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The Valley Ranch Review: Michael Irvin Show Debuts Tonight; Tashard Choice: "*Smash, Dash, & Tash"

Don't get too much popcorn ready, especially if you have a weak stomach. Apparently, there's a good amount of upchucking going on in tonight's opening episode of Michael Irvin's show 4th and Long.

"With what's at stake for you guys you should be begging to go again," he (Irvin) barks at the 12 in the first episode as they wheeze after a round of drills, "because you've got to have the desire to override your fatigue."

Those drills - especially the sprints and field-length dashes - are where the vomiting occurs. Here again the show is a bit dishonest; you're supposed to have the impression that the players are shocked by the rigorousness of the training.

But these guys aren't couch potatoes (though that too might have made a cooler story line: 12 actual Spike TV viewers get a chance to try pro football, with 12 ambulances standing by). They all have major-college or arena-football credentials and certainly have experienced till-you-drop practices.

The HOF wide receiver looks at his show as more of a tryout than a reality competition.

One of the first things Michael Irvin barks to the dozen players competing for a Dallas Cowboys roster spot on "Fourth and Long" is, "I don't want to hear any of that talk about a reality TV show."

This is a legitimate tryout for a legitimate position on one of the country's most famous pro football teams, Irvin declares, not some stupid, frivolous, manufactured competition designed to make contestants look foolish for the entertainment of the TV audience.

4th and Long  will air Monday nights at 10, Eastern and 7 Pacific; 9, Central on SpikeTV.

BTB's own Carl Shelton (GloryDayz88) nearly hit the nail on the head when he referred to the Cowboys' dynamic running back trio of Marion Barber III, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice as Bash, Dash, and Tash. Choice says in this video that the trio will go by *Mad, Dash, and Tash (see update).

[UPDATE] After a careful review of the video, Tashard says Smash, Dash and Tash. misquoted him. I can go with that. [END UPDATE]

More VRR after the jump!

Last week, I wrote that would soon feature the two Cincinnati cornerbacks drafted by the Cowboys, DeAngelo Smith and Mike Mickens. Well, The Star-T  beat them to it. Jeff Caplan discusses the duo's reaction to Mickens' injury, their excitement about being drafted together, and their expected roles in the Dallas secondary.

"I try not to remember it," said Smith, who's second in school history with 12 interceptions. "It's a tough injury, but I just remember him trying to give it a go, fighting and wanting to play in the Pitt game, but he just couldn't."

Mickens underwent surgery, missed the final three games of the season, rehabbed hard to get back for the Orange Bowl, but then swelling at Senior Bowl practices forced him out of the all-star contest and the NFL Scouting Combine, dropping his draft stock through the floor.


Mickens watched as the Cowboys selected Smith in the fifth round. When Mickens was still around in the seventh round, he realized that maybe the injury happened so he and Smith, two college pals who grabbed dollar burgers every Wednesday night at hangout Bar Louie, could remain teammates.

"He texted me as soon as I got drafted and told me, " Mickens said. "I called him up and I was like, 'It's time 'Let's go,' to go.' We're going, and I'm just glad to have him with me."


With young players Orlando Scandrick and Mike Jenkins in competition to start opposite Newman, who's missed games because of injury the past couple seasons, the newcomers know opportunity exists and it's up to them to take advantage.

For Mickens, that means regaining his old form. He's declared his left knee to be 100 percent, but Campo said Mickens still has a ways to go to refine his technique and return to full football condition.

Tomorrow, tomorrow...OTA's begin tomorrow.

Bowling for SCORE. A group of Cowboys players joined Jason Witten and his foundation for a charity event.

Know who you are really following on Twitter. Apparently, there are phony Cowboys accounts out there.

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