A very non-comprehensive look at some things that caught my eye when looking for news about the Dallas Cowboys.
DeMarco Murray describes his ankle rehab as "ahead of schedule" in an article from the Dallas Morning News. That is something that's good to see. He also goes on to talk a little bit about what the team needs to do to improve in 2012.
"Just finishing," Murray said. "We were a young team this year. We had a lot of young guys, offensively and defensively. Just missing OTAs and all that extra stuff with a new coaching staff. We're looking forward to this training camp, having a full season under our belt. Like I said, there's a lot of great things in the near future for the Dallas Cowboys. We're excited about the team we have."
The part about finishing is pretty insightful. Which is another way of saying I agree with him. Everyone knows about the lost leads throughout the season. I wonder about how much those first three losses got inside the team's collective head and affected things the rest of the way, above and beyond the missed opportunities that turned out to be so crucial at the end.
And I really hope his attitude is shared. While some areas are going to have to have some new blood to improve (like the secondary), I think there is also a lot of undeveloped talent on the team. Not necessarily superstars, but players that can bring a much improved game to the field after the off season. Frankly, there is not enough cap space or draft choices to take care of every problem that the team had last year, so some of the solution has to come from within.
More . . .
Another really good piece in the DMN talked about how the team has used the draft to acquire most of the current defensive line players. This list of the players acquired since the team went to a 3-4 set is interesting.
2010; Sean Lissemore; NT/DE; 7; In 2011, Lissemore was incredibly productive in a limited number of snaps and could become a more regular contributor next season
2010; Josh Brent; NT; 7*; Has the prototypical build of a nose tackle and played well in 137 snaps last season
2006; Montavious Stanley; NT; 6; Never played in a regular-season game for the Cowboys
2006; Jason Hatcher; DE; 3; Developed slowly before becoming a starter in 2011, when he recorded a career-high 4.5 sacks
2005; Marcus Spears; DE; 1; A good run defender and solid contributor who hasn't made many impact plays in his career
2005; Chris Canty; DE; 4; After starting 50 games and recording 10 sacks in Dallas, Canty signed a six-year, $42 million contract with the Giants in March 2009
2005; Jay Ratliff; NT; 7; Far exceeded expectations and has been invited to the Pro Bowl each of the last four seasons
*Supplemental Draft Pick
There is one sixth round whiff. One first round choice that may have been overvalued. And five really good picks. Most of the readers here are familiar with the story of Jay Ratliff and how he has been an incredible value as a seventh round pick, but Lissy and Brent both have an opportunity to at least partially duplicate that. They are certainly two players that the team can expect to improve this year. Spears may be on the decline, mostly because he is a run stuffer in a pass dominated league, but he will still have value as a role player. And Hatcher looks solid, which gives five pretty effective pieces for the D line rotation, all from the draft. As the article says, this is one area where the drafting has gone pretty well, perhaps better than any other unit on the team.
The next thing is a bit indirectly related to the Cowboys. But since we still have to put up with some snarky comments about events in Cabo years ago involving a, shall we say, notorious liaison involving a prominent Dallas player, and that enormous reality-show-diva bullet a teammate of his dodged (imagine if a Dallas Cowboy had been in the Fake Wedding of the Century), it is nice to see someone else catching a little flak over their significant other. Gisele Bundchen was just sticking up for her husband, after all, but Tom Brady now has some damage control ahead of himself.
"You've got to catch the ball when you're supposed to catch the ball," the Brazilian beauty said. "My husband cannot [expletive] throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can't believe they dropped the ball so many times."
Woah! Back up the truck. Brady wasn't his stunningly accurate self at times Sunday night, most notably on the throw to Welker. Yes, some of the drops were bad ones, but Gisele seems to think no one was trying except for her beloved Tom Terrific.
The real reason I mention this: Just imagine if these kinds of comments had come from Mrs. Tony Romo. NBC would have given Bob Costas an hour in prime time to cover it, probably with Brian Williams as co-anchor.
On a more positive note, 2011's most talked about player in the NFL would not have minded playing for the Cowboys. At least according to his answer when he was asked about his favorite team.
"Well one the Florida Gators , but in the NFL actually it was the Dallas Cowboys," Tim Tebow responded, according to SportsRadioInterviews.com . "Emmitt Smith was my favorite player and he was a Gator and maybe the best running back of all-time."
I don't think anyone would argue in favor of him being a good addition to the team as a quarterback. But can you imagine him as a tight end? Anybody good at delivering divine revelations?
"Thou shalt goeth to the plains of northern Texas, and thou shalt forsake throwing the football, but shall have the ball delivereth to you by one with a legitimate NFL caliber throwing motion, and at all times thou shalt smite thine opponents with vigor, but not in such a way as to draweth a flag."
Just an idea.
And finally, sometimes you run across something, and realize there is absolutely nothing at all you can add.