After becoming a proud papa recently, Tony Romo decided to do an interview on radio. We haven't heard much from the Cowboys quarterback in a while, and as usual, Romo was very diplomatic with his words. The guy has learned not to be controversial, so he said mostly what we'd expect - he likes what the Cowboys are doing, the team needs to take the next step, he's always trying to improve, etc. I imagined Kevin Costner/Crash Davis sitting next to him coaching him on his cliches. You can check out most of the quotes in this ESPN article.
He was asked about Bountygate, the Saints pay-for-pain scandal. Interestingly enough, Romo recognized that almost all teams try inflict the big hits, especially on quarterbacks, and thought that when he's had his recent injuries, guys were gunning for him. But he took it all in stride.
I’m guessing for some time you know guys are gunning for you. What did you make of bountygate with the New Orleans Saints and Gregg Williams?
"From a quarterback’s perspective, you just assume that they’re always trying to get big hits on you. I mean, it’s no different than we played, I want to say Washington, after I hurt my ribs and a big emphasis that week was probably trying to hit me hard. I don’t know if that’s any different from that perspective. Now, I do agree that there’s no spot in the game basically for extra incentive money-wise. I think that people are trying to win the game; they’re trying to do just what they need to do within the rules. I think that Roger Goodell has done a great job of just handling all the situations and coming down on some of the people that were involved. Some of it seems very harsh, and others not so much. Just part of it."
Make the jump...
It's draft season, so it's always time to play the draft speculation game. Bob Sturm has his take up on the Cowboys #14 pick, breaking it up into who he likes, and then who he thinks the Cowboys like. In the "who he likes" column for #14, he leads with Fletcher Cox.
1. Fletcher Cox - DT - Mississippi State If I could have any player left on the board and therefore my dream scenario for the 26th of April, it would be the impressive Mr Cox from Mississippi State. He can do so many things and make this defense so much better immediately after he arrives. He is both already developed as a ready-to-go player, and had tremendous upside moving forward where he can only improve. He is a difference maker in the backfield where he destroys plays, he holds up against the run very well, and he gets to the QB with some surprising pass rush gifts. He would be the best choice as far as I am concerned from everything I have looked at. A premium defensive lineman? Jump on it and run to the podium if he is still there.
After that he likes in order - David DeCastro, Mark Barron, Courtney Upsahw and Dontari Poe to round out his top five. But when he does the "who the Cowboys like" part of the column, the order of the top five changes to Cox, Barron, Upshaw, Michael Brockers and Dre Kirkpatrick. Sturm is always a good read, so go check out the whole thing.
I've been doing a little of my own draft speculation lately, and as I have pretty much made clear, David DeCastro would be the top option for #14. In the SB Nation writers mock draft at Mocking The Draft, I made DeCastro the pick for Dallas after taking a poll and getting a majority vote on BTB. Just the other day, I had to pick for the Cowboys in the second round, and surprisingly, USC DE/OLB NIck Perry was still on the board at #45. I snatched him up in what I consider a major steal.
Also, the blog Goal-Line Stand at TheScore.com asked me a few questions about the Cowboys draft strategy, you can take a look at it here. Short story summation - I still like DeCastro, wouldn't mind Mark Barron, but would not like Michael Floyd.
Nick Eatman gives his take on the legacy of Bradie James in Dallas. I pretty much concur, especially with this point.
In my opinion, Bradie James was a really good player, and probably much better than he was ever credited for.
James was good because he was constant. He played a bruising position and he stayed on the field – playing in all but two games during his career. Since his rookie season when he was deactivated for the first two weeks of the year, James has played in 142 straight games. He was a part of some good defenses – some not so good – but either way he was leading the charge. Before James, no Cowboys player ever led the team in tackles for more than three straight seasons.
James did it six straight years, up until last season.
In case you missed it, the Cowboys looked at a veteran tight end in free agency, Joey Haynos.
Haynos worked out for the Cowboys last week on their Dallas Day tryouts for local draftable prospects.
Haynos, 6-8, 270 pounds, did not play last year after he was released in training camp by Jacksonville. He entered the league with Green Bay in 2008 and spent parts of the next three seasons with Miami, catching 21 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns.
And for fun, NFL.com is looking at the last few drafts and doing a re-do, giving players to teams that they should have drafted. In 2011, they still give the Cowboys Tyron Smith at #9, but at #8, they change it up for the Titans.
8. Tennessee Titans Actual Pick: Jake Locker Do-Over Pick: Demarco Murray (Cowboys' No. 71 pick)
Imagine if the Titans had an explosive runner to lean on while Chris Johnson fought through his slump a season ago. Murray paced all rookies with 897 rushing yards and only averaged 12.6 attempts per game, which points to his impressive efficiency and effectiveness as a runner. Most importantly, Murray provided a home run element in the backfield that few in the league can rival. While it certainly would be a luxury to have a pair of dynamic runners in the backfield considering the devaluation of the position, the thought of Murray and CJ2K occupying interchangeable roles would keep defensive coordinators up at night.
That's quite a jump from where we got Murray in the third round.