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Quote Trivia: Not the Right Thing

Below is a quote from Tex Schramm.

“I’m still not sure if we’re doing the right thing by playing this game.”

During which season did Schramm make this comment, and what was the context?

While you’re pondering that one..

***

Most know that the Cowboys signed Alfred Morris to a two-year contract worth $3.5 million contract.

In four seasons in Washington, Morris rushed for 4713 yards and 29 touchdowns.

He did especially well against Dallas. In eight games, Morris rushed for a total of 710 yards. This included three games where he rushed for more than 100 yards and one game where he rushed for 200.

The other player signed was defensive end Benson Mayowa, who played in Oakland in 2014 and 2015 after spending one year in Seattle. The Raiders never faced the Cowboys while Mayowa played there. He has recorded a total of two sacks during his NFL career.

***

 

Mock drafts have the Cowboys taking any of a number of players at #4. A few names:

Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State (Todd McShay, ESPN, among many others)

Jalen Ramsey, DE, Florida State (Bleacher Report)

Myles Jack, LB, UCLA (Sports Illustrated)

 

Dallas Cowboys Stories for August 2, 2015

Drafting a Tight End in the Second Round and Expecting a Different Result

Overused quote of the afternoon:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Well-respected DMN columnist Rick Gosselin on Monday noted that Cowboys use of a second-round pick to take Gavon Escobar is already haunting the team. I would much rather take a week off from worrying about the Cowboys’ decision-making about anything, but this one just bugs me.

Here’s one reason: the 2006 NFL Draft.

Here’s a second: the 2008 NFL Draft.

Let’s review.

In 2006, the Cowboys missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season. The aura surrounding Bill Parcells was much less impressive, but the Cowboys could make some strides with another solid draft.

The team needed help in its secondary, especially at the safety position. It needed a receiver, given that it had two over the age of 32 (Terry Glenn and Terrell Owens).

Let’s stress this point: Tight end was not a need.

The team’s first pick was linebacker Bobby Carpenter. Not a good start, but that’s a story for a different day.

With their second pick, the Cowboys could have had safety Bernard Pollard. Or cornerback Tim Jennings. Or a returner named Devin Hester, who helped the Bears to the Super Bowl as a rookie.

Instead, Dallas took tight end Anthony Fasano with the 53rd overall pick. He was supposed to complement Jason Witten, but the Cowboys barely used him.

Two years later, the Cowboys traded Fasano and Akin Ayodele to the Miami Dolphins for a 4th round pick. Yes, the Cowboys traded a second-rounder from 2006, along with a starting linebacker, in exchange for one 4th round pick.

The result: Fasano caught 177 passes for 2104 yards and 23 touchdowns for the Dolphins over the next five years. Ayodele wasn’t great, but he started 18 games for Miami.

Dallas took that 4th round pick in 2008 and traded it to Oakland for a 4th rounder and a 7th rounder. Oakland used the pick to take Tyvon Branch, who has started 63 games.

I honestly can’t even summarize what happened after that. The Cowboys kept trading picks for more picks and more picks in deals with Cleveland and Jacksonville. The result: the Cowboys wound up with running back Tashard Choice, who lasted just over two years in Dallas.

Before the Cowboys showed their expertise in trading picks for picks and more picks, the Cowboys had a second-round pick in 2008 that they did not trade away.

The Cowboys needs in 2008? Offensive line. Safety. Wide receiver. Perhaps even another running back.

Let’s stress this point: Tight end was not a need.

The Cowboys, however, decided to take a tight end, Martellus Bennett. Yes, there was some theory that Bennett would be more like a receiver. But as everyone probably already knows, Bennett did less and less in his four years in Dallas, winding up with 846 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns in 4 years. In less than 2 full seasons since leaving Dallas, he has caught 9 touchdown passes.

Who did the Cowboys pass up to take Bennett? Cornerback Terrell Thomas, who started 34 games in his first three seasons with the Giants. Safety Charles Godfrey, who has started 74 games with the Panthers. Running back Jamaal Charles, who is just a bit better than Felix Jones, the Cowboys’ first-round pick in 2008. Guard Jeremy Zuttah, who has started 69 games with Tampa Bay.

No, these are not big-time names, but any one of them would have been more valuable to the Cowboys than Fasano and Bennett were.

By the time Bennett left after the 2011 season, the Cowboys had wasted two second-round picks and STILL had needs in their secondary, and on their offensive line, and at the receiver position.

So we come to the 2013 NFL Draft. The Cowboys still had not resolved their problems at safety. The team still needed offensive line help. The team needed defensive line help.

Let’s stress this point: Tight end was not a need.

And so what do the Cowboys do with their second-round pick?

Take another tight end! And as Gosselin’s piece points out, the team knew Escobar could not block, so when he proved to be less effective as a receiver, the team had to know it had wasted yet another second-round pick on a tight end.

It’s perhaps a bit early to say how good the players taken after Escobar will be, but several teams found starters in the second and third rounds. And yes, the Cowboys found a gem in Terrance Williams, but that does not excuse wasting a pick on another tight end.

It is what it is (and I hate that phrase): insane.

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Photo Trivia: Cowboys Rocked by the Saints in 2006

I asked this in a post from yesterday, but here is more about the unknown fullback who scored three times against the Cowboys in 2006.

The Saints would eventually head to the NFC Championship Game in 2006 thanks to stars such as Drew Brees, Deuce McAllister, Reggie Bush, and Marques Colston. Heading into this game, both teams were 8-4 and riding hot streaks.

The Cowboys had to figure out how to slow down these skill players to have any chance to beat New Orleans.

The problem was that when the Saints got down inside the 5 on more than one occasion, the Cowboys forgot to cover the fullback. This fullback scored twice in the first half and yet another time in the third quarter. The Saints won in a blowout, 42-17.

Here’s a puzzle with the player:

 




provided by flash-gear.com

 

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How Jerry Used to Respond to Dumb Losses and Mediocre Seasons

Can’t quite forget these facts—

His defense allowed a receiver to gain 329 yards due largely to a pathetic defensive scheme. His team still had a 99% chance to win with just over a minute to play but found yet another way to lose a game. His team is now 4-4, and his head coach has not shown that he is any better than mediocre.

Jerry Jones, Optimist.

Jerry Jones, Optimist.

So how does Jerry Jones make the news this week following the loss? By saying that a cornerback who has not played in Dallas since 1999 (Deion Sanders) would be able to stop the receiver (Calvin Johnson) who gained the 329 receiving yards.

(Oh, and he later said he was “disappointed” in the team’s 4-4 start.)

During Deion’s last season in Dallas in 1999, the Cowboys only managed to finish with an 8-8 record. The Cowboys had lost Michael Irvin, and Troy Aikman had to make due with Rocket Ismail (not really a #1 receiver) and the likes of Ernie Mills, Jason Tucker, Jeff Odgen, and Chris Brazzell.

Thanks to parity in the NFC in 1999, though, the Cowboys snuck into the playoffs as a wildcard. The Cowboys traveled to Minnesota but could not hold on to a first-half lead in a 27-10 loss.

Two days later, Jerry fired head coach Chan Gailey, who had not returned the team to prominence.

Here’s a summary of Jerry firing Gailey:

Team owner and general manager Jerry Jones spent most of Tuesday morning and early afternoon alone in his Valley Ranch office. Late in the afternoon, he went to Mr. Gailey  ‘s office, where the head coach was meeting with assistants.

Mr. Jones stressed that he had no criticism of Mr. Gailey the person. He praised the coach’s integrity and diligence but pointed to the Cowboys’ offensive struggles as the reason for the move.

Mr. Gailey , 48, was the franchise’s fourth coach, hired in February 1998 to succeed Barry Switzer. Mr. Gailey ‘s record was 18-16 in two seasons, including two playoff losses.

“This decision that I had to make today was about football,” said Mr. Jones, who declined to give a timetable for naming a replacement. “It was not about egos. It was not about friendships gone awry.”

It was, in a nutshell, about a Cowboys offense that started strongly each of the last two seasons but waned in November and particularly December.

It was about a team that was the NFL’s most-penalized this season. It was about a team that started this season 3-0 but lost its final eight road games en route to an 8-9 finish, including Sunday’s 27-10 playoff loss at Minnesota.

Was it a product of an aging team wearing down, one that sorely missed injured wide receiver Michael Irvin? Or was it an offense that failed to use the talents of established stars such as quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and offensive lineman Larry Allen?

Mr. Jones sounded like a man who clearly faulted the system more than the players.

“They tried their hearts out,” he said. “They worked at it to try to make it productive. We just aren’t as productive offensively as we need to be, and we haven’t been the last two years.”

It’s easy to say that Jason Garrett has had less to work with than Gailey did, but that is hardly the case. Troy Aikman in 1999 was near the end of his career, and Emmitt Smith was hardly a dominant runner. The offensive line still had Larry Allen and a young Flozell Adams, but Mark Stepnoski and Erik Williams where nowhere near the linemen they had been six or seven years earlier. The defense was good but not dominant as it was during the Super Bowl years.

The coach who replaced Gailey was Dave Campo, who inherited a mess. The team had to survive salary-cap hell without first-round draft picks sent to Seattle in a trade for receiver Joey Galloway.

Campo’s teams were never better than 5-11. In his final season, the team had a two-game winning streak and hosted San Francisco at home. Dallas took a 27-17 fourth-quarter lead but could not stop the 49ers, who scored their final 14 points with less than six minutes remaining. Terrell Owens’ eight-yard touchdown reception sealed the win for San Francisco.

Jerry was ticked:

A visibly angry Jerry Jones stormed out of the locker room following San Francisco’s 31-27 win over the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 64,097 at Texas Stadium.

The Cowboys’ owner was in no mood to answer questions.

“That was a stupid [expletive] ballgame,” Jones said from a stairwell in the stadium’s bowels. “The players played well enough to win. We [expletive] it up.”

Then he turned and stalked off.

So was Jones talking about defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer’s scheme that left seldom-used cornerback Dwayne Goodrich covering Terrell Owens – widely considered the game’s best receiver – with 15 seconds left, even though he was supposed to have safety help?

Or was he talking about coach Dave Campo’s decision to let Billy Cundiff attempt a 47-yard field goal that would have given Dallas a 30-24 lead with 2:16 left? Cundiff is 3-of-8 beyond 40 yards this season.

Or was he fed up with yet another key breakdown by special teams coach Joe Avezzano’s unit, which allowed a 42-yard kickoff return that helped San Francisco regain momentum after Dallas grabbed a 27-17 lead?

This much is clear: The Cowboys blew a 10-point lead in the final 6:56 and wasted an opportunity to win three consecutive games for the first time since the start of the 1999 season, a span of 58 games.

The Cowboys have had only three two-game winning streaks since 2000, when Campo became coach.

Campo’s coaching future is in jeopardy again.

The loss to the Lions last Sunday was far worse than the 2002 loss to the 49ers. The Cowboys under Garrett have found several ways to lose games the team should have won.

Jerry’s reaction? Go to fantasy land and consider whether Deion could cover Megatron.

 

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Thank Goodness for the Turnovers

Since the merger in 1970, no Dallas team has ever finished a season ranked below 23rd in the league in yards allowed.

English: , American football player, now head ...

It’s a process.

The one team that finished 23rd (out of 32 teams) was the 2010 squad. That was the team that began the season with Wade Phillips as head coach and wound up with Jason Garrett as an interim.

The current team is ranked dead last in the league in yards allowed. Through eight games, the Cowboys have allowed 3380 yards, or 422.5 yards per game.

Perspective: the 2013 Cowboys have given up more yards in eight games than the Super Bowl Champion 1977 Cowboys gave up in 14 games (3213 yards, or 229.5 yards per game).

Yes, that was 1977. But in 1992, another great Super Bowl year, the Cowboys gave up 3931 yards, or 245.7 yards per game over 16 games.

No Dallas team has ever come close to giving up 422.5 yards per game over an entire season.

The 1963 team gave up 380.4 yards per game in 14 games.

The 1962 team gave up 370.2 yards per game in 14 games.

The 1960 team gave up 364.3 yards per game in 12 games.

The 2010 team gave up 351.8 yards per game in 16 games.

Combined win-loss of those seasons: 15-39-2.

There are, of course, differences between the 2013 season thus far and those bad seasons from the past.

The first difference is that the NFC East is pathetic in 2013. While Dallas ranks 32nd in yards allowed, the Giants are only 23rd, the Redskins are 25th, and the Eagles are 31st.

Of course, three of the Cowboys’ four wins have come against those division opponents. The other win came against the St. Louis Rams, who rank 22nd in yards allowed.

The second difference is that the Cowboys have managed to cause turnovers. Dallas and Seattle lead the NFC with turnover ratios of +9. The Giants (-12), Redskins (-2), and Eagles (-1) each have negative ratios.

I will admit I was excited about the move to the 4-3 defense. I also thought the Tampa 2 defense could work here.

Um. No.

* * *

Tony Romo is on pace to throw for more than 4400 yards and 36 touchdowns. If he reaches 36 TDs, it will match his career high set in 2007.

Yes, those were better days.

* * *

DeMarco Murray is no longer on pace to surpass the 1,000-yard mark. He has been stuck at 426 since his injury in week 6.

The Cowboys have had one back surpass 1,000 yards since Emmitt Smith last accomplished the feat in 2001. That was Julius Jones in 2006.

* * *

The team is now on pace to score 460 points this year. That would rank second in franchise history behind the 479 points scored by the 1983 Cowboys.

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Dallas Cowboys Friday Photo Trivia: Name This Player

The Dallas Cowboys participated in their first NFL draft in 1961. The team’s first pick turned out to be a legend, as the Cowboys selected defensive tackle Bob Lilly.

The second-round pick was born in Schulenburg, Texas and played at Texas Tech. The Cowboys took this player in the second round of the draft, but he chose to play for the Dallas Texans, who took him in the first round of the AFL draft. He enjoyed a ten-year career with the Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs, including some years playing center.

Who is this player? Complete the puzzle below, and you will see a picture of him as well as the answer.

 





provided by flash-gear.com


Most Obscure Player of 1978: Larry Brinson

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The 1978 Dallas Cowboys featured several running backs that many (with memories of the 1970s) would remember. This list includes not only Tony Dorsett and Robert Newhouse, but also Scott Laidlaw, Preston Pearson, and Doug Dennison.

The team did not have great candidates for the Most Obscure Player Award, so we’re going with one of the lesser-known running backs.

Option #1 was Alois Blackwell, with his 9 carries for 37 yards in 1978.

Option #2, our winner, was Larry Brinson.

Brinson joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 1977. He saw action in all 14 games in 1977 but was cut during training camp in 1978.

He rejoined the Cowboys and saw action in 10 games in 1978. He only carried the ball 18 times but he scored two touchdowns in mop-up work against the Redskins (a 37-10 win) and the Jets (a 30-7 win).

He made it on the stat sheet for Super Bowls XII and XIII as a kick returner. Against the Steelers, he averaged 20.5 on two returns.

He played three years in Dallas and one in Seattle. After leaving the NFL, he became a college running backs coach. He has served on the coaching staffs at Arkansas, Clemson, Rice, Kentucky, and Kansas.

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Story Line: Dallas Cowboys vs. Carolina Panthers

The Dallas Cowboys (2-3) face off against the Carolina Panthers (1-4) on Sunday, October 21.

Below is a story line about the game. I am using the plugin for Storify. If you have trouble loading the links, try this link.

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Dallas Cowboys: Their Last 10 Games

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Dallas Cowboys o...

Jerry likes what he sees from a team that has gone 3-7 in their last 10 games. Hopefully the Cowboys can keep Tampa Bay on the schedule.

The Cowboys had their typical December collapse in 2011 after posting a 7-4 record after a Thanksgiving Day win over the Miami Dolphins. Although Dallas picked up the victory on Thanksgiving, some problems that occurred in that game have shown up a number of times since then.

Dallas had 11 penalties for 59 yards and lost the turnover battle thanks to two interceptions. The Cowboys narrowly won thanks to a field goal by Dan Bailey.

Since that game, the Cowboys have played ten more regular season games. Their record is 3-7, and two of those wins came over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who suffered through a ten-game losing streak to end the 2011 campaign.

A few disconcerting numbers about the Cowboys in their last ten games:

  • Dallas has been called for 102 penalties for 535 yards. Many of these penalties have caused drives to stall because they are often called on offensive linemen for false starts and holding penalties.
  • Opponents’ penalties during that ten-game span: 59 for 448 yards.
  • The Cowboys have committed 16 turnovers in the last ten games. This includes 10 interceptions.
  • The Cowboys have caused 7 turnovers during that span, giving the Cowboys a turnover differential of -9 in the past ten games.

Compare the Cowboys’ turnover differential with numbers from the New York Giants. New York finished the 2011 season by going 6-0, including the playoffs. During that time, the Giants recorded 12 turnovers and only gave up 2. That’s a differential of +10.

The Giants haven’t been quite a strong in 2012, but they are still 4-2. They have recorded 14 turnovers and have given up 7 for a differential of +7.

Therefore…

Giants in their last 12 games: 10-2, with a turnover differential of +17. Super Bowl title.

Cowboys in their last 10 games: 3-7, with a turnover differential of -9. Demented owner thinks team can vie for the Super Bowl title.

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