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CHATTERBOX

As a member of several Cowboys Blogs and subscriber to every online news that has anything to do with The Cowboys, I have seen lots of Chatter this week.

I thought we should open up a dialogue on all these things going on this week with you Starstruckers. It has been too quiet around here the last few days and I love stirring the pot anyway. (I am reserving my opinion on all of this because I think it would be more fun to hear from all of you.)

ROY WILLIAMS DOESN’T THINK HE FITS WITH THIS DEFENSE. According to what he has said to Greg Ellis, Roy isn’t sure he belongs in Wade’s defense. Roy’s keeping to himself, working out early and leaving at 7:30 am, before his teammates arrive at Valley Ranch. Greg appeared on The Michael Irvin Show after this came out. Greg wanted to express he was Roy’s friend and didn’t mean to cause him harm by publicly speaking about Roy’s dilemma. He says he is concerned about Roy and wants everyone to rally around him and support him. I have seen some really nasty things said by fans about Roy this past week. Really nasty.

T.O. IS ON A SITCOM AND ROMO IS SINGING AT A CUBS GAME. Many, many bloggers are griping that these two aren’t focused on their football, especially Romo, because they are appearing everywhere, other than at Valley Ranch.

MOOSE SPEAKS OUT ON TANK JOHNSON but GIVES HIS OK ON PACMAN. Daryl Johnston thought the character of Tank Johnson was questionable and spoke out against the hiring of Tank last season. He says Tank wasn’t going to lead the Cowboys to a Superbowl, so he wasn’t worth the risk. PacMan however is worth the risk, according to Moose who was quoted as saying “In this era of salary cap management, I like the way that they structured his contract," Moose said yesterday at the Cowboys Golf Club. "Now you’ve just got to keep your fingers crossed that he’s learned from what he’s done in the past and the support group within the Dallas Cowboys does its job. But it’s a tough decision. It’s a roll of the dice. You get tempted by talent”.

MARION BARBER and KEN HAMLIN STILL NOT SIGNED. Barber isn’t working out with the team and I guess he won’t until he’s signed. Jerry Jones says “Not to worry”. Ok Papa John….I mean Jerry, I won’t worry if you say so.

The Cowboys gave Barber a one-year tender of $2.56 million, the highest designation for restricted free agents. Hamlin, who was set to be an unrestricted free agent, received a franchise tag of one-year, $4.33 million.

TONY AND JESSICA……ON OR OFF? Can’t resist. Gotta get the tabloid blurb in here. Last week there were reports there were wedding bells. This week there have been numerous reports that it’s over. They haven’t been spotted together this week but they sure have both been spotted apart……hmmmmm.

Ok Starstruckers…………Talk to me!!!

 

Is Roy Williams Unfit for Phillips 3-4 Scheme?

Reading an article at Dallas Morning News, I found some news that was a little concerning. Greg Ellis quoted  Roy Williams saying that he doesn’t think he fits the defense.

"He said, ‘Greg, this defense does not fit me. I don’t fit in well with this defense at all,’" Ellis said. "So when he told me that, I was like, ‘Well, man, it’s still new. Get used to it and it’ll probably be fine for you.’" And obviously I think it came to be true. Just like he said, he doesn’t fit what’s going on here in Dallas right now.

"Now maybe this year, if they decide to keep him for this season, Wade and them will kind of adjust some things to fit him better."

I think we’ve all noticed the difference in Roy Williams and its not for the good. Is it because of the Wade 3-4 scheme? Who knows, but when you come in and workout and be sure to be out before your teammates arrive it makes people wonder.

With all the Pacman drama and your occasional Romo/Simpson nonsense we certainly don’t need to add in-house problems into the mix. Lets just hope the veterans can get their minds focused on the game.

 

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.

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

The Sunday Spot by Fredooch

Hey Cowboy fans, it’s me Fredooch bringing you your update for the week and my personal feelings when it comes to all things Dallas Cowboys. First of all let me say I couldn’t of be prouder to be on this staff than if I were a staff member on DallasCowboys.com. We have a great bunch of writers and staffers here and all I can say, and I can’t say it enough, thanks Kelly for making me part of this thing here on LoneStarStruck.com. Its both and honor and a pleasure.

 

Ok now onto the Dallas Cowboys Rumor mill:

*Rumors out of Miami and Detroit have all three franchises talking trade come draft day. Rumor out of Miami has it that Bill Parcells still thinks the world of OLB Bobby Carpenter (believe it or not) and that Carpenter will be shipped out to Miami come draft day for a 3rd rounder. Rumor out of Detroit has WR Roy Williams coming to Dallas for DT Marcus Spears and the 28th pick of the NFL Draft.

  • According to sources close to Dallas WR Terry Glenn, he will bypass having microfracture surgery on his injured knee to play one final year in the NFL. He hopes it’s with Dallas. If he is cut or released, he will retire.
  • Julius Jones, according to some sources wants to be a feature back in the NFL and has his eyes on either the Atlanta Falcons or Carolina Panthers.
  • The Dallas Cowboys are actively trying to lock-up RB Marion Barber III and DE Chris Canty to 5 year deals and both will be signed in the next couple of weeks. Expect Canty to sign a deal similar to the one Jay Ratliff signed during the season, maybe a little more expensive.
  • Jerry Jones is still EXTREMELY DISSAPOINTED about the loss to New York. Sources say that Jerry Jones wasn’t even able to watch the NFC Championship game this past week. EXPECT Jerry to sign a BIG-TIME free-agent this off-season on the defensive side of the ball. I say it’s going to be CB Marcus Trufant or CB Ashante Samuel. If it happens, remember where you heard it first. Everybody said that the Cowboys would never sign Deion Sanders because he was too expensive. Well guess what? Jerry got creative, which I believe he is the best in the business at, and signed Deion.

Now for my Dallas Cowboys ranting. I was a little disturbed last week by something DT Marcus Spears said after the Cowboys loss to the Giants in the post-game interview. I don’t know if any of you caught that interview but Spears basically said in a nut shell that some players on the Cowboys side didn’t give 100 %, including him, which is why they lost. Now, I know what you’re saying. He was just being hard on himself. NO! When Spears said this, he said it so nonchalantly. Like oh well, we lost, get over it!

The Giants wanted it more than we did. I don’t know if this attitude is the reason the Cowboys are actively “shopping” Spears but considering all things, I do hope we get rid of this guy if this is his way of thinking. It’s easy for me to sit here and criticize a guy but when your making more money than Police Officers and Fire Fighters make in 10 years, you bet your two cents you’re going to get criticized, especially by me.

If God had granted me the athletic ability of a Marcus Spears or a Roy Williams, yes our Roy Williams, and I was making millions of dollars a year to play a child’s game, then I would give everything I had on every play and leave everything on the field. If we lost, then I could go to sleep at night knowing fully well that I left everything on that field that Sunday afternoon. And when I retired, the only thing I would want to be remembered for by my peers is that every time they faced me, they feared me and knew they always got 200% from me.

I remembered I once was watching this NFL films program on Hall Of Fame lineman from either the Steelers or 49ers of the 70’s or 80’s I don’t recall and they asked him who the best player they ever faced across from them was. I remember this guy saying, and don’t quote me word for word here, “Oh man, that’s easy. It’s without a doubt Randy White. That guy was a Beast. He had this clock that would never stop ticking and whenever I faced him I was physically and emotionally drained. You always got 100 % from that guy. They called him the Manster. He literally was half man and half monster.” Of course Randy White was an All-Pro and Hall of Famer and a 1st Round Pick.

My point is that if everyone on this team gave everything they had two weeks ago, we would be talking Cowboys vs. Patriots Superbowl. But it wasn’t meant to be. I am not saying that Marcus Spears is a horrible player but he has not lived up to the billing of being a 1st round draft pick. Bobby Carpenter hasn’t either but at least Spears has been given the opportunity. So I will leave it at that Cowboy fans.  Well that’s all for now kiddies and remember, see you next Sunday. Same Cowboys time! Same Cowboys place! Same Cowboys channel!       

Eleven Plus Roy Equals Record-Breaking Twelve Pros

The NFL named Roy Williams to his 5th Pro Bowl Thursday, making him the 12th Cowboy attending this year’s Pro Bowl. Williams was chosen to replace the late Sean Taylor’s roster spot at safety.

This also breaks the record of Cowboys elected to a Pro Bowl. In ’93 and ’94 the Cowboys sent 11 players to Hawaii. Those years also happened to be when Dallas became Super Bowl Champions, 2 years in a row.

Roy Williams joins defensive teammates Demarcus Ware, Terence Newman and Ken Hamlin; as well as offensive players Flozell Adams, Leonard Davis, Andre Gurode, Jason Witten, Terrell Owens, Marion Barber and Tony Romo. The rookie kicker Nick Folk has also been elected, becoming the first Dallas rookie since 1990 to attend the Pro Bowl.

Ken Hamlin will move up to the starting free safety in place of Sean Taylor and Roy Williams will be the alternate safety. Williams described this honor as a blessing and plans to do something special for the Taylor family before the Pro Bowl.

In other news regarding Roy Williams, he has decided to change his number to 38 next season. This was his number in college when he played for University of Oklahoma. He also says this is reference to the bible. "Eight in the bible is regarded as a new beginning, and I feel that after this season it’s time to switch over," Williams said. "Switch to No. 38."

 

What’s wrong with Roy “The Hitman” Williams? I know! I know!

I vividly remember the day, Saturday April 20, 2002. The day Roy Williams became a Dallas Cowboy. Now, myself not really being a big college fan at the time, I had heard through NFL Draft Analysts how Dallas was targeting either Roy Williams that day or Ed Reed. Most analysts stated that Roy Williams was the bigger and better suited safety, noting nothing about his coverage skills at that point. I even remember one analyst stating that Roy Williams was a shoe in Hall of Famer whether Dallas got him or not. He has Ronnie Lott’s box presence and ferrosciousness and could cover out of the slot, so said one NFL scout. So then came Dallas pick #6 in which Dallas traded down 2 places with Kansas City and then selected DB Oklahoma Roy Williams with the 8th overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. I was elated and ecstatic! We already had Woody back there and adding Roy Williams? Damn, I immediately had visions of having the best 2 safety tandem in the NFL by far.

Fast forward to 2005. Roy Williams has been everything I expected. A big stout safety who is considered a spark plug on a good defense. Roy excelled his first 4 years in the league. Even starting for the # 1 defense in the league in 2003 and making his first pro bowl. He had at least one bone crunching hit in every game and led the league in interceptions as a rookie in 2002. You can safely say and argue the fact that from 2002-2005, Roy was the Cowboy’s best and most marketable player. His #31 jersey sold like hotcake’s and could be easily seen in Texas Stadium every Sunday afternoon. I myself was even guilty of this feat. I saved up $300.00 in 2003 to get my authentic Roy Williams throwback from the Cowboys pro-shop. It was my most prized possession for quite awhile.

The decline. I really didn’t want to believe that Roy’s skills were suspect. The big warning came in 2004 when Woody went down a had to retire. Roy was exposed! He couldn’t cover the deep receiver. Although Roy had great 2004 and 2005 campaigns, Roy gave opposing defenses an attack plan. Even though Roy was exposed, he was still that bone crunching hitter. He still instilled fear in opposing wide receivers that came over the middle. That just hasn’t been the case lately.

Fast forward to this season. Up until this year, I had been the biggest Roy Williams supporter. This season he has not only been suspect in coverage but he has suffered when playing in the box against the run. The last two weeks I have seen Roy take two bad angles on huge TD runs by the Packers and Lions. I even remember seeing Roy stiffed arm badly by an opposing RB earlier in the year. I don’t want to think that his skills as a football player are on the decline because he is only 27 years old and at times this season he has looked like he is 37 back there. So what’s wrong with Roy Williams you say? I have the answer or answers………..read on.

Answer # 1. Confidence. Most people who have ever played the game of American football will tell you that confidence in one’s own abilities is a big factor on how the athlete plays. Lately I believe that Roy has began to question his own abilities. His ability to not only cover but to hit as well. I believe he has began to hear and believe all the naysayers and boo-birds in the media and at games and it has begun to cast doubt. Once that doubt sets in, the player becomes vulnerable and susceptible to mistakes and that’s exactly what’s been happening lately to Roy.

Answer # 2. Fame and money. The say that Fame and Money changes a person for the worse. Roy just signed a 4 year extension in 2006 making him the highest paid safety in the league. Players become totally entrenched in things on the outside and forget the things that made them rich and famous in the first  place like playing football. I believe this answer is common for many athletes in the NFL today. I honestly believe that more than half of all NFL players are in it more for the money than for the love of the game. They start to forget how hard and grueling the road to the NFL was. It’s not an easy task people. Roy is a humanitarian. He spends alot of time helping charities and foundations he has set-up. Hey you all have seen those United Way commercials. I believe this answer does not apply to Roy for that fact, but hey I could always be wrong.

Answer # 3. He just doesn’t want to be a Cowboy. I know this is a little far fetched and out there but anything’s possible. The only reason I bring this answer up is because I have tried to keep an eye on Roy this year seeing what he does on every play. There are times in the game when the defense comes up with a big play and Roy has no reaction. Like he doesn’t care. I have seen this reaction a few times. Roy, at least to my knowledge, has always been an emotional player. Every time he made a big hit or big play in the past, he has always shown alot of emotion. Same when someone else on defense had a big play. You would always see Roy be one of the first players to show some congrats. Haven’t seen that lately as well.

So there you have it. Some of you might agree with what I have to say and some of you may not. I honestly believe that if Roy was playing the way we are used to seeing Roy Williams play in previous years, this defense would be special. I have always been a great Roy Williams supporter but lately, like this whole season, its been hard to defend the guy. I would love nothing more than to have Roy turn around and start hitting some people like he used to. During the Green Bay game a few weeks ago I saw a flash of the old Roy when he came up on a running play and decleated Ryan Grant at the line after he was stood up by Canty. That was the old Roy I came to love watch play. The only time this season I saw Roy knock someone silly. Anyone out there know where that Roy is?          

Contributed by Fred the Fredooch

 

Dallas Cowboys Weekly Poll Results

Here are the results of last weeks poll which asked: Who will be the Cowboys Defensive MVP?


 
No surprise here, DeMarcus Ware wins in a landslide with 61% of the votes! Roy Williams was in a distant second place with 29%.
 
Now for this weeks question.
 
As you all know, I am a diehard Cowboys fan. I "almost" always back our players 100% and I always give them the benefit of the doubt. I say almost because one of our players is really starting to get on my nerves.
 
Of course I’m talking about linebacker Greg Ellis.
 
I am not going to give you the blow by blow on all of his antics in the past 12 months, because I am sure all of you have heard his selfish comments and grown tired of his negative swipes at the team and the management.
 
This weeks poll question goes to the heart of the matter.
 
What should the Cowboys do with Greg Ellis?
 
1. Keep him and ignore his crazy antics.

2. Release him before things get uglier.

3. Trade him and shore up Special Teams.

4. Doesn’t matter he’s probably going to retire.

5. Fine him for his comments against the team.

Dallas Cowboys Weekly Poll Results

 

Here are the results of last weeks StarStruck Cowboys Poll which asked the question…

Which Of These Players Will Emerge With A Breakout Year This Season?

It looks like Cowboys fans are expecting a big year from wide receiver, Patrick Crayton this season. Patrick grabbed 43% of all the votes, with Linebacker Bobby Carpenter coming in a distant second with 28% of the votes. Personally I think both will have solid seasons this year, but my choice is Bobby Carpenter to really emerge and make his presence felt this season.

This week we will focus on the defensive side of the ball and ask…

Who Will Be The Cowboys Defensive MVP This Season?

1. Marcus Spears

2. DeMarcus Ware

3. Terence Newman

4. Roy Williams

Tell us who you think will lead the defense this season for our Cowboys.

Enjoy the game on Thursday night!

 

Legends of the Star – Darren Woodson

Darren Woodson was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys as a converted linebacker in the second round of the 1992 NFL Draft out of Arizona State University.

He played at safety for the Cowboys and was a five time Pro Bowl selection who developed a reputation as an effective run-stopper and was a feared and ferocious hitter. He was leader both on and off the field and was a mentor to many of the younger players, including Roy Williams.

Besides chasing and tackling ball carriers in the secondary, Woodson also was very relentless at chasing down and stopping kick returners on special teams. For many years, Woodson dominated at his position and was a threat to anyone carrying the ball within his range. Many of his tackles were so ferocious that he drew many fines from the NFL during his career.

However, doing all those things for all those years finally took a toll on Woodson’s body. After missing most of the season after having back surgery just before training camp, the hard-hitting safety announced his retirement in December of 2004. It was the end of an era for the Dallas Cowboys. Darren Woodson was the last player left from the 1992, 1993 and 1995 Super Bowl champions and he was also the last player drafted by Jimmy Johnson. His 1,350 tackles are the most-ever in Cowboys history. 

Just the mention of Woodson’s name can still make opposing wide receivers and kickoff returners cringe.

Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Cowboys Fans Have A Lot To Look Forward To

 

 

I’ve been asked by several friends how far I think the Cowboys will go this year. I honestly think we can go all the way. Of course as a Cowboys Fan I’m supposed to say that, but I truly believe it now.
 
One reason I believe this is true, going into the draft this Saturday, we have no desperate needs. I know that all of our starters are great players and there are no concerns in any particular area. I’m pretty sure Wade and Jerry are going to draft players for the future but right now we are "locked and loaded".
 
Our weaknesses last year have been strengthened this offseason. A completely reconstructed coaching staff and the players signed in the offseason were great moves by the Cowboys. You will see major improvement in our offensive line with Leonard Davis. Then there is Ken Hamlin, who along side Roy Williams will be monstrous.
 
Not to mention our young players who learned so much in the past year. Tony Romo has more experience under his belt, including the crushing last play of the season. Believe it or not, that play will make him a greater player. Then of course what about our big 06 draft pick, Bobby Carpenter. He is going to be huge this year. He only played a few games last season and we got a taste of what he has to offer. Tyson Thompson is well and ready to play. He was very exciting to watch on returns last season until his ankle injury cut his season short. I could go on and on listing players who have matured since this time last year.
 
Our veterans will shine as well. Greg Ellis should be back on the field and as good as new. I think Terell Owens will thrive more this season if he remains a Cowboy. Now that he has been in Dallas for a year, the hype will die down and plus the surgeries on his finger should have him catching more passes in those crucial situations that were missed last season. Don’t get me wrong he had great numbers last year, but imagine what he can do when he is at 100%.
 
We certainly have alot to look forward to as Cowboys fans this year. There is no reason anyone should doubt that this team will be anything less than spectacular.

Football Season’s Over? Yeah Right!

 

 

Well, I guess it’s safe to say that the football season is officially over… yeah, right! Who am I kidding? Football season is never over for a Cowboys fan, it’s a 24/7 365 days a week job staying on top of everything the team does, because it’s all about the "silver and blue" baby!

Let me be the first to say that our Pro Bowl Cowboys didn’t disappoint us in the least. Despite the loss, the only fighting chance the NFC had was due to our beloved Cowboys, and everybody knows it. I was totally impressed by Tony Romo, and I was happy to see him shake off the dust of that muffed field goal. We need Romo to get passed all that and it looks like Tony Romo is going to be just fine. And speaking of Tony Romo, several sources are reporting that Jerry Jones is going to sign Romo to a brand new contract extension and is 100% committed to Tony Romo leading the Dallas Cowboys for the rest of the decade.

As I look at the team now, I certainly have a few concerns, or should I say questions. Here are my top 5 questions for Dallas Cowboys as they enter into the new season.

1. I love both Julius Jones and Marion Barber equally, but both of them want to start and yet only one of them can. How does this situation resolve itself next season?

2. Wade Phillips is certainly the main man on the sidelines for the Dallas Cowboys, or is he? Can the laid back style of Wade Phillips be enough to temper the enigmatic Terrell Owens, or will the combination end up being lethal for one of them?

3. Can Wade Phillips rebuild the confidence of a defense that had a major meltdown during last 6 games of the season, and can he take players like DeMarcus Ware and Bobby Carpenter to the next level?

4. Speaking of defense, something’s gotta give in the secondary. There are too many questions regarding the effectiveness of Pat Watkins and Keith Davis. There are rumblings that Roy Williams may be asked to switch positions too. Should the Cowboys draft the best safety available in the NFL Draft?

5. What about all those Bill Parcell’s players like Aaron and Terry Glenn? Will they still be with us when the new season opens?

Sure there are many more questions than these to ponder for next season, but these are the ones that concern me the most right now. Yes, I also wonder if Martin Gramatica will be re-signed or do the Cowboys draft a kicker or, I shudder to think this, sign the best kicker in the free agent market?

We’ll see how it all plays out in the coming weeks, but rest assured I’ll be keeping my eyes open and my ears peeled for all the latest rumblings and grumblings from Valley Ranch.