Daily Archives: October 12th, 2011

VIDEO – DeMarcus BeWARE talks about creating havoc this weekend

BeWARE of HAVOC - Press PLAY to watch

Ware: Create Some Havoc

DeMarcus Ware talks about his defense matching up with the most high powered offense in the league.

NFL OWNERS VOTE: The 2015 Super Bowl is awarded to …

HOUSTON — NFL owners have awarded the 2015 Super Bowl to the Phoenix area.

It will be the third time the area has hosted the game, which will be played in Glendale, Ariz. The Super Bowl also was held at University of Phoenix Stadium in 2008, when the Giants beat the Patriots 17-14. Tempe, Ariz., hosted the game in 1996, with Dallas defeating Pittsburgh 27-17.

The Arizona committee screamed in delight when the announcement was made Tuesday.

Phoenix beat the Tampa area in the bidding on the second ballot. Tampa has hosted the game in 1984, 1991, 2001 and 2009.

Next year’s game is in Indianapolis, followed by New Orleans in 2013 and the New York/New Jersey area in 2014.

The 2015 game is the 49th Super Bowl.

What are the odds? Will the Raiders leave Oakland

Photo

Photo by AP

Mark Purdy | San Jose Mercury News
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Al Davis and I were going to talk about a stadium deal. And it was his idea. Seriously. He brought it up last winter when he introduced Hue Jackson as the Raiders’ new head coach. During a media gaggle afterward, I asked Davis if he was open to sharing a new stadium with the 49ers in Santa Clara. He initially declined to comment. But as I turned to leave, he called me by name _ a rare event _ and gestured me over.

“I just can’t talk about it right now,” he said. “Give me a few weeks to look at some things, get some information and then I’ll have an answer for you.”

Following instructions, I called and asked for an appointment. I was told to be patient. Called again. And again. Nothing happened. I figured Davis just changed his mind about the interview. Now, I am guessing his deteriorating health played a part in the situation. We will never know exactly what he would have said or done.

But in the wake of Davis’ death, rumors are proliferating. Don’t believe most of them. It is no big scoop that the Raiders will eventually move to another stadium. Their lease at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland runs through 2013. And they’ve expressed a desire for a new facility. . . somewhere. Davis’ death has simply accelerated the speculation, creating an empty vessel that can be filled with conjecture and gossip.

It’s all a waste of time. At least for the next few months. The Raiders are now effectively controlled by Mark Davis, Al’s son. From everything I know, Mark Davis has given no deep thought to where the Raiders might play in 2014 or beyond. But there are only three logical possibilities. The Raiders could stay in Oakland. Or they could become co-tenants with the 49ers in their proposed Santa Clara project. Finally, the Raiders could move to Los Angeles, where two competing projects are fighting to bring back NFL football.

So. For each city, let’s separate fiction from fact and take a realistic stab at the odds of whether the Raiders might be playing there in, say, 2020.

Oakland

Fiction: The Raiders are and always will be Oakland’s team. The team will work hard with city leaders to finance and build a fabulous new facility on the parking lot adjoining the O.co Coliseum.

Fact: People in Oakland seldom grasped the brutal truth: Al Davis didn’t really care where his team played. He just wanted to maximize revenue to improve his team. In all of his speechifying about the “greatness of the Raiders,” does anyone recall him ever glorifying or praising the city of Oakland _ or, for that matter, the city of Los Angeles when the team played there? We don’t know if Mark Davis has great affection for the East Bay or even if he wants to run the team day-to-day. He was raised in Northern California and is a Chico State graduate. But in business matters, including stadium matters, he will surely listen to Amy Trask, the Raiders’ CEO who earned Al Davis’ trust over the years.

Odds the Raiders are playing there in 2020: Pretty long. Make it 10 to 1. The city of Oakland is cash-strapped and has no money. Plus, keep in mind that the Raiders, throughout history, have never really driven a stadium project _ they have always waited for suitors to come calling with offers and then leveraged the best deal. That’s what took the team to L.A. and back to Oakland. Unless a third-party comes along to assemble and orchestrate a new East Bay stadium package, it is difficult to fathom that the Raiders will dwell in the 510 area code for the long-term.

Santa Clara

Fiction: The Raiders would never think of playing in the same venue as the 49ers. It is against the laws of science and morality.

Fact: The Raiders and 49ers front offices have a good relationship. Trask and 49ers owner Jed York have held informal talks about a stadium marriage. It’s not unprecedented. In New Jersey, the Jets and Giants joined forces to construct a new facility _ although one league source says that it wouldn’t happen the same way in Santa Clara. The plan in New Jersey called for the two teams to invest equally in the stadium. The Raiders reportedly would prefer to be more of a tenant or renter. That makes sense, because the 49er project is already past the point where equity participation by the Raiders might even be possible.

Odds the Raiders are playing there in 2020: Better than you might imagine. Probably 5 to 1. Trask is known as a tough but fair negotiator. If Mark Davis decides he wants to retain control of the team rather than sell out his interests, he almost certainly will look at Santa Clara before looking south.

Los Angeles

Fiction: The Southland is dying for NFL football, and riches await for the Raiders with two solid, slam-dunk stadium deals vying for their approval.

Fact: There are indeed two separate (and competing) proposals to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles. One is headed by the entertainment giant AEG and chairman Phil Anschutz. He wants to build a stadium in downtown L.A. next to the Staples Center. But he also wants to buy a share of any NFL team that moves there, at a deep discount. That was a deal-stopper when Anschutz quietly met with Al Davis last summer to first broach the idea. The other proposal involves a 600-acre tract of land in the City of Industry, about 20 miles east of L.A.’s downtown, controlled by developer Ed Roski. He is eager for football to be played on the site but has financing issues _ and as mentioned, the Raiders have never driven a stadium deal in that regard. Roski also wants to buy a piece of whatever team he lands, though at fair market value.

Odds the Raiders are playing there in 2020: Probably somewhere between the Oakland odds and Santa Clara odds. Let’s say 7 to 1. No matter what, a Los Angeles deal is complicated and definitely no sure thing. But the Raiders will certainly listen. Davis, who always enjoyed creating controversy, would love that people are already fulminating over the possibilities. Too bad he’s not still around to enjoy it.

NE HOMERS: Expect sound support from the home crowd!

After the Patriots booted a second-quarter field goal, this fan did his part in contributing to the decibel level with a two-fisted shout.

After the Patriots booted a second-quarter field goal, this fan did his part in contributing to the decibel level with a two-fisted shout. (Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOXBOROUGH – If you think it isn’t loud at Gillette Stadium, listen up.

When Deion Branch hauled in a Tom Brady touchdown pass against the Jets Sunday, most of the 65,000 fans at Gillette Stadium rose as one, threw their arms skyward, and screamed.

A sound meter on the field near the end zone recorded 106.4 decibels. And that was on the open end of the stadium. Tests show that the enclosed side is 10 decibels higher, which would make the noise higher than the 115 decibels the Occupational Safety and Health Administration considers dangerous for any length of time.

Even coach Bill Belichick noticed the extra fan enthusiasm for the game against the Jets.

“They were definitely into the game, no question about it,’’ he said.

The hooded master says there is a difference between the noise on the field and in the stands.

“To tell you the truth, when you’re down on the field, it’s like a constant roar,’’ said Belichick. “It goes up and it comes down a little bit, but it’s a constant roar.’’

Last month, in an audible that was deemed politically incorrect, Tom Brady called on  Patriots  fans to be “lubed’’ and loud for the home opener. Fans seem to have gotten the message. Safety James Ihedigbo credits Brady for getting the hometown fans pumped.

“Definitely,’’ said Ihedigbo. “I’m glad he called them out.’’

Ihedigbo, who played three years for the Jets, also did his part. He continually gestured for fans to rise up on big third-down plays, and the sound meter jumped 10 decibels.

“The fans are amazing,’’ he said. “I say we appreciate them. We need them every single game to be as loud or louder than they were.’’

Domed stadiums are traditionally louder than open-air venues. On Monday night at  Ford  Field in Detroit, the visiting Bears had nine false starts,  prompting Lions coach Jim Schwartz to thank the city of Detroit. At Gillette, the Jets had one.

“When an offensive lineman jumps, it’s because of crowd noise,’’ says Ihedigbo. “We’ve got to increase that.’’

Ihedigbo said the fans at Gillette are louder than  Jets  fans at East Rutherford, N.J.

“They’re like the 12th man on the field,’’ he said.

Special teams captain Matthew Slater also credits Brady.

“I’m sure it didn’t hurt that he urged them on to support us, but it has been a little louder this year, I’ve noticed it,’’ said Slater.

Covering a Patriots game on the sideline with a sound meter is full of surprises.

Standing next to the End Zone Militia, who fire their muskets after every Patriots score, is as big a mistake as having Ellis Hobbs cover Plaxico Burress man-to-man in the Super Bowl. The musket produces a 113.3 decibel measurement, more than the average human pain threshold, according to a Purdue University study.

The loudest noise for a defensive play Sunday occurred when the Patriots challenged a Burress completion and the play was reversed. The crowd roared at 106 decibels – louder than a jackhammer.

The quietest sequence was the moment of silence observed for late  Oakland Raiders  owner Al Davis. It registered at 62.1, roughly the sound of conversation in an office.

When the Patriots flashed a message on the Jumbotron imploring fans to “Make Some Noise,’’ it came in at 94.4. They also post “Quiet Offense@Work,’’ when the Patriots have the ball, reminding fans that Brady likes to call audibles.

Patriots fans have been criticized for being spoiled by success, complacent, and more concerned with beating the horrendous Gillette Stadium traffic than supporting their team.

In January 2010, Vince Wilfork complained that it “felt like a road game’’ when the home team was booed early in a playoff loss to the Ravens.

There were times in the pre-Robert Kraft era when Patriots fans were reluctant to take their families to games because of vulgar, rowdy crowd behavior. But now some fans complain that the atmosphere in the stands is more like a night at the opera.

“We have the greatest football team in the NFL in the last 12 years,’’ said longtime Patriots fan Patrick Frechette. “When I stand up on third down, a lot of people in my section will be like, ‘Sit down.’ I don’t like that. I want to bring on the noise, support my team. I want to root on my team.’’

The Patriots say they are only responding to fan complaints; they, too, want fans up and cheering on big plays.Frechette also noted that the cushy corporate-level seats are half-empty if the weather is inclement.

“Look at the red seats in the fourth quarter,’’ he said. “They are going to empty out no matter what the score is.’’

On Sunday, only a few fans left during the two-minute warning with the Patriots up by 6 points and moving into field goal position.

Brady called out fans last year after a season-opening 38-24 win against the Bengals.

“When I looked up, half the stadium was gone when we were up 21 points in the early fourth quarter, which I wasn’t so happy about,’’ he said.

This year, he told them before the Chargers game “to start drinking early,’’ prompting Patriots spokesman Stacey James to say Brady meant to stay hydrated.

But Sunday’s game was a perfect storm of positive energy, summer like weather, and a thirst for revenge after last year’s season-ending loss to the Jets.

In the pregame ceremony, the Patriots invited the entire Bruins team on the field (101.5 decibels). Nathan Horton squirted TD Garden “holy water’’ on the Patriots logo (98) and Zdeno Chara hoisted the Stanley Cup (98).

When Brady was introduced, he received a 98.4-decibel roar of approval, a close second to the 102.0 that greeted Bruins goalie Tim Thomas before the season opener at the Garden.

The Patriots cheerleaders received 85.1 decibels, proving that in New England an old-fashioned kick save is more valued than a well-fashioned kicking heel.

There were other surprises.

The longest and flashiest play of the game was Wes Welker’s 73-yard over-the-shoulder catch. It was good for only 13th place at 102.3 decibels, perhaps because it was the first play from scrimmage after the half.

But whatever you do, don’t ask the End Zone Militia about the noise. At least not after the Patriots score, which this season is early and often.

“What?’’ said musketeer Bill Gundling, edging closer and cupping his ear. “Huh?’’

Courtesy: Stan Grossfeld | Boston Globe

Dallas Cowboys coach Mike Woicik meets his former team

Mike Woicik - Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning coach

Mike Woicik - Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning coach

IRVING — The Cowboys strength and conditioning coach, Mike Woicik has won more Super Bowl titles than any player or coach in the game. He’s won six, three with the Cowboys during his first tenure with the club (1990-1996) and three more with the New England Patriots (2000-2010).

Sunday Woicik will get to see some old friends when the Cowboys and Patriots meet at Gillette Stadium.

Woicik doesn’t speak with reporters other than a brief hello as he walks by them.

Bill Belichick, however, did have some good thoughts about Woicik.

“He made a very positive impact,” said Belichick, who has won three titles as a head coach. “Mike’s got a wealth of experience and he’s got a tremendous background in all the things you want your strength and conditioning coach to have in the National Football League. He’s got a lot of experience with track and running and speed training as well as power lifting and becoming stronger and more explosive as well as rehabbing injuries and working guys back from being less than 100 percent all the way up to being full speed. That’s really what that position is.”

Dallas Cowboys, Rob Ryan plan to throw ‘kitchen sink’ at Patriots

IRVING — For once, the New England Patriots’ offense didn’t purr like an engine in a sports car. It sputtered and coughed and hiccupped on a November day last year.

Against Cleveland last November, the Patriots struggled to move the ball, forge those long drives they are accustomed to finishing with touchdowns and pick apart the opposing defense.

When the game was over, they had scored just 14 points as New England suffered its second and final loss of the regular season. The mastermind of the Browns’ game plan to stop the Patriots was none other than Rob Ryan, the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator.

“We had them out there thinking,” said Cowboys defensive end Kenyon Coleman, who played for the Browns last season. “We brought our ‘A’ game.”

The Browns did so by attacking Patriots quarterback Tom Brady with exotic blitzes and confusing him with unorthodox alignments. In one such formation, Cleveland used just one down lineman and deployed as many linebackers — five — as defensive backs. The unusual fronts and kinetic pre-snap movement unnerved Brady, a quarterback who is known for his ability to identify coverages and identify the weakest area of the defense.

Not surprisingly the tactics the Browns used to disrupt Brady are expected to be carried out by the Cowboys this Sunday.

“Against Brady, you have to keep his mind going all the way down to down to when the clock strikes zero,” Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware said. “That’s what we’re going to try to do.”

Ware studied the film from Cleveland’s 34-14 victory over New England last season and came away impressed with the fact that the Browns, in his words, “kept them off kilter the whole time.”

“They moved around a lot. They weren’t just sitting ducks and let Brady sit back there and pick them off the whole time.”

Instead, Brady threw for only 224 yards that day as the Browns batted away five passes. The Cowboys hope to replicate Cleveland’s success and Coleman seems to think they can. Right now, Dallas has the fourth-ranked defense and the players around Coleman have quickly grasped the principles of Ryan’s multifaceted system.

In fact, Ryan’s confidence in the Cowboys is so great after four weeks that he is planning to push the envelope further than he did last year against the Patriots.

Asked what Ryan has in store for New England this year, Coleman smiled and said, “Pretty much the kitchen sink, to put it lightly.”

STARTERS: No acknowledged lineup changes yet at WR or CB

The return of cornerback Orlando Scandrick from injury has rekindled questions raised in the preseason and training camp about whether he would possibly unseat veteran Terence Newman in the starting lineup. No cornerback had a better training camp and preseason than Scandrick who was rewarded with a blank contract extension. Couple that with Newman’s age and injury history, the thought of Scandrick supplanting Newman was more than notion _ especially with Newman missing the entire training camp and the first two preseason games with a groin injury.

But Scandrick suffered a sprained ankle in the season opener, sidelining him for three games, thus tabling the discussion.

Both are healthy and ready to go against the Patriots for the first time all season.

Coach Jason Garrett, however, said the situation will continue to be evaluated.

“As we go forward we’ll evaluate that situation,” Garrett said. “We feel good about the number of corners that we have, starting type players and also guys who havent been starting but been playing a lot. A lot of these guys have gotten experience over the first four games so, to have that number back there at such a critical position, I think is a really significant thing for our team
right now. We’ll just evaluate what they’re roles are going to be as the week goes on. ”

The decision seems more cut and dry at third receiver where Laurent Robinson appears to have nudged ahead of Kevin Ogletree for the primary spot behind starters Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. Robinson actually got the start ahead of Ogletree for the injured Austin against Detroit two weeks ago, catching seven passes for 116 yards.

Still Garrett wouldn’t verbally commit to a change there either.

“We feel really good about how the back up receivers have done,” Garrett said. “When Dez was out and when Miles was out they had opportunities to play a lot , a lot more than they would have otherwise. To have additional guys, backup players get that experience that is good. We will evaluate what their roles are when the week goes on.”

INJURY UPDATE: Wednesday, October 12

Dallas Cowboy Injury Report

The Cowboys list 13 players on their official injury report, including quarterback Tony Romo (ribs) and receivers Dez Bryant (thigh) and Miles Austin (hamstring).

But only guard Derrick Dockery (tibia/knee), fullback Tony Fiammetta (hamstring) and defensive end Jason Hatcher (calf) missed practice.

Kicker David Buehler (groin) and offensive guard Kyle Kosier (foot) were limited.

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For more detailed infomation, check the “INJURY” tab on the top of every page … or click HERE.

 

Bill Belichick praises Jason Garrett

IRVING — In a nearly 16 minute conference call with reporters on Wednesday morning, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick had some positive things to say about Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

Of course he would, but based on what Garrett has done, turned the Cowboys 2010 season around and have them playing better this season, it seems justified.

“I haven’t had a lot of personal interaction with Jason,” Belichick said. “Certainly as a quarterback and his experience in the league that’s a great learning ground to be a coach, where you experience all the game plans. From the quarterback position you see as much of the game from that position, more than any other one, I think that’s good training for anybody who wants to
be a coach.”

During the lockout, Garrett spoke to several current and former coaches from Mike Krzyzewski, the men’s basketball coach at Duke, to former Cowboys and Miami Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson about leading a team.

Garrett said he did not speak to Belichick, but has tremendous praise for the man who has five Super Bowl titles, three as a head coach.

Belichick did notice the work Garrett has done at other players, such as being an assistant coach with the Dolphins and when he was the offensive coordinator only with the Cowboys.

“He obviously did a good job in Miami,” Belichick said. “Did an excellent job as the coordinator when he came back to Dallas in ’07 and last year taking over a 1-7 team and getting five wins to finish off the year. He’s obviously [had] good control of the team, made a lot of good decisions and it’s reflective on the field. I think they’re a good football team, I have a lot of respect for Jason and the job that he has done, and all of the staff, the coordinators, and Rob [Ryan] and Joe [DeCamillis] on special teams, that they all do.”

Bill Belichick compares Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware to Lawrence Taylor

IRVING — For all of his personal foibles, Lawrence Taylor was one of the most dyamic defenders to have every played in the NFL. As a pass rusher, he helped revolutionize the game. One man who saw Taylor up close, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, said that Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware compares favorably to the former New York Giants star.

“I mean, he’s the best player we’ve faced this year,” said Belichick, who was the Giants’ defensive coordinator from 1985-1990. “He does all of the things you want him to do. He’s strong against the run. He can rush the passer. He’s great in pursuit. He’s got power. He’s got speed. He’s got good technique. He’s good in pass coverage. He gets a lot of depth. I mean, he’s an asset to your pass
coverage. If you want to drop him, I’d say all those same things about Lawrence Taylor.

“Lawrence had a tremendous career. Ware has had a great –what is it — six years or whatever it’s been. He’s been great in that time and looks like he’s still going strong. I’m sure he’ll be able to continue at this level for quite a while longer here as far as what it looks like right now. He’s a guy you’ve got to account for on every snap. You’ve got to know where he is and he could definitely disrupt any play if you don’t handle him.”

That’s pretty bhigh praise for Ware. But it’s well-deserved. After all, no player has collected more sacks than Ware since he entered the league in 2005.

RELATED: Belichick: Ware-Taylor comparison is good one

IRVING, Texas — When the Cowboys drafted DeMarcus Ware in the first round in 2005, then coach Bill Parcells made the comparison to Hallof Famer Lawrence Taylor.

It was a lot to put on Ware, but during a conference call this morning New England coach Bill Belichick, who coached Taylor with the New York Giants, said the comparison is a good one.

“I mean Lawrence Taylor, you’re talking about a pretty high level there,”Belichick said. “Ware does all the things that … I mean, he’s the best player we’ve faced this year. He does all of the things you want him to do. He’s strong against the run. He can rush the passer. He’s great in pursuit. He’s got power. He’s got speed. He’s got good technique. He’s good in pass coverage. He
gets a lot of depth. I mean, he’s an asset to your pass coverage, if you want to drop him. I’d say all those same things about Lawrence Taylor. Lawrence had a tremendous career. Ware has had a great –what is it? — six years or whatever it’s been. He’s been great in that time and looks like he’s still going strong. I’m sure he’ll be able to continue at this level for quite a while longer here as far as what it looks like right now. He’s a guy you’ve got to account for on every snap. You’ve got to know where he is and he could definitely disrupt any play if you don’t handle him.”

Here’s a quick comparison of the two:

In his first 100 games, Ware has 85 sacks, 25 forced fumbles, three touchdowns and one interception.

In Taylor’s first 101 games, he had 84 sacks (including 9.5 as a rookie in 1981 before sacks were an official stat), 16 forced fumbles, eight interceptions and one touchdown.

They are one of seven players to have at least 20 sacks in a season. Ware had 20 in 2008 and Taylor had 20.5 in 1986 when he was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.

DALLAS COWBOY UNIFORMS: Everything ever wanted to know … and more!

DALLAS COWBOY UNIFORMS: Everything ever wanted to know about the Dallas Cowboys uniform, logo, jersey, helmets … and more

DALLAS COWBOY UNIFORMS: Everything ever wanted to know about the Dallas Cowboys uniform, logo, jersey, helmets … and more

The official Dallas Cowboys logo lettering – Recognized worldwide as the official symbol of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and America’s Team

Dallas Cowboy logos and uniforms

The Dallas Cowboys’ blue star logo representative of Texas as “The Lone Star State” is one of the best known team logos in professional sports. The blue star originally was a solid shape until a white line and blue border was added in 1964. The logo has remained the same since. Today, the blue star has been extended to not only the Dallas Cowboys, but owner Jerry Jones’ AFL team, the Dallas Desperados that have a similar logo based on the Cowboys. The blue star also is used on other entries like an imaging facility and storage facility.

Dallas Cowboys Uniforms - Dallas Cowboy uniform - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys Uniforms – Dallas Cowboy uniform – The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys Uniforms

The Dallas Cowboys’ white home jersey has royal blue (PMS 280 C) solid socks, numbers, lettering, and two stripes on the sleeves outlined in black. The home pants, according to the Dallas Cowboys official media guide, are a common metallic silver-blue color (PMS 8280 C) that help bring out the blue in the uniform. The navy (PMS 289 C) road jerseys (nicknamed the “Stars and Stripes” jersey) have white lettering and numbers with navy pinstripes. A white/gray/white stripe are on each sleeve as well as the collared V-neck, and a Cowboys star logo is placed upon the stripes. A “Cowboys” chest crest is directly under the NFL shield. The away pants are a pearlish metallic-silver color (PMS 8001 C) and like the home pants, enhance the navy in the uniforms. The team uses a serifed font for the lettered player surnames on the jersey nameplates.

Dallas Cowboy uniforms - Dallas Cowboys uniform with helmet - Dallas Cowboys uniform jersey and helmet - Dallas Cowboys helmet - Dallas Cowboys jersey

Dallas Cowboy uniforms – Dallas Cowboys uniform with helmet – Dallas Cowboys uniform jersey and helmet – Dallas Cowboys helmet – Dallas Cowboys jersey

Dallas Cowboys’ current home and away uniforms

The team’s helmets are also a unique silver with a tint of blue known as “Metallic Silver Blue” (PMS 8240 C) and have a blue/white/blue vertical stripe placed upon the center of the crown. The Dallas Cowboys also include a unique, if subtle, feature on the back of the helmet: a blue strip of Dymo tape with the player’s name embossed, placed on the white portion of the stripe at the back of the helmet.

DALLAS COWBOY UNIFORM - Dallas Cowboys helmet - Front and back of the current Dallas Cowboys NFL helmet - Dallas Cowboy helmet

DALLAS COWBOY UNIFORM – Dallas Cowboys helmet – Front and back of the current Dallas Cowboys NFL helmet – Dallas Cowboy helmet

Front and back view of current official National Football League Dallas Cowboys helmet

Dallas Cowboys uniform history

Dallas Cowboy uniforms - 1960-1963 Dallas Cowboys uniform with helmet - Dallas Cowboys uniform 1960-1963

Dallas Cowboy uniforms – 1960-1963 Dallas Cowboys uniform with helmet – Dallas Cowboys uniform 1960-1963

When the Dallas Cowboys franchise debuted in 1960s, the team’s uniform included a white helmet adorned with a simple blue star and a blue-white-blue stripe down the center crown. The team donned blue jerseys with white sleeves and a small blue star on each shoulder for home games and the negative opposite for away games. Their socks also had two horizontal white stripes overlapping the blue.

Dallas Cowboy uniforms - 1964-1966 Dallas Cowboys uniform with helmet - Dallas Cowboys uniform 1964-1966

Dallas Cowboy uniforms – 1964-1966 Dallas Cowboys uniform with helmet – Dallas Cowboys uniform 1964-1966

In 1964 the Cowboys opted for a simpler look (adopting essentially the team’s current uniform) by changing their jersey/socks to one solid color with three horizontal stripes on the sleeves; the white jersey featured royal blue stripes with a narrow black border, the royal blue jersey white stripes with the same black outline. The star-shouldered jerseys were eliminated; “TV” numbers appeared just above the jersey stripes. The new helmet was silverblue, with a blue-white-blue tri-stripe down the center (the middle white stripe was thicker). The blue “lone star” logo was retained, but with a white border setting it off from the silverblue. The new pants were silverblue, with a blue-white-blue tri-stripe. In 1964 the NFL allowed teams to wear white jerseys at home; several teams did so, and the Cowboys have worn white at home ever since, except on certain “throwback” days.

In 1966, the team modified the jerseys, which now featured only two sleeve stripes, slightly wider; the socks followed the same pattern. In 1967 the “lone star” helmet decal added a blue outline to the white-bordered star, giving the logo a bigger, bolder look. The logo and this version of the uniform has seen little change to the present day.

DALLAS COWBOY UNIFORM - Dallas Cowboys uniforms jersey and helmet from 1960 thru 2000 - Throwback thru Modern Dallas Cowboy uniforms, jerseys, and helmets - Dallas Cowboys uniform jersey helmet history

DALLAS COWBOY UNIFORM – Dallas Cowboys uniforms jersey and helmet from 1960 thru 2000 – Throwback thru Modern Dallas Cowboy uniforms, jerseys, and helmets – Dallas Cowboys uniform jersey helmet history

The only notable changes in the last 40 years were:
  • from 1970–1973 when the “TV” numbers were moved from the shoulders to the sleeves above the stripes
  • from 1981–1988 the pants featured a white uniform number in an elliptical blue circle worn near the hip.
  • the removal of the indented serifs on the front and back jersey numbers in the early 1980s (seen currently on the throwback jersey)
  • In 1980 the blue jersey was rendered in a slightly darker shade than the 1964–79 version; from 1981–1994 the dark jerseys sported numbers that were gray with white borders and a blue pinstripe. The stripes on the sleeves and socks also used the same gray with white border scheme (sans navy pinstripe).
  • Player names on jersey backs, which appeared in 1970, were originally in block-letter style; by the late 1980s the names were slightly smaller and in footed, “serif” style.
  • the 1996 addition of the word “Cowboys” in the center of the neckline which lasted until 1998 on the white jersey but currently remains on the blue jersey.

During the 1976 season, the blue-white-blue stripe on the crown of the helmets were temporarily changed to red-white-blue to commemorate the United States’ bicentennial anniversary.

The Dallas Cowboys “throwback” to their original away uniform (circa 1960–1963). Worn once in 1994 on Monday Night Football against the Detroit Lions.
Dallas Cowboy uniforms - NFL 75th anniversary Dallas Cowboys uniform with helmet - Dallas Cowboys NFL 75th throwback uniform 1994

Dallas Cowboy uniforms – NFL 75th anniversary Dallas Cowboys uniform with helmet – Dallas Cowboys NFL 75th throwback uniform 1994

In 1994, the NFL celebrated their 75th Anniversary, and the Dallas Cowboys celebrated their back-to-back Super Bowl titles by unveiling a white “Double-Star” jersey on Thanksgiving Day. This jersey was used for special occasions and was worn throughout the 1994–1995 playoffs. During the same season, the Cowboys also wore their 1960–63 road jersey with a silver helmet for one game as part of a league-wide “throwback” policy.

During the 1995 season, the team wore the navy “Double-Star” jersey for games at Washington and Philadelphia and permanently switched to solid color socks (royal blue for the white uniform, and navy blue for the dark uniform). The navy “Double-Star” jersey was not seen again until the NFL’s Classic Throwback Weekend on Thanksgiving Day 2001–2003.

In 2004, the Cowboys resurrected their original 1960–1963 uniform on Thanksgiving Day. This uniform now serves as the team’s alternate or “third jersey” and is usually worn at least once a year, although team has used their normal white uniforms on Thanksgiving in 2007 and 2008. The team will once again wear this uniform at home on Thanksgiving Day in 2009 while their opponent the Oakland Raiders will wear their AFL Legacy Weekend throwbacks. Dallas wore this alternate uniform on October 11, 2009 as part of one of the NFL’s AFL Legacy Weekends when they traveled to Kansas City to play the Chiefs who were sporting their AFL Dallas Texans’ uniforms. This created a rare game in which neither team wore a white jersey and the first time the Cowboys wore the alternative uniform as a visiting team.

Dallas Cowboys home/road jersey history

The Cowboys were one of the first NFL teams to primarily wear their white jersey at home, as it was an unofficial rule that teams wear their colored jersey at home. This tradition was started in 1964 by Tex Schramm, who wanted fans to see a variety of opponents’ colors at home games. Since then, a number of other teams have worn their white uniforms at home, including the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins.

Throughout the years, the Cowboys’ blue jersey has been popularly viewed to be “jinxed” because the team often seemed to lose when they wore them. This curse purportedly became popular after the team lost Super Bowl V, when they were forced to wear their colored jersey because they were the designated home team. However, the roots of the curse likely date back earlier to the end of the 1968 season when the blue-shirted Cowboys were upset badly by the Cleveland Browns in the divisional playoffs. That turned out to be Don Meredith’s final game as a Cowboy. Dallas’s lone victory in a conference championship or Super Bowl wearing the blue jerseys was in the 1978 NFC Championship game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, league rules were changed to allow the Super Bowl home team to pick their choice of jersey. Most of the time, Dallas will wear their blue jerseys when they visit Washington, Philadelphia (sometimes), Miami, or one of the handful of other teams that traditionally wear their white jerseys at home during the first half of the season due to the hot climates in their respective cities. Occasionally opposing teams will wear their white jerseys at home to try to invoke the curse,as when the Philadelphia Eagles hosted the Cowboys in the 1980 NFC Championship Game. The Washington Redskins, after wearing white exclusively in the ’80s and ’90s, including the 1982 NFC Championship Game (having gone 3–0 in them during the regular season, during CBS’ pregame show, Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder actually invoked the blue jerseys in picking Dallas to win the game), have since 2002 occasionally reverted to using their burgundy jerseys for second-half home games, but will still wear white against the Cowboys. One of the more recent examples of the “curse” happened in 2008 when the 1–4 St. Louis Rams chose to wear their white uniforms at home, forcing the Cowboys to wear road blue uniforms. The Rams would upset the Cowboys 34–14.

Although Dallas has made several tweaks to their blue jerseys over the years, Schramm said he did not believe in the curse. Since the league began allowing teams to use an alternate jersey, the Cowboys’ alternates have been primarily blue versions of past jerseys and the Cowboys have generally had success when wearing these blue alternates.

New Nike 2013 Dallas Cowboys Football Uniform - New Dallas Cowboys helmet, jersey, and uniform history - Official NFL Dallas Cowboys uniform jersey and helmet

New Nike 2013 Dallas Cowboys Football Uniform – New Dallas Cowboys helmet, jersey, and uniform history – Official NFL Dallas Cowboys uniform jersey and helmet

Courtesy: NFL, Dallas Cowboys, Wikipedia, Nike

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Detroit heading BACK to Texas on Oct 8th … who will win this time? UPDATED

Here we are … bored to death on the Dallas Cowboys week #4 bye. No substantive football news. So, I decided to digress … a little. The Dallas area Texas Rangers … and the Detroit Tigers have advanced to MLB’s American League Championship Series (ALCS). The timing couldn’t be worse! We’re all still reeling from the Dallas Cowboy loss to the Detroit Lions just days ago! Now … once again … Detroit is coming onto “our” turf … looking for a win! Romo can’t bounce back … Rob Ryan can’t blitz … and worst of all … Jerry Jones has his hands tied! Not even a sideline “thatta boy”, a cheering “go get ’em”, or a jersey tug can be expected this weekend from our fearless owner/general manager. Detroit, of all places, is due back in Arlington. A stones (or baseballs) throw from the house that Jerry built … Cowboys Stadium. Detroit, the Mo Town Tigers, walking on our grass … breathing our air … all of them, with a gleam in their eyes … in search of ANOTHER win on Texas soil!!! Surely, Texas pride will prevail. Right? I’m hoping for a Dirk Nowitzki’s tweet to the Texas Rangers … he’s got time. That’s just good use of the NBA Dallas Mavericks stars resources … keep them thumbs limber! Last year we had G ‘Dub and his father, the first President Bush out there … cheering on the Texas Rangers. This year, we need to pull out all of the stops! This is serious. We CAN’T let Detroit advance. It’s a matter of principle. Bring down the Texas legends … Nolan Ryan, Doak Walker, J.R. Ewing, and even Elvis (it’s on his way to Vegas from Memphis).  I’m pretty sure The King is a Texas Ranger fan, and naturally he’s a fan of America’s Team … who isn’t? So. let’s get ready for another Dallas and Detroit battle. I think the Texas Rangers can take ’em down. But for God’s sake … don’t let Romo pitch in the bottom of the 9th!

Oh yes. Almost forgot. There’s a poll below. Be sure to vote!

Originally published OCT 7, 2011 … updated Oct 9, 2011 … updated Oct 12, 2011 … updated Oct 13, 2011 … updated Oct 15, 2011 … Updated October 16th, 2011.

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Game 1 Detroit @ Texas Saturday, October 8 … Texas Rangers win 3-2
Game 2 Detroit @ Texas Sunday, October 10 … Texas Rangers win 7-3
Game 3 Texas @ Detroit Tuesday, October 11 … Detroit Tigers win 5-2
Game 4 Texas @ Detroit Wednesday, October 12 … Texas Rangers win 7-3
Game 5 Texas @ Detroit Thursday, October 13 Detroit Tigers win 7-5
Game 6 Detroit @ Texas Saturday, October 15 Texas Rangers win 15-5
WOW … TEXAS RANGERS WIN THE NLCS! They’re going to the World Series! I’m hoping for the St. Louis Cardinals to win the ALCS … will be the perfect matchup! My two favorite teams!

October 16th: St. Louis wins the ALCS! They’ll face the Texas Rangers in the 2011 World Series! EXCELLENT!

Listen to the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network

Keep up to date and informed about America’s Team by listening to the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network online. You can catch the pre-game and post-game shows, interviews with players and coaches, The Jerry Jones Show, and special reports on the Dallas Cowboys from Brad Sham (The voice of the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network), Mickey Spagnola, and others.

Listen to: The Fan 105.3 Dallas (KRLD) … the flagship of The Dallas Cowboys Radio Network!

Also, check out:

Listen to The Ticket 104.1 FM/1310 AM

Listen to: ESPNradio 103.3 Dallas

AMERICA’S TEAM: The Dallas Cowboys Radio Network

Brad Sham returns for his 30th season in the Dallas Cowboys radio booth. Brad Sham is the Voice of the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network. Beloved by Cowboys fans, Sham’s award-winning play-by-play has provided the soundtrack to many of the most memorable moments in Dallas Cowboys history. Babe Laufenberg returns as the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network’s full-time color analyst. A fixture on the sideline, veteran reporter Kristi Scales provides instant updates from the field.

The flagship station for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network is KRLD 105.3 The FAN. Click HERE to listen to their broadcast now! For more information on Dallas area radio coverage of America’s Team … click HERE!  You’ll discover the absolute best coverage of the Dallas Cowboys, and the NFL, from these excellent radio stations.

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The Dallas Cowboys Radio Network

TEXAS:
Abilene – KTLT 98.1 FM
Alpine – KVLF 1240 AM
Amarillo – KARX 95.7 FM
Andrews – KNFM 92.3 FM
Atlanta, TX – KPYN 900 AM/99.5 FM
Austin – KTXX 104.9 FM “The Horn”
Big Spring – KBST 95.7 FM
Brownsville – KQXX 105.5 FM
Brownwood – KXYL 102.3 FM/1240 AM
Bryan – KNFX 99.5 FM
Carthage – KGAS 104.3 FM
Childress – KCTX 96.1 FM
College Station – KNFX 99.5 FM
Comanche – KCOM 1550 AM
Corpus Christi – KKTX 1360 AM
Corsicana – KRVF 106.9 FM
El Paso – KROD 600 AM
Fredericksburg – KNAF 910 AM
Gainesville – KGAF 1580 AM
Haskell – KVRP 91.7 FM
Hereford – KPAN 860 AM
Kermit – KPTX 98.3 FM
Killeen – KHLE 106.9 FM
Lamesa – KPET 690 AM
Laredo – KHOY 88.1 FM
Laredo – KLNT 1490 AM
Livingston – KETX 1440 AM
Lubbock – KTTU 104.3 FM
Lufkin – KYBI 100.1 FM
Malakoff – KCKL 95.9 FM
Marble Falls – KBEY 92.5 FM
Marshall – KMHT 103.9
McAllen – KQXX 105.5 FM
Midland – KNFM 92.3 FM
Monahans – KPTX 98.3 FM
Mt. Pleasant – KALK 97.7 FM
Odessa – KNFM 92.3 FM
Overton – KPXI 100.7
Palestine – KYYK 98.3 FM
Paris – KBUS 101.9 FM
Pecos – KPTX 98.3 FM
Plainview – KVOP 1090 AM
San Angelo – KGKL 960 AM/97.5 FM
San Antonio – WOAI 1200 AM/KTKR 760 AM
Stanton – KNFM 92.3 FM
Stephenville – KSTV 93.1 FM
Temple – KRZI 100.9 FM
Texarkana – KPGG 103.2 FM
Tyler – KZTK 99.3 FM
Waco – KRZI 1660 AM
Wichita Falls – KYYI 94.9 FM
ARKANSAS:
Fayetteville, AR – KAKS 99.5 FM
Glenwood, AR – KWXI 670 AM
Hot Springs, AR – KWXI 98.9 FM
Little Rock, AR – KARN 920 AM
LOUISIANA:
Shreveport, LA – KLKL 95.7 FM
NEW MEXICO:
Albuquerque, NM – KQTM 101.7 FM
Artesia, NM – KTZA 92.9 FM
Carlsbad, NM – KTZA 92.9 FM
Farmington, NM – KTRA 102.1 FM
Hobbs, NM – KHOB 1390
Roswell, NM – KTZA 92.9 FM
OKLAHOMA:
Ardmore, OK – KVSO 1240 AM
Bartlesville, OK – KWON 1400 AM
Hugo, OK – KBUS 101.9 FM
Oklahoma City, OK – KGHM 1340 AM
Tulsa, OK – KTBZ 1430 AM

Cowboys Spanish Language Radio Network: Cadena de Plata Radio

A tradition of Spanish-language excellence continues with Cadena de Plata, the official voice of the Vaqueros de Dallas. Throughout the great state of Texas and in principle cities in Mexico, those who enjoy the passion and drama of Español can follow Victor Villalba, Andres Arce and Luis Perez during the 2009 season.

TEXAS:Amarillo, KZIP 1310 AM; Austin, KWNX 1260 AM; Beaumont, KIKR 1450 AM/KBED 1510 AM; Brownwood, KXYL 1240 AM; Bryan, KVJM 103.1 FM; Dallas, Mega 107.5 FM, KFLC 1270 AM; El Paso, KAMA 750 AM; McAllen/Brownsville, KGBT 1530 AM; Midland/Odessa, KTXC 104.7 FM; Plainview, KRIA 103.9 FM; San Antonio, KZDC 1250 AM

LOUISIANA:Shreveport – KSYR – 92.1 FM

NEW MEXICO:Artesia/Carlsbad, KPZE 106.1 FM; Clovis, KGRW 94.7FM; Las Cruces, KAMA 750 AM

Expanded Terrestrial Radio Coverage

This season the Cowboys have partnered with Compass Media Networks to deliver Cowboys’ fans living in markets not covered by the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network access to games on terrestrial radio.

Compass Media Networks’ presentation of the Dallas Cowboys features former Cowboys quarterback Danny White along with play-by-play host Kevin Burkhardt and studio host Jerry Recco.

Alaska
Anchorage, AK – KUDO-AM 1080
Anchorage, AK – KSLD-AM 1140Alabama
Birmingham, AL – WZNN-FM 92.7
Montgomery, AL – WIQR-AM 1410Arkansas
Little Rock, AR – KARV-AM 610
Little Rock, AR – KARV-FM 101.3
Little Rock, AR – KEWI-AM 690
Little Rock, AR – KASR-FM 92.7
Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale, AR – KHGG-AM 1580
Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale, AR – KHGG-FM 103.1
Jonesboro, AR – KNEA-AM 970

Arizona
Phoenix, AZ – KDUS-AM 1060

California
Los Angeles, CA – KKZZ-AM 1400
Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA – KTKZ-AM 1380
San Diego, CA – KLSD-AM 1360

Florida
West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL – WMEN-AM 640
Ft. Myers-Naples, FL – WMYR-AM 1410
Ft. Myers-Naples, FL – WCNZ-AM 1660
Ft. Myers-Naples, FL – WVOI-AM 1480

Georgia
Jacksonville, GA – WGIG-AM 1440

Hawaii
Honolulu, HI – KGU-AM 760

Idaho
Boise, ID – KFXD-AM 630

Illinois
Quincy-Hannibal-Keokuk, IL – WKXQ-FM 92.5

Indiana
Indianapolis, IN – WFNI-AM 1070
Indianapolis, IN – WXLW-AM 950
Evansville, IN – WSJD-FM 100.5
Ft. Wayne , IN – WOWO-AM 1190

Kansas
Wichita-Hutchinson, KS – KFH-FM 98.7
Wichita-Hutchinson, KS – KFH-AM 1240
Topeka, KS – WIBW-AM 580

Kentucky
Lexington, KY – WLRT-AM 1250

Louisiana
Monroe, LA – KNBB-FM 97.7

Maryland
Washington DC, MD – WCMD-AM 1230
Washington DC, MD – WKLP-AM 1390

Michigan
Detroit, MI – WCAR-AM 1090

Minnesota
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN – WMIN-AM 1010

Missouri
Springfield, MO – KWTO-FM 98.7

Mississippi
Biloxi-Gulfport-Pascagoula, MS – WTNI-AM 1640
Biloxi-Gulfport-Pascagoula, MS – WXBD-AM 1490
Greenwood-Greenville, MS – WTCD-FM 96.9

North Carolina
Charlotte, NC – WZGV-AM 730Nebraska
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE – KXSP-AM 590
Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney, NE – KNTK-FM 93.7
Scottsbluff, NE – KOLT-AM 1320New Mexico
Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM – KVSF-AM 1400
Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM – KNMZ-FM 103.7

Nevada
Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, NV – KELY-AM 1230
Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, NV – KTSN-AM 1340
Las Vegas, NV – KSHP-AM 1400
Reno, NV – KWNA-AM 1400

New York
New York, NY – WBBR-AM 1130
Buffalo, NY – CHUM-AM 1050
Buffalo, NY – WBYB-FM 96.7
Buffalo, NY – WBYB-FM 95.3
Syracuse, NY – WTLA-AM 1200
Syracuse, NY – WSGO-AM 1440
Syracuse, NY – WPIE-AM 1160

Ohio
Cincinnati, OH – WQRT-AM 1160
Toledo, OH – WLQR-FM 106.5

Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, OK – KHIM-FM 97.7
Oklahoma City, OK – KFXY-AM 1640
Oklahoma City, OK – KMZE-FM 92.1
Oklahoma City, OK – KTJS-AM 1420
Oklahoma City, OK – KCLI-FM 99.3
Oklahoma City, OK – KCLI-AM 1320
Tulsa, OK – KITO-FM 96.1

Pennsylvania
State College, PA – WQWK-AM 1450
State College, PA – WBLF-AM 970

South Dakota
Sioux Falls, SD – KELO-AM 1320

Tennessee
Nashville, TN – WPRT-FM 102.5
Memphis, TN – WHBQ-AM 560

Texas
Houston, TX – KFNC-FM 97.5
Houston, TX – KDOL-FM 96.1

Utah
Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, UT – KZNS-AM 1280
Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, UT – KZZQ-FM 97.5
Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, UT – KOVO-AM 960

Virginia
Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA – WBRG-AM 1050

Wisconsin
Madison, WI – WTDY-AM 1670

West Virginia
Wheeling, WV – WKKX-AM 1600

Due to blackout restrictions and local conflicts, stations may not air all games. Affiliate list may fluctuate slightly from week to week.

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Brad Sham: “How many teams in this league really know what they are?”

Brad Sham and Babe Laufenberg - The Voice of the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network

Brad Sham and Babe Laufenberg - The Voice of the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network

Brad Sham, the voice of the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network, talked with 105.3 The Fan’s Shan and R.J. on Tuesday afternoon. Here are some highlights:

On what Cowboy fans’ expectations should be based on the first four games:

I would recommend that people not have any expectations of the Cowboys. I was thinking about this two weeks ago after I saw the Steelers and the Colts, and looked at the problems that the Steelers were having with the offensive line. And I started thinking to myself, “How many teams in this league really know what they are?” I don’t think it’s more than three or four. I think Green Bay knows exactly what they are, and I think Baltimore knows what they are. I think New England thinks they know what they are, but I’m not sure about that because they’ve had some defensive problems. … But the rest of them, I think even a quarter of the way into the season, are still trying to figure out exactly who they are and what they’ve got. And in the Cowboys’ case, I think it’s harder to answer than it is with a lot of others because of the people who have missed games or been playing at less than half capacity. You’re a different team when you have your players, and it’s going to be really interesting to see if they’re just an average team putting in a year, getting better by getting experience and loading up for the future.

On fans who say the Cowboys should always have high expectations:

My response would be, “Retrain yourself.” We don’t know yet. We don’t have enough information.

On whether the best teams should have an identity by the fourth game of the year:

Did you think, beginning the year, that the Cowboys were one of the best teams in the league? I didn’t either. I thought they were a team that had a chance to compete for a playoff spot. I still think that. Tell me, what’s the identity of the Atlanta Falcons? They were one of the teams that were thought to be a shoo-in for the playoffs and maybe a Super Bowl contender before the year. And I’m saying to you, whether you want to hear it or not, that there about three teams in the league that have an identity. You may not like that, but that’s what the NFL has created.

A team’s expectations for itself – unless they are really, really low, which you never want to say – are always going to differ with what public and media expectations are, and I don’t think we should have expectations for the Cowboys. I don’t think we have enough information.

On how he looks at the Patriots:

I’m looking at the Patriots as a team that can score about a thousand points if they want to. Here is what’s intriguing to me: one of the worst games they had last year was against the Browns. I only know two things. One is, I know the Cowboys’ defensive coaching staff will be respectful but feel confident in its ability to gum up the Patriots’ works because of what the Browns did last year with Rob Ryan and Matt Eberflus. And based on talking to the players late in the week last week, they’re looking forward to playing the game. It might be ugly, and you were talking about expectations, I wouldn’t have real high expectations about going in there and knocking New England all over the lot. But those players will think that they have a great chance to win the game, and that’s where it starts.

2011 NFL DRAFT REVIEW: Tyron Smith – first round selection of the Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2011 first round draft pick Tyron Smith

Dallas Cowboys 2011 first round NFL Draft pick Tyron Smith

The Cowboys debated the merits of three offensive linemen in the first round of the April draft before setting their sights on Tyron Smith.

The club faces the runner-up in that debate Sunday.

Smith, Nate Solder and Anthony Castonzo were the focus of this discussion. The Cowboys ignored trade opportunities to stay at No. 9 and take Smith. Solder was next to go at No. 17 to New England, the team’s opponent this weekend.

Jacksonville offered both of its picks in the first round to move into the Cowboys spot so they could take quarterback Blaine Gabbert. If the club had made that deal, Smith would have been long gone by the time the Cowboys were on the clock at No. 16.

That would likely have put Solder in a Cowboys uniform.

“We liked Nate Solder very much,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He was one of the three tackles that we considered strongly in the first round.

“We spent a lot of time with him. We spent some time with him at Valley Ranch, at the combine and other places.

“We were not surprised he was drafted in the first round, and we’re not surprised he’s playing this early into his first year. He’s a very talented guy, a very smart guy, he’s a very good competitor and I think he clearly is fitting in well out there.”

All three have fit in. Solder has started four games for the Patriots. Castonzo has started four games for Indianapolis and Smith has done the same for the Cowboys.

Smith has done more than fit in. He has flashed the dominance the Cowboys believe will make him the anchor of their offensive line. The rookie has been the team’s best and most consistent offensive lineman through four games.

“I’m adapting pretty well, but there is always something to work on,” Smith said. “It will always be like that.”

The Boys Are Back bonus: Listen to the call that Coach Jason Garrett made to Tyron Smith on draft day.

2011 NFL Draft - Dallas Cowboys select Tyron Smith - Coach calls

2011 NFL Draft – LIsten to Jason Garrett welcome Tyron Smith to the Dallas Cowboys – Press PLAY

2011 NFL Draft - Dallas Cowboys select Tyron Smith - first round

GAMEPLAN: Rob Ryan did something 13 consecutive opponents couldn’t vs. Patriots

Dallas Cowboys DC Rob Ryan

Dallas Cowboys DC Rob Ryan

New England’s Bill Belichick appeared on SiriusXM radio Tuesday to discuss the team’s matchup with the Cowboys.

The Patriots have scored 30 or more points in 13 consecutive games. Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was in charge of a Cleveland defense that was the last group to hold New England below that total.

“Rob Ryan’s scheme is a good combination of pressure, man-to-man, zone with all the different fronts in there,” Belichick said. “They use a lot of defensive backs. So they give you a lot of scheme problems.

As always, the coach was effusive in his praise of the upcoming opponent. He was particularly complimentary of linebacker DeMarcus Ware.

“It all starts with Ware,” Belichick said of the Cowboys defense. “I mean, he’s as good and dominant as any player that I’ve seen this year, that I’ve seen in the last couple of years. I mean, he can do it all. Pass coverage, rush, play the run, runs explosive, runs plays down from behind, hard to block at the point of attack.”

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