Daily Archives: June 13th, 2012

Tony Romo’s son is a Starter too!

Tony Romo is in the argument of best brand promoter in sports. Since 2009, the Cowboys quarterback has become synonymous with Starter sportswear.

Tony Romo and his son Hawkins Crawford Romo - The Boys Are Back blog

If Romo participates in a golf outing, he’s wearing a Starter shirt. While throwing out the first pitch at a Rangers game two weeks ago, Romo wore a Starter hat. When the Super Bowl was in Arlington, Romo shot an advertisement for the brand with rapper/actor Ludacris. Last year’s Super Bowl, Romo tweeted during the game from Starter’s official Twitter account.

Romo’s first picture with his baby boy even included Romo wearing a Starter hat.

"It’s a brand that represents high-quality performance gear at an affordable price," Romo said last month while doing a Starter photo shoot. "Growing up, that was something I always looked for because I was going through shirts like they were water."

But things have reached a new level with Romo and the clothing line that is sold exclusively at Wal-Mart. During a recent photo shoot, the 32-year-old was holding his son, Hawkins Crawford Romo, who, like his father, was wearing a Starter hat.

Even though Hawkins, who was born in April, hasn’t began walking that doesn’t mean he can’t advertise for the same company as his father. The photos were sent out by Starter as a Father’s Day promotion.

Romo doesn’t talk often about family life when he’s around the Cowboys’ Valley Ranch practice facility but he said Tuesday that he’s excited about celebrating his first Father’s Day as a dad.

"I’m excited to see what my son is going to get me for Father’s Day," Romo joked.

Did the franchise quarterback toss his two-month-old any hints?

Romo: "Yeah, I’ve thrown a few his way."

MINICAMP UPDATE: Dallas Cowboys CB Brandon Carr puts on a show in red zone drills Wednesday

Dallas Cowboys CB Brandon Carr vs Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant in minicamp - The Boys Are Back blog

Cowboys new addition Brandon Carr showed Wednesday why he was one of the top free agent cornerbacks on the market this off-season in the second of three consecutive mini-camp practices.

During a two-hour practice at Valley Ranch, Carr was dominant defending the pass in the red zone. Carr is a physical cornerback and that really helps him when defending a short field, such as the red zone.

Carr knocked away pass after pass in the end zone as quarterbacks Tony Romo and Stephen McGee continually tested him on the outside.

No matter if the pass went inside or outside, Carr was in position to make a play on the ball. Finally, receiver Dwayne Harris beat Carr inside, barely getting both his feet down in bounds at the back of the end zone. Even on that pass, Carr maintained tight coverage on Harris and it took a perfect pass by Romo and great footwork by Harris to complete the pass.

Earlier in a red zone situation, on the same route inside, Harris stopped short on the route and was forced to dive for a Romo pass. Cowboys tight end Jason Witten quickly told Harris to keep coming on the route because he was in a one-on-one situation. Witten’s advice paid off for Harris, who made the catch against Carr in the back of the end zone the next time he had a chance.

Stephen Jones ‘fortunate’ to celebrate Father’s Day with a ‘fabulous’ dad and best friend

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones says he will still purchase a Father’s Day present for his dad Jerry Jones despite the Cowboys owner already having just about everything he needs.

"There’s always something," Stephen said following Wednesday’s minicamp at Valley Ranch. "Usually something I’m wearing that he doesn’t have."

How about another cornerback?

"I think we did that," Stephen responded. "We got a couple of good corners for him."

When initially asked about the Sunday celebration, Stephen said he has a number of fond memories of the "special time" of year that he has spent with his dad and son.

"I’ve been fortunate to have a fabulous father," he said. "We’ve been more than just father/son. We’ve been best friends. He’s obviously molded my life in a positive way. I’m just fortunate to have him around.

"I get asked a lot, ‘Well, when are you going to run this thing?’ I hope never because I want him around. I know as long as he’s breathing and kicking, he’s running the team."

Dallas Cowboys petition NFL to open camp 3 days earlier

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The Dallas Cowboys have petitioned the NFL to open training camp three days earlier because their season opening opponent the New York Giants open their camp three days before they do.

The Cowboys are set to open camp July 30 in Oxnard California, while the Giants will open July 27 _ given them somewhat of an unfair advantage heading into the Sept. 5 season opener.

Per league rules, teams are allowed to open camp 15 days prior to their first preseason game with no concern given to the opener. The Cowboys first preseason game is Aug. 13 against the Raiders on ESPN Monday Night Football.  The Giants’ first game is Aug. 10.

Coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys have petitioned the league and it is sympathetic to their cause but the decision to move up camp must be negotiated through the NFLPA.

Garrett is not holding out hope that the date of camp will move at this point.

"What we have to focus on is what our situation is," coach Jason Garrett said. "We can’t worry about what the Giants’ situation is or any of our opponents. We know when we’re going to report to camp and we know when we’re going to play our first preseason game and first regular-season game. That’s all pretty much outlined for us, so we just have to understand what the situation is and as a coach and coaching staff we have to make sure we organize things the right way to get ourselves prepared as we go through camp. We’ll have plenty of time to do that."

The league has made one concession moving the final cut down date for all 32 teams up a day to Aug. 31 to accommodate the Giants and Cowboys.

The Cowboys final preseason game is Thursday Aug. 30 against Miami. They then play the Giants six days later on Sept. 5.

"That’s a good thing because we’ll have to have our team ready to go," Garrett said. "We’ll play on Wednesday night in our last preseason game against Miami and Thursday is like a Monday during the season, getting ready for that following Wednesday. We’ve got to be ready to roll and it’s a great opportunity for our football team."

Tyrone Crawford agrees to four year deal

The Dallas Cowboys have three draft picks without deals now that third-round pick Tyrone Crawford agreed to a four-year contract.

Crawford, who is expected to sign today, has missed most of the organized team activities and one minicamp practice with a calf injury, but the Cowboys expect him to help the pass rush in base and nickel situations.

On Monday, the Cowboys reached deals with their picks in Rounds 5-7 — Danny Coale, James Hanna and Caleb McSurdy.

In two years at Boise State, Crawford ( 6-4, 285 pounds) had 13.5 sacks and 27 tackles for loss. Of the Cowboys’ 42 sacks last year, only 10.5 came from the defensive line, led by Jason Hatcher’s 4.5.

Crawford will receive a signing bonus of $575,252 and a $390,000 base salary. His base salaries from 2013-15 are $480,000, $570,000 and $660,000. Coale, Hanna and McSurdy received signing bonuses of $190,052, $104,852 and $59,400 respectively.

Fourth-round pick Matt Johnson is also close to a deal with the team. He has not been able to take part in the OTAs or minicamp because Eastern Washington is still in classes. He is expected in town by the end of the week.

Once Johnson comes to terms, only first-round pick Morris Claiborne and fourth-round linebacker Kyle Wilber will be without a deal.

NFC EAST UPDATE: Patriots surprise ex-Giant Ballard, claiming him off waivers

Tight end Jake Ballard showed up to the New York Giants ‘ facility on Tuesday precisely at 4:02 p.m. ET, according to multiple Giants beat writers.

Ballard, who was waived by the Giants on Monday, thought he had cleared waivers and would be returning to the Giants after the team let him go following a failed physical on Monday. He expected to revert to the Giants’ PUP list and ultimately land on injured reserve, where he would spend the season.

There was only one problem: The New England Patriots decided to claim Ballard.

Ballard’s agent Blake Baratz tweeted out the news:

As I stated yesterday a “smart” football organization might claim @NYG_J_Ballard85 while he’s hurt to own his rights. He’s now a Patriot!

– Blake Baratz (@the_ifa) February 14, 2012

The Patriots later confirmed the move via a news release, announcing that they had also placed tight end Brad Herman on injured reserve.

What an insane sequence of events for Ballard. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the Super Bowl, was cut loose by the Giants, was given the impression he’d be coming back, and then ultimately landed with the team he helped beat in the big game.

This will surely frustrate the Giants. They didn’t want to lose Ballard, but they took the risk of waiving him. The Patriots decided to improve their team by using the rules to their advantage. They will likely stash Ballard, even if they know he can’t help them in 2012.

UPDATE: Ballard released a statement through Baratz later Tuesday, according to The Star-Ledger .

“While this was very sudden, and I am still experiencing a great deal of differing emotions, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you and place some closure on a wonderful chapter in my life,” the statement reads. “I will greatly miss my teammates, the fans, the organization, and albeit short-Iived, I will forever cherish all the great memories that we created during my time in a Giant uniform.

“Simultaneously, I am humbled by the opportunity that the Patriots have afforded me and as I have always done, I will bring nothing but hard work, professionalism, and integrity to what is already a world-class organization.”

NICK EATMAN: Assessing OT after the latest moves

Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith - The Boys Are Back blog

Fans want to see improvement. So it’s only natural for them to be annoyed, disinterested or even frustrated to see a former player who didn’t work out the first time, re-signed to the squad once again.

It happened here a few weeks ago when the Cowboys brought back Akwasi Owusu-Ansah for the third time. The latest move brings Pat McQuistan back again.

I can’t argue about the first one. But for McQuistan, who worked on Friday and is expected to finalize a contract before the start of Tuesday’s minicamp, it seems like a pretty solid move.

Here’s a guy who knows the system – at least in terms of Jason Garrett’s offense. He will be new to Bill Callahan, but then again, maybe that’s a good thing.

And offensive tackle is a position that appears to be in good shape, especially with the starters. Tyron Smith has the makeup of a guy who will be on the left side for many years to come and Doug Free might not have had a great season as the left tackle, but he should be just fine on the right side. I consider him a young 28 since he didn’t really play much until halfway into his third season.

After the starters, you’ve got Jermey Parnell, who isn’t exactly a new name anymore, arriving at the end of the 2010 season. But he’s still only played three games in his career, and just a handful of snaps as a tackle. Parnell was given a nice contract extension back in April that should keep in the fold for another year after his, simply buying the Cowboys more evaluation time.

But bringing back McQuistan gives this team some depth – experienced depth – at a couple of spots. While offensive tackle is his natural spot and where he will play here in Dallas, he does have the flexibility to play guard, if needed. That’s extremely valuable as you get closer to the season and trying to figure out who stays on the roster.

Plus, McQuistan should help this team in the preseason, an area the Cowboys wanted to improve. We’ve seen too many preseason games in the past where the offensive line couldn’t even function long enough to give anyone around them a chance to succeed. With McQuistan and Parnell likely manning the second- and possibly third-team tackle spots, that should be good enough to evaluate everyone.

And obviously this move should signal the Cowboys aren’t extremely high on their rookie tackles They released Notre Dame’s Taylor Dever, but he isn’t that far behind the other three rookie still on the roster in Levy Adcock, Jeff Adams and Tyrone Novikoff.

So you don’t have to do cartwheels for the move, but this one seems to make a little more sense than some of the other return visitors. 

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