Hello one and all!
Welcome to the Dallas Cowboys Honors show in relation to the 2015 NFL season. The NFL has its own "NFL Honors" show that they'll have on Saturday night and they think they're cool just because it's on tv and there'll be players there and it's an actual show, but this one is better!
We're here to re-live the 2015 season and give out some handy (sorry Jason Pierre-Paul) awards to those who earned them. The academy has carefully assessed each award, nominee, and outfit for this whole dealio and I promise that you won't be disappointed.
This is absolutely not a black tie affair so your hoodie and sweatpants will work. Unfortunately there is underwear required so we had to rescind Joseph Randle's invitation. Maybe next year, 21!
Flash photography is permitted, and I will be signing autographs after the show; however I've put Eli Manning in charge of the timing of it all so who knows if it'll even happen...
Seriously though, who's excited? I see plenty of faces in the crowd that I recognize. Hey everyone... Chip Kelly is here! So Chip, how much of your life have you devoted to finding a "Dale" to run around with? And if you found him would you trade him away? Also would you consider yourself more of a chocolate or potato chip? I've always wanted to know.
Oh I should mention... don't be alarmed at that constant pounding sound. It's just Johnny Manziel and Robert Griffin III scratching and clawing at the Dallas Cowboys door. Before you know it it'll be gone, just like their careers. Hey-o!
I was going to break into a song and dance routine for you guys like the opening to the Tonys, but I choreographed the whole thing with DeSean Jackson and he kept stepping out too early! It was so frustrating. There were fireworks involved and everything (sorry again, JPP).
WHO'S READY FOR SOME AWARDS?! Brandon Weeden might even win one, absolutely not, so things are about to get saucy. Dallas Cowboys Honors is officially underway!
Merlin Olsen Award
This isn't your typical awards show, folks.
The "Merlin Olsen Award" is going out to the Dallas Cowboys who had the greatest name on the team in 2015. It's appropriately named after Merlin Olsen because how freaking cool is that name?
In terms of the award... it's a tough one. Are we going off of just the first name, just the last, or the whole ensemble? If King Jerruh was picking he might go with one of the Joneses (Byron or Chris), but that's too boring for us.
Dez is so much fun to say, and it's great for puns. Tyrone is a pain to type in my iPhone because it always gets corrected, Terrance is so many syllables, and LaDouceur is a nightmare to spell.
We had to start this show off right and with the right type of wind in our sails... like a great opening kickoff return. For something like that we don't have to look any further than Lucky #13.
WINNER: Lucky Whitehead
Taylor Swift Award
If you know me at all then you know I rock out quite a bit to T-Swizzle, but I'm not at all here to deny that the girl's got some trouble getting over dudes.
Close your eyes and think about someone who you once loved, but grew up and moved on from. Think about how they, in a state of disarray, completely collapsed and found themselves in a downward spiral of utter failure.
You can go talk to your friends named Jeff Lurie, talk to my friends named Tony Romo, or talk to me all you want. I honestly don't care what Dez Bryant says, DeMarco. We are never ever ever getting back together.
WINNER: DeMarco Murray
A Goofy Movie Award
There are a ton of great Disney movies.
There's Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, the list goes on and on. You know what's a dark horse contender for best all-time, though? A Goofy Movie.
Look past the good times had with my pal Goofy and his son Max and search deep in your memory to remember that this movie had songs by Tevin Campbell! We need to remember that for the rest of time!
It really is impressive that AGM is its own juggernaut in a land of them, kind of like this winner. There was a ton of hype about this team's defensive line going into the season, remember? We all expected guys like Greg Hardy, Randy Gregory, and DeMarcus Lawrence to do their thang... but someone else stepped in and stole the show pretty frequently (like with a blocked field goal!) a la my main man Goof.
WINNER: David Irving
For the last ten years or so I've heard people besmirch the name Nickelback when it comes to the music scene. People hate these dudes so much that in 2011 Detroit Lions fans put together a petition to prevent them from performing at halftime of their Thanksgiving game. Who else is shocked that Lions fans knew what a petition was?
Hating these dudes is suuuuch a popular opinion. It's cool to hate them. Well you know what, hating is mean.
If you went back in time to the wee beginnings of the 2015 Dallas Cowboys season you'd find a large number of people directing a Nickelback-like hatred to a certain running back. This particular ball carrier happened to finish 4th in the entire NFL in rushing yards in the face of all that doubt/hate and put together a pretty impressive resume for the season in the process.
Sing it out loud, Nickelback. Tell the world about our next victor!
WINNER: Darren McFadden
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Award
If you have not seen Episode VII by now, well I'm going to have to ask you to leave.
Just kidding! Come back!
The Force Awakens was one of the most hyped movies that we've had hit the silver screens of the last decade. There was a ton of pressure for it to live up to the great name and reputation of the Star Wars films, so it really had to deliver.
For all those that have seen the film you know as well as I do that it was fan-freaking-tastic. It was everything that we wanted it to be and more... just like the Dallas Cowboys first round draft pick.
WINNER: Byron Jones
Mambo Number 5 Award
"1... 2... 3, 4, 5." That kind of describes the mentality behind the shuffling of starters in at a certain position for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015, doesn't it?
We really could have used a little bit of Sandra in the sun at the most important position in sports all season, but it just wasn't meant to be. It seemed like week after week we saw Matt Cassel "jump up and down, move it around, shake his hand to the sound, put his hand to the ground, take one step left, one step right, one to the front, and one to the side" all before he'd just throw another interception. It hurts to even remember, that's how bad it was.
Lou Bega might have thought he was singing about some lovely ladies, but he was really singing about damsels Weeden, Cassel, and Moore.
WINNER: Dallas Cowboys Quarterbacks Not Named Tony Romo
Jason Pierre-Paul Award
You saw me take some opening shots at a certain New York Giant in my "opening monologue" and you know what, I'm doing it again! Welcome to Dallas Cowboys Honors!
It's no secret that this dude has hands worse than a certain Little Giant named Rasheed "Hot Hands" Hanon. Come on, that made you giggle and you know it.
None of us were giggling when opposing quarterbacks were throwing on us. You know why? The only defensive backs to record at least one interception for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 were Terrance Mitchell and Ayodeji Olatoye... not exactly the elite secondary we planned on out in Oxnard.
What's particularly sad about this is that the Cowboys went from December 4th, 2014 all the way to December 19th, 2015 without an interception from a defensive back. You're safe now, JPP. That's no cause for fireworks. But you still have pretty terrible hands like our winner(s).
WINNER: Dallas Cowboys Secondary
Rocky Road Ice Cream Award
How many people in the audience have ever had a day full of blues and gotten themselves a nice scoop of Rocky Road to help ease their troubles?
If you didn't raise your hand you're lying because we all experienced 2015 together.
Last season was a complete and total disaster, but like rocky road ice cream there were a few neat little surprises inside. We walked out of the season with Byron Jones and La'el Collins as bonafide studs, Jason Witten over a thousand career receptions, and with a brand new color rush jersey!
While it's no cookies and cream like 2014, rocky road sums up our year pretty nicely.
WINNER: 2015 Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo Award
As they say in the biz, you've gotta save the best for last.
2015 was literally the opposite of everything that we hoped, dreamed, and wanted from our football season. We were robbed of the experience that everyone deserves when they sit on their couch on Sunday to enjoy the thing that we love most in this world.
You know who's been robbed like that a lot? Tony Romo.
He was robbed of the opportunity to be drafted, robbed of any credit from his detractors early in his career, and just like us Tony was robbed of eventual glory in 2015.
There's one thing that we all know deep within our hearts... every time Tony Romo's been "robbed" in his life he's responded and gone farther than anyone ever said or thought that he could.
That's our 2016. That's our destiny. That's our quarterback.
WINNER: 2016 Dallas Cowboys & Cowboys Nation
That concludes the first Dallas Cowboys Honors! I hope you all had as much fun as I did. I'll be hosting an afterparty on Twitter where I'll dish out all the drama that happened backstage (I almost spilled water on my keyboard... it was scary).
The next time we do one of these awards we'll have a pinata in the shape of a 2015 that we can all "vent" with. Hooray for pinatas!
The countdown to next year's Dallas Cowboys Honors is already on.
Make sure to bring snacks.
Peace out, enjoy the Super Bowl, and Go Cowboys!
Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp
The Dallas Cowboys patience with Defensive End Randy Gregory has paid off. Suspended for the better part of 2016 and all of 2017, Gregory has officially been reinstated to join the team for their 2018 training camp. The projected starter at RDE, Gregory will report to Oxnard with the rest of the team on July 25th.
From here, it will be all hard work for Gregory to reconnect with Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli and get his promising career back on track. The last time Gregory suited up for the Cowboys, he managed to sack Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz in a week 17 win. The Cowboys will be expecting much more of this from a player they've supported through multiple violations of the league's heavily criticized substance abuse policy.
Cowboys pass-rusher Randy Gregory's petition for reinstatement was not opposed, according to lawyer Daniel Moskowitz. He's back. "I've never been more proud of any individual in my life. I'm very excited for Randy and his daughter and the rest of the his family.
Among this support staff for Gregory were a number of teammates that wrote formal letters to the NFL as part of his bid for reinstatement. These last few days of preparation before the Cowboys are together again as a team will surely be uplifted by Gregory's presence.
They say no news is typically good news at this point in the offseason, something the Cowboys have come to realize far too often. Today's news shouldn't be confused with a pleasant surprise however, rather something the Cowboys were committed to in getting another premier pass rusher on the field.
Here is the NFL's official press release on their reinstatement of Randy Gregory:
Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract
DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.
According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.
DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million
This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.
Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.
This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.
Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.
There is risk on both sides, of course.
Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.
Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.
Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?
The Dallas Cowboys aren't short on numbers at wide receiver on their current 90-man roster. Looking to replace Dez Bryant and reshape their offense, the Cowboys will have to find the right group of pass catchers for Dak Prescott at their upcoming training camp.
The odd men out from this group will likely be the ones that can't sustain a consistent level of play, doing so across multiple units if needed. All ten receivers will have their flashes, but with only four being true locks to make the team, new Cowboys Wide Receivers Coach Sanjay Lal will be in on some tough decisions right away.
One such decision may be moving on from last year's seventh round pick Noah Brown out of Ohio State. Vouched for by former Buckeyes teammate Ezekiel Elliott thanks to his blocking ability on the outside, it may now be this strength in the run game and deficiency as a pass catcher that spells the end of Brown's run in Dallas.
Normally, a seventh round pick being on the roster bubble wouldn't be this noteworthy, but Brown clearly showed the potential to outplay this draft status as a rookie. Appearing in 13 games, Brown is a true X receiver, although not the dominant one the Cowboys are searching for.
Moving away from fielding a true number one receiver, the Cowboys did sign Allen Hurns to play this spot while prepared to spread the ball around to Williams, Beasley, and Gallup after that.
This leaves Thompson, Wilson, Cannon, Lenoir, McCay, Murdock, and Brown to prove their worth in other ways to make the roster. I've written plenty about the potential rookie Cedrick Wilson has, so I'll be expecting a strong showing from him to earn a role in the Cowboys offense.
Wilson's skill set could push a depth signing like Deonte Thompson off the team, although his ability to back up Cole Beasley/Tavon Austin on special teams is important. The same can be said about Lance Lenoir, who like Brown has the advantage over first year players given his trials through training camp and the preseason a year ago.
Long shots to make the team, Cannon, McCay, and Murdock fall just below this group -- and somewhere in the middle is Noah Brown.
Increasing his role on special teams as the season went on last year, Brown had fans throughout a coaching staff that is now drastically changed for 2018. From their shift to more speed on offense, to drafting of both Gallup and Wilson, calling Brown a fringe player on the Cowboys roster really sets up the fiery competition to come at wide receiver.
Should the Cowboys find a spot for Brown, one can only hope it means this new coaching staff has a clear plan for him to contribute on both offense and special teams outside of being a run blocker. A potential niche for Brown is his red zone ability, not afraid to put his body on the line for jump balls and fight through contact in his routes.
It won't be long until we sort out if this is enough to make the Cowboys as a wide receiver ahead of Quarterback Dak Prescott's third season.
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