FOR PETE’S SAKE: Dallas Cowboys make first offseason cut
Dallas Cowboys running backs coach Skip Peete has been relieved of his duties by coach Jason Garrett and will not return for the 2013 season.
Peete, who had been with the Cowboys since 2007, was informed in a meeting with Garrett Monday.
According to a source, Peete was surprised by the move, given the injuries to running backs DeMarco Murray the past two seasons that limited his effectiveness, and the struggles on the offensive line to open holes for the running game.
The Cowboys set a team record for fewest rushing yards in a 16-game season in 2012 with just 1,265.
Murray, who missed six games with a sprained foot, rushed for 663 yards, the lowest for a Cowboys leading rusher in 23 years. Felix Jones was ineffective in Murray’s place but his presence and production should land more at the foot of owner Jerry Jones than Peete.
A disappointed Garrett hinted at changes with the running game in his press conference after the season-ending loss to the Redskins.
“We have to do a better job running the football,’’ Garrett said. “DeMarco Murray was out for a large portion of this season, but having said that, you have to put the next guy in there and you have to be effective running it.
“It just helps your football team. It helps your offensive line, it helps your quarterback, it helps your defense. That’s something that we’ve tried to do and we weren’t as effective as we needed to be.
“We have to make a commitment to being better next year.’’
Peete may be the first change but he may not be the only staff move in 2013.
Special teams coach Joe DeCammilis interviewed for Bears head coaching job on Saturday. And even if he doesn’t get the Bears job, he could be in line for a lateral move to another team. The Cowboys blocked a potential move by DeCammilis to the Raiders last season.
The Cowboys have yet to rule on the future of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
GRIP ON THE SITUATION: DeMarco Murray isn’t worried about fumbles, vows to protect the ball better
DeMarco Murray, who has 25 carries for 121 carries and one touchdown the past two games combined, had no fumbles the first 288 carries of his career. He now has two lost fumbles over his last 20 carries.
His first occurred at the Pittsburgh 8-yard line, denying the Cowboys points, and the other happened at the Dallas 5, leading to a New Orleans touchdown.
“We have tremendous amount of confidence in DeMarco,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s done a lot of really good things for us. We’re going to hand him the ball and give him every opportunity. He knows more than anybody else the importance of ball security. He’s had a couple the last couple weeks, one in red zone and one coming out. That really led to points and took points away from us. He knows that better than anybody else. He’s carried the ball a lot in his life, and he understands the importance of securing it and making sure he can be a reliable guy that way. We’ll give him some chances, though. There’s no doubt about that.”
Murray said he isn’t a fumbler, and the fumbles already are gone from his memory.
"It doesn’t bother me at all," Murray said. "Last week was last week. I don’t worry about mistakes. I don’t worry about good plays. Once a bad plays happens, it’s erased. Once a great play happens, it’s erased. I have a short term memory, good, bad, negative, positive, I just move on and try to make a play the next time."
Murray said running backs coach Skip Peete has not talked to him about the fumbles. He already knows the value of better protecting the ball and vows to do a better job with that this week.
"When you start, and someone starts talking about it, ‘Hey, you need ball security,’ that’s when you start thinking about it, that’s when fumbles tend to happen," Murray said. "He knows. He’s a great coach. He knows how to get his guys ready. You know the ball is important. You’ve got to keep it away from them. Turnovers can hurt you.
"I just try to play hard, try to play fast."
HOLD YOUR HORSES: Lance Dunbar returns to practice, Cowboys reminded what they like about him
Running back Lance Dunbar returned to practice Monday after missing two weeks with a hamstring. He missed the first two preseason games, so the Cowboys hope to see him Saturday at Cowboys Stadium against the St. Louis Rams.
“He’s mentally into what we’re doing. He understands what we’re doing. He has a good feel for our offense,” running backs coach Skip Peete said after the work at Chargers Park against the San Diego Chargers. “We just have to, obviously, give him the opportunity to get in there and get the work as a runner – carrying the ball, running routes, catching the ball. But he was doing fine before he got injured.”
The former North Texas and Haltom High standout has fallen behind another North Texas product, running back Jamize Olawale, but still remains high in the coaches’ minds.
“He’s a talented runner,” Peete said. “He’s a much better protector than I anticipated, being a guy of his size. So that’s a plus that was very impressive the first couple of days of practice. He’s a very explosive player and very dangerous. I’m excited to see what he can do in a preseason game.”
DALLAS COWBOYS TIDBITS: Former TCU standout a huge Emmitt fan
Dallas Cowboys running back Ed Wesley, a rookie from TCU, seeks to make the team as a free-agent signee. Wesley grew up as a huge Cowboys fan and, at one point in high school, lived in apartments across the street from the team’s Valley Ranch training facility. He shared his five favorite Cowboys memories thus far:
1Emmitt Smith sets NFL career rushing record… "It was awesome. Emmitt was my favorite."
2Smith inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame… "My first time playing football, when I could choose my own number, I chose No. 22 because of him."
3Cowboys beat Pittsburgh 27-17 to win Super Bowl XXX… "I was in the first grade. I was 7 years old and I watched every bit of it."
4Cowboys beat Philadelphia in 2009 playoffs, the team’s first postseason triumph in 13 years… "The guys were giving me crap at TCU… because I was like, ‘We’re going to the Super Bowl.’ And they lost in the next round."
5Getting the call to join the team… "It was a dream come true."
Cowboys cornerback C.J. Wilson, a former Baylor standout, missed most of the morning walkthrough while having a root canal but took part in the padded practice during the afternoon. It made for a memorable day. "The pain medicine wore off as soon as we got out here, so I’ve been spitting out blood. But I’m fine," Wilson said after the afternoon session. "You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, man. If you don’t, somebody else will."
Because of injuries to Lance Dunbar (hamstring) and Phillip Tanner (broken hand), free-agent running backs Ed Wesley and Tavarris Williams figure to log significant snaps Monday at Oakland. Running backs coach Skip Peete said both are "a little behind the 8-ball" in learning the offense because neither went through off-season drills. Asked about Wesley, a TCU product, Peete said: "He’s an exciting young kid. He has some good run skills and has ability to run routes out of the backfield. He’s still behind, but that’s not his fault. If you’re three or four months behind everybody else, you’ve got to catch up quickly."
Actor Ashton Kutcher watched Saturday’s practice. He strolled the sideline like an assistant coach but wore a Boston Red Sox cap.
They said it
"I can’t accept … that we will be as disappointing as we were last year. I can’t accept that. Because I know that it was my most disappointing year as a Cowboy. We can’t have, individually, players play at the level they played at last year and not do better." — Jerry Jones
With the preseason opener looming, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett reflected on his first snap as a rookie quarterback in the NFL. Playing for the New Orleans Saints, Garrett handed off on a reverse against Buffalo. Then, he turned to block defensive end Bruce Smith, a future Hall of Famer. "He looked like he was 48 feet tall," Garrett said. "So you dive at his knees, he throws you to the ground and he makes the tackle."
History lesson, reality check
Cowboys tight end James Hanna, a rookie sixth-round pick from Oklahoma, wears No. 84. But his knowledge of predecessors who donned that digit is limited to Jay Novacek, a standout tight end from the 1990s. Asked about Pettis Norman, who made the number notable in the 1960s, Hanna said: "I don’t know about that. Not familiar with him." He is familiar with outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware. Asked to cite the moment he realized the NFL would be significantly different from college, Hanna said: "The first time I blocked DeMarcus Ware. Or tried to. It didn’t go well."
Dallas Cowboys Injury Report
WR Miles Austin, hamstring, 1 week
WR Dez Bryant, hamstring tightness, day-to-day
RB Phillip Tanner, hand, 1-2 weeks
G Kevin Kowalski, ankle, on PUP
G Bill Nagy, high ankle sprain, day-to-day (UPDATE: Waived)
G Nate Livings, hamstring, day-to-day
LB Anthony Spencer, hamstring, day-to-day
DE Jason Hatcher, hamstring, day-to-day
RB Lance Dunbar, hamstring, day-to-day
DB Matt Johnson, hamstring, day-to-day
TE John Phillips, ankle, day-to-day
WR Saalim Hakim, dislocated finger, 1 week
CB Mike Jenkins, shoulder, on PUP
Courtesy: Jimmy Burch
HOMERS POINT OF VIEW: Game Notes – Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Oakland Raiders host the Dallas Cowboys on ESPN’s Monday Night Football
A NEW ERA OF EXCELLENCE: The Raiders enter the 2012 season under new leadership for the first time in nearly five decades. Owner Mark Davis named Reggie McKenzie the team’s General Manager on Jan. 10, making McKenzie the first person to hold the GM title since Al Davis was named Head Coach and General Manager in 1963. McKenzie named Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen head coach on Jan. 30.
TRAINING CAMP 2012: The Raiders checked into training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott on July 29. This marks the organization’s 17th year of training in the Napa Valley. The team will conduct all of its day-to-day football operations in Napa until the team returns to its permanent Alameda facility after the third preseason game.
FAMILIAR FOE: Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys have squared off only 10 times in the regular season, but the two teams have played 27 times in the preseason, with the Silver and Black holding an 18-9 all-time advantage in a series that dates back to 1972. This week’s matchup marks the third time in four seasons that the two teams have met in the preseason and the first time in Oakland since a 31-10 Raider victory in the 2009 preseason opener. The Raiders lead the all-time regular season series, 6-4, with the teams last squaring off on Thanksgiving Day 2009 in Dallas, a 24-7 Cowboys victory.
EXTENDING THE SERIES: The Raiders and Cowboys have squared off 27 times in the preseason, making Dallas the second-most common preseason opponent for Oakland. The Silver and Black’s most familiar opponent is the San Francisco 49ers, with the two teams having played 39 times in the preseason. The Raiders and Cowboys played a preseason contest in Oakland in 2009, ending a five-year hiatus, and most recently faced off in Dallas in 2010.
OXNARD TIES: The Cowboys are no stranger to California during the summer months, as Dallas hosted training camp in Thousand Oaks from 1963-89. The Cowboys returned to Southern California in 2001, training in Oxnard, Calif. The Raiders’ training camp site was also in Oxnard from 1985-95 after moving from the El Rancho Tropicana Hotel in Santa Rosa,
Calif. The Raiders moved training camp to Napa, Calif., in 1996, a year after the franchise returned to Oakland.
NOTABLE CONNECTIONS: RB Darren McFadden and Cowboys RB Felix Jones occupied the same backfield at the University of Arkansas … CB Bryan McCann played for the Cowboys from 2010-11 before signing with the Raiders … S Michael Huff is from Irving, Texas … Cowboys’ recently-signed OL Dan Loper played for the Raiders in 2010 … RB Lonyae Miller played four games for the Cowboys in 2010 … LS Jon Condo played for Dallas in 2005 … Special teams coordinator Steve Hoff man spent 16 seasons (1989-04) as kicking coach with Dallas … Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan served as defensive coordinator for the Raiders from 2004-08 … Cowboys’ offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Callahan was an assistant coach for the Silver and Black from 1998-01 and served as head coach from 2002-03 … Cowboys running backs coach Skip Peete was an assistant coach for the Raiders from 1998-06 … Former Raiders QB Wade Wilson is the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach … Tight ends coach Mark Hutson was a Cowboys’ third-round draft pick in 1988.
• at Oak. 19, Dal. 13 (Oct. 2, 2005): The Raiders posted the organization’s third straight win in the regular season series against the Cowboys in front of 62,400 fans in Oakland. K Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals, including two from 40-plus yards, and RB LaMont Jordan rushed for 126 yards and one touchdown to lead the Raiders.
• Oak. 13, at Dal. 12 (Sept. 27, 1998): QB Jeff George and WR James Jett connected on a 75-yard touchdown strike and the Raiders held off a late charge to edge the Cowboys by one point. A fourth-quarter Cowboy touchdown brought Dallas within three points, and Oakland P Leo Araguz ran out of the back of the end zone to give Dallas a safety but preserve a one-point lead that would ultimately hold up.
• at Oak. 27, Dal. 23 (Dec. 14, 1974): QBs Ken Stabler and George Blanda combined to throw three touchdown passes and the Raiders posted a 27-23 victory in the first meeting between the two teams. The win capped a 12-2 regular season for the Raiders that culminated in an AFC Championship-game appearance.
WINNING WAYS: The Raiders and Cowboys are among the elite teams in the NFL, with both ranking among the top-four since 1963 in winning percentage. The Dallas Cowboys top the chart with a .591 regular season winning percentage, while the Raiders rank fourth with a .567 percentage since Al Davis was named head coach and general manager in 1963.
HEYWARD-BEY REPLAY: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey recorded his first career TD reception the last time the Raiders faced the Cowboys in a regular-season tilt. On Thanksgiving Day 2009 at Cowboys Stadium, the rookie hauled in a 4-yard pass from Bruce Gradkowski, the Raiders’ only score.
PLAYOFF PEDIGREE: The Raiders’ 2012 training camp rosters includes 15 players that have earned postseason experience during their respective careers. Seven players have combined to be a part of 10 Super Bowl squads and have claimed seven championships.
COACHES ROSTER: Meet the 2013-14 Dallas Cowboys coaching staff
There have been a number of changes in the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff over the past few years. Here’s an updated list of the assistant coaches and links for more detailed information on each of them.
DALLAS COWBOYS HEAD COACH
Jason Garrett was named the eighth head coach in Dallas Cowboys history on January 5, 2011. Garrett, who played for or worked alongside four of his predecessors, became the first former Dallas Cowboys player to become the team’s head coach.
DALLAS COWBOYS COACHING STAFF
|Offensive Coaches||Defensive Coaches||Specialty Coaches|
Asst. Head Coach/Wide Receivers
Strength and Conditioning
|To Be Determined
Tight Ends/Passing Game Coord.
Assistant Special Teams/ Kickers
Assistant Strength and Conditioning
Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
Assistant Offensive Line
Off. Quality Control/Wide Receivers
This post has been revised. Please click HERE.
Dallas Cowboys 2012 coaching staff nears completion
Running backs coach Skip Peete, whose contract was set to expire at the end of the 2011 league year, has signed a new two-year deal. Assistant offensive line coach Wes Phillips and offensive quality control/wide receivers coach Keith O’Quinn also will return with new deals.
The Cowboys introduced their two new coaches — secondary coach Jerome Henderson and offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Callahan — Thursday. Their staff is complete, Jason Garrett said, aside from an assistant secondary coach to help Henderson.
"Jerome is the secondary coach; he is the head secondary coach so to speak," Garrett said. "In the last few years, we’ve had kind of dual secondary guys. Jerome is going to coach the secondary, but we are going to look into hiring a secondary assistant. We’re starting that process here really in the next few days, and hopefully we’ll get it done here in the next couple of weeks."
Brett Maxie and Dave Campo split the secondary duties the past four years. Campo was not retained, and he left to become the defensive coordinator at the University of Kansas.
The Cowboys wanted to have Henderson split the duties with Maxie, but Maxie decided to leave for the Tennessee Titans.