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  • #16
    Jon Machota @jonmachota
    Tony Romo: "You can't put people in bubble wrap. You've got to play. It's football. You're going to get hit and things happen."

    Comment


    • #17
      Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
      Former Broncos and Eagles QB Mark Sanchez is going to sign with the Dallas Cowboys, league source tells ESPN.

      Comment


      • #18
        Zeke Elliott's conditioning still an issue?
        Cowboys.com's Bryan Broaddus suggested that Ezekiel Elliott "doesn't look as explosive" as he did in college.

        It's hard to argue against for a back averaging 3.3 yards per carry after Elliott averaged 6.7 YPC at Ohio State. Elliott got nothing going against the Giants in Week 1 and only had a few nice runs in Week 2 against the Redskins. Broaddus suggested that Elliott's "conditioning doesn't look right" and later tweeted Elliott may be "kinda living life too much." There have been rumors Elliott isn't fully focused on football for awhile now. Elliott does have major breakout potential on Sunday Night Football against the Bears' injury-depleted defense.
        Source: Bryan Broaddus on Twitter


        Fitting right in...

        Comment


        • #19


          When the Dallas Cowboys have a problem, this is the man who makes it go away
          Kent Babb September 30 at 4:38 PM
          DESOTO, Tex. — He was lounging in a hotel bed in Cincinnati when his phone rang. The Dallas Cowboys always knew they could reach him. Even at 7 a.m. on a Saturday.

          This was December 2012, and a team executive was calling. He spoke fast. Two players were missing. No one had heard from them since the previous night, and neither was answering his phone.

          The man in Cincinnati listened. He took notes.

          This David Wells isn’t famous, but he might be the most influential behind-the-scenes figure for the NFL’s most valuable franchise. Part crisis manager, part fixer, part therapist, he’s tasked with helping public figures, not becoming one. All teams have in-house security experts and problem-solvers, employees who untangle legal problems. But this extra layer of protection may be unique to the Cowboys. Wells brings a special set of skills, so when something or someone jeopardizes the image of pro football’s signature franchise, the Cowboys know whom to deploy.

          Hours before this call, there had been a drunk-driving accident. Linebacker Jerry Brown was dead, and nose tackle Josh Brent was in jail. The team’s chartered plane would be leaving soon, a game scheduled for the next day.

          Stick to the schedule, Wells told the executive. He would handle it.

          ‘He does everything’
          He’s almost always on the move, and on this Tuesday morning in July, he’s walking on the fifth floor of the Frank Crowley Courts Building in downtown Dallas.

          An ex-judge calls toward Wells, and attorneys stop him to catch up or bust his chops. One gets his picture taken with Wells, a 54-year-old ex-cop and ex-con and ex-bail bondsman wearing shorts inside the courthouse.

          He takes the elevator down to the fourth floor, reconnecting with a judge he hasn’t seen in months; he waves to another old friend on the escalator back up. He zigzags through hallways, into offices and open courtrooms, never knocking or asking permission. A defense attorney beams when Wells walks in; a clerk in a cramped office tells him she’s finally transferring; a security man tells him about his son.

          “It ain’t about what you know,” says Wells, and most of the people here don’t just know him. They’re familiar with his intimate knowledge of the law, how he’s learned to maneuver through its systems, and how no matter his skill at fixing others’ problems, Wells has never been much good at managing his own. He almost went to prison a few years ago, his marriage fell apart and he lost his business. Now on this summer morning, there’s this: Dez Bryant, the Cowboys wide receiver, is accusing Wells and an associate of swindling him out of $200,000.

          Wells is as crafty as he is charming, in the business of collecting friends and leveraging secrets. If anyone in this building is turned off by the man or his methods, they don’t show it.

          A few people call him the mayor of Crowley courthouse, and he likes that okay. There’s a nickname he prefers, and when he swings open the door of Judge Dan Patterson’s courtroom, the bailiff shouts it from across the room.

          “It’s . . . the . . . Wooooooolf!” she says, and Wells smiles.

          He is, like the “Pulp Fiction” character Winston Wolf, a fixer who exists on the margins and functions without ceremony. He considers the angles, contemplates the ifs, solves the most complicated problems. No wonder the Cowboys, known for acquiring players on their second or third chances, have come to trust Wells implicitly with their most valuable and unpredictable assets. Whatever route a player is trying to find through the system — from simple help with a driver’s license to thorny entanglements involving criminal charges — there’s always one more option to help find a way: Call in the Wolf.

          “I haven’t had a question that Dave couldn’t answer, I can tell you that,” said Adam “Pacman” Jones, the Bengals cornerback.

          “Whenever something is messed up and you need to go outside the lines a little bit,” former Kaufman County, Tex., district attorney Rick Harrison said, “he’s your guy.”

          “A tremendous asset to the franchise,” Jerry Jones said. “. . . I won’t get into detail of the kinds of things [Wells does], because he does everything.”

          A few months ago Wells vetted the free-agent quarterback Johnny Manziel as the Cowboys considered signing him, and Wells’s latest task is transferring a rookie’s driver’s license to Texas without the player visiting the DMV. Pacman Jones and Bryant once moved in with Wells. So did former defensive back C.J. Spillman as he awaited trial earlier this year on sexual assault charges.

          Because he’s at the courthouse anyway, Wells decides to dip into the Adult Probation office and check on the status of Josh Brent, who four years ago drove drunk and crashed his Mercedes in an accident that killed Brown, spurring the early-morning phone call in Cincinnati.

          “I have to say, he’s a different person,” he tells the woman at the desk. “He’s adjusted to everything.”

          Is he attending support groups? “Yes, ma’am.” Does he acknowledge the consequences of what he’s done? “He don’t hide it. The anniversary kind of gets to him.” Is he continuing to learn from his mistakes? “He’s in a really good place,” Wells says.

          He turns back toward the hallway.

          “I’ve seen it go a lot of different ways,” he says, and Spillman comes to mind. In July the former player was sentenced to five years in prison, and Wells sees one discernible reason for that: He didn’t follow instructions.

          Making a name
          Two decades ago, when Wells opened his bail-bonds business, he put it on a gritty block of Dallas’s Oak Cliff neighborhood, miles from the other bond offices near the courthouse. Rather than travel into town, he reasoned, clients could walk down East Saner Avenue no matter the hour, and there was David’s Bail Bonds.

          “I deal with the real-*** world, man,” says Wells, who parlayed these little advantages into a business that, during one stretch about 15 years ago, earned about a fifth of the city’s $50 million bail-bonds market.

          Years earlier, he watched his grandfather operate a corner grocery. The neighborhood was modest, and the grandfather wouldn’t allow anyone to go hungry. Sometimes bills were paid through chores or favors.

          Wells remembers his first time he worked through an issue from both sides: He was 15 years old when a friend had stolen from the wrong people and was now in trouble. Wells went to work. He told the aggrieved party that he understood retribution for his friend was unavoidable, but he said if the beating wasn’t too severe, he’d see to it the items were returned. Later, the young dealmaker waited until nightfall and sneaked the stolen goods onto their porch.

          Later as a community liaison for the Dallas Police Department, he learned the law — and how it is often not watertight. Five years he spent walking the streets in the southwest district, learning how residents’ needs varied from block to block.

          Once, some inner-city kids complained about the cost of boxing gloves, so Wells swiped a pair from the Police Athletic League. He was fired and charged with theft; almost three decades later, Wells still believes it was the right thing to do.

          He worked private security and did freelance investigations for attorneys, leaning on the connections he had made. Ministers and politicians and reporters confided in him, and as the years passed he found himself entangled in adventures that only enhanced his aura: going broke years before striking it rich, the robber Wells says he fought off despite being shot in the leg, the merchant who propositioned Wells to have a competitor killed — a conversation Wells secretly recorded before delivering to the FBI.

          Over time, that became Wells’s thing: He bridged the divide between cops and criminals, playing for whichever side fit his definition of right and wrong. Or, just as often, who might remember a favor. Time passed, and the attorneys he’d befriended became DAs, judges and politicians; at every level they remembered how Wells had come through for them, often repaying him in his preferred currency: information.

          He became a folk hero at the courthouse, rushing to a crime scene to interview bystanders before investigators could, or marching into a courtroom with a witness no one else could get to. Wells was so effective, the lawyers who hired him stopped caring about how he did it.

          Said longtime attorney Anthony Lyons: “There are going to be times that David comes up with a result that you’re just not going to ask him about.”

          In the mid-1990s, as the Cowboys were winning Super Bowls, wide receiver Michael Irvin couldn’t seem to avoid some scandal or another involving sex or drugs. Irvin’s attorney, Royce West, had hired Wells in the past and, at least while Irvin stood trial for cocaine possession, needed a buffer to keep Irvin out of trouble.

          Wells did his job, and Irvin escaped with probation; it wasn’t long before Irvin hired Wells to be his full-time bodyguard. In 2000 Irvin was arrested again, this time on a minor drug charge along with a 21-year-old woman.

          Tipped off, Wells quickly corralled an attorney familiar with the north Dallas courts, hurried toward Plano in his SUV — the one with the license plates that read “BAIL ME” — and floored it once he saw a news van going in the same direction.

          When Wells arrived, he convinced Irvin to hold an impromptu news conference to declare his innocence. “I really don’t know what went on,” the befuddled Cowboys receiver told reporters, and the entire episode wound up being just as forgettable as Irvin’s words. And that was the point: While Irvin spoke, the woman hid inside the apartment; later, the attorney who had come with Wells quietly drove her away.

          “Nobody,” Wells says proudly, “got the real story.”

          Eventually the tales reached Jerry Jones, a prospector who had made his fortune in oil and his fame assembling teams known for either greatness or baggage or both. He heard about the bondsman who had friends at the courthouse and was skilled not just at handling matters but keeping them quiet, too.

          The Cowboys, Jones decided, needed someone like that.

          A phone call away
          When the Cowboys unleash the Wolf, for instance if a player is arrested for drunken driving, Wells’s instructions often begin the same way: Do what the officers tell you — but say nothing.

          From there Wells begins the paperwork on the player’s behalf for an restricted occupational license and learns the name of the presiding judge. He already knows the lawyers who are cozy with his or her honor. “I hate to say this,” Wells says. “I know who to hire based on what that relationship is.”

          Fights, particularly those involving a wife or girlfriend, are more complicated. No matter the hour, Wells hurries to the scene — preferably, he says, ahead of police — and starts to, as he puts it, “kiss the girlfriend’s *** or the wife’s ***.”

          He likes to calmly remind both sides that, hey, he gets it: Relationships are tough, but should one argument be allowed to leave a stain that could alter lives and curb earning potential? “Tell me what you want to do,” Wells says, recreating a typical exchange. “Let’s fix this.”

          Almost nothing is as valuable to an NFL front office as discretion, nothing as threatening to a season or brand as a “distraction.” Forbes says the Cowboys are worth $4.2 billion, a value that in part depends on the team’s ability to keep star players on the field, contend for championships and maintain its global popularity. For every incident that generates a negative headline, Wells said, 10 are handled without the public’s knowledge.

          As he sees it, that’s his job: protecting the interests of his employer, not asking ask himself whether what he does is right or wrong.

          “I get called part of the problem,” he says, “all the time.”

          He travels in advance for most Cowboys road games, often stays in the team hotel and usually attends training camp in Oxnard, Calif. He won’t discuss his financial arrangement with the team beyond saying he works on an as-needed basis. Wells boasts that when an incident involving a player occurs, he often knows before Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett does.

          Asked about Wells’s actions on behalf of the team’s players, a Cowboys spokesman declined to comment.

          If Dallas acquires a troubled player, Wells is occasionally assigned to help keep him on the right path. Sometimes he needs to be more hands-on. In 2008, Pacman Jones, following a season-long NFL suspension and a series of run-ins with police, moved into Wells’s five-bedroom house in DeSoto, a quiet suburb south of Dallas. He rarely wandered far from Wells’s sight.

          “My manager, my security, my day-to-day man,” the cornerback calls Wells now. “Dave basically did everything I need. All I had to do is play football, you know?”

          A year later, wide receiver Michael Crabtree — a distant relative, Wells says — introduced Wells and Bryant, a Texas native who moved in with Wells shortly after he was suspended at Oklahoma State. As the 2010 NFL draft approached, Bryant’s talent wasn’t in question; his ability to stay out of trouble was. But after months under Wells’s roof, Wells came to see Bryant as a misunderstood soul whose upbringing had been so chaotic he barely knew right from wrong.

          With NFL teams backing away from Bryant because of off-field concerns, Wells contacted the Cowboys and vouched for his character. Jerry Jones agreed to meet with Bryant.

          “When [Wells] tells me something is going on, it’s right,” Jones said recently. “. . . I have such trust in his skills.”

          Not long after that meeting, Bryant held his draft party at Wells’s home. When the call came to say Dallas was using the 24th overall pick to select Bryant, the young receiver pressed a phone to his ear and, fighting tears, fell into Wells’s arms.

          Family infighting
          On this Tuesday morning in mid-July, Wells is on the highway, bobbing his head to the Old Skool R&B station. His phone rings.

          Another problem. This one involves Wells himself. “What do we need to do?” he says.

          West, the attorney who once represented Irvin and who is now a Texas state senator, is on the other line. A few months ago, Bryant moved out of a home owned by West, who filed a lawsuit that alleged the property was “littered with trash and feces” and sought $60,000 to cover repair costs. Bryant retaliated by countersuing — in part accusing West and Wells of skimming $200,000 off the top of endorsement deals.

          Part of Wells wants to call Bryant and get the inevitable argument over with; the other part is almost amused at how perfectly symbolic this is of their relationship, so very Dave and Dez. A few days before, Bryant had visited Wells’s home for a weekend barbecue. Now he’s publicly calling Wells a thief.

          Bryant lived with Wells for three years, including the first two seasons of his NFL career. On good days Wells taught Bryant about credit scores and the importance of keeping an insurance card in his vehicle; with enough care and lessons about basic skills, Wells believed he could reform anyone. On bad days, he says, he broke up fights in his living room between Bryant and the receiver’s mother. Wells saw Bryant as a rebellious son, and Bryant trusted Wells enough to hire him as his paid adviser and financial manager, granting him power of attorney.

          They learned each other’s weak points and secrets, sometimes declaring bloody war one day and hugging it out the next.

          Last year, Bryant cut Wells out of his business dealings, but they somehow remained friends. Now here comes Bryant’s countersuit, which referred to Wells as a “crony” who exploited his relationship with Bryant for money.

          “We got to get ahead of this, though, man,” Wells tells West. “This can’t go like this.”

          As it unfolds, Wells, so often the agent of bombast, gets quiet. With his mind on Bryant, he listens to questions but ignores them, not wanting to say something he cannot take back. Not yet, anyway.

          “I’m going to say this: I’m not scared of a courtroom,” he says.

          He thinks about it, stewing. The amusement is gone, buried under anger and defiance.

          “I got where all the bodies are buried,” Wells says. “Do you really want to [expletive] with me? I mean, do you?”

          A system of trust
          The thing with Bryant is still on Wells’s mind when he takes the escalator to the second floor of a hotel in downtown Dallas.

          A few hours ago, Josh Brent had no idea he would be doing this, but Wells said to trust him and so that’s what he did. They walk into a crowded ballroom, a leadership conference for young professionals, and Brent heads toward a microphone. On the drive here, Wells told Brent it would be good to speak occasionally about his experience. Now he stands near a wall as Brent begins.

          “I fell,” he says, “from the top to the bottom.”

          Brent hadn’t yet met Wells when they were introduced in the courthouse following that drunken-driving incident four years ago. Wells didn’t ask whether Brent was guilty or innocent. He didn’t care whether, as police alleged, Brent had gotten behind the wheel with his blood alcohol content at more than twice the legal limit and drove so fast the car touched a curb and flipped before sliding on its roof. Wells wasn’t interested in whether, when police arrived, Brent was attempting to pull Brown’s body from the burning car.

          Wells was already in problem-solving mode. He told Brent to trust him: “If you do everything I tell you to do,” he recalls telling the young man, “I can keep you out of the penitentiary.”

          As always, he instructed Brent to keep quiet; let Wells and his attorneys do the talking. He advised him to stop drinking. Wells invited him to move into one of his spare bedrooms, as Dez and Pacman had, and follow what Wells sees as a life rehabilitation program. Brent spent days taking out the trash, tidying his room and keeping the refrigerator in Wells’s garage stocked with water and Gatorade, no kid in the neighborhood allowed to go thirsty. At night they talked about turning the page.

          “This wasn’t about the Cowboys,” Wells says now. “This was about Josh’s life.”

          Wells told Brent his own secrets: In 2005, a federal grand jury had indicted him on three counts of tax evasion and accused him of filing false or fraudulent returns and using business accounts to pay for personal items.

          In 2008 he pleaded guilty in exchange for three years’ probation. He avoided prison, but the conviction required him to forfeit his bondsman’s license and — though he’s still involved as a consultant — turn over control of his business to an associate.

          It was a low point in Wells’s life, he told Brent, and now this was all he had left: the athletes and the broken lives he believed he could fix, which at that point included his own.

          Thirteen months after the accident, Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter, sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years’ probation. He now says he hasn’t had a drink since that Friday night in December 2012 and that the older he gets, the more he thinks about his friend in that car and how at 24 he made a mistake that ended one life and nearly shattered his own. Brent, who now works for his former team as a part-time scout, will say later the Cowboys “don’t even know what they have” when it comes to Wells’s value to the organization.

          Brent speaks to the group for three and a half minutes, discussing judgment and the value of mentors. Then he steps away from the microphone to applause and walks toward Wells, putting his hand on the man’s shoulder.

          “How’d I do?” Brent mouths as a few audience members approach. He laughs at their jokes and asks where they’re from.

          “A finished product,” Wells says, looking on.

          Always more to solve
          Wells pulls into the driveway in DeSoto, and he and Brent walk through the garage, past a cardboard box of Spillman’s things. Brent listened to the Wolf; Spillman didn’t, declining a plea deal against Wells’s advice. Wells believes that’s why Brent is free and Spillman is not.

          They walk inside, and Brent excuses himself. Wells decides it’s a good time for a shower, so he disappears into the back. Wells’s new wife, Jennifer, decides it’s a good time for a drink, so she pours two fingers of Johnnie Walker Blue, a gift from Jerry Jones.

          A few minutes later Wells emerges, wearing a sleeveless shirt and standing in his kitchen. They hoped to be in bed an hour ago, but he’s waiting on one more call.

          “Normal day?” Jennifer says, and Wells chuckles before muttering something about Bryant. In a matter of weeks, this latest disagreement will dissolve; West and Bryant will withdraw their lawsuits, and the Cowboys receiver will say “there ain’t no issue” between him and Wells.

          But somewhere on this evening, another crisis is unfolding. Though Brent’s rehabilitation is complete, and another Bryant ordeal settled, in Wells’s universe the next problem is never more than a phone call away.

          He leans against the refrigerator, a clock ticking above a doorway, holding his phone. When it rings, the voice on the other end speaks fast.

          Wells listens, considering the angles one more time. “Okay,” he says, rubbing his eyes. “Here’s what we’re gonna do.”

          Comment


          • #20
            Dallas has tried to work with wide receiver Dez Bryant, Roc Nation has done the same, and there have been improvements. But Bryant has demonstrated a pattern of irresponsible behavior throughout his time in Dallas, being late to or flat out missing medical treatment or team meetings at least 20 and possibly as many as 40 times during his Cowboys career, according to sources familiar with the situation.

            As one Cowboys player remarked, "If you were hoping for him to come to a scheduled meeting, he may or may not be there; but if you need a first down on third and 14, throw it to Dez."

            One source said Bryant has been late or missed treatment on his foot injury that dates back to last season "at least 7 or 8 times this year alone" - and he has made strides over time. Bryant does not believe it to be a serious issue and the Cowboys publicly have supported him. In the end, it comes to this: Bryant isn't doing anything criminal, he's just being irresponsible.
            Adam Schefter, ESPN Senior Writer

            Comment


            • #21
              Is it curtains for AT&T Stadium this week?

              FRISCO, Texas -- If you’re wondering how the Dallas Cowboys are 3-1 at the quarter mark of the season, you’re probably not alone.

              If you want to wonder about five more things, here's this week’s Five Wonders:

              Away we go:

              ** I wonder if we will see curtains placed over the windows at AT&T Stadium on Sunday as the Cowboys get ready to play the Cincinnati Bengals. In the season opener against the New York Giants, the sun affected the Cowboys on two late drives on throws to Jason Witten and Dez Bryant. With a similar 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff Sunday, the sun could be an issue again. With AT&T Stadium's east-west configuration, the sun has been an issue since the stadium opened in 2009 but this was the first time the sun adversely affected the Cowboys. New York coach Ben McAdoo said he studied old games at the stadium to determine which way the Giants wanted to kick off at the start of the game to minimize the effect of the sun. It’s not as if the Cowboys have to purchase the curtains. They use them for concerts at the stadium to block out the sunlight. But if they use them, then it would be as if Jerry Jones admitted a mistake in his $1.2 billion palace. The sun won’t be an issue as much the rest of the season with the time change coming in November.



              With AT&T Stadium's east-west configuration, the sun has been an issue since the stadium opened in 2009. Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

              Comment


              • #22
                Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
                After studying each of Dak Prescott's 131 NFL pass attempts, Bengals do not believe the Cowboys' QB has thrown a single bad pass this season

                Comment


                • #23
                  How Dallas almost missed on Dak ... over and over

                  Adam SchefterESPN Senior Writer
                  No one could recall the last time the Dallas Cowboys spent much, if any, time meeting with and working out quarterback prospects for an upcoming draft.

                  Each NFL team is allotted 30 pre-draft visits to be used however they want, and Dallas never felt much of a need to use them on quarterbacks. After all, the Cowboys had Tony Romo. But in 2016, with Romo 36 years old and repeatedly injured over the past few years, Dallas brought in a whopping seven QBs before the draft. Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Paxton Lynch, Christian Hackenberg, Jacoby Brissett, Connor Cook and Dak Prescott all showed up in Dallas.

                  Thus started a string of moves that all but made certain they'd end up with a quarterback -- a quarterback NOT named Dak Prescott.

                  Draft Day 1, Thursday, April 28: Dallas and Paxton Lynch


                  Seattle sat in an ideal position, near the back of the first round, pick No. 26. Any team that wanted a quarterback, along with the ever-valuable five-year contract given to first-rounders, would want to trade into the bottom of the first round. The Seahawks sat back and waited for offers. Two teams called: Dallas and Denver. Each wanted to move up. Each wanted Lynch, the strong-armed QB out of Memphis.

                  For Seattle's first-round pick, Dallas offered its second- and fourth-round selections. Denver offered a first and third. The conversations went back and forth until, finally, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones personally called Seahawks general manager John Schneider to make one final push. The Seahawks told Jones in a cordial and matter-of-fact tone, according to one Seattle official, "It's got to be a three or we're not going to do it."



                  Dallas wouldn't budge. The next day, owner Jerry Jones lamented that he was unable to trade up to get the quarterback the Cowboys coveted: "I'm not gonna go jump from Dallas' tallest, so let's put this in perspective ... but if I had to do it all over again? I'd give the three." Draft Day 3, Saturday April 30: Dallas and Connor Cook


                  Having already selected USC quarterback Cody Kessler in Round 3, Cleveland didn't need to use its fourth-round pick (No. 100 overall) on another quarterback. So the Browns listened to offers. Once again, Dallas jumped into the fray. Haunted by failing to land Lynch, the Cowboys had their eye on Michigan State quarterback Cook. Cleveland sat back and listened, and then took the best offer -- from Oakland.

                  "I was pretty surprised," Cook told reporters soon after. "I think Dallas was interested and they were trying to trade up."

                  Stung by being beaten out to another quarterback, the Cowboys used the very next pick, No. 101 overall, on Oklahoma defensive end Charles Tapper. Finding a quarterback would have to wait ... but not much longer. At the back end of Round 4, with a compensatory pick in the 135th draft slot, Dallas selected Prescott. Tuesday, Aug. 2: Dallas and Nick Foles


                  Romo's backup, Kellen Moore, broke his ankle at the end of practice on Aug. 2. A mild case of panic ensued. Dallas saw last season destroyed by a lack of capable backups, and now, still unsure about Prescott, they searched for a capable veteran. Fortunately for the Cowboys, the Rams had released their former starting quarterback, Nick Foles, just five days earlier. Even better, Foles' agent also represented Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, among others in the organization.



                  Dallas and the Rams had discussions about a potential Foles trade in the weeks and days leading up to the draft. But the Cowboys were never willing to part with a late-round pick while having to take on Foles' contract. It was too much all the way around. Now Foles was free. Dallas didn't have to compensate the Rams and it could construct a favorable contract for Foles.

                  But there was a problem. Even without a clear role, Foles wanted to play only for Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid, Foles' former coach in Philadelphia. Even with four QBs on the roster, the Chiefs beat out Dallas. Later that week: Dallas and Josh McCown


                  After striking out with Foles, Dallas called Cleveland to see about the availability of veteran quarterback Josh McCown. Dallas viewed him as someone good enough to back up Romo and win games if Romo got hurt again.

                  The price, however, was a problem. Cleveland wanted a second-round draft pick for McCown. Dallas never considered parting with the pick, despite the obvious need. Talks broke off. Thursday, Aug. 25: An understated injury



                  Tony Romo fell to the ground, hard and awkwardly. This was his first game back after his injury-marred 2015 season, his third snap of the game, the first real contact he endured. Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril chased Romo and jammed him into the ground. Dallas' medical staff came out to help him, but after reaching for his lower back upon being hit, Romo insisted on walking off the field without help.

                  Romo fought with Cowboys coaches to go back into the game. No one thought the injury was severe. Saturday, Aug. 27: No options left



                  The Cowboys announced that Romo broke a bone in his back. He had a compression fracture that was expected to sideline him 6-10 weeks.

                  After attempts to draft Lynch and then Cook ... after trying to trade for Foles and then McCown ... the Cowboys were forced to give first-team reps to rookie fourth-round pick Prescott.

                  They'd tried everything, but the season was less than two weeks away, and they had no other choice.

                  Illustrations by Rafa Alvarez

                  Jerruh tripped and stumbled his way into Dak. Genius!

                  I bet Connor Cook and his helicopter parents are still crying about this.
                  Last edited by H2O4me; 11-11-2016, 03:24 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
                    #Cowboys DE Randy Gregory has failed another drug test, sources tell @MikeGarafolo & me.

                    Per the drug policy, next suspension is a year.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Will Brinson @WillBrinson
                      Cowboys last 7 1st-round draft picks:

                      Dez Bryant
                      Tyron Smith
                      Morris Claiborne
                      Travis Frederick
                      Zack Martin
                      Byron Jones
                      Ezekiel Elliott
                      Gil Brandt @Gil_Brandt
                      Ezekiel Elliott joined Adrian Peterson and Eric Dickerson as only players in NFL history to rush for 1,000+ yards in 1st 9 NFL games.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        THIS is how we should be drafting. It's no secret that their O line has contributed to most of their success

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott remains focus of NFL investigators

                          Adam SchefterESPN Senior Writer
                          The NFL continues to investigate an incident involving Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, NFLPA sources and a source close to the Cowboys rookie told ESPN.

                          One of the sources said the league is trying to be thorough in its investigation, and Elliott is aware that the league is still gathering information.

                          The NFL has been seeking information from the Aventura (Florida) Police Department regarding the February incident that involved Elliott and the same woman who accused him of domestic violence in July in Columbus, Ohio, according to one source.

                          A person in Elliott's camp said he recently was informed that, with the incidents in Florida and Ohio under investigation, the Cowboys running back is now viewed by NFL investigators as "Public Enemy No. 1."

                          The source said the NFL wants to make sure that there are zero mistakes the way there were in its investigation of former Ravens running back Ray Rice, and it is trying to be as thorough as possible.

                          The league is still investigating cases involving former Giants kicker Josh Brown, who was released Oct. 25, shortly after his admission that he abused his wife became public, and Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib, who suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his lower right leg in the early hours of June 5 in Dallas.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Mike Renner @PFF_Mike
                            Zeke Elliott is on pace to gain 1,005 yards AFTER contact this year. The last running back to do go over 1,000 was Adrian Peterson in 2012.

                            Comment


                            • #29

                              Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
                              Cowboys' QB Tony Romo is expected to play Sunday vs Eagles for the first time since Thanksgiving 2015

                              Comment


                              • #30


                                Exclusive: Jerry Jones reveals the true story behind buying the Dallas Cowboys
                                Barry Horn
                                FRISCO -- For Jerry Jones, the road to the gates of the Pro Football Hall of Fame began in a fetal position. That's hardly a comfortable pose for a successful 46-year-old businessman who already had amassed more than a modicum of wealth and power through the relatively obscure oil fields of rural America.

                                Jones, who was based in Arkansas and Oklahoma, didn't have to ponder purchasing the Dallas Cowboys back in 1989 for more than a New York minute. He was determined to add the Cowboys to his portfolio despite the advice of a team of attorneys and accountants who looked at the blue- and metallic silver-shaded glamour and glitz surrounding America's Team and saw only a black hole.

                                Jones clearly understood the cold, hard fact that the team, owned by Bum Bright and a cadre of minority owners, was drowning in the red. It was bleeding $1 million a month with full-blown bankruptcy beckoning.

                                His bean counters, immersed in due diligence, had informed Jones that the FDIC already had foreclosed on 13 percent of the franchise with another 40 percent headed to the courthouse.

                                No matter. Jones couldn't stand having his nose pressed to the window while what he craved sat in plain view on the other side.

                                Jones wanted what he wanted and let the bottom line be damned. He could fix it, he believed, when he got his hands on the Cowboys.

                                "I was blindly intoxicated with the idea of being involved with sports and the NFL," Jones said earlier in January, one month shy of 28 years since he purchased the Cowboys.

                                But deep down, buying the franchise scared him. And it scarred him.

                                Jittery Jerry Jones? Who knew?

                                Certainly not if you remember his coming out party, his introduction as the Cowboys owner on a haunting Saturday night in late February 1989. It was there, at the Cowboys' Valley Ranch headquarters, that Jones announced he had fired iconic coach Tom Landry earlier in the day. He confirmed he was bringing along his former University of Arkansas football teammate Jimmy Johnson, a college coach with no NFL experience, to replace Landry.

                                And then, there was this nugget. Jones decreed that he would be in charge of every detail related to the franchise, down to "jocks" and "socks."

                                He came across as J.R. Ewing cocky.

                                "I put on a brave face," Jones admitted in recalling the night while seated in his sleek office on the second floor of the Cowboys' new billion-dollar headquarters complex. Appropriately called "The Star," it bookends his team's billion-dollar stadium 36 miles to the south.

                                Turns out the "brave face" was the ultimate con.

                                Jones said if anyone had seen him trying to hold a cup of water in the stressed-filled days and sleepless nights in the hours leading up to the moment, they would have known.

                                "I was so nervous I needed two hands not to spill," he said.

                                And those nerves didn't disappear anytime soon.

                                For years, Jones said, he could not talk about the events surrounding his purchase of the Cowboys for $140 million, a then-record price on the American sports landscape, without inexplicably breaking into a cold sweat while fighting back tears.

                                It bothered him enough that he solicited medical advice.

                                "I've talked to doctors about it," Jones said. "They all said it was normal because I was suffering from tremendous stress in those days. It's my own version of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

                                "And that I can talk about it now without tearing up shows how far I have come."


                                Much has changed

                                Jerry Jones, who needed all the money he could scrape together to make the Cowboys deal a go, has indeed come a long way, and he has carried the NFL with him.

                                For his contributions to the league, he will be considered for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame when 48 voters confer in Houston on Saturday, the eve of Super Bowl LI.

                                Jones needs 39 affirmative votes in a straight yes-or-no referendum that will judge if he has done enough in contributing to the best interests of the league to warrant a place among the football greats in Canton, Ohio. Unlike players and coaches, who are considered only after they have been retired for five years, the stand-alone "contributor" category, which was introduced in 2015, has no mandatory retirement period.

                                The contributors in the Class of 2015 were longtime front office executives Ron Wolf -- who worked for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers -- and Bill Polian, who worked for the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts.

                                Last year, Edward DeBartolo Jr., whose San Francisco 49ers rose from the ashes under his ownership, was inducted.

                                And now along comes Jones, a still-active, first-time finalist. He's joined by former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, whose candidacy dates to the days when contributors competed against players and coaches in Hall balloting. Both could be voted in. Or only one could. Or both could be shut out.

                                Jones' contributions include breathing life into a marquee but moribund Cowboys franchise that would win three Super Bowl championships in the 1990s. But more important, he introduced new revenue streams to the league and his fellow owners in markets around the country.

                                Jones revolutionized the league's dealings with television networks and reinvented how owners could independently turn marketing of their teams and their stadiums into gushers.
                                "Had to try something to turn around the Cowboys' finances," he said.

                                To that end, he lowered expenses when he "weeded out" employees he thought non-essential. But that was relative chump change.

                                "I also had to look for other sources of revenue," he said.

                                He didn't have to look far. As a relatively freshly minted owner, he was appalled to learn that the NFL was considering a new network television deal that would actually reduce revenue in 1994 -- after a 1991 deal that kept network money flat. The reduction would cost Jones and each of his fellow NFL owners $8.5 million a year.

                                And so he led an insurrection against old-guard owners, who seemed content to take what the poverty-crying networks were offering,

                                Jones and his group instead invited the fledgling Fox Network to the party. And the money has streamed in ever since.

                                Pre-Jones in 1987, the league signed a three-year deal with the networks for a total of about $1.4 billion.

                                Post-Jones in 1994, the NFL's network deals for four seasons were valued at $4.4 billion.

                                This season alone, the league will rake in an estimated $7 billion from its network partners.

                                Jones also led the way in showing how teams could create independent marketing agreements to complement the NFL's league-wide agreements. If the NFL signed with Coca-Cola, for example, what was to stop Jerry Jones' stadium signing with Pepsi?

                                The Cowboys owner was branded a maverick. The league sued. But in the end, Jones won, and his fellow franchisees fell in lock step.

                                In essence, Jones established a blueprint that allowed rich men and women to make more money. According to Forbes, his Cowboys are worth $4 billion. That's more than any other sports team on the planet. Four more NFL teams are in the top 10. There are eight in the top 20, 12 in the top 30, 18 in the top 40.

                                Is that enough to warrant a place in his game's Hall of Fame? Will the voters, media members not blessed to own billion-dollar properties, deem him worthy?

                                Jones wouldn't even attempt to answer those questions.

                                One thing he promises, however. He is not the least bit nervous about the upcoming vote.

                                Rather, he has assumed a statesmanlike pose.

                                "Just the recognition, to be considered for the hall is an honor for which I am greatly appreciative," Jones said diplomatically.

                                "I'm pretty realistic that by the nature of my style, I haven't always been praised for what I have done," he said. "Some of my critics would tell you that I wasn't always working for the game, but I was. A rising tide lifts all ships."


                                Doing the deal

                                One final Jones story relating to his Cowboys purchase: After haggling the price for days with Bright, the old Cowboys owner told Jones he needed a bona fide offer by the next day.

                                Jones retreated to his hotel room at the Mansion on Turtle Creek and soberly came up with a dollar figure he thought would get the deal done.

                                He scribbled down a number on hotel stationery that was not fiscally responsible, but one he believed would satisfy Bright.

                                "It was instinctive," Jones said. "It didn't reflect the value of the team."

                                But it was also close enough to what Jones surmised Bright was seeking.

                                After a sleepless night, Jones presented Bright with the handwritten dollar figure.

                                Still $100,000 apart, Jones would not let the deal go.

                                In the grand scheme of things, the two men "were down to circumcising mosquitoes," Jones said.

                                Ultimately, they flipped a coin. Jones would pay $140 million.

                                "I lost the flip and the money," Jones said. "But I won the Dallas Cowboys."

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