NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” lineup is getting younger while maintaining its robust level of blonde.
Carrie Underwood is no stranger to singing for NFL crowds. Take a look back at memorable Super Bowl performances.
The network announced Tuesday that Carrie Underwood will replace Faith Hill as the singer of its introductory theme song each week. Hill announced weeks ago she wouldn’t be continuing with the show.
Underwood’s first Sunday regular-season appearance on the show will come before a Dallas Cowboys game, featuring her ex, Tony Romo. We can only hope that NBC keeps the same lyrics to the theme song this season, so we can hear Underwood sing, “Al and Chris are the best on TV.”
Classic American songwriting, right there.
NBC telecasts of “Sunday Night Football” will be lacking faith this season.
Well, Faith Hill.
Hill has opened NBC’s telecast for the past six seasons, belting out her song “Waiting All Day For Sunday Night,” a reworked version of the Joan Jett hit, “I Hate Myself for Loving You.”
The intro starred Hill — usually in high heels — intercut with a computer-generated montage of NFL stars (you might recall Adrian Peterson making a dynamic football move on a frozen lake this past season).
Judging by Hill’s tweet, it appears it was her decision to step away from the “SNF” brand.
Expect NBC to replace the country icon with a similarly safe, commercially relevant artist whom your mom knows.
Courtesy: Dan Hanzus | NFL Around the League Writer
2012 DALLAS COWBOYS IN REVIEW: National Football League website writers voice opinions about America’s Team
Various writers on the National Football League’s website have recently expressed opinions about the 2012-2013 Dallas Cowboys, the Rob Ryan firing, head coach Jason Garrett, and owner/general manager Jerry Jones.
Two of these writers are prominent, others are either out of touch or rarely heard from in their Dallas Cowboys’ coverage. Even the writers with the least accurate overview of the Cowboys, do make certain points worthy of noting. Check it out and decide for yourself. As always, your comments are welcome.
Dallas Cowboys’ problem in 2012: Rob Ryan or something else?
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones promised change was coming this offseason, and the first major ax fell earlier this week on defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Jones cited two specific games where the defense didn’t play well in explaining the team’s decision to fire Ryan. It begs the question: Was defense the biggest reason the Cowboys missed the playoffs again?
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com says …
The defense was the least of the Dallas Cowboys’ problems
Rob Ryan coached circles around Jason Garrett, given the talent and injuries he had to deal with over the past two years. Garrett’s offenses are so often sloppy and unimaginative. His game-day management also leaves a lot to be desired. Still, that’s not the biggest reason the Cowboys missed the playoffs. Owner Jerry Jones — general manager and enabler — is the common thread running through more than a decade-and-a-half of disappointment in Big D.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com says …
Dallas needs a more established coordinator
Yes, I think defense was Dallas’ biggest issue. The Cowboys spent a lot of money and a high draft pick on improving that unit, but it performed worse in many ways in 2012. Dallas regressed in interceptions (from 15 in 2011 to seven — an all-time low — in 2012), takeaways (plus-four to minus-13), rushing yards allowed (1,585 to 2,003) and points allowed (347 to 400).
I know people talk about injuries, but one could argue that the Green Bay Packers had bigger injury issues on defense, losing key players like Charles Woodson, and they still won 11 games.
There were a lot of questions when Ryan was hired, considering that he’d never been a coordinator for a team with a winning record. He and coach Jason Garrett just have completely different personalities. The Cowboys had trouble with basic things like getting the right number of players on the field.
I think the Cowboys are going to go out and hire an established, older defensive coordinator; I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Monte Kiffin is brought aboard. But that’s just a wild guess.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com says …
In an exclusive interview that will be broadcast on NBC’s “Football Night in America” before the Cowboys-Redskins game, Jason Witten had this to say to Bob Costas:
On being in a win-or-go-home situation for the second consecutive year: “It’s tough to get to the situation we are in and play for the division title. It’s been an up and down year. There is no question about that. But to get this opportunity, hopefully our past experiences will allow us to make that jump and get a win.”
On Tony Romo taking blame when things go wrong: “I think it is something he handles really well and does a great job not allowing it to effect his game and his ability to lead our team.”
On Romo’s ability to improvise: “His ability to improvise is like none other. I know that those plays are always alive. It’s great to have a guy like that who you have such great chemistry with on and off the field.”
On being in a familiar win-or-go-home situation: “Our mind-set is one that we are going to find a way to win this game. Our team has embraced that opportunity, and this is why we have played football since we were little kids.”
On the outcome of the game having an impact on the playoffs: “The energy and emotion is going to be through the roof. You are so fortunate to be in that situation and I want our team to enjoy that. It puts chills down your arms just thinking about it. So much work has gone in to getting to this point.”
The NFL is thinking about flexing the Dallas Cowboys INTO another Sunday Night Football game.
The Cowboys currently have one more NBC Sunday night game on the schedule,, Dec. 2 when the Philadelphia Eagles visit. That would be their fourth prime time game this season. The NFL allows six.
The fifth could come Sunday Dec. 23 when the New Orleans Saints come to Cowboys Stadium. Currently penciled in for NBC that night is the disappointing San Diego Chargers at the horrible New York Jets. The NFL and NBC would like to get out of that mess.
I know the Cowboys and Saints are both 4-5 but they have upsides. The Cowboys have a four winnable games coming and the Saints have Drew Brees who can carry a team. Not saying it’s a lock but it’s a definite maybe.
The Dallas Cowboys are expected to face their most challenging test to date when they travel to the Deep South to face Atlanta. The Falcons are the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL and there is a reason why their record is unblemished. They avoid mistakes. Atlanta is the least-penalized team in the league and has a plus-10 turnover differential. The Cowboys, meanwhile have been their own worst enemy. They have been flagged 54 times and committed 19 turnovers — the second-highest total in the NFL. For the Cowboys to march into the Georgia Dome and defeat Atlanta, they first have to make sure they don’t beat themselves. Here’s a look at how both teams match up:
When the Cowboys run
There are three teams in the NFL that are allowing more than five yards per carry. Atlanta is one of them. The Falcons’ defense has shown vulnerability when teams have elected to keep the ball on the ground. But whether the Cowboys have the ability to take advantage of their weakness is uncertain. Starting tailback DeMarco Murray won’t play as he continues to recover from a sprained left foot. And backups Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner gained only 19 rushing yards on 15 carries in the Cowboys’ 29-24 loss to the Giants.
When the Cowboys pass
Tony Romo’s never attempted more passes or thrown for more yards than he did last Sunday against the Giants. But Romo also tossed four costly interceptions. His performance encapsulated the inconsistency of the Cowboys’ air attack, which has been reliably unreliable this season. Now Romo and Co. face the Falcons, the tenth-stingiest pass defense in the NFL. Atlanta is allowing an average of 216.9 yards through the air per game and has made 10 interceptions. Safety Thomas DeCoud has four of those picks.
When the Falcons run
Neither Michael Turner nor Jacquizz Rodgers stands taller than 5 feet, 10 inches. Just as small as their stature have been their gains on the ground. The two Atlanta tailbacks are averaging 3.76 yards per carry this season for a team ranked 24th in rushing that has accumulated more than four yards on only 36.9 percent of its attempts. The Cowboys, meanwhile, have been solid against the run – holding teams to 104.7 yards per game on the ground. Without inside linebacker Sean Lee for the first time, the Cowboys fared well against the Giants, never allowing a carry longer than 14 yards.
When the Falcons pass
Spearheaded by quarterback Matt Ryan, the Falcons’ air attack is potent. Ryan has completed more than 68 percent of his throws, accumulating 17 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. Ryan’s success, in part, can be attributed to the weapons at his disposal. Receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, two players who can stretch the field, are each made averaging more than 14 yards per reception. Tight end Tony Gonzalez, meanwhile, leads the team with 46 catches. The Falcons will test the Cowboys, who have surrendered fewer passing yards per game than all but two teams.
After Sunday, the Cowboys can add another special teams mistake to their ledger. After Dez Bryant fumbled against the New York Giants, the Cowboys’ return units have turned the ball over twice this season. Dallas has also allowed a blocked punt and surrendered a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Atlanta’s special teams aren’t much better. The Falcons have also conceded a blocked punt. But Atlanta’s mistakes haven’t been as frequent and their kicker Matt Bryant has performed just as well as the Cowboys’ Dan Bailey. Bryant is making 94.1 percent of his field-goal attempts. Bailey is converting 92.9 percent.
Since head coach Mike Smith was hired before the 2008 season, the Falcons have made the Georgia Dome a house of horrors for opponents. Atlanta has had a 29-6 regular-season record there during Smith’s tenure, posting a home winning percentage so high that it has only been eclipsed by the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens the last five seasons. The Cowboys, meanwhile, have fared terribly in Sunday night games, losing the last seven they’ve played since September 2010.
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Laurent Robinson’s first season in Jacksonville isn’t going quite as well as he or the team hoped.
Robinson got off on the wrong foot when training camp started and has just nine catches and 134 yards in four games this season. Now he’s dealing with his third concussion since the start of camp as well. Robinson was injured in Sunday’s loss to the Bengals, making it two straight games with a concussion for the wide receiver.
Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reports that Robinson isn’t expected to play against Chicago in Week Five, which is to be expected given the short interval between concussions. The Jaguars have a bye in Week Six, so he could wind up missing just one game although it wouldn’t be surprising if Robinson wound up missing more time.
We’re not sure how much that would actually hurt the Jaguars passing offense. The Jags are gaining just 146.1 yards per game through the air, which leaves them next to last in that statistic. Robinson’s absence clearly isn’t what the team wanted when they signed him to a five-year, $32.5 million deal, but things can’t really get too much worse in the passing game.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys introducing ‘Jerry Wipes’, a multi-purpose novelty
PHOTO: Jerry Wipes, inspired by a viral video of Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones getting his glasses cleaned, will be sold in the Dallas Cowboys online store. Jerry Wipes aren’t the first instance of the polarizing NFL owner poking fun at himself – or making money.
The Dallas Cowboys won their season opener against the New York Giants last week, but the breakout star of the game wasn’t anyone on the field. It was Jerry Jones’ glasses.
Jones, the highly visible and polarizing Cowboys owner, stole the thunder from his team’s road victory over the Super Bowl champion Giants when video footage taken of Jones watching the game showed him casually handing off his glasses to be cleaned by an unidentified man sitting behind him in the owner’s box.
The video went viral, and the questions (and jokes) flew. Who was the man cleaning Jerry’s glasses? Some sort of manservant from a bygone era of kings? Is the billionaire Jones really so rich that he can’t be bothered wipe a smudge off his own glasses?
Not quite. The glasses-cleaner turned out to be Jones’s son in law, Shy Anderson, who offered an explanation of the spectacle (sorry) to Alan Peppard of the Dallas Morning News:
"Jerry never talks to anybody during the game. He is so focused. But he started asking, ‘Where’s [Cowboys tight end Jason] Witten?’ I was looking over his shoulder and I could see his glasses were completely smudged. I said, ‘Seriously, Jerry? Let me see your glasses.’ I actually had an eyeglass cloth in my pocket."
So it was just family members watching out for each other, more than an extravagance of the uber-rich. But that isn’t stopping Anderson and Jones from cashing in on their brief Internet fame.
One week after he was caught by NBC cameras wiping the eyeglasses of Jerry Jones during the NFL game, the son-in-law of the Dallas Cowboys owner said he’s hoping to capitalize on all the attention by selling a product inspired by the infamous moment.
Jerry Jones said on his weekly radio show that Anderson has taken good-natured ribbing for wiping the glasses. Anderson, who is married to Jones’ daughter Charlotte, has run the Dallas Desperados, an Arena Football League team, as well as other business interests.
Anderson has designed a line of eyeglass wipes printed with the words “Jerry Wipes” on them, to be sold in the Dallas Cowboys’ online store. No word yet on the price, or for how long the wipes will be sold. “It started out as a joke, but let’s see how far we can take it.” Anderson said.
It’s all par for the course for Jones, who is no stranger to hamming it up, laughing at himself, or making money. During his 24-year tenure as owner and general manager, he has turned the Dallas Cowboys into the most valuable pro sports franchise in the NFL and the United States, worth $2 billion. He’s also starred in a series of ads for pizza chain Papa Johns, in which he both break dances and raps. So Jerry Wipes aren’t the first or last time Jerry Jones will cash in on an opportunity.
As a courtesy, The Boys Are Back blog wants to share the video highlights and special interviews associated with last nights Dallas Cowboys victory over the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. When you click on each link, the video should open in a separate window. Enjoy!
Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo found WR Kevin Ogletree for 114 yards and 2 TD’s as the Cowboys took down the Giants in the first game of the 2012 season, 24-17.
The Dallas Cowboys crew recaps the season opener win against the New York Giants.
Coach Jason Garrett and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo speak after the New York Giants game.
Join Mickey Spagnola as he listens in to Jason Garrett’s postgame speech after Wednesday nights victory over the NY Giants
Presented by Volkswagen. Experience the sights and sounds of the Cowboys victory over the Giants in their season opener. If you only watch one video, watch this one! Brad Sham, the Voice of the Dallas Cowboys, captures moments unlike anyone in sports. Check it out!
Join Derek, Nick, Josh, and Blair as they breakdown last nights thrilling victory against the Giants.
Tony Romo addresses the media after the Dallas Cowboys beat the New York Giants in NFL season opener.
It’s Glory Hole Thursday! haha The Break takes a look at the Dallas Cowboys victory over the New York Giants and if the result could possibly carry over to the rest of the season.
BONUS VIDEOS: Know The Enemy – Jason Pierre-Paul and Victor Cruz
In the second portion of this weeks "Know The Enemy", Bryan Broaddus takes a look at the Giants most powerful weapon on defense
Posted: Sep 5, 2012 (posted before the game)
In the first portion of this weeks "Know The Enemy", Bryan Broaddus takes a look at one of the Giants most powerful weapons on offense
Posted Sep 4, 2012 (posted day before the game)
A sportscaster with anger issues must attend grief counseling to keep his job.
Matthew Perry ("Friends," "Mr. Sunshine") stars as Ryan King, a recent widower and sports talk radio host ready to get back to work after the loss of his wife. Ryan’s boss, Stephen, played by John Cho ("Star Trek," "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle"), has a different plan in store for Ryan, making him attend grief counseling before returning to the air. A reluctant Ryan finds himself in a support group for "life change," where he meets an oddball cast of characters, all with their own backstories filled with varying degrees of loss.
On his very first visit, Ryan convinces the group to deviate from their normal session and starts a tournament-style competition (March Sadness!) to find out whose story is the worst. Ryan’s total lack of interest in "the healing process" proves distracting and he soon butts heads with the by-the-books group leader, Lauren, played by Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti ("The Playboy Club"). Back at work, Ryan is confronted with the fact that he hasn’t really processed his grief and realizes Lauren and the other members of the group might be key in helping him move on. Also starring are Tony Award-Winner Julie White ("Transformers") as Anne, Bill Cobbs ("The Muppets," "Night at the Museum") as George and Suzy Nakamura ("Dodgeball") as Yolanda.
"Go On" is a touching new comedy created by Emmy Award-winning writer/executive producer Scott Silveri ("Perfect Couples," "Friends"). Todd Holland ("Malcolm in the Middle"), Karey Nixon ("Free Agents," "Miss/Guided") and Jon Pollack ("Up All Night," "30 Rock") also serve as executive producers. The pilot was directed by Holland.
STARRING: Matthew Perry (Ryan King), Laura Benanti (Lauren), Julie White (Annie), Suzy Nakamura (Yolanda), Tyler James Williams (Owen), Brett Gelman (Mr. K), John Cho (Stephen)
Press the PLAY button to watch the pilot – NEW EPISODE PREMIERE SEPT 11 TUESDAYS 9/8c
Press the PLAY button to watch Fan Chat with John Cho – Duration 2:45
The Cowboys waited until June to start signing draft picks, and they now may have to wait until August to get the last member of the incoming class signed.
Cornerback Morris Claiborne, the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft, has yet to agree to terms. Agent Bus Cook tells Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com that Cook doesn’t know whether a deal will be done before training camp opens on July 25.
“I have no idea, don’t know,” Cook said. “I don’t know. We’ll see.”
Cook declined to delve into the specifics. It widely is believed that, for most if not all of the first eight picks (none of whom are signed), the question of whether their fully-guaranteed contracts will include offset language provides the primary stumbling block.
Last month, Cowboys executive V.P. Stephen Jones acknowledged that the offset language is the culprit. That’s probably what is holding everybody up, because the money is the money,” Jones said, via Watkins. “I think everyone wants to be consistent at the end of the day. I think that is what is holding everything up, see what is going to be the flavor of the day.”
The teams believe that, if the player is cut before his four-year deal expires, and if he gets another job elsewhere, anything he makes with a new team should reduce what he’s owed under his fully-guaranteed contract. The players (or, more accurately, their agents) believe that the compensation has changed so dramatically at the top of the draft under the new labor deal that the teams should be willing to assume the entire financial risk arising from what ultimately would be an admission that they made a mistake by taking the player at the top of the draft.
It’s a given that the first 16 players taken will receive fully-guaranteed four-year deals. Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, the ninth overall pick, avoided the offset language. The eight players taken before him want that same term — especially since four of them are represented by CAA, the same firm that represents Kuechly.
As to the non-CAA players in the top eight, like Claiborne, there’s a very good chance that the agents are waiting to see what happens with the quartet of CAA clients.
Courtesy: Mike Florio |
Barring an unforeseen veteran signing between now and training camp, expect the Dallas Cowboys to head to California with about $4 million to spend in salary cap dough.
That should be enough to sign basically any current unrestricted free agent, if not two or three veterans, or conveniently extend the contract of just about any player they wish.
And that’s despite the $5 million cap penalty the team accepted for this year. And that’s despite signing more outside free agents than any other year in team history. And that’s despite having the No. 6 overall pick in the draft still unsigned.
Per a report of team-by-team cap space last week, the Dallas Cowboys are in the middle of the pack in terms of money to spend, with nearly $7.2 million in the bank. That number has been confirmed inside Valley Ranch.
The deal for Morris Claiborne, the only unsigned player currently on the roster, will count about $3 million against this year’s cap.
There are several different positions at which the Cowboys could still use an additional veteran. Mentioned most often are wide receiver, tight end, center, safety and punter.
However, the club has been steadfast in its intention to give young players a chance to prove themselves.
RELATED: Team-by-team cap space as of June 22
Jaguars: $25.1 million.
Titans: $19.97 million.
Eagles: $18.02 million.
Browns: $17.7 million.
Bengals: $16.58 million.
Chiefs: $16.54 million.
Buccaneers: $15.74 million.
Colts: $14.59 million.
Packers: $11.25 million.
Patriots: $10.93 million.
Broncos: $10.87 million.
Vikings: $10.59 million.
Panthers: $8.76 million.
Seahawks: $7.47 million.
Bills: $7.38 million.
Cowboys: $7.18 million.
The Cowboys have begun the process of signing their rookie draft picks with wide receiver Danny Coale, tight end James Hanna and linebacker Caleb McSurdy coming to terms.
In the past, the Cowboys have waited until the week before training camp to begin talks with the agents but will take a more proactive approach this year, especially with most of the deals a mere formality because of the new collective bargaining agreement.
Coale, Hanna and McSurdy received four-year deals. They will receive base salaries of $390,000, $480,000, $570,000 and $660,000 from 2012-15.
Coale, the Cowboys’ fifth-round pick, was drafted with the idea that he would compete for the No. 3 wide receiver role, but a broken foot suffered on the first organized team activity will leave him on the sideline until training camp begins in July. The Cowboys like his feel for the game and his ability to play inside and outside. He left as Virginia Tech as the school’s second-leading receiver in catches and yards. He can also return punts.
Hanna, a Flower Mound, Texas, native, was the 186th overall pick and 16th pick in the sixth round. In four years at Oklahoma he caught 52 passes for 720 yards and nine touchdowns. He had a career-high 27 catches for 381 yards as a senior to go along with two touchdowns. He opened eyes at the NFL combine with a 4.46-second 40-yard dash and brings the ability to stretch the field vertically at tight end.
McSurdy, 6-1, 245 pounds, was the Cowboys’ seventh-round pick, No. 222 overall. He was a two-year starter at Montana and had 131 tackles as a senior. He is competing for a backup inside linebacker spot with Orie Lemon and Isaiah Greenhouse.
The Cowboys have yet to sign first-rounder Morris Claiborne, defensive end Tyrone Crawford (third), linebacker Kyle Wilber (fourth) and safety Matt Johnson (fourth). None have been able to take part in the OTAs, but Johnson will be on hand for this week’s minicamp. Claiborne (wrist), Crawford (calf) and Wilber (finger) are injured.
Courtesy: Todd Archer | ESPN Dallas
RELATED: Cowboys sign Pat McQuistan
The Dallas Cowboys announced Friday that they have signed offensive tackle Pat McQuistan. McQuistan, 29, was Dallas’ seventh-round pick in 2006.
A Cowboy from the day he was drafted through 2009, McQuistan stands 6-foot-6, 319 and has experience at both guard and tackle. He’ll be primarily a tackle in Dallas, competing for a roster spot behind Tyron Smith and Doug Free.
McQuistan bounced from the Dolphins to Saints over the past two seasons.
In a corresponding move, the Cowboys waived undrafted rookie tackle Taylor Dever.
Courtesy: Evan Silva | NBC Sports
BOUNTYGATE: Gregg Williams bounty audio released as Sean Payton, Loomis, Vitt, and New Orleans Saints to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for appeals
A speech recorded by a documentary filmmaker captures former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams imploring his players to injure specific San Francisco 49ers the night before January’s NFC divisional-round playoff game.
In the speech, a portion of which was captured by filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, Williams delivers a fiery, profanity-laced speech urging Saints players to inflict harm on several 49ers, including quarterback Alex Smith, running back Frank Gore, and wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams.
"At one point Williams says, ‘We hit (expletive) Smith right there’ — then he points under his chin (and continues) — ‘remember me,’ " Pamphilon told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. "Then he rubs his thumb against his index and middle fingers — the cash sign — and says, ‘I got the first one. I got the first one. Go get it. Go lay that (expletive) out.’ "
It’s unknown if the NFL got a hold of this audio during its investigation of the Saints’ "bounty" program. The NFL declined comment to NFL.com’s Steve Wyche on whether the audio recording in the Yahoo! story or any other information in the article was evidence it previously had or if it was new.
Pamphilon captured the footage while working on a film about former Saints special-teams player Steve Gleason, who suffers from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Pamphilon released a statement to The Times-Picayune on Thursday in which he explained how the serious nature of the Saints’ "bounty" scandal prompted him to release the audio.
"If this story hadn’t broken and been made public, I would not have shared this," Pamphilon wrote, not explaining why he chose to release the sound when he did. "I would not have compromised my personal relationships and risked damaging Steve Gleason’s relationship with the Saints. I would have crafted these words and sentiments for another forum, perhaps years down the road."
Gleason, a source told Profootballtalk.com, plans to release a statement saying that Pamphilon was not authorized to publicize what he recorded
Pamphilon believes "there’s no doubt at all" that Williams placed a bounty on Smith. Pamphilon emphasized that Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis were not in the room during Williams’ speech.
Williams, now the St. Louis Rams‘ defensive coordinator, was suspended indefinitely by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the "bounty" program. He did not appeal the punishment.
Goodell will listen Thursday to appeals from the Saints ($500,000 fine, two lost draft picks), Payton (suspension for the 2012 season), Loomis (eight-game suspension), and assistant coach Joe Vitt (six-game suspension).
Loomis and Vitt arrived at NFL headquarters Thursday. Payton was scheduled to arrive later in the day for his appeal.
The Cowboys might not take the NFL’s cap penalty sitting down after all.
The Cowboys and Redskins could be preparing to go "nuclear" on the NFL after the league instituted cap penalties on both teams just before the start of free agency. The penalties were in response to the way each club structured contracts during the 2010 uncapped season, according to Mike Florio of NBC Sports.
"The two teams are contemplating suing anyone and everyone connected to the sudden removal of $46 million in total cap space over the next two years, based on the contention that their treatment of the term ‘uncapped year’ too literally somehow created a competitive disadvantage," Florio wrote.
According to the report, both teams are frustrated by the fact that the deal was brokered by the NFL Management Council Executive Committee, whose chairman, John Mara , is a co-owner of the New York Giants. The Giants could conceivably benefit from sanctions imposed on two of its division rivals. Florio also mentioned that the threat to sue could be a bluff in order to entice the NFL to compromise over the penalties.
On Monday, the league docked $10 million in cap space from the Cowboys and $36 million from the Redskins, allowing each team to break up the penalty over the course of the next two seasons.
Despite the cap hit, the Cowboys still managed to make a big splash in free agency, committing more than $50 million to cornerback Brandon Carr and doling out another $30-plus million in contracts.
(Photo by Tim Hipps)
Barry Sanders Jr. sweeps left for a 10-yard touchdown run during the West team’s intrasquad scrimmage Tuesday in preparation for the 2012 U.S. All-American Bowl, set for Saturday at 12 noon CST at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The game is being televised live by NBC, right now.
SAN ANTONIO – Barry Sanders Jr. says he feels no pressure to live up to standards established by his father.
“People ask me the question all the time, if I’ll ever be as good as him, and I don’t think anybody will ever be as good as him – just by the numbers he put up,” Sanders said after Tuesday morning practice for the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. “So I just come out here and do what I can, and just work at it every day.”
The younger Sanders will play for the West in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl for high school seniors Saturday at 12 p.m. CST at the Alamodome. The game will be televised live by NBC.
With this event, the son of a man who became the third-leading rusher in NFL history in a short 10 years makes his debut on the national stage. The son knows the numbers his father generated: an NCAA single-season record 2,628 rushing yards en route to winning the 1988 Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma State and an NFL career-high 2,053 rushing yards in 1997, his next-to-last season with the Detroit Lions.
Selected for the Pro Bowl in each of his 10 seasons, the senior Sanders’ career rushing yards per game average of 99.8 yards rank second in NFL history behind only Jim Brown’s 104.3 yards per game. He set dozens of records en route to 15,269 NFL career rushing yards, which trail only Emmitt Smith (18,355) and Walter Payton (16,726). Though he did not play the position until the middle of his last high school season, his is listed as the most elusive running back of all time by NFL.com.
Sanders Jr., however, is not exactly sure about his own numbers, compiled during a career at Heritage Hall High in Oklahoma City.
“Career-wise?” he asked. “I think I finished at 5,000 career yards. I can’t remember how many touchdowns. I looked at the yardage, but I didn’t calculate the carries. I averaged around nine yards a carry.”
Along the way, he also lost track of career touchdowns.
“Maybe 50-plus or 60, I don’t know,” Sanders Jr. said. “I would have to go back and look, but I haven’t looked at that stuff in a long time.”
The Oklahoman reports that Sanders rushed for 1,343 yards and 20 touchdowns on 141 carries – an average of 9.52 yards per carry – during his senior season in 13 games for Class 3A Heritage Hall.
Standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 180 to 185 pounds, Sanders plans to keep growing.
“I hope so,” he said. “I’ll be 18 in April. I may have a couple more inches in me. My dad said he played best about 195. I don’t want to get too heavy.”
The elder Sanders topped out at 5-8.
Although the comparisons are inevitable, Sanders has enjoyed the challenge of being the son of a legendary running back.
“It’s not hard at all,” he said. “It brings about great opportunity and it’s up to me to take advantage of it. And I think I’ve done a great job of it.”
Just how good is this Barry Sanders?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I guess we’ll find out on Saturday. I guess the playing will speak for itself.”
Sanders is one of 99 players hoping to make a name in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
“We’re all dedicated,” Sanders said. “We got here for a reason. It shows when we’re out here on the field. We’re all focused and want to get better. We’re looking forward to having good college careers.”
Several players plan to announce their choice of colleges at the game. Sanders narrowed his field to Stanford, Florida State, Alabama and his father’s alma mater, Oklahoma State, not necessarily in that order.
“I’ll decide at the game,” he said. “I just hope to go out and make as few errors as possible as far as having my technique down on pass blocking, make sure I get the right guy and stay in front of him and keep the quarterback safe. When I get the ball, make sure I hit the right hole, make the right moves, and just do the little things right.”
During the West’s practice on Tuesday, Sanders received the biggest hit of the morning from Aziz Shittu, a 6-3, 275-pound defensive tackle from Buhach Colony High in Atwater, Calif.
“I was looking for the cutback and he was right there and made a good, clean hit,” Sanders said. “Aziz is a good player. We’ve seen each other on a couple of visits. He’s one of the more goofy guys. When I found out it was him, I was like, ‘Aw, man, he’s going to give me crap about that afterward.’ But it was good. I was glad it was him and not somebody else because he is a good dude.
“We’re all out here trying to do our thing and he did get me.”
Sanders later dashed 10 yards around left end for a touchdown.
“I guess that made up for it,” he said with a smile.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is considered a steppingstone for players hoping reaching the next level. Here, one can no longer count on domination through sheer talent.
“I’ve been thinking a lot before the snap to make sure I know exactly what I’m doing,” Sanders said. “I’m thinking probably more than I usually do. Everything doesn’t come as easy as it did playing with my high school team. Things are going fast. It’s definitely an adjustment. It’s going good, though. I’m having fun.”
The players are keeping busy and having fun off the field during Army All-American Bowl week.
“The guys from the West and East, we get along great,” Sanders said. “Last night, we went to the Hard Rock. We all joked, laughed and watched the OSU-Stanford game. We probably stayed up a little too late watching that because it ended late, but we’re all looking forward to competing Saturday, playing with the guys from the West and playing against the guys from the East.”
On Wednesday, the players will be paired with Soldier-heroes for a challenging evening of food and games. On Thursday, they will have a barbeque inside the Alamodome. On Friday, they will visit the Army Strong Zone, a sea of U.S. Army exhibits outside the Alamodome, and attend an awards banquet.
At some point, they must find time to rest for the main event.
“We are looking forward to the time when we get to lay our heads down and just get a quick nap or at night when we’re able to go to sleep because we’re out here working hard and after we eat, we’re all sleepy,” Sanders said. “That’s most of our routine when we’re back at home: play football, eat and sleep – so those three things get put into action this week.”
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants – December 11, 2011.
These rivals haven’t faced each other all year, and now they’ll play twice in the next month to decide the NFC East. The Cowboys (7-5) hold a one-game lead, with the Giants (6-6) trying to snap a four-game slide.
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
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03:27 – The Giants will try to end a four-game losing streak Sunday night on the road against the Cowboys as these rivals play for the NFC East lead.
03:38 – Can Eli Manning light up the Cowboys defense in Week 14? Watch "Playbook" to find out.
05:13 – Keith Brooking explains what its like playing for Rob Ryan and looks forward to a huge NFC East matchup with the Giants in Week 14.
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Dallas Cowboys Postgame Show and Interviews
While the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys both lost last weekend, the damage by those defeats can easily be mitigated thanks to what’s at stake this weekend.
The Giants will try to end a four-game losing streak Sunday night on the road against the Cowboys as these rivals play for the NFC East lead.
Dallas (7-5) leads New York (6-6) by one game. The Giants led the race by two before their slide.
The Cowboys had their four-game win streak snapped thanks to mistakes that included poor clock management in last Sunday’s 19-13 overtime loss at Arizona – a defeat that cost them a chance to clinch the division this weekend.
"Most importantly, we have to put this one to bed and go to the next one," coach Jason Garrett said.
IRVING,Texas — The networks love to show the Cowboys in primetime. It just doesn’t seem the Cowboys love primetime back that much, especially Sunday nights.
The Cowboys have lost five straight games on NBC’s Sunday Night Football over the last two seasons and six of their last eight overall. That came after a stretch from 2006-08 in which they won eight of nine Sunday night tilts.
This year, the Cowboys have lost to the New York Jets (27-24) and Philadelphia (34-7) on Sunday nights. After Sunday night’s game against the Giants, the Cowboys travel to Tampa Bay for a Dec. 17 showing on NFL Network at 7:20 p.m.
Jason Garrett believes Sunday night streak is more coincidental than anything else.
“That’s another trend that some people might want to point to,” Garrett said. “Our job is to prepare as well as we can if we’re playing at home, on the road, in the division, out of the division, if we’re playing in a parking lot. We just want to be our best with this football team right now.”
Most coaches don’t like Sunday or Monday night games because it throws off the schedule for the following week.
Sunday night games can become a problem because of the long wait to kickoff. The Cowboys alter their schedule from noon or 3:15 p.m. kickoffs. Garrett will host his normal team meeting Saturday night, but the offensive and defensive meetings to go over the game plan one final time will happen Sunday morning.
“I think with experience you learn you just don’t need to be sitting in your room horizontally watching football on TV all day,” linebacker Keith Brooking said. “Get up, walk around and get the blood flowing. That’s important.”
IRVING — The Ryan brothers are at it again.
Prior to the Cowboys-Eagles game, Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan did an interview with NBC’s Al Michaels and said he would be a better head coach than his twin brother, Rex, who coaches the New York Jets.
Michaels asked Rob Ryan when he goes on head coaching interviews does it help or hurt him that Rex is his brother?
“Well I am his twin brother, I’m sure it can’t hurt,” Rob Ryan said. “I know he’s one of the more recognizable head coaches in football this year and things like that, but he’s also gone to two AFC championship games in a row and I don’t think anybody else can say that. He’s had an opportunity and he’s done great with it. I’ll be better than him, so I’ll get my chance.”
On Thursday, Rex Ryan responded by saying: “Hopefully one day we get to find out. I hope he does get the opportunity to be a head coach. Rob is a great coach, and he certainly wants that opportunity, as every coach in this league wants that opportunity. But you know what, at the end of the day, he’s not going to be quite as good as his brother.”
“I don’t know, because all I’m doing is basing it on facts. When we were kids, my batting average was a little higher than his, okay. The only thing he’s got on me is probably test scores, academic test score, but other than that, from an athletic standpoint or something like that, I think I’ve always been able to be just a little bit better. But I hope he gets that opportunity. I’m sure he’ll be a great head coach, I really do. “
With his Cowboys mired in a 24-0 hole at halftime Sunday night, Rob Ryan told NBC’s Al Michaels in a prerecorded interview that he doesn’t see himself as an assistant coach for much longer.
“My chance will come,” Ryan said. “It only took my dad 25 years to get a (head coaching) chance and, hell, he’s better than me and (Jets coach and twin brother) Rex put together.”
Not ideal timing for the Cowboys’ mouthy coordinator, who later acknowledged he was “out-coached” in the 34-7 loss to Michael Vick and the Eagles after he ripped Philadelphia earlier in the season.
Rob Ryan — really, all three Ryan’s — is who he is, and one embarrassing loss isn’t about alter his hyper-self-confident world view.
Or his knack for taking shots at brother Rex.
“I know (Rex is) one of the most recognizable head coaches in football this year, and things like that,” Rob Ryan said. “But, I mean, he’s also gone to two AFC Championship games in a row. I mean, I don’t think anybody else can say that. So, he’s had an opportunity and he’s done great with it. I’ll be better than him, so I’ll get my chance.”
Asked to cite what makes him different than his brother Rex, Rob thought for a minute before getting serious: “I like a curvy woman.”
Rob Ryan, ladies and gentlemen.
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