Cowboys News: Durant Out To Prove Himself, Bryant Endorsed By Cowboys Legend

Tom Pennington

Plus some father-son stuff that should put a smile on your face.

The latest news about all things Dallas Cowboys:

Dallas Cowboys veteran LB Justin Durant: ‘I haven’t done what I felt I have the ability to do’ | Dallas Morning News

In the turbulent wake of Sean Lee getting hurt, Justin Durant is getting a chance to claim the starting Mike linebacker job. But he is looking to do more than just inherit a roster spot by default.

"I haven't done what I felt I have the ability to do in the league, yet," Durant said sitting at his Valley Ranch locker last week. "I've probably shown what I can do and then gotten hurt, or something like that. I know that it's football, but I know I can do some things in this league.

"I just want to stay healthy and get out there on the field and show the world what I can do."

Position Battles: Bernadeau & Leary Still Top Candidates At LG

Although some have speculated that the acquisition of Uche Nwaneri is designed to add another player to compete for the starting job, Broaddus doesn't think so.

While some might think the battle has now added a third player to the mix with the recent addition of veteran Uche Nwaneri, I don't see it that way. Nwaneri might provide some depth but to me, it comes down to a battle between Bernadeau and Leary.

Scout's Eye: Nwaneri's Strength Is Pass Protection

And in a companion piece, Broaddus lays out his criticisms of the new guard.

There were times where he was just a one-shot blocker. Seattle and Denver were games where this happened much too often. Fast flow linebackers were a nightmare for him. As mentioned, his best trait is that of a pass protector. I wouldn't say that he has great lower-body power because there are snaps where you see him give ground to the quarterback inside. Legs will become straight, but to his credit, he is able to hang on and stay in front of his man. He is aware to pass stunts with the tackle and keep himself in position.

Emmitt Smith: Dez Bryant has matured, deserves a new contract | Dallas Morning News

The Hall of Fame running back weighed in on the situation regarding Dez Bryant and his next contract.

"I believe he is maturing," Smith said. "I think he's very passionate about football, wants to win very badly. I think he has matured over the recent years. I think he has earned the right for a brand new contract. Will it come this season? That remains to be seen. I think performance itself is going to dictate what's next for Dez Bryant."

Dez Bryant ready to make more noise - ESPN Dallas

Regarding the negotiations over that new contract, Bryant himself promises one thing: He is not going to change who he is.

The Cowboys wide receiver is still rambunctious and the best player on his team. Bryant is still going to yell and scream with his teammates. He's still going to yell and scream constructive criticism at himself and the offense. 

He's still going to be encouraging. 

If you don't like it, too bad. 

Bryant was this way at Lufkin, Texas, where he grew up and played high school football. He was this way at Oklahoma State. 

"Always. I've always done it," he said. "It's nothing new." 

And he's not slowing down now entering his fifth season with the Cowboys.

Maybe Dez or his agent should bring up this little tidbit about what he means to the offense:

Top 100 Players of 2013 - NFL.com

Oh, yeah, being named the number 25 player in the NFL might be a good thing to bring up, too.

Dallas Cowboys starting on brand-new practice facility Frisco, Texas - ESPN Dallas

The long tenure at Valley Ranch is ending for the Cowboys. The practice facility is expected to move to the new facility in 2016, which will also be used for other things.

The new facility will have an indoor football stadium that not only will be used by the Cowboys, but high school football teams as well. The Cowboys will move their executive offices from Irving to the brand-new facility in Frisco as well.

The impact of situational play-calling on pass/run rates | ProFootballFocus.com

Joey Ickes gets the credit for pointing this article out. The author looks at the expectations of whether a team should pass or not, based on the time on the game clock and the score - the idea here is that you pass less when you are leading, and more when you are behind. He then compares what would be expected with the actual performance in games - and provides some confirmation of something I think all of us had figured out, although using way less math and stuff.

If we've learned anything about the Cowboys under coach Jason Garrett, it's that they like to pass the ball...a lot. No team preferred the pass more than Dallas last season. The Cowboys ended up as the league' No. 4 pass-heaviest offense despite holding a lead on 45 percent of their offensive snaps - sixth-highest in the league. Only Cleveland called pass more often when playing with the lead. New offensive coordinator Scott Linehan operated the league's pass-heaviest offense during his time in Detroit.

Revised settlement in concussion suit reached; funds uncapped - NFL.com

After some controversy over the total amount the NFL was agreeing to pay out to former players who were suffering from the effects of concussions during their careers, the league and the lawyers for the players who sued them came up with a new agreement.

In the revised agreement the NFL's obligations under the monetary award fund will not be capped at any specified amount. This means that once the compensation program is established funds will be available to any retired player who develops a qualifying neurocognitive condition.

Concussion case good news for ex-Dallas Cowboys players - ESPN Dallas

Among the former Cowboys players who are having problems with the aftereffects of concussions, and who will likely benefit from the new settlement, is Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett, who discussed his problems in an interview with D Magazine.

"When I'm out there, I'm on a cloud. It's like a fog, man," Dorsett said in the story, published last year. "It's like a fog. That's the only way I can explain it. I can't get out of it, and I know -- it's just a weird feeling, dude. I hate it, and I get really, really -- and that can make me get real frustrated, if I'm not careful. I get mad at myself for certain things. Not knowing how to get certain places, forgetting where I'm going, driving somewhere then forgetting where I'm going. That kind of craziness, man. So I've learned to write notes. Or speak into my phone, write notes on it. Write it down."

Sullivan: Garrett And His Father Have Special Bond

Jason Garrett's father, Jim Garrett, had a long career of his own in football as both a coach and a scout. He and his son remain quite close. Jim Garrett is now recovering from a stroke, but it fortunately did not impact him mentally. While his opinions may be a bit biased, he still has some notable things to say about his son.

"There is not one moment in Jason's life where he has fought with his parents or been disobedient, not in school, not playing sports," said Jim Garrett, who has 27 grandchildren. "There has never been a behavior issue with him. It's quite amazing, really. And he's never sarcastic either, and I think players like that.

"Jason is a remarkable man. He has never put a mask on once in his life. He has never tried to be someone else. Know what else? Jason is the kindest human being I've been around in my life. He really is."

Speaking of father and son moments:

Dallas Mavericks free-agency preview: Shooting guards - ESPN Dallas

OK, the only reason I put this here is that they have a poll concerning LeBron James and whether he is most likely to sign with the Mavericks - or the Cowboys. And the Cowboys are winning easily.

So maybe LeBron will get to live the dream.

Follow me @TomRyleBTB
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