I am so excited I could just tinkle. We finally get to see the Dallas Cowboys - well, many of them, with several key veterans not expected to see the field to protect their health - take on another team, the Miami Dolphins. Here is a cornucopia of articles from about the interwebs to whet your appetite. Like it needs any whetting.
First of all, for the first time, there is news about an opponent to dwell on. In the interest of knowing the enemy, here are some things about the 'phins.
Just like the Cowboys, Miami is looking to see how its rookies do. They have nine draftees. The big name is first round pick Dion Jordan, who sounds like a most excellent reason for Tony Romo to spend the game with a ball cap worn backwards on his head.
Jordan's speed is too much. In Friday's practice the offense had to double-team Jordan a few times, and at least once they used a running back to chip him before going on a pass pattern. So far Jordan has been running second-team at right defensive end behind Olivier Vernon, and he's been used mostly as a pass rusher. But Jordan might get a chance to show his all-around skills against Dallas.
The 'phins have one area of interest that they share with the Cowboys.
Can the Dolphins win the turnover battle?
The Dolphins have been a bottom of the barrel team when it comes to turnover ratio the past four seasons, and (head coach) Joe Philbin blames the team's minus-10 turnover ratio in 2012 as the main reason the Dolphins were 7-9. Philbin wants the offense to protect the ball better and the defense to recover more interceptions and force more fumbles.
Our SBN sister site takes a look at a few of the current ties between Dallas and the team we lovingly call the Cowphins. There's one that some of us regret getting away.
Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys in 2007. He was waived in the final round of roster cuts, and was expected to be signed to the Dallas practice squad but was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers.
This is a look at the game from a neutral observer, with its own five things to watch. It has an interesting (and, I think, very accurate) take on the top newcomer for Dallas.
Dallas' key newcomer is defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, who made his biggest splash with the Tampa Bay defense that won the 2002 championship and is switching the Cowboys to a 4-3 alignment.
Of course, what you really are focused on is news about your Cowboys. So here you go.
The three Hall of Fame players were asked for comments about the current iterations of their teams, and the incomparable Roger Staubach, as he has done before, stood up for his heir, Tony Romo.
Tony doesn't complain, doesn't push it off on anybody, but the things he's done, I really feel he's a championship quarterback. He just needs a few pieces around him. ... I think he deserves a lot of credit in what he's accomplished so far with the Cowboys."
I endorse this message.
This one is not about the game, but it is an interesting bit of news that may have an impact on Josh Brent and his trial. The TABC regulates and enforces the laws for bars and retail alcoholic beverage outlets.
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission(TABC) determined that the club engaged in business practices "that promote excessive consumption by patrons." It also found that the club sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, which is against the law in Texas.
Brent's defense counsel undoubtedly did a little victory dance over that finding.
Here are some of the players who got to see Larry Allen join the greats. There were at least a couple who were also getting a look into their own future.
Garrett wanted to make sure the majority of his veteran starters and the players on the team who knew Allen got to see the induction.
The list of veteran players at the ceremony included Tony Romo, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray, Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Justin Durant, Jason Hatcher. DeMarcus Ware, Danny McCray, L.P. Ladouceur, Will Allen, Barry Church, Morris Claiborne, and Brandon Carr.
Speaking of LA, here he explains the fist pump he would give on the field after a big running play.
"I don't think the crowd knew what that meant," Allen said. "Whenever I did that, that was to Sean Payton because I wanted him to run the same play over again. So if I did something good on that play, I'd do that and he'd run the same play."
Um, note to Bill Callahan. Might want to remember this at some point.
What's a Cowboys news roundup without a little love for Dez? Here, another Hall of Fame member chimes in.
Right now, he's at his physical peak. If he can keep away from the little nicks that slow a person down during the course of a season, he'll obviously be a phenomenal player.
While we are on the subject, here is a little tidbit that I really like.
On what he attributes his success to:
"My family. I'm doing it for my boys. My two little boys, Dez Bryant Jr. and Zane Bryant. My team of course. I love winning. I love having fun. I want us to be a successful team so I'm going to put it all out on the line. My kids are three and five. The craziest thing is they grow so fast. My youngest boy, he's three, but you would think he's 10. The way he moves, the way he interacts with others, he learns things so quick. He speaks two different languages. Korean, it's cool."
For Matt Johnson, this has to be something he is incredibly ready for.
Johnson has been waiting for the preseason opener for more than just a chance to hit. It's his first chance to play in a football game since preseason last year, when he was in for a handful of snaps against the St. Louis Rams in the third game. But he injured his hamstring in the game and missed the rest of the season.
This has got to be a special treat for the Green family.
Few people get to see their fathers inducted into the Hall of Fame. Even fewer get to play in a Hall of Fame Game in front of their Hall of Fame father. Cowboys receiver
Jared Greenwill take the field in Sunday's Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, just five years after presenting his father into the Hall of Fame. Green's dad, Darrell, will be in attendance to watch his son play.
Just in case you hadn't heard.
Williams, a 2013 third-round pick from Baylor, appears doubtful for the first preseason game of 2013 because of a concussion. Williams suffered the concussion during a passing drill when he got tangled up with cornerback Brandon Underwood.
Several of us FPW - well, I guess pretty much all of us - have been preaching the word about the 12 personnel package. We are not alone.
The 12 personnel is more effective in situations in which the Cowboys are an equal threat to run or pass, such as on first down or in short-yardage situations on second or third down.
The Cowboys have three primary options with how they can use their tight ends in 12 personnel. They can use two tight ends in traditional spots - alongside a tackle - along the line of scrimmage and then put two receivers outside with one running back. They could use both tight ends out wide with one receiver or they could take one of the tight ends and put him in the backfield as a leading blocker for the tailback with another either on the line of scrimmage or out wide.
Hope you are ready, folks. Football is here. Today we get our first look at how things are going for the Cowboys.
Speaking of which -
More Cowboys Coverage
- Larry Allen, Hall Of Famer: Retrospective
- Bill Parcells Induction Into Football Hall Of Fame
- Dolphins To Watch For This Sunday
- [Video] Ready The Anointing Oil
- Cowboys Plan To Sit Romo, Others For HOF Game