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Random Things About The Dallas Cowboys: Post Franchise Tag Edition

In keeping with the title of this article, this picture was chosen completely and totally at random. Really. I swear.
In keeping with the title of this article, this picture was chosen completely and totally at random. Really. I swear.

Just some disconnected items about the Dallas Cowboys that are too brief for their own articles.

The big, oxygen-sucking news is, of course, the release of Peyton Manning, who has spent the last fourteen years as quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts and, more significantly, is the older brother of Eli Manning, who, as everyone now knows, is twice as good. Given that the Cowboys organization, from top to bottom, has continuously and vocally confirmed the team's commitment to Tony Romo as the Dallas quarterback, there should be no one out there who sees this as really impacting the Cowboys, right?

Guess again.

Articles about how Peyton's release affect Dallas range from the thought provoking to the absurd. In the more rational group, there are some looks at how where Peyton winds up will impact Dallas. The big question is what team currently in need of a quarterback would want to spend millions and millions of dollars on a big name, splashy free agent signing to try and turn the team around instantly?

You know what to do next.

If the names Washington Redskins or Dan Snyder popped into your head, you aren't alone. Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas puts it this way.

The Redskins desperately need a quarterback and have the cap room necessary to land Manning. Washington has some decent pieces in place, but Mike Shanahan's return to the sidelines has not gone well largely because he has not had a quarterback.

A healthy Manning would give Shanahan a quarterback and force the Cowboys to prepare for him two times a year. Now, Shanahan would have to alter his offense some to fit Manning - forget those bootlegs and waggles - and live with the idea that Manning would be the de facto offensive coordinator.

There's a lot of ego involved there, and would the Mannings - Peyton and Eli - want to deal with the stress NFC East faceoffs twice a year? The Manning Bowls would be mean huge television numbers.

Obviously, Peyton would be an upgrade to the Redskins, which would make the NFC East an even tougher division. But the Redskins might go a different direction. There are already rumors that they are prepared to offer the St. Louis Rams their 2012 first, second and third round picks plus their 2013 first round pick for the second choice in the draft and the chance to grab Robert Griffin III (it does sound like a completely typical Redskins deal, and it is just the opening bid). Whatever path they choose, signing a new quarterback would mean that the Cowboys might be able to sign Rex Grossman as a backup to Romo. His name has been floated as a possible acquisition.

For those of you who are gagging over the thought of Grossman wearing the Star, there is another possibility out there. Another suitor for Peyton is the Miami Dolphins, who also have three other options at quarterback (these apply to Washington as well). In addition to pursuing the man we lovingly call The Forehead, they could sign unfranchised Green Bay backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who went absolutely ballistic in a meaningless week 17 game and is now the sexy free agent quarterback on the market who is not a four time league MVP; they could enter the bidding war for Robert Griffin III; or they could draft Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Once again, however they decide to go, this would make Matt Moore available for a possible trade - and if they are using up draft picks in a plunge for RGIII, they might want to trade Moore for a late round pick just to have something (an idea that has cropped up here and elsewhere). Dallas has always had regrets about mishandling Moore and letting him slip away, and he might be one of the most cost effective solutions to getting a backup signal caller out there. Although Miami does not seem inclined to go with him as a starter, Moore has looked pretty good in action when called upon, and he does have that exposure to the Dallas offense already under his belt.

While there are numerous suitors for the services of The Greatest Football Player Ever Until His Little Brother Came Along, the Cowboys, as I mentioned, are not one of them. But there are those who would see us pursue him. One of the most emphatic articles I have seen about this was on the Austin American-Statesman website.

Do it, Jerry. Get Peyton Manning now. Or sooner.

OK, I'm not going to quote any more than that, because I have no idea if the author has his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. I hope so, because if he is serious, I question the fact that someone is actually paying him money to write such drivel. I know, some have made the argument on this site that the Cowboys should pay bazillions of dollars to outbid everyone for Peyton's services and trade Tony Romo, but I personally think that is not only a very, well, silly idea, but one that is totally contrary to the current philosophy of the Dallas ownership, management and coaching staff, at least the way I interpret things.

The thing that kills me is that so many people slam Jerry Jones as a shoot from the hip, grab the shiny toy, overly impulsive owner whose out of control behavior has mortgaged the future and ruined the Cowboys. And then someone writes an article advocating that Jerry shoot from the hip, grab the shiny toy, and behave as an overly impulsive, out of control owner while mortgaging the future. Can you say hypocrisy? Sure you can.

Finally, it would seem somehow a violation of the space-time continuum if there was not something about Anthony Spencer included in my article. Josh Ellis of the mothership sat down with Anthony and conducted an interview to get, as he put it, the Other Side. I must say, Anthony came across as very measured and thoughtful. He talks about the tag, what the team has said to him, and how he wants a long term deal. And he speaks to the furor in the media and fan base about him.

Between the contract year of 2011, another possible contract year in 2012 and the public debate about your worth as a player, what motivates you most?

Spencer: I'm motivated by trying to be the best player that I can be. That's the only thing that really matters. The money comes and goes. The fans come and go. The only thing that's going to really matter is me being the best player I can to leave some kind of lasting impression, I guess, by the way I played the game. That's all I have control over, and it's the only thing I worry about. All the other stuff doesn't matter.

Maybe you, as fans, will feel a little insulted by being told you will "come and go". But given the vitriol that comes up when he is mentioned, I don't think he could have a more healthy attitude. Now let's just hope he walks the walk on the field this fall.

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