Dallas Cowboys: Tim Tebow

What about the return of Troy Aikman?

January, 10, 2014
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IRVING, Texas -- John Elway is in his third year as the Denver Broncos' executive vice president of football operations. It's a fancy title that says, basically, he's in charge of all things football when it comes to the Broncos.

The Hall of Fame quarterback has been able to ride Tim Tebow to a playoff appearance -- and win -- and was able to lure Peyton Manning to the Broncos as a free agent.

[+] EnlargeTroy Aikman
AP Photo/James D SmithBringing Troy Aikman into the front-office fold would help the Joneses generate goodwill with Cowboys fans.
Before Elway took that job, his personnel experience consisted of owning the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League.

The Broncos have gone 26-6 in the last two seasons with Manning as quarterback and are the AFC's top seed in the playoffs for the second straight year.

The Dallas Cowboys do not have an executive vice president of football operations.

They have Jerry Jones as owner, president and general manager. They have Stephen Jones as chief operating officer, executive vice president and director of player personnel. Will McClay is the assistant director of player personnel.

On Sunday, I was fortunate enough to appear on "The Score With Babe Laufenberg." Sportscaster Bill Jones asked what changes could or should the Cowboys make in 2014. I came up with change the defensive coordinator. I mean, how hard is that when Monte Kiffin's defense was as bad as it was?

Laufenberg, the former Cowboys quarterback, sports director at KTVT and Cowboys radio analyst, had an ingenius thought.

Hire Troy Aikman.

Brilliant.

Think about the goodwill that would give Jones, who has long been criticized for being the general manager by just about everybody upset with the lack of success the Cowboys have had. Think of the jolt it would give the franchise.

Last year, Jones talked about sometimes having to do something "inordinate" to get the change you seek. His idea of change was to fire Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator and have Bill Callahan call plays. And the Cowboys still went 8-8.

In his role as a Fox analyst, Aikman has been closer to the game than Elway was when he took over. I wonder if a part of him sees what Elway has done and thinks, "I can do that." Is Elway poring over player reports every waking minute and up on all of the salary cap machinations? Not necessarily.

Dan Marino tried to do this in 2004 and it didn't take. He lasted just three weeks as the senior vice president of football operations. Last fall Marino hinted he would be interested in a front-office gig once again, referencing Elway's success.

A lot of this is pie in the sky. We know Jones won't give up the GM duties. Ever. We also don't know if Aikman would ever consider giving up the Fox gig for something a little more grinding than calling games about 20 weekends a year. And we don't know if he could work with (or for) Jones again.

As we sit and wait to see what changes Jones will or will not make in this offseason, it sure is fun to ponder a Cowboys' life with Aikman in the front office.

Thanks for the idea, Babe.

Cowboys' bid to land QB thwarted again

June, 11, 2013
6/11/13
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IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys have proclaimed they would like to keep a No. 3 quarterback, but they didn’t do it last season and do not appear to be inclined to do so this year.

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ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Cowboys and Tony Romo missing OTAs.

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However, that could have been different had the waiver wire been a little more friendly.

The Cowboys have been thwarted twice in the past few weeks in their attempts to add a more veteran backup quarterback behind Kyle Orton.

On Tuesday, Jacksonville was awarded quarterback Mike Kafka after New England cut him in favor of Tim Tebow. Late in May, the Cowboys missed out on Thaddeus Lewis, who was awarded to Detroit after he was cut by Cleveland.

Teams are awarded players off the wire based on their records from the previous season. Jacksonville finished 2-14 in 2012; Detroit was 4-12.

The Cowboys have Nick Stephens and Dalton Williams behind Orton. Stephens has been working with the second-team offense while Tony Romo recovers from surgery to remove a cyst from his back.

Lewis started last year’s season finale for Cleveland against Pittsburgh, completing 22 of 32 passes for 204 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 24-10 loss. Kafka played in four games in 2011 with Philadelphia with two interceptions.

As for Tebow, the Cowboys had no interest. The lack of interest had more to do with Tebow being a poor fit for the offense than any sort of circus that would have come to Valley Ranch.

Tim Tebow isn't a fit for Cowboys

April, 29, 2013
4/29/13
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Let's get this out of the way now: The Dallas Cowboys are not interested in quarterback Tim Tebow. No, not even as a tight end.

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Did Jerry Jones call out Tony Romo? Fitzsimmons & Durrett react to exclusive audio of Jones talking about the quarterback's increased role, who will be calling plays for the Cowboys and the Peyton Manning-like time he anticipates Romo putting in.

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Multiple Cowboys sources gave the answer "no" when asked if the team wanted to sign Tebow. The Cowboys have not been linked to Tebow like the New England Patriots, and you can read about how my guys at ESPNBoston.com answered the Tebow question here.

Adding Tebow to the Cowboys -- and to any team, it seems -- would create a national frenzy.

Let's examine why it's good and bad not to bring him to Valley Ranch. (To be honest, I don't see any good from it).

1. The quarterback spot. Given the public backlash quarterback Tony Romo is receiving for his new contract, if he has a bad game in 2013 -- and believe me he'll have one or two -- it would raise the ire of the fans and push the media into asking coach Jason Garrett about benching Romo for Tebow during a rough performance. Garrett was asked about benching Romo during his five-interception game against Chicago last season when Kyle Orton was the backup. No need to add drama to your team at the quarterback spot. Also, the Cowboys don't seem enamored with using the Wildcat, given the current personnel they have.

2. Moving him to tight end. If Tebow decides to play tight end, he still doesn't fit well. The Cowboys drafted Gavin Escobar, another pass-catching tight end, to add with James Hanna and Jason Witten. The Cowboys need a blocking tight end, and that's not Tebow. While he could become a good blocker over time, his skill set is more of a receiver -- if he makes the position change.

3. Drama, drama, drama. The last thing the Cowboys need is drama. It's one thing to have issues on the field when it comes to wins and losses, but it's another to have Tebow drama. He's a good guy in the locker room, according to ex-teammates, but you have to wonder how his teammates will deal with Tebow getting besieged by reporters on a weekly basis about his thoughts on football and Christianity. It would wear you down after a while.

Is drafting a quarterback an option?

April, 22, 2012
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The Cowboys are committed to Tony Romo.

He has two years remaining on his contract and if he has a strong 2012 season, the team is open to giving him a new contract. There are no signs the Cowboys would even draft a quarterback, especially with the team signing Kyle Orton in free agency this spring to become No. 2 on the depth chart.

Of course, the Cowboys have Stephen McGee, the third-string quarterback, who has struggled at times to develop.

But with every season, NFL teams are looking to improve every position on the roster. Jason Garrett has said it's good to have competition at every position.

Should drafting a quarterback in the middle rounds -- the Cowboys have two fourth-round picks -- be an option?

We look at five QB possibilities:

Brandon Weeden: His age, 28, scares some NFL teams, but that age for the two-year starter from Oklahoma State gives him an advantage because he's more mature than some quarterbacks.

Russell Wilson: The biggest problem with Wilson is height. He's 5-10 5/8, but the 23-year-old makes plays. In his senior season at Wisconsin, he completed 72.8 percent of his passes and threw 33 TDs and just four INTs.

Case Keenum: The Abilene, Texas, product was a four-year starter at Houston. He did a nice job of making throws out of the pocket and reading defenses. His pocket awareness is a concern, but that can improve.

G.J. Kinne: A Gilmer, Texas, product who transferred to Tulsa from Texas. Kinne battled a knee problem his senior season but started 13 games for Tulsa. He finished the season with 28 TDs and 12 INTs. One of Kinne's weakness is his average arm strength.

John Brantley: Tim Tebow's backup at Florida is athletic and can make all the throws necessary, yet isn't very accurate. Brantley completed 60 percent of his throws his senior season with 11 TDs and seven INTs during an injury-filled senior season.

Tony Romo on Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow

March, 26, 2012
3/26/12
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Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo gives his views on Peyton Manning going to Denver and Tim Tebow being traded to the Jets.

NFC East 'Madden' Bracketology

March, 22, 2012
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So we have this thing where you can go on and vote for who you think should be on the cover of "Madden NFL 13," and perhaps because it's March it's been set up as a bracket. There are 32 players in the bracket. The idea was that there'd be one for each NFL team, but as you can see the Patriots and Jets each now have two. All the Jets had to do to get their second was spend Wednesday completely embarrassing themselves.

But I digress.

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is the 2-seed on the left side of the bracket, matched up in the first round against 15th-seeded Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo. We all like Orakpo, and he's sure to get a bit of a boost from the small measure of fame he's earned giving the caveman a hard time on the Geico commercials. But Cruz is the popular breakout star of the surprise Super Bowl champs, and he's sure to roll through the first round. In fact, as I break down the bracket, Doug Gottlieb-style, I don't see too many potential tough matchups for Cruz until the final. Fourth-seeded Larry Fitzgerald could give him a run, but I think the winner of that stellar second-round matchup between Fitz and the Philadelphia Eagles' LeSean McCoy is going to be spent. And I like Cruz's chances even against top seed Cam Newton in the semis. I'm picking Cruz to salsa right into the final.

McCoy is the fifth seed on the same side of the bracket, and he's got a tough draw. A first-round matchup against an underseeded Reggie Bush, who has a Kardashian history and may pull in some tabloid votes, is brutal. Then he's likely to see Fitzgerald in the second round and Newton in the third. If McCoy makes it to the semis, he'll have earned his way there, no doubt about it.

On the other side of the bracket, Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware is the No. 10 seed and matched up in the first round against No. 7 seed Jared Allen of the Vikings. I like Ware to pull the upset here, and while there's trouble looming in the second round from No. 2 seed Rob Gronkowski, I think Ware's won enough "Madden" games over the years that he can upset Gronk as well. I have Ware in my Elite Eight, but that's where his dream ends. He's going to get either Tim Tebow, Arian Foster or Calvin Johnson there, and those guys are heavyweights.

My bracket has Cruz meeting Aaron Rodgers in the final and Rodgers getting his discount double-check revenge for the Giants' victory over the Packers in the NFC playoffs. But what do I know? I picked the Packers to win that game, and I never do well in the bracket pools.

Anyway, go vote. It'll give you something to do while you wait for London Fletcher to sign or the Giants to do something or whatever it is you're doing these days as a fan of a team in the super-quiet NFC East.

Remember Rob Ryan's harsh take on Tim Tebow?

March, 21, 2012
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Rex Ryan apparently didn't ask for his twin brother's advice before the New York Jets pulled the trigger on a trade for Tim Tebow.

Rob Ryan wasn't real impressed with Tebow this season, to put it politely. Of course, the Cowboys' defensive coordinator didn't put it so politely the day after he watched a Tebow-led comeback beat his brother's Jets, saying he was disgusted by watching such a gimmicky offense in the NFL.

“It made me, uh, throw up,” Ryan said, pausing mid-sentence to make a vomiting motion. “That stuff comes into play. You get that crap. I don’t like it because it’s college football. The things you see [is] a lot of spread. We’re getting a lot of two tight ends blocking for empty sets.

“Who would have ever thought that? This is the NFL. Those teams don’t win.”

Ryan was reminded that Tebow's team did win. The Broncos beat the Jets, 17-13, despite generating only 229 yards of total offense after Tebow and Co. marched 95 yards for the winning score, a 20-yard touchdown run by the passing-challenged quarterback.

“That team did win last night, but it was horse----, and thanks for pointing that out,” Ryan replied. “The guy made a hell of a play, though, didn’t he?

“Just a second, I’ll take a knee myself.”

Don't know if Rex Ryan will take a knee -- "Tebowing," as the prayerful pose became known -- but his Jets are taking a chance on Tebow, which could make for some interesting conversation at family functions this offseason.
We don’t have to ask what Jerry Jones thinks of the possibility of trading for Tim Tebow. We’ve already heard Jones’ thoughts about whether the Cowboys would be interested in adding Tebow to the roster.

“Why?” Jones slurred, a moment secretly caught on camera, part of a video filmed at a local bar/restaurant that went viral before the 2010 draft. “He’d never get on the field. I can’t get him out there.”

That wasn’t so much a knock on Tebow as it was a vote of confidence in Tony Romo. In that regard, nothing has changed in the last couple of years, which is why you don't hear the Cowboys mentioned among the teams interested in Tebow.

The Cowboys just made a significant investment in backup quarterback Kyle Orton, who happens to be the guy who got benched to make way for Tebowmania in Denver. It doesn’t make financial sense to give up assets to add a third-string quarterback with a first-round contract.

It’s fun to speculate about the possibility of Tebow running a Wildcat package for the Cowboys and possibly being groomed to replace Romo down the road. It’s funny to read Twitter jokes about Tebow serving as the Cowboys’ closer – never mind the fact that Romo’s late-game numbers compare favorably to every active quarterback.

It just isn’t a realistic scenario to envision Tebow with a star on his helmet. If you don’t believe me, just grab a bar stool next to Jerry some time.

Rob Ryan: Broncos' offense made me 'throw up'

November, 18, 2011
11/18/11
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IRVING, Texas – Give Rob Ryan credit for avoiding any inflammatory statements the teams on the Dallas Cowboys’ schedule. That could be considered progress.

But if the Denver and Dallas somehow advance to the Super Bowl, Ryan has provided plenty of material for the Broncos’ bulletin board.

Ryan watched the Broncos’ 17-13 win over the New York Jets on Thursday night. He didn’t enjoy the game, and not just because his twin brother Rex was the losing head coach. It pains Ryan to watch polarizing quarterback Tim Tebow run (and run and run some more) an unconventional offense.

“It made me, uh, throw up,” Ryan said, pausing mid-sentence to make a vomiting motion. “That stuff comes into play. You get that crap. I don’t like it because it’s college football. The things you see a lot of spread. We’re getting a lot of two tight ends blocking for empty sets.

“Who would have ever thought that? This is the NFL. Those teams don’t win.”

Well, actually, that team won Thursday night. The Broncos, who are 4-1 with passing-challenged Tebow as the starter this season, finished with only 229 total yards. However, 95 of those came on the game-winning drive, which Tebow capped with a 20-yard touchdown run.

“That team did win last night, but it was horse----, and thanks for pointing that out,” Ryan replied when reminded that the Broncos were victorious. “The guy made a hell of a play, though, didn’t he?

“Just a second, I’ll take a knee myself.”

Yes, that was Ryan joking about “Tebowing,” the devoutly religious quarterback’s prayerful pose that has replaced planking as the nation’s new fad.

But Ryan, whose comments about the “all-hype” Philadelphia Eagles and the Cowboys having two receivers better than Detroit’s Calvin Johnson received a lot of attention this season, was completely serious on the subject of the Broncos’ butt-ugly offense.

“They’re back there getting the hell beat out of them the whole game,” Ryan said when asked why he considered the Denver offense to be horse excrement. “It’s unfortunate the kid threw the interception for the TD or I really think that game is going to go a different way.

“But I don’t care about that game. I only care about us. I don’t like to see my brother hurt after a game, that sucked, but that’s the way it is.”
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cowboys linebacker Victor Butler has had a solid training camp and had an impressive preseason opener. But it was the tackle he missed that bothered him.

He let Denver quarterback Tim Tebow slip out of a first-quarter sack attempt just long enough for defensive end Clifton Geathers to put him on the ground.

“I didn’t know [Tebow was that strong],” Butler said. “I’ll know the next time. I’m going to run through him. I thought it was going to be an easy sack. I guess not. He’s a guy that’s got a little bite to him. … I heard that everybody wants a Tebow sack. It’s like getting an Xbox for Christmas. Everybody wants one. I guess I’ll have to get mine next year.”

Butler continued to work on a substitution package that featured him, DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer during the first-team defense’s only series.

“It’s a good thing having an outside backer like Victor come in the game because you don’t lose a step,” Ware said.

Second quarter: Broncos 9, Cowboys 3

August, 11, 2011
8/11/11
9:06
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Broncos have a 9-3 heading into halftime in the preseason opener at Cowboys Stadium.

Highlights:

Second unit comes in: The Cowboys opened the second quarter with their second offensive unit, led by quarterback Jon Kitna. The offensive line was as follows: RT Tyron Smith, RG Pepa Letuli, C Phil Costa, LG David Arkin, LT Jermey Parnell. Kitna completed his first pass to tight end John Phillips, but the possession ended in a punt. Kitna was on the field for two possessions and didn't register any points and didn't convert any third downs.

McGee gets in, too: No. 3 quarterback Stephen McGee entered with 6:59 to play in the first half. On his first play, he rolled to his right and instead of passing to an open Martin Rucker, he took off and ran for seven yards. McGee got hit out of bounds to draw a penalty. Lonyae Miller got his chance to take over the running game with Felix Jones on the bench. He couldn't find much room to run behind a second unit that had no veterans on the offensive line. Smith struggled to pick up the blitz as safety Kyle McCarthy came flying off the edge. John Phillips released to go for a pass and Smith didn't move over to pick him up. It led to McGee getting sacked. The only turnover of the half came when McGee fired a pass toward Jesse Holley that was intercepted. It looked like Holley was running a slant, but either the throw was to far or Holley didn't get off quick enough.

Injuries: Safety Danny McCray injured his left arm when Denver's Tim Tebow was scrambling deep in Cowboys' territory. McCray was hit on the blind side as he tried to get Tebow. While Tebow was running around, cornerback Akwasi Owusu-Ansah was smashed by a clean hit from Matthew Willis.

Notes: With 13:23 to play in the second quarter, the Cowboys Stadium super big screen and it's digital screens went down for about 30 seconds. ... Before the game, as part of the NFL's plan to give thanks to the fans due to the lockout, 90 fans received autographed jersey from the Cowboys. Each player stood at midfield and either hugged or shook the fans' hands.

Tim Tebow can't wait to get hit by Cowboys

August, 11, 2011
8/11/11
2:04
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Tim Tebow talked to ESPN's Ed Werder before he went into his quarterback meeting Thursday and said he can't wait to get in there and get hit and play the game he grew up playing.

Tebow believes the preseason games -- starting with Thursday night's opener against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium -- will allow him to showcase qualities that are critically important but not apparent in most training-camp practices.

"Now it's about playing real football and not the touch football we've been playing," Tebow said.

Expect healthy dose of Tim Tebow, Brady Quinn

August, 10, 2011
8/10/11
2:53
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Denver Broncos coach John Fox told ESPN's Ed Werder that second-year quarterback Tim Tebow will follow starter Kyle Orton in the team's preseason opener against the Cowboys on Thursday night at Cowboys Stadium.

Fox said Orton and the other starters are expected to play 12 to 15 plays, and that Tebow and Brady Quinn will lead the offense for most of the remaining three quarters -- although rookie Adam Webb might also play.

Fox said he has made no firm decisions at the position and considers the quarterback competition open.

Rant just a reflection of Jerry's ego

April, 14, 2010
4/14/10
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video
Jerry Jones didn’t want to remind the world that his ego is out of control, but that’s what happened when the Web site deadspin.com published a video of the Cowboys’ owner cursing former coach Bill Parcells.

“Bill’s not worth a [expletive],” Jerry rambled, perhaps after a night of enjoying his beloved Pepsis.

That’s a pretty harsh take on a Hall of Fame coach who inherited a perennial 5-11 mess and left a playoff team when he left Valley Ranch. But when it comes to coach appreciation, Jerry set the bar at about his toenails when he divorced ex-college teammate Jimmy Johnson in the wake of the Cowboys’ back-to-back Super Bowl wins.

The grainy video, which the Cowboys would not comment on, surely came as a surprise to Jones. But nothing Jerry said will live in infamy like his post-Jimmy comment that 500 coaches could win a Super Bowl with his Cowboys. His old buddy Barry Switzer might have proved Jerry right once after pulling himself off his Norman, Okla., couch, but the Cowboys swiftly went from dynasty to debacle over the next decade.

That prompted Jerry to fly his private jet up to Jersey to talk the Tuna into playing the big room, as Parcells called the America’s Team stage. Well, actually, it wasn’t just the losing that caused Jerry to recruit a coach who would overshadow him.

“They were on my [butt] so bad: ‘Jerry's gotta have a yes-man.’” Jones said during the video, in which he also says that Tim Tebow could never get on the field for the Cowboys. “So to get this [expletive] stadium, I need to bring his [butt] in.”

Jerry has always had "yes-men" as head coaches, with two exceptions: Johnson, the coach who built a dynasty; and Parcells, the coach who restored respectability to the franchise. But one thing is as clear as vodka: Jerry was willing to share the credit and spotlight at Valley Ranch only until he got the deal done for the stadium.

Now Jerry has exactly what he wants: a beautiful $1.2 billion building that is a reflection of his ego and a coach who has no problem passing the credit up the corporate ladder. As long as Wade Phillips continues to understand the pecking order around these parts, Jerry will have nothing but nice things to say about him.

To see the video, go here. Warning: Explicit language.
Let's be clear about this now, the Cowboys are not drafting a quarterback this year.

Jerry Jones said so.

However, the Cowboys like most NFL teams have watched Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. They had several scouts at Florida's Pro Day to watch that new throwing motion of Tebow's.

The Cowboys like Tebow, as they do a lot of players, but not enough to draft him.

"What a tremendous career he had in college," Wade Phillips said. "How that transfers to the NFL we don’t know yet, but if the intangibles mean anything he could have a good career because as a college guy one of the most intangibles that you can have, is certainly [being] a winner. He makes plays to win games so it will be interesting where he ends up."

Phillips noted how when he coached with his father, Bum, with the old Houston Oilers, there was another player many thought was overrated.

"I'm not predicting," Phillips said. "I was with Houston, and I don’t know if it was someone, but Jimmy the Greek said he's going to be a bust."

Who? Earl Campbell?

"Yeah, so I mean, I can't predict those things, if could I would be the draft guru," Phillips said. "You take the ones you know are going to be great players."

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