Marcus Spears wasn’t out of work for long. The defensive end, who was cut by the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday, announced Friday on Twitter he is now a member of the Baltimore Ravens.
The contract Spears finalized with the reigning Super Bowl champions, a two-year, $3.55 million deal, was reported by multiple outlets.
Spears, 30, was one of the Cowboys’ longest tenured players. He was set to make $2 million in base salary this season and count $2.7 million against Dallas’ salary cap.
The Cowboys will designate Spears as a post-June 1 cut, meaning they can spread the $2.1 of dead money — a total equivalent to the guaranteed bonus remaining on his contract — over the next two years. The savings, $2 million this year, won’t be credited until after that date, and as a result the Cowboys are still roughly $175,000 below the payroll ceiling set by the NFL.
Selected in the first round of the 2005 draft with the 20th overall pick, Spears became a fixture in the Cowboys’ defensive line. He started 89 games with Dallas and recorded 10 sacks, 50 quarterback pressures, and 19 tackles for loss. In 2011, he signed a five-year, $19.2 million contract. But soon thereafter he was demoted and used mostly as a reserve.
Eventually Spears, who started only six games last season, became expendable when the Cowboys hired Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator in January and decided to switch to a 4-3 scheme. Once picked by former coach Bill Parcells to be one of the linchpins in the team’s 3-4 system, Spears now didn’t have a role that suited him.
In Baltimore, where the defending Super Bowl champions predominantly deploy a three-man front, he should find fit in more comfortably.
RELATED: Spagnola – Numbers can’t define Marcus Spears worth
IRVING, Texas – This one has to hurt, at least emotionally.
From Day 1, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has preached the importance of building your team with “the right kinds of guys,” meaning guys with high character, guys who love to play football, guys who understand the importance of team.
So for sure, releasing eight-year veteran Marcus Spears on Wednesday just had to strike at his core beliefs.
The Super Bowl party has become one of the biggest social events on the calendar. A party up there in stature and anticipation like parties for New Year’s Eve, Halloween and WrestleMania.
And since many of you don’t bother to read this far and just skip to the list, much like how you will make a b-line to the beer fridge at the party, let’s just get to it.
This is the ideal The Boys Are Back reader. Just because this guy’s team was eliminated is no reason for him not to say why these two teams are terrible. You know, the two teams playing in the Super Bowl. Get ready for three hours of why his team will be playing in the game next year. Just nod your head and say, “Yeah, it sure does sound like next year is going to be the year for the Cowboys.” “No way it goes bad for Tony Romo again.”
Every time Colin Kaepernick does something great, this guy will be quick to tell you he picked up the young signal caller on the waiver wire last year and rode him to fantasy victory! Or drone on about how Mark Sanchez’s fumble sealed his title. What’s worse, this guy will likely show up with his fantasy football trophy and make you pose with him.
I’m just here for the commercials
At least one party guest will take great pride in the fact he doesn’t watch football and revel in his ignorance. And why he’s at a Super Bowl party, we have no idea. He’s also the (expletive) who becomes annoyed if you talk during the commercials (it’s the best part!) and can’t understand why you went outside to smoke during the halftime show. He’s guaranteed to root for the team you don’t want to win, too.
The misguided know it all
This fan is the opposite of the well informed The Boys Are Back reader! You can’t miss this guy because he’s going to talk louder than the TV, no matter how many times you continue to increase the volume. Best of all, most of his statements will be wrong. He’ll say things like, “I loved Coopernick (sic) when he played at UNLV.” Sure you did. He’ll often feel like he has to talk down to the women folk, most of whom has a better understanding of the NFL and will gleefully point out KAEPERNICK played at Nevada, not UNLV. That moment will probably be the highlight of your day.
Look who just got a brand new T-shirt from NFL Shop! But you can tell he isn’t a real hardcore fan by the surprise on their face when you say former Raiders receiver Jerry Rice actually started his career with the 49ers. Get ready to be stunned, but this is also likely a fan of the Yankees, Celtics and the Empire in “Star Wars.”. He does not know who Paul Tagliabue is or was, but the name sounds familiar. He insists he’s been pulling for SF or Baltimore for years! Testing this ‘fan’ is always interesting and entertaining.
This person loves the team, or at least that’s the conclusion we can draw from the back tattoo. So why and the hell are they here? Hardcore fans are no fun because if their team loses, we all lose. Most of us just want to sit around, enjoy the game and maybe crack a few jokes. You can’t do that if you have one hardcore fan there. You have to root for their team, or your life is miserable. And if there are hardcore fans from both teams, it’s even worse.
So don’t worry diehard fan, we’ll smooth things out with your spouse (who is likely making you go). You just sit home and enjoy the game.
Ok. Did we forget anyone? What kind of fan category do you fall into?
After 17 grueling weeks, the playoffs are finally here. The seeds are set and the field is stacked.
A quick look at the 12 teams that survived to play another game. Here’s a case for and against each squad in the race to Super Bowl XLVII:
1) Atlanta Falcons (13-3)
How do they make a deep run? The Falcons continue to be an excellent home team. The running game provides just enough balance to complement a potent passing attack, and the defense routinely baffles elite quarterbacks, producing several turnovers.
How do they get eliminated? The Falcons struggle to rush the passer, and they become too one-dimensional on offense. In their three losses this season, they produced just two sacks and were out-rushed, 487-146. A team like the Seattle Seahawks or San Francisco 49ers could pose a huge problem.
2) San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1)
How do they make a deep run? The defense dominates the line of scrimmage and Colin Kaepernick produces three or four big plays per game. Receiver Michael Crabtree continues to emerge as a top-shelf talent, and the running game benefits from the fresh legs of rookie LaMichael James.
How do they get eliminated? The49ers’ defense can be attacked; the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks provided a blueprint for doing so in Weeks 15 and 16. The 49ers’ offense, meanwhile, is capable of stalling for long stretches of time. The poor play of kicker David Akers could also end up costing San Francisco a game.
3) Green Bay Packers (11-5)
How do they make a deep run? Led by Aaron Rodgers, the Packers’ passing attack gets hot and puts up huge numbers, outscoring every opponent. A different receiver steps up every week and a healthy Clay Matthews closes out games with pressures and sacks.
How do they get eliminated? The offensive line can’t protect Rodgers and the running game fails to provide the necessary balance. The Minnesota Vikings match up very well against the Packers; they’re fully capable of quickly ending Green Bay’s postseason.
4) Washington Redskins (10-6)
How do they make a deep run? The Redskins’ unique offense controls the clock, shortens games and piles up just enough points. The defense covers up some soft spots by sending lots of pressure and creating key turnovers. Relishing their postseason opportunity, steady veterans DeAngelo Hall and London Fletcher produce game-changing plays.
How do they get eliminated? Robert Griffin III’s knee injury makes the offense more predictable, and a talented defensive opponent manages to take away Alfred Morris. The Redskins’ defense struggles to create a pass rush, and the safety play is exposed by a top-notch quarterback.
5) Seattle Seahawks (11-5)
How do they make a deep run? They carry their momentum right through the postseason. Russell Wilson continues to play clutch, mistake-free football, while Marshawn Lynch grinds out tough yards. The defense continues to create high numbers of turnovers and finds the end zone a few times, as well.
How do they get eliminated? An opponent stacks the box to take away Lynch, and the athletic Wilson is contained. The lack of a true No. 1 receiver ends up being an issue, and the offensive production takes a nosedive.
6) Minnesota Vikings (10-6)
How do they make a deep run? Adrian Peterson continues to carry the entire offense, and Christian Ponder protects the football. Jared Allen gets hot; his pressures create sacks and turnovers. Kicker Blair Walsh hits a long, game-winning field goal along the way.
How do they get eliminated? An opponent sells out to slow down Peterson, and Ponder is unable to make them pay for it. Peterson puts the ball on the ground, and Ponder struggles to play from behind. The defense allows a mobile quarterback to create plays with his legs.
1) Denver Broncos (13-3)
How do they make a deep run? Peyton Manning will have two weeks to prepare for his first opponent. The Broncos are the NFL’s most complete team, ranking in the top five in virtually every important statistic. This balance will make Denver very difficult to eliminate. The pass rush can take over a game, giving Manning’s offense a short field and allowing the Broncos to pile up points quickly.
How do they get eliminated? If the weather is horrible in Denver and the Broncos’ rushing attack is unable to get on track, they could struggle offensively. A matchup against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the snow would pose a very formidable challenge.
2) New England Patriots (12-4)
How do they make a deep run? Recently returned tight end Rob Gronkowski sparks an offensive explosion. Brady benefits from a solid ground attack, utilizing his tight ends to produce chunk plays down the field. The young secondary allows some big gains, but comes up with a few key turnovers.
How do they get eliminated? A physical Baltimore Ravens team pushes around New England’s offensive line, or the Pats simply run into a red-hot Denver team on the road and lose a shootout. I don’t see any of the other AFC teams giving New England much of a problem.
3) Houston Texans (12-4)
How do they make a deep run? They forget recent struggles and recapture their early-season form. Arian Foster shoulders the load on offense, and the defensive line creates numerous sacks and turnovers. The secondary avoids giving up the big play.
How do they get eliminated? Matt Schaub fails to make enough plays to outscore either the Patriots or the Broncos. Facing constant double-teams, J.J. Watt is unable to dominate the game.
4) Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
How do they make a deep run? A well-rested Ray Rice carries the ball more than he has during the regular season, and the Ravens physically pound their opponents. Tight end Dennis Pitta and receiver Torrey Smith produce big plays in the passing game. The defense is sparked by the return of Ray Lewis. Paul Kruger plays the role of unsung hero, making several impact plays.
How do they get eliminated? The offense features too much Joe Flacco and not enough Rice. Baltimore allows too many sacks; opponents manage to strip the ball from Flacco in the pocket, creating turnovers. The defense struggles to contain the run.
5) Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
How do they make a deep run? Andrew Luck continues to excel on third down, and the veteran pass-rushing duo of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis steps up to make several impact plays. Cornerback Vontae Davis keeps playing at an elite level, picking off a few balls.
How do they get eliminated? The offensive line is overwhelmed and Luck doesn’t get any time to throw the football. The defensive front is pushed around, giving up too many rushing yards to a back like the Ravens’ Rice or the Patriots’ Stevan Ridley.
6) Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)
How do they make a deep run? Receiver A.J. Green gets hot, producing several big plays through the air, and the pass rush dominates on the other side of the ball. Geno Atkins finally gets credit for his outstanding play after collecting several sacks and tackles for a loss.
How do they get eliminated? The running game is unable to provide balance, and Andy Dalton turns the ball over too much. The defense is on the field too often, and the unit runs out of gas late.
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he likes the idea of playing defense on the road first. For the last three road games, he Cowboys have won the toss and deferred their choice to the second half.
“We feel like there are a lot of statistics that suggest it’s easier to play defense early in games on the road,” Garrett said at his Friday press conference at Valley Ranch. “There are a few other factors that add to this that I don’t want to get into. But we feel like when certain conditions are right, deferring is a better choice for us. A lot of it has to do with being on the road in that kind of environment.”
The Cowboys deferred their choice at Baltimore, Carolina and Atlanta. Baltimore drove 60 yards for a field goal on its opening drive, but Carolina and Atlanta each went three-and-out on the opening drive.
The one time this year the Cowboys won the toss and took the ball on the road, Felix Jones fumbled the kickoff at Seattle.
Other teams might have the same philosophy about opening on defense on the road.
Tampa Bay and Chicago both won the toss at Cowboys Stadium and deferred. The Buccaneers got an interception on the third play. The Bears gave up three first downs but forced a punt.
Two weeks ago at Cowboys Stadium, the New York Giants won the toss, took the ball and drove for a field goal.
SOURCE: Jason Garrett Press Conference 11/09/2012
Jason Garrett closes out the week from Valley Ranch as the Dallas Cowboys wrap up their final day of preparation for the Philadelphia Eagles.
BALTIMORE — Safety Gerald Sensabaugh sat in his locker putting on his socks and said to himself, "Man, we are so close."
That is what the Dallas Cowboys do so very well — close.
They do so in the most stupefying, maddening fashion that can be authored.
Not too far from the same neighborhood where one of the world’s most celebrated authors of fiction — Mr. Edgar Allen Poe — once penned his brilliance, the Cowboys once again created their own version of real-time hell.
The author of the Ravens’ 31-29 win against the Cowboys? Start with Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
The Dallas Cowboys amassed 481 total yards and did not win the game. That is odd.
The Cowboys ran for 227 yards and did not win the game. That is hard.
The Cowboys had the ball at their own 46-yard line with 32 seconds remaining, one timeout, and ran but two offensive plays before settling for a 51-yard field goal attempt. That is inexcusable.
The Ravens defeated the Cowboys when they were clearly not the better team but managed to win because they simply were not the dumber team.
To show how the Cowboys played on Sunday, their smartest player was Dez Bryant. (In fairness to Dez, other than having to miss one drive because he was receiving an IV for dehydration, he played arguably the best game of his career.)
"What do you want? I believe in my guys," Cowboys defensive back Orlando Scandrick said. "It’s not an exact science. It’s football. It’s not mathematics."
Exactly. No one expects the Dallas Cowboys to be NASA.
The Cowboys are coached by a Princeton grad, but his team plays sometimes as if it barely finished the seventh grade. As much as his Ivy League education should be a reflection of his own intellect, the way his team plays says something about Jason Garrett. Which is why it does not add up.
The Cowboys had 13 penalties for 82 yards on Sunday, one turnover, allowed a special teams touchdown, and made a series of self-inflicted wounds in the red zone that killed or hurt scoring chances.
"Three of the five games we’ve had a lot of penalties," Garrett said. "The officials were certainly involved in this game and you have to overcome that stuff."
And the clock management after the Cowboys recovered the onside kick with 32 seconds to play suggests nothing was learned from the nightmare in Arizona last season.
Garrett did the same thing at San Francisco last year — played for a long field goal — and got away with it when Dan Bailey nailed a long kick to send into overtime a game the Cowboys eventually won.
But he got burned on it in Arizona last season, and a little bit against the Giants in Arlington last December.
You cannot bank on making a 51-yard field goal. You always get closer.
"I felt like I could knock it through from there," Bailey said of his potential game-winning kick that sailed wide left with two seconds remaining.
In the Cowboys’ locker room after the game, at least two players were overheard talking about that 2011 loss in Arizona.
Coach Process looks smart. He acts smart. He is organized. His rhetoric sounds sharp, and yet his team plays the opposite.
The Cowboys under Garrett sometimes play not too much different than they did under Uncle Wade Phillips.
I asked Garrett if he thought he has a smart team. His response was some long-winded verbiage about pre-snap penalties, etc.
Garrett is not going to pull a Bill Callahan, who is on his staff now, and go on some long-winded diatribe about being the "dumbest team in America".
If effort is not the problem, and the coaches and front office people insist this is not a talent issue, then IQ is having its say, too.
The environment, as well as the Ravens, had a role in why the Cowboys did what they did. Perhaps the players are taking the cue from their leader and are trying to do too much.
Unlike the Cowboys’ losses against the Seahawks and Bears, which were blowouts, they were competitive throughout in Baltimore. They gave themselves a chance.
On the road that’s all you can ask.
"It wasn’t a perfect game, but we showed fight," tight end Jason Witten said. "You don’t walk away from this saying, ‘Hey, we played a good team close.’ We have to look at the tape and be better."
Because we have not heard that before.
The Cowboys should have won this game, and they know it.
"We should have had this," Bryant said.
Instead, the Cowboys do what they do so well — they get close.
Courtesy: Mac Engel | Ft Worth Star-Telegram
BALTIMORE — Whatever you do, don’t do that. Whatever the plan, it couldn’t have been that, could it?
Excuse both the rant, and the confusion, but 20 seconds, 20 precious seconds, were wasted by the Dallas Cowboys at the end of Sunday’s game, leading to, if nothing else, a flashback to the horror show of clock mismanagement in Arizona last season.
That one was Jason Garrett’s worst 2011 head coaching moment, and the lack of accountability in the aftermath still hangs over him.
Maybe not so much, which still doesn’t excuse what appeared to be a blunder. In this one, however, at least quarterback Tony Romo and Garrett had the same story, the same explanation on why those 20 precious seconds were left blowing in the Maryland wind.
And no, it wasn’t the "plan," both said.
As in Arizona, however, the Cowboys ended up losing a winnable game, falling 31-29 to the Ravens, and the lament of "oh-so-close" is becoming more hollow the more the Cowboys blow these kind of heartaches.
Always dependable Dan Bailey was a tad wide left on a 51-yard field goal in the final seconds, allowing the Ravens to escape.
But with a little less distance to cover with his foot, or with a better placement of the ball — as in between the hash marks — would the outcome have been different for Bailey?
Count that as one of a hundred coulda, shoulda, woulda questions the Cowboys had to answer in the aftermath.
First of all, they finally got a call, maybe a gift call, in the final minutes from an officiating crew that made the replacement boys look more acceptable with every yellow hanky that fell.
After a pass interference flag, the Cowboys had the ball at the Ravens’ 34-yard line with 26 seconds left and one timeout.
That has to be two-play territory, right? Heck yes, it’s right.
The Cowboys ran one play. Then came the failed kick.
What happened after a quick Romo inside throw to Dez Bryant netted only a yard? At that point the clock was running with 20 seconds left when Dez was taken down.
"What we were trying to do there is what we talked about before the play," Garrett said. "Tony was trying to get them on the ball as quickly as possible [after the Dez catch] knowing we had one [timeout] in our pocket.
"It just took too long for everyone to get unpiled, so it got down into single digits, so we said take it down to four seconds and bang the timeout."
Obviously, it’s up to the Cowboys to get "unpiled." The unpiling was not quick enough. But was there also clock panic? It sure looked like it.
Romo: "With the time left, we didn’t think it was in our best interest to run another play. We had guys who needed to get off the pile and receivers who needed to come to the huddle. There just wasn’t enough time."
But was there enough to time to get a snap off, with Romo diving forward to the middle of the hash marks, then get the timeout? It appeared to be the case, but Bailey wanted no such excuse after the game.
"Being on the hash mark makes no difference," he said. "My job is to make the kick. If the hold is on the hash, I’ve got to still make the kick. If you’re always hoping for the middle of the field, you aren’t going to be kicking very long."
But while Bailey blew off the advantage of kicking from the middle of the field, his long attempt was extremely tricky due to the windy conditions. The wind was swirling inside the bowl, and although not necessarily against him, there was a crosswind involved. He had plenty of foot on the kick, just not between the uprights.
Garrett’s boss, Jerry Jones, backed the decision to let 20 seconds escape at the end of the game. "I wanted the kick right there rather than take the risk of attempting to get more yards," said the owner-GM.
But even as Jerry admitted, it was a "sickening" kind of loss.
The Cowboys’ offensive line totally manhandled a once proud Ravens’ defense, paving the way for 227 yards rushing, the most ever allowed by this defense. And much of the pounding was done by, yes, Felix Jones (he lives, he lives), because of a foot injury to DeMarco Murray that took him out for the second half.
Garrett went an unheard-of four deep at running back, with third stringer Phillip Tanner heavily involved, and even rookie Lance Dunbar, signed off the street last week, getting a carry that went for 11 yards.
The Cowboys game-planned the run after the Ravens had been plowed under by the Kansas City ground attack a week ago. It worked incredibly well, but not for a win.
And here we go again. Garrett has one dumb football team. The penalties were immense (13 for the Cowboys) and some were very questionable, but heavily penalized, dumb teams normally end up on the short end of the officiating.
Once again, a special teams coverage breakdown also factored into this loss, with Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones returning a kickoff untouched for 108 yards and a touchdown, tying an NFL record for the longest runback.
And even with Bryant repeatedly making tough, productive catches, he still muffed the biggest throw of the game. In the final minutes, after Romo made a gutty 120-yard drive (including 40 yards in penalties), the Cowboys had to go for two points and a tie game after the touchdown catch by Dez.
The 2-point throw was right there for Bryant. He flat missed it. The Cowboys, however, recovered the onside kick that led to the missed field goal. The Dez drop, however, low-lighted a frustrating end to a frustrating afternoon and a frustrating loss.
Also frustrating were the 20 seconds the Cowboys will never get back.
BALTIMORE — When Dan Bailey lined up the potential game-winning kick at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn’t even bother to look.
He had watched his team overcome 13 penalties for 82 yards, including four penalties for 40 yards on an 18-play, 80-yard touchdown drive just minutes earlier to get them within two points.
A 4-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tony Romo to receiver Dez Bryant with 32 seconds to go was followed by a drop by Bryant on the 2-point conversion.
Yet, Jones was undeterred in his faith.
He had watched the Cowboys survive the loss of running back DeMarco Murray and defensive end Sean Lissemore to injuries, and battle at times without cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Mike Jenkins, Bryant and running back Felix Jones, who replaced Murray, because of injuries and dehydration. And yet they still battled back from an 11-point deficit.
He had watched them overcome a Romo interception for the sixth consecutive game and an NFL record-tying 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Jacoby Jones.
He watched Andre Holmes recover an onside kick with 30 seconds left in the game to set up the Bailey try.
Jones didn’t look because he had no doubt that Bailey would make it, sending the Cowboys to a seemingly season-changing victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
Never mind that it was from 51 yards out and in front of 71,384 fans who hadn’t witnessed a home defeat since 2010. And never mind that clock management issues with Romo and coach Jason Garrett prevented the Cowboys from running another play to possibly get a closer kick for Bailey.
Jones’ optimism proved futile when Bailey’s kick was wide left, giving the Ravens a 31-29 victory.
"We had the play with the kicker," Jones said. "We didn’t get it done. That’s putting more than maybe we should on him. But with the wind at our backs and him kicking, I had it counted. I had no doubt he would make it. I literally looked away because I thought he would make the kick."
It was Bailey’s first miss of the season. He was 8 for 8 before that try, including three earlier in the game from 42, 43 and 34 yards.
"It’s not a good feeling," said Bailey, who made four game-winning field goals for the Cowboys as a rookie last season. "Everybody worked their butts off, and it came down to a kick, and it didn’t go in. I don’t know what else to say but it hurts."
The pain of losing was felt throughout the locker room. It was their second consecutive loss as they fell to 2-3 and under .500 for the first time since last season.
The Cowboys left Baltimore (5-1) with something they didn’t have coming into the game: a sense of pride, a sense of self-respect and a feeling of optimism for the rest of the season.
They didn’t have any of that following the 34-18 loss to the Chicago Bears before last week’s bye.
"I’m sick about losing this game," Jones said. "I feel good about this team. Even though we’re at 2-3, I feel good about the way we held up, stayed in there, fought. The way we did some things, executed, the way our offensive line played. There are some things I feel good about our future with, future being this year. I feel a lot more encouraged than I did after Chicago."
Dallas rushed for 227 yards, the most ever against the Ravens. Murray had 13 carries for 95 yards before going out. Felix Jones had 18 carries for 92 yards, including a 22 yard touchdown run.
The Cowboys dominated time of possession as than ran 79 plays, which tied for the most in team history, set Nov. 12, 1978 at Green Bay, while holding the ball for more than 40 minutes.
Coach Jason Garrett understands that fixing the penalties remains a huge issue. Dallas, however, had 13 penalties for third time this season, including a number of drive-killing pre-snap penalties that forced the Cowboys to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns on each of Bailey’s first three attempts.
Those plays and the record kickoff return for the touchdown proved to be the difference in the game — despite clock mismanagement after the onside kick.
The Cowboys were unable to get another play to get a little closer for Bailey. The play began with 26 seconds to go and was down to 16 seconds when Bryant caught a pass at the Baltimore 34. The Cowboys had a timeout, but they didn’t get to the line fast enough so Garrett let it run down to attempt the final missed kick with six seconds left.
"We had guys who were trying to get off the pile and receivers needing to come back to the huddle," said Romo, who completed 225 of 36 passes for 261 yards in the game with one touchdown and one interception. "There just wasn’t enough time."
But the Cowboys do have time to save their season and they are encouraged by their ability to fight back on Sunday — as evidenced by their converting a third-and-27 play, thanks to a litany of penalties, before Bryant’s score. A 17-yard pass to Bryant was followed by a 16-yarder to tight end Jason Witten to get the conversion.
"I thought we fought really well through a lot of different adversities," Garrett said. "We battled. We continued to battle. Our team grew a lot in this game. At the end of the day, we have to finish the game. We have to win the game. We can learn from that. But I love how our team battle and believe we can grow from this game."
Bryant was the last player to walk out the postgame locker room and was defiant in saying he and the Cowboys will be better going forward.
"I feel this game has made us 10 times stronger than what we were. I know it’s something we can build off of," said Bryant, who caught a career-high 13 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns in addition to the dropped two-pointer.
The Dallas Cowboys may be America’s Team, but the Ravens have the football gods on their side.
Fate plays a part in every season as well as luck, but the Ravens seem to be getting divine intervention. And after the team’s 31-29 win against the Cowboys in Baltimore Sunday, even the Ravens were starting to have some fun with it.
"Before the game I said should I go into prayer in a closet for this one?" asked Ravens left guard Bobbie Williams. "I thought, ‘Why not? Well, why not?’ I think it plays a huge part."
It appears to be working because the Ravens have won four straight games, all going down to the last minute. It would be unfair to say the Ravens haven’t made big plays or had strong individual performances, but some of this stuff is unexplainable.
A week ago, the Kansas City Chiefs fumbled at the Ravens 1-yard line on a quarterback exchange in the third quarter, and that play changed the momentum of the game in the Ravens’ favor.
On Sunday, Dallas receiver Dez Bryant dropped a very catchable two-point conversion pass that would have tied the score in the final seconds. On the previous play, Bryant ran the same pattern and made the same catch for a touchdown.
Even though the Ravens may have lost middle linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb to serious injuries, they’ve been reasonably healthy since the season started.
Here is some more:
In Kansas City last Sunday, the Chiefs’ Dwayne Bowe, one of the best receivers in the NFL, had one pass bounce off his chest and another off his helmet, both resulting in interceptions, one that killed a Kansas City drive.
Somebody over at The Castle is living right.
"We got a whole lot of guys who believe," said Williams.
The football gods are watching over the Ravens. They lost an onside kick Sunday with 30 seconds left in the game, but Dallas wasn’t able to get off another play after a 1-yard catch to the Ravens’ 33-yard-line with 26 seconds left and one timeout.
Dallas coach Jason Garrett said couldn’t get another play off because they couldn’t get players to the line of scrimmage fast enough. That should not have happened.
Bailey’s 51-yard field goal went wide left.
"Thank you, Jesus," Ravens running back Ray Rice said. "He may have pushed that thing a little to the left."
The Ravens are the anointed team. They have to be. They gave up 227 rushing yards Sunday and at one time didn’t have Ray Lewis,Haloti Ngata, Lardarius Webb and Terrell Suggs playing defense. Dallas had the ball for 40 minutes and the Ravens had it for just 20.
And they still won.
They are receiving favor from a higher being.
Courtesy: Mike Preston | Baltimore Sun
BALTIMORE — No, of course there are no moral victories in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys understand how tough it is to beat the Ravens in Baltimore, and they justifiably felt much better about the way they played in Sunday’s 31-29 loss than they felt two weeks ago after the Bears thumped them. But they’re professional football players, and they believed they could and should have won the game. They rushed for 227 yards, possessed the ball for 40 minutes, recovered an onside kick at the end and set their kicker up with a 51-yard field goal attempt that would have won it. The feeling in their locker room was disappointment.
"I’m sick about losing this game," owner Jerry Jones said. "We made our share of mistakes, but I thought we had a shot to win at the end. With our time of possession, it’s hard to understand how we didn’t win. Everybody is as frustrated as I am."
But there’s a bigger picture here, and it’s one that keeps getting missed as Cowboys fans wail and gnash their teeth about every single loss (and even some of the wins). These Cowboys are a work in progress — a team and a staff and a roster that is piecing itself together and building something it hopes can be sustainable well into the future. You may not want to hear it, and you may not be able to believe it about the Cowboys, but they are in a rebuilding phase right now and much more likely to be a playoff contender in 2013 than this year. So as disappointed as Cowboys fans are about the loss, the penalties, the late-game clock management and everything and everybody else you want to blame, that bigger picture really needs to be the one on which the conversation about the 2012 Cowboys centers.
"We have to win the game, and we didn’t do that," coach Jason Garrett said. "But I loved how our team battled. I was proud of our football team today, and we believe that we can grow from this football game."
A growth opportunity. A learning experience. These are valuable things for the Cowboys at this point in their history, and as Cowboys fans you may just have to accept that. Sure, this is the NFL, and the NFC East required only nine victories to win it last year, so nothing’s impossible. The Cowboys’ schedule gets easier, and if the run game and the offensive line can play the way they played Sunday, they could be much better in the second half of this season. But this season isn’t the central focus of the people running the Cowboys right now. What they’re looking for is growth and improvement, and they saw plenty of it Sunday.
"A lot of this game, you look at and you say, ‘Those are the Cowboys we’re talking about,’" tight end Jason Witten said. "Those are the kinds of players and leaders you want to grow with and build on."
He’s talking about guys like Sean Lee, who remains a terror on defense, and DeMarco Murray, who ran for 91 yards in the first half before a foot injury forced him out of the game. But lots of Cowboys played very well Sunday, including Dez Bryant, who caught 13 passes for 95 yards, and Felix Jones, who rushed for 92 yards in relief of Murray, and Phil Costa and the rest of an offensive line that’s been pulverized all year but on this day looked tough and mean and physical for the first time.
All of it comes with warts, though, and they’re mainly the result of the team and many of its players being unfinished products. Bryant’s big game is likely to be remembered for his drop of the two-point conversion attempt that would have tied it in the final minute. Murray got hurt again, which is a problem with Murray. And the line had its issues, contributing extensively to the fact that the Cowboys were penalized 13 times for 82 yards. The Cowboys made mistakes in this game, and at this point they are not a good enough team to make as many mistakes as they did and win in a place like this, even in a game they dominate physically. They had their shot, they came up short and they have a bunch of film to watch as they keep working to get better.
"I’m all right with anything as long as it’s moving forward," Jerry Jones said. "I’m not for taking any steps back. We knew this was going to be a challenge, but looking at the overall game, as a team, I felt we played well enough to win the ballgame. I’m a lot more encouraged than I was after Chicago."
So before you start asking whether Garrett’s job is in jeopardy (it’s not) or crying about poor late-game clock management or looking at the standings and worrying that the sky is falling, it’s important to step back and see Sunday for what it was — a critical and encouraging step in the development of a team that’s thinking well beyond the borders of just one season. Someday, the Cowboys believe, they’ll win games like this routinely. And if they do, part of the reason will be Sunday’s experience, which showed them how they could.
Courtesy: Dan Graziano | ESPN Dallas
Editors comment: Dallas’ simplified, workload reducing KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) offense turned complex with Romo audibles.
It was a wild one on Sunday in Baltimore, but the Dallas Cowboys fell short against the Ravens, 31-29, to fall to 2-3 on the season.
The Ravens jumped out to a 3-0 lead on their first drive, with a 38-yard field goal from Justin Tucker, but Dallas answered in short order, driving 80 yards on eight plays on their first offensive possession. Felix Jones capped the drive with a 22-yard touchdown run to give Dallas the lead at 7-3.
Dan Bailey added a field goal early in the second quarter to extend the Dallas lead to 10-3, and everything looked fine. Then, the penalties started.
The Ravens drove 80 yards in eight plays, helped along by a neutral zone infraction by Jason Hatcher and an illegal hands to the face call on Kenyon Coleman. On the play after the call on Coleman, Ray Rice ran it in for a touchdown, to tie it up at 10-10.
Tony Romo threw his ninth interception of the year on Dallas’ next drive, and Baltimore capitalized on it, once again going 80 yards on eight plays and scoring on a 19-yard pass from Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith to make it 17-10 going into intermission.
The Cowboys went out and got on the board straight away in the second half, with a Bailey field goal cutting the Baltimore lead to 17-13. But like they did all day, the Ravens answered, and quickly.
Jacoby Jones ran the ensuing kickoff back 108 yards for a touchdown to make it 24-13, Baltimore. It was the longest kickoff return allowed by Dallas in their 50-plus year history as a franchise.
Dez Bryant caught his first touchdown of the season late in the third quarter, and with Bailey’s third field goal of the day, Dallas was just a point behind Baltimore, 24-23, with eight minutes left in the game. But the defense, which had been nothing short of impressive in the second half to that point, was unable to hold up. Baltimore chewed up a little under four minutes on the ensuing drive, and Rice scored his second one-yard touchdown run of the day to once again extend the lead, 31-23.
Needing a touchdown and a two point conversion to tie, the Cowboys marched 80 yards down the field (despite another handful of penalties), eventually scoring on Romo’s second touchdown pass to Bryant on the day. However, when Romo went back to Bryant on the two-point try, the pass bounced off Bryant’s arms.
Down 31-29, the drama still wasn’t over. Dallas recovered the onside kick and appeared in good position to get a play off before attempting the field goal. But after a short pass to Bryant, Dallas was forced to call their last timeout and line up for a 51-yard field goal try. Bailey pulled the attempt left, though, sealing a wild loss for Dallas, 31-29.
At 2-3, Dallas will travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers next Sunday.
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RECORDS BROKEN–HEARTS BROKEN: Dallas Cowboys rush for 227 yards, Jacoby Jones tied NFL mark with a 108-yard kickoff return
BALTIMORE — The Dallas Cowboys dominated the statistics, held the ball twice as long as Baltimore and amassed more yards rushing against the Ravens than any team — ever.
Baltimore won anyway, thanks to Jacoby Jones’ lengthy run into the NFL record book.
Jones tied an NFL mark with a 108-yard kickoff return, and the Ravens beat the Cowboys 31-29 Sunday for their 14th straight regular-season home win.
Dallas ran for 227 yards and totaled 481 yards offense. The Cowboys (2-3) also held the ball for more than 40 minutes. It wasn’t enough.
After Dez Bryant scored on a 4-yard pass from Tony Romo with 32 seconds left to make it 31-29, the 2-point conversion pass zipped through the arms of the diving Bryant in the front left corner of the end zone.
Dallas recovered the onside kick, but Dan Bailey was wide left on a 51-yard field goal try with :06 remaining.
Ray Rice scored two touchdowns and Joe Flacco threw for a score to help the Ravens (5-1) secure their fourth consecutive victory and enhance their grip on first place in the AFC North. Baltimore’s home winning streak is the longest current run in the NFL.
Jones’ return tied the mark set by Ellis Hobbs of New England in 2007 against the Jets and tied in 2011 by Randall Cobb of Green Bay against New Orleans.
The score was essential to the Ravens, who mustered only 1 yard on three offensive plays in the third quarter.
After Jones’ touchdown, the Cowboys launched an 80-yard march that ate up more than eight minutes. Romo connected with Bryant for 13 yards on a third-and-11 before throwing a 7-yard touchdown pass to Bryant to make it 24-20.
Dallas followed with two strong defensive series, and a short punt by Baltimore preceded a 21-yard drive that produced a field goal by Bailey.
Flacco then directed a 10-play, 73-yard march. A 31-yard completion to Anquan Boldin moved the ball to the Dallas 4, and Rice scored from the 1 to provide the Ravens an eight-point cushion.
It was barely enough.
Romo went 25 for 36 for 261 yards and two touchdowns, a redemptive performance after he threw five interceptions in his last outing against Chicago. DeMarco Murray ran for 93 yards, Felix Jones had 92 on the ground and Bryant caught 13 passes for 95 yards and two TDs.
Flacco completed 17 of 26 passes for 234 yards.
Baltimore trailed 10-3 before scoring touchdowns on a pair of 80-yard drives to take a 17-10 halftime lead.
The Ravens pulled even when Rice ran in from the 1 after a hands-to-the-face penalty against Dallas lineman Kenyon Coleman on third-and-goal from the 2. Earlier in the march, Rice ran 43 yards with a short pass.
Cary Williams’ third interception in three games gave the ball back to Baltimore, and Flacco completed two 20-yard passes to Boldin before hitting Torrey Smith for a 19-yard score with 41 seconds left in the half.
Facing the top-ranked pass defense in the NFL, Flacco went 13 for 18 for 174 yards in the first half.
The Ravens opened the game with a 14-play drive that lasted over seven minutes and ended with a 38-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
Dallas answered with an 80-yard march culminated by a 22-yard run by Felix Jones and featuring a 28-yard run by Murray, longest against the Ravens since 2010. The Cowboys’ next possession stretched more than six minutes, covered 56 yards and produced a 42-yard field goal by Bailey for a 10-3 lead.
IRVING, Texas — Tony Romo had to deal with yet another controversial drop Wednesday.
Romo’s conference call with reporters who cover the Ravens ended abruptly after 37 seconds. Several members of the Baltimore media tweeted that Romo hung up on them after two questions, but that wasn’t the case.
The Cowboys public relations staff provided a tape of the call, which was interrupted by loud static after 37 seconds while Romo was answering a question about his inconsistency. ("Well, I think our team just has to continue to execute a little bit better than we’ve been …")
At that point, Romo said, "Hello? Hello?" He stayed on the line for another two minutes, at one point saying, "I can’t hear anything."
Hear for yourself, Tony Romo’s call to the Baltimore media:
EXTERNAL LINK: http://sportsblogs.star-telegram.com/files/romo_101012-1.mp3
IRVING, Texas – Jason Garrett was almost never the head coach in Dallas after serving as the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator for former coach Wade Phillips in 2007.
Garrett was widely reported to have been offered the head-coaching job in Jan. 2008 for the team the Cowboys will travel to face after the bye week.
With Phillips unlikely to be vacating the top coaching position at the time, Garrett interviewed in various cities before the 2008 season, with Baltimore as the likeliest destination. Garrett said the Ravens ran their organization well from top to bottom, and he enjoyed his experience interviewing for the job.
“They’ve had a track record of winning there for a number of years,” Garrett said. “They’ve been very successful. When I was playing with the Giants in 2000, we played them in the Super Bowl. Since that time, they’ve been one of the best franchises in football.”
Despite his admiration for the Ravens’ organization, including owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome, Garrett eventually decided to return to Dallas with the additional title of assistant head coach.
He remained in that position until midway through the 2010 season, when he became the interim head coach of a 1-7 Cowboys team and went 5-3 down the stretch.
The interim tag was removed in his first full season as the Cowboys’ head coach last year, and now for the first time since leaving his interviews in Baltimore, Garrett will make a trip back to play the team that nearly became his employer.
Baltimore eventually chose former Eagles special teams and defensive backs coach John Harbaugh for the head-coaching job in 2008. Harbaugh has compiled a 47-21 record since taking over, reaching the postseason every year.
“They’re really well coached, and they’ve got a lot of good players,” Garrett said. “You think about Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and those guys, those are marquee players, those are first-ballot Hall of Famers, the best players at their position of their generation. Those guys have been the leaders there for a long time. They do things the right way. I was very impressed.”
The Dallas Cowboys brought back a familiar face to the Valley Ranch complex today, hoping to find some help on special teams and possibly cornerback depth.
Bryan McCann, who played for the team in 2010 and actually spent two training camps with the Cowboys, worked out for coaches, scouts and front-office personnel.
The Cowboys have an open spot on the 53-man roster after cutting cornerback LeQuan Lewis this week. Lewis played the last two games, mostly on special teams but was called into duty on defense.
Coach Jason Garrett said this week the Cowboys needed that spot to provide more on special teams than Lewis was able to. McCann has experience not only to cover kicks, but also in the return game.
McCann has played 11 games with the Cowboys, including nine as a rookie in 2010. He’s remembered most for his two long touchdown returns in consecutive weeks, starting with a 101-yard interception runback against the Giants in Jason Garrett’s first game as interim head coach.
The next week against the Lions, McCann alertly knew the NFL rulebook well enough to know he could scoop up a deflected punt without jeopardy of fumbling, and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown in the Cowboys’ win over Detroit.
McCann was cut two games into the 2011 season, picked up by the Ravens for three games before finishing year in Oakland. McCann spent training camp with the Raiders this season and played against the Cowboys in the preseason opener.
He has a 24.2 yard kick return average and 15.9 on punt returns in his career.
UPDATE: Dallas Cowboys opt not to sign CB Bryan McCann
The Cowboys worked out cornerback Bryan McCann on Thursday but they have determined they won’t sign him. Management has no immediate plans to bring anyone else in but it is discussing its options.
McCann, 25, is a former member of the team who last played for Oakland before being cut by the Raiders in early September.
After taking another look at McCann more than a year later, the Cowboys decided against bringing him back.
Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray had been expected to join the ranks of elite running backs this season. But after opening the season with 131 yards on 20 carries. Since then, he has 106 yards on 41 carries, a 2.6 yards per carry average.
The Cowboys now rank 30th in rushing with a 67.8 yards per game average.
Murray has had little room to run. Far too often, he e is being met in the backfield by defenders.
Murray is tied for first for the most times being “stuffed” with 13. Murray had only 14 runs that resulted in negative yardage last season when he carried the ball 164 times.
"I think he’s done a good job just being persistent throughout the ball game and trying to continue to be true to the runs and trying to find the hole that’s there," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday. "Teams have done a good job moving around up front and sometimes the run isn’t always as clean as you want it to be. But he’s been a running back for a long, long time, and he understands that. His patience, his persistence, his toughness have all been good. He just needs to understand that we’re going to keep trying to give him some opportunities. He needs to keep doing what he’s supposed to do, trust the other guys can do what they’re supposed to do and we’ll get this running game going."
The Cowboys’ last three opponents, the Seahawks (2nd vs. the run), the Bucs (4th vs. the run) and the Bears (3rd vs. the run), all rank among the best teams in the league against the run. The Ravens, the Cowboys’ next opponent, rank 13th.
ARLINGTON, Texas – Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Spencer missed Monday night’s game against Chicago with a right pectoral muscle injury.
Spencer said he tried to work out Sunday afternoon, but it just made the injury worse.
"Did some stuff (Sunday) and it wasn’t strong enough," Spencer said. "It just got a little more sore."
This was the first game Spencer has missed this season, but with a bye this week and most likely some limited practice time the week after that, Spencer could be ready for the Baltimore Ravens contest Oct. 14.
"It’s what I do, it’s my life," Spencer said. "By not playing, it’s like saying I can’t live."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he expects nose tackle Jay Ratliff to return to action after the bye week. Ratliff hasn’t played this season with a high ankle sprain.
During Monday’s loss, Cowboys inside linebacker Bruce Carter said he suffered a hip pointer. He left the game briefly and took a pain-killing injection before returning.
Safety Gerald Sensabaugh played with a sore calf but it didn’t cause him any problems.
DENVER (AP) — The days of lugging around 500-page playbooks and stacks of DVDs are over for half of the players in the NFL.
Their teams have gone digital, replacing the old-fashioned thick paper playbooks with iPads that put everything from X’s and O’s to notifications, scouting reports and video cut-ups at their fingertips.
"Technology is taking over the world and we’re just trying to keep up with it," Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Graham Harrell said.
The number of teams using iPads for playbooks and game film has increased this season from two to 14. In the NFC, the Bears, Cardinals, Cowboys, Lions, Packers, Panthers, Redskins and Seahawks are using the tablets as are the Bengals, Broncos, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins and Ravens in the AFC.
Other teams, such as the Chiefs, Titans and Saints, are using iPads for some things but haven’t completely abandoned three-ring binders, and the Bills are considering switching over next year, when the NFL makes game film available in high definition, coach Chan Gailey said.
The Ravens and Buccaneers were the first teams to go digital last year, although Tampa Bay returned to the traditional playbooks this season under a new coaching staff.
The top model iPads that feature 64 gigabytes of data and retail for $829 each are loaded with about $700 worth of programming, and most teams issue them to roughly 120 players, coaches, scouts and other personnel. That works out to roughly $180,000 per team.
Broncos video director Steve Boxer figures it will take about a year to begin realizing a cost savings from ditching the paper playbooks that consumed trees, money and manpower and kept copy machine repairmen on speed-dial.
Daily itinerary updates, diagrams and video are automatically pushed to each iPad so a player can have the video clips of a practice or game downloaded by the time he gets out of the shower. Because the video isn’t streaming, he can watch it on the airplane or at his apartment, whether or not he has a Wi-Fi connection.
Apps developed by PlayerLync in suburban Denver or Global Aptitude out of Baltimore allow players and coaches to highlight sections in yellow on the tablet’s touchscreen and to write notes with a stylus just as they would with a pencil on paper playbooks. Those notes are saved on servers and can be downloaded again at any time for future reference.
"I don’t think there’s any minuses unless you lose it and have to pay that fine," Dallas defensive end Marcus Spears said.
Indianapolis has cast a wide net in its search for a general manager, so wide that it extends to Valley Ranch.
Tom Ciskowski, the Cowboys assistant director of player personnel, is one of several candidates the Colts have expressed an interest in interviewing. The club has contacted the Cowboys and received permission to speak to Ciskowski.
Ciskowski keeps a low, public profile, but has risen through the ranks since he joined the club in 1992. He took over as the Cowboys director of college and pro scouting when Jeff Ireland left for Miami in 2008 and acquired his current title in 2011.
Baltimore’s Eric DeCosta, Atlanta’s Lee Snead and Philadelphia’s Ryan Grigson have also been given permission to speak to Indianapolis.
Note: Dallas’ general manager was not interested in interviewing for the position!
BALTIMORE (AP) — Former Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando “Zeus” Brown was found dead Friday at his Baltimore home. He was 40.
The cause of death wasn’t known.
Fire spokesman Battalion Chief Kevin Cartwright said firefighters were called about 11 a.m. Friday because Brown was unresponsive at his home near the Inner Harbor. Cartwright said Brown was dead when firefighters arrived.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said firefighters called police, routine procedure in such cases. He said there were no signs of trauma or suspicious activity.
The Ravens learned of Brown’s death during practice.
“We send our condolences to the family of Orlando Brown,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “Everybody knew what he meant to this organization. We’re forever grateful for what he did for the present team. We can’t express enough sorrow for his loss.”
Born Dec. 12, 1970 in Washington, D.C., Brown played 10 NFL seasons, including four with the Cleveland Browns (1993-95 and 1999) and six with the Ravens (1996-98 and 2003-05). He started 119 of his 129 games.
Ravens director of player development Harry Swayne, Brown’s former teammate and fellow tackle, called Brown “a big old puppy dog with a little bit of a bark.
“He had a lot of friends around the league. He was one of the best guys. It’s a tough loss.”
Brown always will be remembered for shoving official Jeff Triplette in a 1999 game between Cleveland and Jacksonville.
Brown was suspended for knocking down Triplette after the official threw a weighted penalty flag that accidentally struck the massive tackle in the right eye. The 6-foot-7, 350-pounder stormed onto the field and pushed Triplette.
Brown, whose father was blind from glaucoma, said concern for his eyesight caused him to confront Triplette. Brown was hospitalized for six days with bleeding behind the eye. He sued the NFL for $200 million, settling the lawsuit for $25 million.
He missed the next three seasons because of the injury, returning to football and the Ravens for the 2003 season.
Browns tackle Tony Pashos played three seasons in Baltimore with Brown, known as “Zeus” around the league.
“He was a really good teammate,” Pashos said. “I came in under him as a backup. Even when Zeus wasn’t on the team he came around and supported us. He loved us. He loved football. He could never walk away. Man, I can’t believe it. I remember the attitude he brought to the building to the room. He tried hard. He told the young guys throughout practice to try hard and work on technique but then when it comes to games, it’s about taking the other guy’s will. And he was the apex of that. He did do that.”
Former Ravens head coach Brian Billick said Brown will always be one of his favorites.
“He brought such passion and physicality to practices and games,” Billick said in a statement released by the Ravens. “There is no way to quantify his heart, his actual love to play football. The game was so important to him.”
Brown was a frequent visitor to the Ravens’ practices, tutoring young linemen Jah Reid and Ramon Harewood.
“He took time out of his busy schedule over the last couple of months to work with me to help me grow as a player,” Harewood said. “To have a player and man of his stature do that for a young player like myself says all you need to know about him.”
Brown was divorced and is survived by three sons.
The Ravens bolstered their offensive line Sunday by agreeing to a one-year deal with center Andre Gurode.
Gurode, a five-time Pro Bowler with the Dallas Cowboys, is entering his 10th NFL season. He has started 122 career games, including every game in each of the past three seasons.
“We just got better as a team,” Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a news release. “To have a successful season, you have to have quality depth across the board. We just added great depth to the interior of our offensive line with Andre.”
Gurode was a second-round draft pick (No. 37 overall) out of Colorado in the 2002 NFL draft.
The Ravens have been without center Matt Birk — who underwent left knee surgery in the offseason — all preseason. Bryan Mattison served as the Ravens’ starting center in Birk’s absence.
Source:The Baltimore Sun
Former Cowboys center Andre Gurode is the newest member of the Baltimore Ravens, according to his agent Kennard McGuire.
He got a one-year deal worth $3 million. He was due to make $5.5 million with the Cowboys before being cut in a cost-saving move last week.
He visited the Seahawks, Lions and Patriots before coming to an agreement to play center for the Ravens on Sunday.