Say What?

Dallas Mayor Laura Miller and Councilman Steve Salazar almost received a bill earlier this week to cover a fantastic Mexican cuisine lunch which was nearly regurgitated when zoo keeper Salazar opened his public trap.

In talking about Dallas hosting a bulk of Super Bowl events, Steve Salazar said, "We're the 800 pound gorilla. Without us, there's no bid."

Perdon mi?

What kind of hypocritical threat was that? This coming from the same city government body wanting nothing to do with a new Cowboys stadium project in Dallas County. No, we don't want the structure, the cost or the taxes, yet we demand the majority of the Super Bowl generated revenue. Now, that's choice. Not only no Cowboys stadium standing in the shadows of the City's beautiful skyline, but fond farewells are being paid to the Cotton Bowl, facility and event, and the annual Texas vs. OU showdown is being shown the door as well.

People, nicely done.

Major Dallas icons and staples escaping the City's ignorance. The Cowboys stadium would have single-handedly revitalized the Fair Park area. Has anyone seen what the American Airlines Center, another poo-poo'd initiative by Mayor Miller, has sparked in the way of refurbishment and development? You're right Mayor, that was a bad idea. Mayor, you and your political puppets need to stick to bogus initiatives and leave the sporting world to those who actually have a clue on the subject matter. The 800 pound gorilla? The only similarity between City Council and the giant primate is actually the smell. Someone toss them a banana and some common sense. Are these folks actually elected officials? If so, maybe the beef isn't with the elected as much as it should be the electors. Here's a little kernel of wisdom from an entity not in the political or sporting world. Relax, be quiet and support Captain Comeback and the Super Bowl Bid Committee. There will be plenty of coin to go round. It's the friggin Super Bowl for crying out loud.

From moronic to memorable, a fond farewell is paid to Crazy Ray and his family. This Dallas Cowboys icon has traveled the path of his Maker, and he will be both remembered and missed. There will be no other, and the moment Ray started down the trail of cruel health, that should have been the beginning and end to mascot utilization within the organization. You weren't going to duplicate his efforts, and Ray was a perfect fit while carrying out his loyalty with charisma, character and dignity. Yet Jerry sought to bring in the "beating" known only as Rowdy to completely tarnish everything Ray stood for. Crazy Ray was a staple on Game Day in Texas Stadium. Why mess with perfection?

There are so many memories of Ray's antics, but a favorite, regularly seen on NFL Films, is The Playmaker approaching Ray after a patented, flamboyant Irvin score. Arm around the revered mascot, Irvin playfully removes Ray's cowboy hat and places it on his own helmet-less head. The smiles worn by both men said it all. There probably weren't two bigger grins on the planet let alone Texas Stadium.

Vintage.

Ray, rest in peace, savor life eternal and enjoy your penthouse view of your beloved Cowboys. Did the Cowboys jump the gun on Brad Johnson? If they knew the tide was turning down I-45, then they may be guilty as charged. David Carr is officially available, and the asking price will prove to be modest and reasonable. Say what you will about the Carr era in Houston, but he has a couple of things on his side as he exits H-Town; the biggest being youth and a fresh start. Unlike the ultra-cocky Joey Harrington, the gut instinct says David Carr will somehow rebound. At least it's hoped he does. He, and his immediate family, are acts of class. He deserves a second chance. Teams can only hope he's not shell-shocked beyond repair. Those zillion sacks have a way of producing the "flinch" syndrome.

This is not an indictment of Brad Johnson by any stretch, but the Romo and Carr combination has major appeal. For many years to come. As problematic as the Drew Bledsoe mobility limitations and errant throws were, the man rarely was injured. One would think the cement shoes should have directly contributed to missed time, but the man could take a thorough and sound beating. Conditioning and size surely played a factor, but Tony Romo is not cut from the same physical cloth.

Tough kid? Sure he is, but that frame will not take repeated and constant punishment. Especially with his style of play. You open yourself up when the feet become a weapon. No one wishes it, but sooner or later, if he becomes the signal caller for years to come, he's going to miss games. When it happens, a young, lively and experienced arm would be most welcomed. Brad Johnson is veteran insurance, but David Carr is longevity and competition. Through the futuristic glasses, the gun was jumped, and the Cowboys should have holed up in the blocks for a couple more weeks before committing to Johnson. What's done is done, but David Carr is not.

What might be done is the League allowing the Houston Texans continued Draft and talent evaluation rights. The whole scenario strikes up images of a conservative judge presiding over a 5-time DUI offender. As the judge shakes his head and permanently removes driving privileges from the offender for life, the same sentence should be rendered on the court jesters in Houston.

These folks would screw up a one car funeral. Did they not issue David Carr an $8 million contract bonus last year? Endorsed by none other than offensive guru and new Head Coach Gary Kubiak? Talk about a bevy of perfect candidates to play members of the Howard family if there stands to be a Stooges remake.

Passes taken on both home town hero Vince Young and that anywhere on the field threat known as Reggie Bush, this organization would rival Terry Bradshaw in a spelling bee. Folks, the word is "cat," and we're spotting you two consonants. Good luck with all that.

Who would have imagined the franchise's high water mark came and went with their opening day victory over the Cowboys? Seven days of bragging rights, back slapping and visions of futuristic Lombardi hoistings. Here today, gone tomorrow. It's been a virtual free fall since the opening franchise bell ringing. The pride of H-Town has taken a major hit, and all things Texans-related are sheer embarrassments right now. Every night the season ticket holder and devout fan has to place their head on the pillow while a vision of Vince Young's game winning scamper snaps a good many into patented insomnia. So, who wants a "do over?" At least their digs are noteworthy. Ya, right up until Jerry opens his doors and renders Reliant Stadium a mere backyard utility shed within the Texas landscape.

Listening to Wade Phillips willingly offer his time and insight amongst the local media is not only refreshing but extremely enduring. Something his predecessor refused to offer up and reveal. Similar to his defensive pressure. Wade Phillips is champing at the bit to unleash his scheme and personnel. He stops short of coming out of his boots, but make no mistake about it, it won't be your Bill Parcells' Oldsmobile lining up on defense. Heck, it might not even be Detroit made. Proper personnel utilization will make a grand appearance on the Texas Stadium surface in 2007. How flipping refreshing is that?

The local pundits have chided Jerry and troops calling the coaching staff a butler shy of The Family Affair. Laugh while you can. The beauty is the expectations are gone. They left the premises with the outdated supply of Star-Kist. One gets the feeling Jason Garrett and Tony Sparano are grinning ear to ear. Freedom to orchestrate and direct. Creativity revisited. The mad scientists are locked in their labs mixing offensive concoctions, and they have no worries of the game plans being put in mothballs while favoring the conservative and Dark Ages approach. The young minds will be allowed to step out on the limb and test the waters.

It's probably most errant to completely lambaste the Parcells' regime in regards to the offensive side of the ball. Look at what that unit accomplished with a change at quarterback, the training wheels firmly affixed and Roberto Duran running pass routes. Not too shabby for a go-cart running with a restricted governor. Imagine the potential of running full throttle. Could last year's point total become a distant speck in the rear view mirror? Will "the player" be allowed to run his patented mini slant route where he is virtually untouchable in open space? Will the potential return of the fullback showcase the contract year Julius Jones everyone has been waiting to see on display? Could Jason Witten return to the vaunted seam threat he used to be?

Putting the dreaded and costly drops aside, Terrell Owens is definitely a Cowboy for the 2007 season, and he should be. Put your hatred or dislike aside for a moment, and take a close look at the season he had. Now combine it with the fact his complete knowledge of the offense wasn't there, and because of it, he was limited in his capacity to perform. An excuse? No. A reality? Yes. With basically one arm tied behind his back, his natural skills and abilities propelled him to a very productive freshman campaign with the Cowboys. Heck, they didn't even feature him in the open field and run after the catch situations, and he still delivered. Oh, by the way, that was another 1000 yard receiver on the other side as well. This offense has potency written all over it.

To top matters off, The Ranch Report heard briefly from Cowboys VP of College and Pro Scouting the other day. Between breaths, flights and film study. To say Jeff Ireland, and staff, are busy these days is to clearly underestimate the workings of the Cowboys talent evaluators. This is their Christmas, and the shopping catalogs are being scrutinized to the umpteenth degree. We were asked to give a call back to the office in hopes of catching up with Jeff and allowing him a little time to come up for air and tell us about his dealings with the new Wade Phillips assembly. We look forward to our visit with Jeff and will post it soon after the conversation transpires.

This particular Draft could be a watershed year for Ireland. The Ranch Report has never approached the subject with him, but it's sensed the future sights may be set on a General Manager opportunity. Another successful Draft will go a long way to solidifying that possibility. It would be tremendous if that chance presented itself here in Dallas, but the current set-up is not conducive to that consideration. Things do change, and Jerry Jones may well find another front office position for Ireland moving forward. The Cowboys Nation can only hope it remains in a talent assessment role.

The 2007 Draft is a mere 34 days away, the Mock Draft idiots are everywhere, and Mel Kiper is about ready to engage in the annual bouffant. A great time of the year. Certainly keep it tuned to this station to learn of all the comings and goings at Valley Ranch. The week of April 2nd will be monstrous pre-Draft coverage with many collegiate stars walking the halls of Valley Ranch. We caught up with Hadley Englehardt, the Agent for Florida sensation Reggie Nelson, and Agent and client will visit Dallas April 4th and 5th. We hope to speak to Reggie during his visit and get his thoughts on potentially becoming a Cowboy.

The Cowboys are graced with 10 picks in this year's Annual Selection Process. It's hoped they can parlay the windfall into something special for the future.

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