in my opinion. How exactly are we going to replace his offense?

Roy Williams will assume the number one spot although he has yet to prove he deserves it. He is paid like a number one receiver, but I cannot see him commanding the same respect that defenses showed Terrell.

As of right now Miles Austin is slotted as the number two receiver, with Crayton still in the three slot. Miles has game, but a number two receiver? I’m not so sure about that. Crayton is where he needs to be. He has proven he can thrive in the slot position.

Then there is Sam Hurd and Isaiah Stanback. Hurd was showing some promise in 2007, but injuries kept him from playing all of last season. Stanback in my eyes is a bust, he has shown little promise as a receiver.

Which leads me wonder, is this who Tony will throw to in 2009?

Now some might think Witten will step up another notch, but I actually think losing T.O. is going to hurt him more than any other player on this team. I have a feeling defenses will be doubling Witten and leave Roy in one on one coverage. Now if Roy can run some decent routes and make some catches it will ease the pressure off of Witten, but that remains to be seen.

Martellus Bennett could be a wild-card in all of this. If he can take the next step, he may be able to make some big plays with all the attention focused on Witten. Lets hope his mind is on the game and that he has matured in the offseason, because he has big-time talent. 

Is Jerry going to  add a veteran to move into the two spot? There isn’t much out there in free agency to fill the spot, Marvin Harrison maybe? Other than that, the best available WR is Bobby Engram, yikes!

There are some rumors that Torry Holt will be released and that the Browns are shopping Braylon Edwards… either of these two would fit in nicely across from Roy.

How about the draft?

Picking 51st in the draft, makes it unlikely that we will grab a receiver that can jump right into the starting lineup like a Michael Crabtree would. I have seen the name Juaquin Iglesias show up a lot in mock drafts for the Cowboys. He is a 6’0″ 205 lb. senior from Oklahoma, and has decent speed, running a 4.45 40, but jumping right in as a starter is a long shot at best .

I don’t know about you, but this Cowboys fan is extremely concerned about our receiving corps. I am hoping that Jerry Jones has something up his sleeve or it could be a very ugly season.

How Soon Before We Have A Name?

The idea of writing a blog with wild predictions and suggestions about the upcoming draft was shot down, by yours truly,  when I realized I could not have been more wrong about, well, pretty much everything so far this off-season.

What things you ask? Well let’s see. Ray Lewis will be a Cowboy. Um…no. Roy Williams(Safety) will not be cut. Um…no. T.O. is coming back. Um…you get the point. Should I go on? Um…no.

So instead I’ve decided to write about the new stadium in Arlington. Specifically what this stadium should be called. A lot can be said about a name. I’m definitely glad my name isn’t say…Sue for instance. No offense to any guys named Sue. But Cowboy Sue? I don’t think so. I think I should move along.

I’m going to throw a few suggestions out there as far as the name of this beautiful structure that will house America’s Team for the next several decades. Now if for some reason it already has a name and I missed that memo, please just smack me in the back of the head. It’s been a rough month.

Texas Stadium. Now that is pretty simple, right? But we all know there will only be one Texas Stadium. Would it be right to name the new girl the same as the old girl? Probably not.

North Texas Stadium. It’s almost redundant. I mean, I don’t hate it, but it lacks originality. But it is North Texas.

Jerry’s World. I mean after all, Ole JJ has poured a ton of dough into this gem. He has the right if he so chooses. Maybe Jerry Jones Stadium or Jones Field. The Jerry Dome. Um…maybe not?

Geico-Diet Pepsi-Texaco Stadium. We all know corporate sponsorship is a big deal nowadays. Jerry loves money and what better way to generate revenue than to have big wigs sponsoring the stadium. Maybe George Strait could do a duet with that lizard from the Geico commercials. Not sure they make cowboy hats that small.

The 1-B. Seeing as how every writer that even mentions the new stadium has to mention that it’s either The Cowboys $1 Billion Stadium or Jerry Jones’ $1 Billion Stadium, we’ll just call it the 1-B. Like, “I’m going to see Reba at the 1-B this weekend.” Has a ring to it doesn’t it?

So there are a few suggestions for you guys and gals to ponder over. If you have better ones(and I’m sure you do) by all means comment. I’m just throwing some out there for ya. I mean really… what the hell do I know?

But seriously, in my humble opinion, I know what it should be named.

Tom Landry Memorial Stadium. A fitting tribute to a man that was the face of the Dallas Cowboys for almost 40 years. A man that has earned the right to have something this grand named after him.

I may have been wrong about my off-season opinions. But in my heart, as a life-long Cowboys fan, I know I’m right about this one.


Trading for Kitna Was Just a Bad Move

I am hearing alot of people excited about the Cowboys trading for John Kitna, my question is why?

Kitna who will be 37 a month into the season is only a year younger than Brad Johnson was when he signed in Dallas back in 2006. Yes he has put up gawdy passing numbers in Detroit, but lets take a look at that.

In ’06 and ’07 he threw for more than 4,000 yards, pretty good numbers right? Well lets dig a little deeper, in 2006 the Lions were ranked 32nd in the league in rushing and in 2007 they were 31st. In 2006 only 2 other teams had attempted more passes than the Lions, and in 2007 only one other team had more attemps than the Lions. Do you see where I am going with this? Any average NFL quarterback can throw for 4,000 yards when your team’s running game is terrible and all you’re doing is chucking the ball up to guys like Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, and Mike Furrey. When your team is down that’s all you do is throw the ball and thats all Kitna did.

Not convinced yet? Ok how bout this, in 2006 Kitna was sacked 63 times, and in 2007 51 times. Just to give you a little comparison in 1990 Troy Aikman’s first 15 plus start season he was only sacked 39 times. In 2005 Drew Bledsoe seemed like he was being sacked at least once every series, and has always been known to take too many sacks, was sacked only 49 times. Kitna is not very mobile and more importantly not a smart quarterback with pressure heading his way.

Not convinced yet?? Well here is my final stat for you. Kitna has played 14 or more games in seven seasons, how many times do you think he has thrown more touchdowns than interceptions? Give up? That would be two! Only in 1999 in Seattle and 2003 with the Bengals has he done this.

What would be the reason we traded a starting defensive back for Kitna is beyond me. To save cap money? It was only a little over two million saved, so we would not get into a bidding war WHEN he was released? There are many back up quarterbacks out there that are just as good and a whole lot younger.

Pushing Tony for his position? Kitna has no prayer to start over Romo, if we wanted someone to push him we should have gone with Garcia.

We lost a starting defensive back (which we will have to replace with another veteran) for a late thirties average quarterback who was going to be released by the worst team in football.

Kitna is a Cowboy and I will root and love him just as I have for every player who has worn the star on his helmet, but god Tony please stay healthy!  

Cowboys Cannot Afford to Release T.O.

Ok we have been talking about T.O. being released since the day the season was over; well here are my thoughts on the subject

T.O. is a solid number one superstar at wide receiver, and there are not many guys in the league that have his skills and that command so much attention from defenses. Just his presence on the field makes everyone he plays with better. It takes that one guy, that FREE safety away from say, Witten running down the seam or keeps him from coming up to help contain Barber from breaking a big run. It basically puts everyone man on man which I would take everytime. His attitude is what it is, we all know what happened in San Francisco and Philadelphia. But I have seen a more mature Terrell Owens the last couple of years, he wants the ball and wants to win! We see him barking on the sideline frustrated with the way things are going, let me ask you this, if that was Tony barking would he be called a cancer? Or would we all be happy that he is finally trying to lead his team? It is not a coincidence that the Cowboys scoring offense was ranked 25th and 15th the two years prior to T.O., then it jumped up to 5th and 2nd his first two years, it is real simple he makes the team better ! 

I think releasing Terrell would be one of the biggest mistakes in Dallas Cowboy history.  If you thought Galloway for two first round picks was dumb, that was absolute peanuts compared to this if they were to let him go, unless it was a trade for suitable replacement its just crazy talk.  Some of the wide receivers that are on the trading block are Plaxico, Ocho Cinco, and Anquan Boldin , the only one that would make any sense is obviously Boldin, but that is highly unlikely. You think T.O. gets bad press playing for Americas team, can you imagine what it would be like for Plaxico and Ocho Cinco.  

Roy Williams in my opinion is at best right now a 1a wideout.  He has the skills he just doesn’t command the same attention that Terrell does, now if Jerry made the mistake of letting him go and moved Roy to the one spot who’s our two?? Crayton? I think he has proved the last two years he is nothing more than a 3rd slot receiver at best. Are Austin or Hurd ready to jump up to two?? Don’t think they are just yet… The deep playmaking threat would be gone and we would have just a good offense, not a deadly one.

So where do we get his replacement, probably not a trade or within the team how about free agency? Well after T.J. Houshmanzadah the cupboard is bare, he is the only guy that could come close to filling T.O.’s shoes. The Bengals just franchised Scott Graham so this pretty much assures he will hit the market. I won’t even mention the draft because with our first pick being in the middle of the second round it is more likely that I will root for Tom Brady (which will never ever happen) than us finding Michael Crabtree or Percy Harvin in the mid second round.

So there we are. We let T.O. go and it would be one of the biggest mistakes in Cowboy history!

P.S Did I mention if Terrell was released it would cost the Cowboys over 9 million dollars against next years salary cap YIKES!!!!!!

Why Jerry Needs To Fire The GM

First off let me say I love Jerry Jones as the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, his love and commitment to win is evident in the way he speaks about the Dallas Cowboys, now with that said:

Since Jerry bought the Dallas Cowboys 20 years ago he has had six head coaches two of them seemingly had some control over personnel, the rest were just Jerry’s puppets. When Jimmie Johnson was the head coach we had some outstanding drafts taking Aikman, Emmitt and Maryland as his first round picks, which led us to 3 super bowls, but after Jerry’s ego wouldn’t allow Jimmie to have more power  or take credit for the success. They parted ways and along came the puppets Switzer , Gailey , and Campo the drafts were horrible during these years taking players like Quincy Carter, Shante Carver, Dwayne Goodrich, David Lafleur and Sherman Williams with our first picks.  If any general manager in football had drafts like these he would be long gone wouldn’t he? luckily in 2003 I thought Jerry was checking his ego finally when he hired Parcells who is one of the best talent evaluators in NFL history. Parcells drafts included most of the incredibly talented team you see on the field today including James, Ware, Barber, Newman, and of course signing Romo.

There are only two teams in football that the owners act like the GM the Cowboys and the Raiders. Luckily we had  Parcells for three years or we would be right where the Raiders are, terrible. Jerry’s problem as a GM is that he has no eye for talent and that he always wants to make a big splash. The drafts between Johnson and Parcells were just horrible, then going after players like Deion, Eddie George, Chris Warren, Joey Galloway and most recently Pacman, T.O.  and Roy Williams. Doesn’t this sound like someone who just wants a big splash rather than keeping, let’s say the two first rounder’s for Galloway and building a solid team? The examples are endless during the puppet years and that’s the reason we haven’t won number six. Right now we have the talent to win number six but that’s not going to last forever. Jerry please fire yourself as general manager.

Boys 4 Life

Cowboy Bill’s End Of Season Rant

I’ve had trouble all season coming up with positive things to say. Bringing doom and gloom isn’t fun for anyone. I’ve noticed that most posts on this site have some sort of positive spin by most of the writers. I try to follow suit. But I couldn’t. I was so concerned with being labeled as a “hater” that I let virtually the whole season go by with nothing to say other than a few comments on other writers’ posts. Well now it is time for me to vent.

The phrase I’m so sick of hearing-especially from Tony Romo- is “It is what it is”. What that actually means is you know the answer and you’re not man enough to say it. You’re not man enough to say you’re struggling under the pressure. You’re not man enough to say it was your fault the team lost that week. But all we get is “Turnovers are part of the game” or “Give (enter team name here) credit”. That’s crap. Total and complete crap. It’s PR spin that I aint buying.

Terrell Owens needs to just shut the hell up and play football. Period. Maybe some things he says is true. But handle your problems internally, as a team. Reporters are looking for a story. He never fails in delivering the story. He’s an incredible athlete with serious personality flaws. He’s far too inconsistent to be pointing the finger at anybody. When he’s on his game there is no better. Unfortunately, those times are getting few and far between. Maybe his age is catching up with him.

Signing Adam Jones was the second biggest blunder of 2008. This guy looked lost from the beginning. He covers about half the time and has been a disaster on special teams. Whatever he “had” at Tennessee is gone. Long gone. The only thing that’s left is off-the-field issues that a team like this does not need. Send him packing. I beg of you.

The biggest blunder was signing WR Roy Williams. So far this guy has brought nothing to the table. The chemistry was lost when Romo came back from injury and had a new personality to figure out. Not to mention Williams is a horrible route runner and is afraid to get hit. We had great chemistry with Owens, Crayton and Austin. Williams is the odd man out and history will prove that.

“They had a good game plan”… “It took us until the 3rd quarter to figure it out”… “The defenses have figured out what we’re doing”. These are not direct quotes but close enough and are all BS. The Cowboys’ offense of the 90’s was very predictable. Difference is, even when defenses KNEW what was coming they couldn’t stop it. It’s all about execution.  Plain and simple.

Wade Phillips says he’s going to put together a plan. Can’t wait. A plan. Wow. Well, Wade, PLAN on kissing your job goodbye if your PLAN fails. How bout fining Romo $10K for every interception? Or fine T.O. when he decides to cry to Deion Sanders, on national TV, before a big game? Or fine your coaches for not having an effective PLAN to begin with! Fine Flozell and Colombo for false starts every freaking game! Fine DB’s for blown coverage. Fine WR’s for blown routes. Fine Folk when he kicks it out of bounds! DO SOMETHING!  ANYTHING! I’M SICK OF THIS HORSE CRAP YOU’RE FEEDING US FANS!

Stop talking. Stop making excuses. Fix this. Fix it now. We deserve better. A guy on the radio said it best. “Cowboys fans are paying for fillet mignon but what they’re getting is Hamburger Helper”. Enough said. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go take some more Tums.

One Down….. Two To Go!!

Going into last weeks game vs Pittsburgh you would have thought that winning 3 out of the last 4 games to go 11-5 would be enough to get in the playoffs.  After a HUGE 20-8 win over the Giants it doesn’t look like much has changed.  In fact, it looks like the only way to get in is to win the last two games! 

Now I know that we responded last night with a big effort in a must win game. But the reality of the NFL is that we now have only six days to do it again versus one of the best defenses in the league. That being said you have to like to way things are going right now. The way the defense has played over the last 6 weeks, and the last 2 specifically, have made me a believer. 

All we have to do is get in. I laugh at those who have picked apart the Cowboys December record, last year in particular. The Cowboys had everything wrapped up going down the stretch and didnt really need to win any of those games.

IF we get in (and it still is really an IF) this team will be the most prepared to make a run than any Cowboy team over the past 4 years. Our playoffs started last night. No weeks off, no time for the media to ask questions about the Super Bowl.

I think the 3-4 road record is a bit decieving. Two of those games came with Brad Johnson at QB. Look at Romo’s road record. Look at the way the defense is playing. Look at T. Choice running the ball. If we get in we will be a VERY tough out …IF we get in.


From where I’m sitting:

  • MB3 is tough as nails. He adds toughness to the team. BUT both F. Jones and T. Choice are better runners. We will see if they become better running backs, but either way the Dallas running game is in good hands for years to come.
  • Patrick Crayton 1 catch, T.O 3 catches, Roy Williams 1 catch… how did Romo have 20 completions again?
  • BTW, Roy Williams is a hell of a blocker.
  • The defense certainly looks a little different with a healthy T Newman, huh?
  • When is the last time a Cowboy LB has had as good a year as Bradie James?


If there was ever a time to rally the troops…

Hard to see this one coming. Think back to Sunday night September 21. Dallas was rolling over Green Bay in Lambeau. Tell me you didnt at least have the thought of an undeafeated season in your head. Best team in NFC AND NFL. Make your reservations for Tampa.  Hard to believe that was only six short weeks ago. 

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  

Now 5-4 and in last place in the NFC East and, as hard as it is to believe, the playoffs are far from a sure thing.  Sure the starting QB missed some games. Terrence Newman & Felix Jones being out hurt too.  But all of the Cowboys woes can’t be placed on injured players being out.  There were plenty of signs in the Arizona game that this team was flawed. All this talent and 5 wins in 9 games ?  Where do we go from here?

After all the injuries, poor play and coaching, the PacMan Jones saga and a rough start in the division the season can still be saved!!  One win in Washington can save the season.  Next Tuesday the practice field should look more like the 2008 Cowboys were supposed to:  Romo, Newman, Kosier, F. Jones, A. Spencer and Roy Williams.  Two weeks to rally the troops.  Two weeks to save the season!

From Where I’m Sitting:

-Brad Johnson.  Seems like a nice guy.  Too bad his last NFL pass had to be an interception.

-Finally hit me after 8 weeks yesterday how big a loss the Kyle Kosier is.  Without trying I saw Cory Procter get beat 4 times yesterday

-I really hope that we didn’t waste a first round pick on Roy Williams for 3 catches. I understand that it is unfair to judge him on 3 games with Brad Johnson but lets hope he can make more plays with Romo

-What was Mike Jenkins thinking on the last Giants TD run? 

-I know I’m reaching but did anyone else want to see an onside kick at 28-14?

-I say it every week that I love MB3…but we sure do miss Felix Jones

-Not sure that Witten had a catch yesterday…but man it should say something that he even gave it a go yesterday with a bye coming up..

A Win, is a win, is a win!!

I’ll take it!!! 

There is no such thing as a bad win in the NFL.  With the way things have been going around here ANY win is a good one.  This one was different.  Even the most die hard Cowboy fan (myself included) was waiting for Garcia to get a game winning TD on that last drive.  It didn’t happen.  Exhale now.  When we look back on the 2008 season yesterday may have very well been the turning point.  With visits to New York & Washington the next two games the Cowboys might not have recovered from another loss.  I know we can probably say the same thing in 3 weeks when we visit Washington.  This win was different.  There was no Tony Romo to bail the defense out.  The defense, and some Tampa penalites, saved the day and maybe the season.  We won’t know that for 8 more weeks but 5-3 sounds a whole lot better than 4-4!

From where I’m sitting:

  • Mike Jenkins- what a game!  The young CB’s really stepped up and showed they could play in this league.  If and when T New comes back  the CB position could be solidified for years to come
  • MB3 showed yesterday what a tough runner he is.  Unofficially 30 or so yards after contact.  Ran his heart out
  • I know it was only one catch but Roy Williams had the play of the game and maybe the season.  Just think if the ball was tipped in the air incomplete and the score is 6-3 instead of 10-6 at halftime.
  • Bradie James played like a man as well yesterday.  He is the leader on defense and he showed it yesterday
  • OK, not to throw cold water on a great win but the Brad Johnson tenure has to come to an end.  There is no downfield threat at all with him in the game.  Unofficially one pass deeper than 15 yards.  The Giants or any team is going to put 8 or even 9 guys up to stop Barber.  Can’t win like that.
  • Take a split in these next 2 and run.  But with the Giants at 6-1 and Wash at 6-2 and having already beat Dallas which win would you choose…..

A Loss For Words

The last four games has gotten my thought process out of whack.  I usually try to find the positives in all aspects of any Cowboy football game, but this past month has really taken a toll on my mind. 

I’m reaching and reaching for something good to take out of this past month, but there’s nothing there.

Sure the signing of Roy Williams was a plus, but after last Sundays game I felt horrible for the guy. After listening to all his interviews and how glad he was to be home, It sickened me to see how this team played to welcome him.

There… I got that out!

I am not going to vent or rant!  I’m sure everyone (including myself) has heard enough. 

 It has been sunny and clear here in Big D, but the dark cloud is hovering over EVERY Cowboy fan.  The look on a fan’s face tells it all.  It’s that ‘someone please say something wrong to me’ look.

I’ve tried to do the pep talk, saying things are gonna get better. I’ve tried the pat on the back, the sunshine and daffodils approach, but nothing. 

Literally A LOSS FOR WORDS from most everyone I have spoken to.

I myself have a few words:

Stunned, Embarrassed, Puzzled, Angry, and last but not least Ashamed.

Ashamed for the most part! Like Fred and Kelly both stated, the lack of leadership.

Soooo.. I went digging threw some vids and found some tape for the Boys to watch before they study Tampa Bay tapes! 

And also for all us loyal LoneStarStruck readers.

This video is is the creme de la creme of all things leadership should be!

The end segment of this video is the missing ingredient the Cowboys need for this team.

Bleed Blue and Silver Fans!

 We CAN turn this around!



Freedom isn’t “Free”

As the new dawn of a new season approaches, the 2008 Boys are thankfully faced with very few question marks. There is the ongoing Terry Glenn fiasco, which I don’t really understand, because if TG really wants to be on this team, then what is 700 grand to a multimillionare (the difference between his salary and his injury settlement)? And that is ONLY if he does get hurt. TD to Terry: sign the dang paper! The receiving corps is the standard question mark thrown about in the media, and understandably so, but I have enjoyed watching the development of Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd, and I think they are going to be consistent enough to offset any double coverage on TO. I also remind everyone not to forget that Jason Witten is the true number 2 receiver (number one if you go by receptions).

That being said, the other big question mark is the secondary. It has a little bit of a new twist this year in that we actually have a surplus of DB’s for the 4 to 5 spots back there. The candidates are highly paid and highly controversial. A rundown and a personal, unprofessional scouting report:


The Godfather: Roy Williams – 7th year – Oklahoma. The often criticized Roy has gone from the most popular Cowboy to the most maligned. Whether it is due to weight gain, lost confidence or even putting his faith and religion over football (as some have suggested), Roy has lost a big step and is very vulnerable to tattoed tight ends and deep bombs over the middle.

The Natural: Terence Newman – 6th year – Kansas State. T-New became another member of the secondary to cash in on a huge contract and bonus. The interception totals won’t make your heart flutter (16 for his career) but he is a true shutdown corner with speed. A team leader and well respected across the league. Will start every game as long as he is healthy for the next 5 to 7 years.

The Beast: Anthony Henry – 8th year – South Florida. Henry is a big, physical corner who is solid in the run game and the pass game. Injury prone in his first 2 years here, but when he is on the field, he has shown to be a playmaker with a knack for the football. He was given a huge deal in free agency and has shown to be worth the investment to this point. He needs to stay healthy and not get frustrated by any possible positional changes to continue to live up to the deal.

Mr. Consistent: Ken Hamlin – 6th year – Arkansas. Hamlin was left on the trash heap for any team to have prior to last season. The Cowboys signed him to a one year deal and he turned that into a Pro Bowl season and a brand spankin new 6 year, 39 million dollar deal. He will anchor the secondary and play more of a hybrid free safety/strong safety role in the Phillips 3-4 this year. 

The Wild Card: Adam “Pac-Man” Jones – 3rd year – West Virginia. Oh, everyone knows the story, but as the 6th overall pick in the 2005 draft, no one questions the talent. If he can stay focused on football and stay away from the strip clubs and Hennessey, the Cowboys will have arguably the best group of cornerbacks in the entire NFL. Stay tuned.

The Rook: Mike Jenkins – 1st year – South Florida. Jenkins will be paid as a late first round pick that he was so the staff will likely look to get him on the field. He was a big part of a great season for the South Florida Bulls who rose as high as Number 2 in the nation last year. Projected as a higher pick than he was and Cowboys traded up to get him. Great speed and agility. Bright future in the league, but still a rookie and will most likely not be left on an island against any seasoned NFL receivers.


So now that we know the pieces to the puzzle, we should look at the puzzle itself. There has been great conjecture from the media and the fans alike that Roy will be cut in a salary cap move. I am not going to sit here and say that it absolutely will not happen, I just see it as very unlikely. Primarily due to depth and injury concerns. Ask yourself one simple question, would you rather have too many or not enough?  The base defense will most likely have Hamlin (FS), Williams (SS), and Henry and Newman. Simple enough, no breaking news there. The questions begin when you factor in how well Pacma…oops, Adam Jones performs in camp and if/when he is reinstated, and of course injuries as well as matchups. I would suggest, in my humble opinon, we get Henry some reps at free safety during camp and when we play a team like Cleveland with a prolific passing attack for example, have Henry back at free safety and bring in Adam Jones and Mike Jenkins in at corner and nickel back, respectively. When we play a team like Philadelphia or San Francisco, teams with a west coast offense and not much of a deep passing game, keep Roy in there with his physical presence and intimidation factor, and put Jones in at the nickel in passing situations. That is as long as Jones doesn’t beat out Henry for the starting cornerback job…..whew. I am tired after all that. The bottom line is Jerry Jones has paid all of the DB’s alot of money and they will be a huge part of our ultimate success. To whom much is given, much is expected.  

All I know is that I personally would rather have too much than not enough!

It should be a great season… kicks off tomorrow and then the first practice is on Friday.

Cowboys Fan For Life – TD