• Mike Vanderjagt reminds me of something Jim Cramer tells me during his show “Mad Money”. “We aren’t worried about where a stock has been, we are only worried about where it is going”. Well, I don’t care if this guy is the most accurate kicker in the history of the NFL. The fact is that right now he sucks. You can make the case that his missed kick in the playoffs last year against Pittsburgh screwed up his head and he has no way out of the mess. But, the Cowboys don’t have to roll with this any longer. I would start searching the waiver wire for a kicker because my kicker has used 2 strikes already.
Evidently, Bill Parcells is feeling the same way I did 8 days ago.
The Hammer dropped yesterday …
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called Mike Vanderjagt on Monday afternoon to inform him that he had been released. While Jones said he was sick about the decision, he told Vanderjagt that "some people in the organization lacked confidence in him."
"Some people" would be coach Bill Parcells, who clearly never trusted the most accurate kicker in NFL history.
The decision came 48 hours after Vanderjagt spoke with Parcells and told him he believed he had corrected some of the technical problems that caused him to make only 13 of 18 field-goal attempts this season.
"He is absolutely shocked. He didn't see this coming at all," a source said. "He is extremely, extremely disappointed."
Signing Gramatica is like getting rid of the chicken pox in exchange for the measles …
Which, I'm sorry to have to tell you, isn't much below Gramatica's career percentage of 76.7 (138-180). What that tells you is that he's not that much better a kicker than Vanderjagt at his worst, but when he does make one, he celebrates with the best of them.
Five years ago Gramatica was one of the NFL's best kickers. Not anymore. In 2003-04 he hit just 16-of-26 and made only 6-of-12 from 30-39 yards and 4-of-13 from 40-49. Last season he didn't kick at all.
He battled fourth-round pick Stephen Gostkowski for the right to replace Adam Vinatieri as the Pats' kicker in training camp this summer and lost, but subbed for Vinatieri for the Colts for three games this season and hit his only field goal attempt.
He is annoying. He is a weasel. He over-celebrates. And, now, he is not even a very good kicker. According to This, Since 2003, Martin has been lousy. From 40-49 yards, (what got Vanderjagt cut) Automatica has only made 4-13 attempts. Sorry, but that is Cundiff-like. Just when you thought this team could not get crazier...
Gramatica’s wikipedia page …
Madden 07 fun with Martin:
Bob, can anyone who was raised in Wisconsinin be a Jedi?
Yes, Dave. Evidently.
Tony Romo featured by Gary Myers in the New York Daily News …
Tony Romo has rejuvenated Bill Parcells and energized his teammates and the city of Dallas, which loves its Cowboys, especially when they are winning.
He beat Peyton Manning nine days ago, will try to beat Eli Manning and the melting-down Giants this weekend, is the NFL's top-rated passer and even has been linked romantically to Jessica Simpson.
His first month of life as the starting quarterback of America's Team, the highest profile position in the NFL, has been pretty good.
But will it last?
Only Romo and Simpson know if there's anything to the speculation they're an item. The football part, well, Romo is one of the biggest stories of the season, but now must prove he can sustain it.
He got strong endorsements yesterday from two important precincts: Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterbacks Troy Aikman, who won three Super Bowls, and Roger Staubach, who won two. They believe Romo can keep this going. And not just this year. "For those out there being cynical and waiting for the wheels to fall off, I think they'll be waiting for awhile," Aikman said from Dallas. "This guy is pretty good. Bill thinks this kid is the real deal. I do, too. I think he can be here for a long time. He's a really good player."
Staubach, also speaking from Dallas, said, "I like everything I see about him. Tony is the real deal. He goes out there and makes plays. He's a talented kid and he's very competitive. He's got the command of his team. They are going to fight for him."
Romo signed in 2003 as a rookie free agent from Division I-AA Eastern Illinois, but took only one snap at quarterback his first three years — a knee on the final play of a blowout victory in Philly last year. But Parcells obviously saw something he liked, because even as he was starting Quincy Carter, then brought in Drew Henson, Vinny Testaverde and Drew Bledsoe, he kept Romo around. After Parcells tried to recreate his past with Testaverde and Bledsoe and was criticized for not developing Henson, it's an unknown who has bailed him out.
Matt Mosely on the Jessica Simpson developments …
Some of you may have heard the rumors of a budding relationship between Tony and Jessica Simpson, who did her undergraduate work at Richardson Pearce High School.
The story gained momentum when we first revealed that Tony hooked up Jessica's Los Angeles-based father, Joe, with tickets to the Cardinals game.
Romo didn't deny the rumors, in part, because there are far worse things people could say about you.
But now he's decided to set the record straight.
"So I don't have to answer any more questions about this, I'm not dating Jessica Simpson, nor have I gone on a date with her," Romo said while laughing. "I appreciate everyone's interest in my social life, but I think I may try to play it close to the vest from here on out."
Folks, we'll continue to monitor this situation for you. For now, it would appear that John Mayer is safe.
Meanwhile, in Non-Cowboys news, The Mavs streak hits 10 …despite an untidy 4th Quarter…
Ferociousness may be the best way to describe the Mavs for about 40 minutes Monday night against Minnesota. Those last eight minutes, much of that ferocity seemed to exit with those fans in American Airlines Center looking to beat traffic.
Needing a couple huge blocks from the surging Erick Dampier, a driving Josh Howard basket and a few free throws, the Mavs withstood the Timberwolves' furious rally to post a 93-87 victory.
"When it came down to it, we made a couple plays when we needed to," Jerry Stackhouse said. "We deserved to win. Whether we won by 20 or won by two, it's still a win."
Whatever way they got there, it still added up the Mavs' 10th consecutive win -- tied for the fourth-longest streak in club history and four short of the all-time mark.
The Mavs' 10-4 record matches their start of last season when they tied the franchise record with 60 wins. They go for win No. 11 Wednesday at home against Toronto.
Stars cough up the lead and lose again in Detroit …
Goalie Marty Turco can't win on what passes for his hometown rink. Third-period leads, normally as secure as Swiss banks for the Stars, disappear quickly. And power plays can actually be a bad thing.
Monday night, those unusual circumstances all manifested themselves, as the Stars gave up two short-handed goals in the third period to let a lead slip away and lose 2-1 to the Red Wings.
In 11 games this season in which it led after two periods, Dallas was undefeated. In fact, the Stars hadn't lost a regular-season game when leading after two since -- wait for it -- the last time they came to "The Joe," when they blew a 2-0 lead on April 17.
This time, the Stars squandered all five of their power-play opportunities -- although they were just one game removed from their best performance of the season, when they tallied four power-play goals against the Kings on Friday.
Kris Draper and Mathieu Schneider scored short-handed at 3:03 and 12:13 of the third, respectively, to erase the lead Dallas built on Antti Miettinen's early second-period goal.
"You're looking for your power play, even if you don't score, you're looking for momentum," Stars coach Dave Tippett said, "and it took all the momentum away from us tonight. The only soft spot in a strong game."
As I wrote last time the Stars lost to Detroit , the numbers are looking horrible. Updated through last night, the numbers now look like this:
• Marty Turco is now 1-8-5 against Detroit in his career. This is the only Western Conference team he has a sub .500 record against.
• In 15 games, he has given up 3 goals or more 9 times vs. Det.
• Ken Hitchcock was 13-13-3 versus Detroit in his stay here; Dave Tippett is now 2-7-5.
Nascar’s popularity dropping? …
Whether it's just a pit stop, or whether the rubber has finally worn off the racing league's popularity remains to be seen. But its easy ride appears to be over, as average TV ratings for the 10 final races of the season, dubbed the "Chase for the Cup," dropped 10% from 4.8 to 4.3, and some 31 of the 36 races drew lower TV ratings this year than in 2005. And while Nascar doesn't release attendance figures at its tracks, there were clearly empty pockets of seats at several recent races.
Combine the ratings falloff with the sport's freshly inked eight-year, $4.48 billion TV deal with ABC/ESPN -- some 40% higher than the previous agreement with NBC and Fox -- and this week's traditional annual post-season celebration of cocktail parties and driver appearances start to look more like work for Nascar. In fact, it may well be as big a marketing week for the league as its season-opening race in Daytona, Fla., its version of the Super Bowl.
Halen 88, Drunk?
5’9 vs 7’6
And, just when you thought the blog was done....EMAIL!
Some College Gameday follow up from Ohio St-Michigan. Jason wrote in and although we did not get screen shots, here is his sports humor:
Here are a few shots of the signs after the fact; I forgot to Tivo, so no screenshots from the TV. Sadly, we did not get there until about two hours beforehand, and we were only visible during wide shots of the four hosts, or the Herby/Corso two-person shots.
Also, the anti-Corso sign police were out in full force. My fave sign that got pulled was a picture of Corso in a Michigan helmet from a few years ago, and the text read “Corso = Craftsman: a tool guaranteed for life.” They yanked that around 10:45am.
And now, some additional emails:
My husband and I are going to have a charity drive this year, starting the day after Thanksgiving through New Years Eve. We would like to include you in our fundraiser.
We are going to have a fantastic Christmas Light/music show. (Go to www.friscochristmas.com to see an example of what we are doing.) It should be fantastic.
We are planning on including The North Texas Food Bank, Toys for Tots and KiddsKids. We would love any help/advice you can give us. We were hoping for a guest appearance from you or someone from your establishment, or maybe a shameless plug on your station, once we get the website up.
Please let me know what you think.
I thought you and Dan might find this funny. I work for the TSA in Terminal A at DFW. On Thursday morning, an older couple, maybe in their late 50's, brought their luggage to me for inspection. I'm suppose to ask 3 questions. The man was wearing a Cleveland Browns cap, a Browns sweatshirt, and a Browns jacket. Instead of asking the 3 questions, I greeted them with WWWWEEEEELLLLLLLLLLL youre going to CLE. They both busted out laughing. The woman asked me how I could tell, with out looking at the bag tag. It was simple. Then she asked me why I said WWWEEELLL. So I explained to her who you and Dan were and why that is said on the show and that Dan was from CLE. Both of them busted a gut laughing. I never did ask the questions. Just thought you might like to hear that.........P1...Brian
Thanks for the blog, as a former P-1 who now lives in Missouri, I rely on it every day.
As for GM Jon Daniels, I don't get to listen everyday, but is he taking any heat for any of his failed deals:
Eaton for Young - Eaton never wanted to be here and Chris Young won a playoff game in STL.
Padilla for Dellucci- Padilla walks for Dellucci, the great "clubhouse" guy who hit over 20 hrs in his last year in TX
Wilkerson for Soriano - Brad Wilkerson for a 40-40 guy? That's all you could get for Soriano? (The sad thing is that the Rangers basically traded A-Rod for wilkerson, not all Daniels fault, but extremely sad.)
Lee and Cruz for Mench, Cordero and Nix. The sad thing about this trade is Lee walks away for three semi-decent players. Once again, the Rangers get very little in return.
Is he failing or am I overlooking some of his good deals?
Thanks for the blog, I catch the show when I can.
I think you are spot on, Bill, but the question is what is the sum total of his moves? If Nelson Cruz can play, then that trade swings back in Texas' direction. If, Otsuka closes all year again, then that trade doesn't hurt as much. Of course, if Adrian Gonzalez plays 1B for San Diego for the next decade....Well, face it. The Padres trade was horrible.
Padilla and Dellucci were not in the same deal. Tejada was for Dellucci, and frankly, I still support trading a bat for an arm that should be more than capable again next summer.
As for Daniels, any GM needs 3-5 years to get a read on their performance. That is quite a leash, but every GM is going to miss plenty. You just have to get a few right, and when you do, they could be franchise changers.
And now an email from an Aggie who wants to fight Longhorns:
Brace for it, because it's coming. Excuses galore are about to head your way from the entitlement-having whorn. Austin residents/football fans have very little to no exposure to football other than Longhorn football. So any football opinion has to be taken in stride. That being said, I'd like to make a few preemptive rebuttals:
1. Pass interference in the end zone - it would have been a good no call, but Sweed pushing the defender off in the facemask calls for a legitimate pass interference flag.
2. 1st late hit on McBoy - McBoy should not have been jogging to the sidelines, oblivious to the defense as early as he did. The defender that smashed him was playing as if the guy who intercepted the ball was still returning the ball. It wasn't an intentionally dirty play. The defender didn't know the play was over, and if the "interceptor" was still returning the pick, it would have been a completely legit hit.
3. 2nd late hit on McBoy. As the outstanding commentating team pointed out on tv, if that was hit took place in the NFL it would have drawn a flag. But there is no per se rule against helmet to helmet contact with the quarterback.
4. Mack not sitting McBoy. After taking the first smash during the pick, Mack had to have at least considered not running him back out there. If not at that point, after the duck he threw on his first throw on the next drive, it had to have been apparent to Mack that McBoy was likely seriously injured. But my guess is that whorn won't blame Mack since he is now immunized from criticism. Mack might have seriously cost McBoy some playingtime next year.
5. Woulda coulda shoulda. If whorn wants to run those scenarios out there, the first extra point SHOULDA been made, so it SHOULDA been 14-7 after the second touchdown. So UT COULDA taken care of business in overtime, if at all.
Yesterday, I made the claim that I detest the NFL pass interference rule as it allows for a spot penalty meaning that the penalty can be 40-50 yards on deep passes. I think this is crazy. Here is someone who disagrees with me:
if it is just 15 yards then every time someone is beat for a huge gain, much less a touchdown they will just take the receivers legs out from under him, thereby giving up 15 yards instead of 20,30..... touchdown. The answer is you need officials that know how to call it, for some reason when it becomes a question of pass interference all the officials magically transform n2 NBA officials.
My response: If this was going to happen, why doesn't it happen in the college game? If they would just tackle all Wide Outs, surely in college they would figure this out...