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The New Cowboys Year Has Already Begun

Update:  From Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post:

Now, for the real news out of Dallas regarding Terrell Owens.  Peter King wrote this yesterday in his Monday Morning QB, and I believe he is dead-on accurate.  When, not if, is the real question everyone is asking about T.O.  He will not be back, but the team is still deciding when to make the announcement of his termination or trade.  

Maybe Jones can work a trade out to send Owens to the Raiders since they have a huge need at wideout and have never been afraid to take on a big challenge.  This will be interesting to follow as it develops.

Can you see that last scenario?  Darth Raider bargaining with his football son over T.O.:

Darth Al:  (haaah,  haaaah)  Jerry. (haaaah)  I. Am. Your. Father.  (haaaaah)

Jerruh:  Then how can you turn your back on my son, Terrell?  Remember what happened when you cast his brother Randy into the darkness?"

Darth Al:  (haaaah, haaaaah)  (raises eyebrow beneath helmet)

Stay tuned.

     *     *     *     *     *

While the tabloids sniff at Tony and Jessica's underwear drawers and the T.O. saga continues to generate lines of copy, and the Roy Willies toss Molotov cocktails at their coaches, the organization has moved deep into its offseason preparations.

The scouting staff is working on completing its initial board, before jetting off to Indianapolis for next week's Combine.  Certain positions, offensive and defensive linemen in particular, whose rankings do not depend on 40 times, are being completed first.  I've been told that this will be the "purest" board the team compiles, since it's based wholly on tape study, and has not been modified by 40 times, psychological reports, interviews and agent smoke. 

The pro personnel people also have piles of tape to review.  New coaching regimes want their guys.  I was told to watch teams that have new coaching staffs and new schemes, the Denvers, the Detroits, the Kansas Citys,and even those who promoted guys from staff, .like San Francisco or Seattle.  Good players will be cut, because their coaches don't want them or don't feel they fit the new schemes to be installed.  With eleven teams tapping new head men, there's a rare opportunity to land a talented vet or two.

A source advised me to pay closer attention to the needs and team targets expressed this week, because they are honest assessments.  Once the Combine begins, teams and agents will throw up columns of smoke to hide their free agent and draft day targets. 

The same source verified what we've been saying here for months -- the Cowboys need a safety and offensive linemen.  He said he would not be shocked if Dallas took o-linemen with their first two picks, if that's how the board and the draft broke down. 

We discussed the Cowboys inability to find quality o-linemen the past few years and he expressed confidence in scouting director Tom Ciskowski; he noted Ciskowski found Larry Allen and advocated against the drafting of Jacob Rogers and Stephen Peterman, two of Bill Parcells' biggest misses.

I got some more information on the Cowboys' draft profiles at various positions and will start rolling out breakdowns of each position later this week. 

In the meantime, know that the organization is running at 10,000 rpm.  The Roy Williams of the world may have a little too much time on their hands, but the scouts and coaches are eyeballs-deep in game tape.


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