Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys continue to fall short year after year. Lets take a look at what "America's Team" has been up to in the offseason as they gear up for the NFL draft. Will this be their year to return to the spotlight?
"I'm Gonna Knock You Out"
By: Joe Catalano
Do any of you remember the song by the rapper artist LL Cool J in where he says "Momma says knock you out?". Well he has that half correct with Dallas receiver Dez Bryant as Bryant would prefer to knock his mother out.
Yes folks, just a week ago Dez Bryant's mother (Angela Bryant) called 911 and reported that her son Dez Bryant was assaulting her!!! Authorities found Angela Bryant with a swollen wrist, and thumb and bruising on her arms. Bryant has recently (July 24th) denied the accusations as he was charged with a misdemeanor which is punishable up to 1 year in jail and a $4,000 fine..
The Cowboys team as a whole have been saying such great things about Bryant this preseason and this happens. Save it for the field, Dez!!!
Morris Claiborne signs a four year deal with the Cowboys
This is the moment that owner Jerry Jones has been waiting for as there has been no player that Jones has coveted more than Claiborne. This puts Dallas in good shape; now Claiborne can attend training camp and get the real NFL experience before the season starts. Morris Claiborne will receive a $10 million dollar signing bonus along with his $16.4 million dollar contract.
This is a player that can make an immediate impact and that's what the Cowboys need from this young cornerback.
The window of opportunity is closing
I've stated many times, Jerry Jones has declared that 'America's Team' is in a "win now mode". Quarterback Tony Romo and linebacker DeMarcus Ware are in the primes of their careers. It's now or never with Dallas and you know that Jones will be pacing the Dallas sidelines putting extra pressure on head coach Jason Garrett. Jones has made it clear that he want's immediate improvement.
There you have it as we update you on the Cowboys. There's some positives and some negatives but Dez Bryant need's to get his head screwed on right is the bottom line.
Dez Is The Shizznit
By: Joe Catalano
This week's Dallas Cowboys blog focuses in on the wide receiver department. Multiple NFL champions have had a lot to say about the subject.
Someone will have to make the touchdown catches as Laurent Robinson is no longer a Cowboy and, in my opinion, that's a huge loss.
Living up to potential
When you watch wide receiver Dez Bryant on the field, it's clearly evident that he has the talent to be the best wide receiver in the NFL today. Bryant is elusive, has soft hands, runs good routes, and is super strong. His problem is discipline and maturity. These off the field issues in getting in trouble at malls are just ridiculous when you can be one of the best players in the NFL.
NFL legend Jerry Rice agrees puts Bryant at the top of the list of players under 26 years old with talent. Rice's list includes Bryant along with Antonio Brown, Victor Cruz, A.J. Green, Percy Harvin, and Julio Jones. Even though Bryant was listed as the best, his stats don't measure up to the players that Rice ranked below him. Jerry Rice visited with Bryant and commented that if he Bryant could get his head straight, Tony Romo would look for him more often.
Romo inspired by Bryant
Look's like Dez Bryant has made great strides as quarterback Tony Romo is also talking him up, saying that Bryant is making great improvement thus far. Romo commented that he likes players who ask "how do they get better" and Bryant has apparently tried to get feedback from the veteran QB.
From what we're hearing, expect Dez Bryant to have a huge 2012 NFL season barring injury.
Loyalty or lighting a fire?
Owner Jerry Jones is a crafty old owner as he commented on his former wide receiver Terrell Owens. We all know that Owens is broke and in a lot of trouble in his personal life. It seem's that Owens is being blackballed by the NFL for his attitude, because we all know that he can still play. Jerry Jones knows this also and was publicly praising the talent of Owens. Now this was either a ploy to motivate his own wide receivers by using Owens as a pawn, or he's just a compassionate man, looking out for his old players. Knowing Jerry Jones, I think that it's a bit of both.
First round draft pick Morris Claiborne is still on the mend from a ligmanet surgery to his wrist, but Cowboys secondary coach Jerome Henderson is super impressed with Claiborne's football IQ. Claiborne is on his way to mastering defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's playbook, and word from the combines was that Morris Claiborne lacked intelligence in certain aspects. The Cowboys coaches say that they don't see it at all, and they're very encouraged.
Things are looking very promising in Dallas. We'll stay on top of this situation and wait for more news as the news has been a big A+ thus far regarding Cowboys ownership, coaches, and players are concerned.
Fire Ants & Stingers
By: Joe Catalano
Ants in your pants!
This is not a game in Cowboy country as Dallas running back Lawrence Vickers encountered something that he would never expect at practice in the form of fire ants!
Earlier this year, Vickers was stung on the neck by a fire ant and this time they caught him below the belt. It's bad enough that Vickers was allergic to these critters in that they cause swelling and difficulty in breathing, but to get hit below the belt....
This was no laughing matter but Vickers attempted not to show the pain as he expressed it "I was trying not to squeeze myself out there in front of women". Vickers was getting bitten in the groin area and was immediately taken to the locker room for medical attention.
Thankfully this isn't an insect reference, but it's something that tends to be quite serious. Superstar linebacker DeMarcus Ware has expressed his experience with stingers that he received during contact. Ware has said that he'll occasionally get a tingling sensation down his arm and it goes numb for seconds.
DeMarcus Ware missed last week's workout due to a strained neck. He noted that he's not worried about the situation as he went for precautionary x-rays and tests..We'll have to keep an eye on this situation as numbness is no joke along with the fact that Ware is possibly the best defensive player in the NFL.
New editions and releases
Offensive lineman Pay McQuistan who was originally drafted by the Cowboys in 2006 has rejoined the team. Last season, McQuistan played with the New Orleans Saints. In his career, McQuistan has played in 66 games and made 8 starts. In order to maintain a 90 man roster, the Cowboys placed undrafted free agent Taylor Dever on waivers.
Jenkins to report to minicamp this week
Cornerback Mike Jenkins isn't happy with his situation as a cornerback in the Dallas secondary. Owner Jerry Jones has put a lot of money and attention in this area with Morris Claiborne and Jenkins wants to start. Jones had the final word and won't grant Jenkins his wish of going elsewhere. Expect to see Jenkins this week.
For all of you into the NFL gossip, there are some juicy rumors floating around about Chad Ochocinco. Having just been released by the Patriots, the reciever is now looking for a new home. Would a league veteran fit in well with Dallas Cowboys' squad? Some seem to think so, but at the moment it is all up in the air.
There you have it, let's hope that Lawrence Vickers can avoid the fire ants for one more week until we bring you the next edition of the Dallas Cowboys weekly blog.
The Injury Bug has Bitten
By: Joe Catalano
"We need to win now"
It was no surprise that Jerry Jones made this declaration after all of the season moves that he's been making. He feels that his key pieces in Tony Romo, DeMarcus Ware, and Jason Witten are in the prime of their careers and they need to seize the opportunity before it no longer exists.
Coach Jason Garrett, who seems to be an underachiever and a 'yes man" to nobody's surprise, agrees with Jones. Jones is correct that the Cowboys key pieces aren't getting older as Romo is 32, Witten is 30, and Ware is 29.
A quarterback's perspective
I happen to agree with Tony Romo in that every moment is urgent because you don't know what's going to happen from moment to moment. However, is Romo the guy to get the Cowboys to the Promise Land? I tend to disagree, as Romo seems to fade in clutch situations all the way back to the Seattle Seahawks game half a decade ago in where he picked up the botched kick snap.
No Nicks, no worries
The Cowboys will meet the Giants in the 1st game of the regular season at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on Wednesday, September 5th. If Nicks is unable to play the Cowboys chances of containing Eli Manning will increase, as Victor Cruz will be his only go to guy. This would be a good game to break in rookie Morris Claiborne. This is definitely something to keep in the back of your mind if you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan, or more importantly, a player.
How ironic that 5th round receiver Danny Coale would break his foot in the same spot in the first day of team activities. This is identical to Hakeem Nicks' injury, except that Coale is expected to be out for just a month and it was his left foot that was injured.
4th round pick Kyle Wilber has broken his index finger in rookie minicamp, and Jerry Jones holds his breath as 1st round pick Morris Claiborne is out with a wrist injury. Dallas can't afford to have anything happen to this young man as he is priceless.
Cornerback Mike Jenkins has expressed his desire to be traded, but head coach Jason Garrett has said that the Cowboys have no intentions of trading Jenkins. Jenkins has been absent in offseason workout and OTA, and his future remains uncertain.
Stay tuned for more Dallas Cowboys news as we bring you a weekly update on the happenings from Cowboys camp as we hear it.
DeMarco Murray to Return
By: Joe Catalano
Things are looking good in the Lone Star state. Jerry Jones got his man in the draft in Morris Claiborne, Tony Romo became a proud papa, and injuries are healing up quite nicely at key positions. Let's review what’s going on in "Big D."
In order for the Cowboys to be a successful team and live up to the potential their roster reflects, they need to have a balanced attack on the ground and in the air. A lot of this is dependent upon the health of running back DeMarco Murray. Before fracturing his ankle, Murray had a great season last year; not only was he put out of commission, but the entire team was adversely affected by his loss.
In 13 games, Murray rushed for 897 yards and 2 TDs; he averaged 5.5 yards per carry and also caught 26 passes for 183 yards. The Cowboys will take that all day long and possibly expect even more this season.
According to coaches, Murray has looked good during minicamp and I expect him to have a big year if he can manage to stay healthy.
The Ryan competitive spirit
Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and his brother Rex, head coach of the New York Jets, groom themselves differently, but one trait they share is a flare for the dramatic and a fiery personality. They must have picked that up from their father Buddy Ryan, who created the famed 46 defense in Chicago that enabled the Bears to win a Super Bowl in 1985.
Rob Ryan is fired up about his defense even though we're only through one rookie minicamp. The Cowboys acquired linebacker Dan Connor, formerly of the Carolina Panthers via free agency. Last season in 15 games, Connor had 87 tackles and 1 forced fumble.
Furthermore, Ryan can't feel bad about the trade up for Claiborne and the signing of cornerback Brandon Carr. If there was a title to define the Cowboys defense, it would be called "High Expectations".
Pickups and dropoffs
After being cut by the Cowboys after 3 games on special teams last season, Dallas is giving Akwasi Awusu-Ansah another opportunity to be a part of this team. The Cowboys moved him to receiver last season but expect to move him back to safety for good. Awusu-Ansah had 14 tackles in 4 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars last season, but they recently put him on waivers.
Dallas also claimed kicker Jake Rogers off waivers from the Bucs while releasing undrafted rookie safety free agent Troy Woolfolk. Rogers can do double duty as he's both a kicker and a punter.
Dallas coaches had noted that they like what they saw out of North Texas's Jamize Olawale during rookie minicamp. Olawale is a linebacker turned running back and has a good chance to be added to the roster as the Cowboys currently sit 3 players under the 90 man roster.
There you have it, a team that looks promising and is constantly making moves in hopes of improving their poor 8-8 showing in 2011. Stay tuned for more updates.
A draft of defense
By: Joe Catalano
Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys took a "defense first mentality" into the NFL Draft as their first four picks were all defensive players. The Cowboys made the boldest move of the first round as they traded the 14th overall pick and a second rounder to St. Louis and nabbed cornerback Morris Claiborne with the 6th overall pick.
This can possibly be a huge trade as Claiborne was a Heisman Trophy candidate out of LSU. Owner Jerry Jones says that he and the rest of the league think that Claiborne could be the best cornerback on the Cowboys since Deion Sanders.
Dallas was fairly secure on offense and by going defense primarily, the Cowboys look to regain the top spot in the division from the Giants.
Claiborne is a mulitalented player that's a pass defender and can return kickoffs. Last seasonClaiborne had 568 yards on 22 kickoff returns with 1 TD, 6 interceptions with 173 yards returned with 1 TD, 51 tackles, and 6 passes broken up.
Even with all of those numbers Morris Claiborne has a high upside and that's what makes him so dangerous. As of now, this is the best move in the draft.
Other defensive players of note
Kyle Wilber, Wake Forest, OLB: This linebacker has great length at 6 foot 5 and had a good senior season with 69 tackles (10.5 for losses), 3.5 sacks, 1 blocked kick, and 2 forced fumbles.
Tyrone Crawford, Boise State, DE: This Canadian born player had an outstanding senior season and looks like a great 3rd round pickup. Last season, Crawford had 44 tackles, 6.5 sacks , 1 fumble return for a TD, and 3 forced fumbles. A combination of DeMarcus Ware and Tyrone Crawford could be quite imposing if Crawford can make the transfer over to the pros
Dallas decided to search in the 5th and 6th rounds to find some offense and discovered wide receiver Danny Coale of Virginia Tech in the 5th round and tight end James Hanna of Oklahoma in the 6th round.
Coale caught for 904 yards and 3 TD while Hanna had a big game against RG3 and Baylor in where he caught for 90 yards on 4 receptions in a tight 45-38 Baylor victory.
The Cowboys ability to think "defense first" and the acquisition of Morris Claiborne make Dallas out to be one of the biggest surprises and successes in the draft.
This will be an exciting season. Stay tuned for more updates on the Cowboys when we receive them.
Dallas Cowboys 2012
By: Bob Harvey
Dispelling the rumors
Talk to Jerry Jones about Felix Jones
and you get the impression that the Cowboys talented but injury prone running
back isn’t going anywhere despite rumors to the contrary.
Jones who was one of the Cowboys
two-first round draft picks in 2008 is entering the final year of his contract.
His career has featured extreme highs but unfortunately an abundance of lows as
well. Last season was a good example.
He missed four games in 2011 with a high
ankle sprain and finished the year with 575 yards on 125 carries and one
touchdown. He had three 100-yard games, including back-to-back efforts in
December after regaining the every-down back role following DeMarco
Murray's broken ankle. Jones also caught 33 passes for 221 yards.
I’m not a doctor, but I’ll bet that Murray
will never be the same after breaking his leg. That means Dallas could keep
Jones and let him compete for the starting job or keep him in a backup role.
Early in the week ESPN got it wrong
(again) saying Cowboys brass were having ‘internal discussions’ about trading
Jones prior to the NFL draft. Dallas VP of operations Stephen Jones shot it down
and left the situation very clear; executive vice president Stephen Jones said,
“No discussions – or speculation – on the possibility of a trade involving
Felix Jones have ever taken place among individuals in this organization who
would have the authority to explore such a scenario. Any reports of apparent
internal discussions along those lines would involve people who have no input
or relevance in the process.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is an Arkansas
alum who has a soft spot for all current and former Razorbacks--even disgraced
ones like Bobby Petrino who was fired on Tuesday.
To refresh your memory, Petrino was once
the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, but left 13 games in the season to take
the Arkansas job. There was no two-week notice, no wait until the end of the
year. He literally left in the middle of the night following a lopsided Monday
night loss as I recall.
Two sources within the Dallas
organization said Petrino’s named hasn’t popped up in regards an assistant’s
job or as a consultant. However if I were Jason Garrett, I’d be looking over my
The NFL draft begins April 26 and runs
through April 28. There are at numerous mock drafts and if you take a consensus
you’re left with several opinions on who the Cowboys will select at No. 14. The
two most popular choices seem to be defensive end Quinton Coples of North
Carolina to Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.
Most of the
NFL betting futures odds are status quo and the numbers won’t move much until after the
NFL odds boards have the Cowboys listed at 30/1 to win the Super Bowl and 15/1 to capture the NFC crown.