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The Valley Ranch Review: Interceptions Will Be Key for the Dallas Secondary; Lawsuit Filed Against Irvin

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New faces in the secondary could help the Cowboys increase their interception/turnover rate this season. The Cowboys ranked 30th in interceptions last season, even though they led the league in sacks. Something has got to give, especially with the personnel turnover the team has had in the defensive backfield.

What was thought to be an area of considerable depth and strength last season never developed, and instead turned into a unit that was more about development.

The Cowboys’ pass defense ranked fifth in the NFL last season, but was lacking in one vital department.

"Plays," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said of what he expects his secondary to contribute this season. "I’d like to see some turnovers out of them.

CB Mike Jenkins is projected as the starter opposite Terence Newman, and has continued to gain the confidence of Coach Phillips.

"He's got great ability, especially with long arms and being able to get up and bump," Phillips said. "He did that well last year. We just didn't let him do it all the time.

"We'll get him up on people a lot because he's so fast, and he's got such long arms that he could release off the line of scrimmage and if you got off, he can catch up with you."

More VRR after the jump.

Greg Ellis talked about parting ways with the Cowboys.

Since 2006 Ellis has made no bones about his desire to play elsewhere, but said he had no hard feelings toward the Cowboys organization.

"People have to understand the NFL is a business," Ellis said. "People like Jerry (Jones), owners, general managers, people at that level, you know they have to make those decision that sometimes they get criticized for, sometimes they get praised for, but a decision sometimes has to be made, to supposedly be for the betterment of the team.

"For Jerry, in his eyes, this was the better move for the team."

Here is the video link to the interview Ellis did with WFAA.

The Buffalo News breaks down the NFC East. They sure have alot of love for the Eagles. Here's what they say about the Cowboys:

Even without Owens, the offense has a lot of weapons. The key to the passing game is WR Roy E. Williams emerging as a top target for QB Tony Romo. With a healthy Felix Jones rejoining Marion Barber and Tashard Choice, the Cowboys have the makings of an explosive and versatile running game. Ellis’ expected release clears the way for 2007 first-round pick Anthony Spencer to start. Brooking and Olshansky negate departures of Thomas and Canty. Kitna is a capable backup for Romo. With no first-round draft pick because of the Roy E. Williams trade, Dallas hopes to find a few hidden gems among 12 Day Two selections.

The Sporting News ranks the NFL coaches and has Wade Phillips just above average, coming in at #15.

Phillips takes too much blame for what goes on in Dallas. But in addition to being an innovative defensive mind, he has the ability to deal with some very big egos.

Perhaps the Cowboys should continue to keep and develop offensive linemen they've drafted, like Doug Free and Pat McQuistan. The Detroit Lions make it seem like Stephen Peterman may be one who got away from Dallas.

The new coaching staff watched a lot of film of Peterman and felt they needed to get him back on the squad and not allow him to leave via free agency.


Peterman, a former third-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys, fell out of favor with then-head coach Bill Parcells because of a couple of injuries Peterman suffered early in his career. After coming to Detroit late in 2006, Peterman has started 27 of the team's 32 games.

Three men have filed a lawsuit against Michael Irvin over rights for his TV show.

The men claim Irvin's "4th and Long" is actually their concept called "Guts and Glory." Irvin's show - in which 12 football amateurs compete for a spot with the Cowboys - debuted in May on Spike TV. Irvin's attorney Larry Friedman called the lawsuit bogus and said the men were "looking for something for nothing." He said Irvin had the idea years ago.

But Mark Taylor, the Dallas-based attorney for the three plaintiffs, said his clients were never given any indication that the football star was working on a similar concept.


"They are young producers and being deprived of the credit for this show is also very important to them," Taylor said.

Former Hef-girlfriend and soon-to-be Mrs. Hank Baskett, Kendra Wilkinson, follows in the footsteps of most Philly fans when it comes to the Cowboys.

When asked if Jessica Simpson was a jinx for the Cowboys, Kendra said, "Jessica isn’t the problem for the Cowboys, it’s Tony Romo. He’s such an F-up."

Kendra also confirmed good news for Eagles fans: she hates the Cowboys.

Tony Romo isn't the only quarterback to have U.S. Open hopes. The Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger is also quite the golfer.

Roethlisberger, former NBA star Michael Jordan and singer Justin Timberlake, as well as a Golf Digest contest winner, will play Bethpage with the goal of breaking 100 in U.S. Open conditions.

"It's an awesome opportunity," said Roethlisberger, who has a single-digit handicap and has played in celebrity events. "I play quite a bit. I don't know if I'll ever be as ready as I want to be, but it's next week.

Did somebody say Jerry Jones was going broke? According to Street & Smith's, the new Cowboys Stadium may make the Dallas Cowboys the top revenue producer In NFL by possibly generating an extra $90M. Naming rights not needed!

Arlington mayor, Robert Cluck, worked hard his first year in office to bring the Cowboys to his city. He even had reservations about pitching the idea to Jerry Jones.

"Jerry Jones wanted to put the stadium up, and I wanted the stadium in Arlington. I knew it would have a big economic impact," Cluck said. "When I left the meeting, I pretty well knew they would come here."

Cluck had to develop his city's support, as well.

First, Cluck had to persuade the City Council, and Arlington voters, to invest tax dollars in the stadium. Then, the city spent years in and out of court negotiating payments for property needed for the project. In hindsight, everything seems to have worked out fine. Five years after that meeting (with Jerry Jones), the $1.15 billion football stadium is about to host its first event. The 80,000-seat venue has been selected as the site of the 2011 Super Bowl and other major sporting events and is expected to generate at least $3 million in sales tax revenue and lease payments for the city annually.