View Full Version : Leaf is coming to Dallas

09-04-2001, 11:25 PM
It looks like the Cowboys will be signing Ryan Leaf sometime this week. He'll instantly become the best quarterback in camp, and in my opinion will be starting by the end of the year.


09-05-2001, 07:48 AM
Dude, he can't play. He couldn't even crack the top three at Tampa. If he's starting at the end of the year, the Cowboys might not win a game this year.

09-05-2001, 07:50 AM
Dallas Morning News
Tim Cowlishaw
Wednesday September 5, 2001
Move not worth risking Carter's psyche

IRVING A good general manager risks public scorn and ridicule by making risky moves that offer potentially big rewards.

In 1997, Ed Belfour was a 32-year-old goalie with back and knee problems coming off the worst season of his NHL career. Bob Gainey cut ties with Andy Moog, who had just produced the second best goals-against average in the league, and paid Belfour more than three times what Moog was making.

The Stars won a Stanley Cup in two years.

In the midst of stripping down the Mavericks' franchise, Don Nelson traded what looked to be one of the team's most valuable assets (a probable lottery pick in the 1999 draft) to Phoenix for Steve Nash. After initial struggles, Nash has become a top point guard, a leader of the team and an NBA bargain.

And so it is with Jerry Jones, who by now has the public scorn and ridicule part down pat. He was at it again Tuesday, choosing to bring Ryan Leaf to town on a two-year deal that starts at the minimum base of $412,000.

That salary suggests a low-risk move, but with Leaf there is always risk involved. And after San Diego and Tampa Bay have seen fit to cut him loose with the Bucs' doctors believing Leaf may need wrist surgery, one wonders what the Cowboys see as the upside in this Leaf falling from the sky.

Possibly it was that 311-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Broncos in Week 12 last year that Jones hopes Leaf can duplicate against Denver on Thanksgiving. But Leaf quickly reverted to form with a four-interception game against San Francisco, a 9-for-23-for-78-yards day against Tampa Bay and a one-way ticket out of San Diego.

In Leaf's three years with the Chargers, he produced 20 touchdowns, 33 interceptions and enough turmoil that even Bobby Beathard, the club's even-tempered former general manager, had to publicly question Leaf's attitude and maturity.

In Tampa Bay this summer, Leaf never climbed the depth chart, finishing fourth behind Brad Johnson, Shaun King and Joe Hamilton. His pre-season totals 7-for-19, 81 yards, one interception earned this rave review from wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson in the St. Petersburg Times:

"I don't think he ever really showed them why he was the No. 2 pick in the draft and a potential star quarterback. He came in and competed and everyone felt comfortable with Joe Hamilton as the third quarterback," Johnson said.

The real risk in bringing in Leaf is with Quincy Carter's psyche. If the rookie quarterback from Georgia has any uncertainties now, they will be compounded when the losses begin to mount. Add to the equation Jones looking over Carter's shoulder to see if a former No. 2 pick in the draft can't outperform the most recent No. 53 pick in the draft.

And how do you tell Jack Reilly to redesign an offense that makes use of Carter's and possibly Anthony Wright's mobility, then plug the 6-5, slow-footed Leaf into that hole?

In terms of signing young players and using the 2001 season as an evaluation for 2002 when the salary cap noose will loosen, Leaf's addition almost makes sense. But how soon do you tell Carter, "Sorry, it's time to look at this other guy now"?

Why not Michael Bishop instead of Leaf? Why not Clint Stoerner, possibly back to the practice squad once more, instead of Leaf?

Forget Leaf's miserable relationship with the media in San Diego. It's his career statistics, his off-the-field run-ins with teammates and fans and his absolute lack of mobility that suggest the Leaf book already has been written, and it's a horror story.

Why does Jones want to add a Cowboys' chapter to the tale?

There exists the possibility that Jones merely wants Leaf in town so that the quarterback can fill in Cowboys coaches on Tampa Bay's playbook before Sunday's opener.

All we know for sure is that Leaf, who may understand the Bucs' playbook, couldn't execute it.

09-05-2001, 10:02 AM
Do you think that Clint Sterner, Anthony Wright, or Quincy Carter could have beat out the Bucs quarterbacks for a roster spot? No, they stink BAD. Leaf has always had the talent, just not the dicipline. Now that he's been cut by two teams, he might just grow up a little. Give him a about a month to learn the system and he'll blow away the scrubs we have now. He's has more NFL experience than any QB on our roster AND he has more upside potential.

09-05-2001, 10:22 AM
From the Dallas Morning News Article posted earlier.

Keyshawn Johnson told the St. Petersburg Times "I don't think he (Ryan Leaf) ever really showed them why he was the No. 2 pick in the draft and a potential star quarterback. He came in and competed and everyone felt comfortable with Joe Hamilton as the third quarterback."

I personally don't think his attitude is the problem. I think he's just a bust. The NFL has a list of about a dozen QB's drafted in the first round who just couldn't cut it. QB's tend to be picked very high whether they deserve it or not.

09-05-2001, 10:46 AM
I'm not a ryan leaf fan but in all fairness to him, he was playing injured during the pre season with the bucs..maybe that's why he didn't show much..hopefully

09-05-2001, 11:00 AM
Well he's probably better than what the Cowboys have now, but if you ask me WRIGHT showed me more last year in the few games he started than Ryan Leaf has so far in his career. The guy tried to rely on his strong arm too much. He thinks he can throw a ball through a car wash without it getting wet. Well that worked in college not in the pros. I really think they should have just left this guy alone. The only benefit in picking him up is he's cheap.

09-05-2001, 11:29 AM
i'm not going to say that wright is going to be an incredibly successful QB in the nfl.. but, in all honesty..he was more successful than any dallas qb in the pre season games and in the training camp workouts...
but jones has a point to prove with either leaf or carter...
with carter, he wants to prove how good he is at judging talent
with leaf, he wants to be the man that takes a problem like leaf and turns him into a franchise QB

so, although wright has been the best QB in camp and in the pre season, i doubt he will receive too much of a shot because jerry has some alterior motives to play both leaf and carter

09-05-2001, 12:32 PM
That's probably right, but I don't get it. Believe it or not, Banks is better than Leaf. Oh well, poor Cowboy fans.

09-05-2001, 01:42 PM
oh, i know that banks has been a more productive QB..but what does having banks do for the cowboys?
nothing...regardless of whether or not he was here this year, the cowboys were still going to have a bad record....
and if banks was worth keeping, he would probably sign somewhere else next year.

so why not at least try to develop carter, wright, or leaf?
at least they could have a future with the cowboys...whereas it appeared that tony banks didn't have a future with the 'boys beyond this year

09-05-2001, 04:38 PM
I guess Leaf won't be a Cowboy afterall.

Leaf fails Cowboys' physical exam

Associated Press


IRVING, Texas -- Ryan Leaf's name and the number 16 were written in black on a strip of white tape over a locker in the Dallas Cowboys' clubhouse Wednesday.

Three pairs of shoes -- all with 16 printed on the heel -- a white practice jersey, a helmet and several unused hangars awaited him.

Leaf never even saw the set up. He failed a physical Wednesday because of a wrist problem and left town without a contract.

"It was (an injury) that concerned us enough that we couldn't make a decision to put him on the roster," Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones said. "I know he was disappointed. I don't know that he was surprised. There's no question he was surprised it would impact our decision as much as it did."

Jones said after an initial evaluation discovered the problem, specialists were brought in to give it a further look. He declined to give anymore specifics about the problem.

Leaf left the team's headquarters without talking to reporters, ducking in the front seat of a van to avoid being photographed.

"Ryan was excited with the Cowboys opportunity and he couldn't be more disappointed about how it turned out," said David Dunn, Leaf's agent. "I think right now, we're going to explore all our options. The most important thing is his health and getting his wrist right."

Dunn said he hopes the two sides can strike a deal once Leaf is healthy.

"I think Ryan thinks the world of Jerry and the Cowboys organization. My feeling is Jerry feels the same way about Ryan," Dunn said.

Leaf's absence means third-string quarterback Clint Stoerner still had a job. He boarded a bus from team headquarters to Texas Stadium for practice.

"I don't know what's going to happen," said Stoerner, who had already been told he might be waived and added to the practice squad if not claimed by another team.

Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy said the wrist injury made it difficult for Leaf to throw some days and prevented him from practicing twice.

Finances, however, were the reason the Buccaneers waived Leaf on Monday, Dungy said, adding that the team was willing to keep four quarterbacks. Brad Johnson, Shaun King and Joe Hamilton were ahead of Leaf on the depth chart.

"He did a good job for us," said Dungy, whose team plays Dallas in the season opener Sunday. "I think it's just a matter of getting in the right system and the right situation."

The San Diego Chargers made Leaf the second pick in the 1998 draft, behind Peyton Manning, but got only four wins in three seasons -- including a season missed because of an injured throwing shoulder. He was waived in March.

The Cowboys were interested in Leaf then as the replacement to Troy Aikman, but couldn't afford him. They went with Tony Banks, then cut him to make rookie Quincy Carter the starter. Anthony Wright is his backup.

Carter and Wright are mobile quarterbacks, while Leaf is more an Aikman-style, drop-back passer.

Carter said as long as he does his job, he won't have to worry about who is playing behind him.

"In this business, you're never secure unless you throw three or four touchdowns on Sunday," he said. "I just need to keep working hard."

Although Leaf left San Diego with a history of clashes with teammates, team officials and fans, the folks in Tampa Bay said they had no problems.

"The guy we got was exemplary in terms of trying to get things done and working," Dungy said. "I think he was excellent in the locker room. Everything from that standpoint was an A-plus."

"He was definitely a team player; he supported everyone," said Bucs running back Warrick Dunn. "I think overall Ryan could be a good quarterback in this league. He just needs time, someone to teach him the game and to play the position."

Leaf went 7-for-19 for 81 yards with one interception in four preseason games. He was 4-14 as a starter in San Diego, throwing 33 interceptions and only 13 touchdowns. He alienated teammates, fans and management with his ego and attitude, forcing him to have to rehabilitate his career on and off the field.

10-19-2001, 06:22 PM
How pathetic are the Cowboys? They sign Leaf and expect him to start after the bye week. Man it sucks to be a Cowboy fan right now.

10-19-2001, 07:36 PM
They suck anyway, why not give 'em a chance.

10-21-2001, 12:52 PM
well, he can throw, that's for sure...so take a shot with him. there's nothing to lose..there's no chemistry for him to screw up..

10-24-2001, 10:22 AM
The Leaf era is really going to begin this Sunday. Jerry Jones is coming to his senses...

10-25-2001, 08:12 AM
Leaf is going to make Jerry look like a very smart man. The playoffs are now still a possiblity. My bet is that if Leaf starts, he's going to drop 300 yards on the pathetic Cardinals.

10-25-2001, 09:15 AM
Cowboys announced yesterday that Clint Storner(Spl?) will start Sunday. i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif

10-29-2001, 10:13 PM
Stoner looked OK. However, its just a matter of time before he's back on the bench where he belongs.

10-30-2001, 12:49 AM
What amazed me was the stat that was posted during the Arizona game. The Cowboys would be 114th or so in passing among the 117 Division I schools. How much farther can the Cowboys fall before Jones gives up?

10-30-2001, 10:09 AM
It all will end the day Ryan Leaf starts as quarterback.

10-30-2001, 05:46 PM
I'd rather have Shawn Bradley at quarterback than Leaf (I picked Bradley 'cause he's another of your favs). Leaf's a cancer. Good teams don't want him.

11-02-2001, 06:27 PM
I'm just looking for a place to vent. It may not fit here, but it's hardly worth a new thread:
Yesterday, my boss told me had an assignment and it was a "test" for me. He said I couldn't ask questions - just had to use my own resources. He wants to entertain two business associates at the Chargers/Cheifs game this Sunday. I don't know a thing about how a sports event is set up for entertaining business prospects, etc., but I can be pretty resourceful. Anyway, I called the Chargers Corporate Offices and some guy who thought he was WAY TOO IMPORTANT to be answering phones took my call, and he was the biggest jerk! He literally did his best to humilate me for not knowing exactly what to do to set this thing up. I was so shocked I didn't even bust his sorry act! I did get what I needed from someone else, and she excused his behavior by saying that I should have explained who I was with before making my request. She said that because the Chargers are winning, had 3 home games in a row, etc., lots of people are calling, and they really need to have some way of knowing that I am worth their time and attention. It sure leaves an impression of arrogance.

11-06-2001, 01:11 AM
i disagree mffl..
yes, he has been a cancer in the past..but from all accounts, even in tampa..he has done and said all of the right things...and the cowboys have nothing to lose..give him the ball and let him start a couple of games..it can't hurt anything

11-06-2001, 01:24 AM
The only reason I can tolerate Leaf (aside from the fact that I can't do anything about it - LOL) is the fact that we don't have another QB. Maybe he's changed but I doubt it. He might be saying the right things, but anyone other than Isiah Rider would be saying all the right things in Leaf's position. But if he didn't have warts, Tampa would have just stashed him on IR for the year. You don't build a team with players that good teams don't want.

11-06-2001, 10:41 AM
good theory..but there are several players that no teams wanted that end up being integral parts of teams.

doug flutie
kurt warner

guess what, no one wanted them...both of them are guiding their teams rather nicely.

and there are several players that everyone wanted that don't do a damn thing in the NFL...
todd marinovich for example....

teams make mistakes on what personnel to pick up...every team does...and the cowboys have absolutely nothing to lose by playing leaf

it's always been that way

everyone knows brian piccolo..he was on the practice squad for the bears for 2 years before he made it on the roster. being on the practice squad, he was available for anyone to pick up...but no one did.

it happens in every sport...some players take longer to develop and some players never develop.
he has the size and talent, so let's see what happens. do we want clint stoerner starting at QB?

and there are plenty of young guys that have talent that get cut in this league....d.missouri..cowboys just picked him up...talented kid but found himself on the wrong team...the ravens were just too deep and he couldn't hang on with them. maybe the cowboys found a guy that could play in this league...he's young, with talent, and possibly a nice pickup....

that's what this season is about...bringing players in that some other team didn't want and taking a shot with him..giving them playing time to see what they can develop in to. other teams besides the cowboys make personnel mistakes....now, let's hope the cowboys can capitalize on some of them.
already, the cowboys found reggie swinton..a guy that can play on this team....a bigger guy with some speed...a good punt and kickoff returner. frisch came in last week and had a pretty good game..maybe he can develop in to someone that fits into a rotation on the d-line.

once again, the cowboys have nothing to lose with leaf and other cast aways....take a shot and maybe you'll find some pieces of the puzzle.

11-06-2001, 04:18 PM
I don't know, sometimes people show things in their personality that makes you realize you can't be bothered with them. Leaf is one of those people, now he has talent and I think he'll probably do an OK job, but it won't be long before he says or does something stupid, watch!

11-06-2001, 04:21 PM
some people learn from their mistakes..
anyone remember how much of an ass john elway was when he came out of college and how much people hated him? how he whined his way to the broncos?

11-06-2001, 04:52 PM
Yeah, but then he started playing well so everyone forgot about it. He was winning there after three years which Leaf was not after three years. People can tolerate whining and dumb things when the athlete is producing. Look at Barry Bonds. He's been a BITCH, a CLUB HOUSE Pain in the ass his entire career, but how can you really complain about a guy who puts up the statistics he does.

11-07-2001, 09:48 AM
but look at bonds stats early in his career..not exactly sparkling..
it takes some people a little time. maybe he won't come around, maybe he will....but right now, he's the cowboys best option. so let's see what he has.
we already can tell that he has, by far, the best arm of any quarterback to play for the cowboys this year

11-07-2001, 11:18 AM
Hey, I'm a Giants fan so they could go with Leaf, and I won't be mad. He was good to us last week. lol

11-07-2001, 11:40 AM
The Leaf era will finally begin this weekend...

11-07-2001, 09:54 PM
leaf did a good job when he came in.. with 4 interceptions, a smart giants fan would have wanted stoerner to stay in.
but, i guess no one ever accused you of that

12-02-2001, 08:08 PM
The Quincy Carter era in Dallas as officially begun! LOL J/K i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif

I must say though..Cowboys vs. Redskins..one word..OWNAGE!!