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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)


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Training Camp Pics

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

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?

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.

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.

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.


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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


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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!

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It appears Spencer has been signed. I saw #93 on the field opposite Ware.
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More Updates

The afternoon practice is upper pads only. Austin looks alot more polished this year and looks to have bulked up in comparison to Hurd.
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Afternoon Practice

Arrived early in hopes of getting a chance at getting some autographs. We ended up in the endzone right now. If you come to camp you have to get here 1st in line. Get here at the minimum 2hrs before.

Stanback is on the field catching tennis balls from a machine that shoots them out.

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Practice Overview

Overall the practice went well. Both units looked good seperately. However, I gotta give the morning's practice to the offense. Short of man handling the defensive line with regularity the offense looked good. Holes would open up and running lanes were created for our stable of running backs. They all ran great. Undrafted RB Jackie Battle looks pretty good and runs hard.

I'm hoping to see more effort from the defensive line at this afternoon's practice. Spencer is still not on the field, hopefully he'll be there soon, cuz Ellis is NOT ready to return. He walked around slow, did not jog or run. Carpenter ran with the 2nd team at ILB.

The coaching staff is in control here, and very interactive with the players. At one point I saw Phillips coaching Burnett and giving him advice.

More live reports from the afternoon practice.

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Run Defense

The run defense did not look today when the squads played each other. I doubt this was by design. Barber,Jones, Thompson and Battle ran through the run defense. Albeit there wasnt any blitzing, just a base defense.
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O vs. D

Both squads are practicing against each other. Offense seems to be getting after it. Barber running hard, virtually unstoppable at times. Mcquistan continues to look the part at LT most of today. Julius is also looking fast and elusive. Burnett was shaken up, but looks to have walked it off.
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Ellis Rehabbing

Ellis is on the sideline working with the bungee cord. Flozell and Colombo just walked on the field in street clothes, shorts. Flozel sporting a knee brace on his right knee.
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Ellis & Stanback

Both players are on the field, but not practicing. Today everyone has full pads. More to come.
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Early AM Observation

TO still practicing on some punt return reps. He did this yesterday as well. Garrett remains commanding in his instructios.


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Pat McQuistan is looking big and lean. He' practicing at LT and RT. Looks athletic and quick on his feet.

Miles Austin looks fluid on the field. More to come.

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Newman On Punt Returns

Newman appears to stil be very much part of the punt return game. He had quite a few reps along with Rector. Lets hope this is because Stanback is not practicing. Stanback is on the field,, but he hasnt seen any action yet.
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Kicking Drills

Folk and Gramatica making the chipshots early on. Next, came kick offs. Folk definitely has the stronger leg. Interestin to see TO with Rector and Thompson receiving the kicks. More to come.
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Early Observation

Packed house. Players are looking good in passing drills early on. The defense and offense are practing in jersey and shorts, no pads. More to come.


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Onward to San Antonio

We're onward to San Antonio. Football is officially here and be sure to stop by regularly.

Bookmark us, and feel free to post our instant reports on other Cowboys Blogs and forums, just give us a small plug. I've got my trusty MotoQ and you will get real time blogs from me Wed-Fri.

See you all tomorrow!


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Let the Signings Begin

Deon Anderson, a sixth-round draft pick out of Connecticut, agreed to a four-year deal worth approximately $1.68 million. Anderson, a fullback, is expected to compete with Oliver Hoyte and Lousaka Polite for the starting position and is considered a true lead blocker. He is scheduled to earn base salaries of $285,000 this year, $360,000 in '08, $435,000 in '09 and $510,000 in '10. (


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Training Camp Countdown

We're in the final stretch to training camp, and I can't wait! Less than 4 days, and Cowboys Football is BACK. There's nothing to report right now, supposedly, we should start hearing about our draft picks getting signed, sealed, and delivered on time for camp. But as years before, the Cowboys usually wait until the last minute.

The festivities start Tues night, and camp actually kicks off Wed at 2:30.

(AP) - Fans of the Dallas Cowboys might want to be in San Antonio next week as the team opens training camp -- and holds a kickoff party.

The free event will be Tuesday night at the Alamodome.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, new coach Wade Phillips, players, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and team mascot Rowdy will be on hand.

The Grammy award-winning group -- Los Lonely Boys -- will perform.

The Cowboys will begin workouts next Wednesday.

The team will break camp on Wednesday, August eighth.

Another reminder that your privacy may not always be so private:
Man locates Aikman's personal info on state Web site


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53-Man Roster Pre-Camp Predictions

QB - Tony Romo, Brad Johnson

RB - Julius Jones, Marion Barber, Tyson Thompson

FB - Deon Anderson, Jackie Battle

WR - Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn, Patrick Crayton, Sam Hurd, Miles Austin, Isaiah Stanback

TE - Jason Witten, Anthony Fasano, Tony Curtis

OT - Flozell Adams, Marc Colombo, Doug Free, James Marten

OG - Kyle Kosier, Leonard Davis, Pat McQuistan, Cory Procter

C - Andre Gurode

DE - Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher, Jay Ratliff

DT - Jason Ferguson, Montavious Stanley

OLB - Demarcus Ware, Greg Ellis, Anthony Spencer, Junior Glymph

ILB - Bradie James, Akin Ayodele, Bobby Carpenter, Kevin Burnett

CB - Terence Newman, Anthony Henry, Aaron Glenn, Jacques Reeves, Quincy Butler, Courtney Brown

FS - Ken Hamlin, Patrick Watkins

SS - Roy Williams, Keith Davis

K - Martin Gramatica, Nick Folk
P - Matt McBriar
LS - L.P. Ladouceur

Battle and Hoyte will fight it out for a roster spot, it could come down to special teams play. I have Stanley in there right now, but Remi Ayodele could over take him with a solid outing in NFL Europe. Gurode will get some rotation, and that could be one of the rookies, Marten has been talked about being in that rotation.

We will be live at camp opening days, so, be sure to keep it here for the latest on training camp! yeah-yuh!


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NFL News: Falcon's QB Mike Vick Indicted

The party is over in Atlanta. QB Michael Vick has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Virginia stemming from the dogfighting investigation. Looks like the Falcon's are kicking themselves in the butt for trading QB Matt Schaub to the Texans.

NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell has been very stern with other players with less serious indictments, you can be sure he will be suspended. There is ZERO tolerance in the league, and this adds another black eye to the league.

ESPN radio is suggesting Vick will not be suspended, and this may take a while. This isn't even logical thinking, I didn't catch the host's name, but he smoking crack. Vick is out of here, get real. You know on draft day, the Commish was talking to Vick behind the scenes, and this will be the last straw.

Joey Harrington is the backup QB in Atlanta, so that means a craptastic year for the Falcons, unfortunately. They will be looking to drafting Louisville's QB Brian Brohm.


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Offtopic: 1-18-08 is Cthulhu

This is definitely off topic, but you may have seen the preview that preceded Transformers. This teaser trailer left many wondering what this is. The only thing we know is that it comes out 1-18-08. If you haven't seen the preview you can check it out here>> 1-18-08

The movie is produced by J.J. Abrams from Lost and Alias fame, along with writter Drew Goddard. 1-18-08 is also being called Cloverfield/Slusho as the movie's codename.

The teaser trailer has offered up a few clues as to what this movie will be about. You have to watch the clip several times and pause it several times to catch a few of these clues.

At first glance, people may think this is a Godzilla remake, or War of the Worlds 2, upon further investigating some people thought this could be Voltron. During the clip there is some confusion when you can hear someone say: "It's alive!" or "It's a lion!" leaving those to believe this could be a Voltron movie, but this wouldn't quite make sense as the Statue of Liberty's head is flung across the street. Another rumor is that this could be based on the game from the 80s called Rampage, which is based on three monsters that destroy cities, but again, this seems like a far fetched rumor too.

The thought line is that this movie is based on a sea monster/creature, one other rumor is that this could be a movie based on Namor: The Submariner, a Marvel Comic, but there is no mention in the trailers credits.

This leaves us with the most likely thought that this movie is going to be based on H.P. Lovecraft's "Call of the Cthulhu" (pronounced Kathooloo) which came out in 1928. Another writer Robert Anton Wilson used Cthulhu Mythos and Zen Buddhism is his writings and he was born on 1-18-32 and cremated 1-18-07. Coincidence that the movies is coming out 1-18-08? perhaps, we'll see.

Let's take a look at the clues I've discovered in the teaser trailer. I may have missed some, but here are a few clues:

Sushi - in the beginning you'll see a party tray with sushi, fish, eel, and some other sea creatures, more for some sort of symbolism than anything else, creatures of the sea.

Buddha - In the same frame you'll see the small Buddha statues on the shelf, Zen Buddhism as related in some of Robert Anton Wilson's writings.

AKM - soon after you hear the first monster noise, you'll see a red paddle on the wall with the label "AKM" There are two thoughts on the AKM anogram: One being that it stands for the honor society frat Alpha Kappa Mu. Kappa meaning legendary creature and Mu has mythical historical value in this context. Mu is a mythical sunken continent similar to Atlantis, but the inhabintants of Mu worshipped the three son's of Cthulu, that's one link. The other thought is that AKM could be short for Arkham, a fictional city used by H.P. Lovecraft in several of his books.

Slusho - during the news report the guy turns around and the logo on the shirt is "Slusho!"When you visit the site, you'll see the relation of Slusho in this context. Mainly, it theme revolves around sea creatures. The only section on this site that has any information is the "history" section, key clue can be found by researching Noriko Yoshida

Statue of Liberty - the head of the Statue of Liberty is thrown across the city, suggests the creature/monster is coming from the ocean sea.

So far, the only official sites associated with this project are:

1-18-08 has three pics so far, which I haven't gained any solid clues, other than the time stamps on the pics could have some sort of biblical relation, who knows. 12:01,12:36 and 12:48 or 1+1+8+0+8=18 divisible by 3=6, 666.

Some other unconfirmed sites have popped, but some considered bogus by some:

What ever the outcome is, hopefully this movie is good, its garnering alot of chatter on the web, including myself. You can get engulfed in researching this stuff.
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Phillips: Hope vs. Hype

CowboysBlog.Net will be there on the onset of Cowboys Training Camp this year, and we'll get to the bottom of the question posed here: Does Wade Phillips provide us with hope or hype?

At the end of the season, all hope seemed lost after we barely made it into the playoffs by losing two important games in a row. No one wanted to go into the Wild Card game in Seattle on a losing streak.

Cowboys 7 Eagles 23
Cowboys 31 Lions 39
Cowboys 20 Seahawks 21 (playoffs)

The Cowboys hit rock bottom after that heart-wrenching loss to Seattle. Who can remember that awful feeling in the lower stomach after Romo lost the snap and ran for the 1st down or game winning TD. What fan was not screaming "NOOOO!!!" at the top of their lungs with watery eyes from the shear disappointment of what should of been. All hope was lost for fans. Fans lost hope that Parcells could get this team to the Super Bowl after his latest debacle by the defense and anemic offense. Fans looked at Parcells defense and called it "bland, vanilla, too simple" and some called the offense "too conservative" I would agree with all that.

So, now Parcells is gone, and then came the whole coaching charade. We saw Norv with Jerry at Irvin's induction announcement, and this looked to be our next coach. Norv would turn Romo into Aikman, and the offense would be explosive. But what derailed this team towards the end? It was the defense, it was horrible. It was the same people getting burned everytime. Roy, Bradie, and no pressure from the defensive line, a complete bust. Mike Zimmer was a 4-3 guru, and could not put his own spin on the 3-4, let alone Parcells bland 3-4 of the late 80s-90s.

Jerry wanted to fix the defense and that means, hire the guru of defense, Wade Phillips. The Phillips 3-4 is what the Cowboys need, and the player personnel is here for instant success. So, is this a bunch of hype or hope? I'm going with the later, hope. Phillips is doing everything to get this group of young players together for a run at the Super Bowl. Phillips has reshuffled the locker room by mixing the defensive players with offensive players, they are no longer segregated by squad. He's brought the team together and brought his family oriented philosophy to the locker room.

With young players eager to display their skills for Phillips, this year, we're gonna see a whole new level of performance from some players considered to be underachievers in years past. Players like Marcus Spears, Chris Canty, and Bradie James all want to get a chance to make their mark on this new scheme, and they will have their chances. But, by no means can you count out young players like LB Bobby Carpenter, who's sideline-to-sideline play make a perfect match for this Phillips 3-4, I see good things to come for Carpenter. Rookie Anthony Spencer has all the makings of the next Demarcus Ware, who can beat that? This is all reason to see hope is on our side.

Much is said about Wade's last outings as a Head Coach, and how he could not get teams over the hump. This is by far the best team, Phillips has ever inherited, and in addition, this could be the best team with the smartest offensive coordinator in Jason Garrett. Phillips never had a decent offensive squad and offensive guru like Garrett. I'm ready to see what these two minds bring to the table. Phillips brings hope that we're going to be the real deal this year.


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Cowboys Named in Top 25 in 25 Years

USA Today is running a weekday report counting down to training camp. They started on 25 and have been moving up to number one. So far, there are three Cowboys in the top 25 in 25 years, according to their column. Its an interesting read.

7. Emmitt Smith - Emmitt Smith surpassed all runners

16. Deion Sanders - Deion played his way into 'Prime Time'

20. Troy Aikman - Aikman rescued 'America's Team'


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Two Weeks 'til Training Camp Fever

Tony Romo and Terrell Owens are by far the undisputed Dallas Cowboys newsmakers each and everyday. The majority of the articles out on the web are either centered around Romo or Owens, and that's not a bad thing. It just shows where the media is focusing on here. You have Romo, the young talented, debonair Hollywood QB that keeps him newsworthy on and off the field. In addition, you have Owens, one of the best receivers in the game today, media proclaimed bad boy, and the media just waiting for his next whatever. How will Garrett use our brightest superstars in his new offense? I expect us to come out swinging on opening day, and people are gonna say "uh oh, these guys are gonna be the team to beat" ranks our QB roster and gives us their thoughts on Romo and our backup QBs:

14. Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo had a storybook season in 2006, going 5-1 in his first six starts and giving the Cowboys great production at the position. But he struggled down the stretch, throwing too many interceptions and fumbling too many times while the Cowboys finished 1-4 in his final five games. The coaches are hoping that the Romo they saw early in the season is the one they get in 2007. He has excellent physical skills as a passer and his mobility allows him to make plays with his feet. However, he must do a better job of playing under control, being patient and not turning the ball over. Aging Brad Johnson will be the backup and mentor to Romo. Although his physical skills are limited, he still knows how to read a defense and get the ball to the right place. Young Matt Baker will be the No. 3 QB, and although he has good developmental skills, he's a long way from the field.

I think Baker takes the final #3 spot, we'll see him get some reps in preseason to gauge where we're at in his development, the other two guys the Cowboys brought in here, are way too raw, and not even close to being on a 53-man roster.

ProFootballWeekly doesn't think Garrett will employ much shotgun at all with his new offense:

Don’t expect a ton of shotgun formations this season from the Cowboys. It is something the fans clamored for in the past, mostly when Drew Bledsoe was the quarterback, but it appears to be a mere part of the package and hardly a major one. Look for new coordinator Jason Garrett’s offense to resemble the Ernie Zampese school of thought more than anything. The offense is likely to be based on timing, with precise routes based on the different depths of the drops, and frequent use of the shotgun would muck that up a bit. Still, that doesn’t mean the team will utilize a true West Coast offense. In fact, most of the receivers — and even the tight ends — are buzzing about the fact that there appear to be a greater number of deep passes in the repertoire. In Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn, the Cowboys have two strong deep-route runners, but spies say not to forget about Patrick Crayton, who could enjoy a nice niche as a breakout player in the new scheme.

Yes, Garrett's offense will resemble Zampese and Turner's, but I expect Garrett to add his own twist, there's always an evolution in football schemes, and I'm excited to see what Garrett adds. I mean, this guy is no slouch, he's a sports guru, he went to Princeton, and he has the bloodlines:

As a coach, he says he looks for players "who are committed to working hard and will buy into what you are doing."

As a former quarterback, Garrett knows the importance of having a top-notch quarterback. So, what should high school coaches look for when filling that all-important role?

"You want a guy with good character," he advises. "You want a guy with leadership and work ethic, not just a guy who can throw the ball far."

That certainly was true of Garrett during his playing days. He's also aware of the need for the quarterback to fit the system, and vice-versa.

"It's important to get your quarterback on board with what you're doing because a lot of times the rest of the team will follow his example," Garrett said. (NFLHS.COM)

Bucky Brooks from looks at the Cowboys challenges for this upcoming training camp:

Challenge No. 1: Build the offense around the strengths of Tony Romo.

Romo led the Cowboys to the playoffs and earned a Pro Bowl nomination as a first-year starter. His 65-percent completion percentage and 95.1 passer rating both ranked near the top of the league. With that kind of production, it's obvious that the Cowboys should build their offense around the Romo's strengths. As a polished passer with outstanding poise, patience and athleticism, Romo has the skills to play any style of offense. New offensive coordinator Jason Garrett...

Challenge No. 2: Tweak the 3-4 to feature a more aggressive pass rush.

The 3-4 defense new coach Wade Phillips is installing is vastly different than the one used by his predecessor Bill Parcells. Phillips runs an aggressive package built on the strength of his personnel that features an assortment of games, stunts and blitzes to add pressure. The Dallas defense he inherits has several pieces in place. DeMarcus Ware possesses the skills to be on of the top pass rushers in the league and under Phillips the third-year pro will be used exclusively as a pass rusher. And if Phillips stays true to the philosophy that he used in San Diego, he will find an unsung player on the opposite side with complementary rush skills. Shaun Phillips quietly posted double-digits in sacks opposite Shawne Merriman in San Diego and...

Challenge No. 3: Make Terrell Owens a big part of the offense.

The temperamental super star brings lots of baggage, but no one can dispute the talent or impact that he has on an offense. With 85 receptions for over 1,100 yards and a league-leading 12 touchdown receptions during an off year, he still deserves to be mentioned as one of the top receivers in the game and merits top billing in the Cowboys' offense.
In my opinion, Challenge No.4 would be to get the ball in Witten's hands more and frequently. Garrett will utilize Witten as he was suppose to be used. Witten is a receiving TE, not a blocking TE. Get Witten in the game early, and soften up the field, and let our running back tandem tear it up as a result.


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Drafting Cowboys in Fantasy Football

Football is in the air, and camp is less than 3 weeks away. I've been having football withdrawal symptoms since the Super Bowl ended, and the other professional sports just don't cut it for me.

Fantasy Football leagues have been forming since June and this has helped fill the void between then and training camp. I've already been in a few league drafts, and you can almost script the first round of picks, its the 2nd round and onward that get interesting. Yahoo Fantasy Football is still the best in my opinion. Easy interface, menus, settings, scoring, offense and defense, its complete. So, my review is based on the Yahoo FF System.

I'm going to give my Dallas Cowboys rankings for Fantasy Football(Most value to least value, along with recommended round to draft).

1. Terrell Owens: Owens is a scoring machine, and you can only expect this to be the same if not better with Garrett's new down-the field approach. He'll get you the receptions, the yards, and TDs needed to be a force in any league. (1st-2nd round)

2. Marion Barber III: Barber is another scoring machine, he has a nose for the endzone, runs hard everytime, and he's the man in the redzone. Garrett wants to utilize the RBs in the passing game some more, and Barber has the advantage here, he has better receiving hands, which makes him more dangerous this year. Barber is the running back that will deliver the nail in the coffin with his TDs which is why he's still get the moniker of "The Closer" (6th-8th round)

3. Jason Witten: Witten isn't ranking in the top echelon of tight ends in fantasy football because they are basing this on his output last year. This is not the case this year, and if you're looking for a TE with numbers, its gonna be Witten. Witten will be a solid TE this year, and could be a solid W/T swing player. Expect Witten to be a major threat in the redzone/endzone this year. Witten will be a major beneficiary from Garrett's new high octane system and you can reap the benefits in your league. (8th-11th round)

4. Tony Romo: Romo will have solid numbers, he could have great numbers, so picking Romo could be a top round pick for sure. The thing you have to remember is that you want to stockpile your team with high-end WRs/RBs first, that's been my rule of thumb for years. The only QB you'll probably see drafted in the 1st round is Peyton Manning, and that's because he puts up ridiculous output every year, he's money. Romo has that scoring potential, but you just don't know for sure. Fans and die hard fans could find it hard not to draft Romo with their first pick in the first round, stick to the gameplan. You can get Romo in later rounds and for a steal. Next year could be a different story. (9th-12th round)

5. Terry Glenn: Glenn's scoring potential is underrated in Fantasy Football as it is in the real world, and because of this, you can probably grab Glenn in a mid round and feel good about it. Glenn is someone you can plug in as a starter and not worry about it. Glenn is good for 6-10 TDS this season, along with receptions 60-70 at least, 1100+ yard receiver. Glenn is a solid #2-3 WR or a swing W/R in other leagues. (9-12th round)

6. Julius Jones: Jones situation is the same as the rest of our offensive players, he has the "potential" to be a knockout player this year. But based on my draft experiences this year, Jones has been going in mid rounds and later. Jones is going to be a mega steal this year. MB3 has been going ahead of Jones in most leagues, but Jones will have his true chance to run more instinctively and less robotic as Jones put it. Jones could be a top round pick easily and you'll feel good about it, but there will be alot of value on the board. So, Jones can be stolen away in a later round. (10th-12th round)

7. Patrick Crayton: Crayton will probably be the #3 WR, and he could a bigger role in the slot. He'll be that Kelvin Martin/Kevin Williams type player, and his numbers will be higher. Unfortunately, the roster size of most leagues won't be big enough for you to draft him, tuck him away and hope for some magical numbers from Crayton (last round-undrafted)

Others: Sam Hurd, Tony Fasano, Miles Austin, FBs, don't hold much Fantasy Football prowess at all, so these guys will all be undrafted, but could be valuable if a starter becomes injured for a period of time.

In Leagues that have Defensive Players, these will be your top Cowboys to look for:

1. Demarcus Ware: Ware is ranked high because of his amount of sacks, solo tackles, and assisted tackles, and forced fumbles, and the occasional INT. In leagues that have defensive players, Ware can be drafted in the late rounds, he'll fill the D or Dline roster spot

2. Roy Williams: Roy Williams will be more active in-the box under the Phillips34, and you can expect his numbers to flourish, with solo tackles, assisted tackles, INTS, and maybe a few sacks from the blitz. Roy can be taken in the late rounds too, he'll fill the D or DB roster spot.

3. Bradie James: James gets a look here, assuming he remains the starting MLB, James will give you decent numbers in regards to tackles, don't expect many sacks from James, your points will come from tackles. I would bunch Akin Ayodele in here too. Most leagues with defensive players have 1point per tackle, it all depends on your leagues points configurations.

4. Ken Hamlin: Hamlin is another player in the secondary that will get you points with INTs, tackles, and assisted tackles. He's gonna be the center fielder which means he'll be roaming around and has that potential to be a solid D or DB player for your roster.

5. Newman/Henry: Newman and Henry will garner points on tackles, but not that many, their money comes with INTs. QBs don't throw to Newman much, so his INT opportunities are lowered, and solo tackles too. Henry has more opportunity, since he's the most thrown at DB in the league according to several metrics, so his INT chances go up, and so do his solo tackles.

When drafting DBs for your league, you want the guys that make tackles, solo tackles, assisted tackles, and INTs. That means safeties are your best bet to filling DB spots, they have more scoring value. Don't draft based on a DBs shutdown ability, players like Champ Bailey, DeAngelo Hall, and Terence Newman. They won't give you the same output as league safeties. Keep that in mind.

6. Anthony Spencer/Greg Ellis: he could be your steal when it comes to drafting a player to fill your D or Dline roster spot. It depends on how much time he gets, but his numbers could mirror Demarcus Ware's, so you could save him with a very late round pick if you drafted smart earlier in your draft.

Others: Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Jason Ferguson, Jason Hatcher, Jay Ratliff could have some value, but they get undrafted. Of course this could all change if any of these guys get hot and become defensive line monsters, forcing fumbles, and sacking the QB.

The key for ANY fantasy football league are the bye-weeks. Be smart with your picks, don't stockpile players with the same bye-weeks, this will hurt you in the long run, you'll lose games, and you'll always be looking for those average free agents to fill your voids; moreover, your roster will be unstable and you'll lose important games down the stretch.


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Newman Overrated? I Don't Think So.

I was perusing some news articles and stumbled across this article by ESPN's KC Joyner, and I could not help but laugh out loud over his notion that Terence Newman is overrated. You gotta be kidding. Yet he has Charles Woodson and Nathan Vasher as underrated cornerbacks? This article is all backwards if you ask me.

Here's what he said:
Terence Newman: He is considered much better than his Dallas teammate Anthony Henry, but Newman's 2006 overall YPA was only .4 yards higher than Henry's. He also ranked 57th in the missed pass percentage category, so luck was on his side.

Newman is a shutdown corner, plain and simple. There isn't a team in this league that would not want Newman as their main cornerback. There is no luck needed in Newman's game.

Yes, this article is entertaining to some degree and so are the rest of Joyner's articles in this series, but this one is not gonna fly for me. You're wrong KC, sorry dude.

One player who is definitely underrated is TE Jason Witten. If you're in fantasy football, you may want to take Witten in the top 6 rounds, he's gonna score and get yards at the same time.

SportingNews is showing Witten some love by ranking him #1 amongst tight ends in the NFC, and I would agree:

1. COWBOYS Jason Witten is too fast for linebackers and too big for safeties, and he has excellent hands. Anthony Fasano lacks speed but has good hands and is a willing blocker.

He works the middle of the field and gives Dallas a good third-down target. Strangely, he scored only one touchdown last season.

Crumpler, Shockey, and Cooley round out the top 4 TEs in the NFC.

Dennis Dillon at SportingNews takes on the role of Nostradamus and has the Cowboys as the #2 Seed in the NFC for the playoffs:

6. Seattle. As long as Mike Holmgren is their coach, the Seahawks always have a chance to get to the postseason.

5. San Francisco. Frank Gore is the league's next big star at running back, and the defense finally has the pieces in place to become a full-blooded 3-4.

4. Philadelphia. As long as Andy Reid is their coach, the Eagles will be one of this conference's powers. Their chances will be much better, of course, if Donovan McNabb can stay on the field.

3. Chicago. All eyes will be on Rex Grossman, but this team has enough talent to win even when its quarterback isn't at his best. The gap between the Bears and the other three teams in their division still looks as big as the Grand Canyon.

2. Dallas. The Cowboys' players are sold on the 3-4 according to Wade Phillips -- and so am I. Tony Romo regressed a bit toward the end of last season, but he has the makeup to become a star.

1. New Orleans. There's a lot to like about this team, beginning with Sean Payton, its young, innovative coach. I especially give the Saints props for already putting last year's improbable season behind them and turning their focus to what they need to do to take that next step -- to the Super Bowl.

Interesting picks in the NFC side, I don't see the Saints as the #1 Seed though, and moreover, I don't see the Bears making it to the tournament this year anyway, but to each their own.

Shoot, I might as well take a shot at it:

6. Cardinals
5. Detroit
4. Seattle
3 .Philadelphia
2. New Orleans
1. Dallas

How's that for some controversial picks! Let's see if this comes true.


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Michael Irvin Officially Picks Jerry Jones as Presenter

Its official, Michael Irvin has asked Jerry Jones to be his presenter at this year's Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. The event will be on Saturday, August 4th at 6PM.

The article reveals who the other presenters will be:
Thurman Thomas chose his former coach, Marv Levy, to present him at the Aug. 4 enshrinement ceremony. Levy was inducted into the Hall in 2001.

Bruce Matthews will be presented for induction by Hall of Famer Mike Munchak, a former teammate. Matthews was the presenter when Munchak entered the Hall of Fame in 2001...

Fantasy Football is in full swing, check out what's Michael Fabiano has to say about our running back tandem:

Julius Jones remains the favorite to start for the Cowboys under new head coach Wade Phillips, and he will be motivated to produce in what is a contract year. In fact, Jones could be a nice draft bargain since Marion Barber is considered more valuable. The former Minnesota standout led the NFC in rushing touchdowns last season, but whether he can duplicate that remains to be seen. Barber is considered a low-end No. 2 fantasy back or flex starter, while Jones is a more of a middle-round No. 3 fantasy runner in most formats.

In most drafts Ive been involved so far, MB3 is getting drafted ahead of Jones, but those that get Jones in later rounds could be in for a treat. I don't think you can go wrong with either pick.

Lastly, Happy 4th of July to everyone!


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Terrell Owens Will Lead Cowboys in TDs

Last year was Owens' first year as a Dallas Cowboy and he met all expectations as he stacked up some Pro Bowl numbers, 85 receptions for 1180 yards with 13TDs. Yes, he had some dropped passes, but his offensive scoring power cannot be denied. So, Owens had pretty good numbers in what is considered to have been a conservative type passing game, can you imagine this year?

Now comes year two with a new "players coach" and a new offensive coordinator with Jason Garrett. Garrett has already said this offense will look alot like the offenses the Cowboys employed in the '90s. This is good news for Owens, and you can expect another solid year from T.O.

It is my prediction that T.O. will lead the Cowboys in touchdowns this year, and according to a poll at our message board, most fans also believe T.O. will lead in TDs:

Terrell Owens %58
Marion Barber III %29
Jason Witten %8
Julius Jones %4
Other %0-1

T.O. is money in the fantasy football realm, but I wouldn't overlook MB3 or Julius Jones for that matter. In several leagues, I've been able to draft Julius Jones in later rounds, and this could be an absolute steal under Garrett's new offense.

Witten should get way more touches in the redzone, and this should make him another solid pick this year.

In other T.O. news, Owens is suing a Manhattan Nightclub for using his name and likeness. Owens is seeking around $600,000 in damages. Check out the article here.