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Tank to Pacman: Follow my lead

Pacman Jones should emulate Tank Johnson.

He was in his position. He received the same type of heat. He got on Roger Goddell’s bad side. He was given another chance by Jerry Jones and the Cowboys. Some people screamed to the heavens that it would be the downfall of the ‘Boys. It wasn’t. Now he’s a lot happier and people are starting to realize what a good move it was. One can only hope Pacman will be saying things like this a year from now.

"I find my name further and further away from the group of names that I was once in. That's really a great feeling. When you hear your name funneled out of that cycle, it's definitely a lot better feeling. Just because my mistakes are publicized, that doesn't say you don't go through the same type of things."

If anyone knows what Pacman is going through it’s Tank Johnson. He’s in his second year of the You-Better-Not-Screw-Up School of Hard Knocks. Pacman should heed his advice.

"I told him I will be your right hand. Whatever you need I will be there for you because I think it's important to have a support system. If you have that you know if you get in a situation where it's a judgment call you can call someone who can help you make a right decision."

With the addition of Pacman, Zach Thomas and a promising rookie class, it’s easy to overlook what might be the deepest group on the team – the D-line. Jay Ratliff. Greg Ellis. DeMarcus Ware. Now add a seasoned, rested and healthy Tank Johnson to the mix. Can you imagine being a quarterback and looking down the line at those beasts knowing they are a snap away from coming for your hide? Man, I’m salivating thinking about it and I only salivate over good barbecue. Tank feels the same way.

"I'm a beast right now," said Johnson, who is entering his fifth season. "This is the best I have ever felt in my career going into a season. I'm bigger, stronger and faster."

Word to Kanye.

The season is two months away and I’m excited. But I’m almost as excited about fantasy football. That was until I remembered that I kept Marshawn Lynch in my keeper fantasy league. This is the same league where I drafted Cedric Benson and Larry Johnson last year. God I suck. If fantasy football were dominoes, I’d have a hand full of doubles. If it were spades, I have one spade and a hand full of hearts and diamonds. Sigh.

The good thing about the ‘Boys is that we’ve got a few players that are bordering on fantasy football deity status: Tony Romo, T.O. and Marion Barber. You score as many touchdowns as those guys have scored in the last two years and shrines will be built for you. But we’ve also got some other players moving into the higher echelon of fantasy football production. Jason Witten used to be a sleeper pick but not anymore. A couple of Pro Bowls will do that for you. Nick Folk’s stock is on the rise like my credit score. Senior Editor Craig Ellenport, Fantasy Editor Michael Fabiano and Associate Editor Adam Rank examine the respective top players at their positions for fantasy football purposes. And guess who shows up and who doesn’t?

At wide receiver, the choice is between Randy Moss and Owens. Ellenport chooses Moss. Rank goes with Owens.

Owens and Moss have both had off-the-field issues in the past, but only T.O. has recorded consistently solid numbers for every team he has played for at the NFL level. There is no reason to believe that Owens, who is just as talented as Moss, won’t put up similar numbers in a loaded Dallas offense.

Once they get to tight end, you know Witten’s name is gonna come up. Fabiano echoes the conventional wisdom that Antonio Gates is the best in the business but Ellenport points to Witten.

Gates has reigned as fantasy's top tight end in recent years, but Witten will overtake him in 2008. Witten has emerged as a go-to receiver for Tony Romo and he's capable of taking over a game. Gates, meanwhile, will see his numbers decline with Chris Chambers on the squad for a full season.

Ok good. I’m all lathered up now. Let’s get to quarterback. It’s the Romo show baby!

Oddly enough, it wasn’t. They talked about Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and who should be selected first. No mention of Romo though? Apparently not.

Now I realize Brady was the MVP last year. Although I would’ve voted for Moss, he had a phenomenal year and I certainly have no qualms about choosing him with the first pick. Manning is in the middle of a series of phenomenal years. I’ve picked him before and never been disappointed.

But Romo is at least in the conversation, man. He had the best year by any franchise QB in history. He’s the focal point in a pass-happy offense. You got to at least mention him. Don’t you?


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