Tag Archives: CBA

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Dallas releases two players from practice squad

Ray Dominguez - Dallas Cowboys practice squad

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys released guard Ray Dominguez and wide receiver Jamar Newsome from their practice squad on Saturday.

The move is the latest in a flurry of activity on the team roster in the last week. The Cowboys moved defensive end Edgar Jones to the IR/designated for return list and signed Jason Vega to the active roster from the practice squad, both on Friday afternoon. Earlier in the week, the team released former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jay Ratliff.

All of that activity will give the Cowboys 52 players on their active roster as they make the trip to Philadelphia for Sunday’s game against the Eagles.

Former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jamar Newsome now on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster

That simple fact creates a curious case for Dominguez and Newsome. Both players are in their third year in the league, which puts them in an unusual situation under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Article 33, section 4 of CBA reads: “An otherwise eligible player may be a Practice Squad player for a third season only if the Club by which he is employed that season has at least 53 players on its Active/Inactive List during the entire period of his employment.”

Essentially, that rule would make both players ineligible for the remainder of the season if the Cowboys were to play the Eagles while maintaining an open roster spot.

It’s likely the team will re-sign the pair next week. For now, the two cuts combined with Vega’s move to the active roster gives the Dallas Cowboys just five players on the practice squad.

AVOIDING THE INJURY PLAGUE: Addressing the apparent rise in ACL, Achilles, and hamstring injuries

COWBOYS 2013 INJURY REPORT - Young Dallas DE Tyrone Crawford out for the rest of the season - The Boys Are Back blog

I don’t think it’s my imagination. It seems that there has been an increase in ACL, Achilles, and hamstring injuries in the past few years. Most concerning recently, as a Dallas Cowboys fan, is the season-ending Achilles tear suffered by DE Tyrone Crawford last week. League wide, as other teams have joined the Cowboys and Dolphins by opening training camps, there are many more of these types of injuries are reported every day or two.  

After several text and voice discussions with my son, I have come to several conclusions. I believe the changes imposed by the new CBA has lead to more injuries. I say this for two reasons. 

  • Players must now rely on themselves or private trainers during the offseason to stay in condition
  • Teams are now much more restricted (therefore, less influential) regarding offseason and in-season conditioning

I do believe the Dallas Cowboys Strength and Conditioning staffs are doing all they can within League/NFLPA’s new guidelines. I expect good arguments on both sides of this issue. Some will claim, “less is better” … others will flip the coin and side with the old school (Jimmy Johnson) philosophy of “more is better”. Ultimately, this falls on the shoulders of the players. They must be self-motivated during the offseason and work harder to stay in shape without team supervision. Surely, NFL Strength and Conditioning staffs provide players with a recommended regimen to follow during the offseason. 

Since the CBA has been in place, teams are restricted to fewer ‘mandatory’ practices and team activities. The question seems to be, is this beneficial or detrimental to long-term strength and conditioning issues?

I hope to hear from fans that have expertise in this area … doctors, trainers, physical therapists, coaches, etc. to learn what is causing the increase in injuries and more importantly … what the NFL should do to reduce them in the future. Regarding hamstrings, is it largely an issue of not stretching properly? Are players not taking in enough liquids? Are shoes and artificial turf putting players at risk? 

Hate to see the Dallas Cowboys go through another injury plagued season like last year. Is there something the NFL can do to decrease the odds of them occurring and recurring?

To join the discussion (and many others) or to vote in the related poll … please visit the Dallas Cowboys Fan Forum by clicking HERE. Enjoy!

CBA RULE CHANGE SPOTLIGHT: Explaining (and exploiting) the new 46-man roster rule

CBA RULE CHANGE SPOTLIGHT - Explaining (and exploiting) the new 46-man roster rule - The Boys Are Back blog

With the new CBA, little attention has been paid to the rule changes that will affect the teams on game days. But one change that the owners and players agreed to will come into play on game days.

The owners and players have agreed to expand game day rosters from 45 to 46 active players. The No. 3 quarterback will no longer be an “emergency” inactive player.

In other words, a team can insert its third-string quarterback for a short period at any point in the game, then take him out and put the starter back in. Previously, the first and second quarterbacks couldn’t re-enter the game if the No. 3 quarterback played before the fourth quarter.

That rule came up most prominently (in the 2010 season) when the Bears bungled the backup quarterback situation in the NFC Championship Game. After starter Jay Cutler went down and backup Todd Collins struggled, Bears coach Lovie Smith inserted No. 3 quarterback Caleb Hanie into the game just in time for him to hand off twice in the third quarter. Smith’s decision to put Hanie in the game in the third quarter instead of waiting for the fourth meant that if Hanie had suffered an injury, the Bears would have been without a quarterback for the rest of the game.

The lack of a third-quarterback designation could be helpful for teams with third-string quarterbacks who are running threats: Now the third-stringer could be inserted as a wildcat quarterback for a play or two and then be replaced by the starter.

But the most likely result of the change to 46 active players on Sundays may just be that teams will add another active player at another position and keep two quarterbacks active on Sundays. For most teams, having extra depth at another position will be more useful than the ability to insert the third quarterback into the game whenever they please.

POINT OF DISCUSSION - I’d like to see the Dallas Cowboys take advantage of this rule change and incorporate some innovative plays - The Boys Are Back blog

POINT OF DISCUSSION: I’d like to see the Dallas Cowboys take advantage of this rule change and incorporate some innovative plays during the course of the game (in a scripted series). It would be interesting with one of Dallas’ offensive weapons that can throw a little, if necessary. Maybe even something with Romo and Orton in at the same time. Have a three-down scripted set of plays … or something along those lines. Orton and the backup wide receivers practice together … imagine something creative with Beasley, Holmes, etc. What do you think?

BREAKING NEWS: Saints player bounty suspensions overturned on appeal

VIDEO - Bounty appeal overturns suspensions - The Boys Are Back blog

VIDEO: CBA appeals panel overturned NFL suspensions regarding Saints Bounty program.

A collective bargaining agreement appeals panel overturned the NFL’s suspensions of four players for their involvement in the New Orleans Saints’ "bounty" program, NFL Players Association spokesman George Atallah said Friday.

While the suspensions are vacated immediately, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell can go back and suspend the four players if he proves there was an intent to injure. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said all players are eligible to play, starting this weekend, until Goodell does so.

"Consistent with the panel’s decision, Commissioner Goodell will, as directed, make an expedited determination of the discipline imposed for violating the league’s pay-for-performance/bounty rule," Aiello said in a statement. "Until that determination is made, the four players are reinstated and eligible to play starting this weekend."

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma was suspended for the entire 2012 season, free agent Anthony Hargrove for eight games, Saints defensive end Will Smith for four games and Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita three games.

Fujita and Hargrove played for the Saints during the program’s duration, from 2009 to 2011, under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL. The suspensions of Williams, coach Sean Payton (season-long), general manager Mickey Loomis (eight games) and assistant head coach Joe Vitt (six games) weren’t involved in this appeals process.

Vilma took to Twitter to express his satisfaction about the ruling, writing: "Victory is mine!!!!."

Hargrove’s agent, Phil Williams, wouldn’t comment on his client’s status. Williams also wouldn’t say whether or not teams had begun calling him on the assumption that Hargrove is eligible to be on the field for the opening week of the 2012 NFL season.

"It’s all too new," Williams told NFL.com and NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport.

When asked if his client is physically able to play after being released by the Green Bay Packers in August, Williams said: "Of course. He’s ready to play if he falls out of bed after a month."

According to a source close to Smith, the defensive end plans to play Sunday in the Saints’ regular-season opener against the Washington Redskins and has been led to believe by the team that he will play.

Saints safety Roman Harper said he’d welcome the return of his defensive teammates, Vilma and Smith.

"Well, if coach (Aaron) Kromer would let him come out, I’d definitely like to play with these guys," Harper told reporters.

"I’m excited," Saints quarterback Drew Brees told NFL.com and NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala. "I’ve been focused on the game, but I hoped that that would be the case. No, I’m not surprised. I wouldn’t call me surprised. Obviously, they saw the information that we’ve seen for a long time."

Albert Breer | NFL


Video - Watch Now - The Boys Are Back blog - Press play VIDEO: Saints Harper reacts to teammates overturned suspensions

CBA PROVISIONS: New rules beat offseason lockout from last season

CBA PROVISIONS: New rules beat offseason lockout from last season - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas – This year’s NFL offseason program has several provisions under the new collective bargaining agreement. The Cowboys began “phase one” Monday – a two-week period in which players can conduct strength and conditioning exercises at the team facility but no on-field workouts with the coaching staff.

“Phase two” is three weeks of on-field workouts with coaches, but no live contact or one-on-one drills. “Phase three” lasts four weeks and includes a maximum of 10 OTA workouts, plus a team minicamp.

Head coach Jason Garrett brushed up on the rules during last month’s NFL meetings. There are more restrictions, but it certainly beats last year’s lockout that barred contact between coaches and players from mid-March through late July.

Strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik, owner of six Super Bowl rings with the ‘90s Cowboys and ‘00s Patriots, finally can put his stamp on the offseason program.

“We excited to have a traditional offseason going into a traditional training camp into a traditional season,” Garrett said. “I think everybody in this league is. We talked adversity a little before – that’s inevitable. Everybody deals with these kinds of things. The teams that handle it best are the ones that will be successful.

So those are the situations we were put in over the last year and a half, you deal with the best you can. Now having a traditional offseason is best for everybody.”

FORGET THAT SENIOR DISCOUNT: Timing was everything for Sammy Morris when he signed with Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) talks with Sammy Morris (23).

Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) talks with Sammy Morris (23).

IRVING — When running back Sammy Morris joined the Cowboys on Dec. 13, he was thrilled.

"The timing and everything was great," Morris said.

By joining the Cowboys when he did, Morris would be on the team’s active roster for the final three games of the season. And that meant Morris’ pension would increase. According to
the terms of the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Retirement Plan outlined in the old CBA, a former player who turns 55 will receive $425 per month for each credited season he is in the NFL. To earn a credited season, a player is required to be on the active roster, inactive list, injured reserve or the PUP list for a minimum of three games.

"If I were to come back this week and just play the last two games, it wouldn’t have went toward my retirement," Morris said. "Playing three games counts toward my 12th year."

And that’s one of the reasons Morris is so happy the Cowboys called on him when they did.


Courtesy: Rainer Sabin | Dallas Morning News (edited by The Boys Are Back blog)

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