Video: Jason Garrett gets emotional, cracks jokes, gives advice on leadership | Jon Machota, Dallas Morning News
Machota gets our attaboy of the day for digging up this jewel: Coach Garrett's acceptance speech at Princeton from a couple of weeks ago when he received the Citizen-Athlete Award from the school’s Varsity Club.
Allow yourself some time to watch the 23-minute speech this Sunday morning, you won't regret it (to avoid the nuisance of having an autoplay video in this post, click on the image below to open the full speech in a separate window).
NFL Coaching Power Rankings: Jason Garrett ranks 11th | FOX Sports
Alex Marvez ranks all 32 head coaches, and has Garrett coming in just outside the top ten.
Garrett was thrust into a head coaching position before he was truly ready -- midway through the 2010 season -- but has steadily grown on the job. A 12-4 record and second-round postseason appearance in 2014 proved that Cowboys players have finally bought into the coaching philosophies Garrett has been stressing.
"I told Jerry what I’ll tell you," said Haley, referring to owner-general manager Jerry Jones. "If they don’t take it to the house this year, I’ll be disappointed."
Haley endorsed the Cowboys’ defense, saying it has improved "`100 percent" in the off-season. He pointed to the addition of pass-rushers and stability in the secondary.
"Teams are going to have to find a new wrinkle to attack the Dallas Cowboys’ defense," Haley said. "`Without injuries, I really think these guys got it."
Byron Jones: Terrance Williams difficult to cover | Dallas Morning News
Jones was talked to KRLD-FM 105.3 about his experience in the NFL so far. Here's an excerpt:
Question: Have any of the receivers stood out to you?
Byron Jones: Well, Terrance Williams ... he always finds a way to break me off at the top of the route. I'm trying for my life to stay one him, but for some reason, he finds his way open. But I'm working my technique. I'm trying to get more physical.
Weakest offensive position groups - NFL.com
Gregg Rosenthal looks at the weakest position groups on offense and concludes that the Cowboys and the Patriots, the reigning Super Bowl champions, have the weakest running back units.
I can live with that comparison.
Fueling the Competition: Team Dietitian Amy Goodson - Kristi Scales, 5 Points Blue
Scales offers a profile of the Cowboys team dietitian and what she does for the team. Some readers might be surprised that there is more to an NFL diet than deciding between Whataburger and In-N-Out Burger.
"This is my fourth full season with the Cowboys," says Amy who earned her master’s degree in exercise & sports nutrition from Texas Women’s University where she now serves as an adjunct professor. "Coach Garrett is a huge proponent of nutrition, so the book that players receive on their first day of official workouts has a whole sheet on their nutritional goals, tips on how to reach those goals, and whether or not they need to gain weight or lose weight. In rookie minicamp there were 30 new guys competing for very few positions.
"I work with the strength & conditioning staff and look at the new players’ body fat and weight. Some guys may need to gain weight, others need to lose weight. In turn, I educate them to get to their proper weight. I use my red-yellow-green food labeling system in our dining facility to help them understand ‘what are high calorie foods?’ And ‘what are low calorie foods?’ So it’s about fueling their bodies to help them reach their goal because if they don’t have enough fuel they’re not as likely to make the team."
Why is national media picking the Eagles over the Cowboys for NFC East title? - Matt Mosley, FOX Sports
The Dallas Cowboys remain the odds-on favorite to win the NFC East in 2015 but the Eagles are getting a lot of love from some national experts, and Mosley doesn't get the fascination with Chip Kelly and the Eagles.
Murray was successful last season in part because teams feared Tony Romo's arm. Don't look for Bradford to earn that type respect. And it's a longshot that he can avoid injury.
The Cowboys have the better offensive line and receiving corps. Tony Romo is a far more accomplished passer than Sam Bradford. And despite being older, he's much more durable than Bradford.
The rivalry will be even better due to Murray's departure, but the Cowboys are the better team. And I'm not sure it's that close.
Laufenberg: Why I think Jason Witten is a ‘no-brainer’ for the Hall of Fame | Dallas Morning News
Will Babe Laufenberg's endorsement be enough to get Jason Witten into the Hall of Fame? Here's his pitch.
For me, Witten is a no-brainer. Here is the guy who has set the NFL record for receptions by a TE in a season (112). Does he play hurt? Well, yeah. He's played with a broken jaw and a lacerated spleen and who knows what else. I think he has missed one game in his career. He is a three-down player. He has numbers, and longevity and productivity. I don’t know how they would keep him out of the HOF.
Laufenberg: Why the Cowboys are the favorites in the NFC East | Dallas Morning News
Laufenberg uses a boxing analogy to explain which team wins the NFC East.
Like boxing, you have to knock out the champion. And the champion, as we chat today, is the Dallas Cowboys. So there can be "trendy" picks, but until I see something that makes me think differently, the Cowboys are the favorites. They were 8-0 on the road last season. That is hard to do and the mark of a really good football team. Now, they just have to figure out a way to win at home.
Losing Chris Chester raises questions on Eagles' guard plans - Phil Sheridan, ESPN Philadelphia
Losing out to the Atlanta Falcons for guard Chris Chester suggests that whatever plan the Chipster has for his offensive "doesn’t appear to be going very well," Sheridan writes.
According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan, the Eagles offered Chester a two-year contract. Chester signed with the Atlanta Falcons on a one-year, $2.8-million deal. According to Caplan, Chester believed he had a better chance of starting for the Falcons. Given the start of the Eagles' guard situation, that’s difficult to understand.
Kenny Britt, Jared Cook: Rams WRs 'love' Nick Foles - NFL.com
Kenny Britt and Jared Cook raved about Nick Foles, saying the Rams receivers "love" their new quarterback. Looks like St. Louis better off with Foles than with Sam Bradford. The article also provides some free Eagles snark.
Foles sports an impressive 14-4 record with a 40:12 touchdown-to-interception ratio over the past two years. All other quarterbacks in Chip Kelly's Eagles offense have gone 6-8 with a 19:18 TD-to-INT ratio.
Can the New York Giants make a Cowboys-like leap in 2015? - Dan Graziano, ESPN New York
Many people chose not to acknowledge the fact that during their three-year run of 8-8 seasons, the Cowboys were one game away from the playoffs in each season. In comparing the Giants with the Cowboys, Graziano does just that.
But what the Cowboys did was go from a team that was, for three years in a row, almost there to a team that was one of the best in the league. I don't think that's a realistic hope for the 2015 Giants, since they're still piecing the roster back together from where it all bottomed out two years ago.