Thursday, March 30, 2006

NFC East: Eagles aren't pursuing a trade for WR Eric Moulds

The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News reports the Eagles aren't pursuing a trade for WR Eric Moulds.

The report cites a league source, who says Philly hasn't had trade discussions for the disgruntled Bills' wideout. It looks like Moulds is headed to Houston. We expect the deal to be completed soon.

Mar. 30 - 8:09 pm et
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News

Dallas Cowboy Center "Big" Al Johnson

Matt Mosley column:

Cowboys need a new center: Esteemed e-mailer Jonathan Cook from Annapolis, Md., writes: “Any chance the Cowboys trade down to low in the first and try to grab [Ohio State center] Nick Mangold? Is he good enough to be a next 'Stepnoski' type at center? Trade to the low first and you might be able to grab another second as well. A good center could make all the difference on the line.”

Jonathan is not alone in his desire for improvement at center, but I don’t see the Cowboys going after Mangold or any other center early in the draft. They were pleased with Andre Gurode’s development at that position last season, and contrary to popular belief, no one has given up on former second-round pick Al Johnson.
The knock on Johnson is that he’s not big enough to take on some of the huge nose tackles across the league. In the past, he’s played at about 305 pounds, which is 10-15 pounds lighter than Parcells would prefer.

Here’s the good news: Johnson is up to 317 pounds, and he hasn’t used the fast-food plan to get there. In fact, he stops by this one sushi restaurant in Irving at least three times per week. I might be in the minority here, but my gut tells me Johnson will win the job. Gurode might be bigger and stronger, but Johnson gives you a lot more versatility because of his quickness.

Ex-Dallas Cowboy Larry Allen Speaks Out

Mike Fisher -
March 29, 2006 at 6:33pm ET

"No bitterness,'' grunts Allen, who is ending a legendary 12-year term in Dallas as the finest offensive lineman in team history, the baddest man in the NFL and maybe the strongest man in the history of team sports.
Larry Allen lifts.
Then he speaks to me.

Then he lifts again.
"No bitterness,'' grunts Allen, who is ending a legendary 12-year term in Dallas as the finest offensive lineman in team history, the nastiest man in the NFL and maybe the strongest man in the history of team sports. "But I'll admit, it didn't work out exactly like I would've wanted.''

Spurred by a recent mainstream newspaper column that suggested that the difficulty of conversing with the reclusive Larry Allen is just this side of the difficulty of conversing with Howard Hughes -- and remember, Howard Hughes has been dead for 30 years -- I decided to track down the big man.
Or "stalk,'' if you will.

Anyway, I met up with No. 73 at a North Dallas gym. (Naturally. What, you thought we might hook up at the museum?). As always, he demonstrated that he is cut from a different cloth. He demonstrated it when he first came to Dallas as a rookie and casually told the story of his painful upbringing in Compton, Calif., where as a preteen he was the victim of a vicious knife fight that caused scars that are still evident on Allen's massive shoulders. He demonstrated it when he famously threw around 700 pounds in the weight room as a young man, and at this year's Pro Bowl, when he captured the Strong Man title by bench-pressing 225 pounds a not-quite-human 43 times. ... while other NFL'ers wilted before reaching double-figures.
And he demonstrates it here. Is Larry Allen a square peg in a round hole?
No, in terms of the way he stands out, even in a gym, he's a mountainous peg in a mouse hole.

In a gym full of extreme outfits -- either raggedy T-shirts and shorts, or workout gear so expensive one almost wouldn't want to sweat in it -- LA is LA. There is a diamond earring in his left lobe. There is a pricey watch on his left wrist. There is a detailed tattoo of a rhino on his right biceps. There is no snazzy little headphone-music gizmo; presumably, the footsteps of a man who a friend says now goes 370 pounds jogging the treadmill provides rhythmic beat enough. And over his massive frame there is a Boston Celtics No. 34 Paul Pierce jersey. ... which, like the Dirk Nowitzki jersey he worked out in the day before, is, I assume, the largest authentic NBA garment ever sold.

"The good news is, I'm going home,'' says Allen of a free-agency process that had landed him a two-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Allen played at Sonoma State, in the Bay Area, and has retained his ties there. "So it's a new start, but at a (familiar) place.''

I tell Allen about the story in the paper that day, the one that has Cowboys owner Jerry Jones expressing some seller's remorse. I tell him that Jones labeled Allen an "all-time great'' along the lines of a Bob Lilly, that Jones is genuinely "hurt'' to have Allen leave, and that Jones wonders if he should've convinced Allen to stay with the Cowboys at a discounted price.

"I'm not so sure I couldn't have sat down with Larry personally and said, 'Let's get in here and reduce this thing down and stay with us,''' Jones told the Dallas Morning News.

Allen is flattered by the first two comments. He clearly shares a mutual respect with Jones. But the "discounted price'' thing?
Ummm. ... no.

"We were calling the Cowboys about 30 minutes before, and then we got the offer from the 49ers,'' Allen says. "San Francisco came right in and picked up my contract. Had to do it. Couldn't say no.''

That means Allen, 34, will get a shot at an 11th Pro Bowl appearance while making somewhere around $6 or $7 million with San Francisco. Again, Larry likes Jerry, but. ...
Meanwhile, it is worth noting that Allen does not express the same warmth when the subject of coach Bill Parcells is broached. Allen is not ready to get into details; here he retracts behind the figurative "Private: Man-At-Work'' sign most of the media has seen for years. But interestingly, he promises to be a guest on my radio show this summer (Larry Allen doing radio? Hmmm.) and will maybe talk about Bill then. So I guess, for now, I can offer you this: Back in the day, when a former Cowboy wanted to lift, he had permission to show up at Valley Ranch. Heck, guys from other NFL teams who lived in the area could even work out in the "enemy camp,'' kind of a fraternal thing. Honor among thieves, you know.

Larry Allen now finds himself in a gym in Carrollton, Texas, basically because he no longer has full freedom to visit the Valley Ranch weight room he has OWNED for 12 years.

A quote from the Allen buddy: "Bill never took the time to understand Larry. And so Larry never took the time to understand Bill. But then again, who does understand Bill?''

As we've mentioned in this space before, Allen might be infamous with the public because of his unapproachable persona, but teammates have always considered him a "fun guy.'' He shows plenty of "fun guy'' in our conversation. ... but of course, he's all business when it comes to the thing he does best: Allen gets on the treadmill and rolls for exactly 30 minutes. He trudges to the ab machines and once he finally gets there, moves impressively. He walks by the Coke machine -- dwarfing it, of course -- and toward the free weights.

The free weights. This is not my domain. This is not your domain. This is Larry Allen's domain.

There is one more gesture, though, a gesture that reconfirms my belief that Allen remains, as his Cowboys career concludes, completely misunderstood.

He politely asks a pair of regular Joes -- no 700-pound lifters, they -- if they would mind spotting for him. Wheee! So an accountant and a Realtor assist Larry Allen in the weight room! And in setting this up, Larry Allen The Non-Storyteller provides a couple of Cowboys fans with something they can someday give their grandkids: A Larry Allen story.

Henson Diary, March, 30th

Drew Henson has come to NFL Europe to get more game experience after spending the past two seasons as the backup quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Henson shared time with Tom Brady as a starter at Michigan, before turning his hand to baseball, playing with the New York Yankees. Now with the Rhein Fire, Henson will write a season-long diary for, keeping fans up to date with what happens on and off the field in NFL Europe.

Our road trip to Berlin turned out very well. Our team played much better on all sides and it was great to get a shut out on the road. It was real cold and foggy and it didn’t look like it was anymore than 1,500 in the stadium. We were much more efficient offensively, which was one thing that the coaches had stressed last week.

The trip to Berlin was definitely memorable though. The hotel we stayed at was right on a river that ran through that part of town. On Saturday morning, the day of the game, there was a huge anti-Nazi rally going on right outside the hotel which was followed by the pro-Nazi activists afterward. That’s definitely one thing that I never thought I would see in my lifetime. Before we flew home on Sunday, the team took a tour of Berlin for most of the afternoon. There are parts of Berlin where parts of the wall still stand, and we went by many of the other important landmarks, the Holocaust Memorial, Brandenburg Gate, the cathedrals, Checkpoint Charlie. It’s a very historical city but depressing since everything there is based on tragic events.

Obviously, I have been keeping up with the moves that Dallas has been making. It's tough to see guys like Keyshawn and Larry Allen leave. That's part of pro sports, but they both were solid leaders for us and you knew what they were going to give you on Sunday. With the addition of Terrell Owens, you can't help but be excited about adding another explosive player to our offense. He has the unique ability to change the game every time he has his hands on the ball, and that really puts pressure on the defense. I know it did watching him play against us.

I have to say that it's nice to be under center for an extended amount of time again. I feel comfortable and in control of things. My coordinator gives me a lot of freedom at the line to change things when needed. That in itself will help me improve as a player. I'm as interested as anyone to see how my comfort level and speed at which I play improves with each game. That is the point of me coming over here. Obviously it's important to get the game experience to better prepare me for the upcoming NFL season, but it's also important to work on the little things that separate quarterbacks. Leading an offense, becoming efficient in the most important areas, third down and the red zone, how to come back from games when things don't go as well as planned.

Little things like that are what I really hope to take from this experience that you cannot simulate in practice or limited time in preseason games. And, of course, the obvious, winning the World Bowl. That is my one real goal before June comes because right now I'm not part of the Dallas Cowboys, I'm the quarterback for the Rhein Fire and we are trying to bring a championship to the city of Dusseldorf. Winning games is the ultimate measure of a quarterback and whatever it takes I'm going to do to make that happen.

As far as food it’s pretty good here. I don’t exactly have a kitchen in my room or anything, but I do the best with my sandwich maker. I make a pretty good grilled cheese, meat and cheese or whatever I can come up with the sandwich maker. When I have at home my favorite dish to make is steak chicken and baked potatoes. It’s hard to cook with my schedule, but when I get a chance that’s what I try to eat.

Me and the offensive linemen went out to eat last night for the first time at a steak house in Ratingen by the cathedral. We were actually the only ones in there, but it was nice. We spent the majority of time trying to figure out how to read the menu. We ended up having to just look at all the steaks we want, but it turned out well. Nick Steitz has to be the funniest linemen, but truthfully for only being together for this short amount of time these guys are as tight as any group that I’ve ever seen. I think that helps on the field. There together at least 20 hours of the day. It’s never quite with those guys, always a good time.

Our Dallas Cowboys 2006-2007 Schedule

Sept. 10 at Jacksonville
Sept. 18 at NY Giants (Monday Night)
Sept. 24 Detroit
Oct. 1 at Atlanta
Oct. 8 Indianapolis
Oct. 15 at Washington
Oct. 22 (Bye)
Oct. 30 Philadelphia (Monday Night)
Nov. 5 Houston
Nov. 12 at Carolina
Nov. 19 New Orleans
Nov. 23 Tampa Bay
Dec. 3 at Arizona
Dec. 10 NY Giants
Dec. 17 at Philadelphia
Dec. 24 Washington
Jan. 31 at Tennessee

Eagles' Reid on T.O.: 'He'll be all right'

11:24 PM CST on Wednesday, March 29, 2006
By RICK GOSSELIN / The Dallas Morning News

ORLANDO, Fla. – Coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles is a man of few words. Even fewer words, it seems, when it comes to Terrell Owens.
Reid was not in a talkative mood Wednesday at the annual NFC coaches-media breakfast at the NFL spring meeting. That's to be expected after the tumultuous two years he spent with Owens, one of the most gifted pass catchers in the NFL.

The Eagles traded for Owens in 2004 hoping he could be the final element in their Super Bowl formula. And he was, catching 77 passes for 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns to help power the Eagles to their first Super Bowl in 24 years.

But in the second year Reid saw the other side of Owens. The disruptive side.

Owens threatened to hold out in training camp, then was sent home for a week in August for conduct detrimental to the team. After Owens returned he stopped talking to his head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterback, then became openly critical of team leader Donovan McNabb in the fall.

The Eagles finally sent Owens home after seven games, this time for good, citing insubordination. He was among the NFL receiving leaders at the time with 47 catches for 763 yards and six touchdowns.

The Eagles lost seven of the final nine games without Owens, failing to defend their NFC championship with a 6-10 record. Philadelphia released Owens this month and within days he signed with its NFC East rival the Cowboys.

Asked how he thought Owens would do in Dallas, Reid was brief.
"He'll be all right," he said.

Asked if he was surprised Owens would sign with Dallas, Reid again was brief.

"I had a pretty good idea that they were interested," he said.
Asked if he regretted ever bringing Owens to Philadelphia, Reid again recited a quick answer.

"I don't look back," he said. "I did what I did."

Owens said at his Dallas press conference that he's not the person that he was portrayed in Philadelphia, that there was another side to the story. Reid was asked if he'd ever seen that "other" side of the story.
"I'm probably going to see it in July," said Reid in reference to the scheduled summer release of Owens' autobiography.

Only after the line of questioning moved on to Donovan McNabb, Jeff Garcia, Reggie Brown and the rest of the current Eagles did Reid warm up to the discussion.

Across the room, Brad Childress was a bit more expansive about the top off-season acquisition by the Cowboys. Childress was Owens' offensive coordinator at Philadelphia. He's now the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

"He's a phenomenal player between the white lines," Childress said. "He'll probably be much the same as when he came to us in Philadelphia. He'll probably be a good citizen and a very good player. He'll be a model ... this year."

Childress said he expects Cowboys coach Bill Parcells to sit down with Owens very soon.

"I know Bill will probably have a 'get right' meeting with him, tell him what his expectations are, what his rules are," Childress said. "And I think it will go from there."

Parcells was unavailable for comment. He did not attend the spring meeting and was the only NFC coach not present at the annual breakfast.

Dallas Cowboys tried to trade for S Chris Crocker

Wed, 29 Mar 2006 19:07:31 -0800

Mickey Spagnola, of, reports the Dallas Cowboys tried to trade with the Cleveland Browns last week for S Chris Crocker, before the Browns traded him to the Atlanta Falcons. "We couldn't get together on consideration," owner Jerry Jones said.

Bucs Sign Tucker to Offer Sheet

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed offensive tackle Torrin Tucker, a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet.

Tucker, who has played for the Dallas Cowboys the past three seasons, became a restricted free agent on March 11. He was thus free to negotiate a contract with any team but the Cowboys retained a right-of-first-refusal by extending a tender offer to Tucker at the beginning of free agency. As such, Dallas has up to one week to determine whether or not they will match the Buccaneers’ offer and retain Tucker at the terms outlined in the contract he signed on Thursday.

The 6-6, 315-pound Tucker has started 24 games for the Cowboys, including 10 last season at left tackle. In 2004, he started 13 games at right tackle.

NFC East: Eagles may be hesitant to draft LenDale White in the first round

The Eagles may be hesitant to draft LenDale White in the first round.

Some considered Philadelphia an obvious landing spot at No. 14 for the former USC star, but whispers about White's work ethic may drop his stock. Coach Andy Reid is confident in Brian Westbrook's between-tackle ability, so the Eagles might wait on a bigger back come draft day.

Mar. 30 - 12:59 pm et
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News

NFL News: Texans and Eric Moulds have agreed on a contract, but not trade compensation for the Bills

WIP Radio in Philadelphia reports that the Texans and Eric Moulds have agreed on a contract, but not trade compensation for the Bills.'s John Clayton reported earlier Thursday that a trade was imminent. Houston appears to be the favorites to close the deal.

Mar. 30 - 6:24 pm et

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Mora's a guy on T.O.'s side


ORLANDO, Fla. - Terrell Owens has burned bridges in two NFL cities, and counting. He has publicly feuded with his last two quarterbacks. He got into a sideline confrontation with one offensive coordinator and instructed another not to speak to him. His last employer got so fed up with his insubordination that it put him on the shelf for nine games last season, and earlier this month released him.

"They did a thing on wide receivers on the NFL Network the other night," said Atlanta Falcons coach Jim Mora, who spent 7 years as an assistant in San Francisco when Owens was there. "They had a psychologist on talking about why wideouts are the way they are.

"I know he's a great competitor. I know, even though it sometimes looks like he's more interested in individual success, he's more interested in team success. But he wants to have [personal] success as the team is having success.

"At times, he's a great teammate. He's a hard practice player. The only guy I've ever been around that practiced harder was Jerry Rice. When we were in San Francisco, it wasn't uncommon to see him hitting the weights at the complex at 11 o'clock on a Thursday night. Always with his shirt off, of course, looking in the mirror. But sometimes, things just come out."

Mora doesn't view Owens as a bad guy. Egomaniacal? Certainly. Immature? Yeah. Insecure? Most definitely.

But the Falcons coach swears that inside this gridiron Darth Vader beats the heart of a compassionate human being.

"I have more respect for T.O. than most people because I've known him for so long," Mora said. "I watched him from his second year in San Francisco until I left there [in 2003]. I saw the good. I saw the bad. And I recognized the good. I think a lot of people just recognize the bad with him. And quite frankly, there is some bad. But there is some good, too.

"He was the kind of guy, we'd be up at training camp and he might buy four or five guys - free agents fighting to make the team - big-screen TVs to put in their room to make it more comfortable for them. He might buy them a car. He does all that [charity work] with Alzheimer's [disease]. There are things the guy does that show his compassion for people."

Mora said he would have "no problem" having Owens on his roster. But the Falcons were nowhere to be found when Owens became a free agent. Mike Vick is having enough trouble developing as an NFL quarterback without Owens shooting spitballs at him.

"A quarterback and a wide receiver of that caliber have to be able to coexist," Mora said. "Look at what happened in Philadelphia. When [Donovan McNabb and Owens] were in sync, they were unstoppable. When they went away, it all fell apart for them.

"That would be a concern here. Because the first time he [verbally] attacked Mike, we would have a real problem. I mean, the house would crumble like that. Mike wouldn't just cower. We'd have to restrain him."

Dallas Cowboys 2006 Pre-Season Schedule

@ Seattle Seahawks (Aug. 10-14), then travel to Shreveport, La., for a nationally televised game against the New Orleans Saints Monday, Aug. 21, at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN. The Cowboys will finish the preseason with home games against the San Francisco 49ers (Aug. 24-28) and the Minnesota Vikings (Aug. 31-Sept. 2).

RUMOR: Mike Holmgrem to dallas 2007 or 2008?

John Czarnecki /
Posted: 1 hour ago

ORLANDO - Mike Holmgren made it very clear that he doesn't know what his future holds in Seattle. Contractually, this is his last season as the Seahawks head coach and he said Wednesday morning that in the next three weeks he hopes to make a decision on whether to sign an extension or possibly coach one last season and then become an unrestricted free agent.

TIDBIT: But the most fascinating result of Holmgren's decision to play out his contract could put him an enviable position. Despite the defeat to Pittsburgh, he remains one of the sport's elite coaches. He could name his price as a GM/head coach. And you can bet the first rumor to surface will have Holmgren headed to Dallas to replace Bill Parcells in 2007 or 2008. And if that doesn't hold water, how about Holmgren heading a potential new franchise in Los Angeles?

NFC East: The Eagles are downplaying their interest in Eric Moulds

The Eagles are downplaying their interest in Eric Moulds.

Eric Moulds' representatives initiated contact between the two sides, not the other way around. Philadelphia doesn't appear willing to meet his salary demands, much less send a draft pick.

Mar. 29 - 12:16 am et
Source: San Jose Mercury News

Jerry Jones talked to GM Matt Millen about Joey Harrington at Tuesday's owners meetings

Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones talked to GM Matt Millen about Joey Harrington at Tuesday's owners meetings.

Jones says Harrington would fit into the Dallas system. With all the interest in the disappointing QB, his chances of being traded appear very high.

Mar. 29 - 9:26 am et
Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

NFL News: Horse Collar rule expanded

per ESPN:
The committee expanded the definition of a horse collar tackle. Last year, the committee determined the tackling style of Cowboys safety Roy Williams and others was causing too many injuries. Williams would grab a player by the back of his shoulder pads, pull him down and fall on his legs, causing at least four serious injuries during the 2004 season. In 2005, though, only two "horse-collar" penalties were called. On Wednesday, owners voted in a change that will include grabbing the back of the jersey as a horse collar tackle. The vote was 25-7 in favor.

The Lions are asking for a first-day pick for Joey Harrington

The Lions are asking for a first-day pick for Joey Harrington.

The Dolphins, Bengals, Cowboys, Chiefs, Broncos, Seahawks, and Raiders are said to have shown interest. Wow. That's seven teams willing to give Harrington another chance.

Mar. 29 - 9:51 am et
Source: Detroit News

NFL News: J.P. Losman is expected to be put on the trading block

Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reports that J.P. Losman is expected to be put on the trading block.

It's not a huge surprise if true. The new Bills regime has quietly moved away from Losman since taking over, saying he'd have to compete with Kelly Holcomb and Craig Nall for the job. GM Marv Levy had a chance to watch Losman up close as the team's preseason announcer last year.

Mar. 29 - 6:11 pm et

NFC East: Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said Jason Campbell will compete with Todd Collins for the No. 2 quarterback role in 2006

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said Jason Campbell will compete with Todd Collins for the No. 2 quarterback role in 2006.

Hopefully, Gibbs is being coy with his plans for the 2005 first-rounder. We imagined he'd compete with Mark Brunell for the starting job. Keep in mind Gibbs called Patrick Ramsey his starter all last offseason before yanking him after one game.

Mar. 29 - 6:13 pm et
Source: Washington Times

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Pearson is rightfully wary of Owens

By Connor Byrne

Recently, former Dallas Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson voiced some concerns over the team's newest acquisition, receiver Terrell Owens. Among other things Pearson said that Owens didn't make the Cowboys a Super Bowl team, nor did he fit the character of the organization.

The only question is whether Pearson is speaking out of sour grapes or real concern for the only team that he was ever associated with on the NFL level.

Why would there be sour grapes for Pearson? Because for 21 years, he has been waiting to be the next Cowboy to receive the privilege of being elected into the team's Ring of Honor. Maybe Pearson has perceived that to be a slight from the Cowboys' organization, which he worked so hard for during his lengthy, successful career. In his 11-year career, Pearson caught 489 passes with 48 touchdowns, while Owens has caught 716 passes and 101 touchdowns in 10 seasons. While it isn't likely, perhaps Pearson (widely regarded as an all-time great in Dallas) is somewhat jealous of Owens' production. However, the thing that makes this theory highly unlikely is the fact that Pearson was always thought of as a team player, and that was evidenced in the fact that he, alongside Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, helped guide the Cowboys to three conference titles and a Super Bowl victory during his career.

Also, as mentioned earlier Pearson questioned whether Owens fit the Cowboys' prior list of great character players. Allow me to remind Pearson that Owens' character is no more questionable than that of the Cowboys' greatest receiver ever, Michael Irvin. In his illustrious 12-year career in Dallas between 1988 and 1999, Irvin was regularly caught with drugs and repeatedly ran into trouble with the law. Does that seem like character to you? Not exactly, but the Cowboys still won three Super Bowls with Irvin because he got the job done on the field and because he was a consummate team player.

Ironically enough, Irvin has become a close friend and advisor to Owens. Maybe he can teach Owens to behave himself on the field and in the locker room. It would be nice to see some of Irvin’s finer qualities in terms of team play rub off on the league’s biggest team cancer.

Owens has justly earned the reputation as a chemistry-killer for NFL organizations. He managed to demolish team unity in San Francisco during its successful run a few years ago, and he managed to take a sledgehammer to all goodwill that existed toward him in the city of Philadelphia this past season. Following his ridiculous escapades in Philly, Owens has become "Public Enemy No. 1" in a city known for brotherly love.

Rather than trying to better themselves from 2004's Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots, the Eagles' players were too busy worrying about what foolish statement would come from Owens' mouth. Owens routinely berated classy quarterback Donovan McNabb, and that led to a tension-filled division in the Eagles' locker-room. Midway through the season, Eagles coach Andy Reid deactivated Owens for the final nine games of 2005, but the damage was already done. McNabb got hurt just a couple of weeks later, and the Eagles' season essentially came to an end as they finished just 6-10, good enough for last place in the NFC East.

Undoubtedly, many of the Philadelphia Eagles' struggles last season stemmed directly from the distractions caused by Owens; however, the Eagles could have learned their lesson after bearing witness to what Owens did in San Francisco. With the 49ers, Owens belittled Pro Bowl quarterback Jeff Garcia as well as head coaches Steve Mariucci and Dennis Erickson. That led to a major feud which ended with T.O. being moved after a disappointing, angst-riddled 2003 season. However, in typical Owens fashion, he blocked a trade that would have sent him to the Baltimore Ravens for draft picks. After the Ravens decided they didn't want someone like that on their team anyway, they rescinded their trade offer and Owens became a free agent. Thus, Owens alienated two different organizations before he signed with the Eagles and then proceeded to do it to them as well. Perhaps the Eagles should have known better, and perhaps the Cowboys should know better as well.

After seeing all of the ways that Owens has wronged teams and individuals within the league, it becomes pretty easy to see why someone of Pearson's stature and disposition would question his ex-team for picking the controversial figure up. If any coach in today's league can stifle Owens' attitude, it would have to be the Cowboys' Bill Parcells.

At the age of 64, it may become increasingly difficult for Parcells to deal with the stress that comes with such a controversial figure. To put it simply, Owens could drive Parcells into an earlier retirement than he's planning on. Not to mention the stress that Owens could cause the Cowboys' players.

No disrespect to Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe, but he's not as good as Donovan McNabb, and he may not even be as good as Garcia was when he was in his prime in San Francisco. Not only is Bledsoe grossly immobile, not only does he hold onto the ball too long, but he also tends to crumble under pressure-packed situations. If he does the same with Owens on his side, it could turn ugly in Dallas.

Despite all these damning facts in Owens' past, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones brought him in for the simple reason that T.O. might greatly aid in the team's chances of winning it all. Although Pearson thinks Owens might actually hurt the Cowboys' Super Bowl aspirations, the troubled receiver would greatly help them if he can simply behave himself. That may seem like a pipe dream, but it's something that the title-hungry Jones is ready and willing to take a chance on.

At this point, Drew Pearson was certainly right to criticize Owens and his former organization for bringing him in. Nonetheless, the payoff will be great for the Dallas Cowboys if Owens can handle himself with class. If he doesn't, it will be a long, wearisome season in Irving, Texas.

NFC East: Eagles on the better end of Owens deal

By Anthony Carroll

Even in the wake of a three-year, $25 million contract that shipped the ex-Eagle to Dallas, Terrell Owens is, well, still being Terrell Owens. Nowadays, if he isn’t pushing the sale of his new book "Ineligible Receiver: The Real Story of my Journey from the Super Bowl to the Sidelines," you can likely find the 6’3", 226-pounder lingering around the recording studio. But we all know Terrell Owens is not an aspiring author. And, well, rapper 50 Cent can continue to sleep easy, because Owens is certainly not going to be the new pioneering face in the rap game.

But Owens got exactly what he wanted from these stunts: his name is back in the jumble of "water cooler" discussions that made him larger-than-life in the first place.

"Finally, the real T.O. story can be told," Simon & Schuster publishing executive David Rosenthal said. "It's an important chapter in the long-term struggle for players’ rights in the NFL."

If you want to take pleasure in a good laugh, revisit that last statement. After completing one-and-a-half seasons of a seven-year, $49 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles and recently inking a new three-year, $25 million contract with the Dallas Cowboys, the last thing hard-working fans want to hear about is the "rights" of Terrell Owens. If Owens wanted, he could have formed his own publishing company, paid for the medical services to revive Ernest Hemingway back to life, and had him personally write the book for him.

Keep in mind that this is coming from the "deprived" receiver who in 2005 admitted he didn’t even read his own 288-page autobiography, "Catch This! Going Deep with the NFL’s Sharpest Weapon" written by Stephen Singular.

Terrell Owens is not looking to expand the rights of NFL players, Terrell Owens likes hearing his name (Terrell Owens).

Now T.O., the player who in 2000 celebrated a touchdown by haughtily dancing on the Cowboys logo at midfield, is in the recording studio. Perhaps he needs a new song to "cut turf" to for the two 2006 divisional meetings forthcoming against his old team.

"I'm back and I'm better than ever / I'm back and I'm getting this cheddar / I'm back, but this time I'm a Cowboy / I'm back, and I got 'em saying 'wow' boy."

"Wow" is right. In Owens’ rap (which can be listened to at, he revisits the "hard knock life" that he had to endure in Philadelphia and predicts his best season ever with the Cowboys: "When I work my magic / When I catch that rock, I dominate like Shaq when he’s down on the block / And this will probably be my best season by far / No more get my Eagle on / Meet me at the star."

In actuality, Owens has been "at the star" since the early weeks of the 2005 season. After the Eagles’ week five 33-10 thrashing at Dallas, Owens was seen by Philadelphia reporters wearing a Michael Irvin throwback jersey on his way to the Eagles’ flight home. About three weeks later, on November 5th, Owens was suspended indefinitely.

The rest is history. But the future is the Dallas Cowboys' responsibility.

Take a deep breath Philadelphia, it’s over.

Legendary Allen didn't fit Cowboys' line anymore

By Connor Byrne

In an obvious cost-cutting move, the Dallas Cowboys released 12-year veteran offensive guard Larry Allen earlier this week. The move saved the Cowboys' $3 million against the cap for next season.

In his illustrious career, Allen has started in 170 of 176 career games and has been selected to 10 Pro Bowls. Despite his terrific credentials, the newest member of the San Francisco 49ers offensive line just didn't fit what the Cowboys' line was becoming.

Since the offseason began, the Dallas Cowboys have brought in right tackle Jason Fabini from the New York Jets, and offensive tackle/guard Kyle Kosier from the Detroit Lions.

In his four-year career with the 49ers and Lions, Kosier has started only 40 games, but that didn't deter the Cowboys from signing him to a five-year deal worth $15 million. In 11 starts last season, the 28-year-old Kosier looked promising at left guard and because of that, was brought in to replace the 34-year-old Allen. Although Kosier has the age advantage over Allen, I'm not sure that he's really an upgrade at this point. Even though Allen's career is fading and he tends to play a little overweight, it doesn't mean that he doesn't have a good deal of football left in the tank. Obviously, Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones felt that it was time to cut ties with one of his favorite players in Cowboys history. It couldn't have been an easy decision for Jones, and I think he could end up regretting it next season if Kosier doesn't live up to the hype bestowed upon him of late.

In the Cowboys' second signing on the offensive line this offseason, they brought in former Jets offensive tackle Jason Fabini. This move didn't come as a surprise at all since the 31-year-old Fabini played great football under Bill Parcells when he was the coach of the Jets during the mid to late '90s. In his eight years in New York, the 6-7, 305 pound Fabini started in all 114 games that he appeared in, and was generally regarded as one of the league's steadier forces on the offensive line.

Now, Fabini will step in at right tackle and replace former starter Rob Pettiti. This is a great move for the Cowboys since Fabini is a far better option than the young Pettiti, and he can ease the pain that comes with the Cowboys losing Allen, a tremendous veteran presence. Much like Allen, Fabini has seen and experienced many things in this league, so he'll be a great mentor for guys like Pettiti, Andre Gurode and Al Johnson.

At this point, there's no question that Fabini is an improvement on Pettiti at right tackle for the Cowboys, but whether or not Kosier can adequately replace Allen will be what a lot of Dallas' offensive success hinges on next season. Quarterback Drew Bledsoe needs all the time in the pocket that he can get, so for his sake, the Cowboys better hope the Kosier signing works out.

The Cowboys' projected line for 2006 includes what should be a fully-recovered Flozell Adams at left tackle, Kosier at left guard, Johnson or Gurode at center, Marco Rivera at right guard and Fabini at right tackle. Other than a particular amount of uncertainty with Kosier, there's a decent level of concern at the center position in Dallas. Johnson and Gurode will compete for the job, and if one of them could really play well and solidify the position, the Cowboys' line next season should be well above-average. If not, the Cowboys' line might stay closer to average than exceptional.

As long as the Cowboys' line plays well, it will make Bledsoe happy, which will make uber-me-first receiver Terrell Owens happy because he'll be getting more passes thrown to him with better precision and accuracy. Any way you slice it, the onus is on Dallas' offensive line to produce the kind of success that the team is hoping for next season.

As for Allen, he'll be missed by the Dallas Cowboys organization and fans next season, as he's been a legendary force on the offensive line, which will surely make him a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he retires in a few years. Allen will be remembered as the last holdover on the Cowboys' roster from their Super Bowl XXIX victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers back in the 1995-1996 season.

RUMOR: Guess who maybe on the cover of Madden 2007

Rumor that Clinton Portis was the cover man.. Skins jinxed?

Updated Off-Season Cowboy Moves

Updated Off-Season Moves

Staff Report -
March 27, 2006

As expected the Dallas Cowboys have been active this off-season.



UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS : LB Michael Barrow; LB Quinton Caver; S Tony Dixon; LB Eric Ogbogu; OT Marcus Price; S Lynn Scott.

Comments : None of the above-mentioned players offer Dallas enough quality talent to warrant consideration for the 2006 season.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS : S Keith Davis; LB Scott Shanle; OT Torrin Tucker.

Comments : Tucker visited with Tampa Bay and Atlanta last week, but no news has come out of those visits. Davis should be back again with Dallas, hopefully as a reserve safety and special teams player, as should Shanle.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS : S Willie Pile; FB Lousaka Polite.

Comments : Polite is the only fullback on the roster and should be back. Pile provides insurance in the secondary and can also handle special teams.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED : WR Terrance Copper; WR Patrick Crayton; G/C Andre Gurode; LS L.P. Ladouceur; P Matt McBriar; CB Jacques Reeves.

Comments : Gurode's signing was a surprise, especially considering the Cowboys struggled at center for a good portion of the 2005 season with him and Al Johnson rotating at the position. Reeves is a versatile player that gives the Cowboys an option at corner or free safety. McBriar was surprisingly inconsistent last year, but he has enough leg strength to keep his job another year. Crayton, who is just coming into his own, is a bargain if he stays healthy. Ladouceur was perfect on all of his snaps after stepping in early in the 2005 season for Jon Condo.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED : LB Akin Ayodele; LB Rocky Boiman; TE Ryan Hannam; OL Kyle Kosier; WR Terrell Owens; PK Mike Vanderjagt.

Comments : The contract Terrell Owens signed with the Cowboys is really a series of three one-year deals. Owens will get $10 million in 2006 - $5 million in signing bonus and $5 million in salary. But the Cowboys can walk away at the end of each year with minimal salary-cap hit because of the relatively low bonus of $5 million. All they have to do is decline to pay the roster bonuses. Vanderjagt instantly gives the Cowboys more stability at a position that cost the team a playoff berth last year. Kosier was brought in to replace Larry Allen.

PLAYERS LOST : OG Larry Allen; DT Willie Blade; TE Dan Campbell; LB Scott Fujita; DT La'Roi Glover; WR Keyshawn Johnson; LB Dat Nguyen; OT Jacob Rogers.

Comments : Both Campbell and Allen figured to be back in 2006, but the Cowboys realized that Allen is nearing the end of his career and that Campbell could be replaced. Allen went on to sign with San Francisco while Campbell ended up in Detroit. Allen, the last remaining Cowboy on the team from the 1995 World Championship, team was scheduled to count $7.55 million against the salary cap for the 2006 season and was due a roster bonus of $2 million on April 1. The Cowboys saved $3 million in cap space by releasing him. A late run at re-signing Keyshawn ended when the Panthers inked the veteran wide-out to a multi-year deal late last week. Nguyen retired and Dallas simply gave up on former second round pick Jacob Rogers- who was nothing short of a bust. The Cowboys also added Ayodele instead of re-signing Scott Fujita.

No Comp Picks for Dallas

No Comp Picks for Dallas

Staff Report -
March 27, 2006

A total of 32 compensatory choices in the 2006 NFL Draft have been awarded to 19 teams, the NFL announced today.

Under terms of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in a year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.

The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four. The 32 compensatory choices announced today will supplement the 223 choices in the seven rounds of the 2006 NFL Draft (April 29-30). This year, the compensatory picks will be positioned within the third through seventh rounds based on the value of the compensatory free agents lost.

Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula.

Three clubs this year (Buffalo, Seattle and Washington) will receive a compensatory pick even though they did not suffer a net loss of compensatory free agents. Under the formula, the compensatory free agents these teams lost were ranked higher than the ones they signed (by a specified point differential based upon salary and performance).

Gary Horton on the Cowboys FA signings

Gary Horton on the Cowboys FA signings
This is from a chat yesterday on ESPN Insider:

Tyrone (Portland, OR): Everyone talks about TO, I want to hear what you think of Dallas' other FA signings, Ayodele, Boiman, Kosier & Vanderjagt. I think we are a Super Bowl contender at this point if we draft well... Thoughts?

Gary Horton: Well, you have to think that the Cowboys WILL draft well, because they hit a home run last year. They did the same thing in free agency this year. They are targeting specific players to fill immediate needs, and get them ready for a SB run. All of their signings make sense to me, but the one I love is Vanderjagt. This is a team that doesn't blow anybody out, they don't score a ton of points. And they're gonna play in a lot of close games. And they now finally have a consistent kicker, who's the most accurate in NFL history. Vanderjagt could be the difference in 2-3 games in 2006, which could put a team like Dallas in the role of winning a division.

Dallas Cowboys are granted permission to talk with Harrington

Permission granted to talk with Harrington

04:52 PM CST on Tuesday, March 28, 2006
By RICK GOSSELIN / The Dallas Morning News

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Cowboys have received permission to talk with Detroit quarterback Joey Harrington, Lions officials confirmed Tuesday.

Harrington, a former No. 1 draft pick, has visits scheduled with the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins.
Earlier this month, the Lions decided against bringing Harrington back when the quarterback said he did not want to remain in Detroit.

Harrington struggled in four seasons in Detroit, never completing more than 57 percent of his passes. He completed 188 of 330 passes for 2,021 yards and 12 TDs last season.

Tony Romo did not throw a pass as Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe's backup last season. Third-string quarterback Drew Henson, who did not play last season, is the starting quarterback for the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe.

NFC East: Sean Taylor reported to Washington's offseason workout program Monday

Sean Taylor reported to Washington's offseason workout program Monday.
His lawyer told the Washington Post Sunday that Taylor needed to stay in Miami to prep for his upcoming trial, but that proved to be untrue. Taylor will have to return to South Florida before his April 10th trial.

Mar. 27 - 7:05 pm et

NFL News: Bills may be forced to release Eric Moulds

NFL Network's Adam Shefter believes the Bills will be forced to release Eric Moulds.
Like the Terrell Owens situation with the Eagles, the Bills lost all their leverage when they made it clear Moulds was facing release. Buffalo is asking for a fourth-round pick, but Shefter reports no one will give it up. Houston and Philadelphia are reportedly the favorites to go after Moulds.

Mar. 27 - 8:20 pm et

NFL News: Keyshawn Johnson will be paid $8 million over the first two years of his Panthers contract

Keyshawn Johnson will be paid $8 million over the first two years of his Panthers contract.

His cap hit will climb above $4 million in 2008, which means he'll probably have to restructure or be released at that time.

Mar. 28 - 9:43 am et
Source: Rock Hill Herald

NFL News: Bears won't renegotiate or extend coach Love Smith's contract

The Bears won't renegotiate or extend coach Love Smith's contract despite his division championship and Coach of the Year award.

Smith is the lowest paid coach in the league. The team's owner feels burned by his experience giving Dick Jauron an extension in a similar scenario a few years back.

Mar. 28 - 9:52 am et
Source: Chicago Tribune

NFC East: Brandon Lloyd believes he'll have a new long-term contract with the Redskins

Brandon Lloyd believes he'll have a new long-term contract with the Redskins ironed out by next week.

There's a good chance he'll get more money than teammate Antwaan Randle El.

Mar. 28 - 11:38 am et
Source: Washington Post

NFL News: Broncos are reportedly pursuing a trade for WR Javon Walker

The Broncos are reportedly pursuing a trade for WR Javon Walker.

League sources say coach Mike Shanahan, armed with several high draft picks in April, has contacted the Packers regarding Walker. Packers' GM Ted Thompson says he'll listen to any offers. There's a good chance the talented receiver holds out well into offseason, as he's unhappy with his current contract. Walker informed ESPN earlier that he'd rather retire than return to Green Bay.

Mar. 28 - 2:30 pm et
Source: Rocky Mountain News

Monday, March 27, 2006

What team will unhappy Bills wide receiver Eric Moulds sign with?

What team will unhappy Bills wide receiver Eric Moulds sign with?

Dallas or Philadelphia would be good fits. Cowboys QB Drew Bledsoe could have fun throwing to Moulds, Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn and tight end Jason Whitten. A reasonable price for Moulds would be a late second-round or early third-round draft pick.

The Cowboys calm before the storm

Inside Slant

Like most observers, linebacker Bradie James had pegged the early slow play by the Cowboys in free agency as the calm before the storm.

He said he knew they had something big planned. He was just waiting for them to show their hand.

It's safe to say that signing receiver Terrell Owens to a five-year, $25 million contract rates as something big, and controversial to boot.

The multi-talented receiver brings explosion to the Cowboys offense.

He makes quarterback Drew Bledsoe better.

His ability to draw double teams and zone coverage should open up holes for running back Julius Jones. Opponents won't get to crowd the line of scrimmage to stop the run.

Simply, Owens makes the Cowboys better.

They just missed the playoffs last season, going 9-7.

They promised to do what it took to put a big winner on the field in 2006. Signing Owens rates as doing whatever it takes.

But it's not just the signing of Owens that makes the Cowboys Super Bowl contenders in 2006.

Suddenly, they addressed the majority of their free agent needs - tackle, linebacker, receiver, kicker and tight end.

Lost amid the Owens' signing was the acquisition of veteran tackle Jason Fabini from the Jets.

He will replace Rob Petitti at right tackle, which was deemed the biggest priority of the off-season.

Not to be overlooked was the signing of veteran kicker Mike Vanderjagt. He upgrades a position that was a decided weak link for the Cowboys last season.

It's also a departure from the Cowboys' past strategy of going with inexperienced and unknown kickers because of their bargain basement price tag.

Vanderjagt, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, signed for $5.5 million over three years, including a $2.5 million signing bonus.

Add in the additions of linebacker Rocky Boiman and Akin Ayodele, guard Kyle Kosier and tight end Ryan Hannam and the slow Cowboys have been big in free agency indeed.

Our Cowboys are having another good offseason

By Vic Carucci
National Editor,

(March 26, 2006) -- One man's ranking of the five teams that have done the best in the free-agency market to date:

1. Cleveland: Pro Bowl center LeCharles Bentley (Saints) might have been the best player at any position in the free-agent market. Linebacker Willie McGinest (Patriots) brings a coach in pads to Romeo Crennel's 3-4 defense, which also now has a legitimate anchor in nose tackle Ted Washington (Raiders). Throw in receiver Joe Jurevicius (Seahawks) and offensive tackle Kevin Shaffer (Falcons) and the Browns might very well have made enough of a haul to see significant improvement in 2006.

2. Dallas: Only if Bill Parcells can manage Terrell Owens (Eagles) -- who actually is a great receiver when you peel away all of the off-field nonsense -- as well as he managed Keyshawn Johnson and only if Mike Vanderjagt (Colts) doesn't allow "the miss" against Pittsburgh to continue to haunt him.

NFL news: First MNF doubleheader games- Vikings-'Skins; Chargers-Raiders

ESPN will kick off the new era of Monday Night Football with a doubleheader, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced Monday.

The first game at 7 p.m. ET on Sept. 11, will feature the Vikings, under new coach Brad Childress, facing the Washington Redskins, who added many free-agent additions to an already talented 2005 playoff roster. The second game, at 10:15 p.m. ET will feature the starting debut of quarterback Philip Rivers when the Chargers face the Raiders, led by new coach Art Shell.

A matchup between the Dolphins and defending Super Bowl champion Steelers in Pittsburgh on Thursday, Sept. 7 will officially kick off the 2006 season. The game might be the Dolphins debut for quarterback Daunte Culpepper, if he's healthy enough to start the season.

Other schedule highlights announced Monday:

• The first-ever tripleheader on Thanksgiving. The Dolphins will visit the Lions in the early game (CBS), followed by the Buccaneers at the Cowboys (FOX) and capped off by the Broncos at the Chiefs (NFL Network).

• The Manning brothers will face each other for the first time on Sunday night, Sept. 10 when the Colts visit the Giants. Also on Sept. 10, the Jaguars will host the Cowboys.

Cowboys will open season in Jacksonville, to host Bucs on Thankgiving Day

By RICK GOSSELIN / The Dallas Morning News
The NFL offered a sneak preview of the 2006 schedule at its spring meeting Monday and the Cowboys have drawn a couple rays of sunshine.

The league revealed the games on the season-opening weekend and holidays, and the Cowboys have drawn two Florida teams. The Cowboys will visit the Jacksonville Jaguars to open the season Sept. 10 and host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thanksgiving Day.

The Jaguars and Buccaneers were both playoff teams in 2005. The Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in the 2002 season, and the Jaguars are coached by former Cowboys linebacker Jack Del Rio.

The Jacksonville game will be played at 3:15 p.m. CDT.

NFC East: WR Eric Moulds reportedly wants to play for the Eagles

WR Eric Moulds reportedly wants to play for the Eagles.

"Every time I mention Philadelphia, Eric's ears perk up," said personal advisor Greg Johnson. "He wants to go to Philadelphia. He really feels he could help them. He loves the idea of being an Eagle and playing with Donovan (McNabb)." Philly fans would favor any move that pushed Todd Pinkston down the depth chart.

Mar. 27 - 2:11 pm et
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News

Cowboys signed WR Terry Glenn to a five-year, $20 million contract

Cowboys signed WR Terry Glenn to a five-year, $20 million contract.

Glenn's old contract would've paid him $2 million in 2006 and was set to expire after next season. Dallas rewards him for a career-best '05, in which he made 62 catches for 1136 yards and seven scores while averaging a deadly, NFL-best 18.3 yards per grab. Though both are well into their thirties, Terrell Owens and Glenn give the Cowboys arguably the best receiving duo in the NFL.

Mar. 27 - 4:04 pm et
Source: Dallas Morning News

Sunday, March 26, 2006

NFL | Committee looking to change onside kicks (other rule changes)

Sun, 26 Mar 2006 09:20:14 -0800

Patrick McManamon, of the Akron Beacon Journal, reports the NFL's competition committee is proposing to not allow teams to load up on one side of the ball on onside kicks. They feel eight or nine players could be dangerous and are considering a requirement for teams to have at least four players on each side of the ball.

NFL | Competition committee would like to change rule for wide receivers
Sun, 26 Mar 2006 08:50:13 -0800

Jeff Darlington, of the Palm Beach Post, reports the NFL's competition committee would like to see a rule that would allow wide receivers to reset if they have a minor flinch before the start of a play. Atlanta Falcons general manager and co-chairman of the committee Rich McKay said, "We're trying to find ways to limit that. The receiver would be given the opportunity to replay and there would be no stoppage." The committee is looking to limit the number of flags thrown.

Seahawks | Controversial calls have competition committee talking
Sun, 26 Mar 2006 08:49:47 -0800

Jeff Darlington, of the Palm Beach Post, reports the NFL's competition committee has discussed several controversial calls from Super Bowl XL. Under the proposed improvements, only the holding penalty against Seattle Seahawks OG Sean Locklear might have been changed. Atlanta Falcons general manager and co-chairman of the committee Rich McKay said, "If you do not see the entire foul, you cannot call holding. We want to make sure they actually see the foul."

NFL | L. Hunt to push for 14 playoff teams
Sun, 26 Mar 2006 07:56:58 -0800

Adam Teicher, of the Kansas City Star, reports Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt will push for an expanded playoff field with 14 teams, seven from each conference. Hunt said, "It has merit for everybody, not just the Kansas City Chiefs. It creates more interest in more cities. That's the main thing. It is easier to sell tickets when you can say you were a playoff team." Hunt has pushed for more postseason teams before and it was met with plenty of resistance. It is likely it will again this time around. Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay, who is also the co-chairman of the NFL's competition committee, said, "I'm not sure the sentiment has changed a lot."

Saturday, March 25, 2006

CNNSI: Cowboys go all out for Rings

It's the kind of wisdom you'd find plastered on a trucker hat or a cheap T-shirt in some rest stop along a Texas highway, but there it was, placed above Jerry Jones' desk during the Dallas Cowboys' glory days of the 1990s. It was a cartoon of two buzzards sitting on a fence in the hot, dry desert and underneath was the caption of one buzzard telling the other, "Patience my ass; I'm gonna go kill something."

It's been the motto Jones has lived by since he purchased the Cowboys with every last penny he had in 1989. And it holds true today, 17 years after he helped turn the struggling team into three-time Super Bowl champions and one of the most lucrative franchises in sports. Jones, however, hasn't had very much to celebrate since his team last won the Super Bowl in 1996.

During the last decade, he's watched the Broncos win consecutive Super Bowls, the Patriots win three of four, the Steelers rebuild into a champion 10 years after losing to Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX, and teams like the Eagles, Panthers and Colts consistently make a push for a title. All the while, his Cowboys have gone 75-85, with a 1-4 record in the playoffs. Their last postseason win came in a wild-card rout of the Vikings in 1996, which was also the last year Dallas won more than 10 games in a season.

Going through a humbling decade like that will make any buzzard, or owner for that matter, impatient. It shouldn't surprise anyone, then, that Jones has gone out this offseason and signed two of the premier and more controversial free agents in receiver Terrell Owens and kicker Mike Vanderjagt to bolster two need positions. Five of Dallas' seven losses last season were decided by a total of 20 points, including three by three points or fewer. The consensus among those within the organization was that if the team had a steady kicker rather than a revolving door of three journeymen, it would have probably gone 12-4 and had a first-round playoff bye rather than finishing 9-7 and out of the playoffs.

Owens and Vanderjagt, who are never shy when it comes to lambasting their quarterback or coach, may not be the most popular players in the NFL, but there's no denying their accomplishments.

The only reason both players were available to the Cowboys was the fashion in which they ended their seasons. If Owens had kept his mouth shut about his unhappiness in Philadelphia and Vanderjagt had nailed that field goal against Pittsburgh and saved his postgame appearance on David Letterman until after the Super Bowl, the Cowboys would probably still be searching for a No. 1 receiver and an accurate kicker. As it is, they ended up signing arguably the two best players at their respective positions to three-year contracts, not to mention other free agents such as offensive linemen Jason Fabini and Kyle Kosier, linebackers Akin Ayodele and Rocky Boiman and tight end RyanHannam. In the process theyhavepositioned themselves for their first legitimate Super Bowl run in a decade.

NFL News: Packers agreed to terms with K Billy Cundiff

Packers agreed to terms with K Billy Cundiff.

The ex-Cowboy and Buc is currently the only kicker on the Green Bay roster. Look for them to acquire more help.

Mar. 25 - 10:06 am et
Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Cowboys re-signed LS L.P. Ladouceur

Cowboys re-signed LS L.P. Ladouceur.

He's a specialist.

Mar. 25 - 12:27 pm et
Source: Dallas Morning News

Henson leads Fire to comfortable win

Henson leads Fire to comfortable win

March 25, 2006
NFL Europe

Rhein Fire 22, Berlin Thunder 0
Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany
Attendance: 13,105

Drew Henson was sharp throughout the Fire's victory in Berlin. (
The Rhein Fire scored a touchdown in each half and Swedish kicker Ola Kimrin added three field goals as Jim Tomsula’s club opened a season 2-0 for the first time since 2003 with a clinical display in the German capital.

Dallas Cowboys-allocated quarterback Drew Henson showed his NFL pedigree under center for the Fire, hitting on 17 of 24 passes for 171 yards and 1 touchdown. He compiled a quarterback rating of 104.7.

He was well supported as seven different receivers caught passes for the Fire, led by Chris Samp, of the Carolina Panthers, who had 6 receptions for 68 yards as Rhein controlled the contest from start to finish.

The Thunder were undone by five turnovers (three interceptions and two fumbles) as they were shut out for the first time since a 29-0 home loss at the hands of the Fire in Week 8 of the 1999 campaign.

Rhein looked confident on their opening drive as Henson drilled a 20-yard strike to Samp before hitting Fredrick Jackson on a short screen pass which the weaving running back turned into a 33-yard gain.

But as Rhein moved within touching distance of the end zone, Berlin’s defense stiffened, dropping running back Jacque Lewis for a 2-yard loss before forcing Henson into short passes to Samp and Jackson. On fourth down, Swedish kicker Ola Kimrin successfully converted a 27-yard field goal to give the visitors an early lead.

After Berlin went three and out, the Fire embarked on another scoring drive as Henson continued to complete short passes, connecting with Samp for 10 yards, wide receiver Kendrick Starling for 8 and French fullback Laurent Marceline and tight end Aaron Halterman for 7 yards apiece.

But for the second time in the opening period, the Fire could not find the end zone, settling for Kimrin’s 30-yard field goal and a 6-0 advantage.

After a sluggish first quarter, the Thunder found some offensive rhythm with Brian Wrobel under center in the second period. The Green Bay Packers allocate completed a 23-yard pass to tight end Jason Randall but a key drop on third down by wide receiver Keron Henry brought on the special teams unit.

But rather than kick the ball away from the Fire 34-yard line – or try the four-point field goal off a slick surface – Berlin rolled the dice as Marty Johnson ran up the middle on a fake punt. Needing to gain 7 yards, the free agent rusher was dropped by Fire defensive end Walter Curry after picking up just 3 yards.

The Fire took full advantage of the turnover on downs as Timmy Chang completed four passes for 37 yards before Lewis raced around left end to score on a 12-yard touchdown run. Fellow rusher Jackson also produced a big play on the scoring march, ripping off a 14-yard run to help Rhein open up a 13-0 lead as the teams headed for the locker room at the half.

Berlin looked more cohesive coming out of the break as Johnson gained 14 yards on 4 carries and Lang Campbell completed passes of 15 yards to wide receiver Lance Moore and 23 yards to tight end Ben Moa.

But on a play-action pass deep in Fire territory, Campbell rolled right but his throw into the end zone intended for Moore was picked off by Rhein cornerback Therrian Fontenot, snuffing out what would have been a morale-boosting start to the second half for the Thunder.

Lang Campbell threw two costly interceptions for the Thunder. (
Berlin’s next drive also ended in a turnover as Campbell fumbled the snap from center Joel Rodriguez and linebacker Guy Tuell recovered near midfield for the Fire. But Rhein gifted the football back to the Thunder as tight end Andy Stokes caught a pass from Henson before fumbling at the Berlin 10-yard line, where German safety Oliver Flemming – who unleashed the big hit to knock the ball loose - made the recovery.

The Thunder could not take advantage of the turnover as Campbell – looking for wide receiver C.J. Jones down the right sideline – was intercepted by Fontenot for the second time in three possessions, this time at the Berlin 31-yard line.

With Henson sensing an opportunity to put the game beyond the Thunder, the Fire took full advantage of Berlin’s third turnover in as many possessions. After hitting Samp for a 13-yard gain, Henson rolled to his left and, under pressure from the Berlin defenders, fired across the field to hit diving wide receiver Zuriel Smith for a 3-yard score. The two-point conversion failed as Henson’s pass was incomplete but Rhein still held a healthy 19-0 lead.

Berlin continued to self destruct as Robert Redd fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Fire defensive back Gabriel Helms recovered at the Thunder 24-yard line. And while they couldn’t get into the end zone, the Fire did add another three points courtesy of Kimrin’s 24-yard field goal.

Friday, March 24, 2006

New Dallas Cowboy's K Vanderjagt's contract is for three years and $5.5 million

Mike Vanderjagt's contract is for three years and $5.5 million, including a $2.5 million signing bonus.

Vanderjagt's deal was less than Adam Vinatieri's per-year, but he did well considering his age and lack of kickoff ability. Kicking mostly indoors, Vanderjagt figures to remain a consistent fantasy starter.

Mar. 24 - 11:03 am et
Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

NFC East: Redskins signed T Tyson Walter

Redskins signed T Tyson Walter.

He last played with the Cowboys as a mid-season pickup.

Mar. 24 - 12:04 pm et

NFC East: The Giants have spoken to Jay Fielder about becoming Eli Manning's backup quarterback

The Giants have spoken to Jay Fielder about becoming Eli Manning's backup quarterback.

Fiedler, recovering from shoulder surgery, may have to wait to prove he's healthy before signing. He'd make sense in New York, though, with only Tim Hasselbeck currently behind Manning.

Mar. 24 - 12:51 pm et
Source: Newark Star-Ledger

NFC East: Giants signed WR Tim Carter to a two-year, $2 million contract

Giants signed WR Tim Carter to a two-year, $2 million contract, including a $500,000 signing bonus.

Carter, who also was being pursued by the Bucs, can earn up to $300,000 a season in incentives. With Keyshawn Johnson signing in Carolina, the oft-injured Carter will again compete for New York's No. 3 receiver job.

Mar. 24 - 4:32 pm et

NFC East: Eagles re-signed T Jon Runyan to a three-year contract

Eagles re-signed T Jon Runyan to a three-year contract.

After romancing with the Jets, Runyan got the deal he wanted to stay in Philadelphia. He's played in 144 straight games as Philly's right tackle.

Mar. 24 - 5:42 pm et

Dallas to Draft Charlie Whitehurst?

Lenny P: Dallas to Draft Charlie Whitehurst?

Dallas backup quarterback Drew Henson didn't exactly light things up in his NFL Europe League debut last weekend, completing just 5 of 11 passes for 58 yards in the Rhein Fire's offensively uninspiring 10-6 victory over Frankfurt.

Henson has embraced the European experience, and has a terrific attitude about the chance he has to actually get live reps in a game, but one has to wonder how much longer Dallas will stick with the former Michigan star if he doesn't demonstrate considerable progress in training camp. The Cowboys' college scouts have shown a keen interest in one quarterback prospect in particular over the last month or so, Charlie Whitehurst of Clemson, and might be tempted to choose him in the second or third round of next month's draft. Whitehurst is the son of former Green Bay quarterback David Whitehurst, and he's got prototype pocket stature and plenty of arm strength. He has bounced back nicely from shoulder surgery and had a solid pro day outing on campus.

At some point, it seems, the Cowboys are going to have to develop a young quarterback for the long-term future, instead of just going with stop-gap veterans such as Vinny Testaverde and Drew Bledsoe. It won't be too surprising if, in the next few weeks, Dallas begins to strongly consider whether Whitehurst might be that guy.

Fourth & Inches: T.O. and Parcells united

Fourth & Inches: T.O. and Parcells united

By Jessie H. Nunery
The Rocky Mount Telegram
Wednesday, March 22, 2006

So Terrell Owens is now a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, most of us were not privy to what was said between Owens and Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells in their first meeting. Only a fly on the wall knows exactly what was said. I talked to that fly on the wall and this is what he told me.....

Parcells: "Welcome to Dallas, Terrell."

Owens: "Just call me T.O. ,coach."

Parcells: "Well, let's get this one thing straight. I'm not going to call you T.O. Your mother named you Terrell and that's what I'm going to call you."

Owens: "That's fine coach, whatever you want to call me is fine. I'm just happy to be out of Philadelphia and away from Donovan..."

Parcells: "Hold it right there. Your days of bad-mouthing quarterbacks are over. You tried to make a fool out of Jeff Garcia in San Francisco and you did the same thing with McNabb in Philly. That's not going to happen here. I've coached our quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, on two different teams. He's one of my favorite quarterbacks. He's professional and still has one heck of an arm. Don't try and start any stuff with him."

Owens: "Coach, I'll try and be on my best behavior. You guys were generous enough to give me a three-year contract that could be worth $25 million with incentives. I know that if I mess up again that will be the last big contract I see as an NFL player."

Parcells: "I really don't give a you-know-what about how much money you make, Terrell. I treat everyone on my team, from the highest-paid player to the last member of the practice squad, the same. Nobody escapes my wrath. Ask Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms or your new teammate, Terry Glenn. When I coached Glenn back in New England, I once called him "she" because I thought he was soft and was playing like a girl."

Owens: "Coach, are you still going to let me do my end zone dances? After sitting out the last six games last season, I developed some new moves and I'm ready to put on a show."

Parcells: "You can do whatever you want with exceptions. If you get flagged and cost us 15 yards, I'll pull your you-know-what out of the game. I hate penalties. They make me sick. I'm all about having a disciplined team. That's what got me the two Super Bowl rings I own. Another thing, stay away from dancing on the Cowboys' star at midfield or in the end zone. You defamed it years back and fans are still sensitive over that. The next time you decide to dance on it you better have the Vince Lombardi in your hands."

Owens: "That's why I'm here coach. I want to win. I think we've got what it takes. You guys got rid of Keyshawn Johnson, which made room for me. Throw in Glenn lining up on the other side of the field and our young backfield of Julius Jones and Marion Barber...our offense has some pop to it. I know you are a defensive-minded coach so we'll be fine there."

Parcells: "I'm also a ball-control coach Terrell. That west-coast offense you saw with your past two teams will not be run here. If our team gets up 10 points, I want to pound the ball between the tackles and run out the clock. If that means you only have two catches up to that point, so be it. Don't come over to me on the sideline pouting about the number of balls thrown your way because I'll curse your you-know-what out and that'll be that."

Owens: "That's cool coach. You know what people don't know about me? I work really hard. I always come to camp in shape and I'm not a horrible teammate. It just seems that after a year or so some things get said and blown out of proportion. You'll never here about me being late for team meetings or not playing hard when I'm on the field."

Parcells: "Do you expect a pat on the back for that? Those last two things you mentioned are what professionals do. They show up on time and give their all."

Owens: "I got ya coach. It was nice going over things with you. I'm going to hit the weight room and prove to people that the Cowboys didn't make a mistake in signing me."

Parcells: "You should've started hitting the weight room two days ago. Offseason training started on Monday. While you're over there, go run a few extra laps for your first slip-up."

Owens: (while walking out of the door) "What have I gotten myself into?"

Dallas Cowboy OL Torrin Tucker may be on his way out of Dallas

Truth and Rumors 3/24

Left tackle Torrin Tucker, one of the Cowboys' three restricted free agents, visited Tampa Bay on Thursday. Tucker is scheduled to visit Atlanta today.
-- Dallas Morning News

Reports are, that Dallas is offering a conditional 6th round pick to whomever signs him by the end of the week.

Cowboys tried to bring Keyshawn Johnson back

Lenny P Tipsheet Blurbs

At several junctures of Thursday night's negotiations with Keyshawn Johnson, the Carolina Panthers' brass feared that it might not be able to close the deal with the 10-year veteran wide receiver, despite his publicly stated preference to play for them. How come? Because Johnson, even during his discussions in Carolina, was being courted by another team. And that team was (drumroll, please) the one that had released him less than two weeks earlier.

Sources close to the negotiations confirmed for that, even as Johnson closed in on a four-year, $14 million agreement (including a $5 million signing bonus) with the Panthers, the Dallas Cowboys were trying hard to lure him back. So ardent were the Cowboys, in fact, that Carolina management at one point was convinced Johnson was close to walking out and considering a return to Dallas, to team with Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn in a potent wide receiver trifecta.

General manager Marty Hurney eventually sealed the agreement with Johnson, though, and the Panthers might finally have the complementary wideout their offense lacked each of the last two seasons. Beyond the strong No. 2 receiving presence that he will provide, and the proven alternative to Steve Smith that he will give quarterback Jake Delhomme, the Panthers feel Johnson will help their running game, too. Although it's often an overlooked component in his skill set, Johnson is a terrific downfield blocker for the run. Carolina lost that element of toughness when Muhsin Muhammad was released following the 2004 season and signed with the Chicago Bears. Now the Panthers think Johnson can give it back to them.

Dallas backup quarterback Drew Henson didn't exactly light things up in his NFL Europe League debut last weekend, completing just 5 of 11 passes for 58 yards in the Rhein Fire's offensively uninspiring 10-6 victory over Frankfurt.

Henson has embraced the European experience, and has a terrific attitude about the chance he has to actually get live reps in a game, but one has to wonder how much longer Dallas will stick with the former Michigan star if he doesn't demonstrate considerable progress in training camp. The Cowboys' college scouts have shown a keen interest in one quarterback prospect in particular over the last month or so, Charlie Whitehurst of Clemson, and might be tempted to choose him in the second or third round of next month's draft. Whitehurst is the son of former Green Bay quarterback David Whitehurst, and he's got prototype pocket stature and plenty of arm strength. He has bounced back nicely from shoulder surgery and had a solid pro day outing on campus.
At some point, it seems, the Cowboys are going to have to develop a young quarterback for the long-term future, instead of just going with stop-gap veterans such as Vinny Testaverde and Drew Bledsoe. It won't be too surprising if, in the next few weeks, Dallas begins to strongly consider whether Whitehurst might be that guy.

Much has been made this week during the game of place-kicker musical chairs about how Adam Vinatieri and Mike Vanderjagt will perform in their new venues.

Obviously, there are doubts about whether Vanderjagt, who moved from Indianapolis to Dallas, can maintain his status as the most accurate field-goal kicker in NFL history now that he will be forced to play most of his games outside. Surprisingly, though, Vanderjagt actually has a better conversion rate outdoors (88.8 percent) than he does in domed stadiums (86.8 percent). Even more surprising is that his success rate outdoors is better than that of Vinatieri (80.4 percent). On the flip side, Vinatieri has converted 94.4 percent of his attempts in domed stadiums, far better than his outdoor rate, and better than Vanderjagt's indoor success rate.
Vinatieri could be mind-boggling in the RCA Dome. He has made all 10 of his field-goal tries there and is 34-for-36 indoors in regular-season games. His only misses came at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Nov. 23, 2003. He did, however, kick the winning field goal, a 28-yarder to lift the Patriots over the Texans, 23-20 in overtime. Oddly enough, in Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium only about two months later, Vinatieri missed two field goals early in the game and then nailed a 41-yarder with four seconds left to give New England a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

ESPN Article: Petitti banks $271,287 in performance pay

By Len Pasquarelli

Compliments of the NFL's performance-based pay program, Rob Petitti has a freshly invested $100,000 tucked away in a mutual fund, a special-order hot tub that is to be delivered to his Dallas home sometime Friday, an itch to make one more big purchase, and if possible, even more motivation for the 2006 season.

"To tell the truth, I was shocked, because I didn't realize [the PBP program] could be worth this kind of money," Petitti said of the bonanza bonus that arrived in his mailbox last week. "A guy told me, like, 'Oh, you might get $80,000 or $90,000,' and I was pretty cool with that. And then I found out how much I was going to get, and I couldn't believe it."

The second-year veteran, who started all 16 games for the Dallas Cowboys at right tackle in 2005, is now a true believer. Only the 209th prospect selected in the 2005 draft, having dropped into the sixth round after an injury-plagued senior season at the University of Pittsburgh overshadowed what had been an otherwise superb college career, Petitti is No. 1 on this year's performance-based pay roll call.

His windfall, a record $271,287, is nearly $45,000 more than last year's biggest beneficiary, New York Jets safety Erik Coleman. And it represents a nifty 95 percent increase in Petitti's 2005 compensation. Notable is the fact Coleman ranked in the top 25 again for 2005, pocketing $196,813 in PBP funds.

Rob Petitti started 16 games for the Cowboys last season at right tackle.The playing time that Petitti earned in '05 -- a result of the season-ending knee injury to left tackle Flozell Adams and a product of his own work ethic -- will prove invaluable as he attempts to carve out a long career in the league. But it helped him earn an unexpected dose of security, as well, with the amount only $13,000 less than Petitti had banked between his signing bonus ($54,000) and rookie minimum base salary ($230,000).

Both elements -- playing more than he anticipated and earning more for it than he expected -- are certainly boosts for Petitti, who struggled for several months preceding the 2005 draft. Before the season, many scouts rated Petitti as the top senior tackle prospect in the nation. But then an injury definitely reduced his effectiveness, and kept him from working out for a while, and his weight and conditioning suffered. He went from being a top tackle prospect to an afterthought.

Certainly his newfound riches aren't trivial to Petitti, who will have to battle to retain his starting job in 2006, with Adams back from injury and the Cowboys having signed former New York Jets starting right tackle Jason Fabini as a free agent last week.

Petitti actually found out about his good fortune in a phone call from his father, who had seen it reported on the Internet. A few days later, the check arrived, and after stashing away the bulk of his bonus in a mutual fund, Petitti decided to treat himself to the hot tub. Given that the Cowboys this week began their offseason conditioning program, providing Petitti's body only two months to recover from the rigors of his rookie year in the league, his one bit of splashy self-indulgence can't arrive soon enough.

"There are some days, when I'm really hurting, where that [hot tub] is going to feel really good," Petitti said earlier this week. "I mean, really good, you know?"

Around the league, there are a lot of players feeling really good about the PBP program, implemented in 2002 as part of that year's extension to the collective bargaining agreement, to establish a fund from NFL revenues to supplement the salaries of men whose playing time in a given season is disproportionate to their compensation. Those who benefit the most are primarily guys like Petitti, young players who generally are earning a minimum base salary.

Every player in the league who participates in even one snap receives something from the PBP pool, which does not impact a player's salary cap charge. The pool to fund the supplements is deducted from the overall league salary cap funds, and it was essentially created by slowing the annual increases in base salaries and by blunting the increases in the annual rookie allocation pool.

Pay for play
Nineteen players earned "performance based pay" bonuses of $200,000 or more for the 2005 season. A list of those players:
OT Rob Petitti, Cowboys, $271,287
FS C.C. Brown, Texans, $251,593
OT Kelly Butler, Lions, $242,908
OG Rex Hadnot, Dolphins, $235,847
DT Jordan Carstens, Car., $232,748
OT Shane Olivea, Chargers, $223,966
CB Curtis DeLoatch, Giants, $221,005
OG Ryan Lilja, Colts, $215,642
OT Jason Peters, Bills, $215,008
OT Travelle Wharton, Car., $214,048
OG Will Whitticker, Packers, $212,307
CB Travis Daniels, Dolphins, $212,069
OT Anthony Davis, Bucs, $211,350
OG Dan Buenning, Bucs, $210,204
LB Colby Bockwoldt, Saints, $209,943
FS Chris Harris, Bears, $209,362
SS Gibril Wilson, Giants, $207,549
CB Ike Taylor, Steelers, $206,513
FS Kerry Rhodes, Jets, $200,268
While it won't ever replace an NFL compensation system that often rewards players with lucrative deals before they ever set foot on a field, and is based solely on playing time and not statistical comparisons by position, it has been very effective.

"There are always going to be some young guys who outperform their contracts, and those guys, it seems they spend their entire careers trying to catch up [financially]," NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw said. "This is a good way to reward them."

Of the top 25 PBP earners for 2005, for instance, nine were rookies and 15 were second-year veterans. All were earning the minimum base salary. Said rookie safety C.C. Brown, a sixth-round draft choice of the Houston Texans who started six games in 2005 and earned $251,593 in his PBP bonus: "You think that money doesn't make a difference? It's big, man, big."

Last year, Coleman said he "almost exploded" when he found out how much performance based pay money he had earned. And explode is indeed an apt term for the burgeoning program, which has demonstrated huge increases every year of its existence.

In the 2002 season, the PBP program paid out $472,000 per franchise. That number rose to $1 million for 2003, to $1.78 million for 2004 and to $2.48 million per franchise in 2005. That's more than a five-fold increase in the first four years of the program. The increases in individual bonuses have been just as dramatic.

For the 2002 season, there were three players who received supplements of $40,000 or more. In 2003, there were 82 players who earned PBP bonuses of $50,000 or more and 20 of those players got $70,000 or more, with three players topping the $100,000 mark. For the 2004 campaign, 56 players banked $100,000 or more and 15 players received at least $130,000, while Coleman became the first to cross the $200,000 threshold under the program.

But for 2005, there were 19 players who received supplements in excess of $200,000. And 167 players got checks of more than $100,000 each. Every franchise had at least three $100,000 players and the Cowboys led the league with eight.

No telling how Petitti's seven teammates who banked six-figure PBP supplements plan on spending their money. As for how to spend their casual time this weekend, well, there's a new hot tub at Petitti's house that needs to be christened.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

NFC East: Eagles Brian Dawkins interview on T.O.

PFW: Any thoughts yet as to what it’s going to be like facing Terrell Owens twice next season? Has it even crossed your mind yet, or is it something you try to distance yourself from?
Dawkins: To me, it’s not even a big deal because I’ve faced him before. Had he been on another team and I never had to face him and now I have to, OK, let’s talk about it. It’s not a big deal now. He’s on another team just like he was before he got to the Eagles.

PFW: Can you imagine what the hype is going to be like when he first plays you guys? Of course most of it’s media-driven, right?
Dawkins: (Laughs) Really? Oh, I didn’t know that. No, it’s definitely gonna be hyped. I’ve already been a part of what T.O. brings to the team as far as the media is concerned. And I’m not talking about all bad now. I’m talking about the good, too. But that’s all going to be there, and then that week, whenever we play them, I can only imagine how many questions I’m going to be asked. And not about the offense in general, but one player.

PFW: What do you think is the most difficult part about covering him and keeping him under control?
Dawkins: You just have to make sure that you’re close enough to him when he catches the ball. Being one of the best receivers to play the game — to ever play the game — he’s going to catch balls, and you know that. But you want to get as close as possible to him so he catches it, you punish him just like anybody else.

PFW: What is the mindset of this team right now, after all the drama from last year and all the injuries?
Dawkins: You know what? You can kind of equate this to playing cards. You have to play with the cards you’re dealt, and last year we weren’t dealt a real good hand (laughs).

PFW: A lot of deuces and fives?
Dawkins: (Laughs) A lot of deuces, man. We had a bad hand last year. But this year, we’ve got new cards. And in that, you have a new sense of what we can do this year and what the possibilities are. And also, it’s a sigh of relief and you can finally exhale. Last year we were holding our breath the whole time. We didn’t know what to expect with injury after injury and then all the stuff that went down with Terrell and Donovan at the end. You just never knew what to expect. Now it’s a fresh start, and you don’t have to worry about any of that stuff. We’re going to bring in whoever we’re going to bring in, we’re going to get some guys back from injury. And I consider this year to be a success already.


NFL News: Keyshawn: Signs with the Panthers

Panthers sign ex-Cowboys receiver Johnson

Former Cowboys receiver Keyshawn Johnson agreed to a four-year deal with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.

Johnson, who was released by the Cowboys last week, received a $5 million signing bonus.

Johnson led the Cowboys in receiving last season with 71 receptions for 839 yards and six touchdowns.

NFC East: Giants make an offer to Keyshawn Johnson

Key Offer
Filed under: Giants 101— Jason Lucca @ 1:03 pm

The Giants reportedly made an offer to Keyshawn Johnson. The deal is believed to be a multi-year contract for $3-4 million per year. If Keyshawn Johnson comes aboard as one of the more unlikely players to ever wear a Giants uniform, more than eyebrows will be raised. The controversial Johnson has a history with one of the most prominent Giants - and it’s not good.

“He hated my brother,” Tiki Barber yesterday told The Post. “He called him an Uncle Tom.” When Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber, Tiki’s identical twin brother, sided with Gruden, Johnson let him have it. In turn, Tiki Barber came to his brother’s defense and ripped Johnson. “I ripped his ignorance,” corrected Tiki Barber, who explained that Johnson had no clue what the literary meaning of “Uncle Tom” actually represented.

If Johnson signs with the Giants, will this affect the team? Sure this happened in 2003, but this can be brought up again when Tiki and Keyshawn come face to face. I do not think this will affect the team when playing.

LaVar Arrington also is in a similar situation but in a different way. Arrington would be a great improvement to the defense but according to the coaches, LaVar does not fit into the defense format. Pierce has been trying to get the Giants to sign Lavar.

The Giants should sign DT Grady Jackson and use the draft pick to draft a LB/WR. Maybe we can still get LaVar or Keyshawn but I think Giants will only sign 1 of the 3 men. Let’s wait and see what KJ does with the offer first and then we can speculate more.

NFC East: Lavar Arrington closer to becoming a Giant?

Quick update on LA.
Dan Benton @ 5:22 pm
Around and around we go, where we’ll stop nobody knows.

Lavar Arrington was scheduled to meet with the Cincinnati Bengals today, but plans fell through according to

“LaVar and I got our wires crossed,” Poston said Thursday. “He has been making visits and been on the road a lot. I still think it’s a visit that could happen at some point.”

I’ve been told (but cannot confirm) that Arrington was in fact in New York yesterday, once again meeting with the Giants. I’ve also been told the Giants have raised their initial offer to Arrington but was not given exact money figures. (I didn’t think the Giants would outbid themselves, but would not be surprised at the same time.)

One of the other teams expected to make a run for Arrington was the Miami Dolphins. But according to the Dolphins will not be able to match Arrington’s price tag, and are unlikely to sign him.

Finally, it looks like the Giants are waiting for a resolution to this Arrington fiasco before they make any future free agent moves. It appears as if they are holding off on other free agents so that they are sure they can afford Arrington.

NFL News: Free agent OG Larry Allen now a 49er?

49ers | Allen agrees to terms
Thu, 23 Mar 2006 15:12:28 -0800

Matt Maiocco, of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, reports the San Francisco 49ers have agreed to terms with free agent OG Larry Allen (Cowboys), pending a physical. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Free agent WR Keyshawn Johnson to visit the Carolina

Panthers | K. Johnson to visit
Thu, 23 Mar 2006 14:22:45 -0800

Pat Yasinskas, of the Charlotte Observer, reports free agent WR Keyshawn Johnson (Cowboys) was expected to visit the Carolina Panthers Thursday, March 23, according to league sources.

Dispelling myths about Vanderjagt

MYTH: Vanderjagt is a poor kicker in clutch situations.

FACT: According to his career splits, he is 34-38 all time (89.5%) in Late & Close situations, which is higher than his overall career accuracy of 87.5% and much higher than Adam Vinatieri's accuracy of 78.4% in Late & Close situations. Mike has also made 87.5% of his 72 4th-quarter field goal attempts and 100% of his 3 overtime attempts, while Vinatieri has hit 82.3% of his 4th quarter attempts and 80% of his 10 overtime attempts.

MYTH: Vanderjagt's stats were inflated by playing in a dome.

FACT: Mike has made 127 of 145 field goal attempts (87.6%) indoors, and 90 of 103 attempts (87.4%) outdoors, for almost no distinguishable difference. He is 84.4% in windy weather, 100% below 40 degrees fahrenheit, and 100% with precipitation.

Cowboys WR Terry Glenn would like a raise

Cowboys | Glenn would like a raise
Thu, 23 Mar 2006 05:49:50 -0800

Clarence E. Hill Jr., of the Star-Telegram, reports Dallas Cowboys WR Terry Glenn and agent James Gould visited with the Cowboys Wednesday, March 22, about doing something with his contract. He is expected to get $2.25 million in 2006 and $2.5 million in 2007. Glenn said he is not making any contract demands and has no plans to hold out, but he would like for them to consider giving him a raise.

Vanderjagt contract details

Cowboys | Vanderjagt contract details
Thu, 23 Mar 2006 14:06:36 -0800

Len Pasquarelli, of, reports the contract signed by Dallas Cowboys PK Mike Vanderjagt is a three-year deal that can be worth a little more than $6 million. The deal includes a signing bonus of $2.5 million and base salaries of $810,000 each for 2006-2007 and $1 million for 2008. Vanderjagt can receive workout bonuses of $90,000 each in 2006-2007 and of $100,000 for 2008, with a roster bonus of $100,000 due in the spring of 2008. He can earn also an annual bonus of $200,000 based on field goal percentage.

WIP Radio: Reporting Dallas-Philly for First Sunday Night Game

Posted by DoomDayD from a sports forum:

I live here in Philly and Howard Eskin our sports radio station personality said he got something hot off the presses about us and the eagles playing the first Sunday night game of the season here in Philly.

I believe you can listen to it over the internet.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Cowboys Closing In On Deal With Veteran Vanderjagt

Cowboys Closing In On Deal With Veteran Vanderjagt

While the Cowboys are close to filling just about every free agent need they had, kicker had not been addressed, until visiting Wednesday with Mike Vanderjagt, who appeared to be nearing a deal with the team.

T.O. will make Dallas a champion again

Michael David Smith /
Posted: 7 hours ago

It would be easy to look at the Dallas Cowboys' decision to give a three-year, $25 million contract to the NFL's biggest malcontent, Terrell Owens, and ask, "What were they thinking?"

The answer is simple: They were thinking they want to win the Super Bowl. And signing Owens was a step in the right direction.

Because he acted like such a jerk in Philadelphia, it's tempting to overlook just how great a player Owens is. Before the Eagles decided that enough was enough, Owens was on pace for a phenomenal season last year. He caught 47 passes for 763 yards and six touchdowns in only seven games. Prorated to a 16-game season, that would have equaled 107 catches for 1,744 yards and 14 touchdowns. All three numbers would have led the league.

In his two years in Philadelphia, Owens played in 21 regular-season games and a Super Bowl. In those 22 games, he totaled 2,085 yards and 20 touchdowns. Steve Smith, generally regarded as the best receiver in football, has 2,065 yards and 16 touchdowns in his past 22 games.

Defensive coordinators will have a much harder time preparing for the Cowboys' offense in 2006 than in '05. Last year, passing game coordinator Sean Payton put together a decent attack with Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn acting as Drew Bledsoe's primary options. But the inability to keep Bledsoe upright was the offense's undoing.

This year, with Payton in New Orleans and Bill Parcells taking on more of the offensive game planning, the Cowboys will use more maximum protection schemes; and with tight ends and running backs staying in to block, the wide receivers will draw tighter coverage. No receiver in football does a better job of fighting through blanket coverage than Owens.

Bledsoe has publicly endorsed Owens' arrival, saying he thinks it will make him a better quarterback. But as much as Bledsoe will benefit from Owens' presence, Glenn will benefit even more. Last year, with Johnson across the field from him, opposing defenses always shaded their safeties in Glenn's direction because Johnson, who was never much of a deep threat to begin with, has slowed noticeably and averaged a career-low 11.8 yards a catch. When the Cowboys released Johnson to make room for Owens, they instantly ensured that Glenn would no longer be the primary focus of the opposing defense.

And while it might sound crazy to say that Owens could be a positive influence on a young player, he could help the promising Patrick Crayton, who will be Dallas' third receiver this year. A seventh-round pick in 2004 who played quarterback in college, Crayton is just learning the receiver position — but he could make great strides by mimicking Owens' precise routes.

So there's not much question that Owens represents a significant upgrade for Dallas. The only question is whether his toxic personality will poison the locker room. Owens will never have the noble, dignified presence of Jerry Rice or Marvin Harrison, but there are a number of reasons to believe that Owens meant it when he turned to Jerry Jones at Saturday's press conference and said, "I know what's expected of me. I won't let you down."

For one, Owens knows he can't screw up again. If he does, no team will ever offer him close to what his Dallas deal will get him. He poisoned the Eagles because he wanted more money. Now that he has tasted free agency and determined that the Cowboys were offering him his fair market value, he won't have any reason to revisit last year's antics.

This might sound crazy, but another reason to believe Owens will do what's asked of him is that Drew Rosenhaus will be a helpful impact on Owens. Rosenhaus knows that the Cowboys represent his last chance to get three percent of a fat weekly paycheck. He'll urge Owens to keep quiet and do what Bill Parcells asks of him.

And the most important reason to trust that Owens will be on his best behavior is Parcells. As the head coach of four different teams, Parcells has always thrived with players who had great talent but also behavioral problems: Lawrence Taylor, who won two Super Bowl rings with Parcells as his coach on the New York Giants, is the most prominent example; but also remember that many people thought Parcells couldn't get along with Terry Glenn in New England or Keyshawn Johnson with the Jets. Parcells got along so well with both that he brought them to Dallas.

Parcells likes players who work hard, and there's no player in the NFL who stays in better shape than Owens. Even last year, when he spent all off-season saying he wanted out of Philadelphia, he showed up to training camp with a sculpted physique.

Some have criticized Owens for saying, "I'm not the one who got tired in the Super Bowl," presumably a reference to Donovan McNabb, who looked drained as the Eagles attempted to come from behind late in the fourth quarter. But Owens is absolutely right: He's not the one who got tired. Owens was in such great shape that he was the most impressive player on the field, despite having sat out the previous six weeks with a broken leg. Parcells loves players like that.

This is probably the last season before Bill Parcells rides off into the Canton sunset. Owens makes Parcells more likely to go out a champion.

Without Allen, O-line has no sure thing

Without Allen, O-line has no sure thing

By JEAN-JACQUES TAYLOR / The Dallas Morning News

IRVING – There is no known quantity on the offensive line now that Dallas has released 12-year veteran Larry Allen.

Left tackle Flozell Adams is coming off a season-ending knee injury that forced him to miss 10 games, and the new left guard, Kyle Kosier, is playing with his third team in three seasons.

"He's a very consistent player," vice president of college and pro scouting Jeff Ireland said of Kosier. "He plays with a lot of power and explosion."

Coach Bill Parcells can't decide whether he likes undersized Al Johnson, who's better at blocking in space, or more powerful Andre Gurode, who doesn't always make the right line adjustments, at center.

Right guard Marco Rivera, who is 33, struggled last season with back and hamstring injuries and newly signed right tackle Jason Fabini, 31, missed the last seven games of 2005 with a chest injury.

"Bill has had Jason before," vice president Stephen Jones said last weekend. "If he has a good off-season, he can throw himself into the mix. He's a tough competitor."

Owner Jerry Jones always has considered himself an optimist.

If everything works out in the Cowboys' favor, then the line will be much improved and have strong leadership in Adams, Rivera and Fabini. If it doesn't work out, the Cowboys are likely to have the same types of struggles they did last year.

Dallas failed to score more than 14 points in six games, losing each of them last year.

At times, Dallas couldn't run or pass because of inadequacies on the offensive line, especially at tackle, where Rob Petitti and Torrin Tucker finished the season 1-2 in the league in sacks allowed with 13.5 and 12.5.

The offensive line's performance against St. Louis – a 20-10 loss in the regular-season finale – was a microcosm of its season. The Rams played eight, sometimes nine defenders, within five yards of the line of scrimmage to hold Julius Jones to 35 yards on 15 carries.

When the Cowboys attempted to pass, the tackles couldn't give quarterback Drew Bledsoe enough time to find his receivers. St. Louis sacked him five times, and Dallas scored just one touchdown.

Jones has spent the off-season saying the Cowboys must improve their offensive line to get the most out of Bledsoe, who has limited lateral mobility. That's why most teams try to apply pressure up the middle, forcing Bledsoe to move left or right and limiting his effectiveness.

Although Allen struggled to make blocks on the perimeter, he was still good at pass protection. Rarely did he allow defenders to crash the middle of the Cowboys' offensive line. He allowed just 2.5 sacks last season.

More important, he allowed Johnson to often help Rivera. This year, Kosier probably will require help, which means Rivera will be involved in more one-on-one blocking situations.

The addition of Fabini does not mean the Cowboys won't draft an offensive lineman. They need depth at the position because 2004 second-round pick Jacob Rodgers has been released without playing a down in a regular-season game and 2004 thirdround pick Stephen Peterman probably will have to show significant improvement to make the team this year.

Cowboys with the most pro bowl appearances:

Player Pos. Gs
Bob Lilly DT 11
Larry Allen G-T 10
Mel Renfro CB-S 10
Randy White DT 9
Emmitt Smith RB 8



Number of players selected before him in the 1994 draft

Yards of Emmitt Smith's 17,162 Cowboys total that came after Larry Allen joined the team

Times he started 16 games

Here's a look at Staff Writer Jean-Jacques Taylor's projected 2006 starting lineup with comment:

Flozell Adams, left tackle: Although he's recovering from a season-ending knee injury, Dallas needs him to be a dominant player.

Kyle Kosier, left guard: Questions exist about his ability to succeed as a starter.

Andre Gurode, center: He will be given every opportunity to win the starting job but must improve his decision-making.

Marco Rivera, right guard: Organization hopes he's one of the most improved players on the team.

Jason Fabini, right tackle: start if Rob Petitti can't handle the job.