Dallas Cowboys: Super Bowl

Four ex-Cowboys part of Super Bowl XLVI

January, 30, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- For the 16th straight year the Dallas Cowboys will be represented at the Super Bowl by former players.

Four ex-Cowboys will be on the sidelines Sunday when New England plays the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Defensive back Nate Jones and fullback Lousaka Polite play for the Patriots, while defensive tackle Chris Canty and wide receiver Isaiah Stanback are on the Giants.

Canty starts for the Giants, while Jones and Polite are backups for the Patriots. Stanback is on the Giants’ practice squad.

Canty was a fourth-round pick by the Cowboys in 2005. Jones was a seventh-rounder in 2004 in the same round that produced Patrick Crayton and Jacques Reeves, which is a great job by the scouting department to have three keepers that late. Stanback was a fourth-round pick in 2007 but his conversion from college quarterback to wide receiver was slowed by a foot injury.

The four had some memorable moments:

Canty seemed to play his best against the Giants, which could have led to his six-year, $42 million deal he signed with New York in 2008, but his most memorable moment as a Cowboy came in 2007 when he blocked a 48-yard field goal attempt by Minnesota and saw safety Patrick Watkins return it for a touchdown. The Cowboys won, 24-14.

Jones’ most memorable moment came in 2007 as well when the Cowboys all-but clinched homefield advantage in the NFC. He can also be credited for hastening the Aaron Rodgers’ Era in Green Bay because he knocked Brett Favre out of the Nov. 29 meeting by hitting the quarterback’s arm on a blitz off the edge. Rodgers played well in Favre’s absence and became the Packers’ starter the next year.

Polite joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2004. I guess his most memorable moment came in 2006 when Julius Jones, Marion Barber and Tyson Thompson scored rushing touchdowns in a 45-14 win at Tennessee. Others might remember that as Vince Young’s first career start. Polite’s better moments came when he followed Bill Parcells’ & Co. to Miami.

Stanback’s moment was a 58-yard kickoff return against Seattle in 2008. Unfortunately the Cowboys did not score on that drive and he caught all of two passes before he was released before the 2009 season began.

Cowboys among Super Bowl XLVI favorites?!

February, 8, 2011

Jerry Jones believes he’s pinpointed the root of the Cowboys’ problems in 2011.

“We read our press clippings,” Jones said last week, inferring that the Cowboys’ heads were swollen by all the positive preseason hype.

Well, the Cowboys have a big problem. They’ll have to figure out a way to keep the players away from Las Vegas this offseason, and that’ll be especially tough with the lockout looming.

The Cowboys apparently can’t afford to have their egos pumped up too much, so better not let them see that the MGM/Mirage wise guys have given them 8/1 odds to win the Super Bowl next season. Only the Packers and Patriots, who are both 6/1, have better odds.

Let’s see. The Packers just won the Super Bowl. The Patriots have a three-time Super Bowl champion quarterback and had the best record in the NFL this season. Sure, it makes sense to consider a Cowboys team coming off a 6-10 debacle just a tier below those teams.

Super Bowl

What Jason Garrett can learn from Tomlin

February, 2, 2011
When Jason Garrett became the interim coach with the Cowboys this season he needed to change the culture. He made players wear full pads on Wednesdays, shoulder pads on Thursday and shells on Friday.

He instituted a dress code, placed digital clocks around the locker room to make sure players arrived to meetings on time.

And once Garrett was hired as the head coach on full-time basis, he said he wants training camp to be physical and is increasing the accountabilty around Valley Ranch.

It remains to be seen if any of the veteran players on the Cowboys will embrace Garrett, once the 2011 season begins with its minicamps and organized team activities.

The thought of how Garrett will conduct himself in his first season on the job in 2011 brought to mind how Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin conducted business his first year.

"When he first got there, he was very militant," wide receiver Hines Ward said of Tomlin, who is going to coach in his second Super Bowl on Sunday vs. the Green Bay Packers. "I remember making guys wear certain things. There were some veteran guys that challenged his authority, and they’re no longer here. At the same time, the guys that he kept, we bought into his belief and his system. They don’t give a coaching rule or a coaching book on how to be a head coach."

Garrett had plenty of success in 2010, going 5-3, with three road wins. But Garrett is also part of the staff that finished 6-10 for the 2010 season.

He will have four years to fix this mess.

One thing Garrett can learn from Tomlin is the ability to adjust. It seemed Garrett has done that somewhat as the 2010 season wore on he relaxed the requirment of players wearing full pads on Wednesday's as the season progressed.

How Garrett reacts to his veteran players, many who have strong voices, when things get tough will be interesting. Last season, the veteran players were seeking any help to change the season around. Many players brought into what Garrett was trying to do.

The same happened with Tomlin with the Steelers.

"The first year, I remember two-a-days, we were full pads the whole time in training camp, and by the time that we made it to the playoff game against Jacksonville, we were a beat-up team," Ward said. "Then he adjusted on the run. Once I think he saw the type of players he had on his team on a day-to-day basis and knows how we practice, how we get through the week of preparation, he started to cut back a little bit. He’s not going to drive everybody into the ground."

It was cold in Cowboys Stadium, too

February, 1, 2011
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The roof of Cowboys Stadium was closed Tuesday for obvious reasons but that did not mean it was a climate-controlled temperature inside the $1.2 billion joint.

Several players at either end of the podiums that stretched the length of the field sported goose bumps as they spoke on Media Day because of a windy draft that came through the tunnels.

“It’s freezing,” Steelers right tackle and former Cowboy Flozell Adams said.

At one point Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark yelled over to newly-crowned Defensive Player of the Year Troy Polamalu during the Steelers’ hour-long session, “Troy, tell them to turn on the heat. They’ll listen to you.”

The Steelers and Packers were hoping to avoid the colder climate, especially being inside.

“I want it to leave,” Green Bay wide receiver James Jones said. “I don’t want it to be here. It’s not that cold. I mean there is a little snow on the ground, but we’re from Green Bay, we can deal with it. It was crazy when we were driving up here and they were putting sand on the roads. I’m like, ‘What are you guys doing putting sand on the ground? You guys are going to get us stuck.’”

Flozell Adams not crying over Cowboys

January, 31, 2011
FORT WORTH -- Flozell Adams didn't talk with reporters much when he played with the Cowboys for 12 years.

He grumbled at times and offered some off-the-record comments from time-to-time. But when it came for something insightful, you didn't get much.

But Adams talked with reporters on Monday about how he was let go by the Cowboys last season. The team wanted to move Doug Free from right tackle to left tackle and to do so it had to let Adams go.

There are no hard feelings.

"It's one of the things with the game. Whether you’re a rookie an old vet it's going to happen eventually," Adams said. "I just did what I had to do and picked a team I wanted to go to. I wasn’t crying or anything like that or boo-hooing. I was like 'OK, that's it. It's time to move to the next level,' and that’s what I did."

Adams said he still speaks to some of his old teammates and exchanges text messages with Free.

"I talk to Doug and he did a pretty good job this year. I taught him well," Adams said. "I always watched their games whenever I can and just look at him and hopefully he won. Sometimes he messed up and I would text him and say 'You know you're not supposed to do that.'''

Adams went from playing for Jerry Jones, one of the NFL's more visible owners, to the Rooney family, among the more reserved owners.

"They have different styles," Adams said. "They're both great organizations and I like being with the Cowboys and I like being here. It's a two-way street going in the same direction."

Icy weather won’t dampen spirits

January, 31, 2011
DALLAS -- The only hiccup so far in the preparation for Super Bowl XLV is the weather.

The forecast calls for a wintry mix of freezing rain, snow and sleet Tuesday with a high of 36 degrees. The high Wednesday is expected to be 23 degrees. Temperatures could reach 60 on Sunday prior to the kickoff.

“The only disappointment so far is the weather,” Super Bowl XLV Host Committee chairman Roger Staubach said. “I’ve got Coach Landry and my mom, I know they’re in heaven, working on it.”

President and CEO of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee Bill Lively said the committee prepared for the worst-case scenarios in terms of weather. They have a fleet of trucks available to help the local authorities if needed.

“Everything else will work,” Lively said. “Maybe more slowly, but everything will work.”

Cowboys made right call on Flozell Adams

January, 31, 2011
The Cowboys’ front office can be criticized for a lot of things. The decision to cut Flozell Adams ranks far, far down the list.

Adams is making a triumphant return to Cowboys Stadium on Sunday as the Steelers’ starting right tackle for Super Bowl XLV. That doesn’t mean the Cowboys made a mistake by letting Flo go after a dozen years in Dallas.

The Cowboys made the right call to give the 35-year-old Adams’ left tackle job to Doug Free, who is their youngest and best offensive lineman.

It could be argued that the Cowboys would have been better off cutting Marc Colombo, the line’s weakest link this season, and moving Adams to the right side. But you can’t assume that Adams, a five-time Pro Bowler with a lot of pride, would have willingly accepted the position change. And it’s completely ignoring the financial part of the equation.

The Cowboys would have had to pay Adams a total of $7.5 million last season, including the roster bonus that was due right after he was released. Colombo made $4.14 million. The Cowboys kept the tackle who was way overpaid instead of the tackle who was way, way overpaid.

The Steelers were desperate for a veteran offensive tackle when they signed Adams this summer after Willie Colon suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon. Adams made a much more reasonable $2.5 million this season, a salary he earned with his solid performance.

Adams has problems in pass protection, even on the right side, ranking 22nd in the NFL with 6.5 sacks allowed this season, according to Stats Inc. (Colombo allowed 9.5.) He’ll need a whole lot of help when matched up against Green Bay’s Clay Matthews.

However, the Steelers’ running game is at its best when Rashard Mendenhall ran behind Adams. Pittsburgh averaged 5.9 yards per carry behind the right tackle, which ranked second in the league, according to ESPN Stats and Information. The Cowboys were a middle-of-the-pack team running behind right tackle, averaging 4.0 yards per carry.

Give Adams credit for playing a key role for the AFC champions. He’s earned the right to puff out his chest as he returns to the Metroplex, with his Pittsburgh linemates celebrating their arrival by wearing Adams’ green Michigan State jerseys.

But the Cowboys wouldn’t have been much, if any, better if they had kept Adams. They still wouldn’t have been a playoff team.

And right tackle would still rank near the top of their offseason needs.

With Super Bowl in town, Cowboys hurt more

January, 31, 2011
DALLAS -- Cowboys are everywhere throughout North Texas as Super Bowl XLV festivities kickoff this week and the thought of not being in the game is hitting home more now than it did after the Jan. 2 regular-season finale.

“It’s hard to watch it and look at other teams out there,” running back Tashard Choice said. “That feeling you want to keep that to motivate you so you can be there. But it’s hard being here seeing Super Bowl things and the people coming to the city of Dallas. It’s a good thing but it would’ve been better if we were in the game.”

Choice and Felix Jones were part of Visa’s Financial Football seminar on Monday in which they played a game against Chicago’s Matt Forte and Lance Briggs with students from two high schools. The game, which had the teams answering finance questions, ended in an 8-8 tie with the Cowboys having a field goal miss wide to the right.

Given the 6-10 finish to their season, that seemed almost fitting.

Hines Ward is dressed for Texas

January, 31, 2011
FORT WORTH -- Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was dressed as a Cowboy when he arrived here for a chat with reporters.

Ward, the veteran wide receiver, wore a black Cowboys hat, a Western-styled black shirt and black cowboys boots with designer jeans.

When asked would it be cool to win a Super Bowl in the home of the Cowboys given the rivalry between the teams he said, "I don't think we want to win it just because we're in Cowboys Stadium. It would be cool just to win it just to win it. To win three Super Bowls for a lot of guys on this team, to win our organization's seventh Super Bowl."

The Cowboys have played the Steelers three times in the Super Bowl. Dallas lost SB X and XIII but won XXX. The was the Cowboys' last Super Bowl victory.

"It's kind of ironic the history between the Cowboys and the Steelers over the years," Ward said. "I'm pretty sure a lot of Dallas fans don't want to see Pittsburgh win the Super Bowl on their home field. That's a motivation but I don't think that's the main motivation for guys to try and win it on Cowboys turf. We win it, we want to win it for ourselves for our city of Pittsburgh and for our organization."

Teams on their way to Super Bowl XLV

January, 30, 2011

The Super Bowl is here and there are plenty of events going around North Texas, from the autograph sessions at NFL Experience in downtown Dallas to the various charity functions.

The two biggest events Monday concern the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers.

Mike Golic joins Ben and Skin to talk about the Super Bowl experience and what this next week is going to look like as we warm up for the final showdown of the season.

Listen Listen
The Steelers are scheduled to arrive at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport around 11:30 a.m. After that, coach Mike Tomlin and several other players, including former Cowboys tackle Flozell Adams, will conduct a news conference in Fort Worth.

Green Bay gets to town around 3:30 p.m. Coach Mike McCarthy, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a few other players will hold a news conference later in the day in Irving.

Even though the game is a sellout, there are still tickets available from brokers. You could get on StubHub and purchase two tickets for $2,299 apiece. There are also Premium club seats that cost around $8,000.

Several ticket brokers are saying prices are steady but things should pick up this week when a bulk of the out-of-town fans arrive.

Need a hotel room? Good luck.

The Hilton Fort Worth downtown has no rooms available, yet the Hilton Arlington has rooms starting at $599 a night. And don't forget the tax.

The Marriott City Center in downtown Dallas has rooms starting at $799, but if you can't afford that, check out the Fairfield Inn Suites in Dallas for about $289.

Of course, you could rent somebody's house or apartment and have to kick out some huge sums of money.

Super Bowl XLV upon us, wait for buzz

January, 29, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- Super Bowl XLV Week is finally upon us but it will take some time for things to really feel like a giant party.

This will be the 14th Super Bowl that I’ve covered, going back to when Denver beat Green Bay in Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego. I can still see John Elway twirling in the air near the goal line. Great game. Great atmosphere.

Maybe this game between two of the NFL's most storied franchises will have such a memorable moment, too.

As much as the NBA All-Star Game last year prepared the area for this, the Super Bowl is the All-Star Game on performance enhancing drugs.

The host cities of these games must be prepared for two things: traffic and all of the visitors to rip your hometown or, in this case, hometowns. Don’t be offended. About the only city that does not get torn apart during Super Bowl week is New Orleans and that’s because too many people have hangovers courtesy of the French Quarter to complain about anything else.

And don’t expect the buzz of the event to start until, say, Thursday night. That’s when the bulk of the people come to the area. There will be the beautiful people going to the places to be seen all around town at the chic hotels and clubs. There will be expensive parties complete with red-carpet entrances – even for those who do not deserve a red-carpet entrance.

If there’s one hint I can offer up: unless you really, really, really want a specific piece of Super Bowl memorabilia wait until the day after game and the price will be slashed. You will be able to find some bargains.

Because of the scope of North Texas it will be interesting to see where the people congregate. When Phoenix hosted the Super Bowl a few years ago, downtown was dead. Just about everybody called Scottsdale home for the nightlife. Last year South Beach took in most of the party scene but Fort Lauderdale had its share of good times too.

So this year will it be Dallas’ Uptown, West End or Deep Ellum or Fort Worth’s Sundance Square, with ESPN on-location, that becomes the home for the Packers and Steelers fans?

Maybe you are already troubled by seeing two of the Cowboys’ rivals in this first Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium. By the end of the week you will be even more tired of the Terrible Towel and Cheeseheads.

Just smile and take it all in and know the next time the Super Bowl could return is Super Bowl L.

By then the traffic should be gone.

Drew Pearson saves Lombardi Trophy

January, 28, 2011

From The Associated Press:
DALLAS -- Former Dallas Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson showed off his sure hands and kept the Lombardi Trophy from possibly showing up at the Super Bowl incomplete.

The 1978 Super Bowl winner was carrying the trophy during its Dallas-Fort Worth unveiling Thursday when an escalator he was on suddenly stopped, sending him lurching forward. Pearson can be seen in an online video disappearing from the screen, then emerging with the trophy unscathed in his plastic-covered hands.

Media reports say Pearson turned one hand loose to grab a railing on the escalator and keep his balance. He quickly put two hands back on the trophy, though.

Pearson has one of the most famous catches in NFL history -- the so-called Hail Mary from Roger Staubach that beat Minnesota in the 1975 playoffs.

Could Cowboys adopt XLV seating plan?

January, 28, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- Through two seasons at Cowboys Stadium the Cowboy have had two games draw more than 100,000 fans. The 2009 home opener vs. the New York Giants had the highest attendance (105,121) and the regular-season finale that year against Philadelphia drew 100,621.

With 15,000 temporary seats in the end zone decks for Super Bowl XLV, it got me to wondering if the Cowboys could add some seats for big regular-season games or playoff contests, like an NFC Championship Game in the future.

Unofficially the Cowboys aren’t sure they would be able to turn around such a scenario in a short time. The NFL removed the decks filled with Ford trucks, the Miller Lite stage the dancers call home as well as other signage in both end zones. They started de-constructing the stadium on Jan. 8 and some of the temporary seating was not finished as of Thursday.

“There’s a lot going on in terms of moving things around to make the platforms ready,” Cowboys senior director of corporate communications Brett Daniels said.

Had the Cowboys hosted an NFC title game this year plans were in place for how to adjust the set-up schedule with the possibility of extra temporary seating. Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones is a big proponent of the party passes that give fans standing room access.

Texas has grown share of Super talent

January, 28, 2011
The $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium probably could have sold itself, but the North Texas Super Bowl committee's pitch to the NFL focused on the state's rich football tradition.

This is only the third Super Bowl to be held in the Lone Star State, but there have been plenty of Texas-grown players to star on the game's biggest stage.

Here's a team of the best Texas products in Super Bowl history. Players had to play high school and/or college football in Texas to qualify and were judged based solely on their Super Bowl performances.

NFL, Super Bowl

Jerry Jones proud of Packers, Steelers

January, 24, 2011

MOBILE, Ala. -- While Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is sad his team won't be playing in the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on Feb. 6, he said he is proud of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers.

The Steelers will make their eight trip to the big game, tying the Cowboys for the most trips, and this is the Packers' fifth trip.

"Great tradition. Outstanding teams," Jones said after watching a practice at the Senior Bowl on Monday. "I had hoped it would be matchups that would be notable and in its own way, with what the Packers are about and what the Steelers are about, it makes a great game. If you’re in my shoes right now as far as the Cowboys Stadium is concerned, I’m really proud that they’re going to be there. I’m proud for North Texas."

The Super Bowl will have at least one small market team playing for the third consecutive year.

Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, New Orleans and now Green Bay have played in the game. Arizona is considered a large market and lost to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLIII.

But this Super Bowl has two of the NFL's more storied franchies in the Steelers and Packers.

"It would have been hard for me to draw it up any better," Jones said.