Why Can’t They Get Open?

Patrick CraytonIt is hard to believe that we have four wide receivers on most plays, on some we have three, plus two good tight ends, yet none of them can get open. We have seen this in every game so far with the exception of Week 1 at Tampa Bay.

This game was one of the worst that we’ve seen for the Dallas offense. Every time Romo dropped back to pass, it seemed like there were no receivers going down field. When Romo did throw the ball it was either overthrown, underthrown or picked off.

What exactly is the problem this year? Even the Detroit Lions can throw to an open wide receiver, and they have only won one game out of their last 21.

I’m not sure if it is the play calling or the play execution. Whatever it is, the Cowboys need to get it corrected. We will not even make it to a .500 record if we cannot throw the ball.

We cannot depend solely on the run, as we seen against the Broncos. Sure, Denver has the number one defense in the league, but could we at least complete something when we need to? Romo completed 25 passes, but they were passes that only netted a couple of yards (with the exception of one to Sam Hurd in the final minutes).

Oh yeah, then there was the slant pattern two times in a row to Hurd in the last 30 seconds. I know we have better plays than that.

This week we may be without Roy Williams. Kevin Ogletree needs to come in and do something, along with the other receivers. Some how they need to get open.

Like most other Cowboys fans I love them and always will, but this is getting so frustrating. It does not seem to be getting any better.

Falling Miles Behind?

Miles AustinConflicting reports across the Cowboys media outlets have me concerned about Miles Austin. The wide receiver who was expected to step up this season hasn’t really given anyone reason to believe he can do his share for this team.

During the offseason Austin visited the New York Jets and fans were concerned about him possibly leaving the team. Turns out in hindsight that might not have been such a bad idea.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Miles Austin ‘hater’, I really like the guy and we’ve seen his potential and his smile lights up the stadium when he’s hauling in touchdowns. However, can he stay healthy?

Well, now they say Austin should be back to practice on Wednesday after being sidelined and missing numerous practices due to a sore hamstring. He was out last season, and this isn’t what you would call a nice start to a fresh new season.

The same thing can be said of Sam Hurd. Even our new number one Roy Williams has already been injured. These guys are way too young to be hurt so much, so early.

I should mention that Hurd and Williams did practice fully on Monday. I’m pretty sure Roy will be A-OK. Oh, and as for our youngest and newest receiver – Kevin Ogletree’s eye contusion seems to be all better as well.

Thank God we have a killer running back squad and arguably the best tight ends in the league, or I might be a little bit worried about our offense. Crazy thing is, there are people that have been arguing this point since the release of ‘you know who’ and I’ve ignored it and stood up for the WRs.

But you know what, maybe finally letting go of Isaiah Stanback is a sign that the ‘Boys have no more patience for lingering injuries…

Honestly, I hope they all recover and have a great year. That may be too optimistic but hey that’s what fans do!

P.S. Stay safe and healthy Patrick Crayton!

All Work and No Play Makes Wade A Dull Boy

The Boys had their final Alamodome practice yesterday and will be heading back home to Cowboys Stadium for the second preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.

Word has it the starters could play into the third quarter. Nick Eatman at gives good reasons for this unusual plan and it makes complete sense to me.

1. The Cowboys first game in the new stadium. It’s going to be one heck of a celebration.

2. It’s the Titans third preseason game so they are in that mode.

Eatman says Wade Phillips didn’t say how long the starters would play, just that it would be a lot more than last week’s game.

Another interesting story that caught my attention was Wade complaining about the running race between David Buehler and DeAngelo Smith. As posted earlier this week, the two rookies ran a foot race and DB Smith was burned by K Buehler in a 50 yard dash.

Coach surprisingly put his foot down and decided he was not going to allow any more “extracurricular activity” for fear of an unnecessary injury.

Not sure how to feel about that one. I agree we don’t want any injuries from horsing around, but these are athletes and competition is always a good thing. I think I will stay neutral on this because I can understand both sides.

Finally, ESPN’s Matt Mosley posted Three and Out: Cowboys over at this NFC East blog, basically only stating the obvious.

1. Get ready to hear a lot about the two-tight end offense.

2. The Cowboys could be in big trouble if there’s an injury on the offensive line.

3. The Cowboys could have 63 sacks if everything goes as planned.


We have been blessed with two amazing tight ends and we sure plan to use them to the best of their abilities.

O-line, ugh. What can you say? No depth.

Sacks for everyone! Roll call – Ware, James, Spencer, Ratliff…!


Big (preseason) game tomorrow! Everyone get your game faces on and hope our ‘Boys break in the new stadium with a outstanding win to remember. I let my boss know that I needed to get done early nearly two weeks ago, and I told him why. I’m setting the DVR anyway but you can imagine how mad I’ll be if I don’t make it home for a live kickoff. The Boys Are Back in Town!

FORWARD PROGRESS: Weapons Of A Different Breed

Forward Progress

Training camp is finally here! Rejoice Cowboys fans! Another beginning will soon be upon us, and this is the first step along the lengthy journey of the season. You win in December and in playoff games and in Superbowls by preparing both physically and mentally here in late July and August. I didn’t get a chance to hear much of the “State of the Cowboys” address by Owner Jones and Coach Wade, but let’s be honest, I don’t think I missed a whole lot other than some cliche’s and some hopeful optimism, not that there is anything wrong with that. I must admit that it is hard to be so close, yet so far away from real football. In a way, I am going to have to fight through a lot of the things that are going to be brought up and mused upon over the course of the next 3 or 4 weeks. You know, the usual suspects: Can Romo win in December? How will the offense perform without Terrell Owens? Can Wade get his players to stay motivated? Blah, blah, blah! I understand that the media has a job to do, but I am just not interested in the same ole, same ole.

Some of the things that I am looking forward to finding out over the course of training camp will be how the new additions to the defense are going to fit in, who will win the number two spot at wide receiver and maybe, just maybe, get a glimpse at how Jason Garrett plans to manage all of his unique weapons.

Ah yes, Mr. Garrett and his weapons. I can’t think of a Cowboys team in the past with a more unique set of offensive weapons than this 2009 outfit. It will be a challenge and a delicate balance to efficiently use all of the running backs and tight ends, as well as develop the chemistry and timing between Romo and Roy Williams and the rest of the receivers. I am excited to see what Garrett can do with this group. I still have confidence in Garrett, I think he did have some challenges and obstacles dealing with Owens last year and in the end I believe that it affected his play calling and game planning. That is just my opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

I think that the best thing for Garrett, Romo and the entire franchise would be to have the heart and soul and identity of this team actually be the running game. If you are able to establish the run week in and week out, then it makes everything else so much easier. You can control time of possession, and gain valuable field position by churning out those first downs. Honestly, if we are unable to establish THIS team’s running game than there will have to be major changes in many areas next off-season. The extremely well compensated offensive line, led by Leonard Davis, are just flat out going to have to open some holes and then let the three headed monster do it’s thing. We have 3 backs who could arguably be starters for almost 20 other NFL teams at least. There are other great backs in the league, but I can’t think of any teams who would turn down Marion Barber or Felix Jones, and very few who would not like to have a guy like Tashard Choice somewhere in the mix. All that being said, there are no excuses to not dominate in the running game this year.

Once we soften up the line of scrimmage, we can open up our can of beans and rice! We should be able to carve up the middle of the field as well as any team in the league with our dynamic tight ends. We have the top tight end in all of football in Jason Witten, who also will contribute to the running game with his solid blocking, and then the young, explosive Marty B as his sidekick. This will be one of the most exciting things to watch this year for me. It’s not exactly rocket science here. When it’s third down and six, look for Beans and Rice.

And then, when it’s time to really put it on them, as my boy Nate the Cowboy Ninja would say, just dial 9-11. Romo to Roy Williams, and don’t forget Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd. This is where the majority of the big gains will and should come from and if the running game is established and the middle of the field has been softened up by the tight ends, it will be easy pickings for an accurate passer like Romo.

Man, just looking at all of the options gets me really excited, we have the weapons. It’s time to optimize them and, bottom line, that’s on the shoulders’ of the coordinator.

Cowboys Fan for Life – TD

Draft Report Card released its report card grading all 32 teams on their draft so I am listing their ratings and my rating for the teams. This list is listed by overall grade not by alphabetical order.

  1. Clevland Browns- A,  I Give them an A as well for trading back to make a good financial decision and still picking up the best Center in the draft and still making great pick-ups at WR and CB.
  2. Green Bay Packers-A, I Give them an A as well for the pick-up of the NT Raji,OLB Matthews and two of the top offensive tackles in the draft which was their main area of concern.
  3. New York GiantsA, I Give them a B+ for grabbing two great recievers to solve a huge hole that was left after the Plaxico incident, and then they pretty much just added depth across the board.
  4. Philadelphia Eagles-A,I Give them an A as well for adding two veteran tackles that allowed them to tackle other areas when the draft got here, like taking Jeremy Maclin, RB LeSean McCoy, TE Cornelius Ingram, so the Eagles are going to be very tough this year.
  5. Houston TexansB+ , I Give them an A for the fact that they put some depth to the OLB/DE positions and picked up two tight ends in the middle rounds, with the depth on the defensive edge they have look for the Texans to be playoff contenders.
  6. Jacksonville Jaguars-B+, I will give them a B for this draft, they put massive depth at the o-line and got a DT that can step right in and also addresed their WR issues with two out of the middle rounds and one in the 7th,they are hoping at least the two middle round WR’s they picked can step up and be contributors this year.
  7. Seattle Seahawks-B+, I will give them a B becasue they drafted OLB Aaron Curry when they really should of drafted QB Mark Sanchez wtih Hasslebeck becoming as injury prone as he has been.
  8. Baltimore Ravens- B, I will give them a B+ because they were tempted to go for a reciever but they moved up and picked OL Oher for depth and his ability to play any position on the line is one of the reasons that made the Ravens do this.
  9. Cincinatti Bengals-B, I will give them a C becasue almost every player they picked will either make a boom or will be a bust.
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers-B I will give them a I will give them a B+ personally considering they hit their only need by upgrading their offensive line with their second pick and continued with their philopshy of developing talent by making picks who will be ready in a year or two.
  11. Arizona Cardinals-B- I will personally give them a B because they added RB Beanie Wells to pair with 2nd yr back Tim Hightower, and also added massive depth to their defense.
  12. Carolina Panthers-B- I will give them a B- also because their draft was nothing spectacular lacking a first round pick but was a very solid draft as is it was.
  13. Detroit Lions-B- I will give them a B- as well, they drafted Matthew Stafford which should solve their QB issue but the one pick that didnt make any sense to me was TE Brandon Pettigrew at pick #20 when they should have pursued a OT.
  14. Indianapolis Colts-B- I will give them a B for picking up RB Donald Brown and also picking USC DT Moala filled a gaping need look for the Colts to be once again playoff contenders.
  15. Miami Dolphins-B- I will give them a B- as well for having the most athletic draft class this year and the most intersting player to watch this year from their draft is QB/WR Pat White.
  16. New England Patriots-B- I will give them a B+ for having possibly the most solid 2nd round out of any team with the picks of SS Patrick Chung,CB Darius Butler,DT Ron Brace. Then there is the addition of QB Julian Edelman in the 7th round out of Kent, he could possibly be a Tom Brady type player for the Patriots again but look for that to be a tougher issue with their QB guru Josh McDaniels now being the Head Coach in Denver.
  17. New Orleans Saints-B- I will give them a B- as well for a solid draft that stacked up their defense.
  18. New York Jets-B- I will give them a B for the well thought out trade up for QB Mark Sanchez at pick #5 after Seattle passed him up to take Aaron Curry at #4
  19. San Diego Chargers-B- I will give them a B for a draft that filled in the line on both sides of the ball evenly with their first four picks and the pick of RB Gartell Johnson gives them the Pile Mover they currently lack at RB.
  20. Atlanta Falcons-C+ I will give them a C for a draft that patched up some holes on defense but there are still some holes there, but they can be filled in through trades and free agency.
  21. Buffalo Bills-C+  I will give them a C- for the lack of drafting a OT after trading Jason Peters to the Eagles and the fact that these players they drafted will have to be contributors right away considering that coach Dick Jauron needs to win this season.
  22. Chicago Bears-C+ I will give them a C for a moderate draft with no picks until the 3rd round caused by the Stellar Jay Cutler trade with Denver.
  23. Kansas City Chiefs-C+ I will give them a C- for a decent draft that padded their defense really well, but i am very worried about how well this offense can perform, I guess we will have to wait and see what Todd Haley can do.
  24. Minnesota Vikings-C+ I will give them a B- for the simple addition of Percy Harvin at pick 27 which could turn out to give them the two most explosive offensive players in the league with of course the other being Adrian Peterson. Look for the Vikings to have a strong rushing attack out of the Wildcat formation With Adrian Peterson,Percy Harvin and Tavarius Jackson who happens to be a Vince Young type QB but has a better arm and better accuracy than Young has at this point.
  25. St Louis Rams-C+ I will give them a C+ as well for a draft that landed them a excellent pick in OT Jason Smith.
  26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-C+ I will give them a C for drafting for the future by trading up two spots to pick QB Josh Freeman who may or may not be ready to take the field this year, only time will tell.
  27. Tennessee Titans-C+ I will give them a C+ as well for this draft, They took Rutgers WR Kenny Britt to give them an explosive reciever that they currently lack and hope his addition will lead them to another playoff run that will hopefully take them to the Super Bowl this year.
  28. Denver Broncos-C I will give them a D for a draft where only one pick made sense and that was RB Knowshon Moreno who better score alot of touchdowns becasue the defense is still suspect they only upgraded their troubled defensive line with one pick and was not addresed anymore, and I wonder do they really have all that much confidence in Kyle Orton not to draft a QB to offer some competion.
  29. San Fancisco 49ers-C I will give them a C+ for the addition of WR Michael Crabtree who no one thought would even be on the board at pick 10 for the 49ers to take, and their draft was more for depth than impact after the Crabtree pick.
  30. Washington Redskins-C I will give them a C as well for a solid defensive draft in which they now have plenty of depth on defense but on the offensive side of the ball players need to stay healthy because they didnt get much help on depth this off season so far.
  31. Dallas Cowboys-C- I will give them a B- for a very solid middle round draft that fixed alot of special teams issues and the pick of QB Stephen McGee was a great pick because I think he will make a stellar back up for Romo when Kitna is done here in Dallas if he does not win that spot from Kitna this year.
  32. Oakland Raiders-D I will give them a D as well for a draft that just didnt make sense starting with picking WR Darrius Hayward-Bey over WR Michael Crabtree. This was another fine example of Al Davis’ butchering his teams winning chances.

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

5 Cowboys Made All-Pro Team

It was announced today that three Cowboys starters made the first team AP NFL All-Pro Team today – Terrell Owens, Jason Witten and Demarcus Ware.

This is Terrell Owens 5th time to be selected for the award. It is Witten and Ware’s first All-Pro honor.

"Any time you can be the best in the entire league, that’s always a special moment," said Witten. "There’s a lot of great tight ends out there, so to be on the top of that list is nice."

Offensive linemen Leonard Davis and Flozell Adams made the second team.