Dallas Cowboys Update – Things are Unsettling in Valley Ranch
The online betting world is starting to focus in on March Madness betting, but the sports fans in Dallas have a whole list of Cowboys issues to deal with. First on the list of things that is causing some grumbling at Valley Ranch is comments made by defensive end Jason Hatcher. When asked about the future of the Cowboys’ defense under Rob Ryan, Hatcher said that the talent is there and the scheme is good but the defense lacks leadership. Hatcher pointed to the lack of a “Ray Lewis type leader” in the Dallas locker room that could bring the defense together.
While the 2011 season was going on, the pay per head sports experts were questioning the leadership abilities of linebacker DeMarcus Ware. Ware is often acknowledged as the most talented defensive player on the Cowboys’ defense and many feel he should assume a more prominent leadership role. Ware’s response to the comments was that Hatcher was wrong. Ware maintains that the Dallas defense has strong leadership and as the team gets more familiar with coordinator Ryan’s schemes, the leadership in the locker room will emerge.
The fans are also starting to make themselves heard when it comes to the job that Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones has done as general manager. Several fans have started social networking pages and websites dedicated to forcing Jones to hire a general manager and put Jones back to being just the owner. A bodog review of Jones’ responses to past fan insurrections indicates that these kinds of pressures do not bother him. But this is not just a smattering of fans here and there. The number of fans actively trying to force Jones to hire a general manager is growing and it will soon be something that not even Jerry Jones can ignore.
The Cowboys are in the same boat as all the other NFL teams in that Dallas has to use its franchise tag by March 5th or the team loses the tag for the season. Many sports experts are following the franchise tag. You can even read about the NFL franchise tag updates on the occasional NHL trade deadline blog. But there are some teams that may not use the franchise tag at all. The Buffalo Bills do not have any players outside of wide receiver Stevie Johnson that would require the tag. The wide receiver tag number is around $9.5 million this year and it is doubtful that the Bills will want to pay that much to Johnson.
The Cowboys have several candidates for the franchise tag, but it is expected that the Cowboys will not use the tag and rely on free agency instead. The most likely candidate for the tag is linebacker Anthony Spencer. But the Cowboys would rather work out a long-term deal with Spencer than pay him the $8.8 million that a franchise linebacker would get in 2012. The Cowboys are trying to avoid using the franchise tag if at all possible in 2012. At this point, Dallas is in negotiations with all of its free agents and hopes to have deals struck soon.