Hey NFL Pro Bowl, Washington Generals just text me…..

Hey NFL Pro Bowl, just got a text from the Washington Generals and they said you guys are going to have to tighten up on it just a little bit.  It’s official, the Pro Bowl is a joke.

This years game was so pathetic that when the NFC ran their first offensive play, the crowd in Hawaii booed the fact that they were obviously going half speed….no make that one-third speed.  Sorry Hawaiians, you just got punked today…again

The defensive linemen were clearly cooperating with the offensive linemen to not get to the QB so effectively, that the Washington Generals were impressed. Kept expecting Aaron Rodgers to throw a bucket of confetti on the sideline or something.

There are special rules in the Pro Bowl but evidently a few have been added in the last two unofficially:

  1. Don’t tackle. Just grab hold and ask them to go down. Better yet just let them score. Fans didn’t come to watch guys get tackled.
  2. Do not sack nor in any way touch the QB. That’s who the fans really came to see so let them do their thing. Like 7 on 7.
  3. Orchestrate an exchange of scores each possession and we must be tied at the half. Fans love scoring.

I know it is a meaningless game and these guys do not want to risk an injury that would impact their livelihood. I get it. Why take a chance in a Pro Bowl on getting hurt? OK that’s why I say end it and let’s stop acting like they are playing a football game because they are not. If they played touch football on the beach in Hawaii, it would be more legit than that crap. So let’s just move on to something else.

Suggestions for Pro Bowl:

  • Tie the NFL all Pro team players in with the Super Bowl and have activities during the week for Super Bowl fans to enjoy. Appearances, photos and autographs. Stuff fans would love.
  • So that Hawaiians don’t feel dissed, play a real pro football game there every year. Like the very first game of the year on a Thursday night or something. Maybe a Monday night with west coast teams.
  • On Saturday night before the Super Bowl or Sunday before the game starts, let them have a QB contest between the All Pro QBs to see who is best. Like a HR contest in baseball or dunk contest. Could have other contest as well at other positions.
  • Honor the All Pro players prior to the Super Bowl game.

I’m sure people can come up with better suggestions than mine and that is great. Let’s just move on NFL.

Come on NFL have a little pride and end this exhibition that even the Globetrotters would find a little over the top. By the end of the game, the seats were about half full and those left were booing the lousy play of Cam Newton. When the AFC was taking a knee to burn the clock at the end, to make sure they held on to win the meaningless game, well, the fans knew they had been screwed.   Close the book on the Pro Bowl game once and for all.

UPDATE: 4/26- NFL and players union mull canceling Pro Bowl. 

UPDATE: 2/6- Even NFL Commissioner Goodell is thinking of ending Pro Bowl.

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College Seniors on Display: Senior Bowl Recap

Isaiah Pead has got speed boy!

Today there were seniors playing that are likely on the Dallas Cowboys list of players to consider drafting. Of course there are underclassmen on the list as well, but today was a day to look at some seniors that may help the Cowboys next season.

Based on the game today, these guys stock may be rising:

Isaiah Pead RB Cincinnati: This dude can return punts. He had 98 yards on 2 returns which set a Senior Bowl record. He was also the leading rusher in the game with 31 yards. Pead is small but very quick and displays nice instincts. I would compare his style to Cowboy great Tony Dorsett.

The Cowboys need depth at running back and Pead would be a nice pick up. They also need a punt returner and Pead can add excitement for sure.  Projected to go in the 3rd but I think his stock could rise after the show he put on today. With a 4.42 time in the 40, Pead is one of the fastest RBs in the draft.

Joe Adams WR Arkansas: Slow start with a fumble after catch but he played well after that fumble. He had 6 catches for 116 yards to lead all receivers.  Adams runs nice routes and is a play maker. Put this guy in the right offense and he will surely be fun to watch on Sundays.  Adams is smallish at only 5-11 but he runs a 4.38/40 to draw interest. By far looked like the quickest guy on the field today. He was projected around the 5th round but he is likely going to go sooner than that after today.

If the Cowboys sign Robinson, I doubt they draft a WR but if they do, Adams would be fun to watch!

Quniton Coples DE UNC: Coples showed me, and a lot of others, that he can play when he decides to. At times Coples looked like a man playing amongst boys as he had a sack and tipped two passes at the line of scrimmage. Coples is a perplexing player to figure out and decide if he should go in the top 10.

He has everything you are looking for, great size at 6-6, good quickness and strength. When he wants to he can take over a game but at times he just fades away and appears to take plays off. The Cowboys must be considering drafting Coples if he is still there at #14. May be a great player in NFL if he improves work ethic and plays with intensity each play.

Vinny Curry DE Marshall: I was impressed with this guy today. He can become a pass rush specialist at the next level. Had a sack and hurried the QB on one play that resulted in an interception. If the Cowboys draft a CB in the first then Curry would likely be around in the 2nd round for them to consider. Curry appears to have a good motor when he plays relentlessly pursuing the QB.

Upshaw and Ingram were solid today but not spectacular however they both had good weeks and will be considered as 1st round picks at OLB. Ingram was lined up at DT some today but I think he will thrive at the next level as a 3-4 OLB where he can use his nice quickness.

Stock may dip?

Janoris Jenkins CB N. Alabama: I thought Jenkins had a tough day. He gave up a TD pass down in the red zone and flat out got caught with his pants down on a stop and go pattern that lucky for him wasn’t caught. Senior Bowl rules don’t allow CBs to press up at the line so maybe Jenkins felt  awkward playing off the line more than usual. Anyway I just didn’t like the way he tackled or covered and am not impressed with him. Curious to see what the Cowboys leadership thinks of Jenkins after the game.  He comes with character red flags as well.

For me Jenkins stock takes a dip.

Senior Bowl Prospects That May Impress Cowboys

Who has impressed during practice this week and who has not been impressive with a focus on players the Cowboys are likely considering in the draft:

Remember that last year Demarcus Murray was a Senior Bowl player that Dallas noticed and drafted so good players can be found.

Thumbs Up LIST 

Melvin Ingram OLB -S. Carolina: This guy can’t be blocked this week and he is catching the eye of coaches according to SI draft expert Tony Pauline. ARTICLE  Ingram simply makes plays all over the field no matter where you put him and if you doubt that then check out his game against Georgia this year. Yes, that’s him, a defensive lineman, taking a fake punt for a score. Go Big Fella!

His size doesn’t impress so much but he has deceptive strength, excellent quickness and he just knows how to play football which should be worth something.

Dallas will have to consider this guy with the first pick because he can help the pass rush a great deal. Having a good week at Senior Bowl.

Janoris Jenkins CB N. Alabama: Showing he has skills this week. Dallas needs a CB or two and I believe they will look to draft one in the first round.  Jenkins is very likely to be on the board at #14 and he can help that terrible secondary. Two Jenkins at Cb?? That could get confusing.

Kevin Zeitler Wisconsin G– Having a solid performance and may help the interior line.

Cam Johnson DE Virginia- Impressing scouts this week. Can play DE in a 3-4 defense.

Thumbs Down LIST

Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska- His stock is simply dropping this week. Struggles against WRs that are likely to be drafted. I noticed in the Bowl game with South Carolina that he struggled against Jeffery a highly ranked WR in the draft. The Cowboys already have guys that struggle in the secondary…don’t need another one.

Quinton Coples DT UNC- Highly ranked defensive lineman is just getting blocked this week. Same as he did for most of the college football season. At one time this prospect was considered a lock to go early but now his stock is dropping. Not sure what the problem is but I expect him to fall in the draft.

GETTING OLD STINKS & THE COWBOYS DEFENSE STINKS

Well you know you are getting older when the rookies call you sir and you know you are getting too old when the coaches do.

Aging is a fact of life that we all must eventually face and it is time for the Cowboys to face reality.

Last year the Dallas Cowboys had a youth movement for the offense particularly on their offensive line. It was over due and while there were some growing pains during the season, it has been for the good as the future looks bright on offense.

But how about on the defensive side of the ball? Did you realize the Cowboys are one of the oldest defenses in the NFL? The Cowboys defense ranks 4th in age on defense. This is one time where being near the top isn’t a good thing. It’s kind of like living in a state that ranks 4th in domestic violence. Not good.

Only the Steelers, Rams, and Cardinals have older defenses than Dallas. Of those teams, the Rams were awful last year, the Cardinals 8-8 but no playoffs, and the Steelers were a wild card team that had a disappointing finish when knocked out by Tebow and the Broncos in the first round.

While younger doesn’t necessarily mean better, there are teams that are young and play very good defense. The Texans and 49ers are two of the younger teams in the league on defense and they rank at the top in team defense.

The Cowboys have six players on defense who are in their 30s which puts them right at the top in this dubious category:  Brooking, Coleman, Ratliff, Newman, James, and Elam are all in their 30s. While I don’t expect all of these guys to be on the team next year, I don’t expect them all to be replaced either. Currently, the Cowboys only have two defensive players on the roster who were rookies last year, Albright and Carter.

The best way to add youth and energy to a defense is through the draft and that is why I look for the Cowboys to have an emphasis on drafting defensive players in the upcoming draft.  Some mock drafts have the Cowboys drafting an offensive guard with the first pick but in my view, the Cowboys must start the replenishing process on defense and that valuable first pick would be a good place to start.

Cowboys KICK Returns BORING LAST YEAR

After the 2011 season, Jason and Jerry have wasted little time to begin making changes to improve next year’s version of the Cowboys. If you got the feeling last year that Dallas wasn’t that great on kickoff and punt returns, then you would be right.

Last year they ranked 20th in kickoff returns averaging 23.3 yards per return. In punt returns the news gets worse, as they were 27th in the NFL averaging an unexciting 7.1 yards per return. No kicks were returned for TDs and very few returns were long enough to really make a difference in field position.

Clearly this is another area where Dallas needs to get better. Kick returns can change the momentum of a game quickly and give a team a spark when they really need it. Several players returned kicks for the Cowboys last season but none of them really ever stepped up and took ownership of the role. Some of them just didn’t look like they were into it at all. Who is the answer in 2012?

Let’s look at the options for Kickoff returns:

Dez Bryant: He averaged only 18.3 yards per return and he appears to be a much better punt returner. In my view, it isn’t worth risking injury to one of your best WRs and offensive weapons just to get out to about the 20 yard line. Never understood why they even risked it last year given Dez’s history of injuries.

Felix Jones: An excellent kickoff returner as he averaged 26.6 yards per return. Felix has the ability to take one the distance and has before in the past. However he wasn’t very healthy last year and you just can’t have him back there when hurt. He is very important to the running game.

Kevin Ogletree: Only averaged 19 yards a return. Not his thing it appears.

DeMarco Murray: He was allowed to return two kickoffs and averaged only 18 yards per return. It is very foolish to risk an injury to your best RB on kickoffs. Do not put him back there any more Jason. It is going to get you in trouble. Yes, even in more trouble than icing your own kicker. Murray didn’t appear to be into it so let’s move on from this idea.

Dwayne Harris could be the Cowboys best option for returning kicks next season.

Dwayne Harris: A rookie rarely used early in the season but allowed to play more late in the season and was impressive as a kick returner. He averaged 29 yards on kick returns and shows the ability to be an exciting returner. I like his big play mentality and since he provides depth at WR and doesn’t start, it gives him a role on the team. Harris returned 3 kickoffs for TDs in college. Best option for Dallas.

Conclusion: Go with Harris and if Murray is healthy at RB then also include Felix to return kickoffs some to add a spark.

PUNT RETURNS:

Dez Bryant: Was effective as a punt returner his rookie season but last year he only averaged 6.9 yards per return. Once again, I just don’t think it is worth the risk for injury when he is so valuable to the offense as a WR.

Kevin Ogletree: Only returned 2 punts but provided one of the best ones of the year with a 25 yard return. Shows some ability here but it is questionable if Dallas will sign him next year. If he is signed, I would like to see more punt returns.

Dwayne Harris: Only averaged 5 yards per punt return. Shows promise however and was an effective punt returner in college as he averaged more than 11 yards per return his senior year. He could grow into this role for sure. More attempts will lead to improvement I believe.

Conclusion: Dez is best punt returner but not worth the risk. Ogletree showed some ability but may not be back next year. Harris is the best option in my view to take this role and run with it. If Ogletree is back, then give him a good look as a punt returner.

Another option: Bring in an undrafted free agent who is a good returner. WR Devon Wylie of Fresno State was second in the country in punt returns with 11 yards per return. He is expected to be a late draft pick but if he goes undrafted, he could be a good player to bring in and take a look at as a returner.

The Cowboys need to get more exciting in their kick returns. It could be a real difference maker for them next year.

DEZ MIXING IT UP IN MIAMI….. WHEN WILL JERRY JONES LEARN?

Dez got bent when Lil Wayne got up in his grill at Club LIV… dawg.

Word coming out of Miami that Dez got into some kind of altercation with Lil Wayne at

“Y’all goin make me lose my mind.up in here up in here!” DEZ

Club LIV. No report that Dez was arrested. It is reported that Lil Wayne was having fun at Dez’s expense by calling out his debt issues and mediocre season.

STORY

Trouble just seems to come to Dez as effortlessly as busting rhymes comes to Lil Wayne. Things got to the point where Deion “Prime Time” finally said of Dez recently, “He needs help,” Sanders repeated. “I told the Cowboys from day one that he needs help.”

Where do we begin:

  • Lying to NCAA over contact with Deion Sanders before he was drafted.
  • Financial mess. With coin he is pulling, don’t ask me how it isn’t enough.  Got so bad Jerry is handling his finances now.
  • Thrown out of mall for “jailin'” his pants. Definition from urban dictionary: Like lowriding but the proper name for it because it started in jail when prisoners got their belts taken of them so they didn’t hang themselves, so their pants hung low.

EXAMPLE:  you jailin’ those pants dawg.

Dez may get a real chance for jailin’ in the jail at the pace he is going.

Dez’s talent is undeniable. Great hands, good size, nice speed, ability to return kicks and a play maker. But coming out of Oklahoma ST. there were red flags so when the draft came around Dez fell down thru the first round. Jerry had a man crush on Dez so he actually traded up to get him 24th in the draft.

Dez was not falling in the draft because NFL teams didn’t realize he had great hands and can play football. He fell because of crap like what  happened this weekend in Miami and because most owners have better things to do with their time than baby sit an NFL player.

Jerry just never seems to get it that character does matter and if a guy seems to find trouble before he gets lots of money, he will darn sure find it once he does have some money.

The question is do they resign him to a new contract or cut bait before it’s too late?

NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi says “no contract”.   LINK

Should They Stay or Should They Go? 2012 Free Agents Analysis

The Cowboys have 20 free agents (actually 19 with Kitna retiring) so some decisions must be made. I will start with the ones that I think are the highest priority to get signed and work down to the ones who should…. well shall we say “good riddance”.

Keepers:

Laurent Robinson WR- STAY- Must get him signed. Romo looked for this guy any time they were in the red zone. A nice discovery.

Tony Fiammetta FB-STAY-Another nice find. Murray ran well when this guy was out in front of him. Sign him. Some health questions.

Jesse Holley WR-STAY-Proved him self to be a nice back up WR and won the game in OT against San Francisco. Major contributor on special teams. Besides this was Michael “play maker” Irvin’s find.

Abram Elam Safety-STAY– Cowboys need him. Didn’t have a great season but who do they have to replace him? Unless they find better, sign him.

Anthony Spencer LB-STAY– A pretty dependable player. I see him staying.

Mat McBriar P-STAY?- Tough call. Sign if healthy but if not, then keep Chris Jones. Mat very effective punter when healthy.

Bradie James LB-Stay?- Another tough call. Aging player not what he use to be. Sign him unless a better LB is drafted. Could depend on development of Bruce Carter.

Sam Morrison RB-Stay– Stepped in and helped late in season when Murray was injured. Looked good but not convinced he will hold up to a lot of playing. 

May not make the cut:

Alan Ball has never been referred to as a "lunch pail" kind of guy.

Montrae Holland G– Injured late in season. Brought in to replace some young injured guys with a lot of talent. As Nagy and Arkin heal, and considering the injury, may be gone.

Frank Walker CB– Brought in to help when Newman and Jenkins were injured. I look for Dallas to bring in young new talent at this position. A good guy but Frank may not make the cut. 

Derrick Dockery-G– Just can’t stay healthy and was brought in out of desperation. 

Keith Brooking-LB- Just can’t see him being back next year. Good leader but probably done.

Show these the door and give them a boot out it!:

Alan Ball CB– Has had more chances than Campo. He can not help your secondary. See if Campo needs an assistant at Kansas.

Martellus will have more time to engage in his favorite past time..

Martellus Bennett TE– Over hyped, poor work ethic, unproductive. Please let him go.  

Kevin Ogletree-WR- A once promising player that just never happened. Robbinson’s success sends Ogletree packing. Kevin starting to have some personal issues too.