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Old 02-19-2009, 12:45 PM   #121
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Really. You want the exact roster we had this year? I think TO has to go. How do you work a receiver like Roy Williams in when you have TO crying over touches.

But I do want Ray Lewis, regardless if he stabbed a guy then snitched and had the charges dropped.
How do you work in a receiver while TO is crying over touches? Easy. Win games. Simple as that. If the Cowboys bring the same roster back next season with all of their injuries I wouldn't be upset. Coaching is where this team problem lies. And I wouldn't even say head coaching because I think Wade can get this defense to be elite for a season. Garrett is starting to become the problem.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:50 PM   #122
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Really. You want the exact roster we had this year? I think TO has to go. How do you work a receiver like Roy Williams in when you have TO crying over touches.

But I do want Ray Lewis, regardless if he stabbed a guy then snitched and had the charges dropped.
Yes I want to keep a 1000-yard and 10+ td receiver.
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:10 PM   #123
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I cried with TO over his lack of touches. You didn't?
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"I still go through it in my head," Nowitzki said. "One of my last nights in Germany [last month], I was trying to go to sleep, but I couldn't. I was thinking about the free throw I missed [late in Game 3], about different situations that happened in that series. I'll never forget it. It's going to stay in my mind until we win it all."
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:44 PM   #124
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I want a 1000 yd 10 + td palyer too. Just not one who is only concerned with himself and regardless if he creates this controversy or the media does, he creates distractions.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:25 PM   #125
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I want a 1000 yd 10 + td palyer too. Just not one who is only concerned with himself and regardless if he creates this controversy or the media does, he creates distractions.
But when TO is happy and when he's catching the ball the Cowboys aer winning. When he's not catching the ball we're losing and therefore distractions are created. Its 2009. When it came out this year even Marvin Harrison has a little diva in him that's when I knew that you'll be searching forever for a receiver who isn't concerned with getting his catches. They just aren't out there and if they are they're out of the league.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:22 PM   #126
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Ray Lewis asked D-Ware for Jerry Jones's phone number.
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:04 PM   #127
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He did, I was going to post the tidbit I saw about it. So here goes.

http://www.truebluefanclub.com/blogs...luefanclub.com

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According to DeMarcus Ware, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is genuine in his desire to play for the Cowboys - he's been pointing at the star on Ware's helmet and begging for Jerry Jones' phone number.

Lewis doesn't hit the open market until Feb. 27, and the Ravens were expected to hold negotiations with his representatives here at the combine.

"Economics is always a part of it," Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said. "But I don't know what the other part of it would be. He has a very good relationship with coach (Jim) Harbaugh, you know his relationship with (Baltimore owner Steve Biscotti), and he and I have a very good relationship. And I think he realizes where our football team is at right now . . . and that we can contend in our division and in our conference to try to get him to another Super Bowl . . . and the other thing that I think Ray can appreciate is that front that we have in front of him allows him to make plays."

There's still reason to doubt the Cowboys will have enough free cap space to sign Lewis, especially if they're going to give Ware an extension. The finances have to work for Lewis, of course, but he sure sounds like he wants to play in Dallas.

"'I want to wear this star on my helmet, that's my dream . . . that's my dream,'" Ware said Lewis told him when Baltimore closed Texas Stadium in December. "When we got to the Pro Bowl, he did it again. He came at me every day."

-Josh Ellis
It seems like if they can restructure some deals, this is more of a possibility.

I wonder if Lewis said his stuff before or after he said let's turn the lights out here, or whatever he said at the end of that game.
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:38 PM   #128
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I wonder if Lewis said his stuff before or after he said let's turn the lights out here, or whatever he said at the end of that game.
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"Close this stadium down!!!" Ray Lewis hollered while celebrating the win. "We closed it down!!! It's official!!!"
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"I still go through it in my head," Nowitzki said. "One of my last nights in Germany [last month], I was trying to go to sleep, but I couldn't. I was thinking about the free throw I missed [late in Game 3], about different situations that happened in that series. I'll never forget it. It's going to stay in my mind until we win it all."

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Old 02-25-2009, 07:56 AM   #129
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I hope Jerry has something up his sleeve...

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Cowboys Will Let All Eight UFAs Test The Market

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INDIANAPOLIS - With just north of $12 million in available cap space - which isn't enough to do everything they would like - the Cowboys will let each of their eight unrestricted free agents test the waters.

Before leaving the NFL Scouting Combine on Monday team owner and general manager Jerry Jones told DallasCowboys.com the team will take a wait-and-see approach to any roster moves, knowing the cap situation coupled with the league's financial climate make it unwise to spend heavily.

"We'll just see," Jones said. "If they're in free agency then the negotiations will have the benefit of them getting an opportunity to see where other teams are."

The Cowboys were holding last-minute negotiations with the agent for defensive end Chris Canty over the weekend, but the two sides could not come to an agreement.

Canty is looking for a contract in the range of the $50.5 million deal ($18.5 million guaranteed) that Oakland handed lineman Tommy Kelly last February. The Cowboys can't control the situation after the open signing period begins Friday, and Jones said he didn't know if the Cowboys would be given a chance to match offers from other teams.

"I don't know about that, but we sure want them on the team," the owner said of a few unrestricted players. "Zach (Thomas), and we'd like to have Chris (Canty), and we'd like to have (Kevin) Burnett."

Jones didn't mention safety Keith Davis by name, but the team is believed to value its special teams captain as well. The four other UFAs are quarterback Brooks Bollinger, guard Joe Berger, linebacker Carlos Polk and defensive tackle Tank Johnson, who the Cowboys aren't expected to ask back. The team also controls the destiny of five restricted free agents and three exclusive-rights free agents.

The Cowboys have nine picks in April's draft, and could receive two more picks as compensation for free agents who left in 2008. With that many picks the Cowboys could fill their open roster spots with a wave of young players, and Jones is expecting the team's rookies to earn playing time.

"There's without a question several players here that can help us," the owner said. "When we get to those nine picks we really do expect, with what we think we're going to do on special teams, we really expect a lot of those guys to contribute, especially after the draft that we had last year."

Five rookies made the team in 2008, and each had carved out a role for himself by season's end. The Cowboys don't have a first-round pick this year, but Jones said he still isn't regretting the trade deadline deal that sent that pick, a third-rounder and a fifth-rounder to Detroit in exchange for receiver Roy Williams. Since the trade was made, Jones has maintained that because of the expected uncapped year in 2010, it would be tough to sign first-round picks this year.

The changes to the league's financial structure aren't just affecting first-round picks but also the Cowboys' ability to sign free agents - their own, and those from other teams.

"There will be an uncapped year. There's no doubt," Jones told reporters Sunday. "That uncapped year has a lot of ramifications because it's the initiation of no labor agreement at all . . . You could burn your britches for the next five years if you're not careful in an uncapped year.

"That's a significant thing this year that, in my mind, will effectively cut available dollars as much as 20 percent."

Names who have been linked to the Cowboys include Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers. Lewis has told DeMarcus Ware he wants to wear a star on his helmet, and Peppers wants to be traded to a team that runs a 3-4 defense, but it doesn't seem likely the Cowboys will pay the necessary ransom for either player.

"We'll play it pretty close in," Jones said of the team's free-agency intentions. "We worked real hard this year to get some guys signed. It would surprise me to see a big splash."

It's the kind of talk from Jerry Jones that no one expected, except for those who've been paying attention. In the last year the Cowboys have given expensive long-term contracts to running back Marion Barber, receivers Williams and Terrell Owens, tackles Flozell Adams and Marc Colombo, cornerback Terence Newman and safety Ken Hamlin. There's also the little matter of a $1.1 billion stadium being erected in Arlington, Texas, though it doesn't really affect the team's roster in any significant way.

Those seven contract extensions alone will cost Jones more than $123 million in guaranteed money. The Cowboys also had two first-round picks last year in Felix Jones and Mike Jenkins, whose rookie contracts combined for $15 million in guarantees. Back in 2007 the Cowboys handed out lucrative contract extensions for quarterback Tony Romo, defensive tackle Jay Ratliff and wide receiver Patrick Crayton.

Considering that several of the above-mentioned players had somewhat down years in 2008, was it shrewd business for the Cowboys to wrap up so many guys to long-term deals? Jones would say yes. For one, most of those players have made at least one Pro Bowl in the last couple of years, and the financial restructuring approaching the NFL makes it important for a team to protect its top players.

The most important player to re-sign is outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who is expected to receive the largest contract the team has ever given a player sometime before next season. Both Jones and his son Stephen, the team's executive vice president, have said re-signing Ware is the top off-season priority.

With a league-high 51 sacks since he was drafted out of Troy in 2005, Ware's representation can also make a legitimate case he deserves to be the highest-paid defensive player in the entire league. The figure he's entitled to probably grew Thursday when the Raiders inked cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to a three-year, $45.3 million contract with the first two years guaranteed at $28.5 million.

Jones wouldn't comment on how the Asomugha contract affects the negotiations with Ware, who was in town over the weekend with his agent, Pat Dye Jr. Other than to say the team won't try to re-sign any of the unrestricted free agents before they hit the open market, Jones was completely guarded on financial matters.

"What you have during this period, the things that we're talking about are negotiations and personnel - highly competitive, highly sensitive in the marketplace,"

Jones said. "So this isn't a good time to be talking about players and potential players. I don't know of anybody anywhere in business that discusses what they're doing with their negotiations or potential negotiations."

Jones wouldn't want to give a competitive advantage to his NFL rivals by explaining what additions he would like to make to the roster, or just how much his own players are worth. But for the first time in a while, there isn't much to tell, anyway.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:55 AM   #130
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Cowboys Waive 17-Year Veteran QB Brad Johnson

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IRVING, Texas - The Cowboys will indeed have a new backup quarterback to spell Tony Romo next season.

As expected, the team released veteran Brad Johnson on Thursday, a move that saves the team nearly $2 million in cap space.

The 40-year-old Johnson has played 17 pro seasons, including the last two in Dallas. But this very well could be the end of his career. The market for Johnson, even as a backup, might be limited considering his performance in three starts last season when he subbed for an injured Romo.

When a fractured pinkie on his right throwing hand prevented Romo from playing in mid-season, Johnson was less than stellar. The Cowboys went 1-2 in that stretch, which included an embarrassing 34-14 loss to the Rams, who finished just 2-14 last year.

In three games, Johnson had a 50.5 quarterback rating, passing for 427 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions in three games.

In fact, Johnson was replaced by Brooks Bollinger in the second half against the Giants on Nov. 2. Bollinger, an unrestricted free agent, could get re-signed by the Cowboys and compete for the No. 2 spot.

Earlier this week at the scouting combine, owner Jerry Jones said adding another quarterback in the off-season is a "real priority," but said the Cowboys might not rely on signing a veteran.

"Not necessarily. A veteran may be too much of a veteran," said Jones, who reiterated the importance of the Cowboys' 1-2 record in Romo's absence. "It could have meant that much to us to have won one of those game that we didn't win when we didn't have Tony. We were lucky to have won the one we did without Tony, frankly. We have to have improvement there."

With nine draft picks and the possibility of receiving two more compensatory picks, the Cowboys should have plenty of chances to draft a quarterback, possibly somewhere in the middle rounds. The Cowboys have four picks total in the fourth and fifth round.

As for Johnson, his future remains unclear. The Cowboys were his fourth different team, although he did have two stints in Minnesota, where he started his career as a backup in 1994 but eventually became a starter for the Vikings. After five seasons in Minnesota, Johnson signed with the Redskins in 1999 and played two years before ending up in Tampa Bay, where he helped the Bucs win Super Bowl XXXVII.

A two-time Pro Bowler, Johnson currently ranks 35th on the NFL's all-time passing list with 29,054 yards. He still holds the NFL record for consecutive seasons with a completion percentage higher than 60.0 with 12.

However, that streak ended this season with the Cowboys when he completed only 52.6 of his passes.


UPDATE: rumors of Rex Grossman to Dallas?




Four Restricted FAs Receive Tenders

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IRVING, Texas - The Cowboys tendered one-year contracts to four of their five restricted free agents on Wednesday, beating Thursday's NFL deadline to submit qualifying offers.

Wide receiver Miles Austin, defensive end Stephen Bowen, wide receiver Sam Hurd and guard Cory Procter each received the league's $1.545 million restricted tender, which secures right of first refusal and second-round compensation should the Cowboys choose not to match another team's offer sheet.

The league's restricted signing period ends April 17. By submitting second-round tenders rather than the original draft choice tender level ($1.01 million), the Cowboys increase their odds of keeping all four players because teams are naturally hesitant to part with a high draft pick in return.

Tight end Tony Curtis did not receive a tender. Curtis was third on the depth chart last season behind Pro Bowl starter Jason Witten and second-round pick Martellus Bennett, and the Cowboys seem to like the potential of exclusive rights free agent Rodney Hannah, who spent all but the season's final week on the practice squad.

Austin, Bowen, Hurd and Procter all are former undrafted free agents who have filled important backup roles for the Cowboys over the past three years.

Bowen's return will prove more significant if starting defensive end Chris Canty leaves via unrestricted free agency. Last year Bowen again worked in substitution packages and had 28 tackles, nine quarterback pressures and two tackles for loss. Without Canty, Bowen and fellow fourth-year end Jason Hatcher could compete for the starting job.

Two separate knee injuries (one in preseason, one last November) sidelined Austin for four games, but he's fast emerging as a deep threat at receiver. Austin averaged 21.4 yards on 13 catches this season, easily a team high and the best single-season average by a Cowboys receiver with at least 10 catches since Alvin Harper in 1994 (24.9). He also averaged 21.5 yards on a team-high 29 kickoffs.

Hurd appeared in only three games last year due to a season-ending ankle injury, but had become an improving receiver and reliable special teams player. Procter, originally signed from the Lions' practice squad near the end of the 2005 season, started 11 games at left guard in place of Kyle Kosier and also can play center behind Andre Gurode.

If a new NFL collective bargaining agreement is not reached and 2010 becomes an uncapped year, all four players will revert back to restricted free agency next year because they will have fewer than six accrued NFL seasons.

The Cowboys now will turn their attention to the league's unrestricted signing period which begins Thursday night at 11:01 p.m. (CST). They're expected to let all 11 of their own free agents test the market first, most notably Canty and inside linebackers Kevin Burnett and Zach Thomas.




Source: Cowboys trying to trade S Roy Williams

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There may soon be only one Roy Williams on the Dallas Cowboys roster.

The Cowboys have contacted NFL teams trying to trade Williams, a five-time Pro Bowl safety in his seven seasons in Dallas. If a deal can't be reached, Williams could be released to clear room for the Cowboys under the salary cap.

Williams played in only three games last season because of forearm injuries. Although regarded as a strong tackler, Williams has struggled in coverage and is no longer considered a good fit for Dallas' 3-4 scheme under head coach Wade Phillips.

Williams, 28, is scheduled to earn a $4.4 million base salary in 2009. He is under contract through 2010.

The Cowboys traded with Detroit for wide receiver Roy Williams during the 2008 season.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:52 PM   #131
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If the Cowboys could get Harrison and Lewis, they would vault so much in the locker room. That was what was missing last year. A stable locker room.

Has Harrison signed somewhere and I missed it? He would be great with Romo.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:39 AM   #132
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Has Harrison signed somewhere and I missed it? He would be great with Romo.
Harrison is on the market...
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:36 AM   #133
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The Cowboys do not need Harrison or Ray Lewis. This team can't continue to just sign the best players and think they can win games that way. Let the Deadskins do that. You get nowhere signing 34 year olds to big contracts. Worry about resigning Ware and if you can Canty and fix your needs in the draft. But no one player is going to fix this locker room problem if there is one. No one. That has to come from coaching or up top.
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:26 PM   #134
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I agree with not signing Harrison, we don't need him. Ray Lewis would be a great addition though but we need to resign some of our players first.
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:37 PM   #135
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Trading For Kitna
Anthony Henry Sent To Detroit For Veteran QB


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IRVING, Texas - The Cowboys and Lions pulled off a huge trade last season.

They've just completed another big one Saturday.

The Cowboys have sent cornerback Anthony Henry to the Lions in exchange for veteran quarterback Jon Kitna. However, there could be some more moving parts to this trade.

Kitna, although expected to back up Tony Romo, will reunite with wide receiver Roy Williams, who was sent from the Lions to the Cowboys for three draft picks last October.

The move is somewhat surprising considering the Cowboys appeared content to keep Henry as the starting right cornerback. There had also been discussions of moving Henry to free safety.

Instead, the Cowboys have sent him to the Lions.

Henry was entering the final season of his five-year deal he signed in 2005. He was expected to count $3.6 million on the salary cap this year - with a $2.6 million base salary and a $1 million roster bonus due in June. Overall, Henry's cap hit was scheduled to be $5.6 million; now it will count about $2 million.

Kitna is also entering the final year of his deal, and his $1.95 million base salary will be on the Cowboys' books next year.

The veteran quarterback spent most of last season on injured reserve because of a back injury, though Kitna publicly said the injury didn't warrant being shelved for the season.

Without Henry, the Cowboys are apparently ready to call on second-year veterans Orlando Scandrick and Mike Jenkins to possibly replace him at right cornerback. Terence Newman is expected to return as the Cowboys' starting left cornerback, but like Henry, he has also been somewhat injury-riddled the last few years.

Henry did start all 16 games in 2008, recording 55 tackles but just one interception. He tied for third on the team with seven pass deflections, but did have two sacks.

Given the talks of Henry maybe moving to safety, this trade could mean the Cowboys won't be parting ways with strong safety Roy Williams. The Cowboys could save $2 million in cap space by either trading or cutting the veteran, who spent most of last year on injured reserve after breaking his forearm on two separate occasions.




Linebacker Vet Keith Brooking Gets 3-Year Deal

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IRVING, Texas - So much for the Cowboys staying quiet early in free agency.

Hours after trading cornerback Anthony Henry to Detroit for backup quarterback Jon Kitna, the Cowboys signed free-agent linebacker Keith Brooking to a three-year contract worth roughly $6 million with $2.5 million guaranteed.

Brooking, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, led the Atlanta in tackles for the last eight seasons (2001-08). The 11-year veteran became a free agent Thursday night when he and the Falcons couldn't come to terms on a new contract.

Brooking (6-2, 241) fills a potential hole at inside linebacker with Zach Thomas and Kevin Burnett entering unrestricted free agency.

He played for Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips from 2002-03 when Phillips was the Falcons' defensive coordinator/interim head coach. Brooking's agent, Pat Dye, also represents Pro Bowl outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, whom the Cowboys are negotiating with on a long-term extension.

Brooking, 33, started all 16 games for the Falcons in 2008, recording a team-high 133 tackles (80 solo) and adding three pass breakups. He made the Pro Bowl five straight times from 2001-05 and was the last link to Atlanta's 1998 Super Bowl roster.

Brooking's signing doesn't necessarily preclude the Cowboys from re-signing Burnett. The Cowboys' chances of retaining Thomas, however, looked slim immediately after the season when the veteran linebacker indicated he wouldn't be back. Thomas later said he'd be open to returning, but it appears he might prefer to play a 4-3 scheme again somewhere else.

Burnett, meanwhile, flourished as a nickel linebacker last season but would like the opportunity to start. The three-year veteran had 38 tackles, three pass deflections and two sacks on defense and ranked second with 19 special teams tackles.

The Cowboys have allowed Burnett, Thomas and their other six unrestricted free agents to test the market. Defensive end Chris Canty, in particular, has attracted interest from the Giants, 49ers, Seahawks, Titans and Packers and might command a contract too large for the Cowboys to match. The club's first priority is re-signing Ware, who still has one year left on his deal.

Brooking and Kitna, however, fill two immediate needs. Kitna, 36, is expected to replace Brad Johnson as Tony Romo's backup. The Cowboys' other backup quarterback, Brooks Bollinger, is a free agent.
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:12 PM   #136
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I know we saved some cap room by doing this trade rather than keeping Henry and signing Kitna when Detroit cut him, (and they were going to cut him), but I still think this is a hard trade to swallow with Jones leaving also. What was once a great position of depth now needs some serious attention, especially if we cut or trade Roy. At the end of the day Henry wasn't that great of a player and was frequently injured but I still hate to swallow trades like this because I know we could have had Kitna or another similar QB without losing him.

Of course it is being mentioned that we could sign Springs, who would be a pretty large upgrade over Henry. If that was only possible due to the savings that we got from trading Henry plus Kitna's restructuring of his contract to save some more, then the trade becomes a great one.

Ultimately we have a fairly decent backup QB that could help Tony get in sync with Roy and maybe even spark a fire under Romo. He is a good character guy that might help with the leadership abilities.

In regards to Brooking, man, I don't think that he is an upgrade over Thomas so I am not sure what this does for us. I would rather we sign Burnett but maybe this is all we could afford and Burnett and Canty are just going to have to be cap casualties. He had a fairly good year last year but he is admittedly no longer the player he used to be.

Strange decisions to say the least, but if Springs comes it would make it a fairly good swap of talent. I would have rathered get Lewis but maybe that would have just added more fireworks to a burning building.

I know we need to make some REALLY good decisions in the draft now. I know that for a FACT. If Canty leaves we better draft one helluva DE or a DT and move Ratliff over. Maybe they sign one as well. I also hope that Brooking doesn't make this team think they can bypass drafting a linebacker fairly soon in the draft, ESPECIALLY if Burnett leaves. Carpenter is NOT the solution. I wish he were, but he isn't, (feel free to make me eat my words Bobby - but I am fairly positive from what I have seen from you that this just isn't going to happen).

I have also heard that there are trade talks about Greg Ellis so this team's line could drastically change from what we saw last year.

Normally we have a lot of talk and little action just because everyone references us being America's Team and all, but we shall see in the coming months!!!

Go Cowboys!
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:10 PM   #137
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I don't know what to think. I agree Dan, corner was our deepest position last season and now its become weak once again. I liked Henry here and I liked the thought of moving him to safety. Trading for Jon Kitna? Goodness. Ever since he made those remarks about Newman I hated the guy. Talk about trying to clean up the locker room.
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:28 PM   #138
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Kitna doesn't WOW you but he isn't terrible as a backup. He can obviously perform and the Lions weren't the greatest situation in the world. I know I'd feel a lot more comfortable with him over Johnson if Romo got hurt.
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:52 AM   #139
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After all these years of trying to get some good cornerbacks , they finally get it and then they trade away one of them for a back up QB to save money? WTF i'm so confused by this. Detroit's new GM must be putting something in Jerry's coffee
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:12 AM   #140
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I would love for Roy and Greg to both be traded. Also, if we managed to sign Springs, that would be a major move.

So far we've:
1. traded Anthony Henry for John Kitna
2. Sign Keith Brooking

am I missing anything else?
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:04 AM   #141
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After all these years of trying to get some good cornerbacks , they finally get it and then they trade away one of them for a back up QB to save money? WTF i'm so confused by this. Detroit's new GM must be putting something in Jerry's coffee
Anthony Henry sucked last season - he was the "Roy Williams" of our secondary and QBs proved it by going after him over & over again... I'll take Scandrick over him any day and even Jenkins was looking better than Henry by the end of the season... Give those two guys a second year to flourish and they'll remind everyone that having solid starters is a lot more important than being stacked with mediocre depth...

Don't forget that we still have Terrance Newman (if he can stay healthy) and Alan Ball looks about ready to step up as well...

Oh, and the rumor out of Detroit is that we got the #20 overall pick in this deal too (details still pending, the pick is probably lower) - the Cowboys could easily add depth to corner in the draft...
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:31 AM   #142
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Kitna doesn't WOW you but he isn't terrible as a backup. He can obviously perform and the Lions weren't the greatest situation in the world. I know I'd feel a lot more comfortable with him over Johnson if Romo got hurt.
And there's this:


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WR Roy Excited About Kitna Trade

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Wide receiver Roy Williams was part of the first big trade to the Lions. And he’s a huge supporter of the second.

After the Cowboys landed quarterback Jon Kitna in a trade that sent cornerback Anthony Henry to Detroit, Williams said he more than endorses the opportunity to reunite with his former quarterback. In fact, more than a month ago, Williams targeted Kitna as a possible backup for Romo this season.

“I’m not really surprised by any move we make,” said Williams, who played with Kitna from 2006-07 in Detroit. “I’m pretty excited about the move. That’s my guy. That’s a guy that knows me and he’s a guy that will help Tony go through anything he needs to go through as a quarterback. Jon has been there, done that. He helped show Carson (Palmer) the ropes in Cincinnati.

“We don’t want anything to happen to Tony, but if Tony goes down, now we have a great backup.”

The Cowboys cut veteran Brad Johnson this week. Johnson went just 1-2 in the three games he started when Romo suffered a broken right pinkie in the middle of last season.
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:44 AM   #143
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In regards to Brooking, man, I don't think that he is an upgrade over Thomas so I am not sure what this does for us. I would rather we sign Burnett but maybe this is all we could afford and Burnett and Canty are just going to have to be cap casualties. He had a fairly good year last year but he is admittedly no longer the player he used to be.
Zach Thomas is admittedly not the same player he was before either - especially since he isn't comfortable playing the 3-4 scheme... Brooking, on the other hand, played the best seasons of his career under Wade Phillips' 3-4 in Atlanta...
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:46 AM   #144
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My guess is the Cowboys were planning in releasing Henry anyway. They saved some cap room doing this, and I believe I read that Kitna even reworked his deal slightly to give the Cowboys even more cap room after this trade.
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:44 AM   #145
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Scandrick and Jenkins > Henry

BUT, Henry was going to play safety for us... and that woulda been a huge upgrade.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:11 AM   #146
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Scandrick and Jenkins > Henry

BUT, Henry was going to play safety for us... and that woulda been a huge upgrade.
He was a stop-gap safety option. And as injury prone as Henry is, putting him at safety to take way more punishment would never have worked.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:14 AM   #147
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You're probably right. I just hope Jenkins is working hard this off-season. He was pretty close to being a flop for us as far as being a first rounder last year while Scandrick shined.
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:03 PM   #148
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Sheesh... Not only does Canty leave which is bad enough but he goes to the friggin Giants... I just threw up in my mouth.
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:33 PM   #149
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Scandrick and Jenkins > Henry

BUT, Henry was going to play safety for us... and that woulda been a huge upgrade.
Its not about who was better. It was about the depth at the position. And we had Scandrick dominating guarding slot receivers. I hope Scandrick is ready because he's going to be picked on playing alongside Newman. That's the thing about playing next to a corner like Newman. It sometimes makes you look a lot worse than you really are.
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:26 PM   #150
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Its not about who was better. It was about the depth at the position. And we had Scandrick dominating guarding slot receivers. I hope Scandrick is ready because he's going to be picked on playing alongside Newman. That's the thing about playing next to a corner like Newman. It sometimes makes you look a lot worse than you really are.
You don't think the Cowboys are going to add any depth between now and when the season starts?

(Henry's departure freed up another $2mil in cap space...)
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:29 PM   #151
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Depth is very important, but not when the guy is too expensive. The more I think about it, the more I like the move.

Canty is a Giant????!
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:43 AM   #152
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You don't think the Cowboys are going to add any depth between now and when the season starts?

(Henry's departure freed up another $2mil in cap space...)
I think they'll try to add players but I don't want it to where we have Jenkins, Scandrick and Newman then sign Jacque Reeves and Nate Jones to fill out the corner spot. That's my big fear. And say what you want about Henry but the guy was decent. When he got beat I didn't think it was a lack of knowing where to be. I hope the 'Boys can find replacements for Pac-Man and Henry. They don't have to be stars just hopefully guys aroudn the 26 or 27 year old age who don't need time to develop. I'd take Evan Oglesby back if its possible. Not sure what the Ravens are going to do with him. And hopefully Alan Ball is still on the roster.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:53 AM   #153
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And say what you want about Henry but the guy was decent. When he got beat I didn't think it was a lack of knowing where to be.
That's true - it wasn't Henry's IQ that got him shipped... I think it boiled down to all those injuries finally starting to pile up - he looked a step slow last season...


Also, Alan Ball is still on the roster and the Cowboys have indicated that he'll be given a shot this season...
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:21 PM   #154
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hey fellas. good talks going on here. keep it up. thanks for the links underdog. and where have you been male26DAN ?

(keep posting those articles/links underdog)

thanks fellas
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:27 PM   #155
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(keep posting those articles/links underdog)

A Wade Phillips Guy
Brooking Looks Like A Good Fit In Cowboys' 3-4


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IRVING, Texas - For four years, the Cowboys were looking for "Parcells Guys," players who met a loosely-defined criterion preferred by the team's former head coach. The talk has persisted even in Bill Parcells' absence.

His guys were big, or they were hard workers, or they came from football families. Mostly though, a Parcells Guy was someone the Tuna had been around before, a player he trusted and one who trusted him back.

Now, two years after taking over for Parcells, Wade Phillips is reuniting with one of his own guys, former Falcons linebacker Keith Brooking. The two worked together when Phillips was Atlanta's defensive coordinator and interim head coach in 2002 and 2003.

"That was one of my main reasons in choosing the Cowboys, to reunite with Wade," Brooking said Monday.

The familiarity Brooking has with Phillips wasn't the only reason for the deal, which will pay the 11-year veteran roughly $6 million over three years, $2.5 million of which is guaranteed. Brooking-to-Dallas makes sense on the field for both parties as well. Brooking said Phillips told him Saturday he would be playing the same position for the Cowboys that he had with the Falcons, the weak inside linebacker spot filled by Zach Thomas in 2008.

Like Thomas, Brooking is an experienced player with a long streak of Pro Bowl appearances on his résumé. And like Thomas, Brooking has a history as a good locker room guy, a player whose example teammates can follow.

But unlike Thomas, Brooking has the size that really helps in the middle of a 3-4. And whereas Thomas admitted after the season he was never quite comfortable as the Cowboys' "Mo" linebacker, lining up next to Bradie James, Brooking enjoyed two of his most productive seasons in Phillips' scheme. He had career highs in tackling in 2002 and 2003, making the Pro Bowl both seasons. Those were the second and third of five consecutive trips to Honolulu he earned from 2001-05.

"I'm very comfortable with (Phillips') scheme, the terminology," Brooking said. "That weak-side inside linebacker, I think that's the one position to where you're in a position to run, kind of a run-ahead linebacker. That's my strength, that position creates some opportunities for you to do that."

Thomas performed admirably in his one-year homecoming to Texas, but he was often asked to do things with which he wasn't completely comfortable, taking on guards and fullbacks, and allowing his teammates to make plays. Though it wasn't a perfect fit for Thomas, the veteran's presence helped James enjoy his best season as a pro. Brooking has many of the same qualities.

"Considering the amount of play that I've had for 11 years, I think I add professionalism. I think I add consistency, and the ability to fit in," Brooking said. "I don't want to speak for Zach, but he played one position his first 12 years of his career . . . Me being an 11-year veteran with all the experience I've had, I wouldn't come to a team if I didn't feel 100-percent comfortable in what they wanted me to do and where I was going to be playing."

Brooking is two years younger than Thomas, and has made five Pro Bowls to seven for the former Miami Dolphins great. The two-year age difference isn't enough to give Brooking an edge on Thomas - he says he hasn't missed a down since the 2000 season. His three extra inches in height do help, however. At 6-2, 242, Brooking is just four pounds lighter than James. He's an inch shorter but the same weight as Kevin Burnett, another middle linebacker the Cowboys are ready to lose through free agency. Burnett visited the Oakland Raiders Monday.

Most importantly is the comfort level the Cowboys have with plugging Brooking into Thomas' role from last season. He appears to be the likely starter, an option on first and second down, but like Thomas, he's not a great option in passing situations at this point in his career.

"I don't have unrealistic expectations. I just want the ability to go in there and compete," Brooking said. "At the end of the day, if I'm playing first and second downs I'll be extremely happy with that."

Brooking blew his coverage on Arizona's game-deciding first down pass in last season's Wild Card win for the Cardinals over the Falcons. Unless the Cowboys are able to retain Burnett, which would be a surprise, Bobby Carpenter could be on the verge of achieving a regular defensive role for the first time in his career. He could replace Burnett as the nickel and dime linebacker, but the Cowboys may also look to the draft to add depth at the position. Special teams-first linebacker Carlos Polk is an unrestricted free agent the team may still attempt to re-sign.

For Brooking, who grew up in Senoia, Ga., attended Georgia Tech and played his entire professional career with the Falcons, the move to Dallas doesn't come without some emotion.

"I've played football since I was six years old, so 27 years within a 20-mile radius," Brooking said. "It was a great run there, but when it became a reality that potentially I was going to leave Atlanta and I'd hit the market, a few days before that I put together a wish list with my agent. The Cowboys were right at the top of the list."

The Cowboys were linked to Ray Lewis in the run-up to free agency, but opted for a better fit in Brooking, at a fraction of the cost. That doesn't mean they didn't have the full-court press on for the longtime Falcons standout, though. After Brooking arrived in Dallas Saturday, team owner and general manager Jerry Jones put on his recruiting hard hat for a personal tour of the team's new stadium in Arlington.

The Cowboys apparently put a lot of effort into courting Brooking, essentially a low-level free agent if money is a good barometer. But in making him a priority over Thomas, Burnett or Lewis, the Cowboys showed their goal was to sign someone with whom they were comfortable as the starting inside linebacker in their 3-4 - and someone who was comfortable in their 3-4.

The mutual comfort comes from the familiarity between Brooking and Phillips.

"There were a lot of reasons I chose Dallas, but the main one is I think they're prime and ready to make a Super Bowl run," Brooking said. "And secondly, like I said before, to reunite with Wade. I can't think of a better way to finish my career than to do it with a man like Wade Phillips."
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:27 PM   #156
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A Willing Role Player
Kitna Understands He Is Only Here To Back Up Romo


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IRVING, Texas - Jon Kitna made his way into the NFL the hard way - the real hard way.

He wasn't drafted for starters, so was quite happy to latch on to the Seattle practice squad as a rookie in 1996.

He was badly in need of experience, having played his college ball at Central Washington University, no more than an NAIA school, so he welcomed the chance in 1997 to play for the Barcelona Dragons in the World League.

While he made the Seattle 53-man roster that 1997 season and only appeared in three games, he certainly had no gripes with that.

But in 1999, he earned the starting job, one he held for two seasons before signing an unrestricted free agency contract with Cincinnati, where he would start three more seasons before the Bengals decided in 2004 it was high time for their first pick in the 2003 draft, Carson Palmer, to take the reigns.

He would dutifully become the backup there the next two seasons before getting a second chance in free agency, signing with the Detroit Lions in 2006 and becoming the Lions starter those next two seasons and the first four games in 2008 before a early back injury landed him on injured reserve.

And just this Saturday, with a new regime taking over in Detroit, Kitna was traded to the Dallas Cowboys for veteran cornerback Anthony Henry, coming here not as the starter as he had been for eight of his 13 NFL seasons, but once again as a backup, now at age 36.

He could be bitter . . . bitter about being a backup once again, and especially bitter the Lions didn't just release him, which would have given him the chance to at least search for a team where he could have competed for a starting job.

But he's not. Or at least he didn't sound as if woe is he on Monday, knowing full well he's once again being relegated to backup duty in his career, this time behind Cowboys starter Tony Romo.

"No, it's just a role you have to accept," Kitna said on Monday when asked if he's OK with being a backup. "And for me, like I said, I don't have a problem backing up quality football players. Again when they told me after 2003, probably one of my better seasons, and we were on the cusp of the playoffs (in Cincinnati) and almost went to the Pro Bowl and all that stuff, and then after the season they told me Carson was going to be the starter, you just accept that and go with that role," Kitna said. "In this league there are only 32 starting quarterbacks, and for me, coming here and backing up Tony, I think it's a really good situation, not only for myself but for my family."

Make no mistake, that is the only reason the Cowboys made this move, realizing after last season they needed to upgrade their backup quarterback position, but by being salary-cap reasonable, too. So they released 40-year-old Brad Johnson, who disappointed them in his three starts in relief of the injured Romo, and went on the backup QB search.

Plus, when doing so, just as in 2007 with Johnson, they needed to find a certain kind of veteran quarterback: One willing to readily accept a backup role; one who could be ready to play without a lot of practice reps or game snaps; and one willing to support Romo heading into his third full season as a starter, not one intent on competing with or threatening his starter's status from behind.

Few quarterbacks ever get to that mental point in their careers, willing to become the caddy, especially after they have received a taste of being the guy. And Kitna had been the guy for eight of his 13 NFL seasons, or at least was supposed to be for the eighth time in 2008 before a back injury and a change in plans turned things quite sour in Detroit.

So when asked a misguided question on Monday, one wondering if the Cowboys wanted him to "push" Romo, a media perception that seems to have gained steam one year removed from Romo earning consecutive Pro Bowl invites during his first 26 NFL starts (2006-07), Kitna politely parried the notion. He knows quarterbacks signing seven-year, $72 million contracts are rarely susceptible, if ever, to being pushed heading into just the third year of such a deal.

"They haven't tried to say anything except we want you to be who you are," Kitna said. "We brought you in here because we like who you are, not only as a player but as a person and things we've heard about you, so they are not looking for me to push Tony or anything like that. And for me, the ultimate thing would be never to have to play a down - you know, Tony plays great and all that stuff.

"I think that has to be the attitude of the backup. I'm ready to play and I'm ready to step in if I have to play but for me to play means something bad has happened. You know, things aren't going well or Tony gets hurt or whatever."

Plus, Kitna has been in the league long enough to understand anything more aggressive than that can be the worst case for a relatively inexperienced starter, that of having a veteran breathing down his neck every step of the way.

"I don't want people backing me up thinking that way, that 'oh, I can't wait for my shot,' and I certainly don't want to be that way," Kitna said. "That's the way I was with Carson Palmer; I'm going to do everything I can to help him. Whatever he needs me to do.

"You know, I'm a competitive person but they didn't bring me here to, and it wasn't intimated to me that they wanted me to, push him or anything like that. They just want me to be who I am."

And that would be a 13-year NFL veteran with 128 games of experience, 115 of those as a starter, who is willing to support the starter, but take his job seriously enough to be ready to take over, for say, like three straight games, in a minute's notice.

Without being bitter.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:41 PM   #157
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In Wade's defense, Brooking > Thomas.

Now, the real issue... limiting Romo's turnovers.
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:36 AM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Underdog View Post
That's true - it wasn't Henry's IQ that got him shipped... I think it boiled down to all those injuries finally starting to pile up - he looked a step slow last season...


Also, Alan Ball is still on the roster and the Cowboys have indicated that he'll be given a shot this season...
Yea that's why I sort of thought the move to safety would benefit Henry who has size and speed for a safety. And yea I forgot about Alan Ball. He had some stretches where he looked solid last season. At this point all we can do is pray our secondary doesn't take a step back. If they can just stay on course we'll be okay. And hope Newman doesn't get hurt which may be a stretch.

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Old 03-03-2009, 01:10 PM   #159
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thanks UD
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:16 PM   #160
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Was kind of hoping for Ray Lewis but oh well. Let's see if we can do anything with the money we saved in signing Brooking.
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