The Dallas Cowboys hoped that Bill Nagy, who was waived/injured earlier in the week, would pass through unclaimed so they could re-sign him and put the guard/center on injured reserve.
That won’t happen.
The Detroit Lions claimed Nagy, who will miss the 2012 season after having ankle surgery last week.
Nagy, a seventh-round pick out of Wisconsin in 2011, started at guard for the Cowboys last season before he broke the same ankle (right) he injured on the first day of practice. He was working at center.
The Cowboys’ decision to pass on signing veteran center Jamaal Jackson is an illustration of how difficult it is for teams to find players at this time.
Conditioning will be a factor for those out of work at this stage, especially veterans. The increased roster sizes from 80 to 90 players mean there are 320 fewer players available than in the past. The three-day acclimation period does not help fill an immediate need.
From all indications, Jackson was not in good enough shape to warrant a signing. He has not played a meaningful down since 2009. If you’re wondering about Andre Gurode, well, conditioning was a factor when he was under contract and took part in an offseason program. You would have to guess there would be conditioning issues now.
The Cowboys have short lists at all positions of need, and they’ve debated the merits of all kinds of players, while wondering what we’ve already discussed.
For now the Cowboys will stick with what they have.
If they need to find somebody in the near future to either get them through practices or have a legitimate shot at making the 53-man roster, then look for them to grab players who have been to a camp and cut recently. They will be in better condition and will not be held to the three-day rule.
Courtesy: Todd Archer | ESPN Dallas
Tight end Jake Ballard showed up to the New York Giants ‘ facility on Tuesday precisely at 4:02 p.m. ET, according to multiple Giants beat writers.
Ballard, who was waived by the Giants on Monday, thought he had cleared waivers and would be returning to the Giants after the team let him go following a failed physical on Monday. He expected to revert to the Giants’ PUP list and ultimately land on injured reserve, where he would spend the season.
There was only one problem: The New England Patriots decided to claim Ballard.
Ballard’s agent Blake Baratz tweeted out the news:
As I stated yesterday a “smart” football organization might claim @NYG_J_Ballard85 while he’s hurt to own his rights. He’s now a Patriot!
– Blake Baratz (@the_ifa) February 14, 2012
The Patriots later confirmed the move via a news release, announcing that they had also placed tight end Brad Herman on injured reserve.
What an insane sequence of events for Ballard. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the Super Bowl, was cut loose by the Giants, was given the impression he’d be coming back, and then ultimately landed with the team he helped beat in the big game.
This will surely frustrate the Giants. They didn’t want to lose Ballard, but they took the risk of waiving him. The Patriots decided to improve their team by using the rules to their advantage. They will likely stash Ballard, even if they know he can’t help them in 2012.
UPDATE: Ballard released a statement through Baratz later Tuesday, according to The Star-Ledger .
“While this was very sudden, and I am still experiencing a great deal of differing emotions, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you and place some closure on a wonderful chapter in my life,” the statement reads. “I will greatly miss my teammates, the fans, the organization, and albeit short-Iived, I will forever cherish all the great memories that we created during my time in a Giant uniform.
“Simultaneously, I am humbled by the opportunity that the Patriots have afforded me and as I have always done, I will bring nothing but hard work, professionalism, and integrity to what is already a world-class organization.”
IRVING, Texas — The Cowboys added a fourth quarterback to the training camp roster — and familiar competition for third-stringer Stephen McGee — by claiming Rudy Carpenter off waivers from the Buccaneers.
This will be Carpenter’s second stint with Dallas. He went to camp with the Cowboys as a rookie free agent in 2009 and spent half the season on the practice squad before the Buccaneers signed him to their active roster.
Carpenter has alternated between Tampa Bay’s active roster and practice squad over the last three seasons, making one regular-season appearance.
In his lone 2009 preseason action with the Cowboys, he completed 12 of 18 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t enough to beat out McGee, then one of two fourth-round draft picks.
Now it appears both — and perhaps more by training camp — will vie for a job behind starter Tony Romo and newly-signed backup Kyle Orton. McGee is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
Building a team isn’t easy and the Dallas Cowboys will begin the process of remaking theirs. In general, NFL clubs turn over a third of their personnel each season. Dallas figures to address needs in the secondary and along the offensive line as it also attempts to fortify the inside linebacker position and enhance its pass rush.
Here is a look at how the 2011 team was constructed and how each player was acquired. The Cowboys may follow a similar plan in 2012 or they could implement a new strategy.
From the Draft (29)
2003: CB Terence Newman, TE Jason Witten, LB Bradie James
2005: LB DeMarcus Ware, DE Marcus Spears, NT Jay Ratliff
2006: DE Jason Hatcher
2007: LB Anthony Spencer, LT Doug Free, CB Alan Ball
2008: RB Felix Jones, CB Mike Jenkins, TE Martellus Bennett, CB Orlando Scandrick
2009: QB Stephen McGee, LB Victor Butler, K David Buehler, TE John Phillips
2010: WR Dez Bryant, LB Sean Lee, NT Sean Lissemore, NT Josh Brent
2011: RT Tyron Smith, LB Bruce Carter, RB DeMarco Murray, G David Arkin, WR Dwayne Harris, FB Shaun Chapas, LG Bill Nagy
Signed as Free Agents (31)
2003: QB Tony Romo
2004: P Mat McBriar
2005: LS L.P. Ladouceur
2006: RG Kyle Kosier, WR Miles Austin
2009: LB Keith Brooking, S Gerald Sensabaugh, WR Kevin Ogletree
2010: S Barry Church, C Phil Costa, WR Jesse Holley, S Danny McCray, T Jermey Parnell
2011: S Abram Elam, DE Kenyon Coleman, LG Derrick Dockery, FB Tony Fiammetta, QB Chris Greisen, RB Sammy Morris, WR Laurent Robinson, CB Frank Walker, LB Alex Albright, K Dan Bailey, K Kai Forbath, LG Montrae Holland, WR Andre Holmes, G Kevin Kowalski, WR Raymond Radway, RB Phillip Tanner, P Chris Jones, RB Chauncey Washington
Claimed via Waivers (1)
2010: DE Clifton Geathers
Via Trades (1)
2009: QB Jon Kitna
Practice Squad (1)
2010: S Mana Silva
Jerry Jones: The results are not acceptable but fans should feel good that Cowboys will spend money to win
It has been 16 years since the Dallas Cowboys last played in a Super Bowl, marking the longest such streak in franchise history.
Add in the fact that ten different team have made the Super Bowl from the NFC over the last decade while the Cowboys have just one playoff win and just four playoff appearances during that span and its an unacceptable situation, according to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
But when asked what Cowboys fans have to feel good about their team going forward, Jones pointed to the fact he routinely has the highest payroll in the NFL.
“One of things that can be utilized to do better is money,” Jones said on his radio show on KRLD-FM. “We spend more money than anybody in football to have a good football team. We just have to do a better job in how we do it. It doesn’t always win it. Washington spends a lot of money. It doesn’t necessarily happen. But that is it NFL. But we have to realize this, that 10 different teams have gone to Super Bowl in the NFC over the last 10 years. We haven’t been one of them. That is not acceptable. We are trying to get there."
When looking to next year, Jones likes the mix with rookie Demarco Murray and Felix Jones at running back.
He also believes coach Jason Garrett will be better in his second full season as head coach.
“I like the experience Jason got,” Jones said. “It’s going to serve us well in the future.”
Jones is also excited about the progress the Cowboys can make in their second season under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, especially with them having the benefit of an off season to learn his system.
“I like philosophically what is happening on defense,” Jones said. “If you look at some of the better defenses, they match up to what Rob does philosophically. He will have offseason to institute what he does.”
Ironically Jones said Ryan compared favorably to former Cowboys head coach and now Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
It’s ironic considering that Ryan was hired in Dallas to improve the mess that was Phillips’ defense last year. But after leading the Texans to the second ranked unit in the league, Phillips has returned to be a standard bearer.
The Cowboys finished 14th in the league but seemingly got worse as the season went on. At the end of the season, they gave up too many big plays and couldn’t get pressure on the quarterback.
“Rob is not far off what Wade does (philosophically),” Jones said. “Wade has the No. 1 or No. 2 defense down there. But Rob is not far off. Rob has more emphasis on the secondary and less on the front. I like what we are doing on defense. We got to get better and not give up the big plays.”
It should be noted that Phillips improved a Texans defense that finished 30th last year to second in 2011. The Cowboys finished 23rd last year and 14th in 2011.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) talks with Sammy Morris (23).
IRVING — When running back Sammy Morris joined the Cowboys on Dec. 13, he was thrilled.
"The timing and everything was great," Morris said.
By joining the Cowboys when he did, Morris would be on the team’s active roster for the final three games of the season. And that meant Morris’ pension would increase. According to
the terms of the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Retirement Plan outlined in the old CBA, a former player who turns 55 will receive $425 per month for each credited season he is in the NFL. To earn a credited season, a player is required to be on the active roster, inactive list, injured reserve or the PUP list for a minimum of three games.
"If I were to come back this week and just play the last two games, it wouldn’t have went toward my retirement," Morris said. "Playing three games counts toward my 12th year."
And that’s one of the reasons Morris is so happy the Cowboys called on him when they did.
Courtesy: Rainer Sabin | Dallas Morning News (edited by The Boys Are Back blog)
Time finally has run out on Jon Kitna. His season has ended on injured reserve, and his career could be finished, too.
Kitna has had a back injury that has kept him out the past four weeks. Dallas had hoped that he would return before the end of the season.
Kitna, 39, had contemplated retirement before this season. He returned to finish the final year of his contract, but his family stayed back home in Washington. In his 15 seasons, Kitna has passed for 29,745 yards and 169 touchdowns.
The Cowboys replaced him on the roster with rookie receiver Dwayne Harris. Harris began the season on the active roster, returning three kickoffs for a 24.7 average and 11 punts for a 6.6 average. The Cowboys cut him Oct. 18 and re-signed him to the practice squad.
Dallas also signed Chris Greisen to the practice squad, giving them a third quarterback for practice. Greisen spent the final week of the 2010 season on the 53-player roster.
Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) is on the ground after being injured in the first half.
IRVING, Texas — Sammy Morris is officially a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
Morris, 34, played 11 years in Buffalo, Miami and New England but has not played this year after getting cut by the Patriots in training camp. He had a workout with Kansas City this season.
"I hadn’t heard anything for a while so I assumed that I’m going to ride into the sunset," Morris said. "So I got the phone call. … I all but said I was done in my mind, but it didn’t turn out that way."
To make room for Morris, the ex-Texas Tech running back, the Cowboys placed rookie running back DeMarco Murray on injured reserve because of an ankle injury suffered Sunday against the New York Giants that requires surgery.
With Felix Jones as the only healthy tailback on the roster, the Cowboys needed Morris. He has rushed for 2,955 yards in his career but could move into a third-down role to help spell Jones, who had 106 yards on the ground and six catches for 31 yards against the Giants.
"He’s certainly the right kind of guy in the role that he’s had in his career," coach Jason Garrett said of Morris. "He’s done it as well as anybody."
Addressing another injury, the Cowboys also signed safety Mana Silva off Buffalo’s practice squad since Barry Church is heading to injured reserve because of a shoulder injury that will require surgery.
Silva, 6-foot, 206 pounds, went to training camp with Baltimore as an undrafted free agent out of Hawaii and spent part of the season on the Ravens’ practice squad. He had seven tackles in the preseason. At Hawaii, he intercepted 14 passes.
The Cowboys needed to sign Silva after Church’s right shoulder popped out twice in Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants. Church was replaced by Danny McCray, who did not practice last week because of a high left ankle sprain.
Center Phil Costa, who suffered a concussion in Sunday’s game against the Giants, did not take part in Tuesday’s walkthrough practice. While owner Jerry Jones expressed optimism that Costa would be able to play vs. the Bucs, the second-year center has to pass a series of mandated tests before being allowed to practice.
If Costa can’t play, undrafted rookie Kevin Kowalski will start.
Bryan McCann is as good as the Raiders could hope for when adding a corner at this point. And hopefully he won’t even have to play much. He will be the fourth corner behind Routt, Sheppard and DVD, and he’ll be the fifth if Chris Johnson can ever make it back from his horrendous hamstring injury.
McCann was a UDFA out of Southern Methodist. This is his second season in the NFL. He has spent time with the Ravens and Cowboys. He is an explosive player with potential. He is 5’10” and 186 pounds.
He will fit right in with the Raiders vision of their corners. He ran a 4.28 40 at his pro day, and had a 40.5 vert. Those are some impressive numbers, but, he is also available for a reason. And that reason is he is not very good at this point in his career.
Along with his ability at corner, he also has potential as a return man. It would be great if McCann could take over punt return duties from Denarius Moore to free Moore from the abuse, and allow him to focus on playing WR. He also could fill the void left by Jacoby Ford on kick returns.
While McCann has good return numbers, he also fumbled six times in nine games for the Cowboys. He lost two of those fumbles.
Here are his stats courtesy of NFL.com
IRVING, Texas — The Cowboys could sign a receiver for depth this week with Miles Austin (right hamstring injury) possibly out through Thanksgiving, but team owner/GM Jerry Jones doesn’t expect to pursue a veteran. That means any move would come in-house.
“We’ve got (Dwayne) Harris on the practice squad,” Jones said on KRLD-FM. “That’ll be where we limit it to. It won’t be away from the roster.”
Harris, the team’s sixth-round pick, was active for the first five games as the primary punt returner, returning 11 for 73 yards (6.6 avg) along with three kickoff returns for 74 yards (24.7 avg). The Cowboys waived him Oct. 18 and placed him on the practice squad.
Elevating Harris would make sense if Austin’s injury forced the Cowboys to re-think using Diamond Dez Bryant on punt returns. With Austin likely out at least a couple of weeks, they can’t afford to lose another starting receiver.
Laurent Robinson is expected to start opposite Bryant. Behind them are Kevin Ogletree and Jesse Holley.
The Cowboys have four receivers on the practice squad: Harris, Andre Holmes, Teddy Williams and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah.
No move has to be made immediately. If a receiver is elevated, the logical swap would be rookie punter Chris Jones, who replaced injured Pro Bowler Mat McBriar (foot) against the Seahawks. But the Cowboys likely must see how McBriar’s injury responds this week before making a decision on his status for Buffalo this Sunday.
The Detroit Lions put their stamp on two one-year contracts Monday, re-signing running back Kevin Smith and adding former Dallas Cowboys guard Leonard Davis.
The team announced the deals Monday when they released running back Eldra Buckley and cornerback Anthony Madison.
Smith has not played this season and has a history of injury. He appeared in six games for the Lions last season, rushing for 133 yards. In his rookie season of 2008, Smith rushed for 976 yards and eight touchdowns.
The Lions needed to add depth in their backfield as running back Jahvid Best has been sidelined recently with concussion problems and Jerome Harrison is out for the season after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Meanwhile, it is unclear where Davis fits on the Lions’ offensive line or what corresponding roster move the Lions will make to add Davis to the team.
Detroit is coming off an open date and will play Chicago next week. The Lions are 6-2, but they’ve had occasional problems protecting quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The Cowboys cut the 33-year-old Davis before training camp. The move saved the Cowboys $6 million against the salary cap in 2011. Davis was scheduled to earn $6 million in base salary and count $9.416 million against the cap this season.
Davis, who signed a seven-year deal worth $49 million in 2007 as a free agent from Arizona, started every game he played for the Cowboys and was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons.
IRVING, Texas — The Washington Redskins claimed former Dallas Cowboys running back Tashard Choice off waivers on Monday, according to a source close to the team, possibly setting up an interesting reunion on Nov. 20 at FedEx Field.
The Cowboys cut Choice on Saturday to make room for rookie linebacker Bruce Carter. Had Choice not been claimed by Washington, he would have reverted to the Cowboys’ injured reserve list because of a hamstring injury.
The Dallas Cowboys would have reached an injury settlement with Choice if he ended up on IR.
The Redskins had a need after losing leading rusher Tim Hightower to a torn anterior cruciate ligament against Carolina. He had 321 yards on 84 carries. The Redskins also have Ryan Torain and Roy Helu as their tailbacks.
Choice had 75 yards on 28 carries this season and also caught 11 passes for 71 yards. In his career with the Cowboys, he finished with 1,139 yards on 250 carries and eight touchdowns. He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent following the season.