1. The Dallas Cowboys open up voluntary workouts this week. How voluntary will it be? Expect just about every Cowboys player to show up in some way. The next few weeks are about offseason conditioning, injury rehab and individual drills. There aren’t any Cowboys holding out. There aren’t many Cowboys nursing injuries. I suspect — and our Mike Fisher will know since he’ll be out there — that attendance will be near 100 percent. That’s what happens when you win 13 games the previous year. Everyone wants to get back to work.
2. Tony Romo was in the news this week … as a basketball player? As you probably know Romo warmed up with and rode the pine with the Dallas Mavericks during their home finale against Denver on Tuesday night and, naturally, our staffs at CowboysHQ.com and DallasBasketball.com were there.
I filed this story on the evening, a column about Romo’s experience. I like to think the former Cowboys QB got the ultimate fan experience, something that fans pay hundreds of dollars to do during fantasy camps. I also think all of the polarizing debate swirling around whether or not he should have been allowed to do so was ridiculous.
Meanwhile, our Mike Fisher provided this exclusive story on Romo’s post-game after-party. Yep, the guy had an after-party for a game he didn’t play in. You know what? He’s retired now. Why not?
And here’s some video of Romo walking off the floor after the game.
Trust us — it was a fun night for everyone.
3. It’s StarCast time, and this week we’re lucky enough to have a pair of podcasts to choose from, courtesy of host Jamie Horton. First, Horton visits with Charles Gaines of Players Revolution Sports, LLC, who tells us how we can all remain close to the games we love. Even in a uniform. Gaines believes EPlay will ‘change adult sports forever.’ Click here to learn more.
Meanwhile, Horton gets back to full-on Cowboys podcasting with his other appearance this week, unspooling a draft wish list for the Cowboys ...
For help, he consults with Kevin Turner of 105.3 The Fan, the Cowboys’ flagship station. You probably know Turner better as @KTFunTweets on Twitter and he serves as a producer for the Ben and Skin Show on 105.3. Horton and Turner discuss what the Cowboys need — and what they might get — in this wide-ranging podcast.
4. Staying with the Draft, our Joey Ickes (@JoeyIckes on Twitter) focuses his energy on a pass rusher that visited Dallas this week — Missouri’s Charles Harris.
Ickes goes in-depth to give you a breakdown on Harris, but also reminds us that 11 of the Cowboys’ selections the past three years have come from players that have paid visits to the Cowboys as part of their 30 on-site visits in Dallas. Don’t know who’s been to town? Don’t stress. Just click here.
In less than two weeks, the Cowboys will finally be on the clock.
5. Dean Blandino is moving on from being the NFL’s officiating czar. And our Mike Fisher is pretty happy about it.
Fish’s point is salient. If you’re going to represent the NFL and its officials on the NFL Network and on Twitter, perhaps you should joke LESS about the calls made by your officials. Given that the NFL is starting to finally move toward paying officials as a full-time job, maybe it’s time to have new leadership. That new leadership doesn’t need to be rah-rah officials, nor run from criticism when it inevitably comes. They just need to be down the middle about it. Blandino’s job is more of an explainer-in-chief position. Maybe that’s what the NFL looks for next.
And by the way, I read Blandino’s bio. He never officiated an NFL game on the field and yet he led their officiating efforts? That’ just seems wrong.
6. David Irving is now officially signed by the Cowboys. Yes, it was reported quite some time ago that he was staying in Dallas, but being an exclusive rights free agent there’s an NFL calendar that has to be observed in these situations. What’s interesting is that NFL.com did a 2015 NFL Re-Draft, and Irving came up as the No. 12 overall pick.
To be fair, Irving really hasn’t done THAT MUCH yet. And perhaps that’s the scary part if you’re projecting what he might become this season.
7. Here’s a story from our PackersReport.com buddy Bill Huber breaking down the quarterbacks in this month’s draft. He calls it a flawed class. He writes, “Fortunately the Green Bay Packers don’t have to tap into this flawed class of quarterbacks.” You could just as easily replace “Green Bay Packers” with “Dallas Cowboys” and write the same thing.
Just imagine if everything that happened last year happened — except for the Cowboys drafting Dak Prescott. Yeah, go have an adult beverage and contemplate that for a bit.
8. Tweet of the Week
If Jerry Jones were a regular Twitter user, this would he his pinned tweet, no?
9. This week’s “Great Moments in Headline Porn: “NFL Rumors: Romo hinting at comeback” From nj.com
C’mon NJ.com, you’re better than this. First, the story starts with “Weeks after Tony Romo left the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL for the CBS broadcast booth…”
Weeks? It’s been less than two, dude.
Second, the story references BleacherReport.com writer Mike Freeman, who has a scouting source that puts Romo’s return to the NFL via the Texans at 50/50. No offense to Freeman here. He’s one of the best out there and has good sources. This is more about NJ.com not even bothering to find their own source and just referencing someone else’s.
All of this because Romo hasn’t filed his retirement papers yet. Who knows why. Maybe he is sending signals. Maybe he just hasn’t gotten around to it yet. But just because he hasn’t doesn’t mean he’s dead set on returning at some point. Look at Roddy White. He retired last week, but he didn’t play at all in 2016 and he never filed his paperwork.
The story here, as most Dallas media reported, is that Romo hasn’t filed his retirement paperwork yet, not that he’s hinting at something. This is just shoddy click bait.
10. One More Thing ….
One of the best high school writers around died recently. David McNabb, who worked at the Dallas Morning News and most recently was a contributor at WFAA, passed away at the end of February after a short illness. Along with covering high schools, McNabb was crucial to breaking stories on SMU’s recruiting scandals in the 1980s.
I never worked alongside McNabb, but he was one of the first writers I remember reading growing up in Plano and East Texas. His high schools column at the end of each week was required reading for me and many of the people I went to journalism school with in the 1990s. As I got to know him, I found that he was one of the truly good people in our profession. His memorial service was Saturday at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas.
Rest in peace, McNabb.