News: Michael Sam's Dallas Ties, Coaches Visit SMU, Latest On Ware Surgery

Stephen Dunn

Latest news about the Cowboys and related football type stuff.

Cowboys join other teams in saying they would welcome Michael Sam. Isn’t the better question what teams wouldn’t? | Dallas Morning News
The Michael Sam story is going to be around a bit longer. Stephen Jones came out and said the team would have no problem with a gay member of the roster. Good to hear, but it did lead to this (possibly) unintentional bit of irony in what is, as far as I can tell, a news article.

What else would he, or any other NFL executive, say? Answering yes to the question of whether you would welcome Sam or any other gay athlete to the team isn't newsworthy.

It's only newsworthy if the answer is no.

Michael Sam's father lives in Dallas and is upset over son's gay revelation | Dallas Morning News
I didn't know this. But it does not look like this would be much incentive for Sam to want to play in Dallas.

Three of his siblings have died and two brothers are in prison. He lived briefly in the back seat of his mother's car, and his relationship with his family remains complicated: When he visits home, he usually stays with friends.

He actually grew up in Houston, but his father now lives in Dallas. Unaware until this week of Michael's orientation, Michael Sam Sr. did not take it too well.

Last Tuesday, Michael Sam Sr. was at a Denny's near his home outside Dallas to celebrate his birthday when his son sent him a text message.

Dad, I'm gay, he wrote.

The party stopped cold. "I couldn't eat no more, so I went to Applebee's to have drinks," Sam Sr. said. "I don't want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment."

No matter what some may think, Michael Jr. is paying a price.

Meanwhile, a couple of former Cowboys gave their (conflicting) opinions on the topic.

Michael Irvin: NFL players should be mature enough to accept Michael Sam as a teammate | Dallas Morning News

Irvin, who had a gay brother, called Sam a good player and added that if he can rush the quarterback in the NFL, his sexual orientation won't matter.

Tony Dorsett respects Michael Sam’s courage but questions if NFL is ready for an openly gay player | Dallas Morning News

"I appreciate his courage," Dorsett added. "I can appreciate his courage for stepping up like that and doing it, but I don't know, man. I don't know if the NFL is ready for this. They'll say they are but I don't know if they're quite ready for it."

Meanwhile, in other news . . .

Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys staff try to learn from Larry Brown of SMU Mustangs - ESPN Dallas
Garrett does get a bit outside the box at times.

Garrett likes to take trips during the offseason to watch other coaches work. Two years ago he visited with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. Last year he spent time with the New York Yankees and manager Joe Girardi in spring training, and Girardi watched a Cowboys practice one day last summer in Oxnard, Calif. Garrett also speaks often with Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.

Cowboys Must Improve Their Late Draft Fortunes
This starts with a look at how Seattle has developed starters out of late round picks, and mentions that many NFL teams have done well with that. But not the Cowboys.

The Cowboys have used 17 combined picks between the fourth and seventh rounds of the past four drafts. Nine of those picks have been defensive players; the other eight were spent on offense.

Of the 17, only Dwayne Harris - a sixth-round pick in 2011 - has come close to achieving what would be considered "starting-caliber" status. One could hardly justify Harris as a starting receiver, with just 302 receiving yards and three touchdowns in three seasons, but his outstanding work as a return man and special teamer last year merits a mention.

Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware more motivated than ever - ESPN
The questions about about what DeMarcus Ware has left, and how the Cowboys can afford him. But he is not too concerned.

He is coming off a career-low six-sack season. He missed the first three games of his career in 2013. He will be 32 in July. The move to the 4-3 defense hurt Ware.

"I want to be quiet," Ware said. "I just want to let my actions speak for themself. But I do chuckle a little bit because I know there's a tornado coming."

Elbow Surgery Likely Won’t Affect Ware’s Offseason Work
At least it appears that Ware will be ready to go when things get started.

The veteran pass-rusher is expected to have cleanup surgery on his right elbow next week. Ware has dealt with elbow issues on his left and right elbow the past two seasons, but has managed to play through the setbacks. Last year, he played parts of the season with an elbow brace on his left elbow.

Ware is not expected to miss any of the offseason workouts, including OTAs and mini-camp practices, which begin in May.

Matt Johnson vows to prove his doubters wrong by playing in 2014 " DCFanatic.com
Just wanted to tease you. We all know Matt Johnson is just a myth.

How Jason Witten copes with the offseason - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN
No great insight. Just a reminder these guys have real lives, too.

"It takes a little time to adjust anytime you stop," Witten said. "You get in a routine and you're working so hard at it that, anytime you stop, it takes a little bit of an adjustment. It takes a few weeks to get back to normal and get healed up and kind of rejuvenate yourself to get ready to go again."

Saints shake up D, let go vets Vilma, Harper, Greer and Smith - NFL - Sporting News
Dallas is going to be looking for some inexpensive options in free agency. Here are four names that may be worth consideration.

The New Orleans Saints parted ways with four recognizable defensive players Wednesday. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma, safety Roman Harper, cornerback Jabari Greer and defensive end/outside linebacker Will Smith were released as salary-cap casualties.

In addition to being too expensive and a little long in the tooth, they were not seen as vital for Rob Ryan's 3-4 defense. Maybe they can contribute for a year or two in a 4-3, at a reasonable price?

Bob's Blog - Live from Lewisville: 2014 Cowboys Draft Weekly Notebook: Episode 4 - Defensive Tackles
Bob Sturm looks at some favorites, like Aaron Donald, and also talks about why some possibilities may not be good fits. He had this to say about highly touted Ra'Shede Hageman.

His biggest weakness for me is that he looks like a DE trying to play DT. DTs are supposed to be well trained in leverage and winning in tight spaces, and he just doesn't do either of those really well. If "low man wins", in trench battles, then you can see that a guy who is 6'6 is going to have trouble getting under a guard. Can he move to DE? Well, he does on pass rushing downs and that is where I liked him the most, although with 2 sacks in 2013, I won't tell you that he is Deacon Jones.

10 offseason questions: Is Jason Garrett the right fit? - ESPN Dallas
I have to give credit to Calvin Watkins for a succinct and rather perceptive evaluation of the Cowboys' head coach.

Garrett is the man for the job. He's got game-management issues, like some other coaches we've seen across the league, but Jones hasn't been a good general manager the last few years and that's hurt Garrett in some ways. Jones is an outstanding owner, which does help Garrett, because the head coach can get whatever he wants. But when Jones, the general manager, wants to take over, it hurts Garrett. So, while Garrett knows what he wants as a coach, the lack of playoff appearances are not helping him gain more job security.

Mailbag: Is O-Line A Realistic First Round Possibility?
Just a good reminder that we never know how things will shake out, or what the team may actually think about things.

David Helman: But if the right defensive lineman or linebacker isn't available, and a surefire, can't miss offensive lineman is sitting there? I'd at least consider it. Three of the five starting offensive linemen - Tyron Smith, Ronald Leary and Travis Frederick - will be 25 or younger when next season starts. Another top-notch offensive lineman could secure that unit for the foreseeable future.

It’ll be a buyer’s market for free-agent receivers | ProFootballTalk
There are 53 unrestricted and restricted free agent wide receivers who'll be available as of March 11. That's bad news for wide recievers looking for a contract, and good news for teams looking for receivers, as they'll be able to squeeze players and agents into taking less.

Finally, just a strange tease from blog friend, the occasionally cryptic Birddog26.

He says that no one else in the league is doing the same things. I hope his job as a personal coach/trainer to a few Cowboys helps him pass some of this on.

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