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Tag:Felix Jones
Posted on: July 5, 2011 2:26 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 3:00 pm
 

Cowboys could end up releasing Barber, Williams

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Last season, Marion Barber had 113 carries, the fewest of his six-year NFL career. His 374 rushing yards, 3.3 yards-per-carry average, 11 receptions, and four touchdowns were also career lows. Those numbers coupled with Barber's contract could mean that the Cowboys will release him once there's a new collective bargaining agreement.

In fact, according to ESPN Dallas' Calvin Watkins, Barber is the Cowboys player most hurt by the lockout.

"It might seem strange to see Barber's name as the player hurt most by the lockout, but here's why: The Cowboys are expected to release Barber because they don't want to pay him a $500,000 roster bonus in addition to a $4.5 million base salary," Walker writes. "He's underachieved since becoming the full-time starter in 2008. As long as the lockout lasts, Barber is in limbo. He can't talk to other teams about his services and if the Cowboys decide to keep him, which seems doubtful, he most likely will compete with [Felix] Jones for the starting job."

Two weeks ago, one of Barber's teammates, Roy Williams, said there were benefits to the lockout. “I talked to a player who was contemplating retirement, but the lockout has gotten his body back to where it needs to be,” Williams told the Odessa American at the time. “For us older players, it’s good.” ESPN's Tim MacMahon added that Williams might have job security because cutting him would force the Cowboys to take a huge salary cap hit.

However, the National Football Post's Dan Pompei wrote over the holiday weekend that Williams could be among the veteran free-agent wide receivers looking for work once the lockout ends.

"There are two reasons why Williams is likely going to be a former Cowboy in the near future," Pompei wrote. "The first is he’s making more money than he’s worth. The second is the team wants to clear the way for Dez Bryant to play more. There will be a healthy market for Williams though. His effort and attitude has remained good in Dallas despite the fact that he hasn’t found his niche in the offense, and that will help him find future employment."

This sounds a lot like the reasons Watkins cited above for why Barber might struggle to find a new team. That said, you'd have to think that Williams, who is just 29, would be a much more attractive option than 37-year-old Terrell Owens. Not only because he's younger and healthier but, as Pompei points out, he puts forth the effort and has the attitude teams appreciate. (We'll also assume Williams doesn't struggle to learn the playbook.)

Whoever's on the roster, the Cowboys are set to start training camp on July 29.

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Posted on: May 27, 2011 8:35 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 8:58 pm
 

Did Cowboys plan on drafting Mark Ingram?

Posted by Andy Benoit

It’s no secret the Dallas Cowboys are looking for a change in their backfield. Bruising veteran Marion Barber is expected to be released after the lockout, and the team invested a third-round pick in Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray in April.

Murray’s arrival indicates that Felix Jones will be stepping into a full-time starting role. However, this isn’t to say that the Cowboys planned all along to feature the electrifying Jones.

According to ESPN’s Calvin Watkins, they had their eye on Mark Ingram. Watkins says the Cowboys planned on trading their second-round pick to Jacksonville to get back into the first round and snatch the Heisman Trophy winner. That would have certainly augmented the Ingram-Emmitt Smith comparisons.

Alas, the Jaguars traded up in the first round to get Blaine Gabbert, and the Cowboys spent their second-rounder on North Carolina linebacker Bruce Carter.

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Posted on: December 18, 2010 8:26 pm
 

Nike unveils Zoom Alpha Talon cleat for NFL

Posted by Will Brinson

Nike, as you know, recently signed a deal with the NFL owners to become the league's apparel provider.
Some of the 2010 Nike Football Media Summit in Cowboys Stadium was specifically designed around dropping news about that angle.

There was also plenty of discussion and presentation of the new BCS uniforms (TCU, Boise State, Florida and Oregon all got new digs) but much of it related to the new gear that NFL teams would begin using.

For instance, the most revolutionary piece of equipment was the Zoom Alpha Talon cleat (right), which features an adaptive tracking system (for making quick cuts) and is the first football cleat to use Flywire, an uber-light but ultra-strong lockdown material.

The Talon's also the first football cleat ever to apply "Deflex" padding (which is basically what Nike makes their lowest-layer padding out of). The premise there is you get lightweight layering with heavy protection for bruises, big hits to the foot, etc.

Here's what the athletes present -- Steven Jackson, Clay Matthews, Ndamukong Suh, Dwayne Bowe and Felix Jones -- had to say about the new uniforms and cleats they'll be wearing.

Posted on: November 22, 2010 6:24 pm
 

Hot Routes 11.22.10: Week 11 boxscore tidbits

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

Did you notice the Giants only had 208 yards of total offense against the Eagles Sunday night?

Justin Tuck had three sacks and was phenomenal in containment outside and against the run.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis racked up 96 yards on 21 carries against the Colts.

Donald Brown had 68 yards on 17 carries, but 36 of those yards came on one good run. Brown was his usual ineffective self for most of the night. J. Mayo (US Presswire)

Jerod Mayo led the Patriots with 15 tackles, though fellow inside linebacker Gary Guyton stood out more. Guyton had nine tackles.

Ryan Fitzpatrick: 21/34, 316 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

Fred Jackson and Cedric Benson both rushed for over 115 yards.

For the second week in a row, the Bills won and Lee Evans caught just two passes. (Not trying to suggest there’s a correlation between the two.) Steve Johnson has become Buffalo’s No. 1 wideout. He had eight catches for 137 yards and three scores against the Bengals.

For the second straight week, Felix Jones gave the Cowboys 51 yards on the ground. That is his second highest rushing output of the season.

Jahvid Best, who is battling a bad foot, had just two yards on three carries. Or maybe it was three yards on two carries. Anyway, he was a non-factor.

Dez Bryant averaged minus-two yards per catch on all of his non-touchdown receptions Sunday.

Very rarely does a DT lead his team in tackles. That’s what Ndamukong Suh did for the Lions (eight stops).

Before leaving with a re-aggravated groin injury, Clinton Portis looked fresh on five carries (32 yards).

Pilloried all week for poor route running, Redskins wideout Joey Galloway caught three passes for 32 yards. That was three more than Randy Moss caught, by the way.

Titans rookie Marc Mariani recorded his second touchdown return of the season (87 yards on a punt).

It came predominantly in garbage time, but Derek Anderson was 25/46 for 295 yards and a touchdown. And Matt Cassel, who raised the bar for garbage time excellence last week, was a sturdy 15/24 for 193 yards and two touchdowns.

Dwayne Bowe caught two touchdowns, giving him a Chiefs record six-straight games with a touchdown. Bowe is on pace for 1,100 yards and 18 TD’s.

Adrian Wilson led the Cardinals with seven tackles after struggling a week ago.

Thanks to the big deficit, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson got only 14 carries Sunday (72 yards). That was only two more carries than the Packers gave Dimitri Nance (37 yards).

Sidney Rice’s debut: three catches, 56 yards.

Clay Matthews added another sack to his records (league-high 11.5 on the season). He also had two tackles for a loss and two hits on the quarterback.

LaDainian Tomlinson still looks fresh. He only managed 36 yards on 12 carries, but he turned in 71 yards on seven receptions.

Joel Dreessen could wind up keeping the starting tight end job even once Owen Daniels is healthy. Dreessen, who is a slightly better blocker than Daniels, caught four passes for 106 yards and a touchdown.

With RT Damien Woody out, the Texans got three sacks (two from Mario Williams) and seven hits on Mark Sanchez.

Pittsburgh held Oakland to 61 yards rushing, which is par for the course for the Steelers this season.

Jason Campbell was 7/19 for 70 yards and a pick before getting benched in the second half. Bruce Gradkowski finished 13/24 for 98 yards and a pick.

Rashard Mendenhall’s 59 yards rushing were just four more yards than Ben Roethlisberger had on the ground.

James Harrison had two sacks, two tackles for a loss and two hits on the quarterback (one of which drew a ridiculous roughing the passer flag)…and those numbers still don’t describe the depth of his impact Sunday.

Joe Flacco had his first 300-yard passing game of the season against the Panthers.

Ray Lewis got his 30th career interception (and took it to the house).

The Jaguars won despite six turnovers (four from David Garrard).

Peyton Hillis was held to 48 yards on 21 carries, though he produced 95 yards on six receptions.

The Jaguars sacked Colt McCoy six times. Six sacks used to be a half-season for Jacksonville.

Interesting: Michael Turner got 28 carries for Atlanta (131 yards) and Jason Snelling got just one.

Who needs Pierre Thomas? Chris Ivory turned in99 yards on 23 carries for the Saints.

Brandon Stokley, Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu all had at least five catches and 75 yards for the Seahawks.

The 49ers generated only 71 yards on the ground against Tampa Bay’s bottom-feeder run defense. Forty five of those yards came from Troy Smith scrambles.

Mike Williams, barely 48 hours removed from a DUI arrest, caught all three passes thrown his way. Williams finished with 54 yards and a touchdown.

Patrick Willis stamped his ticket to Hawaii: two sacks, two tackles for a loss, two QB hits and a team-high 13 tackles.

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Posted on: October 31, 2010 5:20 pm
 

Maybe Jerry Jones should fire Phillips

Jerry Jones continues to say he won't fire Wade Phillips during the season. Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Earlier today, we brought you the Top Ten Halloween costumes in the NFL this year. Coming in at No. 4 was Wade Phillips, who we thought should dress up like Bernie Lomax from “Weekend at Bernie’s,” because, for all intents and purposes, he’s a dead coach walking.

After Dallas fell 35-17 at home to a mediocre-at-best Jaguars squad today, owner Jerry Jones might have to rethink his policy about not cutting loose a coach during the middle of the season. Perhaps, he should make sure Bernie Lomax/Wade Phillips doesn’t return next week for a sequel of an absolutely dreadful performance by the Cowboys.

They didn’t show any heart. They didn’t show any desire. They didn’t show much of anything.

QB Jon Kitna, replacing the injured Tony Romo, tried hard and completed 34 of 49 passes for 379 yards and a touchdown (he’s the first Cowboys QB not named Romo to throw for more than 300 yards since Drew Bledsoe did it five years ago). But first three of his four interceptions were the result of drops by his own receivers – one apiece by RB Felix Jones, WR Roy Williams and WR Miles Austin – and destroyed Dallas’ chances on offense.

Defensively, the Cowboys couldn’t stop QB David Garrard, who was a ridiculous 17 of 21 for 260 yards and four touchdowns, and RB Maurice Jones-Drew (27 carries, 135 yards). And you had to love the final Jacksonville TD of the game, a naked bootleg off the play-action fake in which Garrard just kind of strolled into the end zone to put his team up by 25 points.

So, if we’re blaming somebody for Dallas’ putrid effort, who do we point the finger at?

Unless you’re in the locker room, who really knows? But I know who will take the blame and who will lose his job because of it. That’d be Wade Phillips.

This is what Boomer Esiason had to say on the NFL Today before the 1 p.m. games began:

“What happened last week (a 41-35 Cowboys loss to the Giants) lays at the feet of one, Wade Phillips. I'm sorry, that is the reality of this business. If you ask me, if they don't turn it around now, I think it's a foregone conclusion that Wade Phillips will be out of a job by the time the season end rolls around.”

At this point, Phillips would be lucky to hang around that long.

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Posted on: October 8, 2010 12:53 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 1:02 pm
 

Strolling the Sideline: Peyton's play after an L

Posted by Will Brinson



Strolling the Sideline takes a look at random miscellanea from the upcoming weeks games.

On Sunday, you will likely hear Dan Dierdorf reinforce something during the "NFL on CBS" that he said on our "Audibles" section -- the Indianapolis Colts are a "little angry right now."

Ya think?

They're 2-2, they're not considered "elite," they're lacking safeties, and most people are probably only hanging onto them because they have this Peyton Manning fella.

So here's my question: Would you bet against Peyton Manning coming off a loss?

Probably not, and the logic is exactly what Dierdorf said -- they're angry. No one wants to pick against Peyton when he's angry. So the notion that he and the Colts play much better following a loss seems pretty rational. Having said that, though, Manning's numbers immediately following a single loss aren't as badass as you might think.



Okay, so quickly, yes, two of the losses were after the Colts had clinched (see: notes) and if you take those out, he's pretty darn good. But nothing insanely elite -- the San Diego game in 2007 is one of his worst as a professional, even if they nearly won.

Still, at home, he's 2-0, and while the Chiefs might be undefeated, betting against Manning in this situation is probably ill-advised. Which is, um, exactly why I took Kansas City +8 this week. Crap.

****
Randy Moss will become the sixth player in NFL history to play in 17 regular season games when the Vikings meet the Jets on Monday night, after this little trade that you might have heard about this week.

The others? Chris Singleton (Patriots and Dolphins in 1993), Dexter Carter (Jets to 49ers in 1995), Jerry Rice (Raiders and Seahawks in 2004), Micah Ross (Chargers and Panthers in 2004) and Will Witherspoon (Rams and Eagles in 2009). Unfortunately if you own Moss in fantasy leagues, you still lose since, you know, yeah.

****
Kyle Orton is the current NFL leader in passing yards. Once you've had time to catch your breath, let's figure out what would happen if we froze football in it's current state and simulated the rest of the season based on current defenses. (Yes, 100 percent totally improbable, but still fun.)

Orton would throw for 2,455.8 more yards based on the averages allowed by the remaining opponents, giving him 3,875 yards on the season. Clearly, this is not a scientific measurement of how much production the Denver quarterback will have for the rest of the season -- but is it crazier to assume that a) Orton will fall short of 4,000 yards or b) that he'll break Dan Marino's passing record?

Because right now, if you multiply his total by four, that's what he'll do, and by a good margin.

****
Pretty good chance when the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals meet that Max Hall won't look over at Gregg Williams, grin,  and yell "thanks for all the blitzes!"

But he can still smile knowing that he's the first undrafted rookie to start a game in the season's first five weeks since 1987. What? That's impressive!

****
We've seen an insane amount of kick return touchdowns -- 11, thanks Leon Washington! -- this season. The most through five weeks in the NFL, since 1970, is 16.

And where should you be looking for some of those record-breaking five? How about the Chargers-Raiders game, where both teams rank in the bottom 10 in average kick return yardage allowed, not to mention having coughed up three of those teeters on their own.

****
Think the Bucs have talented wideouts? They do. Think Chad Ochocinco is good? He is.

Well, convenient trivia time -- Buccaneers wide receivers coach Eric Yarber was one of Ochocinco's coaches in college at Oregon State.  (Where, incidentally, he also coached T.J. Houshmandzadeh.) And you'll never believe who he worked with in San Francisco while Yarber was with the 49ers.

Okay, you probably will, so I'll just tell you -- Terrell Owens.

****
Brian Westbrook has one rushing attempt for the San Francisco 49ers this season. That is one more than the number of games he played in without taking a snap the entire time with the Eagles.

Think about that -- guy struggles with his health his whole career but dominates when he's on the field, finally gets booted by his old team, takes less money to sign with a "contender" like San Fran and then they don't even play him. It's outrageous. 

****


 
Do you think that the Titans' Chris Johnson cares about playing well against the Cowboys?

Small chance -- scope the first round from the 2008 NFL Draft and the running backs taken in the first round. What a great first round for running backs, huh? Darren McFadden's the only one who hasn't rushed for 1,000 yards in a ... ohhhh, you're right. Felix Jones, an underutilized straight speedster who was taken two spots in front of Johnson (who was considered someone that would become an underutilized straight speedster, whoops).

I would say he cares.

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Posted on: September 27, 2010 4:02 pm
 

Hot Routes 9.27.10 box score tidbits

Posted by Andy Benoit

After Tony Romo said the Cowboys needed to get the running game going, Marion Barber had 17 carries for a hard-fought 55 yards against the Texans. Felix Jones showed most of the usual speed and quickness that he, for whatever reason, hadn’t displayed the first two weeks. Jnes gained 43 yards on seven carries.

The 49ers managed just 43 yards on the ground against a Chiefs defense that ranked 31st against the run last season. (Granted, it is a much-improved Chiefs defense. But still…)

Frank Gore didn’t get going on the ground, but he amassed yards on nine catches. Michael Crabtree, however, has just six catches for 81 yards…on the season.L. Tomlinson (US Presswire)

3 sacks for Chiefs underrated, over-energized OLB Tamba Hali. The fifth-year pro also recorded two tackles for a loss.

The Lions were 3/12 on third down against the Vikings. But the Vikings were 3/11 on third down against the Lions. Fun game.

The Patriots ripped off 200 yards rushing against the Bills. Forty two of those yards game from ex-Jet Danny Woodhead. Ninety eight came from BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who is fast become a favorite of the coaching staff.

Rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez had another strong outing, leading the Patriots with six catches for 65 yards. He also set a tight end team record for longest run: 13 yards. (Eat your heart out Ben Coates…or whoever had the record to begin with.)

Great day for tight ends in New Orleans. Jeremy Shockey had eight catches for 78 yards and a score (most of the catches were of the usual manhood-validating variety that Shockey has mastered). Tony Gonzalez, not to be outdone, had eight catches for 110 yards and a touchdown.

Counting assists, every Saints linebacker posted double digit tackles against the Falcons.

Chris Johnson had 125 yards against the Giants, but it took him 32 carries to get it. He looked exhausted by the second quarter.

23:28 = Panthers time of possession against the Bengals. 23:28 might also equal Carson Palmer’s 40 time. Of course, with a cannon arm, Palmer doesn’t need to run. But does Palmer still have cannon arm? He was 19/37 for 195 yards, his second straight game under 200 yards passing. There are whispers that Palmer still doesn’t look like his pre-elbow surgery self.

Ryan Torain led the Redskins with 46 yards on seven carries. Remember the name – this guy will probably wind up being the team’s top rusher in the second half of the season.

David Garrard somehow threw 31 incompletion on 30 pass attempts. Just kidding. But seriously, Garrard was bad. 13/30 for 105 yards and a pick.

Michael Vick ran the ball only four times against the Jags (30 yards and a touchdown).

After Sunday’s game, 10 of DeSean Jackson’s 18 career touchdowns have been 50 yards or longer.

The Chargers had five turnovers and gave up two kickoff returns for touchdowns at Seattle. That’s what it takes to nullify a career-high 455 yards passing from Philip Rivers.

LaDainian Tomlinson has taken over as the No. 1 running back for the Jets. He had 15 carries against the Dolphins, five more than Shonn Greene had. Tomlinson managed a hearty 70 yards on the night.


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Posted on: September 20, 2010 2:52 pm
 

Hot Routes 9.20.10 Some box score tidbits

Posted by Andy Benoit

In this week’s 10 Stories That Deserve Your Attention, we focused on how LaDainian Tomlinson appears to be handling a much heavier load than expected for the Jets. This is supposed to be Shonn Greene’s backfield. Well, the man Tomlinson essentially replaced, Thomas Jones, is doing the same thing in Kansas City. Jones carried the ball 22 times against the Browns Sunday (83 yards). Jamaal Charles, who is coming off the bench, had 11 carries (49 yards).

Third-round rookie tight end Tony Moeaki led the Chiefs with five catches for 58 yards.

Ndamukong Sun flashed dominance for the second week in a row. Suh recorded a sack against Michael Vick (he may have gotten away with a facemask on the play) and consistently pushed the interior pocket.

How about these rushing statistics for the Cowboys: Marion Barber 11 carries for 31 yards; Felix Jones 7 carries for 7 yards; Tashard Choice 1 carry for -1 yard. Somehow, you can’t help but think this is Tony Romo’s fault.

Trent Edwards was 11/18 for 102 yards and two picks against the Packers. When Marshawn Lynch ran for 14 yards to end the first quarter, that brought Buffalo’s net yardage on the day back to zero. C. Matthews (US Presswire)

Jermichael Finley has his second career 100-yard game. Expect at least five more this season for the best tight end in the NFC.

Should we just go ahead and vote for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award now? Packers linebacker Clay Matthews had three sacks for the second week in a row. This for a guy who sat out virtually the entire preseason with a hamstring injury.

Actually, we’d better not crown Matthews yet. Mario Williams followed his stellar Week 1 performance with a shimmering outing against the Redskins. Williams recorded three sacks, two tackles for a loss and two pass deflections. It’s safe to say the Texans probably don’t win that game without him.

Adrian Peterson rushed for 145 yards on 28 carries against a fairly-staunch Dolphins D. There wasn’t a cheap yard in the bunch. Peterson put on an absolute show late in the second half, showing his familiar powerful burst and uncanny change-of-direction prowess. However, his show came to an abrupt end on the second to last drive, when the Dolphins kept him out of the end zone on four-straight plays from inside the 10.

Chris Johnson had his streak of 100-yard games snapped at 12 by a Steelers D that has given up just one 100-yard rushing performance in its last 36 outings. Johnson managed just 34 yards on 16 carries. He had an 85-yard touchdown called back because of a Eugene Amano holding penalty (even with nose tackle Casey Hampton out, the Titans center had a rough afternoon).

A week after his impressive return to the NFL, Seahawks wideout Mike Williams had just one catch for seven yards against the Broncos.

Wes Welker and Randy Moss were both held to 38 yards receiving.

The Chargers held Maurice Jones-Drew to 31 yards on 12 carries. Rashad Jennings actually got nine carries, producing 38 yards.

Philip Rivers 334 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and an unofficial 3 screams at his offensive linemen against the Jaguars.

Shawne Merriman got on the field for the first time all season and recorded three tackles.

Tim Hightower was the lone bright spot for the Cardinals. With Beanie Wells still out with a knee injury, the third-year running back carried the entire load Sunday. Hightower rushed for 115 yards on 11 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown scamper in which he showed newfound quickness and acceleration.

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