Two Former Dallas Cowboys Make List of Overpaid Players

Roy Williams (wide receiver) - Dallas Cowboys

Roy Williams: One of the worst players who made the most money (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jerry Jones and staff have made some bad personnel moves. I think we could all accept that statement as fact. However, it might be more difficult to come to an agreement about players to whom the Cowboys have paid too much money.

A writer for Bleacher Report has a couple of ideas. Amber Lee has compiled a list of the 50 Worst Players Who Made the Most Money, and two Cowboys made the list.

First, there’s kicker Mike Vanderjagt, who was ranked 49th.

Leave it to the Dallas Cowboys to overpay for the original “idiot kicker.” Seriously, this dude put the “Jag” in “Vanderjagt.”

When the Cowboys signed Mike Vanderjagt, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, in early 2006, they assumed their woes in the kicking game were behind them–they were wrong.

Over the first three months of the season, Vanderjagt’s kicking percentage was just 72 percent—the lowest of his nine-year career. He was released before the end of the season on November 27, 2006.

The average salary of a kicker in the NFL is approximately $850,000; Vanderjagt was signed to a three-year deal worth $5.4 million. Despite being cut less than a season into his contract, Vanderjagt walked out of Dallas with almost $4 million.

Second, there is receiver Roy Williams, who was ranked 6th.

Roy Williams is one of the most overrated, under-producing wide receivers in NFL history. After a promising start to his career in Detroit, Williams was traded to the Cowboys for a first, third and sixth-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

After his arrival in Big D, Williams agreed to a six-year, $54 million contract, with $26 million guaranteed.

Williams called his experience in Dallas “a nightmare,” and the feeling was mutual—he was released in July 2011. That’s right, in the world of Roy Williams, raking in $26 million dollar as a useless fourth receiver is a “nightmare.”

Williams went on to disappoint in Chicago. Wonder who will overpay Williams to consume oxygen in 2012…

Fair enough, but there is another player who belongs on this list. No, it’s not T.O.

You might recall that Dallas not only wasted two first-round picks on Joey Galloway in 2000, but the team also signed him to a seven-year, $42 million contract. That came at a time when the Cowboys were in salary-cap hell. He played in 48 games with Dallas and had a total of 2,341 receiving yards.

Are there others?

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Cowboys Appear to Get Decent Value in Later Rounds

I am not going to write too many negative things about the Dallas Cowboys draft. One guy at ESPN did, but I won’t.

National Football League Draft

National Football League Draft (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people I know thought highly of the trade to get Morris Claiborne, and I like the change in strategy. I really thought that Dallas would get the second-round pick back by dealing Mike Jenkins, but that did not happen.

The third-round pick of Tyrone Crawford has merit, though not everyone is sold. At the least, he should provide more depth on the defensive line, even if he looks a little bit more like an outside linebacker than a defensive end for a 3-4 defense.

With the first of two fourth-round picks, Dallas took OLB Kyle Wilber of Wake Forest. ESPN thought he had “exceptional” intangibles, noting: “A well rounded individual. Hard worker and takes coaching well. Respected by coaches and teammates. Named a team captain as a senior.” NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks said that Wilber “is a raw edge rusher with good first-step quickness and length.” Not bad.

But then Dallas took Eastern Washington safety Matt Johnson. Brooks said Johnson will be a special teams player. ESPN didn’t even evaluate Johnson. Sound like a decent seventh round pick? Perhaps a sixth rounder? Well, the Cowboys got him in the fourth.

The Cowboys finally got a receiver by taking Danny Coale of Virginia Tech. Someone immediately said that he fit the mold of a “Wes Welker type,” though at 6’0, 201 pounds, he is bigger than Welker. ESPN had Coale rated very high in terms of ball skills and competitiveness, but he is likely going to be a special teams player. The big problem for next year is that Dallas still doesn’t have a third WR, and it would be a surprise if Coale was the guy.

Dallas grabbed Oklahoma tight end James Hanna in the sixth round. ESPN said he is durable, while NFL.com said he is a “sneaky fast pass catcher.” It isn’t often you hear “sneaky fast” used to describe a tight end.

The final pick was a linebacker named Caleb McSurdy of Montana. He will compete for a roster spot by standing out on special teams. NFL.com said he “was a force in the Big Sky Conference in his senior year,” which is hopefully a good indication that can tackle while on the kickoff unit.

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Cowboys Grab Boise State DE Tyrone Crawford in the 3rd

Instead of taking a defensive tackle with the #14 pick on Thursday, the Cowboys traded up to grab a corner in Morris Claiborne. Several thought the Cowboys would find a way to get back into the second round by trading cornerback Mike Jenkins, but it didn’t happen.

Instead, the Cowboys stayed put at #81 and took Boise State defensive end Tyrone Crawford. It was hardly a pick that grabbed headlines, but it also did not draw anything negative. None of the commentary I’ve seen has said that this was a bad pick.

Here is a video showing a few “highlights” from a couple Boise State games. Crawford (#40) had a few good plays, but nothing overwhelming.

NFL.com had Crawford rated at 77.5, while ESPN rated him at 75. He is above average overall only average in terms of pass rush according to ESPN.

Two defensive tackles were available after Crawford, including Brandon Thompson of Clemson.

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Dallas Cowboys Draft CB Morris Claiborne with the #6 Pick

A few have suggested that the Dallas Cowboys might move up in the 2012 Draft, but almost nobody counted on what happened.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Morris Claiborne (R)...

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Morris Claiborne (R)from LSU holds up a jersey as he stands on stage after he was selected #6 overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of during the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Several thought that Alabama safety Mark Barron would be gone by the #14 pick, so the draft gurus started saying that Dallas would take a defensive tackle. One name thrown out there was LSU DT Michael Brockers.

Right team, wrong player.

Jerry Jones and team sent their #14 pick and their #45 pick in the second round to St. Louis to acquire LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. He was the highest-rated corner in the draft and joins a secondary that features another former first-round pick in Mike Jenkins.

Claiborne is a former receiver, and his ball and cover skills have been rated as “exceptional.” He missed only one game in the past two years. He won the Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back and helped to lead LSU to an SEC title. Some had Claiborne going as high as #3 to the Minnesota Vikings.

He joins Jenkins, Brandon Carr, and Orlando Scandrick. Given that Dallas gave Carr more than $50 million and given that the team signed Scandrick a long-term deal last year, they are not going anywhere. However, Jenkins has not evolved as hoped since his solid 2009 season, and he has battled injuries. The Cowboys might try to add more picks by trading Jenkins.

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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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Great Moment in Dallas Cowboys History: Clinching the NFC East in 1973

The year 1973 was not a great one in Dallas Cowboys history, but it is notable for a few reasons.

It was the last time that the old guard from the late 1960s reached the playoffs. That team still featured the likes of Bob Lilly, Bob Hayes, Walt Garrison, Calvin Hill, and Cornell Green.

Some new blood had arrived at that point, most notably in the form of rookie wide receiver Drew Pearson and rookie tight end Billy Joe DuPree.

Dallas entered the final game of the season with a 9-4 record. The Cowboys had defeated Washington in week 13, and win over the Cardinals in week 14 would give Dallas the NFC East title.

Here is a video from that game:

Pearson had a huge game with 140 yards and two touchdown reception. It marked the first time he had gained more than 100 receiving yards.

Dallas moved on to defeat the Rams in the NFC playoffs before losing to Minnesota in the NFC Championship Game.

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Dallas Cowboys Schedule Has Its Rough Spots

There’s really no such thing as an easy NFL schedule, but the Dallas Cowboys 2012 schedule could be worse.

American football with clock to represent a &q...

The Dallas Cowboys schedule in 2012 has rough spots. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Cowboys’ schedule is tied for the 11th most difficult. The team’s opponents had a combined record of 129-127 in 2011, with seven of those teams winning at least nine games.

Dallas opens the season with two road games at the Giants and at Seattle before returning home to host Tampa Bay and Chicago. The team’s bye comes in week 5.

Dallas then has a tough stretch, facing Baltimore, Carolina, the Giants, Atlanta, and Philadelphia in five consecutive weeks.

The Cowboys play the Redskins on Thanksgiving Day. It marks the seventh time that Dallas and Washington have faced off on Thanksgiving, and the first time since 2002.

Here is the schedule:

9/5 at N.Y. Giants (NBC, 7:30 p.m.)
9/16 at Seattle (Fox, 3:05 p.m.)
9/23 vs. Tampa Bay (Fox, Noon)
10/1 vs. Chicago (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)

Week 5 – Bye

10/14 at Baltimore (Fox, Noon)
10/21 at Carolina (Fox, Noon)
10/28 vs. N.Y. Giants (Fox, 3:15 p.m.)
11/4 at Atlanta (NBC, 7:20 p.m.)
11/11 at Philadelphia (Fox, 3:15 p.m.)
11/18 vs. Cleveland (CBS, Noon)
11/22 vs. Washington (Fox, 3:15 p.m.)
12/2 vs. Philadelphia (NBC, 7:20 p.m.)
12/9 at Cincinnati (Fox, Noon)
12/16 vs. Pittsburgh (CBS, 3:15 p.m.)
12/23 vs. New Orleans (Fox, Noon)
12/30 at Washington (Fox, Noon)

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NFL Will Release the 2012 Schedule on Tuesday

The NFL has announced that it will release the 2012 schedule on Tuesday. We already know that the Cowboys will face the Giants to open the season on Wednesday, September 5.

The new NFL logo went into use at the 2008 draft.

The NFL will release its 2012 schedule on Tuesday, April 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We also already know the Cowboys opponents. The only remaining matter is when the Cowboys will play which team.

Here are the 2012 opponents:

Home: N.Y. Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Chicago

Road: N.Y. Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Carolina, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Seattle

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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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