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Draft Day Fast Approaching

As the 2009 NFL Draft fast approaches, I have read many articles about what the Cowboys will do with their first pick. All of these are opinions of course which is what makes draft day so much fun. Do they go best talent on the board no matter what position? Do they go for best talent in the most needed positions? Do they try to get back into the first round? Will Jerry Jones make a move that will change the whole look of the Cowboys draft? The Cowboys have 11 draft picks this year and I think it’s a great opportunity to add talent, depth and maybe even find those gems in the later rounds.

I would think Safety would be the Cowboys first concern with the release of Roy Williams and the options they currently have to play alongside Ken Hamlin. They have Keith Davis, Pat Watkins and newly signed Gerald Sensabaugh on the roster, but if either Louis Delmas from Western Michigan or Patrick Chung from Oregon are still available at pick 51 I would think it would be hard to pass them over. Both are excellent Safeties and should be able contribute early for the Cowboys and maybe even become a starter.

Then there is the question of Wide Receiver? What happens if there is still a top receiver on the board come pick 51? What if players like Hakeem Nicks or Brian Robiskie is still available for the Cowboys? You can’t have too many weapons on offense if you ask me. The Cowboys have Roy Williams, Patrick Crayton, Miles Austin and Sam Hurd, but if we can add a game breaker at wide receiver it will be hard to pass up.

There are so many options and only a few minutes to make the pick. I’m sure whatever the pick is it will be debated by all. Come pick 51 I’m not sure I would want to be Jerry Jones and Wade Phillips. I believe they will have a lot of options and directions they can go to add more talent to the already talented Cowboys roster. When it comes to Jerry Jones anything is possible. Draft Day is like Christmas morning…you know you’re going to get things, you just hope they are things that will be great! Will the players selected be the missing pieces to the Cowboys puzzle? Time will tell. All I know for sure is that I will be sitting, watching and waiting this weekend as I always do.

Wide Receiver, Sam Hurd Signs Cowboys’ Tender

According to the Dallas Cowboys’ official website, wide receiver Sam Hurd signed his one-year, $1.545 million tender on Monday, leaving Miles Austin as the Cowboys’ only remaining unsigned restricted free agent.

The Cowboys retained exclusive rights to Hurd and Austin last Friday when the NFL restricted signing period ended. Austin has yet to sign his similar one-year, $1.545 million tender, but teams no longer can pursue him as a free agent. The Jets visited with Austin earlier this month but decided not to risk yielding a second-round pick to the Cowboys, the required compensation if the Cowboys decided not to match an offer sheet.

If Austin remains unsigned by June 15, the Cowboys would be allowed to reduce his qualifying offer, but both scenarios are unlikely. Austin figures to be an important part of the offense without Terrell Owens and could be in line for an extension at some point.

It looks like the Cowboys will be playing with the cards that they were dealt,  as talk of adding another receiver has almost grounded to a halt. They may still add a receiver in the draft, but for those of you who were expecting a big free agent signing or trade after the team released T.O., don’t count on it.

Cowboys and Austin Talking Long Term

According to several sources the Dallas Cowboys and restricted free agent Miles Austin are negotiating a long-term contract.

Free agency deadline is today at 3:00 p.m. and Austin has yet to sign his $1.54 million tender.

Wide recievers Austin and Sam Hurd are the only free agents left to make a decision. Hurd is expected to sign the tender possibly Monday while Austin may be holding out for a contract agreement.

Austin visited New York and the Jets, however the Jets decided against pitching an offer. They weren’t ready to give up a second round pick for the 24-year old undrafted player.

Free Agency Deadline Is Today

This is it people. Today we finally retain Miles Austin and Sam Hurd, unless they recieve an offer from another team.

Now, we can almost be certain that we will be entering the draft with 11 draft picks. 11 picks that we can use or trade. Exactly what we do with those 11 picks we will just have to wait and see.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the Cowboys may even trade a player like Sam Hurd with a combination of picks to move up in the draft.

One thing is certain though, with free agency coming to an end it becomes much easier to forecast what the Cowboys will do in the draft.

How do you think the Cowboys should handle the draft?

Cowboys Extra Points: SCORE, Parking and RFA’s

Restricted free agent Stephen Bowen signed his $1.545 million tender offer. The defensive end had 17 tackles last year and will play behind Igor Olshanksy and Jason Hatcher.

There are only two restricted free agents remaining. Wide receivers Sam Hurd and Miles Austin have not signed their tenders. Free Agency ends on April 17th.

Cowboys star tight end Jason Witten was recently honored with a $20,000 grant from NFC Charities. Witten’s foundation named S.C.O.R.E. Foundation works with shelters for battered families.

The Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers have come to an agreement regarding parking spaces. Cowboys fans will be allowed to park in the Rangers parking lots on gamedays. This should ensure that all fans will be able to park no further than a mile from the stadium. The Rangers will keep nearly 100% of the revenue from their lots.

Dates to remember:

A rookie minicamp is set for May 1-3, just a week after the 2010 NFL Draft (April 25-26).

Organized team activity days are set for May 19-21, 26-28, June 2-4 and 8-10.

A mandatory minicamp will be June 16-18.

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.

Anyone Have Any Spare Receivers?

Good morning Cowboy fans,
 
The Cowboys got out of Texas Stadium with another pre-season win (and thank goodness the last one) or should I say they limped out? That’s right if you happen to be to busy to attend the game or watch on television because you knew it would be a “roster cut” game then you missed Sam Hurd go out with a sprained ankle. Hurd was expected to be the third receiver when Terry Glenn was cut 30 minutes after camp started. Is this an omen? Does Terry Glenn have some kind of spell over the Dallas receivers? Well this writer has never been superstitious, but I have been known to change my Cowboys jerseys 2 or 3 times during a game if things are not going well! Hurd was the third casualty at the receiver position in the pre-season after losing Miles Austin and Isaiah Stanback in earlier pre-season games. None of the injuries are season ending ones but all will require a few weeks to get back and none of the three will be ready for the Cleveland opener.
 
Seriously we are just experiencing a series of bad luck in the receiver core and it will get better. We were fortunate the last couple of years that we were virtually injury free. I guess it is just our turn, or maybe it is the Terry Glenn hoax. Either way we are left with actually two experienced receivers in Terrell “T.O.” Owens and Patrick Crayton. I guess they will have to be our “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” when the Cowboys ride into the “Dog Pound” this Sunday. The most interesting thing about the receiver injury situation though is that “cut down” day to the magic 53 is Saturday. Who would have ever thought Danny Amendola or Mike Jefferson would now look so valuable to the Cowboys roster?
 
Now the rumors still continue to fly that the Cowboys are talking to Atlanta about veteran Joe Horn and Anquan Boldin still wants out of Arizona. The only problem with those two prospects is that Horn is almost as old as “Crazy Ray” and earlier in the year when Jerry Jones talked to Arizona about Boldin, the price was way to steep. Well Jerry if you still have any ideas about acquiring Boldin now, after the rash of injuries we have had, I would only venture to guess the price just went up!
 
I will close with good news that most of you already know. Adam “Pacman” Jones is now officially a Cowboy after receiving word from the Commissioner’s office he has been reinstated. Now “Pacman” spend your evenings with quality friends and prove to me what I have been preaching to the nay-sayers and the haters ever since I got word you would be wearing the sacred star. You truly are a superstar on and off the field. Good luck Adam, I am rooting for you as all true Cowboy fans are.
 
GO COWBOYS!!

Da Boys and Da Broncs……Preseason Week 2.

Week 2 of the preseason has arrived! GAMEDAY! Cowboys at Broncos. 8 pm/Central.

Tonights game should be a fun one to watch. The Fort Worth Star Telegram is reporting that all of the starters will play the entire 1st quarter. Tony Romo, MB3, Witten and TO will come out around that time with the remaining starters playing the entire 1st half. That means Brad Johnson will be in with the 1st team offensive line and he needs to prove tonight that he still has something left in the tank. If he struggles, look for the Cowboys to make a move early next week. We hopefully will see an improved Pac Man tonight too. He should get plenty of time tonight to continue to knock the rust off his game. I would like to see him get a few punt returns too. Miles Austin and Sam Hurd will continue to battle it out for that 3rd WR spot.

No major developments other than that. We all need to remember that this is preseason, the coaching staff wants to evaluate players in certain situations. They also don’t want to put alot of the offensive plays and schemes on film for other teams to study. Look for a simple game plan and plenty of Felix Jones and Tashard Choice tonight.

Terrence Newman, Anthony Spencer and Kevin Burnett are all out on the defensive side due to injuries.

ENJOY THE GAME!!

Cowboys fan for life – TD

Something Still Missing………..

The 2008 season is finally here… 

However, it feels like something is missing…

Flashes of Romo to Owens on a 45-yard post pattern is something that I cannot wait for, yet something is missing. Barber bulldozing the Giants defense for a 10-yard scamper, when it should of been a 2-yard loss is something to see, yet something is still missing. So what is missing?

It’s the guy opposite Owens, someone that can instill fear into the hearts of opposing secondaries… that is what’s missing.

Last year, the ‘Boys offense broke all kinds of records. (Cowboys records that is.) No quarterback in Cowboys history has ever had the year that Tony Romo had last year. The Cowboys’ offense at times looked unstoppable and scary. So why am I complaining?

Because the reason why the Cowboys lost to the Giants last year was arguably the missing piece… a top tier second receiver.

Yes, I know we had Terry Glenn back at the end, but he looked more like Aaron Glenn. Terry Glenn was at best at 60 % last year. He never had a chance. Patrick Crayton tried to step into his place, but when it mattered most, he messed up on a route in which Romo had him targeted for the go ahead touchdown late in the game. This is not a knock on Crayton, personally I like the kid ,but lets face it… he is not the solid second receiver this team needs if they plan to go all the way this season. He is, by all accounts a solid third receiver.

I really hope either Miles Austin, Sam Hurd, Isaiah Stanback or Danny Amendola blossom this year. I hope that one of them lights it up and can compliment Owens and give the opposition another weapon to worry about. I like all our receivers, but if one of them doesn’t step up in a big way, we are in serious trouble. Imagine for some reason Owens goes down… who’ will be your number one receiver now? Crayton? Hurd? Lets get real…

This years offense is the same as last. Jerry Jones didn’t go out of his way to try and land a another starting receiver through free agency or the draft. And that is the missing ingredient that would transform the Cowboys into the best team in the NFL.

Personally, I am not comfortable with fielding the same team we had last year at the wide receiver position. Jerry Jones should have acquired a solid wide receiver whether by trade or free agency. I know that Jones would like nothing more than to leave Texas Stadium as Super Bowl Champions and go into the new stadium as defending champs. How awesome would that be? New stadium… same great tradition.

So what do you think about our receiving corps? Are you satisfied or would you like to see the Cowboys try and land another top receiver?

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…..camp kicks off tomorrow and then the first practice is on Friday.

Cowboys Fan For Life – TD

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.

 

We Could See a Little of Everyone in the Season Finale

The Cowboys season finale will take place this Sunday at 3:15 p.m. central time, in Washington. Yes, the time has been changed, hopefully that will allow more regions to tune in to the final game of what has been an exciting record-breaking year for the Dallas Cowboys.

A lot of people believe the Cowboys can take it easy for this game, and some want the Cowboys to go full force. Personally, I’d rest the starters. Especially with the injuries we’ve encountered in the last two games, it’s just not worth the risk. I think Wade and Jerry agree with that theory.

Rumors are that Romo will take limited snaps and is expected to hand the ball over to Brad Johnson early in the game. Terrell Owens is of course out for this game, Sam Hurd will start in his place. The biggest news of the week though – Terry Glenn’s return! Glenn practiced with full pads today. He may come out a little rusty, but to know he is eligible to play makes me feel a little better about Terrell Owens absence this week.

Others are speculating Marion Barber to sit out for most of the game and let the ‘starter’ Julius Jones play almost a full game. Wade Phillips and crew have used both Jones and Barber all season, but differently than Bill Parcells did last year. They have split drives instead of downs for most games. Its been interesting, but despite Jones’ starting status, Barber has been more of a star. This was proven when Barber was recently awarded his first Pro Bowl nod.

I’m actually looking forward to seeing some of our backups play. It’s good to see what you have and I believe we have excellent depth all around this team. Of course, we wouldn’t be where we are – Home Field Advantage, First-Round Bye, No. 1 Seed in the NFC, etc. – without the starters who have been shining all year long. Take a break guys, we need you to rest up for the playoffs. We believe this is the year, we break that 5-time super bowl champs tie, and go all the way for #6!