Dallas Cowboys: 2013 Hall of Fame

Holloman's celebration will have to wait

August, 5, 2013
CANTON, Ohio – DeVonte Holloman will always have the Hall of Fame Game.

The rookie linebacker came up with the play of the day with a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown after grabbing a tipped pass and sprinting to the end zone to give the Cowboys a 17-0 lead with 6:35 left in the first half.

“I thought about it the whole way here, and it actually happened,” Holloman said of his pick-six. “I had a celebration in my mind and I was kind of overwhelmed so I decided to celebrate with my teammates instead.”

Holloman’s interception was one of two takeaways by the Cowboys' defense against the Dolphins. On Miami’s first play from scrimmage, the exchange between quarterback and running back was muffed and Nick Hayden came up with the ball.

Four plays later, the Cowboys had a 7-0 lead after a Phillip Tanner touchdown.

“The correlation between taking the ball away and scoring points in this league is huge,” coach Jason Garrett said. “When we’ve played our best around here it’s been when we’ve been taking the ball away and protecting it.”

Holloman hopes it is not his last takeaway. He might get to show off the celebration.

So what was it anyway?

“I might save it for later,” he said, “so I can’t spoil it.”

Matt Johnson to have MRI on ankle

August, 4, 2013
CANTON, Ohio -- Safety Matt Johnson will have an MRI on his left ankle when the Cowboys return to Oxnard, Calif., on Monday morning.

Johnson was hurt in the second quarter of Sunday’s 24-20 win against Miami as he tracked down wide receiver Chad Bumphis on a 45-yard gain. Johnson landed awkwardly as he tackled Bumphis and limped to the sideline.

X-rays during the game were negative.

Also, defensive end Ben Bass was kicked in his left knee after defensive end Kyle Wilber pressured quarterback Matt Moore. Bass was examined by the medical staff and did not return to the game, but owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he was told it’s not believed to be serious.

Running back Phillip Tanner had X-rays on his left arm. He left in the first quarter but was able to return to the game. After the game, Tanner said he was fine.

Rookie wide receiver Terrance Williams did not play against the Dolphins after suffering a concussion in practice Friday but still made the trip to Canton.

“I’m going to tell you day by day, but we don’t think what he has is a serious issue,” coach Jason Garrett said of Williams' status.

Run-happy Cowboys pound away

August, 4, 2013
CANTON, Ohio -- At the opening training camp news conference, coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys need to run the ball more and need to run the ball better in 2013.

In Sunday’s 24-20 win against Miami, the Cowboys got the more (34 carries) and the better (170 yards).

Joseph Randle led the Cowboys with 70 yards on 13 carries. Phillip Tanner had 59 yards on 10 carries, including a touchdown. Lance Dunbar had 22 yards on four carries to start the game. Kendial Lawrence had a 5-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.

“I thought it was a good start running the football,” Garrett said. “We ran it well. We ran it a few different ways. We ran it inside. We ran on the edge. I thought the backs ran hard.”

The Cowboys had only one game last season with more than 34 carries (42 at Baltimore). They had five games with 17 or fewer runs last season. They ran it 17 times in the first half Sunday.

“There’s always room for improvement,” Tanner said. “We’ve still got a long ways to go. We’ll go watch the film, capsulize what we did well, and look at what we did wrong and fix that. But this felt like a solid foundation.”

Rapid Reaction: Cowboys 24, Dolphins 20

August, 4, 2013

CANTON, Ohio -- The Dallas Cowboys opened their preseason with a 24-20 win against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in the Hall of Fame Game thanks to a stingy defense and a solid running game, which was something they did not really have last season.

The Cowboys have now won their preseason opener four straight years. What does that mean? Not much, since they have missed the playoffs in three of the last four seasons.

What it means: With a new playcaller on offense in Bill Callahan and a new defense led by Monte Kiffin, getting off to a good start is a positive. The only starters that played were tackles Tyron Smith and Doug Free, center Travis Frederick and linebacker Justin Durant. Free and Smith played a series. Frederick moved over to guard in the second quarter and for some of the third. Durant played a handful of series. While it’s still a question, the Cowboys found some answers for depth in guys like George Selvie, Phillip Tanner and Joseph Randle.

DeVonte Holloman with a pick-six: The rookie linebacker had the most athletic play of the night when he reached back to snag a Matt Moore throw intended for Chad Bumphis. Holloman was able to compose himself and then sprint 75 yards for the touchdown, slamming Moore to the turf with a facemask. Last season, the Cowboys forced turnovers at an alarmingly infrequent rate, which led to Rob Ryan’s firing and Kiffin’s arrival. On the first series, Nick Hayden came up with a fumble recovery that set up Tanner’s touchdown run. In the second half, the defense forced two fourth-down stops.

There’s a running game: One of the biggest complaints about Jason Garrett was his willingness to abandon the run. Callahan’s background as an offensive coordinator has many believing the Cowboys will have more balance. In the first half, the Cowboys’ three runners -- Tanner, Randle and Lance Dunbar -- averaged more than five yards per carry. In the second half, Randle did a nice job of picking up yards on his own. The Dolphins weren’t playing many of their regulars, but the fact that the Cowboys ran it 17 times for 97 yards in the first two quarters was a good sign. Last season, the Cowboys had four games in which they had fewer than 17 carries. Even undrafted rookie Kendial Lawrence got into the act with a 7-yard touchdown run with 1:57 to play in the game.

Injury concerns: Safety Matt Johnson was off to a good start by starting the game, but he was hurt tracking down Bumphis on a 45-yard catch and run. He suffered a left ankle sprain and did not return. Defensive end Ben Bass hurt his left knee and did not return to the game but appeared to be fine on the sideline. He did not go to the locker room for X-rays, and he did not receive extra attention from the athletic training staff. Tanner hurt his left arm in the first quarter but was able to return to the game.

What’s next: The Cowboys play at Oakland on Friday in preseason game No. 2, and the starters will see some playing time against the Raiders.

Video: Larry Allen's Hall of Fame speech

August, 3, 2013

Longtime Dallas offensive lineman Larry Allen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame after 10 career Pro Bowl selections in 14 NFL seasons. Click here for the full transcript of Allen's speech.

Larry Allen was an easy call for Hall

February, 2, 2013
NEW ORLEANS -- Larry Allen said he started crying when he got the news Saturday night that he had been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

Makes sense. What Allen did for a living -- play guard in the NFL for 14 years, the first 12 with the Dallas Cowboys -- was crushing work. While Allen might have been one of the most decorated guards in NFL history, being selected to 11 Pro Bowls, winning a Super Bowl and being elected to two all-decade teams, the amount of attention offensive linemen get isn't commensurate with the difficulty of the work they do. Quarterbacks get the glory, as do star wideouts, running backs, pass-rushers and even the occasional cornerback.

After doing what he did as well as he did it for as long as he did it, to be elected to the Hall of Fame as a no-brainer on the first try has to be supremely gratifying.

It's not a surprise, though. Allen must have been one of the easiest calls the voters made this year in their eight-hour (!) selection meeting. He was an absolutely dominating player -- an All-Pro selection every year from 1995-2001. He had strength, instincts and incredible speed and quickness for a man of his mountainous size.

During his time, he was the very best in the entire league at what he did, and the length of time for which he did it makes him one of the best offensive linemen of all time. If you didn't know that a couple of hours ago, Allen now has proof. He is, officially, a Hall of Famer.