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Last Mock Off Season Of January 2012

I have been busy with my off season addiction of researching free agents and draft hopefuls again. Right now I am knee deep in mock drafts and have completed a few complete off seasons as well. I am also currently finishing up my defensive analysis, which I will post in a couple days before leaving for Florida to work for a bit. Here is the last off season mock I made and posted on my Facebook page a couple days ago. Keep in mind this is just fantasy, but I try to be as realistic as possible, keeping in mind salary CAP and position needs as well as player availability both in free agency and each round of the draft. I do this for fun and hopefully you all will have some fun reading this and coming up with your own ideas as well. It’s a long off season and we have to keep busy some how. Enjoy…
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I want to preface this one by acknowledging the fact that there is no way to make everyone happy. The moves (or non-moves) in this one that people will complain about is not resigning Laurent Robinson and Tony Fiammetta. Also, not having better depth behind Victor Butler and Bruce Carter, so this one is a gamble. Then again, aren’t they all? Let me explain my thoughts before getting into free agents signed and the draft.

In this scenario, Laurent Robinson finds a much higher payday than Dallas is willing to shell out for it’s 4th option on offense, and decides it’s a much better idea to fortify other positions with that money. As for Fiammetta, his health concerns cause Jerry to wait until camp to see if he is an absolute need. There is no doubt, his blocking skills were directly related to Murray’s rookie success, so this one will be closely monitored. For now, the money is used to backup Romo, with the economical choice of Brady Quinn. Anthony Spencer finds a Chris Canty-like deal that is too rich for the Cowboys blood and Ryan decides he can roll with Victor Butler and a new young player from the draft. This decision also indirectly influences the first round pick in the draft.

Free Agents Signed:

Carl Nicks OG 7 years $57 million with $15 million signing bonus (contract comparable to former Saint’s teammate Jahri Evans)

This is the big move of the year. Nicks will pair with Tyron Smith to protect Romo’s blindside, giving him the time needed to make the critical reads.

Richard Marshall CB 6 years $28 million with $10 million guaranteed (contract similar to Scandrick’s)

Marshall was named defense MVP by Arizona Cardinal’s DC Ray Horton.He is a solid cover corner and tackles well. He was also used at safety last year when FS Kerry Rhodes was sidelined with a foot injury. Richard will come in and compete with Orlando Scandrick for a starting spot.

Thomas DeCoud FS 6 years $25 million with $8 million guaranteed (contract similar to Sensebaugh’s)

DeCoud became a solid starter in Atlanta, but became a CAP casualty with so many other priorities and William Moore as a fallback option. This is an upgrade for the Dallas secondary compared to resigning Elam to play SS and Sensebugh to stay at FS.

Brady Quinn QB 3 years $8 million with $4 million guaranteed

There are quite a few options here at this price, but Quinn is my flavor of the week. I could also see Chad Henne getting a look here.

 

2012 Dallas Cowboys Draft:

1. Devon Still DT/DE Penn State

Still is currently the 10th rated player and top rated DT in this years draft. I could also see Quinton Coples or Michael Brockers going here. The idea behind this pick is that I believe Courtney Upshaw will be gone by the 14th pick (probably to Buffalo at 10) and the dline has been ignored for years. If you watch today’s NFL QB’s against a 3-4 defense, most are aware of the edge rushers (OLB’s) and step up into the pocket to avoid pressure. If the pressure is also coming from the inside, it’s a different ballgame. Ratliff at NT and Hatcher and Still at DE, combined with Butler and Ware on the outside could be the upgrade in pressure that we’ve been lacking since the switch to a 3-4.

2. Ben Jones C/G Georgia

Jones is the second rated center in this year’s draft, but the perfect fir for Garrett’s offense. Ben is versatile, smart and strong. When asked what his greatest asset was at the senior bowl, his response was “My intelligence, I’m a smart guy. I can get the whole offensive line on the same page and I’m tough as hell.” One of our oline weaknesses for years was that the center doesn’t make the line adjustments. Kosier has been that guy and with age and injuries catching up to Kyle, Jones would be the perfect choice for the future at center.

3. Josh Norman CB Coastal Carolina

Norman caught the attention of scouts at the senior bowl. Although a small school player, his height, (6’2”) physicality, smoothness and great hands make him an intriguing prospect and worth the 3rd round grade he is currently receiving from most draft sights. Josh could be the steal of the draft and everyone knows Jerry likes to gamble on players with high upside to make him look like a genius.

4. T.Y. Hilton WR/PR Florida International

Hilton is another small school athlete with tremendous upside. He could potentially replace Laurent Robinson’s void as the 4th offensive option as well as provide a legitimate weapon on punt returns, finally keeping starting WR Dez Bryant off special teams. Although small in stature, (5’10” 185lbs.) T.Y.’s straight line speed, hands and elusiveness make him a weapon defenses must account for at all times.

4. (comp pick for Stephen Bowen) Tank Carder ILB TCU

Depth is needed on the inside after losing former starters Keith Brooking and Bradie James. Tank is a tough, physical player with great tackling technique. Carder was the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year in 2011.

5. Jack Crawford DE/OLB Penn State

Crawford is the second Penn State player taken in this draft and would be the third Nitny Lion on the 2012 defense joining starter Sean Lee and first round pick Devon Still. I really like his size for the position. (6’5” 270 lbs.) Crawford has tremendous work-ethic and energy and could be counted on for significant contributions during his rookie season rotating with Victor Butler on the strong side.

6. Beau Reliford TE Florida State

If Jerry doesn’t get caught up in the en-vogue two-tight end receiver option, Beau could be the cheaper solid blocking tight end needed after losing head-case Martellus Bennett to free agency. Reliford is a former basketball all-star and has the size (6’5” 260 lbs.) and athletic ability (like Bennett) to excel in Garrett’s offense.

7. Emil Igwenagu FB Massachusetts

Choosing not to resign Fiammetta right away and the slow progress of last year’s draft pick, Sean Chapas, leaves a void in the lead blocking department, which is essential to the health of the running game in Garrett’s 90’s style offense. With few teams looking for traditional fullbacks in this new era of passing prominence, Igwenagu has the receiving skills to do damage on the perimeter when not blasting holes in the running game. He was also voted team captain in 2011, something JG holds to a high regard.

 

Drew Pearson To Be Inducted In The Ring of Honor?

Drew Pearson will be the next player inducted into the  Cowboys’ Ring of Honor, is the rumor floating around Cowboy Nation.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, citing an anonymous source, reported Saturday that Pearson is the one. And last fall, Roger Staubach told a Dallas TV station that Pearson would be the next player added to the list.

The Ring of Honor has 15 players in it, plus Tom Landry and Tex Schramm.  Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is the sole decision-maker and hasn’t added anyone  since Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin went in during the 2005  season.

Jones said Saturday that he intends to add a player to the team’s Ring of  Honor at Cowboys Stadium this season, though he wouldn’t name the player.

“We would like to make that announcement separately, but we are; we are  planning to,” Jones said.

There has been speculation for a while that Pearson would be Jones’ choice.  Pearson played for the Cowboys from 1973-83 and had 489 catches for 7,822 yards  and 48 touchdowns. He was a three-time All-Pro and was named to the league’s  All-Decade Team of the 1970s.

Pearson first made the No. 88 famous in Dallas, with more big catches than  any other receiver in the team’s history. His Hail Mary reception in the waning  moments of a 1975 playoff game against the Vikings is one of the most famous in  NFL history. He also clinched a ’73 playoff victory over the Los Angeles Rams  with a touchdown catch, and he was on the receiving end of Clint Longley’s pass  in the 1974 Thanksgiving Day comeback against the Redskins. He also had two  touchdowns in a playoff victory over the Falcons in 1980. Pearson’s big catches  earned him the nickname “Mr. Clutch.”

Pearson said he would welcome inclusion into the Ring of Honor.

“Every time I stepped on that Texas Stadium turf to play a game for the Dallas Cowboys, I looked up at that Ring of Honor,” he recalled. “I wanted to be the kind of player who deserved that type of recognition. It motivated me. This would be the highlight of my career.”

Deion Sanders’ name has been rumored also.  I read that he didn’t feel comfortable about it because he only played half of his career with the Cowboys. I’m one of who those that believe that the Ring of Honor should be reserved for those that have spent their entire career or at least most of it as a Dallas Cowboy.

For more on Drew Pearson read this post by Joe D who included him in his “Legends” series.

Is Dwayne Harris Ready To Start At # 3 WR?

With the Cowboys releasing Roy Williams and Sam Hurd, that officially makes Dez Bryant the starter opposite Miles Austin.  So who will fill the #3 spot? 

Many Cowboys and East Carolina  Pirates are hoping it will be the Cowboys 6th round draft pick rookie Dwayne Harris.  Of course he will have to compete against and beat out Cowboy veteran Kevin Ogletree first.

Harris signed a four year deal with the Cowboys.  Terms of the contract have not been disclosed.

The former ECU receiver finished his career with 268 catches and 3,001 yards, which are standing school records.  Dwayne had 101 receptions his senior year for 1,123 yards.  He scored ten touchdowns and was named Conference USA player of the year.

Harris played quarterback at Tucker  High School, where he led his team to a 10-1 record and a Regional 6-AAA Championship in 2006. He also was an All-State selection by the Georgia High School Coaches Association as a Senior.  He was named MVP in the North-South All Star Game.  Coach Bill Billard had to of been pleased to see his quarterback also run for 524 yards and score seven touchdown’s.  It is easy to see why he was the teams’ Captain. Of course he lettered in football, but also basketball and baseball.

Dwayne Harris was born September 16, 1987 in Atlanta, Georgia.  He enjoys following basketball and credits his family, and his mother most of all, as the most influential people in his career.   If he could spend one day with anyone it would be Jackie Robinson.

Dewayne is 6 ft tall and weighs in at 205 lbs.  His fans say he is a exceptionally athletic, speedy, talented and a multi-purpose athlete.   One fan says she can’t wait to hang a poster of him in a Dallas Cowboys uniform on her bedroom wall.

It will be interesting in training camp to see who gets that number three wideout spot.

I am looking forward to seeing his amazing talent this pre-season and watch Harris compete with Ogletree for the job.  

Welcome to the Cowboys!

Dez Bryant Out 4-6 Weeks, May Miss All Pre-Season

Update 7:45 PM

The team announced Friday evening that Dez Bryant will miss four to six weeks. Bryant was injured on the second-to-last play of Friday’s practice in the Alamodome.

An MRI confirmed the team’s fear of a high ankle sprain. Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones had expressed hope that Bryant, who had a spectacular start to training camp, would be out for only a few days or a week, but now they are faced with an injury that could have ripple effects to start the season.

With this injury, the Cowboys’ top three picks are all injured. Second-round linebacker Sean Lee has been sidelined since Tuesday with a strained quadriceps, and fourth-round safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, who had shoulder surgery in March, has not been cleared to practice yet.

Geez…

Original Post 3:00 PM

ESPN Dallas reports:

SAN ANTONIO — Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant, the team’s first-round selection, was helped off the field by two athletic trainers after suffering a right ankle injury near the end of the training practice Friday.

Bryant stayed on the Alamodome turf after cornerback Orlando Scandrick broke up a pass on a crossing route. Jon Kitna’s pass was thrown slightly behind Bryant, and Scandrick appeared to land on the prized rookie’s lower right leg. He was helped off the field, with Bryant keeping weight off it.

Bryant will have an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

Let’s hope its not as bad as it sounds. All we can do at this point is wait for the MRI results.

Have We Met Somewhere Before?

It was announced yesterday that the Cincinnati Bengals signed Terrell Owens to a one year contract. With the Cowboys and the Bengals playing in this years Hall of Fame game on August 8th, it makes the game a little more interesting. The Cowboys will see Owens on the other sideline for the first time since being released after the 2008 season. Owens put up some productive numbers for the Cowboys while he was with the team from 2006 through 2008. Along with Owens, the Cowboys might just notice some other familiar faces from Cincinnati.

Antonio Bryant was drafted by the Cowboys back in 2002 in the second round. He played wide receiver for the Cowboys during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. He also played the first five games for the Cowboys in 2004.

Tank Johnson played for the Cowboys in 2007 and 2008 before being released after the 2008 season.

Adam “Pacman” Jones played for the Cowboys in 2008 and then was released after the season.

Roy Williams was drafted by the Cowboys back in 2002 in the first round. He played seven seasons for the Cowboys before being released after the 2008 season.

Mike Mickens was drafted by the Cowboys in 2009 in the seventh round. He was released before the 2009 season started.

Dennis Roland was signed by the Cowboys back in 2006 as a free agent offensive tackle and then released before the season.

Mike Zimmer was with the Cowboys from 1994-2006. During his time with the Cowboys served as an assistant coach for the nickel defense, defensive backs coach and then defensive coordinator.

It will be somewhat of a mini family reunion when both teams take the field for the Hall of Fame game. As far as playing against each other, I doubt there will be much of that in this game. The starters usually play a series or two and then take the rest of the night off.

In other news…

Injuries

With the start of training camp also come a few injuries. None of which seem very serious.

Felix Jones has been suffering from some swelling in one of his knees. He was held out of the morning practice on Tuesday, but decided he felt good enough to play in the afternoon practice. The team will of course continue to monitor Jones.

Jason Hatcher missed Tuesday’s practice with a hyper-extended elbow. He is expected to miss Wednesday’s practice as well.

Sean Lee also missed Tuesday’s practice with a strained quadriceps muscle. He is also expected to miss Wednesday’s practice.

Martellus Bennett missed his fifth day of practice with a sprained ankle. The Cowboys are unsure when he will return.

Camps first fight

The first fight of training camp broke out between Bradie James and Deon Anderson.

“That’s how you know you’re in two-a-days,” James said.” It’s official when you have that first skirmish. You get the red eye and you just want to go blast somebody. It kills the monotony of practice.”

“I got a little enthusiastic out there,” Anderson said.

The fight was short and both James and Anderson were seen laughing about it afterwards.

Kosier at center

Kyle Kosier took some snaps at center this week. The plan for the Cowboys is for Kosier to backup starting center Andre Gurode. This way the Cowboys can go into games with seven offensive linemen with Montrae Holland and Alex Barron as the backups for guard and tackle.

“It’s definitely different, especially with our defense,” Kosier said. “We’re playing the 3-4 so you’ve got a guy right over you and you’ve got to snap the ball and get the guy and he’s right in his face.”

“Once I get out there in some game situations I think it’ll be fine,” said Kosier

More on Dez

As the media continues to talk about Dez Bryant refusing to carry Roy William’s shoulder pads, it was Bryant telling them exactly what he was thinking on Tuesday.

“You’re trying to turn us against each but it’s not going to happen.”

“No, I didn’t know nothing about no tradition,” Bryant said.” The only thing that bothers me is when I try to do something right, you all (media) try to turn it negative. I don’t feel like that’s right.”

“I’m trying my best to do the right thing. But it seems like I can’t do the right thing because every little thing that I do, you all watch it and try to make a huge deal out of it.”

“It was never an issue. The media made it an issue. It was never nothing.”

“We are fine,” Bryant said.” In fact, it’s not even a situation. Me and Roy are great. Not only me and Roy, but the whole team.”

As Bryant was expressing his feelings towards the media he was signing autographs for fans. The fans then started chanting at the media…

“leave him alone”

Cowboys Haters In Full Effect Already, So What’s New?

When you are the most popular, most storied, most winning sports franchise in pro football history it comes with the territory that you have people who despise you. Call it jealousy, call it envy but its strong and its everywhere we turn.

The latest rants include Cowboys Number One Draft Pick Dez Bryant and the young tight end Martellus Bennett.

Okay maybe I will give them Dez, thats a valid complaint. He got his money and hasn’t even played in one pro game and already thinks he’s better than the veterans. Not cool Dez. So they are calling him “another Diva Cowboy”. Well the guy just scored nearly 12 million dollars, has been given the coveted number 88 and has already been deemed the super star wide receiver for America’s Team fresh out of college. To say expectations for Dez Bryant are high is an understatement.

You can blame Dez, blame Jerry Jones, or blame the media but I got money that says he produces and blows everyone away this season.

So, rumor is Marty B had a bad break-up and his ex posted nude pictures of him online. Who cares? What in the world does that have to do with football? Absolutely nothing. I have my own issues with Martellus’ off-the-field shenanigans but in reality he’s a backup tight end, a backup to one of the best in the league. Is he the future? Only time will tell. But he’s still young, immature and seems to crave a lot of attention. A professional athlete who wants all eyes on him – well thats totally unheard of, what in the world is he thinking?!

Like it or not all of these ridiculous stories sell, whether true or fabricated. People love to hate the Dallas Cowboys. Why do you think ESPN constantly disses the Cowboys? That’s easy, because hating on Dallas sells. It’s stirs up Cowboy followers and it revs up the haters. Personally, I very rarely watch ESPN for that very reason.

It doesn’t matter that there are players who have violated the league drug law or committed felonies. Hell, there have been times men have been suspected in rapes and murders, but if Tony Romo wants to play golf in the offseason or Miles Austin was in Las Vegas gambling and having a few drinks – well thats front page news! How dare they do something without a football in their hands.

Listen, like I said before it comes with the territory. I spent years defending Terrell Owens, because that’s what we do as Cowboys fans. I will admit I have a limit though, I never defended Pacman Jones. He truly was an embarrassment.

Earlier I went to visit my mom and she started talking about an article she read about Dez not carrying Roy’s pads on Yahoo!, and I immediately went into defense mode. It’s like a parent who’s child can do no wrong.

So when I go into work this morning and my boss who loves sports gossip starts telling me the latest, instead of defending Bryant and Bennett maybe I will turn the conversation around and talk about how great Romo and Austin are projected to be this season. Maybe I will tell him how excellent David Buehler is looking, how he’s blowing the experts away with his kicking talent. How about the fact that the Cowboys have a shot to be the first team in history to go to the Super Bowl in their own stadium and win!

When a hater comes straight up to me trashing my team I will defend them to the end. Call me a cheerleader, call me bias… no, you know what, just call me a Cowboys fan and damn proud of it.

Back In The Saddle Again – Training Camp Notes

Jerry Jones and Wade Phillips are all smiles at the start of Cowboys Training Camp

I skimmed through all the different beat writer reports from today’s Cowboys Training Camp, and summarized all of the information for you.

Training Camp Player Valuations – In terms of talking about players after practice, Phillips doesn’t like to do it. He feels he needs to see some practice tape before talking about how well a player did or how bad a player did. Phillips said it gives him a chance to give better answers to questions.

“You may see a player do something real good in practice and the rest of the plays didn’t play well,” Phillips said. “Like a guy in a game, you think he played well, and he didn’t play well at all.”

Ain’t That A Kick In The Pants – The coach made a note that David Buehler isn’t the only placekicker on the roster. Delbert Alvarado is also a kicker but hardly gets mentioned because after the team released Connor Hughes, it was assumed Buehler had no competition. Even Buehler said he’s competing against himself.

“Alvarado did well, and that’s why we kept him in the spring,” Phillips said.

Safety First – Does Pat Watkins have a shot to become the starting free safety over Alan Ball? Phillips said he does and that there is competition at almost every position. However, Phillips would like to see Watkins, who is a strong special teams player, be more consistent on defense. Watkins did have a nice breakup of a long pass Saturday.

He Ain’t All That – *Dez Bryant, the rookie wide receiver, was impressive in his first practice. Phillips said it’s not the best debut he ever saw.

“I don’t know if he looked any better than Steve Largent when he came in,” Phillips said. “Cris Carter when he came in, I’ve seen some pretty good ones.”

Not To Be Nosy, But – *Marcus Spears is still the starting defensive end, but he will get some snaps at nose tackle during training camp. The Cowboys did some of this last year with him. Phillips doesn’t believe it’s the start of something long term for Spears.

“I would be comfortable with him playing there,” Phillips said of Spears at the nose. “He’s a smart player and he’s a good run player already, and normally nose guard is a run-player position. [Jay] Ratliff has taken it to a different level; you don’t see nose guards getting six and eight and ten sacks. But I think Spears can fill that role as a run player and I think he’ll do a good job there.”

We Kneed You Man – *Linebacker Keith Brooking might miss the second practice Sunday. He’s fine, but Cowboys want to bring him along slowly because he had minor knee surgery in the offseason. Brooking looked pretty good Saturday knocking down a pass and moving around pretty good.

MartyB TV Off The Air – Wade Phillips said he does not expect Martellus Bennett to miss much practice time in training camp with the sprained left ankle he suffered last week while working out. The Cowboys placed Bennett on the non-football injury list because he did not suffer the injury while under the Cowboys’ care.

Miles on SI Cover, Again

Congratulations is order once again to Miles Austin! The Dallas Cowboys number one wide receiver will be on the cover the the magazine that will hit newsstands on Wednesday.

If you remember Austin was on the cover back in January for the playoffs -

http://lonestarstruck.com/2010/01/got-miles.html

Gets me excited and ready for football season! I will be on the hunt for my copy of the magazine tomorrow.

Thanks to the Dallas Morning News for the heads up.

Can Kevin Ogletree Claim The #4 WR Spot?

As I made my daily trek for Cowboys news on the internet this morning, I cam across this interesting post by Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

Tim takes a look at wide receiver Kevin Ogletree and ponders his role for the upcoming season. He writes,

Undrafted receiver Kevin Ogletree proved as a rookie that he can contribute to the Cowboys. Now, he’s trying to prove that the Cowboys can rely on him.

After a full offseason, Ogletree feels confident that he has a firm grasp of the playbook. He practiced at all three receiver positions, trying to maximize his chances to get on the field.

The Cowboys don’t have any questions about Ogletree’s ability. They like his speed, quickness, elusiveness and hands. They don’t know yet about his dependability.

I was very impressed with what I saw of Ogletree in limited playing time last season. He seems to have a nose for the ball, a flair for the dramatic, and though it was mentioned in Tim’s post I thought Ogletree showed some explosiveness and burst.

As it stands now, Ogletree is probably ranked fifth on the depth chart behind Miles Austin, Roy Williams, Dez Bryant and Patrick Crayton at wide receiver, but with a solid training camp that could change.

I think that Ogletree’s immediate future is somewhat tied to Crayton’s. It is still uncertain what role Crayton will have on this team if any, especially if he holds to his current demands for a trade or release.

Even so, Ogletree has shown some flashes that would indicate he could pass Crayton up on performance alone when training camp begins. It’s one of the things to keep on eye this pre season as the Cowboys decide who makes the wide receiver corps and who will be on the sidelines when they take on the Washington Redskins for the season opener.

Who do you think will claim the #4 WR spot on the roster?

[polldaddy poll=3463589]

What Should Cowboys Do With Patrick Crayton?

One of the Cowboys that I immediately started liking from day one of covering Dallas was Patrick Crayton.

Crayton came from the Parcells era where Dallas would make excellent draft choices of key starters for future Cowboy teams. Crayton was one of those guys that wasn’t supposed to succeed. He was a seventh round selection, who originally had played quarterback at Northwest Oklahoma State his senior season while playing wide receiver the previous three.

Okay, so I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of Northwest Oklahoma State to begin with…

Crayton came to the Cowboys with a lot of hope. Teams cut seventh rounders everyday, so he had to make an impression on the coaches immediately. Dallas decided to keep him, and he outperformed guys like Quincy Morgan.

When Terry Glenn suffered an injury, Crayton started in his place in 2007. He had his best season with 697 yards and seven touchdowns from 50 catches.

The guy has just got a cool name to start with, then add in the fact that he’s passionate about the game. I remember watching an interview of him by Dallas reporters, and the question something like what’s your main goal going into training camp.

Well, Crayton interrupted the reporter before he said training camp. He assumed immediately that they meant the season, and he said, “Super Bowl.”

Brief, simple, quick, but if you looked at his eyes, you could see quiet determination and resolve. This guy wants to win it all. Forget money, he wants to win it all, and I admire that in a player.

However, Dallas has made some moves that lead me to believe that there is a severe chance Dallas fans may lose our dedicated receiver.

First, you have to understand that Dallas is a team that runs the football a great deal. Roughly 44% of offensive plays last year were running plays, so Dallas likes to keep the running backs happy.

The part that concerns me is the fact that now Dallas has drafted Dez Bryant to go along with Miles Austin and Roy Williams, Crayton will have to settle at being the fourth wide receiver at best.

Also, Dallas like what Kevin Ogletree did last year as a rookie, and he’s much younger than the 31 year-old Crayton, so Dallas may deem Crayton expendable.

In fact, the rumor is that Dallas has already contacted the Miami Dolphins about a possible trade. The rumor makes sense because Miami has had issues with receiver, and the head coach, Tony Sparano, and the general manager, Bill Parcells, of the Dolphins are very familiar with Crayton and his abilities.

Sparano was once the offensive line coach for the Cowboys in 2007, and Parcells was the head coach for Dallas during 2004 when we drafted Patrick Crayton.

I definitely do not want that to happen. Call me sentimental, but I like the guy. I like his smooth crisp routes, I like how he returned two punts back for touchdowns in back to back weeks last year. I like how he caught a clutch touchdown against the Buffalo Bills where Dallas had to do the onside kick to win the game with a 53 yard field goal in 2007.

Please view the rest here: http://www.mtrmedia.com/cowboys/2010/05/what-should-the-dallas-cowboys-do-with-patrick-crayton.html

2010 NFL Draft: Is Jerry Jones Tipping His Hand?

With the NFL Draft less than a month away, has Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tipped his hand?

By now most of you are familiar with Dez Bryant, the star wide receiver from Oklahoma State. The Star-Telegram recently wrote that  Bryant may have validated himself as the “best receiver in the NFL Draft” during his most recent workouts.

Bryant is a homegrown talent who hails from Lufkin, Texas. As a senior he was a member of the Texas Football Super Team first-team and was All-state selection after recording 53 receptions for 1,207 yards with 21 touchdowns.

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had some glowing remarks,

“He had a solid day.  I don’t know how it will affect him, but he has terrific hands, catching ability, and I really think he looked best running his routes and making plays on the ball.”

KTRE Sports Director, Nick James, said the following:

 “Dez looked explosive. He ran well, he caught the ball well and he looked like he was in shape.”

Jones and the rest of the Cowboys’ top brass will get their first up-close look at Bryant today and Thursday.

Yesterday, it was learned that Jerry Jones also plans to have dinner tonight with Bryant before a visit to Valley Ranch on Thursday.

The thing that interests me is why the sudden interest by the Cowboys in Bryant when everyone expects him to be long gone before the Cowboys select 27th in the draft?

With the emergence of Miles Austin and some great playmaking flashes from Kevin Ogletree, I didn’t see wide receiver as an area of deep concern for the Cowboys.

Although he was expected to be a definite top ten pick,  Bryant could drop a little bit due to questions about his character, but definitely not as low as 27th.  His stock has dropped simply because he was suspended for most of his senior season for lying about his involvement with Deion Sanders, yet another Cowboys connection.

Will the Cowboys make a push to trade up and select him on Draft Day? Who really knows, but it’s something worth keeping our eyes on.

Heck, he already owns an orange Cowboys jersey, how about a silver and blue one too?

Today Is Deadline For Tendering Offers To Restricted Free Agents

Today is a big day for the Cowboys as they must tender offers to their 13 restricted free agents by the 11:00 pm CST deadline tonight.

You can be sure that both wide receiver Miles Austin and safety Gerald Sensabaugh will both receive high tenders from the Cowboys and that neither will be going anywhere.

Clarence E. Hill of the Star-Telegram speculates that Austin will receive the highest tender possible — a one-year salary of $3.168 million and compensation of a first- and third-round pick if he signs with another team.

Sensabaugh will likely be tagged with the first-round tender of $2.62 million. If he signs with another team, the Cowboys would get a first-round pick in return.

The other Cowboys restricted free agents include:

DT Stephen Bowen
G Cory Procter
G Duke Preston
DE Jason Hatcher
NT Junior Siavii
WR Sam Hurd
S Pat Watkins
OT Pat McQuistan
DE Marcus Spears
PK Shaun Suisham
CB Cletis Gordon

Of those eleven, I suspect that 3-4 of them may not be returning next season including Suisham and Gordon.

I was very surprised when the Cowboys decided not to place the franchise tag on Miles Austin last week which would have paid him a guaranteed one-year, $9.52 million deal that would’ve required another team to give up two first-round picks as compensation for signing him to a non-matching offer sheet.

I was a little worried that we might be exposing Miles Austin to a slight risk of employment elsewhere if another team should beat the Cowboys tender, but felt more at ease after reading this in the Dallas Morning News.

Not many teams in league history have been willing to relinquish a first- and third-round pick for a restricted free agent. Almost none, in fact. In 1998, Bill Parcells brought restricted running back Curtis Martin with him from the Patriots to the Jets. The Patriots were unwilling to match the Jets’ six-year, $36 million offer sheet and took a first- and third-rounder in return. Eighteen players received the high tender over the next 10 years. None were pried away by a rival’s offer sheet.

Good to know…

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