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News: ARTICLE: Jones spending, hoping Dallas can cash in

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by trickblue, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    Jones spending, hoping Dallas can cash in
    by Jean-Jacques Taylor

    IRVING – Few pieces remain from Dave Campo's time as Cowboys coach, a three-year span that produced 15 wins. Four players and one coach – defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer – remain to be exact.

    The current Cowboys, without equivocation, are coach Bill Parcells' team.

    Parcells, who received a hefty raise as part of a new two-year contract soon after last season ended, has handpicked 19 of the 22 starters, the kicker and punter.

    Owner Jerry Jones has done his part by shelling out more than $40 million in signing bonuses to add several high-profile free agents in the last two seasons. That's why Jones expects the Cowboys to be an NFC contender and end a nine-year drought without a playoff victory, the longest in franchise history.

    After all, the NFC does not have a dominant team. It has had just one Super Bowl champion this millennium.

    "I hope we're getting better," Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said. "We've been drafting soundly, using our resources to add players because we've managed our cap well. We were 9-7 last year, and I think we've improved our team. Hopefully, we can get into the playoffs and win some games."

    The Cowboys entered the off-season with a grocery list of needs, and Jerry Jones, Parcells and vice president of college and pro scouting Jeff Ireland have filled nearly all of them. That will allow the Cowboys, if they desire, to move down in the draft and add picks.

    Or they can keep the 18th pick of the first round and draft the best player available.

    "We've been the most successful when we've drafted the best player available," said Stephen Jones, "instead of being pressed to fill needs."

    Teams are so even in today's NFL that superior depth can make a big difference.

    The Cowboys have spent the first three weeks of free agency enhancing both elements – stars and depth. There's little doubt this is the most talented team Parcells has had since he arrived before the 2003 season.

    DMN NFL writer Rick Gosselin has identified six ultra-key positions in the NFL: quarterback, running back, receiver, left tackle, pass-rusher and cornerback. The teams with the best players at those positions usually win consistently.

    Dallas hasn't had the kind of talent it will wield at those positions since winning the Super Bowl in 1995.

    "We've gotten much better at the key positions," said Stephen Jones, "that you need to win games."

    The biggest upgrade is receiver Terrell Owens, whose presence will require defensive coordinators to design game plans to stop him. The Cowboys haven't had that kind of player since Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin were in their prime.

    Owens will frequently draw double coverage, which will give tight end Jason Witten, receiver Terry Glenn and running back Julius Jones more room to operate.

    Owens is adept at running short crossing routes and hitches in addition to intermediate and deep routes, which create offensive versatility. Even when teams want to pressure quarterback Drew Bledsoe by blitzing, he can get rid of the ball quickly to Owens.

    Jerry Jones' signing of Owens is no surprise, because he's always loved star players, especially those who score touchdowns.

    To gauge the level of Jones' commitment to winning, all you have to do is see former Indianapolis kicker Mike Vanderjagt on the roster. It took a three-year deal worth approximately $5 million, including a $2.5 million signing bonus, to acquire the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history.

    This is the first time Jones has given a kicker a seven-figure signing bonus.

    But he understands Parcells' ball-control style is frequently going to put the Cowboys in close games, where a fourth-quarter field goal can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

    Dallas lost games to Washington, Seattle and Denver last season in which a field goal of under 40 yards in the second half probably would've meant a win. Add three wins, and the Cowboys would have hosted a playoff game.
    Most of the free agents the Cowboys have signed aren't household names, but they're tough, hard-nosed players who don't typically miss games because of injuries. And most of them are under 30.

    Left guard Kyle Kosier will be 10-time Pro Bowler Larry Allen's replacement. Kosier isn't going to record a lot of pancake blocks, but the Cowboys expect him to be more consistent when he's blocking linebackers or pulling to take out defensive backs.

    Akin Ayodele is advertised as a physical inside linebacker similar to Bradie James, who will make it difficult to run on first down. And when teams are forced into long-yardage situations on second and third down, Zimmer can be more creative and aggressive.

    Linebacker Rocky Boiman is known as an excellent special teams player. Combined with safety Keith Davis and receiver Terrance Copper, Boiman gives the Cowboys three players opponents will have to deal with on kick coverage.

    Ireland said the Cowboys have also tried to increase their versatility.

    Boiman can play all four linebacker positions, and Adoyele can play defensive end and rush the passer from that position. Kosier can play tackle, and Jason Fabini can play left tackle or right tackle.

    "We felt like we had several positions of need," said Ireland, "but we felt like we could help the front end of our roster as well as the back end. The more competitive the team is from the back end, the more it helps the starters and the special teams, which eventually helps you win games."

    FREE-AGENT HAUL
    The Cowboys have signed more free agents this year than any other. Their year-by-year signings:

    Year / Players.......Year / Players
    1993 / 0................2000 / 4
    1994 / 2................2001 / 0
    1995 / 3................2002 / 4
    1996 / 2................2003 / 6
    1997 / 0................2004 / 0
    1998 / 1................2005 / 4
    1999 / 2................2006 / 7

    CASH OUT
    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has spent more than $20 million in signing bonuses on seven players since the start of free agency March 4. The rundown:

    Player..................Pos..............Bonus
    Akin Adoyele..........LB.............$5 million
    Kyle Kosier.............LG............$5 million
    Terrell Owens........WR............$5 million
    Mike Vanderjagt.......K............$2.5 million
    Rocky Boiman.........LB...
  2. Eddie

    Eddie Well-Known Member

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    Wow, took us 10 years of lousy drafting to figure that one out. :bang2: :banghead:
  3. Chief

    Chief "Friggin Joke Monkey"

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    :laugh2:

    Yep, and apparently Jerry has now figured out that having a good kicker is critical, especially with the style this team plays. That would have been nice to have last year.
  4. david_jackson

    david_jackson New Member

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    You say that but most fans still want to draft by team need............Long term you are better off filling needs in free agency and draft BPA.
  5. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I think Dallas has been able to do both in recent drafts BPA that fits a need. We clearly do not want to reach for a player but normally there will be a few player slotted at a certain spot in the draft who are graded out fairly close then I think you add need to the scenario
  6. Eddie

    Eddie Well-Known Member

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    I just hope it doesn't bite us in the butt by not having a decent LS. I still have Randy Chevrie nightmares.

    A few poor snaps helped show Cortez out the door also.
  7. Holloway805

    Holloway805 05 & 09 Pick a Winner Champ

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    I dont care which way they go, BPA or need, but the first pick better be lining up first team against the Jags come September.
  8. NorTex

    NorTex Member

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    Yes, I totally agree!

    I think Stephen Jones is stretching the truth when he says we do better taking the BPA.

    If you look at the last two drafts, we drafted for need with our top picks: RB in 2004 and Pass rusher in 2005.
  9. Woods

    Woods Active Member

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    That's why I think we'll most likely take an OLB (or a player projected to play OLB) in the 1st round, rather than an OL in the 1st, for example. The 1st rounder has to start sometime during the season, if not the beginning of the season.

    It just so happens that this is a deep draft class for LBs which perfectly suits our needs.
  10. jswalker1981

    jswalker1981 Fact > Your Opinion

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    I totally agree about the depth of this draft. It is about time that a draft has depth at positions we need. Normally we can only fill one or two holes on the team with high quality players. Now it seems that we can pick which position to fill whenever we want. Don't get a FS in the first, that's fine, we still have the next two rounds to get a quality FS. Don't get an OLB in the first, there will be a good one there in the second. I just wish that the WR class was a little bit stronger.
  11. ravidubey

    ravidubey Active Member

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    We have needs at FS, LB, WR, OT, and OG. Three rounds won't cut it, so what positions get relegated to day two? IMO, OG is one position, but what about the other two?
  12. MrPhil

    MrPhil Member

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    If its me, I look at LB, OT and WR on day 1 unless a TOP FS or OG starts dropping. If we add an extra pick in a trade down, then throw in FS or OG. Address the other spots on Day 2.

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