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QB Cook Shines In Rookie Season
QB Cook Shines In Rookie Season

Cowboys Think They Have Their Franchise QB




Conner Cook, Dallasís first round draft pick, did not have his season start as he had hoped. After suffering an injury in Training Camp, the rookie was projected to miss the majority of the season. Instead of sulking, Cook used the time to apply himself and study film in hopes that he would get back on the field in the 2020 campaign. Cookís hard work appears to have paid off.

The Michigan State alum was cleared by doctors to play and in week 13 with the season out of reach, was inserted into the lineup. The Cowboys could not have been happier with his performance.

In his first game as the starter, the Cowboys routed the division leading Giants by a score of 27-3. The Dallas defense lead the way to victory, but Cook played an outstanding game. Cook completed 62.5% of his 24 passes for 180 yards, and also managed 3 TDs and only 1 interception. His 107.6 rating on the day impressed many in the stands and the front office.

For Cookís next game, the Cowboys faced an even tougher opponent, the Raiders who finished the season 12-4. Cook shown once again as the Cowboys fell short in a wild fourth quarter comeback that fell short. Dallas came close to beating another playoff team, losing 38-35. Cook carried the offense as the running game could only managed 81 yards against the tough Raider D. In his best game of the season hit 57% of his passes for 374 yards, 2 TDs, 1 pick, and a rating of 110.7. Not bad for a rookie against a Super Bowl favorite that held opponents to a mere 77.6 passer rating all season.

In week 15 the Cowboys came up just short against the Rams, losing 27-24. Cook had his worst game of the season managing only 47.5% completion percentage and had 267 yards passing with a TD and an interception.

However, Cook and the Cowboys rebounded in their last 2 games, winning both against quality opponents. Dallas bested playoff bound Arizona 30-23 and defending Super Bowl champ Washington 31-24. In those two games Cook passed for nearly 500 yards and 3 TDs and only 1 pick. For the season Cook finished completing over 50% of his passes, with 1,313 yards, 9 yards an attempt, 9 TDs, 4 interceptions and a rating of 90.9. More importantly, Cook was 3-2 as a starter against 5 quality teams that won over 62% of their games. Because of this, the Cowboys are very excited about Cook and his future.

© 2020 All Rights Reserved. GZL Dallas Cowboys.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 05/11/2016) Replies - 1 :: Views - 30
CB Owusu-Ansah Becomes All-Time Interception Leader
CB Owusu-Ansah Becomes All-Time Leader

Leads GZL with 44 Career Interceptions






Last season, in Dallasí 24-3 win over division rival Washington, long-time Cowboy CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (or AOA, as heís known around the locker room) picked off two Ricky Stanzi passes to help seal the win. In the process, AOA quietly moved passed Antoine Cason to be the GZLís All-Time leader in interceptions, with 44 in his illustrative career.

Owusu-Ansah, who began as a 4th round pick out of tiny Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has proven to be one of the better Cornerbacks in league history. In his 8 full seasons in the league, AOA has been invited to 3 Pro Bowls (2013, 2016, and 2017) and some feel his 7 picks in 2015, good for 3rd best in the NFC, warranted another selection. Owusu-Ansahís best years were 2013 when he led the league with 12 interceptions, and last year when he finished second in the league with 11 takeaways. AOA stands as the only player in GZL history to pick off more than 10 passes in two separate seasons.

Owusu-Ansah became the starter in 2013 after playing as a Nickle CB for his first 3 seasons in with the team. In his 5 seasons as the starter, AOA has finished near the top in CB Efficiency 4 times Ė 2013 (9th), 2015 (11th), 2016 (2nd), and 2017 (4th). In fact, among the Top 50 Corners, AOA ranks 4th All-Time in CB Efficiency. Not too shabby for a 4th rounder out of Indiana of Penn.

At 31, the 6í1Ē, 215-pounder shows no signs of slowing down. Now beginning his 9th year, Awusu-Ansah has two years left on his current contract. AOA has not talked about retirement and says heís only focused on returning to the Playoffs. The Cowboys congratulate Owusu-Ansah on his accomplishment and look forward to his continued leadership on the field.


© 2018 All Rights Reserved. GZL Dallas Cowboys.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 12/17/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 22
Cowboys Busy In the Off-Season
K_VanWagner :
COWBOYS BUSY IN THE OFF-SEASON



DALLAS MAKES SEVERAL OFF-SEASON MOVES

The Dallas Cowboys have had a very busy off-season, as they try to rebound from a woeful 2016 campaign. The Cowboys wasted little time making a series of moves that it hopes will both improve the team, and improve its chances of making a Playoff run.

The off-season started with a bang as the Cowboys traded the 6th overall pick in the draft for former Oakland first rounder CB Camden Pietarila. Pietarila is a big physical defensive back and is one of one two corners in the league that can boast 6í2Ē size along with 96 SPD. Pietarila will immediately become the teamís shutdown corner and is expected to pair nicely with Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, who picked off 11 passes last season. The team considered drafting a rookie corner with its first round pick, but felt that Pietarila brought to the team a more finished player, which is needed to improve Dallasí last-ranked defense. The team quickly restructured Pietarilaís contract and gave him a 7-year deal, meaning heíll likely end his career a Cowboy and give the Dallas defense stability for years to come.

The move dramatically shifted the dynamic of the secondary, and ultimately led to the amnesty of CB Mike Jenkins. Jenkins has been a standout starter for the Cowboys for many seasons and is most remembered for his 11 pick season in 2012. Though the Cowboys know Jenkins still has a lot of gas in the tank, his cap number proved too high, especially as Dallas looks to develop a strong set of young CBs.

Dallas didnít stop at these changes in the secondary. First, Dallas Franchise Tagged HB Joe Lima. Lima managed five 100+ games in 2016, but disappeared in others. The former Saint and Eagle managed almost 1,200 yards rushing, but did so with only 3.8 yards a carry. Dallas decided it needed another year to determine if Lima was a long-term solution or only a stopgap back.

To aid Lima and other rushers, Dallas next used its Exclusive Resign on OG Lance Nguyen. A former first rounder, Nguyen has been a steady force on the Dallas line averaging 66 pancakes a year against only 2 sacks allowed. The five year deal will likely run the course of Nguyenís career as a starting caliber lineman.

In an attempt to build depth and improve the team, Dallas also signed five of its Restricted Free Agents. The Cowboys brought back WR Jaz Reynolds and DE Rasir Dowling for another year. More importantly, Dallas restructured three additional RFAs, each of whom the Cowboys are very high on as developmental players. Dallas signed CB Coty Sensabaugh, MLB Nico Johnson, and SS Jabari Jones to extended deals. Dallas GM Keith Van Wagner is confident these three players will contribute in the years to come.

Dallas also said farewell to two longtime Cowboys, HB Felix Jones and CB Bryan McCann. Jones had lost a step in recent seasons and while he was able to contribute, his salary situation proved to be unfriendly to the cap. Jones rushed for over 1,000 yards in three of his seven seasons in Dallas. He leaves Dallas as their all-time leading rusher.




© 2017 All Rights Reserved. GZL Dallas Cowboys.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 06/18/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 24
Cowboys Announce 2016 Starters
COWBOYS ANNOUNCES 2016 DEPTH CHART
The Cowboys have released the starting lineups for both the offense and the defense. The team features only a couple of new faces, but the most obvious is that of newly acquired QB Mark Sanchez. There has also been intense competition at the HB position as returning starter Felix Jones and newcomer Joe Lima continue to battle it out.

Monday, January 6th, 2016

2016 Projected Depth Chart::
KEY = 2015 Pro Bowler | Returning Starter | New Starter | Rookie

DEFENSE
CB Mike Jenkins (96) | FS Gerald Powell (91) | SS Morgan Burnett (89) | CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (87)
ROLB Jared Hixon (78) | MLB Kenrick Nielson (82) | LOLB Sean Lee (96)
RE Ryan Kerrigan (99) | DT JaQuinton Long (89) | DT Scott Taylor (79) | LE Josh Jordan (90)

OFFENSE
LT DJ Fluker (87) | LG Lance Nguyen (88) | C Tyson Steffen (85) | RG Doug Free (90) | RT Anthony Collins (88)
WR Dez Bryant (95) | WR Rick Urban (78) | WR Tavon Austin (79) | TE Tyler Eifert (99)
HB Felix Jones (88) / HB Joe Lima (79) | QB Mark Sanchez (99) | FB Charles Clay (92)

SPECIAL TEAMS
K David Buehler (99) | P Mat McBriar (99) | KR/WR Tavon Austin (79)


© 2016 All Rights Reserved. GZL Dallas Cowboys.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 01/07/2014) Replies - 5 :: Views - 112
Felix Jones Likely Out For the Season


The Cowboys suffered a serious blow to their playoff hopes last week against the 49ers when Felix Jones went down to injury. Initial reports out of Dallas indicate that Jones will miss at least 10 weeks and thus, unless the Cowboys make a deep run in the playoffs, his season is likely over.

The news is especially bad for Dallas as Jones had been having a career year as the Cowboysí feature back. Dallas began the year with new quarterback Ricky Stanzi behind center, and the team had been employing a more balanced offense featuring the run. Jones responded to this new challenge, posting four 100+ rushing days in the first eight games, and two more in which he rushed for over 90 yards. At times in the first half in the season Jones lead the league in rushing. More importantly, he had helped engineer a redemptive season for Dallas, in which the team won its first five of seven games. Jones is currently fourth in the league in rushing with 811 yards and a 4.9 yard per carry average.

The team briefly considered trading for a new starting HB to shoulder the load down the stretch, but for now has decided to stay put with its current roster. Chris Ivory, a six-year pro will start next week against the Eagles. Ivory is a former 1,000 rusher with the Saints, but has done little since joining the Cowboys in 2012 as the backup. In four seasons with Dallas, Ivory has amassed only 816 yards with a paltry 3.4 ypc. In addition, he has 4 TDs as a Cowboy, fewer than his 5 fumbles in a Cowboys uniform. However, the Cowboys are optimistic that Ivory can excel in their new offense. So far this season Ivory has rushed for 418 yards and a 4.3 ypc, including a 115-yard game in a week 3 victory over the Eagles. Filling in for Jones against San Francisco last week, Ivory managed 73 yards on 18 carries for a 4.6 average.

The team will elevate second-year back Lucious Dufree to the backup role. Dufree is fast, though slight in frame. In limited action, Dufree has impressed coaches. The team is also reported to have made a free agent offer to former Charger Daniel Thomas. Thomas would be expected to be the third running back.

The team is hopeful that despite the big blow to the offensive production the loss of Jones may represent, Ivory and the other running backs can provide the needed firepower to continue winning games.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 09/11/2013) Replies - 4 :: Views - 90
Cowboys In Disarray AFter 0-2 Start


The Cowboys are struggling to right their season after a disappointing, but not all together surprising, start. The Cowboys faced the Bucs in week one of the new season and were encouraged despite a tough loss hosting Tampa Bay, falling 20-17. In that game, the Cowboys were actually able to best their opponent in total offense, time of possession and first downs. However, the Buccaneers relied upon the steely nerve of QB Josh Freeman who passed for 312 yards and was clutch in the 4th quarter.

In the season opener there were several bright spots, including a strong 123-yard rushing performance by HB Felix Jones, a 111-yard receiving day for WR Dez Bryant, and a defense that held Tampa to only 54 yards rushing.

Encouraged by the moral victories of week one, Dallas was hoping to notch it's first victory of the season in Washington. However, despite keeping pace with the Redskins through the first three quarters, Washington iced the game with a 14 point fourth quarter that the young Dallas team could not recover from. The Cowboys got a decent effort from new starting QB Ricky Stanzi, who finished with 287 yards passing and 2 TDs against an interception. The Cowboys running game evaporated, however, with only 80 yards on the ground. The defense did have a solid game, recording 3 sacks and a pick of Chad Henne, but it was not enough to best the Redskins, who made the playoffs last season.

The slow start was not entirely surprising considering that the team finished 4-12 last year and blew up its roster in the off-season, jettisoning its top three players, aging Tony Romo, Miles Austin and DeMarcus Ware. This year's team is much less experienced and Dallas expected some growing pains as they try to groom young Stanzi. The team is also starting three rookies on defense -- MLB Kenrick Nielson, DE Josh Jordan, and OLB Jared Hixon.

The schedule isn't getting easier as the Cowboys face the 2-0 Eagles in week 3. Dallas may have another long season ahead of it, though they are hopeful that the flashes the team has shown early will eventually lead to success.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 07/31/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 16
Cowboys Draft Day One
The Dallas Cowboys were excited after the first day of the GZL Draft, in which the franchise recorded four picks. The team was optimistic that each of the selections would pay dividends and help return the team to prominence in the NFC East.

In the first round, the Cowboys picked MLB Kenrick Nielsen out of Portland State. Generally regarded as a consensus Top 10 pick, Dallas took the rookie fifth overall. Dallas was intrigued by his astonishing attributes, which include 87 SPD, 84 AGI and 85 ACC. The team also considered Hugh Harmon, but opted not to take such a risk on a player with a 72 INJ. Nielson lacks elite AWR, but is expected to start quickly and to become a dominant force in the defense. The team thinks that current MLB Sean Lee is exceptional, but can remain a strong piece of the linebacking squad when moved to OLB.

In the second round, the Cowboys considered moving back, but ended up keeping their pick at 2.5. Dallas took OLB Josh Jordan out of Penn State. Jordan is a beast physically with 85 SPD, 73 STR, and 80 AGI. Dallas drafted Jordan with the intention of adding 10 lbs to his 251-lb frame and line him up as a 4-3 DE. The team expects Jordan to be a nice counterpart to DE Ryan Kerrigan and reinvigorate the defense.

With their first pick in the third round at 3.5, the Cowboys grabbed QB Tyler Wilson, a former Razorback. The team needed a backup for new starter Rick Stanzi, but also feels that Wilson could potentially be groomed to eventually start. Wilson was the fifth QB on the Cowboys' draft board, but felt there wasn't much separation between young gunslingers such as Mike Glannon and Ryan Nassib. With 70 AWR, 91 THP and 87 THA, Wilson has first round talent.

To round out the Cowboys' draft picks from Day One, the Cowboys felt the stole OLB Jarrod Hixon. Though OLB wasn't a need, the team was unable to pass up his raw abilities. With 87 SPD, 79 TAK and 73 AWR, Hixon was the second best OLB on their board and even given a late first round grade. Hixon likely won't start anytime soon with veteran Anthony Spencer on the squad, but is expected to play a big part in the Cowboys' future.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 06/30/2013) Replies - 10 :: Views - 104
Cowboys Wrap Up Preseason; Finish 2-2
The Dallas Cowboys finished up the 2014 preseason on a high note, with a 27-24 victory over the New York Jets. The team finished the preseason 2-2, winning their last two. Last week the Cowboys managed a 24-16 victory against Atlanta. The team felt good about their strong finish, after their first two exhibition matchups were losses. First the team fell to the Rams, 24-21 and then were routed by the Vikings 34-13.

The Cowboys used their preseason to fine tune their offense and evaluate rookies and newer personnel. QB Tony Romo and HB Felix Jones did not play in the preseason, while other key players saw only limited action.

The biggest development of the preseason was the solid play of newly acquired QB Ricky Stanzi. Stanzi started all 4 games and went 40 of 68 (58.9%) for 580 yards, with 5 TDs and 3 INTs and a 92.8 Passer Rating. Third-stringer Craig Moody completed only 25 of 55 for 299 yards, with 2 TDs and 3 INTs.

Dallas coaches were also pleasantly surprised with the play of rookie HB Lucious Dufree, drafted out of the Oklahoma in the 4th round. Dufree produced, rushing for 275 yards on 63 attempts (4.4 avg) and 2 TDs. Chris Ivory, the veteran number 2 HB managed only 136 yards on 49 attempts.

Second year WR Norm Grace had two 100 yard games and finished with 265 yards receiving on 16 catches (16.6 avg) and a TD. Rookie sensation Tavon Austin pulled in 10 catches for 175 yards and a TD, along with 10 kickoff returns for a 28.9 avg and 1 returned for a score. Fellow rookie Coty Sensabaugh also established himself as a kick returning option, taking back 9 kicks for a 26.4 avg.

Defensively, the team managed only two interceptions, both coming from second year CB Gunner Recall. Recall also added a sack. New starting OLB Mason Foster collected 3 sacks in the preseason as well. Dallas had 12 sacks total for the preseason.

The Cowboys are anxious to get started but know they will face a tough challenge in week 1, against the 49ers and their new Quarterback, Geno Smith.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 01/22/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 25
Cowboys Training Camp


2013 Season in Review

The Dallas Cowboys enjoyed a remarkable season in 2013, one that allowed them to win their third division championship in three seasons. The club finished 11-5 and was the only NFC East team to manage a winning season. Dallas managed to manage four victories in six division games as well. The success of the Cowboys last season allowed them to enjoy a first round bye in the playoffs, though the teamís playoff woes continued as they took on the Detroit Lions in the Divisional playoff round and lost another nail-biter late in the game.

Overall, however, the season can only be considered an outstanding success, as the teamís offense, defense and special teams performed well against the rest of the league. The 2013 season will likely be remembered in Dallas and throughout the league for years to come based on the record setting efforts of QB Tony Romo and WR Miles Austin. The two combined for some eye-popping statistical output, the likes of which may never be seen again.



The team got off to a rocky start in week one, as it traveled to nearby Houston for an intra-state grudge match against the Houston Texans. The Texans managed a 17-point fourth quarter comeback to send the Cowboys to 0-1 on the season, winning 33-27. A bright spot from that game was rookie WR Norm Grace, who caught 5 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns, including an 85 yard bomb. The Cowboys quickly rebounded, rolling off three consecutive victories against Chicago, Washington, and Philadelphia.

In Philly, the team needed overtime to beat their bitter division rival, but the real story of the game was the astounding performance of WR Miles Austin. Against the Eagles, Austin caught a GZL record 18 passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns. The game would spark a prolific stretch for Austin in which he caught passes for over 200 yards in four consecutive games. All told, during this streak, Austin amassed 998 receiving yards on 52 receptions.

More importantly, however, Dallas went 3-1 during this four game stretch, to bring their record to 4-2. Despite a tough loss against the Giants in which the Cowboys managed only -1 yard rushing, Dallas was able to earn hard fought victories against Green Bay and Philadelphia again. Against Green Bay, the Cowboys fought off a spirited 21-point fourth quarter to survive the game, 36-31. In that game, Romo passed for 403 yards and Austin hauled in passes for 239 yards. The Cowboys enjoyed a five game winning streak from weeks six to eleven, including victories against the Cardinals, Colts and Vikings.

In week 12, the vaunted Cowboys offense came crashing down against the best team in the league, Tennessee Titans. Unable to get their passing game going, Dallas totaled only 196 yards on offense. The Titans were able to bottle up the Cowboys and hold them to a pair of first half field goals and eventually win, 16-6 in an ugly contest.



Embarrassed by Tennessee, the Cowboys won their next three with ease, while averaging 41 points per game. Against the Jaguars, Tony Romo threw for 383 yards and 3 touchdowns on their way to a 44-14 win. In a comeback victory against a strong Detroit Lions team, the Cowboys picked off three Matt Stafford passes to seal a 28-27 victory. The next week Dallas traveled to Washington to thrash the Redskins 52-13 and seal the division for the team.

However, the Cowboys suffered a late season letdown while playing for home field advantage. Dallas lost two in a row to close out the season, one to the Giants, the other to Tampa Bay. Romo slumped badly in these loses, throwing 5 interceptions and only 1 touchdown.

Still, the team was hopeful going into the playoffs. However, the team came up against a surging Detroit team and was dropped 21-20. The loss represented the teamís third one-point playoff loss in its three playoffs games. Despite throwing for 310 yards, Romo was intercepted twice, including one returned for a touchdown. Miles Austin was the lone highlight, catching 12 balls for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns.



Though disappointed by the sudden end to their season, the Cowboys have much to be proud of. On the offensive side of the ball, Tony Romo set the single season passing mark, throwing for an astonishing 5,161 yards. Miles Austin was another record setter, hauling in a mind-boggling 156 catches for 2,284 yards and 10 touchdowns. Lost in the shadows of Austin, WR Dez Bryant also had a stellar year, catching 105 passes for 1,202 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah led the league in interceptions with 12. DeMarcus Ware tied for third overall in sacks with 11 quarterback traps. Also, MLB Sean Lee was sixth overall in tackles, notching 123. Overall, the team sent 8 players to the Pro Bowl in 2013. The offense sent QB Tony Romo, Miles Austin, and Dez Bryant. On the defense, DE Ware, DT Muhammad Wilkerson, OLB Anthony Spencer, and CBs Mike Jenkins and Owusu-Ansah went to Hawaii.


Cowboys Off-season Recap

Draft day came and went and the Cowboys feel that the 2014 Draft helped the team in meaningful ways, though potentially many of the teamís efforts wonít be felt for some time. The team did not have any blockbuster picks, but because the Cowboys didnít have any glaring holes on the roster, instead chose to trade down to stockpile picks and lay the foundation for the future.

The most obvious example of this is the teamís trading of 1.26 for QB Ricky Stanzi. Stanzi was acquired from the Seahawks as a quarterback to be groomed to succeed QB Tony Romo. Despite Romoís record setting 2013 season, the veteran turned 34 and has lost a step. The Cowboys decided early on in the off-season that a priority would be to acquire an eventual replacement. The team tried to trade up to snag a blue chip rookie and made a bid for Colin Kaepernick, without much success. Eventually the team negotiated a deal with the Seahawks to bring in Stanzi. The team feels that with training and study, Stanzi can become an elite quarterback. The arrival of Stanzi also allowed the team to trade second year QB Kellen Moore for a future 3rd rounder. The team loved Mooreís leadership and awareness, but did not feel he would develop into a higher end starter.

In the second round, the team picked speedy West Virginia wideout Tavon Austin. Though small in stature (5í9Ē, 186 lbs), Austin makes an intriguing addition to the teamís celebrated receiving corps. Austin can flat out move with 97 SPD, 96 AGI and 98 ACC. While he may not have the size to start regularly for the Cowboys, he is likely to give fits to defenses that have to key on Dez Bryant and Miles Austin.



The Cowboys also had 2.26, but traded back to get two more third rounders. With pick 3.11, Dallas again opted to select a speed demon to develop, CB Coty Sensabaugh out of Clemson. Sensabaugh has the tools to make any team drool, with 97 SPD, 99 AGI, and 98 ACC, but his biggest drawback is his lack of awareness (47 AWR). This issue caused the speedster to drop all the way to the 3rd round and into the lap of the Cowboys. Already blessed with a deep secondary (Mike Jenkins, AOA, and Gunner Recall), Dallas feels it can bring Sensabaugh along slowly while putting his amazing KR skills (97 KR) to good use.



At the end of the third round, Dallas selected MLB Nico Johnson out of Alabama. Johnson is projected to replace veteran Channing Crowder as the back-up to starter Sean Lee. Johnson isnít a flashy player (79 SPD), but is solid (80 STR, 82 ACC) and a player who can fill in and possibly develop.

The Cowboys had six additional picks in the draft, five of which came in the 6th and 7th round. Most of these players arenít expected to develop into more than roster fillers, absent a generous skew. But the additions of these rookies allows the team to cut a few higher priced veterans and free up salary cap space for the next couple of years. The team selected HB Lucious Dufree (93 SPD, 64 STR, 92 ACC) late in the 4th round to be the third string back. DEs Rasir Dowling and Larry Fuller were added in the 6th and 7th rounds, respectively, add depth on the defensive line. OT Bob Patterson was taken early in the 7th and will allow the team to cut some higher priced back-ups. Similarly, Kansas State rookie CB Ronde Carter may prove to be a cheaper alternative to CB Kevin Barnes as the teamís sixth corner. Lastly, the team selected Oklahoma WR Jaz Reynolds late in the 7th. Reynolds has the team intrigued with his size (6í2Ē) and is anxious to see how he performs in training camp. Either way, his signing is likely to signal the teamís willingness to part with WR Mark Dell.

The team made only one other trade in the off-season. In the deal that brought in QB Ricky Stanzi, the team swapped offensive lineman with the Seahawks. Sent to Seattle was LT Ray Gray, a former second round pick. Gray had been something of a disappointment to the Cowboys in his brief time in Dallas. Drafted 53rd overall in 2012, Gray started at offensive tackle for 11 games as a rookie. Performing well, Gray gave up six sacks and recorded 46 pancakes. Last season, due to line shuffling, Gray started 15 games at offensive guard, with mixed results. He gave up 9 sacks and managed only 35 pancakes. In his place, Dallas received offensive tackle Anthony Collins, a 7th year vet. Collins isnít as physically gifted as Gray, but has more intelligence and is a better blocker, averaging 80 pancakes a year and 5 sacks allowed.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 01/09/2013) Replies - 4 :: Views - 76
Cowboys Add Speed, Depth in Draft
Draft day came and went and the Cowboys feel that the 2014 Draft helped the team in meaningful ways, though potentially many of the teamís efforts wonít be felt for some time. The team did not have any blockbuster picks, but because the Cowboys didnít have any glaring holes on the roster, instead chose to trade down to stockpile picks and lay the foundation for the future.

The most obvious example of this is the teamís trading of 1.26 for QB Ricky Stanzi. Stanzi was acquired from the Seahawks as a quarterback to be groomed to succeed QB Tony Romo. Despite Romoís record setting 2013 season, the veteran turned 34 and has lost a step. The Cowboys decided early on in the off-season that a priority would be to acquire an eventual replacement. The team tried to trade up for a shot at rookie Ryan Tannenhill and made a bid for Colin Kaepernick, without much success. Eventually the team negotiated a deal with the Seahawks to bring in Stanzi. The team feels that with training and study, Stanzi can become an outstanding quarterback. The arrival of Stanzi also allowed the team to trade second year QB Kellen Moore for a future 3rd rounder. The team loved Mooreís leadership and awareness, but did not feel he would develop into a higher end starter.

In the second round, the team picked speedy West Virginia wideout Tavon Austin. Though small in stature (5í9Ē, 186 lbs), Austin makes an intriguing addition to the teamís celebrated receiving corps. Austin can flat out move with 97 SPD, 96 AGI and 98 ACC. While he may not have the size to start regularly for the Cowboys, he is likely to give fits to defenses that have to key on Dez Bryant and Miles Austin.



The Cowboys also had 2.26, but traded back to get two more third rounders. With pick 3.11, Dallas again opted to select a speed demon to develop, CB Coty Sensabaugh out of Clemson. Sensabaugh has the tools to make any team drool, with 97 SPD, 99 AGI, and 98 ACC, but his biggest drawback is his lack of awareness (47 AWR). This issue caused the speedster to drop all the way to the 3rd round and into the lap of the Cowboys. Already blessed with a deep secondary (Mike Jenkins, AOA, and Gunner Recall), Dallas feels it can bring Sensabaugh along slowly while putting his amazing KR skills (97 KR) to good use.



At the end of the third round, Dallas selected MLB Nico Johnson out of Alabama and SS Jabari Jones out of Temple. Johnson is projected to replace veteran Channing Crowder as the back-up to starter Sean Lee. Johnson isnít a flashy player (79 SPD), but is solid (80 STR, 82 ACC) and a player who can fill in and possibly develop. The Cowboys are also pleased to find Jones this late in the draft and love his combination of speed (92) and strength (75).

The Cowboys had six additional picks in the draft, five of which came in the 6th and 7th round. Most of these players arenít expected to develop into more than roster fillers, absent a generous skew. But the additions of these rookies allows the team to cut a few higher priced veterans and free up salary cap space for the next couple of years. The team selected HB Lucious Dufree (93 SPD, 64 STR, 92 ACC) late in the 4th round to be the third string back. DEs Rasir Dowling and Larry Fuller were added in the 6th and 7th rounds, respectively, add depth on the defensive line. OT Bob Patterson was taken early in the 7th and will allow the team to cut some higher priced back-ups. Similarly, Kansas State rookie CB Ronde Carter may prove to be a cheaper alternative to CB Kevin Barnes as the teamís sixth corner. Lastly, the team selected Oklahoma WR Jaz Reynolds late in the 7th. Reynolds has the team intrigued with his size (6í2Ē) and is anxious to see how he performs in training camp. Either way, his signing is likely to signal the teamís willingness to part with WR Mark Dell.

Overall, the team is excited about its crop of young additions and is looking forward to training camp and the coming season.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 01/07/2013) Replies - 3 :: Views - 70
Bounty Controversy in New York?
League officials were mum today on reports that were emerging from New York on a potential scandal that could rock the fake football world to its fake core. Allegations have surfaced that New York Giants GM James Parrone may have placed a bounty on one or more Cowboys player in their upcoming match-up this weekend in MetLife Stadium.

The allegations come as a yet unconfirmed private message exchange between Paronee and Dallas GM Keith Van Wagner, in which (a presumably intoxicated) Parornnee is alleged to have asked Van Wagner, "you resting some starters? I'm going all out. i have nothing to lose and only thing I have to play for is hurting your guys. I will be 100% defending the pass and trying to get pressure on Romo. I suggest resting him."

The rest of the exchange is believed to have gone something like this:

Van Wagner: Lol -- are you...threatening me? I'm not planning on resting anybody. I've wrapped up the division but still playing for home field advantage. I know AF is your boy and I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up with HF advantage, but I'm going for it too.

Paloney: I then promise to injure 1 or more of your guys. 79% aggression setting. Look out. I tried to help you.

Van Wagner: Do what you gotta do, I guess. Your team hasnít been on my radar for quite awhile.

League officials have not yet issued a statement but insiders report that the GZL office takes very seriously any allegations of fake intentional harm to fake players in a fake league and may soon institute a formal fake investigation.

For their part, the respective GMs have gone out of their way not to fuel this potential controversy. When asked to comment, Van Wagner declined as he was too busy writing this article and not getting any work done. Likewise, Pepperoni declined to be interviewed as he was too busy sucking his own dick. Attempts to interview Tony Romo, at whom the comments were primarily focued, were unsucessful. Efforts to interview Eli Manning were also fruitless, because, like a dumbass, Parrronnee traded him last year and he no longer plays for the Giants and doesn't give a fake shit about what his fake former GM says or does.

Still, it is likely that rumors and allegations will not quiet down anytime soon and all eyes will be on the otherwise inconsequential match-up between the NFC East Champion Dallas Cowboys and the other team.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 11/07/2012) Replies - 7 :: Views - 68
Miles Austin Has Historic Day
In today's decisive 52-13 win over division rival Washington, the Cowboys took a commanding lead early and never let go. After exploding for 21 points in the second quarter, Dallas went into the locker room at halftime up 35-10, but not before the team celebrated WR Miles Austin and a record-setting accomplishment, surpassing 2,000 yards receiving.

Austin had a productive, but somewhat routine, day for the all-pro receiver. Cathing 7 passes for 119 yards, Austin was held relatively in check by the Redskin defense. Other than a 61-yard touchdown reception, Austin wasn't much of a factor.

That can't be said, however, for the rest of season. Through 14 games, Austin has caught a jaw-dropping 141 passes for 2,043 yards and 9 TDs. His reception totals for the season had already shattered the previous record, 113 catches in a season, set in 2010 by Pierre Garcon. Today's game, however, gave him not only the single season yardage record, besting the 1,967 yards posted by Donnie Avery in 2010, but made him the only WR in history to eclipse 2,000 yards.



This season has been a remarkable one for Austin. Austin became the league's most productive WR in a single game in week 4, catching 18 passes (for 312 yards). He now stands as the most productive WR over the course of a season. And Austin is also the most productive WR of all time, ranked first in receptions and yardage.

In 14 games this season, Austin has had 10 100-plus games, including at one point 4-straight 200+ games. Ironically, his season started out shakily as he managed a season low 3 catches for 35 yards and 2 drops in game 1.

Austin has averaged 10 catches a game and 145 yards. He is on pace to end up with mind-boggling 161 catches and 2,334 yards.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 11/06/2012) Replies - 3 :: Views - 35
Cowboys Suffer Tough Loss to Titans
Dallas suffered a disappointing defeat this week, falling to the 10-1 Tennessee Titans by a score of 16-6. Going into the game the Cowboys were sporting an NFC East leading record of 8-2 and hoping to knock off the league best Titans. However, the team came up short in its efforts to establish themselves as one of the league's elite franchises.

The high octane Cowboys offense fell flat as it amassed a paltry 196 yards on offense. Tony Romo, who leads the league in passing yardage, managed only 158 yards through the air as Dallas was able to put only two field goals on the board. The beleagured Cowboy running game also faltered, posting 58 yards on 20 attempts.

As if the news wasn't bad enough, starting Free Safety and former 1st Round pick Gerald Powell was lost for the season with a broken tailbone.

The Cowboys misstep against the Titans, however, comes after a five game win streak and a period where the team won 8 of 9 games. The road to the playoffs is clearly marked, but to succeed the team must face some strong challenges in the coming weeks.

First comes a reeling Jacksonville team that would love to pull a major upset at home. Then the Cowboys faces an incredibly tough stretch beginning with playoff contentder Detroit, then back to back division games against Washington and New York, before finishing the season against the NFC best Tampa Bay squad.

If Dallas can come out of it's remaining records with a winning record, it would be enough to capture the NFC East crown.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 10/19/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 19
Dallas 2013 Training Camp
2012 Season in Review

Coming off of the lows of 2011, the Dallas Cowboys were hoping to regain the success they achieved in 2010 when they won the NFC East. The team felt that it could improve upon its 7-9 record and potentially return to the playoffs. However, 2012 got off to a rough start and the team couldnít seem to gather any momentum. However, after going 5-6 through 11 weeks, the team finally got their mojo flowing and reeled off 5 straight victories to finish the season 10-6 and to win the division outright. The team however stumbled in the opening round of the playoffs, losing a close and bitter game to the Giants, 34-33.



Offensively, the team performed solidly, with quarterback Tony Romo having a sturdy season, but one in which he regressed somewhat from 2011. Romo threw for almost 4,300 yards, finishing among the best in the RZL, and had 23 touchdowns, but a career high 17interceptions. Miles Austin lead the team in receptions (86) yards (1,247) and TDs (8) but Dez Bryant wasnít far behind. The running game featured another season in which Felix Jones managed another season of over 1,200 yards rushing. The offensive line was generally sturdy, but as Romo took 31 sacks, needed improvement. C Andre Gurode was a lone bright spot, winning a Pro Bowl berth.



On the other side of the ball, the individual efforts were outstanding. The defense was anchored by stud middle linebacker Sean Lee, who had a career year as he replaced Bradie James. Lee had 125 tackles, second best in the NFC. The big story however was the secondary. CBs Terrance Newman and Mike Jenkins finished 1-2 in intereceptions to lead the league. Newman set a GZL record with 13 interceptions in a season, while Jenkins tied for second best ever with 11. Between the two they had 5 TDs returned as well. DeMarcus Ware had another stellar year, with 10 sacks, which lead the team. Ware and fellow Defensive End Ryan Kerrigan made the Pro Bowl.



2013 Off-Season Recap

The Cowboys had a very busy off-season, though it remains to be seen how beneficial the effect will be going into 2013. The team traded, cut, or chose not resign 14 veterans, including four starters, one of which, Gurode, was a Pro Bowler, and another, Jason Witten, was an Icon. In their place, the team only added three role players in the off-season, back-ups RB Bernard Scott, WR Mark Dell, and OLB Clint Sintim. Most of these moves were made to meet the tight salary cap. The team has targeted a couple of other players for the off-season and hopes to sign them to fill out final roster spots.

Four of the players who did not return are former starters. Most were not brought back due to the salary cap constraints the team felt. For example, Pro Bowl C Gurorde was traded to the Raiders as the team couldnít afford to keep his salary. TE Jason Witten has long been a fan favorite and continued to perform at a high level. However, the team had to cut him to stay under the cap. Dallas also cut former starting OT Damien Woody, who had a solid campaign in 2012, but wasnít expected back due to the emergence of OT Ray Gray.

Most of the other players that were released or not resigned were players the team felt could be replaced more cheaply through the draft. Below is a recap of the players drafted:

1.23 - OT DJ Fluker. Not the sexiest pick, DJ Fluker is a rare combination of speed and strength and should bring a solid run and pass blocker to the teamís offensive line for many years to come. Fluker may start at Guard for a season or two, or he may be start at OT as a rookie



1.31 Ė CB Gunner Recall. The Cowboys traded up to make this selection which turned a lot of heads on Draft Day. Recall has one of the best set of attributes in league history. But the CB is short by any measure. The team felt Recall was something of a luxury and can also be a difference maker in the return game.

2.15 Ė DT JaQuinton Long. The Cowboys were targeting a DT to replace Jay Ratliff who left due to salary cap reasons. Long is a remarkable prospect who has a huge frame but the speed of a smaller tackle. Look for Long to employ his talents and clog the passing and running lanes for a long time to come.

2.23 Ė TE Tyler Eifert. Eifert is perhaps the most complete TE prospect in league history. While not a burner, Eifert has incredible attributes and is a very strong blocker. Eifert will step in immediately to replace Witten and is expected to improve both the passing and running game.

2.30 Ė WR Norm Grace. The Cowboys have their established WRs, but needed a talented and young slot WR. Grace fills this gap and brings great athleticism and decent size to the position.

3.9 Ė QB Kellen Moore. Every season the team has looked for a free agent upgrade at the backup QB position and each time it has failed. With Romo having a few more years left, getting the reliable and smart Boise State product makes a lot of sense as he can be a solid number two for years to come.



3.23 Ė TE Michael Williams. With the release of Witten and departure of Zinger, Dallasí cupboard of tight ends was bare. Dallas nabbed Williams late in the third round and has locked up the two best TEs in the draft. Williams is a true blocking tight end and will be used to protect Tony Romo as much as catch passes.

4.12 Ė C Ivory Wade. Wade doesnít likely fit in the teamís plans as a starter, but the young center provides good depth behind new starter Tyson Steffen.

Player Improvements

The Cowboys feel it is imperative that they get out to a quick start in the upcoming season, and as the team has invested in improving, so must the individual players. Despite his stellar season in 2011, the team feels that Felix Jones needs to improve his stamina and healthy, as the starting running back play is so crucial to a winning season. Young offensive tackles DJ Fluker and Ray Gray both need to improve their games going into the new season. Fluker needs to improve his strength in the weight room, while Gray needs to quicken his step. Dez Bryant has been working on his 40 times in hopes of becoming even more of a deep threat. Likewise, sure-handed but slow-footed rookie TE Tyler Eifert is expected to devote much of his off-season to increasing his speed.

Training Camp Position Battles

Nickel Corner -- Akwasi Owusu-Ansah vs. Gunner Recall. Recall made a big draft day splash as a new Cowboy, but veteran AOA has been a favorite of the GM for many years and has been groomed for the eventual departure of All-Star Terrance Newman. Both players have amazing athleticism, but AOA is more polished and has better hands. Still, itíll be difficult to keep Recall off the field.



Center Ė Tyson Steffen vs. Free Agent Center. With Gurode gone through trade, Steffen is expected to step in and start. However, the former third rounder is very raw and had limited success in his short time on the field. The team is confident Steffen can step upÖfor now. Donít be surprised if the Cowboys kick the tires on a few veteran interior lineman before the start of the season.

Offensive Tackle ĖDJ Fluker vs. Doug Free. In the past three years the Cowboys have completely revamped the offensive line through the draft. New first rounder Fluker is strong and swift, but very green. Free played well last season at Tackle, but some feel he is more suited for Guard. While both will be starting next season, itís unclear which will be protected Romoís back, and which will be fending off defensive tackles.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 07/12/2012) Replies - 2 :: Views - 43
Cowboys Excited About Class of 2013
Early this morning the Dallas Cowboys selected its eighth and final pick in the 2013 GZL Draft.

The team is very excited at its crop of rookies and is hopeful that this group of young and talented players can allow them to win the NFC East once again, and perhaps play deep into the playoffs.

Here are the newest crop of Cowboys:

1.23 OT DJ Fluker, Alabama -- The Cowboys didn't have a pressing need on the offensive line, but the team loved Fluker's big body (6'6", 335) and athleticism (60 SPD, 74 ACC) and couldn't let him slip. Fluker may start at Tackle with the team moving Doug Free to Guard, or they may plug him in on the interior of the line to season him for his first couple of seasons.



1.31 CB Gunner Recall, N/A -- In a controversial move, Dallas traded 2.14 and 2.31 to move back up into the first round to snag Recall. The biggest knock on Recall is his size. The diminutive Recall (5'7") clearly lacks ideal height and will surely struggle at times in coverage. But Recall wasn't drafted to be a starting corner, and the team salivates at the thought of seeing his physical attributes (97 SPD, 99 AGI, 98 ACC) in action.



2.15 DT JaQuinton Long, Syracuse -- The team had hoped to land Fletcher Cox at 2.14, but were nonetheless excited to see Long fall in its lap. Long is huge (6'8", 339) but still has the speed (63) and acceleration (70) of a smaller man. Dallas coaches are anxious to see the Syracuse product using his hands to deflect passes and his strength to disrupt the running game.

2.23 TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame -- With the release of Jason Witten, Dallas knew it needed a stellar Tight End to replace him. In the second round, the team got the best TE on the board in Eifert. Eifert isn't a burner (74 SPD) but is one of the best overall TE prospects in recent history. Equally strong (80) and agile (80), Eifert is an amazing jumper and solid blocker.



2.30 WR Norm Grace, UCLA -- The Cowboys have established Pro Bowl WRS in Austin and Bryant, but the team needs a good slot WR who can hold down the position for a few years to come. Dallas likes the raw Grace who has great speed (94) and good agility and acceleration. Grace is expected to be solid as a contributor from Day One.

3.9 QB Kellen Moore, Boise State -- In another controversial move, the Cowboys selected Moore higher than many would have projected him. However, Dallas needed a back-up QB for Romo and didn't want a veteran retread. Moore will never a starter, but his intelligence (83 AWR) and accuracy (90) make up for his size (6'0") and weak arm (76).



3.23 TE Michael Williams, Alabama -- Dallas went back to the Tight End position at the end of the third round and nabbed Williams. The Alabama product is huge (6'6", 269) and not the most agile, but is an amazing blocker (70, 70) and makes a nice addition to the running game.

4.12 C Ivory Wade, Baylor -- Wade was the last pick for the Cowboys and was drafted for roster depth.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 07/09/2012) Replies - 1 :: Views - 40
Cowboys Optimistic Heading Into Draft
The off-season has been a busy one for the Dallas Cowboys. The entire organization is anxious for the upcoming draft and is excited as there has been a great deal of activity in scouting players, evaluating trades, assessing players on the roster and determining how to best use the teamís first rounder and five second round draft picks.

The team is optimistic about the upcoming season as it finished strong in the regular season, winning its last five games and clinching the division. Dallas is looking forward to improving on the 2012 campaign, and is looking to remove the bitter taste in its mouth after their controversial loss to the Giants in the divisional round of the playoffs. Despite the teamís accomplishments during the season, the defeat left the entire team eager to prove itself in 2013.

The team is likely to keep many of its players from last year, but did trade away a few veterans. The team has five picks in the second round and it is looking to upgrade a few positions and fill various holes in the roster. The team has in the past not been afraid to wheel and deal on draft day, and many expect the team to move up and down as it sees fit. The team is tight lipped as to what itís intentions are with the 23rd pick overall, but insiders say the team plans to take the best available player. However, sources suggest the Cowboys have reached out to other teams about moving up to the first half of the initial round of the draft.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 07/04/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
Cowboys Control Their Destiny
The Cowboys have rebounded at the end of the year and are in a position where they control their respective playoff fate. This develop is indeed a surprise to many observers as the Cowboys have been under achieving all year. As recently as the beginning of week 12, the Cowboys were 5-6 and on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.

However, the team has reeled off three straight wins against high quality opponents and righted their season seemingly overnight. First, the Cowboys squeaked by a tough Saints team, 13-12. Then, in week 14, Dallas managed quite an upset against the then one-loss Bucs, 48-25. Finally, the Cowboys downed division foe New York in a game to decide sole position of the NFC East lead.

The reason for the abrupt turnaround rests almost solely with the revitalized play of QB Tony Romo. Romo, who through the first 11 games of the season had thrown only 9 TDs against 12 interceptions, has managed 12 TDs in the last three games and only 2 picks. Also at the forefront of the Dallas win streak is WR Miles Austin. Austin had been having a very lackluster year until the past two weeks. In week 14, the veteran WR lit up the Tampa Bay secondary, managing 343 yards receiving and 3 TDs on 11 catches. As an encore, Austin caught 4 TDs for 252 yards the next week against the Giants. The yardage from those two games more than doubled his output to the season to that point.

Still, the playoffs are not set in stone as the team heads into its matchup against Denver. The team has been keeping quiet on their recent hot streak and insists they are focused only on finishing strong in their remaining two games.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 05/01/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
Cowboys On Track for Dismal Season
The Dallas Cowboys came into the season with high hopes. The team felt that it had drafted well and made the kinds of personnel decisions that would put it in a good place to complete for the division title. The team felt that it's biggest foe would be the always tough New York Giants. However, it didn't expect that it's biggest foil would be itself.

Twelve games into the season, the Cowboys sit at 5-7 with a very tough New Orleans Saints team next up on the schedule. Instead of potentially winning the division, the team will be lucky to finish above .500 for the season.

While the team is not one to point fingers, the woeful start seems to rest on the shoulders of Tony Romo. Romo has struggled all season, throwing a meager 9 TDs so far, against 12 interceptions. Week after week the inept passing game has stymied the usually robust Dallas offense. Though the running game has been solid behind Felix Jones' inevitable 1,000 yard season, the receivers have not been able to generate much yardage or scoring. Dez Bryant and rookie Alshon Jeffrey lead all receivers with 2 TDs each. Former All-Pro Miles Austin is averaging less than 10 yards per catch.

The biggest shame in all of this is that the Cowboys production on offense has let a stellar defensive campaign go to waste. Cornerbacks Terrance Newman and Mike Jenkins are playing lights out, with 16 interceptions between them and 5 TDs.

The team is hopefully that the season could turn around, but realistically, it is looking at another season out of the playoffs.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 04/02/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 22
Cowboys Enter Bye Week 4-4
The Cowboys so far this season have been up and down, failing to gain any traction or momentum as the season has progressed. After 8 weeks, the team now sits atop the NFC East, though it's record of 4-4 demonstrates that the team has yet to hit its stride or take advantage of the poor showing of its division rivals. Currently, both the Redskins and the Giants have 3-4 records. The Cowboys come off of an embarrassing 30-6 loss at the hands of the Chargers.

Much of the blame for the Cowboys inability to win consistently must fall on the shoulders of quarterback Tony Romo. Romo has been highly ineffectively lately, throwing only 1 TD over the past four games, compared to 7 INTs during the same period. Romo's 11 INTs on the season already matches his total from 2011 for the entire year. Still, the Cowboys have faith that Romo's mistakes will take care of themselves.

The team is also optimistic that once Romo returns to form, the Cowboys will be difficult to contend with. HB Felix Jones has been anchoring a strong running game, averaging almost 100 yards a game. WR Dez Bryant is having another solid season and WR Miles Austin is now healthy.

On the other side of the ball, DeMarcus Ware leads the team with 7 sacks, while the CB tandom of Terrance Newman and Mike Jenkins has been spectacular, with 13 INTs between them, and 2 pick sixes apiece. In fact, ironically, both CBs have caught as many TDs as team leading WR Bryant.

With this in mind, the Cowboys are hopeful that the second half of the season will be strong enough to propel them to the Playoffs again.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 02/28/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 14
Cowboys Look to Get Back to .500
Three weeks into the season, the Dallas Cowboys sit at 1-2 and this week face an NFC East leading Philadelphia Eagle squad that beat them just two weeks ago. This is not how the team management envision the start of the 2012 season, for which they were very hopeful.

The good news is that the Cowboys are tied with the Giants and Redskins, and with a win this week against the Eagles, the team could be tied for the division lead.

In this vein, There are positive signs as the team begins focusing on the heart of its schedule. Tony Romo, while not playing up to his usual standards, has been solid through the first 3 games. Romo's two interceptions returned for TDs in the first matchup against the Eagles proved to be the difference, and the QB has resolved not to hand the game over as he did in week 2. The return of Romo favorite Miles Austin is expected to liven up the offense as well.

A brighter spot has been the running game, where Felix Jones has enjoyed bigger holes thanks to the revamped offensive line. Jones has rushed for over 100 yards in each game this season.

Of concern is the defense, which has allowed several big plays and an average of over 30 points per game. The secondary has lived up to its end of the bargain, with starting CBs Newman and Jenkins intercepting a total of 5 passes. The defense has only managed 6 sacks, which must be improved upon.

While it's too early to call this weeks game a make or break contest, it's clear the Cowboys desperately need a 'W'.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 01/26/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
Cowboys Looking Forward to 2012
Optimism is running high at Valley Ranch as the Dallas Cowboys begin the pre-season and look forward to the beginning of the 2012 regular season. The Cowboy organization has been restless all off-season, eager to get the bad taste of a disappointing 2011 campaign out of their mouth.

The off-season has been a busy one, though many are concerned that the team hasnít done enough to keep pace with the Giants, Redskins and Eagles in a tough divisional race. The team lost many veterans from 2011 in salary cap moves. However, GM Van Wagner feels that while the team is leaner than it was a year ago, it hasnít lost anything in terms of quality. The team returns 10 of its 11 offensive starters, with only former starter OT Leonard Davis not returning. Cowboy coaches feel that with the resigning of Doug Free and the drafting of Ray Gray, the offensive line is actually stronger than in previous seasons.

On defensive the team is reshuffling a bit more. The biggest change is the loss of former starting MLB Bradie James, who led the NFC with 140 tackles in 2011. James had lost a step and will be missed, but the team is confident in his replacement, former starting OLB Sean Lee. Lee looks primed to have a breakthrough season. The team will be starting Leon Williams at the other OLB position, but likes the veteranís raw talent.DE/DT Igor Olshansky, who left for free agency in a salary cap move, is to be replaced by first round draft pick Muhammad Wilkerson.
The team also signed free agent Tramon Williams to be the nickelback.

The 2012 season got off with a bang with a thrilling overtime victory against San Diego in the pre-season opener, and the team hopes this early success will carry through as the rest of the season unfolds.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 12/28/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 16
Cowboys 2012 Off-Season & Training Camp Report
2011 Season in Review

Coming off of the highs of 2010, the Dallas Cowboys were extremely optimistic going into last season. The team felt that it could improve upon its 11-5 record and potentially do deep into the playoffs. However, 2011 got off to a disappointing note and the team seemed as if it was struggling uphill from the get-go. After a heartbreaking overtime loss in the seasonís opener to division rival New York, the team failed to gain any real momentum, failing to win or lose more than two games in a row for the entire campaign.



Offensively, the team performed well, with quarterback Tony Romo having an excellent season. Romo threw for over 4,000 yards, finishing second in the NFL, and had 27 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions. Romoís performance sparked both starting receivers to gain over 1,200 yards through the air. Miles Austin was the teamís sole representative to the Pro Bowl. The running game, while effective, didnít have the same spark that it did in 2010. Felix Jones took over the starting position for Marion Barber and put together a 1,200 yard season.

On the other side of the ball, the individual efforts were solid. The defense was anchored by stud middle linebacker Bradie James, who had a career year. James had 140 tackles, tops in the NFC, and 4 interceptions. He co-lead the team in this category, along with CB Terrance Newman and Safety Morgan Burnett. DeMarcus Ware had another stellar year, with 10 sacks, which lead the team.




2012 Off-Season Recap

The Cowboys had a very busy off-season, though it remains to be seen how beneficial the effect will be going into 2012. The team traded, cut, or chose not resign 16 veterans. In their place, the team only added one player, back-up RB Chris Ivory, former of the Saints. Despite the seemingly disproportion of these moves, the Cowboys feel they havenít lost too much and potentially are better all-around going into the new season. The team has targeted a couple of other players for the off-season and hopes to sign them to fill out final roster spots.

Six of the players who did not return are former starters. Most were not brought back due to the salary cap constraints the team felt. For example, DE/DT Igor Olshansky was a player the team wanted to bring back, but felt it couldnít afford the talented, but aging veteran. MLB Bradie James was cut despite his stellar 2011 as the club felt James had lost a step or two and liked the progression of the younger and faster Sean Lee. Dallas also cut former starting OT Leonard Davis, who had a solid campaign in 2011, but was a player whose salary outpaced his performance on the field.

Marion Barber, who rushed for over 1,500 yards just two seasons ago, was traded to Baltimore before the draft. The team hated to lose the talented runner, but couldnít continue to pay his high salary with Felix Jones being highlighted as the feature back.

Most of the other players that were released or not resigned were players the team felt could be replaced more cheaply through the draft. Below is a recap of the players drafted:



1.20 Ė DT Muhammad Wilkerson. For the second year in a row, the team takes a D-Lineman first overall. The team traded down and landed what it felt was one of the best Tackles available. Wilkerson is fast and had decent strength and is expected to start right away.

2.21 Ė OT Ray Gray. Not a strong need for the Cowboys, but Gray was the second highest ranked lineman the Cowboys had on their board. Gray brings a great combination of speed and size and already is a polished blocker.

2.26 Ė WR Alshon Jeffrey. Once again looking for the best player available, the Cowboys grabbed big body WR Jeffrey when he fell to them late in the 2nd round. Jeffrey is 6í4Ē and has great hands for a rookie.

3.13 Ė MLB Earl Cox. This Cincinnati product isnít the fastest linebacker on the board, but is strong and agile. Expected only to back-up Lee, Cox was originally an OLB in college but has been converted to the Mike position.

4.13 Ė DE Daniel Baker. The Cowboys have their Ends set for some time to come, so Baker looks to be a second stringer. Not overly fast, Baker is strong and has good acceleration.

5.11 Ė DE Patrick Hughes. This was a pick primarily for need as the team needs another DE. This Boston College product is very similar to Baker in attributes. The team hopes he and Baker can provide spot duty for Kerrigan and Ware.

5.13 Ė OG Gustavo Hoffman. Though Gustavo played OT in college, the team projects the former Georgetown Hoya as a back-up Guard. Hoffman has average speed and strength and has polished blocking skills.

6.13 ĖQB Craig Moody. Moody was drafted to fill the third quarterback position and likely doesnít fit into the teamís long-term plans.

7.13 -- WR OJ Murdock. Murdock represents great value for the team as a 7th rounder. Moore has 92 speed and excellent jumping ability. While not expecting much playing time, Murdock can be a productive role-player.


Player Improvements

The Cowboys feel it is imperative that they get out to a quick start in the upcoming season, and as the team has invested in improving, so must the individual players. Despite his stellar season in 2011, the team feels that Tony Romo needs to improve his accuracy and field awareness for 2012, as quarterback play is so crucial to a winning season. Starting offensive tackles Doug Free and Jeff Otah both need to improve their games going into the new season. Free needs to improve his strength in the weight room, while Otah needs to quicken his step. Dez Bryant has been working on his 40 times in hopes of becoming even more of a deep threat. Likewise, sure-handed but slow-footed TE Jason Witten is expected to devote much of his off-season to increasing his speed. Finally, HB Felix Jones has been busy in the weight room trying to add strength for the 2012 campaign.



Training Camp Position Battles

Nickel Corner -- Akwasi Owusu-Ansah vs. Bryan McCann. The team had to let former NCB Orlando Scandrick go due to salary cap concerns. In his place, the team homes either Owusu-Ansah or McCann can emerge to provide pass defense support. AOA is expected to take this spot, as the former college standout has the height advantage, great speed and amazing hands. Still, McCann filled in well last season when Owusu-Ansah went down to injury.

Center Ė Andre Gurode vs. Tyson Steffen. It is widely believed that mainstay Center Gurode has the position locked up for 2012. Gurode is just simply too good and Steffen is too inexperienced. However, the team seriously considered releasing Gurode in the off-season due to cap concerns. Steffen was drafted to eventually take over the position, so itís only a matter of time until Steffen starts pushing for playing time so the Cowboys can fully evaluate the young lineman.

Slot WR -- Kevin Ogletree vs. Alshon Jeffrey. The Cowboys love Ogletree's potential, size and speed. However, the former Virginia standout couldn't stay healthy. Alshon Jeffrey doesn't have the attributes that Ogletree has, but the team is salivating at the thought of getting the big-bodied Jeffrey in the open field against defensive backs throughout the league.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 12/20/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 25
Cowboys Reloading For 2012
Despite a disappointing finish to 2011 after high hopes going into the season, the Dallas Cowboys are very optimistic about the upcoming season. The Cowboys faded down the stretch last year after a playoff run in 2010. While Quarterback Tony Romo had a stellar year, the team was beset with injuries and a defense that did not live up to expectations.

The team has been relatively quiet in the offseason, but rigorously preparing for the upcoming draft. Though the team is keeping together it's offensive and defensive cores, salary cap concerns are likely to cause the team to jettison some veterans while acquiring as many draft picks as possible. Without many glaring holes, Dallas is expected to focus primarily on the best players available. However, the team is expected to attempt to add to its offensive line and may target a Defensive Tackle in the draft.

Recently the team added both of its top running backs to the trade block. Dallas would love to keep both Felix Jones and Marion Barber, but it's unlikely they will be able to. Leonard Davis, the team's offensive tackle, is also on the block. The team will be studying its roster to determine whether or not to resign defensive end DeMarcus Ware, or whether to tag him with the franchise tag. Defensively, Sean Lee is expected to take over in the middle for the recently released Bradie James. James' production will be missed, but Lee has the athleticism to become a force in the middle.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 12/02/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 16
Cowboys Long-Shot For Play-Offs
Twelve games into the regular season, the Dallas Cowboys appear to be on the outside looking in for the GZL playoff race. The team is stuck at a mediocre 6-6 and currently own the seventh spot in a six team NFC playoff picture. While the playoffs are not completely out of the question, they are in fact highly unlikely, as the sixth seed Green Bay Packers, with nine victories already, have a commanding lead of the Cowboys in the playoff hunt. In short, the Cowboys would need to win out, and have the Packers lose each of their remaining contests. Such a scenario just doesn't seem likely and the team is expected to be watching the playoffs from home.

Despite the subpar record, the team has actually performed well individually. Quarterback Tony Romo has had a tremendous season, passing for over 3,100 yards through 12 games and thrown 24 TDs to only 8 interceptions. The running game hasn't been as dominate as it was last year, with both Felix Jones and Marion Barber hovering around 4 yards per carry. Starting WRs Miles Austin and Dez Bryant appear to be locks for 1,000 yard seasons, and the offensive line has proven itself to be solid.

The biggest question mark has been the secondary, with two cornerbacks out for the year. Still, the defense has proven solid overall, with DeMarcus Ware and rookie Ryan Kerrigan recording seven and six sacks, respectively. A major bright spot for the team has been MLB Bradie James, who leads the NFC in tackles and has picked off three passes. The team expects James to be an All-Pro at the end of the season.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 10/01/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 11
Cowboys Not Happy With .500 Record
The Cowboys have had a very uneven first half of the season, hitting the halfway point with a very disappointing 4-4 record.

The team has yet to string together a series of game that demonstrates the Cowboys are operating as a team and have a coherent vision for the season. Despite the .500 record, the team is still in second place in the division and are only a game behind the Green Bay Packers in the wild card hunt. Still, the Giants with a 6-2 mark have a commanding lead in the division and while not insurmountable, the Cowboys definitely face a steep challenge.

Despite its record, the Cowboys have had some bright spots in the first half of the season. QB Tony Romo, who struggled last year, has been on a blistering pace. Romo is on pace for for over 4,200 yards and 30 touchdowns. Through eight games, Romo has only thrown 5 picks. The Cowboys ranked fourth overall in total offense, in part because of the dual threat of Felix Jones and Marion Barber. Jones is on pace for a 1,000 yard season and Barber has been solid as the number two back. Miles Austin and Dez Bryant have had blistering first half of the seasons as well.

Defensively, the Cowboys have struggled a bit to produce big results. Both DeMarcus Ware and rookie Ryan Kerrigan each have 4 sacks, but the team has yet to generate much pass rush. Similarly, the Cowboys have only forced only eleven turnovers.

Still, the team has reason to be hopeful. Two of the teamís loses were the result of heart-breaking defeats due to fourth quarter comebacks. Three of the teamís four loses have come at the hands of teams ranked in the top ten.

Overall, the team is optimistic about the second half of the season.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 08/30/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 13
Cowboys Sit at .500
After four games the Dallas Cowboys stand with a disappointing record of 2-2, though the team feels it is better than it's .500 record. The team opened with a heart-breaking overtime loss to division rival New York, now sitting with an unblemished 4-0 record. Despite the disappoiment of the defeat, the team was optimistic about the season as they put up 250 yards rushing (including 100 yard+ games from both Marion Barber and Felix Jones) against the stout Giant defense.

In week 2, the Cowboys rode the arm of Tony Romo to victory, as the quarterback passed for 388 yards and 3 TDs in a 27-24 defeat of the Seattle Seahawks. The following week Dallas' good fortune continued as it put down division rival Philadelphia 27-13. Jones had another 100 yard+ rushing game and Romo was efficient as ever, completing passes for a 130.1 passing rating. The Cowboys managed to hold the ball for nearly 30 minutes as they played their best football of the season.

Going into week 4, the Cowboys felt good about their chances against the high-powered Steelers, however, the Steelers completely manhandled Dallas, 42-7. The Cowboys managed under 250 yards of offense, including only 60 on the ground.

The team is anxious to host San Francisco this weekend as they try to get back to their winning ways. the club has been studying game film of the 49ers in hopes of picking out keys that will help them content for a future playoff spot. On the positive side, the team is currently injury-free and hopes that keeping the players fresh and healthy could put them in a good position as the season advances.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 07/28/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 19
Dallas Cowboy Training Camp
2010 Season in Review
The Cowboys were extremely happy to be crowned NFC East division champs in the inaugurial season of the GZL, though that excitement was tampered by what many in the organization thought was too quick of an exit from the playoffs. Despite the club's 11-5 record, the team's last second loss to the 49ers in the divisional round left a bitter taste in everyone's mouth.

The team was surprised to have only placed two players in the Pro Bowl, but they were proud of the efforts of HB Marion Barber, who rushed for over 1,500 yards despite not starting the season as the featured back. Barber scored 14 TDs on the year and was a workhorse, at one point gaining over 150 yards in four consecutive games. Andre Gurode also made the Pro Bowl, the lone standout on a patchwork offensive line that the team worked hard to improve in the off-season.




Defense proved to be the key to the success of the Cowboys. CB Terrance Newman tied for 3rd in interceptions in the NFC, despite missing the last 5 games to injury. DE DeMarcus Ware, MLB Bradie James, DT Jay Ratliff and CB Mike Jenkins were all standouts on a team-oriented defense.

2011 Off-Season Recap
Despite it's playoff appearance and division title, the Cowboys were hungry to get bigger, faster and better. The team was very active in the off-season, preparing for the 2011 campaign and making major changes in personnel and schemes.

The first orders of business dealt with veteran contracts. The team resigned HB Marion Barber through 2013 to a lucrative contract worth almost $17 million. The Cowboys next restructured the soon to be expiring contract of CB Terrance Newman, signing him to a 3 year, $18 million deal. The move saves the team close to $2 million in cap space in 2011. Despite Newman being 32, the team is confident that the cornerback can maintain a high level of play through the term of the deal.



The Cowboys were very excited at its long free agent signing, that of former Packer SS Morgan Burnett. The team gave Burnett a three-year deal worth almost $9 million. Though a very raw and inexperienced player (49 AWR), the team feels that given the right coaching and attention, Burnett's impressive physical tools (87 SPD, 70 STR, 72 CTH, 75 TAK) will pay dividends soon. Currently, the team has Burnett penciled in as its starting SS.

While the Cowboys thought highly of its team after a successful 2010, there were several areas it wanted to address in the Draft. The team had three first round picks, so it felt it could both address team needs while also targeting the best players available. The team also traded its second round pick for new OT Jeff Otah, formerly of the Panthers.

1.15 -- DE Ryan Kerrigan. While the team had greater needs than DE, the Cowboys loved Kerrigan's combo of speed and strength, and felt he'd be perfect to pair with DeMarcus Ware as it continues its transitions to the 4-3 defense.



1.26 -- FS Gerald Powell. The Cowboys felt that the biggest weakness it faced in 2010 was its subpar play at Safety. The team signed Burnett and drafted powerful Gerald Powell late in the first round. Powell brings good speed and great strength and excellent tackling. Powell will be a raw starting rookie, but is expected to anchor the secondary for years to come.

1.29 -- OG Lance Nguyen. The offensive line was a patchwork in 2010, and with the selection of OG Nguyen, it took the first step towards solidifying the front five. Nguyen is a polished blocker and brings good speed and acceleration.

3.8 -- C Tyson Steffen. While not expected to start right away, C Steffen was a steal in the 3rd round. Steffen is strong for a Center and has decent speed and nice blocking abilities. Look for Steffen to supplant mainstay Andre Gurode in the years to come.

3.26 -- FB Charles Clay. Fullback wasn't considered a need for the team, though the team decided to draft Clay after being impressed by his attributes. Most striking of them are his great hands (88 CTH). The team is considering a move to TE, but also is considering playing him as a blocking back.

4.26 -- OLB Mason Foster. This was a pick primarily for need as the team needs another OLB to fill out its roster, but the Cowboys are intrigued by Foster's size and strength and tackling ability, and thinks he is better suited in the middle.

5.14 -- OG Fred Bradley. Though Bradley played OT in college, the team projects the former Pitt Panther as a back-up Guard. Bradley has good speed and strength and can spot-start in a pinch.

6.18 -- DT Kerry Barber. Barber bring decent size and strength but is expected mostly to be a back-up during his career with the Cowboys.

6.26 -- WR Denarius Moore. Moore represents great value for the team as a 6th rounder. Moore is 6'0" and has 91 speed and excellent jumping ability. While not expecting much playing time, the former Tennessee Volunteer can be a productive role-player.

To make room for it's rookie signings, the Cowboys had to cut a few veterans to fit under the salary cap. After the draft the team cut OG Kyle Kosier, C Phil Costa and WR Jesse Holley. The cuts will have a profound impact on the cap in 2012, but they needed to be made.

Player Improvements
The Cowboys feel good about the upcoming season, but as the team has invested in improving, so must the individual players. Chief amoug those that need to improve are QB Tony Romo. Romo has the attributes to be a very good QB, but his on-field production was only average, throwing for 22 TDs and 16 INTs on the year. The team would like to see Romo improve his accuracy and field awareness for 2011. New starting Safeties Morgan Burnett and Gerald Powell are young and have tons of potential, but little experience. For them to anchor the deep secondary, they must absorb as much as possible during Training Camp. Look for both to hit the books hard so they can contribute and shore up Dallas' pass defense. As the saying, goes, 'speed kills' and Dallas would like for some of its skill players to add both quickness and explosiveness. Already a burner, Dez Bryant has been working on his 40 times in hopes of becoming even more of a deep threat. Likewise, sure-handed but slow-footed TE Jason Witten is expected to devote much of his off-season to increasing his speed. Finally, DE Marcus Spears has been busy in the weight room trying to add strength for the 2011 campaign. Coaches have been considering moving Spears from the DE position inside where he can use his quickness to get to the QB.



Training Camp Position Battles
Halfback -- Marion Barber vs. Felix Jones. Few people remember, but before Barber's Pro Bowl year in 2010, Felix Jones was the starting HB for the Cowboys. Jones managed 134 in the season opening win over the Redskins, but went down for an extended period. Barber stepped in and won the starting position. Both players are incredibly skilled and very different have styles. It will be interesting to see which becomes the full-time back.

Strong Safety -- Morgan Burnett vs George Sensabaugh. The Cowboys brought in the young Morgan Burnett to start and paid him like it. While the team is enamored with his gifts, Sensabaugh performed quite admirably last year, recording over 90 tackles. Burnett is flashier and younger, but his rival is a veteran who knows what's going on out on the field. Many insiders say Burnett has the inside track, but don't discount the steady veteran.

Fullback -- Chris Gronkowski vs. Charles Clay. Gronkowski performed well for the Cowboys last year, rushing for 111 yards, catching 10 passes and getting 58 pancakes, while allowing only 2 sacks. However, Clay is more polished and is an amazing pass catcher out of the backfield. As the team goes to Training Camp, this battle is too close to call.

Slot WR -- Kevin Ogletree vs. Brandon Jones. The Cowboys love Ogletree's potential, size and speed. However, the former Virginia standout couldn't stay healthy. Brandon Jones doesn't have the attributes that Ogletree has, but he out-produced him when he got a chance to play. Look for Ogletree to emerge, unless he doesn't report to camp in excellent condition.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 06/16/2011) Replies - 1 :: Views - 37
Cowboys Look to Off-Season After Playoff Defeat
The Dallas Cowboys returned to their Valley Ranch practice facility on Monday to clean out their lockers and prepare for the off-season. The Cowboys were clearly disappointed with the game's outcome and were left shaking their heads as they tried to describe the feeling after the hear-breaking loss to the 49ers. Many of the team refused to answer questions in the aftermath of the defeat in the NFC divisional round, in which the Cowboys held a seemingly comfortable 30-17 lead going in the fourth quarter. However, the 49ers seemed to come alive in the final minutes of the game, outscoring Dallas 20-6. The Cowboys had lost and then regained the lead in the closing minutes, until Frank Gore managed an amazing and back-breaking 65 yard touchdown run on fourth and inches.

Several members of the team would only focus on 2011 and were optimistic about the upcoming season. Next year the Cowboys will feature many of the same stars that lead them to an 11-5 record and division title. Another reason for optimism is the draft -- in which the Cowboys have the fifth pick overall, as well as its own first round pick. The scouting department has been working overtime, trying to breakdown film and get a sense of which rookies will make the most impact. The team has yet to reveal its plans for Draft Day, but several sources suggest the team will look at upgrading its already impressive defense. With many Defensive Ends and Defensive Tackles available at the top of most draft boards, the team is confident it will come away with a stud for the next decade.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 05/31/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 21
Cowboys and Eagles Square Off For Division Title
After a strong first half of the season, the Dallas Cowboys have lost three of their last five games, to move from the best record in the league to potentially having to play a Wild Card game and missing a first round bye. The Cowboys play the Eagles this week in a season-ending showdown that determines the NFC East title. Both clubs come into the game with 10-5 records. Despite Dallasí current half-game lead over the Eagles due to their victory over Philadelphia in week 14, all of that doesnít matter in a winner take all match-up. Even though both teams have clinched play-off spots, the winner takes the division title and the coveted bye week, while the loser must play in week 18.

The Eagles bring a high-powered offense featuring electric Michael Vick and the sensational WR tandem of Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson, and a bone-crushing defense anchored by Ernie Sims, Mike Patterson and Asante Samuel.

The Cowboys limp into Philadelphia after a disappointing loss against the Cardinals, in a game in which much maligned quarterback Tony Romo threw four picks. The team was demoralized after the game in which the Cardinals had nothing to play for, and the Cowboys could have clinched the division. Coaches have been studiously reviewing Eagle film to try to find weaknesses in Phillyís stout defense and explosive offense. The team feels it can recapture some of the magic from earlier in the season and at least offer a entertaining game. Either way, when the clock strikes :00, the GZL will have itís inaugural NFC East champion.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 04/28/2011) Replies - 1 :: Views - 21
Cowboys Defense Loses Top CB to Injury
Although after 10 games the Cowboys are pleased with their 8-2 record, the team is very much aware of the difficult schedule they have down the stretch. Each of the remaining six games feature teams with records of .500 or better, including the Saints, Colts, Redskins and Eagles, twice. Head Coach Wade Phillips has stressed to his team that they need to focus now and not rest on their laurels.

Despite having the best record in the NFC, there are definite areas of concern for Dallas. Most recent is the loss of starting CB Terrance Newman who will miss the rest of the season. Newman was an anchor on an impressive defense and had picked off six passes so far. Injuries to the secondary are a significant concern as Newman joins nickel CB Orlando Scandrick on injured reserve. The now-depleted Dallas secondary now features two players signed off of the street and has moved from a strength of the team to a weakness.

Further concerns revolve around the play of former Pro Bowler Tony Romo. Despite playing nearly every snap this season, Romo has thrown only 10 TDs against 11 interceptions. Only twice this season has Romo topped 200 yards. While the team has been relying heavily on the ground game this season, coaches expect more production out of their star quarterback.

HB Marion Barber has proven to be a bright spot this season, filling in nicely for Felix Jones who went down in week 2. Barber, who already has topped 1,000 yards this season, has been especially punishing the last three games, racking up 514 yards and 7.8 avg, with 5 TDs. With Jones returning in a couple of weeks, the team hopes to add another dimension to their running game.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 03/28/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 20
Cowboys Must Improve to Make Playoffs
As the mid-season point approaches, Dallas holds on to a very slim NFC East divsion lead. The Cowboys (4-2) have the best record in the division by virtue of simply having played fewer games. With the Redskins and Eagles both standing at 4-3, the title is likely to come down to the wire.

Despite it's record, Dallas' season so far has been marked by uneven performances on the offense, while the defense has been outstanding. The loss of Felix Jones in week two has hampered the running game, though Marion Barber has filled in effectively, recording two 100-yard outings as the featured back. More troubling has been the erratic play of former Pro Bowl QB Tony Romo. Romo has managed only 6 TDs on the season and 7 Ints. Many have wondered if Romo doesn't break out of his slump soon, how viable are the team's playoff hopes. Rookie Dez Bryant has been a nice surprise and leads the team in all receiving categories. However, former All-Pro TE Jason Witten has been virtually invisible, hauling in only 9 passes all season.

Defensively, the team has been outstanding, ranking 5th in total yards allowed (318.2) and 2nd in points allowed (16.2). The Cowboys also have the best opponent QB rating at 58.3. Dallas has been lead by CB Terrance Newman who has 5 Ints on the year, including 2 returned for TDs. In all, the Cowboys have forced 14 turnovers, tied for 3rd in the league. DE DeMarcus Ware and DT Jay Ratliff each have 3 sacks on the season.

The Cowboys face a tough upcoming battle against Jacksonville and have 4 more difficult divisional games on their schedule. While Dallas is pleased with its early fast start, the club knows there is much to do and that the team's fortunes rest on staying healthy, continued success on the defensive side of the ball, as well as some continuity on offense.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 02/24/2011) Replies - 6 :: Views - 74
Cowboys Trade Back-ups For Multiple Picks
GM Keith Van Wagner confirmed earlier this morning that the team has completed a series of deals that resulted in the trading of three players, all back-ups, for multiple picks for the 2011 Draft.

While previously the team had planned to keep their roster in place for the current season, Van Wagner indicated that the deals offered by other clubs made the most sense for the long term outlook of the team.

The rapid-fire series of trades began earlier in the week when the Cowboys shipped WR Roy Williams and a 2nd round pick to Carolina for a 1st rounder and a 3rd. The team loved Williams' rare combination of size and speed, but with the arrival of Dez Bryant, the Williams had lost his starting position. "We know Roy is very talented," said Van Wagner, "as evidenced by his touchdown catch in week one against the Redskins." However, the team hated to waste his talent and the offer from the Panthers couldn't be refused. Kevin Ogletree will now move into the slot. Ogletree, a raw first year player from Virginia, has impressed coaches with his size (6'2") and speed (96). The trade of Williams cost the team an estimated $2.5 million in cap penalty in 2011.

The Cowboys also confirmed the trade of TE Martellus Bennett, a raw prospect with enormous potential who served as Jason Witten's back-up. Bennett was traded to the Broncos for a 3rd round pick and a 5th round pick. Van Wagner expressed his reluctance to let Bennett go, but felt that with Witten's prominence at the position in the years to come, along with Bennett's expiring contract, the team had to make the move. Dallas immediately signed Free Agent Keith Zinger, a 25 year old former LSU star. Zinger has decent speed (79) and is one of the better blocking TEs in the game (64 PBK, 63 PBK). Van Wagner indicated he was confident that Zinger would make a nice complement to Witten's pass-catching skills.

Finally, last night the Cowboys came to terms with the Rams, sending RT Marc Columbo to the Rams for 4th and 5th round picks. Columbo, who was unhappy with the loss of his starting position, sat the bench in week one. The team felt that Columbo added nice depth to their offensive line, but was concerned that the 10 year veteran wasn't as sharp in pass protection as he used to be. Plus, with Columbo's contract expiring at the end of the season, he was not expected back. Earlier in the pre-season, the Cowboys signed two Free Agent offensive lineman that they felt could be developed, RG Brady Bond and RT Andrew Gardner. Former starter Kyle Kosier will provide immediate help backing up at the Tackle position.

In all, the Cowboys were happy with the trades. Summing up what the team gained and lossed (see below), Dallas feels like it hasn't weakened its position in 2010 too much, and has greatly enhanced itself for 2011 and beyond.

Traded:
Roy Williams, Martellus Bennett, Marc Columbo, 2nd Round pick

Received:
1st Round pick (CAR), 3rd Round pick (OAK), 3rd Round pick (DEN), 4th Round pick (STL), 5th Round pick (DEN), 5th Round pick (STL).
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 01/14/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 26
Cowboys Considering Move to 4-3 Defense
Sources close to the Cowboys indicate the team is toying with the idea of switching from its base 3-4 defense to a 4-3 alignment. Reports from training camp suggest that Dallas is considering the move and will be tinkering with various defensive fronts in the pre-season.

Insiders say that GM Keith Van Wagner prefers a more traditional 4-3, which differs from the team's more recent base defense. However, Van Wagner has made it clear that the team will not try to fit a square peg in a round hole. "It comes down to what suits our personnel best," said one source.

Coaches have been intrigued with the possibility of moving OLB DeMarcus Ware (86 SPD, 85 STR, 251 lbs) to Defensive End. While there is still uncertainty how such a shift would impact the team, early reports suggest that Marcus Spears would be a bookend DE to Ware, with current DE Igor Olshanksy (60 SPD, 93 STR, 309 lbs) sliding inside to pair with former Pro Bowler Jay Ratliff at DT.

OLB Anthony Spencer would likely keep his starting position, but the rest of the LB corps would be unsettled if the team moved to a 4-3. Bradie James would likely keep the MLB job, leaving veteran Keith Brooking as the odd man out in the starting rotation. There is speculation as to who would man the weak-side OLB, and the Cowboys are evaluating both Leon Williams (83 SPD, 76 STR, 83 TAK) and Sean Lee (83 SPD, 74 STR, 85 TAK) as potential long-term replacements.

The Cowboys insist that no changes are set in stone and will use the pre-season to evaluate which alignment gives them the best chance to win.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 01/03/2011) Replies - 7 :: Views - 90
Dallas Cowboys Hire GM Keith Van Wagner.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced this afternoon the hire of former Carolina Panthers General Manager Keith Van Wagner to serve in the same capacity for the team. The move was came something as a surprise to many given Jonesí penchant for control when it comes to the storied franchise. However, team insiders insists that Jones is desperate for another Super Bowl victory and the owner felt the hiring of Van Wagner as the GM would be sufficient to put the team over the top.

Van Wagner spoke to the media yesterday at the teamís Valley Ranch headquarters, stressing his gratitude for the opportunity to work for the franchise and his enthusiasm for the upcoming season. ďI think this team has a great deal of talent,Ē said Van Wagner, ďbut that level of talent is meaningless without a Super Bowl victory.Ē The Cowboys feature a high-powered offense lead by Tony Romo, Marion Barber, Felix Jones, Miles Austin and rookie sensation Dez Bryant and a defense that is among the leagueís elite.

The new GM indicated that he did not see the need for a big roster shake-up. ďMy philosophy is to build a team through the draft,Ē said Van Wagner. We have a lot of the pieces in place, so I expect to be able build upon what is already in place.Ē However, Van Wagner said that he and his staff would evaluate each player and each position in the coming days and weeks before making any final roster decisions. Van Wagner is known to favor a 4-3 defensive alignment, though he told reporters that he would consider adjusting his preferences to the immediate roster in place. ďItís much too early for that kind of speculation,Ē said Van Wagner.

When asked how his hire would affect the tenure of the current Cowboys coaching staff, Van Wagner simply said that all aspects of the organization would be reviewed.
Forum Discussion (by K_VanWagner on 12/15/2010) Replies - 4 :: Views - 72

All Team News Stories

At A Glance

COWBOYS FRONT OFFICE
GM K_VanWagner
Head Coach Marvin Lewis
Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis
Defensive Coordinator D.Jauron
Special Teams Bobby April
Salary $168.19M
Cap Penalty $3.38M
Cap Room $2.43M

INJURY REPORT
PLAYER POS OVR LENGTH
Cowboys Jack Berry WR 72 Out for season
Cowboys Camden Pietarila CB 93 Out for season
Cowboys Connor Cook QB 99 Out for season
Cowboys Purifoy Bolden LE 99 Probable

NFC East
RNK TEAM W-L-T PCT DIV
#11 Redskins y-Redskins 11-5-0 0.69 4-2
#7 Cowboys Cowboys 10-6-0 0.63 2-4
#19 Giants Giants 8-8-0 0.50 4-2
#10 Eagles Eagles 7-9-0 0.44 2-4

COWBOYS SCHEDULE
WK DATE OPPONENT TIME/RESULT
1 Sep 10 at Seahawks Seahawks #26
Lost 19-31
2 Sep 17 vs 49ers 49ers #31
Won 20-3
3 Sep 24 at Redskins Redskins #11
Lost 13-19
4 Oct 1 vs Rams Rams #3
Won 27-17
5 Oct 8 at Ravens Ravens #8
Won 24-17
6 Oct 16 at Eagles Eagles #10
Won 17-10
7 Oct 22 vs Steelers Steelers #27
Won 44-6
9 Nov 5 vs Packers Packers #5
Won 24-20
10 Nov 12 vs Eagles Eagles #10
Lost 20-46
11 Nov 19 vs Giants Giants #19
Won 23-12
12 Nov 23 vs Browns Browns #14
Won 25-23
13 Dec 3 vs Redskins Redskins #11
Lost 27-30
14 Dec 10 at Bengals Bengals #20
Won 20-13
15 Dec 17 at Saints Saints #18
Lost 24-51
16 Dec 23 at Giants Giants #19
Lost 30-33
17 Dec 31 at Cardinals Cardinals #28
Won 26-10

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