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2012 DALLAS COWBOYS IN REVIEW: National Football League website writers voice opinions about America’s Team

Various writers on the National Football League’s website have recently expressed opinions about the 2012-2013 Dallas Cowboys, the Rob Ryan firing, head coach Jason Garrett, and owner/general manager Jerry Jones.

Two of these writers are prominent, others are either out of touch or rarely heard from in their Dallas Cowboys’ coverage. Even the writers with the least accurate overview of the Cowboys, do make certain points worthy of noting. Check it out and decide for yourself. As always, your comments are welcome.

Jerry Jones and Rob Ryan - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys’ problem in 2012: Rob Ryan or something else?

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones promised change was coming this offseason, and the first major ax fell earlier this week on defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Jones cited two specific games where the defense didn’t play well in explaining the team’s decision to fire Ryan. It begs the question: Was defense the biggest reason the Cowboys missed the playoffs again?

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com says …

The defense was the least of the Dallas Cowboys’ problems

Rob Ryan coached circles around Jason Garrett, given the talent and injuries he had to deal with over the past two years. Garrett’s offenses are so often sloppy and unimaginative. His game-day management also leaves a lot to be desired. Still, that’s not the biggest reason the Cowboys missed the playoffs. Owner Jerry Jones — general manager and enabler — is the common thread running through more than a decade-and-a-half of disappointment in Big D.

Gil Brandt of NFL.com says …

Dallas needs a more established coordinator

Yes, I think defense was Dallas’ biggest issue. The Cowboys spent a lot of money and a high draft pick on improving that unit, but it performed worse in many ways in 2012. Dallas regressed in interceptions (from 15 in 2011 to seven — an all-time low — in 2012), takeaways (plus-four to minus-13), rushing yards allowed (1,585 to 2,003) and points allowed (347 to 400).

I know people talk about injuries, but one could argue that the Green Bay Packers had bigger injury issues on defense, losing key players like Charles Woodson, and they still won 11 games.

There were a lot of questions when Ryan was hired, considering that he’d never been a coordinator for a team with a winning record. He and coach Jason Garrett just have completely different personalities. The Cowboys had trouble with basic things like getting the right number of players on the field.

I think the Cowboys are going to go out and hire an established, older defensive coordinator; I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Monte Kiffin is brought aboard. But that’s just a wild guess.

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com says …

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ARE YOU READY?: 2012-13 Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders training camps | Oakland Raiders first on preseason schedule

2012 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp logo

Everyone is counting down to the first day of training camp for the Dallas Cowboys on July 30th. But the real first day is today, July 25th. Quarterbacks, rookies, and injured players who were not able to fully participate in the OTAs and minicamp get to report.

The Dallas Cowboys, thanks to the pre-season schedule, are one of the last two teams to start camp. They and their opponent in the first pre-season game, the Oakland Raiders, are forced to wait because they were "favored" with being shown on Monday night in their pre-season opener.

Football’s back!

Courtesy: Tom Ryle

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ARE YOU READY?: 2012-13 Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders training camps | Oakland Raiders first on preseason schedule

RELATED: Raiders announce time, location for Raider Nation Celebration

The Raiders already gave the date of this year’s Raider Nation Celebration as Aug. 12, and Wednesday the team announced the time and location — from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in parking lot of the Coliseum Complex.

Following is the rest of the official release:

This family-friendly event is free and open to the general public and takes place one day before the Oakland Raiders kick off the 2012 campaign in the national spotlight, hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night, August 13.

The Raiders have hosted variations of this fan rally since 1998 at a number of locations throughout Oakland, including Jack London Square, Frank Ogawa Plaza and the Coliseum.

The Raider Nation Celebration will be highlighted by the introduction of first-year coach Dennis Allen and the 2012 Raiders and Raiderettes.

The event will also feature an interactive Kid’s Zone as well as autograph opportunities with Raider Legends and Raiderettes.

A number of exclusive opportunities – locker room tours for season ticket holders and a food tasting for suite holders – will also be part of this year’s Raider Nation Celebration.

Those attending the Raider Nation Celebration will be able to shop at special on site Raider Image, the team’s official store, and food and alcohol-free beverage concessions stands will be available to fans.

There will also be the opportunity for fans to select tickets for Raider games in what stacks up to be a challenging, exciting 2012 schedule. The Raiders also open the 2012 regular season in prime time, hosting AFC West rival San Diego Chargers on Monday night, September 10, in the second half of the ESPN double-header.

Courtesy: PAUL GUTIERREZ

2012 Raiders vs Cowboys | Dallas Cowboys vs Oakland Raiders | Oakland vs. Dallas

Former Dallas Cowboy Bryan McCann resurfaces as an Oakland Raider

Bryan McCann is as good as the Raiders could hope for when adding a corner at this point. And hopefully he won’t even have to play much. He will be the fourth corner behind Routt, Sheppard and DVD, and he’ll be the fifth if Chris Johnson can ever make it back from his horrendous hamstring injury.

McCann was a UDFA out of Southern Methodist. This is his second season in the NFL. He has spent time with the Ravens and Cowboys. He is an explosive player with potential. He is 5’10” and 186 pounds.

He will fit right in with the Raiders vision of their corners. He ran a 4.28 40 at his pro day, and had a 40.5 vert. Those are some impressive numbers, but, he is also available for a reason. And that reason is he is not very good at this point in his career.

Along with his ability at corner, he also has potential as a return man. It would be great if McCann could take over punt return duties from Denarius Moore to free Moore from the abuse, and allow him to focus on playing WR. He also could fill the void left by Jacoby Ford on kick returns.

While McCann has good return numbers, he also fumbled six times in nine games for the Cowboys. He lost two of those fumbles.

Here are his stats courtesy of NFL.com

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RIVAL: Steelers’ Roethlisberger will play, James Harrison to see a surgeon

James Harrison has a helmet incident

James Harrison has a helmet incident

PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger’s left foot is good enough to play. James Harrison’s right eye is not, and he’ll need surgery.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday he expects Roethlisberger to be under center when his struggling team faces surging Tennessee on Sunday at Heinz Field.

Roethlisberger sprained his left foot in the fourth quarter of a 17-10 loss to Houston. An MRI on Monday revealed no significant damage but Tomlin said his quarterback could be limited early in the week.

However, Harrison will be out indefinitely after fracturing the orbital bone in his right eye. He’ll have surgery this week, and there is no timetable for his return.

Lawrence Timmons will start in Harrison’s spot at outside linebacker, with veteran Larry Foote replacing Timmons at inside linebacker.

Courtesy: Boston Herald

RELATED: See what Texans did to this Steelers star’s face

Steelers linebacker James Harrison tweeted this photo from the hospital.

Steelers linebacker James Harrison left Sunday’s game with this grisly injury.

He posted a picture of the injury inflicted by the Texans linemen. Harrison underwent surgery Wednesday for the broken orbital bone and now sports the bandaged look.

The Steelers have no released a timetable for his return.

Courtesy: Houston Chronicle

RIVALS: Lions Notes – More Fun With Stats

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 25: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions celebrates scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings on September 25, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Lions defeated the Vikings 26-23. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

<p data-cap="Hannah Foslien- Getty Images

More photos &raquo;“>about 17 hours ago: MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 25: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions celebrates scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings on September 25, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Lions defeated the Vikings 26-23. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

  • The Detroit Lions are one of three teams with a 3-0 record. The Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers are the other two teams that have started the season 3-0. The Washington Redskins are also undefeated, but they have only played two games so far. (Washington takes on the Dallas Cowboys — Detroit’s opponent next Sunday — on Monday night.)
  • There was some brief confusionafter Jason Hanson made the game-winning field goal in overtime on Sunday. It’s not clear what was going on, but it sort of seemed like the referees weren’t aware the game was over. Perhaps they were thinking the playoff overtime rules were in effect and the game wasn’t over, but it was as soon as the field goal went through the uprights.Jim Schwartz was none too pleased with the confusion and he let the referees know about it. Luckily for us, the referee’s microphone picked up what Schwartz was yelling at the officials: “Learn the f—ing rules!”
  • No microphones picked up what Schwartz had to say after his epic fist pump, but it is believed that Schwartz yelled this: “Minnesota … f— you!” You gotta love the Schwartz.
  • Calvin Johnson is the first player in NFL history to catch two touchdowns in each of his first three games of the regular season. His six touchdown receptions so far mean he is on pace for 32 touchdowns this season. Last week when he was mic’d up, Matthew Stafford joked about the on-pace numbers with Johnson by saying, “32 sounds good.”
  • Speaking of Stafford, he is currently on pace to throw for 5,210 yards and 48 touchdowns during the 2011 season.

Star-divide

  • NFL Network had a very interesting graphic about how different things were the last time the Lions started 3-0 (in 1980). The president was Jimmy Carter; gas only cost $1.22 a gallon; a postage stamp was only 15 cents; and the DOW Jones average was a mere 964.
  • From Matt Barnhart: Stafford’s nine touchdowns in the first three weeks tied him for the franchise record with Milt Plum for the most touchdown passes in the first three games of the season.
  • Also from Barnhart: This is the first time the Lions have won four straight road games since they rattled off four in a row from 1969 to 1970.
  • And one more from Barnhart: Sunday’s 20-point comeback was the Lions’ third biggest rally in team history and their biggest ever road comeback.
  • Two really interesting notes from Michael Schottey on the last time the Lions were 3-0: Gary Danielson was the starting quarterback and only eight of the current Lions players were alive.
  • The Minnesota Vikings paid tribute to Tom Kowalski by not filling the seat assigned to him. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills did the same thing earlier this month.
  • When the Lions play the Chicago Bears two weeks from Monday, they better make sure to track the ball on punts instead of looking strictly at the returner. I say this because on Sunday, the Bears completely faked out the Packers by Devin Hester acting like he was locating the ball. This drew the Packers’ entire cover unit to Hester, but the ball was actually caught on the other side of the field by Johnny Knox. He was able to return the punt with ease for a touchdown, but a questionable holding penalty resulted in the return being nullified. It was a very cool play and it’s something to look out for in the future when teams play the Bears.

LOOKING BACK: The reshaping of America’s Team

2/25/1989 – New owner fires Tom Landry

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In his first day as the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, billionaire oilman Jerry  Jones announced that he had fired head coach Tom Landry. University of Miami  coach Jimmy Johnson, who played with Jones at Arkansas, was announced as his replacement.

The sacking of a legend like Landry was giant news throughout the state of Texas. He had been the Cowboys’ coach for 29 years, their only coach in franchise history. With him at the helm, the Cowboys won two Super Bowls, 13 division championships, and posted a winning record in twenty consecutive seasons. Landry, with his trademark fedora and suit, was a driving force behind Texas’ fanaticism with professional football.

As the 80’s dragged on, Landry’s position with the team seemed to be in doubt. After making the postseason in 1985, the Cowboys posted three consecutive losing seasons, including a 3-13 disaster in 1988. Some wondered if Landry was losing his touch. With the team’s owner, H.R. (Bum) Bright, set to sell the team, the Landry era appeared to be at an end.

”I’ll step down when I feel like I’m ready, when I can’t do the job I want to do,” Landry said in November 1988. ”It could be any time, or it could be a while.”

Less than two weeks before Bright sold the team, Landry fired the team’s defensive and pass coordinators and showed no signs of relenting control. “I have no intention of retiring unless it is forced upon me,” he said.

Star-divide

Jerry Jones then bought the Dallas Cowboys for $140 million, the first time a sports team surpassed the $100 million plateau. He told Landry face-to-face that he had been replaced, but by immediately announcing Johnson as the coach within minutes of his opening press conference, Jones drew the ire of many die-hard Cowboys fans. Jones later admitted that Landry’s departure could have been done more gracefully.

“I’ve never been one to get that upset, because I accept people as they are,” said Landry, who gave a tearful goodbye to the Dallas players a few days later. ”Sure, the firing could have been handled better, but I won’t get upset over it. I wouldn’t think I would coach again, because it would just be hard, not being in the Cowboys’ blue.”

It didn’t take long for Jones to establish himself as a hands-on owner. He quickly fired general manager Tex Schramm, drafted UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman with the No. 1 pick, and traded star running back Herschel Walker to the Vikings for five players and six draft picks. Aikman was horrendous in his rookie season, losing all eleven games he started while throwing twice as many
interceptions as touchdowns. The Cowboys finished 1-15 in 1989, a new low for “America’s Team.”

Following Dallas’ one-win season, Jerry Jones was absolutely despised by Cowboys fans. It was bad enough that an Arkansan had bought the team and replaced Tom Landry with Jimmy Johnson, but now Jones appeared to be driving the team into oblivion. Herschel Walker was considered one of the greatest college running backs of all time; simply giving up on him was not a popular decision in Big D.

As time passed, Jones’ moves gradually became acceptable as the team started to win. Dallas went 7-9 in 1990, 11-5 in ’91, and 13-3 in 1992. Troy Aikman went from being a linebacker’s punching bag to a six-time Pro Bowler and a first-ballot Hall of Famer. While Walker was productive with the Vikings and later with the Eagles, he failed to live up to his massive expectations. Two of the draft picks Dallas got from the Walker trade turned out to be Darren Woodson, who became a five-time Pro Bowl safety, and Emmitt Smith, who utterly surpassed Walker by becoming the NFL’s all-time leading rusher and setting the single-season touchdown record.

At Super Bowl XXVII, the Cowboys destroyed the Buffalo Bills 52-17 (only four years after Jones took over). The Cowboys went on to win three Super Bowls in four years and reestablished themselves as the face of the NFL. Jerry Jones, whose decisions created one of the greatest NFL teams of all time, was completely vindicated in his firing of Tom Landry. At the same time, the trade that brought in Emmitt Smith and Darren Woodson, once thought to be a horrendous decision by Jones, is now considered one of the most lopsided trades ever — in favor of the Cowboys.

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