Category Archives: CBS Sports

2015-2016 DALLAS COWBOYS: Racing the clock with that heavy rock–The Murray age factor | Running Back options without DeMarco | Young bucks on the NFL Draft board | Free Agent RBs on the market

2015-2016 DALLAS COWBOYS: Racing the clock with a heavy rock–DeMarco Murray age factor

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2015 NFL COMBINE: Diggin Trenches – Scouting Offensive Linemen from Group 1 | Roger Goodell runs 40 for St. Jude’s | Bench Press (Offensive Linemen) | Top Ranked Offensive Linemen | Bonus Audio

2015 NFL COMBINE - Diggin Trenches - Scouting Offensive Linemen from Group 1 - The Boys Are Back website

INDIANAPOLIS – With the offensive linemen set to go through the first workouts of the NFL Combine schedule, it’s time to share notes from some of the guys.  Continue reading →

2015 NFL COMBINE: Analysis of the Top-64 Draft Prospects

2015 NFL Scouting Combine

INDIANAPOLIS — With the top 300-plus NFL Draft prospects here this week to be probed and prodded for strengths and weaknesses during the combine, those ratings by everybody with a vested interest will be on hold.  Continue reading →

2015 NFL COMBINE: Ten eye-catching prospects | Top-32 Scouting Combine/Draft ranking | Making sense of the drills and tests

2015 NFL COMBINE - Ten prospects to keep an eye on - The Boys Are Back blog

INDIANAPOLIS – As the NFL scouting combine is now underway, here are 10 players worth keeping an eye on this week in Indy.  Continue reading →

TALLER TARGET TAKEN TODAY: Dallas Cowboys shift lanes for Pitt WR Devin Street | NFL Draft 2014 – 5th Round

TALLER TARGET TAKEN TODAY - Dallas Cowboys shift lanes for Pitt WR Devin Street - NFL Draft 2014 – 5th Round 1

IRVING, Texas – After trading up in the second round to grab the defensive player they coveted, the Dallas Cowboys followed suit in the fifth round to grab the offensive player they wanted.

The Cowboys selected Pittsburgh wide receiver Devin Street at No. 146 overall in the fifth round, trading up from their pick at No. 158 and giving away their first seventh-round pick to do so. Street comes to Dallas after a four-year career at Pittsburgh, where he set the school’s career receptions record with 202.

“I just felt like going through this whole process Dallas was my No. 1 choice,” Street said. “I know I didn’t have any say in it, but just getting a feel for them, I felt like they had a lot of faith in me at the combine talking with them and (wide receivers coach Derek) Dooley worked me out. I think everything happens for a reason, and I am blessed to go to such a great organization.”

Street automatically becomes one of the biggest targets on the Dallas Cowboys roster, as he weighs in at 6-3, 198 pounds and posted a 4.55-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in February.

“I think I can bring a different dimension,” Street said. “I can run on the inside and the outside. Coach Dooley had me run routes as an outside wide receiver, but then also put me in those quick, short and intermediate routes. I ran those at (Pittsburgh) as well.

“I can remember running a slot route and ended up stumbling a little bit because I over-strided, and coach Dooley told me to shorten my stride up. I shortened my stride up and he said I ran one of the crispest routes he’s ever seen. He feels like I am a quick learner, and I think I definitely am.”

He was the Panthers’ leading receiver for two straight seasons – in 2012, he snagged 73 balls for 975 yards and five touchdowns. His receptions and yards dipped to 51 and 854, respectively, in 2013, but he did improve his touchdown total to seven.

Like the Cowboys’ second-round pick, Demarcus Lawrence, Street comes with a small amount of off-field baggage. He was one of three Pittsburgh football players charged with simple assault and conspiracy in November of 2012, after a student reported being struck in the head during a confrontation with the players. The charge was eventually reduced to disorderly conduct, and Street was given community service.

With the free agency acquisition of LaRon Byrd in April, the selection of Street gives the Dallas Cowboys nine wide receivers on the current roster. The Cowboys also have Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris, as well as Jamar Newsome, Lance Lewis, and Tim Benford.

DAY TWO RECAP: Player To Watch On NFL Draft Day 3

Devin Street                      Pittsburgh           WR         6-3          198         4.55

Physically reminds me of Andre Holmes (currently of the Raiders) when you study him on tape. Long, rangy build with the ability to make plays. Smooth route runner. Will see him line up in the slot at times which is surprising because I didn’t see the initial quickness for that. Is a long strider that builds speed as he goes. Will catch the ball on all levels and hands appear to be natural.

TALLER TARGET TAKEN TODAY - Dallas Cowboys shift lanes for Pitt WR Devin Street - NFL Draft 2014 – 5th Round 2

A three-star WR recruit, Street received attention from mostly MAC schools, but committed to Pittsburgh once they offered him a scholarship the summer before his senior year in high school.

After redshirting in 2009, he started four games in 2010 and became a full-time starter as a sophomore in 2011, leading the team with 53 catches and 754 yards. Street again led Pitt in receiving as a junior with personal-bests in catches (73) and yards (975), earning Second Team All-Big East honors. He was the secondary option as a senior in 2013 behind true freshman stud Tyler Boyd, but tied for the team-lead in touchdown catches (7) and averaged 16.7 yards per catch.

Street has an expansive resume and was the go-to target for Pitt the last few seasons, lining up in the slot and outside the numbers – was effective in the short, intermediate and deep levels. He has an athletic frame with the height/length combination to match up well in the NFL, but needs to consistently play up to his measureables and develop his strength. Street projects as one of the top-5 senior WRs in this draft class and early day three selection.

STRENGTHS: Good-sized target with long arms to catch the ball well away from his frame…natural plucker with soft hands to catch everything thrown his way – nice job locating and high-pointing to come down with off-target throws…well-built with natural body control, using his size well, working the middle of the field and holding his own in traffic – terrific hand-eye coordination…long-strider with adequate build-up vertical speed…shows balance after the catch to pick up extra yards…coachable and known as a reliable teammate – senior captain…athletic bloodlines – father (Kutztown) and uncle (Tennessee State) both played college football…productive resume with 40 career starts and three 50+ reception seasons – school’s all-time leading pass-catcher with 202 grabs.

WEAKNESSES: Lean-muscled and needs to spend more time in the weight room to develop his functional strength…will be pushed around by smaller defenders and needs to shed the “soft” label…tight lower body and struggles to create much separation in his breaks…doesn’t have any suddenness as a route runner and will struggle vs. press coverage…needs to show better creativity and wiggle as a ball carrier to be a consistent threat after the catch…needs to stay focused for all four quarters and appears to have some mental lapses…lacks an ideal competitive temperament and too passive…some durability concerns, missing playing time in 2013 with nagging shoulder and ankle issues…character needs investigated after a Oct. 2012 incident when he was charged with one count of criminal conspiracy and simple assault after being accused of punching a student in the head – charges were reduced and he performed community service.

–Dane Brugler | NFL Draft Scout/CBS

STRENGTHS: Has excellent length and room for added bulk. Chews up ground with long strides. Is a big target underneath with a sizable catch radius. Shows natural receiving skills to track, concentrate and adjust. Soft, dependable hands to extend and pull in a throw off his body. Uses his big frame to post up defensive backs. Nice field awareness. Lined up outside and inside. Solid personal and football character. Productive, 40-game starter. Team captain.

WEAKNESSES: Has a thin build and could stand to pack on body armor — durability could be an issue. Needs to get stronger, particularly to improve his release vs. the jam. Builds to speed and is not a threat to take the top off. Leggy and fairly straight-linish — does not pop out of breaks or separate with quickness. Inconsistent route runner. Not aggressive or physical as a blocker. Can be more cognizant of ball security — carries loosely and swings the ball away from his body. Limited special-teams utility.


BOTTOM LINE: Pitt’s all-time leading pass catcher, Street is a narrowly built, long-levered, smooth-muscled receiver whose best assets are his length and hands. Needs to incorporate more physicality into his overall game, but has the ability to be an effective zone beater and red-zone target.

–Nolan Nawrocki | NFL website

NFL DRAFT 2014–DAY 3: Top talent still available in rounds 4 through 7

nfl draft 2014 - radio city music hall - the boys are back blog

The first 100 picks of the 2014 NFL Draft are in the books, but the talent well is far from dry in this deep class.

The bulk of NFL rosters are built in the final four rounds of the draft, where teams can find future starters or fill spots on special teams. Many picks won’t pan out, but the NFL is filled with third-day success stories, just ask Tom Brady, Jared Allen and the countless number of other examples.

Here is a look at the Top-10 players still available entering the fourth round today:

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: NFL Network and CBS will partner on TNF broadcasts in 2014

Thursday-Night-Football will be on CBS and NFL Network - button

Change is on the way to “Thursday Night Football.”

It was announced Wednesday that the NFL will partner with CBS to produce and televise 16 games under the “Thursday Night Football” banner for the 2014 season.

CBS will air eight early-season games before NFL Network takes the baton for eight late-season games leading up to the playoffs. Fourteen games will be played Thursday, with two late-season games taking place Saturday.

All 16 games will be produced by CBS with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms — the network’s No. 1 announcing team — calling Thursday night games. The first eight games on CBS will be simulcast on NFL Network. The agreement is for the 2014 season with an additional year at the NFL’s option.

“NFL Network built Thursday into a night for NFL fans,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “Our goal is to bring these games to more fans on broadcast television with unprecedented promotion and visibility for ‘Thursday Night Football’ on CBS.”

What does this mean? Well, “Thursday Night Football” is about to get bigger. Airing eight games in prime time on television’s top-rated network will be a ratings bonanza. Expect to see some premium matchups in those first eight weeks as the brand is established on a new platform. The CBS ratings surge should create momentum when NFL Network takes over in the season’s back end.

Many fans also will be pleased to see the return of NFL football on Saturdays, something that slipped off the grid in recent years. The only real negative on our end? This looks like the end for the Thursday night team of NFL Network’s Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock, who have done quality work for the past three seasons.

NFL SCHEDULE CHANGE 2013 2014: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears flexed to NBC’s Sunday Night Football in Week 16

Eagles Football

Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles and Marc Trestman’s Chicago Bears have emerged as two of the more entertaining teams in the league, late this season.

The NFL acknowledged as much today, announcing that the Week 16 Bears at Eagles game on December 22 will be flexed to 7:30 p.m. CT on NBC. That tilt will replace the New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens game, which will move to 3:25 p.m. CT on CBS.

It’s a minor surprise that two traditional AFC powerhouses are being displaced, but this change is a nod to the potential ratings edge of two fresh teams with innovative offenses. There’s also the possibility of the Eagles or Bears clinching the NFC East and NFC North respectively.

Both games are attractive matchups. The big winner might just be CBS, which is granted the premier AFC battle of the afternoon.

If the NFC East isn’t decided until the season finale, the Eagles could find themselves being flexed into the Sunday night game in back-to-back weeks.

Get your popcorn ready.

2013 NFL SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT: Six players declared eligible this season

WR DeWayne Peace, Houston - 2013 NFL Supplemental Draft - The Boys Are Back blog

NFL teams were alerted over the holiday weekend of the six players eligible for Thursday’s supplemental draft.

Alphabetically, they are:

DE James Boyd, UNLV
DT Nate Holloway, UNLV
DE Toby Jackson, Central Florida
WR DeWayne Peace, Houston
WR O.J. Ross, Purdue
DB Damond Smith, South Alabama

The two most prominent players are the receivers Peace and Ross (pictured above), who combined for 110 passes for 1,057 yards and four touchdowns in 2012 and were being counted on by their collegiate teams to produce even more as seniors.

Like most supplemental draft prospects — including several others from this year’s class — Peace and Ross requested special eligibility for inclusion into the NFL’s annual July draft because each ran into trouble at school.

Peace caught 54 passes for 603 yards and two scores in 2012 for the Cougars. Ross caught 56 passes for 454 yards and two touchdowns in 2012 for the Boilermakers.

Ross is the more dynamic athlete of the two.

WR O.J. Ross, Purdue - 2013 NFL Supplemental Draft - The Boys Are Back blog

The 5-11, 186-pounder possesses good quickness to make defenders miss and above average hands.He is more quick than fast, however, and may not possess the top-end speed teams are looking for in a mid-sized wideout. Ross was productive over his three seasons at Purdue after signing as a highly regarded prep out of Ormond Beach, Florida and leaves the school with 100 receptions for 959 yards and six scores. He saw time as a kick returner as a freshman, averaging 23.1 yards in 12 opportunities.

He was placed on indefinite suspension from the team in February for a violation of team rules. He previously missed the 2011 Little Caesars Bowl due to academics.

Peace was deemed academically ineligible and kicked off the team just last month. Like Ross, the 5-11, 190-pound Peace offers good lateral quickness but he does not possess the speed to run away from defenders.

While the receivers are the most productive players in the 2013 supplemental class, scouts could be just as intrigued by the defenders eligible this summer, including a quick-footed cornerback who reportedly already caught the eye of one NFL team.

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PAT SUMMERALL MEMORIAL: John Madden reminisces at service

John Madden and Pat Summerall broadcast with CBS Sports - The Boys Are Back blog

Hall of Fame coach and legendary broadcaster John Madden gave a heartfelt speech at the memorial service for Pat Summerall on Saturday. The two worked games together for 22 years.

“He is the voice of the NFL,” Madden said. “To me, he wasn’t a braggart. To me, he was John Wayne.”

Summerall passed away Tuesday at the age of 82. He played 10 years in the NFL and worked a record 16 Super Bowls on television.

Madden, who’s been known to ramble at times, said he could hear Summerall’s voice, “Brevity, brevity, brevity” in his head, during his speech. The two friends have said goodbye twice before — during their final game together on CBS and during their final game as a broadcast team on Fox after Super Bowl XXXVI.

“This is the third goodbye. The toughest,” Madden struggled to say. “Goodbye, Pat. Rest in peace. I love you.”




NFL LOST LEGEND: Sportscaster Pat Summerall (1930-2013)
BROADCAST LEGEND REMEMBERED: Pat Summerall’s funeral will take place on Saturday; open to the public

TOP 100 PROSPECTS: Dallas Cowboys 2013 NFL Draft ranking worksheets

Dallas Cowboys 2013 draft - 2013 NFL Draft - NFL Draft 2013 - radio city music hall - the boys are back blog

The 2013 NFL draft is 40 days away. In anticipation, here is part of a five-part series to keep you abreast of the top NFL draft prospects and help you evaluate how the Dallas Cowboys did. As of this date, Dallas will pick at #18, 47, 80, 111, 144 and 175.

These ranking worksheets should come in handy as we anticipate (and critique) each pick during the April 25, 26, and 27th extravaganza. Going into the Dallas Cowboys 2013-2014 season, look for the team to address priority needs on the offensive line, defensive line, and safety positions. Looking further, consider picks at tight end (due to Phillips departure), backup running back depth, and other roster role players. Finally, never discount the possibility of a top ranked player falling into the Cowboys lap at a position they (or we) haven’t targeted as a ‘need’.

Refer back to this page, and five-part series, when the draft begins. Helpful links are below. They should open in new tabs. Enjoy!










Warmack, Chance







Joeckel, Luke




Texas A&M



Jordan, Dion







Floyd, Sharrif







Fisher, Eric




Central Michigan



Milliner, Dee







Johnson, Lane







Mingo, Barkevious







Lotulelei, Star







Austin, Tavon




West Virginia



Ansah, Ziggy







Richardson, Sheldon







Cyprien, John




Florida International



Patterson, Cordarrelle







Brown, Arthur




Kansas St.



Jones, Jarvis







Warford, Larry







Werner, Bjoern




Florida St.



Smith, Geno




West Virginia



Moore, Damontre




Texas A&M



Hopkins, DeAndre







Vaccaro, Kenny







Te’o, Manti




Notre Dame



Cooper, Jonathan




North Carolina



Allen, Keenan






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TOP DEFENSIVE LINE PROSPECTS: Dallas Cowboys 2013 NFL Draft ranking worksheet

nfl draft 2013 - radio city music hall - the boys are back blog

The 2013 NFL draft is foremost on the mind of savvy Dallas Cowboy fans. In anticipation, here is part of a five-part series to keep you abreast of the top NFL draft prospects and help you evaluate how the Dallas Cowboys did. As of this date, Dallas will pick at #18, 47, 80, 111, 144 and 175.

These ranking worksheets should be helpful as we anticipate (and critique) each pick during the April 25, 26, and 27th extravaganza. Going into the Dallas Cowboys 2013-2014 season, look for the team to address priority needs on the defensive line.


Continue reading →

TOP RANKED SAFETY PROSPECTS: Dallas Cowboys 2013 NFL Draft ranking worksheet

nfl draft 2013 - radio city music hall - the boys are back blog

The 2013 NFL draft is foremost on the mind of savvy Dallas Cowboy fans. In anticipation, here is part of a five-part series to keep you abreast of the top NFL draft prospects and help you evaluate how the Dallas Cowboys did. As of this date, Dallas will pick at #18, 47, 80, 111, 144 and 175.

These ranking worksheets should come in handy as we anticipate (and critique) each pick during the April 25, 26, and 27th extravaganza. Going into the Dallas Cowboys 2013-2014 season, look for the team to address priority needs at the safety position. Recently released safety Gerald Sensabaugh needs to be replaced and Monte Kiffin will be looking for his ‘prototype’ player for the new defense.


Continue reading →

TOP RANDOM DRAFT PROSPECTS: Dallas Cowboys 2013 NFL Draft ranking worksheet

nfl draft 2013 - radio city music hall - the boys are back blog

The 2013 NFL draft is foremost on the mind of savvy Dallas Cowboy fans. In anticipation, here is part of a five-part series to keep you abreast of the top NFL draft prospects and help you evaluate how the Dallas Cowboys did. As of this date, Dallas will pick at #18, 47, 80, 111, 144 and 175.

These ranking worksheets should be helpful as we anticipate (and critique) each pick during the April 25, 26, and 27th extravaganza. Going into the Dallas Cowboys 2013-2014 season, look for the team to address priority needs on the offensive line, defensive line, and safety positions. Looking further, consider picks at tight end (due to Phillips departure), backup running back depth, and other roster role players. Finally, never discount the possibility of a top ranked player falling into the Cowboys lap at a position they (or we) haven’t targeted as a ‘need’.

These lists (and entire five-part series) is comprehensive, so click on ‘Continue reading’ to see the entire post.

Continue reading →

2013 NFL DRAFT TALK: Early mock draft has Dallas Cowboys taking Ohio State DT Jonathan Hankins pegged Ohio State defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins (6-3, 320) as the Dallas Cowboys choice at No. 18 in the first round.

2013 DRAFT TALK - Jonathan Hankins - The Boys Are Back blog

2013 DRAFT TALK - Jonathan Hankins - The Boys Are Back blog analyst Gil Brandt, the Cowboys’ former vice-president of player development, had the Cowboys taking former Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher (6-7, 305) at No. 18. The mock draft has Fisher going two picks earlier, at No. 16, to St. Louis.

2013 DRAFT TALK - Eric Fisher - The Boys Are Back blog

2013 DRAFT TALK - Eric Fisher - The Boys Are Back blog

2013 NFL Mock Drafts 

2013 NFL Draft - Top 12 Defensive Tackles - The Boys Are Back blog

2013 NFL Draft – Top 12 Defensive Tackles – Click HERE for more details about each player.

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MILESTONE: The Boys Are Back blog reaches 100,000 hits!

100000 miles - The Boys keep rolling - The Boys Are Back blog

This is a historic day! The Boys Are Back blog has reached the 100,000 hit milestone in the first year of existence!

Thank you for visiting, leaving comments, and adding The Boys Are Back blog to your favorites. Feel free to subscribe to the RSS feeds or convenient email updates for immediate notifications. 

A few weeks ago, new sharing options were added to the right side. You can share The Boys Are Back blog with dozens of different news and social media sites.

You’re encouraged to click on the ‘LIKE’ button anytime you’re particularly pleased with an article or special photograph. That little bit of effort helps to bring The Boys Are Back blog up higher in rankings.

Once again, thanks for visiting and being apart of this historic day!

100000 hits - Thank You - The Boys Are Back blog

The Boys Are Back blog has been visited by Dallas Cowboy fans in 127 countries!

100000 hits - Visitors worldwide - The Boys Are Back blog

BLOGGERS: You’re welcome to use content found here at The Boys Are Back blog. We just ask that you credit us and post links back to this blog as a professional courtesy.

SPECIAL THANKS: Dallas Morning News, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, San Antonio Express-News, Dallas Cowboys Radio Network, Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine, Dallas Cowboys website, ESPN – Dallas, KRLD 105.3 The Fan, KTCK The Ticket, ESPN Radio, Associated Press, FOX Sports, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, ESPN Sports, NFL Network, NFL National Football League, Dallas Cowboys, USA Today, Charlie Rose, Sports Illustrated, Sports bloggers, Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, WordPress, AddThis, YouTube, The GREAT Robbini, blog commenters, blog followers, sportswriters, Rival Media Sources, Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, Dallas Cowboys management staff, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and the Dallas Cowboys players (past and present).

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HOT SEAT: Jerry Jones sued by woman who burnt her buttocks

HOT SEAT: Jerry Jones sued by woman who burnt her buttocks

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has endured and created his share of headaches this offseason. Constant chatter of windows closing, "beating the Giants’ ass," and the typical drama from Dez Bryant have made for a colorful summer. And now this.

Jennelle Carrillo, of Cleburne, Texas, is suing Jones and the team after attending the Blue & Silver scrimmage at Cowboys Stadium way back in August 2010. Carrillo claims she parked herself on a bench outside the facility and endured third-degree burns on her buttocks.

The suit alleges there was no warning sign alerting fans that the benches could be hot.

Wash told KDFW-TV that Carrillo has "suffered mental anguish, physical pain and disfigurement as a result of her wounds."

"Prior to entering the seated area of Cowboys stadium, plaintiff sat down on a black, marble bench outside of and near entrance ‘E’ to the stadium," the lawsuit reads, via CBSSports, "The bench was uncovered and openly exposed to the extremely hot August sun. The combination of the nature of the black, marble bench and hot sunlight caused the bench to become extremely hot and unreasonably dangerous. … As a result of sitting on the bench, plaintiff suffered third degree burns to her buttocks."

Carrillo’s attorney, Mike Wash, couldn’t confirm how long his client sat on the bench. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported "when she got up to use the restroom, she discovered her burns."

Carrillo’s lawsuit hinges on her claim that the "defendants knew or reasonably should have known that the material used to construct the bench would become unreasonably hot when exposed to the August sun."

We wish her well, but this is absurd. We are trained as human beings to presuppose that sun-scorched objects tend to heat up during a summer’s day (in Texas of all places). Any adult sitting down on a black, marble bench in August has probably sat down on a black, marble bench in August before. They’re steamy.

Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys are an easy target. It’s hard to root against them this time around.

Marc Sessler

Meet your newest Dallas Cowboy: Caleb McSurdy–ILB–Montana

player photo

Caleb McSurdy, ILB

School: Montana  |  Conference: BSKY
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Boise, ID


Latest News

03/12/2012 – There were nearly two dozen NFL teams represented at the University of Montana’s pro day on Friday, and any number of them would like to have Caleb McSurdy suiting up and making big hits next fall. Some of them, though, think it might happen on offense. McSurdy was one of 22 players who went through several drills in front of NFL scouts at UM, including speed drills on the SprinTurf of Washington-Grizzly Stadium. He’d been through all of them before at the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 27, but that was at linebacker. Some of these guys want McSurdy to play fullback. “It’s awesome,” said the 242-pounder, who was the Big Sky Conference’s defensive player of the year. “There’s a few teams that just let me know that’s what they saw me at. They tell you, ???Hey, we want to work you out as a fullback at your pro day,’ and you just do it.” McSurdy earned all-conference honors at tight end as a senior at Borah High in Boise, Idaho, and also played some running back. It seems safe to assume he excelled. “No, not really,” he said. “I was kind of a bruiser. And not to throw anybody under the bus, but my O-line wasn’t terrific. So there were a lot of 2-yard runs that took a lot of effort.” Five years later he was back on that side of the ball, if only for an afternoon. “Obviously they want to see you catch the ball and run some routes,” he said. “I went out and did that and felt pretty decent.” McSurdy also re-tested in the 40-yard dash, and lowered his time from 4.97 at the combine to 4.68 and 4.70. “Coach (Aric) Williams had me at 4.66,” McSurdy added. “I think he might’ve given me the home-town discount. But, good day.”


McSurdy was a force in the Big Sky Conference in his senior year, recording 114 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss. He is a thick, short inside linebacker who doesn’t have great speed but should be able to use his strength, instincts and tackling ability to find playing time early and often at the next level. He could be selected in the late rounds to a team seeking linebacker depth.


Strengths: McSurdy is a very instinctual linebacker who relies on his play recognition and pre-snap keys to put himself in a strong position to make plays. He is a quick-twitched mover once the ball is snapped and easily sniffs out run plays. He is a solid, reliable wrap-up tackler on the inside and shows a polished ability to dip his hips, fend off a low block and make a quick move towards the ball.

Weaknesses: McSurdy is a bit undersized for the inside linebacker position. Given his inexperience with top-line collegiate play, he could struggle against bigger offensive linemen working toward the second level in the NFL. He struggles against tight ends.

Meet your newest Dallas Cowboy: James Hanna – TE – Oklahoma

player photo

James Hanna, TE

School: Oklahoma  |  Conference: BIG12
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Flower Mound, TX


Latest News

12/10/2011 – 2011 ALL-BIG 12 FOOTBALL SECOND TEAM (COACHES): TE James Hanna, Oklahoma, Sr., has been selected All-Big 12 Conference Second Team for the 2011 college football season as voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches, who are not permitted to vote for their own players.


Possesses average size for the position, but can coil up into his stance, keep his pad level down and fire off the football. Exhibits solid first step quickness down the seam and good speed. Tends to gear down when asked to get out of his breaks, but can be a sharper route runner in time. Possesses good range when asked to go get the football, but at times will struggle to pluck off his frame. Looks natural running down the seam and making plays on the throw.


Is a coordinated run/pass blocker. Understands angles, extends his arms well and showcases the ability to bend and keep his pad level under him. Slides his feet well through the play and routinely can seal defensive ends from the football and stay engaged. Has some talent, isn’t dynamic in any area of the game, but has a shot to fight for a reserve job in the NFL

Meet your newest Dallas Cowboy: Danny Coale – WR – Virginia Tech

player photo

Danny Coale, WR

School: Virginia Tech  |  Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Lexington, VA


Latest News

01/03/2012 – Scouting the Virginia Tech passing game: Thomas got better over the year’s second half when he began hitting more passes down the field. WRs Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale are the top two receivers in school history, while Marcus Davis and D.J. Coles are reliable No. 3 and 4 receivers. The line allowed just 14 sacks, six in the two losses to Clemson.


Cole’s draft stock began to rise with an excellent showing at the scouting combine in February. He ran a 4.50-second 40-yard dash and displayed strong route-running and good hands in positional drills. That was only a precursor to the 4.37 40 he ripped off at his March 15 pro day to go along with a 37-inch vertical. Born in Lexington, Va., Coale was a versatile weapon at Episcopal high school where he played wide receiver and defensive back while also returning punts and kickoffs and handling kicking and punting duties. After earning all-state honors three straight seasons, including twice being named to the first team, Coale redshirted as a freshman at Virginia Tech. He used the practice time wisely, as he jumped into the mix in 2008 to lead the Hokies with 36 catches. Coale played a team-high 559 offensive snaps as a sophomore, hauling in 30 catches. After another 39 catches in 2010, Coale added a career-high 60 as a senior to finish his career second in school history in receptions and receiving yards.


A dependable, productive performer who is hard to get off the field … Is at his best in the clutch … Works hard at the little things that help make him so valuable … Enters his final year already ranked in the top 10 at Tech in receptions and receiving yards … Serves as the No. 2 punt returner and plays on several special teams as well … Could be asked to take over the punting duties this fall after a good showing during spring practice … Won the President’s Award for the offensive player who demonstrated the most outstanding leadership during the off-season program and spring workouts.

Meet your newest Dallas Cowboy: Kyle Wilber – OLB – Wake Forest

player photo

Kyle Wilber, OLB

School: Wake Forest  |  Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Apopka, FL


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01/23/2012 – TOP TEN PROSPECTS WHO HELPED THEMSELVES AT THE EAST-WEST SHRINE: DE/OLB Kyle Wilber, Wake Forest: With lean limbs and frame, Wilber doesn’t necessarily look like a prototypical pass rusher off the edge, but he pursues the quarterback with a relentless attitude. He has tweener traits and needs to show better discipline against the run, but he has the flexibility and long arms to rip past blockers and change directions with coordinated footwork. Wilber won’t be valued the same by every team and projects best as a hybrid DE/OLB in a 3-4 scheme.


Kyle Wilber was the 37th DE prospect out of high school according to Rivals, and was credited with running a 4.68 40 while being able to squat 400 lbs. Red shirted in 2007, Wilber emerged as a starting DE in 2008 and recorded 3 sacks. He suffered a broken leg in 2009, but was able to finish the final three games. Wilber has started every game the past two seasons at DE and OLB, registering 69 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2011 after 65 tackles and 6 sacks in 2010. Wilber played well as an OLB during his final game in the Music City Bowl against Mississippi State. As an NFL Draft prospect, Kyle Wilber offers a lot of talent, intelligence, versatility, and experience, from edge rushing as a down DE to covering the slot in zone. Wilber’s height and smooth hips project well in coverage against tall NFL TEs. In space, Wilber demonstrates good agility, and uses his long arms to occupy, shed, and make tackles. Wilber is best suited for 4-3 OLB, but could be tried at 3-4 OLB.


Strengths: Smart, instinctive player always around the ball. Has smooth hips to turn and run in coverage. Good at using long arms to disengage from blockers and make plays. Is quick off the snap and an effective blitzer. Covers a lot of area in zone and uses long frame to defend passes. Good athlete for frame.

Weaknesses: Is neither a great edge rusher nor good at anchoring against OLs on running plays, and hence does not project well as a 3-4 OLB. High cut and long legged, and does not possess elite acceleration. Has not demonstrated good ball skills in man coverage. NFL

Comparison: Ben Leber – Minnesota Vikings –Brad Noel

Meet your newest Dallas Cowboy: Tyrone Crawford – DE – Boise State

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Tyrone Crawford, DE

School: Boise State  |  Conference: MWC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Windsor, Ontario, Canada


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04/27/2012 – DE Tyrone Crawford, Boise State — A gamble based on his limited experience, Crawford is too small to be a base end and not disruptive enough as a rush linebacker in the Cowboys 3-4 defense. Projected as a 2nd round draft pick, ranked #54 overall.


Crawford attended Bakersfield College Career out of high school where he played for two seasons. He started as a sophomore and was the conference?s defensive MVP, finishing with 42 tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks, earning Junior College First Team All-American honors. Crawford was a three-star JUCO recruit and transferred to Boise State after the 2009 season. He served as a back-up defensive end in 2010 as a junior, recording 32 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, 1 pass break-up and 1 forced fumble. Crawford became a starter in 2011 as a senior (11 starts), finishing with 44 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss (team-high), 6.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery (returned 32 yards for a score), earning First Team All-MWC honors. Crawford has a strong, filled-out frame with adequate height and length for the position. He has good quickness for his size and looks coordinated in his movements, but he lacks the natural burst and get-off speed to be a consistent pass rusher. Crawford isn’t a quick-switch player, but can move up and down the line of scrimmage with very good strength. He is still raw and offers some upside as a base end in a four-man front or possibly as a five-technique in a 3-4 scheme and should hear his name early on the draft?s third day.


Strengths: Looks the part with a strong, defined frame and good length. Has good quickness and athleticism for his size. Coordinated with smooth movement skills. High effort rusher and works through the whistle. Relentless worker, fighting off blocks and battling to the ball carrier. Has strong hands and holds his own at the point of attack. Stout anchor when he plays low to the ground. Has strong practice habits and coaches talk highly of his work ethic. Has been productive at the FBS-level with a combined 27.0 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks the past two seasons. Offers some scheme versatility.

Weaknesses: Not a quick-twitch player who will consistently threaten the edge. Has limited explosive qualities and lacks great initial burst or overall range for the position ? not overly flexible or loose. Has a limited array of pass rush moves and needs to improve his technique in this area. Struggles to locate the ball at times and needs to do a better job with his read/react skills. Has some durability concerns, missing time this past season with leg injuries. Has only year as a starter at the FBS-level and was part of a rotation-heavy defensive front limited experience against top competition.

NFL Comparison: Pernell McPhee, Baltimore Ravens — Dane Brugler

Meet your newest Dallas Cowboy: Morris Claiborne – CB – LSU

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Morris Claiborne, CB

School: LSU  |  Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Shreveport, LA


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04/27/2012 – Claiborne is the team’s highest pick since they took Newman fifth overall in 2003. It was Jones’ 59th draft-day trade since 1989, the 18th involving a first-round pick. Claiborne, 5-foot-11, 188 pounds, was first-team All-American in 2011 and won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back. He had 11 interceptions the past two years, including six in 2011. He is also a standout kickoff returner. “We said before the draft the only player we had an interest in moving up to get was Claiborne,” Jones said. “We had serious doubts he would get to six. But then the opportunity presented itself and they started taking players in front of him and the price was right for us. To go from 14 to six, you got give up something. By a lot of charts you got to give up more. To a get a difference maker on defense, we pulled the trigger.”


Claiborne arrived at LSU expecting to play wide receiver, but was moved to corner as a freshman at the insistence of teammate Patrick Peterson. In 2010, Claiborne started opposite Peterson (No. 5 overall selection in 2011 draft, Arizona Cardinals) in what will be remembered as one of the best cornerback tandems in college history. Peterson won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back in 2010 and Claiborne won the award himself last season when he grabbed six of his 11 career interceptions. That popular term shutdown corner comes to mind watching Claiborne, who has in-your-face coverage instincts and is one of the best returners in this draft. A versatile athlete, “Mo” piled up 2,000 all-purpose yards and 30 touchdowns at quarterback as senior at Shreveport’s Fair Park High School, where he also played baseball, basketball and won the Louisiana State 4A, 110-meter championship (10.76 seconds). Little wonder he is dangerous with the ball, evidenced by a college career total of 274 yards after the theft, including an 89-yard touchdown. He also averaged 28.8 yards last year on kickoff returns, including a 99-yard touchdown. At the Scouting Combine his unofficial time in 40 yards was an acceptable 4.50, but his speed wasn’t in question. Claiborne will need to add bulk to be competitive at the next level.


Man Coverage: Size, quick feet and reach allow him to be effective in press, press-bail and “off” coverage. Rarely loses a step off the line because of his length and subtle knack for maintaining contact on the move. Packs a solid punch when extending near the line to re-route receivers. Gives up significant weight and mass to top NFL receivers. Lazy and high in his backpedal on occasion, receivers lull him to sleep and get a step on him with a quick move.

Zone Coverage: Used primarily in man. Has the physical tools to handle zone and is not contact-shy. Doesn’t give up many yards after the catch — long arms to pull down receivers and intensity to stick his nose in the pile. Recovers well but overestimates his closing speed and angle in zone.

Ball Skills: Former receiver has the hands to make difficult catches and will jump routes. Comfortable with the ball, elusive and has good vision after the catch. Often plays the man and doesn’t get his head around to find the ball.

Run Support: Used on run blitzes on occasion with size and length as a tackler. Holds up his man, maintains outside leverage, and sheds to make the tackle if needed on most plays. Has to be aware of coverage call and avoid overpursuit, giving up the sideline.

Tackling: Arm length and tenacious attitude make him a solid, if not fearsome, tackler on the edge. Height and flexibility to attack the thigh of opponents instead of needing to cut or grab an ankle. Not afraid to throw a shoulder but will miss tackles if he doesn’t wrap in the NFL.

Intangibles: Stood up well to being targeted by teams in 2010 while playing across from Patrick Peterson. Still learning the position, but coaches and teammates consider him a great student.

ON THE ROAD: Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett headed to Alabama pro day

The only pro day Jason Garrett went to last year was USC’s.

The Cowboys then turned around and took tackle Tyron Smith in the first round.

The only pro day Garrett will go to this year is Alabama’s.

Draw your own conclusions.

Garrett is scheduled to leave the NFL meetings and travel to Tuscaloosa for Thursday’s pro day. The Crimson Tide held their first pro day earlier this month, but safety Mark Barron (double-hernia), outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw (knee) and running back Trent Richardson (knee) were unable to take part.

All three are expected to work out for coaches and scouts Thursday.

“I tentatively plan on going there,” Garrett said. “I don’t know who all is going to work out, but I know there were a few guys who were not able to work out on their first official pro day.”

Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick did work out on Alabama’s first pro day and is scheduled to visit the Cowboys Valley Ranch facility next week. Will he work out again Thursday?

“We don’t anticipate that, but we’ll see,” Garrett said.

player photo  Dre Kirkpatrick, CB (Projected to go at #17, Dallas selects at #14)

Who will Dallas select with the 14th overall pick (wink, wink)? To read more about Dre Kirkpatrick  … click here.

player photo  Courtney Upshaw, OLB (Projected to go at #21, Dallas selects at #14)

To read more about Courtney Upshaw, click here.

player photo  Mark Barron, SS (Projected to go at #28, Dallas selects at #45)

To read more about Mark Barron, click here.

player photo  Dont’a Hightower, ILB (Projected to go at #39, Dallas selects at #45)

To read more about Dont’a Hightower, click here.

player photo  Josh Chapman, DT (Projected to go at #74, Dallas selects at #81)

To read more about Josh Chapman, click here.

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