Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Posted on: January 22, 2009 3:52 pm
 

The Cowboys' next adventure into Reality TV

<span style="color: #618bb5;">http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/ne
ws/story?id=3851967
 

The Hall of Fame receiver is launching a reality TV show in which 12 "football neophytes" will compete for an impressive grand prize: a spot on the Dallas Cowboys' training camp roster.Is this a good idea or a very bad one?

With all the media attention that Dallas is surrounded by, it would be easy to say this is more attention than they need at this time. The team does not need any more questions this off season that are not focused to the field of play. This is true.

However, this has promise. This is the opportunity for 12 individuals to attempt and crack their way into the NFL. The possiblity of actually locating a star player is slim to none but there have been many occations when an undrafted rookie has made a major impact within his carerr. James Harrison is the best example. The odds are greater than Detroit winning the Super Bowl this decade (or the next), but the potential is still there.

The obvious downside is the media attention an potential distraction this may cause similar to "Hard Knocks". But this isn't Hard Knocks. The cameras will not be on the field disrupting practice during training camp. They will not be following the every move of known star's on the team.

They will be documenting a "try-out" for a roster spot on the Dallas Cowboys' training camp team.

What is major risk of such exposure? Little to none. This may be nothing more than a marketting tool for Jerry Jones to promote his new, lavish stadium. Or, an actual try-out to attempted find talent amoung the thousands of players that will never have a shot otherwise.

If the winner of the contest works out and makes the team then, I say, more power to you. If not, then he gets cut like anyone else and is replaced by some else on their extensive list of invitiees to the training camp. 

No harm, no foul!

Posted on: January 22, 2009 10:37 am
 

Targetting No. 51 - Dallas Cowboys 2009 Draft

I am a man of action and change. That is why I love the Draft and really try to dive into it. I research top picks and multiple resources for mock drafts. I look to see what ideas people have when it comes to the needs of teams and who they believe will fill those needs. One of my favorite sites is Fantasy Football Jungle. On the Dallas <span style="color: #618bb5;">Cowboys page, they break down multiple mock drafts to figure out who the most popular pick would be.

<span style="color: #618bb5;">http://www.fantasyfootballjungle
.com/y/nfl-draft/teams/index.php?steam=Dal

The following shows who NFL draft enthusiasts think the Dallas Cowboys are going to get with their first 2 draft picks . Players are shown with the number of mock drafts that had this player going to the Cowboys, and the % of the time that this player was selected to go to the Cowboys. The bottom table gives a list of positions that the Dallas Cowboys are most likely targeting with their first 2 picks of the draft. What I am looking at is the position and the player themselves to see if there is an overwhelming favorite. It gives me as base line for needs. This draft is going to be very difficult to scout just because there are so many teams with 2 and 3 picks ahead of Dallas which really makes it difficult for me to figure which need will get addressed where.

I am going to post a draft position and two players and I would like your feed back on who you would take and why. I'm going to try and keep this running over the next couple of weeks.

Pick Number #51 overall: SS Patrick Chung (Oregon) vs. FS Rashad Johnson (Alabama)

Posted on: January 20, 2009 2:55 pm
 

Battle Scars 1st Edition - Media Bias & T.O.

Battle Scars

Welcome to the first editions of Battle Scars. Battle Scars is the portion of my blog that I use to rant and rave about the week's headlines.

I'll start with the most hated two words that any Cowboys fan has heard uttered out of the mouths of a media member.

Anonymous Source!

Everytime I see these words starting an editorial or column, I kringe. Myself, along with 2 million other Cowboys fans, would really like to know who the "Anonymous Source" is that Ed Werder and ESPN have sworn by this season. I speculate often that the source is manifistation of Ed Werder's bias mind. After all, he has been after Terrell Owens for years. He has been fishing for information and this season, in the wake of Dallas' disappointment, he found Dallas an easy target fabricate some controversy. Maybe someone in the locker room, or just out side the locker room perhaps, mentioned something obscure that he felt he could twist into a breaking story. After all, the Dallas Cowboys are big news, expecially when they are on edge.

Now there is about as much fact in this has in Werder's "source", but hey, he isn't the only one that can twist a story.

As a fellow Cowboys fan and poster withing the Dallas Cowboys' community (Calcio9) has brought to light, Marvin Harrison seems to have a pretty checkered past.

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/messag
es/chrono/13076849

For years, though, Harrison has offered clues that he is serious about protecting his turf, and a more complicated man than we see in games. On Jan. 4, 2003, before kickoff of an AFC wild-card game at the Meadowlands, Harrison was catching passes from Manning as Jets ball boys shagged punts from New York's Matt Turk. One of them, a 23-year-old Long Islander named Matt Prior, threw a ball downfield that bounced near Harrison. According to a New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority report—and two people on the field—No. 88 felt the toss violated his personal space. He charged Prior, bumping him in the chest.

"You threw the ball at me!" Harrison screamed. "You're a professional! You should do your job better than that!" Everyone on the field froze. Prior asked Harrison to back away. Instead, Harrison grabbed Prior by the throat and lifted him off the ground. While fans watching on the stadium's video screen chanted for their ball boy to fight back, players and workers tried to separate the two. As Harrison argued with security, Prior was taken to a medical station, where marks were found around his neck. "This was a violent incident," says Dan Santos, security manager at the Meadowlands that day. "Coaches tried to downplay it, but we were one step from making an arrest." In the end, though, Prior decided not to press charges; he just wanted an apology he never got. The NJSEA referred the incident to state police, who didn't pursue it.

That wasn't the only time Harrison drew looks from law enforcement. On the evening of Feb. 10, 2005, three nights before the Pro Bowl, he and two men were walking along a row of stores at the Hilton Hawaiian Village hotel in Honolulu. According to a police report—and a witness—Harrison was talking on his cell when a group of teenage fans asked for his autograph. Harrison declined, and when the fans kept pestering him, he and his friends turned on them. The Pro Bowler took a swing at one fan, then grabbed him by the throat and put an arm around his neck. After more scuffling, Harrison and his friends ran off, leaving one of the teenagers beaten. "I was walking about three feet behind these kids," the witness told The Magazine. "Harrison and his friends acted like real punks."

Despite the police report, Honolulu's prosecuting attorney didn't press charges. "We couldn't prove them beyond a reasonable doubt," says deputy prosecutor Renee Sonobe Hong. And once again, hardly anyone took notice.
http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/s
tory?id=3827402

It seems that the NFL has either been hiding something from the rest of the world or the media at the time decided not to taint their little golden duo of Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison with such exploits. I find it hard to beleive that this wasn't a prime time story plastered all over the news when it happend, with all the eye witnesses and first hand sources. None of the sources were even anonymous and the story still had little to no, media buzz. Interesting!

Once again, selective media at its finest.

Thus far this off season, Dallas has made a number of cuts that were warrented and expected, even if Jerry Jones opened his mouth a little bit too soon concerning his coaching staff. Where does Dallas go from here? The top topic at the moment is getting rid of Terrell Owens. Why? Because he had a down or unproductive year? 1000+ yards and 10 touchdowns may be down for him but is most definatly not unproductive. How about because of team chemistry? I don't think so but many fans and media members would disagree. Did the Cowboys have chemistry in 2007 when they went 13-3? Yes.

What happened then?

It started when Dallas lost Kyle Kosier on the offensive line. They bring in Cory Procter which is a poor substitute. Add in the fact that Jason Garrett hasn't learned to adjust his blocking scheme and WHAM, you lose Tony Romo. By this point, Dallas has already lost Felix Jones, which he wasn't really being used very much to begin with but a major loss none the less. Once Romo is out of the picture, bring on Brad Johnson and Roy E. Williams. Johnson is an ageless wonder who's age has completely caught up with him. Williams, already known for being lazy and not learning the play book with Detroit, comes in and, in a skocking turn of events, doesn't learn the playbook. He was the most non-effective player in the league this year. Romo comes back off his injury and plays well, but as the defensive schemes get stronger (Steelers, Ravens and Eagles more specifically) Romo starts to feel that pressure. With his misadjusted pinky and no time to make the big plays down field, Romo is forced to throw on the run and often to his check down, Jason Witten. He doesn't even have the time to make it to his second read before he drops the ball or gets dropped. Thus, the demise of the Cowboys in 2008. Then, out of left field, Romo and Garrett basically get a pass and the entire weight of the Cowboy nation falls down onto TO. All of the sudden, he is bad news again. The punnishment doesn't fit the crime. The only passionate player on the Cowboys roster and he is the scape goat. I now understand why fans are fans and have no business making any desision for a franchise.

Next season, the expectation will be the same as this one for the Cowboys' fans. The media will not hold the Cowboys in as high esteem, but when has anyone really cared what media members really think. They are fans too. With their own bias agendas. They will attempt to hide it but they will fail as always. Here is to you, Ed Werder. May Dallas bring you, your well deserved dessert next season... humble pie.

Posted on: January 16, 2009 3:02 pm
 

The Blame Game: Dallas Cowboys Edition

I am watching all the network and all forum posters and all the little blog boys and girls give their takes who is to blame for Dallas' seasonal disappointment. Most want to place 90% of the blame on Terrell Owens. Most of these people are also listening to the voices in their heads (I call them ESPN). But when I sat down an took a serious look at if from as many angles as possible I came up with the following list.

  1. Wade Phillips - He has created an atmosphere of softness and unaccountability to include the coaching staff and players a like. His leadership and diciplinarian skills are extremely lacking. Players may respect him as a person (I don't really know or care), but they definitly do not respect him as a coach. This is his own making and not the making of anyone else.
  2. Jerry Jones - I would put him above Phillips except for the fact that I don't believe for a second that Jerry Jones thought Wade would be this inept as a head coach. He hired Jason Garrett prior to signing Phillips and this seems to be a source of tention between the two. It is obvious that the coaching staff is not on the same page, therefore you can not expect chemistry within the team itself. Also, resigning himself to keeping Brad Johnson last season has proved to be a very costly mistake.
  3. Jason Garrett - His play calling skills have been non-existant in the 2008 season. They seemed to be diminishing towards the end of the 2007 season as well. I don't know if it is because the players stopped responding or if the lose of Tony Sparanno was the key issue but he clearly has a lot of work to do to set the offense straight. Granted he might not even return depending on the coaching carousel.
  4. Wade Wilson - Wilson has done little to nothing in improving Tony Romo's fundamentals. If Tony  is not responding to training then he needs to find another way or speak with Coach Cupcake and Red Jesus about it. This is one reason why he is 4th and not higher on the list is because of his lack of power within the organization.
  5. Tony Romo - He has, as stated above, has a serious lack of fundamentals the result in an series of extremely costly mistakes that cost the Dallas Cowboys more than 1 game. Under Bill Parcells, Romo managed to curve his fumblitis for the most part and became a top quarterback. We all know he has the talent but within the atmosphere created by Phillips, Romo is little more than an average signalcaller. The injury was a factor, but his decision making skills and his read progression have regressed back to the level of a rookie quarterback straight out of college. He above all other players needs to forgo his off season in lue of an extensive training regiem. Next season he could be up for the most improved player award or comeback player of the year.
  6. Cory Procter - He has been a major factor in Romo's regression into mediocrity. His complete lack of skills allowed more sacks in this season than any other line player for the Cowboys in the last 3. There is no hope for him.
  7. Brian Stewart - His inability to call a defensive play is well documented over the last two seasons. It was not until Coach Phillips took control of the defense turned them into the beasts that we all witnessed mid to late in the season that Dallas truely became a defensive threat. Unfortunatly, It was too little too late.
  8. Adam Jones - While his off the field exploits were well documented, Jones' on the field contributions were lacking in most areas. He played well on the defensive side of the ball deflecting the most passes for the season for the Cowboys given his limited time on the field. However, his return skills had grossly diminished from his days as a Titan and irresponsiblity and lack of accountability off the field let him to miss the a vast majority of the season. Even if his skills improve over the off season, his inability to stay on the field during the season makes him a great liability. Dallas, I believe, was correct in releasing Adam Jones.
  9. Injuries - The number of key players injured this season for the Cowboys was substancial. The fact that they could not get Felix Jones, Kyle Kosier and Miles Austin back on to the field was a direct result of their strength and conditioning staff. The Dallas trainers this season have failed the Cowboys. Injuries are apart of the game but the fact that all three players were injured and reinjured again during rehab just baffles me.
  10. Terrell Owens - While most believe that he is the key culprit in Dallas' demise, I believe that releasing T.O. will be the single biggest mistake this off season. My only faults for T.O. are missed opportunities on the field. He is known for dropping the ball in pressure situations. Part of that stems from the throw itself but sometimes he just stone hands the ball. He is known for quitting on a play. That was evident against the Packers when he chased down Charles Woodson after a Tony Romo interception. Another fault of his that is about 50/50 as far as blame is concerned is his "Media Magnet" ability. Early in his career he created this issue. Now he has become a victim of it. With media sharks like Ed Werder and Matt Mosley prowling around the lockerroom looking for "Anonymous Sources" that will ultimately be used as fuel to spark the soap opera that is Dallas. The media does everything they possibly can to spike their ratings by trashing someone elses reputation or precived reputation.
Posted on: January 16, 2009 10:13 am
 

May the Schwartz be with you

As the Titans' ex-defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz, steps on to Ford Field for the first time as the Detroit Lions' new head coach you have to be wondering what is going through his mind.

Taking over the worst team in NFL history after comming off their worst season in NFL history, 0-16, is a monumental task. Schwartz has very little talent to work with, but he does have a relitively good chance to turn it all around. Schwartz will be inheriting one of the best young WR in the game in Calvin Johnson, a young running back that has show potential in Kevin Smith and his best defensive player on the team in Ernie Sims.

He is also inheriting the 24th ranked passing attack and 30th ranked rushing attack (83.2 YPG) on the offensive side;  along with the 27th ranked passing defense and the NFL's worst ranked rushing defense (172.1 YPG).  Under the reign of Matt Millen, Detroit has manage to botch almost every draft in a decade. This draft promises to be first in a brighter future.

With the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and the No. 20 overall pick from the Dallas Cowboys, Schwartz will have a good place to start. A franchise quarterback looks to be in the cards in the name of Mathew Stafford followed quickly by someone to protect their future quarterback in OT Eben Brittan from Arizona.

This task seemingly much like the 1989 Dallas Cowboys comming off of their 1-15 season and hiring first time head coach Jimmy Johnson. The only major differences would be Dallas' history of excellence versus Detroits' history of ineptitude and Jerry Jones' win at all cost attitude versus the don't break the back but try to win if you can attitude of William Ford.

A daunting task, none the less.

My heart goes out to Jim Schwartz. I hope this position does not become the death of his career as it has to so many other coaches before him. May the Schwartz be with you all in Detroit.

Posted on: January 14, 2009 4:45 pm
 

2008 Dallas Cowboys Fan Family Cookbook

The families of the Dallas Cowboys' players put together a cookbook every year. This year's cookbook probably received the most headlines ever in the history of the cookbook. I must have missed something, because I didn't know Jessica became a Romo (or did Tony became a Simpson). Well, either way they can keep their "no-fat broccoli and cherry tomatoes".

I have a lot of favorite recipes that I frequently break out during the season that makes my occational Sunday parties a lot more delicious. I figured that sense we are all apart of the Dallas Cowboys fan family, everyone could drop a couple of their favorite Sunday treats and eats.

If you're not a fan you can still feel free to add to the Cookbook.

One of my all time favorites would be the:

Beer Battered Onion Rings


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 12-ounce beer (1 1/2 cups)
3-4 large onions (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
Oil for deep frying
Salt to taste

 

  • Mix the flour, salt, pepper, oil and eggs together in a medium-large size bowl. Pour in the beer and whisk until thoroughly combined and lump-free.

     

     

  • Peel the onions and slice them into about 3/8" thick rounds. Separate the rings.

     

     

  • Dip the rings in the batter, shaking off any excess, and fry in batches in hot oil (375°) until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Turn and continue frying for another 1-2 minutes, until both sides are golden brown.

     

     

  • Remove and drain on paper towels. Salt to taste.

  • I hope you enjoy.

    Category: NFL
    Posted on: January 13, 2009 11:42 pm
    Edited on: January 13, 2009 11:44 pm
     

    Dallas Cowboys - 2008 Coaching Review

    I like to start at the top and work my way down. I'm only covering the major contributors and not the positional coaches. I like to cover this before the off season and this seems as good of time as any.  The rating system is as follows:

    5 - Excellent Season - Near to perfection
    4 - Good Season - A few bumps in the road
    3 - Average Season - A few minor issues with maybe 1 major
    2 - Bad Season - A few major issues with alot of bad luck
    1 - Detroit like - Posting the resume on Monster.com

    Wade Phillips, Head Coach, 2nd season

    This has been an up and down year for Coach Wade. He has arguably one of the best talented teams in the NFL but due to injuries, lack of dicipline and some locker room drama (I still stand by the notion that it was mainly fabricated by the media) Dallas has only managed 9 wins thus far with one to go. In all fairness, Wade has bought the talent of the defense to life in the last portion of the season helping Dallas to an all or nothing shot at the playoffs. In all reality I do not believe that Coach Wade will be leaving the team after this season even in the wake of Dallas' loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia. I believe that his infusion of life into the Dallas defense has saved his job for another season. I will rate his season a 2 based on the teams record and the total number of penalties thus far. Wade is a glorified defensive coordinator and does not have the grit needed to be a head coach in the NFL. Expecially for a high profile team such as the Dallas Cowboys.

    Jason Garrett, Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, 2nd season

    Coming into the 2008 season, Jason Garrett was high flying offensive coordinator and projected future head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Today his short legacy stands in question. The offensive numbers have been decent for the average NFL team but they are well below par from last year and, given the weapons he possesses, he is hitting rock bottom based on his expectations. Garrett is has too many toys to play with and does not know how to manage them all. His major weapon, Tony Romo, has had a very down year mainly in part because of play calling, injuries and his inability to protect the ball. All but the injuries can be contributed to poor coaching. Jason's newest weapon in his arsenal, Roy E. Williams, has been a none factor largely in-part because of the play calling and QB's slow target progressions. Jason Garrett's value is in a recession until he can learn how to control his players, use his weapons' strengths and help his offense to become more consistent. I rate Jason Garrett's season as a 2 based on the fact that Jerry Jones will not fire him due to an invested interest, although he may leave to pursue one of the handful open head coaching positions available today. Hopefully he will not make him head coach any time soon. I am positive that Garrett will be a head coach eventually  (and a good one). I just hope he is ready when the time comes.

    Brian Steward, Defensive Coordinator, 2nd year

    Brian Steward is a man that is holding onto his job by a thread. The only think that might save him this season is Wade Phillips. If Wade is not fired, I do not see Brian getting fired. Wade is a friend and a "softy" so Brian will stay. His play calling abilities have been in question for 2 seasons now. The secondary (although very thin and injury prone) has been a major weak spot in this defense all season. The front 7 have played with marginal success in the first half of the season. The defense took a new shape and energy after the slaughter by the Rams in week 7. Once Wade Phillips took charge of the play calling (and key players became healthy) the defensive calls where more agressive. The front 7 went from 22 sacks in the first 8 games to 36 sacks in the last 7. A major improvement allowing the defense to hold teams to low scoring games.  Dallas' defense has arrived as the beast it is with little to no assistance from Brian Steward. I rate his season a 2 (border line 1) based on the fact that if Wade doesn't go then Steward will remain the defensive coordinator for another season.

    Bruce Read, (not so)Special Teams Coach, 2nd Season (Dismissed)

    If there was a bright side to Bruce Read's special teams then I must have blinked and missed it. The special teams has been the worst I have seen in my life as a Dallas Cowboys fan. They do not tackle well. They do not block very well and even with a "superstar" return man, they have not found a way to give Dallas good field position on a consistent basis. I'll give him the fact that he lost the best punter in the league for the year. Unfortunitly, the special teams was just as bad last season. The bright spot might be Nick Folk but this season has been a very down year for Folk. He (at no fault of his own) has been the lowest scoring kicker all season long. A bigger concern would have to be punt and kick off coverage teams. Dallas is giving up the most field position per kick off and punt return in the NFC. Read should not have a job anywhere in the NFL by the end of this season. I rank him a 1. Bring on Coach Joe (DeCamillis that is)!!!

    The Coaching staff as a whole deserves a 2. The season for the Cowboys hangs on this final game with the Eagles. If Dallas wins the season will be an average season by Dallas' standard with major room for improvement. If Dallas loses than this will be the most disappointing season in my eyes sense the 94' season and that lose to San Fransisco 49ers that stopped our hope of a  three-peat (and potential four-peat, hindsite 20/20).

    Posted on: January 12, 2009 10:28 pm
     

    The First Bus Out of Big D - Garrett's Last Ride

    Jason Garrett was reported today to have scheduled an interview with the St. Louis Rams. Previously, interviews include the Denver Broncos and the Detroit Lions. The Lions, of which he declined the interview a week prior to.

    It seems apparent that Garrett is trying to get out of Dallas at any cost. He must feel his stock plummeting after an abysmal season that left more questions than answers.

    Within a few weeks, decisions will be made. Where will Jason Garrett make his next stop?

    Denver? Denver has already filled their head coaching position with the former offensive coordinator from the New England Patriots, Josh McDaniels.

    Detroit? The head coach position is still up for grabs. This would be a good situation for any first time head coach. 0-16 last season leaves the Lions with no real expectation except to win a few games (probably more than one). With an outstanding WR in Calvin Johnson and two first round draft picks (No. 1 and No. 20 overall), there is a lot of room to grow quickly and in the manor that the new head coach sees fit. The biggest question marks on the Lions would be their defensive play, which has been ridiculously poor all season long. The offense has shown signs of life which would give the new head coach hope that there is a little something to work with.

    St. Louis? The Rams are coming off of a poor season as well. Not quite to the standards of Detroit but their is not a lot to cheer about in St. Louis this off season. Mark Bulger has been looking dreadful. Their offensive line is even worse. Their number one wide out, Tory Holt, looks as if father time is at his door step. The one glimmer of sunshine on the offensive side of the ball would be their stud runningback, Steven Jackson. The Rams had one of the worst defenses in the NFL in 2008. Barely able to stop even the worst of teams, the Rams had a field day against a Tony Romo-less Cowboys offense led by death himself, Brad Johnson. The Rams will get a top 5 pick in the draft and have some talent to work with. Still with high expectations due to the Super Bowl runs almost a decade ago, the newest head coach of St. Louis better be on his game from day one.

    So where do you think Jason Garrett will land?
     
     
     
     
    The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com