<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Blue Star]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcdfw.com/blogs/blue-star http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Tue, 03 Mar 2015 05:17:41 -0600 Tue, 03 Mar 2015 05:17:41 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Cowboys Franchise Dez Bryant: ProFootballTalk]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:40:40 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/4613464321.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys officially applied the franchise tag to wide receiver Dez Bryant Monday afternoon, according to ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio.

Wide receivers playing under the franchise tag in 2015 will earn guaranteed $12.823 million, an average of the top five salaries at the position, NFL.com's Ian Rappaport reported.

The Cowboys and Bryant could still work out a long-term deal, but Monday's move prevents Bryant from hitting the free agent market.

Bryant led the NFL with a club-record 16 touchdowns in the final year of a rookie contract that paid $11.8 million over five years.

The 26-year-old Bryant was the fastest Dallas player to 300 career receptions and second-fastest to 50 touchdowns behind Bob Hayes.

Bryant has indicated several times that being tagged would make him unhappy.

The Cowboys also have to decide whether to re-sign running back DeMarco Murray after he had a league-leading 1,845 yards rushing in the final year of his contract. He becomes a free agent March 10.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys May Lose Murray Without a Fight]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:18:55 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DeMarco_Murray_Proud_1200x675_383326787535.jpg

If you truly cherish your girlfriend, you lock her up. You put a ring on it. What do you have if you tell her to go test the open market and come back when she finds a decent offer?

You have yourself an ex-girlfriend.

Call it arrogance, respect, risky or simply a mistake, the Cowboys are about to let the NFL’s leading rusher walk out the door. With no assurances he’ll ever return.

With free agency looming next week, the Cowboys haven’t held serious contract negotiations with running back DeMarco Murray. It’s a sign that they don’t want to set the bar in his bidding process.

But it’s also a strategy that could backfire.

Truth is, Murray will likely get a contract offer from an NFL team in the $6+ million-a-year range. At that point, the Cowboys hope Murray returns to them and allows a chance to match – or beat – the deal. But unless something drastically changes, he won’t. And they can't.

The Cowboys followed a similar game plan last year with all-time sacks leader DeMarcus Ware. They allowed him to flirt with other teams, with the hope he’d give them the final at-bat and home-field advantage. But it took one day for Ware to sign a three-year contract with the Broncos.

He felt more wanted in another city. It’s hard to fathom Murray feeling any different.

Murray says he loves Dallas and that playing for a winning team is a priority over money. And the Cowboys maintain that – ideally – they’d love to keep their star running back.

But like they did with Ware, the Cowboys might wind up losing one of their all-time best players … without ever making an official bid to keep him. 

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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<![CDATA[Romo to Jerry: Forget the Cap]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:26:55 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/188*120/romoundercenterusa0.jpg

Cap, schmap. Luxury tax, schmuxury schmax.

That's basically the thought of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo this offseason coming off a banner year for the modern-era Cowboys, who actually won 12 regular-season games, a playoff game and were within a suspect no-catch call from playing in at least the NFC Championship Game against a team they'd already beaten in the regular season.

It's no secret that Romo's window on his career is only a few more years — five years, tops — and it's also no secret that Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones, 72, is no spring chicken.

So could Romo and Jerry be conspiring to blow the salary cap out of the water to make a serious run at another Cowboys Super Bowl?

"Jerry, see [Jerry's son and Cowboys VP and seemingly heir apparent] Stephen, he’s got himself about 25-30 years of this ahead. Jason [Garrett], coach, maybe something similar to that,” Jones remembers Romo saying, as he told ESPN Dallas. “Me, I’m three to five. You’re three to five. We got to stick together. It’s now for us.”

So if you had infinite money to spend, who's No. 1 on your Cowboys free agent list? Ndamukong Suh? Sounds good, go make it happy, Jerry.



Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys' Murray Stance Sends Message]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:27:39 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/183*120/DeMarco+Murray+Cowboys.jpg

Let's be perfectly honest. Next week, when the free agent waters in the NFL begin churning, one of the hottest names out there will be Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray.

That much has been confirmed, as Cowboys VP Stephen Jones has said they will let Murray test the market, and the market will be very hot for the 27-year-old back, who is coming off the best season in Cowboys history by a running back.

Murray is still young, is coming off a healthy season with his broken hand notwithstanding — an injury he played through — and he's an all-around back who is reliable as a three-down back. He's going to get big deal on the open market, one that the Cowboys won't be able to, or even want to match.

If Murray just absolutely loves it in Dallas and wants to take a shorter-term, less-expensive deal, then yeah, have at it, Cowboys. But I don't think that's happening, and Murray is in no way obligated to even consider such an offer.

The Cowboys would be wise not to give Murray any more than three years, but someone will do that and throw a lot of money at him. The team has plenty of other things to do this offseason, most notably upgrading its defense, and still has the best offensive line in football behind which you plug a lot of guys in and be successful on the ground.

While it's going to be a controversial move among fans, it's ultimately the right move to let Murray walk away, and by letting him test the open market, you're almost surely doing just that.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Reportedly Set to Tag Bryant]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:29:07 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/460872436.jpg

It won't be officially official until Monday afternoon at the 2 p.m. deadline, but all reports indicate the Dallas Cowboys will place the franchise tag on wide receiver Dez Bryant to keep him from hitting free agency.

The move, of course, means the Cowboys will have to pay Bryant a guaranteed average of the top five wide receiver salaries in the NFL, which should be somewhere around $13-14 million, which will be a pretty nice payday for Bryant.

But Bryant won't be happy, as he's indicated on several occasions. He wants a long-term deal, and has played well enough to deserve one. Of course, there are some underlying off-field issues that have come up, and the Cowboys seem a bit concerned with the thought of giving him a long-term deal.

If Bryant continues his outrageous level of play, he might earn a long-term deal, or he could be franchised one more time in 2016, but that would surely mean the end of his time in Dallas if the Cowboys spurn him twice.

And who knows, just because the Cowboys franchise Dez Monday doesn't mean he'll be playing under the franchise tag in 2015. The team would still have until mid-July to work out a long-term deal with Bryant, which is something the Cowboys have done before with players they've put the franchise tag on.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Super Bowl XLV Seating Fiasco Goes on Trial]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:26:38 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/108869448.jpg

The seating fiasco that jilted hundreds of fans who purchased expensive tickets for Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium four years ago is now being heard by a Dallas federal court jury.

It was the result of “ego, greed and gross incompetence,” plaintiff’s attorney Michael Avenatti said in opening statements Monday.

Avenatti said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wanted to break the 31-year-old Super Bowl attendance record of 103,985 with temporary seats that were added to the stadium for the Feb. 6, 2011, game.

Avenatti quoted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, saying days before the game, "We know that we are going to have a great weekend,” even though the attorney claimed the NFL knew hundreds of the temporary seats would not be ready. He said the NFL instead forged ahead under pressure from Jones.

The jury saw an internal NFL e-mail that said, "Let's deal with push back when it comes."

Avenatti said he would ask the jury to find fraud and breach of contract and award damages.

NFL attorney Thad Behrens denied the league intentionally misled fans. He said the Super Bowl is the league’s premier event and officials would never dream of knowingly inviting fans for a miserable experience.

“It simply did not happen,” Behrens said about the plaintiff’s alleged scenario.

“The NFL's worst nightmare occurred,” Behrens said. “The NFL accepts full responsibility.”

Hundreds of fans received compensation, including cash and other tickets.

However, Behrens said the handful of fans from across the country pursuing this lawsuit have demanded excessive compensation far beyond their losses. Behrens asked the jury to be fair.

Behrens said 450 ticketed fans at the game were left with no seats and 850 others were given other seats to see the game at the stadium.

A request to make the case a class action for all unhappy fans was rejected by U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn.

Class action requires a commonality amongst all potential members of the class, according to Dallas attorney Chad Ruback, who is not connected with case.

“Some plaintiffs are claiming, well they got seats in the game but their seats were blocked by a pillar. Others are claiming they bought 50-yard-line seats but got end zone seats. Those plaintiffs might not be common enough,” he said.

The trial is expected to last two weeks and regardless of how it goes, Ruback expects the loser to appeal.

“Both sides of this case feel very strongly about their positions. Neither one has taken it this far just to give up,” Ruback said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Franchise Tag Deadline Coming on Monday]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:32:46 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/1042701431.jpg

After around two weeks of discussing the franchise tag, the time for action is approaching quickly for the Dallas Cowboys if they plan to use the tag on Dez Bryant, as everyone thinks they will.

The deadline to apply the tag is set for 3 PM central time on Monday.

Bryant stated publicly last year that he would be more than a little disappointed if the Cowboys franchise him, but the Cowboys have been open in stating that there’s a very good chance that that’s exactly what they’ll do.

I’ve never seen anybody just pout to the extent that they wouldn’t do it over this kind of money,” said owner and general manager Jerry Jones, per ESPN Dallas. “That usually is not realistic. It’s just too much money. And consequently it’s not set up or packaged the way that parties might want--and I want to emphasize again--it’s not really set up in our best interest at all. There’s a much better way for our future and our cap this year if we didn’t franchise, but this is here when you don’t have your meeting of the minds about how you want to structure something long term. And so if anything it’s in the right situation, it’s a placeholder for addressing it as you move through the future.”

If the Cowboys go ahead and franchise Bryant, they’ll have until July 15 to come to an agreement on a long-term deal. If they can’t do that, Bryant would play out the 2015 season under the tag.

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Garrett Saw Benefits of Being a "Walkaround Coach" in 2014]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:16:25 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/461347208.jpg

In 2014, Jason Garrett’s second year as a so-called “walk-around coach,” the Dallas Cowboys head coach fully experienced the benefits of being freed up to focus on the big picture.

The positive effects of the move were certainly seen on the field. With Garrett taking a step back, and Scott Linehan taking over the offensive play-calling duties, Dallas went 12-4 and won the NFC East for the first time since 2009. Also for the first time since 2009, they won a playoff game.

“I think when you’re a head coach and you’re calling the defensive signals or you’re calling the plays on offense, you still want to be the head coach of the whole football team,” Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. “I made a concerted effort when I became the head coach, when I was calling plays, to do that. I tried to sit in meetings on the defensive side, be with the special-teams group. But there’s a logistical aspect to it too. When you’re the offensive coordinator and play-caller, you have to prepare for that. I just think as much as anything else, once we got Scott Linehan in here to handle that role, I could really, truly spend my time equally between and among those three different units.

“I think that’s an important thing. It’s not only the time during the week. It’s time during the game. It’s the emotions, addressing the different weaknesses that you might have on the football team, try to shore those up. I just think it allowed me to do that better.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Ex-Cowboy Chris Canty Cut By Ravens]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:08:23 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/chris-canty-big-blue-10-super-bowl.jpg

Longtime Dallas Cowboys defensive end Chris Canty has been cut by the Baltimore Ravens in a move that will save the team over $2.5 million against the salary cap in 2015.

Despite having publicly flirted with the idea of retirement after the 2014 season, according to the Baltimore Sun, Canty intends to return for an 11th NFL season next year.

It's the business of the NFL, and we move on,” Canty said. “I loved it here. I thanked Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh for giving me an opportunity to be part of the great tradition of this franchise. I had a ball. I rediscovered my passion for football. I had a lot of fun. I'm grateful. I'm just looking forward to the next opportunity to continue my playing career.”

Drafted by the Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2005 draft, Canty spent four years in Dallas, piling up 148 tackles, 10 sacks and eight passes broken up before moving onto the New York Giants in free agency after the 2008 season. He spent four years in New York before going to Baltimore, where he’s been for the past two seasons.

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Michael Sam Invited to Inaugural Veteran Combine]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:09:08 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GERRY_MCCARTHY__1409761483_39578161-620x503.jpg

Former Dallas Cowboys practice squad member Michael Sam has been invited to the inaugural veteran combine, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Friday.

The combine is set to take place on March 22 at the Arizona Cardinals’ training facility in Tempe, AZ.

Also next month, Dancing With The Stars begins taping. Sam, of course, is on this season of DWTS, but said after announcing his participation in the show that football would remain his top priority and that the filming schedule would allow plenty of flexibility for him to attend such football-related events as this veteran combine.

Selected in the seventh round of the 2014 draft, Sam was among the St. Louis Rams’ final cuts. He was signed to the Cowboys practice squad on September 3 of last year and stayed with the team for a month and a half before being released. He has spent this offseason training at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney, TX.

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



Photo Credit: Gerry McCarthy / Dallas Morning News Staff Photographer]]>
<![CDATA[Top 5 Snow Games in NFL History]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:17:00 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Victoria+Lamm.jpg

As I look out my window today, not sure if it we’re at Ice Force 1 or DefCon 1. And this mini-blizzard reminds me, of course, of … football.

Duh.

The Cowboys played in probably the NFL’s most famous snow(ish) game – the Ice Bowl. But it’s Friday and we’re snow giddy, so let’s not go there.

Obviously snow + football in these parts = Leon Lett. The image of the defensive tackle inexplicably and clumsily attempting to cover a blocked field goal at a snow-covered Texas Stadium on Thanksgiving Day 1993 is, well, frozen into our memories.

With AT&T’s retractable roof, the chances of another snowmageddon Cowboys’ home game are quashed.

As you snuggle by the fire or before you attempt to navigate DFW’s treacherous roadways, let’s take a winter stroll down the NFL’s 5 most memorable snow games:

5. Lions at Eagles, 2013 – Snow so thick neither team attempted a field goal nor a PAT as LeSean McCoy plowed his way for 217 yards rushing.

4. Cardinals at Eagles, 1948 – Before the days of TV and mechanized equipment, this NFL Championship Game was delayed for an hour while workers – and players from both teams – finally dragged the snow-weighted tarp from the field.

3. Dolphins at Patriots, 1982 – Don Shula shivered in protest as New England won, 3-0, on John Smith’s field goal from a clear swath of field cleared by a convicted convict out of prison on a work-release program.

2. Dolphins at Cowboys, 1993 – Leon. Lett. Ugh.

1. Raiders at Patriots, 2002 – Tom Brady fumbled in the snow, but the Tuck Rule saved him and New England’s dramatic playoff win.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Victoria Lamm]]>
<![CDATA[Peterson's Father Has Heard Dallas "Rumors" ]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:11:30 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/186716672.jpg

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was only cleared for potential reinstatement to the NFL on Thursday, but the rumor mill is already heating up again over the idea of the two-time NFL rushing champion leaving Minnesota.

According to Nelson Peterson, Adrian’s father, his son has not asked to be traded but he’s heard “rumors” of three potential destinations, should the 29-year-old be moved before the 2015 season--and one of them, not surprisingly, is Dallas.

“I’ve heard rumors, Arizona,” Nelson Peterson told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. “I’ve also heard the rumors of Indianapolis and the Colts, going there with a quarterback the caliber of (Andrew) Luck. I’ve also heard the Cowboys, coming back home with the Cowboys, behind that offensive line that they have.

Peterson was born and raised in Palestine, TX.

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Cowboys Draft Profile: DL Xavier Cooper]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 12:52:51 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459417282.jpg

Xavier Cooper, DL, Washington
Ht. 6027, Wt. 293, Arm: 31 1/2”, Hand: 9 3/8”
40 yd: 4.86, 10 yd.: 1.68, 3 Cone: 7.32, Bench: 29
Games Watched: Oregon (2013), Oregon, Stanford

If you think other games better reflect this player’s ability or you want to request a profile on a specific player, email me or hit me up on Twitter.

After being miscast in Washington State’s base 3-4 front, defensive lineman Xavier Cooper was mentioned as a possible Combine riser. His impressive 40-yard, 10-yard and 3-Cone times made him worth a look.

Cooper flew under the radar at Washington State despite recording 13 sacks and 32.5 tackles for loss in three seasons. With the growth the showed in the last year and the athleticism he showed off in Indianapolis, he’s an interesting prospect for NFL teams. 

Strengths

Between playing him out of position as a 5-Technique and running so many stunts, Cooper didn’t have much of a chance to show what he can do. As 1-gapping 3-Technique, which is where he would play as a Cowboy, he flourished.

When Cooper was allowed to pin his ears back and shoot a gap, he showed flashes of being a productive player. He also flashed impressive burst — check his 10-yard split — and very active hands. When he did, he was disruptive on a high percentage of plays.

In 2013, Cooper was blown off the ball against Oregon’s power runs. In 2014, he showed the ability to beat those double teams at times and at least hold his ground somewhat. He appears to accept coaching well.

Weaknesses

While he did show improvement against the run, Cooper still has a long way to go. Because he has relatively short arms, he often lets blockers into his body and has trouble disengaging. He also shows a weak anchor and must get stronger.

Cooper is still inconsistent with his technique as well. He sometimes fires off too high and immediately puts himself at a disadvantage. He also needs to develop some pass-rushing moves beyond a mediocre spin.

He often found himself in position to make a play yet missed the tackle. Disruption is production (as rotoworld draft writer Josh Norris often says), but too many NFL running backs and quarterbacks can do too much damage on broken plays. He must improve the way he finishes.

Verdict: Third Rounder

Cooper is a rare prospect whose Combine numbers tell most of the story of his status. He has the bust and quickness to give a team good A-Gap pressure, but he's not stout enough against the run to be an every down defensive tackle yet.

Cooper's game reminds me of defensive lineman Will Sutton, who the Bears drafted out of Arizona State in the third round last year. He has potential to develop, but he's still a good value as a rotational 3-Technique in the third round.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wisconsin's Gordon: Cowboys Should Keep Murray]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:13:27 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/melvin-gordon2.5.15.jpg

Former Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, who's one of the two running backs projected as a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft, is in town to receive his Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back.

So of course, Gordon was asked about the possibility of being drafted by the Cowboys, which were one of the teams who was very interested in him at last week's NFL combine in Indianapolis. The Cowboys have been tabbed as a potential suitor for Gordon in several mock drafts with their No. 27 pick, with the stipulation, of course, that they'd let DeMarco Murray walk in free agency.

But Gordon is saying he doesn't really think he'll be in Dallas long-term because if he were Jerry Jones, he'd hold on to Murray.

“They’re still trying to figure out what they’re going to do,” Gordon told The Dallas Morning News by phone Thursday. “If I were them, I would try to keep DeMarco Murray. He’s a phenomenal player.

“But that’s a tough decision because Dez (Bryant) is great, too. If they could find a way to keep both of them, that would be great.”

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<![CDATA[Beasley, Cowboys Reportedly Nearing Deal]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:13:59 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/461029268.jpg

Because of his teammates' very public contract situations, Cole Beasley has been able to fly under the radar about his pending free agency. The Cowboys' slot receiver is reportedly nearing a long-term extension with the team before he ever hits free agency.

Granted, Beasley is set to become a restricted free agent next month, meaning the Cowboys would have a chance to match any offer, so he's not as urgent as teammates Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray, but the former Little Elm and SMU standout is coming off a breakout season in 2014.

Yahoo Sports reported, citing multiple league sources, that Beasley and the Cowboys are working on a long-term deal after the pint-sized slot receiver set career highs with 420 receiving yards, 11.4 yards per catch and four touchdowns in 2014.

He closed the year on a particularly high note, starting with his two-touchdown performance in December against the Bears and going all the way to his big game in the Wild Card round of the playoffs against the Lions.

Beasley's one of the better stories to come through the Cowboys in quite some time, at just 5-8 and 174 pounds, after he went undrafted out of SMU. Now, it seems, he's about to be rewarded for his hard work and perseverance.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Helmets Ranked 1 to Thirty-Boo]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 11:46:37 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/462202356.jpg

Fifty Shades of … Orange?

Sports uniforms, in case you haven’t noticed, are these days coloring outside the lines. I blame Nike and greed, not necessarily in that order.

What started with the iconic sports outfitter dressing the University of Oregon football team in a different look – from cleats to helmets – every single week of the season, now has Texas Tech incorporating a Texas flag onto its helmet and Baylor donning black jerseys. There were times the last couple of years I’d turn on a college game and have no idea who was playing.

In the NFL, the tweaking and sometimes re-cycling of colors and logos is out of pure profit. Lagging ticket sales? Change uniforms and, presto, a spark in souvenir sales. It’s a cheap trick, left to the teams that rarely sniff success and that fail to grasp tradition.

Think about the iconic emblems of sports. Yankees’ pinstripes. Cowboys’ star. Celtics’ green four-leaf clover.

They endear and endure. They inspire memories and spark emotion. They … are nothing like the Cleveland Browns.

They are the NFL’s lousiest organization, from the troubles of Johnny Manziel, Josh Gordon and GM Ray Farmer, and a playoff-less streak at 12 seasons and counting. They also have the league’s lamest logo, despite this week’s alteration.

The only thing that can make orange look worse is exactly what the Browns have done – add a splash of brown. While Cleveland unveiled its new, very familiar, look, it prompted me to rank all 32 NFL helmets … from Jacksonville’s collage to the Raiders’ consistency.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[KIper: Preston Smith "Intriguing" for Dallas]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:47:43 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/preston-smith-cowboys-draft.jpg

In a draft class rich with defensive linemen, and the Cowboys having some obvious needs in that area, many experts believe Dallas will be looking at the defensive front when they go on the clock with the 27th overall pick in April’s draft.

One such expert, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper, believes they might find their man in Mississippi State defensive end Preston Smith.

I project him in the first round right now,” Kiper said, via the Dallas Morning News. “You can’t be as productive as he was in the SEC, have a great [scouting combine] workout--his numbers across the board were outstanding--and not go in the first round in this league right now. You have the size with him, the ability, and you have the production. You put it all together and he’s a first round pick.”

Last year, the Cowboys couldn’t resist guard Zack Martin in the first round, and waited until the second to trade up for Boise State defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Jerry Jones said recently it’s certainly possible that the team will go after an offensive lineman yet again this year, but Kiper expects them to have an eye on Smith.

“The Cowboys can get an interior guy or they can get an outside presence,” Kiper said. “They can get a pass rusher in this draft, it just depends upon who they feel is best suited for what they do. I would think Preston Smith would be intriguing at that point.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.

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<![CDATA[Adrian Peterson Wins Appeal]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:48:16 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/186722617.jpg

Adrian Peterson’s immediate future in the NFL is still wholly unclear, but he’s taken a major step towards returning to the field.

Per Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com, Judge David Doty sided with Peterson on Thursday in his appeal of the indefinite suspension handed down by the NFL after he pleaded no contest to reckless assault on his son. Peterson and the NFL Players Association filed the appeal on the grounds that Commissioner Roger Goodell shouldn’t have applied a new league policy to Peterson in response to an incident that occurred before said policy was in place.

The lifting of his suspension makes Peterson an active NFL player once again, and potentially clears the way for him to play in 2015. He remains under contract with the Minnesota Vikings, but where the Vikings have stated publicly that they want Peterson back, reports have Peterson feeling highly uneasy about returning.

If Peterson doesn’t return to the Vikings, many believe Jerry Jones and the Cowboys would have some serious interest in bringing the 30-year-old to Dallas.

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<![CDATA[Jerry Jones: Garrett Has Evolved Since Arriving in Dallas ]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:49:05 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/460774542.jpg

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has seen a lot change in Jason Garrett since he arrived in Dallas in 2007 as a 40-year-old offensive coordinator.

Garrett remained in the coordinator position under Wade Phillips until midway through the 2010 season, when Phillips was canned and Garrett was promoted to interim head coach. He was hired full-time after that season, and Jones stood by his side as Garrett went 8-8 and missed the playoffs in each of his first three full seasons at the helm.

Jones was finally rewarded for sticking with Garrett in 2014, when Garrett led the Cowboys to a 12-4 record and their first NFC East Championship since 2009.

He is not the same guy he was when he joined us as offensive coordinator and certainly not the same guy he was when he was playing quarterback for the Cowboys,” Jones said of Garrett, per Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas. “This guy has evolved. He has shown abilities to operate with duress. He has shown ability to be reasonable when needed, unreasonable when needed. He will confront any areas that need to be confronted.

“Will he do it with skill? Yes. Does he set it up so when he needs correct he can? Has he built a proper deal to correct staff or players? Is he good with communicating any need he has with the league, with the organization, all of those things? I gave him $6 million a year for five years.”

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<![CDATA[Reggie Bush Could Fit in Dallas]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:50:32 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP908455971151.jpg

If DeMarco Murray is retained by the Dallas Cowboys this offseason, then this whole conversation could be meaningless.

But it's looking more and more like Murray will be allowed to test the free agent market, where he'll surely get a better offer than what the Cowboys are willing to/can pay Murray after he posted the best single season by a running back in franchise history last season.

That would probably lead the Cowboys to draft a running back to replace Murray and bring in a veteran to platoon with said rookie. Coincidentally, the Detroit Lions released Reggie Bush on Wednesday. Hmm.

Bush would be a nice platoon to any running back as a great pass-catcher out of the backfield and a guy who has gotten bigger and stronger over the years and become a better straight-ahead runner, as well. Oh, and there's that whole thing about Bush's former offensive coordinator in Detroit, Scott Linehan, being set to enter his second year as the Cowboys' offensive coordinator.

Under Linehan in 2013, the 29-year-old Bush, who's soon to be 30, had one of the best years as a professional. He posted 1,512 total yards of offense and eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards for just the second time in his career, while adding 54 receptions. He scored seven touchdowns.

Again, Bush isn't a starter-quality back anymore, but as a reserve to a young stud like Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon, you could do a lot worse.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Emmitt Smith Would Like to See DeMarco Murray Return]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:14:32 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459486534.jpg

If Emmitt Smith were Jerry Jones, he’d pay DeMarco Murray to keep him in blue and silver in 2015 and beyond.

The NFL’s All-Time Leading Rusher, who saw Murray break his single-season franchise rushing record in 2014 as he piled up 1,845 yards, believes Murray’s presence helped the Cowboys get back to a winning formula on offense--a balanced attack similar to the one the team used when they were winning Super Bowls in the 1990s.

Smith heaped the praise on Murray in an appearance at a PenFed Credit Union charity event on Tuesday, benefiting Toys for Tots and Home for Our Troops.

I thought DeMarco had a phenomenal season,” Smith said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “What I appreciated more about it and what I’ve seen in recent years was the commitment to the balance. That right there was so pleasing. It gave me the feeling of the days of old. I think everybody sensed that feeling, which is a wonderful thing.

“It says this is the way the Dallas Cowboys will be consistent, it’s the way that the Dallas Cowboys will win a lot of games and this is the winning formula for this organization. That, to me, is the hallmark of who the Dallas Cowboys organization should be.”

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Draft Profile: FS Cody Prewitt]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:01:17 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/185369457.jpg

Cody Prewitt, FS, Mississippi
Ht. 6020, Wt. 208, Arm: 32 5/8”, Hand: 9 1/8”
40 yd: 4.60, 10 yd.: 1.64, 3 Cone: 7.12, Bench: 11
Games Watched: at Vanderbilt (2013), Boise St., Auburn

If you think other games better reflect this player’s ability or you want to request a profile on a specific player, email me or hit me up on Twitter.

As mentioned before, the Cowboys picked a bad year to need an upgrade at free safety. Mississippi’s Cody Prewitt is the best college free safety in this draft, but that’s not saying much.

Prewitt notched 9 interceptions during his junior and senior seasons, twice earning All-SEC honors and being named to All-America team in 2013. He started his career at strong safety and switched to free early in his career, which sums him up as a prospect in a nutshell.

Strengths

The thing that jumps out about Prewitt on tape is his football intelligence. His reads offenses very well before the snap, knows his assignment on each play and is nearly always in the right position to execute. He sticks to reading his keys and he’s quick to diagnose offensive plays.

The Rebels use a fairly diverse scheme of coverages and Prewitt always looked comfortable. He has experience in deep looks, rolling coverage, short zones and more. Mentally, he’s ready to step into an NFL secondary from Day 1.

When Mississippi let Prewitt keep the field in front of him, he was a ballhawk. Playing him at deep safety allows him to play off his strengths. More importantly, he fits what the Cowboys have liked to do with their safeties during the last few seasons.

Weaknesses

Although he is a willing tackler, Prewitt definitely struggled against the run. He took poor angles, had trouble shedding blocks and just plain missed tackles at times. Putting up only 11 reps on the bench at the Combine reaffirmed that he might not be physical enough to be an impact player in the NFL.

Prewitt looks the part of an NFL safety, which is probably why he started as a strong safety, but he plays too slow. He’s slow to react at times and his recovery speed is less than ideal, confirmed by his 40 times at the combine.

Prewitt also struggled a bit in man coverage. His stiff hips lead to choppy transitions, allowing receivers to more easily separate. He’s best strictly as a deep safety, which could limit his time on the field.

Verdict: Second Rounder

Despite his relatively lower ceiling, Prewitt seems like one of the safer defensive backs available in the draft. He should be at least average physically and his route recognition, instincts and play-calling ability have considerable value.

Prewitt is a fringe second-round value to me, but positional need and low supply make him a good value for the Cowboys in the second round. He's often compared to the 49ers' Eric Reid, but he's more of a poor man's version of him.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Durant Says He's Cleared For Offseason]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:15:03 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/justin-durant-10.21.14.jpg

Dallas Cowboys linebacker and defensive captain in 2014, Justin Durant says he has been cleared to return to football activities after finishing the season on injured reserve with a torn right bicep.

Durant tweeted Wednesday morning that he’d be able to “fully participate in offseason workouts.”

Having spent the last two seasons with the team, the veteran Durant is one of the handful of Cowboys linebackers set to become free agents on March 10. In six games before suffering the biceps injury in 2014, he recorded 49 tackles, a pair of forced fumbles, four passes defensed and an interception.

In his two seasons in Dallas, he has 73 tackles in 16 games.

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<![CDATA[NFC East Watch: Giants Cut Mathias Kiwanuka]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:29:19 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mathias-kiwanuka-cowboys.jpg

Longtime New York Giants defensive end and linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka has been cut by the team in a cost-cutting move after nine seasons and two Super Bowl titles together.

Kiwanuka was drafted with the 32nd overall pick in 2006 out of Boston College and, before his release Tuesday, was one of just three players left on the roster who was a member of the 2007 Super Bowl Championship team. His release will save the Giants a shade under $5 million against the cap.

"The thing that has always impressed me about Kiwi is how serious he is about the game," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said of the move, per Dan Graziano of ESPN. "He was always prepared and always in outstanding condition and played very hard. And he had some nasty in him. I always felt like you could count on certain things from him: eight [or] nine sacks, harass the quarterback, and you could move him around, inside, outside. He is dependable, reliable and there is no question about his professionalism. His character and professionalism and serious approach to the game will be missed."

In his final year with New York, he recorded three tackles against the rival Dallas Cowboys, including a sack--one of his career-low 2.5 sacks in 2014.

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<![CDATA[Best Solution at RB Might be the Draft]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:11:14 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/461343460.jpg

This post should begin with the following disclaimer:

DeMarco Murray was phenomenal in 2014 (his first full season in five years) and the numbers speak for themselves. He will always be the best single-season running back in Cowboys history, which says a lot when you think of ol' "Deuce-Deuce."

Now, back to reality.

Murray, as great as he was, is, by running back standards, about to begin the decline of his career. And it's not to be discounted that his first full season came in a contract year. Facts are facts. With that said, if the Cowboys were going to choose between giving Murray a new deal or trying to make a run at Adrian Peterson, give me the younger, less-worked Murray one thousand times over.

But it's starting to look like neither option is all that appealing, and here's why.

The Cowboys have the No. 27 pick in the draft, and according to just about every reputable mock draft out there, the two first-round backs, Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley, both have a great chance of still being there at that point.

So will either of those guys step right in and pick up where Murray left off last year? No, not a chance, especially not when it comes to pass protection, where Murray excelled. But neither of those guys are spares in that department, either.

There aren't many teams in the league that roll with one running back exclusively, and Murray was one of those guys, but it's not to say taking a committee approach is a bad idea. The Cowboys could easily pair either of those rookies with a veteran addition behind the best offensive line in football and put out similar production to Murray's in 2014.

That would allow the Cowboys to A) save money and free up cap space to improve the defense by not giving Murray a big deal, and B) let them give Dez Bryant a deal to make him happy (assuming this "video" isn't anything too serious.

It'll be hard to say goodbye to Murray after what he did in 2014, and he'll always go down as a warrior for playing through his broken hand against Indianapolis. But to run a good organization, sometimes you have to put logic over sentiment, and that's what the Cowboys would be doing by drafting a young, cheap running back and letting the high-priced free agent walk.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Looking at Son of Former Player]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:12:17 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Mario-Edwards-Signs.jpg

Former Denton Ryan standout Mario Edwards Jr. had his pick of the litter when it came to where he'd play his college football after he was a Parade All-American defensive lineman, but ultimately he chose to follow in his father's footsteps and go play at Florida State, where like his father, he won a national championship with the Seminoles.

Now, Edwards Jr. can follow in his father, Mario Sr.'s footsteps again, but this time it won't be up to him.

Mario Edwards Sr. was a cornerback drafted by the Cowboys in 2000 out of Florida State and he spent four seasons with the Cowboys, where he was actually teammates briefly with Tony Romo and Jason Witten.

And the Cowboys might be continuing the family legacy, as they were one of the teams sniffing around Edwards Jr. pretty extensively at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Edwards Jr. weighed in at 279 pounds at the combine after letting his weight get up over 300 pounds last season, and weight has been a struggle for the junior, who declared for early entry into the draft.

“He’s a tough player to evaluate because it seems like he’s a different player based on the games you watch,” Dane Brugler, a senior NFL draft analyst for NFLDraftScout and CBS Sports, told The Dallas Morning News. “I think a big part of that is his weight. He’s a top-50 talent, but he needs to prove that he’s accountable on and off the field with his weight.”

Edwards Jr. said he's love the chance to come home to play professionally for the team he grew up watching his dad play for before going on to play high school football at Prosper and then moving to Denton Ryan prior to his breakout junior season.

His father said it'd be surreal.

“It would be an honor,” Mario Sr. said. “I’d be glad, I’d be excited just for the fact that he followed my path to Florida State and won a championship there and then had an opportunity to get drafted by the team that drafted me. I don’t think you could write a story any better than that.”



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Is There an Incriminating Dez Video or Not?]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:44:51 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/461346426.jpg

There hasn’t been this much buzz and mystery surrounding a DFW video since Abraham Zapruder turned his camera toward a president from the grassy knoll.

Is there a Dez Bryant incriminating video? And, if so, what does it show him doing?

Everyone from Mike Florio to Terez Owens to a blogger known as “Incarcerated Bob” claims to know snippets, but for now we’re mostly left with rampant speculation.

It’s either the tip of the iceberg to a bombshell video that will short-circuit the Cowboys’ contract talks with the star receiver and potentially be devastating to his NFL career. Or it’s just another suburban legend saturated with hype and fiction but ultimately hollow of fact and impact, like Bigfoot, the arrival of those killer bees from Mexico, or JFK’s second shooter.

Let me start by being very clear: I have not seen the video. Therefore, I’m not 100-percent certain that it exists. But multiple people that I trust are confident that there is a video, and that it is incriminating of Bryant.

There are different, even conflicting, versions of a time frame and even about what may be on the tape if it exists. A phrase I heard more than once: “… domestic dispute with a woman ….”

Three words that seem to be consistent: “Walmart surveillance video.”

Right now we only have pieces which one day may form a puzzle. There is, as of now, no definitive Dez video story because there is no evidence such a tape exists.

Here’s how it started:

Florio, the founder of ProFootballTalk.com, was a guest on 105.3 The Fan last week and was asked about the possibility of a video. His response was, well, shocking.

“It’s one of the best-kept secrets in the media,” Florio told hosts Shan Shariff and R.J. Choppy. “A story that all of the major insiders know about, known about it for months, involving a video tape. And the Cowboys are aware of it. Because of that and possible other reasons the Cowboys have been very reluctant to commit major money to him. I don't know that the video does exist – it relates to off-field concerns – that’s just the chatter. That there's video, and the Cowboys are afraid it will come out and have a Ray Rice-like type of an impact.”

Florio is obviously a credible voice with a trustworthy, news-breaking website. In the wake of his revelation, Bryant went on the offensive. Seemingly getting out of front of trouble or nipping a rumor in the bud, he last Friday Tweeted:

Just quit with the b.s. …It’s clear as day what's going on… I might need to do a exclusive interview about my life these past 5 years since the world is destined to know… I use to let people take advantage of my life now that I’m no longer allowing that to happen it seems to be a problem… I’m not ashamed of none of my past incidents because that’s what made me who I am today

Since then the myth of the video has escalated more than our wintry weather. Sports blogger Terez Owens - who on Tuesday wrote that the tape is “five times worse than the Ray Rice video” – says it will be released by today. Then last night on a website called IBNSportsWrap.com, an item penned by “Incarcerated Bob” claims Bryant is part of a “shakedown” by two former associates who are blackmailing him and shopping the video to TMZ.

The Cowboys, for what it’s worth, told FoxSports.com that they are unaware of such a video. Jerry Jones told reporters at the Scouting Combine that “off-the-field issues are not a consideration in any situation with any player.”

After a Pro Bowl season in which he set a franchise single-season record for touchdown catches, Bryant is scheduled to become a free agent. The Cowboys thought they had a Cowboy-for-life, long-term contract reached with him in October, but the deal fell through. If an agreement isn’t in place by Monday, the team plans to use its franchise tag on the receiver, keeping him a Cowboy for one year at a salary of $13 million.

Bryant, of course, has had his share of off-field trouble, including a 2012 arrest on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence when he allegedly slapped his mother with a cap.

At this point we have more questions than answers concerning a possible incriminating video:

*If it’s truly “five times worse than Ray Rice,” how have legal authorities not gotten involved? Or have they?

*If “all the major insiders” know about it, why haven’t any of them – including Florio – written about it?

*And if it occurred at a Walmart, how have no witnesses – much less a tape – surfaced?

A call to the DeSoto Walmart Tuesday night directed me sternly to the company’s legal department in Arkansas.

I have a gut feeling there is indeed some sort of Dez Bryant video, but as of now I have no concrete facts to back it up.

Stay tuned …

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Change in 2014 Cowboys Reminded Jerry of 1991]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:20:19 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/461342082.jpg

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones won’t go so far as to say his team is on their way to another Super Bowl, but he did see a change in the team in 2014 that reminded him of a change he saw in the 1991 Cowboys.

Of course, following that change, the Cowboys went on to win the Super Bowl in three of the next four seasons. Jones isn’t promising a thing now, but he believes the team turned over a new leaf mentally last year, and that’s a good thing.

“You’ve got to have talent, don’t get me wrong,” Jones said, per ESPN Dallas. “In the early '90s, I think we fought and got some success going and had some unique things happen--beat the Redskins up there when they won the Super Bowl and they were undefeated when we played them. We beat them. It changed us, you could just feel it.”

Having seen his team put together a surprising 12-4 record and win a playoff game for the first time since 2009, Jones is certainly feeling better now than he was at this time last year, when Dallas was coming off their third consecutive 8-8 season.

“I see our guys just feeling good, see the almost-shocked look in their face when we lose: 'How’d we let that happen?’” Jones said. “Dez [Bryant], we talk about his emotion. Well, his emotion has a positive effect. It’s exaggerated, but [Muhammad] Ali was exaggerated. You’d want to turn him off after about 15 minutes sometimes, but he turns out to be one of the greatest people this country has ever seen. So anyway, I feel like we’re going to have the benefit--as opposed to sitting here last year--of success, tasted it and we can build on it.”

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<![CDATA[ESPN's McShay Thinks Gurley Could Fit in Dallas]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:17:56 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/456212412.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys are set to pick 27th in the 2015 NFL Draft, which kicks off on April 30. Due in large part to a torn ACL, suffered last November, there’s a chance that Georgia running back Todd Gurley will still be on the board.

If the Cowboys bid adieu to DeMarco Murray in free agency, ESPN draft guru Todd McShay believes Gurley could be a nice fit in Dallas.

He’s just an absolute freight train as a runner,” McShay said of Gurley this week, via the Dallas Morning News. “He’s one cut and go. He lowers his shoulder. He’s like Marshawn Lynch. He just breaks through so many one on one tackles. What separates him from a lot of other big backs is, one: his top-end speed. It’s an elite combination of size and speed. The second part is his pass-catching ability, which nobody seems to talk about.

“I was blown away by how comfortable and natural he is at catching the football, adjusting to the ball, transitioning from catching the ball and getting up the field quickly. And then, if you give him some daylight, it’s over. It’s lights out. Once his momentum gets going he’s got rare top-end speed for that size.”

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Could Use Platoon System at RB]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:18:39 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458697470.jpg

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said recently that if DeMarco Murray returns in 2015, he’d likely have his workload lightened at least to some degree. But that doesn’t mean the Cowboys will run the ball significantly less.

Rather, according to Jones, they’d likely spread the load a little more evenly between Murray and the other backs on the roster. Obviously, Murray would still get the lion’s share of touches, but he’d have a lot more help than he did in 2014, when the team’s second-leading rusher, Joseph Randle had a paltry 51 attempts.

"I think that generally we are in two-back systems across the league if you look at the practical way it shakes out," Jones said, per ESPN Dallas. "Most of these teams split a running game that approaches the number of rushes we have. They split it. But there are more backs. There are more backs. That adds to what happens. That adds to the answer: how do you address your running game? OK. You don't necessarily expect to have a back carry that kind of load and still have a very successful running game."

Murray set a franchise record with 392 carries in 2014, and he had over 50 receptions on top of that.

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<![CDATA[Could Cowboys Draft Another O-Lineman in 1st Round?]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 04:02:29 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tyron-smith-vs-broncos.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys have drafted an offensive lineman in the first round of the draft in three of the last four years and, according to owner and general manager Jerry Jones, they might make it four of five when the 2015 Draft opens on April 30.

It certainly is [possible],” Jones said over the weekend, per the Dallas Morning News. “It certainly is.”

The line-heavy drafts have worked out nicely for the Cowboys. All three of the Cowboys’ first rounders along the offensive line — left tackle Tyron Smith in 2011, center Travis Frederick in 2013 and right guard Zack Martin in 2014 — were named to the Pro Bowl last season.

Going into the offseason, the Cowboys’ have some decisions to make at the right tackle position, where Doug Free and Jermey Parnell — both of whom saw starting time in 2014 — are headed for free agency.

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<![CDATA[Jerry Wants DeMarco Murray to be a Cowboy For Life]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:20:53 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/462196554.jpg

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said this week that he’d like running back DeMarco Murray to be a Cowboy for life, and he’s willing to show some flexibility in negotiations going forward to prove it.

We want DeMarco enough that I've got some serious flexibility in my bracket,” Jones said, per ESPN Dallas, before adding that the Cowboys “want Murray for his career as well.”

Murray, the reigning AP Offensive Player of the Year, set a franchise record with 1,845 yards on 392 carries in 2014. What’s more, head coach Jason Garrett credits Murray with helping the surprising 2014 Cowboys establish their identity as a physical team.

“There’s no question that Murray is an outstanding football player in my mind,” Jones said. “Our wish is to work something out and we’re going to strive to do that to the extent that we can. There’s some unique circumstances here. He won (offensive player of the year). We had the top rushing game, so relative to values, that creates some things that wouldn’t be there had we not had some of the success that we’ve had.”

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<![CDATA[Cap Crunching: Cowboys Have Money to Spend]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 12:54:33 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/457124394.jpg

The Cowboys have decisions. They also, fortunately, have money.

Unlike recent years in which they were cash-strapped because of bad contracts and league fines, entering the 2015 free-agent season the Cowboys are in a relatively healthy financial situation.

Bottom line: When the new NFL season officially begins March 10 they’ll be $13 million under the salary cap.

That spending room will obviously play into major personnel decisions on Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray, Doug Free, Jermey Parnell and Rolando McClain.

The new cap of $143 million per team represents a $10 million increase from 2014. Still, the Rams, Steelers, Patriots and Saints are over the cap, previously known as “Cowboys land.” The Jaguars, Raiders and Browns will have more than $50 million in cap room.

Said owner Jerry Jones to reporters at last weekend’s Scouting Combine: “The only reason to have any equivocation on re-signing DeMarco is that this is pro football and we have limitations on what you can allocate to any position or allocate to your football team, which side of the ball you want to allocate your dollars on. It’s pretty obvious anybody can add up we got a lot of money allocated to our offense right now. Nothing wrong with that because we can win with a lot of money allocated to our offense, but we've got to be cognizant of the fact we want to improve our defense.”

In other words, the Cowboys have money. And are about to spend it.
 

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys, Carr Reportedly Discussing Paycut]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 05:56:26 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Brandon+Carr+011215.jpg

Brandon Carr has been a solid player since signing his big five-year, $50 million deal a few years back, but the veteran cornerback took a lot of heat in 2014, and it was deserved.

Carr didn't record a single interception as one of the league's highest-paid corners last season, and for someone making that type of money, was a huge disappointment.

To no one's surprise, the Cowboys are really only interested in having Carr back in 2015 if he takes a cut in his pay, and that's reportedly something the two sides have been discussing.

Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones was mum on the Carr talks at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, simply telling reporters, "I don't have anything to report there."

Carr is set to make $8 million in 2015 and count $12.7 million against the salary cap, and frankly, it would seem the Cowboys would probably want to slash those numbers in half if they're even going to have a discussion. Whether that's something Carr wants to do is still unknown, but if he declines a paycut on middle ground, the Cowboys would cut him loose and then he'd be at the mercy of the open market for a 29-year-old corner who didn't have an interception last year.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Sam Set For Dancing Reality Show]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 05:55:45 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GERRY_MCCARTHY__1409761483_39578161-620x503.jpg

Michael Sam, who spent half of last season on the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad before being cut loose in October, is back in the spotlight, but it's not for the reason he probably would most like.

Sam, who was drafted in the seventh round of last year's NFL draft as the league's first openly gay player, was cut by the team that drafted him (the Rams), then cut by the Cowboys, and is now trying to get a spot in the first-ever NFL veterans combine. But that will seemingly take a back seat, at least for now, as Sam was announced as a contestant on the upcoming season of "Dancing With the Stars."

Sam follows a line of former football players who were successful on the show, including the NFL's all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith, who won the coveted gold ball in his season.

If you remember, Sam was set to have his own reality show on Oprah's network but had a change of heart at the last minute because he wanted to avoid the distraction while he was trying to make the Rams' roster.

So you have to wonder what he would call this, if he truly does want to make a roster this year.



Photo Credit: Gerry McCarthy / Dallas Morning News Staff Photographer]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Peterson Agent Has Dust Up With Vikes]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 05:54:39 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP938070923385.jpg

As my colleague Richie Whitt pointed out on Monday, the likelihood of the Dallas Cowboys actually landing Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson via trade isn't that great, and if the Vikings cut him loose he's going to hit the open market seeking a fortune.

But in case you were looking for any more reason to speculate that the door could be opening for Peterson's return home to the Lone Star State, here you go.

A juicy report surfaced on Monday that Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, got into a "heated exchange" with Minnesota vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski at the NFL combine in Indianapolis and the two had to separated.

While the Vikings have said publicly they want Peterson back, and Peterson has said he loves the Vikings fanbase and has great memories from his time there, he's also done everything but say he doesn't trust the Vikings organization after the way they handled his suspension for all but one game of the 2014 season and his failed reinstatement to the league.

"You know how it is in the NFL," Peterson told ESPN. "I learned a lot through this process. I'm still uneasy, to be honest with you. I'm still uneasy about a lot of things that took place within the organization. Of course those guys ultimately supported me, and I'm grateful for that. But ultimately, with me being able to be on the inside and see how cards were dealt, how things were worded, this, that and the other, it's about protecting your brand, your organization, what you have built."

So while it might be a pipe dream for Cowboys fans who are in love with Peterson's track record on the field and his huge numbers, it seems to be at least a little more likely now.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Mo Claiborne Brings Uncertainty to Cornerback Position ]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 13:57:01 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mo-claiborne-played-horrible.jpg

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doesn’t blame Morris Claiborne for the injury issues he’s faced since coming into the league in 2012, but he will admit his circumstances have clouded the team’s outlook at the cornerback position.

Claiborne appeared in just four games last season before suffering a torn patellar tendon in the win over the New Orleans Saints, after which he was placed on injured reserve. He has now missed 19 games in three seasons due to various injuries.

Mo has created a problematic situation for us,” Jones said, per the Dallas Morning News. “Mo didn’t create it, but his circumstances are problematic for us as we approach what we’re doing in the off-season at that position.”

Claiborne has been an underachiever pretty much since Dallas made him the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 Draft. In three years, he has recorded 88 tackles, 15 passes broken up and three interceptions.

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<![CDATA[Jerry: Murray's Workload Could Decrease If He Returns]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 13:42:07 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/460757040.jpg

In 2014, Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray set a franchise record with 392 carries, and he caught 57 passes. If the free agent-to-be returns to Dallas in 2015, his role could decrease to some degree, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said last week.

I don’t think we would go into a season now with Murray thinking that he was going to have the load that he had last year,” Jones said, per Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas. “I don’t believe we would.”

However, Jones admitted that taking he ball out of Murray’s hands is a lot easier said than done.

“Murray is such a warrior and Murray is such a horse, he’d actually get upset if you took him out of the game,” Jones said. “But it was [not] the thing to do for Murray to let those guys have more touches. Now, why did we go along with it? We just happened to be doing you know what? Winning. We were very successful so it’s hard to make that change.”

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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Isn't Exactly Thrilled About Franchising Dez, Either]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 23:33:30 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/4604723101.jpg

Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant hasn’t made any secret of the fact that he doesn’t want to be franchise tagged. Owner Jerry Jones responded publicly last week, saying that he’s not exactly thrilled about the idea of using the tag on Bryant, either. He’d rather have a long-term deal in place, he says,.

“I can tell you I’m not that excited about the franchise tag with Dez simply because I’d like to have our agreement and our business in place for a long time to come with Dez,” Jones said, per Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas.

Jones went on to say he doesn’t believe Bryant’s dislike of the idea of being tagged will affect his performance on the field in 2015.

“I’ve never seen anybody just pout to the extent that they wouldn’t do it over this kind of money,” Jones said. “That usually is not realistic. It’s just too much money. And consequently it’s not set up or packaged the way that parties might want--and I want to emphasize again--it’s not really set up in our best interest at all. There’s a much better way for our future and our cap this year if we didn’t franchise, but this is here when you don’t have your meeting of the minds about how you want to structure something long term. And so if anything it’s in the right situation, it’s a placeholder for addressing it as you move through the future.”

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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Comfortable With Romo 5-Year Window ]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:53:22 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Romo-Inks-Deal.jpg

For a couple of years now, people have been wondering when the Dallas Cowboys and owner/GM Jerry Jones are going to bring in a young quarterback to groom to eventually replace Tony Romo.

Never was that thought more prevalent than heading into the 2014 season with Romo coming off multiple back surgeries while being clouded with uncertainty in terms of his health and preparation.

All Romo did was have the best year of his career and lead the Cowboys to the brink of playing in the NFC Championship with more than 3,700 passing yards, 34 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. He led the NFL in completion percentage and quarterback rating in the regular season, edging out Aaron Rodgers. It was Romo at his finest, and now Jones says he expects to have that for a bit longer than you might expect from Romo, who's 34 years old.

Speaking at the NFL combine, Jones told reporters he is operating with the idea of a five-year window for Romo playing effectively. The general thought around here is that Romo is operating on about a three-year window, and while five years isn't out of the realm of possibility, it seems a bit extreme to be operating under that premise.

“I’m not going to look into the crystal ball with you and tell you he’s not going to have down days over the next five years — I can’t do that,” Jones told reporters. “But I can tell you I’m comfortable, and I’m going to make decisions based on him being here.”

The Cowboys need Romo to continue to produce at such a high level, as he's scheduled to make $17 million in 2015 and count an eye-popping $27.8 million against the Cowboys' 2015 salary cap.



Photo Credit: DallasCowboys.com]]>
<![CDATA[Free Agent McClain Could Face Fine]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:59:04 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458297328.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys knew they were taking a chance when they sent a sixth-round draft pick to Baltimore for middle linebacker Rolando McClain, and there is no question that risk paid off in a huge way when McClain ended up being a huge part of the Cowboys' defensive turnaround in 2014.

Now a free agent, McClain isn't exactly helping his case, whether he re-signs with Dallas or tries to land a contract somewhere else after a nice season in Dallas to help rebuild his value after he'd flaked out and retired twice before the age of 25 from both Oakland and Baltimore. He finished second on the Cowboys last season with 81 tackles in just 12 games in the regular season.

But there's an ESPN report out there that McClain is facing a four-game fine, which is the precursor to a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. The way the rule is written, a player faces the fine after a third violation, and a fourth triggers the four-game suspension.

You have to figure, if a guy is going to rack up three violations, the chances of a fourth a pretty high, meaning McClain's value will take a huge hit if the fine holds up, even though he's appealing the ruling.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Peterson to the Cowboys is Just Fantasy Football ]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 23:34:56 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/personajes-malvados-2014-23.jpg

Here’s how Fantasy Football is ruining real football: Adrian Peterson. To the Cowboys.

Sorry, but here in the actual NFL it ain’t happenin’.

It’s a fan-concocted, media-driven wish list that – at least via conventional means – just isn’t practical. At this point it’s a suburban legend, fueled by those who “want” it to happen because in their Fantasy Football leagues it “could” happen.

Peterson, of course, is the NFL’s best running back. He sat out all but one game in 2014 after admitting to punishing his son with a switch. And now the Vikings are considering their options.

Considering the imminent free-agent departure of DeMarco Murray, certainly the Cowboys could use a primo running back. But, as of yet, Peterson hasn’t asked to be traded and Minnesota hasn’t announced plans to cut him. We can surmise that Peterson, a Palestine native, would love to return to our football-lovin’, corporal punishment-ingrained state.

But here’s why it will be difficult, at best:

Peterson’s salary over the next three years is, gulp, $13, $15 and $17 million. Nobody would absorb that kind of contract, especially the newly crowned NFL Executive of the Year, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The Cowboys are likely going to balk at paying Murray more than $6 million a year, so why would they almost triple that amount to acquire another back who just sat out a season because of legal troubles?

The Cowboys could trade for Peterson, but he’d have to accept a renegotiated, lower contract in Dallas. It’s just not as simple as “Peterson wants out of Minnesota” and “the Cowboys need a running back” and “Peterson is from Texas.”

A Peterson-to-the-Cowboys deal is like driving amidst Thundersleet: Doable, but very dangerous. And, in the end, the reward probably isn’t worth the risk.
 

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dez Bryant, The Bachelor?]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 15:37:02 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459496698.jpg

Chris Harrison is the host of the ABC reality show “The Bachelor.” He is also apparently a big fan of the Dallas Cowboys.

We didn’t know this until recently, when TMZ caught up to Harrison and asked him who among professional athletes he’d like to see take over the title role of that show he hosts. Harrison responded that he was indeed a fan of “America’s Team,” and as such he’d “probably pick one of the Dallas Cowboys.”

After thinking for a moment, Harrison got more specific and said he’d like to see Cowboys’ receiver Dez Bryant giving out roses to hopeful young ladies.

How great of a season would that be? How emotional that would be,” Harrison said, via the Dallas Morning News. “What a great season that would be. At the end we could ask the same question, ‘Was it a catch?’”

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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Could Ajayi Be Latest Boise St. Product to Come to Dallas?]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 13:45:17 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jay-ajayi-cowboys.jpg

Among the running backs the Dallas Cowboys have met with this week in Indianapolis is Boise State’s Jay Ajayi, who went to high school at Frisco Liberty here in North Texas.

Preparing for the draft, which begins on April 30, Ajayi knows well that the Cowboys have a history of selecting players out of Boise State. They picked cornerback Orlando Scandrick in the fifth round back in 2008, and defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford in the third round in 2012.

Last year, the Cowboys traded up to land Boise State defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence early in the second round.

It feels good to know that teams like the Cowboys really enjoy drafting Boise State guys,” Ajayi said, per the Dallas Morning News. “They know that they’re well-coached guys, guys who go into work every day that will grind for your team and will do their job.

“It’s cool. We talk about how so many of our Boise State guys are on the Cowboys.”

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<![CDATA[Bill Callahan: Cowboys In Good Hands with Pollack]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 13:41:45 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/frank-pollack1.16.15.jpg

New Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan believes the Cowboys are in good hands with his replacement, Frank Pollack.

Pollack played under Callahan at Northern Arizona in the late 1980s, and served the last two seasons as Callahan’s assistant offensive line coach with the Cowboys. He was promoted when Callahan departed Dallas to take over as O-line coach in Washington.

He brings a lot to the table,” Callahan said of Pollack, per ESPN Dallas. “He’s experienced. He knows the position as well as anybody across the league. He has done a great job with the players. I have always felt confident in giving him a drill, taking it and rolling with ideas off of him. He’s got a creative aspect that he will bring to the table. He is a good technician. He can analyze technique. He can fix problems.

“If there is any issue he’s experienced enough to fix it or rectify it. That’s big in coaching: your ability to fix problems and find solutions. That goes a long way. You have got to have that ability and he certainly has it.”

This year, Pollack will work with new assistant Steve Loney, who last worked in the NFL in 2013, as the offensive line coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Draft Profile: EDGE Owamagbe Odighizuwa]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 08:27:33 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458806342.jpg

Owamagbe Odighizuwa, EDGE, UCLA
Ht. 6034, Wt. 267, Arm: 33 3/4", Hand: 11", Bench: 25
40 yd: 4.62, 10 yd.: 1.62, 3 Cone: 7.36, Vertical: 39", Broad: 10'7"
Games Watched: Texas, Arizona St., USC

If you think other games better reflect this player’s ability or you want to request a profile on a specific player, email me or hit me up on Twitter.

The 2015 NFL Draft is deep in edge defenders, so the Cowboys can get good value at pick No. 27. UCLA’s Owamagbe Odighizuwa, (pronounced oh-DIG-gee-zoo-wah) falls into the second tier at that position.

After missing the 2013 season to recover from two hip surgeries, Odighizuwa worked his way into the first-round discussion with a strong 2014. He posted 6 sacks and tied for the team lead with 11.5 tackles for loss to earn second-team All-Pac 12 honors.

Strengths

Let’s start with Odighizuwa’s vines for arms and heavy hands. When he uses them well, and he usually does, he disengages opposing offensive lineman at will. The help him set the edge well against the run and work around offensive tackles against the pass.

People might point to his ordinary stats as a negative, but don't let them fool you. Odighizuwa lived in the backfield in 2014. Against USC, he was virtually unblockable by both offensive guards and tackles. He flashes great burst and closing speed as well as the ability to "get skinny" in gap penetration.

In terms of board value, team need and scheme fit, Odighizuwa might be the best bet for the Cowboys at No. 27. He’s a perfect 4-3 over defensive end, but he looked even better when he faced off against guards as a 3-Technique on obvious pass downs.

Weaknesses

Teams must do thorough medical evaluations on Odighizuwa, because the hip injuries have to be concerning. A recurring injury or degenerative condition could end his career quickly.

Odighizuwa isn’t elite physically. He needs to put on about 10 good pounds to have the strength to reliably set the edge in the NFL. His lack of consisted burst might keep him on the left side of a defense, which decreases his value some.

The potential is there, but he still don't show the technical consistency you want to see out of a first-round pick. His play improved as the year went on, which suggests it was related to coming off a missed year, but it's still a concern.

Verdict: Fringe First Rounder

Odighizuwa played better as he move further from his lost season, culminating with the game against USC where he looked like a sure first-round pick. He would be an ideal fit as a strongside defensive end for Rod Marinelli and a perfect complement to DeMarcus Lawrence.

With his size, speed, violent hands and difficult-to-pronounce name, Odighizuwa earns comparisons to Falcons defensive end Osi Uminyiora. He's not a surefire first-round value, but need and fit make him worth the 27th overall pick.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Working on Extension for Coughlin]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 13:03:16 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Tom+Coughlin+black+stripe.JPG

In order to avoid having Tom Coughlin enter the 2015 season as a so-called lame duck, the New York Giants have started working on a one-year extension for the head coach that would, on paper, keep him in New York through the 2016 season, Dan Graziano of ESPN reported Thursday.

"I think that part of it's underway," Coughlin said, per ESPN.com. "Hopefully shortly you'll have some information about that. I don't think it's any big mystery. You don't have to be overly concerned about anything secretive. There's nothing to it."

Coughlin came to the Giants in 2004, and has won two Super Bowls with the team since, in 2007 and 2011. But with a regular season record of 163-139 going into next year, Coughlin knows the extra year on his deal won’t mean much in terms of job security if the Giants underachieve in 2015.

"There's 32 guys that coach one year at a time, and that's the way it is," Coughlin said. "I don't care how many years you've got on your contract."

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<![CDATA[Artis-Payne Believes He'd Fit in Dallas]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 12:49:21 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cameron-artis-payne-cowboys.jpg

Growing up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, just over 100 miles west of Philadelphia, Auburn running back Cameron Artis-Payne was an Eagles fan. But he’d be glad to come to Dallas and play for the rival Cowboys, should the team select him in this year’s draft.

"Not at all," Artis-Payne said, per the Dallas Morning News. "Anybody that is going to draft me, I would love to play for them. I spoke to them yesterday. That would be a great fit. They obviously run the ball a lot."

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team will meet with “all those top backs” prior to the draft, which he believes is one of the strongest in recent memory in terms of depth at the running back position.

"This draft is actually heavy as it has been in running backs,” Jones said. “This is one of the strongest years it has ever been for running back.”

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<![CDATA[NFL Ends Talk of Dez's Catch/Non-Catch]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 11:36:18 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/461347692.jpg

In baseball, there’s Tommy John surgery. NBA players can have Bird Rights. And, in the spirit of having significant terms or rules named after players, the NFL may soon christen the Dez Deal.

But after the NFL’s Competition Committee met in Indianapolis this week during the Scouting Combine, “no catch” had no dialogue.

Cowboys’ Vice President Stephen Jones, a member of the committee, said the topic of Dez Bryant’s controversial non-catch catch in the playoff game against the Packers failed to come up. But it likely will when the group reconvenes in a formal setting next month in Naples, Fla.

You guys know by now where I stand on the ruling that overturned Bryant’s acrobatic catch into a game-ending incompletion.

And I, fans and even head coach Jason Garrett expect the rules determining a catch to be severely scrutinized in the offseason and potentially changed beginning next season.

Like Tom Brady is connected to the “Tuck Rule,” Emmitt Smith to the “Keep Your Helmet On” rule, Roy Williams to the “Horse Collar rule” and the former Steelers’ owner to the “Rooney Rule,” Bryant just might find himself infamously attached to completions for years to come.

Hopefully next year a receiver making an acrobatic catch that is jostled free while he's stretching for yardage will have it remain a completion because of the "Dez Deal."

“I’m sure it will be a lively discussion through the offseason and at those owners meetings,” Garrett told reporters in Indy. “It will certainly be discussed. There’s no question in my mind.”

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>