Tag:Leonard Davis
Posted on: July 26, 2011 3:47 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 3:51 pm
 

Cowboys to cut Williams, Colombo, Barber, Davis

Posted by Will Brinson

Yesterday, the Baltimore Ravens drew a ton of attention by slashing prices cutting a slew of veterans including Derrick Mason and Todd Heap. Tuesday, it was the Cowboys turn, as reports started flying that Dallas had cut wide receiver Roy Wiliams, offensive linemen Marc Colombo and Leonard Davis, kicker Kris Brown and running back Marion Barber.

None of the cuts were that surprising, particularly Barber and Williams, who seemed like likely targets to be cut when colleague Ryan Wilson wrote about the very subject just a few weeks ago.

Williams (who, by the way, just got some bling back after the most notorious mailed-wedding-ring incident of the entire offseason) makes sense as a roster expense, particularly because now the Cowboys will simply start Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, both of whom are better than Williams anyway.

Cowboys Offseason
And Barber's become the least effective back in Dallas' stable; even though Barber had more carries than Tashard Choice last season (113 to 66), he still on managed a feeble 3.3 yards per carry and an unimpressive 28.8 yards per game. Additionally, he found the end zone just four times.

The combination of just Barber and Williams will save the Cowboys nearly $10 million in terms of salary cap number, and it's become pretty clear -- based on all these cuts -- that they are in fact players in the Nnamdi Asomugha market this offseason.

Whether or not they land the coveted cornerback, though, they've probably made a slew of good roster decisions anyway.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: April 13, 2011 12:06 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Dallas Cowboys

Posted by Andy Benoit



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups.



In terms of disappointment, the 2010 Dallas Cowboys more than lived up to the “Everything’s big in Texas” phrase. The year that was supposed to end with Jerry Jones’ team being the first to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium instead ended in effect before Thanksgiving.

Wade Phillips was no longer the coach at that point and Tony Romo had been sidelined for the past month with what would turn out to be a season-ending fractured clavicle. Can’t blame the face-plant on Romo’s injury, though.

After all, the Cowboys were 1-5 in games their star quarterback started.



Brooking quickly established himself as the defense’s emotional leader when he arrived in 2009. Because he’s been in his 30s since the Bush Administration, everyone has assumed he’s on the cusp of washing up.

That simply hasn’t been true…until now. Last season Brooking showed hints of decline in struggling to get off blocks. He is still a dominant player when pursuing the ball untouched, but in a 3-4, inside linebackers can’t count on regularly being untouched.

Lee, a second-round pick out of Penn Stage last year, overtook Bradie James in nickel packages. Lee has good natural change of direction ability and, in a limited sampling, has shown adequate instincts. As great organizations like the Eagles and Patriots have illustrated over the years, it’s better to replace someone a year too early rather than risk keeping him a year too long.




1. Safety
The game is evolving to where safeties are becoming vital for creating deception and disguise in a defensive scheme. The only experienced safety on Dallas’ roster is Alan Ball, and he just converted from cornerback last year.

2. Offensive Linemen
Right tackle Marc Colombo’s lack of athleticism finally caught up to him last season. Right guard Leonard Davis may have remained benched if backup Montrae Holland had been more reliable. Davis really struggled with lateral movement in pass protection last season. Left guard Kyle Kosier is an unrestricted free agent.

3. Cornerback
It may be time to start grooming Terence Newman’s replacement. Newman will be 33 when (if) this season opens up. He’s no longer quick enough to play man coverage with the cushy buffer zone he prefers. Orlando Scandrick is not the guy to replace Newman long-term. The third-year pro is better equipped to defend the slot and must first bounce back from a difficult sophomore campaign.




It’s “America’s Team”, so there’s always talk of a Lombardi Trophy. But how about having no expectations and just shutting up for a change?

It’s well known the Cowboys have as much talent as any team. What needs changing is the way they manage that talent.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed
Posted on: October 11, 2010 10:57 am
 

Leonard Davis close to losing his job

Posted by Andy Benoit

Part of the fallout from the five sacks the Cowboys gave up to the Titans in the first half was the benching of Pro Bowl right guard Leonard Davis. The 350-plus-pound man with a seven-year, $49.6 million contract allowed two crucial sacks to Jason Jones Sunday. Davis was sat down and replaced by Montrae Holland for a short stint. L. Davis

Davis did return to the game, and in reading between the lines, his starting status for Week 6 seems fairly secure (given the circumstances). But he’s on notice.

"When they pulled me out, I wasn't upset at them," Davis said, according to ESPN.com. "It was nothing personal. I was frustrated with myself about it. It happened. They put Montrae in and he did a great job when he was in there. You can't ask for anything more."

Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said, "Leonard early in the ballgame was having a hard time with some of their inside pass rush. We just felt at that time it was the right thing to do to give Montrae a chance to do that. He did a good job. He went in there and kind of stabilized it. Then, when Leonard had a chance to come back in, he played much better. I think it was the right thing to do, and both guys handled it well."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: July 14, 2010 12:36 pm
 

Position rankings: guards

Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on guards.

Andy Benoit’s top five
J. Evans (US Presswire)
5. Leonard Davis, Cowboys

4. Steve Hutchinson, Vikings

3. Carl Nicks, Saints

2. Kris Dielman, Chargers

1. Jahri Evans, Saints

As you can see, an unsexy list from the unsexiest position in football. Leonard Davis makes it because he knows how to use his 365-pound size. Everyone thinks Steve Hutchinson is a God, but that’s only because most fans don’t know the names of any other guards. Hutchinson was once the best, but at 32, he’s lost half a step (which is half a step less than Alan Faneca). Of course, Hutchinson had plenty of steps to spare. He still offers good mobility, but his strength in a phone booth has declined.

You might read the name “Carl Nicks” and say Who?! The Saints left guard is a monster in the run game, getting to the second level with regularity. The only thing he struggles with is lateral movement as a pass-blocker. Dielman is rock-solid. Evans is an even better run-blocker than Nicks, plus he’s reliable in pass protection.

Josh Katzowitz's top five

5. Bobbie Williams, Bengals

4. Kris Dielman, Chargers

3. Chris Snee, Giants

2. Jahri Evans, Saints

1. Logan Mankins, Patriots

I agree that Evans is one of the best guards around, but I don’t think he’s earned the title of No. 1 quite yet. Yes, he had a heck of a season last year, and he was rewarded with a seven-year, $56-million contract. But he needs to mirror that performance for at least one more year before I can knight him as the top guy.

Mankins has been the most talked-about guard throughout the offseason because of his contract clashes with New England’s front office. The fact he might not play this year has to be worrisome to Patriots fans. Mankins is strong, and he has good quickness and agility. If he’s playing, he’s the best out there. Andy, I’m surprised you didn’t even put Mankins on your list.

Snee has a great initial punch at the line of scrimmage, and when he gets to the next level, he makes linebackers pay. Plus, he’s durable, starting the last 78 games the Giants have played.

Williams has been the rock of a Bengals offensive line that continues to turn over year after year. He’s underrated and has never made a Pro Bowl squad. He’s not going to wow you, but that doesn’t mean he’s not on the top five fringe. He’s just too consistent and solid for me not to put on this list.

Andy’s rebuttal

Top five fringe is different from top five, Josh. More on that in a second.

I like the Snee pick, and I can certainly live with Mankins (though, obviously, I think No. 1 is too high). Both those guys have the unique ability to land square, domineering blocks off of movement. I still think Hutchinson is elite (or borderline elite), and I’m disappointed you didn’t praise my prescience for going with Nicks now, and not after he gets his first Pro Bowl (either this season or next).

Okay, let’s talk about the fringe pick, Williams. You’re a (former) Bengals Rapid Reporter. I’m not suggesting you lack journalistic integrity – not at all – but I’m willing to bet you have a good working relationship with the 11th-year veteran. From afar, Williams seems like he’d be a good guy. He shows great on-field leadership. So, be honest, did Williams help you write your list?

The problem is, as a player, Williams is too close to the fat part of the bell curve. I’m going to break my rule of never publishing raw notes from film study to share some of what I took away from watching Williams these past two years:

Raw notes from ’09 Bengals film:

Williams shows good power and size when he’s able to be the aggressor. If he’s stepping into a block between first and second level, he’ll move guys. But if the action starts from standstill, he may not win.

Raw notes from ’08 Bengals film:

Williams is about the same as always....decent but not great. Moves okay, doesn’t have ideal power but gets in his spots, etc.
These are descriptions of a solid starter, not a top five player.

Josh’s final word

Ha! If Williams and I had written this list, we would have spent all day laughing about your exclusion of Mankins. True, I’ve covered the Bengals for various outlets for the past five seasons, but I’m an objective journalist and I don’t play favorites (hell I haven’t had a favorite NFL team since I was a kid, and it certainly wasn’t the Bengals). There are a few guys on the Bengals squad that are wonderful with whom to deal, but I haven’t put them on any of our lists. Considering this is the 11th top five list we’ve done and Williams is the first Bengals player I’ve put in the spotlight – and probably the only one I’ll include for the rest of our top five series – well, I think those facts speak for themselves.

Truth be told, I thought about Hutchinson, I thought about Nicks and I thought about Faneca (he’s just nowhere near his prime anymore). I knew you’d hate the Williams pick, but in all my extensive research – and the fact I’ve seen him play scores of games the past few years – I’m more than confident in defending the selection. He’s just too good and consistent.


Other positions: Safety | Cornerback | 3-4 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Punter  | Kicker | 4-3 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Inside Linebacker  | Defensive Tackle  | Defensive End | Offensive Tackle  | Center)


--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

 

 

Posted on: July 12, 2010 5:49 pm
 

Kicking out the jams

If you like your football with a side of heavy metal, the Dolphins and the Cowboys have just the thing for you.

When they’re not blocking defenders and trying to protect quarterback Chad Henne or Tony Romo, a few NFL offensive linemen jam in a metal band called Free Reign. The Dolphins official team site has the findings, and it’s a pretty cool story.

Miami guard Cory Procter apparently has a knack for drumming, and he’s teamed up with Cowboys tackle Marc Colombo (lead singer, rhythm guitar) and Dallas guard Leonard Davis (bass), along with one of Davis’ high school friends.

“During the season, it’s non-existent,” Procter told Dolphins web site. “We talk about the band and maybe on a day off, I could get on the drums. The drums are the physical one, especially the kind of music we play because it’s not really quiet music. Our genre’s metal with a lot of heavy riffs, heavy guitars, big drums and a lot of screaming. Columbo does the screaming, but the thing is, he’s good at it and his vocals have come a long way. All of us have, and there used to be a big gap between Justin and the rest of us but now we’re all pretty close.”

So far, the band has released a five-song EP on its Australian record label, and the foursome are making plans to release an eight-song full-length album.

If you’re looking for a listen, click here to breath in the song, “Tragedy.”

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com