By Matthew Postins
Someone pointed this out earlier this week. The first defensive end the Dallas Cowboys signed after releasing DeMarcus Ware, Jeremy Mincey, has as many career sacks (20) as Ware had in a single season in 2008. So can the Cowboys find enough ends with enough career sacks to match Ware’s 117? I’d be surprised.
The Cowboys part ways with DeMarcus Ware. It was probably the right thing to do money-wise. But the Cowboys are going to pay for it on the field defensively, unless they get incredibly lucky in the draft and find at least two ends and a tackle that can help immediately. I went on the record shortly after the news. This is a 6-10 team now.
If I were a Cowboys fan I’d be happy Ware went to Denver. This means he won’t haunt the Cowboys up close this season and Ware gets a shot at playing for a title. He deserves a legit chance to do so.
Speaking of haunting the Cowboys, I wonder if that entered Jason Hatcher’s mind when he signed with the Washington Redskins. For $27 million over four years, I’m sure he’ll rattle whatever chains Daniel Snyder asks.
A co-worker said this on Friday: You know, as bad as I feel about Jerry Jones sometimes, I think about Daniel Snyder and I feel better. So it could be worse, Cowboys fans, is what I’m saying. Jerry Jones will never be as dysfunctional as Daniel Snyder.
ESPNDallas.com reports that both Henry Melton and Julius Peppers, both former Bears who played for Rod Marinelli, have interest in the Cowboys. That report hit Friday. Well, Peppers agreed Saturday to a deal with Green Bay. So much for re-assembling the 2012 Chicago Bears defensive line Marinelli coached to 41 sacks.
ESPNDallas.com also reported that the Cowboys have interest in quarterback Brandon Weeden. I think that’s my gag reflex kicking in.
Things are going to get better cap-wise for the Cowboys. But it won’t necessarily be due to better cap management by the Cowboys. They’re still going to hand out max contracts, especially extensions to Tyron Smith and Dez Bryant, who deserve them. But the NFL’s economic model is finally reaping dividends. The NFL salary cap could be $150 million by 2016. I’m betting it will be close to $200 million by 2020. The new collective bargaining agreement, in association with increased revenue generation by the NFL, is going to do more for Jerry Jones’ checkbook than an actual budget ever could.
Wanna know how wonky mock drafts are? I’ve seen mocks that have Johnny Manziel going No. 1 overall and others that have him failing out of the first round entirely. Boy, the NFL just can’t fit a square peg into a round hole, can it?
I have serious doubts about Alexi Ogando making the 25-man roster coming out of Spring Training. He’s just not pitching well, and that atrocious outing on Wednesday, in which he gave up six runs in less than four innings, didn’t help. Remember when he was supposed to be the answer as a No. 3 starter? Me neither. Yet ESPN’s Jim Bowden believes Ogando will make the opening-day rotation. We’ll see, but I don’t like what I see either way.
I think there’s an awfully good chance the Rangers will regret allowing Craig Gentry to get away. Saw where the Rangers had the No. 7 WAR (wins above replacement) in 2013 and Gentry was among the “Core Five” players they sampled. Either way, I hate that he’s in Oakland and the Rangers see him nearly 20 times a year.
Congrats to Dirk Nowitzki for passing John Havlicek on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Hondo is the fifth player on the list Nowitzki has passed this season. Next up? Dominique Wilkins. Nowitzki is also No. 3 on the NBA list among foreign-born players. No. 1 is a name you would expect – Hakeem Olajuwon. No. 2? Wilkins, who was born in France. Learn something new every day.
This race to the postseason for the Mavericks is going to be a tight one. One or two losses will make the difference for the Mavs and the teams surrounding them – Golden State, Phoenix and Memphis. Someone goes home unhappy. The others, most likely, lose in the first round. All that work for a first-round loss. Probably. And remember – if the Mavs’ first-round pick is not in the Top 20 they surrender it to Oklahoma City. Why? Glad you asked.
The exodus of this pick began with the Lamar Odom trade with the Lakers in 2011. The Mavs gave the Lakers a conditional first-round pick that would be swapped anytime between 2012-17 when the Mavs were not picking in the Top 20 (the Mavs were in the Top 20 in 2012 and 2013). Three months later the Lakers traded the conditional pick to the Houston Rockets in a deal that involved Derek Fisher. Seven months later the Rockets shipped the conditional pick to Oklahoma City in the mega-deal for James Harden. So that’s how the pick ended up in the hands of one of the Mavs’ rivals.
And what did the Mavs get in return for all of this? Jack diddily squat. Oh, and if for some reason the pick hasn’t traded hands by 2017 the Mavs have to give it up in 2018. Well done Mavs, well done.
Saving Rick Peverley for last. The medical intervention after Peverley’s cardiac event was just incredible. You’d be surprised how many training staffs in professional sports rehearse these types of interventions. It’s just rare that you have to use them.
I don’t know much about Rick Peverley’s condition, but I would be surprised if he ever plays again. In 20 years of being around high school, college and professional sports, I’ve learned there are three parts of the body you don’t mess with – the head, the heart and the spine. A serious injury to any of those places can impact your entire life, not just your athletic career.
I had a couple of people I know question why they postponed that game. I heard at least one person make the point that in games where a pitcher is injured by a hard shot back up the box that the game goes on. I think that correlation is off-base. Injuries are one thing. Watching someone nearly die is another. No one, not the players, coaches or fans were in mental shape to play. Postponing the game was the right thing to do. Everyone involved made the right call.
By the way, the Stars have won five of their first eight games since the Olympics. Right now they’re hanging on to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. I’m curious to see if they can hang onto it. The past few years they seem to fade at this time of year.