VALLEY RANCH SHAKE-UP: Veteran QB Matt Cassel back in the saddle | Rookie La’el Collins rejoining the trenches | RB Christine Michael to get more reps | Dallas Cowboys bye-week report 2015
IRVING, Texas – The bye week is typically a time to make some adjustments and even big changes. The Dallas Cowboys are doing just that. Continue reading →
IT’S TRUE-BLUE ENVY: Dallas Cowboys have NFL’s best fan base | America’s Team haters face the most avid, engaged, passionate and supportive fans in the league
Here at The Boys Are Back website, we knew it all along. The Dallas Cowboys have the best fans in the NFL.
The new study from Emory University is sure to turn some heads and anger Dallas Cowboys demonizers, and haters, all around the world.
The Dallas Cowboys are not only “America’s Team”, but they are also have “the best fans” in the NFL according to Mike Lewis and Manish Tripathi (at Emory Sports Marketing Analytics). The authors define “best” as “the most avid, engaged, passionate and supportive fans.” Continue reading →
MEET AMERICA’S TEAM CENTENARIAN: Troy Aikman surprises lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan Evonne Morgan | 100th Birthday visit delights adorable True Blue fan
The Dallas Cowboys have legions of fans, of all ages, in the U.S. and around the world.
Evonne Morgan stands out. Continue reading →
UNITY UNIT UNITED: O-line is fine with current RB stables | Dallas Cowboys offensive line ready to gel with running backs | North Texas Food Bank benefit
The Dallas Cowboys offensive line sticks together, on the field and off it. Continue reading →
REAL BALLS, RED CARPET & RECORD BOOKS: Star-studded stadium stuffed–Guinness World Records set | 70,252 fans pack AT&T Stadium on ACM’s 50th anniversary | Tony Romo’s Real Balls | Dallas Cowboys Jason Witten & Troy Aikman
The roof was open and the stars were out for as The Academy of Country Music held its annual awards show live from AT&T Stadium last night. Continue reading →
BOYS BIG BRITISH BRUTE: Dallas Developing Defender–DE Efe Obada | From home hopping to home shopping | Living the American Dream with America’s Team | Cowboys commit to promising prospect with 3-year contract
IRVING, Texas – Not only did the Dallas Cowboys have a productive week in London last fall, which ended with a victory over the Jaguars, but they might have found an interesting prospect along the way. Continue reading →
AMERICA’S TEAM–LOST LEGEND: Amazing journey ends for Dallas Cowboys first QB Eddie LeBaron | Fascinating life of American war hero | Eddie LeBaron Jr 1930-2015
THE FUTURE OF THE STAR: The Dallas Cowboys world headquarters set to open in the summer of 2016 | The state-of-the-art training facility located in Frisco, Texas | The Omni Hotel anchors major retail and restaurant development plan
It’s very rare for such a wide array of Dallas Cowboys employees – from sponsorship sales and marketing gurus to legal experts and Dallas Cowboys website reporters – to gather in one room at Valley Ranch, but that’s exactly what happened this morning (Tuesday). They were invited to learn more about the future home – the future headquarters and world-class training facility of the Dallas Cowboys, officially named The Star. Continue reading →
THE AMERICA’S TEAM DREAM: Tony & True Blue Timothy Tinman–Romo helps a dream come true for 7-year-old fan | Surprise reunion with family’s father
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo helped give 7-year-old Timothy Brookshire a day he won’t forget.
Romo met with Brookshire through the Dream On 3 organization, which helps children with “chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities or life-altering conditions” meet their favorite professional athletes and attend sporting events.
Timothy, nicknamed “Tinman”, has several medical conditions, including a heart defect, chromosomal abnormality and Langerhans cell histiocytosis.
Timothy’s dream was to meet Romo, which he did yesterday (Monday) when he and his family flew to Big D to take a tour of the Dallas Cowboys facilities.
The boy’s father, a National Guardsman, also took part in a surprise reunion with the family, as depicted in the video.
Timothy “Tinman” Brookshire reunited with dad and meets Tony Romo
Timothy “Tinman” Brookshire
Timothy: Even before birth, it was determined that Timothy’s conditions and birth defects were “not compatible with life.” His mother and father were told to enjoy their time with their son because he would likely only live for a few days. 7 years and 58 surgeries later, Timothy’s medical conditions include TOFPA – Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia (Heart Defect), Cleft lip and palate, Trisomy 16 (a chromosomal abnormality,) and Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH). Continue reading →
DALLAS COWBOYS LOST LEGEND: Versatile fullback Robert Newhouse passes away | Dallas Cowboys 1972-1983; 1983-2008 | His sacrifices helped create “America’s Team”
OXNARD, Calif. – On the day the team reported to training camp with high hopes for the future, the Dallas Cowboys lost a key member of their history.
TAKING A CLOSER LOOK: Dissecting the Dallas Cowboys 2014 2015 regular season schedule | Dallas Cowboys Schedule 2014
The 2014 Dallas Cowboys schedule doesn’t have the mostly home-road-home-road pattern of the 2013 season, or the home opener and closer.
It’s back-loaded with road games.
But there are small advantages within it.
For one, the Dallas Cowboys don’t face any rested team coming off its bye week. No team will get the extra week to prepare for new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli or play-caller Scott Linehan.
For another, the Dallas Cowboys don’t have to travel to a home opener in a rabid environment like last year, when they went to Kansas City and got ambushed. This season, the Cowboys are the home opener for Tennessee.
The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers will be on equal footing, schedule-wise, when they open the season at AT&T Stadium. But when the Cowboys host the Saints on a Sunday night game in Week 4, it will be the third road game in four weeks for the Saints. The Saints will have opened with two on the road, at Atlanta and Cleveland, before their home opener.
MAKING OF AMERICA’S TEAM: The Dallas Cowboys best all-time NFL draft picks round-by-round | Special Feature
IRVING, Texas – This list centers on breaking down the Dallas Cowboys top NFL Draft picks in club history, round by round. These aren’t the best groups of draft picks in franchise history, but quite possibly the best in each round.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Dallas Cowboys featured on NFL Network’s Dynasty Week
IRVING, Texas – This week is the Dallas Cowboys turn to be featured on NFL Network’s Dynasty Week, which runs each week with a new team throughout March.
The Cowboys are one of five NFL dynasties, along with the Packers, Patriots, Steelers and 49ers, that will be featured. Each “Dynasty Week” will feature team-related segments on NFL AM and NFL Total Access, as well as interviews with guests associated with each team.
Additionally, throughout the week NFL Network will show team-related editions of such shows as A Football Life, America’s Game, NFL’s Top 10 and Sound FX, as well as classic games and Super Bowl re-airs.
The series for the Dallas Cowboys begins Monday and continues through Sunday, April 6. Former Cowboys offensive lineman Nate Newton and former Cowboys defensive back Everson Walls are among the in-studio guests.
Cowboys Week features the following Cowboys-related programming:
Monday, March 31
3:00 PM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Team Nicknames
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1971 Cowboys
5:00 PM CT – Super Bowl VI: Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: The Triplets
8:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Tom Landry
9:00 PM CT – The Road to Canton: Deion Sanders
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 1
2:00 AM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Dallas Cowboys
3:00 AM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Thanksgiving Moments
4:00 AM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Team Nicknames
Tuesday, April 1
1:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
2:00 PM CT – The Road to Canton: Deion Sanders
3:00 PM CT – NFL Film Session: Emmitt Smith: Run with History
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1977 Cowboys
5:00 PM CT – Super Bowl XII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: Terrell Owens
8:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
9:00 PM CT – The Road to Canton: Michael Irvin
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 2
2:00 AM CT – NFL Classic Games: 1975 Divisional Playoff – Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings
4:30 AM CT – Super Bowl XII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos
Wednesday, April 2
1:00 PM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXVII – Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1992 Cowboys
5:00 PM CT – Super Bowl XXVII: Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: Bill Parcells
8:00 PM CT – NFL’s Greatest Games: 1992 NFC Championship Game – Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers
9:30 PM CT – Super Bowl XXVII: Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 3
2:00 AM CT – NFL Classic Games: 1992 NFC Championship Game – Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers
Thursday, April 3
1:00 PM CT – NFL Classic Games: Week 17, 1993 – Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1993 Cowboys
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: The Triplets
8:00 PM CT – A Football Life: The Great Wall of Dallas
9:00 PM CT – NFL Film Session: Emmitt Smith: Run with History
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 4
2:00 AM CT – NFL Classic Games: Week 14, 1994 – Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Friday, April 4
1:00 PM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXX – Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1995 Cowboys
5:00 PM CT – Super Bowl XXX: Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: Tony Romo
8:00 PM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Dallas Cowboys
9:00 PM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Thanksgiving Moments
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 5
2:00 AM CT – NFL Classic Games: 1995 NFC Championship Game – Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Saturday, April 5
8:00 AM CT – A Football Life: Tom Landry
9:00 AM CT – A Football Life: The Great Wall of Dallas
10:00 AM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
11:00 AM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXVII – Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
2:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 1
3:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 2
4:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 3
5:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 4
6:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 5
8:00 PM CT – A Football Life: The Great Wall of Dallas
9:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
11:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Tom Landry
12 Midnight CT – NFL’s Top 10: Dallas Cowboys
2:00 PM CT – NFL Classic Games: 1992 NFC Championship Game – Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, April 6
8:00 AM CT – The Road to Canton: Michael Irvin
9:00 AM CT – The Road to Canton: Deion Sanders
10:00 AM CT – NFL Film Session: Emmitt Smith: Run with History
11:00 AM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXX – Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
2:00 PM CT – A Football Life: The Great Wall of Dallas
3:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
4:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Tom Landry
5:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1971 Cowboys
6:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1977 Cowboys
7:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1992 Cowboys
8:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1993 Cowboys
9:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1995 Cowboys
10:00 PM CT – Super Bowl VI: Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins
10:30 PM CT – Super Bowl XII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos
11:00 PM CT – Super Bowl XXVII: Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
11:30 PM CT – Super Bowl XXVIII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills
12 Midnight CT – Super Bowl XXX: Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
12:30 AM CT – NFL’s Greatest Games: 1992 NFC Championship Game – San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys
2:00 PM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXX – Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
THE TRUE BLUE ROSTER TEST: Name all ten of the Dallas Cowboys defensive linemen currently on the roster | Special Feature
You know the Dallas Cowboys don’t have Jason Hatcher or DeMarcus Ware on their defensive line anymore.
Do you know who they do have?
Hint: There are currently 10 defensive linemen under contract.
Another Hint: Three of them are defensive tackles and seven are defensive ends.
How many can you name off the top of your head?
STOP READING NOW AND THINK ABOUT IT …
THE ANSWERS ARE BELOW … NO PEEKING!!!
George Selvie? That’s a start. Nick Hayden? That’s two. Tyrone Crawford? On a roll.
And? Maybe Ben Bass?
How about the two new signees – Jeremy Mincey and Terrell McClain?
FOUR TO GO …
Martez Wilson, Tristan Okpalaugo, Caesar Rayford, and Frank Kearse are the others.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
The 10 defensive linemen currently on the 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys roster have combined to play in 268 games, making 457 tackles and 39.5 sacks. Ware and Hatcher combined to play 260 games with 779 tackles and 144 sacks.
Editors note: This post inspired by Charean Williams of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. Current Dallas Cowboy unrestricted free agents Anthony Spencer, Edgar Jones, and Jarius Wynn are not included in this count … but you get bonus points for naming them!
True Blues, keep up with the 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys roster 2014-2015 right here, on The Boys Are Back
OFFICIAL WEBSITE SONG: Dallas Cowboys – The Boys Are Back In Town (’92)
The Dallas Cowboys song from 1992 championship season. How ‘bout them Cowboys? Enjoy!
Courtesy: YouTube | DallasCowboysAudio
DALLAS COWBOYS LIVING LEGEND: Former safety Cliff Harris to have football stadium named after him
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. — Ouachita Baptist University has demolished its home football stands to make way for a new structure expected to be in place by next season.
The new stadium will be named for Cliff Harris, who attended OBU and later played in five Super Bowls for the Dallas Cowboys. Harris was present for Friday’s demolition.
The school’s sports information director, Kyle Parris, said the demolition took longer than expected when the stadium’s press box remained intact after much of the rest of the stadium came down. It eventually was dismantled.
A.U. Williams Field dates to 1912 but the seating torn down was erected in the 1960s and 1970s.
PHOTO: Former NFL Dallas Cowboys safety Cliff Harris, left, and Ouachita Baptist University President Rex Horne walk past the stands at A.U. Williams Field in Arkadelphia, Ark., Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Part of the stands at the NCAA college football stadium were demolished Friday to make way for construction of a new facility to be named for Harris who played at the school in the 1960s.
Former Dallas Cowboys safety Cliff Harris drives a power shovel at A.U. Williams Field at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. Harris, who played for the school in the 1960s, participated in the demolition of part of the stands at the field. A new stadium named for Harris is to be built in time for the 2014 season.
ROAD TO THE 2015 SUPER BOWL: What it will take for your 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys to reach Super Bowl XLIX
The Dallas Cowboys haven’t been to the Super Bowl in 18 years. The NFL’s parity driven league allows most franchises to feel like they’re close to the mountain top. After three consecutive .500 seasons, what would it take for the Cowboys to make it to next year’s Super Bowl? Photo: Tom Fox/DMN
1.) Stay healthy. Injuries to Sean Lee, Anthony Spencer, DeMarcus Ware, and Tyrone Crawford greatly reduced the level of talent on the Dallas Cowboys defense. If Dallas can avoid those significant injuries, the defense should be an improved unit in its second year in the Texas-2 scheme.
2.) Draft well. With little salary cap space, the NFL Draft will be the best way for the Dallas Cowboys to improve their roster. Gain a quality pass rusher and a playmaking safety this year and the defense should bounce back. Photo: Vernon Bryant/DMN
3.) Smooth coaching transition. The new job titles held by Rod Marinelli and Monte Kiffin shouldn’t be a significant adjustment, but how Scott Linehan, Bill Callahan, and Jason Garrett operate on offense will be interesting to watch. If all three work well together, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys offense could be in for a big year. Photo: Vernon Bryant/DMN
4.) Run more often. Callahan didn’t run the ball enough last season and Linehan has a history of calling a pass-heavy offense. The Dallas Cowboys need to average more rushing attempts per game. Photo: G.J. McCarthy/DMN
5.) Improve defensively. The Dallas Cowboys finished last in the league, allowing 415.3 yards per game. This group needs to get back to being a Top 15 unit. A second-year in the 4-3 scheme should help. Photo: Louis DeLuca/DMN
6.) Improve depth. One of the Dallas Cowboys biggest problems has been a lack of roster depth. To be a contender in 2014-2015, Dallas needs major contributions from players like Gavin Escobar (pictured), B.W. Webb, J.J. Wilcox, and Kyle Wilber. The Cowboys also need to add a few key reserves in the middle rounds of the draft. Photo: Vernon Bryant/DMN
7.) A little luck. Every team needs a few breaks. A few fortunate bounces could be the difference between going 8-8 and 10-6. Photo: Tom Fox/DMN
8.) Fit the Players. Bruce Carter, Morris Claiborne, and Brandon Carr struggled at times transitioning into Monte Kiffin’s scheme. Dallas Cowboys defensive coaches need to modify the scheme to make sure these players bounce back and succeed.
9.) Coaching improvement. Jason Garrett continues to improve as the Dallas Cowboys head coach. With the recent restructuring, 2014-2015 needs to be the year that all of his experiences pay off. Photo: G.J. McCarthy/DMN
10.) Minimize distractions/drama. Josh Brent (pictured during his trial), Jeremiah Jay Ratliff, and a younger Dez Bryant have all had off the field issues over the past few years. It’s easier to perform well on the field when there aren’t any distractions off of it. Photo: Ron Baselice/DMN
SACKED FOR FIFTH TIME: Dallas Cowboys living legend Charles Haley again denied induction into NFL Hall of Fame
IRVING, Texas – Once again, Charles Haley’s been left out of the latest Hall of Fame class.
This marked the fifth year Haley, who’s the only player in NFL history with five Super Bowl rings, was a Hall of Fame finalist without getting in. Michael Strahan, Andre Reed, Walter Jones, Derrick Brooks, Aeneas Williams, Claude Humphrey and Ray Guy all were named into the Class of 2014.
Haley ranks 12th in Cowboys history with 34 sacks and had 100.5 for his career. He would have been the 13th former Cowboys player who accrued at least five years with the team to be named to the Hall of Fame.
Haley, who was the NFC Defensive Player of the Year twice in his career, joined the Cowboys in 1992 in a trade from San Francisco. Many believe Haley was the difference-maker on defense to put the team over the hump. Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin were already in place and leading a high-octane offense, but it was Haley’s presence that added a needed piece.
The converted defensive end had six sacks in his first season but played a big role in the Cowboys having the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL in 1992. In Super Bowl XXVII, Haley made a game-changing play when he sacked Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and forced a fumble, which was recovered in midair by Jimmie Jones for a touchdown. The Cowboys eventually pulled away for a convincing 52-17 win.
Haley had four sacks in 1993 but his most memorable moment came after a Week 2 loss to Buffalo, which dropped the Cowboys to 0-2. Haley emphatically slammed his helmet through a locker room wall at Texas Stadium and voiced his anger in the Cowboys’ not having signed Emmitt Smith, who was two games into a contract dispute with Jerry Jones and the organization. Haley’s comment, “We can’t win with a rookie,” in reference to Smith’s backup Derrick Lassic, might have been the final straw as the Cowboys and Smith came to terms the next week. Smith went on to have an MVP season and the Cowboys won another Super Bowl.
The Cowboys went back to the No. 1 defense in 1994 and Haley had his first double-digit sack season with the club with 12.5, including four in the season opener in Pittsburgh.
Haley had 10.5 sacks in 1995, battling through a bad back all season. He had a sack against the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX, which helped him earn his league-best fifth Super Bowl ring.
In three Super Bowls with the Cowboys, Haley had 2.5 sacks and he had 4.5 sacks in his five Super Bowl games played
RELATED: Charles Haley won’t be included in NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2014
NEW YORK – Charles Haley’s wait continues.
The fifth time was not the charm for the former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman, who again was denied entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan, Aeneas Williams, Ray Guy and Claude Humphrey form the Class of 2014, announced Saturday night. Brooks and Jones earned enshrinement as first-year eligible candidates, and Strahan made it after missing last year in his first year of eligibility.
Williams and Reed have waited longer, with Reed in his ninth year of eligibility and Williams in his fifth. Guy, the first punter to earn induction and only the second true specialist, and Humphrey were seniors nominees.
The seven-man class will be enshrined in Canton this summer.
The 46 selectors met for a record 8 hours, 59 minutes, with Haley’s discussion taking 25 minutes. Discussion on Tony Dungy lasted 47 minutes, the longest of the day, with Brooks taking only 10 minutes.
Haley made the cut to 10, but he, Jerome Bettis, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison and Will Shields were eliminated in the reduction to five. Morten Andersen, Tim Brown, Eddie DeBartolo Jr., Tony Dungy and John Lynch were eliminated from consideration in the first reduction ballot from 15 to 10.
Haley, whose final retirement came following the 1999 season, has been eligible for enshrinement for 10 years. In that time, he has watched seven teammates inducted into the Hall of Fame.
It had seemed this might be Haley’s year.
He remains the only player with five Super Bowl rings, winning two with the San Francisco 49ers and three with the Cowboys.
Haley’s teams went 153-66, including 19-6 in the postseason. Only once in 12 regular seasons did his team have a losing record. That was in 1999 after he had retired and then unretired.
His teams won 10 division titles, and he played in seven NFC Championship Games. His teams missed the playoffs only twice.
THE ROOKIES IN REVIEW: Evaluating the youngest Dallas Cowboys value going into the 2014 2015 NFL season | Team needs emerging stars to impact roster depth
IRVING, Texas – Technically, the guys like Travis Frederick and Terrance Williams are still considered rookies and will be until the NFL calendar year ends in March.
Some of them played active roles, had to grow up quickly and learn on the run.
Looking ahead, it’s time to rank the best rookies on the roster. The criteria is about performance last year and also their big-picture perspective heading into 2014 and beyond.
When the season concluded, the Dallas Cowboys had exactly 10 rookies on the depth chart, so without any honorable mentions, let’s jump right in.
10. Cameron Lawrence – Forced into action because of the injuries at linebacker, Lawrence finished second on the team with 12 special teams tackles, despite playing just 10 games. Lawrence might have a hard time making this team again if all the linebackers are healthy in camp but he proved he can be a difference maker on special teams and that always helps.
9. Jakar Hamilton – He wasn’t as productive as Lawrence by any means, but in terms of long-term, Hamilton could have more upside, especially considering the question marks at safety. Hamilton got put in a bad spot in the Detroit game and his inexperience was put on display. What a rough spot for any rookie to make his debut. But he once started at Georgia as a freshman, so talent is there.
8. B.W. Webb – This fourth-round pick wasn’t much of a contributor this past season. He was also forced into action more than the Cowboys wanted and there were more struggles. And that was somewhat expected considering he came from William & Mary and now he’s playing slot cornerback. He was eventually replaced by Sterling Moore in the nickel, but let’s see what kind of jump he makes from Year 1 to Year 2.
7. Jeff Heath – If this was about production and stats, Heath would’ve likely been No. 3 on this list. Say what you want about the New Orleans game when he had a night to forget or some other plays in which his coverage skills are in question, but Heath showed a lot of promise for an undrafted rookie from Saginaw Valley State. Heath started only six games but finished sixth in tackles with 60 and tied for fourth with six pass breakups.
6. J.J. Wilcox – He gets the nod over Heath on this list because of upside only. Don’t forget Wilcox only played one year of safety in college before joining the Cowboys so it’s still a learning process for him. He had some moments where he flashed his athletic ability but there were also some “lost” moments. Come next year, Wilcox likely gets the chance to win the job once again.
5. Joseph Randle – His placement’s based more on what he could mean in the future than what he contributed as a rookie, finishing with 54 carries for 164 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Unless an extension gets worked out, this upcoming year will be DeMarco Murray’s last season under contract with the Cowboys. Dallas drafted Randle as a potential carry-the-load back and someone capable of handling the full duties. The Cowboys have to figure out if he can be a long-term option next year.
4. Gavin Escobar – He flashed his potential a few times throughout the year but was only used sparingly. This offseason might be more essential for him than any other rookie on this team. The coaches continually emphasized just how important it will be for Escobar to get stronger prior to the start of next season. The backup tight end finished with nine catches, 134 yards and two touchdowns, serving more as a passing option than a stout run blocker.
3. DeVonte Holloman – The rookie, who never played middle linebacker prior to the 2013 season, finished the year as the starter at that spot after various injuries. The sixth-round pick also happened to be one of the most valuable contributors among the rookie class, finishing with 28 tackles and tied for fourth on the team with two sacks, both of which came in the finale. That was his best game of the year, leading the team with 11 combined tackles. He should compete for a starting outside linebacker spot next year.
2. Terrance Williams – One of the more inconsistent players early in the year and in training camp became one of the offense’s most accountable, consistent options late in the year. The receiver’s ability to get behind the defense added an element for Tony Romo and Kyle Orton that few other players possessed on the team. His 44 catches for 736 yards and five touchdowns all rank in the top five in team history among rookies, and he got noticeably better as the year went on.
1. Travis Frederick – The Cowboys were highly criticized for moving back and grabbing the Wisconsin center late in the first round, but he couldn’t have exceeded expectations much more than he did. Frederick immediately stepped in as the center and stayed on the field all year, helping to anchor the Cowboys’ best rushing attack in years. There were some growing pains early on, but by the end of the year he helped the Cowboys’ offensive line become one of the most formidable in the league.
PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME: Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Charles Haley a finalist for the fifth time
IRVING, Texas – Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Charles Haley is once again one of the finalists for the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Haley, a finalist for the fifth time, joins four first-year eligible nominees among the 15 modern-era finalists to be considered for election to the Hall of Fame when the selection committee meets in New York City on Feb. 1.
If Haley made it this year, he’d be the 15th Cowboys player to be elected to the Hall of Fame, joining Troy Aikman, Larry Allen, Tony Dorsett, Bob Hayes, Michael Irvin, Tom Landry, Bob Lilly, Mel Renfro, Deion Sanders, Tex Schramm, Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach, Randy White, and Rayfield Wright.
Haley played 12 seasons and in 169 games and is the only player in NFL history to play on five Super Bowl winning teams between his time in Dallas and San Francisco.
He began his career as a linebacker in San Francisco, where he recorded four double-digit sack seasons. He’d later get traded to the Cowboys, where he’d record two more double-digit sack seasons in 1994 and 1995 as a defensive end. Haley finished his career with 100.5 total sacks, getting named to five Pro Bowls and garnering two All-Pro selections.
Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson, who was a semifinalist this year and won two Super Bowl titles during his time in Dallas, didn’t make the list of finalists.
The 15 modern-era finalists will be the only ones considered for Hall of Fame election when the 46-member selection committee meets. A finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent to be elected.
To be eligible for election, players and coaches must have last played or coached more than five seasons ago. Derrick Brooks, Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison and Walter Jones are the four first-year eligible nominees. Haley and Kevin Greene have both been eligible for 10 years.
All the finalists were determined by a vote of the selection committee from a list of 126 nominees, which was reduced to a list of 25 semifinalists. In addition, Ray Guy and Claude Humphrey were selected as senior candidates by the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee, leaving 15 modern-era and two senior nominees among the full list of finalists.
Here’s a list of all the finalists:
Morten Andersen, Kicker
Jerome Bettis, Running Back
Derrick Brooks, Linebacker
Tim Brown, Wide Receiver/Kick Returner/Punt Returner
Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner
Tony Dungy, Coach
Kevin Greene, Linebacker/Defensive End
*Ray Guy, Punter
Charles Haley, Defensive End/Linebacker
Marvin Harrison, Wide Receiver
*Claude Humphrey, Defensive End
Walter Jones, Tackle
John Lynch, Free Safety
Andre Reed, Wide Receiver
Will Shields, Guard
Michael Strahan, Defensive End
Aeneas Williams, Cornerback/Safety
DALLAS COWBOYS INJURIES: 2013 2014 Key injury recap | How ‘bout them hamstrings
With the Dallas Cowboys 2013 2014 season over, injuries to several key players took shape this season. The Cowboys lost 77 gameday starts to player injuries this season, including 23 to hamstring problems.
Veteran and well-respected strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Woicik said his staff worked hard to solve the number of hamstring injuries. Extra stretching and monitoring the amount of work players did during practices were some of the things Woicik’s staff did to combat the problem.
The Cowboys lost seven players to hamstring injuries this season including five games each to wide receiver Miles Austin and linebacker Justin Durant. Austin just wasn’t the same player in the latter half of the season because of his tender hamstrings.
Durant was placed on injured reserve Dec. 17 because he couldn’t recover in enough time to get ready to play.
Here’s the list of Dallas Cowboys players who were injured and how many games were lost:
DeMarco Murray, two games
Lance Dunbar, seven games
Dwayne Harris, three games
Miles Austin, five games
Tony Romo, one game
DeMarcus Ware, three games
Sean Lee, five games
Bruce Carter, one game
Morris Claiborne, five games
Jason Hatcher, one game
Justin Durant, six games
DeVonte Holloman, seven games
Edgar Jones, nine games
Ernie Sims, four games
Anthony Spencer, 15 games
J.J. Wilcox, three games
2014 NFL DRAFT ORDER: Houston Texans hold first pick, Dallas Cowboys in a coin flip for Sweet #16
The top-20 order for the 2014 NFL Draft is now set with the regular season complete. The Houston Texans will pick No. 1 overall for the third time in franchise history.
The order of picks 21-32 will be based on the outcome of the NFL playoffs. Updated first-round mock drafts can be found here.
|NFL DRAFT ORDER 2014 – Top 20 picks|
|NFL DRAFT ORDER 2014 – Playoff Teams|
Above is the order with the strength of schedule (SOS) numbers to indicate the tiebreaker. For the NFL Draft, the first tiebreaker rule is SOS, the easier SOS earning the earlier selection. Division and Conference tiebreakers are next and if teams are still tied, a coin flip will determine the team that picks first (** Indicates a coin flip to break ties).
2014 Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft picks 2014
|Round 1||16 or 17||Coin flip will determine|
|Round 2||15 (47 overall)|
|Round 3||14 (78 overall)|
|Round 4||19 (115 overall)|
|Round 5||18 (146 overall)|
|Round 6||17 (177 overall)|
|Round 7||14 (206 overall)||From Chicago (Rosario)|
|Round 7||16 (208 overall)|
These picks are subject to trade and do not include any compensatory picks awarded by the NFL in the later rounds. Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.
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TEXAS-SIZED TRUE BLUES: Dallas Cowboys fans remain loyal despite results | Fan Poll
ARLINGTON — Dallas Cowboys fans faced Sunday night’s game against Philadelphia with excitement — but also some reservations.
With many players out hurt, the team had a high hurdle to overcome the Eagles to win the NFC East title and a pass to the playoffs.
Ron Barnes, 55, of Denton said the 8-7 record going into Sunday’s game had left him feeling lousy.
“I mean it’s just by the grace of God that we’re in a position where we might win the division,” Barnes said. “We’re lucky to be in the game.”
But he said he’ll always be there for his team.
“I mean they’re our team,” Barnes said. “I was born and raised in Texas. … Through thick and thin, I guess, and I hate the Eagles anyway.”
Eric Campos, 37, of Killeen said he came to Sunday’s game, though the season had left him frustrated, especially because of all the injuries.
The thing that keeps Campos going? Hope.
“We’re still Cowboys fans,” he said.
Elsa Rodriguez, 61, of Corpus Christi was primed to enjoy the game, regardless of the outcome, because it was her first time seeing the Cowboys in person.
But she conceded the team’s performance this season had taken a toll on her.
“The Cowboys have been nerve-racking. … So many emotions,” Rodriguez said.
Through it all, though, she has remained loyal.
“I wish they would just win them all easily, but that doesn’t happen. … They’ll still be my team,” Rodriguez said. “My whole family is Cowboys fans.”