Dallas Cowboys: Jason Vega

Cowboys snap counts: defense

January, 6, 2014
Jan 6
IRVING, Texas -- No team in the NFL needed more players on defense than the Dallas Cowboys in 2013.

They had 41 defenders with cornerback Brandon Carr playing the most (1,116 snaps) and Dez Bryant playing the least (three). The Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints had the second most with 32 players on defense.

In training camp, the Cowboys’ projected defensive line was Anthony Spencer, Jason Hatcher, Jeremiah Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware. Hatcher played the most snaps (747) but that was only 66 percent of the snaps. Ware missed three games and played 628 snaps (55 percent). Spencer played 34 snaps in one game before his season ended. Ratliff, of course, played none before his release.

Nick Hayden played the most snaps on the defensive line (821). George Selvie did not join the team until training camp began and played 744 snaps.

With Hatcher and Spencer set to be free agents and Ware coming off a career-low six sacks, the Cowboys need to refurbish their defensive line in a way where Hayden and Selvie are not playing as much.

The Cowboys used 20 defensive linemen during the season, although Kyle Wilber moved to linebacker late in the season and played 501 snaps.

It might not have seemed this way, but Jeff Heath played only 79 more snaps than J.J. Wilcox.

Defensive snaps:

1,116 – Brandon Carr
1,088 – Orlando Scandrick
1,015 – Barry Church
874 – Bruce Carter
821 - Nick Hayden
747 – Jason Hatcher
744 – George Selvie
702 – Sean Lee
628 - DeMarcus Ware
594 - Jeff Heath
515 - J.J. Wilcox
506 – Morris Claiborne
501 – Kyle Wilber
380 – Ernie Sims
275 – Jarius Wynn
254 - Drake Nevis
207 – DeVonte Holloman
197 – Justin Durant
178 – B.W. Webb
163 – Will Allen
153 – Everette Brown
144 – Caesar Rayford
117 – Corvey Irvin
81 – Sterling Moore
72 - Edgar Jones
63 – Cameron Lawrence
49 – David Carter
46 – Jason Vega
45 – Jerome Long
38 – Landon Cohen
34 – Anthony Spencer
34 – Frank Kearse
24 – Kyle Bosworth
22 – Micah Pellerin
20 – Everett Dawkins
20 – Martez Wilson
16 – Jakar Hamilton
15 – Marvin Austin
8 – Danny McCray
6 – Orie Lemon
3 – Dez Bryant

Dallas Cowboys penalty breakdown

January, 1, 2014
Jan 1
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys had 102 accepted penalties in 2013, which were the fewest they have had in the Jason Garrett Era, but the 867 yards were the most.

In 2011 the Cowboys were flagged 112 times for 802 yards. In 2012, they had 118 penalties for 853 yards.

In Sunday’s NFC East title game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, they were penalized once for 5 yards and it never should have been a penalty. The officials did not restart the playclock and the Cowboys were called for a delay of game.

Here’s the breakdown (includes declined, offsetting penalties):

Offensive holding - 24
False start – 17
Defensive holding – 12
Offside – 9
Defensive pass interference – 8
Neutral zone infraction – 7
Unnecessary roughness – 6
Offensive pass interference – 6
Illegal use of hands – 5
Face mask – 4
Illegal block above the waist – 4
Delay of game – 4
Roughing the passer – 3
Unsportsmanlike conduct – 3
Intentional grounding – 1
12-men on the field – 1
Encroachment – 1
Horse-collar tackle – 1
Illegal contact – 1
Offside, free kick – 1
Illegal formation – 1
Illegal shift – 1
Personal foul – 1

Player by player:

8 – Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick, Ronald Leary, Doug Free

7 – Tyron Smith

6 – Morris Claiborne, George Selvie

5 – Dez Bryant, Barry Church

4 – Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Kyle Wilber

3 – Cameron Lawrence, Travis Frederick, Jarius Wynn, Bruce Carter, DeMarcus Ware

2 – Ernie Sims, Jason Hatcher, J.J. Wilcox, James Hanna, Dwayne Harris, Jason Vega, DeMarco Murray, Nick Hayden

1 – Sean Lee, Miles Austin, Will Allen, Mackenzy Bernadeau, L.P. Ladouceur, Jermey Parnell, Brian Waters, Terrance Williams, Kyle Bosworth, B.W. Webb, Cole Beasley, Lance Dunbar, Kyle Orton, Caesar Rayford

Penalty breakdown: Three in lead with six

November, 13, 2013
IRVING, Texas – When compared to recent years, the Dallas Cowboys have done a fairly good job of staying away from penalties. Still, they remain on pace for 107 on the season. While that is high, it would be their fewest in a season since 2007.

Through 10 games the Cowboys have been penalized 81 times, with 67 penalties accepted. Orlando Scandrick, Ronald Leary and Tyron Smith lead the Cowboys with six penalties apiece.

Scandrick has had three defensive-holding penalties, two pass-interference penalties and a face-mask penalty. Leary has had three holding penalties, two false starts and one flag for illegal use of hands. Smith has had three holding penalties, two false starts and an illegal-formation penalty.

Here’s the breakdown for the rest of the team:

5: Morris Claiborne, Doug Free
4: Dez Bryant, Barry Church, Brandon Carr
3: Kyle Wilber, Jason Witten
2: Ernie Sims, Tony Romo, Travis Frederick, James Hanna, Dwayne Harris, George Selvie, Bruce Carter, Jason Vega, Nick Hayden, team/bench
1: Sean Lee, Jason Hatcher, Cameron Lawrence, Will Allen, Mackenzy Bernadeau, L.P. LaDouceur, Jermey Parnell, Brian Waters, Terrance Williams, Kyle Bosworth, DeMarco Murray, Cole Beasley, DeMarcus Ware, J.J. Wilcox, Caesar Rayford

Cowboys' DL moves since May

November, 6, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- Since May 16, the Dallas Cowboys have signed, traded, acquired, put on injured reserve or released 28 defensive linemen. They saw another, Josh Brent, retire on July 18.

Everett Dawkins and Hall Davis are the latest additions. Dawkins was signed off the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad to the active roster, and Davis filled the final practice-squad vacancy.

There has been an incredible amount of movement on the Cowboys' defensive line. If you remember the Travis Chappelear era consider yourself fortunate.

Check out these transactions by date involving only the defensive line:

May 16 – Signed Anthony Hargrove
June 5 – Waived/injured Robert Callaway
June 11 – Signed Jeris Pendleton
June 20 – Cut Hargrove
June 25 – Signed Jerome Long
July 18 – Josh Brent retired
July 26 – Signed George Selvie and Landon Cohen
July 31 – Cut Ike Igbinosun, signed Toby Jackson
Aug. 1 – Waived/injured Cameron Sheffield
Aug. 6 – Waived Monte Taylor, signed Jabari Fletcher
Aug. 12 – Signed Travis Chappelear
Aug. 13 – Claimed Thaddeus Gibson
Aug. 19 – Waived Chappelear, Jackson
Aug. 21 – Signed Jason Vega
Aug. 26 - Cut Pendleton
Aug. 27 – Placed Tyrone Crawford on injured reserve, Jay Ratliff on reserve/PUP
Aug. 31 – Cut Fletcher, Gibson, Long, Vega; acquired Edgar Jones from Kansas City
Sept. 1 – Traded Sean Lissemore to San Diego
Sept. 2 – Signed Vega to practice squad
Sept. 3 – Acquired Caesar Rayford from Indianapolis
Sept. 5 – Chappelear waived off injured reserve
Sept. 7 – Placed Ben Bass on injured reserve; re-signed Long
Sept. 17 – Cut Cohen, signed David Carter
Sept. 24 – Cut Long, signed Drake Nevis
Sept. 25 – Placed Anthony Spencer on injured reserve
Oct. 15 – Cut Carter, Signed Jarius Wynn
Oct. 16 – Released Ratliff off reserve/PUP
Oct. 18 – Signed Vega off practice squad; placed Jones on IR to return list
Oct. 21 – Signed Marvin Austin
Oct. 29 – Released Vega; signed Everette Brown
Oct. 31 – Signed Vega to practice squad
Nov. 5 – Cut Austin
Nov. 6 – Signed Everett Dawkins off Minnesota practice squad; signed Hall Davis to practice squad

Micah Pellerin excited for Cowboys call up

November, 1, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- To say Dallas Cowboys cornerback Micah Pellerin is excited for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings is an understatement.

In a 14-word sentence, he used the word “excited” five times.

The Cowboys will call up Pellerin from the practice squad officially on Saturday. They will need to create a roster spot for him, which could be placing guard Brian Waters on season-ending injured reserve.

The Cowboys needed Pellerin because Morris Claiborne will miss Sunday’s game against the Vikings with a hamstring injury and is expected to be out until the Nov. 17 bye. With Pellerin, the Cowboys will have four cornerbacks on the game-day roster with Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick and B.W. Webb.

Pellerin joined the Cowboys’ practice squad last season for the final three weeks.

“To be really good you just have to be using the techniques and making them work for you,” Pellerin said. “So you can grade yourself (in practice) like you would in a game and also going against Dez Bryant, that’s really good practice. I know it’s not going to get much harder than that.”

Pellerin will be the fourth practice squad player to get called up in as many weeks, joining Cameron Lawrence, Jason Vega and Jakar Hamilton.

The timing could not have been better for Pellerin. He just finished paying a $15,750 fine for a hit in a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals based off his $6,000-a-week salary. He will make $480,000 this season, or roughly $23,823 per week before taxes.

“A little universal justice or something like that,” Pellerin said. “I don’t know what they call it ... I was thinking about flipping burgers on the side but I didn’t have the time.”

Cowboys call up Jakar Hamilton

October, 26, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- With rookie safety J.J. Wilcox out of Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions with a knee injury, the Dallas Cowboys called up Jakar Hamilton from the practice squad.

To make room for Hamilton the Cowboys cut guard David Arkin, a fourth-round draft pick in 2011, who did not see an offensive snap in two seasons. If he clears waivers, he could be brought back to the practice squad.

This season, Arkin was inactive for six games and did not play in the only game that he was active for.

The Cowboys do not believe Wilcox, who was hurt in Thursday’s practice, has a long-term injury. The hope is that he could return next week against the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 3. Wilcox has started the past five games but will be replaced by another rookie, Jeff Heath, on Sunday.

Hamilton has spent the year on the Cowboys’ practice squad after he was among their final cuts.

It is the third straight week the Cowboys have dipped into the practice squad to fill a spot. Two weeks ago they added linebacker Cameron Lawrence and last week they added defensive end Jason Vega.

Cowboys' practice eye-opener for Austin

October, 23, 2013
IRVING, Texas – Marvin Austin received an unexpected welcome in his first day of on-field work with the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday.

“One thing I can say is practice is the realest I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Austin said.

The Cowboys signed Austin on Tuesday. He spent two seasons with the New York Giants and was with the Miami Dolphins for two games before his release earlier this month.

“It's definitely a new beginning and a lot to build on,” said Austin, who is not only wearing Jay Ratliff's old No. 90 but also occupying Ratliff's old locker.

The Cowboys have reshaped their defensive line throughout the year. At 6-foot-2 and 312 pounds, Austin provides more size and speed on the line's interior. A former Giants second-round pick, Marvin is hoping -- as are the Cowboys -- that defensive line coach Rod Marinelli has the same effect on the 24-year-old that the coach had on the Cowboys' other no-name defensive linemen, such as George Selvie Nick Hayden, Caesar Rayford, Jason Vega and Jarius Wynn.

“His track record speaks for itself, and coach [Monte] Kiffin’s also,” Austin said. “The way those guys coach and the success they’ve had in this league, I mean, I have no excuses.”

The first thing Austin has to do is get in better shape.

“Not good enough,” he said when asked how he felt. “To be honest with you, just the way they practice and the way they want you to go out there and play, I’ve got to keep working every day to get in shape to go out there and perform.”

Cowboys add WR to practice squad

October, 22, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- Having hit on one Baylor receiver in Terrance Williams, the Dallas Cowboys are seeing if they can make it two in Lanear Sampson, who was signed to the practice squad on Tuesday.

Sampson, a Mesquite, Texas, native, was among the Indianapolis Colts’ final cuts after signing as an undrafted free agent. He caught 165 passes for 1,905 yards and 11 touchdowns at Baylor and saw his yardage total increase every year. As a senior, he caught 52 passes for 646 yards and had six touchdowns.

He replaced defensive end Jason Vega on the practice squad after Vega was called up to the 53-man roster last week.

With Miles Austin slowed by a hamstring strain, the Cowboys want to make sure they have enough fresh legs in practice, especially for the scout team. With Sampson, the Cowboys have two receivers on the practice squad. Jamar Newsome was re-signed on Monday.

Cowboys call up DE Jason Vega

October, 18, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- With injuries to DeMarcus Ware, George Selvie and Jason Hatcher, the Dallas Cowboys called up defensive end Jason Vega from the practice squad.

Vega signed with the Cowboys in training camp on Aug. 21 after his release from the New England Patriots and was among their final cuts. In the preseason finale vs. the Houston Texans he had four tackles, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery. He spent the first six weeks of the season on the practice squad.

“It’s a good feeling knowing that I’ve been working hard a long time for this given that this is my first year in the NFL,” Vega said.

Vega played two years for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL before joining the Patriots as a free agent.

Given the tempo at which the Eagles play, Vega figures to be part of the defensive line rotation Sunday.

“They make a pretty good effort to make sure we know the plays, even the practice squad guys, in case of events like this so we’re called up and ready and not trying to go through a learning curve,” Vega said. “The coaches have done a really good job of keeping me up to date in terms of what I need to know.”

Vega will also be carrying the torch of sorts for his alma mater, Northeastern University. The school dropped the football program after the 2009 season and he is the lone active player on an NFL roster.

“I think it’s moreso for the guys I used to play with,” Vega said. “I hear from them every once and a while and they’re like, ‘You’ve got to keep playing for us. You’re the last one,’ type thing. That’s really good to hear.”

A look at Cowboys possible cuts

August, 25, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- By Tuesday, the Dallas Cowboys will have to make 13 roster moves to get to the 75-player limit.

While some teams will make the moves before the deadline, the sense is the Cowboys will not be announcing their cuts on Sunday, so we’ll take some educated (stop laughing) guesses.

The only lock is that defensive end Tyrone Crawford will be moved to injured reserve as he recovers from a torn Achilles. He was hurt in the first training camp practice but if the Cowboys had put him on IR before the cut to 75, they would have had to expose him to waivers, and he would have been claimed. This move keeps Crawford with the team.

With the starters not playing, with perhaps some exceptions, you have to keep numbers at certain spots over others. Running back Kendial Lawrence might not make the team, but if he is cut, then Dallas has two backs ready for Thursday in Phillip Tanner and Joseph Randle because of Lance Dunbar’s foot injury.

Another question is at quarterback. Do the Cowboys keep Nick Stephens and play him versus Houston on Thursday and sit Alex Tanney? As we look at the 12 remaining moves, we’ll go with the idea that Stephens will be around.

Possible cuts:

Wide receiver: Anthony Amos, Eric Rogers, Jared Green. If Cole Beasley is healthy, then the Cowboys would have six receivers to play against the Texans. That’s enough to get through the game. If Beasley isn’t healthy, then Rogers could be kept. Rogers and Green could be brought back to the practice squad after the final cuts on Aug. 31.

(Read full post)