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From Conditioning to Clinching

The media has pegged the Eagles to win out in the NFC East...again, and that is not a far fetched prediction, will it happen? That's another question. The East could be one of the most competitive divisions in the league and the East promises to be an all out rumble this year and players better be well coached and conditioned if they want to make that run to the playoffs.

What's it going to take to clinch the NFC East this year? Without a doubt the Eagles have dominated the East for several years, but the Cowboys are gaining ground and will be right on their tails if not better in 2004, not to mention, its only a matter of time before Gibbs whips the Skins back into shape. The Eagles know this, and are running out of time - the window is closing on them. So, what do the Eagles do this offseason? They sign Terrell Owens and injury prone DE Jevon Kearse. Signing these two marquee names does not guarantee anything, lets not forget that the Eagles lost some core leaders like CBs Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor, RB Duce Staley also jumped ship.

One key to victory this year will be conditioning, and the Cowboys have one of the best, if not THE best conditioning coach in Joe Jurasek. Under Jurasek the Cowboys have had less injuries than the rest of the East. With a better head coach and retooling of the starting lineups the Cowboys will rely on Jurasek's conditioning program to enable our guys to outlast the rest of the division.

Its early in the preseason, and teams like the Redskins and Eagles have already incurred major injuries to key players that will have them out for the year.

In Washington, they lost OT Jansen to a season ending injury, this will only hurt the Skins already weak offensive line, do not expect newly acquired RB Clinton Portis to have the same level of success in Washington as he did in Denver. Talent at RB does make a difference and there's no doubt that Portis will be dangerous, but he will only be as good as his line is this year.

The Eagles have already lost key players like ND Kalu, Grasmanis, Buckhalter, Ike Reese, and Trotter to name a few.

The Cowboys have a lot of positives that could help them make a serious run at clinching the East and another trip into the playoffs, the key could come down to conditioning.


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Cowboys/Texans Postgame Views

Well, I was way off on my prediction, lol. I know it was a preseason game, but the Cowboys stunk it up bigtime. I saw the game, and the whole time I was hoping to catch a camera shot of Parcells, I'm sure he was fuming and angered by the poor-poor performance. Redzone penalties, holding, offsides, dropped balls, overthrows, and INTS stopped the Cowboys from doing anything postive as a unit.

Now, what do we know from last nights game?

Let's look at the good and bad news here:
1) Pete Hunter did not do good at all - the Texans threw at him all day, the spot opposite Newman is still open.
2) Eddie George looked slow
3) Dixon played sufficiently
4) ReShard Lee WILL make this team, he ran very well, good speed and fluid, hit the line like a bullet.
5) Henson looks very good, quick release, high velocity and moved the offense pretty accurate except for the endzone INT
6) Julius Jones is the real deal, forget about George taking the bulk of the carries, Julius runs like a veteran Cowboy of yesteryear. Bounce outs, quick cuts and jukes all made pretty good chunks of yards.
7) Patrick Crayton looks good and I expect him to make the team, Zuriel will be out.
8) The Oline held up most of the game, very good protection for our QBs, sure there was some pressure, but much improved from last year. For the rookies - Peterman played well but did get beat a few times and pushed around, he held his own and will improve. Jacob Rogers is a huge OT, and he did a good job last night. The battle for RT will come down to the end as Tucker played pretty good as well.
9)Plays of the game was a semi-deep pass from Henson to Randal Williams and a sideline pass from Henson to Crayton.
10) I liked the play of backups Bradie James and rookie Ryan Fowler, they played well - both were all over the field making tackles.

I have to give the Texans sooome credit though, they played very well, and their two first rounder rookies Dunta Robinson and Jason Babin made some plays - they are going to be immediate impact players for that team.

I'm Parcells and Co. will be chewing some ass this week. We need more work.


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Cowboys vs. Texans Prediction

First preseason game at Reliant Stadium for the Governors Cup. I predict a victory. Cowboys 27 Texans 24
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Parcells Making His Team

The Cowboys kick off the preseason today at Houston, and man has this team been overhauled or upgraded in comparisons to this time last year. Parcells is clearly making HIS team his way. We started out slow in free agency, but historically Parcells has done the same with his previous teams, so we can expect the same thing for 2005 and beyond.

Moreover, Parcells has removed "weaklinks" from this team since his arrival. Notable starters that have been cut from last years team are RB Troy Hambrick and QB Quincy Carter, both were given the opportunity to shine, but both ended up being failing and ultimately shown the door. What we didn't know is that QC had a substance abuse issue, so all the planning and manuvering by the Cowboys this offseason were planned from the get-go. As soon as we lost our Wild Card game to the Panthers, we knew there was going to be change. Deep in your heart you know QC was not going to get it done - sure he seemed like a nice guy, but that will not get it done in the NFL. So, who could we get to replace QC? The Cowboys scout team knew the good QBs from this years class would be long gone by our #22 pick and this was true - some fan favorites Philip Rivers, and Ben Rothlisberger were long gone. Knowing that these guys would probably be gone, the Cowboys made a move before the draft and traded for former blue chipper QB Drew Henson whom the Texans drafted in hopes that he would return to football. The wheels were in motion, so Parcells knew he would need a viable mentor and someone who can add depth at QB. Vinny Testaverde's name was being rumored from the end of the regular season, so as soon as he was released from the Jets, he was in Dallas. This would be the final piece in getting rid of Quincy Carter a second round bust....

Now looking ahead, we know Vinny will start this year, BUT will our Oline hold up for the classic drop back quarterback, if not Vinny (40) could take some hits and could very well get injured. An injury to Vinny would most likely throw Henson into the Lions den sooner that expected. Whether its the 2004 or 2005 season, Henson is the heir apparent to Aikman, and he better be ready.

Early reports have Henson doing very well in camp, showing laser sharp accuracy, high velocity, and NFL arm. The plan from the get go was to get these two guys aboard and phase out QC - another relic from a dismal offensive era.

The new era is here, and Parcells continues to mold his team.


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Training Camp is Here!

Well Cowboys Training Camp is in full swing, and the big names have already made some impressions. Eddie George has the focus of a wide-eyed rookie showing durability, strength and experience. George has been making people miss, breaking tackles, and finding the holes in the Oline.

Antonio Bryant is being watched closely by everyone, and AB early on has been making big time catches downfield.

Larry Allen is well conditioned, well alot better than previous seasons. LA is exhibiting a much improved work ethic and looks good so far.

Parcells has stated that Julius will be tested in training camp and will get many carries and opportunities to show what he can bring to the team.

Early on, the only disappointing play is coming from WR Randal Williams. Williams is liked by many fans and many have hoped he would have the breakout year, usually Randal has had great camps and pretty good preseasons, is he unmotivated? We hope he can be an asset in the offensive scheme, but he will need to be consistent in camp and beyond.

In other news, Woodson is recovering from his disc surgery, and the team is reporting that he will miss the team opener and should be ready between weeks 2-3 depending on how his rehab comes along.

All drafted rookies have indeed been signed - now they will need to earn that Star.