Each week I provide 10 quick hits on the Dallas Cowboys. Dean Blandino explains why it’s still not a catch, the Dallas Cowboys prove quite valuable and there’s a new book heading to shelves that you’ll want to get your hands on in this edition of First and 10.
1. It’s still not a catch, Dez. Our Mark Lane filed this report about Dean Blandino’s visit to Dallas to talk with officials at the league’s annual coaching clinic. Blandino is the NFL’s officiating honcho and, to Cowboys fans, quite the nemesis after Dez Bryant’s “non-catch” two playoffs seasons ago against Green Bay.
Blandino’s visit comes on the heels of the NFL “refining” the definition of a catch. Blandino summarized it as “Control, plus two feet, plus time,” which sounds like an equation my high school geometry with the wooden purse tried to teach me (no lie — she had a wooden purse. That requires more context than we have time for).
Blandino was asked about Bryant’s “non-catch” of two years ago and said that “It’s still not a catch.”
And, Dean, it’s still gonna be hard for you to get a table at Bob’s Steak and Chop House anytime soon.
2. The Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable team in pro sports. Yep, Jerry Jones’ team is worth $4 billion, according to Forbes, which puts the team at the top of the heap among all pro sports teams around the world (the Cowboys kicked soccer team Real Madrid off the top of the mountain). It’s still one of the best investments you’ll ever find, as Jones paid $150 million for the team in 1989.
Which, of course, leads to the natural question — would Jerry ever sell? Of course not. He considers the Cowboys to be a family business now, one to be passed down to his son, Stephen, who is now far more present in day-to-day operations than the old man (or at least it seems that way).
But imagine if the Jones family ever did put the Cowboys on the market. What would happen? It would be the bidding war to end all bidding wars. The most valuable brand in professional football, perhaps the most prestigious property in American sports, goes up for sale and the line forms all the way down Cowboys Way by AT&T Stadium. Let the bidding start at …. $7 billion?
3. This is how crazy NFL rookie money is these days. Ezekiel Elliott was taken No. 4 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft and signed a five-year deal worth $24.9 million. Tony Dorsett was taken at No. 2 in the 1977 NFL Draft and Dallas signed him to a five-year, $1.1 million deal. The context is astounding.
4. I believe that by the start of training camp the Cowboys will have signed a new defensive end or linebacker. End Dwight Freeney and linebackers Justin Durant and Stephen Tulloch would seem the most viable options. I believe one of them is coming to the Cowboys and we’ll find out if I’m right in less than two weeks.
FISH UPDATE: Postins' prediction turns out to be right on the mark: The Cowboys have indeed signed Justin Durant ... though as we note here, it doesn't just answer questions but also raises them.
5. CowboysCast takes a look back at those great Cowboys teams of the 1990s. Host Bobby Belt interviews former Cowboys linebacker Darrin Smith, who was part of those great Cowboys Super Bowl teams with Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, etc… It’s a great conversation, not only about Smith’s days with the Cowboys but the charitable work he’s doing now on behalf of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America.
Also, our Mike Fisher joins Bobby to talk about the potential for the Cowboys to look for some help at linebacker in the wake of the Rolando McClain suspension. That search may lead the Cowboys to a familiar name, one that is also out of work.
6. Looking for a great book to read next year? Get ready for Son of Bum …
That is going to be one sweet read. Can’t wait.
7. I wonder if the Von Miller deal left Dez Bryant shaking his head a bit. Miller signed a six-year, $114.5 million deal with Denver, one that featured nearly $70 million in guaranteed money. Bryant’s deal against the franchise tag deadline last year featured more than $40 million in guaranteed money, which is nothing to sneeze at, but still — Million outdrove Bryant on guaranteed money by about $25 million.
That’s a whole lot of respect for a Super Bowl MVP, and perhaps that’s the difference between the two.
8. It’s our Tweet of the Week:
Bobby isn’t wrong. To this day I’m amazed ONE team didn’t take him with a seventh-round pick. Unbelievable.
9. This week’s Great Moments in Headline Porn — “Report: Dallas Cowboys Strongly Considering Signing Johnny Manziel,” from dailycaller.com
This is one of those where you have to consider the source. The Daily Caller is quoting from the Gospel Herald. No, I am not making this up. Plus, the logic is ridiculous. The Daily Caller cites the report saying that the Cowboys are doing this because Dak Prescott isn’t ready to take over for Tony Romo in an emergency.
Seriously? That’s why? Good lord. Sometimes this is just too easy.
10. The Dallas Cowboys announced the signing of Maliek Collins. The only reason that it notable is because he’s the last of the Cowboys’ draft picks to be signed. A third-round pick should never be the last pick signed in any draft class. ... but now, the order is less important than his health. Collins might be on the field at the end of camp ... and the Cowboys D needs all the bodies it can collect.