NFL Nation: devonte holloman

Jared Allen option not likely now

March, 19, 2014
Mar 19
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IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' search for defensive line help is not over with the addition of Henry Melton, but their push for Jared Allen will not be quite as intense, according to sources.

Allen wrapped up a visit with the Cowboys on Tuesday before they agreed to a deal with Melton.

Allen would be the Cowboys’ best defensive end, but at what price? He has had seven straight seasons with at least 11 sacks, but he turns 32 in April and the Cowboys were not willing to pay a hefty price for DeMarcus Ware or Julius Peppers.

With Ware and Jason Hatcher gone, George Selvie is the leading returning sacker from 2013 with seven. Jeremy Mincey, who signed a two-year deal worth a maximum of $4.5 million last week, had two sacks with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos in 2013. Kyle Wilber, DeVonte Holloman, Bruce Carter and Orlando Scandrick had two sacks apiece for the Cowboys.

Allen has also visited with the Seattle Seahawks.

2014 Cowboys free agents: Ernie Sims

February, 26, 2014
Feb 26
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Sims
Ernie Sims
Position: Linebacker
Type: Unrestricted
2013 salary: $840,000

Summary: Sims played in 12 games, starting six because of Bruce Carter’s ineffectiveness and injuries to Justin Durant and Sean Lee, but he had a hard time staying healthy as well, dealing with a groin injury. He had 42 tackles and forced a fumble.

Why keep him: He played for new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli in Detroit and knows the scheme to the point where he can play all three linebacker spots. He will be a physical presence on a defense that needs as much physicality as possible.

Why let him go: He was out of position too often last year, looking for the big hits. The development of Kyle Wilber and DeVonte Holloman gives the Cowboys younger and less expensive options at the backup spots. They can also play on all of the major special teams' units, which Sims did not do.

Best guess: It’s time to move on.

Film theory: Saints could copy Dallas

December, 31, 2013
12/31/13
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PHILADELPHIA -- Rob Ryan's old team gave Eagles quarterback Nick Foles trouble in his two games against them. Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys sacked Foles five times, forced an intentional grounding penalty and generally shut down the Eagles' passing game in the second half.

Whether or not the Cowboys have Foles' number is a matter for 2014. Ryan, now the defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints, has already burned holes through Sunday's game film with his eyes.

[+] Enlarge Nick Foles
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesThe Dallas Cowboys sacked Nick Foles five times on Sunday.
The Eagles can expect Ryan to try some similar tactics, with some wrinkles of his own mixed in.

Eagles coach Chip Kelly said his offense experienced a "combination" of problems.

"A tackle may have stepped in the wrong direction, back didn't hit the hole at the right time, receiver didn't get off the jam properly," Kelly said. "There's not one thing that's, aha, fix it and move on. It was just a combination of not all 11 guys clicking on the same team."

Focusing on the third quarter, it was apparent that Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin found a few ways to confound the Eagles' offensive line.

On the very first play of the quarter, DeMarcus Ware bull-rushed to the inside of left tackle Jason Peters. Running back LeSean McCoy stepped up to help with Ware. That left the outside open for linebacker DeVonte Holloman to blitz. He dropped Foles for a 9-yard loss.

"LeSean got stuck inside running into the twist on the D-line but didn't come off on the linebacker," Kelly said.

The Cowboys didn't blitz all that much, though. Instead they used stunts or twists, sending one of their defensive linemen around an otherwise engaged blocker. Usually, that blocker was rookie right tackle Lane Johnson. It often looked as if Johnson was being beaten one-on-one, but he was frequently leaving one defender too late to get in the way of one he didn't know was coming.

Example: On the play that resulted in Foles' fumble, defensive end George Selvie rushed to the inside of Johnson, forcing right guard Todd Herremans to help out. Defensive tackle Nick Hayden looped around to his left and past Johnson. Meanwhile, Ware and Jason Hatcher ran a similar stunt on the other side.

Hayden pressured Foles into stepping to his left. Hatcher hit the quarterback from behind, knocking the ball free.

While all that chaos was unfolding, left guard Evan Mathis and center Jason Kelce were more or less alone, with no one to block. The defensive maneuvering put all the pressure on the tackles.

Foles held the ball too long at times. Other times, the coverage was very good.

"Sometimes there was a guy open, he probably could have gotten it out of his hand a little quicker," Kelly said. "There were some other times where he's waiting for guys to get open and they didn't come out of the jam."

That's something else Ryan will surely pick up on. When defensive backs get physical with DeSean Jackson, he can be slowed down. The NBC cameras caught cornerback Brandon Carr holding Jackson back on a go route down the right sideline. Foles' throw was too deep, but that's because it was timed for Jackson to be running at full speed, not dragging a cornerback with him.

Much of the focus this week will be on the Saints' explosive offense and the Eagles' defensive challenges. But there's a good chance Foles and the offense will have to keep pace. To do that, they're probably going to have to fix the flaws exposed by the Cowboys, as well as the ones Ryan finds on his own.

No surgery for Cowboys' Sean Lee

December, 30, 2013
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Sean Lee missed the final three games of the Dallas Cowboys' regular season because of a neck injury but the team does not believe the injury will affect the middle linebacker's offseason preparation.

Lee
"We think this is a time thing," coach Jason Garrett said. "We don't think it's a surgery thing."

Lee suffered a sprained ligament in his neck in the Dec. 9 loss to the Chicago Bears. The Cowboys kept hoping Lee could return for a possible playoff appearance and did not place him on injured reserve.

Lee was replaced by DeVonte Holloman in the starting lineup in the past two games. He finished with 11 tackles, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries and two sacks in Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

"Seemed like he handled the situation well," Garrett said. "He is a young player and really hasn't played that much linebacker. He was a safety when we drafted him who played down around the line of scrimmage. The strides that he made over the course of the season to be able to handle that responsibility is really impressive."

Cowboys on 6th different LB trio

December, 22, 2013
12/22/13
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LANDOVER, Md. -- With Sean Lee (neck) and Ernie Sims (groin) inactive for Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins, the Dallas Cowboys will be starting their sixth different grouping of the season at linebacker.

Rookie DeVonte Holloman will start at middle linebacker for Lee with Bruce Carter at weakside linebacker and Kyle Wilber at strongside linebacker. Carter is returning from a one-game absence due to a hamstring injury.

The other pairings used this year (from strong to weak): Justin Durant, Lee, Carter; Sims, Lee, Carter; Wilber, Sims, Carter; Wilber, Lee, Carter; Wilber, Durant, Sims.

Wide receiver Dwayne Harris, safety Jakar Hamilton, cornerback Morris Claiborne, defensive end Martez Wilson and tackle Darrion Weems are also inactive.

Welcome to FedEx Field

December, 22, 2013
12/22/13
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LANDOVER, Md. -- Welcome to FedEx Field where the Dallas Cowboys hope to keep their playoff hopes alive with a win against the Washington Redskins.

With a loss, the Cowboys would need the Philadelphia Eagles to lose to the Chicago Bears tonight in order to set up an NFC East title matchup on Dec. 29 at AT&T Stadium.

Bounce-back ability: Their December history has not been kind to the Cowboys, but they can draw on something positive from this season.

After losing 51-48 to the Denver Broncos on a last-second field goal, the Cowboys responded with a 31-16 win against the Redskins. After losing 31-30 to the Detroit Lions on a last-second touchdown, they responded with a 27-23 win against the Minnesota Vikings.

“I think it’s good for the guys to understand how we have everything in front of us,” quarterback Tony Romo said. “We have to play better than we’ve played. ... Everything that you’ve done this whole offseason and throughout the season is to build to this point. I think we have an opportunity to do something these next two weeks that get us in the playoffs and win the NFC East. And not a lot of teams can say that in our division right now. Two of them are done. Two of them have a chance.”

Belief in the QB: Romo threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter that led to the Green Bay Packers’ winning touchdown and ended the Cowboys’ chances for a comeback.

While those outside the building will say, "Same old Romo," those inside the building did nothing but profess their faith in Romo.

“I don’t think anyone would ever lose confidence in him,” Jason Witten said. “Everything we are and we’ve accomplished over the last few years that you believe in and you hold onto is because of him and what he creates week in and week out and day in and day out. I don’t think you look at a couple of plays and determine [he can’t play]. I think that’d be foolish for anybody to do that.”

Getting some stops: Kirk Cousins will be the fourth straight backup quarterback the Cowboys have faced. The last two – Josh McCown and Matt Flynn – threw four touchdown passes each. Cousins had 381 yards passing and three touchdowns in his first start last week against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Cowboys will welcome Bruce Carter back to the lineup, but rookie DeVonte Holloman will start his first game at middle linebacker with Sean Lee out. They hope DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher can pressure Cousins. They hope Brandon Carr, who missed two days of practice because of an illness, plays like he did in the first meeting versus Washington when he broke up three passes and had a tackle for loss.

Mostly they just hope because this has been a lost season for the defense.

What gives Monte Kiffin confidence?

“I walk in that room,” Kiffin said. “Whatever time we meet, 8:30 in the morning, it starts with Coach [Jason] Garrett. You go into your defensive room and you split up and away you go. You walk in, get your heads up, let’s go. That’s the way it works. We ain’t going to pout around. We’ll be ready to play.”

Jerry 'very concerned' for Lee's season

December, 17, 2013
12/17/13
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IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones is "very concerned" that middle linebacker Sean Lee's season might be over.

Lee
Lee suffered a sprained neck ligament during the Cowboys' Dec. 9 loss to the Chicago Bears and sat out Dallas' loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The team is calling his timetable week to week, but executive vice president Stephen Jones said Lee was “probably a long shot" to play Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

"I'm very concerned because [Lee] is our quarterback [of the defense], and it's glaring when he's not out there, and has been glaring the last two ballgames," Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan when asked whether he was worried that Lee might miss the rest of the season. "He's the guy that not only is our leader out there in execution, but he's also the guy that is the [Tony] Romo over there."

The Cowboys have an injury crisis at linebacker with Lee, Justin Durant (hamstring), Bruce Carter (hamstring) and Ernie Sims (hip/groin) all questionable at best entering this week. Dallas finished the game against Green Bay with undrafted rookie Cam Lawrence playing weakside linebacker and sixth-round rookie DeVonte Holloman playing out of position at middle linebacker.

Upon Further Review: Cowboys Week 15

December, 16, 2013
12/16/13
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- A review of four hot issues from the Dallas Cowboys' 37-36 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

[+] EnlargeBoyd_Murray
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesDeMarco Murray and the Cowboys are focusing on winning out and attempting to make the playoffs.
Recuperative powers: If the Cowboys win their final two games, they will make the playoffs. If there is a message Jason Garrett is looking to sell as the team looks to rebound, that's it. The Cowboys' final two games are against the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles, teams they outscored 48-19 in meetings earlier this season. It's not the message a lot of fans want to hear, but it is what matters most as the Cowboys look to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

"I feel good that we have a chance to beat the Redskins, and if we do that, we'll get a chance to play Philadelphia with an opportunity to get in the playoffs," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "I know when I see us lose a game after having a lead like we had at halftime, anything can happen one way or the other."

Pathetic work: On a day in which the offense gained 466 yards and 27 first downs, you would think everything worked well. It didn't. The third-down offense continued its season-long struggles as the Cowboys converting on just 2 of 9 chances. It was the third time this season the Cowboys converted on less than 30 percent of their third-down tries in a game. They are 56-of-159 on the season. Tony Romo said he has to be better on third downs, the receivers have to win in man-to-man situations and the blocking has to be better.

"We haven't done that well," Romo said of the third-down woes. "We have to do a better job."

No chance on D: At one point, the Cowboys fielded a defense that had three players who were not with the team when training camp started (George Selvie, Everette Brown, Corvey Irvin), two undrafted free agents (Jeff Heath, Cameron Lawrence), a sixth-round pick (DeVonte Holloman) and a cornerback (Sterling Moore) who was out of football until Nov. 25. Matt Flynn became the fifth quarterback to throw four touchdown passes against Monte Kiffin's defense, joining Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Josh McCown. Flynn and McCown are backup quarterbacks, and the Cowboys will see another backup next week at Washington with Kirk Cousins quarterbacking the Redskins.

Still producing: Jason Witten caught 110 passes last year, an NFL record for tight ends in a season, but he had only three touchdowns. He has 59 catches this year and eight touchdowns. Witten needs one TD in the final two games to equal his career high. His eight from Romo this season are the most the duo has combined for in a season together. With 59 catches for 703 yards, Witten is averaging 11.9 yards per reception, which equals his career best so far. He might not have the starry numbers of the past, but at 31, Witten is not slowing down yet, either.

Rapid Reaction: Dallas Cowboys

December, 15, 2013
12/15/13
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- A few thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys' 37-36 loss against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

What it means for the Cowboys: Mathematically the Cowboys (7-7) have everything in front of them still, which just sounds so hollow after an outcome like this.

The Cowboys had a 23-point lead against a backup quarterback and could not close the deal as they continued to find inventive ways to lose in 2013 as well as continue their December woes.

Tony Romo threw two fourth-quarter interceptions. The first led to Green Bay's game-winning touchdown and the second killed any chance the Cowboys had of coming back for the win.

With a chance to take over first place in the NFC East in their sights thanks to the Minnesota Vikings beating the Philadelphia Eagles (8-6), the Cowboys are left with another staggering loss, like the earlier ones they suffered against the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions.

SportsNation

Who was most disappointing in the Cowboys' loss to the Packers?

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    12%
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    27%
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    32%
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    12%
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    17%

Discuss (Total votes: 21,655)

This one was the toughest to take because Aaron Rodgers was a spectator. Matt Flynn became the second backup quarterback in as many games to throw four touchdown passes against the Cowboys, joining the Chicago Bears' Josh McCown.

Romo's final pass was picked off by Tramon Williams with 1:22 to play and it sent the Cowboys fans rushing to the exits and the large number of Packers fans into hysteria after Walt Coleman overturned what had been called an incomplete pass.

Stock watch: Bill Callahan, Jason Garrett, Romo, falling. Since the Cowboys' offensive play calling is a team effort we'll go with all three as falling. The Packers could not stop DeMarco Murray and the Cowboys decided to pass, pass and pass some more when they needed to kill the clock by running, running and running. Romo's late interception to Sam Shields was a poor decision by the quarterback, but a poor call by the coaches.

Welcome back: Six days ago Dez Bryant had two catches for 12 yards against the Bears. It was his lowest output since his rookie season when he had 8 yards against Detroit on three catches.

Bryant had season highs in catches and yards and had a gigantic third-down catch in the fourth quarter on third-and-12. Bryant finished with 11 catches for 153 yards and his toe-tapping touchdown on a 5-yard catch gave the Cowboys their final lead.

Bryant had gone six games without reaching 100 yards and did not have more than nine catches in a game this season. And it could have been so much better. Romo underthrew two deep balls to Bryant, one in each half, and was off on another potential scoring throw in the first half.

But when it mattered most the Cowboys went to Cole Beasley on back-to-back plays and not Bryant.

Depleted at LB: Already without linebackers Sean Lee (neck) and Bruce Carter (hamstring) because of injuries, the Cowboys lost Justin Durant and Ernie Sims in the first half, leaving them not only thin but inexperienced.

Durant re-injured his hamstring in the first quarter and Sims suffered a hip injury on the final play of the half. That moved rookie DeVonte Holloman in at middle linebacker, and he was playing in his first game in two months due to a neck injury. And he had been an outside linebacker.

Undrafted rookie Cam Lawrence took over as the weakside linebacker and was immediately targeted by the Packers in the running game.

What's next: The Cowboys travel to FedEx Field next week to take on the Washington Redskins. It will be the fourth straight game in which the Cowboys will go against a backup quarterback with Kirk Cousins starting for Washington.

Practice report: Sean Lee limited again

December, 12, 2013
12/12/13
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IRVING, Texas -- Sean Lee was limited in practice for the second straight day with a neck injury, but the signs are that the Dallas Cowboys inside linebacker will play Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

Lee
Lee said he was hurt on the first play of Monday's game and the neck locked up as the game went on. In the second half, he was finally forced to leave Dallas' 45-28 loss to the Chicago Bears.

"It’s just a muscle deal," Lee said. "But it wasn’t allowing me to do my job effectively in that game and it happened about three or four times."

An MRI on Tuesday revealed no structural damage, and he can wear added protection Sunday.

"We’re looking into different neck rolls and to stabilize it a little better," Lee said. "We’ll see as the week goes on what I am going to use exactly."

Linebacker Bruce Carter, cornerback Morris Claiborne and wide receiver Dwayne Harris, who have hamstring injuries, missed their second straight day of practice. Linebacker Justin Durant (hamstring), defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (stinger) and linebacker DeVonte Holloman (neck) were full participants for the second straight day.
CHICAGO -- Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dwayne Harris is active, which could be a big boost to the special teams, but linebacker Justin Durant is inactive.

Harris
Harris missed the Thanksgiving Day game against the Oakland Raiders because of a hamstring strain and was only a limited participant in Saturday's practice. Durant will miss his third straight game. He was probable entering the game. He has been working his way back from a hamstring injury.

With Durant out, Kyle Wilber will start for the third straight game at strong-side linebacker.

Cornerback Morris Claiborne, safety Jakar Hamilton, linebacker DeVonte Holloman, defensive end Everette Brown, tackle Darrion Weems and linebacker Orie Lemon are inactive.

Harris is averaging 14 yards per punt return and 31.3 yards per kickoff return. Terrance Williams fumbled the opening kickoff against the Raiders and saw it returned for a touchdown. Cole Beasley served as the punt returner.
IRVING, Texas – On his first day of practice in nearly a month, Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee was a full participant. Barring a setback, he will play Monday against the Chicago Bears after missing two games with a hamstring strain.

Lee
“I wanted to get back sooner, but the hamstring is a finicky thing,” Lee said. “I think I’ve been on the right path, gone through the progression.”

Lee was hurt in the first half of the Cowboys' Nov. 10 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Strongside linebacker Justin Durant was hurt in the second half of that game, and has missed the last two contests. Like Lee, he was listed as a full participant Thursday and anticipates playing Monday against the Bears.

The Cowboys also listed as full participants wide receiver Dez Bryant (back), tight end Gavin Escobar (hamstring), defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (stinger) and linebacker DeVonte Holloman (neck).

Wide receiver Miles Austin and defensive end DeMarcus Ware no longer appear on the injury report.

The only players who did not practice were Morris Claiborne and Dwayne Harris, both because of hamstring injuries.

Newcomers active for Cowboys

November, 28, 2013
11/28/13
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Signed on Monday and Tuesday, cornerback Sterling Moore and defensive end Martez Wilson are active for the Dallas Cowboys today against the Oakland Raiders.

Moore was signed with Morris Claiborne out with a hamstring injury. Wilson, who played three games earlier in the season for the Raiders, took the roster spot of Everett Dawkins.

Tight end Gavin Escobar, who was added to the injury report on Wednesday with a hamstring injury, is active. He was listed as questionable.

Sean Lee, Justin Durant, Claiborne and Dwayne Harris, who have hamstring injuries, and DeVonte Holloman (neck) were ruled out Wednesday. Darrion Weems and Jakar Hamilton joined them on the inactive list.

Ernie Sims will start for Lee and Kyle Wilber will replace Durant.

The Cowboys are hopeful Lee will be able to return Dec. 9 against the Chicago Bears.

Former Cowboys receiver Andre Holmes will start for the Raiders.

Sean Lee out, Gavin Escobar questionable

November, 27, 2013
11/27/13
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IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee will not play Thursday against the Oakland Raiders.

Lee
Lee was ruled out of the Thanksgiving Day game with a hamstring injury. There had been an outside shot Lee would play but he did not practice during the week. The Cowboys want to make sure he will be ready for the final four games of the regular season against NFC opponents.

With an 11-day break before they play the Chicago Bears on Dec. 9, the Cowboys wanted to give Lee as much time as possible to return from the injury he suffered Nov. 10 against the New Orleans Saints.

In addition to Lee, cornerback Morris Claiborne (hamstring), wide receiver Dwayne Harris (hamstring), linebacker Justin Durant (hamstring) and linebacker DeVonte Holloman (neck) have been ruled out.

Tight end Gavin Escobar was added to the injury report with a hamstring and is listed as questionable. Escobar was limited during Wednesday’s short workout. If he can’t play, then the Cowboys would have only two tight ends active for the game in Jason Witten and James Hanna after they cut Andre Smith on Tuesday.

Wide receivers Miles Austin (hamstring) and Dez Bryant (back), defensive tackles Jason Hatcher (stinger) and Nick Hayden (ribs), defensive ends DeMarcus Ware (quadriceps) and George Selvie (shoulder) and safety J.J. Wilcox (knee) are probable.

No changes on Cowboys' injury report

November, 26, 2013
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IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys continue to have good news regarding their injury report.

There were no new names added to the report, which listed starting linebackers Sean Lee and Justin Durant, cornerback Morris Claiborne and wide receiver Dwayne Harris as having missed practice with hamstring injuries.

However, rookie linebacker DeVonte Holloman (neck) was a limited participant in practice the last two days. Holloman said he hopes to participate in contact drills next week.

Wide receiver Miles Austin (hamstring), wide receiver Dez Bryant (back), defensive tackle Nick Hayden (ribs), safety J.J. Wilcox (knee) and defensive end George Selvie (shoulder) practiced fully. Bryant, who has dealt with back problems this season and reportedly needed an epidural to relieve some stiffness a few weeks ago, said he's feeling fine.

"Just doing the same thing," Bryant said of his treatments. "I'll be ready to go on Thursday. No issue."

Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (neck) and defensive end DeMarcus Ware (thigh) were limited in practice but are expected to play on Thanksgiving Day against the Oakland Raiders.

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