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.

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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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Terence Newman and Bradie James Move On

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 31:   Terence Newm...
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – JANUARY 31: Terence Newman #41 of the Dallas Cowboys tackles Chad Ochocinco #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2010 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 31, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

If we had asked a couple of weeks ago where cornerback Terence Newman might sign, the Bengals would have been a good guess. That was, of course,  the same team that signed the Cowboys’ first-round pick from 2002 in safety Roy Williams.

Newman—the Cowboys first-round pick in 2003—signed with Cincinnati this week. The first comment on Pro Football Talk: “Boy they sure do love ex-cowboys…”

When the Cowboys were struggling in the early 2000s, Jerry Jones turned to former Bengals coach Bruce Coslet to serve as offensive coordinator. Dallas also signed former Bengals tight end Tony McGee and wide receiver Darnay Scott. Neither did much of anything with the Cowboys, and Dallas went 5-11 in 2002.

Later in the decade, the Bengals started taking a few players discarded by Dallas. That included defensive tackle Tank Johnson, cornerback Pacman Jones, defensive tackle Michael Myers, and Williams.

Dallas hasn’t dominated the NFL or anything like that, but the team has done better than Cincinnati. Since 2002, the Bengals have gone 71-88-1 with two playoff appearances. Dallas has gone 86-74 with four playoff appearances and one playoff win during that time.

So we’re still better than the Bengals. Awesome.

In other news, linebacker Bradie James reunited with Wade Phillips by signing with Houston. James had only 44 tackles last season.

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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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Mel Kiper Has Cowboys Taking Safety Mark Barron and Guard Kevin Zeitler

Kevin Zeitler
The Cowboys could take Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler in the second round of the draft this month.

The Cowboys signed a free agent safety in Brodney Pool, but ESPN’s Mel Kiper thinks that the Cowboys will take Alabama safety Mark Barron with the 14th pick in the draft later this month.

Kiper’s comment:

Dallas was aggressive in getting a solid corner in free agency with the addition of Brandon Carr, but the Cowboys still need help at safety to shore up the pass defense. I don’t think another corner is out of the question at this spot, but Barron is the best safety in the draft, and the Cowboys can’t go wrong if he’s available. I can also see Dallas going offensive line here, as that unit could use some help, but Barron makes sense.

In the second round, Kiper sees the Cowboys taking Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler. ESPN also reported that the Cowboys attended Wisconsin’s pro day.

Kiper’s comment about Zeitler:

Would be the top guard in the draft class in some years. If Dallas doesn’t go DeCastro early, Zeitler fits here.

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Rest in Peace, Joe Avezzano

Avezzano

Joe Avezzano served as the Cowboys special teams coach from 1990 to 2002. He died on Thursday, April 5. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sad news today was that former Cowboys special teams coach Joe Avezzano died at the age of 68. He was coaching in Italy at the time.

He served as special teams coach from 1990 to 2002. He also served as head coach of the now-defunct Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League.

He appeared as an analyst on the Cowboys post-game show last season. He offered unfiltered insights about the team, and his comments were typically a highlight after both wins and losses.

In honor of Avezzano, here are three quotes as part of the Dallas Cowboys history in quotes series.

“He’ll get blamed for things he can’t control, like injuries. But as far as decisions? He came in and said, ‘You guys have been very successful. Go to work.’ That’s a helluva decision right there. The correct one.”

Avezzano about former head coach Barry Switzer, who joined the Cowboys in 1994 after Jimmy Johnson resigned. Switzer and Avezzano had known each other for years.

Source: Sports Illustrated, Aug. 1, 1994

“They are legislating mediocrity. The attempt, in my mind, is to devalue the kicking game. I marvel at the amount of time that’s spent trying to mess with the kicking game. You’re going to be penalized for having a strong kicker.”

Avezzano about a proposal to move the ball to the 25-yard line after touchbacks. The proposal fell through.

Source: Sports Illustrated, March 14, 1999

“What kind of [expletive] question is that? Can you show me the [expletive] stats that show punt returners get hurt more frequently than any other [expletive] player?

“This is [expletive] pro football. Players get hurt all the [expletive] time no matter what they’re doing.”

Avezzano to reporter Jean-Jacques Taylor, who had asked the coach in 1995 why the team was using receiver Kevin Williams as a punt returner.

Source: ESPN, April 5, 2012

Did You Know?

Avezzano was a three-year letterman at Florida State, where he played guard. The website Nolefan.org included this comment:

Offensive Guard from Miami…big, tough and capable…an excellent pass blocker with good speed…good at pulling to trap and lead sweeps…along with tackle Del Williams, provided tremendous pass protection for Steve Tensi for three years…played one year in the AFL for the Boston Patriots in 1966.

The site also includes a picture of Avezzano during his college playing days. Great stuff:

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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.

Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: The Leon Lett Incidents

Leon Lett
Leon Lett gave the Dolphins second life in 1993 by trying to recover the ball after a blocked field goal attempt.

The Dallas Cowboys announced this week that former defensive lineman Leon Lett will join the staff as assistant defensive line coach. He previously helped the Cowboys during training camp in 2011.

Of course, none of us have forgotten about the Leon Lett stories of the 1990s. Although Lett was very important to the team’s success in 1995, his gaffes remain legendary.

As part of the Dallas Cowboys history in quotes series, here are three quotes about these gaffes.

“How could I hear someone that small and that fast. I was the one making all the noise.”

Lett about Don Beebe, who stripped Lett of the football in Super Bowl XXVII before Lett could score. Had Lett scored, the Cowboys would have won 59-17 and set a Super Bowl record for points scored.

Source: New York Times, Feb. 1, 1993

“After that play, I kind of felt if we didn’t make it [to the Super Bowl], it would’ve been my fault.”

Lett in his first meeting with the press after he cost the Cowboys a win over the Miami Dolphins by trying to recover the ball after Dallas blocked a game-winning field goal attempt at the end of the Thanksgiving Day game. Dolphin kicker Pete Stoyanovich got a second chance and kicked a 19-yard field goal to give Miami the win.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 26, 1994

“This is a time of concern for Leon Lett the person. Our thoughts are with him and his family and we will continue to offer our help and support in any way we can.”

Jerry Jones in a statement after the NFL suspended Lett for a year for testing positive for cocaine. Lett missed parts of the 1996 and 1997 seasons because of the suspension.

Did You Know?

Although Lett was a vital member of the Dallas defensive lines of the 1990s, his contributions did not show up in the stat columns. He never recorded more than four sacks or 36 tackles in a single season. Other defensive tackles of the era, including Jimmie Jones, Chad Hennings, and Hurvin McCormack (yes, that Hurvin McCormack) had better numbers on paper.

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