<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Blue Star]]> Copyright 2016 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 Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:05:50 -0600 Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:05:50 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Could the Cowboys Land the Next Cam Newton?]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 23:57:19 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/paxton-lynch-newy-scruggs.jpg

The Cowboys hold the fourth pick in the draft and Paxton Lynch should be on their radar.

I caught up with the junior quarterback in San Francisco at Radio Row and asked him to name a current NFL quarterback that plays the game they way he does.

"I think that I'm close to Cam Newton in my opinion. Being big and athletic, those kinda quarterbacks. He's kinda one-of-a-kind, that's how I see myself as well -- 6 foot 7, almost 250 (pounds), but I can run around and throw also," Lynch said.

Most of the media compares Lynch to Pittsburgh's "Big Ben" Roethisberger, but he prefers to be compared to Newton.

His mother, Stacie, went to Texas Tech and gave birth to her son in San Antonio. She told me Newton is a player her son looks up to.

He is being represented by Leigh Steinberg, the agent who became a pop culture star when the Hollywood hit movie "Jerry Maguire" was made based off his life as a super agent representing some of the biggest sports stars in the world. 

Steinberg's last quarterback client taken in the first round was Big Ben in the 2004 NFL Draft.  The last quarterback Jerry Jones drafted was Troy Aikman in 1989 and his agent was -- Leigh Steinberg.

Lynch threw for 28 touchdowns last season as the Tigers went 9-4. He threw only four interceptions and surprisingly had just two rushing touchdowns. In 2014 Lynch ran for 13 scores.

He has some of the biggest hands you'll ever see for a QB and he will run and throw at the NFL Scouting Combine later this month.



Photo Credit: Newy Scruggs]]>
<![CDATA[Place Your Bets: Super Bowl 50]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:32:11 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newton-AP_839441988800.jpg

If you live in Nevada, Oregon, Montana or Delaware, you're in luck. Otherwise, go to Canada or Europe and get your bet on for the NFL weekend! All games are Sunday unless otherwise noted.

1. Denver vs. Carolina (-5.5) — Give the Broncos credit. They did just shut down one of the game's most prolific quarterbacks with a dominant pass rush and overall stellar defensive effort. Now, they get THE most prolific quarterback of this season and a Panthers team that has consistently been the best in the NFL this year. I've been riding the Panthers all season, and they've only disappointed once. This game won't be a blowout, but it's going to be at least a touchdown game.

Last week: 2-0. 2015 season: 37-40-3.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dez Welcomes Murray to Return to Cowboys]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:05:42 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-500378506.jpg

The talk of a reunion between the Dallas Cowboys and DeMarco Murray just won't fully die, and even though Murray won't come out and say he wants to be traded or released from the Eagles, all reports suggest he isn't happy with the Eagles even with Chip Kelly getting relieved of his duties.

After he won the NFL rushing title in 2014 with the Cowboys, Murray sought a big payday and got it from the Eagles.

But the results in Philly never came as Murray just barely topped 700 yards on the ground while falling to third on the running back depth chart and having a difference of opinion with Kelly before his firing.

Now, some of Murray's former teammates in Dallas are trying to talk him into coming back to Dallas, which would of course require a trade or for the Eagles to release the highly paid running back, and none have spoke more loudly than Dez Bryant.

So there you go, now we just have to wait and see what happens.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Deion Sanders Thinks Jerry Will "Probably" Sign Manziel]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:06:10 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/4888459211.jpg

Despite a series of reports that would suggest the exact opposite, on Friday, Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders told Cleveland.com that Jerry Jones will “probably” sign embattled Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Why, you ask?

"Jerry will probably pick him up because Jerry has been a haven for players with tribulations. Jerry has saved lives that he does not get the credit for," Sanders said. "Jerry could help Johnny. There's so many different instances that this has happened, that Jerry has really helped guys. If it wasn't for Jerry Jones, Dez Bryant probably wouldn't be in the league. So this has Jerry written all over it, and he has the infrastructure to really help this kid.’'

Sanders is right that Jones has always loved reclamation projects, but at this juncture, we’d say “probably” is a huge stretch.

Manziel was already almost certainly going to be released by the Browns at the earliest juncture they’re allowed to release him, in March, but after a series of reports that detail some ugly incidents involving his girlfriend, it could be awhile before Manziel will be on a football field again at all.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marinelli Wants More Takeaways in 2016]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:15:07 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459955020.jpg

In his first year as Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator in 2014, Rod Marinelli oversaw a unit that forced 31 takeaways. Last season, that number tumbled to 11, and Marinelli believes that played a significant role in their inability to win games in 2015—even as the defense did other things well.

Not good enough,” Marinelli said, per Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas. “It’s everything. I think the hustle, the effort, the hitting, all those things were good. We didn’t finish games like we should have, but the takeaways are the No. 1 thing in football.”

The Cowboys finished with a minus-22 turnover ratio, the worst in football. The team with the best ratio in football, the Carolina Panthers, will play in the Super Bowl this Sunday.

“Just have to keep redoing it over and over,” Marinelli said. “I’ve always had success with it. We did it (in 2014). Last year I didn’t. You just got to keep doing it.”

Marinelli always preaches the importance of turnovers and it appears the message got through to Pro Bowl linebacker Sean Lee, who said this offseason will be devoted, in great part, to figuring out how to get more takeaways going forward.

“We’re all defensively going to this offseason looking at how we can cause more turnovers, how can we find a way to get to the quarterback to where we can have game-changing plays through the game and then in the fourth quarter down the stretch,” linebacker Sean Lee said. “That was the theme. You don’t have to watch too much film to know we didn’t cause turnovers and make plays in the fourth quarter.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Witten Praises Ware as Teammate]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:01:43 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-488176750.jpg

As far as lifelong Cowboys having a lifelong pass with Cowboys fans, no one has a bigger one than tight end Jason Witten. He's the ultimate Cowboy.

It's pretty obvious who Witten will be pulling for on Sunday in Super Bowl 50 when the Panthers take on the Broncos, and it's his old teammate DeMarcus Ware, who was cast out of Dallas a cap casualty before signing with the Broncos two years ago.

"DeMarcus is one of my all-time favorite teammates,'' Witten told the Dallas Morning News. "He is the ultimate team guy. He is a phenomenal player, leader and teammate.

"I am excited he finally gets to play in the big one. I will be pulling hard for him on Sunday.''

Witten, of course, saw his career-long streak of not having played in a Super Bowl extended this year, and according to the Dallas Morning News, Ware has been asked who he wishes could be with him preparing for a first Super Bowl appearance, it'd be Witten.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ryan Leaf Says Johnny Manziel Reminds Him of Him]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:57:04 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/624911.jpg

We’d imagine few people in the world understand Johnny Manziel’s plight as well as Ryan Leaf.

Maybe the most famous bust in NFL history, Leaf went from being the second overall pick in 1998—only Peyton Manning was picked higher that year—to being out of the league by the beginning of the 2002 season, thanks in part to issues that Manziel has struggled with. In an appearance on 103.3-FM ESPN Radio’s Cowlishaw & Mosley show this week, Leaf said that when he sees Manziel struggling to get it together now, it reminds him of him.

"It's like a mirror, it really is," Leaf said, per ESPN Dallas. "I listen to and hear stuff that's being said and what's going on and it's like a mirror for me. I can relate to so many things ... There's a solution. There always is but it's so hard to see when you're on this pedestal and [think] you don't need help. You don't need to be vulnerable because you're a big, strong football player and help means [being] weak. It doesn't. Asking for help might be the strongest thing you ever do. So it's hard because it was so fun to watch him. Great college quarterback. He's very capable and people want to cheer for him.

"But now Cleveland dislikes him so much to the point, like San Diego to me [where] it's at the point you just have to get out of town. By me getting out of town and getting a new start, it didn't work for me either. I got to a great place in Tampa with coach [Tony] Dungy and that team but I couldn't restart it and I'm worried that he's not going to be able to catch on somewhere else and be as successful as he's capable of being. I hope he can."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DeMarco Murray: "I'm Committed" to Eagles]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:42:07 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/194*120/496337632.jpg

Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant used Twitter this week to publicly call for DeMarco Murray to “come home” to Dallas after a season in Philadelphia but of course, Murray can’t just up and declare himself a Cowboy again.

As he reminded Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, as the rumors about his future with the Eagles abound—his comments actually came in response to an NFL Network report that suggested he and the Eagles are coming to a “stare-down” regarding his future—he has a contract. One for five years, that he signed a year ago.

With that contract in place, he says, he’s committed to making it work with the Eagles.

"No. I'm signed there for the next four years. I don't know where that story is coming from," Murray told Florio, via Philly.com. "It's a little crazy. Every week I feel like there's something new. It's a little weird. I can't worry about what people are saying. I'll just continue to work hard. I'm signed for four years and I'm committed.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scouting the NFL Draft: CB Vernon Hargreaves III]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 12:00:11 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-487059286.jpg

Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
Ht. 5110, Wt. 199, Arm: -, Hand: -, Bench: -
40 yd: -, 10 yd.: -, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: -, Broad: -
Games Watched: Alabama (2014), Ole Miss, Alabama

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.

Vernon Hargreaves III hit the ground running at Florida, being named a third-team All-America after breaking up 10 passes and intercepting 3 in 10 games as a true freshman. He was even stronger as a sophomore, with 13 passes defended, 3 interceptions and earning first-team All-America honors.

Hargreaves went into his junior season as one of the top draft prospects at cornerback. His stock has "slipped" some since then, but he still garners first-round consideration. I personally devalue the cornerback position, though, so he's fighting an uphill battle in that regard.

Strengths

• Man Coverage - Strong when he can press
• Deep Zone Coverage - Excels in Cover 3, 4
• Good Instincts - Diagnoses, recognizes plays quickly
• Quick - Changes direction well
• Run Defense - Very willing run support
• Closing Speed - Good plant/drive
• Catch Point - Often makes play on ball
• Return Experience - Could handle kick/punt duties
• Feisty

Weaknesses

• Off Issues - Not as effective when he can't press and not facing QB
• Recovery Speed - Leads to WR separation
• Bad Feet - Often choppy, inefficient in backpedal
• Hands - Typical DB
• Overly Aggressive - Susceptible to double moves
• Size - Lacks elite height, length

Verdict: Top-40 Pick

A lot of people absolutely love Hargreaves. I'm not one of those people, but I do think he's a very good prospect. When he's in press-man or deep zone, he looks like a first-round pick. When he's in off-man or short zone, though, he looks more ordinary to me.

If the Seattle Seahawks end up with Hargreaves, he'd be a Pro Bowler — whatever value that holds, these days — very quickly. He's too inconsistent for the Cowboys to consider using a first-round pick on him, but he'd be a good value if he falls to their second-round pick. If he can clean up his relatively mild coverage issues, he could be a Josh Norman-like player in the Dallas secondary.

*Format for height used at the NFL Scouting Combine. First digit is height in feet, second two digits are inches and the fourth digit is eighth inches (e.g. 6052 is 6"5 1/4")



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[You Betcha Super Bowl 50: Panthers-Broncos in Low-Scoring Battle]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 09:57:06 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-508235094_594_screen.jpg

I long ago burned out on Fantasy Football. I can’t wrap my little brain around the FanDuelDraftKings craze. And I’ve wasted lots of time and a little money on not finishing first in those Eliminator Pools.  But, alas, like of fans, I do like to have a little extra interest in Cowboys/NFL games.  So let’s do this: I just robbed an imaginary bank and pocketed a virtual $1,000. What better way to spend it than on some mythical wagering.

I’ll start with my $1k bankroll and each week – usually on Thursday or Friday – I’ll analyze the upcoming Cowboys/NFL game and make a wager. With any luck, come 2016 it’ll be iPhone upgrades for everyone. Or maybe not. Do I think we’ll win? You betcha!

Take a $3,000 profit? Or take a swing at turning it into $6,000?

In other words, double or nothing.

Despite last week’s throwaway $10 loss on the ridiculous Pro Bowl, my profit for the NFL season – since way back 22 weeks ago – is a cool $3k. But with this being funny money and with this being the last football game until Labor Day, what the heck. Let’s do this.

I know the Panthers are a better team than the Broncos heading into Super Bowl 50. But I also know how the first trip to the big game does weird things to teams. Especially young teams. And especially young quarterbacks.

Cam Newton is the NFL MVP, but he’s felt zero stress in the playoffs. The Panthers, playing both games at home, jumped to leads of 31-0 and 34-7 in their two post-season wins. Carolina is 17-1 and is the best team in the league. But I don’t see them blowing out a veteran quarterback and a stout defense.

That’s why in this game – with $6,000 on the line – I’m betting the Under. As in, the teams will combine to score less than 46 points.

The Panthers have scored a defensive touchdown in both their playoff wins, but Peyton Manning won’t make those kind of silly, careless throws. With his defense, he doesn’t have to take unnecessary chances. The Broncos have the pass rush and the secondary to keep Newton contained and uncomfortable.

Dabbin’ and dancing is all fun and games in blowouts decided by the second quarter. But let’s see Cam put together a nine-play, 80-yard drive in the final four minutes against the NFL’s best defense with the Super Bowl on the line.

The Broncos have played 18 games this season. Only four times have they allowed three offensive touchdowns. In their playoff wins they surrendered just one touchdown each to Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady.

I think the Panthers win. But I think the defenses keep it close. And low scoring.

Panthers 20, Broncos 17. 

STARTING BANKROLL: $1,000

CURRENT BANKROLL: $4,000

SEASON RECORD: 12-9

LAST WEEK: 0-1, -10

THIS WEEK: Panthers-Broncos Under-46 points, for $3,000.

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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Met with Miss. St. QB Dak Prescott at Senior Bowl]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 13:27:03 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dak-prescott-cowboys.jpg

Could Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott be the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback of the future?

Well that’d be hard to say at this point, but they at least took the opportunity to meet with him at the Senior Bowl last week in Mobile, AL.

Jason Garrett and the Dallas staff coached the North side in the game, but Prescott was among four quarterbacks from the South to meet with Cowboys’ offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson.

"We just watched film," Prescott said, per the Dallas Morning News. "We all four met in the same room with the OC and the quarterback coach. It went real well. They just interviewed us, talked about ourselves and just watched a little film together.”

Prescott is projected to come off the board in the middle rounds.

]]>
<![CDATA[Goff Says He'll Be Full Participant at the Combine]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 13:03:52 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-502826380.jpg

Cal quarterback Jared Goff plans on showing as much as he can to the scouts in attendance at the Combine later this month.

Speaking to Pro Football Talk Live this week, Goff declared that he would be a full participant in Indianapolis.

“I’ll do it all,” Goff said. “I’ll throw and I’ll do it all. I think it’s the right thing to do. I’ve got nothing to hide. Go out there and throw and have some fun.”

Goff is among the top quarterbacks of the 2016 class along with Memphis’s Paxton Lynch and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz—who played for (and got to know) Jason Garrett and the Cowboys’ staff last week at the Senior Bowl.

As you’ve probably heard, the Cowboys will enter the 2016 Draft looking for a quarterback of the future, and Goff could very well be in that discussion. But owner Jerry Jones has also been quick to remind everyone that they’re not married to the idea of drafting a quarterback at No. 4 overall by any stretch of the imagination.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Johnny Football Attends Mavs-Heat, Stays Mum on Football]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 12:46:57 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/manziel-453800116.jpg

In what is a sure indicator that he will sign with the Dallas Cowboys this offseason, embattled Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel took in the Mavs-Heat game on Wednesday night at the American Airlines Center.

Okay, maybe that’s not a sure indicator, but Manziel was there, and that at least means the rumors connecting Manziel to the Cowboys aren’t going to go away for another little while.

Via the Dallas Morning News, Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas approached Manziel at the game and said the former Heisman winner politely declined his attempt at an impromptu interview, offering instead to answer questions about the Mavericks—which MacMahon politely declined. And for the record, MacMahon reports Manziel was drinking water.

Earlier in the week, the Browns essentially stated that they were done with Manziel, but that they can’t cut him until March. Meanwhile in Dallas, Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin advocated for Manziel coming to Dallas, and even offered to help him along personally if he did.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Met with Baylor DE Shawn Oakman]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 13:10:19 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/454453098.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys got a chance to meet with Baylor defensive end and mountain of a man Shawn Oakman last week, which makes some sense as Oakman played for the South side in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL. The North was team coached by Jason Garrett and his Cowboys staff.

"We just discussed pass rush, mostly," Oakman said of the meeting, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. "We discussed how to play during the game and during practice. They gave me pointers on what I need to do better.”

At 6-foot-7 and around 270 pounds, Oakman came to Baylor after he was dismissed from the Penn State squad for violations of team rules in 2013, at which point he headed to Waco. In his two seasons with the Bears, Oakman had 15.5 sacks and 34 tackles for loss.

He had a pair of sacks in the Senior Bowl, after meeting and working with Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli last week.

"He gave me a few pointers about my pass rush from the first day [of practice]," Oakman said. "I think I showed him a little bit [in Saturday's game]."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scouting the NFL Draft: LB Myles Jack]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 12:09:45 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-4578559442.jpg

Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Ht. 6010, Wt. 245, Arm: -, Hand: -, Bench: -
40 yd: -, 10 yd.: -, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: -, Broad: -
Games Watched: USC (2014), Virginia, BYU

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.

Not many players make as big an impact as a true freshman than Myles Jack did for UCLA. The four-star recruit from Bellevue, Wash., tallied 75 tackles, 7 TFL, 11 passes defended and 2 interceptions in 11 starts at linebacker in 2013. He also rushed 38 times for 267 yards and 7 touchdowns, winning the Paul Hornung Award for the nation's most versatile player.

Jack's sophomore season didn't quite exceed the high bar he set as a freshman, but he was still very good. He then started three games in 2015 before injuring his knee in practice and withdrawing from the team, drawing the ire of coach Jim Mora, Jr.

Strengths

• Elite Athlete - Strength, speed, agility, etc.
• Versatile - Everything from EDGE to outside cornerback for UCLA
• Fluid in Coverage - Good feet, hips, looks natural
• Excellent v. Run - Hits run lanes like a RB, because he is
• Physical - Hits like a truck, often stunning OL
• Good Play Recognition - Diagnoses plays quickly
• Sure Tackler

Weaknesses

• Size - Bulk and length are issues
• Injury - Medicals must be evaluted
• Overly Aggressive - Nitpicky, but can take bad angles, lose contain

Verdict: Top-10 Pick

Jack is a much better version of Shaq Thompson, whom the Carolina Panthers drafted in the first round last year. Jack is a much better version, though, and his rare skillset makes it difficult to find a pro comparison. He looks like NaVorro Bowman and does a lot of the things Levonte David and Kam Chancellor do.

Simply put, Jack is the best off-ball linebacker prospect since Luke Kuechly was drafted in 2012. He'd bring an ultra-physical presence against the run with the ability to limit opposing tight ends in the pass game. He would immediately make the Cowboys defense much more dynamic and is absolutely a player Dallas should consider early in the first round.

*Format for height used at the NFL Scouting Combine. First digit is height in feet, second two digits are inches and the fourth digit is eighth inches (e.g. 6052 is 6"5 1/4")



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Ranking Dallas' Old, Old Super Bowl Appearances]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 11:27:20 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/thump3.gif

It’s been 20 long years since the Cowboys played in a Super Bowl. Crazy that college sophomores from DFW – and everyone younger – have never experienced the joy, the hype and the excitement of America’s Team in the NFL’s biggest game.

I was fortunate to attend three of the five Cowboys’ Super Bowl wins as a writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The other two I watched on TV and remember – both times – my parents letting me miss school the ensuing Monday because it was a “Cowboys holiday.”

Since it’s been so long – and because we’re just not that amped about Panthers-Broncos – let’s dig the Cowboys’ Super Bowl wins out of the moth balls and rank ‘em. I know, it’s a task akin to a mother singling out a favorite among her five children. But, if we’re honest, we judge – and rank – everything.

Even though they’re ultimately the same, sometimes yesterday’s hamburger just tasted better than today’s. Or vice-versa. Maybe it was the extra mustard. Maybe a different bun. Or perhaps it was just the gap between trips to the same burger joint that enhanced the taste. So, even though we all have about five identical pairs hanging in the closet, let’s slip into our favorite blue jeans and remember the Cowboys in the Super Bowl by finding our favorite.

There are five of ‘em. And they each represent the same thing – a championship season. But for different reasons and personal preferences, some are better than others.

5. XXVIII 1993 Cowboys 30, Bills 13 – About as ho-hum as a Super Bowl can get, it was another expected blowout over another overmatched Bills’ team in the wake of Dallas’ bigger victory over the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. The Cowboys actually trailed at halftime, but dominated the second half, 24-0, by simply handing the ball to Emmitt Smith.

4. XII 1977 Cowboys 27, Broncos 10 – Beating former teammate Craig Morton and Denver’s hyped “Orange Crush” defense was satisfying, but topping a hapless opponent that committed eight turnovers hardly felt super. The sloppy Cowboys committed 12 penalties, two turnovers and allowed Roger Staubach to be sacked five times – and still won in a blowout. By far Dallas’ worst-played championship.

3. XXX 1995 Cowboys 27, Steelers 17 – Finally, the Cowboys exacted revenge from the hated rival that twice beat them in ‘70s’ Super Bowls. That in itself made this one memorable. But, honestly, the sensation was a tad dulled by Barry Switzer’s coaching, Larry Brown’s MVP and a hint that the dynasty was coming to an end. In retrospect, we should’ve enjoyed this one more at the time.

2. XXVII 1992 Cowboys 52, Bills 17 – A 15-year wait for another title was worth it as Garth Brooks and Michael Jackson performed at the Rose Bowl. Troy Aikman threw five touchdown passes and only Leon Lett’s premature celebration prevented Dallas for setting a Super Bowl record for most points scored.

1. VI 1971 Cowboys 24, Dolphins 3 – There’s always a special place in your heart for your first love, and Super Bowl. Devastating title-game losses to the Packers were finally erased by a dominating defense and Bob Lilly’s epic 29-yard sack of Bob Griese. "Next Year's Champions" no more. The feeling was 70 percent joy, 30 percent relief and 100 percent wonderful.

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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)]]>
<![CDATA[Dorsett to Auction Off Personal Memorabilia]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 10:57:15 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Tony-Dorsett-01.jpg

Former Cowboys great and NFL Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett has a lot of cool stuff he's putting up for auction that could all be yours for a hefty price, of course.

Dorsett stressed to the Dallas Morning News that the items won't include big-time items like Super Bowl rings or his Heisman Trophy — this isn't an O.J. Simpson-type auction, basically.

"A lot of it has been in storage for so long, it's been collecting dust," Dorsett, 61, told SportsDay on Tuesday. "Maybe there's some Cowboys fans, or football fans or sports fans in general who can appreciate it more than what I've been doing with it."

The featured Dorsett Collection items to be auctioned this weekend in San Francisco as part of the Hunt Auctions' Super Bowl 50 Live Auction include his 1975 Kodak All-American Award (estimated $2,000 to $4,000 value), his 1977 UPI NFC Rookie of the Year trophy ($20,000 to 40,000), his collection of Cowboys game footballs ($10,000 to $30,000) and one of his Pro Bowl jerseys ($2,000 to $4,000).

"There's some really good stuff, but my major, major stuff -- like the Heisman, my Super Bowl rings -- those ain't going nowhere," Dorsett said. "This isn't one of those type of deals."

A portion of the proceeds from the Dorsett Collection will go to Plano's Minnie's Food Pantry, a 501(c) 3 non-profit that provides food to Collin County families in need.

"You see a major city like Dallas and you see so many people who are homeless and without food, it's heartbreaking," Dorsett said. "So I decided to try to help those people. They're more in need than most."



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Coaches, Execs, Scouts Divided on RG3]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 10:39:56 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Robert+Griffin+III+GettyImages-484656342.jpg

Former Baylor standout and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III appeared to have the NFL wrapped around his finger after a standout rookie season that earned him Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

The NFL had no answer for his style of play, which incorporated the zone read game that he excelled at so much in college along with shoawcasing his big arm. But things quickly turned sour for RG3 and he's since fallen out of favor in Washington with the emergence of Kirk Cousins. He played in just one game in 2015 and was a healthy scratch for much of the season.

His ties to the Cowboys this offseason have been strong and several people have come out and said it'd be the perfect landing spot for the Copperas Cove native and Baylor hero. But what would the Cowboys be getting, exactly? And would he be willing to be a backup?

The Washington Post did an anonymous survey of NFL coaches, executives and scouts on the future of Griffin, and the results were mixed.

Of the dozen people interviewed for their story, the majority said they believe Griffin could be a starter for another team in 2016 and doesn't need to settle for a backup spot behind Tony Romo. They said that based off the fact he's more NFL ready than any quarterback in this draft class and he's displayed a great playmaking ability.

Said a pro scout from an NFC team: "There isn't a quarterback in this draft as talented as RGIII. They're all developmental guys that will need to hold the clipboard for a few years. Griffin can play right away."

Others said RG3's talents have been figured out and he can't do what he does best against NFL defenses anymore, and they also cited massive injury concerns.

"He was running a system the league had never seen before. Not on that scale," an NFC front-office executive said. "They didn't know how to stop it. But coaches are smart. They did their homework in the offseason, came back the next year, and that element of surprise doesn't exist anymore. So, RG doesn't scare them anymore."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Aikman: This is it for Manning]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 09:53:28 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/super-bowl-GettyImages-466653129.jpg

When Peyton Manning leaves the field at Levi's Stadium on Sunday, one former Super Bowl MVP and three-time championship quarterback thinks it'll be the final time Manning sees an NFL field as a player.

Troy Aikman, who of course led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles in four years in the early 1990s, said on 1310 The Ticket Thursday that he thinks this is it for the future Hall of Fame quarterback who leads the all-time list in just about every passing category possible.

Manning hasn't commented on his future, but reports surfaced after the AFC title game that he told New England head coach Bill Belichick this is his "last rodeo" in their postgame embrace. That has led to all kinds of speculation that Manning has tried his best to divert.

Aikman said Manning will play well in the game, something he didn't do in his last Super Bowl appearance two years ago against Seattle, but he simply can't make all the throws he used to make on a regular basis and will have to rely more on his defense like he did in the Broncos' win over the Patriots and the much more capable Tom Brady.

Reports came out on Wednesday that the Los Angeles Rams are trying to lure Manning to be their quarterback next year, but at this point, that seems like a far-fetched idea.

Are we set to watch the final game of one of the best quarterbacks of all time? Most likely so, but either way we should have an answer soon.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CNBC's Jim Cramer Joins Newy to Talk NFL]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 19:35:36 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/newy+scruggs+jim+cramer.jpg CNBC's Jim Cramer, host of 'Mad Money,' joins NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs to talk about Super Bowl 50 and several hot topics in the NFL.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Chris Cooley Thinks RG3 Will Land in Dallas]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 14:33:30 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-158824171.jpg

While the rumor mill in Dallas has been focusing its attention on Johnny Manziel, one former Washington Redskins tight end believes if a Heisman-winning quarterback in dire need of a change of scenery comes to the Cowboys this offseason, it’ll be his former teammate, Robert Griffin III.

Cooley played with Griffin in his rookie season of 2012, when he led Washington to an NFC East title.

"I'll tell you where he's going to go: He's going to go to Dallas,” Cooley told ESPN Radio 980 in Washington DC, via the Dallas Morning News. “He’s going to have a conversation with Jerry Jones in which Jerry Jones is going to say, 'I want you, I believe in you, Tony's not going to make it very much longer, he's probably not going to make it this year, and I believe you can do it.’

"And Jerry will show him more belief than any other owner, and he's going to like that ownership belief, because he's had ownership belief in the past. Not just a GM, not just a coach saying we like you. He's going to like it from the highest level, which is the only place he's going to get it from. The Dallas Cowboys have the only owner that will come and talk to him."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Irvin Hopes Cowboys Land Manziel, Says He'll Help Him]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 16:50:14 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/455446092.jpg

A whole lot of Dallas Cowboys fans seem to believe Johnny Manziel coming to Dallas is the worst idea they’ve ever heard.

Hall of Fame receiver and foremost Cowboys ambassador Michael Irvin is not one of them.

Not only did Irvin say he would like to see Johnny Manziel come to the Cowboys in a recent appearance on the Rich Eisen Show, he offered to help Manziel along himself—which is meaningful to some degree just because that’s pretty much what he said (and followed through on) when the team drafted Dez Bryant. The only difference is that drafting Dez was a good idea. This, maybe not as good of an idea.

In any case, Irvin remains a hopeful fan of Manziel’s.

"I love the game of football and the game of football saves lives," Irvin said, via the Dallas Morning News. "If you can get a young guy, Johnny Manziel won a Heisman Trophy at 18-19 years old. He is still growing up. I don't know why we think if a guy can throw a football it makes him the most mature person in the world. There will come a time when he will cross over that threshold and become a great football player and I am willing to work with him on that and I hope the Cowboys do get him.

"I know this kid has worked hard to get where he is. Let's give the kid another shot, he lands in a better spot and get around the right kind of people. Help him become a better football player and a better man. That's what the game of football does."
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Romo, Cowboys to Make Decision on Surgery in Four Weeks]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 16:34:00 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-503288576.jpg

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has said he might have a plate inserted to reinforce his healing collarbone, which was fractured not once, but twice during the 2015 season, but nothing is set in stone yet.

According to Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas, a decision on the surgery won’t be made until Romo and team doctors reconvene in four weeks.

Romo had a CT scan last week, according to Archer, which showed good bone growth. If he doesn’t have the plate inserted, he could undergo a different kind of procedure, called the Mumford procedure, which involves the distal portion of the clavicle being shaved down. That surgery comes with a recovery time of 6-8 weeks, which would allow Romo to return in time for organized team activities, which begin in May.

Because of the collarbone troubles, Romo started just four games in 2015, and posted a 3-1 record. Backups in Romo’s absence, meanwhile, went 1-11.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wentz Goes to Dallas at No. 4 in McShay's Second Mock Draft]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 16:34:29 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/454387910.jpg

The draft stock of North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz was still rising as of last week’s Senior Bowl practices, and now, ESPN draft expert Todd McShay has Wentz going to the Cowboys at No. 4 overall in his latest mock.

It’s McShay’s second mock draft of the season. In his first, he had the Cowboys taking Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith at that spot.

Of course, the Cowboys are in need of both a solid backup quarterback and an heir apparent to Tony Romo, and Jerry Jones has said the best case scenario in his mind would involve bringing someone in who can fill both roles. Meanwhile, Wentz spent all last week working with the Cowboys’ staff at the Senior Bowl, where Jason Garrett and his staff coached the North side.

"He was good," Wentz said of Garrett, per the Dallas Morning News. "Just talking with him and all the coaches, you can just tell that they're very smart. They know the game. Being around guys like that is just going to benefit me going forward."
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scouting the NFL Draft: DL Robert Nkemdiche]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 11:59:43 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-454309812.jpg

Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss
Ht. 6050*, Wt. 296, Arm: -, Hand: -", Bench: -
40 yd: -, 10 yd.: -, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: -, Broad: -
Games Watched: Alabama, Florida, Mississippi St.

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.

Ole Miss hit a home run when they landed Robert Nkemdiche — the consensus No. 1 overall recruit — in 2013. He was named a second-team All America during his junior and senior seasons and he finished his college career with 7 sacks, 19 TFL, 2 rushing touchdowns, a 31yard touchdown reception and a blocked field goal attempt in 35 games.

The stats Nkemdiche put up certainly don't fit with his lofty recruiting status. Add in his December arrest for possession of synthetic marijuana after falling from a hotel window, and he 

Strengths

• Exceptional Athlete - Unfair blend of strength, speed
• Length - Long arms, uses them for leverage
• Pass Rush Moves - Spins and swims
• Scheme Diverse - Can man one or two gaps
• Ideal Frame - How you draw up a 5T
• Uses Hands Well - Keeps OL from locking him up
• Versatile - Can play anything from 1T to EDGE
• Bats Passes - Arms up against pass
• Improvement - Better football player each year

Weaknesses

• Poor Play Recognition - Can lose track of ball
• Bad Run Fits - Loses gap integrity at times
• Fooled by Cadence - Can be drawn offside
• Falls Out Windows - Seriously...

Verdict: Top-5 Pick

Nkemdiche is going to beat the guy or guys lined up across from him most of the time, though he doesn't always make the play. He'll wow you with his freakish athleticism and the plays he usually makes, but there are just enough missed plays to give teams pause early in the draft. And he'll have to answer some questions about the hotel incident.

Nkemdiche is not yet the sum of his parts, but he's improving and he has All-Pro potential if he puts it all together. If the Cowboys are looking for an impact player at No. 4 overall, they should look no further than Nkemdiche, who has the ability to impact games more than any other non-QB in this draft.

*Format for height used at the NFL Scouting Combine. First digit is height in feet, second two digits are inches and the fourth digit is eighth inches (e.g. 6052 is 6"5 1/4")



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<![CDATA[Cowboys Searching for Defensive Assistant With History]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 10:30:16 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/82226866.jpg

The Cowboys’ search to replace departed secondary coach Jerome Henderson is leading them back to the future. As in they will today interview Mike Nolan, whose father, Dick, was a team assistant for 15 years during the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Head coach Jason Garrett has also interviewed Tim Lewis, Al Golden and Steve Brown about the vacancy in the wake of Henderson’s departure to be the Falcons’ passing game defensive coordinator.

Remember not that long ago when NFL teams had merely a head coach? Or, more recently, only a head coach flanked by offensive and defensive coordinators?

Those times – like the game itself – have been chopped into tiny pieces and sub-parts. The Falcons now have a defensive coordinator who is solely in charge of defending passing plays. Geez.

Nolan has been in the NFL since ’87, including stints as the 49ers’ head coach and defensive coordinator of the Falcons.

Coming off a disappointing 4-12 season and with several assistants with expiring contracts, the Cowboys’ coaching staff will be tweaked in 2016. But, obviously, who they replace Henderson with takes a back seat to whom they select with the No. 4 pick in the draft.

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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dear Jerry, No Johnny Football]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 19:54:42 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453788746.jpg

Dear Jerry Jones,

Let me get right to it, do not trade for/or sign Johnny Manziel once the Cleveland Browns cut him.

I understand you fell in love with the exciting play maker who dazzled the Cotton Bowl Classic crowd in your stadium a few years against the Oklahoma Sooners but he is not Johnny Football anymore.

Johnny Manziel has become so toxic the Browns released a statement saying they are done with him and will cut him March 9.

Jerry, you were voted down by your own employees when it came time to draft Manziel. You will have a second chance to get your guy but you can't make the move because Manziel is not serious about being a football player.

Yes, you took chances on Pacman Jones, Tank Johnson, Alonzo Spellman, Greg Hardy and T.O. Not one of those players helped you win a championship. The last good gamble on a player with character issues that paid off with a Cowboys title was Charles Haley, but he came to town as a two-time Super Bowl champion from San Francisco.

Manziel has not shown anyone he cares about being a professional quarterback. The former Heisman Trophy winner has shown us he cares more about his nightlife than the film room. This is not what Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett needs.

If Manziel didn't care enough to put in the work to be the starting quarterback in Cleveland what makes you, me or anyone think he really wants to carry a clipboard backing up starter Tony Romo?

Jerry, you have to let go of the notion you can fix Manziel. Forget what he did at Texas A&M because college glory fades fast in the NFL. Manziel was in rehab last year and still has yet to let us know exactly what his issue or issues are. That should raise red flags.

You don't need to sell #2 jerseys. You make enough money. You saw the Hardy experiment didn't work last year. Stop taking players with issues Jerry.

Say no to Johnny Football again.

Sincerely,

Newy Scruggs



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Witten Named Best Trash Talker Cowboys Have to Offer]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 14:34:05 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-488176750.jpg

Who is the best trash talker on the Dallas Cowboys?

The answer might surprise you. Seriously.

ESPN’s NFL Nation put together a list of the best smack talker on each team in the NFL this week, and the Cowboys’ representative is not the always-effusive Dez Bryant, as one might think, but Jason Witten—the tight end who, to hear announcers speak of him, might as well carry a lunch pail onto the field each game.

“People might think the answer is wide receiver Dez Bryant, but the correct answer is tight end Jason Witten,” ESPN Dallas’s Todd Archer writes. “In training camp, he is constantly carping on the defense after he makes a catch or if the offense dominates in a drill. Witten's trash talk isn't about him being the greatest. He can be sarcastic and sharp with his wit the way Larry Bird was on the basketball court. Neither was demonstrative with his talk, but their delivery mattered.”

Two other players with Cowboys ties made the list, in Bengals’ cornerback Pacman Jones and Bears tight end Marcellus Bennett.



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<![CDATA[Two Candidates Emerge in Cowboys' Search for Secondary Coach]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 14:08:22 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Helmet+Field.jpg

Two names have already emerged in connection with the Dallas Cowboys’ search for longtime secondary coach Jerome Henderson’s replacement, in Tim Lewis and Mike Nolan, and both will reportedly be interviewed for the position in the near future, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Henderson had been the secondary coach since 2012 but, after interviewing for the Browns’ head coaching vacancy and the defensive coordinator job with the Jacksonville Jaguars, he left for the title of defensive passing game coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons.

Lewis spent this season coaching the 49ers defensive backs, and held that job with the Falcons, Seahawks and Panthers. He served as defensive coordinator with the Steelers from 2000 to 2003 and the Giants from 2007 to 2008.

Nolan, the candidate with the most name recognition we’d imagine, was the head coach of the 49ers from 2005 to 2008. Since then, he’s served as defensive coordinator in Denver, Miami and Atlanta. He spent 2015 coaching linebackers in San Diego.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wade Phillips: "I'm Lucky to be Where I Am"]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 13:50:16 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/wade-phillips-722.jpg

Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips was not the Denver Broncos’ first choice as defensive coordinator last offseason.

The Broncos set out to interview Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph for the position, but Miami stonewalled them. Phillips got the job after that of course, and a calendar year after his hiring, the Broncos are in the Super Bowl on the back of the defense Phillips runs.

After spending 2014 out of football completely, Phillips feels lucky to be where he is, at the mountain top of the professional game.

“I do. I’m lucky to be where I am in some ways,” Phillips said, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. “I think I’ve earned a lot of it, but you still have to be lucky. Just look how this year turned out. I didn’t have a job last year. I thought I was going to get one, guys that thought they were going to get a job didn’t get it. This year, pretty much the same thing was happening and I did get the interview at Washington, didn’t get that job. And I was second place at Denver, but it worked out great for me. Sometimes you’re at the right place at the right time.”



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<![CDATA[On Deck: Super Bowl 50]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 13:39:19 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/super-bowl-GettyImages-466653129.jpg

On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every postseason game during the 2015 season.

The Teams: The Panthers have been the best, most impressive team in football all year and have just one loss on their ledger heading into the Super Bowl. They have the favorite for NFL MVP honors in quarterback Cam Newton and a defense that isn't getting enough credit. Why aren't they? Well, that's because Denver's defense is probably the best in football and is fresh off a complete domination of Tom Brady in the AFC Championship Game.

Past Meetings: These teams have only met four times, and the Broncos have won three of those. Their last meeting was in 2012, which was a 36-14 Broncos win in Charlotte. Of course, Cam Newton wasn't in the NFL then, and Peyton Manning was with the Colts.

Who's Hot: Peyton Manning's numbers against the Patriots weren't the best, but he succeeded where it counted. He threw two touchdown passes and didn't turn the ball over. His two touchdowns were to tight end Owen Daniels, who caught two perfectly thrown balls for his only two catches of the game. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware were monsters on the pass rush, combining for three sacks of Brady and constant pressure. They'll be looking to get to Newton and punish him early and often.

Good lord, the Panthers were unstoppable against the Cardinals, and it all started with Newton. The Panthers QB threw for 335 yards on 19 completions for two touchdowns and a pick while rushing for 47 yards and two touchdowns. Corey Brown and Greg Olsen each had 113 receiving yards for the Panthers. Luke Keuchly had his second straight playoff game with a pick-6.

Who's Not: Not much to say here about Denver, but their rushing game has left a lot to be desired lately. C.J. Anderson did rush for 72 yards against the Patriots and Ronnie Hillman added 16 on 11 carries.

Can't really say anything bad about Carolina right now, as the Panthers enter this game as an overwhelming favorite.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Eagles To Shelve Search for Personnel Chief Until After Draft]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 13:37:03 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/eagles-helmet.jpg

The Philadelphia Eagles fully intend to find a new personnel chief this offseason, but their search will reportedly be tabled until after the 2016 NFL Draft.

The firing of Chip Kelly and his personnel guy, Ed Marynowitz, led to executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman getting much of the power he lost a year before back, and now the team wants to add a personnel guy to head up the scouting department and collaborate with him. They’ve even interviewed a couple of candidates, but Geoff Mosher of 97.5-FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia reports that the team has decided to put a pin in it for now.

“The Eagles, who have no scouting chief after firing coach Chip Kelly and top personnel executive Ed Marynowitz, are looking for a high-ranking senior executive to lead the scouting department and determine the fate of current scouts, per sources, but they opened their search at a time when NFL teams are knee deep in the pre-draft process and would be reluctant to allow a top personnel executive to leave,” Mosher writes, per the Eagles Scouting Nest.

Among those interviewed by the Eagles before they temporarily called off the search were former Steelers director of pro scouting Brandon Hunt and former Browns executive Morocco Brown.

]]>
<![CDATA[Briles Says Cowboys "Great Place" for RG3]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 12:25:57 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-158824171.jpg

The talk about Robert Griffin III joining the Dallas Cowboys won't die down, especially not with the latest problems for the other big-named, young quarterback seemingly available in Johnny Manziel.

Both are from Texas. Both starred at Texas universities in college football and both won the Heisman Trophy. They're both electrifying runners. That's about where the similarities between the two end.

Baylor coach Art Briles, a Texas native himself, said recently that the Cowboys would be a dream come true for his former quarterback, even if means it's a backup role behind Tony Romo that could possibly lead to a replacement gig when Romo's career is over.

"You could have a dream. That would probably be making it come true," Briles told the Dallas Morning News from Senior Bowl practices last week. "That would be a great place for him. It's a great organization; being back in Texas and with the Cowboys and having a chance to get in there under Romo for three years. Not that they need to sell tickets, but it wouldn't hurt ticket sales."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Sitting Nicely In Super Bowl LI Odds]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 11:09:21 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/187*120/romo+again+injured.jpg

It seems to be the case every year just because the Dallas Cowboys are so popular, but Super Bowl LI odds are already out in Vegas and the Cowboys sit at 15-1 odds to win it all, putting them in a tie with the Cardinals, Bengals and even the current NFC rep Carolina Panthers.

Ahead of that group are the Packers (12-1), Seahawks and Steelers (10-1) and then the favorite Patriots at 8-1. The AFC rep this week, the Broncos, are just behind the Cowboys at 20-1 along with the Colts.

Unlike other years when the Cowboys are high up the odds charts out of popularity, there might be some legitimacy to this one given the fact they hope to have Tony Romo back healthy next season, not to mention Dez Bryant.

To see the Panthers at 15-1, however, seems a bit crazy given the way they look to be set up for the future and the fact they get their best wide receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, back next season. I'd make that bet in a heartbeat.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dez Wants Hardy Back in Dallas]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 11:00:36 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dez+Bryant+120815.jpg

Last week several media reports surfaced saying the Cowboys front office was leaning toward not bringing back Greg Hardy in 2016 after he played 2015 under a one-year, incentive-based deal from which he got about the minimum amount of money possible due to his extreme lack of performance.

Hardy, of course, has all kinds of excess baggage and it appears the Cowboys are finished with the headaches after one season, especially given the fact he just didn't perform outside of his first game of the season after serving a four-game suspension.

But at least one of his teammates is coming forward and saying he wants Hardy back in silver and blue in 2016.

“You see guys perform at a high level around him, and that’s what he brings to the defense,” Bryant told the Sporting News. “I know I would love to see Greg back with us. He’s a great teammate. I love him. I hope we can get him back. Greg Hardy loves the game. Anybody who loves the game, I love him.”

Hardy recorded six sacks, with three of those coming in that Cowboys debut, 35 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in 12 games after serving the four-game suspension by the NFL.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Weeden Speaks Out About Jerry's Comments]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 10:55:10 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-491358144.jpg

Looking back in hindsight, it seems safe to say the Cowboys' 4-12 season wasn't a result of Brandon Weeden's play at quarterback after Tony Romo broke his collarbone the first time.

Weeden struggled, there's no doubt, but you could make a pretty solid case he was better than the guy the Cowboys replaced him with via trade in Matt Cassel. Remember, it was Weeden who was behind center when the Cowboys lost consecutive games to Atlanta and New Orleans — both games where the Cowboys' offense wasn't the problem.

So when the Cowboys brought in Cassel and sent Weeden packing upon Romo's game-and-a-half return before his subsequent broken collarbone, Jerry Jones made some comments about being more prepared at backup quarterback in 2016 than they were in 2015, and they understandably rubbed Weeden the wrong way.

Weeden joined Ben and Skin on 105.3 The Fan on Monday to address his time in Dallas before he went off to be the Texans' backup and actually got a big win down the stretch in relief of Brian Hoyer.

"I heard about them. The whole coach comment, obviously that was directed at him, but in a joking manner. He kind of threw some shots at me, not only while I was there, but after I was gone. I didn't think it was appropriate at the time. I was out of there and they were still trying to win games. I just thought they were kind of uncalled for, personally. I know no one is going to stand up for me, so I have to kind of stand up for myself a little bit. I have no hard feelings toward him and definitely no one in that organization."

Weeden also talked about his own regrets that his time in Dallas didn't work out being an Oklahoma native and growing up a Cowboys fan.

"I wanted it to work out so bad. Growing up here in Oklahoma City, I always dreamed of playing football and having a star on my helmet. I think every little kid in this area did. I just wish we could've found a way to win at least two of those games I was starting. Things would've been completely different. I can't really say I have any regrets because I really didn't think I played all that bad, especially in the first two. ... The thing I guess I regret the most is just not finding a way to make one play to make a difference and give us a chance to win one or two of those games. I wanted to so badly for not only the organization but to keep things going for Tony, guys like Jason Witten and guys like that who have been doing it for a long time."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scouting the NFL Draft: DB Jalen Ramsey]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 13:04:56 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-496171772.jpg

Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
Ht. 6010*, Wt. 202, Arm: -, Hand: 10", Bench: -
40 yd: -, 10 yd.: -, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: -, Broad: -
Games Watched: Notre Dame (2014), Louisville, N.C. State

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.

Being the first true freshman to start at cornerback for Florida State since Deion Sanders should tell you all you need to know about Jalen Ramsey's potential. The former 5-star recruit spent three seasons making plays in many different ways for the Seminoles. He finished his career with 22 passes defended, 15.5 TFL, 5 sacks and 3 interceptions in 45 games.

After starting his career as a cornerback, Ramsey he saw significant time at nearly every position in the secondary. Outside cornerback, slot cornerback, safety...he was effective in every role for the Seminoles. That versatility is one of many qualities that will make him attractive to NFL teams.

Strengths

• Great Instincts - Quickly diagnoses plays
• Fast - Good closing, recovery speed
• Efficient Feet - Little wasted motion
• Good in Coverage - Good in press, bail, man, zone, etc.
• Technical - Good backpedal, plant/drive, hand use
• Willing Run Defender - Seems eager to hit RBs
• Physical - Plays like a Seattle DB
• Versatile - Will excel in any role in NFL secondary

Weaknesses

• Overly Aggressive - Susceptible to double moves
• Ballhawk? - Only 3 INTs in 45 games
• Struggles With Crossers - Could suggest slow change of direction
• Tackling Issues - Technique breaks down at times

Verdict: Top-5 Pick

Watching Ramsey is like watching a young Ed Reed who can play cornerback. I think his best role will be something close to what Tyrann Mathieu does for the Arizona Cardinals or what Charles Woodson did for Green Bay.

The Cowboys selected a safety/slot cornerback hybrid in the first round last year with Byron Jones. But when you factor in player potential, scheme fit and team need, Jalen Ramsey might be the best player available for Dallas to pick at No. 4.

*Format for height used at the NFL Scouting Combine. First digit is height in feet, second two digits are inches and the fourth digit is eighth inches (e.g. 6052 is 6"5 1/4")



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<![CDATA[Randle's Ugly Spiral Highlights Cowboys' Personnel Flaws]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 09:59:27 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/randle-leaving-jail-112515.jpg

The Cowboys have been criticized for coveting the nut job named Johnny Manziel. But it’s becoming more and more apparent that they drafted – and gave a starting job to – an even bigger knucklehead named Joseph Randle.

The former running back, who entered 2015 as the team’s No. 1 option in the wake of DeMarco Murray’s departure to the Eagles, is sadly continuing his downward spiral since leaving football.

Randle was arrested Monday in Irving on an outstanding speeding charge, his fourth time in handcuffs in 18 months.

But while Manziel was recently hunted by Fort Worth police helicopters, Randle’s demise again calls into question the Cowboys’ eye for personnel – and personality. The Cowboys drafted Randle in the 5th round of 2013 and thought so highly of him that – even after an arrest in Frisco for shoplifting and another in Kansas for alleged domestic dispute – they counted on him to be their premier running back.

The first two times he touched the ball against the Falcons in September, Randle ran for 28 and 37 yards for touchdowns. But just five weeks after his 87-yard, three-touchdown performance, he was released by the Cowboys for essentially being a loose cannon.

The Dallas Morning News now reports Randle was released partially because he was illegally gambling on sports. And although he denied the allegations – “no truth at all” – in a text response to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, it’s clear that Randle isn’t ready for life, much less life in the NFL.

After stealing cologne and underwear, Randle cracked jokes in jail. The mother of his child claimed his pointed a gun at her. And now he might have bet on sports while playing in the NFL.

Another unsightly feather in the Cowboys’ crappy cap of character assessment.

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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Big Game Sunday: What Should The Cowboys Do In The Draft?]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 21:54:18 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Watkins_Holley_Monday_1200x675_613726275736.jpg NBC 5's David Watkins and former Cowboys wide receiver and 105.3 The Fan's Jesse Holley discuss what the Cowboys should do with the 4th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.]]> <![CDATA[Troy Aikman Gets Personal About Melanoma]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 19:50:02 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/aikman-on-murray.jpg

Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman is making a personal announcement about his battle with Stage II melanoma, in hopes of raising awareness about the deadly disease.

Aikman is part of the "Melanoma Just Got Personal" campaign, saying in a video on initiative's website, "I happened to notice a spot on my back when I was drying off after I'd showered."

Aikman goes on to say his sisters, both nurses, took a look at it and told him to get it checked with his Dallas dermatologist.

"They did a biopsy, and a week later I got a call and they said I needed to come in and see them, and he told me it was melanoma. Even at that time, that meant nothing to me. I didn't even know what melanoma was," Aikman says.

That was in 1998, and Aikman said luckily he caught it in the early stages.

"Now I get checked twice a year and try to stay on top of it as best I can," Aikman said.

Aikman said he wants to empower and educate patients and caregivers of melanoma and bring awareness about the advancements of therapy options.

"I want to help those fighting for their lives to learn everything they can about this disease," said Aikman.

On the Web | Melanoma Just Got Personal



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Despite 27-16 Loss, Garrett Relishes Senior Bowl Experience]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 13:18:56 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-500375712.jpg

The Senior Bowl is a pretty huge deal for Jason Garrett.

Aside from it being a crucial step in the pre-draft scouting process, Garrett has childhood memories associated with the game. His father, a member of the New York Giants staff at the time, coached the North side in the 1972 edition of the game.

"I'll never forget him saying, 'There's a great running back from Penn State named Franco Harris. I had a chance to coach him,’” Garrett said, per the Dallas Morning News. "For years afterward, we would see Franco Harris play, and I'd say, 'Dad, didn't you coach him in the Senior Bowl?'

"So all the great ones have been through here. To get a chance to be a part of it is a special experience for us."

Garrett’s (and his Cowboys staff’s) North team lost 27-16 to the South, but the outcome didn’t seem to dampen the Cowboys’ head coach’s spirits any.

"To get a chance to be a part of it all week long, coach these guys, a lot of these players are going to have bright futures in the NFL," Garrett said. "To say that we first saw them at the Senior Bowl, had a chance to coach them day in and day out and be around them, it's a privilege for us to be able to do that."
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Blandino Not Expecting "Any Major Changes" to Catch Rules]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 12:56:34 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/461347692.jpg

The NFL’s vice president of officiating and Dallas Cowboys fans’ favorite person Dean Blandino took some time to discuss the always discussable catch rules—which remain so that no one seems to be sure what a catch is or isn’t—prior to the Pro Bowl, and said the league is happy with the rules the way they are.

"We think that the rule is in a good place right now. I really think it's just communicating the rule and educating," Blandino told Will Brinson of CBS Sports. "There's a subjective element to the rule so there are always going to be those plays where we debate [what happened]."

Of course, the fact that Roger Goodell went to the trouble of putting together a catch committee to revisit the catch rules this offseason would seem to suggest that major changes are coming, but Blandino says that might not be the case.

In fact, it probably won’t.

"Maybe there's another tweak," Blandino said. "But I don't anticipate any major changes."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dez Feels the Cowboys Are Closer Than 4-12 Would Suggest]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 12:40:37 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/194*120/496337222.jpg

The worst record in the NFC notwithstanding, Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant doesn’t believe the team is any further from contending for a championship than they were at this time last year, after the 2014 season ended with a divisional round loss to the Packers and they looked to be on the upswing.

Of course, the 2015 season sure looked like a step back. Bryant was lost to a broken foot in the opener and Tony Romo was lost to a fractured collarbone—the first of two this season—the very next week. The Cowboys were still in it in the NFC East when Romo returned in November, but the second collarbone fracture left no doubt that it just wasn’t their year.

But Bryant doesn’t believe it was truly a step back.

“I’ll tell you this—every year you have a chance to go to the Super Bowl,” Bryant told CBSSports.com. “I honestly think we have moved a step closer even though our record doesn't show it. I still think we're a damn good football team and we had an unfortunate situation no one could do anything about. I think right now we had an opportunity to get our mind right and understand what we have at stake.

“This doesn't last long, this team won't be together for a while, we have damn near all the pieces together, we have to somehow get it to back to where it's been. I just feel like injuries took a toll on us and we have to live with it and get better from it.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Leave Their Mark on the 2016 Pro Bowl]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 12:24:05 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/sean-lee-probowl.jpg

Five Dallas Cowboys ended up being in the Pro Bowl and all five ended up on Team Irvin, the winning side in the 2016 Pro Bowl by a final of 49-27 over Team Rice.

Linebacker Sean Lee, left tackle Tyron Smith, right guard Zack Martin, center Travis Frederick and kicker Dan Bailey represented the Cowboys this year in Hawaii, and provided a couple of highlights in the winning effort.

Martin and Smith started the game; Bailey didn’t attempt a field goal but was 5-of-5 on extra points; Frederick switched places with the Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston to take the snap in the victory formation on the final play of the game; and Lee, in his first Pro Bowl, had one of Team Irvin’s six interceptions.

Lee’s pick was made all the more sweet, we would imagine anyway, by the fact that it was thrown by the Giants’ Eli Manning.

]]>
<![CDATA[Scouting the NFL Draft: EDGE Joey Bosa]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 07:06:40 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-460418903.jpg

Joey Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Ht. 6050*, Wt. 275, Arm: -, Hand: -, Bench: -
40 yd: -, 10 yd.: -, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: -, Broad: -
Games Watched: Michigan State (2014), Penn State, Michigan State

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.

Draftniks have had their eyes on Ohio State EDGE defender Joey Bosa since he burst onto the scene with a 7.5-sack, 13.5-TFL season as a true freshman in 2013. He had an even better sophomore season, notching 13.5 sacks and 21.5 TFL on his way to being named the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All America.

During his junior season, Bosa faced more double teams and his numbers declined. His production, did not decline, though, as he consistently negated two blockers or disrupted plays from the backfield. If disruption is production, Bosa produced at a high level for three years at a big-time program.

Strengths

• Speed to Power - Excellent bull rush will translate to the NFL
• Stout v Run - Holds ground, even against double teams
• Uses Length, Hands - Sheds well, keeps himself clean
• Technical - Variety of pass-rush moves
• Athleticism - Agile for his size with good closing speed
• Disciplined - Reads offenses well and is rarely out of position
• Youth - He'll still be 20 when drafted
• Pedigree - Father and uncle were first-round picks in the 80s

Weaknesses

• Trouble Disengaging - Eliminated when blockers get into his body
• Lacks Elite Burst - Not as explosive as future NFL peers
• Doesn't Use Edge - Doesn't bend around edge/run the arc
• Misses Tackles - Whiffs at times when in position to make a play
• Drawn Offiside - Fooled by snap count too often

Verdict: Top-10 Pick

You'll see a lot of comparisons to Jared Allen, Chris Long and Ryan Kerrigan for Bosa, but he wins in the same ways current Raider and former Giant Justin Tuck does. Bosa isn't the most explosive EDGE defender, but he uses his strength, athleticism and technique to disrupt offenses in a variety of ways.

Bosa has a future as an every-down defender who can line up anywhere from 3T to 3-4 OLB. He might not be an elite prospect, but he'd be a good bet to make the Cowboys defense better right away. If Dallas decides against drafting a QB in the first round, Bosa makes a lot of sense at No. 4 overall.

*Format for height used at the NFL Scouting Combine. First digit is height in feet, second two digits are inches and the fourth digit is eighth inches (e.g. 6052 is 6"5 1/4")



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Former Cowboys' RB Randle Arrested in Irving]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 09:14:52 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/randle-irving-mug.jpg

Former Dallas Cowboy's running back Joseph Randle was arrested early Monday morning after police said they found him looking for a missing vehicle at his ex-girlfriend's Irving home.

Irving police said they responded to a call at Randle's ex-girlfriend's home on the 1700 block of Finley Road after Randle showed up and rang her doorbell at about 3 a.m.

Randle told police he drove to Irving from Kansas looking for a car that went missing.

Police said they arrested Randle after they ran his name and found a warrant for an unpaid speeding ticket in Coppell.

As of 8:30 a.m. Monday, Randle was still in jail.

CLICK HERE to read more from our media partners at The Dallas Morning News.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/Dallas Police Department
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