Tag:Dez Bryant
Posted on: November 7, 2010 10:05 pm
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Wade Phillips gives Jerry Jones another reason

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Wade Phillips looks like such a nice man, and everything you hear about him, he appears to be a pleasantly perfect person. But in the first half of the Packers-Cowboys game, Phillips, once again, showed that he’s not best-suited to be running an NFL squad.

The Cowboys looked horrendous, giving up 28-straight points to the Packers before QB Jon Kitna hit Dez Bryant for the TD late in the second quarter to make the score 28-7 going into halftime. Dallas' defense was terrible. The offense was terrible. The special teams were not very good, either.

But the coaching and the game management … well, they were bad enough to be considered fireable offenses.

The Cowboys used two timeouts in the first two quarters, and then, for some inexplicable reason, after Green Bay RB Brandon Jackson rushed in for a two-yard score to make it 14-0, Phillips challenged the ruling on the field.

Here’s the problem: if the ruling somehow was overturned – if there was enough video evidence to reverse it even though Jackson was in the middle of a huge pile of players – the Packers would have retained the ball inside the 1-yard line. It’s not like the Cowboys defense suddenly was going to become the Fearsome Foursome and stuff the run.

Of course, the ruling was NOT overturned.

Then, the Cowboys received another slap in the face later in the half when kick returner Bryan McCann fumbled the ball and Green Bay’s Nick Collins picked it up and ran back the 26-yard touchdown. Replays clearly showed McCann was on the ground before the ball was stripped away. But, because of the failed challenge, the Cowboys couldn’t throw the red flag.

The touchdown stood. It shouldn’t have. And now we’ll see if owner Jerry Jones will keep Phillips around. He probably shouldn’t. And I think he’s beginning to realize that as well.

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Posted on: November 2, 2010 3:29 pm
 

Top Ten With a Twist: New Faces

L. Tomlinson has been one of the most impressive players in the NFL this season (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Some arrived via free agency. Some were left on the garbage pile and only had one or two teams show interest. Some didn’t have much of a choice if they wanted to continue playing NFL football. And some were highly-touted rookies who commanded humongous signing bonuses and who have lived up to their end of the bargain.

Today, we spotlight the top-10 players who are performing brilliantly in their first year with a new team. We’re talking about rookies, we’re talking about free agents, we’re talking about those whose careers were left for dead.

All of the following have impacted their new teams in many ways and all have made the front offices who signed them seem clairvoyant in the process (though, in the case of a couple players, the decision to add them wasn’t exactly brain surgery). So, here’s to those who have found a new lease on life (or a new burgeoning career) with their new team.

10. Jason Babin, DE, Titans: The career-high sack total for Babin, a seven-year veteran, was five coming into this season – set in 2006 while in Houston. This year, through eight games, he’s got seven. So, what happened this season, especially after recording just 16 tackles and 2.5 sacks last year with the Eagles? According to Babin, it’s just been a matter of getting more playing time. OK, if you say so.

9. Colt McCoy, QB, Browns: Aside from any rookie QB not named Sam Bradford, McCoy has done pretty darn well as a first-year signal-caller. He’s only played the past two games for Cleveland, but he’s hitting 63.5 percent of his passes for a touchdown, two picks and a QB rating of 76.5. OK, he’s not great, but he’s been light years ahead of Jimmy Clausen and Max Hall. Plus, he’s coming off a win against the Saints.

8. Terrell Owens, WR, Bengals: You still have to take the good with the bad when it comes to Owens. He’s the kind of player who, often times, doesn’t put out special effort to knock down a bad pass so the opponent doesn’t pick it (this happened at least twice last week), but he’s also still the kind of player who can rack up a team-leading 45 catches for 629 yards and five touchdowns. Ultimately, it was probably the right move for Cincinnati to sign him. In three weeks, though, that might not be the case.

7. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Steelers: Pittsburgh’s first-round pick beat out Justin Hartwig at the beginning of the season for the starting center role, and Pouncey has performed well thus far. He’s really helped glue together a Steelers offensive line that had major questions raised about it coming into the season.N. Suh has begun to dominate the opponent's offensive line for Detroit (Getty).

6. Dez Bryant, WR/PR, Cowboys: One of the bright spots in Dallas this year. We knew Bryant was going to be a good one, and he has not disappointed, catching 29 passes for 349 yards for three touchdowns (Roy Williams, by the way, is 22 for 327 and five, respectively). But he’s been downright electric while fielding kicks, returning two punts for touchdowns and averaging 16.5 yards per punt, second in the NFL for those who have at least 10 returns.

5. Thomas Jones/Ryan Torain/Peyton Hillis, RBs, Chiefs/Redskins/Browns: Yes, I’m cheating a bit here, listing three players in one spot, but that doesn’t take away from how well these guys have played – and how unexpected their production has been. The Jets figured they didn’t need Jones any more, but he’s rushed for 538 yards through seven games with the Chiefs. Torain has replaced Clinton Portis pretty well, and Hillis (460 yards, five touchdowns) has been the biggest surprise at all (he certainly has surprised Denver coach Josh McDaniels, who let go of Hillis after last season).

4. Brandon Marshall, WR, Dolphins: Marshall has typical diva receiver tendencies, but he’s been one of the best players in the league so far this season. After Marshall was traded away from Denver (ahem, McDaniels), he’s done nothing but produce in Miami, ranking fourth in the league with 47 catches for 588 yards. The one disappointing stat: he’s only recorded one touchdown.

3. Earl Thomas (Seahawks)/T.J. Ward/Ndamukong Suh, S/S/DT, Seahawks/Browns/Lion: Sigh, again I’m cheating. But considering all these first-year players are vying for defensive rookie of the year honors, it makes sense to lump them all together. Thomas has proven that he’s one of the most instinctual players in the league with four interceptions, tied for third-best in the NFL. Ward took some heat for the nasty hit he put on Cincinnati’s Jordan Shipley, but his big-hit ability has helped lead him to 60 tackles (fourth-most among safeties). And Suh is living up to his lofty billing, blowing up interior offensive linemen and recording 6.5 sacks. He’s going to be a monster for as long as he steps on the field.

2. Sam Bradford, QB, Rams: I’m not sure most of us could have expected Bradford, the No. 1 pick from last year’s Draft, to play so well a mere eight games into this pro career. He’s completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,674 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The numbers don’t look fantastic, but you have to take into account his poise and his savvy and the fact he doesn’t have a big-name receiver upon whom he can lean. Plus, he’s got the Rams, one of the worst NFL teams coming into the season, at the 4-4 mark. He has been pretty outstanding. Not bad considering he missed most of last year at Oklahoma with the shoulder injury.

1. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Jets: Somehow, Tomlinson has found the fountain of youth. It wasn’t in San Diego apparently. Perhaps it was in New Jersey the whole time. On the season, Tomlinson has gained 544 yards and five touchdowns and has taken Shonn Greene’s job away from him. He has been perhaps the most surprising player in the league this year. He’s definitely been the No. 1 new face.

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Posted on: September 29, 2010 2:45 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2010 6:58 pm
 

Givin' Em the Business: Idiot kickers

Posted by Will Brinson

Givin Em the Business recognizes all the people that annoyed you from the week that was in football. Feel free to provide nominations either in the comments or by yelling at us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .


Rank Who Why

1

Garrett Hartley
As someone who picked the Falcons upset the Saints and eventually to win the Super Bowl (yeah, I'll be reminding you until their next loss), I love Hartley for helping me look good. But as someone who loves his job yet wishes he could get paid six (or more) figures to swing his leg back and forth and kick a football 29-yards through a really wide gap between two poles, well, Garrett Hartley, you are a total loser.

2

Shaun Smith
The story of Shaun Smith and his affinity for grabbing other men's junk has been fairly well chronicled over the past few weeks. But not well enough -- if there's a guy out there who plays football for a living and spends most of his time amidst other piles of men and he just so happens to frequently punch/yank/grab/pull/etc other man parts, well, he needs to be fined. Or sent to jail or Singapore or something. Last I checked, "given 'em the business" is like three life terms there.

3

Jay Cutler
The Packers deserve some blame for an ugly Monday night game, but look to the left at this picture -- it is Jay Cutler, in the words of the guys at KSK, acting "triumphant after throwing [a] masterful pass interference penalty." And that accurately describes the CUTBRAH and the Bears this season, except they're somehow 3-0, which makes them eleventy billion time more insufferable.

4

Mike Singletary
You know what? I've always thought Singletary is a good coach, but that's mainly because he does really funny stuff 50 percent of the time and spends the other 50 percent of the time yelling at his players in a manner that causes them to respond. But it might be time to stop blaming other people (Jimmy Raye) and just admit that Singletary is at fault with the Niners failure.

5

Dez Bryant's Dinner
t's not like spending $54,000 is even a big deal. Seriously, people. Once you start blogging for a living, you make it rain with 55 GRRR at least once a week. (It's because living in a basement and not paying for pants is secretly the most genius money-saver of all-time.) Anyway, who cares about this dinner. Why are we wasting all of our time talking about it? It's funny. They're rich. He's young. WHAT-EVER ... just let's end this so no one ever has to hear Herm Edwards talking about the limits ($1,500?!?!) on his credit cards again.

6

Jimmy Clausen
It became infinitely easier to hate on Clausen when he appeared to have a Power Glove and/or mittens on. After all, the last Panthers quarterback to sport Mittens? David Carr. Not a good precedent to set for the rookie. But then you see the entrance he made (pointing to the crowd, jumping through smoke) and compare it to the exit and you have to think that maybe he could really work on humility a little bit more, you know?

7

Darrelle Revis
The Jets keep winning ... without him. Which is bizarre, considering he's by far their best player, and annoying, considering we spent the entire offseason debating how much he's worth as a premier cornerback since he decided to hold out and act like the Jets couldn't live without him. Now he's not practicing again, and might not play this weekend, which just makes it all that much more obnoxious that we held our breath for so long.

8

Marcus McNeill
Welcome back, guy! Good thing you decided to hold out, because, boy, did you really show A.J. Smith what-for. Not only did you manage to not play a large portion of the season, but you also managed to lose a ton of money and end up playing this year for nothing!

9

Lovie Smith
Yup, picking on someone else who is 3-0. That's because Lovie's coaching decisions thus far this year are completely inexplicable. It's one thing to be "aggressive" when it comes to making fourth down decisions, it's another thing to be "completely idiotic." Lovie's been the latter at least two (and maybe) three times this season, eschewing a field goal that would tie the game -- twice! -- in favor of trying to extend a red zone drive. Lucking out with a win after whiffing those can't last forever.

10

Sebastian Janikowski
Eh, why not bookend this week's edition with kickers? It was that kind of week after all. The weird thing is that Janikowski said he felt better than ever while warming up against the Cardinals. Clearly he was wrong about something, because he ended up whiffing a game-winner from inside 35-yards which, if you have the biggest leg in the NFL and just happen to be the highest-paid kicker in the league, is the most inexcusable thing you can possibly do.

Posted on: September 28, 2010 8:32 pm
 

Roy Williams gets revenge on Dez Bryant

Posted by Andy Benoit

Here’s a story that will either make you smile and say “oh, professional athletes…” or scowl and say “oh, professional athletes…”
D. Bryant (US Presswire)
Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas wrote Tuesday that Roy Williams got his payback on Dez Bryant for the whole pads carrying incident in training camp. (Ironic that the payback comes shortly after Williams’ best game as a Cowboy.)

As punishment for breaking the unwritten rookie code, Williams asked Bryant to take the team out to dinner. (Williams also, for some reason, asked for a pair of Nikes.)

Bryant obliged, taking the offensive players to Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Monday night. But Williams also invited the defensive players. At the end of the night, Bryant’s bill was $54,896. That’s roughly $1,000 per player (unless Wade Phillips was there, in which case, we’ll assume each player got only $300 or so worth of food).

"They got the young fella," Bryant's adviser David Wells said. "What could he say? He had to pay it unless he wanted to wash dishes for a month." (A dishwasher at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse makes over $50,000 a month?)

Watkins said that players ordered essentially everything on the menu and even took home bottles of wine. Pappas Bros. Steakhouse’s 90-page winebook includes a $9,000 bottle of Chateau Latour, though Watkins speculates that most players got the $600 Plumpjack Reserve.

In case you’re wondering, Bryant’s rookie contract included $8.3 million in guaranteed money. (Or, 150 team dinners.)

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Posted on: September 4, 2010 10:29 pm
 

Hurd knows when to hold 'em

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If Cowboys WR Sam Hurd was a poker player, he’d be Daniel Negreanu. Luckily for Hurd, he’s also not a bad football player.

Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News (via Pro Football Talk) has the story of Hurd calling the Cowboys bluff to take a paycut of his $1.759 million contract in order to guarantee his roster spot and refusing to take the deal.

Hurd, it turns out, made the team anyway.

Archer writes how the Cowboys approached Hurd this week and said they could lower his base salary, guarantee him a roster spot and give him a chance to reach his original base with some incentives.

Hurd said, “Ah, no thank you.”

Though he’s buried on the depth chart behind Miles Austin, Roy Williams, Dez Bryant and Kevin Ogletree, Hurd has value to Dallas with his special teams ability. Hurd also thought that if he didn’t make the Cowboys roster, he would have other opportunities with other teams.

And if none of this works out, there’s always the World Series of Poker.

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Posted on: September 2, 2010 7:02 pm
 

Is Crayton about to get jobbed by the Cowboys?

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Cowboys are set at wide receiver. Dez Bryant is healthy (though not playing Thursday night). Roy Williams is inexplicably entrenched in the team’s plans. Miles Austin is a bona fide No. 1. Kevin Ogletree, while inconsistent, shows great acceleration and change-of-direction quickness as a catch-and-run weapon. P. Crayton (US Presswire)

This stability translates to insecurity for Patrick Crayton. As in job insecurity. Tim McMahon of ESPN Dallas says that Crayton is on the trading block. And, if there are no takers, the veteran could simply be cut Saturday night.

If that scenario indeed plays out, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more egregious stab in the back this season. Crayton, you may recall, was granted permission to seek a trade back in spring after Dallas drafted Bryant. When no teams bit, Crayton requested his release. That request was declined.

Crayton, relegated to No. 4 duties at best, publicly voiced his displeasure with his situation during the offseason. But in the end, he reported to camp and was a good soldier. Though still unhappy with his role, Crayton has willingly accepted it in the spirit of team chemistry. 

Admirbale character aside, it’s important to remember that Crayton is a solid special teams contributor and, arguably, Dallas’ third most dependable wideout (Ogletree has been a disappointment in recent months; Roy Williams is more talented but also more mistake-prone).

Yes, Crayton’s $2 million salary is a bit hefty for someone at the bottom of the depth chart – but it’s obviously not unworkable in an uncapped year. And what about simple respect for a veteran who has mostly overachieved in his previous six seasons? Crayton’s value as a free agent was greater in spring than it would be at this point. Why back-stab a solid player who can still help your aspiring Super Bowl club? If the Cowboys are wise, they won’t.

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Posted on: September 2, 2010 12:59 pm
 

Report: Ireland wants to talk with Dez tonight

Posted by Will Brinson

Jeff Ireland and Dez Bryant, telephone apologies aside, probably aren't BFF's. After all, if a man asks another man if his mother has ever worked as a prostitute, and does so in a serious fashion, things won't be patched up easily.

Still, Ireland is, according to a report from the Miami Herald , going to try to keep apologizing, and plans to "seek out" Dez during Thursday's game.
But Ireland has decided he will try to find Bryant and talk to him if that search is successful. Ireland has told at least one person that he would ``try to make sure Bryant is OK with everything,'' and perhaps repeat in person what he said during a phone conversation with Bryant following their predraft incident. Obviously, that's a story that will be mentioned once or twice when the Dolphins and Cowboys meet -- Ireland's questions to Bryant were a HUGE deal once they got reported nationally.

Bryant, for his part, has handled the matter pretty darn well -- he said what he said re: the meeting but hasn't indicated anything other than a good attitude since then. One would presume that he'll simply shake Ireland's hand, accept an apology and then decline to talk about the issue.

Anything else would probably be unwanted attention for the Cowboys' rookie.

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Posted on: September 2, 2010 10:08 am
 

Hot Routes 9.02.10: And so it begins ...

Actually, "it" (meaning NFL football) will begin a week from today. But college football starts tonight and whether or not you love the college game is irrelevant: it's FOOTBALL. Real, live football and it will be quickly followed by the professional game.

It's like Christmas times eleventy billion. Anyway, follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) and feel free to suggest links you'd like to see here.
  • Since it's the start of football season (college anyway) and since Jay Cutler won't play tonight against the Browns , I nominate someone to come up with a delicious new drink called the "Todd Collins." Perhaps it could just be a "Tom Collins" with severely aged grapefruit juice?
  • No Dez Bryant on Thursday night, which means he'll make his debut in the regular season. Jerry Jones' excuse : 'he's got some conditioning work to do.'
  • Bob Glauber of Newsday discusses talked with ex-Giant Antonio Pierce, who "just [doesn't] see the energy" in the team this year. He also calls them "just another team" -- what's the deal with former Giants getting television jobs and ripping their old teammates these days?
 
 
 
 
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