THE PULSE OF AMERICA’S TEAM: Family Day followed by Fathers Day | Superhero dad Tony Romo super-charged | Dallas Cowboys family focused | 2015 minicamp wrap-up
Tony Romo’s wife, Candice, and their two sons Hawkins (age 3) and Rivers (age 1) were at AT&T Stadium for ‘Family Day’, the annual event in which players’ wives and kids are invited to watch the final practice of Dallas Cowboys Minicamp, then stay around for lunch and playtime on the field. Continue reading →
HOW ‘BOUT THEM WOWBOYS?: Dallas Cowboys make sure La’el Collins has his moment in the sun; Rookie’s inspirational message sends shockwaves around Cowboys Nation | The trade-bait debate | A true-blue must-see video
What else can you really say about what has happened here this week, particularly on Thursday afternoon at Valley Ranch. Continue reading →
COURT ROOM TO LOCKER ROOM: Rolando McClain to appeal Alabama conviction ruling | Dallas Cowboys linebacker eager for another chance
Rolando McClain: Yesterday I was in court, today I’m here | 5:55 | Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain talks about his opportunity in Dallas with the Cowboys, and why he is ready to take the next step. (Watch | Listen)
BEHIND THE SCENES – GOING DEEP: Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and his father have a special bond | Special Feature
Technically speaking, the phone call to Jim Garrett was supposed to be about his son Jason’s head-coaching gig with the Dallas Cowboys. And, it was to some degree. Like any conversation with the elder Garrett, though, it was so much more. It was educational, insightful and ridiculously entertaining. It was the kind of discussion that you don’t want to end, to the point of making up the last few questions on the fly in the hopes of learning something else.
IT’S ANOTHER (COW)BOY: Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo and wife Candice have second son, Rivers Romo
Tuesday was an eventful day for the Dallas Cowboys.
The starting quarterback added a son and the defense added a starting tackle.
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
LENIENCY GRANTED BY JURY: Former Dallas Cowboys DT Josh Brent sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation
DALLAS – A Texas jury sentenced former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent to 180 days in jail and 10 years’ probation today for causing a fiery one-car crash that killed his teammate after a night of heavy drinking in 2012.
The same jury that convicted Brent, 25, earlier this week of intoxication manslaughter for the death of Jerry Brown Jr., could have sentenced him to as much as 20 years in jail.
In testimony in the sentencing phase on Thursday, the mother of the victim pleaded for leniency for Brent, saying her son would have agreed with her.
“He’s still responsible, but you can’t go on in life and hold a grudge. We all make mistakes and have to be forgiven. I’m sure that’s what Jerry would have wanted,” Stacey Jackson said.
After a night of drinking at a private club in December 2012, Brent was driving his Mercedes at 110 mph when it slammed into a curb on a state highway, flipping the car, which caught on fire, and killing Brown, then 25.
Editors comment: Expect more detailed information and the teams response shortly
PONDERING PRISON OR PROBATION: Ex-Cowboy Josh Brent awaits sentencing for intoxication manslaughter of friend Jerry Brown Jr.
DALLAS, TX. – Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent was found guilty today of intoxication manslaughter after a car crash in December 2012 that resulted in the death of his teammate and friend, Jerry Brown Jr.
The sentencing phase will begin Thursday to determine Brent’s punishment. He could face up to 20 years in prison, but he also could get probation.
“We understand the very serious nature of this situation and express our concerns for all of the families and individuals that have been affected by the tragedy of Jerry Brown’s death,” owner/general manager Jerry Jones said in a statement.
Brent was found guilty by the jury early this afternoon. The jurors deliberated Tuesday and were sequestered that night before coming back with the decision the following afternoon.
Police said Brent’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit at the time of the wreck. Dallas Cowboys players Barry Church and Danny McCray testified during the trial.
Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, has repeatedly said she’s forgiven Brent and stood by him after the incident. Family members and those closest to Brent could testify during the sentencing period.
Brent has since retired from the NFL since the incident. He last played with the Cowboys in 2012, totaling 1.5 sacks in 12 games. He would have challenged for a starting spot during the 2013 season. Executive vice president Stephen Jones wouldn’t address the possibility of Brent coming back to the team before Brent was found guilty Wednesday.
After Cowboys players had already testified, linebacker Sean Lee arrived at the courthouse Tuesday to offer support to Brent. That move didn’t surprise Stephen Jones, who described Lee as a class act and admired Lee’s ability to lead and be there for his teammates.
Prior to the announcement of the verdict, Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett offered their support for Brent at the Senior Bowl on Monday and Tuesday.
“Our support for Josh has been unwavering since the start of this thing,” Garrett said Tuesday. “Obviously, a very tragic situation for Jerry Brown and his family and for Josh Brent.”
Most recent posts regarding Josh Brent:
THE JURY VERDICT IS IN: Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent found guilty of intoxication manslaughter
LAW AND ORDER: Dallas Cowboys teammates testify in Josh Brent intoxication manslaughter trial | Brent’s defense rests | Jury to deliberate next week
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THE JURY VERDICT IS IN: Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent found guilty of intoxication manslaughter
Jurors found former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent guilty of intoxication manslaughter this afternoon.
The jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for more than two hours this morning. That followed 3 1/2 hours of discussions Tuesday about the case against Brent, who is accused of killing his teammate Jerry Brown Jr. in a December 2012 car crash in Irving. The jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for a total of about nine hours before reaching the verdict.
Earlier in the morning, jurors asked to take another look at video of Brent in Club Privae, where he had allegedly been drinking.
After the verdict was read, the former Dallas Cowboy was handcuffed and led from the courtroom in the custody of the Dallas County sheriff’s office.
The trial’s punishment phase will begin Thursday. Brent faces up to 20 years in prison for the December 2012 crash that killed teammate and best friend Jerry Brown Jr.
Josh Brent, a 320-pound defense lineman, had been drinking champagne and cognac on the night of the crash. To register a blood alcohol level of 0.18 meant he had to have had 17 standard-sized alcoholic beverages. Brent told police at the crash scene that he had an alcohol “buzz.” He blamed the wreck on having trouble slowing down, not alcohol. Photo: Ron Baselice
Brent was drinking straight out of a bottle inside Privae, a private club in Dallas. Surveillance video from the club shows Brent raising his arms with a bottle in each hand. Customers must purchase a bottle to have a table. Waitresses from the club and a Dallas restaurant, Eddie V’s, testified they did not think Brent was intoxicated. Defense attorneys rebutted video footage, saying he could have been drinking from glass water bottles that only appeared to be alcohol. Photo: Rex C. Curry
Brent was driving at least 110 mph on the service road of State Highway 114 when he flipped his white Mercedes. The posted speed limit was 45 mph. It threw Brown, 25, on top of Brent and cushioned him from serious injury, said Irving Police investigator James Fairbairn. Photo: Ron Baselice
Defense attorneys attacked the validity of tests that determined Brent’s blood alcohol level. They said the testing procedures were flawed. Partial data on water used as a control substance showed trace amounts of ethanol, an alcohol. But prosecutors submitted complete data that showed no ethanol in the water. Photo: Ron Baselice
Jerry Brown Jr’s blood alcohol level was just below the legal limit to drive. It was 0.079 when he died, said Dallas County medical examiner Jeffrey Barnard. Brown died of blunt force injuries to his neck and head. Neither player was wearing a seat belt. Photo: LM Otero/AP
Related article … posted here on January 18, 2014:
LAW AND ORDER: Dallas Cowboys teammates testify in Josh Brent intoxication manslaughter trial | Brent’s defense rests | Jury to deliberate next week
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LAW AND ORDER: Dallas Cowboys teammates testify in Josh Brent intoxication manslaughter trial | Brent’s defense rests | Jury to deliberate next week
Dallas Cowboys players who were reportedly with Brent earlier in the night of the accident have been called in to testify. Current members of the Dallas Cowboys are now testifying in Josh Brent’s intoxication manslaughter trial.
The trial began Monday, but it wasn’t until Thursday that Cowboys players Barry Church, and Danny McCray took the stand. Orlando Scandrick was also at the courthouse for the trial but did not testify.
Brent has been accused of driving drunk and crashing his vehicle, resulting in the death of his Dallas Cowboys teammate and friend, Jerry Brown, on Dec. 8, 2012. A forensic toxicologist estimates that ex-Cowboy Josh Brent consumed 17 drinks the night he crashed his Mercedes along an Irving highway.
He faces up to 20 years in prison but could also be sentenced to probation.
Brent, who played in 12 games in 2012 and would have competed for a starting spot as a defensive tackle last season, has since retired.
Toxicologist estimates Josh Brent had 17 drinks before fatal crash
DALLAS –– A forensic toxicologist estimates that ex-Cowboy Josh Brent consumed 17 drinks the night he crashed his Mercedes along an Irving highway, resulting in the death of friend and teammate Jerry Brown Jr.
Justin Schwane is the man who tested a sample of Brent’s blood after the crash and determined his blood alcohol content to be .18, more than twice the legal limit of .08. He was the first witness to take the stand Wednesday at the Frank Crowley Courthouse, the third day of testimony in Brent’s trial.
“I estimate approximately 17 standard size drinks in a 320 to 325 pound man like him,” Schwane said.
Brent told police he drank fewer than five.
Schwane works for the Southwest Institute of Forensic Science or SWIFS. Under cross-examination defense attorney Deanna Grant questioned Schwane on his credentials and on the integrity of the blood alcohol testing.
She questioned how Brent’s blood was stored, what additives were used to test the blood and about the testing equipment used.
Grant is trying to show the equipment was contaminated. During test runs, she said, a trace of alcohol showed up in a vial of pure water.
Schwane stood firm on his testimony, saying the tests met industry standards, the vials were properly stored and the equipment is not contaminated.
The wreck occurred on Dec. 8, 2012 after the two men left Club Privae in northwest Dallas. Prosecutors say a drunken Brent hit a curb and flipped his Mercedes. Brown died after the crash.
On Tuesday, the jury saw video of his arrest. Brent was aggravated that an officer was drawing his blood to test for alcohol. Irving officer Travis Huckaby testified the retired Cowboy seemed “more concerned about getting home” than the fate of his friend. He said Brent’s “eyes welled up with tears and for the first time showed real emotion” upon being told his friend was dead.
Testimony is continuing Wednesday afternoon. Waitresses at the restaurants and clubs where Brent and other Dallas Cowboys players were partying in the hours leading up to the crash are expected to take the stand.
In addition to the intoxication manslaughter charge, Brent was also indicted for manslaughter. If a jury finds he was not intoxicated, he can still be convicted on the second count.
Brent’s attorneys do not deny he was driving too fast when he flipped his car.
Defense rests in manslaughter case of former Dallas Cowboys DT Josh Brent
DALLAS (AP) — Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent‘s case in a fatal wreck that left his close friend and teammate dead will soon head to a jury, after his attorneys finished their case in one day, arguing again that he wasn’t drunk during the crash.
Brent’s defense called several witnesses Friday to make the case they laid out from the very beginning: The blood tests implicating him for drinking were wrong, and photos and video of him appearing to be drunk are misleading. Brent’s lead attorney, George Milner, rested his case Friday afternoon, and lead prosecutor Heath Harris said his case was finished shortly afterward.
If convicted of intoxication manslaughter or manslaughter, Brent could get anywhere from probation to 20 years in prison.
The December 2012 wreck in the Dallas suburb of Irving killed Jerry Brown, a practice squad linebacker who played football with Brent at the University of Illinois. Milner has argued that his client was guilty of poor judgment and bad driving, but not of causing the crash by drinking beforehand.
Laboratory expert Janine Arvizu sought to poke holes in a key part of the prosecution’s case — the blood tests that showed Brent to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.189 percent, more than twice the legal limit. A toxicologist estimated the 320-pound Brent would have had to have 17 drinks to get that drunk.
But Arvizu accused the Dallas County crime lab of using potentially spoiled fluid to process Brent’s blood samples, something she compared to a person drinking milk past its expiration date.
“Just because a result is precise doesn’t mean it’s accurate,” Arvizu said.
Judge Robert Burns would not let her testify about other problems she identified with the crime lab, calling them “pure speculation.”
A waitress at the Dallas nightclub where Brent, Brown and other Cowboys players visited that night testified that the club served water in bottles that looked like Champagne — part of Milner’s argument that security video of Brent holding the bottles might not have meant he was drinking alcohol.
Milner also argued Brent wasn’t a skilled driver and could have caused the wreck without being affected by liquor. Aya Matsuda, a restaurateur and close friend of Brent’s, recalled giving him rides to practice after finding out that he was taking the bus because he didn’t have a car.
Asked about his drinking at the nightclub, Matsuda said: “He didn’t have a single drink in his hand the whole, entire night.”
But Irving Police Officer James Fairbairn, under questioning by Milner, said Brent swerved and caused the wreck after initially hitting a curb because he was under the influence.
“Had he not been intoxicated, he probably never would have ended up at that point,” Fairbairn said.
The trial so far has taken a week. With the prosecution and defense both wrapping up their cases, the closely watched trial that’s included testimony from two Cowboys players could finish sooner than the two weeks originally expected.
Jury to deliberate in Josh Brent case next week
A Dallas County jury is expected to decide next week whether former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was drunk the night of a car crash that killed his best friend and teammate, or whether he was sober and simply driving too fast.
In the defense’s only day of testimony Friday, Brent’s attorneys tried to undermine the validity of his blood alcohol test and offered other explanations for his behavior. Prosecutors maintained that Brent was drunk at the time of the crash.
These diverging arguments have been at the center of the contentious, weeklong trial in which Brent is charged with intoxication manslaughter for the crash that killed 25-year-old Jerry Brown Jr. The jurors will decide which version of events they believe after final arguments that begin Tuesday morning.
The defense called on a lab quality auditor Friday to testify that the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences didn’t follow industry protocols when testing Brent’s blood for alcohol in December 2012.
The tests showed that he had a blood alcohol level of 0.18, more than two times the legal driving limit of 0.08.
Janine Arvizu testified that water used as a control substance in one of the tests contained trace amounts of ethanol, an alcohol. She also testified that the institute wasn’t accredited by rigorous international standards in December 2012.
But before Arvizu took the stand, prosecutors took issue with her expertise and questioned her extensively about her qualifications. Judge Robert Burns III allowed only part of her testimony before the jury.
Earlier in the week, a toxicologist testified that defense attorneys were presenting incomplete blood test data and that the test was accurate.
Also Friday, defense attorneys rebutted video footage that showed Brent drinking inside a nightclub before the crash and argued that he could have been drinking from glass water bottles that only appeared to be alcohol.
Aya Matsuda, a friend who was with Brent before the crash, testified she didn’t see him consume alcohol.
The defense also portrayed Brent as an inexperienced driver who was prone to speeding, and suggested that these factors alone could explain the crash.
Matsuda, who works at a Japanese restaurant near where Brent lived in Irving, said Brent often walked to get takeout because he didn’t have a car. When he later got one, she said, she’d see his car “flying by” the restaurant.
The prosecution countered with records that show Brent’s Illinois driver’s license was issued in 2004.
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2008: In 2008 as a sophomore, he recorded 34 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 10 games with eight starts.
2009: In 2009 as a junior, he started all 12 games, recording 29 tackles (7 for loss) and three sacks.
2009: Brent pleaded guilty to a charge of driving under the influence on June 2, 2009, as a result of an incident from the previous February.
2012: Brent received his first career starts in 2012, replacing an injured Jay Ratliff and was coming on strong as a key player on the defensive line.
2012: On December 8, 2012, he flipped his car on the Texas State Highway 114 at 2:21 a.m. while driving under the influence, killing his passenger, college and Cowboys teammate Jerry Brown.
2012: On December 26, 2012, a grand jury indicted Brent on one count of intoxication manslaughter.
2013: On May 24, 2013, the Dallas district attorney requested to revoke Brent’s bail for not adhering to the monitoring conditions and send him to jail to await trial.
DALLAS COWBOYS MERRY CHRISTMAS: Happy Holiday’s from the 2013 2014 Dallas Cowboys
Happy Holidays From The Dallas Cowboys | 1:34
Inside this snow globe is the story of the Dallas Cowboys. (Watch this Video)
Dallas Cowboys: Inside The Locker Room
Step inside the Cowboys locker room with Mickey Spagnola after the Dallas Cowboys win over the Washington Redskins.
NFL CONCUSSION LAWSUIT: League, ex-players agree to $765M settlement proposal
PHILADELPHIA — The NFL has reached a tentative $765 million settlement over concussion-related brain injuries among its 18,000 retired players, agreeing to compensate victims, pay for medical exams and underwrite research.
A federal judge announced the agreement Thursday after months of court-ordered mediation. It came just days before the start of the 2013 season.
More than 4,500 former athletes — some suffering from dementia, depression or Alzheimer’s that they blamed on blows to the head — had sued the league, accusing it of concealing the dangers of concussions and rushing injured players back onto the field while profiting from the kind of bone-jarring hits that make for spectacular highlight-reel footage.
The NFL long has denied any wrongdoing and insisted that safety always has been a top priority. But the NFL said Thursday that Commissioner Roger Goodell told pro football’s lawyers to “do the right thing for the game and the men who played it.”
The plaintiffs included Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Jim McMahon and the family of Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year.
Under the settlement, individual awards would be capped at $5 million for men with Alzheimer’s disease; $4 million for those diagnosed after their deaths with a brain condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy; and $3 million for players with dementia, said lead plaintiffs’ lawyer Christopher Seeger.
Any of the approximately 18,000 former NFL players would be eligible.
Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia announced the proposed agreement and will consider approving it at a later date.
The settlement most likely means the NFL won’t have to disclose internal files about what it knew, and when, about concussion-linked brain problems. Lawyers had been eager to learn, for instance, about the workings of the league’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, which was led for more than a decade by a rheumatologist.
In recent years, a string of former NFL players and other concussed athletes have been diagnosed after their deaths with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Those ex-players included Seau and lead plaintiff Ray Easterling, who filed the first lawsuit in Philadelphia in August 2011 but later committed suicide.
About one-third of the league’s 12,000 former players eventually joined the litigation. They include a few hundred “gap” players, who played during years when there was no labor contract in place, and were therefore considered likely to win the right to sue.
Download the complete press release PDF here.
Read the text of Brody’s order that outlines the proposed settlement here.
BROTHERLY LOVE: Cowboys cornerback B.W. Webb honors teammate by wearing J.J. Wilcox’s No. 27 in practice
Dallas Cowboys rookie cornerback B.W. Webb wanted J.J. Wilcox to know that he was thinking of him. So Webb wore Wilcox’s No. 27 jersey to practice Friday.
“That’s like my brother, so I’m just showing my love, let him know I’m still here with him,” Webb said. “Whatever he needs I’ve got him.”
Wilcox has been excused from practice since his mother, Marshell Wilcox, became gravely ill. Marshell Wilcox died Tuesday after a long battle with lupus, a chronic and lifelong autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissue and organs. The funeral is Saturday in Cairo, Ga.
Wilcox is expected to rejoin the team in Dallas.
“I’ve talked to him,” Webb said. “He’s doing a little better, but it’s hard right now. I can’t imagine losing your parent. I’m just want to let him know I’m here for him if he needs anything.”
Webb will wear his own No. 20 in the game Saturday against the Cardinals.
DALLAS COWBOYS FAMILY NEWS: Mother of safety J.J. Wilcox looses long battle with Lupus
OXNARD, Calif. – Cowboys Rookie safety J.J. Wilcox will rejoin the team next week in Dallas after all arrangements are taken care of for his mother, who passed away after a long battle with Lupus.
Wilcox left camp after the second preseason game against the Raiders to be with his mother, Marshell, and had been excused by the team for as long as he needed. He’ll be with his family this week and will not rejoin the team in California.
Head coach Jason Garrett said it’s a tough situation for anyone, let alone a 22-year-old rookie just beginning his dream of playing in the NFL.
“It’s obviously a very difficult time, and we have complete respect for what is going on in his life right now and want to give him all the opportunity to make sure he takes care of that the way he needs to,” Garrett said. “All the support systems are available to him. I think it’s just a really difficult thing.”
Wilcox’s mother managed to be by her son’s side when Wilcox was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round this year, despite her sickness which had her going back and forth from the doctor’s office for treatment. Wilcox said after the draft how much it meant (see below) that he could share that moment with her.
“She’s way tougher than I am,” Wilcox said after the draft. “She’s a strong young lady. I’m just blessed to have her in my life.”
The safety from Georgia Southern has been one of the top rookies in camp, leading the team with six combined tackles in the Raiders game, while also picking off a pass in the end zone.
RELATED: Wilcox thinking of his mother as he lives out his NFL dream
IRVING, Texas (May 17, 2013) – It took longer for J.J. Wilcox to gather himself and respond to the voice on the other side of the phone than it did to realize the area code the call came from.
The former Georgia Southern safety couldn’t explain all the emotions enveloping him when he answered the phone call from a Texas number to hear owner/general manager Jerry Jones’ voice on the other end. His dream became a reality in just a few seconds, and his mother, Marshell Wilcox, was by his side to watch it all unfold.
“It meant a lot, just to see her right there fighting and standing strong,” J.J. said. “It brought tears to my eyes. I cried. Y’all probably heard it on that draft call. It was touching. It was emotional.”
Wilcox told himself he wouldn’t shed a tear when or if he got the call. But he couldn’t prepare himself for the emotions.
A year ago, he didn’t think he’d get drafted after playing on offense the first three years of his college career. When a terrific season at safety reeled in more scouts, he thought he might get picked up somewhere in free agency. Then his draft prospects started soaring after the Senior Bowl and the Combine.
All the while, Wilcox’s mother was travelling back and forth from the doctor’s office for treatment.
Marshell, 49, continues to fight her battle with lupus and the lung problems associated with it. Wilcox said the disease began affecting his mother’s lungs more seriously three or four years ago. He’s always wanted to get her better treatment, but hasn’t had the means to do so.
Wilcox is accustomed to the aches, pains and jolts of playing an entire football season, but he can’t fathom the pain that his mother has endured for years.
“She’s way tougher than I am,” Wilcox said. “She’s a strong young lady. I’m just blessed to have her in my life.”
Marshell, who lives where J.J. grew up in Cairo, Ga., was strong enough to head home from the doctor to watch her son get drafted. Wilcox said nothing was going to hold his mom back from watching her son live out his dream.
A selection in the third round, and the multi-million dollar contract that will ensue, should allow him to help his mother tremendously. Wilcox’s focus on the field is fighting for a starting spot at safety, as one of the most inexperienced defensive players on the roster. His focus off the field is on fighting to get his mother the best treatment she deserves.
“She’s comfortable and she doesn’t have to worry about me any more,” Wilcox said. “So that’s my plan when I’m here, help her and get her health back up to par. She’s a strong young lady, and she’s the reason I’m here now and push the way I do and fight.”
It didn’t take long for Wilcox to see the enormous jump from the Southern Conference to the NFL, participating in the Cowboys’ rookie minicamp last weekend.
“The speed is two times faster than college,” he said. “Some players like I said in college, you could slack off one or two plays. Not here. Not in this game. The speed, the intensity and the atmosphere of this whole NFL is different.”
But picking up and adapting is nothing new for Wilcox, who switched from receiver to running back and, finally, to safety.
That was a process that took some convincing.
“One day my coaching staff came to me, my head coach, Jeff Monken, he came to me and said, ‘Hey, I need the leadership in the secondary,” Wilcox said. “I need somebody that’s going to be physical, aggressive and a leader back there. He said I fit that description the best. He gave it to me and I ran with it from there.
“I was kind of hesitant at first. I talked to my parents, and my parents told me just be the best team player you can be. That’s my attack and that’s what I hope to bring here to the Cowboys, be a good team player and hopefully bring a Super Bowl here.”
Despite his history on the offensive side, Wilcox has never been bashful about laying out his opponents. He loves the physical nature of the safety position, and his new secondary coach would agree.
“A lot of times when you see offensive guys make the jump, it takes them a little while to figure that part out,” said Jerome Henderson. “That came natural for him. When you watch him play, you’re like, ‘Oh God, he’s going to kill somebody.’”
Any initial reservations switching over to defense are now gone. Wilcox said all the ball skills, footwork and route recognition he’s gained over the years from playing on both sides of the ball should be able to help him moving forward.
Wilcox admitted when he was watching the draft he looked at his fits with every team as each pick and each round passed. He quickly found out after he was drafted that both safety spots are potentially up for grabs in Dallas.
He admits he plays more off instincts right now, considering his lack of experience at the position, but that doesn’t mean he feels incapable of starting immediately.
In fact, he thinks he’ll be ready to compete for a starting spot in Week 1.
“No doubt about it,” Wilcox said. “With this coaching staff, anything is possible.”
The novice safety from Georgia Southern has already surpassed many expectations by getting drafted in the third round. He said getting drafted was a nice Mother’s Day gift, but he’s still got a lot left to do, both for her and for his NFL future.
“The journey just begins,” Wilcox said. “It doesn’t end here. That’s the main thing, and that’s how I’m going to attack it.”
DALLAS COWBOYS FAMILY: Cornerback Brandon Carr watches his first son’s birth on FaceTime
Technology can be a wonderful thing.
In the old days, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr would have missed the Monday birth of his son, Austin.
Carr had just returned to Los Angeles with teammates from the Hall of Fame Game when he received the word that his fiancée was in labor. He packed a bag and headed back to the airport. He was able to watch the birth on FaceTime.
“I saw everything I needed to see,” Carr said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (see below). “I saw it all. Technology is wonderful these days. Sometimes you can’t control what’s going to happen. You’ve just got to go with the flow. I made the most of it.”
Carr spent two days with his family — he also has a daughter — before rejoining teammates at practice Thursday. He is expected to see some playing time against the Oakland Raiders on Friday night.
“No sleep at all, but I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Carr said. “It was a good feeling to be there and actually see your first son. I’m still trying to gather my thoughts and bring it all in. The last two days have been good. It’s a blessed feeling.”
That’s good Dad Work right there.
RELATED: Brandon Carr returns to camp after welcome his first son, Austin
Brandon Carr hasn’t been in camp the past two days, but he is the player who is the most weary. He spent two days at home with his fiancée and his newborn son, Austin, who was born Monday.
“No sleep at all, but I wouldn’t want it any other way,” said the Cowboys cornerback, who returned to practice Thursday. “It was a good feeling to be there and actually see your first son. I’m still trying to gather my thoughts and bring it all in. The last two days have been good. It’s a blessed feeling.”
Carr, who also has a daughter, Sidney, flew back with the team from the Hall of Fame Game, arriving at LAX early Monday morning. He packed a bag and headed back to the airport after getting news that his fiancée was in labor. He watched the birth on FaceTime.
“I saw everything I needed to see,” Carr said. “I saw it all. Technology is wonderful these days. Sometimes you can’t control what’s going to happen. You’ve just got to go with the flow. I made the most of it.”
Now, he’s ready to play. The Cowboys starters are expected to play a series or two against the Raiders on Friday night.
“I’m ready to get it on,” Carr said. “I’m pretty fresh and ready to get out there and run around and get some action finally and get ready for the season.”
THE GREEN SCENE: Hall of Famer will watch his son play in Hall of Fame Game
CANTON, Ohio – Few people get to see their fathers inducted into the Hall of Fame. Even fewer get to play in a Hall of Fame Game in front of their Hall of Fame father.
Dallas Cowboys receiver Jared Green will take the field in Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, just five years after presenting his father into the Hall of Fame. Green’s dad, Darrell, will be in attendance to watch his son play.
“I’m so excited about tomorrow,” Green said. “Only a number of people in the world can say that. I also get to play for the Dallas Cowboys, and I also get to have my dad, who’s a Hall of Famer, in the stands. He’s here and he’s in the festivities and this is his group. He’s an alumni, so this is special.”
Green’s father actually answered the phone while sitting on stage right before the Hall of Fame ceremony began when Green called to let his dad know the team had made it in.
As his father sat on stage at Saturday’s Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony, Green toured the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where he found his father’s bust under the 2008 inductees for the first time.
“This is the craziest weekend of my life,” Green said. “Last time I was here, we were in the parade, we had probably 200 guests here, and I didn’t get the opportunity to come here, plus I was preparing my speech. By the time we had finished up and I was on the stage, all my family had come here and done this, so this is my first time being in here and seeing the bust. It’s crazy.”
Green said it blows him away to see someone in his family, let alone someone as close to him as his father, with a statue sitting in the Hall of Fame surrounded by the legends of the game. He said everybody wants to go to the NFL and be great, but they rarely grow up saying they want to be a Hall of Famer.
“It’s almost like this untouchable kind of a dream,” Green said. “Those guys are like legends you can’t touch, but this is my father, you know? I think that’s just crazy.”
It made the moment and weekend much more special that Green could take in the experience as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
Five years earlier, as he was presenting his father into the Hall of Fame, Green said his dad always encouraged him to be the best at whatever he did. The undrafted receiver’s certainly accomplished that goal, allowing him to look at his father’s statue in the Hall of Fame as an NFL member himself.
“That’s what makes it even more special, that I’m not visiting this room with a bunch of buddies from a school event or something like that,” Green said. “I’m visiting this thing with my brothers, my teammates, and I’m about to play a game that’s dedicated to the same thing that my father’s in this Hall for.”
It was never easy for Green to be the son of a Hall of Fame player when he started playing football. Darrell Green amassed seven Pro Bowl selections and two Super Bowls as a first-round pick, totaling 54 interceptions during his career.
Meanwhile, Jared Green, who bounced from Carolina’s practice squad last year and now to Dallas’ roster this year, hasn’t played in an NFL game. He said he struggled with being referred to as Darrell Green’s son and not Jared Green during his early years in his football career, but he began to accept the circumstances and appreciate them.
“I just said, you know, this is a blessing to be who I am, and my dad has done everything that he’s done, and people are either going to talk about you great because of who your dad is, or they’re going to talk bad about you because of who your dad is,” he said. “But at the end of the day, who really cares? Just have fun. That’s really what my new philosophy is, have fun, enjoy it.”
There’s no doubt Jared Green will enjoy every moment of playing in tomorrow’s game tomorrow as his father watches on.
It’s likely Green will get enough playing time to make his mark in the Cowboys’ first preseason game, which should feature a heavy dose of backup players. He knows what kind of opportunity is in front of him, and his father will be there to root him on, even if the former Redskins defender has to cheer for a Cowboys receiver.
“My family’s just excited because they have another family member to root for,” Jared Green said.
SHIFTING PRIORITIES: Josh Brent announces retirement
Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent announced Thursday that he’s retiring from football to focus on his off-the-field issues.
“This is the right decision for me, and something that I have given a lot of thought to,” Brent explained in a statement released by the Cowboys. “I am at a point where my main focus is all about getting the priorities in my life in order. Those priorities are more important than football. Doing the right things in life are more important than football. I love the game very much. I love my teammates, but this is the right thing for me to do.”
Brent is awaiting trial on an intoxication manslaughter charge in connection with the December 8 car accident that killed practice-squad linebacker Jerry Brown Jr.
“I promised Jerry’s mother that we would support Josh in every way we could,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, via The Associated Press. “That’s been our only thought since the accident is to support him and support our team in their support of him.”
The NFL was expected to make a decision on Brent’s playing status before the start of training camp next week. The Cowboys had been hesitant to release Brent, reportedly hoping to retain his rights in the event of a long suspension. A source told NFL.com’s Albert Breer, however, that the idea of returning to football someday “isn’t even a part of (Brent’s) thinking right now.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said on Thursday that “it’s premature” to discuss the possibility of Brent returning to the Cowboys should he come out of retirement. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello stated that “any request for reinstatement by (a) retired player must be reviewed and approved by the league.”
Brent played three seasons for the Cowboys, recording 44 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 39 career games.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Phil Costa engaged to Hulk Hogan’s daughter
The Dallas Cowboys center got engaged to Brooke Hogan, the daughter of legendary wrestler Hulk Hogan, in Las Vegas over the weekend. We can only imagine what might happen should Hogan hear that Costa isn’t doing right by his daughter.
Brooke Hogan made the announcement via Instagram, writing: “Happiest moment of my LIFE. I am marrying my best friend. I wouldn’t choose anyone else. I am so lucky and so grateful.”
In the picture, Costa is shown on one knee proposing with the Las Vegas version of Paris and the Eiffel Tower in the background.
Costa, 25, will head to training camp with the goal of earning the starting center job, which won’t be easy with first-round pick Travis Frederick signed and expected to be the man anchoring the center of the line when the season starts.
Hogan, 25, was a reality TV star, appearing in VH1’s “Hogan Knows Best” six years ago and in her own show, “Brooke Knows Best,” in 2008 and 2009. She works now for TNA wrestling.
AROUND THE NFL: Ex-Patriots TE, Aaron Hernandez charged with murder
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder in the first degree in the death of Odin Lloyd during his arraignment in Attleboro District Court on Wednesday.
Hernandez also faces the following charges: one count of carrying a firearm without a license; two counts of possession of a large capacity firearm; and two counts of possession of a firearm without a valid ID card.
Hernandez, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, will be held without bail at the Bristol County House of Correction and Jail. Hernandez also was ordered to appear in court for a July 24 probable cause hearing.
The murder charge was announced at 2:44 pm ET, roughly six hours after Hernandez was taken from his North Attleboro, Mass., home in handcuffs after being arrested by the Massachusetts State Police and North Attleboro Police. The Patriots released the fourth-year Pro Bowl tight end less than 90 minutes after he was taken by police.
SPECIAL BOND: Dallas Cowboys express Happy Father’s Day wishes
Happy Fathers Day from the Dallas Cowboys (Click HERE to watch)
Some Dallas Cowboys players took a minute to talk about having the chance to be a father, and what fathers day means to them. (Duration – 2:12)
A very special Happy Father’s Day wish to my son, Robert Andrew. This year, he celebrates the addition of his third child. Hope you’re enjoying this special occasion with your beautiful daughters and loving wife.
Happy Father’s Day!
I Love you
FATHERS DAY ACTIVITY: Dallas Cowboys to host Field Rally this Saturday
IRVING, Texas – Cowboys Stadium will play host to Father’s Day activities this weekend, as the venue puts on Father’s Day on the Field Rally Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The event will feature a slew of interactive activities, including autograph sessions with Cowboys alumni and cheerleaders, an appearance by Rowdy. Another special appearance will come from two of the Minions from the upcoming Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment film “Despicable Me 2.” There will also be various activities for kids and photo opportunities with the Cowboys’ Super Bowl trophies.
Tours of Cowboys Stadium will also be open all day Saturday with free parking available at the stadium with a purchase of a tour ticket. Tickets to the Father’s Day Rally Day events are included with the price of a self-guided stadium tour, which are available at the box office. Tickets are $17.50 for adults and $14.50 for children/seniors.
The Cowboys’ alumni will sign autographs from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Former defensive lineman Chad Hennings will be available for autographs at noon, fellow former defensive lineman Leon Lett will be available at 1 p.m. and former defensive back Everson Walls will be available at 2 p.m.
Cowboys cheerleaders will be available to sign autographs from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., while the Minions will make an appearance from noon until 2 p.m.
NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS: Maturing Dez Bryant found himself in a quiet offseason
Dez Bryant is coming off his most quiet offseason as a pro. No family problems. No being asked to leave a mall. No complaints about unpaid bills.
His offseason has been peaceful and enjoyable.
“I’d say I found myself. I’m comfortable in my life,” the fourth-year Cowboys receiver said Tuesday on the first day of OTAs at Valley Ranch. “I’m enjoying being in the NFL. I wish it could have been a couple years back, but I had to go through a couple of things to figure it out.
“I think I’ve got it. I’m just more focused on my job and doing what I love to do, and I just play football.”
Bryant, 24, is coming off his best season with the Cowboys. Last year, he caught 92 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns, playing in all 16 games for the first time.
Bryant said he became more comfortable as a pro by being around pros – players who have succeeded in the NFL for years.
“Listening and looking at people who do it right,” he said. “I had to get around people who do it right. I feel like that’s been my steppingstone – the older guys.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said it makes sense that Bryant struggled with his personal life early in his NFL career because many young players do.
“Picture yourself as a 21-year-old coming into this environment, with all the hype and the circumstance around being a No. 1 draft pick in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys,” Garrett said. “He had to work through that like a lot of guys have to work through that, and he had to mature and understand what’s important. I think he’s done all of that. … He’s gotten some of these other things in his life kind of organized, and together, it reflects in his play.”
OFF THE FIELD: Get to know Dallas Cowboys newly signed defensive end Anthony Hargrove
New Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Hargrove has quite the story. Born in New York, he lost his mother to AIDS at the age of nine. After moving in with his aunt and uncle he found football and became one of the best high school quarterbacks in the state.
He moved to defensive tackle, quit school and found his way onto the team when he entered the draft, got involved in drugs, then kicked the habit.
You can hear him explain the full side of the story here:
ON THE FIELD: Anthony Hargrove gets a safety vs. Giants
As for what he can do on the field, here is some of his best work…
INSIDE THE HELMET: Tyron Smith’s generosity turns to family battles over money
For the first time, in an hour-long interview with The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith opened up to share his cautionary tale about how money changes people and how greed can run rampant around NFL players who become instant millionaires. Smith’s story is a must-read for any college football player drafted last month. Here are some of the more stunning revelations from Smith’s interview with DMN Cowboys beat writer Brandon George.
MORE, MORE, MORE
Smith, the first offensive lineman selected in 2011 when the Cowboys drafted him ninth overall out of USC, signed a four-year, $12.5 million contract. He gave his family a substantial amount of money, agreeing to pay his parents in four installments. But Smith’s stepfather, Roy Pinkney, his mother, Frankie Pinkney, and some of his siblings kept coming back for more.
“There was a certain amount I agreed to give them, but it went way beyond that and I was just like, ‘I’m done,’” Smith said. “I feel like I shouldn’t have given them so much. There was nothing wrong with helping them out and making sure they were taken care of, but not something to where they live the same lifestyle as you.”
HARRASSMENT PROMPTS 911 CALL
On the final weekend of October last year, while Smith was at the Cowboys’ team hotel preparing for a Sunday afternoon home game against the Giants, two of Smith’s sisters showed up from California unannounced at his North Dallas home, leading his girlfriend Leigh Costa to dial 911. According to a Dallas police report, the sisters were there to “harass and torment” him “in the pursuit of collecting financial gain.”
And it wasn’t the first time some of Smith’s family had shown up in Dallas and left in fury.
PHYSICAL THREATS RESULT IN RESTRAINING ORDER
Last October, John Schorsch — Smith’s Dallas-based attorney at the time — said Smith’s “mom and/or the stepdad threatened the physical well-being of Tyron and the life of his girlfriend.” Smith filed a protective order against his parents last summer to keep them from having any contact with him. The order also prohibits contact from Smith’s parents through his siblings.
During training camp last year in Oxnard, Calif., one of Smith’s brothers whom he said he hadn’t talked to “in a long time” showed up and had to be removed from the facility.
MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION
Six months ago, Schorsch said Smith’s family had not only continually demanded money from Smith but also took more than $1 million from him.
During a phone interview with The News last October, Frankie Pinkney strongly denied the family took any of Smith’s money without his authorization or harassed or threatened him in any way.
Smith said that when the money went missing, he was using a financial adviser his parents had recommended before the draft.
“There was money missing, but I just don’t know where it went,” Smith said. “There were times I would check my statements and it wouldn’t make sense and I hadn’t authorized it at all. I just felt betrayed and I was like, ‘Who can I trust?’”
NEW BLONDE FOR SNF INTRO: Carrie Underwood will replace Faith Hill on ‘Sunday Night Football’
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” lineup is getting younger while maintaining its robust level of blonde.
Carrie Underwood is no stranger to singing for NFL crowds. Take a look back at memorable Super Bowl performances.
The network announced Tuesday that Carrie Underwood will replace Faith Hill as the singer of its introductory theme song each week. Hill announced weeks ago she wouldn’t be continuing with the show.
Underwood’s first Sunday regular-season appearance on the show will come before a Dallas Cowboys game, featuring her ex, Tony Romo. We can only hope that NBC keeps the same lyrics to the theme song this season, so we can hear Underwood sing, “Al and Chris are the best on TV.”
Classic American songwriting, right there.