It is now official. The PAT will be snapped from the 15 yard line in 2015. Two point conversions will remain at the 2, but defenses can now return a fumbled or intercepted ball to score two points themselves.
It will be interesting to see how this affects strategy. Will this increase the number of two point attempts, or will the risk of giving the other team a chance to score discourage them? The increased distance on the kick would seem to favor the Cowboys and their ace, Dan Bailey. But he is not a fan of the change.
Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey said last year of the PATs being moved back, "It's like they're punishing us for being good at our job."— Pat Doney (@PatDoneyNBC5) May 19, 2015
Some comments were about how Robert Kraft made a wise decision for the benefit of the league (something I don't remember hearing about Jerry Jones deciding to let the asinine cap space penalty stand), but his comments sound more like someone who knows he is going to lose giving up on a vain fight.
"Although I might disagree with what is decided, I do have respect for the commissioner and believe that he's doing what he perceives to be in the best interest of the full 32," Kraft said during a six-minute address to reporters. "So in that spirit I don't want to continue the rhetoric that's gone on for the past four months. I'm going to accept, reluctantly, what he has given to us and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric and we won't appeal."
Do you get the feeling that Roger Goodell is not the NFLPA's favorite guy?
The players also believe that the Commissioner's history of inconsistently issuing discipline against our players makes him ill-suited to hear this appeal in a fair-minded manner.
This is a look at how the numbers tossed around when new contracts are announced are not really, uh, real. And it points out the new reality, that the "facts" some reporters throw out are quickly shot down in this age of social media.
We used to get fantastical contract terms in articles, long before Twitter. That much is not a current social media invention, though the speed and immediacy of jumping on the numbers has changed.
Our own David Halprin already looked at the conclusion from this report that safety is the largest issue for the Cowboys going forward. The article also noted who did the best with their UDFA signings, and basically accepted that La'el Collins gave this race to Dallas, with no one else even on the same lap. But the fun part of this was their description of what the Philadelphia Eagles under-undisputed uber-genius Chip Kelly did about their own biggest problem.
Biggest Post-Draft Weakness: Safety
Malcolm Jenkins will return to start at one safety position, but Nate Allen signed with Oakland in free agency. To replace him, the Eagles did... uh... nothing. They did not add a safety in free agency. They did not make a trade. They did not take one in the draft. They didn't even add a pure safety as an undrafted free agent.
OK, enough about the rest of the league. On to the Dallas news.
Jason Witten hosted his youth football camp and had a lot to say about a lot of things, many of which were covered in an earlier news post. But he also had some very interesting things to say about himself, and why at age 33 his career is not over yet - nor is he planning on the end anytime soon.
"I love playing football," Witten said. "I love the offseason. I love the studying, going through and watching the tape, the grind of the evaluation process and what you can do better. I enjoy that. Then have the opportunity to see the excitement during events like this, and obviously giving back to the community is huge part of that platform that I want to have as a player and as a person all into one, and hopefully be a champion."
The more I read, the more I think that just maybe this is going to work out OK. So far, Greg Hardy is certainly saying all the right things, like his answer to what he planned to do to avoid any further problems.
On making sure nothing like that ever happens again:
"Make sure nothing happens at all. Period. Like anything but good football, touchdowns, sacks, hopefully a lot of Pro Bowl action."
Ryan Williams is the wildcard among the current running backs, and Bob Sturm turns his critical eye to what Williams has to do to be a part of the mix this season.
I think he is very good with the ball in his hands and a dynamic play-maker.
But, can he stay healthy? There are many that don't believe he can.
And can he earn the trust of the offensive brain trust to be that guy who knows who to block and more importantly, how to block them? You or I could learn the protection schemes, but we aren't blocking Mychal Kendricks or Bobby Wagner if they run through an open A-gap. Knowing where to be is only half the battle. Then, without cut-blocking every time, can he stand and deliver a shoulder?
It was hard to miss the obvious parallels between the fourth round picks in 2014 and 2015.
Now, the Cowboys aren't exactly expecting the same first-year success from Damien Wilson as they got from Anthony Hitchens last year, but even if it's somewhat close it will be a huge steal for a team that has experienced its share of injuries at linebacker.
The Cowboys have been trying to add depth at the position for the past two years and a pick like Wilson should help that initiative.
Go ahead. Some of you are going to think this is too pessimistic. Just think back a year and how you would have felt about this prediction among all the doom and gloom.
There you go, 11-5 for the back-to-back division champs.
Because the Cowboys did not know if the UIL was going to pick up the option to play the Texas State Football Championship games, they did not block out the weekend, and the NFL scheduled a game that is forcing the championship to move, likely to Houston's NRG Stadium. The UIL needs a big facility because, well, high school football is kinda big in Texas.
The UIL's title games in the largest classification, 5A Division I in 2013 and 6A Division I last year, each drew more than 52,000 fans.
Speaking of Texas high school football, former Cowboys backup quarterback Jon Kitna has joined the ranks of HS coaches in Waxahachie, just south of Dallas. And there is a bit of controversy over the money that was used to lure him.
Kitna will make $95,000 a year for a position initially advertised as paying under $70,000, WFAA reports. Some of his assistants will be paid $70,000, while the maximum salary for Waxahachie teachers with no experience is $44,500. Three of the four assistants have never taught before; one has served as a corrections officer, with no coaching experience.
Finally, this makes you really, really want to know what led to this reaction at the annual charity home run contest the Cowboys have.