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Parcells Guys Editorial

Playing Free Safety for the Cowboys in 2005

Sign Lance Schulters, sign Reggie Tongue, sign Izell Reese, sign Ty law and convert him, sign anyone you want – the job is mine people. I am Keith Davis.

Davis took three bullets, two in his arm and one to the leg, in 2003. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and we all know the rest of that story. It seemed his career as a Cowboy was going to be over before it even began. Oh well, just another story about a young athlete not knowing what is right for him and what is wrong for him.

Here’s what Davis said at the time of the incident, “By the grace of God I am still here, and I have suffered no ill-effects. It was a really bad experience, but you live and you learn - and I think that I have learnt from that experience. I have dealt with it and I am just looking forward to playing football and putting that all behind me."

Nicely said, but the Cowboys cut him anyways.

This is what Coach Parcells said back in 2003 about the Davis incident, "I've told our guys that night clubs are not the place to be," Parcells said. "And I intend to have pretty good citizens around here." Sounds like Coach Parcells didn’t want any thugs back in 2003 either.

I guess Davis was never going to fulfill his dream of being a star for the Dallas Cowboys. Raised in Texas and playing college ball at Sam Houston State Keith Davis was the hometown guy everyone was rooting for. He just had to make it big for the Cowboys, but had he just blown his chance of a lifetime? Almost.

Some of you are saying “well, he shouldn’t have been at that stupid club in the first place so he shouldn’t have gotten a second chance, right?"

Wrong. In my eyes everyone deserves a second chance. So I think Keith Davis should get a chance to go out there in this upcoming training camp and win this Free Safety job.

But that’s just me. What changed in the eyes of Coach Parcells that he decided this kid was worth another chance? I mean Coach Parcells is a man of very little patience; he isn’t a baby sitter for these young adults. He gives them the speech about staying out of places that even offer the slightest amount of trouble, he let’s them know that having any contact with the law just about gets them a bus ticket out of Dallas. So what did Keith Davis, basically a walk on for the Cowboys, do to get another chance to become the next great Free Safety for the Dallas Cowboys?

He listened and he learned from his mistake. This is about all you can ask from a young adult learning about life. He turned his football career around. He came back and asked the Cowboys for another chance. He went to NFL Europe and played great football. He showed the world, not just Coach Parcells, that he isn’t some knucklehead who will let his 15 minutes be about getting shot outside a strip club. He did what many top tier athletes with a chance to make the NFL can’t do. He proved that he could be trusted not to make the same mistake twice. Coach Parcells is tough as nails, he is as old school as old school gets. But he’s human and he probably knows people better than anyone else in football.

Back in 2003 Coach Parcells cut Davis for one reason and one reason only, the kid messed up by being anywhere near that strip club. The idea that Davis wasn’t a good football player had never crossed Coach Parcells mind, he was a standout player everywhere he had played so far. Davis was a free agent who made the Cowboys in 2002 on his special teams play and we all know how much emphasis Coach Parcells puts on special teams. If Davis could get over this incident and show the Cowboys he was worthy of another shot then his dream would again be alive. He could gain a better understanding about the Safety position while still playing like a monster on special teams. But the question was still the same, could he do it?

I guess so. Come September 11, 2005 against the San Diego Chargers Keith Davis will be the starting Free Safety for the Dallas Cowboys.



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Parcells Guys Editorial

Coach Parcells’ Blueprint Just About Complete In Dallas

Bill Parcells came to the Dallas Cowboys to win football games. We all know this is his job as the football coach, but he has also changed the culture for this Cowboy franchise. He is putting together a team who can be proud of themselves no matter the score at the end of the game.

There are no more radios blasting out at the mini-camp practices, no more domino games in the locker room and no more thugs need apply for a job with the Dallas Cowboys. As a lifelong Cowboy’s fan I am happy about the changes made by Coach Parcells over the last two seasons. In the long run I feel the team will not only win more games due to these changes, but will also garner more respect from the other 31 franchises. The days of the Cowboys being laughed at as a franchise making all the wrong moves are long gone. The new Cowboys mantra is more of a business like attitude where the guy next to you is working just as hard for a common goal, a Super Bowl victory.

Does this new culture guarantee the Cowboys a Super Bowl win in the coming seasons. No, but in the world of NFL football nothing is guaranteed. Coach Parcells knows the importance of having players do the right thing on the field, as well as off the field. A team definitely gives itself a better chance to win when the players are focused on football, not focused on troubling off the field issues. Those types of players are unreliable and unpredictable in nature so they are never good teammates.

A prime example is the situations in Washington and Philadelphia right now. I would be ashamed to be a Redskins fan right about now. Players are holding out, shooting up South Florida and the entire team is in disarray. If you’re an Eagle’s fan you must be sick to your stomach. You finally get to a Super Bowl, lose it and now when the goal of winning the damn thing is certainly within reach the most important players are holding out for more money. If it was any other team I would feel bad for them, but it’s the Eagles so I say let them rot! Back to the Redskins, I do feel bad for Coach Gibbs. He comes back to the NFL to a storied franchise and this is the respect these young players are showing him? Pathetic.

I can easily say that Coach Parcells would not put up with the Sean Taylor’s of the world anymore. He said it himself in one of his press conferences; he’s too old for thugs. Having Jerry Jones on board with this way of thinking is also refreshing to hear as a Cowboys fan. Back in the 90’s when the team was winning Super Bowls some of the players on those teams weren’t the greatest of citizens. I have seen at least one documentary tarnishing that Cowboy Dynasty by showing numerous players in handcuffs after being arrested.

Wouldn’t is be great if Coach Parcells could bring a championship back to the Cowboys with players loved by fans for their efforts on the field as well as their efforts to be solid citizens off the field? Hell yeah!

As football fans all we can ask for is that these coaches and players head out there and give it their best shot on Sunday afternoons. As Cowboy fans we should be happy that Coach Parcells is putting together a team that we can be proud of whether they win or lose. Of course I would be a tad bit more proud if we won all the games though.

Jerry Jones and Coach Parcells' goals are one in the same, to win a Super Bowl. Being able to do it together with a group of players who are heroes on and off the field will only make the celebration that much sweeter.



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Larry Allen - The Solution at Right Tackle
by Brian Aust

Bill started it. He created the mystery. He challenged us, saying that we wouldn’t be able to figure it out his intentions. Since Bill laid down the challenge, every self-respecting Cowboy fan has been trying to figure out who Bill envisions starting on the right side this year.

After carefully balancing the issues at hand, it’s becoming clear that moving Larry Allen to the right side makes the most sense.

First, you have to dismiss the current roster options.

It’s reasonably clear that Bill doesn’t think any right bookend on the roster is going to work out. After all, he did raise the question for us. I understand working under a black cloud, but, simply by saying that he’s put thought into a mystery plan suggests that he’s preparing for when Vollers and Tucker fail to prove themselves.

Rogers is still battling and injury, and doesn’t have enough experience at RT to seriously be considered for the job. Petitti is going to stay with what he knows on the left side. Noll has reportedly been working over at RT, and he doesn’t bring a wealth of experience either.

Then you have Larry Allen. He’s been to the Pro Bowl at tackle. He’s one of the best lineman to ever play the game. He appears to have shown up to camp in better shape and more dedicated than ever. It’s a no brainer, right? I think so. But, there are plenty of naysayers.

The biggest complaint comes with the assumption that, by moving Allen to RT, the Cowboys are essentially moving the problem. A very valid argument – if the Cowboys didn’t have better depth at guard than they do at tackle.

Peterman, Walter, Gurode, Noll and newcomber Tarullo are all waiting in the stables. The group lacks starting experience, but it isn’t a stretch to acknowledge that there is more talent in that group than there is in the current rotation at RT. It comes down to depth. The Cowboys are deep enough at guard to consider moving Allen over to RT.

People insist on bringing Bledsoe’s blindside into the equation. Apparently, the Cowboys shouldn’t consider the move because moving the starting LG to RT will leave Bledsoe’s blind side unprotected.

Simply baffling!

No guard in the league is charged with protecting any QB’s blindside – a position where a QB can’t see or sense people coming from directly behind him. Tackles protect blind sides. Guards protect the backSIDE. QBs can typically see or sense people coming from the backside, and they can prepare better for impact (tuck the ball away, etc.). Even if Larry Allen stays at LG, he won’t be protecting Bledsoe’s blindside.

There’s another contingent of people that say Larry isn’t physically capable of playing RT. Really? Seems like he went to the Pro Bowl at tackle – seems like he’s the type of player that can man the position.

For every pessimist that says he doesn’t have the feet, I would like to remind you that the hands are just as important at tackle. For every person that says he doesn’t have the mobility, I would like to remind you that he’s come in at the best shape of his career.

If you still don’t think Allen is a possibility at RT, then what do you make of the reports that he worked out at tackle during the recent mini camp? Seems like the thought has crossed Bill’s mind.

In fact, I am willing to bet its exactly what ol’ Bill has planned.


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Parcells Guys Editorial

Jumping To Conclusions

Let's do it. I am taking into account all the reports about the Cowboy's recent three-day minicamp and the Bill Parcells comments from the two press conferences.

Here we go...

Torrin Tucker is a goner. How in the world do you come to this minicamp overweight after being benched for the last three games of 2004? Coach Parcells was pissed as he should be. He is in this business to win football games, not babysit grown men. This was a sign of disrespect on Tucker's behalf. I am sure Coach Parcells will cut him and his other players should see it as a lesson being taught to an undisciplined football player.

Jason Witten is the key to the Cowboys offense in 2005. Most of you will say it's Julius Jones, but don't expect him to have 30 carries a game at any point this season. Witten will be Bledsoe's favorite target from the start. He will be Coach Parcells "Ben Coates" from his days in New England. This might sound crazy, but I think Witten will have 100 catches in 2005.

Keith Davis will win the Free Safety job and won't give it up for the next 7 seasons. Davis has three things going for him. He's a ballhawk. He's a great tackler, as is evident from his great special teams work. He has the speed to cover WR's, TE's and RB's. "Killer" Keith Davis is the real deal in Dallas folks.

Kurt Vollers is the Right Tackle for 2005. He is the best player out of the candidates at that position. He has bulked up this off-season and that alone shows Coach Parcells he wants the job. Having Marco Rivera over there makes it easier to accept Vollers on the end. Coach Parcells knows his strength is using two tight end sets, so I am sure we will see Dan Campbell lined up outside Vollers on most downs.

Scott Shanle will start at the other Inside Linebacker spot. He will beat out Bradie James in training camp this season. He played good football last season when Coach Parcells threw him into the mix. James just doesn't seem to make plays when he has the opportunity. That is just the opposite of what Coach Parcells is looking for in this new 3-4 defense. Shanle makes plays and that will get him on the field this season.

Lousaka Polite will be the Fullback this season. The team will mostly be running a one back set so the Fullback won't be as important as in previous season, but Polite will win the job over Darian Barnes. Barnes is a nice special team's player, but one of these young linebackers will take his role on special teams. Remember, now with a 3-4 defense we need extra linebackers on the roster in 2005.

One more quick one, Drew Bledsoe will make the NFC Pro Bowl in 2005.