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Your 2010 Pro Bowl Cowboys

Sadly, the 2009 season ended for the Dallas Cowboys a couple of weeks ago, but this weekend when the Pro Bowl kicks off you might reconsider tuning in. In addition to the six Cowboys elected and Terence Newman who was added last week, two more will join the Cowboys coaching staff on the NFC roster. Andre Gurode will not be playing because of knee surgery.

Tony Romo and Mike Jenkins will play in the game due to injury of the elected starters. Romo was chosen to replace Brett Favre (ankle injury). Jenkins will replace Antoine Winfield (foot injury).

That makes a total of nine Cowboys attending this year’s Pro Bowl in Miami. Philadelphia is tied with Dallas for having the most players at the game. It is also the sixth most selections in franchise history.

StarStruck GraphicsYour 2010 Pro Bowl Cowboys:

Miles Austin, wide receiver

Leonard Davis, guard

Andre Gurode, center (injured)

Mike Jenkins, cornerback

Terence Newman, cornerback

Jay Ratliff, interior lineman

Tony Romo, quarterback

DeMarcus Ware, outside linebacker

Jason Witten, tight end

Head Coach Wade Phillips and his staff

Bengals WR Chris Henry Has Passed Away

On behalf of all of us here at Lone Star Struck we would like to express our sincerest condolences on the sudden passing of Chris Henry. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris’ family and team at this difficult time.

The young wide receiver’s tragic death reminds us exactly how fragile life is. Henry leaves behind three young children.

CHARLOTTE, N.C.(AP)—Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry has died, one day after suffering serious injuries upon falling out of the back of a pickup truck in what authorities describe as a domestic dispute with his fiancee.

Police say Henry died at 6:36 a.m. Thursday. Henry was 26.

Away from the team because of a broken forearm, Henry was rushed to the hospital Wednesday after being found on a residential road. Police say a dispute began at a home about a half-mile away, and Henry jumped into the bed of the pickup truck as his fiancee was driving away from the residence.

Police said at some point when she was driving, Henry “came out of the back of the vehicle.”

Rest in Peace Chris.

New to the Silver and Blue: Kevin Olgetree

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We as fans have watched the progression of this rookie receiver from training camp, through the pre-season and the impact he has had on the offense so far this season. I wanted to know a little more about this young man that is catching our eye, so I have done a little digging and this is what I have uncovered for Starstruck readers.

OgletreeKevin Ogletree was born August 5, 1987 in Queens, New York and has grown into a perfect size for a wide receiver at 6 ft 2 inches weighing in at a 189 pounds. He attended Holy Cross High School in Queens where he was one catch away from making state history with 19 touchdown catches. Kevin’s senior year he caught 63 passes for an amazing 1,170 yards, that did make league history. His junior year he caught 40 passes for over 1,000 yards and made 10 touchdowns, not bad for a junior in high school. Not only did he make touchdowns, he also made 5 interceptions and led his team to a conference championship. Olgetree was quite the athlete, also playing basketball and baseball.

He attended College at Virginia where he studied as a sociology major. He played as a true freshman for seven games. He had his breakout year as a sophomore when he led the team with receptions. His junior year he ran back kick-offs for 274 yards. Kevin’s total stats at Virginia totaled 117 receptions for 1,332 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Olgetree decided to enter the 2009 Draft after his junior season, but went unnoticed. The Cowboy scouts didn’t let him slip through the cracks and he was signed immediately following the draft. As a rookie undrafted, free agent he made the cut, and made the 53 man roster.

This young  man seems to have a dream and he is not letting the fact that he wasn’t drafted slow him down in making that dream come true. Going from the practice squad to the 5th receiver is a feat in itsself. This guy has stepped up when his number is called and shows that he has worked hard to learn routes and to be on the same page as Tony Romo.

There is no lack of blogs, or interviews to research.  He’s definitely becoming a fan favorite. He has a nice personality, being able to kid around with Marty B on his show. He wants to learn from veterans like Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton. Jerry Jones said on a phone interview that he is excited about Olgetree. He’s quick, fast and they have pushed him as a rookie to make a impact on this year’s team and Kevin has responded and made plays that helped the team.

While watching an interview on the Marty B. Show I noticed a tattoo on Kevin’s right shoulder that said “Respect” , that is something that he is earning play by play.

I don’t know about you, but Kevin you have my respect and I am sure we will be seeing more and more #85 jerseys in the stands as your stats continue to grow here in Dallas.

Weekly Game Balls: Week 8

The Cowboys are on a nice three game winning streak, everyone is healthy and all is well this week in the Big D. Sunday the Cowboys face one of their toughest divisional rivals when they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles.

For now let’s focus on the positive that we can take out of last Sunday’s matchup against the battered and bruised Seahawks.

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Tony Romo.

Tony Romo finished the day 21 for 36 with 256 yards and three touchdowns. He hit three different receivers – Williams, Hurd and Austin.

Romo has gone three straight games without an interception, a career best. He is also learning to spread the ball around to whoever is open. He threw the ball to ten different receivers in the Seattle game.

The schedule is about to get tougher through November and December. If Romo can build from these past three games and stay on track, there’s no reason to doubt that he has what it takes to go up against top teams in the league.

Romo is also up for the NFL’s FedEx Player of the Week for the third time this year.

Great work this week Romo!

Star50

This week’s defensive/special teams game ball goes to Patrick Crayton.

I know what you’re thinking, Patrick Crayton is a wide receiver. However, he is also our punt returner, and damn good one too.

Patrick Crayton has had a punt return for a touchdown in each of the last two games.

Cowboys had signed return specialist Allen Rossum, however he injured himself in his debut with the team, so Crayton went back to his punt return role.

The amazing thing is Crayton was demoted from his WR starting position with the promotion of Miles Austin and since then has excelled on special teams with his two TDs.

Crayton also has the chance to make NFL history if he gets the chance to return a punt for a TD in Philly this weekend. No NFL player has ever returned for touchdowns in three consecutive games. It won’t be an easy task, and surely the Eagles are aware of the chance for a Cowboy to make history at their home.

Good luck Crayton, we will be cheering you on!

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Congratulations to Romo and Crayton for their great contribution to the victory.

Honorable Mention: Keith Brooking continues to impress, he had 8 tackles, 3 assists and a sack.

Wide Receivers Get To Work

Miles AustinThe Dallas Cowboys once again played a game where all phases came together, this time against against the Seahawks. It was really nice to see all of the wide receivers get into the action.

Miles Austin scored another touchdown, Roy Williams scored a touchdown on a nice slant route, Patrick Crayton scored on another punt return, Sam Hurd scored a touchdown on nice pass, and although Kevin Ogletree did not score, he did make a nice catch and run for a first down.

I will admit it I have had my doubts about our wide receiver corps, but it seems that they might be coming along and they are doing some good things. It has been nice to see Miles Austin doing so well, he has catches totaling 482 yards. That is the best that a wide receiver has ever done in their first three games.

Romo and Williams have some work to do and even they admit that they have not been on the same page a lot this year.

I am sure Jason Witten is happy we are winning, but not so happy that he is not getting his normal amount of catches.

Its nice to see that the receivers have finally found a way to get open and make some nice catches and runs.

Patrick Crayton has stepped it up in the return game, scoring a touchdown in each of the last two games.

We have the Eagles this weekend and we are tied with them for first place in the division, we need to step it up again and beat them.

GO COWBOYS!

Weekly Game Balls: Week 5

What a game. Should have not been as close as it was but a win is a win. We have seen some first and a record breaking day.

What a game! It should have not been as close as it was, but a win is a win. We witnessed some firsts and a record breaking day.

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Miles Austin.

This speedy wide receiver had a record breaking day with 250 yards on 10 catches with 2 game saving touchdowns.

His first score almost won the game for the Cowboys, but the one in overtime counted for the “W”.

Austin just might have earned his starting spot. Miles is the game breaking threat the Cowboys need.

He also could have had a few more touchdowns on the day. But he couldn’t secure a couple of throws from Tony.

Great job Miles Austin.

Star50

This week’s defensive/special teams game ball goes to Keith Brooking.

Brooking is the solid linebacker that was needed to compliment the defense.

Brooking finished the game with 8 solo tackles and helped on 3 more. He also recorded a sack on Matt Cassel. He came flying from up the middle to take him down.

With all the pressure the Cowboys gave the Chiefs on Sunday, Keith also had 4 QB hits.

His leadership speaks for itself. You can find the veteran linebacker running up and down the sidelines when he’s not on the field. He gets this team pumped up! It feels like Brooking has been a Cowboy all of his life.

Keep up the great work Keith Brooking!

Star50

Congratulations to Austin and Brooking for their great contribution to the overtime win.

Honorable Mention: DeMarcus Ware, Tony Romo, Jay Ratliff

Friday’s Cowboy Notes

Here it is Friday, a couple days before game time. This is usually the time where Cowboys fans, or football fans in general begin to get that itch, to get that feeling as the excitement starts to build for the upcoming battles of the weekend. Statistics are showing that interest in the sport are the highest they have been in twenty years or so, and you can feel it and see it everywhere you look. Right now Cowboys fans still have this feeling, but I think it is a bit more subdued as we are unsure of which way our team is going to go. We seem to be on the apex of our season right now and we are only four games in, teetering on the point where if it gets worse we will slide back down to another disappointing season. But if they are able to turn it around and take care of business the point at which they sit can become just a step as they climb back up to the top where we know they can and should be. It NEEDS to start this weekend against the the Kansas City Chiefs. A loss against this team can and probably will force the Cowboys down to another dreadful season.

Injuries are obviously a part of the game, and Dallas has had their share early on. Wide Receiver Roy Williams and Strong Safety Gerald Sensabaugh will not practice Friday and their status for the game this weekend is doubtful.

“We’ll wait and see [up until] the last minute on all those guys,” Phillips said before Friday’s practice. “They haven’t gotten a lot better, so you want to be well enough to play. You don’t want to play with injured players … and they haven’t gotten to the point, right now, where it looks like they will be ready.”

Miles Austin will take Roy Williams starting spot in the likely event he will not play, and as Kelly mentioned earlier in the week Safety Patrick Watkins would replace Sensabaugh in the secondary. Running Back Felix Jones also will not practice and has been ruled out for this weekends game, while Center Andre Gurode has improved and will most likely play. Tackle Flozell Adams and Running Back Marion Barber were full participants in practice, and the Barbarian should have a big day against the suspect Chiefs defense.

With Barber coming back we really need Tony Romo to step it up. We all know his play the last couple games (I hate to say it) has been horrible. We need him to be confident in his ability and in his team and try to stretch the field against the Chiefs. Tony is only 1-7 for 80 yards, a touchdown and an interception on pass attempts of 21 yards or more on the season. That is not good and it has to change and if he is able to do this it should open up the running game for Marion Barber and Tashard Choice.

You wouldn’t know it but the Cowboys are tied for fourth in total offense (3rd rush, 13 pass) and 26th in total defense (18th rush, 29th Pass). I think the lack of defense is what jumps out to me, that too has to change. So fans dont give up yet. The Cowboys are 8 1/2 point favorites as of right now and have a very winnable game this weekend. So before you jump off lets wait and see if the Boys can do what they are supposed to do to the Chiefs, and if for some reason they dont, I will be the first to clear the way down.

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.

Weekly Game Balls: Preseason Week 4

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Kevin Ogletree.

In the finale of the short preseason, Kevin Ogletree once again impressed and pretty much locked in his spot on the 53-man roster. Rookie Ogletree made it easy for coaches to make the decision to cut Isaiah Stanback and go with him as the 5th wide receiver.

“Every ball is important to me, every down, every play,” Ogletree said. “So when you take that approach and you’re as hungry as I am to try to make the team, you do what you can.”

Ogletree caught two passes for a total on 14 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter before leaving last Friday’s game with an eye contusion.

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This week’s defensive game ball goes to Pat Watkins.

Pat Watkins dominated the game last Friday proving he deserved his spot on the roster. The fourth-year safety made a clutch tackle on a fourth-and-one with 1:59 left in the first half that prevented a Vikings touchdown. Then he blocked a field goal with nine seconds left on the clock, to end the first half and prevent another Vikings scoring opportunity. Finally, he opened the third quarter with a a dazzling 23-yard interception return for a touchdown. It was a big day for the Cowboys’ backup safety.

“I had a feeling like I was going to have a good game, and I had a couple people send me text messages with predictions,” Watkins said. “Someone predicted six tackles and an interception. Somebody else predicted eight tackles. So after that maybe I need more predictions to help me out.”

Whatever it takes Watkins, keep up the good work!

Star50

Congratulations to Kevin and Pat for their outstanding play.

Runners-up: Steven Octavien for his 44-yard interception returned for a touchdown and Jesse Holley for his brave 82-yard punt return for a touchdown that in turn won the game.

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!

It’s All Good – Stanback Out, Ogletree In

STanback

I have been saying all pre-season long, that Isaiah Stanback should not be on this team. With all of his injuries throughout his career with the Cowboys, I couldn’t understand why he was still here. Well, on Saturday the Cowboys finally realized what we were all thinking, and finally cut Stanback to trim the roster to 52 players. You have to remember the NFL is a business and cuts are a part of it, if you don’t play well or play at all, you should be cut.

And by the way, Stanback, who was a converted quarterback trying to transition into a wide receiver, was picked up by the New England Patriots as a backup quarterback on Saturday.

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Replacing his spot on the roster is the up and coming Kevin Ogletree, who had himself an outstanding pre-season and impressed many coaches, players and fans alike in the process. Ogletree even scored a touchdown in the final pre-season game to put the icing on the cake and secure a spot on the roster. With oft injured reeivers Sam Hurd and Miles Austin already on the team, having Ogletree on board will give the Cowboys some solid depth at the position.

All’s well that ends well…

This post was edited by Joe D.

Young Receivers Showing Something In Camp

Training camp is well underway and there have been a lot great things happening in San Antonio. From what I have been reading one of the biggest surprises in training camp has been the play of our young receivers Sam Hurd, Miles Austin, and the other receivers.

Sam Hurd and Miles Austin have been vying for the third receiver slot. They both have been making some acrobatic catches. This is great news, however this is training camp and we will have to wait to see what happens in a real game.

One low spot was Isaiah Stanback tweaking his hamstring and was out of practice, this is not a good sign for him. He has really been injury plagued since he has been with the Cowboys.

Not sure if Jesse Holley can make the team after winning Michael Irvin’s reality show “4th and Long”, but he has been making some plays as well.

Right now, Patrick Crayton is the second wide receiver behind Roy Williams, but we will have to wait and see if the keeps it.

We all know that the receivers would be a big question mark this year, but lets hope they can make their mark.