Category Archives: Wade Wilson – Quarterbacks

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.

Advertisements

TWO SIDES OF THE FENCE: Tony Romo’s NFL legacy is still being written

TWO SIDES OF THE FENCE - Tony Romo’s NFL legacy is still being written - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

On a picture-perfect Southern California afternoon, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo took a break from the daily grind of training camp to chase 16-month-old son Hawkins around the field.

A few days after Romo’s family left training camp, news broke that his wife, Candice, is expecting the couple’s second child after the season.

TWO SIDES OF THE FENCE - Tony Romo’s NFL legacy is still being written - The Boys Are Back blog 2013 - 3

Five months ago, Romo signed a six-year, $108 million contract extension to make him the highest-paid Cowboys player in franchise history. In Jerry Jones’ office that day at Valley Ranch, a photographer captured Hawkins taking a pen out of the Cowboys owner’s hands, with Hawkins’ smiling parents holding him.

For Romo, it seems, life couldn’t get much better. He has it all: faith, family, football, fame and fortune.

But one dream has proved elusive for Romo: a Super Bowl.

He hasn’t even taken baby steps to approach the milestone. He has one playoff win in his 6 1/2 seasons as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback.

fans head to cowboys stadium - the boys are back blog

At 33, the oldest player in the Cowboys’ locker room, Romo knows he must strike quickly. He has never wanted it more, but not just for himself.

“When you’re young, you want to be the best, you want to be the starter, you want to do these things to get to that point to win a championship,” Romo said. “And when you’re older, you want all those same things, but you want it for a lot of other people as well, because you see all the people that have put so much into it and it really matters to them as well.

“That’s where I’m at. It’s not just for me. It’s about a lot of other people. I see it with the fans.”

Recent history says Romo isn’t likely to lead the Cowboys to their first Super Bowl win since the 1995 season.

tony romo and jason witten - the boys are back blog

Only one starting quarterback in the last 14 seasons has won the Super Bowl at 33 or older. That was 34-year-old Brad Johnson in 2003, but he was just a game manager for Tampa Bay’s defensively led team.

Romo isn’t paid to be a game manager.

Only 11 quarterbacks in NFL history have won a Super Bowl at 33 or older. One of those happens to be an unabashed Romo supporter: legendary Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach.

dallas cowboys quarterback tony romo troy aikman roger staubach - the boys are back blog

When he was 35, Staubach led the Cowboys to a Super Bowl win in 1978.

Thirty-five years later, Staubach believes Romo can do the same.

“If you’re in your 30s and you’re a quarterback, it’s not like other positions,” Staubach said. “He’s at the prime of his career right now.”

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on NFL Network in May 2013 - The Boys Are Back blog

The Cowboys have gone all-in on Romo. They’re not only paying him as an elite quarterback, they’ve given him more say-so than ever in the offensive game plan.

In training camp, Romo often held teaching sessions with receivers and running backs. During the season, he’ll be in coaching meetings early in the week to help formulate game plans.

Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, who spent 19 years as a quarterback in the NFL, said Romo has “always had input on things” but never to the point that he was side-by-side with coaches.

In fact, Wilson said he’s never been involved with a similar situation in his almost 35 years in the NFL as a player and coach.

dallas cowboys quarterbacks coach wade wilson laughs with quarterback tony romo during practice - the boys are back blog

Wilson said Romo always offered ideas, but now the process is streamlined.

“Any ideas that he’s had, they may show up later in the week,” Wilson said. “But now, with him in those meetings, he’s watching it with us and we’re talking about things. Maybe those ideas come earlier in the week and we get a chance to practice them.”

The Cowboys view Romo as a “young” 33 by NFL standards, because most starting quarterbacks his age have more mileage on their throwing arms. The Cowboys signed the undrafted Romo in 2003, but he didn’t attempt his first NFL pass until midway through the 2006 season.

“He started later and he takes real good care of himself,” Wilson said. “He plays the different sports in the off-season. He’s in great condition and he’s very instinctive, and those things will stay with you throughout your career.”

Sure, Romo’s arm is fine. But he’s withstood much abuse over the last six seasons — particularly the last three — because of the team’s poor offensive line play.

Romo didn’t participate in the Cowboys’ off-season workouts because he had back surgery to remove a cyst. Two years ago, he played a game with a broken rib and a punctured lung.

dallas cowboys qb tony romo broken ribs 2011 - the boys are back blog

Soon to be 71, Jones has said he doesn’t have time to wait for the Cowboys to show improvement.

That also holds true for Romo. But for better or worse, Jones is committed to Romo, thanks to the quarterback’s new contract.

Romo is 1-6 in win-or-go-home games, and hasn’t been able to get it done in the regular-season finale the last two seasons in games that could have given the Cowboys the NFC East title.

For one of the league’s most talented quarterbacks, Romo is aware his legacy will ultimately be defined by his playoff success.

“It’s not fair, but that’s just the way it is,” Staubach said of how Romo will be judged. “I really feel it’s important to him. The most important thing for him is to win and to get to that playoff level where he can win some playoff games. But you can’t do it by yourself. It’s not a one-man game. It’s a team game. Dallas has a quarterback who can be a franchise quarterback. But you need other pieces, too.”

What will be Romo’s legacy? Will he be the next Staubach or Troy Aikman — who have combined for five Super Bowl wins — or will he fall woefully short?

Aikman has said Romo is a better quarterback than he was and believes Romo will lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl win one day.

Pro Football Hall of Famers Aikman and Staubach believe in him. But time is running out on Romo to make believers out of his critics.

“This team is going to win a Super Bowl at some point. It’s going to be exciting when that time comes,” Romo said. “And when we look back, we know who was on what side of the fence during the tough moments.”

TWO SIDES OF THE FENCE - Tony Romo’s NFL legacy is still being written - The Boys Are Back blog 2013 - 5

COACHES ROSTER: Meet the 2013-14 Dallas Cowboys coaching staff

There have been a number of changes in the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff over the offseason. Here’s an updated list of the assistant coaches and links for more detailed information on each of them. This page will be updated if any other changes are made.

DALLAS COWBOYS HEAD COACH

Jason Garrett

Jason Garrett was named the eighth head coach in Dallas Cowboys history on January 5, 2011. Garrett, who played for or worked alongside four of his predecessors, became the first former Dallas Cowboys player to become the team’s head coach.

DALLAS COWBOYS COACHING STAFF

Offensive Coaches Defensive Coaches Specialty Coaches
Jimmy Robinson
Asst. Head Coach/Wide Receivers
Monte Kiffin
Defensive Coordinator
Mike Woicik
Strength and Conditioning
To Be Determined
Tight Ends/Passing Game Coord.
Jerome Henderson
Secondary
Chris Boniol
Assistant Special Teams/ Kickers
Wade Wilson
Quarterbacks
Matt Eberflus
Linebackers
Brett Bech
Assistant Strength and Conditioning
Bill Callahan
Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
Rod Marinelli
Defensive Line
Rich Bisaccia

Special Teams

Wes Phillips
Assistant Offensive Line
Ben Bloom
Quality Control/Linebackers
Keith O’Quinn
Off. Quality Control/Wide Receivers
Joe Baker
Assistant Secondary

HAPPY TRAILS COWBOY: Jason Garrett describes difficulties of player cuts

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett describes difficulties of player cuts - The Boys Are Back blog

Months of practices and four preseason games all culminate in one final cut day, which 22 Cowboys players won’t survive.

That time is 8:00 p.m. Aug. 31, and it’s a day that head coach Jason Garrett called one of the worst for a player or a coach in the NFL.

“I think what makes it difficult is the work that they put in,” Garrett said. “Most of our coaches and administrators are former players. They understand the commitment these guys have made. Anybody who’s been around our football team for the last month or so has seen the commitment these guys have made.”

Garrett, the offensive or defensive coordinator and a position coach all talk to the released player and try to explain why the decision was made, provide them constructive coaching and thank them for their effort. Afterward, their time as a Cowboy is finished.

Dallas has been plagued with injuries throughout the preseason, which could force them to go deep at some positions and light at others. Garrett said it’s not always the 53 best players, but the 53 players who give the Cowboys the best chance to win. No official announcement on the final roster will be made until Friday.

Garrett said the draft picks will get every opportunity possible to show the reason they were selected, but there are other players worthy of a chance. The Cowboys have a history of turning undrafted free agents into top talents, including Eastern Illinois’ Tony Romo and Monmouth’s Miles Austin.

“If you have an attitude that it doesn’t matter where players come from, it matters what they do when they get here, I think you’re more able to find some of those guys,” Garrett said. “That’s been our approach. We preached that to our players from Day 1.”

Garrett said it warms his heart to think about the commitment the Cowboys players made in the offseason to fulfill their dreams.

“We have a lot of discussions about who we should keep, what we should do with different players, what role he might have and might not have, so those are difficult discussions,” Garrett said. “What makes it hard is, in a lot of ways, many of these guys’ dreams have come to an end or have changed.”

HOMERS POINT OF VIEW: Game Notes – Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys

MNF - Dallas Cowboys vs. Oakland Raiders - Preseason 2012 2013 - The Boys Are Back blog

The Oakland Raiders host the Dallas Cowboys on ESPN’s Monday Night Football

A NEW ERA OF EXCELLENCE: The Raiders enter the 2012 season under new leadership for the first time in nearly five decades. Owner Mark Davis named Reggie McKenzie the team’s General Manager on Jan. 10, making McKenzie the first person to hold the GM title since Al Davis was named Head Coach and General Manager in 1963. McKenzie named Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen head coach on Jan. 30.

TRAINING CAMP 2012: The Raiders checked into training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott on July 29. This marks the organization’s 17th year of training in the Napa Valley. The team will conduct all of its day-to-day football operations in Napa until the team returns to its permanent Alameda facility after the third preseason game.

FAMILIAR FOE: Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys have squared off only 10 times in the regular season, but the two teams have played 27 times in the preseason, with the Silver and Black holding an 18-9 all-time advantage in a series that dates back to 1972. This week’s matchup marks the third time in four seasons that the two teams have met in the preseason and the first time in Oakland since a 31-10 Raider victory in the 2009 preseason opener. The Raiders lead the all-time regular season series, 6-4, with the teams last squaring off on Thanksgiving Day 2009 in Dallas, a 24-7 Cowboys victory.

EXTENDING THE SERIES: The Raiders and Cowboys have squared off 27 times in the preseason, making Dallas the second-most common preseason opponent for Oakland. The Silver and Black’s most familiar opponent is the San Francisco 49ers, with the two teams having played 39 times in the preseason. The Raiders and Cowboys played a preseason contest in Oakland in 2009, ending a five-year hiatus, and most recently faced off in Dallas in 2010.

OXNARD TIES: The Cowboys are no stranger to California during the summer months, as Dallas hosted training camp in Thousand Oaks from 1963-89. The Cowboys returned to Southern California in 2001, training in Oxnard, Calif. The Raiders’ training camp site was also in Oxnard from 1985-95 after moving from the El Rancho Tropicana Hotel in Santa Rosa,
Calif. The Raiders moved training camp to Napa, Calif., in 1996, a year after the franchise returned to Oakland.

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS: RB Darren McFadden and Cowboys RB Felix Jones occupied the same backfield at the University of Arkansas … CB Bryan McCann played for the Cowboys from 2010-11 before signing with the Raiders … S Michael Huff is from Irving, Texas … Cowboys’ recently-signed OL Dan Loper played for the Raiders in 2010 … RB Lonyae Miller played four games for the Cowboys in 2010 … LS Jon Condo played for Dallas in 2005 … Special teams coordinator Steve Hoff man spent 16 seasons (1989-04) as kicking coach with Dallas … Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan served as defensive coordinator for the Raiders from 2004-08 … Cowboys’ offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Callahan was an assistant coach for the Silver and Black from 1998-01 and served as head coach from 2002-03 … Cowboys running backs coach Skip Peete was an assistant coach for the Raiders from 1998-06 … Former Raiders QB Wade Wilson is the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach … Tight ends coach Mark Hutson was a Cowboys’ third-round draft pick in 1988.

SERIES HIGHLIGHTS

• at Oak. 19, Dal. 13 (Oct. 2, 2005): The Raiders posted the organization’s third straight win in the regular season series against the Cowboys in front of 62,400 fans in Oakland. K Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals, including two from 40-plus yards, and RB LaMont Jordan rushed for 126 yards and one touchdown to lead the Raiders.

• Oak. 13, at Dal. 12 (Sept. 27, 1998): QB Jeff George and WR James Jett connected on a 75-yard touchdown strike and the Raiders held off a late charge to edge the Cowboys by one point. A fourth-quarter Cowboy touchdown brought Dallas within three points, and Oakland P Leo Araguz ran out of the back of the end zone to give Dallas a safety but preserve a one-point lead that would ultimately hold up.

• at Oak. 27, Dal. 23 (Dec. 14, 1974): QBs Ken Stabler and George Blanda combined to throw three touchdown passes and the Raiders posted a 27-23 victory in the first meeting between the two teams. The win capped a 12-2 regular season for the Raiders that culminated in an AFC Championship-game appearance.

WINNING WAYS: The Raiders and Cowboys are among the elite teams in the NFL, with both ranking among the top-four since 1963 in winning percentage. The Dallas Cowboys top the chart with a .591 regular season winning percentage, while the Raiders rank fourth with a .567 percentage since Al Davis was named head coach and general manager in 1963.

HEYWARD-BEY REPLAY: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey recorded his first career TD reception the last time the Raiders faced the Cowboys in a regular-season tilt. On Thanksgiving Day 2009 at Cowboys Stadium, the rookie hauled in a 4-yard pass from Bruce Gradkowski, the Raiders’ only score.

PLAYOFF PEDIGREE: The Raiders’ 2012 training camp rosters includes 15 players that have earned postseason experience during their respective careers. Seven players have combined to be a part of 10 Super Bowl squads and have claimed seven championships.

GOING LONG: Jerry Jones using Ben Franklin procedure for the Dallas Cowboy decisions

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks to the media - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones compared his decisions as general manager in deciding what he is going to do at third receiver to being a modern day Ben Franklin.

He is going to the let the preseason play out and then pick a guy or go after another guy on free agency based on his evaluation of what’s best for the team,  which is why doesn’t feel pressure to make a decision on a veteran free agent like Plaxico Burress right now.

“It’s the Ben Franklin procedure,” Jones said. “He would take a sheet of paper and put why and why not. He would look at the plusses and minuses and he would fill in on each side and decide which ever shape he was in. That’s the long way of saying why or why not!

Courtesy: Clarence Hill | FWST

Photos Courtesy: Dallas Morning News

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree (85) is chased by linebacker Sean Lee (50) - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree (85) is chased by linebacker Sean Lee (50)

.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dwayne Harris (17) catches a pass - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dwayne Harris

.Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley (14) catches a pass - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley (14)

.Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) runs after a catch - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) runs after catch

.

Dallas Cowboys tight end James Hanna (84) catches a pass - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys tight end James Hanna (84)

.

Dallas Cowboys tight end James Hanna, a rookie from Oklahoma, wears No. 84. But his knowledge of predecessors who also donned that digit is limited. Asked by a reporter if he knew of any other notable No. 84 in franchise history, he identified Jay Novacek, a standout tight end from the 1990s. Asked about Pettis Norman, a star tight end in the 1970s, Hanna said: “I don’t know about that. Not familiar with him.”

He is familiar with outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who has helped him with his technique during training camp. Asked to cite the moment he realized the NFL would be significantly different from college, Hanna said:  “The first time I blocked DeMarcus Ware. Or tried to. It didn’t go well.”

Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis congratulates wide receiver Andre Holmes - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis congratulates wide receiver Andre Holmes

.

Cowboys receiver Andre Holmes had a couple of notable catches on fades in the red zone, including one against cornerback C.J. Wilson. Holmes (6-foot-4, 223 pounds) is the team’s tallest receiver and his production in those situations figure to play a prominent role in whether he makes the 53-man roster.

“I’ve been working on that. I felt like it kind of paid off today,” said Holmes, who has strung together a series of solid practices after falling behind others when he failed his pre-camp conditioning test. “I’m trying to show something to the coaches. It’s what I’ve got to do.”

Holmes showed significant emotion after one fade route and indicated he planned to keep the emotional edge front and center.

“It’s not a relief. I know I’m going to make those plays all the time,” Holmes said. “I was just a little more fired up today. That’s what I’m going to be doing every day.”

COACHES ROSTER: Meet the 2013-14 Dallas Cowboys coaching staff

There have been a number of changes in the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff over the past few years. Here’s an updated list of the assistant coaches and links for more detailed information on each of them.

DALLAS COWBOYS HEAD COACH

Jason Garrett

Jason Garrett was named the eighth head coach in Dallas Cowboys history on January 5, 2011. Garrett, who played for or worked alongside four of his predecessors, became the first former Dallas Cowboys player to become the team’s head coach.

DALLAS COWBOYS COACHING STAFF

Offensive Coaches Defensive Coaches Specialty Coaches
Jimmy Robinson
Asst. Head Coach/Wide Receivers
Monte Kiffin
Defensive Coordinator
Mike Woicik
Strength and Conditioning
To Be Determined
Tight Ends/Passing Game Coord.
Jerome Henderson
Secondary
Chris Boniol
Assistant Special Teams/ Kickers
Wade Wilson
Quarterbacks
Matt Eberflus
Linebackers
Brett Bech
Assistant Strength and Conditioning
Bill Callahan
Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
Rod Marinelli
Defensive Line
Wes Phillips
Assistant Offensive Line
Ben Bloom
Quality Control/Linebackers
Keith O’Quinn
Off. Quality Control/Wide Receivers
Joe Baker
Assistant Secondary

This post has been revised. Please click HERE.

Dallas Cowboys offense having issues stretching the field

Jason Witten called it a “top offense” over the last few years. QB coach Wade Wilson referred to it as an “attacking-style.”

The Cowboys rank eighth in the NFL in total offense and seventh in the passing game. Yet, there haven’t been many big plays in recent weeks, and just six plays of 40 yards or more this year.

Last week, in the middle of a disastrous game in Philly, Tony Romo hooked up with Laurent Robinson on a 70-yard bomb for the team’s only touchdown.

It was the longest pass play from scrimmage in nearly a month and since Miles Austin’s 53-yard touchdown against the 49ers in Week Two, the Cowboys have just three passing plays of 50 yards or more. The players catching those passes . . . that’d be Jesse Holley and two to Robinson, who wasn’t even on the roster to start the season.

It’s obvious the Cowboys are having problems not only getting the ball down the field, but into the hands of Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. In Sunday’s game in Philly, the two starting receivers didn’t just go without a catch in the first half, but not a single pass was thrown in their direction.

When asked about the team’s inability to stretch the field lately, a few different reasons have surfaced. One of them has been the nature of the games. The Cowboys played a tight, more-conservative approach in New England, followed by a game with the Rams in which the running game did all the work.

“We still want to be an attacking style of offense, but these last couple weeks . . . “ Wilson said. “St. Louis we really didn’t have to throw the ball down the field and then this past week we got behind so far and they were taking deep throws away. It’s something that kind of goes in cycles throughout the season.”

When asked about not taking as many down-the-field shots, Romo called the notion “silly” and said it’s always in the game plan.

“It’s the opponents you’re going against,” Romo said. (If) you have more time, you’re able to take shots down field. When you have less…that’s part of it. When you’re running the ball well you’re able to take more. There’s a lot that goes into it. We’re always pushing the ball down the field. From week to week, that will vary here and there.”

INJURY UPDATE: Tony Romo better, but expects to wear vest

IRVING, Texas — Besides moving and throwing better with his fractured rib, quarterback Tony Romo has graduated from sleeping in a recliner back to his bed again.

That’s good news, but he also knows the Detroit Lions will also try to put him flat on his back this Sunday. The rib is slowly making life and football easier, but Romo still expects to wear a protective Kevlar vest and very possibly take another pain-killing injection before the game.

“I think we’ll probably still continue down that path for a little while,” said Romo, who was limited in practice Thursday.

“. . . It’s going to take time. It’s not a one-week thing that just goes away but every week that goes by (or) every five days, it just gets a little better and you feel a little more comfortable doing the little things. It’s improving.”

Quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson said Romo isn’t back to 100 percent, but he sees a noticeable improvement in practice.

“He’s still having a little bit of pain on some throws, some movement throws, but I think by Sunday he’ll be pretty close to normal,” Wilson said.

%d bloggers like this: