Dear Jerry: We Needn’t Copy Buffalo Move for Move


We have heard for three years how Julius Jones should be the next in line in the great Dallas backs. Aside from the occasional flash, though, it doesn’t look as if that will happen. As you may have read, Dallas will reportedly consider trading Jones for the right price.

The Cowboys aren’t exactly shopping Julius Jones, but they’ve told teams that have inquired about him that he’s for sale for the right price. Cowboys owner-GM Jerry Jones apparently is prepared to hitch his wagon to the team’s other young running back, Marion Barber.

The 2004 wheeling and dealing with the Buffalo Bills isn’t looking so hot for either team. Dallas traded its first round pick to Buffalo and picked up Jones in the second round, passing on Steven Jackson. In 2005, Dallas used the Buffalo pick to take Marcus Spears, who has come under fire for his spotty play (here is a piece from last month noting that Spears was taken eight picks ahead of Luis Castillo, who has become the best defensive player on a superior San Diego defense). Dallas also picked up Drew Bledsoe via free agency after Buffalo released him following the 2004 season.

In return, Buffalo picked J.P. Losman, who has been a bit of a disappointment. During the current offseason, Buffalo also traded its starting running back, Willis McGahee, to Baltimore, even though Buffalo does not appear to have a replacement for him other than Anthony Thomas.

So I guess that anything the Bills do we can do as well? The Cowboys hired former Buffalo head coach Wade Phillips, have already (as expected) released Bledsoe, and are now talking about trading the team’s starting tailback. Dallas would be lucky to get two third-rounders and a seventh for Jones, which is what Baltimore gave to Buffalo for McGahee.

This means that the Cowboys are willing to make Marion Barber the team’s feature back.

Are the Cowboys ready to listen to offers for running back Julius Jones?

The Philadelphia Daily News says they are, which must mean new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has seen enough film of last season to believe hard-nosed Marion Barber should get the bulk of the carries in 2007.

Perhaps new head coach Wade Phillips has also chimed in with something along the lines of, “That kid reminds me a bit of Earl Campbell.”

I like watching Barber and all, but Earl Campbell? Wow.

Marion Barber Earl Campbell

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Incidentally, Nick Eatman says that Jones probably isn’t going anywhere.

Despite the latest rumors that the Cowboys are shopping Julius Jones in a trade, don’t expect last year’s leading rusher to be going anywhere. The Cowboys could always listen to trade offers, but considering the Bills got two third-round picks and a seventh-rounder for Willis McGahee, it’s not likely Jones will be on the move. And it’s also not likely the Cowboys will have any interest in adding to an already potent stable of backs that includes Jones, Marion Barber and Tyson Thompson. Other than San Diego’s Michael Turner, a restricted free agent who would cost any team a first- and third-round pick, the only other notable running back in free agency is aging veteran Corey Dillon.

C’mon, Nick. What kind of fun can we have if we merely return our players from last year?

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Big Shot Blurbs pointed out the money that teams have given to some of the Dallas backups who left via free agency.

It’s amazing what some of the Cowboys’ former backups have gotten on the open market. Center Al Johnson: 4 years, $17.5 million with Arizona. Defensive end Kenyon Coleman: 5 years, $20 million with the Jets, including over $6 million guaranteed. And now, Fowler has cashed in.

Eatman points out that the Cowboys may still be looking on the defensive line and in the secondary.

MOP Award for 1967: Ron East


Ron EastThe choice for the MOP Award for 1967 was a tough one. Just too many well-known players and too few obscure ones that qualify. And I have to admit that the retrospective winner– defensive tackle/end Ron East– was simply obscure but not otherwise noteworthy. Congratulations retrospectively, nevertheless.

[Update: See the comments– a poster named Born on Superbowl Day provides some very interesting additional information about East.]

mop.bmpEast joined the Cowboys in 1967 from Montana State. He played with the Cowboys for four seasons before being traded to San Diego in 1970 along with Pettis Norman and Tony Liscio for receiver Lance Alworth. He played for San Diego for three years, then moved from Cleveland, Atlanta, and Seattle.

East shows up in at least one story during the 1967 season, involving the Cowboys’ 14-10 win over the New Orleans Saints (“Saints’ March Mired in Muck, 14-10“). Love the writing:

The bewitching hour struck for the embryonic New Orleans Saints with just 1:01 left in a rain-soaked Cotton Bowl Sunday afternoon and the Dallas Cowboys thought it would never come.

It almost did not. Twice in the final four minutes the Dallas Doomsday Defense rose to slam the door shut on the Saints’ dreams right at the Golden Gate. With 3:11 remaining Dallas stopped New Orleans at its own five when Bill Kilmer let the ball slip momentarily out of his hands and Chuck Howley slammed him down.

Where does East appear? He recovered a fumble on a kickoff with 17 seconds left in the first half, which led to a Danny Villanueva 45-yard field goal attempt that failed. Talk about obscurity.

I have absolutely no idea what happened to Ron East after the 1977 season. But I do know that he was named to the Montana State Bobcats Hall of Fame in 1999.

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Cowboys news this week?

*Special teamer Ryan Fowler is headed to Tennessee after the Eagles had announced that he would head to Philadelphia.
*Um, Terrell Owens did not know the entire offensive playbook last season. Shocking!
*Emmitt Smith has joined Bill Parcells at ESPN. If the network hires Cheryl Burke as a sideline reporter/Mamba expert, my wife may very well watch ESPN more than I do.

Historic Draft: 1966

Grade: B- The 1966 draft was a mild success due to the selection of guard John Niland and running back Walt Garrison. Moreover, the Cowboys traded their fourth round selection to the Baltimore Colts for guard Ralph Neely. Otherwise, however, the 1966 draft saw the drafting of fourteen players who did not play a down […]

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Rethinking the First Draft Pick: A Look at the Free Safeties

With the signing of guard/tackle Leonard Davis and the re-signing of Marc Columbo to a two-year deal, the odds that the Cowboys take Justin Blalock or Levi Brown (should those players even be available) appears to have diminished. That leaves open the distinct possibility that the Cowboys could look again to the defensive side of […]

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Highlight Clip

Here is a great highlight clip showing the top nine plays of 2006. Pretty good selections. Dallas Cowboys top 9 plays of 2006Add to My Profile | More Videos Tweet

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Johnson Makes a Bit of a Splash

Quite a bit of stuff today about how Brad Johnson has disclaimed his role as a mentor to Tony Romo for next season. Here is a little bit of that story: Brad Johnson was impressed with just about everything the Denver Broncos told him during a visit to the Mile High City last weekend. But […]

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Remember the Last Playoff Win?

Do you happen to recall the Cowboys’ last playoff win in 1996? It was a 40-15 win over the Minnesota Vikings. The Cowboys backup was Wade Wilson. The third stringer was Jason Garrett. And the opposing quarterback was Brad Johnson. Well, we will have a reunion, as the Cowboys signed the 38-year-old quarterback on Monday. […]

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Desperados Dominate New York Dragons, 60-7

The Dallas Desperados opened their 2007 season in impressive fashion, dominating the New York Dragons 60-7. More information is available at Know Your Dallas Desperados. Here is a link to an ESPN clip of the game: Tweet

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Focusing on Longhorn Linemen

ESPN has reported that the Cowboys have reached a deal with free agent lineman Leonard Davis. It will be interesting what this does with the Cowboys’ focus in the draft, given that UT guard/tackle Justin Blalock is an early favorite. My own opinion, which counts for nothing: take Blalock, giving the line two versatile players […]

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Dallas Desperados Open Tomorrow on National Television

This is just a friendly reminder that the Dallas Desperados open their season on Sunday in a nationally-televised game on ABC. A preview of the game is available at Know Your Dallas Desperados. Here is a short preview of Sunday’s game: About the Desperados Dallas, which returns one secondary starter, is 4-1 in openers. … […]

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