Dallas Cowboys: Roger Goodell

Dan Bailey not sure PATs need to be moved

March, 20, 2014
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IRVING, Texas -- At the NFL owners meetings next week in Orlando, Fla., the future of the point-after attempt will be discussed.

The New England Patriots have proposed moving the PAT back to the 25-yard line. The Competition Committee is also proposing using one week in the preseason games as a test case for PATs from the 20. Earlier in the offseason commissioner Roger Goodell suggested the tries need to be changed because they are close to automatic.

Bailey
“I definitely can see where he’s coming from,” Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey said in January after signing a seven-year extension with the team. “I can’t say that it doesn’t make sense to me, but at the same time I think it’s really just a matter of how you look at it. There’s just a million different examples you can argue that point. For me it’s like a handoff or maybe a center-quarterback exchange. To me and to most people, they feel like it would seem like an automatic thing, just handing the guy the ball, but as we all know that doesn’t always go smoothly. There’s fumbles and botched snaps. That’s just one example. I feel like if it was as automatic as everybody implies, I feel like we’d all be out of a job because everybody would be able to do it. I don’t think that’s the case. I understand where it comes from, but obviously I disagree on a couple of fronts.”

Of the 1,267 extra points attempted in 2013, only five were missed. One came against the Cowboys when Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh sliced a PAT wide with 5:40 left in the game. Instead of a four-point lead, the Vikings had a 23-20 advantage. The Cowboys eventually won with a touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Dwayne Harris with 35 seconds left.

Bailey has not missed a PAT in his career, making 123. He’s among the most accurate kickers in football, and could become the most-accurate in NFL history in 2014 once he has enough attempts to qualify for the spot.

If the PAT is spotted at the 25, that would be the equivalent of a 42-yard field goal. From 40-49 yards, Bailey is 27 of 29. His only two misses were memorable: the “ice the kicker” game against the Arizona Cardinals, and Jason Pierre-Paul’s block, in back-to-back games in 2011. He has made 17 attempts in a row from 40-49 yards.

If the ball is at the 20, that would be the equivalent of a 37-yard field goal. Bailey has made 32 of 33 tries from 30-39 yards. His lone miss was a 35-yarder last year against the St. Louis Rams.St. Louis Rams

Charlotte Anderson tabbed for foundation

December, 12, 2012
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IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys executive vice president Charlotte Anderson was named the chairwoman of the newly-formed NFL Foundation on Wednesday.

The NFL Foundation will focus on youth football, health and safety and community programs. With the Cowboys, Anderson manages the year-round community service program and played lead role in the team’s partnership with the Salvation Army as part of the Red Kettle Campaign.

“It is an extreme honor to be in this position," Anderson said after the owners meetings concluded Wednesday. "But to the chance to be able to really make a difference in the community, to make a difference in youth football. I do have two sons who play the game. Obviously, I'm very passionate about the game. I'm passionate about it means to my children, their experience involved in the game and how it develops them as young kids and to be able to use that and to help others be able to experience the same process is exciting. Obviously, community is a very important thing for all of us. You know it is for the Cowboys. It certainly is for the league as a whole. For us to be able to take that approach and now to have the resources to really make an impact is very significant."

In 2013 the NFL Foundation will award more than $23 million in grants to support youth and high school football, health and safety efforts as well as other initiatives, like the NFL Play 60 program.

She is the first woman to serve in this capacity for an NFL charitable institution.

"She really has a great perspective on what the NFL stands for and what we want to do with the NFL Foundation going forward,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

Mum on mom won't work long for Dez Bryant

July, 25, 2012
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DALLAS -- Dez Bryant proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he could sit in the same room as his mother, Angela, for a few minutes without police intervention.

Other than that, the Tuesday news conference at attorney Royce West's office was pretty much pointless.

With all due respect for the Texas senator's ability to use voice inflection for emphasis, it was a waste of time to listen to West read a canned, seven-paragraph statement that took eight days to prepare. His staff might as well have emailed the statement along with glamour shots of the dysfunctional mom-and-son duo posing together.

It couldn't have been any less genuine. Had Bryant not nodded a couple of times when West read the sixth paragraph -- the one that mentioned that Dez and his mom thought the matter could be worked out through counseling -- he might as well have been a mannequin.

"I would love to make a statement, but I can't," Bryant said as he exited the room, responding to a question about whether he had met with his Dallas Cowboys bosses to discuss the drama.
I'd love to give Bryant the benefit of the doubt, but I can't. Not just based on listening to a slick lawyer speak for a couple of minutes.

Can NFL commissioner Roger Goodell? As far as the Cowboys are concerned, that's the most important question at the moment.

For more of this column, click here.


Even if the Dallas County district attorney’s office drops the charges, Dez Bryant will still have to deal with commissioner Roger Goodell.

Angela Bryant's decision to not continue to pursue a case against her son could prevent the Cowboys receiver from being prosecuted on the Class A misdemeanor family violence charge. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Bryant will avoid the NFL’s wrath.

Bryant and his mother have scheduled a news conference at attorney Royce West's office for 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Goodell has set the precedent of punishing a player who hadn’t been convicted of a crime. The NFL’s personal conduct policy clearly gives Goodell that power.

“While criminal activity is clearly outside the scope of permissible conduct, and persons who engage in criminal activity will be subject to discipline, the standard of conduct for persons employed in the NFL is considerably higher,” the policy states. “It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime. Instead, as an employee of the NFL or a member club, you are held to a higher standard and expected to conduct yourself in a way that is responsible, promotes the values upon which the League is based, and is lawful.

“Persons who fail to live up to this standard of conduct are guilty of conduct detrimental and subject to discipline, even where the conduct itself does not result in the conviction of a crime.”

In other words, close criminal calls can and will be held against you as far as the commissioner is concerned.

That means Bryant could have to explain not just the incident that caused his mother to call 911 and accuse him of assault before backing off the charges days later, but the pattern of behavior that indicates he has issues with anger management. That includes the scene at NorthPark Center last summer that resulted in Bryant and some buddies being kicked out of the mall and the heated confrontation at a Miami Beach club that caused police to detain but not arrest Bryant this winter.

A plan to avoid such issues in the future, and maybe counseling, might be more important than Bryant’s explanations of what happened.

Tony Romo: Bounties a thing of the past

April, 12, 2012
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IRVING, Texas -- Tony Romo does not envision another bounty system ever being in place again in the NFL after the punishment doled out to the New Orleans Saints by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

PODCAST
Cowboys QB Tony Romo discusses the newest addition to his family, his thoughts on the Saints situation and the legacy he wants to leave.

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“I think that that’s something that needed to be addressed,” Romo said Thursday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's Ben and Skin Show. “I think the NFL did their part in addressing that, and I don’t envision us having those things going forward. It just was part of the landscape. And the way that the NFL is going, they care about player safety and that’s a good thing.

"I mean, I know that sometimes from the outside looking in, it can be that they’re taking certain things away, but the game is still very super physical. I think that the little things that they do here and there are only a positive for the game. Believe me when I tell you that the game of football is not becoming a point where it’s turning into something that it’s never been. It’s still a very, very physical game.

Romo started four games against a Williams-led defense since becoming the Cowboys’ starting quarterback and was sacked seven times. He had a 2-2 record and had seven touchdowns and two interceptions with passer ratings of more than 100 three times.

“From a quarterback’s perspective, you just assume that they’re always trying to get big hits on you,” Romo said. “I mean, it’s no different than we played, I want to say Washington, after I broke my ribs and a big emphasis that week was probably trying to hit me hard. I don’t know if that’s any different from that perspective. Now, I do agree that there’s no spot in the game basically for extra incentive money-wise. I think that people are trying to win the game; they’re trying to do just what they need to do within the rules. I think that Roger Goodell has done a great job of just handling all the situations and coming down on some of the people that were involved. Some of it seems very harsh, and others not so much. Just part of it.”

Williams has been indefinitely suspended by Goodell for his role in New Orleans’ bounty system. Coach Sean Payton, who helped bring Romo to the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2003, has been suspended for the 2012 season. General manager Mickey Loomis has been suspended eight games and assistant head coach Joe Vitt has been suspended six games.

Payton, Loomis and Vitt had their appeals denied earlier this week. Williams, who had been hired as St. Louis’ defensive coordinator, did not appeal.

5 Wonders: Changes on D, 1,000 yards, vet QB

December, 27, 2011
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IRVING, Texas -- It’s Week 17 and it’s the NFC East Championship Game Sunday at MetLife Stadium against the New York Giants, but I’m still wondering about some things.

Here we go:

** Maybe it would be too much of a sign of desperation, but I wonder if the Cowboys need to make a change at left cornerback for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. I asked Jason Garrett if Terence Newman would be the starter and he said he did not anticipate any changes. Maybe if Orlando Scandrick was playing better the Cowboys would consider making a move there. For as well as Newman was playing earlier in the season, he is simply struggling badly at the wrong time of the year. He is not on the injury report, so we can’t say he has anything other than minor bumps and bruised that every player has. He is not playing as aggressively as he did earlier in the year and receivers are having their way with him. Earlier in the season I wondered if Newman could return in 2012 with the same cap number or altered contract. Now, I don’t think the Cowboys will bring him back. That would make Scandrick the starter in 2012, but I wouldn’t rule out an early-round pick or free agent signing to challenge him.

** If you were wondering the last time the Cowboys did not have a 1,000-yard rusher or a 1,000-yard receiver, turn your mind back to 2004. Jason Witten would need 127 yards receiving against the Giants on Sunday to reach 1,000 for the year. Dez Bryant would need 142 yards. Against the Giants’ secondary anything is possible. In 2004, Julius Jones led the Cowboys with 819 rushing yards. Keyshawn Johnson had 981 receiving yards and Witten had 980. The Cowboys have had one 1,000-yard rusher since Emmitt Smith’s departure following the 2002 season when Jones had 1,084 in 2006. DeMarco Murray would have had a chance at cracking 1,000 yards had he not broken his ankle. He finished with 897 yards and had three games left to play.

** The Cowboys were never going to add a veteran quarterback of any consequence for Sunday’s game even if Tony Romo would be unable to play. They would’ve started Stephen McGee and gone with Chris Greisen as the backup. You would not have been able to find a veteran worthy of a call at this time of the year that would have been able to get up to speed quick enough. But now that I’m thinking about it, would the Cowboys have made a call to Bret Favre? I kid, I kid. But I do wonder if Greisen will get called up from the practice squad even with Romo healthy enough to play. They did it last year when Jon Kitna had a hip problem and McGee started. The emergency quarterback last Saturday was tight end John Phillips. I understand you’d be in a world of hurt if you’d need Greisen to play Sunday against New York, but I’d rather have him take snaps than Phillips.

** I wonder how much change there will be on the Cowboys’ defense in 2012. Anthony Spencer, Bradie James, Keith Brooking, Abram Elam, Alan Ball and Frank Walker are regulars on the defense and are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents in 2012. Terence Newman is signed through 2014 but is scheduled to count $8 million against the salary cap next year. Kenyon Coleman has started every game but is only signed through 2012. That’s seven regulars that could be gone next year. That’s a lot of turnover on one side of the ball. The Cowboys are likely to look to Bruce Carter, Victor Butler, Barry Church and Sean Lissemore from inside the building to play larger roles next year, but there will be plenty of work to do to improve. I can’t see Jerry Jones believing the talent level on that side of the ball is fine.

** I wonder how happy Fox is in losing Sunday’s game between the Cowboys and Giants. The Cowboys are the closest thing to must-see TV in the NFL and Fox will not have either matchup with the Giants this year. That can’t make them happy and I wonder if they try to flex their NFC muscles next year in keeping more Cowboys games, especially against NFC East foes. They had only two of the Cowboys’ six NFC East games (Washington, Philadelphia). But I do give credit to Commissioner Roger Goodell for altering the schedule makeup by making sure the final games of the year are intra-divisional. Imagine how uneventful it would’ve been this year if the Giants and Cowboys were playing NFC West opponents in Week 17. This game should be a huge ratings draw, and that will make Fox even more upset.

XLV fiasco not on agenda at owner's meetings

December, 14, 2011
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IRVING, Texas -- The NFL Owners meetings concluded Wednesday at Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas, but the seating fiasco that occurred at Super Bowl XLV was not included on the agenda.

Roughly 1,250 fans with tickets were left without seats because the temporary seating was not cleared before kickoff, which resulted in a suit being brought against the league.

“We continue to work through the issues we had here last year, mostly looking forward and trying to make sure when we stage events as the NFL, we do it with a high standard and that fans that attend our game have a great experience,” commissioner Roger Goodell said. “That’s what people expect from the NFL and that’s what we expect from ourselves. We expect to deliver on that promise, starting with Indianapolis.”

The earliest a Super Bowl could return to North Texas would be 2016 for Super Bowl L. The bidding process takes place next May. Goodell has said in the past that Super Bowl L could be held at a new stadium in Los Angeles to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first game, which was played at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

“That’s for the ownership to decide,” Goodell said on the possibility of the game returning. “It’s a great stadium. It’s a great community. I presume they’ll make a bid in the future, and ownership will decide at that point.”

David Buehler: Rules making NFL 'kind of soft'

August, 25, 2011
8/25/11
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As we’ve learned over the last two-plus years David Buehler is not your traditional kicker.

He looks at himself as a player and his 12 solo tackles on special teams, which tied him for fourth last year, are his evidence.

PODCAST
David Buehler joins the Ben & Skin Show to discuss the Dallas Cowboys' kicking competition and his chances on making the team. He also said new rules -- particularly on kickoffs -- are making the NFL "kind of soft."

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He is paid to kick, however, and he is not pleased with the rule changes in the kickoffs in 2011. Kickoffs have been moved to the 35, making touchbacks all the more likely. Buehler, who has 51 touchbacks in his first two seasons, said he views the rule change as a help to him while acknowledging others view that it hurts him.

“I think they’re changing the rules too much,” Buehler said on the Ben and Skin Show. “Football is getting kind of soft with [NFL commissioner Roger] Goodell making all the rule changes and everything like that. Just leave it the way it is. Kickoffs are one of the most exciting plays in football, so I don’t know why they pushed it up to the 35. I understand the safety reasons but a lot of fans want to see the returns. It gets kind of boring just seeing touchbacks all the time. I obviously want that but the ideal fan doesn’t want that. They want to see the run out, the big collisions and everything like that.”

It should be pointed out that Goodell does not make the rule changes. The Competition Committee, of which Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones is a member, recommends the changes to ownership and the teams vote on the changes.
Over the next few days, more than 100 current and former NFL players will meet in Marco Island, Fla., where the NFLPA is meeting with its board of directors to talk about their plan against the owners in this lockout mess.

Cowboys player reps Bradie James and Jason Witten are attending the meetings and spoke about some of the labor issues.

James, an inside linebacker, seemed to take exception that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent an email to more than 1,000 players explaining the league's proposal.

In the letter, Goodell tells the players to "encourage your union to return to the bargaining table and conclude a new collective bargaining agreement."

It's interesting Goodell would reach out to the players because, based on the terms of the lockout, owners are not allowed to speak with players with the exception of the labor committee, which has Cowboys owner Jerry Jones as part of a three-man team at the table with the players.

Goodell is representing the owners in the labor talks.

When James was asked what he thought was the purpose of the letter, he told reporters it's "to divide us. It's that simple."

James said he would welcome a meeting with the owners before the April 6 court date that could end the lockout.

"We want to play," James said. "So, yes, anytime that they want to reach out. That's legal jargon; they should know. But I want to play. Right now. So, yes."

One of the biggest issues for the players is staying united. Some owners, and even those watching the labor issues from the outside, think some players will force the union to make a deal once September gets closer. (The NFL has plans to release the schedule in mid-April as scheduled.) Some NFL players live paycheck-to-paycheck, and during the 2010 season the union advised players to save their money in the event of a long work stoppage.

"That started a few years back, with 'One Team,' '' Witten said in terms of the players staying united. "That communication -- we've done a great job of trying to communicate and get everyone on the same page."

Added James: "Let's make no mistake, it will be pressure on both sides. We're not the only ones that have bills to pay. We play in a new stadium, we know what the electric bill is. There's pressure on both sides."

Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman was on TMZ talking about the labor situation and joked that Goodell is screwing the players in terms of fines. On a serious note, Newman told TMZ lots of people will be "without jobs if there is no NFL; it is what it is."

Asked about his comments to TMZ, Newman said in an email to ESPNDallas: "Hahaha, I was just being funny!"

Newman does take the labor issues seriously based on conversations he's had with reporters during the season.

Owners meetings start today

May, 24, 2010
5/24/10
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For the next two days, the NFL owners will meet here and discuss a variety of topics.

The agenda for the owners include a vote to award Super Bowl XLVIII. Expect New York/New Jersey to get the game. Cowboys should vote to bring the game to the East Coast. Tampa Bay and South Florida are the other candidates.

The final announcement will come on Tuesday.

There will be several committee meetings on Monday afternoon before the league meeting begins on Tuesday.

Commissioner Roger Goodell will speak to the media on Tuesday afternoon and will talk about Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the collective bargaining agreement, the new overtime rules for the postseason, player safety and performance enhancing drugs.

Waiting for something to happen

March, 22, 2010
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ORLANDO -- We're here at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando waiting.

Well, that's what reporters do most days as the first day of the NFL owner's meetings is underway.

We saw Gene Jones, the wife of Jerry Jones, headed to a spouses event sponsored by Reebok. We also ran into Rich Dalrymple, public relations chief of the Cowboys. We asked Rich for a little face time with Jerry.

He said that wouldn't be a problem.

At some point today the prime-time NFL schedule will be released and the Thanksgiving Day games will also be announced. Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, is expected to speak with reporters.

Several members of the media are staying at the JW Marriott, across the way from the Ritz-Carlton. After the meetings, several reporters are going to get a facial. Matt Mosley, our NFC East blogger is thinking of getting one as well.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones has been nominated for the 2010 Sports Executive of the Year Award by Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily.

Jones, along with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Tod Leiweke from Vulcan Sports Entertainment and Sean McManus from CBS Sports have been selected as nominees in the Sports Executive of the Year category.

Also, Cowboys Stadium has been nominated as the 2010 Sports Facility of the Year Award.

Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y., Staples Center in Los Angeles and Yankees Stadium in Bronx, N.Y. are the other nominees.

The nominees are judged from a period of Jan. 1, 2009 to Feb. 28, 2010.

Executives who have a primary involvement in sports business and whose principal office is located in North America were eligible.

Winners will be announced Thursday, May 20.

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