Dallas Cowboys: Chris Canty

Cowboys pick Ken Bishop in 7th

May, 10, 2014
May 10
IRVING, Texas -- The pick: Ken Bishop, defensive tackle, Northern Illinois

My take: The Cowboys took their third defensive linemen of the draft in Bishop, who is 6 feet, 306 pounds. He fits as a run defender for a unit that struggled to stop the run too often in 2013. The Cowboys signed Terrell McClain as a free agent and have Nick Hayden, a starter last year, but Bishop had 70 tackles last season and was named a first-team All-MAC selection. He had 16.5 tackles for loss in two seasons with 3.5 sacks.

Notable: Bishop was among the national visitors the Cowboys hosted at Valley Ranch prior to the draft ... The last time the Cowboys took three defensive linemen in one draft was in 2005 when they took Marcus Spears, Chris Canty and Jay Ratliff.

Cowboys need more Bradie James picks

May, 7, 2014
May 7
IRVING, Texas -- In talking about Bradie James on Tuesday, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones could not help but think of the draft.

It wasn’t just that the draft is coming up Thursday. It was something James signified in turning into a starter from 2005-11 with the Cowboys, a captain and the leading tackler for a six-year run.

“When I think about the fourth-round value of what Bradie brought us, that’s where you’re trying to go,” Jones said.

James was the 103rd pick of the 2003 draft. When the Cowboys moved to the 3-4 scheme in 2005, he became a better fit for the defense. He was a sure tackler, dependable player and good leader. He was solid in a lot of ways.

Since James, the Cowboys have not been so fortunate with their fourth-round selections.

In 2005 they drafted Marion Barber (109 overall) and Chris Canty (132 overall). In 2007 they drafted Doug Free (122 overall). Barber earned a Pro Bowl spot and was a tough runner. Canty was a solid player for four years before leaving in free agency. Free is the Cowboys' starting right tackle.

Since selecting Free in the fourth round, however, the Cowboys have not found an every-day starter. Running back Tashard Choice (122 overall, 2008) started four games in parts of four seasons. Quarterback Stephen McGee (101 overall, 2009) and Victor Butler (110 overall, 2009) combined to start three games. Brandon Williams (120 overall, 2009) never made an impact in part because of a knee injury.

The Cowboys never figured out of Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (126 overall, 2010) was a cornerback, safety or wide receiver in his two seasons with the team. David Arkin (110 overall, 2011) never started a game.

In 2012, the Cowboys picked Kyle Wilber (113 overall) and Matt Johnson in the fourth round. Wilber became a starter out of necessity last year but at outside linebacker after playing defensive end in the 4-3. Johnson has yet to play in a game because of an injury.

Last year the Cowboys took cornerback B.W. Webb (114 overall) and he did little to inspire the stopping of what has become a trend.

Successful drafts are determined by the quality of depth a team forms in the later rounds. In 2003, the Cowboys found James and he went on to become the franchise’s sixth all-time leading tackler. Free has been a starter since 2009.

The Cowboys need more of those guys this week in order to have a successful draft in 2014 and less of the Arkins, Butlers and McGees.

Reviewing Cowboys' free agency: 2010

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
With free agency entering the final stages, we'll review the Cowboys' past five free-agency classes.

We'll continue with 2010.

Players signed: None

Starts earned: 0

Analysis: This was the first time the Cowboys didn't sign anybody in free agency since 2008. However, the Cowboys who lost six players the previous season in free agency, including two former draft picks (Kevin Burnett and Chris Canty), allowed safety Ken Hamlin and guard Cory Procter to leave. The Cowboys maintained the playing status of Keith Brooking (16 starts), Igor Olshansky (14 games) and Gerald Sensabaugh (15 games) from the previous free agency class. What is interesting about this class was the draft. The Cowboys snagged future starter Sean Lee in the second round and a quality backup defensive lineman in Sean Lissemore in the seventh round. The Cowboys also used their supplemental draft pick on defensive end Josh Brent. Dallas finished this season at 6-10 and coach Wade Phillips was fired after a 45-7 loss at Green Bay. Jason Garrett took over and the Cowboys had a strong finish, 5-3. It's the only time Garrett ended a season above .500 mark.

Grade: Incomplete

Seattle's best? Picks tell tale over Dallas

February, 3, 2014
Feb 3
IRVING, Texas -- Is it too soon or too late to remind Dallas Cowboys fans that Akwasi Owusu-Ansah was drafted 13 spots before the Seattle Seahawks chose Kam Chancellor in the fifth round of the 2010 draft?

Or is too soon or too late remind them that Josh Thomas was picked 11 spots before the Seahawks took Richard Sherman in the fifth round of the 2011 draft?

Today, Chancellor and Sherman are celebrating a Super Bowl victory. Thomas at least made it to the playoffs with the Carolina Panthers as a reserve. Owusu-Ansah was on the Detroit Lions' practice squad last year. Maybe we can ask new Cowboys playcaller (and former Lions offensive coordinator) Scott Linehan how Owusu-Ansah looked.

When a team wins a Super Bowl, we all look for the differences as to why Team X played in the Super Bowl and Team Y didn’t, and we say, "Copy those guys. That’s the way to get it done."

It doesn't work that way. Well, it shouldn't work that way. A team has to have its own philosophy and make it work. Stick with it and hope it pays off. That’s what Jason Garrett has referred to as building a program. It’s maddening to hear, especially after three 8-8 seasons, but there is truth in what Garrett is saying.

The biggest difference between the Seahawks and Cowboys is the draft. Well, that and the Seattle defense. But for this post we’ll stick with the draft.

Since 2010, the Seahawks picked 12 players from the third round and later -- or who were undrafted -- who have crucial roles in the team's success. The Cowboys have DeMarco Murray, a third-rounder in 2011, and three undrafted free agents. I could have counted Dwayne Harris, but the Cowboys actually cut him and needed him to pass through waivers before putting him on the practice squad in 2011.

If the Cowboys had not traded Sean Lissemore before the 2013 season, I would have counted their seventh-round pick in 2010 on the list.

As for undrafted picks, I’ll go with Barry Church (2010), Dan Bailey (2011) and Ronald Leary (undrafted, 2012). I wasn’t ready to say that Kyle Wilber (fourth round, 2012) and/or James Hanna (sixth round, 2012) are crucial to the Cowboys’ success.

In order to win a draft, teams have to be successful in the middle rounds. The Cowboys have not been successful in the middle rounds in years. As a result, they lack depth. When they lose starters, they have to scour the street for help. When the Seahawks lose a player, they plug in a mid- to late-round pick as if nothing ever happened.

If we want to eliminate the third round, which is where Seattle drafted quarterback Russell Wilson in 2012, the Cowboys have to go back to the 2008 draft to find a real hit for the Cowboys in Rounds 4-7: cornerback Orlando Scandrick (fifth). Doug Free (2007) turned into a good fourth-round pick only after the Cowboys were forced to play him in 2009. The golden year was 2005 when the Cowboys got Marion Barber (fourth), Chris Canty (fourth) and Jeremiah Ratliff (seventh) in what was then the second day of the draft.

The Seahawks can point to guys like Sherman, Chancellor, Walter Thurmond (fourth, 2011), Byron Maxwell (sixth, 2011), Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith (seventh, 2011), K.J. Wright (fourth, 2011), Robert Turbin (fourth, 2012), J.R. Sweezy (seventh, 2012), Doug Baldwin (undrafted, 2011) and Jermaine Kearse (undrafted, 2012).

They aren’t merely contributors. They are difference-makers.

If the Cowboys want to alter their "secret sauce" recipe, they can look at the Seahawks' cookbook.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- While the main discussions on Wednesday surrounded right tackle Doug Free's status, defensive tackle Jason Hatcher talked about his own contract status.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett discuss the latest Cowboys news, including DeMarco Murray's running style, Miles Austin's new exercise routine and Jason Hatcher's confidence in the defensive line.

Listen Listen
Hatcher, who will be paid $2 million in 2013, is in the final year of his contract. No contract talks have started between the sides.

"I'm sure I want to be back," Hatcher said after winning a charity home run derby event at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. "You can't make guys want you. You got to go out and perform. Sometimes it's a numbers thing, sometimes it's a money thing. Hopefully I will be back."

The Cowboys have let some homegrown defensive linemen leave in the past, from Chris Canty to Stephen Bowen.

Former first-round pick Marcus Spears was tendered twice and eventually received a second contract from the Cowboys, before getting released after the 2012 season. Spears signed with the Baltimore Ravens this offseason.

Hatcher has become a dependable member of the Cowboys defensive line and will change positions, moving from end to tackle, in 2013. The Cowboys had a chance to draft a defensive tackle in the NFL draft last week but declined.

"I love the state I’m in," Hatcher said. "I love the organizaton. I love my teammates. I'm going to go out here and play my butt off; that's what they pay me to do. I'm not going to worry about a contract at all."
When Chris Canty officially signed a deal with the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday it reminded me of one of the best Cowboys draft classes in some time: the class of 2005.

That draft class produced seven-time Pro Bowler DeMarcus Ware, the Cowboys' first-round pick, another Pro Bowler in running back Marion Barber, who was selected in the fourth round, and Jay Ratliff, who was taken in the seventh round and has been a Pro Bowler, as well.

What makes this class so good? 1. Bill Parcells had something to do with it. 2. Jerry Jones convinced Parcells that Marcus Spears would be around later in the first round; he was. 3. Starters were produced.

Of the eight players taken by the Cowboys in that draft, Ware, Spears, Kevin Burnett, Canty, Rob Petitti and Ratliff made the Cowboys roster. Ratliff, Ware and Spears still remain with the team. (UPDATE: The Cowboys will part ways with Spencer.)

Petitti, fellow sixth-round pick Justin Beriault and Barber are currently out the league.

But overall, the 2005 class has staying power. It's expected that Burnett will get a job somewhere, and if Spears gets released -- his status is uncertain at this stage -- he will find another gig, as well.

When you think about what the Cowboys will and won't do in free agency, think about the good things they've done in the draft -- especially the 2005 class.

Free-agency series: Defensive tackles

March, 6, 2013
Fourth in a 10-part series breaking down the Cowboys' free-agency needs, position-by-position:

Defensive tackles


What is the Cowboys' biggest problem along the defensive line?


Discuss (Total votes: 3,089)

Who’s on the roster: Ben Bass, Josh Brent, Rob Callaway, Jason Hatcher, Ike Igbinosun, Brian Price, Jay Ratliff, Marcus Spears and Monte Taylor.

Analysis: Ratliff and Hatcher are the starters and there is a hope Ratliff will emerge as an impact player with the move from nose tackle to defensive tackle. There is some concern about Spears' role with the team. Is he a tackle in this scheme? What about Tyrone Crawford, who was drafted as a 3-4 defensive end. Does he move to tackle? Bass showed some signs in training camp he can play a little bit and will be given a chance to prove himself again. Callaway was called up late in the season and, like Bass, will get an opportunity to receive significant playing time.

NFL free agents of interest: Brian Schaefering, Chris Canty, Amobi Okoye.

Need meter: 4. Schaefering will return because he's a exclusive rights free agent. Canty is a former Cowboy who has played in a 4-3 scheme. Canty moved from end to tackle with the New York Giants. Okoye, 25, is a young talent who might be worth looking at. He could have an immediate impact. Of course, the draft will dictate what the Cowboys do in free agency. One thing new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said he wants is speed, speed and more speed. His scheme wants solid pass rushers up front who push the pocket. If you can't do that, don't expect to play for him.

5 Wonders: No. 3 WR committee coming

November, 6, 2012
IRVING, Texas – Millions will wonder who will win the presidential election today. We’ve got Five Wonders as the Cowboys prepare for the second half to start Sunday at Philadelphia, and none of them will be related to Sean Payton.

Here we go:

Matt Mosley joins Ben and Skin for his weekly segment to talk Cowboys.

Listen Listen
** Maybe it had something to do with Kevin Ogletree’s sore hamstring, but I wonder if the Cowboys are about to go to a committee with their No. 3 wide receiver role. Or maybe Ogletree’s hamstring acted up after he dropped a third-down pass. The Cowboys used Dwayne Harris more vs. Atlanta than they had been, even if he did not catch a pass against the Falcons. They had a package for Cole Beasley, as well. Tight end James Hanna saw more work, too. Ogletree did have three catches for 96 yards and a touchdown, but there is a high level of frustration with him at Valley Ranch. He has had some good moments this season but he has had some down moments, too. The Cowboys cannot be as patient with him as other players, and I’m wondering if the patience level is close to empty.

** I’m just about done wondering about the Cowboys’ red-zone offense. The Cowboys’ red-zone touchdown percentage is tied for 26th in the NFL. They went 0-for-2 against Atlanta and had one throw into the end zone, and it came on a pass to Cole Beasley. This isn’t a 2012 problem. It goes back a few years. I wonder if the Cowboys need to steal pages from the playbooks in New Orleans (I promised no Payton references), Denver, Green Bay and New England. Heck, Tampa Bay too. I understand that the field is compressed and there is not a lot of room to make things happen. A good running game will help, right? New Orleans has three rushing touchdowns. Green Bay has two. Denver has five. You can pass in the red zone and score. The Cowboys seem to use Jason Witten more as a decoy in the red zone than a target. Go look at what Pittsburgh does with Heath Miller and try some of those plays. The fade in the end zone to Dez Bryant can work, but it’s not a high-percentage throw. If the Cowboys are going to turn things around in the second half of the season then they must score touchdowns. Groundbreaking, I know.

** I wonder about the sideline communication of the Cowboys defense during the game. Why are there multiple instances in which players are running on and off the field and the defense cannot get set in time for a play. In the first half the Cowboys rushed two guys once because they did not have the proper personnel on the field on time, and Julio Jones made a first-down catch. In the fourth quarter the Falcons snapped the ball before the defense could get set. The only thing that saved a touchdown was an athletic breakup by Brandon Carr. It’s happened far too often in Rob Ryan’s tenure. Something is missing in getting the personnel groups from upstairs or the calls from the coaches to the players on the sideline or the calls from the coach to the on-field personnel. Anthony Spencer might have saved the Carolina game with a timeout as he was running off the field because of a late personnel change prior to a fourth-down play. The Panthers made a first down but the officials luckily gave the Cowboys a timeout. If Ryan wants to be a head coach, then he has to straighten out the organization he has on defense.

** I wonder how healthy guard Nate Livings is. He has not been on the injury report, but there are whispers around Valley Ranch that he has played the last few games with a sore knee. It hasn't kept him out of practice or forced the Cowboys to put him on the injured list, but he has struggled the last two weeks. He was beaten for sacks by Chris Canty and Jonathan Babineaux the last two games. He started off the season fairly well, and right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau struggled. Now Bernadeau is playing better and Livings is struggling. It makes you wonder what the Cowboys think of backup Derrick Dockery to not give him some work at all. Dockery did OK in his two starts last year and maybe a week of rest will help Livings. He missed some time in training camp with a knee/hamstring injury. Livings is the type to not make excuses. He will fight on, and that’s part of the reason why the Cowboys signed him. But at some point the team might have to make a decision.

** The Cowboys have signed defensive end Sean Lissemore and safety Barry Church to modest extensions during the regular season. I wonder if they should look at another safety, Danny McCray. He has done a nice job filling in for Church, and, yes, I realize he missed Jacquizz Rodgers on a third-down play on Atlanta’s final scoring drive. McCray wanted to show he could be more than a special teams specialist and he’s proven he can handle a defensive role. Is a long-term starter? No, but he is a guy you want around. The Cowboys drafted Matt Johnson to be a safety of the future, but he has not been able to get on the field this year. In 2009 they drafted two safeties that did not make an impact. McCray, an undrafted free agent in 2010, has delivered. Church received a four-year extension that could max out at $12 million. You wouldn’t go that high with McCray, but he has added to his value with his work on special teams and defense.

Look back: Cowboys press strong again

October, 30, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- In two games against the Cowboys, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has been held to 213 and 192 yards passing with one touchdown pass and one interception.

The pass rush helped even if the Cowboys did not sack Manning often (three times in the opener, once on Sunday) but an aggressive secondary helped more.

In the Sept. 5 meeting, the Cowboys played full press 27 times, half press 15 times and off 10 times. On Sunday the Cowboys played full press 24 times, half press 25 times and off 12 times.

In the Cowboys’ previous two games against Baltimore and Carolina, the Cowboys did not play full press coverage more than 10 times in either game.

That aggressiveness by Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Orlando Scandrick and Mike Jenkins against the Giants threw off the timing between Manning and his receivers. Carr played press coverage on 27 individual snaps and 15 times he played safety when the Cowboys went with their dime package.

So far this season when the Cowboys play physical up front with the wide receivers they have had success.

** When you call 67 pass plays against the Giants, you’re asking an awful lot of the offensive line. The Giants had four sacks of Tony Romo but the line held up OK against the likes of Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Chris Canty.

Bad timing on breakdowns, however, hurt. Nate Livings got overextended as he attempted to block Canty once and the former Cowboy was able to sack Romo for a 12-yard loss late in the third quarter. Doug Free made Umenyiora virtually invisible but on the fourth-and-1 play Umenyiora’s jump off the snap forced Free to hold, which would have negated a first down. Romo’s pass was ultimately picked off so it didn’t matter.

The Giants brought five defenders or more 12 times and Romo completed eight passes. He was not sacked in those instances but was picked once. Jason Witten and Miles Austin caught four passes apiece when New York brought five-plus.

The Giants’ four sacks came on four-man rushes, as did two of the three picks of Romo. The Giants are one of the few teams that can rely on a four-man rush to get after the quarterback.

** Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan relied on a four-man rush most of the time as well. He brought five or more guys just once in the game. DeMarcus Ware’s sack of Manning and Danny McCray’s interception came on four-man rushes.

** On Monday Jason Garrett was asked about the receivers’ ability to break up possible interceptions, pointing to Corey Webster’s pick of Romo as an example with Austin falling off balance as he turned for the deep ball.

On the first series of the game the Cowboys had Reuben Randle covered, but Jenkins slipped on the deep throw, allowing a 56-yard reception. Later in the game Manning threw a sideline pass to Randle when he was blanketed by Carr.

In those cases he might not have made the best decision, but his receivers made a play for him. Counter that for Romo when Austin slipped and Bryant was unable to come up with two down-the-field throws in the second half that were contested catches but plays above-average receivers should make.

Breaking down Tony Romo's interceptions

October, 29, 2012

IRVING, Texas – In seven games, Tony Romo has 13 interceptions, easily putting him on pace for a career high.

In a full season, Romo has never thrown more than 19 picks. In his last two full seasons (2011, 2009) he had 10 and nine interceptions.

So far 2012 has been a different story.

Cowboys QB Tony Romo talks about the pain of losing a hard-fought game and says the fans were right to boo the team.

Listen Listen
In his last two home games he has been intercepted nine times by Chicago and the New York Giants.

Let’s break down the four Sunday against the Giants:

Interception No. 1: It’s first and 10 from the Dallas 45 after a 23-yard pickup by Miles Austin. The Cowboys have an eight-man protection, which means only Austin and Dez Bryant are out in a route. The protection is solid against the Giants’ four-man rush and Romo tries to laser a throw to Bryant, who is supposed to run a deep crossing route. After the game Bryant said he was off balance and could not sharpen his route. As a result, safety Stevie Brown is able to step into the interception. It was a forced throw of sorts, but Bryant has to take some blame for not running the route correctly.

Interception No. 2: It’s first and 10 from the Dallas 24 and Romo wants to take a shot against the New York secondary. The Cowboys use a six-man protection with Felix Jones and Lawrence Vickers serving as checkdown options. Jason Witten is in to block. Austin is on the numbers as he runs down the field with cornerback Corey Webster to the outside. Romo’s throw is high and to the outside. As Austin adjusts he is nudged by Webster and is off balance and unable to contest the pass, giving Webster the easy pick. Again, not the best of throws, but Romo is trusting Austin to make a play or at least knock it down and he can’t.

Interception No. 3: It’s second and 7 from the Dallas 34. Romo is under early pressure from Chris Canty, who beats guard Nate Livings. Sensing the pressure, Romo tries to loop a pass to Jones, who is releasing from the backfield. Unfortunately Jason Pierre-Paul senses Jones going out on the route and stops rushing. As a result Tyron Smith is not engaged with Pierre-Paul and the defensive end makes one of the most outrageous plays you will see. He picks off the pass and returns it for a touchdown. That one you tip your cap to JPP for a great play.

Interception No. 4: It’s fourth and 1 from the New York 19. The Cowboys need 1 yard for a first down and go with the pass. The Giants rush four and the Cowboys protect with five guys. Osi Umenyiora beats Doug Free and Romo is forced to flee to his right while being chased by Umenyiora, Canty and Linval Joseph. Knowing it’s fourth down, he throws the ball toward Witten by the sideline, but Brown comes up with his second interception. Given the situation, the quarterback can’t just eat the ball on fourth down. Poor protection led to this pick. But why not run some shorter route to Witten? If they have him take three steps and turn around it’s a first down, but he is running down the seam.

Drive of the game: Cowboys' three-and-out

October, 28, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas – Momentum can be a funny thing.

The Cowboys had it in the third quarter with touchdowns on their first two drives and a Danny McCray interception. But they quickly lost it after McCray’s turnover.

Leading 24-23 and writing the best comeback in team history, the Cowboys had a real chance to possibly put New York away with another touchdown.

The first thing that went wrong, however, was a replay decision that took away 22 yards on McCray’s return. Instead of first down at the Giants 43, they had first down at their own 35.

On first down, Romo was sacked by Chris Canty for a 12-yard loss. On second down, a Tony Romo screen pass to Felix Jones was incomplete with Justin Tuck providing pressure. On third down Phillip Tanner picked up 13 yards on a dump pass, forcing a punt.

The Cowboys had scored on four straight possessions until that point and would not score again.

The Giants followed that drive with a 43-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes to re-take the lead 26-24 with 10:20 to play.

Chris Canty: Tony Romo is mistake-prone

June, 28, 2012

Former Cowboys defensive tackle Chris Canty, now a member of the world champion New York Giants, joined SportsNation on Tuesday to provide insight into former teammate Tony Romo.
Galloway & Company react to Giants DE Chris Canty's comments directed towards Cowboys QB Tony Romo. Randy says, among athletes, Romo is the most hated played in the NFL.

Listen Listen

The 2005 Cowboys draft pick called Romo a top-5 quarterback statistically but one who hasn't performed well in the clutch. Canty also said the Cowboys quarterback is prone to make mistakes, which is the difference in the fortunes of the Giants under Eli Manning and the Cowboys.

Is Canty boasting or does he have a point? Both?

Martellus Bennett joins Giants

March, 14, 2012
IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys did not expect to retain Martellus Bennett as a free agent nor were they trying very hard to do so, but now they have to prepare to play him twice in 2012.

Bennett has joined the New York Giants with a one-year, $2.5 million deal, viewing the Cowboys’ NFC East rival as the best spot to become a No. 1 tight end after spending the last four seasons as Jason Witten’s backup.

The Giants had a need with Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard suffering major knee injuries in Super Bowl XLVI and Bennett moved to the top of the tight end list after a number of players were re-signed before free agency began.

In four seasons, Bennett, a second-round pick in 2008, caught 85 passes for 846 yards with four touchdowns, all of which came in his rookie year. A solid blocker, Bennett was never able to become a regular part of the passing game and he was unable to take advantage of the limited opportunities he received.

The Cowboys were ready to move on from Bennett and have spent part of the day visiting with free agent Kellen Davis, who had five touchdown catches last year for Chicago. Another possible target, John Carlson, was signed by Minnesota earlier in the day.

It's the second time in four years the Giants have signed a Dallas free agent. They signed defensive end Chris Canty in 2009 to a seven-year, $42 million deal.

Chris Canty embraced by the Giants

February, 1, 2012
New York Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty still has fond memories of his time with the Dallas Cowboys. He spent four seasons with the Cowboys before leaving in free agency, signing a six-year $42 million deal with $16 million guaranteed.

The Cowboys weren't going to spend that money on a defensive tackle/end they didn't deem an elite player.

So, Canty moved to the Giants, a team looking for a run stopper.

"They’re known for drafting pass rushers and here they are signing a run stopper," Canty told reporters at the Super Bowl in Indianapolis on Wednesday. "It’s like what am I doing here? It’s a tremendous opportunity to come and be part of a great organization, a great defensive line and a great football team. When I had the opportunity to come from Dallas, I had to take advantage of it."

Canty is still close with several of his teammates with the Cowboys including Jay Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware. The Cowboys defensive line is a close-knit group, much like the offensive linemen. When Canty signed his new deal he said it was difficult, yet, it was a business and there were no hard feelings.

"When I initially came in, it was different because I was drafted to the Cowboys. I came in with a rookie class of DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Jay Ratliff and Marion Barber," Canty said earlier in the week.

"We all kind of grew up together. Coming to a new team as a free agent with no one else, it’s a little bit different dynamic, but this team has embraced me and I love each and every one of these guys. I wouldn’t rather take the field with anyone else other than these guys. It’s just a tremendous opportunity and I’m thankful to play with the New York Giants."

Former Cowboys still playing

January, 6, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- One of Jason Garrett’s final messages to the Cowboys’ players on Monday was to watch the playoffs and let the feeling burn a little and serve as motivation in the offseason.

If the players take Garrett up on that message, then they will see some familiar faces playing or coaching on wild-card weekend. There are 10 former players among the six teams playing this weekend and five former coaches.

Cincinnati – Mike Zimmer, Pacman Jones, Dennis Roland
Pittsburgh – Shaun Suisham
Houston – Wade Phillips, Reggie Herring, Bobby King
New York GiantsChris Canty. (Isaiah Stanback is on the practice squad.)
Detroit – Bobby Carpenter, Leonard Davis, Stephen Peterman
New Orleans – Pat McQuistan, Scott Shanle, Sean Payton

Only Denver and Atlanta do not have former Cowboys players and coaches.