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Cowboys News: Leary Avoids Suspension, And The DEA Is Coming After The NFL

It has to be getting closer to the NFL season, because there is a boatload of news to cover today.

Tom Pennington

Ronald Leary pleads no contest to 2012 drunk-driving arrest | Dallas Morning News

Ronald Leary decided at the last minute to enter a plea that allows him to avoid a trial that was scheduled to start on Monday. He will be placed on probation for 18 months and be fined $1,000. This also gets the matter cleared up for the team, and although the court fine is likely to be dwarfed by what the league docks him, he is not going to miss any games.

It's not likely the Dallas Cowboys or the National Football League will suspend the undrafted left guard out of Memphis University, who was on the rookie practice squad at the time of his arrest. Under the collective bargaining agreement, players found guilty of a first-time DUI without aggravating circumstances - meaning, they didn't hurt anyone else - lose two regular-season game checks up to a maximum of $50,000.

In this case, Leary gets a nice, effective wake up call - and nobody's life is ended or ruined.

Kyle Orton a roster lock? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

Kyle Orton not a roster lock - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas

The question of whether the prodigal quarterback will be back in the fold eating the fatted calf is addressed here, and Calvin Watkins clearly gets it right.

My fingers hurt from just typing those words.

Dallas Cowboys training camp battles: Backup quarterback - ESPN Dallas

This would hardly matter if Kyle Orton was not being so weird.

Filling out Cowboys' roster: Quarterbacks - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN

Filling out the Dallas Cowboys' roster: Specialists - ESPN

Yes, it is indeed the time of year when we all trot out long series of articles about the roster as we count down the days to training camp and actual new developments to cover. Archer starts off with a couple of posts that are not exactly dripping with suspense. - Cowboys' Top 10 Gaffes (From Yesteryear)

A look at some of the most jarring and boneheaded moves ever made by the Dallas Cowboys - all from the days before Jerry Jones bought the team.

There is a lesson here. If you don't really know and understand the past, you fail to realize that the shocking and extreme things of today are usually just the same thing that happened a few decades or so ago, but with modern hairstyles and fashions. The article comes up with a parallel for almost every single type of mistake that has been made under the Jones era and shows that the sainted Tom Landry and the genius triumvirate of Gil Brandt, Tex Schramm, and Clint Murchinson could step on it right along with the best of them. And in at least one case, they managed a faux pas that has no equal in the Jones era.

In 1975, Anne Brandt divorced her husband Gil Brandt, the chief talent scout for the Cowboys, and was remarried in June of that year. So what? No-fault divorce has been around since 1970, and you can get married in Vegas in a drive-thru. Maybe it's a big deal when, you know, Anne is leaving Gil to be with Cowboys founding owner, Clint Murchison, Jr., with whom, history says, she had been carrying on an affair.

Mailbag: What Does It Mean For LBs If McClain Shines?

They don't suck?

Last Time Out: Grading The Tight Ends In 2013

In the summary at the end, Bryan Broaddus adds to the reasons that the Cowboys may still be in the market for a free agent tight end.

Scout's Take: I believe I have an understanding of what these coaches want to do with Jason Witten and Gavin Escobar, but I am not so sure about James Hanna. There was a time where I thought Hanna would have been a very productive player in this scheme, but he is clearly the third option here and with the continued growth of Escobar, he is going to get less and less of an opportunity.

Position Series: Hopes Higher For TE Escobar In 2014

The title is a little misleading, since it looks at the prospects for all four of the tight ends on the roster. But it also hits what is most likely the real key here.

Still Need to Find Out:

How Scott Linehan changes the production of this group and its depth. One of Linehan's best abilities last season in Detroit was getting the secondary players involved in the offense.

Jeremy Mincey: Being a Cowboy "A Dream Come True" | Scott Crisp, NBC 5 DFW

It seems that there is a fairly high percentage of players who wind up in Dallas who harbored a childhood dream to be part of "America's Team". Jeremy Mincey is just the latest.

For Mincey, who came to Dallas this offseason after eight seasons with the 49ers, Jaguars and Broncos, playing for the Cowboys is something of a dream come true. Among his favorite players to watch growing up, Mincey named such greats as Larry Allen, Jay Novacek and Deion Sanders. He added that watching Emmitt Smith might've helped his decision to attend the University of Florida for college.

20 Questions: Who Wins Starting Left Guard Job?

This has some interesting stuff about the battle between Ronald Leary and Mackenzy Bernadeau, but I suspect this was done before everyone went on vacation after minicamp. There is no mention of Uche Nwaneri being in the mix, and he clearly is now.

Barry Church to enter new role for Dallas Cowboys - ESPN

With a largely revamped defense and the natural leader of the group out for the year, the team is looking for Barry Church to step up and take on more of that leadership role.

"You never want to get too complacent or take things for granted," Church said. "I feel like I have a role on this team now, especially at the safety crew because I'm one of the oldest guys out there in the secondary, me and Orlando and Brandon Carr. It's a different role coming in being one of the old guys.

Four Unknowns To Watch Out For At Camp - Bryan Broaddus,

One of the players listed, Terrell McClain, has already emerged as someone to watch for most of us. The other names on the list are more the kind of under-the-radar player the headline infers. | 2014 Training Camp Schedule

Speaking of training camp - the Cowboys have released a tentative schedule of the planned practices. You might want to bookmark this for a few weeks.

It's starting to smell like football!


Now for some things dealing with all of the NFL.

Report: DEA investigating prescription drug distribution in the NFL | ProFootballTalk

Things may be about to get very real. Someone Roger Goodell has zero control over just inserted themselves into things the NFL normally keeps locked securely away.

The New York Daily News reports that the Drug Enforcement Administration has launched an investigation into the abuse of prescription medication in the NFL. Agents are talking to former players about how NFL doctors and trainers treat players with drugs like Percodan, Vicodin and Toradol, all of which players have said they are given by members of their teams' medical staff.

Keep an eye on this one in the future.

NFL Head Coach Power Rankings |

These are so silly at this point in the season. And I doubt that they get these things right anyway, even at the end of the season.

23) Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys

Give Garrett credit -- at least he's consistent! Three straight years now, the Cowboys have finished 8-8. And in each of those three years, the 'Boys entered the final game of the season with an opportunity to win the NFC East. Of course, the downside is that Dallas has not been able to pull out any of those Week 17 tilts. (In fairness, Tony Romo was injured for last year's title bout with Philadelphia.) Truth be told, Garrett might have to do his best work ever to get the Cowboys to 8-8 in 2014.

Erin Andrews joins Fox's No. 1 NFL team with Troy Aikman, Joe Buck, replacing Dallas native Pam Oliver | Dallas Morning News

Erin Andrews Replacing Pam Oliver as FOX's Sideline Reporter | Robert Littal Presents BlackSportsOnline

A couple of different takes on the demotion of one of the longest-tenured women involved in covering professional sports. There seems to be little doubt that the reasons for the move had a lot more to do with age and appearance than with competence and skill.

It's Very Good To Own An NFL Team

This article uses the figures for the Green Bay Packers to project what all the teams get. Green Bay, as the only publicly held team, is also the only one forced to release these figures, giving us a glimpse behind the curtain the NFL tries to stay behind.

If there's one number that tells us the most about the financial health of the league, it's the $187.7 million that the Packers and every other franchise received from the NFL in the 2013-14 fiscal year, the equally disbursed cut of national revenue that adds up to more than $6 billion, mostly from television contracts.

But that's not really why I include this. It's an article about the NFL. So which team owner is going to be placed in the dead center of the picture for this article? Can you guess? Come on, I bet you can! (Bonus points if you can predict what other owner is flanking Roger Goodell before you click on the link.)

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