Vince Young to the Eagles

All indications are that Vince Young and the Philadelphia Eagles have reached a deal for a one year contract, just one day after he was released by the Tennessee Titans (who are now dead to me).

Not bad considering the rumors yesterday that the market for Vince was drying up. It seems a whisper campaign by Jeff Fisher can only do so much.

In any case, I’m conflicted on this deal.

On the one hand, it could be a great deal for Vince. Andy Reid is a great quarterbacks coach, and Vince fits their system well. Michael Vick can show Vince something about keeping your mouth shut and working hard, so it could be good for Vince to hold the clipboard for Vick for a while.

Plus, Vick almost never makes it an entire season without injury, so Vince will probably get his chance to play.

On the other hand, I don’t like the idea of wishing failure on Vince when he plays my Cowboys twice a season.

The net-net is, it’s probably a good situation for Vince, and possible the best one he could expect. But it’s bitter sweet for those of us Longhorn-Cowboy fans.

Jerry Jones could learn something from Mark Cuban

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, have a lot in common. They both have egos as big as the city of Dallas.

But Mark has several qualities we’ll never see from Jerry. He has a humbleness that allowed him to put his team first. He did not speak publicly from when the Mavs won the Western Conference Championship to when they won the World Championship. And he said next to nothing during the entire playoff run.

That is certainly against his nature, and had to be difficult for him.

And, after his team won, when everyone was up on the stage at center court, David Stern called him forward to receive the golden trophy he’s worked so hard to earn. Instead of accepting the glory that few people would begrudge him, he asked Stern to give the trophy to Donald Carter, the 78-year-old original owner of the Dallas Mavericks franchise.

That shows a humbleness, a willingness to put others first, that I can’t imagine Jerry Jones ever portraying. And that’s part of the reason the Cowboys languish in mediocracy and underachievement.

Both basketball and football are team sports, but only one of these owners truly understands that.

Of course, the Mark Cuban we all know did come back. He tweeted last night that he slept with the trophy.

I only hope he took it out for a nice breakfast this morning.

Don Meredith Passes

It has just been reported that former Dallas Cowboy and long-time sports announcer Don Meredith has died of a brain hemorrhage. He was 72.

Meredith played quarterback for the Cowboys from 1960 to 1968.

That was before my time, but I remember him for his work as a sportscaster, most notably for Monday Night Football from 1977 to 1984. MNF has never been as good as it was with Meredith and Howard Cosell.

Meredith’s wife, Susan, and his daughter were at his side in Santa Fe when he died.

Turn off the lights, Dandy Don.

Dallas Cowboys’ First Preseason Game

Dallas Cowboys vs Oakland Raiders in preseason football

I stayed up way past my bed time last night to watch the entire Dallas Cowboys preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. Here are are some of my thoughts.

The audio for the telecast was awful. Sounded like it was coming across an old am radio.

The starting Dallas offense looked quite good. Romo spread the ball around well, and the timing was on for everyone, especially for a first game.

Jason Witten will probably be the number one option for catching the ball. The number two option should be Roy Williams, but Martellus Bennett really looked good as well. The chemistry seems much better with T.O. gone.

The offensive line gave Romo forever on his touchdown pass. He could have made a sandwich, cut off the crusts, and eaten it before making the throw.

The Cowboys are very deep at running back, and have two solid tight ends. Other than that, the offense looks shallow.

Sam Hurd looked great. Lots of hustle and talent. He may beat out Miles Austin for the number three wide receiver spot.

The defense looks a bit softer than last year, but has plenty of time to improve. Depth may be a problem for the entire unit.

The Wingstop commercial with Jerry Jones was goofy.

No surprise here, but Kitna is mediocre at back-up quarterback, at best. Let’s hope Romo doesn’t go down, because behind Kitna, we have…

Stephen McGee…

Look, I want McGee to do well. I’ve seen the YouTube videos of him in high school. He was amazing throwing to Jordan Shipley. Then he was horrible for four years at Texas A&M.

Nothing would show the irrelevance of the Aggies than for McGee to do well in the pros after riding the bench there for his senior year. And for other than a couple of whiny, bush-league comments against Texas, he’s seemed like a pretty good kid.

Dallas Cowboys v Oakland Raiders

However, last night he was just bad.

Yes, I know he’s a rookie in his first pre-season game, playing with backups, but he was playing against backups as well. His timing was way off, and he seemed to be aiming at the receivers knees.

The Wife pointed out that he spent more time running backwards than anything else. Even when he wasn’t being heavily pursued, he was giving up fifteen yards on his rollouts. When you have trouble throwing accurately much past twenty yards, this is a problem.

Unfortunately, other than for one game against OU four years ago, this is what he did his entire college career. Jason Garrett has got some work in front of him to break that well ingrained habit.

My favorite lines from the announcers:

McGee runs for his life.

McGee hit as he throws to no one.

Some things just don’t change.

Time may be running out for “Fourth and Long” winner Jesse Holley. He got in the game for a kickoff and a few plays, but the ball never came his direction. He did show hustle and desire to block down field, but wasn’t very effective at doing so.

I believe that fulfills the contractual requirements between the show and the Dallas Cowboys, so there’s no guarantee we’ll see him in another game. The first cut is September 1st, so he has at least another two and a half weeks as a Cowboy.

I’d love to see him get a real chance, with some passes coming his way. At this point, he should be hoping to make the practice squad.

Top Ten Best Football Movies

Football season is long over. Even the fill-in-the-gaps events of the draft, recruiting and spring football are done for the year. And there are more than three months until football starts back up.

One way to fill the long hours until football returns is by watching football movies. Here, in my opinion, are the ten best.

10. Wildcats
An underrated, but very entertaining movie, “Wildcats” is the story of a high school track coach (played by Goldie Hawn) who takes over a team of misfits at an inner city high school and turns them into winners. No, there’s nothing original in the plot, but there are lots of funny moments and great lines, and the football action is pretty good.

This came out while I was in high school. I went to see it with a bunch of the players from my high school team, and we were surprised during the football lecture scene when Coach McGrath was actually teaching them the same offense that we ran.

9. Remember the Titans
Sports has generally lead the rest of society when it comes to racial integration. “Remember the Titans” tells one of these stories. Based upon the true story of Herman Boone, an African-American coach named to lead the football team of a just integrated high school.

Denzel Washington carries the movie, although the ensemble cast is fantastic.

8. Friday Night Lights
Based on the H.G. Bissinger’s book by the same name, “Friday Night Light” tells the story of the 1988 Odessa Permian Panthers. Another rather dark for a sports movie, no other movie so accurately captures the intensity of high school football in Texas.

7. Invincible
A somewhat loose adaptation of the story of Vince Papale, who improbably made the Philadelphia Eagles as a walk-on in 1976. Mark Wahlberg shows that he really can act, and Greg Kinnear does a fantastic job as Coach Dick Vermeil.

6. Necessary Roughness
A ragtag bunch of misfit losers comes together as a team. That sounds somewhat familiar. It’s also very entertaining, even if it is predictable.

The Texas State University Fightin’ Armadillos have just come off of NCAA suspension, and must form a football team without the help of scholarships. A 34 year old freshman quarterback, a 6’4″ physics graduate student, and a female soccer player make up part of the team, and a lot of the laughs.

When the movies was filmed, there was no such thing as Texas State University. In the movie, however, Texas State plays Southwest Texas University, which later renamed themselves Texas State University.

5. Jerry Maguire
Yes, it’s a chick flick disguised as a football movie. But it’s also a pretty good football movie. Tom Cruise is very believable as a slimy sports agent going through a crisis of conscience. And Cuba Gooding Jr. is fantastic as the undersized NFL wide receiver who finally finds some heart on the field.

“Jerry Maguire” is at once a comedy, a drama, a romance, and a sports movie, and somehow seems to work on all levels.

4. The Replacements
A professional football players’ strike causes the Washington Sentinels to field a team of ragtag misfits and losers. While Keanu Reeves is the star, Jon Favreau as the police officer middle linebacker with anger issues, Orlando Jones as the lightning fast wide receiver who can’t catch, and Rhys Ifans as the Welsh kicker with a gambling problem steal the show.

Whenever I see the “quicksand” scene, I can’t help but think of Chris Simms in the 2001 Big 12 Conference Championship.

3. Rudy
This is a fantastic movie, that even has a UT-fan like myself cheering for the Irish. In fact, if this movie were about any team other than Notre Dame, it would probably be on top of the list.

“Rudy” is the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, a small kid from Joliet, Illinois who dreams of just one thing: to play football for the University of Notre Dame. Unfortunately, his lack of quality grades and athletic ability stand in his way.

You can’t watch this movie and not feel inspired to make the most out of yourself.

2. We Are Marshall
This movie starts by ripping your heart out, and spends the rest of the time tearing it into little shreds.

“We Are Marshall” is the true story of the 1971 Marshall University football team, who must start anew after the previous year’s team is killed in a plane crash. The stories of survivor guilt by coach Red Dawson and player Nate Ruffin, both of whom missed the fatal flight, are particularly poignant.

1. Brian’s Song (1971)
Don’t waste your time on the 2001 remake. Go see the original starring James Caan as Brian Piccolo and Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers.

Another example of sport overcoming racial barriers, “Brian’s Song” tells the true story of Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, rival running back for the Chicago Bears. The rivalry become friendship when Piccolo helps Sayers return from injury, and they become best friends.

Just in time for them both to face Piccolo’s fights against cancer.