Daily Archives: August 31st, 2012

BREAKDOWN: Analysis of the 23 Dallas Cowboys cut today

Here are comments on each of the team’s 23 cuts:

OT Jeff Adams – The Cowboys like his size and think he has potential. He is a possibility for the practice squad.

LB Baraka Atkins – He is a good-sized linebacker, at 265 pounds, but it is a numbers game at this position.

DL Ben Bass – He was very active in the preseason games against San Diego and St. Louis. The former A&M standout is a prime practice squad candidate.

WR Tim Benford – He was the star of the Blue-White scrimmage in training camp, but he did not get many chances for balls in the first three preseason games.

DL Robert Callaway – He intrigued the coaches in the OTAs and minicamp but didn’t stand out in training camp.

QB Rudy Carpenter – He was never a real possibility for the 53-player roster, regardless what he did, but he is eligible for the practice squad.

FB Shaun Chapas – The 2011 seventh-round pick spent most of last season on the practice squad but did play in three games, mainly on special teams.

WR Danny Coale – He was hurt most of training camp and lost the last receiver spot to Andre Holmes.

RB Lance Dunbar – North Texas’ all-time leading rusher made a case for himself with 105 yards on 15 carries vs. Miami, but the Cowboys chose to keep only three running backs. They hope to slip him through to the practice squad.

DL Clifton Geathers — He has been inconsistent since the Cowboys claimed him off waivers late in the 2010 season.

G/C Harland Gunn — Undrafted rookie out of Miami, he became the backup center to David Arkin when Phil Costa was hurt in training camp. He picked up the center position quickly, but he faced an uphill battle to make the roster from the start.

WR Saalim Hakim – The Cowboys value his speed, but Hakim rarely got a chance to show his receiving skills because of a broken finger in training camp.

LB Adrian Hamilton – Hamilton is an under-the-radar pass rusher from Prairie View A&M. He made some speed plays, which makes him a practice squad candidate.

OG Ronald Leary – The Cowboys liked Leary enough that they signed the undrafted free agent to a contract guaranteeing him $214,000. He could be back on the practice squad.

LB Orie Lemon – Lemon returned an interception for a touchdown Wednesday against the Dolphins, but it wasn’t enough. The Cowboys would like him on the practice squad another season.

OG Daniel Loper – Loper, who was on and off the Cowboys’ 53-player roster last season, was re-signed Aug. 3 after injuries made the team thin in the interior. He was waived/injured.

OT Pat McQuistan – A former Cowboy brought in for tackle depth, but he also played guard in training camp.

RB Jamize Olawale – He became a fan favorite as a goal-line rusher when he scored on two runs from the 4 against San Diego in the preseason. He was a receiver in college, trying to transition to fullback.

S Akwasi Owusu-Ansah – A fourth-round pick of the Cowboys in 2010, he has never developed like the team had hoped.

TE Andrew Szczerba – He is an athletic tight end with good hands. He had a solid training camp. The Cowboys like his build and blocking. He might have been one of the team’s tougher decisions.

CB Lionel Smith — The Cowboys like his size, but he is the victim of a numbers game. And he had a concussion in the last preseason game.

S Eddie Whitley – He is a capable player, but one of too many players at his position. Rookie Matt Johnson, veteran Danny McCray and first-year player Mana Silva are ahead of him as backup safeties.

CB Teddy Williams – Williams, who did not play collegiate football but was a sprinter, was a project signed by the Cowboys in 2010. He spent the past two seasons on the practice squad.

Carlos Mendez | Charean Williams

OFFICIAL ROSTER CUTS: Dallas Cowboys down to 53 players.

The Dallas Cowboys just officially announced their cuts today. There aren’t any surprises, but here’s the complete list from the team:

  • Jeff Adams OT
  • Baraka Atkins LB
  • Ben Bass DT
  • Tim Benford WR
  • Robert Callaway DT
  • Rudy Carpenter QB
  • Shaun Chapas FB
  • Danny Coale WR
  • Lance Dunbar RB
  • Clifton Geathers DT
  • Harland Gunn OG
  • Saalim Hakim WR
  • Adrian Hamilton LB
  • Ronald Leary OG
  • Orie Lemon LB
  • Jamize Olawale RB
  • Pat McQuistan OT
  • Akwasi Owusu-Ansah CB
  • Lionel Smith CB
  • Andrew Szczerba TE
  • Eddie Whitley S
  • Teddy Williams CB

Among those players cut, the Cowboys would probably want to bring back these players for their practice squad, which can’t be set until 11 a.m. Saturday:

  • QB Rudy Carpenter,
  • WR Danny Coale,
  • RB Lance Dunbar,
  • LB Orie Lemon,
  • RB Jamize Olawale,
  • LB Andrian Hamilton
  • OG Ronald Leary

The Cowboys waived/injured guard Daniel Loper on Friday night.

The Cowboys traded their 2013 seventh-round draft pick to Miami for center/guard Ryan Cook on Friday morning. Cook, a seven-year veteran out of New Mexico, was originally a second round pick (51st overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He played his first five years with the Vikings before signing with Miami as a free agent on September 5, 2011. Cook has started 40-of-77 career games, making starts at right tackle, right guard and at center.

NFL ROSTER TRACKER: Watch all 32 teams cut down to 53 players

Updated: September 1, 2012 at 12:33 a.m

Teams had until 9 p.m. ET Friday to reduce their rosters to 53 players. Below are the player cuts:

Arizona Cardinals

CB Crezdon Butler, LB Anthony Coleman, DB Blake Gideon, LB Clark Haggans, OL Russ Hochstein, DT Ricky Lumpkin, LB Colin Parker, CB Larry Parker, WR DeMarco Sampson, TE Steve Skelton, RB Alphonso Smith, LB Quan Sturdivant, DE Ronald Talley, DE Everrette Thompson, TE Martell Webb, OL Scott Wedige, LB Brandon Williams, WR Isaiah Williams, WR Stephen Williams, OT D.J. Young.

Atlanta Falcons

LB Spencer Adkins, TE LaMark Brown, LB Rico Council, FB Mike Cox, WR Drew Davis, CB Dominique Franks, OL Andrew Jackson, OL Bryce Harris, LB Jerrell Harris, OL Tyler Horn, WR Marcus Jackson, CB Marty Markett, WR Kerry Meier, RB Dimitri Nance, DT Conrad Obi, DT Micanor Regis, WR James Rodgers, LB Pat Schiller, CB Peyton Thompson, DB Suaesi Tuimaunei, LS Joe Zelenka.

Baltimore Ravens

RB Anthony Allen, DB Omar Brown, LB Josh Bynes, LB Nigel Carr, OL Jack Cornell, WR Dorian Graham, OL Cord Howard, NT Nicolas Jean-Baptise, NT Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, OL Antoine McClain, DT Terrence Moore, QB Curtis Painter, WR Logan Payne, DB Cyhl Quarles, LB Chavis Williams, OL Tony Wragge.

Buffalo Bills

WR Kamar Aiken, OL Mark Asper, TE Kevin Brock, RB Zach Brown, LB Tank Carder, OL James Carmon, WR Marcus Easley, DE Robert Eddins, DT Dwan Edwards, DT Jarron Gilbert, DB Isaiah Green, WR Derek Hagan, DT Kellen Heard, WR Ruvell Martin, LB Scott McKillop, P Shawn Powell, WR Naaman Roosevelt, LB Nick Saenz, OL David Snow, RB Johnny White, OL Keith Williams.

Carolina Panthers

WR Seyi Ajirotutu, G Bryant Browning, WR Lamont Bryant, CB Darius Butler, DT Nate Chandler, TE Joe Jon Finley, WR Jared Green, S Jonathan Nelson, LB David Nixon, DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo, RB Tauren Poole, S Jordan Pugh, OL Matt Reynolds, TE Nelson Rosario, RB Armond Smith, S Reggie Smith, CB R.J. Stanford, DE Ryan Van Bergen, G Justin Wells, LB Jason Williams, G Zack Williams, LB Kion Wilson.

Chicago Bears

LB Xavier Adibi, RB Armando Allen, WR Joe Anderson, OT Cory Brandon, CB Cornelius Brown, OL James Brown, WR Terriun Crump, DE Chauncey Davis, WR Rashied Davis, CB Isaiah Frey, OT A.J. Greene, WR Brittan Golden, OL Ricky Henry, DB Mark LeGree, QB Josh McCown, CB Greg McCoy, DT Jordan Miller, TE Brandon Venson, DE Aston Whiteside, LB Jabara Williams, DB Jonathan Wilhite.

Cincinnati Bengals

FB Jourdan Brooks, TE Colin Cochart, LS Bryce Davis, FB James Develin, DE DeQuin Evans, WR Vidal Hazelton, DT Nick Hayden, CB T.J. Heath, RB Daniel Herron, OL Otis Hudson, LB Grant Hunter, DE Micah Johnson, LB Emmanuel Lamur, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, DT Vaughn Meatoga, LB Roddrick Muckelroy, OL Matthew O’Donnell, QB Zac Robinson, OL Reggie Stephens.

Cleveland Browns

OL Dominic Alford, DT Ronnie Cameron, WR Josh Cooper, OL Stanley Daniels, CB James Dockery, OL Garth Gerhart, DE William Green, TE Dan Gronkowski, LB Benjamin Jacobs, TE Evan Moore, DL Ernest Owusu, DL Brian Schaefering, OL Jarrod Shaw, OL Jeff Shugarts, FB Brad Smelley, LB Quinton Spears, RB Adonis Thomas, DL Kiante Tripp, QB Seneca Wallace, WR Rod Windsor.

Dallas Cowboys

OL Jeff Adams, LB Baraka Atkins, DE Ben Bass, WR Tim Benford, DT Robert Callaway, QB Rudy Carpenter, FB Shaun Chapas, WR Danny Coale, RB Lance Dunbar, DE Clifton Geathers, OL Harold Gunn, WR Saalim Hakim, LB Adrian Hamilton, OL Ronald Leary, LB Orie Lemon, RB Jamize Olawale, OL Daniel Loper, OT Pat McQuistan, DB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB Lionel Smith, TE Andrew Szczerba, DB Eddie Whitley, CB Teddy Williams.

Denver Broncos

DE James Blatnick, DB Rafael Bush, CB Drayton Florence, LB Jerry Franklin, DT Ben Garland, OL Adam Grant, OL Ryan Harris, WR Jason Hill, OL Tony Hills, DB Duke Ihenacho, TE Cornelius Ingram, RB Jeremiah Johnson, LB Mike Mohamed, WR Greg Orton, WR Gerell Robinson, OL Sealver Siliga, CB Syd’Quan Thompson, OL Wayne Tribeu, QB Adam Weber.

Detroit Lions

OL Rodney Austin, OL Pat Boyle, DE Everette Brown, DE Ugo Chinasa, P Ryan Donahue, WR Patrick Edwards, DT Andre Fluellen, OL Dan Gerberry, TE David Gottlieb, WR Nate Hughes, DB Reshard Langford, WR Lance Long, DE Edmon McClam, LB Carmen Messina, WR Wallace Miles, CB Justin Miller, DT Tracy Robertson, CB Alphonso Smith, WR Maurice Stovall, CB Ross Weaver, TE Austin Wells.

Green Bay Packers

OL Shea Allard, WR Diondre Borel, TE Brandon Bostick, QB B.J. Coleman, FB Nic Cooper, OL Andrew Datko, OL Tommie Draheim, WR Tori Gurley, OL Sampsun Genus, WR Curenski Gilleylen, DE Lawrence Guy, DB Anthony Levine, CB Otis Merrill, WR Dale Moss, DT Daniel Muir, RB Marc Tyler, OL Greg Van Roten.

Houston Texans

TE Logan Brock, LB Keith Browner, LB D.J. Bryant, DT Hebron Fangupo, RB Jonathan Grimes, NT David Hunter, WR Juaquin Iglesias, WR Jerrell Jackson, LB Delano Johnson, QB Case Keenum, DT Mitch King, LB Shawn Loiseau, WR Jeff Maehl, OT Nathan Menkin, DB Troy Nolan, LB Rennie Moore, FB Moran Norris, DB Eddie Pleasant, TE Philip Supernaw, OL Cody Wallace, OT Cody White.

Indianapolis Colts

DE James Aiono, DT Chigbo Anunoby OL Steven Baker, LB Jerry Brown, RB Darren Evans, OL George Foster, LB Tim Fugger, OL Hayworth Hicks, RB Deji Karim, CB Brandon King, LB Greg Lloyd, TE Kyle Miller, WR Kashif Moore, DB Mike Newton, WR Jeremy Ross, DT Jason Shirley, TE Andre Smith, LS Justin Snow, OL Zane Taylor, DB Latarrius Thomas, OL Mike Tepper.

Jacksonville Jaguars

OT Daniel Baldridge, OL Lee Barbiasz, TE Colin Cloherty, S Courtney Greene, DT Corvey Irvin, CB Rod Issac, CB Trumaine McBride, RB Richard Murphy, QB Jordan Palmer, DE Odrick Ray, OL William Robinson, LB J.K. Schaffer, RB Will Ta’ufo’ou, CB Leigh Torrence, WR Demetrius Williams.

Kansas City Chiefs

DL Brandon Bair, DB Mikail Baker, WR Josh Bellamy, OL Patrick Bruggeman, FB Patrick DiMarco, DB Chandler Fenner, DL Amon Gordon, OL Darryl Harris, WR Junior Hemingway, DL Jerome Long, LB Gabe Miller, OL David Mims, WR Jamar Newsome, DB Terrance Parks, OL Lucas Patterson, OL Rich Ranglin, DB Neiko Thorpe, DB Donald Washington, LB Leon Williams.

Miami Dolphins

NT Isakko Aaitui, CB Vince Agnew, LB Ryan Baker, OT Will Barker, OL Chandler Burden, LB Cameron Collins, WR B.J. Cunningham, OL Ray Feinga, WR Jeff Fuller, WR Clyde Gates, LB Gary Guyton, WR Chris Hogan, CB Quinten Lawrence, LB Shelley Lyons, OT Andrew McDonald, OT Lydon Murtha, DE Jarrell Root, DB Anderson Russell, CB Kevyn Scott, WR Roberto Wallace, DE Jamaal Westerman.

Minnesota Vikings

WR Emmanuel Arceneaux, DT Chase Baker, CB Chris Carr, DE Jeff Charleston, OL Chris DeGeare, FB Ryan D’Imperio, CB Bobby Felder, DB Eric Frampton, DT Trevor Guyton, RB Lex Hilliard, OL Tyler Holmes, CB Reggie Jones, OL Kevin Murphy, LB Corey Paredes, OL Austin Pasztor, DE Nick Reed, QB Sage Rosenfels, OL Quentin Saulsberry, TE Mickey Shuler, RB Jordan Todman.

New England Patriots

WR Deion Branch, DB Sergio Brown, OL Derek Dennis, WR Jeremy Ebert, DL Marcus Harrison, WR Jesse Holley, QB Brian Hoyer, DB James Ihedigbo, FB Eric Kettani, OL Matt Kopa, OL Dan Koppen, LB Niko Koutouvides, DE Aaron Lavarias, DB Derrick Martin, TE Alex Silvestro, LB Jeff Tarpinian, WR Kerry Taylor, TE Tyler Urban, OL Dustin Waldron, OL Jeremiah Warren, OL Darrion Weems, DB Malcolm Williams.

New Orleans Saints

DE Braylon Broughton, LB Kadarron Anderson, LB Ezra Butler, WR Greg Camarillo, QB Sean Canfield, DE Alex Daniels, TE Michael Higgins, CB Nick Hixson, K John Kasay, DB Jerico Nelson, OL DeOn’tae Pannell, TE Derek Schouman, OL Alderious Simmons, WR Andy Tanner, OL Matt Tennant, LB Lawrence Wilson.

New York Giants

DE Matt Broha, OL Selvish Capers, WR Dan DePalma, TE Larry Donnell, WR David Douglas, OL Stephin Goodin, DT Dwayne Hendricks, CB Dante Hughes, CB Bruce Johnson, LB Greg Jones, DE Craig Marshall, OT Matt McCants, LB Jake Muasau, QB Ryan Perrilloux, DB Laron Scott, WR Isaiah Stanback, DT Marcus Thomas, RB D.J. Ware, OL Chris White.

New York Jets

WR Joseph Collins, OL Paul Cornick, LB Marcus Dowtin, CB Donnie Fletcher, RB Terrance Ganaway, OT Robert Griffin, OL Fred Koloto, P Spencer Lanning, DB LeQuan Lewis, TE Tarren Lloyd, DB D’Anton Lynn, C Matt Kroul, WR Royce Pollard, DB Julian Posey, DE Jay Richardson, WR Eron Riley, LB Brett Roy, LB Ricky Sapp, TE Hayden Smith, QB Matt Simms, NT Martin Tevaseu, WR Jordan White.

Oakland Raiders

LB Kaelin Burnett, K Eddy Carmona, WR Derek Carrier, WR Brandon Carswell, DE Hall Davis, TE Kyle Efaw, DL Dominique Hamilton, OL Kevin Haslam, OL Nick Howell, LB Chad Kilgore, OL Dan Knapp, WR Eddie McGee, C Colin Miller, RB Lonyae Miller, WR Roscoe Parrish, WR Travionte Session, LB Nathan Stupar, S Curtis Taylor.

Philadelphia Eagles

DB Oshiomogho Atogwe, TE Brett Brackett, LB Keenan Clayton, DT Landon Cohen, DT Antonio Dixon, TE Chase Ford, WR Mardy Gilyward, WR Chad Hall, CB Joselio Hanson, FB Emil Igwenagu, OL D.J. Jones, QB Mike Kafka, P Mat McBriar, WR Marvin McNutt, LB Adrian Moten, DT Ollie Ogbu, LB Ryan Rau, DE Monte Taylor, DB Philip Thomas, DT Frank Trotter, OL Steve Vallos, OL Julian Vandervelde, OL Brandon Washington.

Pittsburgh Steelers

WR Tyler Beiler, DL Corbin Bryant, WR Toney Clemons, DB Damon Cromartie-Smith, OL Trai Essex, DB Terrence Frederick, WR David Gilreath, RB DuJuan Harris, LB Brandon Hicks,  DL Igbinosun Ikponmwosa, QB Jerrod Johnson, P Jeremy Kapinos, OL Ryan Lee, OL John Malecki, WR Marquis Maze, LB Marshall McFadden, OL Chris Scott, DL Jake Stoller, DB Josh Victorian, WR Derrick Williams.

San Diego Chargers

RB Edwin Baker, OL Colin Baxter, LB Bront Bird, OL Charlie Bryant, DE Jacques Cesaire, OL Anthony Davis, LB Ricky Elmore, LB Daryl Gamble, CB Greg Gatson, DE Logan Harrell, OL Mario Henderson, FB Jacob Hester, CB Arthur Hobbs, QB Jarrett Lee, P Robert Malone, K Nick Novak, CB DeAndre Presley, DE Damik Scafe, OL Stephen Schilling, TE Kory Sperry, WR Mike Willie.

San Francisco 49ers

LB Ikaika Alama-Francis, LB Eric Bakhtiari, FB Rock Cartwright, OL Derek Hall, LB Joe Holland, DT Tony Jerod-Edie, LB Cam Johnson, QB Josh Johnson, DT Matthew Masifilo, CB Anthony Mosley, TE Kyle Nelson, OL Al Netter, WR Chris Owusu, WR Nathan Palmer, OL Mike Person, TE Konrad Reuland, WR Brett Swain, DB Michael Thomas.

Seattle Seahawks

DB Philip Adams, DE Pierre Allen, LB Allen Bradford, WR Deon Butler, WR Kris Durham, OL Paul Fanaika, TE Cooper Helfet, OL Rishaw Johnson, WR Jermaine Kearse, LB Kyle Knox, DE Cordarro Law, WR Ricardo Lockett, TE Sean McGrath, OL Kris O’Dowd, QB Josh Portis, DB DeShawn Shead, LB Korey Toomer, RB Vai Taua, WR Lavasier Tuinei.

St. Louis Rams

DT Cornell Banks, OL Tim Barnes, QB Tom Brandstater, DE Mason Brodine, LB Sammy Brown, CB Kendric Burney, QB Kellen Clemens, DE Vernon Gholston, FB Ben Guidugli, TE Cory Harkey, OL T-Bob Hebert, DE Jamaar Jarrett, WR Nick Johnson, OL Joe Long, OL Bryan Mattison, FB Ovie Mughelli, TE Deangelo Peterson, RB Chase Reynolds, DE Scott Smith, OL Jose Valdez.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

S Larry Asante, S Sean Baker, WR Landon Cox, LB Rennie Curran, LB Jacob Cutrera, TE Drake Dunsmore, K Kai Forbath, OL Jamarcus Hardrick, FB Robert Hughes, FB Cody Johnson, RB Mossis Madu, DT Jordan Nix, DT Frank Okam, DT Amobi Okoye, OL Moe Petrus, TE Zack Pianalto, QB Brett Ratliff, CB James Rogers, WR Jordan Shipley, WR Tiquan Underwood, DT Teryl White, DE E.J. Wilson, G Desmond Wynn.

Tennessee Titans

WR Devin Aguilar, TE Brandon Barden, DT Zach Clayton, OL Kyle DeVan, NT Lamar Divens, DB Aaron Francisco, TE Cameron Graham, CB Chris Hawkins, OL Michael Jasper, WR James Kirkendoll, FB Collin Mooney, OL Chris Morris, WR Michael Preston, DT Malcolm Sheppard, DB Tracy Wilson, WR D.J. Woods.

Washington Redskins

WR Anthony Armstrong, WR Terrance Austin, CB Travon Bellamy, FB Dorson Boyce, OT Tom Compton, OL Eric Cook, QB Jonathan Crompton, RB Tristan Davis, DT Marlon Favorite, OL Grant Garner, LB Donnell Holt, DT Delvin Johnson, LB Bryan Kehl, CB David Jones, RB Tim Hightower, LB Brian McNally, TE Richard Quinn, DL Darrion Scott, OT Willie Smith, CB Brandyn Thompson, LB Markus White, DE Doug Worthington.

Courtesy: National Football League


CONTRACT UNDER FURTHER REVIEW: National Football League, referees reportedly resuming negotiations

NFL replacement officials - The Boys Are Back blog

Perhaps the NFL won’t start the regular season with replacement officials after all.

NFL replacement officials, shown here before a recent exhibition game in New Orleans, would be sent to the sidelines if reports of renewed negotiations between the league and the officials union bear fruit.

The league and the NFL Referees Association were slated to resume negotiations Friday, according to two league sources.

NFL.com reported the sides "exchanged information and numbers."

Given that the two sides haven’t met at the bargaining table since late July — and with the NFL informing teams this week that it would enter Week 1 with the replacement officials who worked the preseason — the meeting might signal that the labor standoff can be resolved in the 11th hour.

The NFL would not confirm or deny a meeting.

Mike Arnold, the lead negotiator for the referees, was unavailable to comment but has repeatedly suggested recently he believed a deal could be struck quickly because the economic differences amounted to roughly $6,000 a game.

It is also notable that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in an interview with the league-owned NFL Network on Thursday, would not rule out a return by the locked-out officials for Week 1 — despite announced plans to the contrary.

"We’re, right now, planning on putting the replacement officials on the field," Goodell told NFL Network. "We would love to get an agreement. We respect our officials, and we’d work all night to get it done."

If a deal is struck quickly, could officials hit the field for Week 1?

It is conceivable, with the bulk of the regular-season openers nine days away.

The NFL’s kickoff game is five days away, with the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday.

Ray Anderson, NFL executive vice president, recently told USA TODAY Sports the league projected needing seven to 10 days to get the crews back on the field after striking a labor deal. Anderson said the timing included getting a new collective bargaining agreement ratified by membership, physical exams, security background checks and a two- or three-day clinic that would include a refresher on rulebook changes.

Arnold, however, told USA TODAY Sports last week that the 121 locked-out officials would be ready to hit the field almost immediately. Arnold said the officials took their physicals in May, and he believes the NFL has had time to initiate security checks.

A number of locked-out officials also attended a concussion forum at the NFL Players Association headquarters in Washington, D.C., in July to better educate themselves for the additional task the league is requiring of them to spot players suffering head injuries.

Arnold said the officials are up to speed on rules changes, particularly given the efforts of referee Ed Hochuli, who has led conference call meetings and electronically distributed periodic rulebook quizzes for the officials.

"Ed Hochuli has done a great job of carrying the ball on that," Arnold said.

Arnold said the officials would have preferred to work during preseason games and training camp practices to develop timing and rhythm, much like summer repetitions help players prepare for the season. But in lieu of that, he insists that the officials have trained for conditioning.

"We’re doing everything we can to be ready," Arnold said.

Maybe that assertion will be put to a fast-track test.

Jarrett Bell | USA TODAY

TRENCH TRIPLE-PLAY: If trade for Cook turns out like Holland deal, job well done | UPDATED with scouting report

Dallas Cowboys OL Ryan Cook - The Boys Are Back blog

Ryaaan Cooook … he keeps on blockin’ …. He keeps on blockin’ … shake it Ryan. Shake, shake it Ryan.

Well, that remains to be seen, actually, but if the newly acquired swing lineman Ryan Cook can be as steady a role player as Montrae Holland was for the Cowboys, then Friday’s trade will have to be considered a win, just like the 2008 deal that sent Holland over from Denver must now be seen, in full retrospect.

Cook won’t be asked to start, at least for the time being, but once he learns the offense, will hold a valuable role as the backup for three positions, the two guard spots and center. A beefy veteran with six years in the league and 40 starts under his belt at only 29 years old, Cook gives the Cowboys more strength, athleticism and experience than a David Arkin. The Pro Bowl probably isn’t in his future, but valuable contributions to the Cowboys’ line should be.

A utility offensive lineman may not seem like an important role, but it is, because players get hurt in the trenches. The playing time Holland received over his Cowboys tenure, and Cory Procter before him, is evidence of that. So a seventh-round pick is not a high price to pay, at all, if the Cowboys believe they can trust Cook, just like a fifth-rounder wasn’t too much to give for Holland, especially considering how dreadful the Cowboys have been in the fifth lately.

There was definitely a comfort zone with Holland, acquired just before the ’08 season. He didn’t immediately pick up the offense and replace Procter (the injury fill-in for Kyle Kosier), making the deal initially look like a bad one, but his consistency changed opinions over time.

Four seasons, 31 appearances and 14 solid starts later, Holland should be seen as a good backup for these recent Cowboys teams. After falling out of shape when he was hurt last summer, Holland worked his wide butt off to cut weight, and when the Cowboys needed him by Week 7, he was ready to help DeMarco Murray break the team rushing record, and went on to play well down the stretch. He’s kept himself in great shape this offseason, and the Cowboys had interest in bringing him back, but he held out for more money and incentives.

Like Cook, Holland was 29 when acquired by the Cowboys, with a lot of starts under his belt, though Cook has the extra dimension of center experience, while Holland was a guard only. Holland had two years left on his contract, while Cook has only one. But, if the Cowboys like what he brings this year, they’ll certainly have first dibs to re-sign him in March, just like they re-upped Holland in 2010.

Should they decide to do so, and Cook at least holds his own when his number is called, then Friday’s trade will eventually be considered a slam dunk.

RELATED: Scouting Report on OL Ryan Cook

Here is my scouting report on Ryan Cook, who was acquired via trade from the Dolphins late Thursday night.

  • Was drafted in the league as a tackle by the Vikings, has since moved inside to see time at both center and guard. Observed him as a center in the Dallas, Tampa Bay and Carolina games. Played right guard against the Falcons.
  • Made the line calls as a center, aware of responsibilities when uncovered. Showed the ability to help across the pocket. Plays with some upper body strength, can hold his man along the line in pass protection.
  • Little overextended and wide base at times but you didn’t see him get jerked out of his stance. Was able to get outside on the screen packages.
  • Decent initial quickness out of his stance as a guard. Can make the reach or cut off block when asked. Several times where he did a nice job of getting his head across his man staying on his feet and working for a finish.
  • Was impressed with his effort to finish blocks. Didn’t see him flopping around on the ground when doing his job. Played in position and showed some balance for the most part, only got a little out of whack on an inside twist stunt against Dallas but was fine on the same move against Tampa.
  • Veteran player that gives you some position flexibility at three spots. Plays with a little power inside.

Courtesy: Bryan Broaddus | Football Analyst-Scout

UNNAMED SOURCES: Twenty-One notified, 1 trade, 2 to-go as Dallas trims down to 53

Miami Dolphins traded backup center Ryan Cook to Dallas Cowboys - The Boys Are Back blog

The Cowboys will make their final cuts today to reach the 53-man limit, but they have already notified 21 players that they have not made the cut.

According to sources, the Cowboys have informed Shaun Chapas, Adrian Hamilton, Danny Coale, Eddie Whitley, Orie Lemon, Ronald Leary, Pat McQuistan, Jeff Adams, Teddy Williams, Harland Gunn, Daniel Loper, Clifton Geathers, Rudy Carpenter, Lionel Smith, Baraka Atkins, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Andrew Szczerba, Ben Bass, Saalim Hakim, Tim Benford and Robert Callaway of their release.

They have two more roster moves to make by 7 p.m. after the trade for offensive lineman Ryan Cook from Miami.

The Cowboys would like to bring some — like Hamilton, Coale and Leary — back on the practice squad if they clear waivers.

Leary was the apple of Jerry Jones’ eye as an undrafted free agent and early in training camp, but he will not be on the 53-man roster.

The Cowboys considered drafting Leary despite a knee condition, but ended up guaranteeing him $214,000 in base salary and signing bonus to sign as an undrafted free agent. When the interior line was hit by injuries early in camp Leary took some first-team snaps but he hit a wall midway through camp.

Todd Archer | ESPN Dallas

Editors Note: This is NOT the official release that will be filed by the Dallas Cowboys. That deadline is at 7:00 pm. Check back here for the ‘official’ release, once it’s submitted to the NFL.

RELATED: Dolphins trade Ryan Cook to Dallas for seventh-round pick

The Miami Dolphins traded backup center Ryan Cook to the Dallas Cowboys late Thursday night, acquiring a 2013 seventh-round pick for a player who wasn’t going to make Miami’s 53-man roster.

The Dolphins acquired Cook, who was the Vikings’ 2006 second-round pick, off the waiver wire last year and he played center and guard for the team in 2011. But Cook was beaten out by rookie Josh Samuda, an undrafted prospect from UMass, for the backup center spot.

Samuda, a Hollywood Hills product, was one of camp’s most pleasant surprises, and is expected to make Miami’s 53-man roster today.

Cook, who has started 40 NFL games, spent most of camp as the third-team center and never manned the guard spot, which happens to be Miami’s weakest area. But he did surprisingly start Wednesday night’s 30-13 loss to Dallas, which was clearly an audition.

Cook was slated to earn $1 million this season, but moving him clears all but $100,000 from Miami’s books.

The Cowboys have been struggling with their depth this camp because of numerous injuries to key reserves, which include center Phil Costa, who has been limited by a back injury.

The Cook trade now means the Dolphins could have multiple picks in the second, third, seven and possibly the sixth-round (it is conditional) of the 2013 NFL draft because of trades involving Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis.

Courtesy: Omar Kelly | South Florida Sun-Sentinel

COWBOYS GOLDEN FOOT: Versatile Dan Bailey ready for full kickoff duty, too

Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo and Jason Witten congratulate kicker Dan Bailey - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas — Remember last year’s final cuts and how the Cowboys were picking among five kickers? Yep, five.

Shayne Graham, Dave Rayner, David Buehler, Dan Bailey and Kai Forbath were on hand, though Forbath was on the physically unable to perform list at the time. Graham got hurt. Rayner missed a kick. Buehler was too inconsistent.

Bailey won the job almost by default, then went on to have one of the best seasons in team history.

No such decision to be made this year. Bailey made all eight field goal attempts in the preseason and had three touchbacks on kickoffs. Eleven of his 17 kickoffs reached the end zone.

“It’s still an area I’m trying to improve upon,” Bailey said. “We’ve worked hard in the offseason to try to improve that. Hopefully this week I’ll get a little rest and be ready for the Giants.”

Bailey had 24 touchbacks on 67 kickoffs last year and the team eventually put Buehler, a kickoff specialist, on injured reserve with a hip injury.

“I worked hard this year to try to improve leg strength and explosiveness, stuff like that,” Bailey said. “It’s a little bit of (technique and power), but really more just strength and getting a good approach down.”

RELATED: Dan Bailey has no worries this year

This time a year ago, Dan Bailey was on the bubble. The Cowboys had to go through four other kickers before deciding to keep Bailey, and perhaps if Dave Rayner hadn’t gone 0-for-2 against the Dolphins in the preseason finale, the job would have been his.

What a difference a season makes.

Bailey has a secure spot on the Cowboys, having gone 32-for-37 with four game-winners in his first season for the Cowboys. He followed up this preseason by going 8-for-8 after making kicks of 25, 30 and 26 yards Wednesday night.

"It is different, but at the same time, it’s really the same," Bailey said. "My focus now is the same as it was last year. You just make every kick. I go out and give it my best shot. Yeah, there’s not as many people here, but mentally, as far as my approach to the game, it’s the same this year as it was last year."

The Cowboys cut kicker Kris Brown before training camp last year. They cut Shayne Graham and Dave Rayner after training camp. Kai Forbath and David Buehler, both of whom ended up on injured reserve last season, were released this off-season. There no longer is doubt who the Cowboys’ kicker is.

RELATED: LP Ladouceur will be the team’s long snapper another season

Every year, the Cowboys bring in competition for LP Ladouceur. Every year, he keeps his job.

Ladouceur, an unsung and valuable asset, is the team’s long snapper for an eighth season. That was assured when the Cowboys released Charley Hughlett. Hughlett, a rookie from Central Florida, was signed with great expectations. But he was the last of the team’s cuts last Monday.

THE CORNERS BACK: Dallas Cowboys CB Mike Jenkins starts practice and conditioning Saturday

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins - The Boys Are Back blog

The long road to recovery for Mike Jenkins should end Saturday, when he’s eligible to begin practicing for the first time since his shoulder surgery.

Head coach Jason Garrett said the Dallas Cowboys doctors gave Jenkins an in-house exam and forwarded that information to Dr. James Andrews, who gave the cornerback permission to return and avoid the Physically Unable to Perform List to begin the season.

Jenkins fought through injuries throughout 2011, including shoulder, hamstring and neck issues, to finish tied for the team lead with 10 pass deflections.

“He hasn’t practiced a whole lot of football in a while,” Garrett said. “Conditioning is certainly a factor, getting himself acclimated to just playing football is a factor. We’ll evaluate him day by day. It’s good to see that he is cleared. It’s going to be good to have him out on the practice field on Saturday.”

Garrett isn’t concerned with how much Jenkins will play or how they’ll use the fifth-year defensive back yet. He just wants to see him running in full pads with the team. Garrett said during training camp that Jenkins would have to practice before he could start playing in games.

“All we want to do with Mike Jenkins is get him back on the practice field, see how he’s moving around,” Garrett said. “We’re not overly focused on any particular role that he has.”

Jenkins started the last three seasons at right cornerback after winning the job in 2009. Following the acquisitions of first-round pick Morris Claiborne and free agent Brandon Carr, Jenkins role is still unclear this year. Garrett said he hasn’t had any conversations with Jenkins about playing special teams.

ALLIANCE FORMED: NFL teams with US Army for concussion program

US Military Academy - West Point - The Boys Are Back blog

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — The NFL and U.S. Army have teamed up on a long-term program to care for and prevent concussions and head trauma, as well as other health issues.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and General Raymond T. Odierno, the Army Chief of Staff, announced the initiative at the U.S. Military Academy on Thursday.

Goodell and Odierno cited the common traits between soldiers and football players, particularly when dealing with stressful situations that can lead to injury.

"We can bring greater awareness not just to our two organizations, but to the general public," Goodell said of the program. "We will do all we can to get our players and the soldiers to under what each other goes through. We’ll work to change our cultures by working closely together."

Changing the culture is the biggest test, Goodell and Odierno said during a panel discussion on safety before nearly 200 cadets. Odierno even admitted he would have struggled to take himself out of combat with a non-visible injury such as a concussion. But he recognizes the need for leaders who will overrule the injured person.

General Raymond T. Odierno, the Army Chief of Staff - The Boys Are Back blog

"That is our most difficult challenge," Odierno said. "We all base ourselves on the warrior ethos and the soldiers’ creed as soldiers. If you have a problem and you identify it, to me that is courageous, too. But self-selection is really difficult. There has to be a bond to take care of each other."

Goodell echoed that approach.

"We understand the risk involved when you play any sport and we want people to share the responsibility," Goodell said. "It’s not just the player injured who has to raise his hand. It’s the coaches, his teammates."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell - The Boys Are Back blog

The league is being particularly proactive in the head trauma diagnosis and treatment area. Recently, dozens of lawsuits against it were consolidated into one massive complaint involving more than 2,400 people, most of them former players. By joining with the military, it hopes to "integrate the uncompromising devotion to win with a need to address traumatic brain injuries with the necessary care, consideration and commitment to prevention that these injuries require," Goodell and Odierno said in a letter sent to soldiers and current and former NFL players.

Also on hand were former players Troy Vincent, now the NFL’s vice president of player engagement, and Bart Oates. Both said they often were concussed while playing — Vincent seven times — and Oates said he returned to action with a concussion.

"Would I try to stay in the game again? Absolutely," he said, noting that was — and often still is — the mentality of players. "You can’t be expected to self-police yourself as a player. You won that position, it’s your job, you are there to help the team win and that is the most important thing. So individually, if you are trying to police it, it can’t be fixed."

To change that mindset, Oates insisted educating players at a young age to what he wasn’t aware of about concussions when he was growing up is essential.

Vincent believes the protocols and education on awareness of head injuries within the NFL will work, but agreed with Oates that athletes won’t self-regulate.

"There’s no such thing as making the right decision in the heat of battle. You stay in the game to win," Vincent said.

But Goodell explained that making the correct decision in the end will prolong players’ careers. And that correct decision — whether it involves taking yourself out of the game or someone else forcing you to leave when you show signs of head trauma — will become easier to make as everyone becomes more aware of the symptoms.

The panel discussion was the third between the NFL and the military, including one at the Pentagon. The new program guarantees more interaction.

"A lot of attributes are quite alike between soldiers and NFL players," Odierno said. "We’ve come together, two groups of people who are dedicated and courageous, to see how we can help both players and soldiers to deal with this important issue. With nearly 1.1 million soldiers, we have a wide audience we have to deal with. I think this (program) will help bring more awareness to these issues."


SUPER BOWL CALIBER: Jason Garrett compares Tony Romo to John Elway

SI.com NFL senior writer Peter King attended Dallas Cowboys practice last week and wrote about some of his discoveries on Tuesday.

King received exclusive interview access to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and quarterback Tony Romo. Some of the highlights include Garrett discussing Romo’s ability to win a Super Bowl and Romo’s take on the additions to the team’s offensive line.

“He’s more than capable of winning a Super Bowl in this league,” Garrett said of Romo. “Look at John Elway. He went 14, 15 years without winning one, and all of a sudden Denver runs it better and plays better defense, and he wins two, and now people think of him as a top three quarterback of all time. With Tony, we’ve just got to be better around him, and I think we will be.”

That’s certainly high praise coming from Garrett, a former NFL quarterback. Getting better around Romo will depend greatly on him having time to make plays. If the offensive line remains as shaky as it’s been during the preseason, Romo won’t get a chance to find receiving options like Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten.

According to Romo, all he needs from the offensive line is an extra half-second to make a play.

“I feel good about where we are,” Romo said. “We’ve changed our two guards (adding Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau), and they’ll be important to what we do. If they can give me an extra half-second more after the snap, that can be eternity for our offense. It’s interesting to consider what we’d be able to do.”

RELATED: PETER KING – Romo already in mental battle against Giants’ D


2011 New York Giants - NFC East Champions - The Boys Are Back blog

I don’t normally talk to quarterbacks at midnight Pacific time, but we’d missed each other after practice, and we were both tied up in the evening, so he told me to call before 11, and I did, and he was talkative, so we spoke for a while. The quote had to do with us talking about how complicated some defenses are getting, and how smart the Giants’ defensive front was and a few other things, and Romo, who was sitting in his hotel room in San Diego studying some tape of the Giants, just knew that no matter how much he studied, the Giants would do some things in the opener 15 nights away that he wouldn’t — couldn’t — be prepared for. On this night, he looked at six Giants games from last season. He said he felt good about being able to study the Giants so much — but he’s no fool. He knows Eli Manning is probably doing exactly the same thing, studying the Dallas D back in New Jersey, whether it’s on this night or some others. (Editors note: Wouldn’t that also mean Manning in a mental battle against the Cowboys’ D?)

"We run an offseason study on the teams we’re going to play, like all teams do,” Romo said. "They [the Giants] will structurally be the same team; why would you change when you’ve won the Super Bowl? Structurally, they’ll probably run the same blitzes. But when you look at games from last year, you see their imagination. Against Buffalo [way back in Week 6], they did some really new stuff. I’ve watched a lot of that Buffalo game, with how they played a stack alignment and how they handled the [Bills’] screen game. What you do is take all that in and try to determine how they’ll react to what you’re going to do.”

Chess match. Spy vs. spy, especially in a first game, when two teams that played each other twice in 22 days at the end of last year then had eight months to wonder: How will they counter us when we do X?

"The first game of the year is always an in-season adjustment game,” Romo said. "But I feel good about where we are. We’ve changed our two guards (former Bengal Nate Livings and ex-Panther Mackenzy Bernadeau now start), and they’ll be important to what we do. If they can give me an extra half-second more after the snap, that can be eternity for our offense. It’s interesting to consider what we’d be able to do.”

That presumes that ascending star Tyron Smith, at left tackle, and right tackle Doug Free can also keep pressure off Romo. Last year, according to ProFootballFocus.com, Free allowed 49 pressures/hurries/sacks, so it’s no sure thing that Romo will be cleaner this year.

Romo was better last year than our memories of him: 66 percent accuracy (and one memorable overthrow of Miles Austin in the close December loss to New York), 4,184 yards passing, 31 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, a 102.5 rating. "He’s more than capable of winning a Super Bowl in this league,” Jason Garrett told me earlier in the day. "Look at John Elway. He went 14, 15 years without winning one, and all of a sudden Denver runs it better and plays better defense, and he wins two, and now people think of him as a top three quarterback of all time. With Tony, we’ve just got to be better around him, and I think we will be.”

The reason I’d feel good about Romo as my quarterback if I were a Cowboys fan was accentuated late in our conversation. We were talking about the contentious practice session against the Chargers, which ended with a Romo rainbow deep into the end zone to a fifth-round receiver who looked like he didn’t get both feet in. The official looking at the play looked around for help. The Chargers screamed that the kid was out of bounds. With no help coming, the ref threw both hands in the air and called out "Touchdown!” The Chargers were furious.

"I went back and looked at the play on tape tonight,” Romo said. "Threw it to Danny Coale. Cover 2, soft zone. Safety bit on the fake too hard. Danny came down with it. Great play. And he got both feet in. He definitely got both feet in.”

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