Brandon Weeden: Dez Bryant is same ‘freak’ on the field, but he has ‘grown a whole lot’ since college | Jon Machota, DMN
Brandon Weeden never threw a pass to Dez Bryant in an Oklahoma State game (because he didn't get a starting spot until 2010, Bryant's rookie NFL season), but knows Bryant well anyway.
"He’s unbelievable at what he does," Weeden said. "It’s the same stuff he did when he was 18 when he came in. I have said it when we came in the same year, he’s just a freak. The guy is probably the most passionate football player. He loves the game more than anyone I’ve ever been around."
"He just wants to catch the ball. You can throw him footballs for 24 hours and the guy would never get tired. He hasn’t changed in that sense. Dez is one of the best teammates I have ever had, dating back to when we were at Oklahoma State. He’s just a passionate guy that will have your back until the end."
What's the ceiling for the Cowboys defense? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer tackles his Twitter mailbag again, going over such diverse topics as Carr's future, backup wide receivers, the role Dwayne Harris has, bad news for fans of fullbacks, and also shares his thoughts about the ceiling of the 2014 defense.
If they can get to the middle of the pack, then that would be a good thing. I’d say anywhere from 16-21 would be a solid ranking. And it might be enough for the Cowboys to make the playoffs if the offense can excel. I’ve said this before, but if the Cowboys make the postseason it will be because the offense carries the day.
And I’d say that if Sean Lee was still around. The defense has questions at every level. Do they have a double-digit sack guy on the line? Not sure. Do they have a playmaking linebacker? Bruce Carter will get a chance one last time to show he can do it. Do they have corners who can make plays? It’s up to Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne to do things they haven’t done yet. Do they have any safeties not named Barry Church?
I believe Rod Marinelli will squeeze what he can from this defense, but I just don’t know how much juice that will provide.
All-NFC East: In the interior OL, Eagles' Mathis and who else? | Comcast SportsNet Washington
Rich Tandler is building an All-NFC East team for 2014, and for the interior OL, he picks two Cowboys:
Here’s it’s who to put on besides Mathis, the one obvious choice. I’ll go with Frederick at center over Kelce; I think the Dallas center has more natural ability and it will show in his second year on the job. The other guard spot goes to Martin by default as it’s hard to put much stock in Snee bouncing back from a hip injury at age 32.
Ex-Cowboy Jesse Holley gives details on Dez Bryant’s $55k rookie dinner | Dallas Morning News
All the unsavory details of Bryant's rookie dinner bill emerge, courtesy of Jesse Holley, who calls the evening "an all out feast":
- $1,300 cognac - per shot.
- Magnum bottles of Crystal poured into flower pots.
- King size lobsters at $120 a pop - for starters.
- Players ordering two steaks, one to eat and one to take home.
Jones: Cowboys 'spent a lot of time' pondering Manziel - NFL.com
Jerry Jones said that Manziel's tumble down the board on draft day made for a tough decision when Dallas went on the clock at No. 16 overall.
Fittingly, this piece of news comes after photos surfaced yesterday appearing to show Manziel riding an inflatable swan while drinking from a champagne bottle. This in turn comes just two weeks after a much publicized trip to Las Vegas by the hard-partying rookie.
Can new coordinators fix Joe Flacco and Eli Manning? - ESPN
This Insider piece wonders if new coordinators can turn around the Ravens and Giants.
When the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants won two of the past three Super Bowls, their quarterbacks shredded playoff opponents for a combined 20 touchdown passes with just one interception. It was a beautiful thing to watch unless your team was on the losing end, but now the beauty is a faded memory. Those same quarterbacks have combined for more picks (64) than TD passes (63) since winning it all, and now both teams are hoping new offensive coordinators can orchestrate turnarounds. [emphasis added]
Former Eagles on every NFL roster - Bleeding Green Nation
Contrary to what the headline suggests, there are no former Eagles on the Cowboys' roster. And neither are there any former Eagles on the rosters of the Bears, Packers, Falcons and Seahawks, according to the guys at BGN.
The National Football League Is Pretty Demanding - Daily Norseman
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has uncovered a huge list of demands from the NFL to the cities that were in the running to host Super Bowl LII. The document which the Star-Tribune got its hands on, all 154 pages of it, defines the NFL's demands for a city to host the big game. You can see the document right here. Among some of the demands that the league had, according to the Star-Tribune:
Free police escorts for team owners, and 35,000 free parking spaces. Presidential suites at no cost in high-end hotels. Free billboards across the Twin Cities. Guarantees to receive all revenue from the game's ticket sales - even a requirement for NFL-preferred ATMs at the stadium.
. . .
The NFL's requests covered everything from free access to three "top quality" golf courses during the summer or fall before the Super Bowl, to free curbside parking at a yet-to-be designated NFL House - defined as a "high-end, exclusive drop-in hospitality facility for our most valued and influential guests to meet, unwind, network and conduct business."
Yes, this sounds a bit exploitative and even ethically questionable, but it's the way the game is played for these events these days.