Tag:Dallas Cowboys
Posted on: August 11, 2010 4:35 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 4:36 pm
 

Jerry Jones: Eagles more consistent sans McNabb

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFC East (which we previewed with "Survivor" contestant Jimmy Johnson recently ) doesn't exactly need more drama: the Donovan McNabb trade, the Cowboys being the Cowboys, Albert Haynesworth, etc.

Just in case though ... Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones was willing to throw a little gas on the fire during an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News .

"McNabb helped create those big swings in our games over the last 10 years," Jones said. "When he played well, it was like throwing the knockout punch. When he didn’t, you were able to throw the knockout punch."

That's not necessarily an insult -- even McNabb couldn't really disagree with that statement. However, he might not be as thrilled with Jerry implying that things might be better with the new quarterback.

"I don’t see that now (with Kolb). I think Kolb and the way they’re going about it now, you won’t have those big swings one way or the other. I think every game with them is going to be a battle. Because of Kolb and because the makeup of the rest of their team is solid. And their coach, there is not a better coach in the NFL than Andy (Reid)."

No "except Wade Phillips"? I kid, I kid. No one's trying to say Wade is better than Reid, even Jerry.

But the Kolb v. McNabb argument is one that will rage all season long with whichever side is winning in the standings leading the debate. The Cowboys were previously just innocent bystanders, but you can bet that McNabb is painting even bigger mental bullseye on them after hearing their owner's comments.

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

Posted on: August 11, 2010 3:17 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 3:59 pm
 

NFC East Preview Podcast (Feat. Jimmy Johnson)

Jimmy Johnson's done a little bit of winning on the football field in his day. Most people remember him for turning the Dallas Cowboys into a near-dynasty with the trio of Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin.

People also are all hot to trot these days about the news that Johnson will be a contestant on Survivor this season (starts September 15, on CBS, in case you haven't heard).

We were lucky enough to catch up with JJ -- fresh off a red-eye flight back to the states -- to talk "Survivor" with him as well as preview the NFC East. Since, obviously, Jimmy knows a thing or two about the teams in that division.

So, go ahead. Click the play button. Got a question you want answered on the show? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or email will.brinson [at] cbs [dot] com

We'll be running out a few of these a week, so there's plenty of time. Oh, and also, be a friend and subscribe either by RSS or iTunes below.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .
Posted on: August 9, 2010 8:47 pm
 

HOF game ratings through the roof

Posted by Andy Benoit

USA Today writes that last night’s Hall of Fame Game received the highest overnight ratings for the preseason telecast in six years. Chalk that up to the Cowboys factor. Last night’s Bengals-Cowboys matchup drew a 7.6 rating, with a 13 share. The last time preseason game to do that well was 2004, when the Cowboys-Titans drew an 8.2.

A 7.6 rating means that 7.6 percent of the televisions in the US were tuned into NBC during the game. Sunday night’s game was up 31 percent from last year’s Bills-Titans contest.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: August 9, 2010 12:40 pm
 

Report: 'Boys Phillips ACL tear ends season

Posted by Will Brinson

Ugh.

John Phillips was very nearly a big winner from the Hall of Fame game on Sunday night. He looked superb in running routes, making tough catches and blocking, which is about all you can do as a tight end. Even with Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett on the roster, he seemed prime to get some PT on a very talented Dallas Cowboys team in 2010.

And then he got hurt. We heard last night that it was possibly/likely an ACL tear, which stinks. Badly. Now Tim MacMahon reports that an MRI has confirmed those suspicions and Phillips will be done for the season.

"It's disappointing because he was having such a great camp and such a great game," tight ends coach John Garrett said after Sunday night's preseason win. "But I know one thing: He's got great resolve. He's got great perseverance. If there's anybody going to come back even stronger than he was before, it'll be John Phillips."

It's also disappointing because it happened in a preseason game, where nothing counts as "winning" except "not getting hurt." Which is precisely why we constantly debate whether or not these guys should even be playing in games that don't count.

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

Posted on: August 9, 2010 10:02 am
Edited on: August 9, 2010 10:32 am
 

Hot Routes 8.9.10: 'Drew, Barry. Barry, Drew.'

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter or email will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .
  • Rough morning for the Saints, huh? 9:05 AM -- sharp! -- is their arrival at the White House to "honor their 2009 season." Did you know that on the new Madden 11 (review coming soon!) if you win the Super Bowl you get to meet Barack Obama? Pretty awesome. Also, Gus Johnson does a monologue about "how far this team HAS COME!" Or something to that effect.  
  • In not-so-shocking news, Marvin Lewis says that his offense's performance was 'not what I wanted.' Really, Marvin. A rookie running back a punt 63-yards for a first-and-goal to set up your only points of the entire preseason game isn't something you like? REALLY. I'd be more interested in his answer to the question, "What happens if Carson Palmer gets hurt this year?"
  • The Cowboys won last night and their defense was spectacular, but it's absolutely worth discussing what the mess went on with the red zone offense , particularly in that four play nightmare that was the the first drive, starting with Felix Jones' fumble on the one. The logic behind throwing the ball three straight times is apparently "We don't want to show the stuff we're using [in the regular season]" according to Tony Romo. Uh, Tony, I think you just did.
  • Rave reviews are floating out of Pittsburgh for Mike Wallace's transition from slot receiver to split end. OC Bruce Arians points out that last year "he had a role for a rookie that was very easy: Go deep, clear the field ..." Now Wallace has the full receiving tree package to manage, in addition to bumps up in the opposing cornerbacks coverage he'll theoretically see. (Although my pal JJ Cooper did a superb job of pointing out that Wallace has already faced elite coverage and handled it well.) Still think he has a breakout year.
  • Cool profile at the KC Star on Dexter McCluster , who, as I told Matt Moore on our AFC North Podcast Preview, I think could end up being a beast this year. Apparently, he's already blown out four pairs of shoes so far in training camp with his explosive feet. There's a line in there that involves something about "The next Dante Hall except also effective on offense."
  • Aaron Schobel is a popular dude. The Patriots have 'strong' interest in him and Seahawks GM John Schneider joined John Clayton's radio show last week to point out that if he doesn't sign with the Texans (who are also very interested, duh), the Seahawks would be a contender for his services. Clearly, this is the type of guy that you want you cut from your team as quickly as humanly possible. SMH at the Bills.
  • Would you like to see Jerry Rice shoot the entire football-watching world the bird during a nationally televised football game? Excellent, I have just the YouTube link for you !
  • If you'd like to break your brain early on a Monday morning, I highly suggest reading J.J. Halsell's Rookie Contract write-up at Football Outsiders . I tried to logically comprehend everything he's saying two minutes after waking up from a post-brunch Sunday afternoon nap and dude, brah, let me tell you. The buzz was amazing . (Seriously though, if you have some free time today, read it. It helps in understanding why you should hate lawyers and agents so much.)
  • If I'm ever in a nationally televised commercial about my blog during halftime of an NFL game and a bunch of my blogging "friends" don't post a link to it, regardless of what network it's being aired on, I will be very disappointed. So, here's a link to Mike Florio's PFT commercial that aired last night .


Posted on: August 9, 2010 12:11 am
Edited on: August 9, 2010 12:16 am
 

Winners and losers from the Hall of Fame Game

Posted by Will Brinson

Football is underway. That means two things: 1) we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief and 2) it's time for immediate snap judgments!

Sure, firing out winners and losers for one little football game that featured only two teams may seem a bit extreme, but, look, this is all the NFL action we've got right now, okay? So we're gonna break it down.

Winners
Doug Free -- He's was the most talked about player on the Cowboys this offseason (somehow). And he showed exactly why the Cowboys had faith enough in him to let Flozell Adams go. Granted, it was just one serious, but he looked strong, agile and acc-ur-ate, if I may quote Ben Wallace. Given Alex Barron's struggles and the injury he suffered on Sunday night, there's no reason to think Free's job is in trouble.

Jordan Shipley -- The rookie out of Texas managed to make two catches for 17 yards, which is pretty impressive when J.T. O'Sullivan and Jordan Palmer are throwing the ball. But he made his biggest impression when he made a sick 63-yard punt return to setup Cincy for their only touchdown of the game. Consider that not only is Carson Palmer being very vocal for Shipley but that Antonio Bryant is injured, and it's entirely possible we see Shipley getting a lot of action in the slot early in the season. He would do quite well there.

Tashard Choice -- Choice's "job" (read: third-string running back) is necessarily in jeopardy. But the better he performs, the more action he'll get during the regular season. And that's not even counting when the oft-injured Felix Jones eventually goes down, which he will. Choice piled up 41 yards on just seven attempts and looked vastly better than any other running back on the field outside of this guy ...

Marion Barber -- He didn't do anything -- two runs, one for five yards and one for two yards -- really special. But it's what he didn't do (fumble in the red zone) that separates him from Jones. And considering that many people felt like Felix could take over the starting role this year, well, that's a good thing.

Terrell Owens -- There's nothing special about two catches for 18 yards, but the good news for the prima donna is that it looks like the Bengals are willing to cater to him. Either that or it was just all fun and games spending the offense's first quarter targeting him at every opportunity. For Owens' part, he really did nothing wrong outside of he and Chad Ochocinco's eye-rolling Batman/Robin interview before the game. Also, he signed autographs for fans during the entire second half.

Losers
Felix Jones -- See above. If you're trying to steal carries during a season in which you bulked up to make yourself a better "between-the-tackles" back, do NOT fumble the ball on your first red zone carry of the season. There are only so many opps that Jones will get in the preseason to prove he carry the ball there before Wade Phillips just hands Barber the rock every time.

Alex Barron -- He got injured and blew any shot he had of getting the upgrade to left tackle.

Brian Leonard -- He's not exactly a fantasy monster or anything, but Leonard became a fan favorite (I think anyway -- I was rooting for him) after beating out "better" players for a roster spot during last season's Hard Knocks . Now the report is that his ankle injury "doesn't look good," which, obviously, is not good. I'll make the frowny face if Leonard is down for an extended period of time.

Dez Bryant -- His status isn't exactly getting crushed, but it's really important to note that the Cowboys have plenty of weapons on their squad. Roy Williams showed some life, Miles Austin is clearly the No. 1, Jason Witten is there, etc., etc. All I'm saying is that anyone expecting a 2,000 yard season out of Bryant already might want to slow their role.

David Buehler -- Three-for-four ain't a bad percentage, when you're talking about field goals. But he nearly missed his second one, and 2/4 would have people talking in hushed tones on Monday. He needs to crush it all preseason to keep his job on lockdown.

John Phillips -- He's at the bottom only because he was balling so hard that he suffered an injury later in the game. Phillips ended up being the early star of the show, catching four balls for 60 yards (and the first two were on horrible Jon Kitna passes, no less) and laying down some pretty sick blocks. He probably won't be seeing a ton of playing time because of Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett, but let's just hope the injury isn't too serious. (Edit: Moved him to the "losers" section since it appears he tore his ACL . Ugh.)

Jordan Palmer/J.T. O'Sullivan -- If Carson Palmer doesn't stay healthy this year, things will not go well for the Bengals.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: August 8, 2010 9:04 pm
 

2010 NFL Hall of Fame Game: 1st quarter notes

Posted by Will Brinson

As we noted earlier, this IS preseason football, so there's only so much we can hope for.  That being said, the first couple of series were still pretty revealing for Bengals and Cowboys fans in the first quarter of kind-of-real-but-still-fake football action, which ended with the Cowboys leading 3-0.

Oh, and if you want to hang out and talk football during the game, follow us on Twitter. We're quite chatty .

Doug Free, whose blocking skills the Cowboys plan to hang much of their offensive success on this season, looked both sharp and strong, keeping Tony Romo free in the pocket and opening up holes for Marion Barber and Felix Jones.

Of course, Jones fumbled on the one-yard line on the Cowboys' first possession, which is indicative of a few things. One, the Cowboys aren't totally against letting the beefed-up Jones carry the ball in the red zone. But, more importantly: two, Jones might not be cut out for it. Obviously making a snap judgment on one preseason series isn't entirely safe, but if the Cowboys are going to give him run during the preseason as a red zone back, he can't be putting the ball on the ground, or else he won't get shots at it in the regular season.

Antwan Odom was briefly on the ground, terrifying Cincy fans everywhere. Fortunately, it was just a "poked eye."

Terrell Owens was targeted by Carson Palmer. A LOT. But Palmer only went 2/5 for 18 yards (both completions to Owens) while getting sacked once by Stephen Bowen, and pressured a few other times. There's no real need to look at the Bengals' first-teamers and think they're suddenly going to be a pass-first offense, though.

On the next-to-last play of the first quarter, Jon Kitna fumbled -- although Dallas recovered -- on a sack by Jonathan Fanene. The bigger problem is the fumble was caused because Alex Barron did a poor job of blocking (well, the bigger problem for Dallas anyway) on the play. Free's looking pretty good to hold down his line spot.

Tony Romo went 5/10 for 59 yards on the 'Boys first drive, and the numbers might have looked a little cleaner were it not for some "meh" playcalling in the red zone following Jones' fumble.

What were your thoughts?

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: August 8, 2010 6:23 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2010 6:52 pm
 

2010 Hall of Fame Game Preview: 10 to watch

Posted by Will Brinson


All due respect to Christmas, this is the most wonderful time of the year. Why? Because, well, football's here people. Hope springs eternal right now for nearly every team in the league, and for everyone who loves Sundays the way they should be enjoyed.

And though tonight's game between Cincinnati and Dallas isn't a regular season game, it's still the metaphorical starter waving his proverbial flag for us to get pumped for football. As such, let's run through 10 things to watch for tonight.

First things first, though: make sure to follow us on Twitter , so you can discuss all things NFL as the football season kicks off.

1. Terrell Owens' interaction with the Bengals
Obviously, Bengals fans are going to be interested to see how he fits in with the team. Certainly, timing between Carson Palmer and Owens will be of tantamount importance, but there's no reason to discount watching the defense as well; the Cowboys have a good idea of the damage that TO can do, and seeing the initial schemes that they throw at Chad Ochocinco -- based on Owens' presence on the other side -- will probably give a reasonable indication as to what he should see all season long (provided Owens doesn't prove to be a total non-factor throughout the year).

"I'm a playmaker," Owens said. "I know Michael Irvin has adopted that title, but that's what I do and have done throughout my career is make plays. The coaches know what I'm capable of once the ball is in my hands. They're going to get all of Terrell on the field."

Andy also makes an excellent point about Owens -- how will his demeanor be towards Tony Romo and the rest of the Cowboys throughout the game? More on this in just a second.

2. Who's carrying the Cowboys' weight?

As we detailed previously, Jones bulked up in the offseason, while Marion Barber lost a few pounds. There's a certain school of thought, expressed quite nicely by Will Carroll at SI.com , that adding pounds to certain body frames can actually be a bad thing.

"Health is a skill, one that linebackers try to take away with every hit. Jones' problem hasn't really been those kind of hits, but in holding together his own body. Bulk often is accompanied by a reduction in flexibility and any additional tightness is going to be even more risky for the tightly-wound Jones. It also isn't going to keep him on the field for his pass blocking either. (It's still bad.)"

Personally, I'm still high on Jones, but concern over someone who traditionally hasn't been able to stay healthy changing his body style (potentially for the worse in terms of health) is certainly understandable. Also understandable: wanting Tashard Choice to look good on Sunday night. He's definitely the third option for the Cowboys, but because of, well, Jones' health he's seen plenty of playing time in the past few years.

3. Cincy's other new weapons
Lost -- somewhat -- in the hype that is Batman and Robin are the signings of Antonio Bryant and Jermaine Gresham since the Bengals last took the field for meaningful football. Bryant won't likely be playing for the Bengals, but Gresham should. And considering that he's supposed to provide the high-end receiving option from the tight end position, well, Bengals fans should be curious to see how he performs, especially with a recent report that he "looked lost" not offering immediate enthusiasm.

Also of interest is the possibility of seeing double tight end sets out of Cincy -- 2009 third-rounder Chase Coffman (who won the John Mackey Award for the best tight end in college his senior year) will likely get some action tonight -- which, given the receiving talent at the position, could provide for some very interesting formations during the season.

4. Trickeration time?
It's fairly obvious that Owens and Ochocinco like attention. So do the Dallas Cowboys, duh. And since this is the first game of the 2010 season, it seems like a reasonably awesome moment to bust out some first quarter fanciness. If I had to put money on one thing, it would involve Ochocinco throwing a pass to Owens on some sort of end-around. If you've got better ideas, leave them in the comments.

5. Terrell Owens' interaction with the Cowboys
Yeah, I know. Giving the VH1 star TWO of 10 bullet points is kind of feeding the monster. So we'll add Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson too. Since, you know, all three are former Cowboys. That's not to say that we should expect TO to try and extract revenge on his former team. Or do we ?

"Do I think I probably should still be there?" Owens said about his time in Dallas. "Yeah. But that's not the case. You deal with that situation as it comes. I think a lot of people know there are some unfortunate things that happened there ... Again, I still stand by the things I said and what was done and I know it wasn't my fault.''

You may recall that Owens shamed the entire state of Texas by mocking the glory of the Cowboys' star. They temporarily forgave him when he joined the 'Boys for his run there, but considering how many Cowboys fans were in attendance to see Emmitt Smith's spectacular speech last night, would it be surprising to hear some boos for Owens? Of course not.

The only thing less surprising would be Owens abstaining from some action designed to rib Dallas' fans and players a little bit.

6. What do you know about pressure ?
Kickers are considered an afterthought for many people (and "idiots" by folks like Peyton Manning), but the reality of the NFL is that they matter. A lot.

Mike Nugent and Dave Rayner are battling it out in Cincinnati, while the unproven -- but quite brash -- David Buehler should be the guy to take the Cowboys through the season. However, kicking in practice and kicking in an actual game situation are two completely different things. And while preseason games might not matter much for first-stringers or guaranteed starters, for someone looking to lock down a job with an NFL team for pushing an oblong ball between two poles, performing well before the regular season starts is an absolute  must. (Quick update: Looks like THE NUGE isn't bringing his leg to the field today, so it's up to Rayner to try and not look stupid in kicking action for the Bengals tonight.)

7. Will Doug B. Free?
To not worry about his job stability, that is. Doug Free takes over for Flozell Adams on the left side of the line in Dallas, and the reason Adams is gone is that Wade Phillips (and presumably Jerry Jones as well) was confident enough in Free's ability as a blind-side protector to make the move.

Whether Free wants it or not, that's an ample amount of pressure on him. And while Alex Barron wasn't signed in the offseason to compete with Free, he's still there, which only adds to the pressure. Free's been very good in camp thus far (his first two snaps excepted), but that performance would be worthless if Tony Romo got decapitated on the first play from scrimmage.

8. The Big Backup D
Wade Phillips has already said that Jason Hatcher "needs to play anyway" while calling Marcus Spears' 4-6 week injury a "good opportunity" for Hatcher. That's true, and with 8.5 of the Cowboys' 42 sacks from 2009 on the mend, it'll be interesting to see how Hatcher can step in and play. Optimistically, the Cowboys won't need him immediately, but optimism isn't always warranted.

Additionally, Sean Lee won't see time tonight, which means that Jason Williams and Victor Butler should get plenty of backup-LB action behind DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. Again, you don't WANT to use them, but finding out that your team is deep at an already strong position isn't exactly a bad thing. If they actually are.

9. Sack lunch
The Bengals defense was superb last year, with one exception: putting the quarterback on the ground before he throws the ball. They ranked 16th in the NFL with 34 sacks, but this year should be different. As Pete Prisco noted in his love/hate for the Bengals camp tour , the line has a lot of depth heading into 2010. The return of Antwan Odom, who was leading the NFL in sacks before he tore his Achilles' last season, is particularly beneficial. If they can generate more pressure on the quarterback than they did last year, it won't be hard to duplicate it. We just need to see that the depth is there.

10. Emmitt Smith's Interview
Another excellent suggestion from Andy -- who tweeted about it earlier -- because, if you recall Emmitt's speech from last night, he was wonderful. Shockingly wonderful, in fact, having memorized the entire lengthy speech, which he delivered without any of his trademark bumbling.

If you're Norby Williamson or George Bodenheimer, are you wondering "Where was that guy when he worked for us?" Because you should be. Smith's time as a commentator was a bit rough and he was an absolute gem as a speaker last night ... with a little preparation. It's worth seeing how he does when he steps back into the booth.

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

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