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8/05/2007

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Site News: We're Moving this Blog

We've been on blogger since 2003, and we're going to be moving to a new host, one that offers a bit more and will make your fan experience even better. The new site has launched, and fully operational. See you there.

CowboysBlog.Net has moved HERE

Please be sure to update your bookmarks, and thanks for everyone that visited and emailed me!
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Look Up. Get Up. Don't Ever Give Up.

All I can say is WOW... Michael Irvin delivered one of the best HOF speeches of the night. I'll be the first to admit, I cried. Irvin's speech reflected on a whole spectrum, from on-the field, to off-the field.
Irvin touched us all tonight. Whether you're a Dallas Cowboys fan, or just a casual fan of football, this was a speech for the decades. I'll remember this for a long time, and carry it with me:

"Look Up. Get Up. Don't Ever Give Up"

Three times a charm for Irvin was well worth the wait. Being a fan of the Dallas Cowboys and a fan of Michael Irvin makes me proud. His speech was top notch, moving, and it offered advice to anyone that would listen.

Very moving speech indeed.

8/02/2007

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Irvin, Its Canton Time!

That's right, time has just crept up on us. Some of you may have forgotten, but our own Michael Irvin is getting enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame this Saturday (Aug.4th). Irvin's presenter will be Jerry Jones. Jerry has completed his speech for Irvin's induction and here what he said:

“One thing I really want to guard against is to not get too emotional with it,” Jones said. “But I don't know that I've ever been able to talk about him without getting emotional.”

Irvin is also one of the 17 players in the team's Ring of Honor. Jones said there are no plans to add anyone this year. (mysa.com)


What time?
6:00 p.m.: ENSHRINEMENT- Class of 2007 - Gene Hickerson, Michael Irvin, Bruce Matthews, Charlie Sanders, Thurman Thomas, Roger Wehrli (Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium)

The Numbers
Pro Career: 12 seasons, 159 games
Drafted: 1st round (11th overall) in 1988 by Dallas Cowboys
Uniform Number: #88
Conference Championships: 3 (4 appearances)
Super Bowl Championships: 3
Receptions: 750
Yards: 11,904
TDs: 65

Here are some recent articles on Irvin, they are good reads:
Michael Irvin HOF Bio (NFL.com)

Hall Recall: Michael Irvin (NFL.com)

Welcoming Committee: Michael Irvin (NFL.com by Aikman)

Reflection from a Die Hard Fan
I grew up watching the Cowboys on the back end of Landry's coaching career, and saw the downside of the Cowboys Dynasty that came before me. The Jimmy Johnson era was the best of times for so many Cowboys fans. I remember watching the Cowboys going 1-15, and getting picked on for following the Cowboys after that horrible season, then the Cowboys turned it around in 1990. I remember that year, the Cowboys went 7-9. Emmitt Smith was a rookie, and the Cowboys looked good, especially Emmitt, but this was the year the "Triplets" were born. (Irvin came in 1988, Aikman in 1989, and Emmitt in 1990)

I remember vividly watching the final regular season game between the Saints vs. Rams game that year (1990). If the Rams would have won that game the Cowboys could have squeaked into the wild card game. This was my first glimpse of excitement for my team, for my generation.

The year after that was exciting as we went 11-5, then 13-3, then 12-4 in Jimmy's final season as coach of the Cowboys. Michael Irvin was a dynamic part of the Cowboys turnaround. He helped get the Cowboys back to glory, he helped shape the Cowboys into what we are today - Champions. Watching Irvin get those first downs was a treat, he would slam the ball or point in the direction of the 1st down, Who can forget that? His on the field theatrics were top-notch. He was physical, and played against the best corners in his day, and he made them look like fools on any given Sunday.

Thanks Michael, you deserve being in the Hall of Fame in my book and by many Cowboys Fans worldwide!

7/29/2007

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There's Jason Ferguson, and then...

Besides Ellis being out due to injury, and Henry getting beat in practice, what's the other subject forgotten about? Nose Tackle. NT should be a great concern, because after Jason Ferguson, we have NO ONE. After going to camp I was not impressed by our backups on the team. We'd be one injury away from an unstable defensive line if Ferguson goes down. He's has a few bumps here and there, but he is aging and we should continue to keep our options open.

Jason Ferguson
Ferguson is the obvious starter, we know this, so we won't go much into him. He should strive in this attacking 3-4 defense. Ferguson is a load for any offensive lineman to handle, just ask our own Pro Bowler, Andre Gurode.

Montavious Stanley
Drafted by the Cowboys last year and then cut, and reacquired in the offseason, has too make some big plays to make the team. He probably looked like the bigger NT of the group besides Ferguson. But appearance don't make players, plays make players, and I didn't see much.

Remi Ayodele
Same thing for Ayodele, he got destroyed by Gurode the times I saw him in the offensive/defensive line drills. He got some playing time in NFL Europe, but he's back to earth with another level of lineman in front of him. Same issues as Stanley

Ola Dagunduro
Dagunduro is an undrafted rookie, and looked the same as Ayodele. None of these guys could possibly man the NT for a long part of the season if needed. This is a concern.

Other Options
Jay Ratliff has gotten in some playing time at NT, and that could be the answer if push came to shove. and we may even see Ratliff alternate with Ferguson on occasion anyway. Ratliff had his hands full with Gurode, but this guy never stops, he finishes his plays.

Marcus Spears is looking OK, he's not really wowing anybody from what I saw, and the latest reports have Hatcher looking better than Spears in the pass rush. That's what we need, more pass rush. If Hatcher is playing better, then he should be the guy. I saw it last year, Hatcher looked better than Spears did. Maybe its time to move Spears to NT, and groom him there and get him some more reps behind Ferguson.

Who's In
1. Jason Ferguson
2. Everyone else (on the bubble)
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WRs: Who's In, Who's Out

I've gotten some emails in regards to how the WR's looked. And there's not much difference from the starters. Terrell Owens has fully recovered from his finger injury, basically caught everything thrown at him. Yes, he had a drop here and there, but so did Glenn (maybe one, that I saw). We can't be too microscopic on these guys. After watching practice, here's who I think make the team.

Terrell Owens
Owens is the face of the WRs, and one of the major faces of the Cowboys, whether you like him or not. The crowd gets electrified when Owens steps on the field, and when he makes the deep pass catch against the CBs. Garrett has him lining up all over the field. They threw to him on short passes, in the slot, outside deep, inside slant. He's gonna be a big weapon. More than last year if you can imagine that.

Terry Glenn
Glenn is pure business, he looks the part on the field, runs the best patterns on the field, and explosively quick on his feet. Glenn is the clutch receiver, and you can count on Glenn making those tought acrobatic catches. He's a lock.

Patrick Crayton
Crayton looked great on the field, he catches the ball easily, he just plucks it out of the air. He's been described as having the best hands on the entire team, and I would agree with that. Crayton, also looked a bit bulked up. I expect Crayton to get alot more touches this year in Garrett's attacking offense. Crayton will be a free agent after this season, so you can expect Crayton to be playing for a new contract in Dallas or elsewhere. He'll be the #3 WR on the team.

Miles Austin
Right now, I have Miles Austin rated higher than Sam Hurd, and here's why: Austin looked amazing out there. You can tell he took full advantage of Joe Jurasek's offseason program. He's bulked up, big difference from last year in my opinion. He ran his drills very well. He has good catching hands, and after the catch Austin makes plays. Austin ran drills on the return team and looks to be the weapon he developed into last year. Austin has more value and upside right now. He's #4

Sam Hurd
Hurd was a preseason target favorite from Romo last year, and he made a play here and there last year. Sam Hurd is a good receiver. He didn't appear to be any bigger though, he still looks light and he didn't really standout to me. To Hurd's credit, he's a hardworker on the field. After practice I saw him remain on the field and he practiced the tennis ball drill to work on his hands. Hurd's value comes in the passing game. He'll have to have a solid preseason to win out on the 53-man roster, and he's on the bubble.

Isaiah Stanback
Stanback has shown nothing to this point, and his "potential" simply is not gonna cut it for me right now. He hasn't practiced in the position the Cowboys had hoped he would take over - punt returner. He's coming off an injury that takes time to heal. Once he's recovered, he'll be thrown in the mix. But until then, we just don't know. He's on the bubble, maybe a practice squad guy if he never recovers. With Stanback out, we've been seeing Newman on punt returns, and this is NOT where Newman should be, he's way too valuable.

The Other Guys
Jamal Richardson, Jamaica Rector, Jerard Rabb, Jerhame Urban, and Mike Jefferson will be battling it out with Hurd and Stanback for a possible roster spot, and at best a practice squad spot. Rector probably doesn't qualify for the practice squad since he's been on it the last two years, so he may not make the team at all.

Who's In
1. Terrell Owens
2. Terry Glenn
3. Patrick Crayton
4. Miles Austin
5. Sam Hurd (probable, on bubble)
6. Isaiah Stanback (on bubble)
7. The rest (competition for #5-#6 spots or practice squad)

7/28/2007

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Training Camp Pics
7-25-7/27

Here are a few pics I got from Training Camp, my three days there. We got some autographs, mainly Jason Witten, Roy Williams, and Coach Sparano. Romo was in our area in the endzone on 7/27/2007 afternoon practice, he skipped over us, which was hard for my son to take, but when Romo was leaving he threw his wrist band in the air and my father caught it midair and gave to his grandson, what a great memory.

























































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RBs: Who's In, Who's Out?

Some people have been asking me what I thought about the RBs.

Here's what I saw.

MB3 is running like a man on a mission. I never once saw him take a big hit, he's deceivingly elusive, and finishes all his runs. He still rates the highest from the other backs in the passing game. Its usually two-three players to take Barber down on a few drills.

Julius Jones looked really good out there too. He's got burst at the line of scrimmage, and is running instinctively. The offensive line opened up some holes for Julius to cut through the line and past the LBs on several drills.

Tyson Thompson looked pretty good in the return game, and his speed has not dropped off. He's fully recovered from his injury, and looks to making the team as a backup running back, and key player in the return game.

Lousaka Polite looks hefty, he's definitely the biggest back out there in terms of physical appearance. He looked good in practice, and I dont have anything bad to say about him, so we'll see if he makes the team.

Deon Anderson looks small out on the field. I wasn't too impressed with his size, he probably the shortest back we have on the team. He's not very big looking at all. He does catch the ball very well in the passing game. he made some nice over the top catchs, he looked natural catching in the flats. He made some solid blocks and popped the heck out of one player, (which I cant remember) which opened up Tyson in the return. If Deon makes the team it'll be because of his hands and blocking, he'll hit you for sure.

Jackie Battle ran great, he's gonna be a steal if he makes the team, and right now, I hope he does. He impressed the heck out of me. He runs hard, finishes his run, runs with power, and catches the ball pretty good in the passing drills. In one drill Bradie James came rushing at him and knocked him out of bounds with a pretty good smack. Battle got up without incident and ran back to the huddle garnering praise from the coach and his team mates.

Oliver Hoyte is not looking good in my opinion. He dropped several passes, and doesn't look natural on a few drills they ran. I don't think he makes it.

Others, Coleman doesn't have a chance, still injured and just a camp body right now. I may be forgetting some other rookie, but no one else made any lasting impressions.

Who makes the team?
1. Julius Jones
2. MB3
3. Tyson Thompson
4. Deon Anderson
5. Jackie Battle (practice squad)
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Back From Camp - Your Important Guide

Lodging
Now that I'm back from San Antonio, I can give you some details on the experience. The experience was great. We stayed at the Red Roof Inn, which is walking distance on a sunny day, probably about 6 blocks or so. I'll probably stay there next year and I recommend it. I did see a Holiday Inn Express which was even closer maybe two streets closer to the Alamodome.

Alamodome Parking
Parking at the Alamodome is $10 each time you visit. We got there really early Friday and parked for free since there wasn't a parking attendant on site. We parked in Lot C every time. You'll park and go down the stairs, you'll walk under an train overpass, which stinks because there are bats, and you can hear them chirping, so don't hang around there. You'll want to walk briskly through there due to the stench and because who wants to be around bats?

Eating
Depending where you stay, there's plenty of places to eat. If you're not right in the Riverwalk area, you'll need to find a place to park, and that's where the mission begins. I recommend parking in the River Center Mall Parking garage. It costs $5 and $1 each additional hour after your first hour. Its the best place to park in my opinion. You have access to all the eateries inside the mall, which include: Chili's, Tony Roma's Ribs, Dairy Queen, Le Petite, and a few other good places. In addition, the Riverwalk is right there at the mall. The Alamo is right down the street too. So, just remember - park at the River Center Mall Parking Garage.

Autographs
This is a whole mission in itself. If you even want a chance at possibly getting an autograph, you must get to the stadium 3hrs. before the practice begins. Yes, 3hrs! I am deadly serious. There will be a huge line at the front doors, and if you aren't at the front or very close to the front - forget about it.

ie. Practice starts at 9am - BE waiting at gates at 6am
ie. Practice starts at 2:30pm - BE waiting at gates at 11:30am

There will be people there early.
Don't think you can hold seats, cause you won't be able too, be well prepared. Either go with someone as eager as you or go by yourself if you want autographs. I wouldn't recommend bringing small toddlers and definitely don't bring infants/babies in the autograph section. I saw some couple with a small baby in the front row of the autographs, and when Romo came to sign, they practically ran over the baby, it was just a madhouse, pure insanity, with no regard. So yeah, be smart, don't bring your baby to the front row, please. If you have a small kid, make sure they goto the restroom at least 30mins before practice ends or they will not make it back to their spot. Hoards of people will bunch up front.

Where to sit: Section 103 or lower will take you to the endzone. You'll have a good chance of getting someone in the endzone. Section 110-Section 108 will take you to the sideline area, which is another good spot from what I could see.

Also, if you are a True Blue member, you will be admitted 15mins early to the stadium. If you don't have a True Blue Fan Club Membership, you may want to get one just for this chance, it DOES make a difference. You'll get prime autograph real estate. Cost is about $20, you can sign up online or at the Cowboys Pro Shops at the Alamodome and the Pro Shop at the River Center Mall.

Concessions
As in most sporting events, snacks, drinks, and beers are expensive. Food can from $6 and up. Bottled Water/Soda $3.75, Beer $6. The early practices won't have the Pizza and all that, but they do have breakfast tacos (2) for $2.50 which is that bad. Throughout the practice there will be staff selling snacks and beverages up and down the aisles too, so sometimes you don't need to get up and leave your seat.

7/27/2007

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Friday Afternoon Overview

I just got home from San Antonio, it was a great three days at Training Camp. Like the first few days, nothing too terribly exciting happened at today's camp. I did like how the defense upped the tempo, yesterday was just nothing to brag about as they could not stop the running backs.

Today was a different story, the defense looked alot better in the run and pass defense. Hamlin made an INT today. The only bad part was Henry getting beat twice from what I saw. I was at the endzone again today, so I got a good look at the defensive line vs. the offensive line.

Most notable things I noticed were Carpenter and Spencer getting manhandled in their first attempts. The goal of this drill was to sack/pressure the pseudo-QB (some asst. coach, not sure) Carpenter composed himself and and improved on his 2nd and 3rd go around. Spencer also improved on his last attempt in this drill. Ratliff also redeemed himself in this drill by getting after it, and making penetration. That was good to see. Demarcus Ware is just a whole tier above the rest, he blew past his guy. I think it was McQuistan or Marten. Marcus Spears looked good in his drills as well.

I didn't see much of the secondary drills from my spot, but I did glance over a few times, and that's when I saw TO beat Henry and Williams in coverage.

Garrett continued to work the passing game, and everything is looking good there. I like what I see with TO, they are moving him around, putting him in motion, putting him in the slot, he's going to be very explosive this year and hard for defenses to cover.

Terry Glenn is money, he makes just about everything thrown at him today. Hurd played better today, and Austin is looking great in my opinion. He's catching the ball with confidence and plucking the ball, reminiscent of Crayton.

From the undrafted players, Jackie Battle has the upperhand. This guy can run! He's looking real good, and runs with power, and finishes all his runs.

Matt Moore looks tiny out there, he needs to add some bulk, he looks brittle too me. Richard Bartel looks physically bigger, but both seem to be doing about the same so far in camp.
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Bruce Bowen

Bowen made a special appearance and the crowd acknowledged him.
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Full Pads

The afternoon practice is full pads. Saw Stanback practicing with the tennis balls again. More to come

7/26/2007

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Afternoon Overview

Got here early and even then we barely got seats for autographs. I think I saw Grizz from bloggintheboys in VIP earlier, lucky dawg!

The practice didnt seem as intense as the morning session. Less fumbling around though. I was in the endzone, so I didnt see much of the defense except when they did some drills with the offensive line. Kosier and Gurode shutdown a frustated Jay Ratliff. I didnt see Spencer either, Im not sure when he sneaked on the field.

The running backs continued to work in the passing game. Barber is a natural and catched the ball with ease. Julius and Thompson looked really good too. Hoyte did not look good, he dropped to passes, obviously this is not he strength, but to help make the team it'll be required in Garrett's schemes.

The morning session focused on the running game, and this afternoon was more passing.

The defense did not impress me at all, but again, this could be the tempo early on. The defense ran in basic 34 schemes, no blitzing and nothing exotic. Early on the defense didnt stop the run, the afternoon looked the same. The passing game and Garrett's timing scheme looked effective with Romo at the helm.

Im just hoping this was planned and not the result of poor execution by the defense. I guess we'll see more once practices increase and progress.

Phillips says there was some sloppiness on the field.

All draft picks have been signed. Spencer was on the field on the afternoon practice. More tomorrow. See you then!