Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cowboys Rookie Minicamp Dates

April 30th, 2008 by Joe Rodriguez

Rookie Minicamp will be this weekend, rookies and 1st year players will be in attendance.

Friday, May 2, 2008
10:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. (Practice)
12:15 P.M. - 1:30 P.M. (Media in locker room)
2:45 P.M. - 3:45 P.M. (Practice)

Saturday, May 3, 2008
10:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. (Practice)
12:15 P.M. - 1:30 P.M. (Media in locker room)
1:30 P.M. - 2:00 P.M. (Wade Phillips press conference)
2:45 P.M. - 3:45 P.M. (Practice)

Sunday, May 4, 2008
Weightlifting and meetings only; No practice and no media

The real draft grades show up in three years

By DAVE GOLDBERG The Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys get an A. So do New England, the New York Giants and San Diego. For the 2005 draft.

Those four represent the two Super Bowl teams from last season, a team that reached the AFC title game and the one with the NFC's best regular-season record. In the 2007 season and playoffs they were a combined 58-17.

The worst three-year drafts also are reflected in the 2007 standings: Oakland, San Francisco, Detroit and St. Louis, a combined 19-45.

Drafts can't be rated with grades the day after the draft although fans seem to consider them must reading. But NFL personnel consider three years the period needed to determine who can play and who can't. So 2005 grades are the ones given this year.

The three-year results again reflect again that the draft, not free agency, is still the way to win.

Even with huge salaries to first-rounders, draft picks are still cheaper than free agents and put less strain on a salary cap. Even if players don't start right away, good ones can be developed to replace those players who take the money and run to the highest bidder.

In fact, there were fewer instant grades this year, perhaps a tribute to Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC, who derided them a few weeks ago by noting that the Giants got a number of ratings of C-plus or below last year. It turned out that seven draft picks played major roles in their Super Bowl season.

Back to 2005.

1. Dallas (13-4). The draft was run by Jerry Jones and two guys who are now the Dolphins' brain trust — Bill Parcells and Mike Ireland (have faith for 2010, Dolphins fans.) They took two Pro Bowlers (running back Marion Barber and linebacker DeMarcus Ware) and the three starters on the 3-4 defensive line (Chris Canty, Marcus Spears and Jay Ratliff, a seventh-rounder who took over at nose tackle when Jason Ferguson was hurt).

Yes, Tony Romo's development at quarterback after being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003 is probably the main reason the Cowboys had the NFC's best regular-season record at 13-3. But you can't overlook a draft that netted two Pro Bowlers and an entire defensive line.

2. and 2a. San Diego (13-6), New York Giants (14-6). These are related because of the deal during the 2004 draft that landed Eli Manning with the Giants and Philip Rivers with the Chargers.

Ernie Accorsi, then the Giants general manager, included his first pick in 2005 instead of a raw young defensive end name Osi Umenyiora whom the Chargers said they would take instead.

It worked for both teams: Umenyiora developed into a two-time Pro Bowler and is one of those fearsome pass rushers who terrorized Tom Brady in the Giants' Super Bowl upset. The Chargers used the pick obtained from New York on Shawne Merriman, the game's best pass-rushing outside linebacker — Ware is probably the second best.

New York had only four picks in 2005. But its second-rounder was cornerback Corey Webster. Its third was defensive lineman Justin Tuck, and its fourth was starting running back Brandon Jacobs.

Tuck had two sacks of Brady in the Super Bowl. Jacobs was a solid replacement for Tiki Barber with help from one of the 2007 rookies, Ahmad Bradshaw.

Webster is an example of why draft analysis must wait. He was a disappointment until late in his third season, when he had an interception return for a touchdown against Buffalo in the win that clinched a playoff berth. He added two more INTs in the playoffs, including the one in overtime off Brett Favre that set up the winning field goal in the NFC title game.

In addition to Merriman, San Diego added starting defensive tackle Luis Castillo with its second first-round pick; wide receiver Vincent Jackson in the second round; and kick returner extraordinaire Darren Sproles in the fourth.

4. New England (18-1). The Patriots used their first pick on guard Logan Mankins, who went to the Pro Bowl in this third season. They had no second-rounder, but got two starters in the third round: right tackle Nick Kaczur and cornerback Ellis Hobbs, then took safety James Sanders in the fourth. To be picky, Kaczur was knocked around by Umenyiora and Tuck among others in the Super Bowl, and Hobbs was victimized by Manning and Plaxico Burress on the winning TD pass.

But can you argue with two guys who until then were starters on an team that started 18-0?

As for the bottom teams ...

The 49ers used the first overall pick on QB Alex Smith who showed promise in 2006, then regressed last season after offensive coordinator Norv Turner left to become the Chargers' coach. He also was hurt, but at best, his chances of being a franchise quarterback are iffy. The 49ers' only prize is running back Frank Gore, taken with the first pick of the third round.

Detroit, which has drafted horribly for a decade, used the 10th overall pick on Mike Williams, one of four first-round wide receivers in five years chosen by the Lions. He's unemployed now.

The Raiders' first-round pick was cornerback Fabian Washington. He was worth a fourth-round pick Sunday, when Oakland traded him to Baltimore. "Quarterback of the future" Andrew Walter was taken in the third round, two years before "quarterback of the future" JaMarcus Russell went first overall to Oakland.

The Rams got Alex Barron, a solid offensive tackle, with their first-rounder. But not much else until picks 250 and 251: Harvard QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and fullback Madison Hedgecock.

Fitzpatrick is now Carson Palmer's backup in Cincinnati. Hedgecock, a fullback from North Carolina, was released early last season and the Giants snapped him up. He was so good as a blocker they gave him a contract extension.

So add one more plus to the Giants and one more minus to the Rams.

And hold this year's grades for three years.

With the Addition of Pacman Jones, Valley Ranch Has Become a Halfway House

By Richie Whitt
Published: May 1, 2008

Attention Jerry Jones:

Michael Vick gets out of prison in 15 months. Rae Carruth will be only 44 when he's eligible for parole in 2019. Dwayne Goodrich is almost halfway through his sentence. Art Schlichter is a free man. No one avoids his pursuers like O.J. Simpson. And, who knows, Charles Manson could've won California's Corcoran State Prison fantasy football league last season.

Just some names to keep handy. Since, obviously, your Dallas Cowboys no longer give a damn about class and character.

And you know what? They shouldn't.

Commence cringing.

There arose much hand-wringing and a nauseous spewing of righteous indignation about the Cowboys and their owner trading for Adam "Pacman" Jones last week. But c'mon, admit it. Deep down, wouldn't you rather win with the sinners than lose with the saints?

Thought so.

As has been the case throughout the decadent days of Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson, Michael Irvin, Mark Stepnoski, Charles Haley and Nate Newton, the Cowboys are responsible for assembling talented football players, not tithing church deacons. You win Super Bowls not with role models nominated for NFL Man of the Year, but with stars who play in Pro Bowls. If you can have both—like Jason Witten or Emmitt Smith—fantastic. But when in doubt, yep, sell your soul to Beelzebub.

Go ahead, get your bitchin' out of the way now. Because you'll look really silly doing it in your Pacman jersey.

"If character really doesn't matter, why don't they sign Osama bin Laden to play wide receiver?" WFAA-Channel 8 sports anchor Dale Hansen whined last week. "They need one, and he's 6-foot-4 and we know nobody can catch him."

Humor aside, the thing is—and no one knows this better than Hansen— the first time Pacman takes a punt to the house, all will be forgiven. If it hasn't been already.

I met Pacman at a Mavericks game last month, hours after he appeared on Michael Irvin's "ESPN Radio"-103.3 FM radio show. He was clean cut, humble, polite and was followed by neither police, raining dollar bills or 666.

"Nice to meet you, Mr. Whitt," he said.

As we shook hands, I couldn't help but shake the Etch-O-Sketch. You'd be smart to give Pacman a clean slate as well. Because Jerry's latest acquisition of Pacman is definitely bold and probably brilliant.

Not that I'd exactly want him to move in next door. The dude's judgment makes Josh Howard look like Pat Boone.

Since entering the NFL in 2005, Pacman has been questioned by police in 10 separate criminal incidents. He pleaded "no contest" last year to conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct as part of a plea deal for his role in a February 2007 melee at a Las Vegas topless joint that ended with three people shot and one paralyzed. His off-field conduct—from "making it rain" by showering strippers with dollar bills to allegedly throwing a punch at an officer while being arrested for possession of marijuana—is silly, if not altogether stupid. The night before a face-to-face meeting about his wayward conduct with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the genius showed up at a New York City strip club.

But when he appeared on HBO's Real Sports and Irvin's radio show, Pacman responded with a quizzical shrug, as though trouble always riding shotgun is nothing more than a bunch of illogical, unlucky coincidences.

There are legit reasons why the Cowboys were his only suitor. Pacman isn't the most intelligent player to ever strap on cleats. He's stubborn, clearly in denial. And there's a chance, of course, that he'll never be reinstated or play a down in Dallas or anywhere else.

"If you ask me if I'm totally convinced," admits Jerry, "no, I don't know that for sure."

"I'm encouraged by some of the things I'm hearing," Goodell said at a recent SMU Athletic Forum. "But I will meet with him before training camp starts to gauge personally some of the things he's doing."

Granted, it was a better world when the Mavericks didn't open their arms to Dennis Rodman, when the Rangers didn't feel moved to gamble on John Rocker and when punks like Clint Longley sucker-punched Roger Staubach and were traded by sundown. But these days we're a forgiving society, especially when it's self-serving.

You want to watch a team saturated with milk-and-cookies character? The Rangers, led by Boy Scouts like Michael Young and Kevin Millwood, are again goody two-shoeing into last place. Enjoy.

Like it or not, this is how it works: The hot blonde with the curves and the cleavage doesn't get a ticket for driving 88 in a 55. And the 24-year-old cornerback/kick returner with the mad skillz gets a second and third chance. Remember, just last season, Cowboys fans cheered catches by star-stomping Terrell Owens and tackles by gun-toting Tank Johnson.

Pacman's redemption—further erosion of America's Team be damned—is just an interception away.

The only speed bump in our acceptance is trying to differentiate between who Pacman is and what Pacman is. In today's warped sports environment, great player trumps bad guy. Especially when your secondary is desperately depleted.

Since dropping that agonizing playoff game to the New York Giants, the Cowboys have lost cornerbacks Nate Jones and Jacques Reeves and safety Keith Davis in free agency. Both starting corners Terence Newman and Anthony Henry have contracts expiring after 2009. Pacman—baggage and all—is worth the risk. The minuscule risk.

Why? Because, first and foremost, he can play. He's an athletic shut-down corner who, with the Tennessee Titans in 2006, returned three punts for touchdowns. The Cowboys have only four this millennium.

Why? Because Pacman's reward dwarfs the gamble. The Cowboys are getting the sixth player taken in the 2005 draft in exchange for a fourth-round pick this year and, if he stays out of trouble, a sixth-rounder next year. If Pacman is never reinstated, Dallas gets the fourth-rounder back. Risk?

It's all relative, but Pacman seems to be showing remorse, accepting responsibility and absorbing his punishment. His four-year contract with the Cowboys includes no guaranteed money and no signing bonus. He agreed to forfeit his salary and not collect on $1.5 million in incentives owed him by Tennessee and donate $500,000 to a charity of the Titans' choosing.

In making the first trade in NFL history for a suspended player, Jerry Jones took another small step toward burying his biggest regret as Cowboys' general manager. In 1998 he drafted defensive end Greg Ellis, passing on a receiver with character issues. A receiver named Randy Moss.

Since that day—through the acquisitions of Alonzo Spellman and Dimitrius Underwood and Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn and Owens and Tank Johnson and now Pacman—Jerry has prioritized talent over temperament, unafraid to turn Valley Ranch into a halfway house in pursuit of championships over class.

Like it or not, Pacman Jones will help the Dallas Cowboys win games this season.

And like it not, Jessica Simpson is off the hook if things totally implode.

What Chris Long had to say about Tashard Choice


Hard worker and apparently a tough running back, who must pack a wallop. When asked who was the toughest running back he ever faced in his college career, Virginia defensive end Chris Long, the second pick in the draft, said, "I personally believe Tashard Choice is the best running back in the league," and Miami defensive lineman Calais Campbell, a second-round draft choice, said, "The toughest to tackle? I'm going to have to go with my man Tashard Choice. He definitely was the hardest to tackle last year. He ran the ball tough, hard-nosed, fought for every yard. You really had to fight to bring him down. I give him a lot of love." Now that's pretty unique.

Spag on Fasano and Ayodele deal!


Andrew Hinojosa, San Diego: So, was Anthony Fasano not to anybody's liking in Dallas? Reason why I'm asking, is, I thought he was a good player at that position. I would have liked to see maybe an offensive line player picked up at that spot or another need player like a safety. And why give away Akin Ayodele with the trade too? But especially trading away a good tight end to get a tight end just logically doesn't make sense.

Mickey: First of all, look at it this way: The Cowboys traded Fasano and Ayodele for Pacman Jones. Right? Got their fourth-rounder back they sent to Tennessee and ended up moving up 26 spots in the fourth round to the top spot, which they traded down again twice to get Tashard Choice and a fifth-rounder for next year, which will make up for the possibility of having to give up a 2009 sixth-rounder to Tennessee as part of the Pacman trade if he is reinstated. Now then, I'm told Fasano didn't fit Jason Garrett's offense and that he busted too many assignments. The Cowboys thought Tony Curtis was going to beat him out for the second spot. The trade was about Fasano, and at the last minute the Cowboys included Ayodele, who in the end they felt didn't make enough plays last year. And with the acquisition of Zach Thomas and possibly wanting to give Bobby Carpenter a chance to play, they traded Akin instead of possibly cutting him. It really wasn't too much about salary cap, since keeping Ayodele was going to cost $3.5 million against the cap this year and his escalated signing bonus now costs $3 million, but again, for nothing in return.

Dallas grades an "A" with the fourth best draft

Good grades coming in for 'Boys

Jerry Jones didn’t package #22 and #28 to trade up for Darren McFadden like everyone thought he would. If we had to guess, Jones probably didn’t even consider the move once he saw Felix Jones might be there at #22. And he was there. McFadden’s Arkansas teammate averaged 7.7 per carry and quietly added two 1,000-yard seasons of his own. Jones’ career kickoff return avg. of 28.2 is 6th best in NCAA history. He’s also used to sharing the ball, and so is his new partner Marion Barber. Barber was part of another deadly college duo at Minnesota, teaming with Laurence Maroney in 2003-2004. Dallas got CB Mike Jenkins later in the 1st round and couldn’t be happier. Jenkins can instantly start across from Terrence Newman. If Pacman Jones is reinstated they still have one helluva nickel. Bad news for NFC East QBs. TE Martellus Bennett was OK in the 2nd round, they needed another TE since Anthony Fasano was traded to Miami. We loved RB Tashard Choice (4th round) at Georgia Tech. He could be a workhorse if Barber’s contract isn’t extended and he leaves in free agency next year.

Mick's Mail | Roy Williams


Richard Duncan, Henderson, Texas: Teams did all they could to exploit Roy Williams last year and will do so again. Are you surprised the Cowboys haven't done anything to address that issue? Or are they banking that one of the safeties on the roster will improve?

Mickey: They are banking on one of the safeties on the roster improving. His name is Roy Williams, the 2002 first-round draft choice during Dave Campo's watch and I think the Cowboys are banking on Campo bringing out the best in Williams or at least holding him accountable for his play. Again, Williams' poor play at times has less to do with his talent and more to do with his preparation. Camps is already working on that, I understand. And with the plethora of cornerbacks the Cowboys might have, pending Adam Jones' reinstatement, the addition of Zach Thomas and the continued good health of Kevin Burnett, Roy very well might be reduced to a two-down safety even more if he doesn't improve.

Adam Jones' contract details

Thanks to Salary Cap Analyst AdamJT13 from a sports forum:

Adam Jones signed a four-year contract worth $13.3 million or more.

This season, if he plays, he will make $700,000. He would get a $100,000 salary advance after he's reinstated. His cap number right now is $0, because he's suspended, but it would be $700,000.

In 2009, he has a base salary of $1 million if he plays, plus a $250,000 workout bonus if he participates in the offseason workout program and a $250,000 roster bonus. His cap number would be $1.5 million.

In 2010, he has a base salary of $3 million if he plays, plus a $595,000 workout bonus if he participates in the offseason workout program and a $255,000 roster bonus. His cap number would be $3.85 million.

In 2011, he has a base salary of $7.25 million if he plays, plus an unknown escalator clause that could push it higher.

We could cut him at any time during the contract with no bonus acceleration.

Jerry Jones: Glenn has '50-50' shot to start

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says that Terry Glenn (knee) has a "50-50" chance to start this year.

Another vote of confidence. Glenn, who turns 34 in July, was limited to one appearance in 2007 due to a knee injury. He'd seem a poor bet to play 14-16 games this year, but Dallas' medical staff knows more than we do. Glenn will compete with Patrick Crayton in camp. Ideally, Crayton would man the slot. Apr. 29 - 10:34 pm et
Source: Dallas Morning News

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

TIDBIT: How much did Akin and Fasano free up?

by Dave Halprin (Grizz)

...[The] trade of Akin Ayodele and Anthony Fasano for the Dolphins 4th-round picked saved the Cowboys around $650,000 against the cap. Not bad, but hardly a significant salary cap dump. Ayodele wasn’t in the plans anymore after the signing of Zach Thomas. Fasano was the surprise although I wasn’t exactly enamored with his play. He hadn’t produced in the passing game and his blocking was merely OK. But with only star of stage and screen Tony Curtis backing up Jason Witten...

DMN Blog: Simms a possibility?

by Todd Archer

Owner and GM Jerry Jones didn't exactly say the Cowboys in the market for a veteran backup to pair with Brad Johnson over the weekend, but he didn't close the door on the possibility either.

Any thoughts on UT-ex Chris Simms?

Tampa Bay has 88 quarterbacks on its roster - OK, just seven: Jeff Garcia, Brian Griese, Luke McCown, Simms, Bruce Gradkowski, draft pick Josh Johnson and the rights to the retired Jake Plummer. Simms is staying away from the team's voluntary off-season program for the first time in his career.

Simms hasn't played since 2006 after having his spleen removed and he is due a $2 million base salary. He turns 28 in August. He took Tampa to the playoffs in 2005. The Bucs say he is 100 percent healthy now. You would think the Bucs have to release one or three of these QBs at some point.

Maybe he would be a good fit behind Johnson for now and a solid backup for Tony Romo in the future. And there's this: he was a teammate of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett's in 2004 for a spell.

DMN Blog: Lions ripped for not dealing Roy Williams to Dallas

by Tim MacMahon

A big part of Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp's job is bashing Lions boss Matt Millen. And Sharp thinks Millen made another dumb decision by not working out a deal with Jerry to make Texas Roy Williams a Cowboy.

If they're saying they simply weren't interested in moving Williams, they're stupid.
It's strongly believed around league executive circles that Dallas was strongly pursuing Williams to serve as a receiving compliment to Terrell Owens. The Cowboys had two first round selections Saturday, the lowest at 28th.

They blew it a year ago when they didn't recognize that Calvin Johnson's greatest value to the Lions' long-term ills was trading him to Atlanta for what would have given the Lions four of the first 44 players in the draft - four opportunities to draft four immediate starters and potentially move this organization out of its competitive quagmire.

Instead, they opted for flash - keeping the receiver and selecting a project quarterback and defensive end in the second round.

If Millen changes his mind after reading the column, I'm sure Jerry would be more than happy to take his call. You know, the Cowboys do have a couple extra picks in next year's draft. And Mr. Millen, Bobby Carpenter just might be a nice fit in that 4-3 scheme of yours.

On a semi-related note, it was very gracious of Jerry to tell reporters over the weekend that you can't solely blame Bill Parcells for drafting Carpenter.

DMN Blog: Richard Bartel... No progress in Barber/Hamlin talks

by Calvin Watkins

Looking forward to seeing Richard Bartel this weekend when the Cowboys' rookies and first year players get together at Valley Ranch.

Bartel is the No. 3 quarterback in name only and with Jerry Jones talking about looking for a veteran QB to add to the roster, Chris Simms, as Archer pointed out earlier, the pressure is on.

Bartel has the strongest arm on the team, among the QBs that is, but he needs to be more accurate and poised in the pocket. Let's see if he can do that this weekend. Now, his job isn't on the line or anything this weekend, but he can make the right moves to solidify his spot on the roster come training camp.

Free safety Ken Hamlin, who was franchised this spring, hasn't made any progress toward a new contract with the Cowboys. I wonder if the Cowboys will wait until training camp to take care of him

He's a key to Brian Stewart, the DC, and his goals of running the defense.

No comment on T.O.

11:45 AM Tue, Apr 29, 2008 | Permalink | Yahoo! Buzz
Calvin Watkins E-mail News tips

Just talked to our favorite agents, well one of them, Drew Rosenhaus, who represents Terrell Owens and he had no comment on T.O. forgetting to pay the Eagles some of their bonus money back.

Also, Rosenhaus said there is nothing new to report regarding running back Marion Barber and his contract talks with the Cowboys.

Cowboys offering a new contract in the $30 million range for Barber. He wants something between $40 million and $60 million.

ESPN Mosley: Felix Jones and family reaction at being selected

Posted by's Matt Mosley

Cowboys first-round selection Felix Jones was enjoying his draft party in Tulsa until the TV went out. A local TV reporter was there to document the event, and he captured footage of two men rigging up what appeared to be a generator from the early 1940s.

By all accounts, Jones is a tremendous kid and it was fun to watch his family's reaction to the big announcement. He's the latest in a long line of tremendous athletes to come out of north Tulsa. Waymon Tisdale is still a frequent visitor and R.W. McQuarters of the New York Giants is also from Jones' neighborhood. Last year, the Saints chose Tulsa native Robert Meachem in the first round.

DMN: BLOG: You're not done with Mocks!!!

by Albert Breer's Todd McShay has jumped into the fray with his first 2009 mock draft, which might look kinda silly in a year's time. Give him credit for trying, and knowing who stands where at this point.

While I'd argue with the exclusion of Chris "Beanie" Wells, it looks pretty solid up and down. When the Cowboys hit the clock at 31 -- looks like McShay's got the Patriots beating Dallas in Super Bowl XLIII -- three receivers are off the board. With Michael Crabtree, Percy Harvin and Derrius Heyward-Bey gone, the Cowboys select ...

31. Dallas Cowboys -- Demetrius Byrd, WR, LSU: Wide receiver is the one area Dallas did not address during an otherwise promising 2008 draft. Byrd has a lot to prove as a senior but he certainly has the blend of size and deep speed it takes to emerge as a first-round draft pick.

If you want a point of reference here, here's McShay 2008 seniors-only Top 10, done just days after the '07 draft was completed:
1. Louisville QB Brian Brohm (Packers, second round)
2. USC OT Sam Baker (Falcons, first round)
3. LSU DT Glenn Dorsey (Chiefs, first round)
4. Michigan OT Jake Long (Dolphins, first round)
5. LSU WR Early Doucet (Cardinals, third round)
6. Georgia CB Paul Oliver*
7. Kentucky QB Andre Woodson (Giants, sixth round)
8. Texas WR Limas Sweed (Steelers, second round)
9. Michigan QB Chad Henne (Dolphins, second round)
10. Texas DT Frank Okam (Texans, fifth round)

* -- Oliver was declared academically ineligible last spring, entered the supplemental draft, and the Chargers used a fourth-round pick on him. He was inactive for every 2007 game.

Terrell Owens-WR- Cowboys

The Eagles are suing Terrell Owens over bonus money he never paid them while on suspension the last seven games in 2005.

An arbitrator ruled that Owens owes $769,117.63. The Eagles also want him to pay any legal fees. T.O. will make $7 million from the Cowboys in 2008.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dallas Cowboys UDFA signings

by Dave Halprin (Grizz) on Apr 28, 2008 10:51 AM CDT in News

Oh yes, I love this. BTB-regular lee3022 pointed me to a site called NFL Draft Bible that has a lot of UDFA signings listed. I just checked it and here’s the list for Dallas:

DE Darrell Robertson, Georgia Tech
DT Marcus Dixon, Hampton
WR Daniel Polk, Midwestern State
FB Julius Crosslin, Oklahoma State
OG Brandon Hale, Sam Houston State
P Jay Ottovegio, Stanford
SS Dowayne Davis, Syracuse
WR Danny Amendola, Texas Tech
TE Drew Atchison, William & Mary

Sweet! They picked up Georgia Tech player Darrell Robertson who was a guy I thought might have a chance as an OLB in the 3-4. He played DE at Tech and was part of a line that was very good at getting after the QB.

NFL Draft Countdown had him as the #12 DE and Mel Kiper had him at the top of his list as Best Player Available throughout the later rounds of the draft.

Cowboys sign a story line- first UDFA Marcus Dixon

Scouts Inc. Breakdown
Marcus Dixon, DE, Hampton
(6-foot-4, 292 pounds, 5.32 40)
Concerns: Character, Speed
Grade: 32

Strengths: Has adequate lower body strength and can drive tight ends back when he plays with sound technique. While inconsistent in this area, has shown above-average upper body strength and flashes the ability to shed blocks. Works from snap until whistle, takes adequate angles to the ball and makes some plays in pursuit..

Weaknesses: Plays too high and can get driven back by offensive tackles. Doesn't deliver a violent punch and isn't physical enough. Base narrows at times and can lose balance. Appears hesitant at times and can have problems locating the ball. Doesn't anticipate snap counts well, lacks an explosive first step and isn't fast enough to consistently turn the corner.

Cowboys Team Report

War Room scouts, Jean-Jacques Taylor, Vinnie Iyer
Sporting News

War Room scouts, correspondent Jean-Jacques Taylor and SN's Vinnie Iyer analyze the Cowboys' 2008 draft class:


22 (22) Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas (5-10, 207)

War Room scouts: Owner/GM Jerry Jones goes with the "other" Arkansas back. Felix Jones is very versatile and can help the Cowboys as a runner, catching passes out of the backfield and even aligned at wide receiver. His experience sharing time with Darren McFadden at Arkansas should help him transition to a part-time role with Marion Barber.

Taylor: Jones gives the Cowboys the speed player and big-play threat they craved. He shared the ball with Darren McFadden at Arkansas, and Cowboys officials know he'll be fine sharing time with Marion Barber. Jones also is a dynamic kick returner with big-play potential. The coaches want more big plays from the running game and hope Jones' terrific speed will provide them. The Cowboys will get him the ball on screen passes and draw plays and reverses -- anything to get him in the open field -- where he has one defender to beat.

Iyer: Jones is the ideal replacement for Julius Jones, and it doesn't hurt that Arkansas alum Jerry Jones had a jones for taking a Razorbacks back. Dallas smartly adds young pop to the backfield to complement the power of Marion Barber.

25 (25) Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida (5-10, 197)

War Room scouts: Cowboys moved up from No. 27 to get ahead of the Texans and Chargers, who both were eye-balling cornerbacks. Jenkins is tough and physical and should step in as the starter opposite Terence Newman. That would allow the team to move Anthony Henry to safety. This pick also gives the Cowboys insurance in case newly acquired Pacman Jones gets in trouble again.

Taylor: Jenkins is another big-play cornerback who plays the ball well. Jenkins will get every opportunity to contribute as a rookie after losing Jacques Reeves in free agency. The Cowboys struggled with injuries to Terence Newman and Anthony Henry last year, exposing their lack of depth, especially when opponents used four-receiver formations. Jenkins is not a physical player but makes tackles in one-on-one situations. He has excellent hands and is considered a playmaker.

Iyer: Our War Room friends had Jenkins rated as the top cornerback going into the draft, and Dallas probably recognized that he was too good of a first-round option where it needed to move up three spots to the Seahawks' position. The secondary is the weakest link in the Cowboys' 3-4, and Jenkins can start and contribute right away if that Pacman thing doesn't work out.


30 (61) Martellus Bennett, TE, Texas A&M (6-6, 258)

War Room scouts: The Cowboys traded Anthony Fasano and then replaced him with Bennett, a great athlete who isn't much of a blocker. Bennett is not going to take Jason Witten's job but should play a lot in '08 and catch a number of passes.

Taylor: Bennett, a former basketball star, is going to have an immediate role in the Cowboys' offense because they want their two tight end package to be a big part of their offense. The Cowboys like the run-pass balance that package affords them, and Bennett gives them extra flexibility because he can be split out wide. He has good speed, though he's not a blazer and his route-running needs improvement, but he does an excellent job of using his hands and creating separation when the ball is in the air.

Iyer: So Dallas cleared some roster room in trading away one tight end, Anthony Fasano, to Miami, and it decides to go in state to Texas A&M and grab another talented one here.


23 (122) Tashard Choice, RB, Georgia Tech (5-10, 208)

War Room scouts: After grabbing RB Felix Jones in the first round, the Dallas Cowboys surprised War Room scouts by grabbing Choice at No. 122. Choice fell this far because of durability concerns, but he gives the Cowboys more depth at a position where you never can have too much depth.

Taylor: The Cowboys continue to improve their depth at running back. Choice is a good, strong runner who gives the club some insurance should Marion Barber get injured, as he's capable of carrying the ball 20 times a game. He is good between the tackles, but doesn't have the speed to provide big plays on a consistent basis. He probably won't play much next year unless he makes himself a factor on kick returns, but he represents a tremendous upgrade over Tyson Thompson, the Cowboys' third running back the past three seasons.


8 (143) Orlando Scandrick, CB, Boise State (5-10, 194)

Taylor: The Cowboys hope he will develop into a nickel or dime cornerback, but he should be a solid contributor on special teams this year because of his speed, athleticism and intelligence.


1 (167) Erik Walden, LB, Middle Tennessee State (6-2, 232)

Taylor: A defensive end in college, the Cowboys will convert him to linebacker and see if he can become a pass rusher.

NFL notes: Jerry Jones: 'Pacman’ worth the gamble

The Associated Press
Sunday, Apr. 27, 2008 3:00 am

Jerry Jones isn't certain Adam "Pacman" Jones ever will play for the Dallas Cowboys.

Yet the chance he might, and that he might play really well, was good enough for Jerry Jones to absorb the public-relations hit that comes with acquiring the cornerback known more for arrests than interceptions.

"To say I'm totally convinced (it will work out), no, I don't know that," the Cowboys owner said Saturday. "I don't know that at all. But I do know enough to do what we're doing. And I feel positive enough that it's worth that."

Jerry Jones said the trade to acquire Pacman from the Tennessee Titans is done "for all practical purposes." Although they agreed in principle Wednesday, things have dragged on because the parameters and contract talks that have included both teams, Pacman, the league office and the players association.

The crux of the deal is Dallas giving up a fourth-round pick this year and a sixth next year, plus Jones getting a four-year contract. The Cowboys would get back a fourth-rounder in 2009 if Jones isn't reinstated, or a fifth-rounder if he returns then gets busted again.

Jones further hedged his bet with his two first-round draft picks: A running back who is a gifted kick returner (Felix Jones) and a cornerback (Mike Jenkins). Those are the two things Pacman does best.

AFL MAKES A PRESENCE: The Arena Football League had a presence in Saturday's draft when Sam Baker, son of AFL commissioner David Baker, was selected in the first round by Atlanta.

The Falcons traded up with Washington to get to 21st overall for the Southern California tackle. Earlier in the round, Atlanta took Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, and now Baker will be among his protectors.

"He said, 'No matter where, don't let your draft position change who you are, whether you're the last pick or the first pick,' " Sam Baker said of his dad's advice.

Baker goes 6-foot-5, 312, which is significantly smaller than his dad. Baker played left tackle for the Trojans, had knee surgery following his junior season and missed three games and parts of two games with injuries in 2007.

LIONS: Detroit Lions safety Kalvin Pearson was arrested in southwest Florida on domestic violence charges.

Pearson was charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman and domestic battery by strangulation, both felonies, according to an arrest report from the Hillsborough County sheriff's office.

He also was charged with obstructing or opposing an officer without force, a misdemeanor, and was being held without bail in a Tampa jail.

Pearson, who is in his fourth NFL season, formerly played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He led the Buccaneers in special teams tackles in 2007, with 21, and appeared in all 16 games in 2007.

Pearson signed with the Lions as a restricted free agent in March.

TITANS: Michael Roos told Tennessee he wanted to wrap up contract negotiations before the 2008 season started. Team officials obliged their left tackle, agreeing to a six-year, $43 million extension.

The team confirmed the deal that makes Roos the third-highest paid left tackle in the NFL behind Orlando Pace and Walter Jones. His contract was set to expire after the 2008 season.

The deal, originally reported in The Tennessean, includes $15 million in guaranteed money, including a $4 million roster bonus. The 6-foot-7, 315-pound Roos, who has started 48 consecutive games, could earn up to $1.5 million more from Pro Bowl berths.

Texas Tech Monday Morning Football Notes - Amendola Signs With The Cowboys Edition

By Seth C Section: Football
Posted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 07:28:17 AM EDT

Texas Tech Football:

We actually have quite a few football items to discuss, however first and foremost we focus on Danny Amendola's signing as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys. LAJ's Don Williams caught up with Amendola (no permament URL) and notes that Amendola was choosing between Dallas, Philadelphia, Houston, San Diego and Miami, but ultimately went with the Cowboys because of the current personnel:

"That's one of the things they wanted me to do is have the opportunity to return some punts,'' he said. "Being a guy who's not as highly touted as some receivers are, you've got to slip your way in through some special teams. That's what I'm looking forward to.''
"It was kind of nice having an opportunity to pick from one team or the other in the same state as you,'' he said. "But when you've got guys (in Houston) that kind of fit my description, you can't have too many little punt-return guys if you want to have an opportunity.''

Fox34 catches up with Amendola and talks to him about possibly being picked last and the process leading up to signing with the Cowboys.

I think the thing for Cowboys fans to remember, there are certainly comparisons between Amendola and Welker, especially for Texas Tech fans (BTW - this has got to be a tough thing for Red Blooded, cheer for the player, not the jersey), they are similar, but not the same players. Welker is quicker than Amendola and has that extra gear, I'm not sure what to call "it". However, Amendola as well as other Texas Tech receivers have two qualities that should be invaluable to NFL teams, as they were invaluable to Texas Tech. Amendola knows how to get open in space and how to read what the defense is giving him. I would imagine that this is something that can be lost on guys who just run routes and don't constantly adjust to defenses, or run your routes based on what the defense is giving you. The second quality is what makes a receiver earn his money, catching the football, something that Cowboy fans can relate.

You're getting a good player, a guy who's not afraid to go over the middle, is a solid, but not spectacular punt returner, and a guy who knows how to play the game and catch the ball.

Dallas Cowboys 2008 NFL Draft: Keeping Up With the Joneses

Cowboy Owner Jerry Has a Jones for the "Other" Arkansas Running Back
By RazorsEdge, published Apr 28, 2008

Dallas Cowboys Owner and famous Arkansas alum Jerry Jones lost Julius Jones as a free agent recently. No big deal, as the younger brother of the Jets' Thomas Jones was just another guy as far as NFL runners go. So, in a trade with the Tennessee Titans that was finalized this weekend, the Cowboys added the "Tennessee Stud", Adam "Pacman" Jones. Dallas metroplex strippers beware if Pacman starts to "make it rain". Hopefully Pacman Jones will get his act together and become as good a citizen as he is a football player, in between suspensions, that is.

With their first pick at #22 in the 2008 NFL draft, Jerry had a "Jones" for another former Arkansas Razorback, the first time he has drafted a player from his college alma mater in his time with the Dallas Cowboys. Felix Jones, who played second fiddle to Darren McFadden for three years at the school, was selected to complement bruising Marion Barber and take the place of the departed Julius Jones.

With Barber having one year on his contract and the two sides reportedly far apart in negotiations, the Cowboys selected another bruising type runner, Tashard Choice out of Georgia Tech in the 4th round as insurance.Earlier, in Round 2, Dallas selected TE Martellus Bennett to replace Tony Fasano. At 6'6 and a hair under 260, Bennett is considered a good blocker with limitations as a receiver. As long as Jason Witten is around, the receiving part of the TE equation is covered quite well.

To address the main weakness on the Dallas roster, the "Boys moved up in Round 1 to grab CB Mike Jenkins. Jenkins has good size for a corner at 6'0 and 200 pounds. The University of South Florida stalwart has good cover skills, great speed and is said to be a good tackler, a bonus at cornerback. This was a good pick to shore up an obvious need in the secondary.

In Round 5, Boise State corner Orlando Scandrick was selected, further adding to the depth at one of the Cowboys' few weak spots. Scandrick, a 3 year starter at Boise is regarded as a questionable character guy, so maybe the Cowboys shouldn't pair him up with Pacman Jones in training camp.

NFL approves Pacman trade

April 28, 2008
IRVING, Texas (AP) — The NFL formally approved Tennessee's trade of suspended cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

"I think for Adam's sake it's a very good first step," Jones' agent Manny Arora said. "We still have to get through the NFL commissioner's office. I think once we do that we can breathe a sigh of relief and get back to playing football."

Jones must still be reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Dallas gave the Titans a fourth-round pick in this year's draft and a sixth-rounder next year for Jones.

The Cowboys would get back a fourth-rounder in 2009 if Pacman isn't reinstated, or a fifth-rounder if he returns then gets punished again.

The Titans and Cowboys agreed to terms Saturday, and the teams submitted all the paperwork to the league office late Saturday. The Cowboys are braced for the players association to quibble over the contract, but Jerry Jones said Saturday that can't block the trade.

Tennessee used that fourth-round pick, No. 126 overall, on California receiver Lavelle Hawkins. Told that was the draft pick used to select him, Hawkins said he realizes his name will be linked now to Jones.

"First of all, let me just say thanks to Pacman Jones because if it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't be a Tennessee Titan so thank you Pacman Jones," Hawkins said.

Goodell suspended Jones last April for repeatedly violating the league's personal conduct rules. He's been arrested six times and has been involved in 12 incidents requiring police intervention.

"Basically, he's been given all the tools by Dallas to succeed," Arora said. "And now it's really just up to us to make it happen."

Dallas Cowboys 2008 Draft Grades

James Joyner | Monday, April 28, 2008

As those who read my live blog know, I thought the Dallas Cowboys, under the questionable leadership of Jerry Jones, really flubbed this draft. The passed on Rashard Mendenhall, a consensus Top 10 running back, in favor of Felix Jones because they thought he’d be a better backup. They took a tight end in the second round, also as a backup, because they thought they’d needed one after giving away Anthony Fasano, whom they’d taken in the 2nd round two years earlier, for a 4th rounder. Then they traded down five consecutive times on Day 2 before finally picking someone: Yet another backup running back! And a reach defensive lineman that they were going to convert into another unneeded linebacker.

Aaaargh! Bad Jerry! Shades of 1995!

Almost all the experts, including guys I really respect like Dallas Morning News superstar Rick Gosselin, gave them above average grades, though. A couple even gave the team an “A.” Partly, that’s a function of having two first round picks and picking two quality guys with them. Partly, it’s a function of my penalizing them for what the could have done (or, in the case of the Fasano trade and subsequent drafting of his replacement, could have avoided). Mainly, I think, they just count the value of the players against an imaginary draft board rather than in terms of the woulda-coulda-shoulda criteria that I use. And, of course, they’re not Cowboys fans and are probably more objective.

At any rate, without further ado, here are their assessments. I’ll add on to the bottom of the list over the next couple of days, as this will serve as a permanent scorecard to use for looking back in a couple of years in addition to satisfying people’s curiosity in the long months before the opening kickoff in September.

For a look back at Dallas Cowboys 2007 Draft Grades, see this post.

Gosselin [Dallas: B -]:

The Cowboys were cruising along with a great draft until reaching for LB Walden in the sixth. RB Choice in the fourth and CB Scandrick in the fifth were superb second-day selections. RB Jones will be a boon to the special teams.

Mel Kiper, ESPN [GRADE: B+]:

Dallas Cowboys: Felix Jones will join Marion Barber in the Cowboys’ backfield and will also return kicks. Cornerback Mike Jenkins has really good ball skills and should be a major contributor this season in the secondary. Tight end Martellus Bennett has talent and should be able to help out in the passing game. Running back Tashard Choice had a knee injury in 2007; otherwise he would have gone a little higher in the draft. He can run between tackles, but isn’t going to run away from anyone in space. I projected Boise State cornerback Orlando Scandrick to go late in the second round, and I was surprised to see him last until the fifth round. However, the Cowboys didn’t draft a wide receiver, which I thought was one of their top three need areas.

Larry Weisman, USA Today [GRADE: B-]:

Dallas Cowboys: Excellent job in filling needs but bypassing Rashard Mendenhall? Had to get RB and did, in explosive Felix Jones. He’ll dovetail nicely with Marion Barber III. Then moved up three spots in deal with Seattle and grabbed CB Mike Jenkins, which gives them some insurance regarding Pacman Jones and his uncertain status (currently suspended). TE Martellus Bennett steps in for traded Anthony Fasano.

Clifton Brown, Sporting News [Grade: B+ ]:

Cowboys. What they got was better than trading for Darren McFadden. Felix Jones may be just as good a running back. Taking Mike Jenkins makes them less dependent on Pacman Jones.

Pete Brisco, CBS Sportsline [Grade: A]:

Best pick: I’m a big fan of Arkansas running back Felix Jones, who went 22nd in the first round. He is a home-run threat every time he touches it.

Questionable move: Hard to find one. They had a good two days, but taking tight end Martellus Bennett in the second round might be it. With Jason Witten on the roster, that was a luxury pick.

Second-day gem: Corner Orlando Scandrick has nice cover skills. Were it not for some attitude questions, he might have been taken higher than the fifth round.

Overall grade: A. With two first-round picks, it was hard to mess things up. Getting corner Mike Jenkins after Jones fills a need.

John Czarnecki, Fox News [Grade: A-]:

The Cowboys didn’t land Darren McFadden, but still had a quality draft. Some may argue that Arkansas running back Felix Jones wasn’t the best one available, but he did score 20 touchdowns in college and has breakaway speed. Georgia Tech RB Tashard Choice is a bruiser much like Marion Barber and adds to the depth at that position. At worse, he’s a special teams player. South Florida CB Mike Jenkins has super coverage skills and Jerry Jones was wise to trade up to get him. Texas A&M tight end Martellus Bennett has the size to be a great blocker and with Jason Witten around, there’s no reason he has to catch the ball.

Paul Zimmerman, SI’s “Dr. Z,” doesn’t actually issue grades but includes the Cowboys under “More Drafts I Like.” They weren’t “Numero Uno” — the Miami Dolphins got that honor — but this was the next highest category.

McFadden’s running mate, Felix Jones, can fly; he averaged 8.7 yards a crack last season. Perfect counterpart for Marion Barber, but farther down the Cowboys got lucky when Tashard Choice, a slashing type of runner, fell to them. Mike Jenkins is a fine corner to team with Terence Newman.

Charean Williams, Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

The Cowboys had a good draft, but it could have been even better with the selection of Rashard Mendenhall. Grade B+

Charles Robinson, Yahoo! Sports:

Picks: RB Felix Jones, DB Mike Jenkins, TE Martellus Bennett, RB Tashard Choice, DB Orlando Scandrick, DL Erik Walden

Positives: Jones, Jenkins, Choice

Negative: No young wide receiver to develop.

Bottom line: B+. Only six picks, but Jones and Jenkins are solid picks. However, taking Jones over Rashard Mendenhall because he was used to playing a backup role makes no sense. That doesn’t make Felix a bad pick, it just links him forever to Mendenhall. Jenkins can return kicks and gives great insurance at cornerback for Pacman Jones. The addition of Pacman also counts, and Dallas doesn’t have a lot invested for the talent level. Bennett is intriguing and Choice could be a steal in the fourth round.

Wow! Dallas Cowboys owner believes in his latest additions

Star-Telegram staff writer

IRVING -- The 2008 NFL Draft ended Sunday, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is still at the team's Valley Ranch training complex trading down to pick up extra picks.

Or so it seems.

After a largely drama-free first day Saturday, Jones truly began working the draft Sunday.

He made four trades before making his first selection and five trades overall -- moving down four times and up once, turning three picks into four picks and back down to three picks Sunday while acquiring two picks in next year's draft.

The dizzying moves were the theme of the day for an owner/general manager who prides himself on trying to win the draft by stockpiling picks and trying to increase value.

The Cowboys finally picked Georgia Tech running back Tashard Choice with the 23rd choice of the fourth round, 123rd overall, to continue with the business of talent acquisition. They also picked Boise State cornerback Orlando Scandrick in the fifth round and Middle Tennessee linebacker Erik Walden in the sixth round. They also added Cleveland's third and Detroit's fourth-round picks in 2009 -- giving them six picks in the first four rounds next year.

The 2008 draft likely will be remembered more for what the Cowboys got in the first two rounds than the second-day trade frenzy.

After going 13-3 and winning the NFC East last year only to watch the division rival New York Giants bask in Super Bowl glory, the Cowboys went into the off-season looking for players to put them over the top this season.

According to Jones, the Cowboys accomplished that.

That's why they re-signed left tackle Flozell Adams to a $42 million contract in February and signed aging free-agent linebacker Zach Thomas to replace Akin Ayodele alongside Bradie James.

And don't think for a minute that the Cowboys' gamble in acquiring suspended cornerback Pacman Jones from the Tennessee Titans was not rooted in their belief that he can contribute to a Super Bowl title run in 2008.

The draft was no different. The focus was to get players who could make immediate impacts.

"I think we did that," Jerry Jones said. "I think we got it done. We have improved our team. We have gotten some wow power."

And while there will be a down-the-road debate on the decision to take running back Felix Jones over Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall -- who was rated the best back in the draft on a few boards and as high as No. 2 on most boards -- there is no disputing the Cowboys' argument that Jones is the best immediate fit.

The speedy Jones is an ideal complement to starting running back Marion Barber. Jones' speed and quickness is a nice change of pace to go with Barber's bruising style.

Barber will get the bulk of the carries, but when Jones is on the field, he gives the Cowboys a bona fide home-run threat to go along with Terrell Owens in the offense.

And any questions about Felix Jones not being able to carry the full load if something happened to Barber were answered with the selection of Choice, who has size, durability and talent to be an every down back.

However, the biggest moves the Cowboys made in the draft might have come on defense with the acquisitions Pacman Jones and South Florida cornerback Mike Jenkins in the first round.

Pacman Jones -- if he is reinstated by the NFL and the Cowboys truly believe he will be on the field -- has proven to be one of the league's top cover cornerbacks. Jenkins was the highest-rated cornerback on the Cowboys draft board.

The Cowboys didn't accomplish all of their goals. They would have liked to add a big-time receiver to play opposite Owens.

Short of that, the Cowboys are very comfortable with their roster and what they have accomplished. Jerry Jones said it was the main reason he could work the draft as he did Sunday. They didn't feel the need to reach for any players, and the additional picks in 2009 will allow them to be major players in next year's draft.


Trading places

The Cowboys were busy during the two-day draft. A look at some of their moves:

1. Seattle Seahawks

Cowboys get: 1st round (No. 25)

Cowboys give up: 1st round (No. 28), 5th round (No. 163), 7th round (No. 235)

2. Detroit Lions

Cowboys get: 4th round

(No. 111 overall); 4th round (2009)

Cowboys give up: 3rd round (No. 92)

3. Oakland Raiders

Cowboys get: 4th round (No. 104), 7th round (No. 213)

Cowboys give up: 4th round (No. 100, originally from Miami)

4. Cleveland Browns

Cowboys get: 4th (No. 122), 5th (No. 155)

Cowboys give up: 4th (No. 104, originally from Oakland)

5. Cleveland Browns

Cowboys get: 3rd round (2009)

Cowboys give up: 4th (No. 111, originally from Detroit)

6. Jacksonville Jaguars

Cowboys get: 5th (No. 143)

Cowboys give up: 5th (No. 155), 7th (213)

The Cowboys did not select a wide receiver in the 2008 draft

It's a vote of confidence for Terry Glenn (knee), who owner Jerry Jones says is still "very much" a part of Dallas' plans. Patrick Crayton also benefits and could start again if Glenn can't get healthy. Jones said he did contemplate trading up for Indiana wideout James Hardy, Buffalo's second-round pick.
Source: Dallas Morning News

Sunday, April 27, 2008

DMN Blog: Cowboys go right off Goose's board

by Tim MacMahon

Boise State cornerback Orlando Scandrick was the best available player left on Goose's board. Not sure if that swayed Jerry, but the Cowboys made Scandrick the 143rd pick of the draft.

He'll compete with Alan Ball, a seventh-rounder last season, to be the Cowboys' fifth cornerback if Pacman Jones is reinstate.

Here's a scouting report on Scandrick.

Orlando Scandrick (CB)
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 192
College: Boise State
Conference: WAC
Hometown: Los Alamitos, CA
High School: Los Alamitos
View Combine Page >>
distributed by The Sports Xchange.

Positives: Has a lean, angular build with room on his frame to carry more weight without it impacting his impressive timed speed...More fast than quick, but shows the loose hips to run stride-for-stride with the receiver (when he gets too high in his pedal, he takes extra steps and lacks explosion)...Has very good body control attacking the ball at its high point, making him one of the better kick blockers in the draft...Late to react to the pass in the deep secondary, but is more comfortable and alert taking on action in the box than most cornerbacks (12.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage)...Better when he shuffles his feet in his backpedal than when he gets too tall in his stance...Has the ability to jump on the hip and run with the receiver coming off the line (problems occur when he has to turn out of breaks)...Breaks quickly on the play when asked to take on the ballcarrier (has better closing urgency vs. the run than the pass)...Likes to come up and support vs. the run, avoiding blocks when attempting to disrupt the pocket...Takes good angles to close vs. the run, but needs to get stronger in order to have better success playing off blocks...Quick to arrive when asked to fill the rush lanes and has a knack for getting low...Times his leaps well, using his long arm extension to reach around and deflect the ball away before the receiver can adjust..His explosive leaping ability contributed to him blocking seven kicks during his career...Even though he needs to refine his backpedal, his loose hips help him recover when he takes false steps in transition...Has excellent range, but just needs to show that sudden closing burst more often (lacks urgency at times)...When he locates the ball, he is quick to close...Lacks an ideal feel for routes, but takes good angles when closing... Has the speed to close and make plays near the line...When he doesn't bite on pump fakes and keeps his assignments, he shows the acceleration to catch up and defend in the deep zone...As a junior, he was more efficient as a zone defender, making proper switch-offs...Adequate cut tackler when he stays low in his pads...Has the open-field quickness, fluid agility and excellent hip swerve to recover when beaten on long routes (needs to explode out of his breaks better)...Shows better stop-and-go action on short and intermediate routes than he does in the deep third of the field...Not afraid to jump and extend for the ball in tight quarters.

Negatives: Needs to upgrade his overall strength and physical receivers have had success pushing off him (struggles to reroute bigger opponents in press coverage)...Has very good timed speed, but he lacks explosion and suddenness coming out of his breaks or when redirecting (takes extra steps)...Looks awkward in transition when he gets too high in his backpedal...Is slippery when avoiding blocks in backside pursuit, but if blockers gets into his jersey, he is easily washed out...Does not have the upper-body strength or hand jolt to disengage...Will ankle-bite or take a side when tackling and needs to do a better job of facing up and breaking down taking on ballcarriers along the perimeter...Perhaps due to his rolling start, he does not close with great urgency, especially on plays in front of him...Gets a lot more pass deflections than pass thefts due to marginal hands (traps the ball or lets it into his body rather than reaching and plucking for it), but has the timing and leaping ability to compete for jump balls or to elevate when attempting to block kicks...Struggles with route recognition and, when he gets back in the zone, he will eyeball the pocket too long or bite on pump fakes...Must not allow so much cushion, as his lack of explosion out of his breaks can make him a step slow in recovering when a receiver gets behind him.

Compares To: ERIC WRIGHT-Cleveland...Scandrick is not the most physical cornerback, but he brings instant value in the sub package as a nickel back due to his short-area coverage skills, and on special teams, where he excels as a kick blocker. He needs to show more urgency in his play and despite his timed speed, he fails to show the explosive burst coming out of his high backpedal to stay tight with the receiver. He needs patient coaching to help him develop, as his instincts seem to be lacking, despite three years as a starter. His speed is unquestioned, along with his elevation skills, and he could be drafted earlier than his marginal strength and adequate man-coverage skills merit.

Injury Report
2007: Missed the second half of the Hawaii game (11/23) with a left thumb fracture.

2008: Could not lift at the Combine, as he was still recovering from his left thumb injury.

DMN Blog: Cowboys finally pick!!!!

by Albert Breer

And it's Tashard Choice from Georgia Tech. So the Cowboys take a second back, which makes my point that the choice of Choice (sorry) was necessitated by the drafting of Felix Jones.

Rashard Mendenhall would've allowed the Cowboys to go in another direction here. But with Jones on board, they still needed insurance, since if Marion Barber goes down, there's not enough of it with the Arkansas product.


When the smoke clears ...
by Albert Breer

After all the dealing, here's what the Cowboys started today with, and what they have now. I do know we're far from done here. ...

They started the day with ...

2008 Third round pick -- 92nd overall
2008 Fourth round pick -- 100th overall (from Miami)
2008 Sixth round pick -- 167th overall (from Miami)

They now have ...

2008 Fourth round pick -- 122nd overall (from Cleveland)
2008 Fifth round pick -- 155th overall (from Cleveland)
2008 Sixth round pick -- 167th overall (from Miami)
2008 Seventh round pick -- 213rd overall (from Oakland)
2009 Third round pick (from Cleveland)
2009 Fourth round pick (from Detroit)

Jenkins as possible safety?

From (concerning Jenkins)

With his press ability and speed closing on plays in front of him, he could bring more value as a free safety (has Brian Dawkins-type qualities), as he does have experience at that position from his high school days and as a freshman at USF.

He might be a better fit at free safety, as his best assets are his quickness, making plays in front of him and generating a good press.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

DMN Blog: Felix is fired up!!!!

by Tim MacMahon

You could practically hear Felix Jones smiling through the telephone during his conference call with the Valley Ranch media.
"Oh, man, I'm excited," Jones said from his aunt and uncle's house in Tulsa. "I grew up watching this team. Now I'm going to have a chance to play with them and play with a star on my helmet. I'm going to make the best of it."
Much, much more to come. Jerry's about to flap his gums for awhile.

Jones vs. Mendenhall. Did we we make the right choice?

Originally posted by Guinness from a sports forum:

Felix Jones

POSITIVES: Explosive ball-carrier who plays much faster than his timed speed. Outstanding cut-back runner who does a great job using blocks. Immediately finds the running lanes and quickly gets to top speed. Quick-footed, cuts back against the grain, and loses no momentum when he must immediately change direction. Runs with good lean and vision and deceptively strong in his lower body with the ability to break the first tackle. Possesses the speed and agility to turn the corner, displays outstanding open-field running skills, and can run to daylight if given the slightest amount of open space. Sets defenders up, makes them miss or bounces around piles, and creates a lot of yardage. Natural catching the ball out of the backfield, easily adjusting to the errant throw and grabbing it with his hands.

NEGATIVES: Always played second fiddle at Arkansas and was never asked to carry the load in college. Poor 40 time (4.49) at the combine will raise red flags.


POSITIVES: Large, powerful ball-carrier who displays an array of skills. Runs with good lean, follows blocks, and keeps his feet driving up the field. Displays agility. Patient, displays skill in the open field, and runs with an aggressive style. Puts his shoulders into defenders and falls forward for the extra yardage. Breaks tackles and carries the pile. Uses an effective straight-arm, has improved as a receiver out of the backfield, and plays fast.

NEGATIVES: Cannot quickly cut back against the grain and loses momentum when he must immediately change direction. Must pick up the intensity blocking. Does not show the ability to turn the corner.

Dallas Cowboy: TE Martellus Bennett

War Room analysis
Round 2, Pick 30

Overall grade: 7.5
Position rank: 1
Blocking: 6
Hands: 9
Patterns: 5
Release: 6
Run after catch: 4
NFL comparison: Jason Witten, Cowboys

POST-DRAFT TAKE: The Cowboys traded Anthony Fasano and then replaced him with Bennett, a great athlete who isn't much of a blocker. Bennett is not going to take Jason Witten's job but should play a lot in '08 and catch a number of passes.


Hands: Is a natural. Shows good body control and coordination to adjust and make tough catches. Plucks the ball quickly and cleanly away from body. Shows the hand strength to hold the ball after a hard hit. Grade: 8.0

Patterns: Runs consistently good routes. Is smooth and fluid. Uses quick footwork, agility and athleticism to cut quickly and separate from defender. Works through contact. Shows the acceleration and speed to get down the seam to stretch the field. Grade: 7.5

Run after catch: Is a strong, competitive runner. Fights for yardage. Shows the balance and strength to absorb hard hits and keep on going. Runs through arm tackles, but doesn't break many tackles. Lacks explosive speed to outrun the defense and score on long touchdowns. Grade: 7.0

Release: Uses quickness to burst off the snap, but is not explosive enough to get behind defender immediately. Grade: 6.5

Blocking: Has the size and strength to eliminate target once he gets his hands on him. Uses assets well. Grade: 6.5

Bottom line: Bennett, a junior, has the uncommon ability to be a dominant blocker and good receiver. He is not a deep threat like the Browns' Kellen Winslow or the Chargers' Antonio Gates, but he will be a receiving threat who will use his size, strength and athleticism to make plays after the catch. He probably will need a season before his impact matches his ability.

Dallas Cowboy: CB Mike Jenkins

War Room analysis
Round 1, Pick 25
by David Durochik

Overall grade: 8.2
Position rank: 1
Ball skills: 5
Closing speed: 4
Coverage/skills: 3
Run support: 7
Run/pass recognition: 16
NFL comparison: Chris McAlister, Ravens

POST-DRAFT TAKE: Cowboys moved up from No. 27 to get ahead of the Texans and Chargers, who both were eye-balling cornerbacks. Jenkins is tough and physical and should step in as the starter opposite Terence Newman. That would allow the team to move Anthony Henry to safety. This pick also gives the Cowboys insurance in case newly acquired Pacman Jones gets in trouble again.


Coverage skills: Has good height, and shows the quickness, athletic ability and speed to excel in all types of coverage. Was much more consistent in coverage as a senior. Stays with receivers man-to-man despite raw footwork. Shows ability to plant, drive and close explosively on passes, breaking them up or delivering violent hits. When back is to quarterback in deep man coverage, lacks ball awareness and allows completions over his shoulder. Grade: 8.5

Run/pass recognition: Diagnoses plays well, and does not bite on play-action fakes. Reads the quarterback well in "off" or zone coverage, using explosiveness to close on passes. Grade: 8.5

Closing speed: Shows good closing burst on passes in front of him, breaking up plays. Shows loose hips, speed and acceleration to run with any receiver downfield. Turns and runs with receivers in bump-and-run coverage, and stays with them all over the field. Grade: 8.5

Ball skills: In 2007, consistently was all over his man, making plays on the ball. Shows body control and coordination to use long arms to reach in front of receivers and break up passes. Shows the hands to make tough interceptions cutting in front of receivers. Grade: 8.0

Run support: Improved in '07 to become a real force in this area. Comes up quickly to deliver hard hits. Maintains balance, and tackles well in the open field. Grade: 8.0

Bottom line: Jenkins clearly put in a lot of time and hard work to improve after his junior season. He now is much more consistent, emerging as more of a playmaker while allowing almost no completions of note. Jenkins will shine in pre-draft workouts, and we are confident he will be the first cornerback selected.

Dallas Cowboy: RB Felix Jones

War Room analysis
Round 1, Pick 22
by Matthew Kutz

Overall grade: 8.2
Position rank: 3
Blocking: 3
Durability: 19
Hands/routes: 2
Inside running: 9
Outside running: 2
NFL comparison: Frank Gore, 49ers

POST-DRAFT TAKE: Owner/GM Jerry Jones goes with the "other" Arkansas back. Felix Jones is very versatile and can help the Cowboys as a runner, catching passes out of the backfield and even aligned at wide receiver. His experience sharing time with Darren McFadden at Arkansas should help him transition to a part-time role with Marion Barber.


Inside running: Is surprisingly aggressive and explosive. Hits the hole fast and hard, showing the strength and balance to absorb hard hits and keep on going. Has better strength than expected, and shakes off tacklers not in good position and using good technique. Runs a bit upright. Does not consistently wrap up the ball in traffic; has fumbled in games we've evaluated. Grade: 8.0

Outside running: Is a threat to score when reaching the open field. Shows the explosive burst and speed to bounce outside when the middle is clogged, and outruns defenders to the corner. Shows the wiggle to make would-be tacklers miss, and makes sharp cutback runs against the grain, exploding through the backside hole. Grade: 8.0

Blocking: Lacks experience as a lead blocker. Has a lot of experience in pass protection. Is a surprisingly competitive, productive pass blocker who steps up and neutralizes blitzers, either by cut blocking them or taking them on aggressively. Grade: 8.0

Hands/routes: Shows excellent hands to pluck the ball away from his body, and makes tough catches look easy. Runs precise routes, and shows explosive burst out of cuts. Grade: 8.0

Durability: Has the size, strength and toughness to be durable, but runs upright and absorbs a lot of hard hits. Has not proven capable of handling a fulltime load. Grade: 4.0

Bottom line: Jones has not received as much attention as teammate Darren McFadden but is a more versatile, elusive and explosive runner. Jones is a dangerous weapon, making big plays in the running and passing games. Some NFL teams will knock Jones down draft boards, concerned his upright running style will lead to injury problems in the NFL. That said, we like Jones' all-around ability and are confident he will become a good NFL feature back. He also is an elite kickoff return man who will help his team win the field position battle.

Terms of the trade for South Florida CB Mike Jenkins

by Albert Breer

Here they are ...


First-round pick (25th overall) -- South Florida CB Mike Jenkins


First-round pick (28th overall) -- USC DE Lawrence Jackson
Fifth-round pick (163rd overall)
Seventh-round (235th overall)

And by the way, just caught that Antoine Cason was taken by the Chargers at 27. There's a reason why A.J. Smith is one of the best. That secondary has quickly gone from a weakness to a strength, and now boasts one of the deepest crews of corners in the NFL, with one of the best players, period, in the draft.

DMN Blog: Felix complements Barber better

by Tim MacMahon

That's why Jerry said the Cowboys decided to take Felix Jones instead of Rashard Mendenhall.

Jerry acknowledged that Mendenhall has the potential to be a 20-plus-carry back. The Cowboys do not see Felix (no relation to Jerry despite Arkansas ties) as that kind of player.

So why take Felix? They wanted a change-of-pace back in the first round because they believe Marion "The Barbarian" Barber will be the lead horse for the foreseeable future. Wade Phillips raved about Felix's big-play ability and versatility.

"Barber allowed us to have the luxury of being able to have a back come in and be able to do some of the things that Wade just described," Jerry said. "He flourishes in a two-back system. He really is comfortable there."

One potential problem: Barber is entering his contract year, and he's not even in the same neighborhood with the Cowboys in negotiations. And he just got a whole bunch of leverage.

Jerry answers more tough questions than any owner in the NFL. He waved off Wade Phillips when the coach tried to hush Pacman Jones question. ("C'mon, this is the draft," Wade said.) But Jerry declined to say whether the Cowboys had Mendenhall or Felix Jones higher on their board.

DMN Blog: Bennett's a big target who can block

by Tim MacMahon

Martellus Bennett screwed up by going to Texas A&M. He was one of the top-rated recruits in the country and came real close to going to Miami.

Had that happened, there's little doubt that Bennett would have joined the long line of Hurricane tight ends that were first-round picks.

To put it bluntly, the A&M passing offense stunk under Dennis Franchione. Bennett didn't get the ball nearly as often as he should have, but he did develop into a solid blocker.

The knock on Bennett is that he doesn't have breakaway speed, but tight ends that do are few and far between. He's 6-7, 250 pounds and athletic enough to be a contributor on Billy Gillispie's basketball team. He has the size and versatility to line up as a traditional tight end or in the slot, and he has the hands and leaping ability to be a prime red-zone target.

This guy is an upgrade over Anthony Fasano on the field ... and have I mentioned that he's one heck of a quote? Speaking of which, his conference call starts in a few minutes.

Cowboys land RB, CB with first-round picks

Cowboys land RB, CB with first-round picks

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones pulled off a draft-day first. He went after a fellow Arkansas Razorback.

Jones drafted Razorbacks running back Felix Jones with the No. 22 pick of the first round. Despite his love for the Hogs, it was the first time Jones drafted a player from his school since buying the team in 1989.

The Cowboys expect Jones to be a perfect compliment to hard-running starter Marion Barber. Jerry Jones said Felix Jones offers a back who can run the perimeter and provide help on special teams as a kick returner. Jones rushed for 1,000 yards the past two seasons despite backing up fourth overall pick Darren McFadden.

Felix Jones averages 7.6 yards per carry in his career at Arkansas and had 1,162 yards and 11 touchdown last season. He also averaged 29.6 yards per kick return last season. Jerry Jones had a tough decision with Felix Jones and Illinois’ Rashard Mendenhall both available. But Jerry Jones said Mendenhall was a comparable back to Barber. The Cowboys feel Felix Jones is a better compliment but not a full-time back.

Jerry Jones also didn’t skip the first round without his staple of busy trading. But this time Jerry Jones traded up and went after South Florida cornerback Mike Jenkins with the 25th pick. The Cowboys, who gave Seattle a fifth and seventh round picks, didn’t feel he would stay available much longer.

Jenkins slipped to the Cowboys and was regarded by many draft experts as one of the top three cornerbacks expected to be taken in the top 20 spots.

"The value for him was exceptional," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "And we had to make a move."

Jenkins expects to come in and help immediately with the Cowboys lacking depth at the position. The Cowboys said the trade for suspended Titans cornerback Pacman Jones had no impact on their drafts plans and the selection of Jenkins proved it.

Jenkins was bothered by slipping as far as he did but said when the Cowboys called, "it took me off my feet."

For Felix Jones he comes to Dallas and expected to share the load with Barber, who will enter next year as the starter for the first time. It’s a role he is familiar with.

Cowboys selected Texas A&M TE Martellus Bennett with the No. 61 overall pick in the draft

It's too bad Bennett landed in Dallas because he won't make a fantasy impact there unless Jason Witten gets hurt. Bennett (6'7/255) is a fine athlete who played basketball for two years at A&M. He could've used another year in school, but is looking at a decent contract in the second round.

Cowboys selected Arkansas RB Felix Jones with the No. 22 pick in the NFL Draft

Jerry Jones just couldn't resist. Felix isn't a three-down back, but he won't be asked to be playing behind Marion Barber (who just saw his value decrease). Jones can help on returns and adds the big-play explosiveness that Julius Jones couldn't to Dallas' offense. While Felix will be a fun reserve pick in fantasy leagues, he won't get enough touches to be starter as a rookie.

Cowboys traded up with Seattle to select South Florida CB Mike Jenkins with the No. 25 overall pick in the NFL Draft

With 4.3 speed, good hands, and sound tackling ability, Jenkins has an ideal skill set for a corner. Assuming Pacman Jones is not reinstated, Jenkins will at worst be Dallas' nickel back as a rookie. Anthony Henry could also be kicked back to strong safety if Roy Williams is cut or loses his job outright.

Cowboys owner savors art of deal

Jones relishes possibility of trade of team's picks to get veteran WR
San Antonio Express-news

IRVING — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones readily admits the NFL draft brings out the wheeler-dealer in him.

"I came from a background of trading before I was ever involved in the NFL," said Jones, who amassed his fortune taking risks in the oil business. "I got here by trading and by trying to increase value from where you are today, so it is very tempting for me to take where we are and make more value from it by trading up or down."

With the Nos. 22 and 28 picks in his grasp, Jones could be a major player in the first round today, especially with the Cowboys in the market for a veteran receiver. The Cowboys got the extra first-round pick (No. 22) in a draft-day trade with Cleveland last year.

"I do like our spot," said Jones, who will participate in his 20th draft and second with the defensive-minded Wade Phillips as the team's coach. "I can't think of a time I've ever liked it better."

Talks for receivers held

Since Jones bought the team in 1989, the Cowboys have made 45 draft-day trades, including a 2000 blockbuster that saw them send their first-round pick that year along with their first-round choice in 2001 to Seattle for receiver Joey Galloway.
Could Jones be considering a similar deal for a wideout?

Tuesday, Jones admitted he had contacted a team about the availability of its star receiver. Cincinnati's Chad Johnson, Detroit's Roy Williams and Arizona's Anquan Boldin are the likely suspects, although those teams have said they aren't willing to deal.

But Jones suggested things could change if there is a player one of those clubs covets available when the Cowboys are on the clock in the first round.

"On the clock during draft day is an important time to get the most value for a veteran player," Jones said. "If I'm the team that's got the player, my best time to move is right then. And the minute the draft is over, picks don't have anywhere near the value and everyone's protecting the players they've got."

Jones also didn't rule out trading to get into the top 10, although he has said repeatedly economic considerations make such a bold move unlikely.

Top 10 move possible

"If the rewards are good enough there, I could envision a situation where it's a possibility," Jones said. "But where we are in this particular draft are good spots if we just stay right there because of the value, the hit on the cap and the fact you can get probably about as good a player right there as you can even five or six spots up or 10 back."

Trading down for more picks is a more likely scenario. Miami and Atlanta, two quarterback-hungry teams, are potential partners because both have early picks in the second round. The Cowboys could also try to recoup the fourth-round pick they sent to Tennessee as part of the trade for suspended cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones.

Needs include cornerback, running back and receiver.

DMN Blog: Assessing the trade

by Todd Archer

Akin Ayodele and Anthony Fasano were brought in two years ago through free agency and the draft and now they are gone, joining oh so many former teammates with the Dolphins.

The Cowboys had to make a move at linebacker with so many players and so few spots and Ayodele was the logical choice only from a salary-cap perspective. By trading him, the Cowboys save $500,000 against the cap. If they dealy blog-fave Bobby Carpenter would have cost the team money.

Ayodele was a solid player, but when Zach Thomas was brought in, his time was coming to an end. Thomas would not have signed here without some sort of assurance the starting job was his.

Because he was a second round pick more was expected of Fasano, but when you're playing behind Pro Bowler Jason Witten it's hard to get noticed. Trading him was something of a surprise because of what's behind Witten. Tony Curtis caught three passes for three scores last year, but can he be counted on for such a big role? Not sure, which is why tight end moves up in the need department. Is it possible Fasano's replacement at Notre Dame, John Carlson, could be his replacement with the Cowboys too?

Dallas and Miami make trade

Irving, TX - (Sports Network) - On the eve of the NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins have reportedly made a trade.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys are sending tight end Anthony Fasano and linebacker Akin Ayodele to the Dolphins for Miami's fourth round pick in the upcoming draft starting on Saturday.

Fasano, Dallas' second-round pick in 2006, has recorded 28 catches for 269 yards and a touchdown in his two seasons in Dallas. He is coming off of reconstructive shoulder surgery.

Ayodele has played the past two seasons in Dallas after playing his first four campaigns in the NFL with Jacksonville. In 96 career games, he has registered 484 tackles and 9 1/2 sacks with five interceptions.

04/26 00:38:21 ET

Zach Thomas-LB-Cowboys

Following the Akin Ayodele trade to Miami, Cowboys ILB Zach Thomas no longer has serious competition for early-down snaps.

Thomas' IDP value soars with the move, but Dallas is taking quite a risk. Thomas' recurring concussions were a serious problem last year and if he is unable to go full boar, usual nickel 'backer Kevin Burnett will be forced into action. Bobby Carpenter becomes Dallas' No. 4 option at inside linebacker.

Jerry admits to asking about WR availability

Source: Yahoo! Sports.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acknowledged Tuesday he has asked another team about the availability of a veteran wideout according to the San Antonio Express-News.

"I wouldn't give who it was, but the answer is yes, we have talked (with another team)" Jones told reporters in Irving. "I wouldn't give you a time frame on it either, if you're talking the last week or the last few days. But certainly since (the start) of the offseason."

With Terry Glenn's status for next season uncertain, the Cowboys are in the market for a receiver to take pressure off Terrell Owens. Speaking at a news conference to discuss the draft, Jones said the first round Saturday wouldn't yield such a player. Jones emphatically denied that he's talked to Cincinnati about the availability of disgruntled receiver Chad Johnson, who is threatening to sit out the season if he doesn't get a new contract. ESPN reported this week that the Bengals informed Washington, which was offering its first-round pick (No. 21) and a conditional third-rounder in 2009, that Johnson wasn't available. Arizona's Anquan Boldin and Detroit's Roy Williams are other veteran receivers the Cowboys could be eyeing.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Dallas trades Ayodele, Fasano to Miami for fourth-round pick

Looking to get back into the fourth round of this weekend's NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys on Friday traded linebacker Akin Ayodele and tight end Anthony Fasano to the Miami Dolphins for a fourth-round pick, reports NFL Network's Adam Schefter.

The Cowboys traded their own fourth-rounder to the Tennessee Titans earlier in the week to acquire cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones.

Ayodele, who was Dallas' starting weakside inside linebacker for the past two years, lost his job when the Cowboys acquired seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Zack Thomas in free agency.

Ayodele signed a five-year, $17.5 million free-agent contract with the Cowboys in 2006 after spending the first four years of his NFL career with Jacksonville. He was fourth on the team in tackles last season with 95.

Fasano, a backup to Jason Witten, caught 14 passes in each of his two NFL seasons. He had shoulder surgery in January.


Posted by Michael David Smith on April 25, 2008, 3:27 p.m.

Much of the draft talk today is centering on picks late in the first round, where a number of teams seem to think the best quarterback value can be found.

It appears that a few teams that have high or mid-first-round picks are interested in quarterbacks Brian Brohm of Louisville, Joe Flacco of Delaware and Chad Henne of Michigan but don’t think they’re worth taking before about pick No. 20. Other teams that have high or mid-second-round picks want a quarterback but worry that they’ll be off the board by the time their picks come up.

As Mike Sando of notes, the Dallas Cowboys are a team to keep an eye on. Dallas has twice traded picks in the 20s to teams that used those picks to draft quarterbacks: Buffalo in 2004 with J.P. Losman and Cleveland in 2007 with Brady Quinn. This year the Cowboys own the 22nd and 28th picks.

Seattle, which owns the 25th pick, could also be involved in such a trade. Seahawks President Tim Ruskell said Thursday that he would consider trading out of the first round.

Cowboys Team Report

by Jean-Jacques Taylor
For Sporting News

PERSONNEL ANALYSIS: The Cowboys have tendered a one-year offer to Marion Barber, but they would still like to work out a long-term deal with the restricted free-agent running back. It's unlikely such a deal will get done anytime soon, though. The Cowboys have offered Barber, who is not participating in the club's offseason workout program, a five-year deal worth $30 million. Barber wants a deal in the $40-$60 million range, which would be similar to contracts given to Chiefs RB Larry Johnson and Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson. Unlike those two backs, though, Barber has yet to record even one 1,000-yard rushing season. Although Barber is one of the league's more dynamic runners because of his physical, slashing style and made the Pro Bowl in 2007, he has never had more than 204 carries in a season. He split time with Julius Jones since his arrival in Dallas as a fourth-round pick in 2005. Jones left as a free-agent this offseason, but the Cowboys are expected to take a runner in the first or second round of this year's draft and pair him with Barber. ...

Free-agent pickup Zach Thomas says he has not been promised anything but an opportunity to compete with Akin Ayodele and Kevin Burnett for the starting inside linebacker job on the weak side. Thomas says if he's healthy, he can still be a pretty good player and has no problem competing for the job. Ayodele has been a solid player for the Cowboys, but they think Thomas can provide greater leadership and make more big plays.

SCOUTING REPORT: Chris Canty, a restricted free agent who has received a tender from the Cowboys, has played like the first-round pick he was projected to be before knee and eye injuries dropped him into the fourth round in 2005. He is terrific against the run, holding strong at the point of attack with the ability to shed blockers and make plays behind the line. Although he is 6-7, he plays with a good pad level much of the time. When Canty doesn't stay low, though, offensive tackles can neutralize him.He has improved as a pass rusher, although that's not the best part of his game. He used to be just a bull rusher, but he has expanded his pass-rush arsenal so tackles can't just sit on one move. Canty is the next Cowboys player on pace to become a Pro Bowl performer.

Jason Hatcher, DE — Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are contemplating moving DE Jason Hatcher into the starting lineup.

Fantasy Spin: They are also thinking about moving NT Jay Ratliff back to end. In related news, there is talk about moving DE Marcus Spears out of the lineup and possibly off the team in a draft-day trade. Spears has just 4.5 sacks in three years after being selected as a 2005 first-rounder.
Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

DMN Blog: Working on Pacman deal

by Calvin Watkins

The Cowboys have agreed on a four-year contract with Pacman Jones according to multiple sources. However, the deal must be approved by the Titans and the NFL. Jones also must pass a physical. Jones may take a physical while under suspension.

The Cowboys will give up a fourth-round pick in this weekend's draft plus a sixth-rounder in 2009 if Jones doesn't have any off-the-field issues this season.

If Jones is not reinstated by the NFL, the Titans would have to return a fourth-round pick to the Cowboys in 2009. Should Jones get reinstated by the league and get suspended again, the Titans would have to give up a fifth-round pick to the Cowboys.

DMN Blog: Cowboys deal Ayodele, Fasano to Dolphins for 4th-round pick

by Rob Stroope

The Dallas Cowboys aren't waiting until Saturday to start wheeling and dealing. Dallas has traded linebacker Akin Ayodele and tight end Anthony Fasano to the Miami Dolphins for a fourth-round pick in the draft.

Pacman deal from Calvin Watkins at DMN

The Cowboys have agreed on a four-year contract with Pacman Jones according to multiple sources. However, the deal must be approved by the Titans (This is just a formality) and the NFL. Jones also must pass a physical. Jones may take a physical while under suspension.

The Cowboys will give up a fourth-round pick in this weekend's draft plus a sixth-rounder in 2009 if Jones doesn't have any off-the-field issues this season.

If Jones is not reinstated by the NFL, the Titans would have to return a fourth-round pick to the Cowboys in 2009. Should Jones get reinstated by the league and get suspended again, the Titans would have to give up a fifth-round pick to the Cowboys.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cowboys, Titans agree to Pacman trade

By JIM WYATT • Staff Writer • April 23, 2008

The Titans have traded suspended cornerback Pacman Jones to the Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas will send its fourth-round pick in this week's draft to the Titans in exchange for Jones.

There are also conditions attached to the trade related to Jones being reinstated by the NFL, and how much he plays for the Cowboys.

If Jones is available or on injured reserve for 16 games in 2008, the Titans will also get a sixth-round pick from the Cowboys in 2009. Jones doesn’t have to play in the games, he just can’t be suspended.

If the NFL doesn't reinstate Jones, the Titans will send a 2009 draft pick back to the Cowboys.

Jones also reached a financial settlement with the Titans in which he must pay $500,000 to a charity chosen by the Titans some time in the next two years. He will receive a new contract from the Cowboys.

Jones must pass a physical before the trade will be finalized.

“I am excited for Adam because I know this is what he wants,’’ said Manny Arora, Jones' agent and attorney. “I don’t want to speak for Adam, I’ll let him speak on his feelings when he officially becomes a Cowboy, but I know this is what he wanted.

“I am glad it’s done. I don’t care how it got done, or the reason it got done. If everything goes through Adam gets what he wants and that is what he was looking for.’’

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sources: Cowboys agree on deal to acquire Pacman from Titans

Sources: Cowboys agree on deal to acquire Pacman from Titans news services

The Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans have agreed in principle on a trade for suspended cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.

Dallas will send its fourth-round pick in Saturday's draft to the Titans for Jones.

There are also conditions attached to the trade related to Jones being reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and how much he plays for the Cowboys. If he plays a significant amount of time in 2008, the Titans will get an additional pick from the Cowboys in 2009.

If he doesn't get reinstated by the NFL, the Titans will send an undisclosed 2009 draft pick back to the Cowboys.

Also, Pacman has reached a financial settlement with the Titans regarding his contract situation. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Jones must pay $500,000 to a charity chosen by the Titans sometime in the next two years. He will receive a new contract from the Cowboys.

ESPN NFL reporters Ed Werder and Chris Mortensen contributed to this report.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Who Should the Dallas Cowboys Take in the 2008 NFL Draft?

With Two Picks in the 1st Round Coming Off a 12 Win Season, Cowboys Sitting Tall in the Saddle
By RazorsEdge

In the 2007 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys traded their first round pick in last years' draft allowing the Cleveland Browns to take quarterback Brady Quinn. The deal appeared to be win-win for both teams with Cleveland getting a local player to be their signal caller and the Dallas Cowboys getting what would surely be a top 10 pick in the 2008 NFL draft.

Then, in the 2007 NFL season a couple of funny things happened. The Cleveland Browns traded the previous starter at QB, Charlie Frye, to Seattle, veteran backup Derek Anderson caught fire and the moribund Browns won more games than nearly anyone expected. Brady Quinn stayed on the bench seeing only mopup duty in a couple of games. So the Dallas Cowboys top 10 2008 NFL first round draft pick turned out to be somewhat less, number 22 to be exact, and the 'Boys now have the #22 and #28 picks.
The only glaring needs on the Dallas roster seem to be getting a young receiver what with Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn getting long in the tooth, a running back to replace departed Julius Jones and the most pressing need of all, cornerbacks. Down the stretch last season the Dallas secondary was repeatedly burned. The safety position is solid if not spectacular. However, the cornerback position opposite Terrence Newman was another story. Opposing quarterbacks avoided Terrence for the most part like pretty coeds shunning Newman from Seinfeld to pick on the other corner. Upgrading that spot could well be the difference between another early playoff exit and a trip to the Super Bowl.

Therefore, what should the Cowboys do with those two picks? Here are some possibilities:

There have been rumors that Owner Jerry Jones was so enamored with fellow Arkansas Razorback Darren McFadden and his big play capabilities that he would consider trading Marion Barber and both picks to Miami to move up and take McFadden. Don't you believe it. No way any NFL owner would trade a Pro Bowl player at the same position and two first round picks when they have more pressing needs elsewhere and a team not that far from being in the Super Bowl. It's a bluff. Look for Jones to stay put and choose to address the Dallas Cowboys immediate needs.

If reports of Kansas cornerback Aqib Talib's three failed drug tests are accurate, his stock could probably cause him to fall to #22 and if he does, look for the Cowboys to corral him. If Talib is gone the team will most likely take the best corner available and wait. i can see the Dallas Cowboys possibly moving up a few spots from #28 to target a wide receiver or cornerback if they go with a receiver with #22. However, my prediction is Talib.

At #28, much speculation has the Cowboys keeping up with the Joneses, taking Arkansas' "other" running back, Felix Jones. It is my opinion that with the running back pool being so deep this year that the 'Boys will take a wide receiver and take their running back in round two or three. Most mock drafts have the likes of Central Florida's Kevin Smith available in the 3rd or 4th round even. All Smith did in 2007 was come close to breaking Barry Sanders' single season Division 1A rushing record. There will be quality running backs available into the 3rd and 4th rounds due to the depth at the position. Not so much with receivers. With Malcolm Kelly and Mario Manningham's recent problems, the receiver crop is not quite as deep, at least in round 1.

Look for Jerry and Stephen Jones to target several defensive backs to address the Dallas Cowboys' more urgent needs in the later rounds of the 2008 NFL draft. Even if the rumored trade for Tennessee's troubled Adam "Pacman" Jones happens, the Cowboys will still need more than one young cornerback due to Pacman's penchant for off the field issues and the possibility of another suspension.

MVN writers mock draft: 28. Dallas Cowboys - WR Mario Manningham, Michigan

By Staff Report | April 21st, 2008
By Brian Smith

With the 28th pick in the 2008 MVN writers’ mock draft, the Dallas Cowboys select Mario Manningham from the University of Michigan.

Quite simply, Mario Manningham makes plays on the football field. Although his numbers from the combine weren’t spectacular, I have never put that much stock into the difference between a 4.35 and a 4.5 40-yard dash. Having seen him play numerous times, I know he creates plays on the field—and that’s where it counts.

He’ll immediately step into the No.3, maybe No.4, role for Dallas, and Terrell Owens—for all his diva antics—will teach him how to prepare himself each day for success. I really like his hands; not only does he stretch the field, but he also goes and gets the football; Manningham is a touchdown machine.

One area he needs to improve is his strength. Because he’s so light right now, corners and safeties will be able to bump him hard at the line and, potentially, throw off his routes. If he can add some muscle—without sacrificing speed—he’ll be a dangerous playmaker.

My favorite stat: All but seven of his 27 career touchdowns came from outside the red zone. That says enough about his speed.

If memory serves, Dallas has done well with “slow” receivers; coming out of Miami, Michael Irvin didn’t burn holes in the turf; a few Super Bowl rings later, he’s in the Hall of Fame.

Furthermore, Manningham doesn’t come with as much off-field baggage as other prospects. There was the small incident with the Vicodin a few years ago, but he seems to have learned his lesson and has stayed out of the police blotter since then.

Overall, he needs to concentrate on catching the football before going for the highlight-reel run in order to reduce his drops, but this is a man who is going to make “Tyree Catches” every week.

Manningham will be an Irvin/Braylon Edwards blend and be Dallas’ No.2 (or 1A) receiver by the end of the season.


Brian Smith is a columnist for MVN’s Dallas Cowboys site, The Cowboy Roundup.