It's Super Bowl Week, the time when all attention is focused on the two combatants in Sunday's game. You can follow the Saints at Canal Street Chronicles and the Colts at Stampede Blue. SB Nation also has the Super Bowl covered, here.
But, life goes on for the rest of the 30 teams in the NFL, the Cowboys included. Just ask Deon Anderson.
Dallas received a little play in the media at Saints media day. We all recall the Cowboys rolling into New Orleans and winning that game against the then undefeated Saints. It propelled Dallas to a good December/January and our first playoff win in a long time. The Saints heaped a ton of praise on the Cowboys at media day when asked about that game. Ex-Cowboys like Sean Payton, Scott Fujita, Scott Shanle and Remi Ayodele all chimed in. But perhaps the most praise-worthy commentary came from Roman Harper.
"They've got a lot of really good players over there," Saints defensive back Roman Harper said of the Cowboys. "The talent they have is scary. They started to put it together there late in the season. But they're definitely going to be one of those teams to watch out for next year. They were very good this year and they're probably going to be better.
"That's what hurt us. We had some slow starts all year long, but if you're going to face a team with so much talent like the Cowboys or the Colts, you can't afford those lapses early in the game. Or you will lose. That [Cowboys] game was a good example."
Stephen Jones made his way down to the Pro Bowl and had some things to say in a Q&A. Most of it was about the Pro Bowl and the Cowboys participating in it, but he did have this to say about the immediate future.
Q: How strange will the off-season be with free agency and the new rules in place this year?
Jones: Well, anytime you have something new, it's a little different. But we're prepared. We know the rules and we understand them. I'd like to think we've been getting prepared for this, in terms of what we've done with our players. As we all know, we only have one free agent, UFA (Montrae Holland), so that pretty much makes our bed in terms of where we are. But we always stay prepared to improve. We've put a lot of work into this draft. There's a lot of work to do because of the amount of juniors coming out. We have a lot of catching up to do. A lot of work to do in the coming weeks. We had a great week at the Senior Bowl, watching a lot of up-and-coming players. And of course, we've got the combine coming right around the corner. We've got a couple of months to gain a lot of ground.
My kingdom for a FG kicker. The Cowboys have to solve that position this offseason, whether David Buehler grabs the job, or they turn it over to a young free agent (Connor Hughes will be given a chance) - or perhaps we turn to a vet who has been through the wars. One guy wouldn't mind wearing the star.
"I haven’t thought about it," [Matt] Stover said, laughing. "One of my dreams has always been to be a Dallas Cowboy. I was a Punt, Pass & Kick champion in 1979. I was out there in my Dallas Cowboy uniform punting, passing and kicking during the halftime show. And I was a Dallas Cowboy in the YMCA growing up. So it’s always been a dream of mine, but through 20 years of playing in the NFL, I’ve never had an opportunity."
Hat tip to what_the_crap for originally posting in the Fan Shots.
We know that Emmitt Smith will join Jerry Rice in the 2010 Hall of Fame class. But there could be up to three other players joining them. One is a former Cowboy who Rick Gossellin sees as having pretty good odds. Turns out there's a huge imbalance of offensive players to defensive players in the Hall. The past few years, it appears voters are trying to rectify that by bringing in more defensive players. Gosselin thinks that trend will continue this year.
So I'm speculating that two of the remaining three spots in the Class of 2010 would go to defensive players. There are only five defensive candidates: pass rushers Haley and Richard Dent, tackles Cortez Kennedy and John Randle and linebacker Rickey Jackson. As one candidate in a slate of 15, Haley would stand less than a 10 percent chance of being included in the Class of 2010. But as one candidate in a slate of five defenders, his chances could increase to 20 percent.
Don't forget, there's the Fan Hall of Fame Voting going on from sponsor Van Heusen. In that poll, Cowboys players are kicking butt, Emmitt Smith is second to Rice, in fourth place comes Haley, but slipping into third is Ed "Too Tall" Jones (must be those Geico commercials). So let's all go over and vote for Cowboys and try to stuff the ballot box in our favor.
Jay Ratliff has arrived. You know you're special when they start comparing college recruits (Michael Thornton) to you (in a good way). Okay, so the fact that we're talking about a recruit to Georgia's defense, which is now led by ex-Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham, and it was Grantham who said the quote, makes it more understandable. Still, we love the Rat, and it's always good to hear the former low-round-draft-pick-turned-NFL-stud receive praise.
"I’ve talked to [Grantham] numerous times, you know," [Thornton] said. "He had nothing but great things to say about my film. He kind of compared to me to Jay Ratliff that played in his 3-4 at the [Dallas] Cowboys."
Here's a bizarre one. A college recruit from the state of Georgia has this to pass along about the recruiting process and how some coaches took shots at other coaches, including a shot at Urban Meyer.
First [the recruit Mack Brown (not the coach)] heard that Meyer was leaving after National Signing Day and he’ s just trying to "save the recruiting class." Fair enough. Brown said didn’t believe it.
They also took the NFL angle.
"They would say, he’s tricking ya’ll — he’s going to the NFL to coach the Dallas Cowboys," Brown said. "I was like ‘What?’ There’s no way."
Brown, a solid Gators commitment signing his letter of intent on Wednesday, wouldn’t say which coaches fed him the Cowboys talk.
Like I said, bizarre.
For more on college football's signing day, visit here.