There's a scene in the Bourne Ultimatum where a guy on a cell phone mentions the word Blackbriar, the signal is picked up and bells start going off back at CIA headquarters. Suddenly, there's a flurry of action around the mere mention of a word. That's kind of how it works when a player names the Cowboys as a potential destination. The red-lights in the sports media start flashing and everybody rushes to battle stations. I imagine that the good people in Bristol have regularly scheduled drills to see how fast they can jump on anything with the word ‘Cowboys' mentioned.
So it was yesterday when Ray Lewis mentioned the Dallas Cowboys as a ‘possible' place to play in 2009. Lewis talked about what most people talk about when connecting him to the Cowboys, being a leader for a team in search of identity.
The Cowboys, despite all their off-field drama, can be a contender if they have "one general" in the locker room.
"I don't see all of that outside stuff that they're talking about what goes on in Dallas," Lewis told the NFLN. "I see Dallas as a great opportunity. It's always been America's Team. It's just a great place to play football."
No conversation about that subject, or any subject in general connected to Dallas, can be contained to a T.O.-free zone.
In 2004 Owens spurned a trade to the Ravens, which caused a feud between him and Lewis. Not only did Owens later mock Lewis' pre-game dance after scoring a touchdown, he also then brought up the murder charge brought against the middle linebacker in 2000 to show he wasn't "the bad guy."
But it seems Lewis has forgiven or forgotten.
"I can definitely play with T.O," Lewis said. "I think T.O. is a great, great person. I just love him. I love his work ethic. I love everything about him. So, playing with T.O. is easy."
Ray also took the time to mention the Jets as another possible destination.
The cynic, and that would be me, would say nice job Ray, way to apply some pressure to Baltimore management. Nothing like planting a seed that you might lose me if you don't pay me. I don't think there's anyway he wants to leave the Ravens, he's just getting as much as he can out of a final payday. And I think the fans of the Ravens would revolt if he left. It's hard for me to believe that the Ravens would let him get away now, especially when it looks like they've found a QB and some RB's that can finally get their offense on track. Heck, they went to the AFC Championship game. Why mess up the chemistry now, why lose your leader, regardless if you have to pay a little more than you want because of his age. You're in the Super Bowl window-of-opportunity, you have to take advantage.
Franchising him might sound like a good short-term solution although that would be expensive for one year, but how will Ray look at it? My guess is he wouldn't be too happy and the Ravens surely don't want an unhappy Ray next year. Nope, when all is said and done they get him signed.
But what the heck, it's nice to be included in the conversation.
- Our old friend Todd Haley, off his recent triumph of guiding the Cardinals offense to the Super Bowl, has landed as the head man in Kansas City. And yes, I could work a T.O. angle into this one, too! But I won't.
- Todd Archer calls out five players who need to improve.
- A couple of bloggers for SB Nation noticed that a lot of the free agent lists around the web are not always complete. So we asked all the team bloggers across the network to send in a list of their free agents. The results are compiled here. We hope this is as complete a list as you'll find. We'll also be updating it as changes occur, so you might want to hold on to it.
- Also, SB Nation has revived our dormant NFL draft blog, Mocking The Draft. Mocking Dan is the new editor and they got a lot of rankings, scouting reports and other stuff up. Give it a try.