Jerry Jones admits a mistake and releases Roy Williams, but now what? What wide receivers might be free agent targets for the Dallas Cowboys?
Dallas Cowboys defensive line under Rob Ryan will certainly play differently schematically, but will it have a lot of new faces? A look at what Ryan may do the the Cowboys personnel.
The NFL owners thought they had a deal, but the players didn't see it that way, yet. The vote is delayed on the player's side and we still have no football.
Will Gerald Sensabaugh's claims to wait out the 72hour period before all teams can bid on him make him a bad fit for the Dallas Cowboys and coach Garrett?
What will the Cowboys defense look like under Rob Ryan. We examine the possibilities along the defensive line.
The NFL Remembers Its Legends - there will be a Legacy Fund for retired players, maybe 600million in a fund today, maybe $600 in their after ten years, either way, it's good news.
Whenever unions and big business clash - The Cradle Will Rock - and the a new NFL CBA could bring new rules and a 72 hour restricted FA period that leave teams and players in a mad scramble and change the landscape of the league, especially the Cowboys.
Does the Cowboys offensive line deserve the praise from various statistical grades and rankings? What could the numbers be missing?
NFC East Free Agent Battles: Could Doug Free be a target for all four teams? Could Cowboys and Eagles pull the old switcheroo at safety?
Reports of NFL CBA negotiations claim an agreement is likely in the coming week. But could they be PR noise or deductions based on important meetings dates like the Minneapolis court room? Meanwhile, Cowboys training camp deadline looms. In the madness, Gale Sayers reminds us of John Mackey and who should not be forgotten in the new CBA deal.
Barry Sanders asked if he was better than Emmitt Smith and though he "would never say that", the question deserves a debate.
This kind of push for 4 day-long negotiations before the 4th of July weekend seems very promising to me. This is the longest series of scheduled talks since the lockout began. While it could simply be an effort to make up the days that will be lost during the holiday weekend, the optimist could also interpret it as a sign that both sides believe that a final push could end this mess and help the two sides strike a deal before the long weekend, perhaps even announcing the agreement on the joyous holiday, in an attempt to avoid missing any training camp days and preseason games...something both sides should recognize as a detriment that could dilute the quality of football in 2011. It may be Independence Day, but perhaps it will also be the day the owners and players recognized their dependence on each other.
It is great seeing a player so excited to get to practice and learn more. I have a feeling this is part of the culture change Garrett had in mind. Plus, I too am really excited to see what Ryan can do with our defense. __________________ "It's crazy," Butler, a reserve outside linebacker, said gleefully after speaking to a group of kids attending the Premier Football camp at John Paul II High School in Plano. "You've got d-linemen lining up at the free safety spot. I'd love to see Jay Ratliff line up where Alan Ball is. It sounds crazy but when you get out there and run it it makes a lot of sense. I am super excited. I was hoping for [organized team activities]. That's how excited I was. Nobody hopes for OTAs. But I was hoping for OTAs so we can get in this defense and run this defense." Butler's enthusiasm, in part, is derived from curiosity. Ryan's scheme, after all, features a variety of exotic alignments and unconventional blitz packages. From down to down, even the positioning of players can change. "His defense creates a lot of stress," quarterback Stephen McGee. "He knows how to attack formations. They know where certain formations are vulnerable and how they can overload coverages to where guys want to throw the ball. They know weaknesses by formation for most teams. That's why he is so good."
I found this interesting because of the current lockout and all the talk about the players being millionaires that should be happy just to play football. Apparently, if you compare them to other athletes, NFL payers aren't making that much. I know, it sounds strange, but then you look at the list and there are 2 golfers and 1 basketball player making more than the top earning NFL player AND... Despite football’s popularity, NFL players just don’t earn like the competition. 19 NBA players and 17 MLB players made the list, while only eight football stars were on it. I don't know about you guys, but I think football players should be earning more than other athletes. Their careers are shorter and in my mind their combination of talent and athletic ability are more difficult to find and can't be taught as easily as swinging a bat or golf club. And when you think this is also the greatest earning sports league in the US, it just seems odd. Sure, more players mean the average will be lower, but to have the top earners a fraction of the list just seems wrong in my mind.
This is a good read with more information than propoganda and politics. It discusses the 10 major issues that need to be resolved before a new CBA can be agreed upon and adds the current stance for both sides. It could be debated that this information is just a lot of assumptions, but it certainly seems to stack with what little has been revealed through the media (hidden behind PR statements from both sides).
Just say "see you around" and perhaps Happy Birthday. HAHA I can only half-apologize for the title teaser. Like most, I expect the Cowboys to release Marion Barber once football operations get...
Ok, so no matter whether you think the players are wrong or the owners are wrong, or both are equally guilty, I think we can all agree that this is just PR nonsense. Does anyone really believe that if the owners get a larger piece of the revenue pie that ticket and merchanise prices for the fans will not continue to skyrocket? The owners are willing to lockout the players for the entiire season but we are to believe they won't be maximizing their profit from fans in the future if they win during this labor deal?! HAHAHA What a crock of $h!... As per the article: "We can’t continue to shift the cost, whether it’s the rising player cost or the rising cost of operating an NFL franchise, on to our fans," Goodell said, per the Tampa Tribune. "That’s why we’re trying to get a better economic model. And I think everyone understands that. You are not being left out of the equation. The fans are a big part of that equation and a big part of the success of NFL football."
Yes, it's a scandalous title, but I wanted people to consider this when they think the players are just being prima donnas (most aren't) making millions (most don't) that just want a bigger slice of the pie (they don't) and aren't thinking about past and future players, just their own bank account and who should just be happy they get to play the game of football. Oddly, no one says the owners should just be happy they get to be part of the exclusive 32 member club that rakes in billions from the efforts of 1500 players and thousands of staff and stadium employees. In any case, consider the following next time you think all football players are already lucky to be playing a game for more money than most Americans make, because most of us - including the owners making more than everyone - don't face the same risks the players do. As per the article: The brains of 49ers Hall of Fame running backs Joe "The Jet" Perry and John Henry Johnson will be examined at Boston University for evidence of a dementia-like disease brought on by repeated trauma to the head... Perry's spouse, Donna, said she suspected Perry was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The condition previously had been associated with boxers but has recently been found in a number of ex-NFL players. It affects neural activity and is linked to memory loss, depression and dementia. The condition can be studied only after death with a brain autopsy. Donna Perry said her husband's memory began to fade in recent years to the point where routine trips left him disoriented. "He was aware of (the study). He wanted to do it," said Perry, who donated her husband's brain last month. Johnson's daughter, Kathy Moppin, said she is filling out the paperwork to have her father's brain examined. Moppin took care of her father, known as a punishing blocker, for the past nine years. She said his condition affected everything about him, from his memory to his ability to speak and walk... Chronic traumatic encephalopathy has been detected in more than 20 deceased players, including former Chicago defensive back Dave Duerson, 50, who committed suicide in February. Last month, the Boston University group said Duerson's brain tissue showed a "moderately advanced" case of the condition. The NFL is not part of the Boston University study, but the league donated $1 million last year and has encouraged active and retired players to donate their brains to the study.
Here are the highlights: Bowen understands the ambiguity of his situation but he hasn't wasted much time dwelling on it. "There's nothing I can do," Bowen said. "Hopefully it works itself out and a player in my position will get a chance to get a second deal." Based on how his offseason has transpired, it appears that Bowen expects his next contract will be drawn up by the Cowboys regardless of what system is instituted when the new CBA is finalized. After all, he has been working out at a shuttered Hummer dealership in Grapevine, where outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware has created a makeshift gym that has attracted many of Bowen's teammates, including Jason Hatcher, Anthony Spencer and Victory Butler. As they have lifted weights and maintained their fitness, Bowen and the other Cowboys players have also invested time studying the nuances of new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's scheme. "Everybody is trying to get in shape and make sure we learn the defense," Bowen said. In the previous system coordinated by former coach Wade Phillips, Bowen excelled, even though his accomplishments often went unnoticed and his quantifiable output was rather unimpressive... "For our position in the 3-4 defense, it's very hard for us to be the focal point," explained Bowen, who signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2006. "The linebackers generally flow and make the plays." That probably won't change under Ryan, whose defense Bowen is eager to master as he awaits to find out whether he or the Cowboys will decide his future. ---------- For those that don't know, I am a Bowen fan. I saw him apply more pressure than the final stat sheet would indicate. If you check my profile and search for Bowen, you will see some interesting stats I found that back up my "eye test" results. He had a lot of QB pressures for his amount of snaps and PFF grades show he did have success last season. He is still growing as a player and will need to improve his run stopping to become an every down player (which he did improve on in 2010), but I hope he is a priority signing this offseason after Doug Free.
Short article and not much info, but Murray is living in Dallas (though at an extended stay hotel) but perhaps most importantly, he is practicing with the team and getting ready to be involved in 2011. Per the article (I added bold emphasis): Murray is working out with his fellow Cowboys, and he’s also been getting advice from his college teammate, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. And he said he’s trying to learn as much as he can based on the tiny amount of contact he had with Cowboys coach Jason Garrett after he was drafted. "He told me," Murray said, "to make sure I am ready for everything."
First, let me explain a revenue bond. A revenue bond is usually issued by a municipality to help pay for public projects by providing investors a chance to help pay for the project by sharing in the revenue raised by the project. Now, this is not the exact arrangement for all the NFL stadiums housing teams, but many teams have benefited from having their fans pay for a portion of the stadium building and even maintenance costs (you know, the costs that now seem to increase enough to warrant a lockout without a new CBA due to increased costs for owners). Well, many fans (and citizens that can't tell you what NFL stands for) live in municipalities that use revenue bond like principals to help pay for stadiums, but the investors are every taxpayer and not necessarily only willing investors. Long story short, the board of governers for the Georgia Dome (home of the Atlanta Falcons) just approved two budgets for the stadium. One shows a $4.6mil profit - if the Falcons play a full season in the stadium, while the other shows the results of a NFL lockout - $1.5mil loss. For fans and taxpayers in cities and municipalities that pay higher taxes if the stadiums make less money (less revenue from the revenue like bonds that "pay down" taxes if they raise more money, or increase taxes if theyd on't make as much as assumed) the NFL lockout will cost them more than just the ability to watch football and cheer on their favorite team and players.
Not a huge Spagnola fan, but I did like this article (at least the factual info). Apparently, Garrett has been putting up Super Bowl and franchise memorabilia along the walls between the coaches' offices and the players' locker room. As Spagnola mentions: "Now, no, these collages won't compensate for the lack of pass protection or pass rush or safety play, and that's not the point. Those are areas the Cowboys must refurbish through what they've done in the draft, what they will do in free agency and how Garrett and this somewhat new coaching staff perform in their duties. But there is nothing wrong with bringing a little Joe College spirit to professional football, just to remind these guys, no matter if they are raw rookies or salty veterans, that while making big bucks and winning awards is important, nothing replaces winning. Nothing. And the Cowboys, while they might be in this current depression of success, have a winning legacy." And the article also has this quote from Garrett that explains not only what he started last year, but one of his aims as head coach - it seems I always like what I hear from him. "It was an amazing weekend - an amazing weekend," Garrett said of his time at Duke, the hookup coming thanks to Calvin Hill, whose son Grant played for Krzyzewski. "When I first went there I saw how organized everything was, how seamless everything was in its execution, and I kind of sat back in my chair and said, That's why he's been so successful the last 31 years - look at this practice, look at this meeting, look how this stuff goes." Garrett would eventually leave us with this last impression: "Inspirational is the word I left with. He just inspired me in so many different ways to become a much better coach in every aspect of it."
Wow, now things are getting interesting...actually, they aren't, I just want football, but this may help. As per ProFootballTalk: The NFL’s coaches have not yet attempted to form a union. Though that day may eventually come, the trade association that represents the league coaches has taken its boldest action to date, filing a "friend of the court" brief in support of the players’ attempt to lift the lockout. There is also a fanpost about this with a SI article link. It is an interesting dynamic because the coaches, I guess, are trying to claim irreparable harm due to the lockout. While some are already facing salary cuts by owners (could be the biggest reason for this action), it will be tough to claim that without an offseason they face irreparable harm to their careers. Sure, less time to prepare could lead to a worse performance by your team, but every coach is facing that challenge and every year coaches get fired for bad team performances. But if nothing else, this is the first PR victory for the players in a long time and it could add some more pressure for the owners and players to get this resolved before the game of chicken with the courts for negotiating leverage risks changing NFL football forever.
The article isn't great. But it does discuss a Rob Ryan interview on the Radio show "The Blitz." Below are Ryan's quotes about his defensive plans: "Hopefully we're not giving up many points." "We are going to find a way to get to the quarterback. He's the source of the passing game, as you guys know, and we want to attack him." "We have the finest pass rusher in football in DeMarcus Ware, so he could be a one-man pass rush. We like to hit'em, we like to drive by - scare 'em when not actually hitting 'em. We want (the quarterback) to feel us, and to do that you have to attack protections, and with Brian Baker (new defensive line coach) and myself, we should be pretty darn good." "We look forward to hitting quarterbacks and getting after them." Music to my ears. While the interview was asking philosophic ideas of his defense and not real Xs and Os, I do like what I am hearing. The best line in my mind is what I put in bold. Will we finally get to see Ratliff use his athleticism in some stunts? Could our DL rotation actually attack the OL in various ways instead of sending Ratliff while 2gapping the DEs every play (like under Wade's command)?! Could we finally see some more sacks come from the Big Nasties on the line? Here is some more info (not from this article) about DL coach Baker. "Over the years, Brian has earned a noteworthy reputation as one of the most knowledgeable defensive line coaches in the NFL. He is known for his enthusiastic and animated coaching style. Baker’s arrival added 27 years of coaching experience to the Cowboy coaching staff, 15 spent in the NFL." He was at UNC prior to coming to the 'Boys, so he probably also had some inside scoop on Bruce Carter and even more about the red flagged prospected we didn't draft (to some's discontent) Marvin Austin. This article is more of a tease than anything else, but I continue to like what I am hearing from Garrett, Ryan & Co.
While there is one rule change/modification that defensive players will like, the crushing blows to WRs trying to catch a ball are all but done. Also, players can no longer "launch themselves" which will negate some great hits and highlights. In the end, player safety is winning, but in my view the game of football just lost some of its swagger. The owners agreed to the rule change 32-0...now if only they could be so quick and unified in reaching a CBA agreement.
Ok, so the link will take you to an article that talks about Kubiak thinking the Texans are a "damn good team." What really stuck out to me was what he said about Wade and this draft... As per the article: Kubiak said that previous coordinators cut their list of potential defensive draft picks to roughly 50-60 prospects. Phillips got the list to 15-20, and the Texans drafted five of them. "It was locked in before we went to draft day," Kubiak said. "He knew exactly what he wanted." Kubiak’s future now depends on Phillips being right. Could Wade's "knowing what he wanted" have led to bad drafts for the Cowboys? I mean, this reeks of the '09 draft and Wade thinking he was smarter than the results would indicate. Listen, I am all for knowing the kind of players you want and having a vision and plan (like Garrett seems to have) but that doesn't mean I think a coach should widdle all defensive draft eligible players to 15-20. Seems like a sure way to miss out on some players or reach on some others.
I recently discovered Matt Bowen's "Inside the Playbook" series at the National Football Post. This is some great reading for anyone that misses actual football news this offseason and anyone interested in getting some more in-depth X's and O's breakdowns. If I may, I would recommend the May 5th post about Martz' playcall during the Bears vs. Lions matchup that led to a gamewinning TD. Don't be surprised to see something similar from Garrett against a Cover1 Defense where he gets Felix-Murray in a mismatch in the passing game.
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