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8/23/2005

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Parcells Guys Editorial

Ten Things I Know I Thought Last Night

1st. I hate to begin with a negative, but we don’t have a viable backup quarterback on this roster. In two preseason games against 2nd and 3rd string defenses these are the stats for Henson and Romo: 20 of 39, 221 yards, 0 Td’s, 1 Int’s. This was against players who might not even be on the Cardinals/Seahawks rosters by opening day. The one thing I saw, or maybe it’s didn’t see, is that neither of these guys can find a way to get 6 points on the board. Now if I have to choose one or the other I have to pick Romo, but if I am Coach Parcells and I have to choose I am going to have to pick...Testaverde? I know that was out of left field, but I think it’s going to happen by the end of the preseason.

2nd. Julius Jones has moves that no other running back in the NFL can duplicate. He seems to slow down time sometimes and shoot through the smallest crease between defenders. He’s one of those guys who is learning to move forward all the time and gain yardage even if it's only a few yards here and there. Then he will bust a 20-30 yarder once the defense starts to settle down. He’s just electric.

3rd. The defense was having trouble stopping the Seahawks quick passing plays, but they adjusted after that one TD drive and made enough plays to stop the leak. They are not the ‘85 Bears by any stretch of the imagination, but they should grow into this 3-4 / 4-3 hybrid defense and in time their athletic ability will win out. If you had three of four straight scoring drives up and down the field in these first two games I would be worried. This was far from the case and we also have to remember they were using some “vanilla” defense as we play both the Cards and Seahawks in the regular season in 2005. This defense will be good enough to win 10 games this season.

4th. Demarcus Ware is the new LT. He will have 10-14 sacks this season and that’s the fact jack! He reminded me of Simeon Rice on that sack and fumble recovery. He reminded me of Derek Brooks on that interception. Imagine this kid combines both of their abilities. Nice.

5th. Keith Davis gets one more game to show he can be the Free Safety. He didn’t screw up that bad tonight although he looked to be a little late on some coverages. He will not be Darren Woodson at any point in 2005 so don’t even think to look for that type of comparison. Try to think of Davis as a George Teague/Bill Bates/Michael Downs type of player who will make a play every once in a while, but won’t ever win the game for the Cowboys. His special teams play on the other hand could win a game at some point so he’s a big part of the team for Coach Parcells.

6th. Drew Bledsoe is not Troy Aikman. Drew Bledsoe is not Quincy Carter. Drew Bledsoe is not going to be the reason we win or lose games in 2005. He is going to be one of the 11 teammates on an offensive unit who will try to drive the football down the field and get a touchdown. One thing you will see from him is his heart on his sleeve and a fire in his eye from the first play until the last play of every single game he plays in as a Dallas Cowboy. That’s all we can ask from the guy.

7th. Petitti in, Rogers out. Cortez in, Cundiff out. Crayton in, Morgan out. Polite in, Barnes out. Gurode in, Johnson in...both of these guys will play Center at different times this season. Not a big deal, both have ability.

8th. This year’s draft class will be known one day as the draft that turned it all around. Coach Parcells has picked up some gems here. Canty, Barber, Spears, Berry-O and Burnett may never be household names, but they will be in my house. I just got done telling my brother that Berry-O reminds me of Bill Bates and then Al Michaels uses my line and tells millions what I am thinking. Canty and Spears will go down in history one day as Parcells’ Guys and be in a select group with names such as Banks, Carson and Burt. Barber is going to have to work for his because he’s a running back. Coach Parcells is the hardest on this position because no one will ever be as good as his all time favorite player, Curtis Martin.

9th. Jerry Jones was having tea in his luxury box during the game and he looked like he was right at home doing so. That tells me he’s more relaxed these days with Bill around to run the show. He always seemed ready to get right in the mix when Gailey and Campo were on the job. Nowadays he seems to be acting more like an NFL team owner. Always a thriving business man to the end is who Jerry Jones is and will always be, so Jones will always be in the spotlight, but maybe he finally realizes it’s best to let “football guys” do the “football stuff”. The best thing about him is that he does things to make sure you know that no matter what happens he loves the Dallas Cowboys and everyone involved with the team. He was right there at the hospital with Coach Lynn after hearing the assistant coach was hit by a drunken driver. Can any of us fans even say we know if our job would be safe if we had to have emergency surgery putting us down for some time? Probably not.

10th. The Cowboys have as good of a chance as the other 31 teams to make the trip to Detroit in February. In this day and age the NFL is built around the fact that each year a few teams will get some breaks while playing solid football and wind up in the tournament. Not one person in the entire world can tell me right now they know the Cowboys won’t win it all. I love this game and I ain’t talking about the NBA. I think the Cowboys will win every game this season. If they don’t, they don’t. If they do, you heard it here first. Go Cowboys!

Bring on the Texans!

8/17/2005

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Parcells Guys Editorial

One Preseason Game Does Not Make A Season

I found myself over analyzing the game on Saturday by half time. Just as you were doing I presume. “Come on Bledsoe...” was used the most in the first half. “This offensive line is p****** me off…” was the loudest of all the rants. “How the **** do you get a false start penalty on the ******* game winning kick!!!” had the most energy behind it. It’s been a few days and I am calming down. Time heals all wounds.

Drew Bledsoe will be a good quarterback this season. He has been a good quarterback his whole career. Good quarterbacks are hard to find in the NFL. Give the man a break on last Saturday’s game; he isn’t Super Man ya know. How many quarterbacks can get a nice pass off with some defensive lineman hanging around his neck? None.

Who the heck is going be the Right Tackle and can he do a good job? Right now no one has the answer to this question. If something doesn’t sprout up by the end of the Seahawk’s game I will be scouring the waiver wire along with the coaching staff. Jerry Jones usually had some knee jerk reaction when a position is that bad, but he’s been the good owner so far this training camp. Matter of fact he’s been good the last couple of years. But if there were some free agent out there that could do a better job and had no baggage he would have a room in Oxnard right about now. Petitti is getting the chance because Rogers blew his shot by having too many MRI’s. Tucker is working out the final details of his house be put on the market. They are deciding if he should use his real name in the listing. This guy cannot play a game at Texas Stadium this season.

Romo or Henson? How about Bledsoe. This back up quarterback thing is too big for me. Whoever wins isn’t going to matter much because the season is riding on Bledsoe getting the job done. If he does go down the guy that comes in to replace him will not be an upgrade. Henson has a nice lively arm and Romo has moxie. I am on the fence here. Call me back next Tuesday.

Defense, defense, defense! 3-4 is ok. I liked it because of the ability to rush from the edge. I am sick of waiting for Ellis to get me the sack. The time for a new guy to come in and be the sack specialist has arrived and Demarcus Ware can get that job done in the 3-4 defense. Work with what you have on the roster is all you can ask for. The scheme works well against soft teams because it’s all about physicality. I think once some of these rookies get a little more time in this defense they will be able to let it all hang out and become more aggressive. Burnett is a player, trust me on that one.

Missed seeing Spears and Ferguson out there holding down the line. Hopefully we get Spears back before the season. No matter when he comes back he will be in immediate action mode. He ain’t no QB here, the game at the Defensive End position is about being a man amongst men.

Keyshawn wasn’t getting open enough for Bledsoe, but these two will come to an understanding soon enough. Throw the ball and Keyshawn will use his body to shield the defender and it will be an easy catch. This QB-WR relationship will need some time to grow. The Terry Glenn thing is just about making sure you get the ball out quick enough for him while he’s open. Sometimes he is so fast through the middle or underneath he runs right into another coverage. Both of these WR’s are veterans so I expect them to work out the kinks with Bledsoe shortly.

Witten is a monster huh. I am not backing up on my prediction that he has 100 catches this season. He’s so reliable you just want to keep throwing it to him, just ask Tony Romo.

Cundiff! What are you doing buddy? You were supposed to miss the one on the false start and make the next one to win the game. Get it right next time or Jose Cortez will be calling Dallas home.

It was one game folks and I know the Cowboys are better than a 13-11 loss to the Cardinals in one lousy pre seasons game. Guess what? It was only the first of the 2005 season! Get ready for the Seahawks with John Madden. Remember Julius bursting into the end zone for the win last year. Ju-lee-us, Ju-lee-us, Ju-lee-us!

Agree? Disagree? Post your comments.

8/12/2005

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The QB Saga for #2 Heats Up

Before the Pre-Season starts for the Cowboys there some ridiculous rants about trading for other QBs around the league, other unprovens which we won't name. But c'mon the season hasn't started and you want to trade for another backup QB and give up on Henson and Romo. I for one am NOT a part of this unfaithful movement.

Here's what we can expect for tomorrow's game:
• Bledsoe will play and do well
• Either Henson or Romo will start with the 2nd team ( immediately some will read too much into this, DON'T)
• Romo will get some substantial time, he may do well, and he may turn the ball over
• Henson will also play some substantial time, he may do well, and he also may turn the ball over

The point is this...do not get carried away with who starts after Bledsoe, Parcells will switch it up until he is comfortable with naming the #2QB, and guess what, that may not happen until the end of the pre-season, so be prepared either way.

We will not be trading for another QB right now, let the pre-season and camp battles play out before calling for heads of Romo or Henson, Parcells knows best.

8/01/2005

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Parcells Guys Editorial

Three Days In, Two Tight Ends Out and One Lineman Down

As the 2005 Dallas Cowboys were lining up for their first training camp practice there was one familiar face was not on the field. Hall of Fame Offensive Lineman Larry Allen “failed” the physical fitness “test” given to all the players on the squad.

That is what we were told, but maybe we should sort through the headline and make some sense of this mess. As part of the conditioning test Larry was to run sprints, 50 yards down and back, stop for two minutes and repeat, stop for two minutes and repeat, totaling 900 yards. To pass the test he had to complete each segment in less than 56 seconds.

Larry seemed to think this was not really a test you had to pass so he quit and didn’t finish running the sprints. I guess there are no incompletes in the NFL. There are no make up tests either, Coach Parcells placed the big guy on the PUP list and said there would be no re-test in the future. Hmmm. This is a weird one if you ask me. The explanation was that since the NFL doesn’t want anymore “Korey Stringer” incidents the Cowboys were being overly cautious with Allen and that he would be back on the field in no time.

There was Allen back on the field Monday at the late afternoon practice. He was dominating and looked ready for the season opener from what I hear. So I am still asking myself, What the heck was all that “poor conditioning” stuff about?

Here’s my guess. Larry thought he was “Larry Allen” and didn’t need to do all that running stuff. Coach Parcells sees this and says “oh no you don’t”. Think of the young players on this roster coming into a 6 win team from a year ago and they see one of the veteran leaders bowing out on the first set of workouts. Coach Parcells sent a message to the team and to the world by “benching” Allen for a few days. Now the rookies know that no bull**** will be tolerated no matter what number you wear or how many Pro Bowls you have attended in the past.

Good job Coach Parcells. As always I think you did the right thing for the good of the Dallas Cowboys. Plus you got one of your Parcells’ Guys, Stephen Peterman, some good work with the first team offense.

Dan Campbell is out for a week or so after having his appendix out. What a wimp, just kidding. This guy is a big part of the offense so let’s hope missing a few days doesn’t have any lasting negative effects. Then if having one TE down wasn’t bad enough the Cowboys lose third string TE Sean Ryan to a broken foot. Dang it! Now there is some concern because as Coach Parcells said this situation could have a domino effect if the team doesn’t handle this properly. Well if it’s up to me I clone Jason Witten and make him the 1st, 2nd and 3rd TE for a few weeks. Get well guys and get back on the field when you can make a solid contribution to the offense. What else can we ask for?

Now let’s talk about some news and notes.

Justin Berry-O has had garnered some talk about the things he is doing out there so far. This is good, but he’s doing it playing the Strong Safety spot. That job belongs to Roy Williams already. If he continues to make some plays maybe the coaches will decide to get him some Free Safety work. Then if we keep hearing great things I will get excited about him making the 53 man roster.

Drew Henson threw 6 million passes this off-season and so far he looks like it. About three of four people have written about him under throwing receivers with flat passes. Maybe his arm is tired? Ya think so! Get him some rest before his arm falls off.

Julius Jones is the man in Dallas and will be the man in the NFL before December ‘05.

Ditto for Drew Bledsoe, Jason Witten, Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson.

Ware, Spears and Burnett are signed and on the field. Coach them up and let them attack, attack and attack some more. These guys could become a powerful trio before their days in Dallas are complete. Ware is faster than a speeding bullet, Spears if stronger than a raging bull and Burnett is tougher than a Redwood. Ok, maybe they aren’t ready to be Super Heroes, but they better be ready to play some kick ass defense.

Glover and Ellis are practicing playing defense. Enough said.

There has been a Jacob Rogers sighting. He is now entrenched in the battle for the Right Tackle opening with Torrin Tucker and Kurt Vollers. My money is still on Vollers until Coach Parcells says other wise. Why? Sometimes having no mistakes made is better than having a guy play great 95% of the time, and then he makes one mistake that leads to the team losing the game and a QB.

Closing note. Coach Parcells is not enjoying this and that is a great sign for all of us Cowboy’s fans. He seemed a little too happy last training camp about the state of the team. That dang 2003 season set us all up for failure in 2004. Now we should use that 2004 season to set us up for success in 2005. Simple math, but it just might work.