Welcome to the first edition of The Valley Ranch Review. Previously I'd been posting stories that are meant to keep you guys up-to-date on Cowboys news (and spark some discussion) under the headline Dallas Cowboys News & Notes. We're turning it into a regular feature so when you get up in the morning you can check BTB for your Cowboys news.
In addition, I'm adding someone new to the front-page who will take over the task of creating the VRR (too early for an acronym? Oh well). The past two times I've asked for front-page help this guy has answered the call but just missed the cut both times. That didn't deter him from commenting regularly on the blog. You guys know him, you've read his comments...so please welcome BTB-regular Bigrigga31 to the front-page as your news update guy under the banner of The Valley Ranch Review. (The crowd bursts into spontaneous applause and a standing ovation). Also, thanks to BTB-regular icStars (Jeff Arrowood) for creating the fancy banner graphic for us. He's also working on creating some other graphics to spruce the place up.
Welcome Bigrigga31 and thanks icStars. Now, today's preview edition of the VRR. Starting tomorrow, this segment will come under Bigrigga31's byline.
Stephen Bowen signed his $1.54 million tender. The defensive end spent last season proving to be a solid backup for former starter Chris Canty. He has also shown the versatility to move inside in four-down lineman sub-packages. Best guess is that he will man the spot behind Igor Olshansky, while Jason Hatcher backs-up Marcus Spears. You got to give a little love to Bowen, the guy was an undrafted free agent from Hofstra. It's not easy to secure an NFL roster spot from those beginnings.
Todd Archer seems to think that the 6-year, $36 million ($20 million guaranteed) contract that new Tampa TE Kellen Winslow signed yesterday should prompt the Cowboys into reworking the Jason Witten deal of six years, $29 million with only $12 million guaranteed, signed in 2006.
Calvin Watkins disagrees, saying that:
"[T]o give Witten a new contract just because Kellen Winslow got paid, doesn't make sense. Players getting new contracts happen all the time, it's the price of doing business."
I know some of you wouldn't mind seeing the Cowboys draft Oklahoma OG Duke Robinson at 51. The guys at the Dallas Morning News discuss the big man and how he'd fit with Dallas.
"Robinson, one of the top guards in the draft, would have to wow the coaches to bump LG Kyle Kosier from the starting lineup. But the Cowboys need to develop a young player at that position, especially with Kosier recovering from a foot injury that kept him off the field most of last season. Robinson would certainly have a chance to compete for the starting job in 2010."
With the Tank gone empty, the Cowboys have a big need at nose tackle. DC.com takes a look at guys in the draft who can give starter Jay Ratliff some well-deserved breathers.