Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Hill

Running game to blame for Romo's record?

August, 23, 2013
8/23/13
2:02
PM ET
Put in the historical context of Cowboys’ championship teams, Roger Staubach’s point about Tony Romo needing a better running game is right on.

Fact: The Cowboys have never won a Super Bowl without a top-five rushing offense.

PODCAST
Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to give his thoughts on the Sean Lee extension, discuss who Jerry Jones should sign to an extension next and take a look at the other three teams in the NFC East.

Listen Listen
Staubach and Troy Aikman had the luxury of working behind dominant offensive lines and sharing the backfield with fellow Hall of Famers in Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith. (The Cowboys didn’t have a Hall of Fame running back on their first title team, but Duane Thomas, Calvin Hill and Walt Garrison formed a heck of a committee.)

Here’s a quick look at the Dallas running game’s NFL rankings during the Cowboys’ championship seasons:

1971 – 3rd
1977 – 4th
1992 – 5th
1993 – 2nd
1995 – 2nd

By contrast, Romo has never quarterbacked a team with a top-five rushing offense. The only time the Cowboys ranked among the top 10 rushing offenses during his tenure as a starter just so happens to be the lone season in which the franchise won a playoff game over the last 16 seasons.

The Cowboys’ rushing ranks in the Romo era:

2006 – 13th
2007 – 17th
2008 – 21st
2009 – 7th
2010 – 16th
2011 – 18th
2012 – 31st

So Romo has only had a running game good enough to contend for the Super Bowl once, right? Not so fast. The Cowboys’ rushing offense has ranked higher than the Super Bowl champions’ four times during Romo’s tenure. The Giants won the Super Bowl two seasons ago despite ranking dead last in the league in rushing.

The Super Bowl winners’ rushing offense rank over the last seven seasons:

2006 Indianapolis Colts – 18th
2007 New York Giants – 4th
2008 Pittsburgh Steelers – 23rd
2009 New Orleans Saints – 6th
2010 Green Bay Packers – 24th
2011 New York Giants – 32nd
2012 Baltimore Ravens – 11th

The game has changed since the Cowboys’ glory years. It certainly helps to have a good running game, but it’s far from a prerequisite for winning a Super Bowl.

Now, more than ever, the NFL is a quarterback’s league. The lack of a quality running game might be a reason (or an excuse) for Romo’s lack of playoff success, but his peers have found a way to overcome the same problem in recent years.
The Cowboys have made only one statement, from consultant Calvin Hill, regarding the arrest of nose tackle Jay Ratliff on a driving while intoxicated charge.

Ratliff has spoken to Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones about the arrest. The team is planning a meeting with Mothers Against Drunk Driving after the Super Bowl to help educate the franchise about the dangers of drinking and driving.

In less than two months, the Cowboys have had two alcohol-related incidents involving their players. Josh Brent was charged with one count of intoxication manslaughter resulting in the death of practice squad player Jerry Brown back in December.

Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware was asked about the situations in an interview on Sirius/XM radio's Evan and Phillips morning show Friday from New Orleans.

"With me, I just think about making the right decisions," said Ware, who noted larger men think they can handle their alcohol better. "Sometimes you just got to get people around you that you can trust. If you’re staying out late, get a driver, get a taxi. That’s been the main thing in general with drinking and driving. In Texas, they do not play. They do not play at all with that. Just being careful with that. You got families and you have a lot of things at stake, and you have to be careful."

The Cowboys tout their player development program as helping players deal with all sorts so issues. That program will be leading the charge during this crisis.

Ware said if teammates are out having a good time, there needs to be the presence of mind for someone in the group to become a designated driver.

"You can be mad at me all you want to, but guess what? I just got you home safe, and then the next day you’re going to thank me," Ware said. "Instead of saying 'OK, I’m just not going to get into a fight with this guy and get some kind of adversity between us,' and he goes out and makes a bad decision and you're going to feel bad, so I think you got to put it on yourself to be there."

Calvin Hill's statement hits the right note

January, 28, 2013
1/28/13
3:26
PM ET
The Cowboys released a statement from the organization regarding the arrest of nose tackle Jay Ratliff.

It wasn't from Jerry Jones or Jason Garrett. It was from Calvin Hill.

Hill is the Cowboys' consultant for player development. He was the man Jones went to in the 1990s for help when his players were out of control. Jones knew Hill could form a program to solve problems, which was the case in the 1980s when Hill was asked by Cleveland Browns management to help their players with drug problems.

Two Cowboys have been arrested within the last two months for alcohol-related offenses. Josh Brent was charged with one count of intoxication manslaughter, which resulted in the death of practice squad player Jerry Brown back in December. Last week, Ratliff was charged with driving while intoxicated after his pickup truck hit a tractor trailer miles from where Brown died.

When I see that Hill is releasing a statement on behalf of the team, it tells me two things: 1. The Cowboys may believe their team has problems with alcohol. 2. They're taking Ratliff and Brent's arrests seriously because there could be a fear the NFL suspends both players for a long time, regardless of the legal process.

Hill's statement is a positive sign that the Cowboys are trying to solve their problems away from the field.

"Having recently experienced the most tragic of circumstances regarding this issue, we, as an organization, understand the ultimate consequences of driving while impaired," the statement began. "We know that one incident is too many. The critical goal is to effect the decision making process in the hours before the wrong decision is made."

A few days after Brent's incident, Hill told USA Today that maybe Cowboys' players should use a device called SafeKey, which prevents a car from starting if the driver is impaired.

"Obviously, we do whatever we can do," Hill told USA Today. "I don't know what more we can do. We're always examining and going over things."

The NFLPA might prevent something like this because of the controlling nature of it. The NFL might not would allow it either.

But when you see two incidents involving Cowboys players, it might be time to do something different.

"Our player assistance programs in the areas of preventing incidents such as these are at the highest level in professional sports, but we are always looking to do better and for ways to improve," Hill's statement said. " e will continue to draw upon the best expertise and resources available, both internally and from outside the organization, to work toward being the best in the areas of education, prevention, and effecting the right decisions."
Six days after Jay Ratliff's arrest for driving while intoxicated, the Dallas Cowboys released a statement from Calvin Hill, a consultant for the team's player development program.

"Having recently experienced the most tragic of circumstances regarding this issue, we, as an organization, understand the ultimate consequences of driving while impaired," the statement read.

"We know that one incident is too many.

"The critical goal is to effect the decision-making process in the hours before the wrong decision is made.

"Our player assistance programs in the areas of preventing incidents such as these are at the highest level in professional sports, but we are always looking to do better and for ways to improve. We will continue to draw upon the best expertise and resources available, both internally and from outside the organization, to work toward being the best in the areas of education, prevention, and effecting the right decisions.

"We have been in communication with Jay Ratliff regarding this incident, and we will monitor the legal process and work within the NFL guidelines for player behavior moving forward."
DeMarco Murray moved through the Cowboys’ locker room on crutches, a protective boot on his fractured right ankle and the hood from his sweatshirt over his head. He avoided eye contact with anybody en route the passenger seat of his sports car, which was parked right outside the locker room.

After a night to come to grips with his season-ending injury, Murray made his first public comments via Twitter.

“God is too good! Minor setback but guarantee I'll be back a better football player! Love my teammates and #cowboynation! Thanks for support!!” Murray tweeted.

Murray’s season ended with 897 yards on 164 carries. Tony Dorsett, Calvin Hill and Emmitt Smith are the only Cowboys to rush for more yards as rookies.

This is the third time in five years that an injury has prematurely ended Murray’s season. He dislocated his kneecap as a freshman at Oklahoma in 2007 and ruptured his hamstring tendon in 2008, leading to concerns about his durability that caused him to drop to the third round in the draft.

Coach K: Enjoyed time with Jason Garrett

February, 28, 2011
2/28/11
11:25
AM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- Last Thursday Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett raved about the chance to spend three days with Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Garrett and Krzyzewski spoke about handling players as well as scheduling and the structure of practices and meetings.

“I had very high expectations of Duke basketball,” Garrett said. “I’m a big fan, have been for a long time. My expectations were blown completely out of the water. It was amazingly good. Amazingly good. The people involved in that program, led by Coach K and his family, were really remarkable. It was a really, really impressive operation and something we aspire to with the Cowboys.”

It seems Garrett made an equally as favorable impression on Krzyzewski.

“He’s a remarkable guy,” Krzyzewski said on a Monday conference call. “Humble. We really enjoyed our three days together. I loved visiting with him throughout because it’s like talking to another head coach even though it’s a different sport. I was really impressed with him as the person he was and [he’s] sharp. Humble. Really a fantastic guy.”

The visit was set up by former Cowboys’ running back Calvin Hill, who is a consultant for the team and whose son Grant played for Krzyzewski.

Calvin Hill taken to Phoenix hospital

January, 29, 2010
1/29/10
12:23
AM ET
Calvin Hill, a former Cowboys running back and a consultant with the team's player development department, was taken to a Phoenix hospital in the third quarter of the Mavericks-Suns game as a precaution on Thursday night.

TNT reporter Cheryl Miller said Hill, who was attending the Suns-Mavericks game, wasn't feeling well.

"I was told he was feeling much better," Miller said on the telecast.

Calvin Hill's son, Grant, plays for the Phoenix Suns.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider