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Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #29

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #29

Ten players have worn #29, including six defensive backs, three running backs, and a kick returner.

Chris Akins, S, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 1999-00

Statistics: Akins had minimal statistics during his time in Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Akins played in parts of two seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: He was mostly a special teams player in his limited time with the team.

Michael Bates, WR/KR, Arizona, 2003

Statistics: Bates returned four kickoffs with a 22.5-yard average.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Bates played in one game with the Cowboys in 2003.

Intangibles: Bates appeared in the season finale against New Orleans in 2003. The former all-pro returner did not play in the playoffs and retired after that season.

Terry Billups, CB, North Carolina, 1998

Statistics: Billups had no recorded stats with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in one game.

Intangibles: All but forgotten.

Alundis Brice, CB, Mississippi, 1995-96

Note: Brice also wore #21 and #23.

Statistics: Brice recorded one interception with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Brice lasted two seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: He is probably best remembered for giving up #21 to Deion Sanders.

Woodrow Dantzler, RB, Clemson, 2002-05

Statistics: Dantzler averaged 22.3 yards per return on kickoffs for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Dantzler played in part of one season for the Cowboys.

Intangibles: He was a former college quarterback and something of a fan-favorite in Dallas. However, Bill Parcells let him go late during training camp in 2003, ending his career in Dallas.

Keith Davis, S, Sam Houston, 2002-

Statistics: Davis recorded 99 tackles with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Davis lasted five seasons in Dallas but recently signed with the Miami Dolphins.

Intangibles: Davis was a very good special teams player, earning the title of captain.

Kenneth Gant, CB, Albany St., 1990-94

Statistics: Gant recorded three sacks, seven interceptions and 130 tackles with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Gant played five seasons in Dallas before playing three years in Tampa Bay.

Intangibles:Gant was widely known for his “Shark Dance,” which was a staple during the early 1990s. He was a very good special teams player and an unforgettable character.

Robert Lavette, RB, Georgia Tech, 1985-87

Statistics: Lavette averaged 19.6 yards per return on kickoffs.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Lavette played less than three full seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Lavette was a star at Georgia Tech but had trouble finding room to play with Tony Dorsett and Herschel Walker sharing the backfield. He finished his career in 1987 with the Eagles.

Adrian Murrell, RB, West Virginia, 2003

Statistics: Murrell rushed for 107 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Murrell played in only three games for Dallas.

Intangibles: He had some success with the Jets and Cardinals but only saw limited action with Dallas.

Greg Myers, S, Colorado State, 2000

Statistics: Myers recorded 13 tackles with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in six games for Dallas in 2000.

Intangibles: Myers was a former Bengal who started four games at safety in a dismal 2000 season.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #29

  • Kenneth Gant (61%, 130 Votes)
  • Keith Davis (33%, 70 Votes)
  • Michael Bates (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Woodrow Dantzler (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Terry Billups (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Adrian Murrell (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Robert Lavette (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Chris Akins (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Alundis Brice (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Greg Myers (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 214

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My Vote: Gant

Kenneth GantMost of these guys were role players, but few were as memorable as Gant. He was also a great special teams player– better than Davis, in fact.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #28

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #28

Five players have worn #28, including four running backs and a defensive back.

Note: This list does not include first-round pick Felix Jones, who has been assigned #28.

Alvin Blount, RB, Maryland, 1987

Statistics: Blount rushed for 125 yards and 3 TDs with the Cowboys.

Accolades: (Replacement player).

Longevity: (Replacement player).

Intangibles: Blount was a 9th round pick in 1987 but only appeared in two replacement games that season.

Norm Granger, RB, Iowa, 1984

Statistics: Granger had limited statistics during a short career in Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Granger dressed for 15 games in 1984 but seldom played.

Intangibles: Granger later appeared as a replacement player with the Atlanta Falcons in 1987.

Curtis Stewart, RB, Auburn, 1989

Statistics: None.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Stewart played in two games for Dallas in 1989.

Intangibles: He saw some action on special teams but was gone very quickly.

Tyson Thompson, RB, San Jose State, 2005-07

Statistics: Thompson averaged 24.7 per kickoff return and rushed for a total of 266 yards.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Thompson lasted three seasons in Dallas but has not been resigned for 2008.

Intangibles: He was something of a Cinderella story by virtue of making the team three straight years. He was not a bad kick returner but had difficulty in 2007 after returning from an injury suffered in 2006.

Darren Woodson, S, Arizona State, 1992-03

Statistics: Woodson is the franchise’s all-time leading tackler, with 803. He also had 23 career interceptions.

Accolades: Woodson was named to five Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro three times.

Longevity: He played 12 seasons as a pro, all in Dallas.

Intangibles: Woodson combined several attributes that made him an all-time great. He was a sure tackler who could also play in coverage. A leader-by-example, he was very much an integral part of the dynasty of the 1990s.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #28

  • Darren Woodson (99%, 235 Votes)
  • Tyson Thompson (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Norm Granger (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Alvin Blount (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Curtis Stewart (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 238

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My Vote: Woodson

Darren WoodsonThis one clearly isn’t a contest. Woodson rivals Cliff Harris as the greatest safety in team history. A former college linebacker with enough speed to cover, Woodson was in many ways a prototype for the modern strong safety.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #27

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #27

Twelve players have worn #27, including eight defensive backs and four running backs.

Courtney Brown, S, Cal Poly, 2007-

Statistics: Brown recorded one fumble recovery in 2007.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Brown will enter his second season in 2008.

Intangibles: A seventh-round pick last year, Brown played in eight games for the Cowboys in 2007. He will need to show more next season if he is going to remain here long-term.

Mario Edwards, CB, Florida State, 2000-03

Statistics: Edwards recorded four interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Edwards played four seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was part of the 2000 draft, when the Cowboys took three cornerbacks. Edwards lasted longer than Dwayne Goodrich and Kareem Larrimore, starting 47 games in four seasons. He left via free agency in 2004 but played only one season with Tampa Bay.

Thomas Everett, S, Baylor, 1992-93

Statistics: Everett had four interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: He made the Pro Bowl in 1993.

Longevity: After Dallas acquired him from Pittsburgh, Everett played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Everett was a very important part of the Cowboys’ title years in 1992 and 1993. He was also one of the first big losses when free agency began after the 1993 season.

Ron Fellows, CB, Missouri, 1981-86

Statistics: Fellows recorded 17 interceptions with Dallas. He also averaged 6.8 yards per punt return and 20.2 yards per kickoff return.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Fellows played six seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was a member of Thurman’s Thieves who started 43 games opposite Everson Walls at corner. Prior to taking over as starter, he was one of the best nickel corners in the league.

Mike Gaechter, S, Oregon, 1962-69

Statistics: Gaechter recorded 21 interceptions during his time in Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Gaechter played eight seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: A free agent speedster from Oregon, Gaechter started his career at corner. However, he moved to safety in 1963, where he remained for the rest of his career. His final game was the 1969 Playoff Bowl vs. Los Angeles, during which he ruptured his Achilles’ tendon, ending his career.

Eddie George, RB, Ohio State, 2004

Statistics: George rushed for 432 yards with Dallas.

Accolades: None with the Cowboys.

Longevity: George lasted one season in Dallas before retiring.

Intangibles: Dallas signed George in 2004, hoping he had something left in the tank while Julius Jones was still developing. As it turns out, George showed little of his former self, and he finished the season with a 3.3 per-carry average.

Tommy Haynes, S, Southern California, 1987

Statistics: Haynes had three interceptions in 1987 as a replacement player.

Accolades: (Replacement player)

Longevity: (Replacement player)

Intangibles: He never played in the NFL other than the three strike games in 1987.

Keylon Kincade, RB, Southern Methodist, 2006

Statistics: Kincade had four carries for nine yards with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Kincade played in one game for Dallas.

Intangibles: His long appearance came in a blowout win vs. Arizona in 2006.

Signor Mobley, S, Washington State, 1997-99

Statistics: Mobley played in 44 games with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Mobley lasted three seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: He was mostly a special teams player for the Cowboys.

Curvin Richards, RB, Pittsburgh, 1991-92

Statistics: Richards rushed for 180 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Richards lasted two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He is best remembered for being cut on the eve of the playoffs in 1992 after fumbling twice in the season finale vs. Chicago. He played one year in Detroit before he was out of the league.

Bill Thomas, RB, Boston College, 1972

Statistics: Thomas returned two kickoffs for 50 yards.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Thomas played in seven games with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Thomas was a first-round pick in 1972 who was a complete bust. He injured his shoulder in training camp and did not join the team until midway through his rookie season. Dallas sent him to Houston in 1973.

Greg Tremble, S, Georgia, 1995

Statistics: Tremble played in seven games with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Tremble lasted less than half of the 1995 season.

Intangibles: He was mostly a special teams player before being released in mid-October in 1995.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #27

  • Ron Fellows (38%, 70 Votes)
  • Thomas Everett (36%, 65 Votes)
  • Eddie George (11%, 20 Votes)
  • Mike Gaechter (9%, 16 Votes)
  • Courtney Brown (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Greg Tremble (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Mario Edwards (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Signor Mobley (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Keylon Kincade (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Curvin Richards (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Bill Thomas (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Tommy Haynes (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 183

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My Vote: Everett

Thomas EverettEverett was a major part of two Super Bowl teams, which is why he gets my vote. He is the only one on this list to earn a spot on the Pro Bowl. Though Brock Marion filled in well for Everett after Everett left for Tampa Bay, Dallas missed his playmaking ability.

This was another tough one. Gaetcher contributed to the team for most of the decade of the 1960s, as did Fellows for the first half of the 1980s. Neither, however, accomplished quite as much as Everett even though he spent much less time on the team.

Resolved: Rookie Jersey Numbers (at least for now)

Felix JonesTwo days ago, I offered some suggested jersey numbers for the newest members of the Dallas Cowboys. The rookies wore their initial numbers at rookie camp today, and as it turns out, I was way off… at least for now.

Here are the new numbers of the rookies, including free agents.

Draft Choices

(1) Felix Jones, RB

Suggested #: 25
Actual #: 28

(2) Mike Jenkins, CB

Suggested #: 44
Actual #: 31

(3) Martellus Bennett, TE

Suggested #: 87
Actual #: 80

(4) Tashard Choice, RB

Suggested #: 32
Actual #: 29

(5) Orlando Scandrick, CB

Suggested #: 28
Actual #: 32

(6) Erik Walden, LB

Suggested #: 95
Actual #: 53

Free Agents

Danny Amendola, WR (Texas Tech): #18

Drew Atchison, TE (William & Mary): #87

Mark Bradford, WR (Stanford): #13

Andrew Brecher, T (Harvard): n/a

Julius Crosslin, FB (Oklahoma State): #39

Dowayne Davis, S (Syracuse): #47

Marcus Dixon, DE (Hampton): #95

Brandon Hale, T (Sam Houston State): #62

Alain Karatepeyan, LB (Tulsa): #48

Keon Lattimore, RB (Maryland): #35

Jay Ottovegio, P (Stanford): #2

Daniel Polk, WR (Midwestern State): #15

Darrell Robertson, De (Georgia Tech): #51

Joe West, WR (UTEP): #16

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #26

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #26

Ten players have worn #26, including seven defensive backs, two running backs, and a wide receiver.

Note: This was recently updated to include Aaron Glenn, who was inadvertently omitted from the original list.

Herb Adderley, CB, Michigan State, 1970-72

Statistics: Adderley had nine interceptions with the Cowboys, including six in 1971.

Accolades: He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, due mostly to his play with the Green Bay Packers.

Longevity: Adderley joined the Cowboys in 1970 and played three seasons.

Intangibles: He was an important part of two Super Bowl teams. He was quick, had great coverage skills, and was a solid tackler. Bart Starr called the greatest corner to ever play the game.

Andrew Davison, CB, Kansas, 2003

Statistics: He played in four games but did not record any statistics.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Four games.

Intangibles: Nothing worth noting.

Buddy Dial, WR, Rice, 1964-66

Statistics: Dial caught 42 passes for 713 yards and 2 TDs with Dallas.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Dial lasted three seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: He was never as good with Dallas as he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This was due in large part to a leg injury he suffered in 1964 after he first arrived. He averaged 21.6 yards per catch with Pittsburgh but only 17.0 with far fewer opportunities in Dallas.

Michael Downs, S, Rice, 1981-88

Statistics: Downs had 34 interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: He earned All-NFC honors in 1984.

Longevity: Downs played eight seasons in Dallas, ending with Tom Landry’s final season.

Intangibles: Downs and Everson Walls were two of the best free agent (i.e., not drafted) signings that Dallas ever made, and they both played in the Dallas secondary at the same time. Downs was a great playmaker.

Aaron Glenn, CB, Texas A&M, 2005-06

Statistics: Glenn recorded five interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He lasted two seasons with Dallas before being cut during preseason in 2007.

Intangibles: Glenn appeared to have slowed down during preseason in 2007, leading to his release. Fans immediately questioned the wisdom of the move, however, after injuries to Terence Newman and Anthony Henry kept them out of action early in the season. Glenn played in five games for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2007.

Ken Hamlin, S, Arkansas, 2007-

Statistics: Hamlin has recorded five interceptions with Dallas.

Accolades: He made the Pro Bowl in 2007.

Longevity: Hamlin has played one season for Dallas.

Intangibles: He filled an important role with the Cowboys at free safety. He was a better tackler than fellow safety Roy Williams, and he was very good in coverage. Dallas kept him by slapping the franchise tag on him.

Paul Palmer, RB, Temple, 1989

Statistics: Palmer rushed for 446 yards and 2 TDs with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Palmer lasted part of one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Palmer is the answer to the trivia question: who replaced Hershel Walker after the Cowboys-Vikings trade in 1989. The former first-round pick for the Chiefs had one great run (63 yards vs. the Chiefs), but he otherwise provided little.

Preston Pearson, RB, Illinois, 1975-80

Statistics: Pearson rushed for 1207 yards with Dallas and had 2274 yards receiving.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He lasted six season with Dallas after the Cowboys acquired him following his release by the Steelers in 1975.

Intangibles: Pearson played in a total of five Super Bowls (III, IX, X, XII, and XIII) with three different teams (Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Dallas). With the Cowboys, he became a great third-down back and had a number of memorable plays. He scored three touchdowns in the NFC Championship game against the Rams in 1975.

Jeff Sanchez, CB, Tulane, 2003

Statistics: None.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in one game for the Cowboys in 2003.

Intangibles: Sanchez now plays in the Arena Football League.

Kevin Smith, CB, Texas A&M, 1992-99

Statistics: Smith recorded 19 interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Smith lasted eight seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Smith started as a rookie and earned two Super Bowl rings in his first two seasons. He was well on his way to stardom when he suffered an Achilles injury in the opening game of the 1995 season. He was never the same after that and played second fiddle to Deion Sanders for the rest of the decade.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #26:

Greatest #26

  • Kevin Smith (31%, 59 Votes)
  • Michael Downs (29%, 56 Votes)
  • Preston Pearson (26%, 50 Votes)
  • Ken Hamlin (9%, 17 Votes)
  • Herb Adderley (7%, 13 Votes)
  • Jeff Sanchez (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Paul Palmer (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Buddy Dial (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Andrew Davison (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Aaron Glenn (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 192

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My Vote: Downs

Michael DownsIf Hamlin stays around for a few years, he should take this title, but right now, I have to give it to Downs. He was a solid starter for several years and should have made the Pro Bowl at least a couple of times. His 34 career interceptions ties him with Cornell Green for fifth on team’s all-time list.

I have fond memories of both Pearson and Smith as well. Pearson was a great receiver who made some important plays. Smith should have been a dominant corner but suffered in the second half of his career due partly to the injury and partly to teams throwing at him to avoid throwing at Deion.

Suggested Jersey Numbers for the New Dallas Cowboys

I don’t know that anyone is waiting anxiously for me to resume the Greatest Players by Number Series, but before I continue with that, here’s a look at some possible numbers for these new players.

[I assume that these players have not been assigned a number; if they have, just play along with me that they haven’t…]

Felix Jones, RB: #25

Pat Watkins currently has number 25, but since Watkins wore #22 at Florida State, he ought to consider what he could get from Jones for the number. Jones has a better chance of being a great #25– perhaps the best ever (even if Watkins is leading our poll right now)– so this deal should go through. Watkins could pick up #31 now that Roy Williams is changing to #38.

Mike Jenkins, CB: #44

Jenkins wore #4 in college at Oregon, so he’ll need a new number. I’d suggest #44, which was worn by backup TE Rodney Hannah. With all of the tight end movement lately, I doubt Hannah will be around long to use it.

Martellus Bennett, TE: #87

Bennett wore #13 at Texas A&M, so he’ll also need a new number. Dallas has not had a great #87 in its history, and nobody has worn it since Dedric Ward in 2004.

Tashard Choice, RB: #32

Choice was #22 in college, so that number is out. He is most likely a better prospect than Anthony Thomas, the last player to wear #32.

Orlando Scandrick, CB: #28

Scandrick can’t wear #8, which we wore at Boise State. #38 is out because of Roy Williams, but #28 is available thanks to the departure of Tyson Thompson. Scandrick won’t remind anyone of Darren Woodson, but he offers more at this point than Thompson did last year.

Erik Walden, DE/LB: #95

Walden wore #58 at Middle Tennessee State. Assuming that he plays defensive end in the NFL and not OLB, he’ll need a number in the 70s or 90s. The 90s are pretty full, but he could take #95 now that Jason Ferguson is gone.

Jerry Jones, Street Magician

Jerry Jones

Things are starting to settle down after a hectic draft weekend. Most analysts give the Cowboys around a B for their draft, even though Felix Jones was not the most popular selection among many fans.

We all have to admit that when it comes to trading draft picks for other/more draft picks, few can match Jerry Jones, though.

A summary:

(1) Trade Akin Ayodele and Anthony Fasano to Miami for the 4th rounder (100th overall).

(2) Trade the 92nd pick (3rd round) to the Lions for the 111th pick (4th round) and a 4th rounder in 2009.

(3) Trade the 100th pick (4th round, from Miami) to Oakland for a 4th rounder (104th overall) and a 7th rounder (213th).

(4) Trade the 104th pick (4th round, from Oakland) to Cleveland for the 122nd (4th round) and 155th (5th round).

(5) Trade the 111th pick (from Detroit– see (2)) to Cleveland for a 3rd round pick in 2009.

(6) With the 122nd pick (from Cleveland– see (4)), Dallas took running back Tashard Choice.

(7) Trade 155th pick (5th round, from Cleveland– see (4)) and 213th pick (7th round, from Oakland– see (3)) to Jacksonville for the 143rd pick (5th round).

(8) With the 143rd pick , Dallas took cornerback Orlando Scandrick.

(9) Dallas had previously swapped 6th round picks with Miami (167th for 195th) in the trade for Jason Ferguson. With the 167th pick, Dallas took Erik Walden.

End result: 8 picks (1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7) became 6 picks (1,1,4,5,6), but the team added a third and fourth rounder in 2009.

This all reminded me of a street magician’s act, such as…

But even with all of the trickery, Dallas still didn’t get a receiver! This was from Todd Archer yesterday:

The five trades the Cowboys made Sunday – landing them 2009 third- and fourth-round picks from Detroit and Jacksonville – were made with a receiver in mind.

The Cowboys have six draft picks in the first four rounds next year. Given this team’s proclivity for draft-day trading, they could have enough pieces to move up and take a top-notch receiver.

“We just didn’t want to push it this year with this not being a deep draft for receivers,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “You can’t make something out of what’s not there.”

* * *

My blog has become comment-deprived, which is a pretty good sign of lousy blogging by me. But the comment I received today from Gregg in Boise about Orlando Scandrick was interesting:

Major character issues? I live in Boise, and while I have no idea how Orlando will turn out on the field, the only place I’ve ever heard his name called is on the field. Orlando is a confident guy and will tell you so, but what CB worth anything isn’t confident?

My comment was originally based on the analysis on NFL.com, but I have not seen anything else to support the statement regarding character issues. He may very well have been a high value pick in the 5th.

Dallas Cowboys, 6th Round (167th Pick): DE Erik Walden

Erik Walden

This blog has covered two drafts, and I have wanted the Cowboys to take a shot on at least one receiver (and not the quarterback-turned-receiver that we got last year). Ain’t going to happen this year, either. Two running backs, two corners, a tight end, and a defensive end.

This analysis from NFL.com doesn’t give me confidence:

Walden only had two sacks as a senior, but still produced 22.5 during his time at Middle Tennessee State. He has the frame to be a rush linebacker in Miami’s 3-4 scheme.

There is much else out there about Walden, but here is what I’ve found.

A video of his Pro Day workout:

And his bio from the Middle Tennessee State site:

2007: Voted a first team All-Sun Belt selection by the league’s coaches and media … Played in 10 games and earned nine starts … Had 46 stops on the season to go along with 8.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception, two pass breakups, and a safety … Played 603 total snaps … Named to Rotary Lombardi Watch List in March … Had three sacks in the Blue-White game … Voted preseason all-SBC … Registered four tackles, including one for lost yardage against FAU … Had two tackles at Louisville and LSU … Added six stops, including two for lost yardage and a forced fumble against WKU … Did not play against FIU or UVA due to a toe injury … Played 48 snaps in his return against Memphis but did not have a tackle … Had one stop in win over ASU … Enjoyed a monster game at North Texas with three tackles for loss, a sack, his first career interception, and a safety … Had a career-high 12 tackles, including two for loss of yards at ULM … Registered a personal-best 11 solo tackles against ULL … Had three tackles and a pass breakup at Troy.

2006: Named First Team All-Sun Belt Conference … Played in all 13 games … Had a career-best 48 tackles on the season, including a school record 11.5 sacks (ranked 10th nationally) … Also had three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and 14.5 tackles for loss … Was listed as the starter at left defensive end coming out of spring drills … Tallied five tackles and a forced fumble in the Blue-White Spring Game … Was presented the Dr. James E. Walker Junior Academic award at the spring game … Recorded a sack, a fumble recovery, and a forced fumble in 44 snaps against FIU to earn a “winning performance” from the coaching staff … Had three tackles at Maryland … Registered four tackles, including two quarterback sacks in 35 plays against Tennessee Tech and earned a “winning performance” … Collected five tackles in 28 plays at Oklahoma … Did not record a tackle at North Texas but came back with six stops and a tackle for loss against no. 8 Louisville … Registered three tackles and a sack at Louisiana-Monroe to earn a “winning performance” … Had one tackle and a pass breakup in win at Louisiana-Lafayette … Collected three tackles and a sack in win over FAU … Became the all-time sacks leader at Middle Tennessee with two against Arkansas State and finished the game with a personal-best seven tackles … Added three tackles against South Carolina … Had six tackles including 3.5 tackles for loss and a career-best 2.5 sacks against Troy … Led the Blue Raiders against Central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl with six tackles and two quarterback sacks.

2005: Played in all 11 games, including eight as a starter (five at defensive end and three at linebacker) … Enjoyed a career-best 33 tackles on the season to go with three sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, two pass breakups, and a forced fumble … Collected four tackles in the opener at Alabama, including a quarterback sack, and registered two stops against North Texas … Had a season-high five stops at home against Akron including four solos … Registered a tackle for loss in win at Vanderbilt … Did not record a tackle at FAU … Had six total tackles and a quarterback sack against ULL … Came up with four tackles, a quarterback sack, and a pass breakup in win over Arkansas State … Earned his first career start at linebacker in place of the injured Dennis Burke and responded with six stops … Had two tackles including one for loss in win at Troy.

2004: Played in 10 games with four starts, registering a team-high six sacks and tying for the lead with 8.5 tackles for loss … Tallied 25 total stops with one forced fumble … Made three solo tackles in opener at Akron … Both stops versus Florida Atlantic were for loss including one sack … Totaled three tackles, 2.5 for loss, and two sacks against Idaho … The next week had two more sacks and three total stops versus Utah State … Made four tackles at New Mexico State … Tallied a season-high six stops, two for loss, and one sack against Louisiana-Monroe … Also forced a fumble versus ULM … Had a pair of stops in season finale at Troy.

2003: Sat out the year due to NCAA academic guidelines.

High School: Earned first team Associated Press all-state honors after guiding Dublin to a 14-1 record and a spot in the state title game in 2002 (lost to Screven Co. and future Blue Raider teammate Sean Mosley) … Was a Macon Telegraph first team all-Middle Georgia selection while also begin tabbed the Courier-Herald Heart of Georgia Defensive Player of the Year … Ended his senior year with 97 total tackles and a school record 19 quarterback sacks … Also tallied 11 tackles for loss, recovered two fumbles, and had one interception … As a running back, Walden averaged 6.6 yards a carry and scored eight touchdowns while registering 16 receptions for four more scores … He finished with 837 yards of total offense … Lettered in football, basketball, and track … Played football for Coach Roger Holmes.

Personal: Parents: Johnny and Shirley Walden … Born: 8/21/85 … Major: Physical Education.

Dallas Cowboys, 5th Round (143rd Pick): CB Orlando Scandrick

Orlando Scandrick

The Cowboys made yet another trade and picked up the 143rd pick. With this selection, Dallas took Boise State cornerback Orlando Scandrick. Dallas gave up a fifth and seventh to get Scandrick, who has apparently been high on the Dallas charts since the combine.

Scandrick apparently has major character problems that will need to be resolved. However, just four days before the draft, a newspaper in Idaho said that he expected to go in the second or third round thanks to a great 40 time of 4.32. This could be yet another value pick for Dallas this year.

Here is a video clip of a news story that broke when Scandrick announced he was going to enter the draft:

Here is another play showing him returning a blocked field goal in 2005:

Bio:

Orlando Scandrick opted to skip his senior year and enter the NFL draft. He’s an unfamiliar name to some, but pro scouts are fully aware of Scandrick’s ability.

Scandrick capably claimed the leadership role in a very young secondary after the graduation of Gerald Alexander (Detroit). With the junior left cornerback calling the defensive signals in the backfield, Boise State improved its pass defense from 45th in 2006 to rank 26th nationally in 2007.

At Los Alamitos High School, Scandrick was an all-around player, competing as a wide receiver and defensive back, in addition to returning kicks. He was named to the first-team Long Beach Dream Team, first-team All-Sunset League, and Prep Star 2004 All-American team. He was also a member of the Cal Top 100 squad selected by Rivals.com.

As a senior, Scandrick caught 52 passes for 832 yards and 12 touchdowns. On defense, he recorded 54 tackles and three interceptions that season. He also returned 22 kickoffs for 1,024 yards (league record 46.5 yards per return) and one touchdown.

Scandrick enrolled at Boise State in February 2005, in time to compete in spring drills. He was heavily pursued by Colorado State, Oregon, Washington State, Wyoming, Fresno State and Nevada, but felt that BSU offered him a better opportunity to start. He earned Freshman All-American honors, starting 12 games at right cornerback. He totaled 50 tackles (41 solo) with a sack and three stops for losses. He broke up 11 passes and scored on a 50-yard interception return. He also blocked two kicks vs. Hawaii, returning a blocked field goal for a touchdown.

In 2006, Scandrick switched jerseys from No. 16 to No. 8 while also switching from left cornerback to the right side, as Gerald Alexander moved to free safety. He finished fourth on the team with 52 tackles (32 solo), adding two stops, six stops for losses and a pair of forced fumbles. He deflected six passes, picked off another and blocked an extra point try that he returned for a defensive score.

As a junior, Scandrick started all 13 games at left cornerback. He produced 50 tackles (36 solos) with three stops behind the line of scrimmage and caused two fumbles. He had two interceptions and seven pass break-ups. He gained 54 yards on two punt returns and 78 yards on four kickoff returns (19.5-yard average). He also set a school record with four blocked kicks.

Scandrick started 38 of 39 games he played in at Boise State. He recorded 152 tackles (109 solo) with 3.5 sacks for minus-24 yards and 12.5 stops for losses of 70 yards. He caused five fumbles and recovered another for a score. He deflected 24 passes and gained 117 yards on four interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown. He blocked seven kicks, returned four punts for 78 yards (19.5-yard average), had two blocked punt returns for 54 yards and recovered a blocked extra point try for a defensive score.

Dallas Cowboys, 4th Round (122nd Pick): RB Tashard Choice

Tashard Choice

Our friend Jerry has been frantically swapping picks all morning. When we finally got to a selection– the 122nd overall pick– Dallas took another running back. I am now giving up on the team going after a receiver.

Highlights:

Bio:

Choice was highly productive at Georgia Tech and was the centerpiece of the offense. Whether he can play that role in the NFL is unlikely. He lacks make-you-miss agility and breakaway speed. He is capable of gaining yards in chunks and would make an ideal complementary back.

Positives: Physical back who rarely goes down on initial contact. … True north-south runner who can hit the hole and fights for extra yards. … Good vision. … Has cutback ability and acceleration to and through the hole to get to the open field.

Negatives: Lacks the quick feet and breakaway speed to fit every NFL offense. … Isn’t the quickest, fastest or most elusive. … Remained productive even without Calvin Johnson to draw safeties away from the line of scrimmage. … Some question his durability.

* * *

Thanks to the DMN, here are the rest of the picks this year (as of now):

Fifth round pick — 155th overall (from Cleveland)
Sixth round pick — 167th overall (from Miami)
Seventh round pick — 213rd overall (from Oakland)

The end result of the trading today was that the Cowboys now have an extra 3rd rounder next year.