Dallas Cowboys: Kyle Bosworth

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

Why a fullback doesn't make sense for Cowboys

December, 4, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys seemed to make a lot of fans happy on Tuesday when they signed a fullback. It wasn’t Lawrence Vickers, which still had some upset, but at least Tyler Clutts actually has played fullback in an NFL game.

To me, however, the signing does not make a lot of sense.

The Cowboys’ pro personnel department deserves a lot of credit for finding guys. George Selvie, Nick Hayden and Jarius Wynn have all helped this year. You can go back to last year for guys like Ernie Sims, Sterling Moore and Eric Frampton. And who can forget the Laurent Robinson signing?

This is not a knock on Clutts, who was described by a personnel chief as a “workmanlike lead blocker.” He might be another solid find. I just don’t see how he fits in what the Cowboys do well in their running game.

The weather will be cold in Chicago on Monday. It could be cold when the Cowboys play the Washington Redskins. And Jason Garrett keeps saying you want to be a physical team in December. I get all of that, but what the Cowboys do best when they run the ball is spread the field with three wide receivers.

Maybe it’s the curse of Tony Fiammetta, another pro department find who helped DeMarco Murray bust out in 2011. The fullback is a revered spot around here, going back to Walt Garrison and leading us to Daryl Johnston.

But it is also a dying position with offenses designed to pass the ball more or run out of “11 personnel,” like the Cowboys.

The Cowboys offensive line is not the ‘90s version of the Cowboys’ line. They do not overpower people. The scheme is not really a power scheme. They look to create creases, not gaping holes. Nate Newton and Larry Allen are not walking through that door to do that.

Murray is averaging 5.5 yards per carry for his career when he runs out of three-wide receiver looks. This year the Cowboys have gained 531 yards on 114 carries and scored five touchdowns out of 11 personnel. Against the Raiders they had 92 yards on 11 carries in 11 personnel. Lance Dunbar’s 45-yard run came out of 11 personnel. Even without that run the Cowboys averaged 4.7 yards a pop when they ran out of three-wides.

So this brings me to Clutts. Will he play five snaps a game? Is it worth it? Was using a tight end or linebacker Kyle Bosworth at fullback that bad? Not really.

The Cowboys could have gone a number of different ways in replacing Dunbar, who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a knee injury. They worked out Clutts and a handful of other runners that have barely made their mark in the NFL. Would any of those guys helped? If you’re going to look for a runner, find a tested runner -- even one that has not played this year -- who might have six weeks left in him.

The better move would have been to poach from a practice squad. They did it late last year with tackle Darrion Weems. Maybe he develops into a backup. Maybe he never develops. But they at least had the chance to develop a player. They could look at any position really. In my Five Wonders post, I wondered why they don’t add a No. 3 quarterback for the stretch run. He’d be inactive for the final four games anyway, so at least get a guy in here to learn how they do things as they head into the offseason.

Maybe Clutts will help the running game, but statistics suggest otherwise.

Cowboys sign fullback Tyler Clutts

December, 3, 2013
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys finally have a true fullback on their roster.

The Cowboys signed Tyler Clutts on Tuesday after he was among five running backs to work out for the team. To make room for Clutts, running back Lance Dunbar, who had knee surgery Tuesday, was placed on injured reserve.

Clutts, 6-2, 254 pounds, played in four games earlier this season for the Miami Dolphins before his release. He has played for the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears. He caught eight passes for 48 yards for the Bears in 2011.

The Cowboys did not carry a fullback on their active roster this season and parted ways with veteran Lawrence Vickers on July 12. They had used tight ends Jason Witten and James Hanna and linebacker Kyle Bosworth at fullback in different situations this season.

With a cold weather game coming Monday at Chicago and another one possible on Dec. 22 at Washington, the Cowboys could be forced to run the ball more, but coach Jason Garrett does not believe the signing would be a shift from what they have done this season.

“You certainly want to be able to run the ball and be physical in bad weather games,” Garrett said. “Sometimes you’re not able to throw the ball as well as you’d like because of the conditions and the next best thing to do is run it. Being physical, being able to run downhill would certainly help you in those kinds of environments.”

Holloman has neck examined, LB added

November, 21, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- Already thin at linebacker with Sean Lee and Justin Durant out with hamstring injuries, rookie linebacker DeVonte Holloman is getting his neck looked again after some soreness from Wednesday's practice.

Holloman has missed the last four games with a spinal contusion. He returned to practice last week but Wednesday was his first full-padded workout since getting hurt prior to the Oct. 20 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

He was slated to start at strong-side linebacker in Durant's absence. The Cowboys moved Kyle Wilber to linebacker last week and also have Kyle Bosworth and Cam Lawrence available.

The Cowboys also signed Orie Lemon off the Arizona Cardinals practice squad. Lemon spent parts of the 2011-12 seasons with the Cowboys, mostly on the practice squad after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent.

To make room for Lemon on the 53-man roster, the Cowboys will have to make a roster move.

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 flunk situational football late

October, 29, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has preaches the importance of situational football every day. The Cowboys did not do well in situations in the 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions.

The Phillip Tanner run was chronicled on Monday evening. Garrett said Tanner should not have bounced the third-down run to the left, which forced a holding penalty on left tackle Tyron Smith.

But there were two other late-game situations where the Cowboys did not perform well.

On Matthew Stafford's game-winning leap, several defensive players did not come off the ball, believing Stafford was set for the spike. As a result, Stafford was able to reach the ball over the goal line.

“We have to handle that situation better and that goes to coaching, that goes to playing, everyone has to understand the possibility in that situation,” Garrett said. “Certainly I think there was an anticipation in some way, shape or form that they were going to spike the ball in that deal, but it’s not for us to decide that they’re going to do that. We have to decide to play football, get in stances, defend them if they want to run the ball. The quarterback sneak was one logical thing they could do there if they didn’t want to spike it. That’s just a great lesson for everybody and there’s a level of readiness you have to have. In some ways you think you’re ready for that kind of situation but you have to be down, you have to be ready and we weren’t and we have to do a better job of that in that situation.”

On the ensuing kickoff, linebacker Kyle Bosworth fielded the ball at the Cowboys 33 and ran out of bounds, running a handful of seconds off the clock.

“There are two things we should’ve done in that situation: simply run north and south and get down or simply get down immediately,” Garrett said. “What you don’t want to do is you don’t want to bounce and go to the sidelines and chew up that time. It probably would’ve been two or three seconds difference. Maybe that gives us another play. That’s how we could’ve handled that situation and we addressed that.”

Kyle Bosworth shows position flex

October, 15, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- Kyle Bosworth had to go back to his junior or senior year at Plano West High School for the last time he played fullback in a game before his three plays there in the Dallas Cowboys’ win against the Washington Redskins.

A linebacker by trade, the Cowboys have had Bosworth work as a short-yardage and goal-line fullback in practice, and finally called him into action in the first half when the offense went with a jumbo look with an extra offensive tackle.

The Cowboys converted all three of his snaps into first downs.

Without a true fullback on the roster, the Cowboys went with the next closest thing in a linebacker.

“I know they want me to as versatile as a utility player as possible and it was just the next step in the process,” Bosworth said. “It was real exciting, got three plays and the first one out there I forgot corners don’t really like contact so I had to move at the last minute. It didn’t look so good, but I backed it up on the next couple of plays.”

When active, backup center Phil Costa served as the short-yardage and goal-line fullback, but he was inactive against the Redskins, so Bosworth got the call.

“He’s not afraid to stick his nose in there,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We know that. That’s a positive thing.”

Back when Bill Parcells was coach, the Cowboys converted Oliver Hoyte from linebacker to fullback with some success, but this is more of a part-time gig for Bosworth. He does have, however, his eyes on catching a pass.

“I’ve got great hands, so I mean I know the coach throws me a lot of balls when we’re in scout team and stuff like that and I haven’t dropped one yet, knock on wood,” Bosworth joked. “Progression, you know? I hope it does come because that would just be unbelievable, but I’m good with blocking right now.”

Cowboys LB Justin Durant active

October, 13, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas – Dallas Cowboys strongside linebacker Justin Durant is active for Sunday night's game against the Washington Redskins after missing last week’s game with a groin injury.

Durant did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, and was limited on Friday, which could mean Ernie Sims takes the bulk of the snaps. Bruce Carter will return to his first-team base and nickel defense role after splitting reps in the sub package last week.

The Cowboys have seven linebackers active with Cameron Lawrence getting called up from the practice squad on Friday.

Running back Lance Dunbar, cornerback Chris Greenwood, defensive end Edgar Jones, guard David Arkin, center Phil Costa, tackle Darrion Weems and tight end Andre Smith are inactive.

With Costa out, linebacker Kyle Bosworth will serve as the short-yardage and goal-line fullback if the Cowboys go that route.

Cowboys look for special teams upgrade

September, 2, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- It was no secret the Dallas Cowboys’ special teams’ play was poor in the preseason. The Cowboys are doing their best to shore it up in time for the regular season.

In the past two days, the Cowboys added Edgar Jones in a trade from the Kansas City Chiefs and picked up Kyle Bosworth off waivers from the New York Giants. They chose to keep six safeties and three appear to have special teams written all over them in Danny McCray, Eric Frampton and rookie Jeff Heath.

Coach Jason Garrett said the team’s intention was to make special teams upgrades after the Cowboys' final cut to 53 players.

“We like them as position players and what they can do for us in a role, but they’ve been very good special teams players for us and for their teams,” Garrett said of Jones and Bosworth. “We’re excited to see them play. Got them integrated into practice this morning and they’re ready to go.”

Because of his background with assistant coach Rich Bisaccia, tight end Dante Rosario was viewed as a core special teams’ player, but he was dealt to Chicago on Monday and had a few miscues in the preseason.

Can the special teams’ units be up to speed for Sunday’s game against the Giants?

Lance Dunbar was expected to be the kick returner, but he has a foot injury that could keep him out. Frampton’s availability is in question because of a calf strain. McCray has missed the last three days of practice with a hamstring strain. Heath has never played in a real game. Jones and Bosworth have to get used to what Bisaccia wants.

“I know I’m very good at special teams and I know I’m a really good backer,” Bosworth said. “Obviously being the first day here I don’t really know they system that well. I know it’s going to take time, but I can be utilized on special teams right away, no problem. And I absolutely have no problem with that, I love it. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

Can Cowboys gain inside info on Giants?

September, 2, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- Just a few days ago Kyle Bosworth was a member of the New York Giants getting ready for the Dallas Cowboys. On Monday, he was a Cowboy getting ready for the Giants.

Such is the NFL.

The Cowboys claimed Bosworth off waivers because they needed special teams’ help, but there could be a side benefit with Bosworth knowing what the Giants have prepared for all summer to stop the Cowboys in Sunday’s season opener.

Quarterback Tony Romo offered a quick hello to Bosworth.

“We’ve talked about it a little bit, but not too much,” Bosworth said. “I’m sure that’s for later.”

The Cowboys began their preparation for the Giants when they were practicing in Oxnard, Calif. The Giants were doing the same at their facility. At Monday’s practice, Bosworth said he had a good feel for the Cowboys’ offense.

“It’s going to be easy for me because I know what (the Giants) have and I’m sure they’re going to change up some stuff but in the same sense, I know their personnel, I know their coaches, so it’s going to be a really fun, exciting game,” Bosworth said. “I’m really thrilled to be a part of this team and playing against guys who I’ve played against or with the whole off-season is going to be very fun and exciting for me.”

Bosworth grew up a Cowboys fan and attended Plano West High School. Once he learned he was claimed by the Cowboys he quickly got over the disappointment of being cut, “like a lightning bolt.”

“I was just always looking for the 50-numbers,” Bosworth said. “I was always in the backfield because my uncle was Brian. He played in Seattle and stuff, so I always had that linebacker blood in me. So anyone who was back there, Dat Nguyen was someone I looked up to a lot and any 50-numbers I was pretty much like, ‘God, that could be me one day.’”