Was Anonymity Really an Issue?

Dallas CowboysIf I felt badly for taking two days off to tend to my other life, that ended when I saw that both the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Wade Phillips had lost his anonymity. And to think that you can get paid for reporting this stuff!

[I personally make 38 cents a day through AdSense, so I probably ought to continue to focus on grading…]

Anyway, here is the DMN version of the breaking coverage:

Wade Phillips’ anonymity is gone.

As the Cowboys’ head coach walked through the halls of the Indianapolis Convention Center Friday he stopped to pose for pictures, sign autographs and shake hands of strangers, some from a gymnastics competition unaware the NFL Scouting Combine was even in town.

“Quite a bit different,” Phillips said in an empty walkway above Maryland Street, leading to the Marriott hotel the Cowboys are calling home this week. “A lot of people saying hello, wanting to talk. I think a lot of them had Dallas Cowboys’ helmets and all kinds of stuff.”

Phillips wasn’t just stopped by those strangers, but also by assistant coaches, scouts and general managers from other teams who wished him well. Even a Redskins assistant coach patted Phillips on the back as he walked by.

“I forgot how many people I know,” Phillips said. “There’s been a lot of football kind of people happy for me because I’ve been around. I’ve been an assistant coach for a good amount of time. I think they see that I’ve gotten an opportunity and one day they might, too.”


Here’s an interesting blurb on Phillips’ plan to use Greg Ellis next season:

The natural assumption upon Phillips’ hiring was that, in the Cowboys’ 3-4 defense, linebacker DeMarcus Ware would play a role like that of Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman.

Merriman had 27 sacks the past two years under Phillips with San Diego.

According to Phillips, however, Greg Ellis will play Merriman’s position, with Ware playing the linebacker spot on the opposite side.

“Both of those positions are pretty important to our defense,” Phillips said. “If you get good guys there, it makes it tough on the offense. They don’t know which way to slide the line.”

The key for Ellis is rehabbing from a torn Achilles tendon that sidelined him for the last seven games last season. Phillips said he talked to Ellis on Thursday and was told that things were going well with rehab.

Of course, being mindful of Merriman’s 17 sacks in 12 games in 2006 might help Ellis get healthy a little faster.

I can’t help but think of Kevin Smith after he returned in 1996 from a torn Achilles. Never quite the same.


The Cowboys may hire former San Diego assistant Brian Stewart to coach in the secondary. Dallas reportedly tried to contact him before but was refused permission by the Chargers. But then San Diego signed Baylor defensive coordinator Bill Bradley to coach the secondary and released Stewart from his contract. Now we can talk to him.

Super, except for this part about Todd Bowles being promoted to defensive coodinator:

Stewart could join the Cowboys as defensive coordinator, however, Todd Bowles, who has been on the Cowboys’ staff since 2005, is also under consideration for that job.

Phillips will primarily call the plays for his 3-4 defense. Stewart could be the final addition to Phillips’ staff.

Not only do I fail to see that Bowles is defensive coodinator material, but I also think that Mr. Archer has misused “however” because it is not preceded by a semicolon as it should. Here is a site that seems to agree with me. Now back to grading.

Cowboys Hire New Special Teams Coach

Bruce ReadThe Associated Press is reporting that the Cowboys have hired Oregon State assistant coach Bruce Read to coach special teams. Read has previous NFL experience with the New York Giants and the San Diego Chargers.

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State assistant coach Bruce Read has resigned to take an assistant’s job with the Dallas Cowboys.

Reed, 44, was Oregon State’s special teams coordinator from 1997-98 and again from 2004-06. He has worked with Lou Groza Award winner Alexis Serna and All-American Sammie Stroughter, who was a punt returner on special teams.

Read has also served as a special teams coach with the New York Giants and San Diego Chargers. He will take the same job with the Cowboys.

Here is more about Read from the Oregon State website:

Under Read the program has continually made strides in special teams and his 2006 unit was among the best in Oregon State history. Sammie Stroughter earned third team All-American honors in part for his punt return abilities and placekicker Alexis Serna garnered second team All-Pac-10. Stroughter set the school record with three punt returns for touchdowns in 2006 and Serna enters his senior year with a school record 106 consecutive made extra point attempts.

The highlights of 2006 were many – Stroughter’s 70-yard punt return for a touchdown that helped the Beavers defeat No. 3 USC; Stroughter’s 39-yard punt return that set up the winning drive against Missouri in the Sun Bowl; Gerard Lawson’s school record matching 100-yard kickoff return to help the team win at No. 24 Hawai’i; and Ben Siegert’s school record two blocked kicks in the victory over rival Oregon are examples of the game-changing nature of last year’s unit.

In 2005 Read coached First Team All-Pac-10 selections punter Sam Paulescu and Serna. Serna was the ’05 recipient of the Lou Groza Award, recognizing the nation’s premier kicker, and an Associated Press Second Team All-American.

Read spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons as the special teams coach for the New York Giants of the National Football League. During the ‘03 season, the Giants improved in six of eight statistical special teams categories.

Read accompanied [Mike] Riley to San Diego in 1999 to coach the Chargers’ special teams. The Chargers led the NFL in 2001 with a kickoff return average of 26.0 yards – 4.4 yards more than the NFL average for that season. Ronny Jenkins led the league with a 26.6 yards per kickoff return average and scored two touchdowns. For his career with the Chargers, the team consistently rated above the average mark in most statistical categories, and in his first year with the club the team improved 18 spots in the NFL’s special teams category to sixth. In 2001 the Chargers were third for special teams and punter Darren Bennett played in the Pro Bowl.

While at Oregon State during his first tenure, Beaver special teams units blocked 15 kicks. During the 1998 season, OSU was second in the Pac-10 with a .654 (17-26) field goal percentage and was third for kickoff return average at 23.1 yards. In 1997, kicker Jose Cortez ranked tied for third for field goal conversions with 11.

Read began his coaching career in 1985 working alongside his father, head coach Don Read at the University of Montana. He was named a full-time assistant in 1987, where he would serve the next 10 years as a special teams coach. While at Montana the program broke over 30 records for special teams, and blocked 27 punts and 22 kicks. Montana claimed three Big Sky Conference titles (1993, ’95, ’96) and won the 1995 NCAA Division I-AA title.

Read is a 1986 graduate of Portland State with a bachelor’s degree in social science.

Here is another interesting read: a Question and Answer session with Read when he was with the Giants in 2003.

1965 Draft

[If you haven’t figured this out, I am a Cowboys history headcase, and so I will periodically have some posts focusing on the Cowboys history. This is part of a series looking back on the drafts of the past.] 1965 Draft Grade: C- The Cowboys made two notable selections in the 1965, including first round […]

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MOP Award for 1966: Willie Townes

Amid all of the exciting news from the Cowboys front these days… (Andre Gurode was signed to a six-year deal; Jason Garrett was named offensive coordinator)… I thought I would throw in a MOP Award this week. We are up to the 1966 season, and the award goes to defensive lineman Willie Townes. What won […]

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Clip: 1994 Playoff Win Over Green Bay

Here’s an interesting video: newscast highlights of the Cowboys’ 35-9 win over the Packers in the 1994 NFC playoffs. This game has largely been forgotten due to the fact that the Cowboys lost their next game in the NFC title game to San Francisco. But the highlights remind us that at one point, Dallas had […]

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Off-Season Moves of Ex-Cowboy Broadcasters

Ever since Roger Staubach’s ill-fated attempts in the broadcast booth during the 1980 season, I have to admit that I don’t get too excited when I hear of the prospect of an ex-Cowboys becoming a quasi-journalist. But we have plenty of those former players and coaches making such a move, so we might as well […]

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Great Emmitt Smith Highlights

Last of the highlight clips from a poster named thescarface1989 on ilfilm. I think the one below, featuring Emmitt Smith, is the best of the bunch. If you missed the previous posts, here are the links: Michael Irvin Roger Staubach Troy Aikman Tweet

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Dallas Cowboys 2007: A Family Affair

Does anyone who might visit this blog remember the show A Family Affair? You could argue that I shouldn’t, given that it went off the air when I was seven months old, but alas, I do remember watching those reruns. Here is a description of the show from Wikipedia: Much of the show’s popularity came […]

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The Blue and Silver.com

Many thanks to CaliCowboy, SilverStar, OCF, DA FAN, and all the others at The Blue and Silver.com, who have asked me to be moderator there. If you prefer a little bit more mature crowd with quite a number of years of experience watching the Cowboys, then I highly suggest checking it out. While you are […]

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Troy Aikman Highlight Clip. [Trust Me– There are Highlights…]

This is the second filler video of the week, but I will have more real news later. Hope everyone is enjoying the off-season thus far… If you stop the clip after a minute or so, you’ll think that I’m feeding you a Philadelphia Eagles highlight film. But alas, the better stuff is there… Tweet

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