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Tag:Dallas Cowboys
Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:07 am
Edited on: February 21, 2012 9:59 am
 

What players will get franchise tagged in 2012?

Brees reportedly won't be happy if he gets tagged. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Monday February 20, NFL teams can begin to apply the franchise tag to players. They can do so up until March 5 at 4 p.m. ET. For those that don't know, the franchise tag is a method of keeping players from hitting the open market. Previously, the franchise-tag number was generated by averaging the top-five salaries at a position to determine a number for that position.

This year, the franchise tag value will be a percentage of the overall salary cap figure for the previous five years. As such, NFL.com (the league's official website, making the figures trustworthy, one would hope) the following figures, plus figures from last year that we've included:

Position 2012 Franchise Tag Value*
2011 Franchise Tag Value
Quarterback
$14.4 million $16.1 million
Running Back
$7.7 million $9.6 million
Wide Receiver
$9.4 million $11.4 million
Tight End
$5.4 million $7.3 million
Offensive Line
$9.4 million $10.1 million
Defensive End
$10.6 million $13 million
Defensive Tackle
$7.9 million $12.5 million
Linebacker
$8.8 million $10.1 million
Cornerback
$10.6 million $13.5 million
Safety
$6.2 million $8.8 million

*The only instances this doesn't apply: when a player already made more than the franchise-tag value, or when a player receives the franchise tag for the second-straight year, in which case tagging said player would cost 120 percent of their previous base salary.

Aside from the asterisked exception above, it's clearly much more cost effective to utilize the franchise tag on a player in 2012 than it was in 2011. Wide receivers like DeSean Jackson, Dwayne Bowe and Marques Colston might not be tag candidates at $11.4 million. At $9.4 million, they certainly are.


With all of that in mind, let's look at some possible franchise-tag candidates, in order of likelihood to be tagged.

New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees, Marques Colston or Carl Nicks

The Saints are all but guaranteed to use their franchise tag. Brees is a free agent and there is a zero percent chance that they let him walk into free agency. This is an absolute zero; losing Brees would not only be a disaster for the franchise in terms of winning, it would result in riots on Bourbon Street.

Various reports have emerged about where Brees and the Saints stand. (His agent, Tom Condon, is involved in a small contract situation surrounding Peyton Manning in Indianapolis.) As CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman wrote last week, "the road could be rockier than initially thought" when getting Brees a new deal.

If the Saints can't get a deal done by the tag deadline, they will use the tag on Brees and sort out a deal later. If they can negotiate a deal with Brees before then, either Colston or Nicks will likely get tagged. My money's on Nicks, who could be a steal at less than $10 million given his age and his performance on the interior line the last two years.
DeSean might finally catch that money. (Getty Images)

Philadelphia Eagles: DeSean Jackson

Reports are already rolling in that Jackson will be tagged and that the team will seek to trade him once they place the tag on Jackson. Philly better be comfortable rolling with D-Jax if they can't find a suitor, though, because the wide receiver is a good bet to swoop in and sign his tender quickly. The $9.4 million represents more than triple what Jackson's made in his entire career thus far, and you can bet he'd like to see some guaranteed money.

Worst case, of course, is that Philly ends up giving its top playmaker one more "contract year" at turning in a big performance before hitting free agency. $9.4 million is a lot to pay for a wideout, but it's better than a) doling out a big contract to someone new and/or a malcontent, or b) letting Jackson walk for nothing in return.

Chicago Bears: Matt Forte

The rumors of Forte getting tagged began long ago as the Bears said they simply won't let him get to free agency. And they can't: Mike Tice replaced Mike Martz, but that could mean Chicago becoming more dependent on Forte's skills as a rusher and pass-catcher.

Forte said he's OK with the franchise tag provided it leads to further contract negotiations. Those appear to be more successful this time around, without Jerry Angelo on the other side of the table. But if Forte struggles early in his return from injury (an MCL sprain) things could get dicey.

Regardless, he's a steal at $7.7 million in 2012.

Baltimore Ravens: Ray Rice

Another no-brainer for the team here: Rice is one of the most dynamic backs in football and accounted for a large chunk of the Ravens offense. Rice's league-leading 2,068 yards from scrimmage accounted for 38.2 percent of the Ravens 5,419 yards, to be exact.

Rice lead the team in rushing ... and receptions. The Ravens need him and it's unfathomable that they'd let Rice walk. He probably won't be happy about playing for $7.7 million in 2012 and it seems obvious that Ozzie Newsome would like to lock down a guy who's averaged just shy of 2,000 yards from scrimmage in the three years he's been a starter for the team.
Will Welker's drop hurt his value? (Getty Images)

New England Patriots: Wes Welker

Welker's taken a lot of grief for his now-infamous drop in the Super Bowl. But just because the guy missed one catch doesn't mean we should forget what he's done for the past five years in New England: Welker averaged 111 catches and 1,221 yards per season since arriving from Miami.

Here's where it gets interesting though: Welker will be 31 when 2012 begins. He's considered a "slot" receiver. But he reportedly wants to be paid like an "elite" receiver. (It's, uh, kind of hard to blame him.) Lots of people think Welker wouldn't be as successful without the Patriots system, but how successful would the Patriots be without Welker?

In other words, we might be headed to an old-fashioned standoff, where the Pats use the franchise tag on Welker (it's all but certain they will, mainly to avoid him landing with an AFC East rival), and Welker refusing to play. Our Rapid Reporter Greg Bedard's speculated as much previously, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Welker sit out the first few weeks if the Pats aren't willing to give him a long-term deal.

Washington Redskins: Fred Davis

Davis had a big year in 2011, catching 59 passes for 796 yards in just 12 games (with Rex Grossman and John Beck throwing him the ball). He missed four games when he was suspended under the NFL's substance-abuse policy. But that actually works in Washington's favor here, since they can commit just $5.5 million to Davis without any fear of long-term blowback.

Buffalo Bills: Stevie Johnson

I spoke with Johnson at the Super Bowl and he said he'd be amenable to playing under the franchise tag in 2012. And it's hard to imagine Buffalo letting one of the more talented and underrated receivers in the game simply walk away. Johnson, depending on the market, could be one of the top wide receivers available.

Given the nature of Buffalo's weapons on offense, $9.4 million isn't all that steep for someone who's produced as steadily as Johnson has over the past two seasons. He took a small step back in receptions, yardage and touchdowns in 2011, but part of that can be attributed to the injuries to Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the Bills late-season swoon.

And if he's willing to ditch the penalty-inflicting celebrations? He's worth it.

Bowe's a fan favorite in KC -- for good reason.(Getty Images)

Kansas City Chiefs: Dwayne Bowe or Brandon Carr

This is quite the conundrum for KC: does new coach Romeo Crennel, recently promoted from defensive coordinator, push to keep the 25-year-old defensive back, or does he sit back while the franchise lets Carr walk and hangs onto it's top wideout?

Bowe quietly put together another monster season in 2011, catching nine more balls than he did in 2010 and only three yards less. Granted, he found the end zone 10 times less this past season, but chalk that up to the Chiefs stupid-easy schedule against the pass in 2010. Oh yeah, and because he was catching balls from Tyler Palko for a quarter of the season.

Bowe's a better value at his franchise cost ($1 million less) I suppose, but Carr will be harder to retain in free agency, because of the nature of cornerbacks on the open market.

Atlanta Falcons: Brent Grimes or Curtis Lofton

The Falcons, not so quietly, have a ton of guys up for free agency this year. Grimes, Lofton, defensive ends John Abraham and Kroy Biermann and center Todd McLure lead the list. One of Grimes or Lofton surely will get the franchise tag.

For the same reason as listed with the Chiefs, Grimes makes the most sense -- he'll simply be harder to retain in free agency. Lofton would be $2 million cheaper but Grimes is more important to the Falcons defense. A logical move might be to feel out contract negotiations with both players (provided the Falcons want to keep both of them anyway), work out an extension with one as quickly as possible, franchise the other defender and look to cut a deal with them down the road.
It's hard to put a price on Avril's pass rush. (Getty Images)

Detroit Lions: Cliff Avril

Avril's made no bones about the possibility of being franchised, and isn't happy with the notion. But the franchise tag actually doesn't exist simply to keep a guy around for another year without paying him big money. It's to keep a guy around while you work out a long-term contract.

That's what Avril, who will turn 26 in April, wants, and it should be what the Lions want too, given their dependence on a strong pass rush on the defensive end of things. At $10.6 million he would provide nice value. Provided he played the whole season anyway.

Indianapolis Colts: Robert Mathis

Chuck Pagano's a defensive guy, and even though he's coming into a rebuilding project, it's hard to see he and general manager Ryan Grigson passing on a shot to keep a talented pass-rusher like Mathis around for one more year at a reasonable rate.

Mathis probably said it himself over the weekend on Twitter when he noted that "The #TAG is an honor but personally if i was tagged now id feel they didnt want me but just have not found my replacement yet." Prepare to be honored sir.

Dallas Cowboys: Anthony Spencer

According to one report out of Texas, the Cowboys are at least considering franchising Spencer. The logic isn't that the outside linebacker, drafted 26th overall in 2007, is a monster and worth $8.8 million next year. He's not.

But Spencer might be worth holding onto if the Cowboys don't believe they can fill that spot with a reliable enough player through free agency and don't want to force themselves into selecting an outside linebacker early in the draft and forcing him to play.

Giving Spencer that sort of cash at least provides a safety net for Rob Ryan's defense.

Green Bay Packers: Jermichael Finley

Finley's case is a fascinating one. At $5.5 million, the tight end is a no-doubt-about-it franchise tag choice. But what about at $9.4 million? I ask because Finley's reportedly ready to argue that he's actually more of a wide receiver than a tight end, based on the number of snaps he takes from a wide receiver position. (He may want to remove the words "best tight ends in the league" from his website then.)

The Packers don't seem ready to give Finley a long-term deal yet, but they're also not willing to let him go. That tune could change if Finley's awarded the same price as a wide receiver in arbitration.
Wallace's RFA status is a concern. (Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Wallace

Wallace is actually on a restricted free agent, but as Wilson pointed out on Tuesday's podcast, there's been a lot of discussion in Steelers-land about the possibility of using the full-blown franchise tag on Wallace regardless of his status.

Here's some hypothetical logic: the Steelers use the non-exclusive tag on Wallace, the Patriots, with two first-round picks in the coming draft, negotiate a deal with Wallace and force the Steelers to match said deal or take one of the picks from the Pats. The pick isn't that high and Wallace is a stud, so Pittsburgh, who wants to lock down Wallace anyway, would be letting the Pats (or whomever) negotiate for them.

Lest you think this is silly, look no further than a guy we already talked about: Welker. The Patriots obtained him via trade, but only after the Dolphins used the restricted tag on Welker. After they did, the Pats negotiated with Welker to work in a provision in his contract that would include a monster bonus if he played X games in the state of Florida (AKA "a poison pill"). The Dolphins caved and simply dealt Welker to the Pats instead of trying to play chicken.

The downside is that the Steelers would be forced to paying $7 million extra in 2012 for their No. 1 wideout. The upside is not getting poison-pilled by an AFC rival who'll then hijack the Steelers for the deep threat they need. Hypothetically speaking of course.

Oakland Raiders: Michael Bush

The idea of paying Bush more than Darren McFadden's been bandied about, and it makes sense given Run-DMC's injury history. It doesn't make sense when you consider that new GM Reggie McKenzie would suddenly have a ton of money committed to two running backs. But here's an idea: tag Bush, trade McFadden and then give Bush a new contract. You keep him off the market, you recoup some of those Carson Palmer draft picks and you keep the back best suited for Greg Knapp's zone-rushing attack.

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Posted on: February 12, 2012 7:30 pm
 

T.O. on NFL: I wasn't a bad teammate, disruptive

After 15 seasons and five teams, T.O.'s NFL career appears to be over. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Terrell Owens last played in an NFL game on December 19, 2010 as a member of the Bengals. It was his first and last year in Cincinnati, one half of the self-proclaimed "Batman and Robin" along with Chad Ochocinco. The duo was so dynamic that quarterback Carson Palmer opted for retirement over another year in Cincy, T.O. wasn't re-signed and Ochocinco was shipped off to New England.

Owens, then 37, was allowed to walk for reasons other than his on-field skills. In 14 games during the 2010 season, he caught 72 passes for 983 yards including 10 touchdowns. Still, despite holding midseason 2011 workouts to show that he had fully recovered from knee surgery, Owens didn't get a sniff from any of the 32 NFL teams. Ultimately, he ended up joining the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League where he is also a co-owner.

T.O. appearing recently on KESN-FM, spoke about about his year away from the NFL and his IFL future.

"I'm using this as a platform to keep myself in shape," he said according to the Dallas Morning News. "The business end of it is something that intrigued me, being a co-owner with the team.

"This is me transitioning to life after football. I feel I'm physically fit and can play at a productive level to where I can play a couple of more years in the National Football League. That's what I'm pushing for. I'm not going to give up hope just because I'm 38 and just had a knee injury. I think a lot of why I probably didn't play this year, everybody keeps talking about the 'character' issues. The last two or three years relatively I was quiet, knowing that everybody was saying that I had a character issue, I'm disruptive, there's a lot of hype that comes with me, they're saying I'm a distraction here and there.

"That's all hearsay," Owens continued. "If you ask a bunch of my teammates, a lot of it is basically blown out of proportion, the media making me into a fall guy. Overall, will I ever admit that I was a bad teammate? Never. I wasn't a bad teammate. Was I disruptive. No I wasn't disruptive."

Here's the thing: Owens, as far as we know, was never arrested for beating his girlfriend or making it rain or carrying a concealed weapon. But it's also a stretch to say that he wasn't, at one time or another, disruptive. Owens implied that former teammate Jeff Garcia was gay, and then there was the falling out with Donovan McNabb. So, yeah, there's some revisionist history going on because, realistically, Owens could've helped a WR-needy team last season if not for he fact that he was, you know, a huge disruption.

"I feel like I have a lot of football left and I'm looking forward to getting back to playing," he said. "I think the thing ... I didn't get picked up was that a lot of general managers bought into the fact that the media thinks that I'm this bad guy, this rebel guy, this disruptive guy that divides and messes up team's chemistry. They won't allow me to turn over a new leaf. They won't allow me to be a better person. Anytime anything is brought up about me, they keep talking about things that happened five, six, seven years ago. Why don't I get a pass? I've kind of fallen into that villain category and I can't get out of that box."

And at 38, Owens likely won't get a chance, at least not in the NFL.

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Posted on: February 11, 2012 10:34 pm
 

Ahmad Bradshaw takes shot at Tony Romo

Romo

BradshawBy Josh Katzowitz

Just because Tony Romo is coming off another solid season and shrugged off so many of the previous expectations/assumptions about his toughness and ability to play in the clutch, that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to find his fellow colleagues to rip him whenever they get the chance.

I mean, the guy played with a punctured lung (and won!)and then, at the end of the season, he played with a bad hand, but hell, that apparently didn’t really satisfy anybody.

In fact, Romo started every game this season despite a number of ailments and obstacles. Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw was not so impressed.

Bradshaw, coming off his game-winning Super Bowl XLVI touchdown, was asked on the NFL Network if the Cowboys could ever win a Super Bowl with Romo as the starting quarterback. Bradshaw, predictably, doesn’t believe in Romo.

Dallas' quarterbacks
“You know what, man, I don’t see it happening,” Bradshaw said. “I don’t think they believe it, and they’re America’s team.

“It all comes in together. If the fans don’t believe it, the team doesn’t. They’re kinda doubtful with Romo.”

While I'm not sure Bradshaw's reasoning makes sense (since when do players care what fans think about their teammates?), this also isn’t the first time this year a Giants running back has criticized Romo. You might recall Brandon Jacobs saying this in October: “[Eli Manning] is definitely a 100 percent better quarterback than Tony Romo. No question.”

Also criticizing Romo this year? Redskins tight end Chris Cooley and NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders (though Romo also had a pretty big backer (literally and figuratively) in Dirk Nowitzki).

Surprisingly, not everybody, especially those in the Cowboys organization, agrees with Bradshaw (and Jacobs).

“I thought Romo was competing at a level that would’ve given us that opportunity but the rest of us need to play better and get better before we can really gel the way the Giants are,” Jones said at the Senior Bowl last month.

And when CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson caught up with Dallas running back DeMarco Murray during Super Bowl week, Murray defended Romo.

"One week he's a hero, the next week he's not,” Murray said. That's just the way it is with the Dallas Cowboys. We're used to it, we love it and we wouldn't want any one else leading our team."

Obviously, Romo is used to hearing people bash him for a variety of reasons. He tries to turn the other cheek. But he also understands why his vast array of critics say what they do.

"It's just an easy thing to say until you win the Super Bowl," Romo said in November. "Until then any time you lose a game it's a big game. But if you win, then it really wasn't that big of a game. That just goes with the territory."

But from a guy who just won the Super Bowl, Bradshaw’s words can’t feel so good to Romo.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 3:29 pm
 

DeMarco Murray talks Cowboys, Romo, Jason Garrett

Murray expects even more from the 'Boys in 2012. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- DeMarco Murray burst onto the scene as a potential franchise running back for the Dallas Cowboys when he shattered long-standing records with a 253-yard rushing performance against the Rams in the 2011 season. With Felix Jones injured, Murray stepped in and paced the Cowboys rushing attack until he suffered a season-ending injury in Week 13.

But Murray, who was working with Verizon to promote the first-ever mobile airing of the Super Bowl, told us on Radio Row that the Cowboys can accomplish the goals they missed with a full season in 2012.

"Definitely the playoffs and getting [to the Super Bowl] next year," Murray said. "We had a lot of young guys and  missed OTAs and minicamps. I thought a lot of guys played well. If we get a full season under our belt we look forward to winning some games."

Dallas collapse down the stretch was a full-blown disaster, with Jason Garrett notably icing his own kicker against the Cardinals before losing in overtime. But Murray said that the scapegoating of Garrett is blown out proportion by "us guys."

"Man, you guys are going to write us off no matter what," Murray said. "One week he's the greatest coach on the planet, the next week he's the worst coach on the planet. So we don't listen to that stuff you know? He's a great coach and I'm glad he's my coach."

Murray had similar feelings for quarterback Tony Romo, who's been judged once or twice in his career.

"Same thing, man!" Murray said. "One week he's a hero, the next week he's not. That's just the way it is with the Dallas Cowboys. We're used to it, we love it and we wouldn't want any one else leading our team."

Murray's correct on that count. Romo gets unfairly ripped/loved on a week-to-week basis depending on the outcome of the game.

It's presumed that Murray will be the guy taking most of the carries from Romo in 2012. However, Murray said he didn't know if he was the starter yet, and that he and Felix Jones had a "great" relationship. Additionally, Murray championed his fellow rookies, calling the 2011 NFL Draft class the greatest class of all time.

"I think it is," Murray said. "Look at all the guys in our class who made the Pro Bowl and did it without OTAs and minicamps."

If Murray can have the same impact he had in 2011 next year, it'll go even further to proving that point.

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 2:26 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 2:33 am
 

Brady-Eli third QB rematch in Super Bowl history

Quarterback rematch? That doesn't bode well for Brady. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Fact: only twice before this year has a Super Bowl featured a rematch of quarterbacks. Eli Manning and Tom Brady will be the third such rematch, and it seems relevant to examine what kind of success the other guys had when they squared off the second time, in advance of Sunday's tilt.

Of course, we need to know who went head-to-head first. Terry Bradshaw of the Steelers and Roger Staubach of the Cowboys battled the first time, way back when the Super Bowl only got one Roman numeral (X). They met again in Super Bowl XIII. And Troy Aikman of the Cowboys met Jim Kelly of the Bills twice during the Fire Marshall Bill Halftime Era.

Full Super Bowl Coverage

If you know much about the NFL, you can make an educated guess as to how these sort of rematches play out for the guy who lost the first game. (A: Not well.) Bradshaw's one of only two quarterbacks with four Super Bowl wins; Joe Montana is the other. (Although a Brady win on Sunday would net him a fourth.)

And those Jim Kelly squads were great up until the "Big Game" -- four straight AFC Championships netted exactly zero Super Bowl wins. That, by the by, is a reminder of how fleeting these moments are, and why winning them matters more than anyone who doesn't play the game will every know.

Anyway, Super Bowl X took place on January 18, 1976 in Miami. Bradshaw's Steelers toppled the Cowboys 21-17. Bradshaw was nine of 19 (!) for 209 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Staubach was 15 of 24 for 204 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. The NFL presents a slightly different game these days, huh?

When they two matched up again three years later, Bradshaw was substantially more effective in his second win, going 17 of 30 for 318 yards, four touchdowns and one pick in a 35-31 win. Staubach was no slouch either, completing 17 of 30 passes too. He only threw for 228 yards but did have three teeters and a pick.

Aikman and Kelly squared off for the first time in Super Bowl XXVII, a 52-17 blowout for the Cowboys. (Michael Jackson performed both "Billie Jean" and "Black and White" at this game, which is equal parts awesome and ... aging.)

Kelly suffered an injury in this game, so Frank Reich led the Bills with 194 passing yards, one touchdown and a pick. Kelly threw two picks despite leaving early; the Bills coughed up an awkward nine turnovers in the loss. As you would imagine, that could have eliminated the need for the Cowboys to produce eye-popping stats, but Aikman threw for four touchdowns anyway.

When the two met a year later at the Georgia Dome, the result was different, but still the same. Aikman threw for 207 yards and no touchdowns, while Kelly produced 260 yards and zero touchdowns as well. A series of field goals and/or rushing touchdowns provided the scoring and neither quarterback was particularly effective, from a statistical sense.

So which direction does 2012 take? Logic (and a 55-point over/under in Vegas) says the former. Brady and Manning should see more success than Kelly and Aikman saw in their rematch.

Even though the Giants pass rush is ferocious, neither defense is absolutely elite, while both offenses are the definition of potent. Regardless, the short history of quarterback rematches in the Super Bowl doesn't exactly favor Brady. Then again, shattering NFL playoff trends isn't exactly something new for the Patriots signal caller.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:39 am
 

Jones: Romo competing, others need to play better

Jerry Jones has been impressed with Eli but is very happy with Romo. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Jerry Jones is in Mobile, Alabama this week for the Senior Bowl because, in addition to being the Cowboys' owner, he's also the general manager. The man who wears many hats in Dallas took time out from evaluating the next crop of draft-eligible players to talk about the Cowboys, whose Week 17 loss to the Giants kept them out of the playoffs.

“I thought (Tony) Romo was competing at a level that would’ve given us that opportunity but the rest of us need to play better and get better before we can really gel the way the Giants are,” Jones said via CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Nick Eatman.

Hard to disagree with that. According to Football Outsiders, Romo was No. 4 in quarterback efficiency behind Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Eli ranked sixth (Matthew Stafford was fifth).

After ESPNDallas' Calvin Watkins tweeted Monday that "Jerry Jones said the biggest difference between the Cowboys and Giants is Eli Manning. He did praise Tony Romo," there was some confusion that Jones preferred Eli to Tony. Not at all. In fact, Jones was only implying that New York is in the Super Bowl because Manning is playing out of his mind.

“I don’t want to take anything away [from the Giants] but the big difference was Eli came up here and started what seemed like a pretty significant [stretch]," Jones said. "But the quarterback play with Eli was the huge difference. But I was pretty impressed with how they’ve defense played the last three or four ball games. …

"We had good quarterback play, but I'd say as a team, they just got better and better near the end," he added. "Their depth, that's how I view us. I had counted -- we had counted -- on getting better, and we didn't. We went the other way."

Of course, those personnel decisions rest at Jones' feet. Which, of course, is why he's in Mobile. As for 2012, Jones explains that the Cowboys' plan for success involves "new faces" in the secondary, getting "younger" on defense, but avoiding the trappings of youth on the offensive line.

Seems like Jones is making it more complicated than it needs to be. Either way, here's the bottom line:

"We just want to make sure we don't compromise things because I'm more into not squandering the prime years of Romo, so we want to make sure we're giving him every opportunity in protection," he said, "and we'll work hard on that in the off-season."

Duly noted.

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Posted on: January 19, 2012 4:13 pm
 

Dez Bryant feuding with Lil Wayne?

BryantBy Josh Katzowitz

You know what Dez Bryant could use? Like, really, really bad? Some kind of, um, accountant who helps make sure all of Bryant’s supposed debts are paid off before another “Dez Bryant apparently owes somebody money” story comes out in the process.

Oh wait, too late.

As the Fort Worth Star Telegram writes, the Cowboys volatile receiver apparently got into a fight outside a ritzy hotel in Miami Beach on Sunday, and reportedly, his tussle was with the crew of rapper Lil Wayne.

Of course it was.

The fight apparently began because Lil Wayne’s people were blasting Bryant over unpaid debts he owes a high-end micro-finance company called Endurance Capital Fund. The Star-Telegram writes that company has ties to Lil’ Wayne’s record label Young Money Entertainment.

Bryant was briefly detained by police, but he wasn’t arrested. Obviously, though, Bryant’s money problems haven’t gone away yet.

So, that makes about $50,000 (out of an original loan of $100,000) he supposedly owes EFC and $600,000 he owed a Dallas jeweler. Therefore, if Bryant comes to you seeking money, it’s probably best to decline the loan request at this point.

But Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said recently that Bryant is NOT in debt, claiming, "His maturation over the last two years has been outstanding. Relative to his habits with meetings, on time, timeliness, preparation and the kinds of things we were concerned about when we drafted him he's made tremendous progress."

Lil Wayne, I assume, would beg to differ.

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 4:27 pm
 

After 15 seasons, Jon Kitna to retire

J. Kitna will retire (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

Though it comes as no surprise, backup quarterback Jon Kitna has told the Cowboys he will retire, according to Rapid Reporter Nick Eatman.

As Eatman writes, “Before the season, Kitna expected this to be his last and a back injury that forced him out for six weeks only strengthened his decision.”

Kitna had a solid career, becoming a full-time NFL starter with the Seahawks in 1999 and keeping that same position with the Bengals until Carson Palmer was ready to emerge before the 2004 season (Kitna actually won the NFL comeback player of the year award in 2003 as Palmer backed him up during his rookie season). After backing up Palmer for two years, Kitna went to the Lions and earned the No. 1 spot on the depth chart for another two years.

Eventually, he moved on to the Cowboys to be Tony Romo’s understudy and actually started nine games last season, leading the team to a 4-5 mark.

Although Kitna’s starting record is less than impressive (50-74), he finishes his career by completing 60.1 percent of his passes for 29,745 yards and more touchdowns (169) than interceptions (165).

Throughout most of his career, Kitna was seen as a clubhouse good-guy, somebody who could share his knowledge with anybody who asked. As he got older, he tried to be a role model for his younger teammates.

"When we run on Mondays after games, a lot of the veterans get to do half the running of a lot of the younger guys. Guys like myself, who don't play a lot or haven't played, do a little extra running," Kitna said this season, via the Dallas Morning News. "After that was over, I had a conversation with them, just saying, 'You have to be ready when your opportunity comes.' A lot of those guys came into the league the same way I did -- late-round draft picks or weren't drafted -- and you can get settled into your role sometimes. My message to them was, 'Don't settle into a role, because you might only get one opportunity. Not only might that be your only opportunity individually, but that's the opportunity that might be the difference between us winning and losing, so you've got to be ready.'"

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