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The Most Miserable First-Round Cowboys Bust Was David LaFleur?

It was often a challenge to find Bobby Carpenter on the screen while watching him play for the Cowboys. Fortunately, we have arrows.

Yahoo ran a post about “sad, miserable first-round flops for all 32 teams.” The results were largely predictable, but I don’t think the selection for the worst Dallas Cowboys draft pick was the best (or, um, worst):

Dallas Cowboys: David LaFleur, 22nd overall, 1997. In a four-year career, LaFleur averaged fewer than 200 yards receiving per season. That’s about 12 yards per game, which isn’t what you’re looking for out of a first-round tight end. The other tight end taken in the first round that year fared slightly better.

Honorable Mention: Bobby Carpenter

I can’t defend LaFleur, but he was a bust because of injuries as much as anything else. He showed improvement during his first three years in the league and caught seven touchdown passes in 1999, when he played in all 16 games. However, his back was a mess, forcing him to retire after the 2000 season. If the Cowboys had taken LaFleur with a top 10 pick, that would have been one thing. However, Dallas took him with #22 pick, nine picks after the Chiefs took Tony Gonzalez. If the Cowboys really wanted a bust in the first round of the 1997 draft, they could have taken DE Jon Harris (#25 by the Eagles), Jim Druckenmiller (#26 by the 49ers), or Rae Carruth (#27 by the Panthers).

Selecting Bobby Carpenter with the #18 pick never made sense. Taking Shante Carver with the #23 pick never made sense. Reaching for Rod Hill from Kentucky State never made sense.

Just for good measure, let’s throw in Tody Smith (1971), Bill Thomas (1972), Charley Young (1974), Larry Bethea (1978), Billy Cannon, Jr. (1984), and Kevin Brooks (1985).

And I’d like to mention Bobby Carpenter one more time, just because I can.

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Mel Kiper’s “A” Draft Has Dallas Taking a Safety, Linebacker, and Corner

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  David Detz #19 ...
Mark Barron (#4) remains Mel Kiper’s choice as the Cowboys’ first-round pick.

Alabama safety Mark Barron has been the Cowboys’ first-round selection on Mel Kiper‘s board for quite some time.

In Kiper’s latest post, he lists what he considers to be an “A” draft for each team, listing the picks for the top three rounds. He still has Barron at the top of the list, but he no longer has Dallas taking an offensive lineman in the second round. Instead, he predicts that Dallas will take Clemson OLB Andre Branch.

Here is his post:

Top needs: G/C, CB, OLB, SS, DE, TE

Rd. 1 (14) S Mark Barron, Alabama
Rd. 2 (45) OLB Andre Branch, Clemson
Rd. 3 (81) CB Justin Bethel, Presbyterian

Analysis: The Cowboys need to shore up their coverage and get a lot of help here in the secondary and with an added piece in the pass rush. Barron makes too much sense. He has a good chance to be there at No. 14, and in this simulation he was. He provides an immediate upgrade. Branch is a guy scouts disagree on, but only on whether he’s got the talent of a late-first-round grade. Midway through Round 2, Dallas can’t go wrong, and he’ll provide depth on the edge. You can’t have too many pass-rushers. Bethel could be one of the sleepers of the draft. A star at Presbyterian, he has plenty of physical talent, and Dallas isn’t out of the woods in the secondary because of the addition of Brandon Carr.

 

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Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: Terrell Owens

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens at ...
Review a series of quotes about former Dallas WR Terrell Owens, shown here during the 2008 preseason. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Terrell Owens still manages to make news in Dallas, even though he hasn’t played for the Cowboys since 2008.

His latest shots came a couple of days ago in an interview where he blamed Tony Romo for his release. No surprises there. In light of this “news,” and a part of the Dallas Cowboys history in quotes series, here are some quotes featuring the former Dallas receiver.

“Terrell has 25 million reasons why he should be alive.”

Kim Etheredge, Owens’ publicist, about reports that T.O. tried to kill himself in 2006.

Source: ESPN, Sept. 28, 2006

“It’s very unfortunate for the reports to go from an allergic reaction to a definite suicide attempt.”

Owens, who later said he was depressed because of his former fiancee.

Source: ESPN, Sept. 28, 2006

“Right now, Jessica Simpson is not a fan favorite — in this locker room or in Texas Stadium.”

Owens, after Simpson attended a game on Dec. 16, 2007. Dallas lost to the Philadelphia Eagles while she watched.

Source: Fox News, Dec. 19, 2007

“If you do that, that’s really unfair. Really unfair. That’s my teammate. That’s my quarterback. We lost as a team. We lost as a team, man.”

Owens, after Dallas lost 21-17 to the New York Giants in the 2007 playoffs.

Source: New York Times, January 14, 2008

“You hear all the speculation, and you talk to the owner of the team, and he reassures you, you’re not going anywhere and then, out of left-field … you get blindsided.”

Owens, after Dallas cut him following the 2008 season.

Source: ESPN, March 29, 2009

Did You Know?

Despite playing in only 47 games in Dallas, Owens ranks 14th in career receptions (235), 8th in career receiving yards (3587), and 8th in career touchdown receptions (38) in team history.

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Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: First-Round Busts

One quote today focuses on former first-round bust Bobby Carpenter.

News today is that the New England Patriots signed former Cowboys linebacker Bobby Carpenter. He was a first-round pick in 2006 but never did much of anything in Dallas.

In honor of Bobby, and as part of the Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes series, here are three quotes about former first-round busts.

“[He] is vitally important to the future of the club. This year he would have helped us, or will if he comes back.”

Tom Landry about Tody Smith, the team’s first-round pick in the 1971 draft. Landry made this statement in August 1972 after Smith walked out of camp. Smith returned and played in ten games in 1972. Dallas traded him to Houston in 1973. Thanks to that trade, the Cowboys had the first overall pick in the 1974 Draft and used it to take Ed “Too Tall” Jones.

Smith was the brother of Bubba Smith of the Baltimore Colts. Tody Smith played through the 1976 season.

Source: Milwaukee Journal, August 4, 1972

“If we wanted to be sure we were right we would have chosen somebody else. There were other more solid picks. We were impressed with his movement during a tryout camp we had down here.”

Landry about Rod Hill, whom the Cowboys took with the 25th overall pick in 1982. Landry’s rather strange comment was in response to concerns about Hill’s ankle, which cost Hill three games at Kentucky State the previous year. Dallas liked Hill’s upside.

Hill returned a total of 34 punts and 14 kickoffs in two seasons. He also had two interceptions in 1983, his final year in Dallas. He played with the Bills, Lions, and Raiders between 1984 and 1987.

Source: The Bonham Daily Favorite, April 28, 1982

“I can bring a lot of different things to the table.”

Bobby Carpenter after the Cowboys drafted him with the 18th overall pick in the 2006 draft. Carpenter never developed as a starter and only lasted four seasons in Dallas.

Source: DallasCowboys.com, May 6, 2006

Did You Know?

The Cowboys did not miss out on much in the 1982 draft. The players who went after Hill were Glen Collins (Cincinnati) and Lester Williams (New England), neither of whom had solid careers. The best player taken in the second round that year was linebacker Andre Tippett, who became a Hall of Famer in New England.

The Cowboys really could have used players available in 1971 and 2006, though.

Players available in 1971 after the Cowboys took Smith in the first round: linebacker Jack Ham (Pittsburgh) and tackle Dan Dierdorf (St. Louis). The Patriots also picked up Julius Adams, who was a 12-year starter.

As for the players taken after Carpenter in 2006? Antonio Cromartie, Tamba Hali, Laurence Maroney, Manny Lawson, Davin Joseph, Santonio Holmes, DeAngelo Williams, Marcedes Lewis, Nick Mangold, Joseph Addai, and Mathias Kiwanuka. There were plenty of others available later, including Maurice Jones-Drew, Devin Hester, and Jahri Evans.

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Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: The Bill Parcells Era

Sean Payton’s Saints dominated Bill Parcells’ Cowboys in 2006.

It is very possible that the New Orleans Saints will hire Bill Parcells to serve as the team’s interim head coach in 2012 while Sean Payton serves a suspension. It has been six years since Parcells coached the Cowboys, so this is not exactly a Cowboys story. On the other hand, Payton was an assistant under Parcells in Dallas, so there is at least a connection there.

As part of the Dallas Cowboys history in quotes series, here are some quotes from and about Parcells during his time in Dallas.

“Bill Parcells fits his assistants for muzzles.”

Headline of the Dallas Morning News after the Cowboys hired Parcells, who was notorius for not letting his assistants talk to the press.

Source: Dallas Morning News, 2003.

“I have a much more relaxed atmosphere with the scouts. They know me a lot better. They know my personality a lot better, so the dialogue back and forth, it has a tendency to be a little more argumentative, which is what you want. You don’t want them to tell you what you want to hear. And you don’t want to act like a dictator, either.”

Parcells about his second year helping with the Cowboys draft. Dallas took running back Julius Jones in 2004.

Source: Dallas Cowboys Weekly, May 1, 2004

“We looked like we couldn’t handle it.”

Parcells about the Cowboys’ 35-7 loss at Washington on December 18, 2005. The loss was a big reason why Dallas missed the 2005 playoffs while the Redskins advanced. Washington coach Joe Gibbs replied, “We played the game of our life. I feel very humble just to be a part of it.”

Source: Washington Post, December 19, 2005

“He doesn’t allow Tony any satisfaction. He doesn’t give him any room to breathe as far as, ‘You are doing a good job.’ I think Tony appreciates that, because everybody on the outside allows him to get this big head. Bill’s just here to humble him, and he does a good job of it.”

Jason Witten about Parcells’ needling of quarterback Tony Romo, who took over as starter seven games into the 2006 season. That was Parcells final season as head coach in Dallas.

Source: USA Today, December 1, 2006

Parcells went 34-30 in four seasons with Dallas. His replacement, Wade Phillips, also won 34 games but went 34-22 in three and a half seasons.

Did You Know?

Parcells went 34-30 in four seasons as the Cowboys head coach. His replacement, Wade Phillips, also won 34 games but went 34-22 in three and a half years.

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A Very Good Video Featuring DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones

There has been some recent chatter about the Cowboys trading Felix Jones as part of a package to move up in the draft. Most, however, do not believe this will happen.

That’s been the extent of the news lately. Fortunately, we always have YouTube.

Here is a very good video that features highlights of Jones as well as DeMarco Murray.

Kyle Kosier Never Played in Larry Allen’s Shadow

Most expect the Cowboys to release guard Kyle Kosier.

With the Cowboys signing guards Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings, the writing is on the wall for Kyle Kosier. The Cowboys will release him this week.

He leaves Dallas after not having played in a single Pro Bowl. Once upon a time, the Cowboys signed Kosier to replace a lineman who had made 10 Pro Bowls as a Cowboy.

Fortunately, the guard position is nothing like the quarterback position. Nobody asked Kosier to live up to what Allen did, and though he may not have had a high profile, he did his job well for six seasons. He missed a large part of the 2008 season, but he otherwise started every game during his time in Dallas.

Kosier entered the league as a member of the 49ers, playing both guard and tackle in three years in San Francisco. He played one year in Detroit before signing with Dallas.

In 2006, the Cowboys needed to release Allen to avoid a big salary-cap hit. At that point, Allen was not the guard he had been five years earlier, and his Pro Bowl appearances were based more on his name than on his play. Dallas signed Kosier with five-year, $15 million contract along with a $5 million roster bonus.

Less Than Commemorative Endings for Williams and Newman

The Cowboys released Terence Newman on Tuesday.

The Dallas Cowboys began their rebuilding process in the early 2000s with high first-round draft picks in 2002 and 2003.  In both drafts, the Cowboys stuck with the Big XII Conference, taking safety Roy Williams of Oklahoma in 2002 and cornerback Terence Newman of Kansas State in 2003.

Williams was an immediate hit, making five consecutive Pro  Bowls. He was a hard-hitting machine who would make receivers think twice about coming over the middle.

It took Newman longer to catch on. He recorded a total of 32 career interceptions but never had more than five in a season. He made two Pro Bowl appearances in 2007 and 2009.

Williams’ fall from grace occurred rather abruptly. The league proscribed the horse-collar tackle largely because of Williams, and he continued to commit the penalty. Around the same time, he also lost the ability to cover. Tight ends and slot receivers would run right in front of him, and Williams would often fail to react. He had a subpar 2007 season (making the Pro Bowl on his name more than anything) before suffering through an injury-plagued campaign in 2008.

Newman was often compared with Deion Sanders, but the comparison was neither fair nor close to accurate. Newman had speed, but he never showed the coverage skills of a top-flight cornerback. He was a good corner, but never better than a good corner.

He had his moments in 2011, but his performances near the end of the season sealed his fate. He often played 12 to 15 yards off the ball, and receivers would eat him alive on shorter routes. He had a chance for a pick-6 against the Giants in December but dropped the ball. He was so dreadful against New York in the rematch in week 17 that most would rather see any of the backups, including Alan Ball.

The poll question below asks whether Terence Newman underachieved as a member of the Cowboys.

How Much Salary Cap Space Will the Dallas Cowboys Have Now?

The NFL has announced a salary cap of $120.6 million for the 2012 season. The news throughout the offseason is that the Cowboys would have space to be players in NFL free agency.

Dallas ate into its cap space last week by putting the franchise tag on the almost achieving linebacker Anthony Spencer, who will make about $8.856 million next year. Although not unexpected, nobody seems to have an argument that supports this move.

News today is that the Cowboys have been penalized for front-loading contracts to take advantage of the uncapped 2010 season.

ESPN is reporting that the Cowboys can free up space by reworking some contracts. There might be enough money to keep Laurent Robinson and sign a new backup quarterback, starting cornerback, and starting guard.

The team does not, however, have enough space to overcome more bone-headed front office moves that have utterly failed to move the team forward.

Franchise Tag for Almost Anthony?

The Cowboys Might Franchise Anthony Spencer
The Cowboys Might Franchise Anthony Spencer

Several probably saw this already, but the Cowboys might put the franchise tag on Almost Anthony Spencer.

That would be worth a one-year deal for $8.8 million.

Granted, he plays in DeMarcus Ware’s shadow. Granted, he was fourth on the team in tackles with 51 solos and 15 assists. And granted, he has been durable for the past three years.

But he has yet to record more than 6.0 sacks in a single season. And consider this: that is the same number of sacks that Shante Carver recorded in 1997 during his final year with the Cowboys.

Carver went down as a first-round bust, never playing a down in the NFL after 1997. Spencer is going to make $8.8 million?

Anyway, here are his stats from P-F-R:

Def Interceptions Fumbles Tackles
Year Age Tm Pos G GS Sk Int Yds TD Lng PD FF Fmb FR Tkl Ast AV
2007 23 DAL llb 16 6 3.0 2 0 0 28 8 4
2008 24 DAL 12 0 1.5 0 0 1 17 12 2
2009 25 DAL LOLB 16 16 6.0 1 -3 0 -3 7 2 0 2 50 17 10
2010 26 DAL LOLB 16 16 5.0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 1 52 11 7
2011 27 DAL LB 16 15 6.0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 0 51 15 7
Career 76 53 21.5 1 -3 0 0 10 10 0 4 198 63 30
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/15/2012.

Poll

What do you think?

Should the Cowboys use their franchise tag on Anthony Spencer?

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