<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Blue Star]]> Copyright 2014 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 Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:25:56 -0500 Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:25:56 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[DeMarcus Ware Still Wants to Retire as a Cowboy]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:25:41 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/demarcus-ware-midseason.jpg

DeMarcus Ware spent nine seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, leaving in free agency this offseason as the franchise’s all-time sacks leader and one of the best defensive players to wear the star. Now a Bronco--having signed a three-year deal in March, shortly after he was released by the Cowboys in a cost-cutting move--Ware hopes to return to Dallas when it’s all said and done and retire with the team that drafted him.

You know, before, and just talking to Jerry, we talked about that,” Ware said during a conference call ahead of Thursday’s Cowboys-Broncos preseason game. “He’s just like, ‘You know what, I want you to be able to come back here and retire as a Dallas Cowboy.’ That’s a big goal of mine.”

Ware left the Cowboys having posted 574 tackles, 117 sacks, 32 forced fumbles and a pair of interceptions, but was slowed by injuries in the last couple of seasons. Even considering the injuries, Ware was surprised that the Cowboys let him go.

“I thought I was always going to be a Dallas Cowboy,” Ware said. “That was really, really big for me. I played well for nine years, so I never thought that they would get rid of me.”

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<![CDATA[Matt Johnson Cut Without a Snap]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:08:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/175605280.jpg

The Matt Johnson Era officially ended Tuesday, two years after the Cowboys drafted him, but, actually, before it even began.

Johnson was a promising safety from Eastern Washington, taken in the 4th round in 2012. He was athletic. Fast. A ballhawk in a position where the Cowboys desperately needed playmakers.

But as the Cowboys approach their preseason finale of the 2014 season, we still haven’t seen Johnson in a regular season game. And we never will. At least with a star on his helmet.

After another injury-plagued training camp the Cowboys finally cut Johnson Tuesday. It’s another maddening miss in the draft, the kind that has left Dallas with minimal depth and struggling to stay on their 8-8 treadmill. Fourth-round picks are supposed to start, or at least contribute on special teams. But Johnson could never stay on the field.

As a rookie in 2012 he pulled both hamstrings and suffered from back problems. In 2013 he tore ligaments in his ankle and spent the season on injured reserve after surgery. This year he suffered another hamstring injury early in camp.

Blinded by what they saw in his potential, the Cowboys were overly patient with Johnson. But clearly it was time to give up.

Matt Johnson, the Cowboy who never played a single snap in the regular season.

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[Henry Melton Open to Playing on Thursday]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:25:46 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/melton1517790631.jpg

Coming off a season cut short by a torn ACL, Cowboys defensive tackle Henry Melton says he’s healthy and ready to play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Broncos at Cowboys Stadium--if the coaches want him to, anyway.

Nothing is set in stone yet,” Melton told the team’s official website. “I’m going to listen to what they tell me. We’ll sit down and talk about it and see if I should get some reps. Or we’ll just wait until San Fran.”

Melton is the biggest acquisition of the Cowboys’ offseason, but fans still haven’t got a glimpse of the former Chicago Bear and University of Texas product. The team has eased him along throughout camp, and he was held out of the team’s first three preseason games.

Even though starters like Melton are almost always held out of the final preseason game, he says he’s open to whatever the coaches want to do.

“It doesn’t really matter to me,” Melton said. “Sitting out another week, it might let my knee heal a little bit. But it did set back my conditioning. I might need a little more reps before we get to the game. But we’ll see.”

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<![CDATA[Mo Claiborne Sore, But Feeling Better]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:20:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mo-claiborne-played-horrible.jpg

Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne remains sore after spraining the AC joint in his shoulder earlier in camp, but he’s feeling better each day and says he’ll play in Thursday’s preseason finale if the coaching staff wants him to see some live snaps before the regular season opener.

Claiborne has missed all three of the Cowboys’ preseason games thus far, with the shoulder issue and, earlier, a case of tendinitis in his knee.

It’s an AC sprain, so you know it’s going to be sore,” Claiborne said, per ESPN Dallas. “I don’t know if you ever had one before, but they get pretty sore. After a week or so, I don’t think it’ll be healed. It’s better, definitely better. I have more range of motion in it. I can reach up now. It’s getting better each and every day. It’s up to the coaches [at] game time.”

If Claiborne does play Thursday, it’ll mark just the third preseason contest he’s participated in over his career.

“I don’t know how many snaps they want me to play,” Claiborne said, “but whatever they want me to do, I’m up to do it.”

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<![CDATA[Dez Ready to Shelf Contract Talks]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:19:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453320170.jpg

It looks like if the Cowboys don’t get a long-term deal done with wide receiver Dez Bryant in the next week and a half or so, it’ll be a good while before we hear any more about it.

According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas
, Bryant is set to shelf contract talks for the season if a deal isn’t done before the Week 1 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers.

"Once the season starts, I'm all in," Bryant said. "I've got this team to worry about. ... The work that I put in, the love, the real love, the real passion that I have for this game overtakes everything. I honestly feel like what I do sooner or later, I'm going to get what I deserve. I believe it. That's why I don't stress about. There's no need to stress about it. It's coming. I know it's coming. So no need to worry about it."

To be sure, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants to get a deal done, too. But he understands Bryant’s stance regarding what could potentially be a distraction--if not for Bryant, for other players in a similar position.

"That's not uncommon and it makes all the sense in the world," Jones said. "I know Dez, know him well and he wants to have his mind on nothing but football. Obviously, he wants to be responsible as it pertains to his business, but it's a pleasure to have someone that the only thing other than his family that matters to him is playing football for the Dallas Cowboys. I know he wants to be able to walk out there against San Francisco and not think about anything else. That's a plus for everybody."

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<![CDATA[Tony Romo Back at Practice]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:49:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453705930.jpg

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo returned to the field on Tuesday after being held out of the team’s workout on Monday, a precautionary move after he absorbed three sacks in Saturday night’s dress rehearsal game in Miami. It is the seventh practice he’s missed since training camp began in July.

Romo won’t be on the field on Thursday, when Dallas will host the Broncos at AT&T Stadium for the preseason finale, and the team won’t gather for a full practice again until this Saturday.

The week after that, the team will open up the regular season against the San Francisco 49ers, and Romo should be good to go for that one.

Romo, of course, is coming off a procedure to repair a herniated disk in his back back in December. At the time, it was the second back surgery he had undergone in a span of eight months. 

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<![CDATA[Stephen Jones Wants to Change NFL Roster Rules]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:28:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jerry-stephen-cowboys-camp-072814.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys have to trim their roster from 90 to 75 by 3 PM on Tuesday afternoon, and from 75 to 53 by Saturday afternoon. If executive vice president Stephen Jones had his druthers, this system would be tweaked a bit.

Namely, instead of two rounds of cuts would be condensed to one round. He also believes the NFL should change the system so these cuts aren’t required until after the final week of the preseason, rather than during.

“At the end of the day, I would be on the side that you ought to cut them at one time. And I think we can work through all the logistics, the physicals and everything that goes with it,” he said. “But that’s one man’s opinion and we put  a lot of work and a lot of thought process into that and you certainly respect the people you work on the committee with and certainly respect where it might end up in terms of a vote, but it wouldn’t surprise me at some point if that changes.”

The Cowboys got the cuts started on Monday, when they cut ties with defensive tackle Martez Wilson and fullback J.C. Copeland.

“There are jobs up for grabs,” Jones said. “I think we obviously start right now, starting yesterday, going through a test of who now and what could change and there’s a handful of guys here who are battling and let’s see how they answer the bell on Thursday and here we go.”

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Photo Credit: Jose Sanchez, NBC 5 Photojournalist]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys' Defense Gets a Lift With Spencer's Return]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:07:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/158439069.jpg

Something about as rare as a Rangers’ victory this season: Positive news for your Cowboys’ defense.

Anthony Spencer won’t be ready for Week 1 against the 49ers, but he’s progressed to the point where he will soon be removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list and will be on the field early in the regular season. Had Spencer – coming off knee surgery last October – stayed on the PUP list, he would’ve missed at least the first six games.

This is uplifting news for a beleaguered defense reeling from the losses of Sean Lee, Orlando Scandrick, DeMarcus Lawrence and DeVonte Holloman. Spencer, who made the Pro Bowl with 11 sacks in 2012, is the team’s best pass-rusher and given the losses of DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher and a the latest injury to George Selvie (shoulder), the Cowboys will be desperate for quarterback pressure.

Speaking on his weekly radio show on CBS in Dallas, owner Jerry Jones said he’s hopeful Spencer can play in Week 2 against the Titans.

“I can assure you, at this time, as close as we are to Week 1, he won't be ready,” Jones said. “But he will be on our active 53-man roster. And we wouldn't be doing that if we weren't planning on him being on the field immediately. He's progressed at a surprisingly fast pace. I would say not Week 1, but there's a possibility that any time after that he could feel good enough about his repairs. We feel like that has completely grown in the way that that injury heals. It's a question of him feeling good about his cuts. He's in great shape. We certainly know that he could give us a lift earlier than we had planned.”

The Cowboys’ defense won’t be good. But with this news it got a tad better.

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[Williams Doing His Best to Win Roster Spot]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 07:16:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/4537124122.jpg

Still a lot of questions remaining as the Cowboys head into their final pre-season game Thursday against the Broncos. But we have one solid answer:

Ryan Williams a better runner than Joseph Randle.

But, actually, that solution only raises another quandary. As in, how do the Cowboys – so thin at so many positions – afford to keep four running backs?

DeMarco Murray is set as the featured “bell cow” back and Lance Dunbar is his change-up backup. After that, Randle is better than Williams at blitz protection, play recognition and on special teams. But Williams flashed Saturday night in Miami that he has special running skills.

Not only did he gain 47 yards on 12 carries, but he slashed, he zigged, he made tacklers miss. Randle is a solid back and a tough runner, but on handoffs or kickoff returns he rarely avoids going down after the first contact and seldom jukes his way to extra yards.

With Randle sidelined by an oblique strain, Williams made the most of his extra workload in Miami until he, too, was forced out of the game with cramps on a typically humid south Florida night.

I think it’s clear that Williams is a better runner than Randle. But at this point, the Cowboys just need better football players. And Randle may win this battle because he can produce more than just running yards.
 

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[Jerry Was "Concerned" Over Romo Being Sacked]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:20:39 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jerry-jones-camp-2014-day0-02.jpg

Even given his truly heroic sense of optimism, Jerry Jones has to have known Tony Romo would be sacked at some point this season. But when it happened three times in a half against the Dolphins on Saturday night, Jones admitted he was a little bit worried.  

“They were doing a pretty good job, their defensive front, so he took those three sacks and that concerned me,” Jones told the team’s official website. “Not because of being able to correct what it takes to block them, but it just concerned me that he was taking those sacks.”

Romo wasn’t exactly thrilled he was sacked, either. But he admitted it felt good to absorb some contact--the first real contact he’s had since he hurt his back last December--and bounce back up again.

The good news for Jones is that Romo won’t be sacked in the preseason finale against the Broncos this week at AT&T Stadium, because he won’t be playing.

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: Jose Sanchez, NBC 5 Photojournalist]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Release FB Copeland, DE Wilson]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:49:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jc-copeland-cowboys.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys got started on their first round of cuts on Monday, releasing defensive end Martez Wilson and rookie fullback J.C. Copeland.

Wilson was drafted out of the University of Illinois in the third round of the 2011 draft, by the New Orleans Saints. He spent two and a half seasons with New Orleans before being cut in October of last year. He was picked up by the Oakland Raiders and spent a little less than a month there before moving on to Dallas last November.

All told, he appeared in two games for the Cowboys.

Copeland went undrafted out of LSU and was signed by the Cowboys in May. The plan was to have him compete with Tyler Clutts for the fullback job, but Clutts has got the lion’s share of the snaps here in the preseason.

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<![CDATA[Rookie CB Tyler Patmon Has a Big Night]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:26:39 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tyler-patmon-big-night.jpg

In a largely disappointing dress rehearsal game on Saturday night, Cowboys rookie cornerback Tyler Patmon had something of a coming out party, recording two interceptions (including a pick-six) and forcing a fumble.

It just shows that I’m going to take advantage of my opportunities,” Patmon told the team's official website. “God blessed me with a great opportunity, the coaches trusted me enough to get in and obviously I came up and made some plays.”

Patmon got his big night started on Miami’s second possession of the game, jarring the ball from tight end Dion Sims to kill a promising drive. He killed another promising drive for the Dolphins in the third quarter, when he intercepted Miami starter Ryan Tannehill at the Cowboys’ nine-yard line.

The Oklahoma State product’s biggest moment came in the fourth though when he jumped a route, intercepted backup Matt Moore and strode into the end zone for the touchdown.

It was an impressive night, to be sure. But the undrafted and unheralded Patmon isn’t taking anything for granted.

“No--I’ve got to keep going,” he said. “I made a couple mistakes out there that I’ve got to improve on and just keep pushing.”

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<![CDATA[Romo Takes First Hits Since Last December]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:32:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453708264.jpg

Obviously, the Dallas Cowboys don’t want to see Tony Romo sacked three times in a half of football, like he was in the dress rehearsal game against the Dolphins in Miami on Saturday night. But coming off back surgery, Romo was glad to have absorbed his first contact since last December and got back up.

I took some hits and that was good, just in regards to getting back up and keep playing,” Romo told the team’s website. “That part of it was positive, in general. We can avoid it, but it was good to kind of get back up and keep going.”

Romo ended up playing the entire first half on Saturday, but apparently, he had to do some campaigning to convince the coaching staff let him do so. Receiver Dez Bryant was impressed, but not at all surprised to see Romo fighting for preseason snaps.

“Tony, he’s a true competitor, for real, man,” Bryant said. “That’s what a lot of people don’t know. He wants it. He wants to be in. He fought to stay in on the drive that I came out. I came out a drive, I was hot and pissed. We only had three (points) up there. I understood, preseason, but somehow, someway, they let him go in. That’s what I’m talking about."

“It’s just the fight, the dog and the hunger. When he does it, it makes everybody else want to do it. That’s how a team becomes explosive.”

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<![CDATA[Report: Josh Brent Will Be Disciplined by NFL]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:36:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/158440597.jpg

Former Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent will face some punishment from the league before he is reinstated, according Ed Werder of ESPN.

Back in January, Brent was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation after he was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter, stemming from the December 2012 crash that killed Brent’s best friend and teammate Jerry Brown, Jr. He served time in jail before moving on to a rehab facility. He was released in late July.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett have both said the team will welcome Brent back once he’s reinstated, but that could be awhile according to this latest report.

"He's not just going to walk back onto the field," a source told ESPN.

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Drop Dress Rehearsal Game to Dolphins, 25-20]]> Sat, 23 Aug 2014 21:43:58 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dolphins-cowboys8.23.14.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys played an ugly dress rehearsal game on Saturday night, and fell to the Dolphins in Miami by a final of 25-20.

Tony Romo ended up playing the entire first half, going 10 for 18 passing for 87 yards. The bad news, he was sacked three times. The good news, he wasn’t hurt by any of those sacks.

DeMarco Murray ran the ball for 18 yards on six carries, and Dez Bryant posted 32 yards on four carries, all in the first half.

The Cowboys’ defense was, uh, the Cowboys’ defense. They allowed 491 yards and 27 first downs on Saturday night.  

The Dolphins opened the scoring with a 26-yard field goal by John Potter to give them 3-0 lead in the first quarter.

Dallas’s Dan Bailey tied it up with a 52-yarder later in the first and, then, gave his team the lead with a 50-yarder with less than a minute left in the half.

The Dolphins regained the lead in the second quarter on a one-yard touchdown run from Damien Williams. Williams also ran in the two-point conversion to extend the lead to 11-6, Dolphins.

The Cowboys responded with less than a minute left in the half as backup quarterback Brandon Weeden hit LaRon Byrd--who made a diving catch--for a 27-yard touchdown. With that, Dallas retook the lead. They extended that lead to 20-11 on a pick-six from rookie cornerback Tyler Patmon.

The Cowboys’ defense struck again late though, allowing two fourth quarter touchdowns--on a pass from Marlon Moore to Harold Hoskins , and a one-yard run by Orleans Darkwa--and one two-point conversion. Dallas lost by a final of 25-20, and are 0-3 this preseason.

The preseason finale is scheduled for Thursday, against the Broncos, at AT&T Stadium.

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Ahead of the Dolphins at Half, 6-3]]> Sat, 23 Aug 2014 19:45:18 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-dolphins-8.23.jpg

After a pretty uneventful half of dress rehearsal action, the Dallas Cowboys lead the Miami Dolphins, 6-3.

Tony Romo ended up playing the entire first half, going 10 for 18 passing for 87 yards. The bad news, he was sacked three times. DeMarco Murray ran the ball  for 18 yards on six carries, and Dez Bryant posted 32 yards on four carries.

The Cowboys’ defense has allowed 173 yards but gave up just a single field goal, a 26-yarder by John Potter to give the Dolphins the 3-0 lead in the first quarter.

Dallas’s Dan Bailey tied it up with a 52-yarder later in the first and, then, gave his team the lead with a 50-yarder with less than a minute left in the half.

We’ll have the postgame for you after this one is in the books.
 

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<![CDATA[Dixon Looking to Get Back in Coaches' Good Graces]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:15:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ahmad-dixon8.14.jpg

After a promising NFL debut against the San Diego Chargers, Ahmad Dixon was benched by the Cowboys for last week’s matchup with the Ravens for showing up late to a walk-through. Obviously, Dixon wants to get back in the coaching staff’s good graces in Saturday’s dress rehearsal against the Dolphins, not that he needed any extra motivation.

I’m just ready to play, man,” said Dixon, who led the team in tackles against the Chargers with 12 tackles, per ESPN Dallas. “I don’t even look at it like [an opportunity to get back in the coaches’ good graces]. I would ask that everybody just quit making this--I mean, it’s a big deal, but it’s not as big as everybody’s making it seem.

“I mean, it’s ball. I’m amped up to play any game, not just because I missed a game. If I would have played last week, I would be just as amped up. I just like to play ball, man, and I’m ready to get back out there.”

Of course, just because he hasn't taken any added motivation from being benched doesn’t mean that Dixon didn’t learn a lesson from last week’s transgression.

“I’ve got to learn how to be a pro,” Dixon added. “That’s it. I said it time and time again. I’ve got to surround myself with those kind of guys in order to understand what it takes. As long as you’re around those guys, you will start picking up on their behaviors and how they operate.”

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Audition Linebacker Jason Phillips]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:16:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jason-phillips-cowboys.jpg

Veteran linebacker and TCU product Jason Phillips was at Valley Ranch to audition for a spot with the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, the same day the team announced that DeVonte Holloman’s career was likely over due to a neck injury, Tim MacMahon ESPN Dallas reports.

Phillips was a fifth round pick by the Baltimore Ravens back in 2009, and played two seasons for the team. After that, he was picked up by the Carolina Panthers, where he played in 2011 and 2012. He signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in March of last year but tore his ACL in training camp and missed the season.

Phillips was among the Eagles’ first round of cuts earlier this week.

For his career thus far, Phillips has 31 tackles and a forced fumble in 29 games.

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<![CDATA[Spencer Looking to Come Off PUP List Before Season]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:01:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/anthony-spencer-giants.jpg

Earlier this month, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones told the media that the team’s plan was to have defensive end Anthony Spencer come off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List before the season begins, in order to avoid having him ruled ineligible for the first six weeks of the year.

Unsurprisingly, Spencer is in lock-step with this plan, and says his rehab has been going well.

Yeah, I want to be out on the field as soon as possible, and PUP will put me out six weeks,” Spencer told the team’s website. “I haven’t plateaued yet. My body’s responding well to the things that we’re doing, so we’re just going to continue to do them.”

Last year Spencer appeared in all of one game, in September, and recorded two tackles before his season was cut short due to microfracture surgery on his knee--the procedure he’s still working back from, almost a year later.

“They just said we’ll keep evaluating and see where we are,” Spencer said. “Keep doing the things we’ve been doing and adding a little bit more, a little bit more, and changing what we do with the change of direction, more my body weight, a little bit more resistance. We’re just doing a bunch of different things to see how it reacts.”

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Stunned by News About Holloman]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:19:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/2013-cowboys-eagles--%28308%29.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys locker room got a collective punch to the gut on Thursday when the team learned that second-year linebacker DeVonte Holloman’s career is likely over following a neck injury.

Head coach Jason Garrett made the announcement during his press conference yesterday, adding that this latest injury is related to the spinal contusion that forced Holloman to miss six games during his rookie season.

I just heard about it maybe three minutes ago,” safety Barry Church told the team’s official website. “That’s devastating, real devastating. But like I said earlier, it’s a neck injury. You can’t really mess around with neck injuries. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you as a young guy.”

Holloman was coming off a rookie season in which he showed flashes of major promise. He finished with 26 tackles and two sacks while appearing in nine games.

“Obviously, here’s a young player I thought had a great future ahead of him,” said veteran tight end Jason Witten. “Really good cover guy. Just can never take it for granted, the opportunity we have to play this game, even in these dog days of camp. Sad to hear that, obviously you want to reach out to him and pull for him... It provides perspective, and we wish him the best.”

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Photo Credit: Frank Heinz, NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Romo Not Sure How Much He'll Play Against Dolphins]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:21:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453705926.jpg

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has said Tony Romo will play around two possessions against the Dolphins on Saturday night, and call it a preseason. Romo himself sounds less certain about how many snaps he’ll see in the so-called dress rehearsal.

“We gauge a lot sometimes off of two drives. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s a little silly because games you’re going to have 10-to-11,” Romo told the team’s website. “You want to have success on a drive or two, but--let’s pretend we had two drives or three drives this week and scored touchdowns on every one of them, it’s great. But you still have a full game to play and you’re going to have to continue to execute throughout the football game.”

Romo finished 4-5 passing for 80 yards, a touchdown and a fumbled snap in his preseason debut last week against the Ravens. Even if he only attempts another five passes against the Dolphins, head coach Jason Garrett refuses to say this is a case of the Cowboys being careful. Rather, he says, the team just wants him to play enough to know he’s ready for the 49ers in Week 1.

“We don’t really use the word cautious as much as we try to use the reps we think are necessary to get him ready to go to play against San Francisco in Week One,” Garrett said.

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<![CDATA[Fantasy Land: A Look at the Cowboys]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:26:46 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453708264.jpg

A two-time champion in a hardcore keeper league, including some know-it-all media "experts", Adam Boedeker gives his fantasy expertise on a weekly basis during football season.

Well, folks, it's that time of year. When you're cramming and shuffling through those magazines at the last minute while the clock ticks down on your pick in your fantasy football draft. What are you going to do? If you're looking for a Dallas Cowboy, here's a guide that could help you.

The Cowboys might very well have a 5-11 type of season and break that string of 8-8 records in a bad way. But you know what? They just might have one of the better fantasy football representations in the entire NFL, for whatever that's worth.

First off, the Cowboys' defense is going to be so bad (don't even think about drafting it), that they're often going to be playing catch-up. And when you consider that, the Cowboys' offensive players have tons of potential.

Tony Romo — If Romo can stay healthy, and yes, that's a huge "if", he could end up being a top-5 fantasy quarterback this year, and that's not a stretch. Romo will be throwing a lot, even if the Cowboys do want to try to run the ball more, they might not be afforded that luxury given circumstances. He has one of the best weapons in football in Dez Bryant, and No. 2 WR Terrance Williams is one of the big up-and-comers in football. Then again, Romo could only play like four games this year, and this is all moot.

DeMarco Murray — Oddly enough, the Cowboys are actually dominant in several areas on offense, starting with their young, mammoth offensive line, which could be one of the game's best. Murray is an above-average runner with some injury questions, so again, if he can stay healthy, he should have a monster year.

Dez Bryant — See above in the Tony Romo writeup, but Bryant is a transcendent player at his position and should be in store for a monster season with Scott Linehan calling plays.

Terrance Williams — While teams are focusing on trying to find a way to contain Bryant, the second-year receiver out of Baylor could be in for a huge year, as well. Don't be shocked if he approaches 1,000 yards and seven or eight touchdowns.

Deep sleeper

Lance Dunbar — The UNT-ex could be in for a nice year as a change-of-pace guy to Murray. He's not going to be an every-down back with his small stature, but Dunbar could be a huge complement to Murray coming in in spot duty and catching balls out of the backfield.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Defense Flirting With Pitiful Pre-Season History]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:53:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-football-helmets-1.jpg

Some of us cringe at the thought of where the Cowboys’ defense is headed this season.

And there’s been nothing in the preseason to deter those fears.

As Dallas prepares to play the Miami Dolphins Saturday night in its annual “dress rehearsal” game, it’s in position to set a franchise record for futility. As in, only two other times in the franchise’s 55-year history have the Cowboys allowed more points through two pre-season games.

Granted two scores – a fumble return off a Tony Romo botched handoff and a 108-yard kickoff return – weren’t levied against the defense, but nonetheless the 64 combined points surrendered to the Chargers and Ravens are historically horrible. Only in 1962 and 1996 have the Cowboys allowed more points through two exhibitions, both times 66.

The impact? Probably minimal correlation.

The ’62 team was a fledgling expansion group just learning how to walk in the NFL. Tom Landry’s bunch gave up a franchise-worst 161 pre-season points en route to going 0-5, leading to a 5-8-1 regular season.

In ’96 it was Barry Switzer’s group that allowed 136 pre-season points in five games before going 10-6 and making the playoffs.

A lack of playmakers combined with decimating injuries and painful suspensions, the Cowboys’ defense isn’t going to be good during the regular season. It’s already on pace to take a shameful spot in the preseason.

Year      Points

’62        31-35 = 66

’96        34-32 = 66

’14        27-37 = 64
 

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[Garrett Not Worried About McClain's Commitment]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:32:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453710142.jpg

For obvious reasons, many folks have questioned Rolando McClain’s commitment to football.

McClain has retired from the game twice already, the last time coming after he was released by the Oakland Raiders, following three disappointing and very tumultuous seasons with the team, and signed by the Ravens. He never played a snap for Baltimore and was out of the game until the Cowboys traded for him in July.

Despite his past, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett says he isn’t worried about McClain’s desire.

"I have seen him practice," Garrett said of McClain, who’s working with the first team this week, per ESPN Dallas. "Now, he, like everybody on our team, has to do it again and again and again. He has some things that have sidetracked him here for a day or two throughout training camp. But obviously being out at practice playing play after play, day after day matters. So hopefully he will have a chance to do that starting again [Thursday]."

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<![CDATA[Dwayne Harris Remains Confident in Special Teams]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:28:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/185420012.jpg

Cowboys return man Dwayne Harris isn’t worried that the 108-yard kickoff return they allowed last weekend to the Baltimore Ravens’ Deonte Thompson could be a sign of things to come for the special teams unit.

“Last year we had a guy run back a punt against us, last preseason, and the whole season I think we didn’t really give up any big-yard returns the whole season,” Harris told the team’s official website. “It’s just something we learn from and keep working on it.”

That said, Harris knows the team needs to do a lot better than they have this preseason to meet the always high expectations of special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia

“As far as him, he has a high expectation and high standards for us,” Harris said. “For us, we don’t let things like that happen.”

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<![CDATA[DeVonte Holloman's Career is Likely Over]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:48:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/devonte-holloman8.26.13.jpg

In a sad revelation, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told the media Thursday that second-year linebacker DeVonte Holloman’s career is probably over due to the neck injury suffered in last weekend’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens. Holloman also missed six games last year with a spinal contusion, and Garrett added that this injury and that one are related.

“DeVonte got information back from the doctors he visited with regarding his neck and it doesn’t look like he’s going to be able to play football anymore,” Garrett said. “It’s in relation to the injury he had last year and he had a similar injury this year. I’ll let him speak more to that. But the information we have doesn’t look like he’s going to be able to play football anymore.”

A sixth round pick out of South Carolina a year ago, Holloman finished his rookie season with 26 tackles and two sacks, while appearing in nine games.

“It’s a very challenging, difficult thing for a young man who has dreams of being an NFL football player (and) achieves those dreams,” Garrett said. “I told him this morning, ‘you’re a 10-year player in my mind. You’ll be for a long, long time.’ He just has everything you want. He has physical ability, he’s tough and has good feel for the game.

“But this becomes an easy decision for him and his family when you’re dealing with that kind of an injury. He had a good visit with him this morning. He had a smile on his face. He’s certainly welcome to be part of our football team.”

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<![CDATA[Ouch, Cowboys Closer to Worst Than First]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:41:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lombarditrophy160623274.jpg

The Cowboys are closer to worst than first.

According to the betting website Bovada, the Jaguars are “favored” to finish with the worst record in the NFL season. But not far down from Jacksonville’s 3/1 odds are your Cowboys at only 16/1. That means only the Raiders, Browns, Vikings, Titans, Bills and Jags have lousier 2014s ahead than Dallas. Ouch.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Broncos remain the favorites to win Super Bowl XLIX , followed by the Patriots, 49ers and Seahawks. The Cowboys, gulp, are now 50/1 longshots to win the championship, with 19 teams given better odds.

So while they remain wildly popular and unfathomably valuable, the Cowboys are now officially a safer bet to suck, than to succeed.

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[Mo Claiborne Has to Practice to Play]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:49:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mo-claiborne-hurt-shoulder.jpg

Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne is hoping to play in Saturday’s dress rehearsal games against the Dolphins in Miami, but he’ll have to prove he can make it through a day of practice first, according to head coach Jason Garrett.

Which leaves Thursday as the last chance Claiborne has to show the staff he’s ready for live action. He has been limited to individual work after suffering a shoulder injury last week.

Again, we’re for practice. We’re for preseason games,” Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. “We’re an advocate of all these things. We think it’s good to practice and play and get yourself an opportunity to get some experience -- for all players, not just young players.

“For whatever reason, he’s had some issues that have prevented him from doing that, but that’s just what the situation is. So you get that thing healthy; you come back as soon as you can come back; you get as many reps as you can get to get yourself ready for the season. It’s as simple as that.”

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<![CDATA[Sterling Moore Hoping to Return Thursday]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:18:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/175605280.jpg

Cowboys cornerback Sterling Moore has been frustrated by a groin injury for the past week, but he’s hopeful he can return to practice on Thursday.

I don’t know, I just talk to the trainers,” Moore told the team’s website. “They’ve got to get together and they’ve got to talk to Garrett. My hope is that I can get out there and do some things tomorrow, but then again, that was my hope today. So we’ll see how it goes.”

Desire to return aside, Moore acknowledged that there was a very real danger of having a setback whenever you’re dealing with a groin. He knows this well, as he already suffered one setback this preseason.

“I think the biggest thing is that I think I came back a day too early last week against the Raiders,” he said, referring to the teams’ joint practices last Tuesday and Wednesday. “That’s what we’re trying to avoid now.”

In two years with the Cowboys, Moore has recorded 14 tackles, three passes defensed and one interception while appearing in ten games.

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<![CDATA[Rolando McClain Sidelined with Muscle Cramps]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:45:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/072614+Cowboys+McClain.jpg

Coming off his team-high six-tackle performance against the Baltimore Ravens, it was announced that linebacker Rolando McClain would get some reps with the first team defense this week. He hit a bit of roadblock on Wednesday though, when leg cramps kept him sidelined.

Head coach Jason Garrett says things like this are to be expected when camp shifts from the cooler temperatures of Oxnard, CA to the not-so-cool temperatures of North Texas.

"It's not an uncommon thing when you come back and start practicing in Texas," Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. "You're always dealing with that balance--anybody who has ever played any kind of a sport deals with that. Does it just hurt or is it an injury? Am I making it worse by practicing? All those questions come up every day with every player."

The Cowboys signed McClain in July as part of their effort to replace Sean Lee, whose 2014 season ended during the first day of organized team activities.

"We're going to take his situation just like everybody's situation--day by day--and we'll give him a chance to go through the meetings and walk-through this afternoon and come out and practice tomorrow. We'll continue our evaluation of him and do what's best for our football team in regards to him and everybody else."

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Photo Credit: Noah Bullard, NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Heaps Praise on Joseph Randle]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:42:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453322554.jpg

Cowboys second-year running back Joseph Randle has looked impressive through two preseason games, going for 91 yards on 20 carries, and owner and general manager Jerry Jones has taken notice.

"Joe Randle right now is really playing outstanding," Jones told 105.3-FM The Fan on Tuesday, via ESPN Dallas. "That's not an exaggeration."

As a rookie last year, the 5th round pick posted 164 yards and two touchdowns on 54 carries. Randle credits experience with the growth that’s been put on display this preseason.

"I feel like I'm bigger, I'm stronger, I'm smarter," Randle said. "I'm a year smarter in the playbook. I think that's all things that help me play fast. Now, I'm just working on playing fast every play I'm out there. That comes with practice."

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<![CDATA[Brandon Carr Ready to Play Saturday]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:18:59 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/brandon-carr-chargers.jpg

Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr practiced in pads for the first time in training camp on Tuesday, and is ready to play in Saturday’s dress rehearsal game against the Dolphins as much as coaches will let him.

Carr missed all but a week of the team’s time in Oxnard, CA following the death of his mother and last week, the coaches eased him back into practice, keeping him out of team drills and putting through conditioning work off to the side.

I’ll play as much in the game as they want me to and I’ll take reps in practice next week and just get ready for the home opener,” Carr said, per ESPN Dallas. “I feel like I’m in pretty good shape. I’m going tax my body this week as far as putting it on myself to get myself in condition for those four quarters and those long drives, but just whatever the coaching staff and trainers is suitable for me to go out there and do I’m all in.

“So whatever it takes for me to get myself going and whatever they believe it takes for me to get going, I’m going to do it.”

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<![CDATA[Demarcus Lawrence Feeling Optimistic]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:06:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/demarcus-lawrence-injury.jpg

There is still no target date for second round pick Demarcus Lawrence’s return from a fractured right foot, but the Boise State product is staying optimistic.

“Knowing that I’m coming back soon, maybe in the next month or two, keeps my head high,” said Lawrence, who flew back to Dallas to undergo surgery after suffering the injury, per the team’s website. “I’ll be back.”

The Cowboys are obviously high on Lawrence. They traded up in the second round to select him, giving up their third round selection in the process, and he was beginning to get work with the first team when he was hurt in a one-on-one drill against Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith.

Between now and whenever he does return, Lawrence plans on doing all he can to not fall too far behind.

“It set me back a little physically, not being out there with the team,” Lawrence said. “I know I’m going to have to be into my playbook and the weight room now. On the mental side, being into the playbook and learning all the plays and making sure I’m up to date so when I come back I have no problems.”

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Being Cautious with Okoye]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:53:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/amobi-okoye-master-splinter.jpg

A little over a year after being placed in a medically-induced coma, new Cowboys defensive tackle Amobi Okoye is back on the field, albeit on a limited basis. Okoye, who was cleared medically last week, has spent the beginning of this week working on conditioning drills with trainers.

“It’s just a privilege getting out there, and getting back in the swing of things is a good feeling,” Okoye told the team’s official website.

We can only imagine. For three months in the spring of last year, diagnosed with the brain disease anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, Okoye spent three months in the aforementioned coma. He remains on the non-football injury list and will continue to work back gradually.

“You’ve got to be cautious with things, because obviously you’re dealing with the brain,” Okoye said. “We’ll take things slowly and progressively get better.”

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<![CDATA[Secondary Emphasis Leads to More Flag Football]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:14:18 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/nfl_referees.jpg

If the first two pre-season games are any indication, the most dominating position on the field during Cowboys’ games this season will be …

Referee.

Altogether now: Grooooaaaaaan.

The NFL’s emphasis on defensive holding/illegal contact by defensive backs has turned the exhibition season into flag football. Through 33 games there have been 756 penalties, compared to only 526 a year ago. Defensive holding flags – only a five-yard penalty but punctuated with an overly punitive automatic first down – are up from 20 in the first 33 pre-season games last season to a whopping 112 this summer.

It’s yet another example of the NFL becoming a less and less physical game. The basis for the rule is basically “no touching.” These days there is much more contact in an NBA lane than an NFL secondary.

The Cowboys have felt the brunt of the increased emphasis. In the 2013 regular season they were called for 12 defensive holding penalties. In two pre-season games they’ve already been whistled eight times, in addition to an illegal use of hands and one illegal contact.

With Orlando Scandrick suspended four games, Brandon Carr just getting back on the field after the death of his mother and the lack of depth at safety, the Cowboys need all the help they can get in the secondary. But it’s obvious they’re not going to get any from the zebras this season.

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[DeVonte Holloman Dealing with Neck Injury]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:34:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/devonte-holloman8.26.13.jpg

Cowboys linebacker DeVonte Holloman was forced out of Saturday’s preseason game against the Ravens with a neck injury, Jason Garrett confirmed this week, and he’ll reportedly go to San Antonio on Tuesday to see a specialist.

This is particularly concerning for the team as Holloman missed seven games last season with a spinal contusion. He still finished his rookie season of 2013 with 26 tackles, including one for a loss, and two sacks.

He’s still getting evaluated on that, but it is a neck injury,” Garrett told the team’s official website. “He had a neck injury last year, so we’ll just monitor him after he gets the feedback from the doctors. We’re obviously looking at that situation very closely.”

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<![CDATA[Leary Taking Lead in Left Guard Competition?]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:29:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ronald-leary-preseason.jpg

Ronald Leary seems to be firmly ahead of Mackenzy Bernadeau in the battle for the starting left guard job, as evidenced by his playing all snaps with the starting offensive line against the Ravens on Saturday, but head coach Jason Garrett says the competition is still being sorted out.

"Ultimately we're going to look at the tape and say, 'This guy is better than that guy,'" Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. "The best guy deserves the first shot."

Leary is the incumbent on the left side, but he was slowed somewhat when he began training camp on the PUP list with a strained hamstring. When he returned from that injury, though, he was almost immediately plugged in with the 1s.

"He's getting better and better," Garrett said. "He's a little bit behind because he wasn't involved in the early part of training camp, but he's a good, strong player. His experience from last year has helped him and he's become more and more decisive as a player. He needs to continue to get his feet up underneath him and catch up on his reps a little bit and we'll give him plenty of chances to do that."

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Hope to See Melton Play This Week or Next]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:51:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/melton1517790632.jpg

After being held out of the preseason opener as a precautionary measure and then the second preseason game with a groin injury, Cowboys defensive tackle Henry Melton hasn’t played in a game since Week 4 of last year, when he suffered a season-ending ACL tear.

Needless to say, the Cowboys are anxious to get a look at the biggest signing of the offseason, and are hoping they’ll get that chance either this week against the Dolphins--the dress rehearsal game--or the preseason finale the week after that.

“We would love to have him play,
” said head coach Jason Garrett, per ESPN Dallas. “There’s no question about that. We’ll see what he’s able to do this week and if he can play this week, we would love to have him out there. If not, I would anticipate him playing next week.”

Garrett added that the team expects Melton to return to practice at some point this week.

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: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rolando McClain to Get First Team Reps]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:38:08 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/072614+Cowboys+McClain.jpg

Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain drew some high praise for his work against the Ravens last weekend, when he recorded a team-high six tackles, and the team was impressed enough that the former eighth overall pick will get some reps with the first team defense in practice this week.

“At the end of the day, we need to find our three best linebackers and our best combination of those guys to start for us in base, and then there are some roles in nickel as well,” Garrett told the team’s official website this week.

The Cowboys view their acquisition of McClain as a low-risk, high-reward proposition, and the team seems to think it’s beginning to pan out. Of course, he still has work to do, after spending last season retired and out of football.

“I just think as much as anything else, he needs to play in the scheme and needs to play in games, where things are happening fast and conditioning is a factor and going from one play to the next play is a factor and still doing all that [communication],” Garrett said. “He’s a smart football player. He’s done this all throughout his career. I think he’ll get more and more comfortable with that as he goes. It’s a challenge for any inside linebacker making all those calls. He just needs to play in games and hopefully get better at it.”

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Photo Credit: Noah Bullard, NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Says Romo Will Play Two Series Against Miami]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:26:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453710136.jpg

Tony Romo just made his debut this past weekend week against the Ravens, and he’ll only play two more series this preseason, give or take, according to Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones.

Well, I think you’ll probably see him here against Miami about like you did the other night,” Jones told 105.3-FM The Fan on Tuesday, via ESPN Dallas. “I don’t know that we ought to do any more than that then really see not only [Brandon] Weeden but our young quarterback can get some snaps out there.”

Usually, starters play an entire half during the dress rehearsal game, but Dallas has been taking such precautions with Romo all training camp. He was held out of a quarter of the team’s practice sessions as well as the preseason opener against the Chargers.

Jones remains optimistic that Romo will be ready for the regular season, though.

“He’s shown it throughout our training camp,” Jones said. “I thought he did a great job how he managed himself back in, if you will, his rhythm, if you want to use another word here. But he’s making all the throws and is really cherishing the options that he’s got in the offense.”

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<![CDATA[Stephen vs. Jerry in War Room? Pure Fiction]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:50:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jerry-jones-camp-2014-day0-03.jpg

I’ve always been a big fan of Jim Dent. Personally and professionally. He’s a friend, and a helluva writer.

But his latest take on the supposed actions inside the Cowboys’ draft night “war room” are absurd, along the lines of Moby Dick, Superman and the team winning a Super Bowl in 2014. In other words: Intriguing, but not at all plausible.

In Dent’s new book Manziel Mania, he writes that Cowboys’ vice president Stephen Jones “snatched the draft card straight out of his dad’s hands,” preventing Jerry from selecting Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

This is wildly inaccurate for a number of reasons.

Mostly, because the Cowboys’ draft “card” was in New York in the hands of long-time video coordinator Robert Blackwell, who annually, physically hands the pick to NFL representatives. The Cowboys relay the info of their pick to Blackwell over the phone, not some ridiculous “card” that is faxed – or perhaps teleported – to him. Therefore, there would be no “card” for Stephen and Jerry to play tug-of-war with.

Secondly, thanks to the “war room” cameras installed at Valley Ranch, there are no secrets.

So perhaps figuratively Stephen persuaded Jerry from leaning toward taking a quarterback over offensive lineman Zack Martin. But a physical altercation as the Cowboys prepared to make the 16th pick? C’mon.

“That didn't happen,” Jerry said Tuesday morning on KRLD-FM radio. “We're well aware that there are a lot of people looking at us in that room. You'd think we could act a little more organized than that.”

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: Jose Sanchez, NBC 5 Photojournalist]]>
<![CDATA[Brandon Carr Will Put Pads on Tuesday]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:06:39 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/brandon_carr_722x406_47281219964.jpg

Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr will strap up for the first time this training camp on Tuesday, when the team reconvenes for practice and to say he’s looking forward to getting back on the field, after being away from the team for several weeks in the wake of his mother’s death, is an understatement.

Carr actually rejoined the team on August 8, but head coach Jason Garrett and co. have eased him back in slowly, and he still has yet to pad up.

"I'm ready to get in there and mix it up with the guys," Carr said, per ESPN Dallas. "Coach did a good job of getting me back acclimated to this tempo of practice and tempo of training camp. Now it's time to cut the rope and let me back in."

Carr says he did all he could to get work in when he was away from the team.

"I'm not going to say that I didn't [need those days] because training camp is a different intensity even when you're on your own training," Carr said. "So I took advantage of those days when I was at home and got some work in when I could, but I knew when I got back in town and got back with the team they were going to take me off to the side and allow me to get my wind, get my legs."

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<![CDATA[Ryan Williams Announces His Presence]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:02:40 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/4537124122.jpg

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was impressed by Ryan Williams’s fourth quarter performance against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night. Fighting for and currently behind Joseph Randle in the competition for the No. 3 running back spot, Williams posted 36 yards and a touchdown on five carries on Saturday, all in the fourth quarter.

His most impressive run was a 27-yarder, in which Williams lowered his pads and ran over a defender before finally being dragged down. Shortly thereafter, he took in the three-yard touchdown run.

He helped himself, there’s no question about that,” Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. “He’s a good runner. He and I have had some conversations over the course of training camp, and sometimes guys just need to get the weight of the world off their shoulders and just go play and play with a passion and a spirit.

“He certainly did that tonight, and we saw him break tackles, run over guys and just play with that elusiveness that we saw in him coming out of school.”

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<![CDATA[Jerry Says Vaughan Could Make the Team]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:25:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453712376.jpg

Recent history suggests that Dustin Vaughan has no real shot at making the roster out of camp. They haven’t carried three quarterbacks since 2011, when they had Tony Romo, Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee in the fold. With Romo at starter, and Brandon Weeden entrenched in the No. 2 spot, Vaughan’s chances are slim--even after going 10-21 passing for 114 yards and a touchdown in the team’s first two preseason games.

But, according to owner and general manager Jerry Jones, the West Texas A&M product does have a shot.

“We’re going to see a lot of him these next two ballgames I’m sure, and we’ll see how that plays out,” Jones said after Saturday’s loss to the Ravens, per ESPN Dallas. “But he could very well [make the final roster as the No. 3 quarterback].

We’ll see less of Vaughan this week, as the Cowboys travel to Miami for the “dress rehearsal” game. But in Week 4, he’ll see plenty of action, another opportunity he’ll look to capitalize on.

“I appreciate absolutely any opportunity that I can get,” Vaughan said. “Whether that’s coming in being the third quarterback or on the practice squad, it’s my dream to be in the NFL and right now I’m trying to make this team and however I can do it I just need to take every opportunity.”

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<![CDATA[Rolando McClain Draws Praise in Preseason Debut]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:51:19 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/072614+Cowboys+McClain.jpg

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett acknowledged that Rolando McClain still has some work to do in order to get comfortable in the defense, but he liked what he saw out of the former 8th overall pick in his first real test with the team, in Saturday night’s preseason matchup with the Ravens.

In the 37-30 loss McClain, who joined the Cowboys in July after spending 2013 out of football, led the team with six tackles.

“Hard to assess it without watching the tape, but he definitely showed up a couple of times. There was a play right on our bench where he pulled the ball out,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. “He’s done an excellent job running to the ball, being physical as a tackler and then getting the ball out.”

The praise for McClain after Saturday night’s performance went all the way to the top of the organization.

“I liked what he did out there,” said owner and general manager Jerry Jones. “He got some good snaps, more than I thought he would get out there, and he did real well.”

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Photo Credit: Noah Bullard, NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Dez Bryant Ready for the "Real Deal"]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:36:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453708264.jpg

Like us fans, Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is ready for this preseason nonsense to be over and the regular season to begin.

Bryant made that point clear on Saturday night after catching three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in the team’s second preseason matchup.

I’m ready for the real deal,” Bryant said, per the team’s website. “This is not the real deal. I’m waiting on what’s real.”
 
One preseason game in, Bryant likes what he sees out of Scott Linehan, who took the reins of the offense this offseason after spending five years as the offensive coordinator in Detroit.

“We’re more in attack mode. It’s our mindset--it’s what we want to do,” Bryant said “It’s who we want to be. We’re going to go out and try to be the best and that’s our mindset.”

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[Minter Makes Most of DL Opportunity]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:23:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/179427865.jpg

Tony Romo fumbled a snap on his first possession of the preseason and at one point the Cowboys trailed the Ravens, 34-10, Saturday night at AT&T Stadium. Squinting for something positive? Zach Minter introduced himself loud and clear.

Wait, Zach Minter?

With a depleted defensive line that we’ve said many times during training camp may be the worst in the NFL, the Cowboys signed the tackle only last Thursday. But after just one practice, he made enough memorable plays to be remembered, if not make this roster.

The start wasn’t impressive, as Minter was bowled over on Lorenzo Taliaferro’s touchdown run that gave Baltimore its 24-point lead. But then in a dominant five-play span in the fourth quarter, Minter produced a quarterback pressure, a tackle for a loss, a sack and a forced fumble. He finished with four tackles, two sacks, a hurry and the forced fumble.

Not bad for a guy signed – let’s be honest – so the Cowboys could survive a pre-season game with enough healthy bodies.

“We talk a lot about how life’s all about opportunity, creating them and taking advantage of them,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said after the game during his press conference. “You think about a guy like Minter who just showed up, I don’t know how many plays he played, but I bet it was over 50 percent of the plays that he was in there, he had some kind of an impact on the football, whether it was a tackle for a loss or a sack. He just seemed to be all over the place, so he had a chance to show us what he can do in a short period of time, and he certainly flashed at us.”

Minter, from tiny Montana State, caught on with the Bears as a free agent last summer and also spent time with the Bengals before the desperate Cowboys rang his phone last week. Last summer, in a similar situation, it was George Selvie who took advantage of his quirky opportunity, made it stick, and started all 16 games.

The Cowboys need help along the defensive line. Perhaps they just found some in Minter.

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]]>