Friday, February 29, 2008

Cowboys are tight against Cap..

Cowboys are tight

Hold your horses on all those Javon Walker and Tatum Bell rumors.

While the teams around the league are making a flurry of free agent moves, expect nary a peep out of the Cowboys' Valley Ranch headquarters over the next few days.

The Cowboys are very tight against the 2008 cap _ with barely enough money to sign their draft picks. The trade of Jason Ferguson now gives the Cowboys around $3 million in cap room.

So don't expect them to be a major player in free agency. They have no scheduled visits with any free agent prospects.

Now this doesn't mean they won't add a player or two in free agency. They will likely have to restructure a couple of contracts to do so and it will almost certainly have to come at the right price.

Walker is going to have to come down his price considerably to make all the Walker to Dallas rumors come true. And that's not even including the questions whether he can co-exist with Terrell Owens.

According to those in the know in Denver, he had trouble co-existing with Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall.

And while Bell is a DeSoto native and would provide a nice speed complement to Marion Barber, at the current moment there is nothing to the Bell to Dallas rumors.

According to a source, there is not even a visit scheduled.

Again stay tuned.

--Clarence Hill

Moss to Jets?

People within the Cowboys' organization have characterized a run at Randy Moss as unlikely, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The DMN believes Dallas is more likely to pursue free agent Javon Walker. We're speculating, but the Jets could make a push for Moss this weekend.

Source: Dallas Morning News

Randy Moss is now officially on the market


Posted by Mike Florio on February 29, 2008, 7:07 p.m.

Though free agency opened 19 hours ago, receiver Randy Moss is now officially on the market.

Per Adam Schefter of NFL Network and John Clayton of ESPN, Moss isn’t close to a deal with the Patriots, and he is open to entertaining offers from other teams.

The questions now become: (1) who is interested; and (2) how much will they offer?

Our take? Moss wants to know what else is out there before accepting the Pats’ best offer, if for no reason other than to know what he is sacrificing. He’s a guy with a reputation for being selfish and moody; what better way to improve his image than to walk away from a bigger offer and sticking with the Pats?

But the problem is that teams likely have vivid memories of his behavior in Oakland. He was all smiles and “committed to excellence” and “I just wanna win, baby” when the trade from Minnesota went down, but before too long he was a malcontent.

Maybe it wasn’t really his fault. It’s not as if the Raiders are the model professional sports franchise. But it’s a huge gamble to take if Moss expects $25 million or more in guaranteed money.

This one could get very interesting. Especially if the Jets decide to visit the ultimate indignity upon the Pats by trying to swipe the guy who made an above average offense into a pinball machine.

And so concludes a month that has seen the pendulum swing as sharply as it ever has for any NFL team. On January 31, the Patriots were awaiting their coronation. With February 1 came the names Arlen Specter and Matt Walsh. February 2 brought the report that the Pats cheated the Rams out of Super Bowl XXVI. On February 3, 18-0 became 18-1.

Things haven’t gotten much better since then. The only thing we’re sure of is that, in March, things surely can’t get much worse.

Cowboys Insider: Jones' latest moves worthy of applause

Tom Orsborn
San Antonio Express-News

Although Cowboys owner Jerry Jones still hasn’t met his stated No. 1 offseason goal of adding more “wow” to the offense, he deserves to take a bow for his most recent moves.

One of the ingredients for a successful free agent season is to prevent your own big-name players from testing the open market. While re-signing four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Flozell Adams lacked the sizzle fans desire from free agency, it’s the kind of shrewd move that’s the hallmark of top-flight franchises.

The Cowboys could ill afford to lose Adams. One of the league’s premier pass blockers, the former Michigan State standout gave up just 3½ sacks last season while protecting Tony Romo’s blindside. That’s quite an accomplishment in a division that includes the likes of right defensive ends Osi Umenyiora (Giants) and Trent Cole (Eagles).

Without Adams anchoring the line, Romo wouldn’t have had nearly as much time to scan the field for Terrell Owens and Jason Witten. That’s why Romo wasted little time placing a congratulatory phone call to Adams after learning the big fellow had gained a six-year deal worth more than $43 million, including a guaranteed $15 million.

The deal, which is in line with what other top left tackles have received, should allow Adams, who turns 33 in May, to finish his career in Dallas.

Jones also deserves praise for pulling the trigger on the trade that sent veteran nose tackle Jason Ferguson to the Dolphins for a 2009 sixth-round pick. The teams will also exchange sixth-round picks this year, a move that allows the Cowboys to jump from the back to the front of the round.

The sixth round is where the Cowboys last year found Pro Bowl kicker Nick Folk and fullback Deon Anderson, who was on his way to a solid rookie campaign before he tore his rotator cuff in Week 9 and landed on injured reserve.

But the most important aspect of the deal is it clears about $2.4 million on this year’s salary cap. It also shows the club has complete confidence in Jay Ratliff and Tank Johnson to man one of the most important positions in the 3-4 scheme.

And for all of you wondering why the Cowboys apparently aren’t going after any big-name free agents, consider this quote to Pro Football Weekly from an NFL front-office type who requested anonymity:

“The best time to enter the free-agent market is after the first wave. You get in early and you’re going to pay through the roof. The market always pushes up the price tag. I’m not interested in overpaying anyone. To me, you can find good value after the first wave every year. You just have to go back to the tape and look hard for it. A lot of money every year goes to the guys with big names – the Jevon Kearses. He was done when the Eagles signed him. What has he done since? But his name was a big draw.”

Philadelphia, by the way, released Kearse this week.

ESPN Blog: Agent: Flo wasn't going anywhere

Agent: Flo wasn't going anywhere
February 29, 2008 6:35 PM

Since several of you guys have asked why Cowboys left tackle Flozell Adams didn't at least test the free-agent market, I decided to shoot an e-mail over to his Dallas-based agent Jordan Woy.

According to Woy, Adams has acquired real estate in the area, and he didn't want to play for a team that was rebuilding. That of course ruled out the team that would've had the most interest in Adams, the Miami Dolphins.

The bottom line is that Adams is comfortable in Dallas, and it would've taken an astounding offer to get him to leave. In other news, Avery Johnson has lost his mind.

NFC East focus: Free-agent targets

Each week, Sporting News correspondents provide insight and analysis on every NFL team. Here's a look at the free-agent targets of teams in the NFC East.

East Division

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys would like to find a third cornerback like Randall Gay (Patriots) or Drayton Florence (Chargers) in free agency. The team is not expected to re-sign Jacques Reeves, who filled in capably last season when Terence Newman and Anthony Henry suffered injuries. Still, the Cowboys want to find a better player even if they have to pay a little more. Dallas is also looking to challenge ILB Akin Ayodele, which is why they made Zach Thomas their first offseason acquisition of note. Thomas signed a one-year deal worth as much as $3 million, if he achieves certain incentives. At 228 pounds, he's undersized in the 3-4 scheme, but coach Wade Phillips love his tenacity and intensity, and he's convinced the Cowboys could use stunts and other creative measures to keep offensive linemen off of Thomas, which would allow him to flow to the ball and make plays.

New York Giants

The Giants likely won't pursue many top-tier free agents. The lure of signing someone such as CB Asante Samuel has waned with the emergence of Corey Webster. But the team might look for another corner who will not cost nearly as much as Samuel. A player who fits that profile is Drayton Florence of the Chargers. If Gibril Wilson leaves, the team will have difficulty finding a starting-quality replacement. Available candidates -- Sammy Knight (Jaguars), Deke Cooper (Panthers), Chris Crocker (Falcons) -- would be drop-offs. At receiver, the Giants are looking for a speedy bargain such as Devery Henderson (Saints).

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles could be among those in pursuit of Patriots CB Asante Samuel. He's the top free agent on the market and will likely command more than the guaranteed $22 million that 49ers CB Nate Clements pulled in last year, but Samuel is a lockdown corner and turnover producer. He would immediately upgrade a defense that finished with the league's fewest takeaways last season. The club also might look at Bears WR Bernard Berrian, a deep threat who could team with QB Donovan McNabb to revive an offense that struggled to make plays downfield. The only problem is WRs Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown are signed to long-term deals. Muhsin Muhammad, released by the Bears, is also an option given the offense's red-zone problems. With few marquee defensive ends available, don't be surprised if the Eagles look to upgrade through trade. Panthers DE Julius Peppers' uncertain contract status headed into the final year of his contract with Carolina makes him a logical target for the Eagles. Same with Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald.

Washington Redskins

It will be an absolute shock if the team does not pursue Lance Briggs as a solution to its outside linebacker dilemma. The club almost made a deal to acquire Briggs last season when it would have required a draft pick and McIntosh to get him from the Bears. CB Asante Samuel (Patriots) is another player the team could be interested in making a multi-millionaire. The Redskins need to solidify the position because Carlos Rogers is not expected to return from his knee injury until September or October. The decision the Redskins must make is whether to keep Shawn Springs on the roster for another season or replace him on the salary cap with Samuel. Their skills are similar, but Samuel is six years younger. The classic free-agent acquisition for the Redskins would be Randy Moss. He's a controversial, yet enormously talented player, and the Redskins need a big receiver. Moss would instantly make the Redskins' offense more potent. If Moss indicates a willingness to leave New England, the Redskins will be hard-pressed not to make a run at him. On the surface, Alan Faneca (Steelers) is the solution to the team's questions at guard. Faneca is a durable, talented, experienced player who would immediately upgrade the line. His negative is his age, 31. The Redskins need to get younger in the offensive line.

ESPN's John Clayton reports the Patriots are not close to a deal with free agent Randy Moss

Clayton says Moss is willing to listen to other teams' offers. Moss, 31, probably won't get a six- or seven-year deal, but could become the NFL's highest paid receiver annually on a shorter-term contract if he wants.

Is Javon Walker headed to Dallas?

by Matt Mosley

We've been telling you about the Cowboys' interest in Broncos receiver Javon Walker for a couple of weeks. Now that he's been released by the Broncos, Dallas is free to pursue the enigmatic receiver.

As Todd Archer points out on my old blog, Walker's former position coach in Green Bay, Ray Sherman, serves in that same capacity for the Cowboys. Sherman has a close relationship with Walker, and he was one of the people who consoled him when Broncos cornerback and Fort Worth native Darrent Williams died in his arms following a shooting in downtown Denver on Jan. 1, 2007.

Walker has had two strong seasons (2004 and 2006), but he missed almost the entire 2005 season and a large portion of 2007 with a knee injury. I've talked to a couple of people who said he's never been able to recover from Williams' death. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is someone who believes that a change of scenery can have a tremendous impact on a player, as evidenced by Terrell Owens and Leonard Davis.

Don't underestimate Sherman's influence in Jones' decision-making. He gives him a lot of credit for T.O.'s success this past season.

2008 salary cap adjustments for all 32 teams

Originally posted by AdamJT13 from a sports forum:

Here are the cap adjustments for each team. A positive number is the amount added to that team's salary cap limit (more money that they can spend). A negative amount is how much a team's cap limit was lowered (less money they can spend).

Note: This is NOT how much cap room these teams have. It's just how much their cap limit has been adjusted.

Minnesota $18,432,577
Philadelphia $14,087,449
Tampa Bay $13,306,634
Buffalo $12,713,009
Cleveland $12,633,503
Jacksonville $11,920,898
Kansas City $11,658,373
Green Bay $9,430,581
Carolina $8,926,802
New Orleans $8,017,003
Seattle $7,386,108
Indianapolis $6,501,115
Tennessee $5,491,147
N.Y. Jets $5,052,789
Oakland $4,340,722
Miami $3,944,997
New England $2,596,078
Baltimore $2,532,265
San Francisco $2,310,787
Washington $1,821,260
Dallas $998,443
Chicago $726,231
Denver $660,000
St. Louis $632,320
Arizona $0
Cincinnati $0
Atlanta minus-$350,574
San Diego minus-$597,647
Pittsburgh minus-$1,910,774
Houston minus-$2,207,869
N.Y. Giants minus-$3,096,512
Detroit minus-$5,348,065

And here is each team's cap limit --

Note: This is NOT how much of the cap these teams have spent. It's how much they CAN spend.

Minnesota $135,161,577
Philadelphia $130,816,449
Tampa Bay $130,035,634
Buffalo $129,442,009
Cleveland $129,362,503
Jacksonville $128,649,898
Kansas City $128,387,373
Green Bay $126,159,581
Carolina $125,655,802
New Orleans $124,746,003
Seattle $124,115,108
Indianapolis $123,230,115
Tennessee $122,220,147
N.Y. Jets $121,781,789
Oakland $121,069,722
Miami $120,673,997
New England $119,325,078
Baltimore $119,261,265
San Francisco $119,039,787
Washington $118,550,260
Dallas $117,727,443
Chicago $117,455,231
Denver $117,389,000
St. Louis $117,361,320
Arizona $116,729,000
Cincinnati $116,729,000
Atlanta $116,378,426
San Diego $116,131,353
Pittsburgh $114,818,226
Houston $114,521,131
N.Y. Giants $113,632,488
Detroit $111,380,935

Our cap adjustment came in about $500,000 lower than I expected, but the cap was set $729,000 higher than the preliminary figure, so we came out ahead overall, I guess.

DMN Blog: Cowboys Will Be Bargain Shoppers ($2mil in cap room left)

by Tim MacMahon

Don't expect a whole bunch of flashy free agency news to come out of Valley Ranch over the next few days.

The Cowboys already made their big splash, keeping Pro Bowl LT Flozell Adams from testing the open market.

Jerry simply doesn't have the cap room to do anything flashy in a mediocre free agent market. According to my capologist (Todd Archer), the Cowboys have about $2 million to play with after the flurry of moves in the last 24 hours (Adams signing, tenders to restricted free agents, Jason Ferguson trade).
So that means the Cowboys will probably end up picking through the free agency leftovers. Cross your fingers that another Ken Hamlin will fall through the cracks.

Dolphins acquired NT Jason Ferguson from Dallas in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2009

Dolphins acquired NT Jason Ferguson from Dallas in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2009. The Dolphins and Cowboys will also exchange sixth-round picks this year.

Ferguson's play was up and down in Dallas under the Big Tuna, but Bill Parcells still has a fondness for him. He's likely to start at nose tackle this year, but has to prove he's healthy after tearing his biceps last season.

Broncos released WR Javon Walker, according to ESPN's Michael Smith

He's a big name, but Walker's contract and knee injury made it an easy choice by Denver. That no one chose to give up a late-round pick for Walker is telling. It's rumored that he could need microfracture surgery in the future, although he will have plenty of suitors lined up with MRI machines. Dallas, Washington, Philadelphia, and Tampa Bay have been rumored to be interested.
Source: Dallas Morning News

Bell ringing in Dallas?

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

Colleague Matt Mosley is driving right now and can't type. But he just called me with a tip from one of his Cowboys sources. Dallas suddenly is showing interest in running back Tatum Bell.

He's not the biggest name out there, only rushing for 182 yards with Detroit last season. But Bell, who was begging for a trade out of Detroit midway through last season, could be a nice fit as a backup running back. He was a 1,000-yard rusher for Denver in 2006. He's also a Dallas native and, at 26, he still has fresh legs.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

DMN Blog: Free agency reset

by Albert Breer

With Flozell Adams under contract, I thought the time was right to go ahead and list the Cowboys free agents. With the restricted guys, I'm putting the compensation attached to each player in paratheses. And the exclusive rights guys aren't going anywhere unless the Cowboys renounce those rights.

Let's go ...

S Keith Davis
CB Nate Jones
RB Julius Jones
CB Jacques Reeves
RB Tyson Thompson (un-tendered RFA)

RB Marion Barber (first- & third-round picks)
G/C Joe Berger (sixth-round pick)
DE Chris Canty (first-round pick)

CB Evan Oglesby
G/C Cory Procter

S Ken Hamlin

Cowboys talking contract with Owens

Cowboys | Team talking contract with Owens
Sat, 23 Feb 2008 10:11:25 -0800

During an interview with Drew Rosenhaus, Rosenhaus said the Dallas Cowboys are in ongoing contractual talks regarding WR Terrell Owens

DMN Blog: Jerry talking trade with Tuna

by Tim MacMahon

Breathe easy ... this post isn't about Marion "The Barbarian" Barber.

Sources inform Calvin "Lucky" Watkins that the Cowboys and Dolphins are discussing a trade that would send NT Jason Ferguson, a Bill Parcells favorite for years, to Miami. Not clear yet what the Cowboys might get in return.

Ferguson, who suffered a season-ending injury in the opener, is expendable because of the emergence of Jay Ratliff. Tank Johnson, who has stayed out of trouble since signing with Dallas, gives the Cowboys quality depth at nose tackle.

More to come as this story develops.

Jacques Reeves-DB- Cowboys to visit Texans

In addition to G/C Rex Hadnot, the Texans will host free agent CB Jacques Reeves on Friday.

Reeves, who started several games for Dallas in 2007, wants to stay in the Texas area. The Texans shouldn't overpay for him, however. Reeves could drive up his price tag in a free agent market full of other mediocre corners.
Source: Houston Chronicle

Marion Barber-RB- Cowboys

The Cowboys placed the highest tender possible ($2.562 million) on restricted free agent Marion Barber.

Interested teams would have to give up a first- and third-round pick if they signed Barber to an offer sheet Dallas couldn't match. This makes a lot more sense than an earlier report that said MBIII would only get a first-round tender. This should prevent Barber from getting signed elsewhere. Look for Dallas to work towards a long-term agreement as they also look to add another back.
Source: Dallas Morning News

Chris Canty-DL- Cowboys

The Cowboys placed a first-round tender on restricted free agent DE Chris Canty.

If the Dolphins had a lower pick in the first round, the Cowboys may not have taken this gamble. It's highly unlikely, though not impossible, that another team could try to sign Canty away for a first-round pick. He improved greatly in 2007.
Source: Dallas Morning News

Tyson Thompson-RB- Cowboys

The Cowboys didn't tender a contract to RB Tyson Thompson and tendered a one-year, $927,000 contract to G/T Joe Berger.

Thompson is now an unrestricted free agent, while another team would have to give up a sixth-round pick to attain Berger. The Cowboys don't have an experienced running back signed for 2008 at this point, with Marion Barber a restricted free agent.
Source: Dallas Morning News

DMN Blog: Cowboys Looking for Money (Salary Cap talk)

by Todd Archer

Now that the Cowboys have tendered three of their four restricted free agents - Marion Barber, Chris Canty and Joe Berger - they have chewed up $5.5 million in salary-cap space. Add in the $4.396 million franchise tag fee on free safety Ken Hamlin and the $1.25 million on Zach Thomas and that's $11.15 million.

They want to re-sign Flozell Adams, too. At some point the Cowboys are going to have to create some room against the cap to be players in free agency.

Where do they get the money?

In terms of restructuring, Tony Romo is the obvious choice. He is scheduled to earn a $6.5 million base salary. If they knock that down to the $605,000 minimum for a six-year player and turn the rest into signing bonus, they can create $4.8 million in cap room.

Where else? We documented earlier a $500,000 savings if Akin Ayodele is traded or cut when talking about the linebackers. And letting go of nose tackle Jason Ferguson would save them $2.4 million.Those numbers would increase if either was designated a post-June 1 cut.

Oliver Hoyte Released

Found on

The Cowboys released Oliver Hoyte, who spent the last two seasons as the primary fullback. Hoyte missed six games in 2007 with a neck injury he sustained in Week Two against Miami. Hoyte, a linebacker in college, made the Cowboys roster as a special teams player in 2006 and was switched to fullback, where he started four games as a rookie. Hoyte started eight games last season at the position. The Cowboys now have just Deon Anderson and Ronnie Cruz as the only fullbacks on the roster.

Salary cap set at $116.729 million

Originally Posted by AdamJT13 from a sports forum:

The cap for this season has been set at $116.729 million, which is a little higher than the $116 million preliminary figure.

Our adjusted cap should be even higher, once the carryovers from 2007 are applied.

Anderson Rumors involving Dallas/Miami Trade...

...Rumors are spreading throughout the league that both the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens will pursue Browns quarterback Derek Anderson in free agency if the Browns are unable to reach a deal with Anderson before the free agency deadline expires...the Brown will likely use the highest tender on Anderson which would force any team that signs him to surrender their first and third round picks in the 2008 Draft with the Browns having the right to match any offer on the table...rumors are spreading that the Dolphins who own the first pick overall will deal that pick to the Cowboys for both of the Cowboys picks in the first round, which is less than the value chart but agreeable to both teams...the Dolphins would then surrender one of those first round picks plus a third to Cleveland for Anderson...the Dolphins would then come away with Anderson but still have a first round pick in the's a strategy that has been widely speculated throughout the league over the past several weeks.

Basically in a nutshell:

Miami Gets:

#22 overall
#28 overall
QB Derek Anderson

Dallas Gets:

#1 overall

Cleveland gets:

#22 or #28
Miami's Third Round pick

Barber Gets Highest Tender Offer; Thomas Signs

Nick Eatman - Email Staff Writer

IRVING, Texas - With free agency officially beginning at 11:01 p.m. (CST) Thursday night, the Cowboys have already met another deadline.

The club has sent one-year tender offers to three restricted free agents, including running back Marion Barber, who received the highest tender available.

The Cowboys beat the NFL's 3 p.m. deadline to send out restricted offers and tendered Barber with a one-year contract of $2.562 million. He is free to negotiate with other clubs and can sign an offer sheet. The Cowboys would then have seven days to match the deal and if they chose to pass, they would receive a first- and third-round draft pick in return.

The club also gave defensive end Chris Canty a tender of $2.017 million. The Cowboys would get a first-round draft pick if he signs with another team and they chose not to match.

The Cowboys gave the original draft tender to guard Joe Berger, worth $927,000. But they chose not to tender running back Tyson Thompson, which likely ends his three-year stint with the club.

In other news, the Cowboys have officially signed linebacker Zach Thomas to a four-year deal worth nearly $19 million. However, it will likely end up as the one-year deal that was reported over the weekend. Thomas can easily void the deal down to just one year. With a $1 million base and a $1 million signing bonus, Thomas will now count $1.25 on this year's salary cap. If the contract is voided down to one season, Thomas will also likely earn another $1 million in incentives.

Thomas missed most of the 2007 season after suffering a concussion against the Cowboys back in Week 2. Ironically, the player Thomas collided with on the play he was injured was fullback Oliver Hoyte, who was released by the Cowboys on Thursday.

Hoyte was also injured in that game, sustaining a neck injury that sidelined him for the next six weeks. Hoyte spent the last two years as the Cowboys' starting fullback after making the team as a rookie free-agent linebacker in 2006. The Cowboys switched him to fullback early in his rookie season.

The Cowboys could sign Thomas before the start of free agency because he was released from his original team. Teams can start negotiating with all unrestricted and restricted free agents once the free-agent signing period begins Thursday night.

And when that happens, left tackle Flozell Adams will officially hit the open market unless the Cowboys can work out a new deal before then. The club has continued talks with Adams' agent Jordan Woy on Thursday. Team owner Jerry Jones has stated this week the Cowboys are interested in re-signing Adams, who turns 33 in May.

Adams is one of five unrestricted free agents who can test the waters, along with running back Julius Jones, cornerbacks Nate Jones and Jacques Reeves and safety Keith Davis.

Getting In The Flo First

Nick Eatman - Email Staff Writer

IRVING, Texas - Let's not dilly-dally around here with NFL free agency set to begin at 11:01 p.m. (CST) Thursday.

Here is the very best of news coming out of The Ranch this afternoon:

Apparently neither the Cowboys or Flozell Adams and his rep Jordan Woy have drawn a line in the sand negotiating a very delicate and likely complex contract extension with the granules dropping even more rapidly out of the sand timer. Neither side gets to turn the tube of connected glass bulbs over another time.

The time is now.

And to me, there is nothing the Cowboys can do in free agency over the coming months that is more important than getting their four-time Pro Bowl left tackle signed to what amounts to an extension if that should take place by tonight's deadline or what will be considered a new contract if that isn't accomplished until after the 11:01 p.m. start of free agency.

You guys might become distracted with all this other stuff, rumors of Randy Moss coming here, rumors of Javon Walker coming here, rumors of teams possibly being prepared to fork over first- and third-round draft choices for restricted free agent Marion Barber. You guys might start drooling over a Bernard Berrian or a Ty Law or a Michael Turner or Asante Samuel - you know, some of that pie-in-the-sky stuff.

Fine, just as long as the Cowboys don't. They seem to understand priorities, and none of the aforementioned players are priorities at this point. Not even necessities.

But keeping the Flo on the offensive line is, believe me, and there were sure sounds of encouragement bouncing off The Ranch walls here Thursday afternoon when the Cowboys were preparing to have a face-to-face meeting with Adams and Woy. That should be free-agency music to your ears.

Oh, some of you seem to get preoccupied with Adams' penchant for a false start at least once a game. And I'm guessing, and you can put me in this category, too, you'd wish Flo would be much more aggressive run blocking, like throw around his 6-7, 340-pounds to maul people the way Larry Allen once did.

OK, OK, but look, when it comes to protecting Tony Romo's blindside, who would you rather have over there on the left end of the line? Pat McQuistan, who has yet to play a full NFL game and who, at least to me, struggled mightily in training camp when under an extended microscope? Doug Free, no more than a fourth-round draft choice this past season with all of zero NFL starts under his belt? Have you even looked at that mess in free agency? Please, Adams would be the top dog.

And come on, as much as the Cowboys profess they might, do you really want to move Leonard Davis, a Pro Bowl guard, over to left tackle where at least the Arizona Cardinals thought he struggled and why they were willing to let him float into free agency last year, and then have to replace his production at right guard? Chance weakening two positions, and I'm about sure of at least one for sure?

Romo ended up getting sacked 24 times in 2007, and seven of those occurred in back-to-back games against Detroit and Philadelphia. That comes to 1.5 sacks a game. Now, was Adams flawless? Of course not. No left tackle is, not having to face the talented speed-rushers these NFL defenses put over to their side. But tell you what, Adams was pretty darn good over there, and the Cowboys didn't have to help him out a whole lot by keeping a tight end in to that side.

Look at some of the top pass rushers Adams faced during the regular season: Osi Umenyiora (three times), Jason Taylor, Aaron Schobel, Trent Cole (twice), Andre Carter (twice), that New England defense, that Green Bay defense, that Carolina defense, and guess what? Only one guy lining up on Flo's side in those 12 games was able to put Romo on the ground with the ball. That was Philadelphia's Trent Cole the second time around.

Other than that, goose eggs.

Now you want to gamble with that kind of success? When your offensive bread and butter is Romo throwing the ball to Terrell Owens or Jason Witten? I'd think not.

The Cowboys realize that, and frankly, I don't think Adams really wants to go anywhere else at this stage of his career, that is, as long as the Cowboys are in the

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cowboys in running for CB Asante Samuel?

The agent for Asante Samuel says he's using Dwight Freeney's six-year, $72 million deal as a starting point for his client.

He says he isn't using Nate Clements' seven-year, $64 million pact, which included $22 million guaranteed, while Freeney's had $30 million. It sounds like Samuel plans on being the NFL's highest paid defender by the weekend. The agent named the Saints, Eagles, and Cowboys as possible suitors.

Source: Yahoo Sports

PFW Blog: Cowboys should be favorites to play Giants in their opener

For some reason, I thought this morning about who the Giants might play in the opening game this season, the one the league showcases on the Thursday before the opening weekend. Since the league has awarded the Super Bowl winner the home-game Thursday opener, the NFL has tried to match up two marquee teams to play in the game. Here are the four games:

2007: Colts 41, Saints 10
2006: Steelers 28, Dolphins 17
2005: Patriots 30, Raiders 20
2004: Patriots 27, Colts 24

In retrospect, the Dolphins and Raiders (even the Saints, for that matter) didn't turn out to be terrific teams, but the Nick Saban and Randy Moss factors played into the first two, and you could argue that Katrina and the Saints' terrific season were the prevailing factors for the matchup last year. Pats-Colts in '04 was a no-brainer, of course.

So who might the Giants open with next season? Based on the '08 home opponents, I'll handicap the field -- and I'll have handicapping guru Mike Wilkening check my math later when he gets back from Indy:

1. Cowboys: I think this is a pretty good bet to be the game, but it should be noted that no divisional games have been chosen before. And Giants-Cowboys is an event anyway, without the Thursday hype. That said, with no other tantilizing matchups, and given the way the teams clashed three times last season (including the playoff gem), my money is on Dallas going to East Rutherford on Sept. 4.
Odds: 3-to-2

2. Redskins: It wouldn't shock me if the league goes with the Redskins (new coach, Sean Taylor factor) and makes a big thing of it. It also could be a decent game, considering the weird storylines of the teams' two matchups last season. The goal-line stand saved the Jints' season in week Three, but the meltdown at home against the 'Skins in Week 15 cast serious doubt about their playoff chances at the time.
Odds: 3-1

3. Eagles: A great rivalry, but again always a spectacle with these teams that could stand on its own or better fit the Monday night or Sunday night profile.
Odds: 4-1

4. Seahawks: I could see the Mike Holmgren factor carrying some weight, and the Seahawks are the best non-divisional opponent on the home slate. But are they a marquee matchup?
Odds: 5-1

5. Bengals: I suppose the Bengals carry some weight in terms of name recognition, and we could have a battle of No. 1 pick QBs (Palmer vs. Eli). It also would be interesting to see Marvin Lewis in the same position now as Tom Coughlin was last season: on the "seat," so to speak. But I have a hard time seeing it.
Odds: 10-1

6. Baltimore: It really starts dropping off. Other than the new coach and Ray Lewis, the most overhyped human being next to Dane Cook, there isn't a lot of value here.
Odds: 15-1

7. Panthers: Sure, pin me down and I'll tell you I think once the free agency and draft are over with, the Panthers will be an improved team. That said, the league sees nada value with a Giants-Panthers matchup in the opener.
Odds: 25-1

8. 49ers: A thrilling battle of quarterbacks -- Eli vs. Shaun Hill!
Odds: 75-1

Posted by Eric Edholm on February 24, 2008 2:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Is Walker headed to Dallas?

by Matt Mosley

I just talked to someone with the Cowboys organization who said the club was interested in Broncos wide receiver Javon Walker. The Broncos would like to move Walker in a trade, but it's hard to imagine that the Cowboys would give up anything of value for a disgruntled player who is coming off an injury-plagued season.

Denver coach Mike Shanahan said in his final news conference of the season that Walker would likely have to undergo microfracture knee surgery in the next few years. In a lot of ways, Walker's value has always exceeded his actual production. He had a breakout season with the Packers in 2004 and a solid season with the Broncos in 2006.

Other than that, his career has been largely defined by a knee injury that caused him to miss almost the entire 2005 season. He also went through the mental trauma of having Broncos teammate Darrent Williams die in his arms at the end of the 2006 season. According to people who talk to him on a daily basis, he hasn't been the same since.

Teams will likely wait for the Broncos to release Walker before signing him. He's due a large signing bonus on March 4, and there's no way the Broncos will pay it. Oh, and he's not exactly the type of personality that would mesh with T.O. Walker, 29, believes he's still a No. 1 receiver in the league, and that wouldn't be the case in Dallas.

DMN Blog: So much for the Moss rumors

by Tim MacMahon

I don't think anybody around these parts took the Randy Moss-to-Dallas rumors very seriously. But if you were hoping that the Cowboys would pair Moss with T.O. in what would perhaps be the most talented/combustible WR combo in NFL history, prepare to have your heart broken.

AOL Sports reports that Moss has agreed to a multi-year deal to remain a Patriot.

Now, if you want to get your hopes up about a big-name WR addition, hop on the Javon Walker bandwagon.

There's no way the Cowboys will work out a trade with the Broncos. Walker is due a $5 million roster bonus next week. Why would the Cowboys give up a draft pick for the right to pay that bonus when the Broncos will release Walker anyway? (Unless, as the Denver Post reports is a possibility, little Danny Snyder is dumb enough to trade for Walker.)

Walker's recent injury history is scary, but he's put up totals of 2,466 yards and 20 TDs in his last two healthy seasons. He also has a great relationship with Cowboys WR coach Ray Sherman from their days in Green Bay.

Dallas Cowboys want Darren McFadden?

by greg pitsch (Analyst)

With talks surfacing all over the web, TV, and Radio about how bad the Dallas Cowboys wants Darren McFadden, and their willingness to trade with Miami. To me, this makes no sense.

First off, I understand that Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells are willing to work together, and he is helping Parcells re-tool his team with three picks, and a proven running back. But would Miami even take McFadden, or trade with anybody else?

They are more interested in Virginia's Chris Long to benefit Jason Taylor in the more than predictable 3-4 style Parcells’ will adapt.

This trade could potentially benefit both parties, but why would Jones make him the first pick in the draft if he can get him at third, fourth, or fifth pick?

There lies the problem.

He is not the only owner interested in pursuing what could become of Darren. Nobody knows for sure if he will be good or great, that is why people are shaky, when it comes to paying 30 plus million for uncertainty.

I believe the Cowboys would be foolish to make this trade with Miami, because most likely he could be still there at the fourth or fifth pick. He becomes cheaper with every pick that he is not taken.

But as we all know, the Dolphins are in no room to pass on three picks, and an all-star running back with the condition of their team.

Ronnie Brown and Marion Barber, would be an amazing one-two punch, and the plus side with all the picks, is they can get a few decent players relatively cheap, a big advantage when you are rebuilding. But will it ruin the chance of them creating a high powered pass rush with their front line?

If offered the Dolphins will more than likely take this deal?

Too bad for everybody else, because the Cowboys would be smarter to make this deal with the Falcons, Raiders, or Chiefs, who would all be more than willing to entertain this deal

Jones thinks team can add 'wow' factor to offense, maybe at RB


By all accounts, the Cowboys’ offense was a top-notch unit, ranking second in the NFL in points scored and third in yards. Owner Jerry Jones isn’t settling for second-best. Clearly blown away by what he saw firsthand on Oct. 14, when the high-flying Patriots blazed their way to a 48-27 win in Texas Stadium, and no doubt humbled by his own team’s 17-point output in the playoff loss to the Giants, Jones would like to inject even more juice to a pretty gaudy unit. “I think we have a chance to put some more ‘wow’ in this offense,” Jones told assembled media at the Indianapolis Combine. “That’s my No. 1 goal in this offseason. And that’s not to imply, with the third-best offense in the league, that I was disappointed in the ‘wow.’ ” The positions of need include running back, wideout and offensive tackle. RB Julius Jones and OLT Flozell Adams are free agents, and WR Terry Glenn might not play again. “Without Julius Jones signed, it’s obvious we need to look at running back,” Jones said. “How we get there might surprise you. It can be, but it’s not necessarily, drafting one.” It would surprise no one if Jones covets Arkansas RB Darren McFadden, who had impressive workouts in Indy, but you can almost rule out a deal with the Dolphins, who hold the No. 1 pick. Sources say Jones will not work a trade with Miami, which raided the Cowboys’ staff once Bill Parcells took over as executive vice president of football operations.

Dallas May Land Javon Walker

By Dan

Rotoworld and report Denver Broncos receiver Javon Walker may soon be headed to Dallas. Walker would bring the Cowboys additional experience in a receiving core that includes Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn, and Patrick Crayton.

Walker suffered through a lingering knee injury that sidelined him for Weeks 3-12. He hauled in 17 catches for 220 yards in the first two weeks of the season.

When healthy, Walker is a solid fantasy option at receiver, but his recurring knee injuries are worrisome, especially from a fantasy perspective.

Randy Moss: Should Re-Sign with New England

By Dan

Despite reports tying free agent receiver to be Randy Moss to the Dallas Cowboys, Moss should sign with the New England Patriots, report AOL and Rotoworld.

Moss had 98 catches and a record 23 touchdowns last season. He became the center of quarterback Tom Brady's offense. Wes Welker hauled in an NFL leading 112 receptions.

If Moss were to sign elsewhere, his fantasy value would likely fall.

DMN Blog: Is Miami first stop when Flo hits market?

by Tim MacMahon

Todd Archer reports that it appears increasingly likely that the Cowboys and Flozell Adams won't get a deal done before he can officially test the market.

Archer mentions that Flo has a lot of fans in high places in Miami with Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano in charge of the Dolphins. And Adams is the first free agent mentioned in this Miami Herald story previewing the options for the Dolphins, who have more than $40 million in cap space.

If Flo goes, are you folks comfortable with Pat McQuistan and Doug Free fighting for the right to protect Tony Romo's blind side?

Jerry shouldn't gamble with Dallas Cowboys' draft picks

by Jean-Jacques Taylor

Now that Jerry Jones has been to the NFL scouting combine, he should feel even better about following my advice to sit tight with his two first-round picks.

If Jerry will just take the best skill position players available with the 22nd and 28th picks in the first round, then he will get the young players he needs at wide receiver and running back to make sure the Cowboys have offensive firepower for years.

He does not have to reach. Nor does he have to gamble.

All he has to do is wait.

Understand, Jerry can't stand waiting. He loves the chase. He loves wheeling and dealing. He is a gambler by nature.

But now is not the time.

By all accounts, this is the best running back draft in years. Darren McFadden is clearly the best, but not by much. Rashard Mendenhall is gathering steam, and by the time April rolls around, the consensus on the best running back may have changed.

The Cowboys will also be able to find a receiver in the first round, whether it's someone like Malcolm Kelly or Limas Sweed.

You draft skill in the first round. There's enough of it to go around this year that Jerry doesn't have to be creative to find it.

CB Destinations - DAL/Florence

Originally posted by BigD425 from a sports forum:

These guys (rotoworld) had us hooking up with Booker (Walker wasn't an
option as wasn't free). They predict us going all out for Florence. I
think he's worth looking at, but nowhere near what they indicate him
making. Those last few years better have a ton of money on them.


1. Asante Samuel (Patriots) - Samuel was not as effective in coverage in
2007 and is considered a "system player" by some GMs. However, he is
experienced in a man-coverage scheme and has elite ball skills. Samuel,
who just turned 27, has 19 picks and a startling 58 pass breakups over
the last three seasons. He is in search of a ten-year, $100 million
contract, which he won't get from the Patriots.

Prediction: Saints - 10 years, $100 million ($24 million guaranteed)

2. Drayton Florence (Chargers) - Since being a second-round pick in 2003
out of Tuskegee, Florence has had one legitimately strong season (2006).
He couldn't help losing his starting job to Antonio Cromartie last year.
We know what Florence is: a league average starter with decent
playmaking ability and mediocre tackling skills. But in this market,
he's the No. 2 cornerback available and will be a rich man shortly.

Prediction: Cowboys - 7 years, $42 million ($19 million guaranteed)

3. Randall Gay (Patriots) - Gay can play both safety and cornerback and
rarely lets plays get behind him. He's an LSU product who will tackle
and can play inside and outside. None of Gay's physical measurements
stand out and he's never been a full-time starter. But he is coming off
a career best three-interception season, is only 25, and has No. 2
corner potential.

Prediction: Falcons - 5 years, $30 million ($11 million guaranteed)

4. Brian Kelly (Bucs) - Kelly, who paid the Bucs $3.85 million to opt
out of his deal, was arguably a better all-around corner than Ronde
Barber in his prime. Now 32 and coming off back-to-back injury plagued
campaigns, Kelly's value is at a low. But if he can put his toe problems
behind him, Kelly will be an asset in a Cover 2. He is a fine tackler
and will make plays on the ball. There's no better fit for him than with
old Bucs DL coach Rod Marinelli.

Prediction: Lions - 3 years, $14 million ($6 million guaranteed)

5. Fernando Bryant (Lions) - Bryant turns 31 soon and isn't outstanding
in any area, but has extensive experience in both zone and man-to-man
schemes. He led Lions cornerbacks with 69 tackles and 13 pass breakups
in 2007. Bryant's build (5'10/175) would translate well as a slot corner
for his next team. He'll be a low upside signing, but can be a steady
No. 2 or 3 CB.

Prediction: Patriots - 3 years, $8 million ($3 million guaranteed)

6. Keith Smith (Lions) - Has never started full time, but probably
should've last year. Smith, 27, had three INTs, one returned for a
score. He'd be a fine nickel back signing.

7. Travis Fisher (Lions) - Approaching early-career journeyman status.
Fisher is somewhat injury prone, but can cover the slot. He's 28 but
should come cheap.

8. Will James (Eagles) - Apparently, the name change (from Will
Peterson) hasn't helped. James lost his third corner job to Joselio
Hanson down the stretch last year. He has good size (6'0/200), but has
an injury history and is unreliable.

9. Jacques Reeves (Cowboys) - Picked up starts last year with Terence
Newman and Anthony Henry hobbled, but isn't excellent in any area and
will be searching for a megadeal. Like Jason David at this time last
year, he's someone to avoid.

10. Ricardo Colclough (Browns) - Toolsy former second-round pick
couldn't crack the Steelers' CB rotation 2004-2006 or Cleveland's in
2007. Colclough can return punts, but is also fumble prone. He's worth a
look, but shouldn't be guaranteed anything.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

SPECULATION: Cowboys' Set To Tender Barber.....

Originally posted by WFRYE from another sports forum:

.......for 2.35 mil with 1st and 3rd round picks as compensation by Thursday's deadline. It makes sense when you think about it from a business standpoint and not just that of a fan. Jerry will more than likely find a way to draft DMac (for those of us in the real world and not just fans of Barber) to finally make a splash and add that "wow" player to his offense. Jerry is no fool and sees this opportunity as something much more than drafting a player, but rather the marketing of a player with his new stadium and high profile franchise....what he finally does pay DMac will be but peanuts compared to what he will make in years to come in his new stadium...or what he could pay when the salary cap expires after the 2010 season as expected. So when Jerry continues to put on a show by throwing up smokescreens about money and draft picks considerations being an obstacle during his news conferences over the next two months when he is asked about trading up for DMac, don't believe him.

Jerry knows that several teams will be looking for a quality RB in FA, and by tendering Barber for a 1st and 3rd round pick, he is essentially killing two birds with one stone. If no teams bite by April 18th, Jerry get's to keep Barber at a reasonable price to team with DMac for a season and possibly force Barber into a one year deal at much less then what he and his agent were asking to make a SB run. You also save the heartache of having to explain to you're fans why you did not resign Barber if he is traded away for 1st and 3rd round draft picks...which is a no brainer. Why extend Barber to a long term deal when you already know that he will not be you're starter long term as proved by the way he has been used since day one as a Cowboy (even though he ran better then Julius), and you will still need to bring in another RB? To use the 22nd pick in the draft on another RB only to watch him back up Barber or out perform him, makes little sense. It is much easier to draft the RB of the future and to pay him as your franchise RB and not as your backup franchise RB, and then later finding a respectable backup at a reasonable price.

Philly fans: Say it aint so!


I am in pain even writing this. John Czarnecki of Fox Sports reports that RandyMoss and the Pats are not even close on a new deal. Moss is likely to hit the open market and offer the Pats the chance to match his best offer. Anyone want to take a guess at who his biggest suitor may be?

No, the Philadelphia Eagles are unlikely to make a play for Moss and I think that is a good thing. The Dallas Cowboys are rumored to be highly interested in the Pro Bowl wide receiver. The Cowboys could throw the bank at Moss and suit him up alongside Terrell Owens every weekend. My God, I think I am already scared.

The move makes a ton of sense for the Cowboys. Let’s face it, the problem in the Giants game wasn’t the defense. The offense couldn’t put points on the board. Randy Moss himself isn’t going to make a difference, but the overall offense would be dynamite. Who are you going to double-team? If you double Moss, you leave Owens open and vice versa. If you are going to play the pass, you open up the run all day for Barber. What do you do with Witten if you are a defense? Even Tony Romo can win a playoff game with that offense.

As explosive the Patriots offense was, they still couldn’t win the Super Bowl. Even with Moss, the Cowboy offense would still not be as lethal as the Patriot offense of 2007. However, the Cowboys play in the NFC with a lot less competition than the Patriots have. Who is going to stop the Cowboys with that kind of offense?

Deep down I believe that the Patriots are going to match whatever is offered to Moss and keep him. However, Jerry Jones with a new stadium coming is going to do everything he can to make the Cowboys the best show in the NFL. Adding Moss could mean millions of dollars in luxury boxes for the Cowboys. The financial return on the investment would mean more immediately for the Cowboys than the Pats. Jones is creative and he could structure a deal that would make it impossible for the Pats to match.

Free agency starts Friday. Joe Banner can spin all he wants about high-priced free agents, but give me the Cowboys with Moss, Owens, Witten, and Barber over the Eagles any day of the week.

Moss the 'Wow' Jones is Looking For?

From James' Football Blog
by James Alder

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said he wants to add some "wow" to his offense this off-season, which means he probably has a short list of possibilities already in mind. Earlier rumors indicated Jones might be interested in putting together a package deal to move up in the NFL Draft to select running back Darren McFadden from Arkansas, Jones' alma mater. Another rumor making the rounds at this year's NFL Combine, per Michael David Smith of the AOL Fanhouse and Mike Florio of, says that New England Patriots' wide receiver Randy Moss may be his target.

From a cap standpoint, the Cowboys have the room to get a deal done. And the addition of Moss opposite Terrell Owens would certainly cause tremendous match-up problems, especially given Jason Witten's prowess in the passing game. Defenses would be forced to pick their poison in regards to who would draw double coverage and who would be left man to man. And forget ever putting eight men in the box to slow down running back Marion Barber.

The biggest obstacle, however, would come down to how willing Owens would be to play second fiddle to Moss not only on the field, but in the paycheck as well. To get Moss to Dallas would probably require a monumental contract offer. And when T.O. and his agent look at the gap between what he is being paid as compared to Moss (and you know they will), as well as the touches being taken away, it could result in some unhappiness in the Owens camp.

So while the move looks good on paper, it could backfire on Jones if Owens isn't on board with it from the beginning. We've all seen what a distraction Owens can become when he's not happy. Perhaps a big raise for T.O. as well is the answer, I don't know.

But I do know that it would be a lot of fun to watch an offense that features both Moss and Owens, along with a young quarterback in Tony Romo, who has the uncanny ability to buy time for his receivers to get open. It might almost be unfair.

Cowboys Mailbag: Dallas should focus on Jones, not McFadden

Tom Orsborn
San Antonio Express-News

Dallas Cowboys fans are lusting after the wrong Razorback running back.

While it’s true Darren McFadden is looking more and more like a future Pro Bowl choice after clocking a scorching time of 4.27 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, his Arkansas teammate, Felix Jones, would be a better fit for the Cowboys.

To position themselves to draft McFadden, the Cowboys would have to part with their first-round picks (Nos. 22 and 28) plus a player or other picks. The high cost to crack the top five should make such a move prohibitive. Plus, this draft is deep with backs.

Jones, meanwhile, is projected as a late first or second-round selection.

Then there’s this: Jones has the perfect temperament to share carries with Pro Bowl pick Marion Barber, a restricted free agent Dallas is sure to retain.

For three seasons, Jones was content to operate in the large shadow cast by McFadden. Although he told reporters in Indianapolis he’s eager to create a name for himself, Jones acknowledged he enjoyed playing with McFadden because they were a “tremendous tandem.”

Wouldn’t the same be true of a Barber-Jones partnership?

Calling himself a “laid-back type of guy,” Jones said he likes to “sit around and watch people do what they do.”

“I’m just the guy in the back,” said Jones, who like McFadden left Arkansas after his junior season.

According to Pro Football Weekly, scouts say the second-fiddle role is one Jones should continue in the NFL. They cite his lack of durability as the main reason he shouldn’t be a featured back.

Jones, though, would be perfect in a change-of-pace role. He averaged 8.7 yards per carry last season on an average of just 10.2 rushes. At the combine, he had a 4.47-second showing in the 40.

To top it all, Jones made it clear in an interview two weeks ago with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he would be thrilled to play for Dallas.

“I grew up watching the Cowboys in Tulsa, Okla. They were the closest team to our state,” Jones said. “I grew up a fan and it would be an honor to wear the star on my helmet.”

Now on to your questions:

What should the Cowboys’ No. 1 priority be right now?

-- Ryan Becker, Boise, Idaho

Hands down, it should be re-signing Pro Bowl left tackle Flozell Adams, an unrestricted free agent. If they lose Adams, the Cowboys likely will be forced to move Leonard Davis to left tackle, which means they will be losing a Pro Bowl right guard and gaining a mediocre left tackle. Davis is much stronger in the middle, where he doesn’t have to operate in space. With Davis guarding his blindside, Tony Romo won’t be nearly as effective.

What needs to be done to our defensive front and secondary to take the defense to the next level?

-- Sas Mwine, Centreville, Md.

As the New York Giants proved in the playoffs and the Super Bowl, you can get by with a mediocre secondary provided you generate a punishing pass rush. The Cowboys were solid in that area last season and should be even better next season provided 2007 first-round pick Anthony Spencer continues to develop as an edge rusher. My guess is he will. He showed flashes last season, ending with three sacks, three tackles for losses and seven quarterback pressures.

Could The Pacman Cometh to Dallas?

By Scott Knudsen
Posted Feb 25, 2008

Nothing promotes sales like winning and entertainment value, and no one understands this concept more than the modern day, Barnum & Bailey carnival barker himself, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

In three words, here’s sales promotion 101: Adam Pacman Jones.

Understanding half the readership of The Ranch Report, possibly more, just shut down, tuned out or stopped reading all together, try to hang tight for a few more paragraphs.

No one will deny there are off-the-field concerns raising questions about responsibility, commitment and discipline. The NFL front office is concerned about these factors, and any future employer can’t simply ignore the past transgressions. Like the current NFL Combine and upcoming Draft, organizations must exercise due diligence and take a hard, insightful look into the heart and soul of Adam Jones.

The Ranch Report decided to do just that, and we recently caught up with Manubir (Manny) S. Arora.

Who’s that, you ask?

Mr. Arora was retained last month and currently represents Adam Jones in the capacities of personal Attorney and Agent.

Recently Arora was most gracious and generous with his time, providing The Ranch Report with tremendous insight regarding the world of Pacman Jones.

Quite simply, attorney and client know things are hovering dangerously close to “last call.”

“As far as the NFL is concerned, he’s on or near his last legs," Arora said. "The Commissioner has made his intentions clear, and the reinstatement criteria are very specific. We’re comfortable the requirements and expectations will be met.”

When asked if a lifetime ban could be completely ruled out at this point, Arora stated, “I fully expect Adam to be reinstated before the 2008 season. However, if there is a lapse in decision making, then the Commissioner has the option to consider a ban."

The NFL recently issued a letter to Arora, and it appears his client is going to wait a while longer before his fate is ultimately decided.

Jones was hoping for a final decision this month, so the delay is a disappointment in Pacman’s camp.

“This kid is full of energy," Arora said. "He’s ready to get back on the field and excel. It’s been hard for him not knowing what his NFL future will be."

Jones has been a regular when it comes to working out and staying in shape. Contrary to many reports, “Pacman is welcome at the Titans’ facility. He is not banned nor has he been told to stay away from the Tennessee Titans. Quite the opposite. He is allowed to participate one day per week at their facility,” Arora said While he continues to work out with the Titans, it’s unknown whether he’ll ultimately be staying in Tennessee.

“Certainly we would like to remain with the Titans and re-build our reputation, but a fresh start in a new organization might be beneficial. A change of scenery can be good for many reasons,” intimated Mr. Arora. “We’re just not sure where Tennessee stands. If they look to trade Adam, we must find a strong organization with very strong leadership.

"Without a doubt, there will be criticism levied against any team that gives Adam a chance at redemption. Thus, the right fit is very important.”

Mr. Arora indicated the Cowboys certainly fit the desired profile.

“Jerry Jones is a strong owner and a proven leader. Over the years the Cowboys have given players with a plethora of issues another chance. The Terrell Owens acquisition is just a recent example. The Cowboys have enjoyed risk-taking success, and they have leaders within their player ranks. Adam will need a good group of leaders around him,” said Arora. “If not Tennessee, then whichever team it ends up being, they’ll be getting a game changer.”

Jones’ on-field exploits can’t be denied.

Simply put, he is explosive and can score from anywhere on the field at any given time. He’s very dangerous with the ball in his hands. Devin Hester has better career return stats, but when you combine Pacman’s defensive prowess with his exemplary return skills, he’s the total package.

In this two years in the league, he was dominant as a returning, bringing back four kicks for touchdowns. He was also solid as cornerback, picking off four passes in 2006. Obviously, his ability to dictate field position is a huge asset, and it’s hard to argue against him accounting for six to seven points/contest in field position alone. Many feel he is directly attributable for two wins/season.

That’s impact.

Only the playoff victory drought is longer than the number of years the Cowboys have gone without a punt return for a touchdown. That figure stands at six years. Ouch.

It goes without saying the Cowboys need an instantaneous game changer. Adam Jones has a package not seen in these parts since Deion Sanders roamed Texas Stadium.

Yes, he’s that good.

The question the Cowboys need to answer is could he be the next Charles Haley? Could he be that one piece that puts the Cowboys over the top?

Charles was the icing on a very good cake in the early ‘90’s, and Pacman could provide the same “tip the scales” décor. It’s no secret Jones would welcome the chance to play for Dallas, as evident by the video that surfaced on the internet within the last couple of months with him saying as much.

Mr. Arora admitted to seeing the video which made the internet rounds.

“I did see it, and I believe it was done some time last summer," he said. "If given the chance, I think Dallas could be a good fit for Adam. When he was growing up, Adam, like most young boys, dreamed about playing for the Cowboys. He just wants to play. He needs to get back to playing ball.”

While Jones awaits the League’s green light, he’s been spending a ton of time with his 2-year-old daughter, Zaniyah. Together, Jones and Arora are seeking community outreach as an avenue of reclamation.

“Adam has been asked to get involved in an Atlanta organization for children being raised by a grandmother," he said. "He’s giving back to those who are being raised the same way he was brought up. He’s also offered to visit college campuses to help players on those teams understand the temptations of the real world. He wants them to know that regardless of your talent and the accolades people shower upon you, your actions have very serious consequences. He wants others to learn from his mistakes."

He went on to say, “While there have been errors in judgment, Adam has also been a victim of circumstance. Many of the reported instances receiving high profile attention have almost always resulted in Adam being cleared or showing that Adam was not directly involved. However, this doesn’t excuse him from poor decision making and going to places he should not.”

So, what’s next?

“We seek a final decision before the NFL Draft. Ideally, we’d like to move forward during the free agency period. It would allow teams to make decisions before signing free agents and drafting for need. Teams need to know their cap position entering the acquisition season.”

Mr. Arora feels if released or traded by the Titans, Pacman Jones would come “reasonably” to any recipient.

“I don’t know what Tennessee would seek in a trade. The Commissioner must approve any trade offer due to Adam’s suspension. If traded, the new organization inherits the remainder of Adam’s contract,” said Arora. “Last year didn’t count. There are several years remaining. However, the current contract could be renegotiated in a trade scenario.”

It’s highly likely a team seeking Jones in a trade or exchange for a draft pick would look to restructure the current deal.

“We’re ready for that,” intimated Arora.

Arora said the Titans have not instructed him to field other others for Jones and he's well aware that Jones could end up playing again for Tennessee.

“It’s certainly a possibility," he said. "He has friends on this team, and they want him to stay in Tennessee.”

This situation will certainly be watched closely by anyone following the NFL. What’s at stake is the fate of a NFL playmaker. A change of venue could substantially alter the balance of power. It was very clear the Jones’ camp would pursue the Cowboys if given the chance to shop.

“They have the structure and strong ownership we would desire,” said Arora. “Dallas presents great potential for success, but the final decision rests with Titans’ GM Mike Reinfeldt. We just have to wait and see.”

If the Tennessee Titans decide against Jones’ services, why shouldn’t Jerry Jones entertain conversation with Arora and Jones?

Adam "Pacman" Jones is Jerry Jones’ type of player. The blue print is already in place. The organization doesn’t have to re-invent the consequential wheel. The same behavioral clauses and expectations in the Terrell Owens and Tank Johnson contracts should be duplicated. As with both players, the organization would insert an “instant out” if they don’t like any aspect of the Jones’ arrival. These, the last chance, odds are the challenges Jerry relishes. He completely understands what it means to stick his neck out and take a risk. While there are potential pitfalls, the upside is massive. A game-changing, playmaking force at the age of 24….what’s not to like?

Everyone needs to remember Adam Jones and his current predicament are the products of bad judgment, lack of discretion and a twinge of arrogance; sprinkled with a smidge of defiance.

And was it mentioned he’s just 24?

Indeed, immaturity is at play, but the man is not a locker room cancer. No doubt his actions have had a “team” impact, but more due to absence than being pegged as a team renegade.

At this point the Jones’ camp is really out of options. The next phase of his professional football career has to work. He was born to play football. He needs to play football. He needs role models and ass-kickers that will get in his face. Low and behold, the Cowboys just added a “classic” in the leadership category.

How appropriately timed: Zach Thomas adds instant credibility and one Pacman would be wise to emulate on and off the field.

Just to make things interesting, at last look, no one on the current Cowboys’ roster possesses the No. 32. “Jones” would look spectacular on the back of the Cowboys jersey. Although, with the anticipated departure of free agent Julius Jones, how would Pacman feel about donning the former Prime Time No. 21?

To see Adam Jones in Deion’s old threads would be worth the weight in gold not to mention the price of admission. And speaking of admission, did we mention Jerry is looking to sell some tickets to the grand opening of the Arlington Taj Mahal? Adam Jones will sell tickets. Lots of them. If the opportunity knocks, it’s a potential blockbuster door Jerry must open.

Mr. Jones, meet Mr. Jones.

The Cowboys and LT Flozell Adams are reportedly far apart on a new contract

Dallas is offering a three-year deal, but Adams believes he can get a better deal elsewhere. He's probably right. At the very least, he can raise Jerry Jones' price ala Jason Garrett.
Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The Cowboys say they won't renegotiate RT Marc Colombo's contract

Colombo is a bargain for 2008, but his injury history makes him a risky year-to-year bet. Another solid season as a starter could earn him a big contract.
Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Could Terrell Owens be sharing his popcorn with Randy Moss?

Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008 12:30 pm EST

Randy Moss and Terrell Owens on the same team. My heart race increases just thinking about it. I don't know if there's ever been anything like it ... not just in sports, but anywhere in the world.

It would sort of be like the time they decided to put Jason and Freddy in the same movie. It would be like the time Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior were tag team partners. It would be like Carrot Top and Larry the Cable Guy in the same sitcom. It would be like Kim Jong-il and Dick Cheney running together for president and vice president.

The rumors are out there, though. From John Czarnecki at

The Patriots and Randy Moss really aren't close to a new contract, although the Pats believe Moss will give them the option to match whatever deal he does receive on the open market. That makes sense because the clubs pursuing Moss will be limited because he wants to play for a contender. The most interesting rumor is Moss joining the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys can pay up, and wouldn't T.O. and Moss be interesting to watch, not to mention impossible to defend?
I just ... wow. I don't even know what to say. There are so many questions.

Would Tony Romo leap for joy, or would he cry and wonder what the hell he's going to do? Would the league have to make a special provision allowing the Cowboys to use two footballs on offense? Would defenses be allowed to use 15 players? Would Dan Snyder become so jealous that his head literally exploded? On the inevitable ESPN the Magazine cover, would Moss and Owens be kissing, or just holding hands?

If the Cowboys employ a sports psychologist, that person would be in line for a huge, huge raise.


Posted by Mike Florio on February 26, 2008, 8:06 a.m.
We’ve mused from time to time about the possibility of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones correcting one of the biggest mistakes he ever made. Ten years ago, Jones was leaning toward selecting receiver Randy Moss with the eighth overall pick in the draft.

In the end, Jones passed.

Later that year, Moss caught three passes for three touchdowns in a Minnesota win over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

So with Moss destined to hit the open market on Friday, could Jones’ recent vow to put “wow” in the offense result in a decision to add Moss?

Think about it. Who in the heck would the defenses double-team? Focus on T.O., and Moss is wide open. Focus on Moss, and Owens runs free. Focus on both, and Jason Witten makes a helmetless rumble to the end zone.

John Czarnecki of writes that the Patriots and Moss aren’t close to a new deal, and that the Pats believe that Moss will give them a chance to match any offer that he receives on the open market.

Most intriguingly, the Czar acknowledges the existence of a rumor that the Cowboys will make a play for Moss.

Still, if there’s concern about T.O. and Javon Walker not being able to co-exist, the entire NFL should get its popcorn ready to watch Owens explode when Moss rolls into town with the kind of contract Owens would love to have. Instantly, Owens would be politicking for a dollar-for-dollar match of Randy’s deal, and it would only go downhill from there.

So, obviously, we’re secretly hoping that the Cowboys sign Moss.

Cowboys considering trade with Miami


Cowboys | Team considering trade with Miami
Tue, 26 Feb 2008 12:46:46 -0800 Adam Schefter, of the NFL Network, reports the Dallas Cowboys are considering trading an undisclosed draft pick and RB Marion Barber III for the Miami Dolphins' No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Jerry must really want this to happen, it won't go away. What do you think? Good or bad move?

More Moss to Dallas rumors

Originally posted by ethiostar from a sports forum:

On a different discussion board a member posted information that he claimed was aired on ESPN radio within the last hour. The RUMOR is that Moss is on a plane to Dallas to talk to Jerry, who is offering him 6-7 mill for next season.

Also, ESPN is going to talk about the possibility of TO and Moss being team mates at 6 et on TV. I'm still at work so i won't be able to watch it but i decided to pass on the information.

Personally, i don't even think this is feasible for a number of reasons, but it is out there.

Remember, i'm just the messenger

Monday, February 25, 2008

Can the Cowboys Pull the Trigger on Bringing Walker to Big D?

by Matt Loede

While the Cowboys are always in the mix when it comes to making major moves, one bullet that might be in their gun may be to go after unhappy Broncos wide out Javon Walker. is reporting that the team is working out a deal that would bring Walker to Dallas to put a little more firepower in the teams offense. One issue to watch though is Walker’s knee, which has been an issue ever since he tore his ACL during the opener of the 2005 season. He missed half of the 2007 season with knee issues, and over the past three years total has played in just 25 games.

Dallas wants to make a splash and it appears it will be on the offensive side of the ball. They want to give Tony Romo more weapons, and with Terrell Owens, Walker and Jason Witten, the team could have an explosive passing game. One key factor will be keeping Walker and Owens both happy. Walker talked his way out of Green Bay, and now is trying to do the same in Denver, so that is always an issue to watch out for.

For his career, when healthy, Walker is a solid receiver. He had a career year in Green Bay the season before he got hurt, with 89 catches for 1382 yards and 12 scores. In his only healthy season in Denver, he had 69 catches for 1084 yards and 8 TD’s. He would be a great second wide out opposite of Owens. Now the question is can the Cowboys pull the deal off, and can they keep Walker happy?

Cowboys Not Looking Down The Hall

It’s a common mindset. A star player announces that he either wants to be traded from his current team and we automatically see if he fits for the Cowboys.

We all do it.

And in this case, it made sense because the Cowboys actually have a need at cornerback.

But at this point, it doesn’t appear the Cowboys have any strong interest in acquiring Atlanta’s disgruntled cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who has recently stated he will not play for the Falcons in 2008.

Hall, a first-round pick in 2004 (eighth overall), is so unhappy in Atlanta that it seems the Falcons are just as ready to ship him out.

In fact, the Falcons have called a few teams inquiring a trade, including the Cowboys.

The word is, the conversation didn’t even last long enough to see what it might cost to acquire him.

At this point, the Cowboys are focused on signing Flozell Adams and figuring out what to do with Marion Barber. And by figuring out, I’m talking about in terms of playing for a one-year tender, which tender to give him or getting a deal done right now.

The Cowboys might trade up in the draft, but it seems very, VERY unlikely that Barber will be included in that. So don’t hold off on buying those Barber jerseys.

And since we’re speculating here, word out of Indianapolis is that the possibility of Randy Moss to the Cowboys is starting to surface. Not sure if that has any legs at all, so for now, let’s keep that strictly in the “rumor category.” Sounds tempting for Jerry Jones, considering he still might haunted by not taking Moss back in 1998. But still, you wouldn’t think the Cowboys would have the cash to get that done. And T.O. and Moss together? That deserves a “wow” for so many reasons.

But I can’t see Moss actually leaving New England. He’s been able to help good quarterbacks have great seasons. But he got paired up with a great quarterback and they both shattered records and were less than a minute away from becoming the best team in NFL history. I’d say he’s figured it out enough to return for at least another year.

--- Nick Eatman

Moss coming to Dallas?

4:30 PM Mon, Feb 25, 2008's John Czarnecki writes he heard a rumor at the combine about Randy Moss joining the Valley Ranch circus.

The Patriots and Randy Moss really aren't close to a new contract, although the Pats believe Moss will give them the option to match whatever deal he does receive on the open market. That makes sense because the clubs pursuing Moss will be limited because he wants to play for a contender. The most interesting rumor is Moss joining the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys can pay up, and wouldn't T.O. and Moss be interesting to watch, not to mention impossible to defend?

Not to mention a total disaster in the locker room. T.O. managed to go a whole season without being a headache, but the Original 81's ego cannot handle sharing a huddle with the Other (Better) 81.

Cowboys | Team showing interest in Cromartie

Tennessee State CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said during his NFL Scouting Combine interview that the Dallas Cowboys are one of the team's showing the most interest in him.

FWST Blog: Zach Thomas talks Cowboys

New Cowboys linebacker Zach Thomas was on Michael Irvin's ESPN 103.3 FM radio show this afternoon and talked about his new job in his home state.

Get this -- Thomas said has already been reviewing Cowboys game film. He has built a career overcoming naysayers with work ethic and preparation and it still holds. Thomas wants a ring but said he couldn't sign with the Patriots, who offered him a contract. He said he ``couldn't stand New England'' after playing them twice for 12 years.

Anyway, Thomas says he preferred not to have a press conference and wanted to keep the hype to a minimum. Thomas said he is healthy, has plenty left in the tank and always had an appreciation for Wade Phillips' 3-4 defense. He also he prefers the 3-4 over the 4-3 and played in it the past three years in Miami.

Here are some of his comments from the interview.

-- ``I know I am still a good player. There is always questions marks and that's just another thing I can overcome.''

-- ``I haven't earned anything in Dallas and that's why I have to go out here and earn it and show it by my actions instead of trying to hype something up. They've got a great team put together. I am just trying to add on and know my role. They've got good linebackers to play with and why not add even more players and add me along with it?''

-- ``I feel like I've got a lot of gas left in the tank. Why shut down if you feel like you can still play and the doctors have been telling you everything is fine.''

_ Rick Herrin

PFT: WR Javon Walker to Dallas?


So Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants to put some "wow" into the offense? One possibility we're hearing about is by acquiring receiver Javon Walker from the Broncos.

A league source tells us that the Cowboys are working on a deal that would bring Walker to Big D. The problem, however, is Walker's knee. He tore an ACL during the first game of the 2005 regular-season, and he missed plenty of time in 2007, his second year in Denver, due to lingering problems with it.

There's a chance, said the source, that Walker wouldn't pass a physical.

If Walker were to land in Dallas, however, things could get interesting. Said the source: "Can you picture [Terrell] Owens' reaction? Walker has pissed people off in Green Bay and Denver because he wants the ball so much. They are supposedly friends so I'm sure they think it could work but it would be fun to watch."

Owens and Walker made plenty of headlines three years ago in their efforts to get new contracts. Both threatened to hold out and, in the end, both caved.

Walker was traded to Denver in April 2006, and received the new contract he craved. After a solid first season with the Broncos, the team picked up an option for 2007. In hindsight, it's yet another poor decision from Denver's de facto G.M.

WR Randy Moss to Dallas?'s John Czarnecki writes that Randy Moss and the Patriots aren't really close on a new contract.

The Czar is known for some off the wall stuff, but this makes enough sense. The Patriots reportedly believe that Moss will give them a chance to match any offer. It's uncertain who might go after Moss, but Denver and Dallas have been mentioned.

Darren McFadden-RB-Player

"News got out" Sunday that Arkansas RB Darren McFadden is battling a paternity suit and has two more children on the way, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

McFadden reportedly told this to a team during an interview. There are plenty of question marks surrounding McFadden, but none seems to be particularly serious. Because of that and his talent, we doubt he could fall far on draft day. Of course, a slip up before the draft would send up a major red flag.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sunday, February 24, 2008

DMN Blog: Jerry on McFadden

by Albert Breer

Here's the one you've been waiting for -- Jerry Jones discussing Darren McFadden. I'm guessing the 4.27 he clocked today won't kill the fervor.

He was asked if he'd be prone to selling the farm to draft a guy from the alma mater. He joked, "Don't you think that is natural? Bill (Parcells) had a leaning towards Wichita players."

Jones smiled, then answered the question seriously.

"That's not my history," he siad. "I think there is a lot of that (talk) and certainly, we've got huge fans, huge fans of McFadden and Arkansas players. But that is not my history.(Ken) Hamlin, I went after him because it was interesting. I was familiar with him because of my interest in looking at the team, so I knew about him. He'd be the best (example of an Arkansas player.)

"Draft pick? An Arkansas player? Let's see ... Let's see ...There is going to be one that jumps completely out here in a minute but I can't remember it off hand."

Jones couldn't remember it, because neither he nor the Cowboys before or after he bought the team have ever drafted a Razorback. Funny how that works, huh?

And then he said that swinging for the fences, in his mind, isn't about getting up as high in the draft as possible. It's about taking chances.

"I think trading out of the first round is going for the grand slam, trading out and getting two picks the next year," he said. "We've done that twice in the last five years. I think that is not a conservative way to run the draft. A conservative way to run the draft is to take the pick, and get them all in there.

"Y'all may disagree but my instincts always made me think it's a risky deal to pull out of the draft and not go for it there. I think I've been more risky than you've described. Because of the dollars that are involved at the top of the draft, even when we were up there with the eighth pick and up there with (Terence) Newman, because of the dollars involved, I've not been tempted to bundle up a lot of consideration to get up at the top because we didn't draft a quarterback.

"Tony (Romo) has kept us probably from going in there, as far as going for the big one, if you look at it. I didn't do it for a quarterback, where you could justify it, at all. If not for the quarterback, using the picks and spending those kind of dollars that are up there (is tough), because you have the risk up there.

"It's 50-50 up there. I think what has happened is if you don't trade out of the first round and get your two picks, it is a home run. You're automatically assured a 'B' with two No. 1s. ... And if there's no No. 1, it's a 'C-minus' or less, doesn't (matter) what players you draft, if you don't have a first round pick."

Jones then took the issue of trading up to get McFadden head on.

"The money that goes up there, plus the terms of draft-pick consideration, I don't think we're going there," Jones said. "I don't want to get into a real strategy, as far as going forward here the next few weeks, but I don't see any guy today making some big trade for the first pick up there - I guess that's what we're all alluding too. ... There's been absolutely not one breath of discussion with anybody about going up there to get the 1 or 2 or 3 pick."

With that, I'm off to dinner. See you soon.

Owner Jerry Jones is confident that Terry Glenn (knee) "is going to be a factor" for the Cowboys in 2008

Jones indicated that Glenn will likely only play this season if he postpones more surgery. It seems as if Glenn is leaning that way. The Cowboys still can't rely on Glenn, who turns 34 in July, to be a full-time player.
Source: Dallas Morning News

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated Sunday that Leonard Davis could move to left tackle if Flozell Adams leaves in free agency

Davis, who played like an All-Pro at right guard in 2007, was a bust as a left tackle in Arizona. It'd be risky to put him on Tony Romo's blind side this year.
Source: Dallas Morning News

RUMOR: Possible mega trade with ATL

On NFL Network they said Cowboys maybe thinking about a major deal with ATL.

Trade Rumor One
Cowboys get:
DeAngelo Hall
#3 pick (Basically means McFadden)
2 second round picks (6th and 17th I believe)

ATL gets:
Marion Barber
Anthony Henry
Akin Ayodele
Our two first round picks (22nd and 28th)

Here is the other rumor trade with ATL from the other thread on PSD (Not from NFL network)

Trade Rumor Two
Cowboys get:
DeAngelo Hall
#3 Pick (Basically means McFadden)

ATL gets:
Our two first round picks
Second round pick
Next years first round pick

Keep in mind if this trade goes through ^^ than we would hopefully get a first and third round pick for Barber and be able to draft a WR.

Jerry on the State of the Offense

Jerry on the offense
by Albert Breer

And so begins a series of Jerry Jones' thoughts we'll be posting here, so you guys can see how the whole thing went. We'll start with his thoughts on the offense.

He was asked, to begin with, if running back and receiver are primary needs heading into free agency and the draft.

"Without Julius signed, it's obvious we need to look at running back. How we get there, might surprise you," Jones said. "So that's No. 1 - how we get there might surprise you. It can be, but it's not necessarily drafting one. We're pretty pleased with our young receivers.

"We have a couple young ones that really didn't do a thing as receivers in ballgames that have a chance to make us better. We're not without some real potential with some young receivers we've got on the team. And that will have a big bearing on my decisions. We have potential on the team to do what we could do in some degree in the draft, from the standpoint of young receivers.

"So it could easily be addressed that way. We see that one way or the other, along with (Jason) Witten and Terrell (Owens), that it would be good to have, whether it's from within or not, whether it's a veteran or a rookie, we see the need to get another dimension - and I emphasize development - from another consideration for defenses to have deal with, other than Terrell Owens and Witten.

"Plus, we need it for insurance, because as we saw, Terrell can get nicked. So there's two really big-time reasons why we will be doing some things at the receiver positions, but not necessarily dismissed what we've got from within in (Sam) Hurd and I'll put (Patrick) Crayton with Hurd, and (Miles) Austin and (Mike) Jefferson and (Isaiah) Stanback."

Jones was then asked about Terry Glenn's future.

"My gut and my feel is he's going to come back and play without surgery," said Jones, a feeling he said he's gotten from Glenn. "I haven't had the opportunity to visit with him. But I've had it through third party and got a sense for how he's feeling right now, which is good news.

"I don't know (if he can be the same guy). All I know is he got real impressive a couple weeks before our playoff game. That still is not the complete picture of what he can and will do relative to our receivers. But he's going be a factor."

Jones was then asked about protecting against injury at the position, something to which he said, "We should. And we saw Terrell, it was certainly a part of it, Terrell wasn't full speed. That's not an excuse, but he was not full speed. And we saw what could happen to you at times when you get him limited, and certainly we had to deal with Terry just coming back from his.

"I don't think that was a primary impact on that last ballgame. Still, you see what can happen. And what we were getting from Terrell before that last ballgame, you could see it fell of a little bit."

With the skill position addressed, Jones moved on to the question at left tackle. He said it's not a certainty that Flozell Adams will hit the market Thursday night -- a long-term pact could be worked out. At the same time, he says he'd feel comfortable moving Leonard Davis to left tackle if need be.

"The reason I can say that is a lot of the exercise that I went through, and that we in turn went through with the staff, was that was a good reason to sign Leonard Davis - That he's a very viable option at left tackle," Jones said. "The obvious is the obvious. You lose a Pro Bowl right guard, if he goes to that tackle, which is a major consideration."

We asked Jones then if that messes with two spots. He said it doesn't, but wouldn't call Davis a "Pro Bowl left tackle" quite yet.

"I don't know about that," Jones said. "But he made Pro Bowl at guard, whereas he hadn't made Pro Bowl at guard before. So maybe the same thing happens at left tackle."

McFadden’s 4.27 Fuels Dallas Rumors

The on again off again rumor of the Dallas Cowboys wanting to trade up for Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, may not be on again, but the running backs 4.27 unofficial 40 time is only going to fuel more rumors of the Cowboys trying to move up.

For once, it looks like the Miami Dolphins may actually be able to move out of the number 1 overall pick and do so with more than one option. Last week, it was reported that the Atlanta Falcons wanted Matt Ryan so bad that they are considering moving up to one to get him. Rumors today say that they have turned down a 1st round pick from the NY Giants, thinking that a mid-first rounder is more fitting. DeAngelo Hall has been at the center of that late week rumor and some think that he may yet be a part of a Falcons move to number 1.

The Cowboys however have danced around the issue for the last two months. Jerry Jones, a frequent fan in the stands at last years Arkansas Razorbacks games loves what Darren McFadden would bring to a franchise. When asked earlier last year what his team was missing, Jones simply said “a play maker”. McFadden fits that description. Still, Jerry Jones roamed the halls at the Combine and told reporters that a trade up with the Dolphins at number 1 was unlikely. That of course was before today. Before he was video taped sitting in the stands, and then disappear after the first 40 yard dash of one particular running back.

That’s right, Jones left after DM ran his first 40. Coincidence? Not likely. He probably was planning on leaving anyways and wanted to see the kid run. The fact that Jones was present for the 4.27 speed, the 2nd highest of the day, will be the number that sticks in his head as he heads home and not the official 2nd timed 40 at 4.33.

Jones may not come out and say that he wants to move up, no smart general manager or owner will. With the free agency period only days away the Cowboys are going to have to start thinking about their future and what a guy like McFadden can bring to his offense. The same offense that sputtered against the NY Giants in the playoffs. Sure, the Cowboys need another WR and they need another CB, but McFadden puts them in a different position. Whereas a corner and a WR will have to learn and adjust, the RB spot is the position that most often pays immediate rewards in the NFL.

If Jerry Jones had doubts, he really didn’t need to look much further to see what Adrien Peterson brought to the Vikings last year. Then he must ask himself, would a talent like AP have made a difference last year in the post-season? Then ask him if 4.27 is impressive. After he answers yes to both of those, he may be picking up the phone and making a call. Regardless of what anyone says anymore, the Miami Dolphins, the Atlanta Falcons, and again the Dallas Cowboys, are going to be one hot rumor in the next two months.

Cowboys need to sign, start Barber

Posted by: Anthony Bialy

Marion Barber was the best reserve in football last season. It's only technically so, as he was the true feature of Dallas' rushing attack, but the fact remains that he gained 975 yards in 2007 and nabbed himself a Pro Bowl spot despite serving as Julius Jones' ostensible backup. It was a weird setup, but it turned out to be a quite effective one for Barber, who should be kept and definitively promoted to the top of the depth chart by the Cowboys soon.

Through the fault of the coaches and not his own, Jones was Dallas' Milli Vanilli, posing in public as something he was not. He started every regular-season game, but Barber was the Cowboys' primary ground weapon, a fact that's confirmed by both the high quantity and quality of his carries judged against the supposed first-stringer. Barber had 204 chances to rush, gaining 4.8 yards a try, while Jones got only 164 attempts for a 3.6-yard average each time.

There are some cases where the second back in the game can deceptively pump up his average merely because the change of pace throws off defenses. But that's not what happened here: This situation is one where Barber was the better option after the game's first play. This was certified in the playoffs, where Barber finally was given the job title he had basically seized long ago.

The numbers illustrated Barber's ascension: Jones had three carries for 8 yards in Dallas' lone postseason game, while Barber had 27 for 129. He handled the burden fantastically, enough that management should be convinced that the position doesn't need serious addressing at the draft.

It would be ridiculous for the Cowboys to trade away multiple selections so they can get Darren McFadden just to indulge Jerry Jones' Arkansas fetish. Aside from the fact that they need cornerback depth and a receiver who will eventually either complement Patrick Crayton or vice versa, the fact is Barber is perfectly suited to be the principal guy.

Barber has already proven that he can be productive, and he's done so while handling a serious workload despite the fact he's only officially started in three regular-season games over his career. Plus, Barber's delightfully belligerent style is not only a blast to watch, it also means that he's the aggressor when it comes to collisions instead of being the victim, which theoretically means less wear on him compared to a passive dodger. He's the hammer, not the anvil.

The Cowboys could use a draft pick on a running back, but one shouldn't be spent until Sunday: Assuming Jones finds a new employer, they only need to add a reserve rusher to spell Barber. The team can wait until the middle rounds to do so; after all, Barber himself wasn't nabbed until the fourth round. He's smashed his way to the starting role, and trading him away just because the owner is enticed by a future rookie would be like building a house and abandoning it right before the roof is finished.

Barber is the best option for Dallas, and he's coincidentally already on the team, albeit as a restricted free agent. It's time for his status to be updated: They should sign him for the long term and worry about filling more mundane needs at the draft. Don't exhale until he's actually under contract, but one has to believe that Dallas will prudently keep Barber as the main bruiser.

Small-school CBs could hit the big time

By Rachel Cohen
AP Sports Writer / February 24, 2008
INDIANAPOLIS—Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie chats with his cousin, Pro Bowler Antonio Cromartie. Leodis McKelvin talks with another Pro Bowler, former teammate DeMarcus Ware.

more stories like thisThe big-time isn't far away for these two cornerbacks from small schools.

Rodgers-Cromartie and McKelvin are the reasons Tennessee State and Troy could be called out early in April's NFL draft along with the likes of Southern Cal and LSU.

Troy, where McKelvin starred, is at least in the Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-A. Tennessee State is in the Football Championship Subdivision (the old Division I-AA).

Rodgers-Cromartie is 6-foot-2 and the reigning Ohio Valley Conference indoor track champion in the 60-yard dash, long jump and high jump. That helps explain why he could be picked before anybody from a slightly better-known football program in the same state, the University of Tennessee.

Tennessee State was the only college to recruit Rodgers-Cromartie after he attended four high schools in four years. He started at a public school in Atlanta. Then his father decided to send him to a private school for 10th grade. But when that institution stopped offering scholarships, he was back to a public school. As a senior, he moved to live with his mother in Bradenton, Fla.

His father kept telling him he had a cousin who played at Florida State, but Rodgers-Cromartie never thought much of it until he got to know Antonio Cromartie in the past year. The second-year San Diego Chargers cornerback led the NFL with 10 interceptions this past season.

Rodgers-Cromartie had another connection to cornerback greatness through his father. One of his dad's friends knew future Hall-of-Famer Darrell Green, who invited Rodgers-Cromartie to work out with him this past summer.

Green taught him how to come out of his break faster. "Basically he changed my whole style of game," Rodgers-Cromartie said Sunday at the NFL scouting combine.

Because he played against lower-level competition, Rodgers-Cromartie knows events like the combine are probably more important for him than other players.

"I kind of feel like I've got to be three out of three: the Senior Bowl, here, then at my Pro Day," he said. "I've just got to go out and put up basically incredible numbers to even get an opportunity to go high in the draft."

NFL teams already seem to know a lot about him. They keep asking about the fact he had one kidney removed as a newborn because it wasn't functioning. Doctors have always cleared him to play sports, Rodgers-Cromartie said, and he's never had any health problems.

What could attract NFL clubs to Rodgers-Cromartie and McKelvin beyond their cornerback abilities is their special teams skills. Rodgers-Cromartie averaged 24.4 yards on kickoff returns. McKelvin averaged 23.2 yards, as well as 17.4 yards on punt returns. McKelvin said he hopes to make the kind of impact on special teams as a rookie that Devin Hester did.

With McKelvin, NFL teams have the opportunity to watch game film and see him against elite competition. Troy faced Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma State and Georgia this past season.

Scouts also know that players from the school have thrived in the league in recent years.

"We had two this year win the Super Bowl; we had two in the Pro Bowl," McKelvin said proudly.

There's nothing more big-time than what Troy alums did this past season: Defensive end Osi Umenyiora and kicker Lawrence Tynes shined for the world champion New York Giants, while Umenyiora and Ware, the Dallas Cowboys linebacker, were honored as two of the NFC's top players.