Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Julius Jones Was Lone Star For Dallas Cowboys During 2004 Season

Running back Julius Jones was the lone offensive star for the Dallas Cowboys in 2004. A promising rookie out of Notre Dame, Jones was slotted to share the backfield duties with veteran Eddie George on a team that looked to pound opponents into submission in the rough and tumble NFC East.
But when Jones broke a collarbone during a Week 2 game against Cleveland, everything seemed to change. By the time Jones returned from his injury, the Cowboys were limping along with a 3-5 record and a miserable head coach growling louder and louder with each mistake. And though Jones rushed for 817 yards during the season’s second half, including a 198-yard effort in a Monday night win at Seattle, the Cowboys concluded the 2004 campaign with another frustrating 3-5 mark.
It was Bill Parcells’ only losing season while in Dallas, and it helped convince the head coach of what he thought he already knew. The Cowboys were blessed with a keeper at running back, and a Texas-sized mess besides.


 Read about Parcells’ struggles with the 2004 Cowboys in Ryan Bush's new book about The Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history “Decade of Futility.”  Use the following link to purchase your copy today:https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How Valuable Was Steve Hoffman? Just Ask The 2005 Dallas Cowboys

What did former special teams coach Steve Hoffman have to do with the Dallas Cowboys' struggles of the 2005 season? A lot more than you might think. 
Read about it in Ryan Bush's new book about The Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history "Decade of Futility."

Use the following link to purchase your copy today:https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Monday, April 14, 2014

Management, Talent Evaluation Key Suspects in Dallas Cowboys' Dismissal of QB Anthony Wright

In writing the book "Decade of Futility," I spent an entire chapter dealing strictly with Jerry Jones' quarterback carousel of 2001, paying close attention to the Quincy Carter and Clint Stoerner sagas.  What has gone unnoticed therein is that I ultimately edited out an additional story to this heavily stacked segment.  To include it would only show how poor the management and talent evaluation was for the Cowboys in those days, which had already been heavily inferred by the chapter anyway.  So in order not to get bogged down and be redundant, I left it out.
But that doesn't mean it isn't compelling, nor of consequence.  Because it is.
The story centers around reserve quarterback Anthony Wright and a knee injury suffered during Dallas' Week 5 victory over Washington on Monday Night Football.  The game, typical of the times, was a snoozer, the Cowboys nipping the Redskins 9-7 on a last-second field goal by Tim Seder.
And while ABC was bemoaning lackluster ratings and heavy criticism of color commentator Dennis Miller, Jerry Jones was riding a rare emotional high after seeing his team grab their first win of the season, telling reporters afterwards, “I got a little of that Super Bowl feeling again.”
Jones’ mood suffered a severe drop-off over the next 24 hours as team doctors broke the news: Wright’s knee was damaged to the point that, while he technically could still suit up and play on Sundays, it would be far safer if Wright were to immediately undergo surgery to repair it.
There was no secret about the fact that the Cowboys wanted Wright to put off surgery and continue standing in for the injured Quincy Carter, until Carter was healthy enough to re-take the field in early December.
Wright, on the other hand, wanted to protect his career’s longevity, and never thought twice about his decision to go under the knife, thus ending his season.
As a consequence, the Cowboys soured on Wright, cutting ties altogether with the four-year pro the following August.  Their reasoning was simple enough: coaches and certain team officials didn’t think Wright cared enough about football, which, ironically enough, was the exact same reason they opted to cut Tony Banks before him.
But did Jerry Jones really need a banged-up Anthony Wright as his quarterback?  Should he really have been Jones’ preference at that juncture?
Ultimately, the organization put their foot down with Wright; either suck it up, or else….
The timing for such hard-ball management is particularly odd.  Wright was no star in the making.  He had entered the 2001 season as the No. 3 quarterback and, after roughly 14 quarters of action over the season’s first five weeks, Wright had done his “backup” label justice.
He could throw for three touchdowns the first half, and three interceptions in the second.  He could throw for 180 yards one week, and only 80 the next.
He was a better passer than Carter, but relied heavily upon his legs to get him out of trouble when the pocket collapsed, which it was wont to do quite often that season.
And now, with a bum knee and severely limited mobility, it is a wonder the Cowboys could envision that version of Wright being as, or more, effective than Clint Stoerner.  Wright’s ability to scramble, one could argue, was the only thing that offensive coordinator Jack Reilly had learned to trust.  Trailing Oakland 28-21 during their Week 4 contest and facing a fourth-and-1 with less than two minutes remaining, Reilly didn’t call for an off-tackle run by Emmitt Smith, or even a quick slant pattern to Joey Galloway.  He, instead, opted for a quarterback draw with Wright.
The result (Wright was stopped short of the line to gain) is of no consequence when compared to the philosophy.  The offense really had only one thing working for them when Wright was under center: his mobility.
But with that vanished in the wreckage of an unfortunate injury against Washington, what were the Cowboys expecting to place their faith in for the next game?

You can read more about the Dallas Cowboys' crazy 2001 season in Ryan Bush's new book about The Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history "Decade of Futility."  Use the following link to order your copy today:https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Sunday, April 13, 2014

For Jerry Jones, Parting Ways With Tony Banks Proved To Be Start of Trouble For 2001 Dallas Cowboys

Quarterbacks were in abundance on the Valley Ranch lawn during the 2001 campaign. The legendary Troy Aikman had retired in April, and team owner Jerry Jones was busy orchestrating a merry game of musical chairs in searching for a suitable ...replacement.
Cowboy enthusiasts remember the scene well, their beloved franchise owning five different starting signal callers from August to November, the once fabled "America's Team" looking strangely akin to a minor league baseball team searching desperately for a reliable arm out of the bullpen.
Tony Banks, Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Clint Stoerner, and Ryan Leaf each found their respective names at the top of the depth chart at some point during the season, a 5-11 marathon that seemed to accomplish more damage than good.
The unquestioned starter coming out of mini-camps, the sixth-year veteran Banks was inexplicably cut early in preseason by an owner who seemed determined to reach the 10-win threshold he had so outrageously predicted months before with the raw talent of Carter, a wide-eyed rookie from Georgia. While Jerry was busy touting excitement and a brighter future as the primary causes for such a bold move, fans and sportswriters could only shake their head in bewilderment. They didn't understand Jones using a second-round pick on Carter in the April draft, and they surely couldn't see why Banks should be ditched while his replacement had yet to even learn the proper grip of a professional size football.
Without a doubt, it was a decision that destroyed the season before it ever started, the Cowboys' once-aspiring offense destined for NFL ineptitude.

Read more about "The Quarterback Carousel" in Chapter 5 of Ryan Bush's new book about The Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history "Decade of Futility." Use the following link to purchase your copy today:https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jamar Martin An NFL Draft Story of What Might Have Been For Dallas Cowboys

Like quarterbacks, the position of fullback has been one which the Cowboys have seldom taken notice of on draft day during this century. Seeing rookie fullback Chris Gronkowski miss a block that led to Tony Romo's season-ending injury in 2010 might help explain why. Seemingly, fullbacks are no longer needed in Dallas, or the NFL for that matter.
But, was there actually one whom Dallas drafted that was actually worth having? Seeing as how it was Jerry Jones who made the selection, it would likely surprise the reader to discover the answer lies in the affirmative.
The year was 2002, a season in which many budding positives would ultimately be rendered negative by a season-long quarterback tussle that split the Dallas locker room down the middle. Yes, Jerry was to blame in large part for that mess, but not with this single unfortunate event.
It was no secret that the Cowboys had been in need of a fullback since Daryl "Moose" Johnston retired following the 1999 campaign. Robert Thomas had been sub-par as a lead-blocker for two seasons, and his overtime fumble against Philadelphia in 2000 still didn't sit well with coaches. So Jones and head coach Dave Campo tried to remedy the solution by selecting Ohio State wrecking ball Jamar Martin in the fourth round of April's draft.
When Martin took to the field in training camp, it was apparent that he was one rookie worth keeping an eye on. A punishing blocker in the hole, Martin was piling up one pancake block after another. Well on his way to earning a roster spot, Martin found his career suddenly in jeopardy when he tore his ACL, and was placed on the team's injured reserve list.
And though he joined the Cowboys for training camp the following August, Martin was not the same explosive player as before, and found himself unemployed shortly thereafter.
Use the following link to purchase your copy of Ryan Bush's new book about the Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history "Decade of Futility"......https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Monday, April 7, 2014

Drafting QB Position Has Been All Swing, All Miss For Jerry Jones & Dallas Cowboys

Quarterback is a position that the Dallas Cowboys have rarely wasted time drafting during the Jerry Jones era. But when they have, it's been nothing short of headline-grabbing, though this might have something to do with Jones' penchant for outrageous remarks.
Jones made a sudden audible during the 2001 draft to select Georgia signal-caller Quincy Carter in the second round, dubbing Carter "the next Troy Aikman." Less than a year later, Jones went out and found Carter's replacement in dual-star passer Chad Hutchinson. Neither of Carter or Hutchinson was on the Dallas roster when the Cowboys began the 2004 season.
In 2009, Jones made another draft day reach, taking Texas A&M freelancer Stephen McGee with the first selection in the fourth round. McGee, according to Jones, possessed qualities equal to that of Tony Romo, and was thought by many within the organization to be a capable successor to Romo.
Though McGee did win his only NFL start, a 14-13 affair in Week 17 of the 2010 season, he was released during the spring of 2012 after failing to progress in Jason Garrett's offense.
The Cowboys currently have three quarterbacks on their roster, so it isn't likely that Jerry will audible this year. But make no mistake, if he does, people will surely take notice.

Use the following link to purchase your copy of Ryan Bush's new book about The Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history "Decade of Futility"....https://www.createspace.com/4161551