PFW: Cowboys sign James to extension; Gurode, Newman next in line (NFCE blurbs)

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    The Way We Hear It

    Cowboys sign James to extension; Gurode, Newman next in line

    Following the extension signed by LB Bradie James for five years and $20 million (with a signing bonus of $8 million), the Cowboys have doled out more than $33 million in signing bonuses over the past four months. TE Jason Witten signed a six-year deal worth $28 million total. S Roy Williams received a record-breaking bonus for a safety at $11.1 million as part of a new five-year, $25.2 million deal. And QB Tony Romo signed on for two more years at $3.9 million. The team has guaranteed nearly $35 million in the past three years to LBs Al Singleton, DeMarcus Ware, Kevin Burnett, Akin Ayodele, Bobby Carpenter and James.

    The Cowboys haven’t always been known for being proactive, but the team now has taken care of its significant free agents for 2007. The only ones of any significance left are OG Andre Gurode, OT Marc Colombo, DE Kenyon Coleman, Singleton and S Marcus Coleman, who is serving a four-game suspension. Expect the team to start talking to Gurode, who Bill Parcells said was playing the best football of his career through two games, about an extension. And there is already talk that the team will try to set some early contract parameters for CB Terence Newman, who can become a free agent in 2008.

    The way we hear it — directly from the horse’s mouth — it’s a virtual certainty WR Terrell Owens will be in the starting lineup when the Cowboys take on the Eagles in their highly anticipated Week Five matchup.

    “I’ll be ready,” Owens said definitively late last week, four days after having a plate inserted on top of the fourth metacarpal of the hand he injured while making a block in the first quarter of the Cowboys’ Week Two victory over Washington — an injury that was initially projected to keep him out of action 2-4 weeks.​

    With the Cowboys on bye this past weekend, Owens’ latest injury — he earlier missed 21 practices with a strained left hamstring suffered in training camp, which kept him out of the Cowboys’ first three preseason games — has apparently progressed enough for some on the scene to suggest that he might not miss any games.

    But that might be pushing it, according to our sources.

    At this writing, with no clear-cut timetable having been established for Owens to even begin catching passes in practice, we hear the odds are better than 50-50 that head coach Bill Parcells will take the cautious route with his new featured receiver and keep him on the sideline in Tennessee.

    Beyond acknowledging that they appear to match up quite favorably against the Titans even without T.O. on the field, the Cowboys, we’re told, also look at this game as a great opportunity to give more playing time to undrafted free agent Sam Hurd, who made a great impression in the preseason and could figure prominently in the team’s future plans. Hurd is expected to start at split end against the Titans, with Patrick Crayton staying in the slot.

    Not only is Owens’ latest injury rehab ahead of schedule, we hear he has also gone out of his way to keep from becoming the same kind of obvious distraction he gradually became in Philadelphia, where the city’s notorious boo-birds will no doubt be chirping at a fever pitch come Week Five.

    When asked a few weeks back about his take on the Cowboys’ situation at quarterback — where promising backup Tony Romo is looking closely over the shoulder of starter Drew Bledsoe — Owens emphatically refused to address the topic.

    That said, as we’ve all come to learn, the ever-combustible receiver could become unglued at a moment’s notice, and T.O.’s developing chemistry with the notoriously thin-skinned Bledsoe is something worth keeping a close eye on.

    Past Dallas WWHI >

    NY Giants

    The pass defense clearly has been a sore spot to date, and the Giants’ new acquisitions have either been quiet or exposed for all the wrong reasons. CB Sam Madison was picked on in the win over the Eagles in Week Two, as he failed to keep pace with speed and double moves. Scouts had been warning PFW back in August that Madison appeared a step slow in the preseason, and it appears to be showing in games that count, too. FS Will Demps has made some plays but has been relatively silent in terms of pass coverage. Perhaps the one newcomer who has performed better than expected has been nickel back R.W. McQuarters, who has two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown, and has done a nice job in coverage. But don’t blame it all on the secondary — the vaunted pass rush has been held in check with only two sacks in three games. The team will need to apply more pass-rush pressure to take the heat off a secondary in flux. Otherwise, it will have more games like the 42-30 loss to Seattle, in which it gave up five TD passes.
    Past NY Giants WWHI >


    Special-teams coordinator John Harbaugh must deal with the trickle-down effect that has come with injuries to CBs Lito Sheppard and Rod Hood, as it relates to Harbaugh’s choice for a kick returner. Following Sheppard’s injury, the team re-signed CB Dexter Wynn, who handled punt and kick returns in his first game in Week Two. Now the question becomes: Will Wynn keep either job, or even a roster spot, after Sheppard returns to health? Wynn is seen as a far better punt returner than kick returner, and Harbaugh told PFW that the KR job will be based on a “merit system,” but he also said that Reno Mahe, slowed by an ankle injury, will be back on PR duty when he gets healthy. “Everyone in Philadelphia thinks Reno is the ugly duckling. They just don’t want to like Reno, and yet he did lead the NFL in punt-return average (in ’05). First of all, he’s one of the most secure guys you are ever going to see catching the ball. And he ... just makes yards. He makes people miss; he breaks tackles. He’s not the fastest guy. I am not so sure he is going to score a touchdown, but he sure is going to get you yards. There’s something to be said for that.” The team would like to avoid putting injury-prone RB Brian Westbrook back on punts if possible.

    Past Philadelphia WWHI >

    The team spent a lot of time — and money — remolding the receiver corps in the offseason, adding Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle El and jettisoning Taylor Jacobs. Surrounding WR Santana Moss and TE Chris Cooley with more weapons clearly was the objective, giving the offense more balance. But after two games, that balance was way out of whack. No. 5 WR James Thrash had the same number of catches (one) as Lloyd. Cooley had fewer yards than FB-TE Mike Sellers. Randle El was averaging six yards a catch and had fewer receptions than RB Ladell Betts. Sunday’s win over Houston helped spark the passing game somewhat, when Mark Brunell completed his first 22 passes in the game. Against the Texans, Al Saunders’ play-calling clearly called for high-percentage, short passes in order to get his quarterback in a rhythm. At some point, the Skins are going to have to establish a downfield passing attack to keep defenses honest.

    Past Washington WWHI >


    Cowboys SS Roy Williams is off to a great start. After being criticized for not being better in coverage in 2005, Williams has made two interceptions, a good indication of the hard work he put in this offseason.

    Giants Pro Bowl gunner David Tyree told PFW he estimates it has been about “three times harder” to make special-teams tackles and try to down punts because of his reputation as one of the league’s best coverage guys. “Because of the effectiveness I have had ... downing punts, now I get double-teams (on almost every punt). It’s a little difficult, but you have to fight through it.”
  2. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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    What did I miss? When did Bledsoe become "notoriously thin-skinned"?
  3. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    When PFW wrote it apparently. :rolleyes:

    And so now that it's been written in one publication, it will be stated as fact from now on.
  4. CrazyCowboy

    CrazyCowboy Well-Known Member

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    Newman will break the bank........Mr. Jones dreads that deal

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