Saturday, December 31, 2005

Five reasons Coach Bill Parcells stays

Roy Philpott

Will Bill Parcells call it quits after Sunday's game against St. Louis?

No. 5: Let Youth Be ServedParcells is no fool. After stockpiling defensive talent in the draft each the last three years, he knows the Cowboys have built a strong foundation for the future. Why not stick around and be a part of it? With , , Ware, Spears, Canty, Newman, Williams returning in the years to come, the Cowboys have the potential to become one of the league's top defensive units. Bottom line: this is a team that should have the ability to be competitive and challenge for the playoffs for the forseeable future.

No. 4: Legacy Must Not be TarnishedParcells won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants. He took Drw Bledsoe and the New England Patriots to another one. He later guided the New York Jets to the AFC Championship game with Vinny Testaverde as his starting quarterback. Now, in his third year with the Cowboys, he has one playoff game under his belt headed into the final game of the 2005 regular season. He's not about to let his last run end with one playoff appearance (or two pending Sunday's outcome against St. Louis as well as what happens with Washington and Carolina) in three years.

No. 3: What Else Will He Do?Those that know Bill Parcells know that once March comes rolling around, he'll re-charge the batteries one more time to get himself ready for next season. If there's no football on his agenda, what else does he left to do? There's only so much betting on horses and relaxing one can do in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Bill's destination after Dallas) and keep their sanity. Bill Parcells needs the game of football to keep life interesting, at least for another year or two.

No. 2: He Loves the GameParcells loves the game of football. He loves building a team from the ground up. He loves transforming a losing organization into a winner. And he loves doing it in Dallas. With a strong crew of young players returning and another round of uncanny offseason moves, there is optimism surrounding this organization - which makes it that much easier to return for at least another year.

No. 1: He Owes It to Jerry Surprisingly, Bill Parcells' relationship with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has strengthened since his arrival almost three years ago. Despite a 6-10 season in 2004, in which Jones later proclaimed that Parcells was "drained," these two power hungery football brokers have co-existed much better than most could have ever imagined. Keep in mind, Bill Parcells came to Dallas to help rebuild an organization that needed direction. Right now, he's only halfway home.

Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware earns NFC honor

Cowboys' Ware earns NFC honor News

TIDBIT: The Dallas Cowboys kept their playoff hopes alive with a 24-20 road victory against the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 24 in Charlotte. Rookie linebacker DeMarcus Ware played a huge part in the victory, as the Cowboys defense yielded only 13 first downs. Ware wreaked havoc on the Panthers offense throughout the day, totaling 3.0 sacks, the most by a Cowboys' rookie in a single game since the sack stat was instituted in 1982. The Auburn, Ala., native also forced three fumbles, the most by a Dallas defender since the team began keeping single-game defensive statistics in 1984. Ware's first sack and forced fumble led to a Carolina punt, his second sack and forced fumble resulted in a Dallas field goal attempt on the ensuing possession, and his final sack and forced fumble on the day also resulted in a Panthers punt. Ware posted his season-high with eight tackles on the day. With 7.0 sacks in 2005, he ties for second most among NFL rookies.
A first-round pick from Troy, this is Ware's first Player of the Week award. He was previously honored as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for October.

Julius Jones Fedex Ground Player of the week

Congrats Julius Jones. He had 61% of the vote.

Owner Jerry Jones said he would like Drew Henson to spend his offseason playing in Europe

Dec. 31 - 9:33 am et
Source: Dallas Morning News

Owner Jerry Jones said he would like Drew Henson to spend his offseason playing in Europe."He does look more comfortable," Jones said. "It does look like things are clearing up for him as far as defenses and his ability to work on our scout team. He has all of the physical qualities." Henson is currently the third-stringer and is signed through 2011.

Former Dallas Cowboy Makus Steele works out with team

KFFL reports:
Fri, 30 Dec 2005 17:23:41 -0800 reports the
Dallas Cowboys worked out free agent LB Markus Steele (Broncos) on Friday, Dec. 30.

Dallas Cowboy Owner/GM Jerry Jones wants Parcells back

Cowboys Jones wants Parcells back
Fri, 30 Dec 2005 20:16:46 -0800

Jean-Jacques Taylor, of the Dallas Morning News, reports Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants head coach Bill Parcells to return to the team Jones said he has spent little time pondering whether Parcells will fulfill the fourth year of a contract that pays him about $4.25 million per season. "I would hope the first three years that Bill has been here are the start - I emphasize and underline that," Jones said Friday afternoon, Dec. 30, in his office, where his desk faces the club's five Super Bowl trophies. "I think it has been successful." When asked if this was going to be his last coaching job, Parcells said, "Yeah." After the season, Jones said whenever he meets with Parcells to discuss 2006; he doesn't expect a long conversation. Jones said his feelings about the season won't change if Dallas makes the playoffs or not.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Will Dallas Cowboys Control Their Fate Heading Into Rams Tilt?

(Sports Network) - At some point roughly 90 minutes before they kick off with the St. Louis Rams at Texas Stadium on Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys will finally have a handle on what their regular season finale truly means.

The Cowboys enter Week 17 with life in the playoff race, but that life is not in their own hands. The likes of the Redskins (at the Eagles) and Panthers (at the Falcons), and to a lesser extent the Buccaneers (vs. the Saints) and Giants (at the Raiders on Saturday), will determine whether Dallas will be playing for something on Sunday, and Bill Parcells and company will be resigned to rooting for all of the above to lose New Year's weekend. The easiest route to the playoffs for Dallas would involve a win over the Rams and a loss for either Carolina or Washington.

To even get themselves into this predicament, the Cowboys had to come from behind to take down the Panthers, 24-20, on the road last week. A controversial roughing-the-kicker call in the waning moments helped Dallas score the winning touchdown.

The Rams, meanwhile, will be resigned to the goal of playing spoiler and ending a tumultuous season on a high note. St. Louis dropped to 5-10 with a 24-20 home loss to the woeful 49ers last Saturday, the fourth straight loss and sixth in seven games for the team.

Ex-Dallas Cowboy S Darren Woodson says the game to watch is Carolina and Atlanta

ESPN Multimedia Feed: Dallas Cowboys


Steve says the Steelers are in. Darren says the game to watch is Carolina and Atlanta, because it could be scary. Steve claims the Cowboys are out, but Darren thinks they're in.

Cowboys put rookie LB Burnett on IR with knee injury

Associated Press
National Football League News Wire

TIDBIT: IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys put rookie Kevin Burnett on injured reserve Friday because of a torn knee ligament.Burnett, a second-round pick who has seen playing time lately, was injured "jogging around on a punt return" during practice Thursday, coach Bill Parcells said."I looked at the film, he really wasn't hit sideways or anything," Parcells said. "It was one of those things, body got torqued a certain way."Parcells said he expects Burnett to be ready by training camp and perhaps even for some of the offseason training program.Eric Ogbogu probably will take over his duties at linebacker Sunday night against the St. Louis Rams. Burnett's special teams chores will be shared by other linebackers.


Dallas Cowboy Back-up QB Drew Henson needs trip to Europe

Todd Archer: Henson needs trip to Europe
06:47 PM CST on Thursday, December 29, 2005

IRVING - Unless Drew Bledsoe and Tony Romo are hurt Sunday vs. St. Louis, Drew Henson will finish his second season with the Cowboys without throwing a pass. Two years into the Henson experiment, the Cowboys are not really sure what they have in the former Michigan quarterback/Yankees third-base prospect. He started one game and was pulled at halftime. He threw 18 passes in 2004, which are 18 more than Romo will have thrown in his three years if Bledsoe plays the entire game Sunday. Last year, the Cowboys flirted with the idea of sending Henson to NFL Europe to get him some playing time. Wisely, they chose to keep him home, so he could work with passing-game coordinator Sean Payton and quarterbacks coach David Lee. They re-tooled his mechanics, although he has returned to his natural throwing motion and blended some of what Lee taught him. He got more familiar with the offense.

This off-season, however, Henson needs to play. He needs to go to NFL Europe and continue to scrape the rust off his football game and do it against live competition. Henson struggled in training camp, largely with the new mechanics because he was thinking about his motion instead of trusting his motion. He said the other day that he felt something click earlier this season when he started anticipating things again. The knock on Henson was that he would be a split second late on his decisions. He had the highest completion percentage of Cowboys' quarterbacks in training camp during 7-on-7 drills, but he was last in team drills. Why? He could not anticipate. He needed to see a receiver open. Now, he says, that's not an issue. In his two preseasons with the Cowboys, Henson has been better in games than practices. If I'm a coach, I like that. You'd like to have both, but I'd rather have the latter. Now, sending a quarterback to Europe isn't always the best idea. The Cowboys have invested $3 million or so in Henson, and to have him protected by a defensive lineman San Francisco is attempting to move to guard could have dire consequences. Sometimes, a quarterback can get lost in Europe. Chad Hutchinson comes to mind. There was a time NFL Europe developed quarterbacks: Kurt Warner, Jay Fiedler, Brad Johnson and Jake Delhomme all had success there before they had it in the NFL. Lately, that hasn't been the case. Rohan Davey excelled there two off-seasons ago but was out of football most of this season. The case could be made that Romo should go to Europe, too, but the coaches feel like they have a better handle on what he can do. Romo certainly doesn't lack for confidence, even if he hasn't played in a meaningful game since the Div. 1-AA playoffs in 2002 while at Eastern Illinois. But Henson has to play overseas. If he plays well, then the Cowboys know they have something for the future. If they don't, then maybe they begin the quarterback search again.

Cowboys' Henry keeping the faithInjured cornerback tries to block out critics and play against Rams

Cowboys' Henry keeping the faithInjured cornerback tries to block out critics and play against Rams
01:58 AM CST on Friday, December 30, 2005
By JEAN-JACQUES TAYLOR / The Dallas Morning News

TIDBIT: IRVING – A simple silver cross dangles from the necklace around Anthony Henry's thick neck. The symbol of his faith is a source of strength in this time of adversity. Henry, one of the Cowboys' best players in the first half of the season, has been hampered by a nagging groin strain and a mysterious abdominal strain that has forced him to miss three of the last seven games. He hears the critics who question his pain tolerance and toughness, but don't know about the two times he took shots to deaden the area, so he could play. They don't understand how much he loves the game. Or how much he wants to help the Cowboys beat St. Louis on Sunday. They don't know how badly he wants to make the playoffs after missing the postseason his last three seasons in Cleveland. "I'm trying to stay focused on God right now. That's the most important thing," Henry said just before going to an afternoon meeting. "It's been a little frustrating, but I'm trying to keep my mind off of it. I just want to keep everything in perspective." That's not easy to do on a Bill Parcells team, where the pressure to play through injuries is intense and players without broken bones or torn ligaments are often said to have only, "bumps and bruises," though the training room is full of players receiving treatment. Four weeks ago, Parcells said he wasn't even talking to Henry because he was frustrated by how long it was taking Henry to recover from the groin injury.

Dallas Cowboy WR Keyshawn Johnson's Sirius Radio Show

Recap of Keyshawn Johnson's Sirius Radio Show by Zro from a sports forum:

Just listened to Keyshawn's show on Sirius..heres a little recap..

- Doesn't care who loses between Washington or Carolina, just wants one of them to lose. He would prefer that the team playing the early game lost so they don't go into their game watching the scoreboard.

- Everybody needs to be ready to play Sunday, especially the offensive line. The subject of the Tackle play came up. On Rob Pettiti, Key said.. "There are no Rookies anymore at this point in the season, it's time to just play football. The guy across from you is getting paid to hit your Quarterback, and you're getting paid to stop him, so just do your job."

- On the Parcells retirement rumors.. has no idea what he'll do. Parcells hasn't indicated anything to him. Today at Practice while the team was stretching, Parcells said, "All you old 30 plus year old guys need to make something happen this week or you might as well just retire". Keith Davis then said, "The only one talking about retirement around here is you Coach", to which Parcells laughed (but didn't exactly deny it either?).

- Keyshawn offered to buy Parcells a motorized wheelchair since he's getting so old..- Thinks this will be a similar game to the Kansas City Chiefs game. St. Louis has a high powered offense but their defense is lacking, especially in the secondary. Can see the teams trading TD's. Jamie Martin is no pushover.. their passing game is one of the best in the NFL and he thinks there will be opportunity's for the Rams to make plays, so the secondary has to be ready.

- Keyshawn: "If we get into the playoffs we're going to be one of the top 3 teams, I don't care what anyone says. Because you never know what we're going to come with"- Keyshawn picks the Pats to represent the AFC in the Superbowl.. he loves Tom Brady in big time games, isn't as impressed with Peyton Manning. He puts up the big numbers but doesn't get it done when it matters.. says there is something about the Patriots that just lets them pull it out in those big games. They win with "fill-in" guys.

- Host asks.. taking Dallas out of the equation, who does Key like in the NFC? Key picks Seattle just because they have home field advantage... Seattle has too much fire power on offense..."The road to the Superbowl, if the Dallas Cowboys aren't involved, goes through Seattle"

- Key says Roy Williams is doing well and will likely play on Sunday.- Caller asks about a play where Keyshawn was WIDE open during Carolina game and Bledsoe forced it into double coverage to Glenn..Keyshawn: "Well sometimes a QB can get locked into someone. We just have to get better with that." Host asks.. "so what do you tell Bledsoe after that?"..Keyshawn says, "I don't have to say anything, he knows. I told Bill.. you need to get me the ball if you want me to help you".

- Caller: "How would you feel about catching some passes from Drew Brees in Dallas next year?" Keyshawn: "Well that would cost a lot of money. It wouldn't matter though because you need protection, if you can't protect the QB then it doesn't matter who he is, he won't be effective."

- All of the sudden Key screams "YES! GO OREGON! GO OREGON!" after they score a TD against Oklahoma, he says.."I want all the Pac-10 teams to win bowl games"

- Keyshawn on whether Atlanta cares about this week's game: "Atlanta better play hard. I'm gonna get on em, if they don't play to win that game I'm going down there to see Mora and Gregg Knapp

Dallas Cowboy QB Bledsoe certain Dallas will be his last stand

Bledsoe certain Dallas will be his last stand

Drew Bledsoe's play has justified the Cowboys' decision to sign him, and he wants to end his career in Dallas.

Playoff-hopeful Cowboys will know what's at stake by kickoff

Playoff-hopeful Cowboys will know what's at stake by kickoff
Associated Press

National Football League News Wire

TIDBIT: IRVING, Texas -- Before kickoff against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys will know whether they are playing for a playoff spot or merely the pride of finishing 10-6 a year after going 6-10.

The Cowboys insist they'll give their best effort regardless of what's at stake.The bigger challenge? Enduring the hours leading up to it, when other games will determine Dallas' playoff chances.

Carolina or Washington must lose to keep open one of the wild cards. The Panthers play an early afternoon game against Atlanta, then the Redskins play Philadelphia in a 4:15 p.m. EST start.


Dallas Cowboy Safety Roy Williams said he will play

Dec. 30 - 10:07 am et
Source: Dallas Morning News

Safety Roy Williams said yesterday that he will play this week despite an ankle injury."I'm good," Williams said. "I'm playing in the game. There's nothing wrong with me. If they want me to rest it, I'll rest it, but come game time I'll be 100 percent ready to go."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Breaking Down the Dallas Cowboy Playoff Scenarios and Tiebreakers

Breaking Down the Cowboy Playoff Scenarios and Tiebreakers
Submitted by Jeff Thomas on

Tue, 2005-12-27 22:13.

Sitting at 9-6 thanks to an improbable road victory over Carolina, Dallas still has a shot to submit an entry for the NFL's annual post-season tourney...

Of course, as has been the Cowboy Way this year, the possibility of a post-season berth is going to come down to the wire...

Unfortunately, the 'Boys no longer control their own destiny. They need a victory over St. Louis on Sunday night. And they need some help.

Assuming they can overcome a Rams' team that has hit the skids, losing six of their last seven, what would secure a playoff spot for the 'Boys?

Well, it's not hard...but it's not easy, either...

Let's begin with easy...

Washington and Dallas both sit at 9-6, while Carolina sits at 10-5.
If either Washington or Carolina lose, and Dallas wins, the 'Boys are in.
A win by Washington means the best the Cowboys can do is tie them at 10-6. They would then resort to the division tiebreaker. The first tiebreaking criteria is head-to-head competition. The Cowboys lose this based on Washington's season sweep.

A win by Carolina means they would be 11-5, while the best the Cowboys could do would be 10-6. Carolina wins the playoff spot outright based on overall record.
So...the 'Boys need one of these two teams to lose.

If Washington loses, and Dallas beats St. Louis, Dallas gets the playoff spot based on better overall record. The Cowboys would be 10-6, while Washington would fall to 9-7.

If Carolina loses to Atlanta, and Dallas beats St. Louis, the Cowboys are in. While they'd end up with the same record, both 10-6, Dallas would edge them based on their victory over Carolina this past weekend.

So, the easy way to get in would be for Washington and/or Carolina to lose.
Carolina plays at Atlanta at noon on Sunday. Washington plays at Philly at 3:15 on Sunday.
Are those the only scenarios in which Dallas can make the playoffs, you ask? No.
But the last one gets a bit more complicated.

Assuming both Carolina and Washington win, the Giants would have to lose to Oakland on Saturday night, Tampa would need to lose to New Orleans at home on Sunday, and the Cowboys would need to beat St. Louis Sunday night.

This would give Washington the NFC East division title based on tiebreakers (Washington and NY would both be 10-6, but they split the season series 1-1, and Washington would have a better division record). Carolina would be 11-5, and be in based on better overall record.
That would thrust the Cowboys, Giants, and Bucs, who would all be 10-6, and vying for the two Wild Card spots, into the "three clubs or more" tiebreaker scenario.

Since Dallas and New York are divisional opponents, the divisional tiebreaker formula would be applied first.

They split the season series 1-1, so they'd go to tiebreaker number two - divisional record. New York wins this one with a 4-2 divisional record versus the Cowboys 3-3 divisional record. New York gets wild card slot number one.

Dallas then goes back into the tiebreaker competition with Tampa. They would resort to the "two club wild card tiebreaker" criteria.

First is head-to-head. This isn't applicable because Tampa and Dallas didn't play each other.
The next two are best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference and best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.

Both clubs would be tied in this category, so the tiebreaker would revert to strength of victory.
This is basically the combined winning percentage of the teams that the Cowboys and Bucs each beat this season (not common opponents - just individual wins by each team).

Currently, the 'Boys hold the advantage at .467 - .453...

However, this percentage can and will change based on the outcomes of all the games involving teams that were beaten by the Cowboys and Bucs this year.

For example, if the Cowboys beat the Rams, as they need to do, their strength of victory would actually drop slightly, since the Rams would be 6-10.

The Cowboys need all of the teams they have beaten to win this weekend in this scenario.
Of course in that case, Carolina would win and Washington would lose. That would mean all of this silly math wouldn't even be necessary because a Washington loss and a Cowboy win would mean post-season, baby!

Go Falcons! And though it'll only last for 60 minutes, Fly Eagles Fly!
Let's hope Jimmy Buffet was right..."Come Monday, it'll be alright..."

Clayton: First ... and 10

By John Clayton
St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys Scouting report (Sunday, 8:30 ET, ESPN)

A lot has to take place for this game to be meaningful. A couple teams have to lose Sunday afternoon to keep the Cowboys' playoffs hopes alive. Because this is a Sunday night game, the Cowboys have to watch their fate be determined without their control. They will take the field knowing if they have a chance to make the postseason or if they can start planning their offseason. Bill Parcells says this should be a tough game, but he's just trying to keep his team focused. The Rams have been coached well by interim coach Joe Vitt, but they've run out of good defensive players. They've lost four games in a row. Their defense has dropped to 30th and they are giving up 141 rushing yards a game. Considering Julius Jones almost put up 200 yards on the Panthers last week, he shouldn't have too much trouble getting over 100 Sunday. The Cowboys hold the tiebreaker edge over the Panthers thanks to last week's victory, so they will be rooting for them to lose to Atlanta. They also could get past the Redskins if they lose to the Eagles. The Cowboys have some hope, but it could end up being a meaningless game if the Redskins and Panthers win. If that happens, all the thoughts will turn to whether Bill Parcells will be back next season after back-to-back non-playoff years. There is no doubt Jerry Jones wants him back. But Parcells would be entering the last year of his contract and with the recent death of his brother, he may not be interested in getting locked up in a longer deal. Parcells' focus would rather be on the playoffs than the future.

EA Sports Preview: Rams vs. Cowboys (video)

EA Sports Preview: Rams vs. Cowboys
By 15 hours ago

Cowboys and Rams close out the 2005 regular season on Sunday night

NFL | Chiefs president wants more playoff teams

KFFL reports:
Wed, 28 Dec 2005 20:10:55 -0800

Skip Wood and Jarrett Bell, of USA Today, report Kansas City Chiefs president Carl Peterson wants to propose expanding the amount of playoff teams from 12 to 14. As many as three teams could finish the 2005 season with a 10-6 record and miss the postseason. Peterson said, "I'm going to propose ... an expansion of the number of playoff teams. I think it shorts the fans, the franchises and the cities to have teams with successful seasons but still not qualify for the playoffs." Since the playoffs last expanded in 1990 to 12 teams, only three teams have finished with 10 wins and missed the postseason.

Dallas Cowboys OL Marco Rivera limited in practice, questionable for Week 17

KFFL reoprts:
Wed, 28 Dec 2005 17:59:55 -0800

Rob Phillips, of, reports Dallas Cowboys OG Marco Rivera (neck) missed a portion of Wednesday's practice, Dec. 28, and he is listed as questionable for Week 17. If Rivera were unable to play, OG Andre Gurode would start in his place.

Our Dallas Cowboys work-out Three players

Cowboys Jeanty works out
Wed, 28 Dec 2005 18:15:43 -0800

Rob Phillips, of, reports the Dallas Cowboys conducted a workout with former CFL LB Rashad Jeanty, who played for the Edmonton Eskimos.

Cowboys Parker works out
Wed, 28 Dec 2005 18:17:21 -0800

Rob Phillips, of, reports the Dallas Cowboys conducted a workout with former CFL DB Byron Parker, who played for Toronto.

Cowboys Richardson works out
Wed, 28 Dec 2005 18:19:02 -0800

Rob Phillips, of, reports the Dallas Cowboys conducted a workout with former CFL WR Jamel Richardson, who played for Saskatchewan.

Dallas Cowboys Ready for Challenge

By Steve Lansdale
Date: Dec 28, 2005

IRVING, TX. - Chris Canty has been here before. As a redshirt sophomore at the University of Virginia, his Cavaliers were headed to a bowl game, but they had designs on a "bigger bowl." To earn that bid, they needed to beat the rival Maryland Terrapins.


New-Drew-to-Dallas speculation to swirl, but don’t bank on it

Meanwhile, in St. Louis…
By Rafael Vela on News

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Drew Brees might play somewhere besides San Diego in 2006. Expect the New-Drew-to-Dallas speculation to swirl, but don’t bank on it, unless Bill Parcells picks up and leaves.

Brees’ 2005 has followed a similar path as Drew Bledsoe’s; Brees had a 100 QB rating at mid-season but has slumped badly in the second half. Acquiring him would be expensive, in picks and money. San Diego could franchise him again and then flip him for the best package it could find. Be sure that the Chargers would have suitors.

And let’s not discount money. Drew Bledsoe’s contract averages just over $4 million a season, putting him in the middle of the QB salary pack. Brees garnered $8.1 million from San Diego this season. Whomever acquires Brees will likely pay him a salary roughly double what Bledsoe makes. If you love him, hate him or are Bledsoe agnostic, know that he’s giving the Cowboys good value salary-wise. That means a lot to Jerry Jones.

— It appears that Redskins’ LB LaVar Arrington will also be on next year’s free agent market. The Washington Times reports that his spring roster bonus will force Washington to cut him. Arrington reads like a spurned suitor, claiming he might retire if the Redskins set him free.

Not likely. Arrington is only 27. The Cowboys would take him for a test drive if he became free, but I set long odds on him going to Dallas. Weakside linebacker is Arrington’s best position. That’s precisely where Demarcus Ware is breaking in. Arrington would also command a huge salary. I think Dallas will look for a bookend to Ware, but will find him in the draft.

A look at the close games the Dallas Cowboys have played this season

A look at the close games the Dallas Cowboys have played this season
12/28/2005 4:38 PM

TIDBIT: IRVING, Texas (AP) - The Dallas Cowboys have played 11 games decided by seven points or less this season. That's the most in the NFL, and they are 6-5 in those games. Here is how the close games have played out:


Dallas Cowboy QB Drew Bledsoe's season donation is up to $55,000 to the Salvation Army

TIDBIT: QB Drew Bledsoe pledged before the season to donate $2,500 to the Salvation Army for every touchdown pass he threw in 2005. He has 22 so far. On Wednesday he presented a check for $55,000 to the Salvation Army.

Dallas Cowboy Anthony Henry (abdominal strain) practiced today and is probable for week 17

Dec. 28 - 4:17 pm et
Source: Dallas Morning News

Anthony Henry (abdominal strain) practiced today and is probable for week 17. Henry missed last week's game against the Panthers because of the injury. Safety Roy Williams (ankle) is also probable for the contest.

Dallas Cowboy WR Terry Glenn suffered a dislocated thumb last week

Dec. 29 - 10:16 am et
Source: Dallas Morning News

WR Terry Glenn suffered a dislocated thumb last week, but is not on the injury report."He seems to be fine catching the ball in practice," Drew Bledsoe said. "I don't think it feels very good. I wouldn't look for it to affect anything. I'm not going to change my approach. I'm still going to throw it to him and throw it as hard as I did."

Cardiac Dallas Cowboys sweat out playoff berth

Football: Cardiac Cowboys sweat out playoff berth
Web Posted: 12/29/2005 12:00 AM CST
Stephen Hawkins
Associated press

IRVING — The Dallas Cowboys go into their final game still uncertain about the season's outcome. Will they make the playoffs or not? That's just like most of their games this season, when they didn't know if they would win or lose until the last few minutes. "This last game will just epitomize the whole season," linebacker Bradie James said. "It's been going down to the wire. You definitely couldn't have too many heart conditions to watch our games." Dallas (9-6), which plays its regular-season finale Sunday night against St. Louis, has played an NFL-high 11 games decided by seven points or less. The game-deciding points in nine of those games were scored with 3:06 or less left in regulation — two of them in overtime.

The Cowboys have won six of their close games (all by four points or less), twice scoring touchdowns in the final 24 seconds. That included Drew Bledsoe's 2-yard TD pass to Terry Glenn in Saturday's 24-20 victory at Carolina that kept them in playoff contention. Two Dallas victories were sealed by interceptions in the final minute, including Aaron Glenn in the end zone in the season-opening 28-24 victory at San Diego. The Cowboys lost twice on last-play field goals. "It's not really a bad thing," coach Bill Parcells said. "Your team can eventually train itself to reduce the pressure feeling when you're in enough of these games. ... It can be very beneficial to be in hard-fought games all the time." The Cowboys will know before they kick off the NFL's final game of the regular season if they have a chance to be in the playoffs — of if they are just playing for their second 10-victory season in three years under Parcells.

There are 13 possibilities for Dallas to qualify as one of the NFC wild cards. All the scenarios are contingent on a victory over the Rams (5-10), who have lost four straight and six of seven. The least complex is for Carolina (at Atlanta) or Washington (at Philadelphia) to lose earlier Sunday. "We're in Week 17, and we've got a chance to do something," Parcells said. If the Cowboys make the playoffs, they won't give a second thought to all their close games. But if they don't make it to the postseason, the near-misses will be all they remember. "If we don't get in, we have nobody to blame but ourselves," tight end Dan Campbell said. "We had our chances. We had our chance to beat New York at New York for the division lead."

After falling behind 17-0 against the Giants on Dec. 4, when they were tied atop the NFC East, the Cowboys got within 17-10. But Drew Bledsoe threw a pass that was tipped and intercepted with 1:47 left, leaving Dallas with its fifth loss of the season by a touchdown or less — and out of the division lead for good. Two weeks later, their only lopsided loss (35-7 at Washington) made them a wild-card outsider and needing help to reach the playoffs. The Redskins were also responsible for Dallas' most excruciating loss, 14-13 on Sept. 19. Mark Brunell hit Santana Moss for TD passes of 39 and 70 yards in a 71-second span starting with 3:46 left that Monday night. Dallas had dominated until then, with the Redskins not crossing the Cowboys 27 since their opening drive.

The other heartbreakers: The Cowboys lost 19-13 at Oakland on Oct. 2, when Bledsoe threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Crayton midway through the fourth quarter but couldn't connect with Terry Glenn on fourth-and-4 from the 5 with 1:45 left. On Oct. 23 at Seattle, Bledsoe tried to throw a sideline pass to Glenn with five seconds left. But it was intercepted and returned 25 yards to the Dallas 32, setting up Josh Brown's 50-yard field goal on the final play in the 13-10 game. Thanksgiving Day against Denver, the Cowboys had a chance to go ahead midway through the fourth quarter, but Billy Cundiff missed a 34-yard field goal. The game went to overtime, and after Ron Dayne's 55-yard run on the second play, Jason Elam kicked a 24-yard field goal for a 24-21 Broncos victory.

The Dallas Cowboy 2006 schedule with no dates

New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles
Washington Redskins
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts
Same place finisher from NFC North. (Chicago Bears. Detroit Lions. Green Bay Packers. Minnesota Vikings)

New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles
Washington Redskins
Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers
Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee Titans
Same place finisher from NFC West. (Arizona Cardinals. Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco 49ers. St. Louis Rams)

Dallas Cowboy RB Julius Jones seeks win, then rushing milestone

Jones seeks win, then milestone

TIDBIT: Rushing into historyRunning back Julius Jones needs 42 yards against St. Louis on Sunday to reach 1,000 for the season and become the fifth player in Cowboys history to accomplish the feat.

The seasons in which Cowboys backs rushed for at least 1,000 yards:Yr. Player Yds. 1972 Calvin Hill 1,036 1973 Calvin Hill 1,142 1977 Tony Dorsett 1,007 1978 Tony Dorsett 1,325 1979 Tony Dorsett 1,107 1980 Tony Dorsett 1,185 1981 Tony Dorsett 1,646 1983 Tony Dorsett 1,321 1984 Tony Dorsett 1,189 1985 Tony Dorsett 1,307 1988 Herschel Walker 1,514 1991 Emmitt Smith 1,563 1992 Emmitt Smith 1,713 1993 Emmitt Smith 1,486 1994 Emmitt Smith 1,484 1995 Emmitt Smith 1,773 1996 Emmitt Smith 1,204 1997 Emmitt Smith 1,074 1998 Emmitt Smith 1,332 1999 Emmitt Smith 1,397 2000 Emmitt Smith 1,203 2001 Emmitt Smith 1,021

Bye, Bye to the Salary Cap?

Posted on Wed, Dec. 28, 2005
Paul Domowitch Turn out the lights, the parity's over...

TIDBIT: LEVEL PLAYING FIELD COULD BE AMONG CASUALTIES IF SALARY CAP VANISHES IN '07 WHAT WOULD happen if football became baseball? If you took a match to the NFL salary cap and allowed teams to spend as much - or as little - as they wanted on their player payroll?

Would Jerry Jones become George Steinbrenner? Would Jeff Lurie morph into David Montgomery? Would small-market teams such as Jacksonville, New Orleans and Kansas City become little more than cannon fodder for the big-spending franchises? Would the league's "on any given Sunday" motto give way to "never in a million years"?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

NFL | League updates playoff tie scenario

KFFL reports:
NFL League updates playoff tie scenario
Wed, 28 Dec 2005 11:39:45 -0800

The NFL has updated the playoff tie scenario where the New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys tie for the two Wild Card spots at 10-6. Dallas cannot be the No. 5 seed, and will only be the No. 6 seed if New York is the No. 5 seed and Dallas defeats Tampa Bay on strength of victory.

Dallas Cowboy back-up QB Drew Henson is starting to crack?

QB Drew Henson said yesterday that he is unhappy serving as the Cowboys' third-string quarterback."I miss playing football, that's all I'll say," Henson said. "I left baseball to play games. That's what I miss. I miss being on the field, leading the team. Anytime I can play games right now, I will."

Dallas Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 16

KFFL reports:
Wed, 28 Dec 2005 11:31:53 -0800

DE DeMarcus Ware was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Week for his play in the 24-20 road win over the Carolina Panthers on Saturday in Charlotte. Ware wreaked havoc on the Panthers' offense throughout the day, totaling three sacks, the most by a Cowboys' rookie in a single game since the sack stat was instituted in 1982. The Auburn, Ala. native also forced three fumbles, the most by a Dallas defender since the team began keeping single-game defensive statistics in 1984. Ware's first sack and forced fumble led to a Carolina punt, his second sack and forced fumble resulted in a Dallas field-goal attempt on the ensuing possession and his final sack and forced fumble on the day also resulted in a Panthers' punt. Ware posted his season-high with eight tackles on the day, and with seven sacks in 2005, he ties for second-most among NFL rookies. A first-round pick from Troy, this is Ware's first Player of the Week award. He was previously honored as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for October.

Our Dallas Cowboys will face another top rated WR this weekend

Scouting St. Louis Rams wide receiver Torry Holt

TIDBIT: The Cowboys go from facing one Pro Bowl wide receiver to another. This week, it's St. Louis Rams wide receiver Torry Holt, who leads the NFL in receptions.

Dallas Cowboys keep playoff hopes alive

Cowboys keep playoff hopes alive
By Sports Network
Dec 28 2005 8:55AM GMT

TIDBIT: (Sports Network) - The Dallas Cowboys got their Christmas present in the latter stages of Saturday's 24-20 win against the Carolina Panthers.
The gift arrived in the form of a yellow flag that sailed into play in the final seconds of the game.
But this was no ordinary present.

Dallas had an opportunity to make it a 20-20 game on a 33-yard field goal attempt by Billy Cundiff with just 1:07 left. Cundiff missed the kick wide right, but Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers was penalized for running into the kicker.

Peppers argued he or linemate Ken Lucas touched the ball on the field, but replays were inconclusive and the penalty was upheld, giving the Boys a first down at the Carolina 11-yard line.

Three plays later, Terry Glenn made a beautiful over the shoulder grab in the right side of the end zone with 24 seconds remaining to keep the Cowboys alive in the playoff race.
A victory next week against St. Louis, coupled with either a Carolina or Washington loss, would qualify the Cowboys as one of the two wild-card teams.

If the Panthers and Redskins win next week, but Tampa Bay loses at home to the Saints and the Giants drop one at Oakland, Dallas would have a chance of qualifying for the playoffs with a win.
"We did a pretty good job today - fighting," Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells said after the game. "This team has fought hard all year. You can say what you want about them. We're not the best team in the league, but we fight pretty hard. That took a lot of guts. I'm proud of them."

Our Dallas Cowboys show Heart

Cowboys Show Heart Dec 28 2005 1:30PM GMT

TIDBIT: The Cowboys still don't know if they are playoff worthy. But Bill Parcells has long said his team would be in it until the end.

Coach Bill Parcells addresses the rumors (Video link)

Bill Parcells Angry About Retirement Talk
By December 27, 2005

Parcells addresses the rumors

Coach Bill Parcells can't think about leaving now

HAWKINS ON COWBOYS: Big Bill can't think about leaving now
By Associated Press

TIDBIT: IRVING, Texas -- Bill Parcells insists he isn't privately contemplating retirement. Let's hope he's telling the truth and that he will at least finish his contract with the Dallas Cowboys -- and maybe even coach beyond next season.

The Big Tuna owes it to the Cowboys to stick around. He owes it to owner Jerry Jones. Most importantly, he owes it to himself to see through what he's started in what almost certainly will be his last coaching stop.

Meaningless games? Not in the NFL

Green: Every team has incentive
By Jeremy Green
ESPN Insider

TIDBIT: Week 17 is huge for teams still harboring playoff hopes. But it's just as important for the rest of the league, writes Jeremy Green.

Cowboys: Most playoff appearances in NFL history!

With a win and a little help in Week 17, Dallas could make it an NFL-record 28 appearances in the postseason.

T-1. Dallas, 27
T-1. St. Louis, 27
3. N.Y. Giants, 26
T-4. Cleveland, 24
T-4. Minnesota, 24
6. Green Bay, 23
T-7. Chicago, 22
T-7. Pittsburgh, 22
T-7. San Francisco, 22
T-10. Miami/Oakland, 21

Dallas Cowboy S Roy Williams hobbled

DMN Archer Blog: Roy update (not good)
Williams hobbled

Just got back from Cowboys' practice and Roy Williams did not look too good. He is listed as probable on the injury report with an ankle injury, but he was limping as he ran and did not look comfortable at all. If he doesn't start, then Willie Pile does.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Dallas Cowboys re-signed kicker Shaun Suisham on Monday.

Dallas re-signed kicker Shaun Suisham on Monday. Coach Bill Parcells released Billy Cundiff on Monday after missing a crucial field goal against Carolina this weekend, so Suisham was signed off the practice squad to replace him.

Coach Bill Parcells strongly denied reports that he is considering retirement.

Source: Dallas Morning News
Dec. 27 - 9:28 am et

Coach Bill Parcells strongly denied reports that he is considering retirement."There is no one I have talked to – no one – about anything of that nature this whole season," Parcells said. "I challenge anyone to step forward to say this guy said to me he was thinking about retirement. One guy."

Ex-Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin said Cowboys to SuperBowl 41

Irvin just said.....that Parcells will take the Cowboys to the superbowl next year with T.O. and T.O. is training right now for next season.

Coach Parcells focused on coaching, not talking about quitting

ARTICLE: Parcells focused on coaching, not talking about quitting
12/26/2005 8:06:42 PM

TIDBIT: IRVING, Texas (AP) - Bill Parcells doesn't seem to act like he plans to quit coaching any time soon. With the Dallas Cowboys still trying to make the playoffs, he appears as focused as ever.

Dallas Cowboys will play till bitter end

ARTICLE: Cowboys will play till bitter end

TIDBIT: The Cowboys, focused on making the playoffs despite tough odds, cut maligned kicker Billy Cundiff.

Dallas Cowboys cut Cundiff

ARTICLE: Cowboys cut Cundiff 3:37 PM

TIDBIT: Kicker Billy Cundiff was released Monday by the National Football League team, which re-signed rookie Shaun Suisham.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Dallas Cowboy QB Drew Bledsoe and CB Aaron Glenn looking to earn playoff incentive

KFFL reports:
Mon, 26 Dec 2005 07:21:23 -0800

Adam Schefter, of, reports Dallas Cowboys QB Drew Bledsoe receives a $250,000 bonus should Dallas advance to the postseason.

Adam Schefter, of, reports Dallas Cowboys CB Aaron Glenn receives an $117,500 bonus should Dallas advance to the postseason.

Dallas Cowboy S Roy Williams status unknown for week 17

Safety Roy Williams left Saturday's game in the fourth quarter with a leg injury.The Cowboys have not released any details about the injury, but Williams was limping on the sidelines and did not return.

Draft Picks Keep Cowboys' Hopes Alive

AP Sports Writer

TIDBIT: "You can count them out if you want to, but I won't," coach Bill Parcells said.

Dallas (9-6) will know before the season finale kicks off Sunday night against St. Louis whether a wild-card spot is on the line. A loss by Carolina or Washington would put the Cowboys in a win-and-they're-in scenario.


Jones, Ware keep Cowboys' playoff hopes alive

12/25/2005 10:43 PM

AP Sports Writer

TIDBIT: ``You can count them out if you want to, but I won't,'' coach Bill Parcells said.
Dallas (9-6) will know before the season finale kicks off Sunday night against St. Louis whether a wild-card spot is on the line. A loss by Carolina or Washington would put the Cowboys in a win-and-they're-in scenario.


Dallas Cowboy RB Julius Jones closes in on 1,000 yards

Did you know that JJ needs ONLY 42 yards to reach the 1,000 yard rushing mark?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Game Balls: Cowboys at Panthers

The Charlotte Observer
Posted on Sun, Dec. 25, 2005

OFFENSE: Julius Jones Dallas running back rushed for 194 yards, the third-highest total ever for a Panthers' opponent.

DEFENSE: DeMarcus Ware Dallas linebacker collected all three Cowboys sacks, was in on nine tackles and forced three fumbles.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Mat McBriar Dallas punter had seven punts for a 48.6-yard average, helping Dallas maintain good field position.

Dallas Cowboy DE/LB Demarcus Ware's big game sacks Panthers

by the Star-Telegram
Ware's big game sacks Panthers

Led by DeMarcus Ware, the Cowboys defense shows its preseason form and helps save the season.

Post-Game PC comments (Bill Parcells, Drew Bledsoe, Terry Glenn, Julius Jones)

Comments by WoodysGirl from a sports forum:
NFL Network:

Bill Parcells: PC most of you have seen...or at least have seen the quotes in the article. They took the comments verbatim, except for the Sh** before denying the retirement claim.

Drew Bledsoe: Basically said he threw the ball to Glenn even tho he knew he was hurt, cuz he trusted him. He's played w/him in alot of games and he trusts him in those kinda situations.Saw the flag on the FG play and said, oh we're going to win this game.

Terry Glenn: Talked about his emotions. Basically said it was just the fact on how they fought thru so much to get to this point. And to know they're still in the playoff hunt. Was asked about Bledsoe. Said Bledsoe is his QB. Said that most of his yards have come w/Bledsoe as his QB.

Julius Jones: Said Keyshawn challenged him. Said Keyshawn told him to run the effing ball. And he basically kept up that dialogue throughout the game. Said he took the challenge personally.

Dallas Cowboy RB Julius Jones leaving his marks in Cowboy history

Yards Rusher Opponent Date
237 Emmitt Smith @Philadelphia October 31, 1993
206 Tony Dorsett Philadelphia December 4, 1977
198 Julius Jones @Seattle December 6, 2004
194 Julius Jones @Carolina December 24, 2005

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Coach Bill Parcells scoffs at retirement rumor

Comments by johnnybluestar from a sports forum:

Parcells post-game conference on NFL channel. When asked about Chris Mortenson's report, Parcells first reaction was saying the S word somewhat under his breath, but the said he didn't know where the media gets this stuff and they know nothing. Nothing! He then said "why don't you write about these guys (his team) today instead of me" as he walked away.

Dallas Cowboys have to have help from Atlanta, New Orleans, or Philadelphia, plus a victory to get in!

Since Tampa has won, we need EAGLES TO BEAT REDSKINS or ATLANTA TO BEAT CAROLINA or NEW ORLEANS TO BEAT TAMPA BAY coupled with a win, to go to the dance.

Coach Bill Parcells considering retirement

ESPN : Parcells considering retirement

Dallas Cowboys in hot water, but coach calm

Web Posted: 12/24/2005 12:00 AM CST
Jenna Fryer
Associated Press

TIDBIT: Coach Grinch? Bill Parcells is letting his Cowboys coaches and players have Christmas off, though it may not be as kind a gesture as it seems. By playing today and not playing again until the next Sunday, it's easy for Parcells to let everyone take off this Sunday. The NFL even designed its schedule that way, although TV viewership factored in heavily. How about making time for some holiday shopping? Well, let's just say Parcells didn't plan any team outings to the mall. "I don't have much concern about it," Parcells said. "I just run my normal schedule and let them work around that. I imagine their wives are doing most of their shopping."

Seeing is believing: Drew Bledsoe always heard about how important football is to Texans. Now that he's almost finished with his first season with the Dallas Cowboys, the quarterback can definitely tell the difference between life around here and his previous NFL stops in New England and Buffalo. "In Boston, and New England, when I got there, the Patriots were the fourth sports team. Even after winning three championships in four years, they're still second to the Red Sox," Bledsoe said. "Buffalo, it's a little smaller media market, so it's not as huge."

Dallas Cowboy QB Drew Bledsoe struggling on road

KFFL reports:
Fri, 23 Dec 2005 14:04:01 -0800

Chad Peters, of, reports Dallas Cowboys QB Drew Bledsoe has struggled playing on the road this season, throwing 11 of his 14 interceptions during away games this year while throwing just five touchdowns in the past five road trips. The Cowboys visit the Carolina Panthers in Week 16.

Let's hope that is not the case today.

Our Dallas Cowboy receivers are doing their job

TIDBIT: Through 14 games, the Dallas Cowboys are the only team in the league with three players over 650 receiving yards (Terry Glenn, 1,004; Jason Witten, 698; Keyshawn Johnson, 653). The Cowboys are on the verge of having three players top the 700-yard receiving mark for the season. It would be just the third time in club history that Dallas has had that happen, and the first time since 1986. Defensively, Dallas has had 15 players record a sack this season. Only San Diego (16) has had more people involved in getting to the quarterback.

Dallas Cowboys were once the NFL standard

Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Bank of America Stadium will be jammed on Saturday for several reasons. The weather will be perfect. Almost nobody has to work. And if Carolina wins, it makes the playoffs for the third time in franchise history and could clinch the NFC South.

And the opponent is Dallas. Dallas is the real deal, the establishment, the team that's too big to ignore. You beat Dallas, you feel as if you accomplished something.

You feel this way even though the Cowboys have not won a playoff game since the 1996 season, or a Super Bowl since the 1995 season. Dallas has been away from the elite so long that there are 10-year-olds who think of the Cowboys the same way they think of the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints.
But Arizona and New Orleans have never been good. The Cowboys were the best. They won five Super Bowls, three in the mid-1990s.

And there was a glitter to them. They are the team for which Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach passed, Michael Irvin and Bob Hayes caught and Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett ran.

Bill Parcels coaches them. Jerry Jones owns them. You only thought the Washington Redskins did.

The Cowboys gave us North Dallas Forty, Pete Gent and Dandy Don Meredith. Meredith is the one man in the history of "Monday Night Football," and the world, who could deflate the pomposity of MNF mate Howard Cosell with a simple, stinging phrase.

Who was the opponent in the two biggest home games the Panthers have played? Dallas. Carolina has hosted two playoff games, beating the Cowboys, 26-17, in 1996 and 29-10 two seasons ago.

The Panthers' cheerleaders get attention for off-duty adventures in Tampa, Fla. The adventures of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders include entertaining the troops in Iraq.

The Cowboys are the standard for today's dance lines. The next time you think about white vinyl boots, which you probably won't today because it is Dec. 24 but might start again Dec.26, remember the Cowboys cheerleaders. These women single-handedly kept a once thriving fashion institution alive. Without them, white vinyl I don't even want to think about it.

OK, so the Cowboys are like the rock group the Eagles in that they get attention for what they used to be. Here's their record since 1997: 6-10 that season, 10-6, 8-8, 5-11, 5-11, 5-11, 10-6 and 6-10 last season.

This season, they are an 8-6 team in an 8-6 conference. Of course they have talent. But the offensive line is so fragile, the Cowboys ought to be negotiating with the parole officer of former Cowboy (and Panther) Nate Newton.
The Cowboys still can make the playoffs. But they have to win Saturday.
Carolina has to win if it wants to leave the NFC's middle class, a neighborhood that includes every team in the conference with a winning record except Seattle.

Although the Panthers are only 11 seasons old, they have established a nice little tradition. They have twice ended the season of the Cowboys.

They will have accomplished something if they do it again Saturday.

Another late fade in the Bill Parcells era

Another late fall for Parcells
by the StarTelegram

The Cowboys' fade has been typical in the Bill Parcells era, which may influence his decision to stay or go.

Wiil the Dallas Cowboys be interested in Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt?

By Pro Football Weekly

PFW is hearing the Colts could let reliable kicker Mike Vanderjagt walk in free agency after this season.

Dallas Cowboy CB Henry is out; OL Marco Rivera makes trip

CB Henry is out; Rivera makes trip
08:19 PM CST on Friday, December 23, 2005
By TODD ARCHER / The Dallas Morning News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Cowboys will be without cornerback Anthony Henry for today's game at Carolina, but guard Marco Rivera did make the trip. Henry did not accompany the team to Charlotte. He has been slowed by an abdomen strain, but he did not miss a day of practice and was listed as probable. Aaron Glenn will replace Henry. Rivera did not practice all week because of a neck strain. If he cannot play, Andre Gurode would start at right guard.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Dallas Cowboy WR K.Johnson named team's Man of the Year

KFFL reports:
Fri, 23 Dec 2005
09:35:22 -0800

Dallas Cowboys WR Keyshawn Johnson has been named the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner for 2005. The award recognizes off-the-field community service as well as on-field excellence.

Congratuation Key!

Ex-Dallas Cowboy Safety Darren Woodson's dream Superbowl matchup?

ESPN Reports:

We ask Darren Woodson if he was the head of ABC what would his dream Superbowl matchup? Darren says he would pick the Cowboys against the Patriots.

Kind Tuna? Parcells goes easy on Dallas Cowboys in preparation for the Carolina Panthers game

By JENNA FRYERAP Sports Writer
12/22/2005 7:22 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - On the heels of one of the worst losses of his coaching career, Bill Parcells has been bizarrely calm around the Dallas Cowboys.

There's been no yelling, no screaming, no finger pointing at his team. Despite Dallas' playoff hopes being in serious danger, Parcells is not panicking.
Surprised? The Cowboys aren't.

``From my experience with him over the years, sometimes when things are the worst is when he is at his best or most positive,'' quarterback Drew Bledsoe said. ``There are times if you win a few games he can be tough to be around because he's trying to keep everybody focused. When things go bad is when he turns it around and kind of lifts the spirits of the team a little bit.

``He's very focused about this week, not dwelling on what happened.''
The Cowboys (8-6) are coming off a 35-7 humiliation in Washington that marked their third loss in four games. They'll have to recover in time to play Saturday in Carolina (10-4) in a game both teams consider must-win.
The Panthers need to win it to stay in control of the NFC South, where they hold a one-game lead over Tampa Bay. A win and a Buccaneers loss could wrap up the league title for Carolina.

The Cowboys have to win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Dallas needs to win its final two regular-season games to have any shot at earning one of the NFC's wild-card spots.

Carolina knows Parcells will have the Cowboys ready.

``They are a salty bunch,'' Panthers coach John Fox said. ``They are fighting for their playoff lives as well as we are. They had kind of a clunker last week. All of these players in this league are prideful and want to get rid of that bitter taste.

``We've got what I'm sure is going to be a very physical and aggressive football team coming to town.''

To make sure of it, Parcells didn't berate his team following the loss to the Redskins. He figured that approach would only make things worse for a team already feeling bad enough.

``When everybody else is killing them, it would be nice if somebody tried to lift them up,'' Parcells said. ``The week before last they were saying that it was one of the greatest wins we'd had here against Kansas City. Now, and I don't know if this type of thing happens in Charlotte, but West of the Mississippi it's either outhouse or castle.''

Dallas has indeed plummeted that quickly. In the span of one month, the Cowboys have gone from the division lead to leaving themselves zero room for error if they want to continue into the playoffs.

Bledsoe, a free-agent addition in Dallas, is finding the slide hard to believe.

``From the time I signed with the Cowboys, my mind-set has been that this is a playoff-caliber team,'' he said. ``Even though we suffered a really disheartening loss last week, the challenge is then to answer the bell and play as well as you possibly can this week to try and still give your team a chance to get in.''
Carolina has yet to lock up its postseason berth, but once again finds itself in control of its destiny. The Panthers were in the same spot three weeks ago, but lost at home to Tampa Bay to drop into a tie for the division lead.

A win this week would ensure they keep at least a one-game lead and put them in good position heading into the finale at Atlanta.

``We have an opportunity to control our own destiny again, and that's a good position to be in,'' linebacker Brandon Short said. ``We haven't even clinched a playoff spot yet. We have to stay focused and understand that there is a bigger picture. It starts with the first play against the Cowboys.

``They're going to come in here ready to play and on an emotional high, but so are we. That high lasts for a couple of plays, and then it all comes down to focus and execution.''

The last time Dallas came to Carolina was two seasons ago - Parcells' first as coach of the Cowboys - when the Panthers hosted their first playoff game in seven years. In front of a raucous crowd, the Panthers won 29-10 en route to the Super Bowl.
The Panthers are hoping for a similar atmosphere Saturday because they fully expect to see a fired-up Dallas team.

``Sometimes in this league you just get spanked, and you usually come back the next week looking to atone for it,'' said defensive end Mike Rucker. ``Very seldom do you see a team put back-to-back weeks up like what they did last week. We expect their best this week.''

Dallas Cowboys Must Contain Steve Smith

By Steve Lansdale
Date: Dec 22, 2005

But since being traded from Minnesota to Oakland, Moss has loosened his hold on the national spotlight, and Owens took Rosenhaus Highway out of the NFL for the rest of the season. The standard had been set: the league's best receivers, it seemed, had to be big and fast, looking like power forwards and running like track stars.

Coaches still covet big targets on the perimeter, but the best target in the game just might be a guy who could pass as a younger brother to Moss or Owens. Through the Carolina Panthers' first 14 games, Smith -- all 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds of him -- leads the NFL with 93 receptions and 1,414 yards. His 11 receiving touchdowns are the second-highest total in the league.

Dallas head coach Bill Parcells said Wednesday that in his opinion, Smith is one of the 10 best players in the league at any position. He said that Smith is so dangerous that normal strategies to overcome the challenges created by a dangerous receiver aren't necessarily the best plan of action with Smith.

"He's a very physical, strong guy," Parcells said. "He's not very big, but he's very strong. He's a very good, competitive player."One of the problems is that when they play him at split end, if you double him, that leaves you with nine guys to play the run, all over the field.

"The Cowboys have seen Smith -- so far only on highlight reels and in film sessions. When asked what other receiver Smith most closely resembles, Dallas cornerback Jacques Reeves came up with a name Cowboys fans don't want to hear: Santana Moss."They're pretty similar receivers, really," Reeves said. "They're both speedy, quick guys, guys who can really run.

When you play guys like them, you have to make sure you don't get beat deep."Moss is probably a little faster, but Smith is probably a little tougher, a little more physical. He'll go over the middle, and he'll block the s--- out of you.

"The Cowboys certainly hope to defend Smith better than they did Moss this year, when the Washington wideout burned the 'Boys for two late touchdowns in the Redskins' 14-13 shocker in September, and got behind Aaron Glenn again in Sunday's 35-7 debacle on a play that put the Redskins at the Dallas 1-yard line. Reeves said that contrary to popular belief, the key to not getting burned deep by a burner like Smith is not simply allowing more cushion at the line of scrimmage.

"We can't just play deeper," Reeves said. "We've got to play smarter. We've got to look at everything they do with him until we know their offense, and rely on our technique and coaching to be in the right place to make plays.

"Unlike Moss, who is basically the only threat among the Redskins' receiving corps, Smith is not alone in the Carolina passing game. Reeves said the Panthers' second-most impressive receiver, at least on film, is 16-year veteran Ricky Proehl."

He's supposed to be getting old," Reeves said of the 37-year-old Proehl, "but he sure doesn't play like it."You've got to be be concerned about everyone, but he's really impressive. He's a veteran, very crafty, and of course, he has great hands. He's smart and he's got experience. He doesn't look like he's lost a thing."

Barry Switzer: Lucky his pal Jerry Jones let him coach the Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys still relying on Tucker, Gurode
Associated Press
National Football League News Wire

TIDBIT: Flashing his Super Bowl ring from 10 years ago, Barry Switzer admitted Thursday how lucky he was that his pal Jerry Jones let him coach the Dallas Cowboys.

"You heard him say anybody could win with the talent the Cowboys had," Switzer said. "He's damn right you could have."

The Cowboys haven't been back to the Super Bowl since his '95 team. They haven't won a playoff game since his '96 squad. They've only made the playoffs three times since then, although Bill Parcells is trying to change all that.
"His team isn't as talented as the one that I had," Switzer said Thursday at a luncheon for the Fort Worth Bowl. "He doesn't need to be graded by me or anybody else. He's got a tough job, and it's even tougher this week because of what happened last week. ...

"Bill knows what to do. Every coach that has been in this game knows what to do -- you go out and you work and do what you believe in and try to get better at doing that. That's the way a football player has to approach it, it's the way coaches have to approach it. Be a better player than when you were when you were on the field when you come off of it."

Dallas Cowboys vs. Carolina Panthers Video Simulation

EA Sports: Cowboys have to win

simulation link

Vinatieri Headlines Dallas Cowboy Offseason Wishlist

This from

The life of a kicker is usually nothing to write about, especially when it comes to free agency.

However Adam Vinatieri, one of the top placekickers in the history of the National Football League, is no ordinary kicker.

Vinatieri has made countless game-winning field goals in every situation imaginable. Pressure kicks. Pressure kicks during the regular season. Pressure kicks in the snow. Pressure kicks in the snow with the AFC Championship on the line. Pressure kicks in the Super Bowl.

Name the situation, and chances are Adam Vinatieri has been up to the task time after time.The 10-year veteran out of South Dakota State has helped lead what looks to be a dynasty in the making in Foxboro.

A kicker leading a dynasty?That's right, a kicker. When you consider that Vinatieri has made game-winning kicks in two Super Bowls and an AFC Championship Game, sometimes in less-than-ideal conditions, Vinatieri's contribution to the league's top team this millennium ranks right up there with any Patriot outside of Tom Brady (and maybe even Brady himself).

And now, as the Dallas Cowboys sit on the brink of playoff elimination this weekend at Carolina, it's easy to look back on the year that was and understand how a kicker of Vinatieri's stature could have made an impact on the season.

What if the Cowboys had a clutch kicker like Vinatieri during all of those close losses?Don't hurt yourself, it's almost mind-numbing to ponder.

Without getting too deep into the misery, the team could likely add at least two more games to its current eight-win total. Images of Jose Cortez and Billy Cundiff hanging their head in shame would be distant memories, and hooked 33-yard chip shots would be a thing of the past.

Enter current Patriots' kicker Adam Vinatieri. From we at understand, Vinatieri's situation this offseason is definitely one to keep a close eye on.

Why?For starters, he's currently playing under a one-year franchise tender with the Patriots. In addition, his agent Neil Cornrich, has been rumored to be suspended by the NFLPA until Aug. 1, 2006.

That makes his fair game across multiple levels.And finally, and most obviously, the Cowboys need a quality placekicker before starting their 2006 campaign. Bill Parcells wants one, the team desperately needs one, and Vinatieri tops the list of potential candidates.

Oh and by the way, has learned there has already been plenty of speculation in the Boston area that the Cowboys are preparing to take a make a serious pass at Vinatieri this offseason.

It only makes sense. It's nearly impossible to draft a kicker straight out of college into the NFL and expect immediate success.Go with a winner. Go with the proven veteran.Go with Vinatieri.

Coach Bill Parcells does not want Terrell Owens?

We've heard that Bill Parcells does not want Terrell Owens on the Cowboys while Jerry Jones has expressed interest in the suspended Eagle; who will call the shot? "Bill Parcells will call that shot," Aikman said.

ESPN radio clip:


Coach Bill Parcells, Dallas Cowboys in upbeat mood

Lopsided loss has been put on the back burner heading into Carolina game
By Joe Menzer

Because of his reputation and his team's 35-7 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday, one would think that Coach Bill Parcells of the Dallas Cowboys had very little holiday spirit to share this week.

That would be an incorrect assumption, according to Drew Bledsoe. And Bledsoe should know. Although he's in his first season as the starting quarterback of the Cowboys, he spent his first four NFL seasons under Parcells when both were with the New England Patriots.Bledsoe knows the wide mood swings of Parcells as well as anyone.

"From my experience with him over the years, sometimes when things are the worst is when he is at his best or most positive," Bledsoe said. "There are times where if you win a few games he can be tough to be around because he's trying to keep everybody focused. When things go bad is when he turns it around and kind of lifts the spirits of the team a little bit.

"Bledsoe said he sat down with Parcells earlier this week and that Parcells was remarkably upbeat."That seemed to be his attitude," Bledsoe said. "He's very focused about this week, not dwelling on what happened Sunday. From that standpoint, he's trying to keep the team moving forward."Parcells chuckled when he heard Bledsoe's analysis.

"Well, when everybody else is killing them, it would be nice if somebody tried to lift them up," Parcells said. "The week before last, they were saying that it was one of the greatest wins we'd had here when we beat Kansas City.... I don't know if this type of thing happens in Charlotte, but west of the Mississippi (River) it's either outhouse or castle.

"Parcells would like to see his team in the castle, or at least in the playoffs that can lead to the castle. To do so, he knows that the 8-6 Cowboys must shrug off the game they played against Washington, their bitter NFC East division rival, and pull off an upset Saturday against the 10-4 Panthers, who are hoping to lock up the NFC South title.

"Fortunately, we still have an opportunity," Parcells said. "That is more than a few teams in the league have right now. I know we can't stand another loss, so in that regard it's pretty important. I realize that it's a real important game for Carolina, too."Bledsoe added: "No doubt, we need to win our last two to even have a chance at the playoffs. That's what it is, and even then we need some help. But if we don't win these last two, we have no shot. So yes, this is definitely a must-win game for us.

"If they lose, the kinder, gentler Parcells will really be put to the test heading into the season finale at home against St. Louis on Jan. 1. Bledsoe said that he hopes not to put his coach in such a situation, although he added that he realizes that the Panthers are pursuing their own hotly contested playoff position.

"I know that the Panthers are highly motivated. They're in a tight race as well," Bledsoe said. "To say that we have more at stake than they do, I don't know that that is an accurate statement. For us, coming into this game, we've probably got to play our best game of the year to win - and that's what we're going to try and do."

Gurode, Tucker could both start for the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday

Web Posted: 12/23/2005 12:00 AM CST
Jaime Aron
Associated Press

TIDBIT: IRVING — By the end of last season, coach Bill Parcells had lost so much faith in offensive linemen Andre Gurode and Torrin Tucker that he kicked them out of the starting lineup. On Saturday, with the Cowboys fighting for a playoff berth, both might be back on the first team. Their depth-chart revival is a reflection of many things, primarily the state of Dallas' line. But it's also a testament to the players responding to Parcells' challenge and working their way back into his good graces. The first thing to note is that injuries are behind their promotions. Tucker has started the last eight games since left tackle Flozell Adams was lost to a knee injury and Gurode will only get his first start of the season if right guard Marco Rivera can't play because of a neck injury. Gurode started 13 games at right guard last season, missing two because of injury and coming off the bench for the finale. The Cowboys signed Rivera to replace him. Gurode was moved to center, where he's backed up Al Johnson all season. "A lot has changed that was problematic last year," Parcells said Thursday. "He's done a good job of battling back. I think he'll be fine, assignment-wise."

RUMOR: Glover to be released in March

If the Eagles are looking to add an interior pass-rusher in the offseason, one possibility is Cowboys defensive tackle La'Roi Glover. The 31-year-old Glover has become odd man out in Bill Parcells' 3-4 defense. He's scheduled to make $4.5 million next year, including a $1.5 million roster bonus that's due in March. The Cowboys are expected to release him.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Dallas Cowboy OL Marco Rivera expected to play Sunday

Dallas Morning News
Rivera returns:

TIDBIT: Rivera, taken off the field on a stretcher after landing on his head in the fourth quarter, returned to Dallas on Monday with associate trainer Britt Brown.Parcells said there's a chance Rivera could play Saturday against Carolina."He's doing pretty well and the tests and all the scans he had were negative, so it's a matter of his comfort and how he's feeling on a day-to-day basis," Parcells said. "Fortunately, it was nothing serious."If Rivera doesn't play, Andre Gurode or Stephen Peterman will replace him at right guard.

Dallas Cowboy CB Anthony Henry still hobbled

Dallas Morning News
Henry hobbled:

TIDBIT: Cornerback Anthony Henry, who missed three of the previous four games with a partially torn groin, almost didn't play Sunday because of an abdominal strain.Parcells said it's not related to his groin injury."At Friday's practice, he just didn't look good," said Parcells, who added Henry to the injury report Friday.Henry played primarily when Washington used formations with two tight ends, because the Cowboys wanted him to support the run.

Coach Bill Parcells: No O-Line changes expected

Dallas Morning News

TIDBIT: IRVING ? The Cowboys' offensive line has allowed 15 sacks in the last three games and struggled to create running lanes for Julius Jones and Marion Barber.But coach Bill Parcells said he isn't planning any personnel changes this week."We just got beat up physically," he said Monday of their 35-7 loss to Washington. "We only had three mental errors on offense, so you know what the rest is involved with."What he's trying to say is some of the Cowboys' linemen simply aren't good enough to do the job.

Right tackle Rob Petitti has earned Parcells' respect by playing through hip, ankle and knee injuries this season, but he has struggled for more than a month. So has left tackle Torrin Tucker, who yielded four sacks Sunday.So did things snowball for Tucker?"That would be a nice word for it," Parcells said.Their backups are Marc Colombo and Marcus Price, veteran free agents who were added in the last month."We really don't have a lot of options right now," Parcells said. "We could have put in Colombo. But I have been watching Colombo here. Just putting somebody in isn't going to make it better."The poor offensive line play is not just about Tucker and Petitti.

Veteran guards Larry Allen and Marco Rivera combined for four penalties in the first half. A procedure penalty by Allen negated an apparent 12-yard touchdown run by Barber that would've tied the score at 7 in the first quarter."I am hard-pressed on that film to see those," Parcells said of the illegal procedure penalties that were called. "I mean those were not obvious things, but that's the way it is."The Cowboys' offensive linemen totaled seven penalties in the first half.

Panthers expect to play different Cowboys

By Darin Gantt
The Herald CHARLOTTE --

Considering the Dallas Cowboys are fighting for the same NFC playoff berths the Carolina Panthers are, the Panthers couldn't have minded the Cowboys losing last week. They just didn't want the Cowboys losing the way they did. Dallas dropped an ugly 35-7 decision at Washington last week, the most lopsided win in the 45-year rivalry. The Cowboys were intercepted on the game's first play and trailed 28-0 at halftime, leaving the Panthers to believe the best thing to do is disregard what they saw on tape. "I think so, you throw it out," Panthers safety Mike Minter said. "The biggest thing is you can't dwell on it, because those aren't going to be the same Cowboys that trot up in here. "These guys are going to be ready and fired up." Panthers coach John Fox, as is his custom, gave heaps of credit to Dallas, particularly coach Bill Parcells, in downplaying the significance of the loss. Dallas has dropped three of its last four games, and clings to hopes of a wild-card berth. The Panthers can clinch a spot with a win. "They are a salty bunch," Fox said of the Cowboys. "They are well-coached. They've got good players. They are fighting for their playoff lives as well as we are. "They had kind of a clunker last week. All of these players in this league are prideful and want to get rid of that bitter taste. We've got what I'm sure is going to be a very physical and aggressive football team coming to town."