Cowboys Huddle-Up: 10 FishTips

IRVING - From Dez to DeMarco to Jerry to Garrett to the Patriots and Seahawks and back to Dallas: 'Cowboys Huddle-Up - 10 FishTips From Inside Valley Ranch' ...

Just in time for Valentines Day, I'm urging you to look into making special plans with Estilo Gaucho, one of DFW's finest steakhouses ... which brings you today's Cowboys Huddle-Up!


FishTip 1

People continue to misunderstand and confuse the importance of the "running back'' with the importance of the "running game.'' The running game will always matter, just as the kicking game matters, just as "passes defensed'' matter, just as, well, everything matters.

But the evidence against overpaying a single runner? It's overwhelming, as you can see by digging through News Archives. And all that info we have? Obviously, the Cowboys have it, too. (In fact, where do you think we've obtained some of it?)

What good runners do following a great-but-heavy-carry season. What is the true age at which runners decline. What is the upside to "running-back-by-committee.'' (Hints come from this year's Patriots and from the 2009 Cowboys, as efficient per carry as the 2014 team featuring the NFL's with Offensive Player of the Year in DeMarco Murray.


Overpay for DeMarco, a good back who had a special season? Nope.

Exception to the rule for someone like Adrian Peterson, a great back who had an awful season? Yup.

FishTip 2

So somebody thinks I shouldn't report on NFL awards before the tape-delayed TV announces them via a network I don't work for?

My employers are CBS Radio and FOX Sports. My allegiance is to them -- and to you, my audience. When I find out Cowboys information of whatever sort, the only delay in me delivering it to you is verifying its accuracy, not getting permission from ESPN or NFL Network to see if it's OK if I report it before they do.

FishTip 3

Adam Schefter has placed the name "Ndamukong Suh'' and the name "Dallas Cowboys'' in the same paragraph but has done so very carefully: "Those who know Suh believe that playing in New York, Dallas or Chicago always has appealed to him,'' is how Adam writes it.

That's a million miles -- and maybe 26 million dollars -- away from a real connection. What's most instructive here, though, isn't this tiny acorn or how it will undoubtedly grow into a giant tree. No, what's most instructive is that when you review "Fish's Cowboys Cap Primer'' you see amid the coming flood of "Cowboys Cap Hell'' fairy tales, Dallas COULD do such a deal.

FishTip 4

I've talked to the Cowboys about the report they've "expressed interest'' in Peterson. The report is bogus. The situation is unchanged. As always, there is a possible match but there are a dozen hoops to jump through.

When that time comes, though? I bet Jerry views this as a Deion Sanders-like situation, with many thoughts of "fiscal responsibility'' being obscured by all the championship-level benefits of employing such a transcendent star.

FishTip 5

This "First Take'' show is a silly sitcom, like "Gilligan's Island,'' only featuring five fewer stranded cartoon characters.

FishTip 6

I predicted back on Jan. 22 that the Deflatriots would eventually blame a ballboy for the tampered-with football controversy. As if some kid would DARE do something "rogue'' without orders from the emperor Belicheat and his iconic QB.

That's coming. Or maybe something even softer than that: No blame at all from an NFL that could've concluded its investigation and handed down punishment long ago ... but instead sat on this thing through the Super Bowl, knowing full-well that there was a fortune in TV ratings to be made by allowing the controversy to remain controversial.

FishTip 7

Should the Seahawks have run Marshawn Lynch on second-and-goal from the 1 to win the game? It's such a sensible take that even Dallas coach Jason Garrett is willing to wink in the affirmative in a Valley Ranch conversation with our man Bryan Broaddus.


But note this (Getty image above): Seattle didn't just pull that pass play out of its ass at the last second. It was planned, dating back to Gameplan Wednesday, as is always the case in the NFL: a certain situation, a certain matchup, a certain down-and-distance ... and you have a pet play.

Also worth noting: This year, Lynch was just one of five when trying to convert for a touchdown in this circumstance. So it's not like a touchdown there is automatic ... as it was in Dallas this year, when DeMarco, running behind this line at the goalline, was six for six on goal-to-go from the 1.

By the way: Why is that interception not also the fault of the quarterback and the receiver?

FishTip 8

Can Brandon Carr's new deal here simply be a matter of cutting in half the $8 mil base due him and keeping him around for $4 mil each in 2015 and 2016? And wouldn't he jump at that deal rather than be on the street -- especially if the Cowboys pitch to him the notion that he's already pocketed $25 mil and underperformed in the process?

And once all of that is done ... shouldn't the Cowboys continue their pursuit, down every avenue, in an attempt to replace Carr as a first-teamer?

FishTip 9

Slow down on your commitment to the believe that Marshawn Lynch's impending new deal and the fact he "could make $10 million in the first year'' will definitely relate to DeMarco breaking the bank somewhere.

"Making $10 million in the first year'' is empty unless you know how much he's making in the second year, and the third ... and how much of the deal will be guaranteed. We know Lynch was scheduled to make $5 million in 2015. So if Seattle adds $5 mil to that? It's entirely possibly that because this is an extension, Lynch's cap impact for 2015 will be LESS than his cap impact in 2014.

That's why, though agents and media and even some players enjoy seeing big, round numbers in headlines ... the devil is in the details.

FishTip 10

The Dallas Cowboys haven't "lost'' the Dez Bryant Debate because in the end, they'll get to employ Dez as a "Cowboy For Life.'' And that's a win. Tjhey have every reason to privately express their concerns to him about "commitment'' and "maturity''; heck, they did the same thing a few years ago with Tony Romo, trying to drag him off Hollywood Karaoke stages. And if you were about to write a series of $100-million checks, wouldn't you double-check the "commitment'' and "maturity'' of the recipient?


But Dez has won the debate. His side is prepared to argue that he's a top-three receiver in the NFL. And the only debate points the Cowboys can counter with is how to safely and smartly structure Bryant's compensation for being what he is.

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