Monthly Archives: March, 2014

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Dallas Cowboys featured on NFL Network’s Dynasty Week

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION - Dallas Cowboys featured on NFL Network's Dynasty Week - Roger Staubach

IRVING, Texas – This week is the Dallas Cowboys turn to be featured on NFL Network’s Dynasty Week, which runs each week with a new team throughout March.

The Cowboys are one of five NFL dynasties, along with the Packers, Patriots, Steelers and 49ers, that will be featured. Each “Dynasty Week” will feature team-related segments on NFL AM and NFL Total Access, as well as interviews with guests associated with each team.

Additionally, throughout the week NFL Network will show team-related editions of such shows as A Football Life, America’s Game, NFL’s Top 10 and Sound FX, as well as classic games and Super Bowl re-airs.

The series for the Dallas Cowboys begins Monday and continues through Sunday, April 6. Former Cowboys offensive lineman Nate Newton and former Cowboys defensive back Everson Walls are among the in-studio guests.

Cowboys Week features the following Cowboys-related programming:

Dallas Cowboys make a run unprecedented in NFL history by appearing in 12 championship games and five Super bowls - Dallas Cowboys history - 1960s 1970s 1980s

Monday, March 31

3:00 PM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Team Nicknames
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1971 Cowboys
5:00 PM CT – Super Bowl VI: Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: The Triplets
8:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Tom Landry
9:00 PM CT – The Road to Canton: Deion Sanders
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 1
2:00 AM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Dallas Cowboys
3:00 AM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Thanksgiving Moments
4:00 AM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Team Nicknames

DALLAS COWBOYS HISTORY - The Great Wall of Dallas - Cowboys trenches paved the way for an NFL historic run - The Triplets

Tuesday, April 1

1:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson 
2:00 PM CT – The Road to Canton: Deion Sanders
3:00 PM CT – NFL Film Session: Emmitt Smith: Run with History
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1977 Cowboys
5:00 PM CT – Super Bowl XII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: Terrell Owens
8:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
9:00 PM CT – The Road to Canton: Michael Irvin
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 2
2:00 AM CT – NFL Classic Games: 1975 Divisional Playoff – Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings
4:30 AM CT – Super Bowl XII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos

DALLAS COWBOYS HISTORY - The Great Wall of Dallas - Cowboys trenches paved the way for an NFL historic run - 1990's Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman huddle

Wednesday, April 2

1:00 PM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXVII – Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1992 Cowboys
5:00 PM CT – Super Bowl XXVII: Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: Bill Parcells
8:00 PM CT – NFL’s Greatest Games: 1992 NFC Championship Game – Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers
9:30 PM CT – Super Bowl XXVII: Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 3
2:00 AM CT – NFL Classic Games: 1992 NFC Championship Game – Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers

DALLAS COWBOYS HISTORY - The Great Wall of Dallas - Cowboys trenches paved the way for an NFL historic run - Mark Tuinei

Thursday, April 3

1:00 PM CT – NFL Classic Games: Week 17, 1993 – Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1993 Cowboys
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: The Triplets
8:00 PM CT – A Football Life: The Great Wall of Dallas
9:00 PM CT – NFL Film Session: Emmitt Smith: Run with History
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 4
2:00 AM CT – NFL Classic Games: Week 14, 1994 – Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys

DALLAS COWBOYS HISTORY - The Great Wall of Dallas - Cowboys trenches paved the way for an NFL historic run - Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Nate Newton

Friday, April 4

1:00 PM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXX – Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1995 Cowboys
5:00 PM CT – Super Bowl XXX: Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: Tony Romo 
8:00 PM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Dallas Cowboys
9:00 PM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Thanksgiving Moments
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 5
2:00 AM CT – NFL Classic Games: 1995 NFC Championship Game – Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys

The 1968 Dallas Cowboys qualified for the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season - Dallas Cowboys history

Saturday, April 5

8:00 AM CT – A Football Life: Tom Landry
9:00 AM CT – A Football Life: The Great Wall of Dallas
10:00 AM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
11:00 AM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXVII – Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
2:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 1
3:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 2
4:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 3
5:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 4
6:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 5
8:00 PM CT – A Football Life: The Great Wall of Dallas
9:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
11:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Tom Landry
12 Midnight CT – NFL’s Top 10: Dallas Cowboys
2:00 PM CT – NFL Classic Games: 1992 NFC Championship Game – Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers

FIRST WIN - In September of 1961 the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Cotton Bowl for their first ever franchise victory - Dallas Cowboys history

Sunday, April 6

8:00 AM CT – The Road to Canton: Michael Irvin
9:00 AM CT – The Road to Canton: Deion Sanders
10:00 AM CT – NFL Film Session: Emmitt Smith: Run with History
11:00 AM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXX – Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
2:00 PM CT – A Football Life: The Great Wall of Dallas
3:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
4:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Tom Landry
5:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1971 Cowboys
6:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1977 Cowboys
7:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1992 Cowboys
8:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1993 Cowboys
9:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1995 Cowboys
10:00 PM CT – Super Bowl VI: Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins
10:30 PM CT – Super Bowl XII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos
11:00 PM CT – Super Bowl XXVII: Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
11:30 PM CT – Super Bowl XXVIII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills
12 Midnight CT – Super Bowl XXX: Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
12:30 AM CT – NFL’s Greatest Games: 1992 NFC Championship Game – San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys
2:00 PM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXX – Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

ANNUAL NFL OWNERS MEETING: League ownership approves new rules | NFL approves new replay process | Field-goal posts to be extended

NEW 2013 NFL RULES - Officials discuss changes beginning in upcoming season - The Boys Are Back blog

ORLANDO, Fla. — On the third day of the NFL Annual Meeting, the league’s ownership got down to voting.

One day after approving a rule to allow referees to consult with the officiating department in New York during replay review (see below), the league came to a decision on the rest of the rule proposals on the docket. Here’s a quick summary of the measures:

Rule changes

  • The proposal to extend the goal posts five feet taller has passed.

“It just made sense,” Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. It passed “relatively easily.”

  • The “NaVorro Bowman Rule” was passed. That allows the officials to make the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play a reviewable call. This loophole was exposed when Bowman clearly recovered a ball in the NFC Championship Game last year, but the play couldn’t be under review.
  • The game clock will now continue after a quarterback sack outside of two minutes.

Failed proposals

  • Multiple proposals to expand plays that can be reviewed were shot down. The Patriots had suggested allowing all plays to be reviewed. The Washington Redskins wanted personal fouls to be reviewed.

Less than 50 percent of coaches supported the measure to make all plays reviewable, according to the Competition Committee. The committee said the topic inspired a lot of debate.

  • The proposal to move the kickoff to the 40-yard line was shot down. So was their idea to eliminate the training camp roster cutdown to 75 players.
  • The proposal to move the extra point back to the 25-yard line failed, but the league will experiment with a new extra-point system during the preseason. Extra points in Weeks 1 and 2 of the preseason will be snapped from the 20-yard line. (Making them like a 37-yard field goal.)
  • The proposal to allow an unlimited number of players on injured reserve to return to the active roster failed. Jeff Fisher of the Competition Committee said that vote wasn’t close.

No decision yet

  • The abolition of overtime in the preseason was tabled until May.
  • The idea to expand the practice squad from eight to ten players was also tabled. The same goes for expanding rosters for Thursday night games to 49 from 46.
  • The league also put off deciding whether to allow teams to open their roof during halftime at games for weather reasons.
  • The Competition Committee told the Patriots that it will look at the possibility of adding cameras to all goal lines, side lines and end lines. The NFL will discuss the possibility with its broadcast partners.

RELATED: NFL approves rule that changes the replay process

referee ed hochuli (85) at work in the half - the boys are back blog

ORLANDO, Fla. — NFL owners voted to significantly change the instant replay process.

The league announced owners voted to pass Rule Proposal 9 at the 2014 NFL Annual Meeting, which says that referees can consult with the officiating department in New York during replay reviews.

This proposal always had a wide swath of support throughout the league because there is belief it will improve accuracy and speed during replay reviews. The existing NFL Officiating Command Center in New York immediately will begin to review replays after the call is challenged. By the time the referee gets to his “booth,” the command center can advise the referee on what to look for in the play. The referee ultimately makes the final choice on the play.

It’s hard to see the downside of this rule. It should prevent obvious mistakes from happening.

The league also voted to ban “roll up” blocks to the side of a player’s leg. This is a tweak of the rule that bans these blocks from behind. It should help mostly defensive players, and is a relatively minor adjustment on the previous rule.

The rest of the rules and bylaws proposals are expected to be voted on during Wednesday’s session (see above).

PLAYERS PERFORMANCE PAY: Dallas Cowboys left guard Ronald Leary ranks third for 2013

PLAYERS PERFORMANCE PAY - Dallas Cowboys left guard Ronald Leary ranks third for 2013 - The Boys Are Back website 2014

IRVING, Texas – Dallas Cowboys guard Ronald Leary ranked third in the league in performance-based pay for 2013, the NFL announced in its annual report.

The purpose of the program is to compensate players whose playing time surpasses their contract for the league year. Leary earned an additional $307,104.43, making him one of 11 players in the league to make at least $250,000 in additional compensation, due April 1.

Compensation does not count against the NFL’s salary cap of $133 million. Each team is allotted roughly $3.5 million to compensate players through an agreement with the NFL Players Association.

Leary started all 16 games at left guard last season, after he signed with Dallas as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He spent the majority of his rookie year on the practice squad before taking over for Nate Livings in training camp last summer.

Upon taking over the starting role, Leary played 71.3 percent of the team’s offensive snaps last year.

Before accounting for his performance-based pay, Leary’s initial salary for the 2013 season was $405,000. He’s slated to make $495,000 in 2014 – the final year of his initial contract before he becomes a restricted free agent in 2015.

Several other Cowboys players benefitted from the performance-based pay program, largely thanks to the rash of injuries that forced unheralded players into the starting lineup. Safety Jeff Heath, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Saginaw Valley State, rose up the depth chart to start eight games and roughly 57 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.

Heath’s compensation for 2013 is $247,273.09. Defensive tackle Nick Hayden, who was also an afterthought on the training camp roster before starting all 16 games, made an additional $156,788.33.

Nine Cowboys players in all earned more than $100,000 in extra compensation – including 16-game rookie starter Travis Frederick and fellow rookie starters Terrance Williams, and J.J. Wilcox.

George Selvie, who is now the Dallas Cowboys returning sack leader from 2013, also earned an additional $141,704.71 after earning a starting spot as a late addition to the training camp roster.

All told, the Cowboys made performance payments to 39 players during the 2013 season.

NFL COMPENSATORY PICKS: League awards Dallas Cowboys 3 additional picks for 2014 NFL Draft

NFL COMPENSATORY PICKS - League awards Dallas Cowboys 3 additional picks for 2014 NFL Draft

ORLANDO – The Dallas Cowboys saw their 2014 draft pick total jump from eight players to 11 with one announcement Monday by the NFL.

The league awarded three compensatory picks to the Cowboys – all in the seventh round, giving the Cowboys six in the final round, although those three new picks cannot be traded.

The NFL gave the Cowboys the picks for the free-agent losses of Kenyon Coleman, Mike Jenkins, Victor Butler and John Phillips, while only acquiring Justin Durant in free agency.

The Cowboys picked up a seventh-rounder in early September in a trade with Kansas City for Edgar Jones, but lost their sixth-rounder. The Cowboys added a seventh-rounder from Chicago for Dante Rosario, giving them three sevenths, including their own, before Monday’s additions.

The sixth-round pick they acquired from San Diego for Sean Lissemore was traded away to Indianapolis for Caesar Rayford.

The Cowboys do not have a sixth-round pick because of their trade to acquire Edgar Jones. However, if they covet a player in that round, it seems likely they have some firepower in the

seventh to move up. The Cowboys picked up two seventh-round picks in September trades for Sean Lissemore and Dante Rosario with San Diego and Chicago, respectively.

Although they didn’t have a pick in the final round last year, seventh-round picks have been good for the Cowboys in the past. Jay Ratliff (2005) was a seventh-rounder who made four Pro Bowls. Patrick Crayton, Jacques Reeves and Nate Jones all made the team in 2004 after being seventh-round picks and played multiple years.

However last year, the only seventh-round picks on the Cowboys’ roster were not drafted by Dallas –George Selvie and Mackenzy Bernadeau.

The Cowboys have one draft pick in each of the first five rounds, including the 16th overall pick in the first round. The club has not picked 16th since 1961 when they took E.J. Holub, an offensive lineman who eventually went to the AFL and never played for the Cowboys.

2014 NFL DRAFT ORDER: Official round-by-round order including the compensatory draft picks awarded by the league

2014-NFL-Draft - Dallas Cowboys draft 2014 Jerry Jones - 2014 Dallas Cowboys draft - NFL Draft 2014

The official round-by-round order for the 2014 NFL Draft, including the 32 compensatory picks awarded to 13 different teams:

Round 1

1. Houston Texans
2. St. Louis Rams (from Redskins)
3.
Jacksonville Jaguars
4. Cleveland Browns
5. Oakland Raiders
6. Atlanta Falcons
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Minnesota Vikings
9. Buffalo Bills
10. Detroit Lions
11. Tennessee Titans
12. New York Giants
13. St. Louis Rams
14. Chicago Bears
15. Pittsburgh Steelers
16. Dallas Cowboys
17. Baltimore Ravens
18. New York Jets
19. Miami Dolphins
20. Arizona Cardinals
21. Green Bay Packers
22. Philadelphia Eagles
23. Kansas City Chiefs
24. Cincinnati Bengals
25. San Diego Chargers
26. Cleveland Browns (from Colts)
27.
New Orleans Saints
28. Carolina Panthers
29. New England Patriots
30. San Francisco 49ers
31. Denver Broncos
32. Seattle Seahawks

Round 2

1 (33). Houston Texans
2 (34). Washington Redskins
3 (35). Cleveland Browns
4 (36). Oakland Raiders
5 (37). Atlanta Falcons
6 (38). Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7 (39). Jacksonville Jaguars
8 (40). Minnesota Vikings
9 (41). Buffalo Bills
10 (42). Tennessee Titans
11 (43). New York Giants
12 (44). St. Louis Rams
13 (45). Detroit Lions
14 (46). Pittsburgh Steelers
15 (47). Dallas Cowboys
16 (48). Baltimore Ravens
17 (49). New York Jets
18 (50). Miami Dolphins
19 (51). Chicago Bears
20 (52). Arizona Cardinals
21 (53). Green Bay Packers
22 (54). Philadelphia Eagles
23 (55). Cincinnati Bengals
24 (56). San Francisco 49ers (from Chiefs)
25 (57).
San Diego Chargers
26 (58). New Orleans Saints
27 (59). Indianapolis Colts
28 (60). Carolina Panthers
29 (61). San Francisco 49ers
30 (62). New England Patriots
31 (63). Denver Broncos
32 (64). Seattle Seahawks

Round 3

1 (65). Houston Texans
2 (66). Washington Redskins
3 (67). Oakland Raiders
4 (68). Atlanta Falcons
5 (69). Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6 (70). Jacksonville Jaguars
7 (71). Cleveland Browns
8 (72). Minnesota Vikings
9 (73). Buffalo Bills
10 (74). New York Giants
11 (75). St. Louis Rams
12 (76). Detroit Lions
13 (77). San Francisco 49ers (from Titans)
14 (78).
Dallas Cowboys
15 (79). Baltimore Ravens
16 (80). New York Jets
17 (81). Miami Dolphins
18 (82). Chicago Bears
19 (83). Cleveland Browns (from Steelers)
20 (84).
Arizona Cardinals
21 (85). Green Bay Packers
22 (86). Philadelphia Eagles
23 (87). Kansas City Chiefs
24 (88). Cincinnati Bengals
25 (89). San Diego Chargers
26 (90). Indianapolis Colts
27 (91). New Orleans Saints
28 (92). Carolina Panthers
29 (93). New England Patriots
30 (94). San Francisco 49ers
31 (95). Denver Broncos
32 (96). Minnesota Vikings (from Seahawks)
33 (97).
Pittsburgh Steelers (compensatory selection)
34 (98).
Green Bay Packers (compensatory selection)
35 (99).
Baltimore Ravens (compensatory selection)
36 (100).
San Francisco 49ers (compensatory selection)

Round 4

1 (101). Houston Texans
2 (102). Washington Redskins
3 (103). Atlanta Falcons
4 (104). New York Jets (from Tampa Bay)
5 (105).
Jacksonville Jaguars
6 (106). Cleveland Browns
7 (107). Oakland Raiders
8 (108). Minnesota Vikings
9 (109). Buffalo Bills
10 (110). St. Louis Rams
11 (111). Detroit Lions
12 (112). Tennessee Titans
13 (113). New York Giants
14 (114). Jacksonville Jaguars (from Ravens)
15 (115).
New York Jets
16 (116). Miami Dolphins
17 (117). Chicago Bears
18 (118). Pittsburgh Steelers
19 (119). Dallas Cowboys
20 (120). Arizona Cardinals
21 (121). Green Bay Packers
22 (122). Philadelphia Eagles
23 (123). Cincinnati Bengals
24 (124). Kansas City Chiefs
25 (125). San Diego Chargers
26 (126). New Orleans Saints
27 (127). Cleveland Browns (from Colts)
28 (128).
Carolina Panthers
29 (129). San Francisco 49ers
30 (130). New England Patriots
31 (131). Denver Broncos
32 (132). Seattle Seahawks
33 (133). Detroit Lions (compensatory selection)
34 (134).
Baltimore Ravens (compensatory selection)
35 (135).
Houston Texans (compensatory selection)
36 (136).
Detroit Lions (compensatory selection)
37 (137).
New York Jets (compensatory selection)
38 (138).
Baltimore Ravens (compensatory selection)
39 (139).
Atlanta Falcons (compensatory selection)
40 (140).
New England Patriots (compensatory selection)

Round 5

1 (141). Houston Texans
2 (142). Washington Redskins
3 (143). Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4 (144). Jacksonville Jaguars
5 (145). Cleveland Browns
6 (146). Seattle Seahawks (from Raiders)
7 (147).
Atlanta Falcons
8 (148). Minnesota Vikings
9 (149). Buffalo Bills
10 (150). Jacksonville Jaguars (from Lions)
11 (151).
Tennessee Titans
12 (152). New York Giants
13 (153). St. Louis Rams
14 (154). New York Jets
15 (155). Miami Dolphins
16 (156). Chicago Bears
17 (157). Pittsburgh Steelers
18 (158). Dallas Cowboys
19 (159). Jacksonville Jaguars (from Ravens)
20 (160).
Arizona Cardinals
21 (161). Green Bay Packers
22 (162). Philadelphia Eagles
23 (163). Kansas City Chiefs
24 (164). Cincinnati Bengals
25 (165). San Diego Chargers
26 (166). Indianapolis Colts
27 (167). New Orleans Saints
28 (168). Carolina Panthers
29 (169). New Orleans Saints (from Eagles via Patriots)
30 (170).
San Francisco 49ers
31 (171). Denver Broncos
32 (172). Seattle Seahawks
33 (173). Pittsburgh Steelers (compensatory selection)
34 (174).
New York Giants (compensatory selection)
35 (175).
Baltimore Ravens (compensatory selection)
36 (176).
Green Bay Packers (compensatory selection)

Round 6

1 (177). Houston Texans
2 (178). Washington Redskins
3 (179). Jacksonville Jaguars
4 (180). Cleveland Browns
5 (181). Houston Texans (from Raiders)
6 (182).
Atlanta Falcons
7 (183). Chicago Bears (from Tampa Bay)
8 (184).
Minnesota Vikings
9 (185). Buffalo Bills
10 (186). Tennessee Titans
11 (187). New York Giants
12 (188). St. Louis Rams
13 (189). Detroit Lions
14 (190). Miami Dolphins
15 (191). Chicago Bears
16 (192). Pittsburgh Steelers
17 (193). Kansas City Chiefs (from Cowboys)
18 (194). Baltimore Ravens
19 (195). New York Jets
20 (196). Arizona Cardinals
21 (197). Green Bay Packers
22 (198). New England Patriots (from Eagles)
23 (199).
Cincinnati Bengals
24 (200). Kansas City Chiefs
25 (201). San Diego Chargers
26 (202). New Orleans Saints
27 (203). Indianapolis Colts
28 (204). Carolina Panthers
29 (205). Jacksonville Jaguars (from 49ers)
30 (206).
New England Patriots
31 (207). Denver Broncos
32 (208). Seattle Seahawks
33 (209). New York Jets (compensatory selection)
34 (210).
New York Jets (compensatory selection)
35 (211).
Houston Texans (compensatory selection)
36 (212).
Cincinnati Bengals (compensatory selection)
37 (213).
New York Jets (compensatory selection)
38 (214).
St. Louis Rams (compensatory selection)
39 (215).
Pittsburgh Steelers (compensatory selection)

Round 7

1 (216). Houston Texans
2 (217). Washington Redskins
3 (218). Cleveland Browns
4 (219). Oakland Raiders
5 (220). Atlanta Falcons
6 (221). Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7 (222). Jacksonville Jaguars
8 (223). Minnesota Vikings
9 (224). Buffalo Bills
10 (225). New York Giants
11 (226). St. Louis Rams
12 (227). Detroit Lions
13 (228). Tennessee Titans
14 (229). Dallas Cowboys (from Bears)
15 (230).
Pittsburgh Steelers
16 (231). Dallas Cowboys
17 (232). Indianapolis Colts (from Ravens)
18 (233).
New York Jets
19 (234). Baltimore Ravens (from Dolphins)
20 (235).
Oakland Raiders (from Cardinals)
21 (236).
Green Bay Packers
22 (237). Philadelphia Eagles
23 (238). Dallas Cowboys (from Chiefs)
24 (239).
Cincinnati Bengals
25 (240). San Diego Chargers
26 (241). St. Louis Rams (from Colts)
27 (242).
San Francisco 49ers (from Saints)
28 (243).
San Francisco 49ers (from Panthers)
29 (244).
New England Patriots
30 (245). San Francisco 49ers
31 (246). Denver Broncos
32 (247). Seattle Seahawks
33 (248). Dallas Cowboys (compensatory selection)
34 (249).
St. Louis Rams (compensatory selection)
35 (250).
St. Louis Rams (compensatory selection)
36 (251).
Dallas Cowboys (compensatory selection)
37 (252).
Cincinnati Bengals (compensatory selection)
38 (253).
Atlanta Falcons (compensatory selection)
39 (254).
Dallas Cowboys (compensatory selection)
40 (255).
Atlanta Falcons (compensatory selection)
41 (256).
Houston Texans (compensatory selection)

Notes:

Compensatory picks cannot be traded


Larry Allen - Dallas Cowboys, NFL Draft Round 2, NFL Draft Pick No. 46 overall, 1994 NFL Draft

PHOTO: Larry Allen (Dallas, Round 2, Pick No. 46 overall, 1994)

Larry Allen is the only compensatory draft pick in the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame. He had quite a career in the NFL, starting 197 of 203 games and making 11 Pro Bowls and seven All-Pro teams. He was voted to both the NFL’s 1990s and 2000s All-Decade Teams.

A total of 32 compensatory choices in the 2014 NFL Draft have been awarded to 13 teams.

Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four.

The 2014 NFL Draft takes place on May 8 to 10, and will be televised live on NFL Network.

Here are the teams receiving compensatory picks this year, with the round and overall number of each pick:

Atlanta Falcons: 4th round (139), 7th round (253, 255)

Baltimore Ravens: 3rd round (99), 4th round (134, 138), 5th round (175)

Cincinnati Bengals: 6th round (212), 7th round (252)

Dallas Cowboys: 7th round (248, 251, 254)

Detroit Lions: 4th round (133, 136)

Green Bay Packers: 3rd round (98), 5th round (176)

Houston Texans: 4th round (135), 6th round (211), 7th round (256)

New England Patriots: 4th round (140)

New York Giants: 5th round (174)

New York Jets: 4th round (137), 6th round (209, 210, 213)

Pittsburgh Steelers: 3rd round (97), 5th round (173), 6th round (215)

San Francisco 49ers: 3rd round (100)

St. Louis Rams: 6th round (214), 7th round (249, 250)

Compensatory free agents lost and signed by the clubs that will receive compensatory picks in 2014:

Atlanta Falcons: Lost: Brent Grimes, Luke McCown (did not qualify), Christopher Owens, Will Svitek, Vance Walker. Signed: Osi Umenyiora. Baltimore Ravens: Lost: Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, Ed Reed, Cary Williams. Signed: None. Cincinnati Bengals: Lost: Josh Brown, Bruce Gradkowski, Manny Lawson, Brian Leonard (did not qualify), Pat Sims, Dan Skuta. Signed: Josh Johnson, Mike Pollak, Alex Smith. Dallas Cowboys: Lost: Victor Butler, Kenyon Coleman, Mike Jenkins, John Phillips. Signed: Justin Durant. Detroit Lions: Lost: Cliff Avril, Gosder Cherilus, Justin Durant, Drayton Florence, Sammie Lee Hill. Signed: Reggie Bush, Jason Jones, Glover Quin. Green Bay Packers: Lost: Greg Jennings, Erik Walden. Signed: None. Houston Texans: Lost: Alan Ball, Connor Barwin, James Casey, Justin Forsett, Donnie Jones, Glover Quin. Signed: Greg Jones, Shane Lechler, Ed Reed. New England Patriots: Lost: Patrick Chung, Donald Thomas, Wes Welker, Danny Woodhead. Signed: Danny Amendola, Isaac Sopoaga, Will Svitek. New York Giants: Lost: Martellus Bennett, Chase Blackburn, Domenik Hixon, Osi Umenyiora. Signed: Josh Brown, Ryan Mundy, Brandon Myers. New York Jets: Lost: Yeremiah Bell, Mike DeVito, Shonn Greene, Dustin Keller, LaRon Landry, Matt Slauson. Signed: Antwan Barnes, Mike Goodson. Pittsburgh Steelers: Lost: Keenan Lewis, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Mundy, Mike Wallace. Signed: Bruce Gradkowski. San Francisco 49ers: Lost: Ted Ginn, Dashon Goldson, Ricky Jean Francois, Isaac Sopoaga, Delanie Walker. Signed: Craig Dahl, Phil Dawson, Glenn Dorsey, Dan Skuta. St. Louis Rams: Lost: Danny Amendola, Craig Dahl, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Gibson, Robert Turner. Signed: Jared Cook, Jake Long.

FALSE PRETENSE OF INJURY: Dallas Cowboys file complaint with league regarding former DT Jay Ratliff

FALSE PRETENSE OF INJURY - Dallas Cowboys file complaint regarding former DT Jay Ratliff - The Boys Are Back website 2014

ORLANDO – Since the Cowboys waived defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, the Cowboys have been rather mum on any discussions regarding the move.

But today, team owner Jerry Jones has confirmed the club has filed a complaint to the NFL regarding Ratliff and hopes to eventually recoup money paid to the defensive tackle. According to sources, the Cowboys are seeking repayment for his 2013 salary and portions of the $18 million guaranteed that Ratliff received as part of a five-year, $40 million contract he signed in 2011. The Cowboys are also trying to get money back that Ratliff owes on a suite at AT&T Stadium.

Since Ratliff was released by the Cowboys, it’s unlikely the team can issue a grievance based on the rules of the recent Collective Bargaining Agreement, but instead have filed a complaint.

“It just stems from him not playing for us under the pretense of injury, and then days later playing for someone else,” Jones said in between busy at the league owners meetings in Orlando. “We just have a complaint and we’ll see where we take it from there.”

Jones chose not to get into more specifics of the situation and said he would prefer to get some resolve on the issue “hopefully soon,” although he pointed out these cases can take several months, if not longer.

Ratliff, who cut on Oct. 17, but later signed with the Bears and played the last five games of the 2013 season, including the Dec. 9 meeting with the Cowboys.

Injuries prevented Ratliff from meeting the lofty expectations of his last contract, which was his third with the Cowboys, who drafted him in the seventh round in 2005. Ratliff signed a five-year extension in 2007 before his last extension four years ago.

In 2012, Ratliff missed a total of 10 games with two different injuries – a high-ankle sprain that forced him out of the first four games and then the final six with an injury that was initially listed as a strained groin. During his six-game absence, Ratliff and Jerry Jones had a heated altercation in the locker room after a game at AT&T Stadium. Witnesses close to the argument say it stemmed from Jones trying to give Ratliff a pep talk and expressed the team’s need for him to be on the field.

Ratliff later underwent sports hernia surgery in January and was expected to be completely healthy by the start of training camp.

In fact, Ratliff participated in the conditioning run in Oxnard, Calif. in late July, but reportedly suffered a hamstring injury.

By the time the Cowboys broke camp in mid-August, Ratliff was apparently having more issues with the groin again and that was the reason the team kept him on PUP (Physically Unable to Perform), where he couldn’t play for the first six games of the season. After that time period expired, the Cowboys chose to release him. Soon afterwards, Ratliff’s agent, Mark Slough, told reporters in a conference call his client had a “serious injury.” However, Ratliff signed with the Bears two weeks later, and has since re-signed a two-year extension to stay in Chicago.

CLEARING OUT THE WEEDS: New Cowboys QB Brandon Weeden appreciates the fresh start from Believeland to Big D

QUARTERBACK CLEARING THE WEEDS - New QB Brandon Weeden appreciates the fresh start from Believeland to Big D - Dallas Cowboys QB Brandon Weeden

IRVING, Texas — Growing up in nearby Oklahoma City, Brandon Weeden was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. He remembers sitting at his grandparents’ house watching Thanksgiving games with Emmitt Smith running all over the place.

Now Weeden is a Dallas Cowboy, having signed a two-year deal with the team this week after his release from the Cleveland Browns.

“This is the best thing for me,” Weeden said. “I’ve talked to several coaches I’ve had and players I’ve been fortunate to play with and they all agree this is what I needed — a fresh start, change of scenery. I think this is exactly what I needed now. When you’re a rookie first-round pick, the expectation is that you play right away, be the guy. I think in Cleveland it was a tough situation. I wasn’t able to go in and play as I needed to. I know that. Now I can learn from two great quarterbacks and a good offensive staff and try to become better.”

Weeden will work behind Tony Romo and Kyle Orton (provided he continues to play in 2014) and work with Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, and Wade Wilson

CLEARING OUT THE WEEDS - New Cowboys QB Brandon Weeden appreciates the fresh start from Believeland to Big D - Tony Romo

He went 5-15 in two years as a starter with the Browns and had 23 touchdown passes and 26 interceptions.

“I don’t want to be negative on Cleveland,” Weeden said. “I think my rookie year we were a very young football team. I think we had six or seven rookies starting on the offensive side of the ball and we just kind of had our ups and downs. Several things went into it but I don’t want to get too much into it. I think worrying about myself is the main thing. I wasn’t consistent enough. At times I played well, at times I made mistakes that were crucial. At this level in this league you can’t do that. You’ve got to be smart and take care of the ball and that wasn’t the case for me at times.”

Weeden comes to the Dallas Cowboys with no pressure.

CLEARING OUT THE WEEDS - New Cowboys QB Brandon Weeden appreciates the fresh start from Believeland to Big D - Anthony Spencer

The Cowboys liked him coming into the 2012 draft, which is something Garrett mentioned to Weeden when they spoke during his visit to Valley Ranch. He is not the typical third-year pro because of his age but he does not view himself as a 30-year-old quarterback either.

“I’ve been battling that since the draft and all that,” said Weeden, who spent five years playing professional baseball. “The number is a little bit misconceived. I’ve played really four years of football so it’s not like I’ve taken a beating the last 10 years as if I’ve been in the league eight, nine, 10 years. I’ve got a lot to learn a lot of growing and a lot of football ahead of me. I think the better times are ahead of me. It was a good learning experience from Cleveland.”

Editors note: For our loyal fans that also support the AFC’s Cleveland Browns … check out this site to become a citizen of BelieveLand.

MEET YOUR NEW DEFENSIVE TACKLE: Pro scouting report on DT Henry Melton | Tuning up Marinelli’s Motor | Dallas Cowboys free agency 2014

MEET YOUR NEW DEFENSIVE TACKLE - Professional scouting report on DT Henry Melton - The motor that will drive Marinelli’s defense - Dallas Cowboys free agency 2014

Henry Melton | Defensive Tackle | Texas | Height/Weight: 6-3, 295

Drafted: Fourth round, No. 101 overall, 2009 NFL Draft by Chicago

Games Studied: 2013: Cincinnati, Minnesota 2012: Dallas, Houston, San Francisco

Melton was a much better player in his 2012 film than he was in 2013. He didn’t show the same explosive quickness and get-off that he did two seasons ago. Under Rod Marinelli as the defensive coordinator, he was on the move more, and this is where Melton thrives. When he can get on the outside shoulder of the guard and attack the gap, he can be difficult to block. Before his knee injury against the Steelers in 2013, you didn’t see this type of use in the scheme. He played slow and sluggish.

Simply put, he didn’t even look like the same player. There were too many snaps where he didn’t come off the ball, and where he put that pressure on the blocker. There were times where he was washed out of the play, knocked to the ground and was a non-factor.

When Melton is really on a roll, you can see blockers have to reach for him to try and block. He can put them in bad positions with just his first step. He’ll make blockers overextend and lose their balance. He has a feel for how to make himself small when he is on the move in the pass rush.

He’s one of those players you want to play line games with because of this ability. The second you get him a little space, he is tight to pick and around the edge. In 2012, he had a sack against the Dallas Cowboys in that exact situation.

This is one of those defensive tackles that can throw pass-rush moves as he is going up the field. He makes a quick arm-over move and then he is gone. He’s slippery when working toward and through the hole. He’s also a really nice space player, and he can change directions with the best of them.

The tape also shows that Melton’s lateral movement and quickness are outstanding. If the ball goes away from him, can really flatten down the line and chase after it. He makes it hard for blockers to keep up with him, and he shows the ability to beat the reach block with his quickness. In that sense, he does a nice job of reading blocks on the move.

If there’s one big problem to his game, it’s when he gets caught rushing down the middle of the blocker and he gets stuck. Where blockers have success against him is when they can get him to stop his feet –then he gets in a bind. Movement is such a big part of his game, it’s hard for him to get going again once he stops.

This happened to him more in 2013 than 2012. He’s not the type of player who plays with the power to beat double team blocks. He will extend his hands, but he’s not going to be able to stand in there toe-to-toe with blockers and slug it out.

Where he might get in trouble is when he tries to jump around blocks and he will leave holes.  

It was amazing how different Melton’s film was between the two seasons. In talking with him on Wednesday, he spoke about Rod Marinelli working with him to get himself right again, so even in his own mind, he knows that he was a better player and that is the level he needs to play at for this to all work. 

Henry Melton eager to become the motor that drives Marinelli’s defense - Dallas Cowboys free agent signing DT Henry Melton 2014


RELATED: Henry Melton eager to become the motor that drives Marinelli’s defense

Henry Melton eager to become the motor that drives Marinelli’s defense - Dallas Cowboys free agent signing DT Henry Melton 2014 sidelines

IRVING, Texas – From the time it became clear the Dallas Cowboys might need a new three-technique defensive tackle, Henry Melton seemed like a logical option.

The Chicago Bears Pro Bowler was a free agent, was coming off an ACL injury and he was from the Dallas area – it made sense. But perhaps Melton’s most-discussed tie to the Cowboys was his relationship with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. Melton enjoyed the best seasons of his career under Marinelli’s watch in Chicago, posting a combined 13 sacks in 2011 and 2012 and earning his only trip to the Pro Bowl.

It’s one thing to suppose the Dallas-area native would want to reunite with his old coach – it’s another thing to hear it from the man himself.

“Once I reconnected with Rod – he did some good recruiting. It was a pretty easy decision,” Melton said.

One need only look at the Cowboys’ roster to see why Marinelli was so set on reuniting with his former star. Jason Hatcher signed a free agent deal that left the Cowboys without those 11 sacks and it left them without a true three-technique defensive tackle.

In Marinelli’s system, the three-technique is referred to by many as the motor that drives the defense – a crucial element of the pass rush. Melton’s familiar with the role, and he said he’s ready to take it on once again.

“I’m familiar with the system, I know what it demands and they want me to be the guy. I’m accepting the position,” he said.

Who Melton will line up with is still a matter of some speculation. The Cowboys have now replaced one Pro Bowl defensive tackle with another, but there’s still the absence of All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Ware to consider.

Dallas signed journeymen Jeremy Mincey and Terrell McClain to free agent deals last week, and Tyrone Crawford and Ben Bass are set to return from injury in 2014. Two of last season’s starters, Nick Hayden and George Selvie, also return. But it remains to be seen how all of those pieces, including potential draft picks, will translate to a productive defensive line.

That didn’t seem to faze Melton, however, who said he’s eager to embrace the challenge – starting with a return to his Pro Bowl form from 2012.

“I think if I’m dominant and playing the way I know I can, and Rod gets me right and the defense is flying around, this team is really close to doing something special,” Melton said.

If there was any doubt about Melton’s excitement about the reunion, his conversation gives it away. The University of Texas standout mentioned Marinelli at nearly every turn, even allowing that he went to dinner with Marinelli on Monday night, the day before he and the Cowboys agreed to terms.

“He’s tough on you, but the thing about Rod is he cares about you as a person,” Melton said. “He wants to see you succeed, and you can sense that about him. I’m just happy to be here and work with him.”

The expectation is Melton will be healthy and ready to go when the Dallas Cowboys report to training camp in Oxnard, Calif. Having Marinelli alongside to push him can only raise those expectations higher.

“It gives me great confidence,” Melton said. “I know what the position demands, I know what the schemes are and I know Rod – how demanding he is. It’s going to be fun.”

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: 1-on-1 interview with DT Henry Melton, your newest Dallas Cowboy | NFL Free Agency 2014

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL - 1-on-1 interview with DT Henry Melton, your newest Dallas Cowboy - NFL Free Agency 2014

Meet Henry Melton | “This Was The Best Fit For Me” | 3:41

Insider Mickey Spagnola caught up with the Dallas Cowboys newest defensive lineman Henry Melton right after he signed his contract at Valley Ranch. (Watch Video | Play Audio)


UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL - 1-on-1 interview with DT Henry Melton, your newest Dallas Cowboy - NFL Free Agency 2014 - Melton signing contract with Dallas Cowboys

IRVING, Texas – Henry Melton officially signed his one-year contract with a three-year team option today in Dallas at Valley Ranch.

The Dallas Cowboys new three-technique defensive tackle, who agreed to terms with the Cowboys on Tuesday, believes he should be ready to roll fully by training camp after an ACL injury ended his 2013 season early.

“Anybody that checks me out and looks at my knee, they’re all saying training camp is a good day,” Melton said.

That’s good news for the Cowboys, who just picked up the defensive tackle widely regarded as the best player left in free agency at his position.

The Cowboys signed Melton believing he can get back to being the player who accumulated seven sacks in 2011 and six sacks in 2012, but the unique contract Melton signed gives the team some protection. Melton, who’s from the Dallas area and went to high school in nearby Grapevine, Texas, will only count $2.75 million against the cap with a $1.25 base salary in 2014 and can earn up to $5 million this year.

If Melton proves himself worthy by getting back to his Pro Bowl level of play and is on the roster by the start of the 2015 season, the team can exercise their three-year option. That’ll raise Melton’s price tag, give him reportedly $9 million in guaranteed money and allow him to get paid on par with some of the top defensive tackles in the league.

Melton knows he has to earn that three-year option or risk returning to free agency, and that doesn’t bother him. He said this year in Dallas is a proving ground, and pairing back up with Rod Marinelli, his former defensive coordinator during his best years in Chicago, adds to his faith he can return to form.

“It’s like you’re betting on yourself,” Melton said. “I feel like with me and my rehab and coming back with Rod and the good defense that’s here, I can get back to that form. I believe in that, and obviously they believe in me to get it done.”

Melton had surgery on his knee in October, but he’s already sprinting and lifting and gradually working his way back into shape. He’s five and a half months removed from the surgery, and he said every team he visited, including the doctors in Dallas, said he’s on track with where he needs to be to return for training camp.

Despite the injury, Melton still garnered significant interest in free agency and made visits to the Vikings and the Seahawks before coming to Dallas. He said he didn’t know what to expect in terms of offers from teams when he entered free agency off the knee injury, but he wasn’t worried about it.

“God has a plan for everybody,” Melton said. “It was all out of my hands. My agent really didn’t know what the market value was. We were just going to visit some teams, see where everyone’s heads were at. I came here and pretty much fell in love, so that was the end of that story.”

Melton also had a visit set up with the Rams after leaving Dallas with no deal, but he said he knew when he visited the Cowboys that he wanted to be in Dallas.

“They really wanted me to come,” Melton said. “I looked at what I can do here and what they’re trying to build here.”

Melton said Dallas felt familiar, from the actual surroundings to the defensive system he’ll be playing in. After losing DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher in free agency, the Cowboys need to rely on Melton as the primary disruptive force in the middle.

The Dallas Cowboys saw at home, in first person, what Melton was capable of doing to an offensive line. Melton began his Pro Bowl 2012 season with four sacks in the first three games, including one on Tony Romo at AT&T Stadium.

“I had about 30 people there,” Melton recalled. “The atmosphere there is just crazy. I was back home and everything was just clicking. It was a great game.”

At only 27, The Dallas Cowboys hope he’s still got many more of those left in the tank.

IT’S ANOTHER (COW)BOY: Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo and wife Candice have second son, Rivers Romo

IT’S ANOTHER (COW)BOY - Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo and wife Candice have second son, Rivers Romo - The Boys Are Back website 2014

Tuesday was an eventful day for the Dallas Cowboys.

The starting quarterback added a son and the defense added a starting tackle.

IT’S ANOTHER (COW)BOY - Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo and wife Candice have second son, Rivers Romo first picture - The Boys Are Back website 2014

Quarterback Tony Romo and his wife, Candice, got the excitement underway with the birth of their second child.

Rivers Romo, all eight pounds, 12 ounces of him, was the first addition. He joins older brother Hawkins, born two years ago, in the Romo backfield.

Later in the day, Henry Melton tweeted that he had agreed to play for the Cowboys. He will replace Jason Hatcher, who signed with Washington in free agency. He signed a one-year contract with a club option for three more.

Rivers Romo agreed to a lifetime deal.

Editors note: It is unknown if Tony Romo lost a bet with Phillip Rivers on naming rights. haha

ROD MARINELLI WANTS YOU: Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator helps land free agent Henry Melton

ROD MARINELLI WANTS YOU - Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator helps land free agent Henry Melton - Uncle Sam Wants You

IRVING, Texas – In Rod Marinelli, the Dallas Cowboys believe they have one of the best coaches in the NFL.

It appears he might be a pretty good recruiter, too.

The Cowboys’ ability to land free-agent defensive tackle Henry Melton was a lot about the contract, a lot about Melton possibly wanting to play at home, and a lot about Marinelli.

“I’m excited to come back home and work with Rod [Marinelli] and get back to my Pro Bowl form,” Melton told Calvin Watkins.

Melton developed into a Pro Bowl defensive tackle under Marinelli with the Chicago Bears from 2010-12. Melton had 15.5 sacks and was named to the Pro Bowl after a six-sack season in 2012. He also had 71 tackles and nine tackles for loss with Marinelli as his mentor.

He might talk softly, but Marinelli has a way of forging relationships with defensive linemen. He did it with Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He did it with Melton and Julius Peppers with the Bears. He did it with Jason Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware with the Cowboys.

ROD MARINELLI WANTS YOU - Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator helps land free agent Henry Melton - Walking off football field

The Cowboys were forced to use 20 defensive linemen in 2013 and were one game away from making the playoffs. Marinelli was able to make it work to a certain degree with guys such as George Selvie, Nick Hayden, Jarius Wynn, Corvey Irvin, and Frank Kearse

He never had Jay Ratliff or Tyrone Crawford. He had Anthony Spencer for 34 snaps in one game. He was without Ware for three games and Hatcher for one.

Melton becomes the third defensive linemen to join the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent. Jeremy Mincey and Terrell McClain signed with the Cowboys last week.

Mincey was coached with the Jacksonville Jaguars by Joe Cullen, who coached under Marinelli with the Detroit Lions.

“Genuine and a believer,” Mincey said last week. “He believes in what I believe: Going out there and giving your all and trusting the process and seeing what happens. You never know what’s going to happen, especially with a bunch of guys who are hungry, who are dedicated and motivated for a larger purpose.”

The job is not over. The Dallas Cowboys concluded a visit with Jared Allen today and the veteran could be the next one added to the Marinelli mix.

MELTON REUNITES WITH MARINELLI: Dallas Cowboys add defensive tackle Henry Melton | NFL Free Agency 2014

MELTON REUNITES WITH MARINELLI - Dallas Cowboys add defensive tackle Henry Melton - Dallas Cowboys Free Agency 2014

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys agreed to terms with defensive tackle Henry Melton late tonight.

The contract is reportedly a one-year deal with a club option for three more, depending on Melton’s performance in 2014. The price figures to be a bit lower than expected for one of the league’s top defensive tackles, as Melton missed the majority of 2013 with an ACL injury. Financial details have not been disclosed, but Melton’s price tag would increase if he is brought back.

The deal brings Melton to Dallas from the Chicago Bears, who drafted him No. 101 overall in 2009.

chicago bears defensive tackle henry melton (69) celebrates after sacking dallas cowboys quarterback tony romo - the boys are back blog

The news makes Melton the Cowboys’ first big acquisition of free agency, after a tumultuous week saw the team part ways with Pro Bowlers DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher, and Miles Austin at the outset of free agency.

The move means Melton, who is from nearby Grapevine, Texas, and is a University of Texas product, is not just returning to his home state, but is reuniting with former coach Rod Marinelli. The Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator held the same position with the Chicago Bears, where he oversaw Melton’s lone Pro Bowl season in 2012.

Melton will take Hatcher’s place as the three-technique defensive tackle in Marinelli’s 4-3 defensive front. The five-year veteran enjoyed the best years of his career from that spot, compiling a total of 68 tackles and 13 sacks in 2012 and 2013.

The injury ended Melton’s 2013 season in Week 3, as he was carted off the field during Chicago’s 40-23 win against Pittsburgh on Sept. 22.

The three-technique is the motor of Marinelli’s pass rush, to paraphrase the man himself. His purpose is to collapse the pocket and get to the quarterback, as evidenced by Hatcher in his first season playing for Marinelli and then-defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

With Hatcher entering free agency, it was widely speculated the Cowboys would pursue Marinelli’s old player, who many thought could be added for a lower price because of the injury. When the Cowboys released Ware and Hatcher signed a four-year, $27 million contract with Washington, the pressure to secure a pass rusher increased.

It remains to be seen how the addition of Melton affects the team’s pursuit of All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen, who visited Valley Ranch today. The Cowboys have roughly $7 million in salary cap room to work with, so signing both could be feasible given the right deals.

Allen returned to Minnesota on Tuesday to be with his family, as his wife is expecting the couple’s second child.


RELATED: Dallas Cowboys agree to one-year deal with DT Henry Melton

Dallas Cowboys agree to one-year deal with NFL Free Agent DT Henry Melton - Dallas Cowboys free agency 2014

The Dallas Cowboys and Henry Melton have agreed to a one-year deal with an option. Melton’s signing will ease the sting of losing Jason Hatcher last week.

The Grapevine product arrived for a visit yesterday. He had dinner with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli last night. Though he left for St. Louis today without a contract, it didn’t take the Dallas Cowboys long to get him in the fold.

Melton revealed his choice on Twitter, “Thank you Chicago for the best 5 years of my life!…. I can’t wait to begin the next chapter of my life… With a star on my helmet.”

Melton, 27, played only three games last season after undergoing reconstructive surgery on his left knee in October. But in four seasons, he has 15.5 sacks.

Melton replaces Hatcher, who signed with the Redskins last week, having played the three-technique for Marinelli when Marinelli was defensive coordinator of the Bears. Melton earned Pro Bowl honors in 2012 playing for Marinelli, and the Bears used the franchise tag on Melton in 2013, paying him $8.45 million.

The former UT product’s signing is good news for the Cowboys.

Jarod Allen left Valley Ranch without a contract and returned home to discuss his options with his wife. But with Melton on the defensive line, the Dallas Cowboys chances of improving their pass rush, and their defense, have improved.

HURRY UP AND WAIT BIG D: Dallas Cowboys (and fans) awaiting decisions from NFL free agents Jared Allen and Henry Melton

HURRY UP AND WAIT - Dallas Cowboys (and fans) awaiting decisions from NFL free agents Jared Allen and Henry Melton - The Boys Are Back website 2014

IRVING, Texas – The visits are finished for the time being, and now the Dallas Cowboys will wait for further news from free agent targets Henry Melton and Jared Allen.

Allen commanded headlines today with a scheduled visit of Valley Ranch. The five-time Pro Bowler arrived in Dallas last night and spent today at the facility with Dallas Cowboys coaches and executives.

Familial obligations with his wife, who is expecting the couple’s second child, called Allen back to Minnesota, where he played six seasons with the Vikings. The visit reportedly went well, however.

Melton made his visit with the Cowboys, including his old defensive coordinator in Chicago, Rod Marinelli, yesterday. The 2012 Pro Bowler has been the most widely-discussed possibility to replace Jason Hatcher as the Cowboys’ three-technique defensive tackle since Hatcher signed a four-year deal with Washington last Thursday.

The former Bears defensive tackle moved on to a meeting with the St. Louis Rams today after spending Monday at Valley Ranch. All indications are that the visit went well, but it remains to be seen where or when Melton – widely considered the best defensive tackle left on the market – will decide to sign.

It’s expected that Melton’s availability would be one of the storylines of the offseason for a Cowboys defensive line that has been ravaged by injuries and departures. Melton tore his ACL in October of last season and has been preparing for free agency ever since. His connection to Marinelli’s time in Chicago, combined with the potential for a lower price tag because of the injury, made him a no-brainer for free agency speculation.

The courtship of Allen comes as a bit of a more surprising development – at least up until the past week. The 2004 fourth-round draft pick is one of the bigger names on the free agent market, and reports indicate he has been in contact with several teams. Given Allen’s pedigree, it seemed like too high of a price tag when the Cowboys already had an All-Pro in DeMarcus Ware.

Ware’s release and subsequent signing with the Broncos added even greater need for pass rushers on an already-thin defensive line, bringing Allen into the forefront.

The Cowboys have roughly $7 million in salary cap room following Ware’s release, which should give them the space to strike a deal with one or potentially both Pro Bowlers. The team has only added three free agents to this point in 2014 – journeymen defensive linemen Jeremy Mincey and Terrell McClain, as well as quarterback Brandon Weeden, who was a first-round pick by Cleveland in 2012 before being released last week.


RELATED: Dallas Cowboys remain in play for Jared Allen and Henry Melton

Dallas Cowboys remain in play for Jared Allen and Henry Melton - Dallas Cowboys free agency 2014

Two days ago, this was considered a big week for the Dallas Cowboys.

With visits on tap with defensive tackle Henry Melton and defensive end Jared Allen, it was considered a golden opportunity for the Dallas Cowboys to gain some off-season momentum and an improve their team for next year with free agents at key need positions. 

Now that the visits are over, Melton and Allen both left without deals. The Cowboys remain unfulfilled though still clinging to a hard line they established last week when they cut defensive end DeMarcus Ware and let Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jason Hatcher bolt in free agency.

Signing guys at their price would come first and foremost over being fiscally irresponsible and possibly costing them against the cap in future years.

The visits went well, with Melton and Allen, and the Cowboys remain in play for both players.

Melton left his visit with the Cowboys and flew to St. Louis for a visit with the Rams. He visited the Vikings and Seahawks before coming to Dallas and is weighing offers from several teams.

Allen returned home to discuss the decision over with his wife. He visited the Seahawks before coming to Dallas. He must decide if he will take an offer with Dallas or Seattle, visit other teams or continue to wait.

The Cowboys remain interested in both players and made pitches how each would fit in defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s scheme.

The remaining question is at what price.

Melton, a Pro Bowler in 2012 with the Bears, is coming off season-ending knee surgery. His knee checked out fine with the Cowboys and he will be ready for the start of the season but not the start of training camp in late July. The latter is not considered something that would preclude the Cowboys from signing him, but it is something to consider when talking contracts.

Allen, an 11-year veteran, has averaged 14.5 sacks over the past seven seasons. But he will be 32 next season and is reportedly looking for a contract similar to the three-year, $30 million deal the Ware signed with Denver after being cut from the Dallas Cowboys last week.

IT’S PAYDAY FOR DANNY MCCRAY: Now former Dallas Cowboys special teams ace signs one-year deal with Bears

IT’S PAYDAY FOR Danny MCCRAY - Now former Dallas Cowboys special teams ace signs one-year deal with Bears - Dallas Cowboys free agency agent

IRVING, Texas – Former Dallas Cowboys safety and special teams ace Danny McCray has agreed to a deal with the Chicago Bears.

McCray was an unrestricted free agent this year after being with the Cowboys since 2010. McCray and Barry Church both made the team as undrafted safeties that season, and McCray would go on to be one of the Dallas Cowboys top special teams stars.

IT’S PAYDAY FOR MCCRAY - Now former Dallas Cowboys special teams ace signs one-year deal with Bears - Dallas Cowboys free agent agency 2014

He’ll rejoin former Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis in Chicago. DeCamillis quickly had an affinity for McCray after watching the safety’s special teams abilities at LSU and seeing them translate to the field in Dallas. 

McCray didn’t waste any time demonstrating his skills as a special teams player with the Cowboys. He finished his rookie season with a team-high 28 tackles on special teams, which marked the third-most in a season for the Dallas Cowboys since the club began recording special teams tackles in 1988.

He also led the Cowboys in special teams tackles with 19 in 2011. McCray’s the first player since Bill Bates in 1989-90 to lead the Cowboys in special teams tackles in consecutive years.

McCray still managed to finish second on the team with 18 special teams stops in 2012, despite his increased role as a safety after Church went out for the season with an Achilles injury.  McCray started the first and only 10 games of his career in 2012, notching 87 tackles and an interception.

His production lessened in 2013, particularly with the rise of Dwayne Harris as both a returner and cover player, along with Jeff Heath’s emergence on special teams. Heath led the team with 13 total special teams tackles, while Harris, Cameron Lawrence and Kyle Bosworth each had 12.

MEET YOUR NEW QUARTERBACK: Scouting report on new Dallas Cowboys QB Brandon Weeden | Dallas Cowboys free agency 2014

MEET YOUR NEW QUARTERBACK - Scouting report on new Dallas Cowboys QB Brandon Weeden - Dallas Cowboys free agency 2014 - Weeden in Cleveland

Brandon Weeden | Quarterback, Oklahoma State | Height/Weight: 6-4/220

Drafted: First round, No. 22 overall, 2012 NFL Draft by Cleveland

Games Studied: 2013 Miami, Baltimore, Green Bay, Jacksonville.

As a scout you always try and go into a situation with an open mind when you are studying a player — regardless of what people tell you about his body of work — and come to your own conclusions about his fit on your roster.

When Brandon Weeden was released by the Browns, I knew there was a chance a team might take this opportunity to bring him in for a low risk, low money deal and get an idea why he failed. Scouts are always curious about what happens to these high draft picks, especially at quarterback, when they don’t make it initially

For Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones, Weeden sat on the Cowboys draft board near the bottom of the second round, so I understand their curiosity. Though you might not have seen the talent with the Browns, here is an opportunity for a free look. There is no pressure for Weeden to have to start or even be the backup as he comes into camp. He is not young in his age, but he is young in his football experience — two years as a starter at Oklahoma State and two more with the Browns.

There is a possibility that he could develop some of those traits that you believed he could be a bridge as the backup, or, like I have seen plenty of times in my career, he could be a trade possibility if a club needs a quarterback in the preseason.

In the games I was able to study with Weeden, I was surprised how up and down that he played. When he could take the snap and throw the ball without having to read the defense, he was a much better quarterback. There were times where Norv Turner had him do just that. Whether it was the slant or quick out, if he didn’t have to think much about it, there was no problem. It was when the ball didn’t leave his hand on time when he struggled the most, and this is where, mechanically, he would break down.

As a defense, if you make him hold the ball, you have a chance to get him on the ground because he is not the most mobile player. But there was one common theme in the tape that I observed: the Browns were terrible at guard with Shawn Lauvao and John Greco. The majority of the pressure Weeden faced came from the inside over those two players, and anyone that knows football knows the best way to cause a quarterback problems is to attack him in the middle of the pocket.

There were plays where Lauvao completely whiffed on the block and Weeden was down before he hit his fifth step. Against the Packers, Greco was driven so far into the backfield Weeden had no place to even plant his front foot to make the throw. I am not putting all the blame on these guards, because Weeden tends to be slow footed, but if you are getting sacked 27 times in eight games, there are issues that need to be addressed.

To Weeden’s credit, he was more than willing to stand in middle of that pocket and deliver the ball with everything breaking down around him. But he also made some throws where you have to cover your eyes — again, it’s the clock in his head. The longer than ball is in his hand, the more likely he is going to panic and try to horse the ball into a crowd of defenders instead of taking the check down and fighting another day. 

He was all over the place against the Packers in poor weather conditions and missed several open receivers. When he gets in a situation where things become tough, you can see him start to aim the ball instead of making a good confident throw.  He really struggles with his decision-making as things begin to fall apart.  When he can play pitch and catch, he looks very comfortable, but in the Green Bay game, he was far from comfortable.  He was late on his reads and it hurt several of his throws. He missed an open “curl” and was way too high on an “out”. 

Not all his throws are poorly thrown. There are times again, when he can catch the ball and get rid of it like he did at Oklahoma State — with some accuracy. The second snap of the game against the Ravens, he slides to his right and delivers a strike to Jordan Cameron for a 53-yard gain.  There was a crossing route to Greg Little that was on the money, that allowed a run after the catch. He even showed some touch on a red zone fade for a touchdown against Jacksonville, with Josh Gordon out of the slot.

You have heard me say this plenty of times about the job of a scout in this league — it is about trying to find players. At one time, Brandon Weeden, whether it was right or wrong, was a highly though-of player by this organization. This league is filled with players that started on one team, then landed on another to have outstanding careers.

I remember my time in Green Bay where we had Brett Favre, Mark Brunell, Ty Detmer and a quarterback named Kurt Warner on the roster for camp. In that 1993 season, Favre, Brunell and Detmer were all on the roster and we let go of Warner, who made his way to Arena Ball, then later a Hall of Fame career. I am not saying Brandon Weeden is going to have a Hall of Fame career like Warner. But like the St. Louis Rams did, it never hurts to give a player a look.

Courtesy: Bryan Broaddus | Football Analyst/Professional Scout

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THE TRUE BLUE ROSTER TEST: Name all ten of the Dallas Cowboys defensive linemen currently on the roster | Special Feature

SAINTS EXPOSED INEXPERIENCE - DeMarcus Ware wants his starters back for 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys playoff push - DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher

You know the Dallas Cowboys don’t have Jason Hatcher or DeMarcus Ware on their defensive line anymore.

Do you know who they do have?

Hint: There are currently 10 defensive linemen under contract.

Another Hint: Three of them are defensive tackles and seven are defensive ends.

How many can you name off the top of your head?

STOP READING NOW AND THINK ABOUT IT …

SPOILER ALERT!

THE ANSWERS ARE BELOW … NO PEEKING!!!

EVALUATING THE TEXAS-2 DEFENSE - Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli coaching havoc and reaping rewards - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys schedule - Dallas Cowboys Selvie and Hayden

George Selvie? That’s a start. Nick Hayden? That’s two. Tyrone Crawford? On a roll.

dallas cowboys defensive end tyrone crawford (70) applies pressure to tampa bay buccaneers quarterback josh freeman - the boys are back blog

And? Maybe Ben Bass?

How about the two new signeesJeremy Mincey and Terrell McClain?

FOUR TO GO …

Give up?

Martez WilsonTristan OkpalaugoCaesar Rayford, and Frank Kearse are the others.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

The 10 defensive linemen currently on the 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys roster have combined to play in 268 games, making 457 tackles and 39.5 sacks. Ware and Hatcher combined to play 260 games with 779 tackles and 144 sacks.

Editors note: This post inspired by Charean Williams of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. Current Dallas Cowboy unrestricted free agents Anthony Spencer, Edgar Jones, and Jarius Wynn are not included in this count … but you get bonus points for naming them!


True Blues, keep up with the 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys roster 2014-2015 right here, on The Boys Are Back

website …

dallas cowboys roster -The Boys Are Back website 2014

THIS WEEKS FREE AGENCY FRENZY: The dollars n’ sense of the Dallas Cowboys NFL Salary Cap | 2014 NFL Free Agent Review

2014-2015 FREE AGENCY REVIEW - The dollars n’ sense of the Dallas Cowboys NFL Salary Cap - NFL Free Agent Frenzy - The Boys Are Back website

IRVING, Texas – First the good news.

As expected the Dallas Cowboys successfully ducked under the NFL salary cap last week despite all the consternation being made out there.

By this afternoon they still had roughly $7 million of cap space, and by June 1 they will add another $5.5 million when the release of Miles Austin takes effect, basically a savings fund to absorb this year’s rookie pool, projected to cost them roughly $5.3 million for their eight draft choices.

Oh, and this may be a reach, but the current Dallas Cowboys Top 51 cap figure for 2015 is only $108 million, but then that doesn’t account for Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith’s option ($10.5 million), Doug Free, DeMarco Murray, Bruce Carter, Ronald Leary, and Miles Austin’s $5 million more of dead money that rolls over into next year. But still, that’s better than this year right, when the Cowboys were projected to be nearly $25 million over the cap heading toward March 11 before the cap increased nearly $7 million (to $133 million).

Now the bad news, and be forewarned, you might not have the stomach for all this.

As you know, after the Dallas Cowboys released DeMarcus Ware the Broncos signed him in the blink of an eye to a three-year deal too rich for the Cowboys’ cap blood to match. Then it took Washington all of two full days to sign unrestricted free agent Jason Hatcher to a four-year deal, another one too rich for the Cowboys’ salary cap constitution, and the Redskins seem to also be flirting with Cowboys unrestricted free agent Anthony Spencer, although with his knee condition there should be a buyer-beware tag on him. And the Cowboys no longer own the rights to wide receiver Miles Austin, designating him a June 1 release.

Now the Cowboys did ink a couple of guys, defensive end Jeremy Mincey and defensive tackle Terrell McClain, but remember, Denver didn’t even attempt to re-sign Mincey and the Texans didn’t even offer McClain a minimum restricted free-agent tender ($1.4 million). At least the Dallas Cowboys didn’t commit a lot of cap dough to them.

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DON’T MEET YOUR NEW DALLAS COWBOY: Veteran LB Will Herring brings special teams leadership and depth to defense | Professional Scouting Report | NFL Free Agency 2014 | UPDATED

UPDATE: HERRING AND COWBOYS DEAL IS NOW OFF THE TABLE

DON’T MEET YOUR NEW DALLAS COWBOY - Veteran LB Will Herring brings special teams leadership and depth to defense - Professional Scouting Report - NFL Free Agency 2014 - UPDATED

IRVING, Texas – The deal between the Dallas Cowboys and former Saints linebacker Will Herring is now off.

Herring had announced the agreement with the Cowboys on Thursday on Twitter, stating that he’s “blessed to be playing in Big D this year and to be a part of the Cowboys’ organization,” but the deal fell apart by Friday before Herring had signed.

It was a mutual parting of the ways that had to do with the language of the contract.

The move would have been the third signing for the Dallas Cowboys in free agency, after inking deals with defensive end Jeremy Mincey and defensive tackle Terrell McClain.

Herring’s signing would have also put into question the future of Danny McCray, the Cowboys’ special teams star who’s now an unrestricted free agent. Herring finished second on the Saints with seven special teams tackles last season.

EDITORS NOTE: If you’re a regular reader, you already know The Boys Are Back website goes to extraordinary lengths to make sure information is ‘official’ and “accurate” before it’s posted here. This site is not a rumor mill. We wait for official confirmations and verify stories via multiple inside sources before anything is posted here. Our apologies. The team and Herring’s agent had a verbal agreement that broke down this afternoon regarding language in the contract. Deals off.


INITIAL REPORT FROM THE OFFICIAL DALLAS COWBOYS RESOURCE:

MEET YOUR NEW DALLAS COWBOY - Veteran LB Will Herring brings special teams leadership and depth to defense - Dallas Cowboys free agency roster 2014

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys have now signed a third player in free agency, adding veteran linebacker Will Herring.

The seven-year pro first announced the move on Twitter, saying “blessed to be playing in Big D this year and to be a part of the Cowboys’ organization”

Herring, a fifth-round pick of Auburn in 2007, spent four years in Seattle and the last three in New Orleans, where he played all 16 games each of the last two seasons, registering 13 tackles in each year.

Herring spent the last three seasons with the New Orleans Saints, playing mostly special teams and backup linebacker. He was the Saints’ special teams captain in 2013.

In his three years with the Saints, Herring started three games and had 35 tackles, two interceptions and forced one fumble. He joined the Saints after a four-year run with the Seattle Seahawks. He had three tackles on defense and two on special teams in New Orleans’ win against the Cowboys last season.

This move could signal the end of free agent Danny McCray’s time with the Cowboys. The team’s most productive coverage player since 2010, McCray is an unrestricted free agent.

Herring becomes the third player the Cowboys signed since the start of free agency, along with defensive tackle Terrell McClain and defensive end/tackle Jeremy Mincey.

Editors note: Herring was signed to a one year contract. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed by the team at this time.


Scouting Report: Herring Stands Out On Special Teams

MEET YOUR NEW DALLAS COWBOY - Veteran LB Will Herring brings special teams leadership and depth to defense - Professional Scouting Report - NFL Free Agency 2014

Will Herring | Linebacker, Auburn | Height/Weight: 6-3/235

Drafted: Fifth round, No. 161 overall, 2007 Draft by Seattle

Games Studied: 2013 preseason vs. Kansas City, Oakland, Houston; regular season vs. Dallas

Herring was mainly used as a special teams player during his three seasons with the New Orleans Saints — my look at him as a linebacker was from preseason film. He’s 6-3, 235 pounds and can play all three positions, but he’s most likely better suited to play as a weak side linebacker in this scheme (Editors note: That would put him in as Bruce Carter’s backup if the positions remain the same as 2013).

In Rob Ryan’s 3-4 scheme, Herring played as a weak inside linebacker for the Saints last season. He has a nose for the ball, and an easy flow and drop in coverage. He’s aware of the back out of the backfield and assignment to pick up — able to see the ball, than drive on it to make a wrap up tackle.

In the preseason tape against the Chiefs, he was a little too aggressive when it came to their waggle packages and defending them. He went hard after the fakes but while reading was reacting in a hurry. Herring isn’t the biggest player weight-wise, so he has to keep himself active to avoid blocks. Works with his hands and feet to keep himself free. Herring is aware to take his hands, jam the blocker, then move to the ball — you see him do this in his special teams as well.

He plays on the edge of the blocker more than square, but he’s effective in the way he does this. When he sees the ball, he will go get it. There were several times where he beat the blockers to the spot and was able to either make the tackle or be near the ball.

If he has an issue as a tackler, it’s not the physical side of wrapping up, but he will over-shoot the ball carrier with his angle because of his aggressive play. There were a couple of snaps where he freed himself but just overran the play. He moves well in coverage and appears to have an understanding of where he needs to be — whether that is in zone or man. He’s aware of crossers in zone and doesn’t labor in his movements — plays with a burst. Judging from the tape, he knows how to work through the traffic, doesn’t get hung up or slowed down.

All of that said, where Herring makes his living is as a special teamer. He plays as the center in the kickoff return, punt return blocker, L3, L4, L5 on the kick off team. He’s the left guard on punt team and field goal rush. On special teams, he showed the same traits he had on defensive snaps — nose for the ball, the use of hands and the wrap up tackle.

He runs well on the cover teams and keeps his eyes open and aware of blockers. Has a plan when he covers. I’d like for him to better a little better on his sustain as a blocker when he becomes engaged. He hustled down the field on the kickoff coverage. In the Dallas game, he was able to control James Hanna at the point, then make the tackle inside the 20 on Dwayne Harris.

With the Cowboys, he will be asked here to be a backup linebacker most likely as a Will but more importantly as a core special teamer in all phases of the kicking game. There are plenty more positives to his game than negatives.

Special Thanks: Bryan Broaddus | Football Analyst/Professional Scout

MEET YOUR NEWEST DALLAS COWBOYS: Scouting Reports on both new defensive linemen | McClain is a mountain | Mincey is versatile | Free Agents signed

Meet Dallas Cowboys DT Terrell McClain - The Boys Are Back 2014

Terrell McClain | Defensive Tackle, South Florida | Height/Weight: 6-2/291

Drafted: Third round, No. 65 overall, 2011 NFL Draft by Carolina

Games Studied: 2013 Seattle, San Francisco, New England and Denver

McClain lined up as a nose tackle in the Texans’ 3-4 defensive scheme last season, but I think he is a much better fit to play as a one-technique in a 4-3. He played some defensive end in the 49ers game as a reduced end, which allowed him to line up as a three-technique.

The first thing you notice about the player is his ability to sit down at the point of attack. He’s a hard guy to move, knows how to fire his hands inside and control the blocker — really quick hands. This guy plays with some lower body power, as well.

He’s able to control the down blocks from the guard, or deal with the center one-on-one. I like how he is able to fire those hands, then you see him quickly look for the ball carrier — active. Another thing is that he’s always working to get to the ball. He will play down the line and outside the tackle box. For the limited amount of snaps he got, it was rare that you saw him on the ground or stuck on a block. He makes a big effort and hustle plays.

McClain gets away with playing upright at times because of his leverage and upper body strength, but there are also snaps where you see his pad level down and he’s dealing with the blockers. I really like the way he sees the play develop and gets over to the ball.

Against the Broncos, he was able to run down a middle screen because he read the play. The only game where he played a little late off the ball was against the Patriots, and they were able to get on him. He plays with balance to handle the low block. I could see his work as a pass rusher in the Broncos game when Houston defensive coordinator Wade Phillips played his nickel package the majority of the game. He’s quick off the ball to rush and when he becomes engaged, will use a spin move to try and free himself as he is going up the field.

He showed some athletic ability coming around the edge on the twist stunt — didn’t have a sack against Peyton Manning but did pressure him into throwing the ball away. If you look at his career, McClain has been with two teams that play outstanding defense in Houston and New England, so that tells me that at some point, coaches liked what they saw in his potential value.  


Meet Dallas Cowboys DE DT Jeremy Mincey - The Boys Are Back website 2014

Jeremy Mincey | Defensive End, Florida | Height/Weight: 6-4/265

Drafted: Sixth round, No. 191 overall, 2006 NFL Draft by New England

Games Studied: 2013 Denver vs. San Diego, New England (Playoff); 2013 Jacksonville vs. Seattle, Indianapolis.

Mincey was drafted by the Patriots in the 2006 NFL Draft out of Florida and made stops in San Francisco, Jacksonville and Denver. The Broncos used him as a defensive end and three-technique tackle in nickel situations. He played mainly as an end for the Jaguars on either side with some snaps at tackle as well, and that’s where he started the season. 

I thought his tape for the Jaguars was a much better indicator of the type of player he is than what he showed in Denver. He did have a sack in the Chargers game with a quick swim move that beat tackle D.J. Fluker to the inside and Philip Rivers had no chance to escape. That was the best quickness that he showed in those playoff games.

He was outstanding in the Jaguars’ game against the Colts that was played in Jacksonville. He was disruptive at end with some quickness off the edge, attacking the up field shoulder of both Anthony Castonzo and Cherilus Gosder at tackle, then moving inside and going to work on guard Donald Thomas.

Bottom line: Mincey showed more consistent pass rush moves while he was with the Jaguars than with the Broncos — rip moves with power and was able to beat the double team. He has some stiffness when he has to come around the corner or adjust in the pocket, when Andrew Luck stepped up in the pocket. Other than the sack against the Chargers, he was a down the middle rusher, that tried to use power instead of quick moves for the Broncos — he had a better combination in Jacksonville.

I thought there was some power in his hands. He snatched Seattle guard J.R. Sweezy out of his stance on a rush, which put Sweezy in a terrible blocking position. I thought he played with better awareness against the run while with the Jaguars, as well. He was more assignment-sure in what his role and responsibilities were.

Mincey struggled when he was on the edge, then the ball went inside of him. In Jacksonville, he played better with his eyes — especially against the Seahawks — when it came to defending the read-option and Russell Wilson.

I liked him chasing the ball earlier in the season; he looked sluggish and lacking a burst when he was trying to run Philip Rivers down to the sideline. It’s not that he didn’t give the effort, but it was like he was running in sand.

To Mincey’s credit, he plays all over the place and my feeling is he will do the same in Dallas. I can see him as a left defensive end, strong against the run with some pass rush traits and kicking inside as that three-technique in the nickel and working from there. He appears to be that wave (rotation) type of player that they are looking for on their front.     

Special Thanks: Bryan Broaddus | Football Analyst/Professional Scout


Related:

DALLAS COWBOYS ROSTER 2014: Dallas Cowboys sign free-agents DT Terrell McClain | Veteran DE Jeremy Mincey

BACK TO THE 3-4 DEFENSE: Jason Hatcher departs 4-3 system; signs 4-year deal with rival Redskins | Dallas Cowboys Free Agency 2014

BACK TO THE 3-4 DEFENSE - Jason Hatcher departs 4-3 system; signs 4-year deal with rival Redskins - Dallas Cowboys Free Agency 2014

IRVING, Texas – A third Pro Bowl player has now departed Valley Ranch in as many days, as defensive tackle Jason Hatcher signed with the Washington Redskins on Thursday afternoon.

Hatcher, who was the NFL’s sack leader among defensive tackles with 11 last season, signed a four-year deal worth roughly $27.5 million with the Washington Redskins – the Dallas Cowboys oldest rival.

The news ends days (actually months) of speculation about the veteran’s future, as Hatcher made several visits around the NFL to potential suitors. Hatcher visited with the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders earlier in the week, and he reportedly had visits with the Redskins and the Tennessee Titans lined up.

“My hard work paid off. I just left a great organization and now I’m with a great organization,” Hatcher said. “Things change. I just have to take it all in stride.”

Hatcher said he didn’t close the door on returning to the Dallas Cowboys, but said it was clear to him he wouldn’t be returning.

“Once me and my agent met and they didn’t show no signs they wanted me back,” Hatcher told 105.3 The Fan Thursday afternoon. “So I know the fans are upset, they should be. But I made the right decision for me. If we could’ve made it work out, we could’ve, but I’m in a great place with the Redskins, a great organization.”

Hatcher was a third round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2006 NFL Draft, going No. 92 overall out of Grambling State. He played in at least 13 games in every year of his career, from 2006 to 2013. He didn’t start his first game until 2010, and he didn’t become a regular starter until 2011.

In 2012 and 2013, Hatcher became a full-time starter for the Cowboys, starting in 31 of a possible 32 games.  He featured primarily as a 3-4 defensive end in the final year of Rob Ryan’s tenure as defensive coordinator. Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli made Hatcher the three-technique defensive tackle in their 4-3 scheme upon arriving in Dallas last spring.

It’s safe to say Hatcher flourished in that role.

Prior to 2013, Hatcher had 16 career sacks with his career highs being 4.5 in 2011 and 4.0 in 2012. He nearly tripled that during the 2013 campaign, earning his first-ever Pro Bowl selection in the process. He posted two-sack performances in three different divisional games – Oct. 13 against Washington, Nov. 24 against New York, and Dec. 29 against Philadelphia.

Hatcher said during the season he planned to test the market when the NFL’s free agency window opened in March. He played the final years of his Cowboys career on a three-year $6 million contract he signed following the 2011 NFL lockout.

“I’m going to test the market – I’m going to test the market. But you guys just leave me alone about my contract. I just once to focus on – I’m a Cowboy,” Hatcher said in December. “I’ve got a star on my helmet. I’m not trying to think about that. I’ll let it take care of itself when it happens. I’ve got four games to play, to be the best three-technique in the league and help my team go to the playoffs. That’s my approach.”

That clearly won’t be the case going forward, as the Dallas Cowboys have now parted ways with their all-time sack leader in DeMarcus Ware and their 2013 sack leader in Hatcher. New free agent acquisition Jeremy Mincey is now the team’s sack leader with 20 career sacks. George Selvie is behind him with 10 career sacks, seven of those coming last season.


RELATED: Career stats for former Dallas Cowboys DE Jason Hatcher

DEFENSIVE
Tackles Interceptions
Year Team G Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int TDs Yds Avg Lng
2013 Dallas Cowboys 15 41 34 7 11.0 3 0.0
2012 Dallas Cowboys 16 51 27 24 4.0 0 1 0.0
2011 Dallas Cowboys 13 28 20 8 4.5 2 1 0 16 16.0 16
2010 Dallas Cowboys 13 13 9 4 1.0 0 0.0
2009 Dallas Cowboys 16 13 9 4 1.0 1 0.0
2008 Dallas Cowboys 16 17 11 6 1.0 0 0.0
2007 Dallas Cowboys 16 27 22 5 2.0 0 0 0.0
2006 Dallas Cowboys 14 15 11 4 2.5 0 0.0
TOTAL 119 205 143 62 27.0 0 7 1 0 16 16

DESTINED FOR THE RING OF HONOR: Right or wrong, releasing DeMarcus Ware had to be difficult | Special feature

DESTINED FOR THE RING OF HONOR - Right or wrong, releasing DeMarcus Ware had to be difficult - Special feature - DeMarcus Ware Jerry Jones - The Boys Are Back website 2014

This was different. Yes, it was still business, no way around that, but this was also personal.

DeMarcus Ware wasn’t other people. He was a face-of-the-franchise guy, one who took that role quite seriously. He was the anti-diva, too, one who almost never declined a charity event or the signing of an autograph. The fans came first.

Ware, as much as any athlete I’ve covered, never forgot who he was. He was the kid no one wanted coming out of high school, the kid who used to clean out chicken coops. There was no diva in Ware. He just wanted a chance.

Amazingly, Ware was offered just a single football scholarship, that being from Troy. We’re talking all divisions, junior colleges and everything in between. Just one school was interested. If not for some former high school teammates already playing there and convincing the Trojans’ coaching staff, who knows what would have become of Ware.

He arrived in the NFL with high expectations and a skeptical head coach in Bill Parcells. It’s no secret that the Tuna preferred Marcus Spears or Shawne Merriman with the 11th overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft in favor of Ware, and although the Dallas Cowboys were able to eventually land both Spears and Ware, Jerry Jones wasn’t budging on that first selection. The pick would be Ware.

There were many times Jones allowed Parcells to talk him into draft picks, but this wasn’t one of them. Jones and Parcells even made a little wager on how many sacks Ware would have his first five seasons. Jones won.

ANALYST’S INSIGHT - Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells helped each other - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

Parcells was tough on Ware, even more so than other rookies, which is truly saying something. Ware would bring his coach orange Gatorade during breaks in practice. Any other flavor wouldn’t suffice. Parcells would tell him how great Lawrence Taylor was back in his days with the New York Giants and that Ware was no Taylor. Not even close. There were instances Parcells would chew him out, tell him what he did wrong and on the very next snap, Ware would do exactly as Parcells said. Instead of acknowledging the positive result, Parcells would just turn and walk away, a disgusted look on his face. Ware could do no right.

The media would ask a question about Ware, mention a sack in a preseason game or how quick the rookie looked coming off the ball. Parcells would stare as only he could before saying, “Let’s not put him in Canton just yet, OK?”

Ware has told me that no one has ever treated him like Parcells did. He broke him down and built him back up and in the end, Ware gives the Hall of Fame coach a lot of credit for how his career turned out. It wasn’t easy that first season, though. Lot of tough love.

Reminded of that rookie season at his own Canton induction in 2013, Parcells said, “With this media the way it is nowadays and the internet and the social media, we’re quick to anoint these guys. You know, that’s the last thing he needed to hear, in my opinion, at the time because he really didn’t know what the hell he was doing and that was the truth. But he found out and he continued to do it well. I’m proud of him, and he’s turned into quite a football player.”

The numbers would suggest that Ware will one day join Parcells in Canton. And his career isn’t finished. So far, 117 sacks, and 32 forced fumbles. Seven Pro Bowls, four First Team All-Pro nods and a Second Team All-Decade selection for the 2000s. After a few solid seasons in Denver and the body of work should be more than enough.

This has to rank at the top of the list for most difficult decisions Jones has had to make in his 25 years of ownership, right there with allowing Emmitt Smith to sign with Arizona.

Jones adores Ware and vice versa. And they both always hoped Ware would be one of those guys who played his entire career with the same franchise. That is the ultimate honor for any NFL player, to play their entire careers with one team. Ware wanted that, told me on multiple occasions how important that was to him. In a perfect world, one without a salary cap, that would have been the case, too. Jones would have had no problems signing a few checks these last few years when Ware may have been overpaid. Cost of doing business. The salary cap made that difficult, though.

Ware earned all of the $75 million or so he made with the Dallas Cowboys. That’s a lot of dough, of course, but he never missed a practice, was never late to a meeting and never big-timed anyone, teammate, reporter or coach. The man worked every day like a rookie trying to make the team, and nothing more can be asked of an athlete.

He played every snap the same way, and he played hurt. There are at least 10 occasions in the last five years when the overwhelming majority of players would have sat. Instead, Ware took the field, most famously against undefeated New Orleans six days after being carted off the field with a neck injury against San Diego during the 2009 season. He literally cried on the field thinking his career was over and he’d never be able to play with his kids.

Then there was the finale against the Redskins in 2012, a division title on the line. Ware could barely come out of his stance, never mind make a play. There he was on the field, though. Whether he should have been or not is a debate for another day. Ware played 34 snaps and, he somehow, through sheer will, mustered a QB hit and hurry on Robert Griffin III.

REDSKINS at COWBOYS - NFL NFC East Rival - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys schedule - Washington Redskins vs Dallas Cowboys - DeMarcus Ware sacking RG III RG3 Robert Griffin III

Ware is one of those guys who will do anything for the team and on that day, in his mind, all he could do was take the field. Throughout his nine seasons in Dallas, he was always begging offensive coaches to let him take snaps at tight end, H-back, whatever. Let him block someone, throw him the ball, Ware just wanted to help. They never took him up on the offer, but he was willing. He was always willing for the team, for the fans, for the Dallas Cowboys. He was and is a class act.

The reaction Tuesday was rare in sports today. No one blamed Ware for leaving. Was just one of those situations in life. Not fair, not easy, it is what it is.

This was indeed different. DeMarcus Ware was and always will be a Dallas Cowboy, destined for the Ring of Honor a few years after he hangs them up. He’s just going to play for someone else the next few years.

And that sucks. No other way to say it.

Courtesy: Jeff Sullivan

MONMOUTH MAN MILES APART: Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin designated as post-June 1 cut | Release creates cap cash earmarked for 2014 NFL Draft picks

MONMOUTH MAN MILES APART - Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin designated as post-June 1 cut - Release creates cap cash earmarked for 2014 NFL Draft picks - The Boys Are Back website 2014

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys parted ways with Miles Austin today, ending several months’ worth of speculation about the veteran wide receiver.

Austin was designated as a post-June 1 cut, which will allow the team to spread his considerable cap hit over the next two years. The move will save the team $5.5 million against the salary cap this season, though that money will be unavailable until after June 1 — the Cowboys would likely use the savings to sign their 2014 draft picks. 

However, the 29-year-old veteran will also cost the Cowboys $5.1 million in 2015, thanks to the June 1 designation.

The decision confirms what many had long suspected about Austin since he missed five games and grabbed just 24 catches for 244 yards last season. The undrafted free agent had four seasons remaining on a seven-year, $54 million deal that would been a massive blow to the Cowboys’ future salary cap figures.

Austin earned that big contract with a breakout season for the ages in 2009. Signed out of Division III Monmouth after the 2006 NFL Draft, he earned a place on the Cowboys’ roster for three seasons — mainly as a special teamer. 

Following the release of Terrell Owens in 2009, Austin moved into position for more playing time at receiver. After tallying just four catches for 81 yards in the first month of the season, an injury to Roy Williams pushed Austin into the starting lineup in an October 11 matchup against Kansas City, where he exploded for a franchise-record 250 yards, including two touchdowns, on 10 receptions.

Austin tallied a whopping 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns on 81 catches in 2009, and he followed that up with a 69-catch, 1,041-yard, seven-touchdown effort in 2010. He earned Pro Bowl nods in both seasons.

Injuries have either hampered or derailed him in every season since. Austin missed six games and finished with just 579 yards, largely thanks to hamstring injuries — the same injuries that would wreck his 2013 campaign.

Austin did manage 66 catches for 943 yards and six scores in 2012, though injuries again limited his productivity. 

All told, the veteran wideout missed 11 games and averaged just 588 yards per season in his last three years as a Cowboy.

The move will likely push second-year receiver Terrance Williams into the starting lineup for good. Williams worked his way into the lineup last fall partly thanks to Austin’s injuries, and he made the most of the opportunity. The rookie started eight games opposite Dez Bryant, and he nabbed 44 receptions for 736 yards and five touchdowns.

SILVER LINING IN SIGNING: Former Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware to saddle up with Broncos

SILVER LINING IN SIGNING - Former Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware to saddle up with Broncos - The Boys Are Back website 2014

IRVING, Texas – Recently released Dallas Cowboys sack leader DeMarcus Ware agreed to a three-year contract with the Denver Broncos today.

The Cowboys released Ware, who was set to make $12.25 million, on Tuesday afternoon following a discussion about renegotiating his existing contract. Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones expressed hope the seven-time Pro Bowler would consider a return to the team if he couldn’t find a better deal as a free agent.

“DeMarcus and I agreed on an understanding that would allow him to explore the options he will have for the 2014 season and beyond,” Jones said in a statement Tuesday. “We were also in very strong agreement that playing for the Dallas Cowboys would be one of the options we would both be exploring.”

Those hopes were dashed decisively less than 24 hours later, as the Broncos’ reported deal with Ware is for $30 million over three years, with a $20 million guarantee. The contract will pay Ware $13 million in his first season – more than he was slated to make with the Cowboys.

Ware becomes the latest big-name free agent to sign up with Denver, last year’s league runner-up, in the past two days. The Broncos signed Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward on Tuesday afternoon, and they added Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib on Tuesday night.

The Cowboys saved $7.4 million in cap space with the decision to release Ware.

Ware jumped out to a fast start with four sacks and an interception in the Cowboys’ first three games last year, before he was hampered by injuries. Ware played through stinger issues and a nagging elbow issue, but a quadriceps injury suffered Oct. 13 against the Redskins forced him to miss the first three games of his career.

Among Ware’s many accomplishments and accolades with the Cowboys are a 20-sack season in 2008, when he was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Year, and a 19.5-sack year just three seasons ago in 2011. Ware and Mark Gastineau are the only two players in league history with two seasons of 19 or more sacks.

One silver lining for Dallas Cowboys fans is that Ware appears likely to finish his NFL career outside the division, and outside NFC altogether. Dallas just played Denver during the 2013 season, which means the Broncos won’t show up on the schedule until 2017 at the earliest – barring a Super Bowl matchup. There was speculation that Philadelphia would attempt to sign the seven-time All-Pro within the NFC East.

DALLAS COWBOYS ROSTER 2014: Dallas Cowboys sign free-agents DT Terrell McClain | Veteran DE Jeremy Mincey

DALLAS COWBOYS ROSTER 2014 - Dallas Cowboys sign free-agents DT Terrell McClain

IRVING, Texas – Last year, the Dallas Cowboys picked up a former standout at South Florida who had yet to blossom as an NFL player. But by the end of the season, George Selvie was one of the team’s most consistent and productive players.

Now, the Cowboys are trying their luck again with a similar scenario.

The Cowboys have signed their first free agent of the offseason, picking up defensive tackle Terrell McClain, who played in all 16 last year for the Texans.

Listed 6-2, 300, McClain played the nose tackle last year in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme but is a likely fit for the 1-technique.

He could’ve been a restricted free agent but the Texans opted not to issue him a tender, making him unrestricted.

In 16 games last year as a backup player, McClain was credited with just 10 tackles.

The Cowboys used Nick Hayden  as a starter at the 1-spot last year but had little depth behind him, rotating a slew of players the club signed off the street.

A third-round pick (65th overall) of the Panthers in 2011, McClain started 12 games as a rookie, with 19 tackles and one sack. He played four games in 2012 with the Panthers, before he signed with the Patriots for a week and then Houston.

This signing likely won’t affect the team’s decision to sign either Jason Hatcher or possibly Henry Melton, a free agent from the Bears who played under Rod Marinelli. .


DALLAS COWBOYS ROSTER 2014 - Dallas Cowboys sign free-agents Veteran DE Jeremy Mincey

IRVING, Texas– The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to terms on a two-year deal with free agent defensive end Jeremy Mincey, pending a physical.

Mincey’s registered 20 sacks in 66 games since joining the league in 2006, playing seven seasons with the Jaguars and also making brief stops with the 49ers and Broncos.

The defensive end’s most productive season occurred in 2011, when he registered eight sacks in Jacksonville while starting all 16 games. He started all 16 games again the following year with three sacks.

Mincey was originally drafted in the sixth round by the Patriots in 2006 and later joined the 49ers and the Jaguars that year but didn’t make a regular season appearance with any club his rookie year. He spent the next seven years, including a missed 2009 season from an injury, in Jacksonville.

The 30-year-old’s compiled two seasons with at least five sacks and had two sacks in eight games with Jacksonville in 2013 before getting cut by the Jaguars in December. He joined the Broncos less than a week later and appeared in two games.

Oddly enough, that’s also the team that scooped up former star Dallas pass rusher DeMarcus Ware. Mincey won’t be looked at to specifically replace Ware, but rather to provide depth at a defensive end position of need for the Cowboys.

Mincey played in just 10 games total in 2013 as a backup and missed a game after a violation of team rules, but had played in 47 of 48 games with 40 starts his previous three seasons in Jacksonville.

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