Cowboys experimenting with Jeremy Mincey at defensive tackle 

The Dallas Cowboys are experimenting with their defensive line because they have such an abundance of talent.

On Wednesday, the team tweaked defensive end Jeremy Mincey’s role when they moved him in to play defensive tackle, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The Cowboys added Greg Hardy and drafted Randy Gregory to bolster the defensive line this offseason. With the newly-added depth, the team is trying out new looks to determine what works best.

“We were working a bunch of different combinations [Wednesday], which was great,” Mincey said. “Randy Gregory is coming along. Really solid pass rusher. They had me and Mr. Kraken (Hardy) here working together. You know what I mean? A lot of good, man. We’ve got a lot of depth, a lot of players you can trust. I think we’ll make some impactful plays for the Cowboys.”

Mincey led the team with six sacks last year.

Obit of the Day: “The Little General”

Eddie LeBaron was 5′7″ inches of impressive football talent. Short for a football player even in the 1940s and ‘50s*, Mr. LeBaron saw no obstacles and became a college star and a four-time NFL Pro Bowler. 

He gained national attention in 1949 while leading the College of the Pacific (now University), to an 11-0 season. While doing so he averaged 503 yards per game as the team’s quarterback, and Pacific set an NCAA season record, scoring 575 points. When he wasn’t calling plays, Mr. LeBaron was roaming the backfield as a safety and punted the ball. He was named an All-American. In 1980, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

He was taken in the 10th round of the 1950 NFL Draft by Washington, but wouldn’t suit up for more than two years. Mr. LeBaron was drafted and served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Korea. Hit twice by the enemy, Mr. LeBaron earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Returning to the NFL for the 1952 season he won the Rookie of the Year Award. He would play in Washington through the 1959 season, except for 1954 which he spent with the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders. (He returned to Washington after they fired their coach - the legendary Curly Lambeau.) 

While living in D.C., Mr. LeBaron attended George Washington University on the side and earned his law degree.

Before the 1960 season, Mr. LeBaron was heading for retirement until the coach of the new Dallas, Texas franchise, Tom Landry, called him and asked him to lead his team. Mr. LeBaron suited up as the first-ever Dallas Cowboys quarterback and played with the team for four more seasons, earning his final Pro Bowl appearance in 1962.

After retiring Mr. LeBaron worked as an Atlanta Falcons executive, a NFL television analyst, land developer, and, of course lawyer. 

Eddie LeBaron, who co-holds the record as the shortest quarterback in NFL history, died on April 1, 2015 at the age of 85.

Sources: LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, and pro-football-reference.com

(Image of Washington defensive tackle Bob Hendren, 6′8″ and quarterback Eddie LeBaron, 5′7″, taken after the 1950 draft. Copyright of the Washington Post and courtesy of Fort-Worth Business Press.)

* To give you an idea of how small 5′7″ is in today’s NFL, when New Orleans Saints quarterback was starting in the NFL, scouts and sportswriters wondered how he’d overcome his short stature. Mr. Brees is six feet tall.

DID YOU KNOW?

While attending Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, quarterback Drew Brees met legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback Rodger Staubach. The two would become such good friends, they would talk on the phone before every one of Brees’ games.

That could’ve been the key reason Brees and his team had a perfect season – going 16-0 with a state championship victory.

That’s a pretty impressive accomplishment in a state where football reigns supreme.

Dallas Mayor calls signing of Greg Hardy a “shot in the gut”

While most Cowboys fans are happy with the team signing defensive end Greg Hardy, some are not happy about the new addition.

One of those people is Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who called the signing of Hardy a “shot in the gut.”

According to the Dallas Morning News, when the Cowboys signed Hardy on Wednesday, Rawlings called the Cowboys to discuss the signing.

“It is something that I heard about and immediately called the Cowboys this morning. I had a couple of conversations with them because I wanted to hear their side,” he said.

The mayor said the Cowboys told him they “took this very seriously,” conducting background checks and structuring the contract so that he would be held accountable.

“I’m a big Cowboys fan. I love them to death and I want them to beat the Eagles every time they play,” Rawlings said. “But at some point, being a sports fan gets trumped by being a father, husband, wanting to do what’s right for women, so this is not a good thing. I don’t think I’m going to be buying Hardy jerseys any time soon.”

Last spring a North Carolina judge found Hardy guilty of assaulting and threatening to kill ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder, but the verdict was set aside when Hardy requested a jury trial. Charges were dropped when Holder refused to cooperate with the district attorney’s office after receiving a financial settlement from Hardy.

Hardy signed a one-year, $11.3 million deal with the Cowboys but remains on the commissioner’s exempt list and is expected to be suspended for part of the 2015 season under the league’s personal conduct policy.

“I think the attention on this issue is helping,” Rawlings said. “For too long, that line was really vague. It was a gray area. I think that line is getting very clear now. You never, never, never hit a woman. In this case common knowledge says he did. It’s unacceptable by me and he’s going to have to deal with the repercussions of that. I’m sorry that happened for the woman. I’m sorry that happened for him, but it did and we’ve got to deal with it going forward now.”

Rawlings said he’s still going to root for the Cowboys. But, he added, “that doesn’t mean I have to agree with every play that’s called and every person that’s hired, and in this case, I don’t.”

Rawlings did say he hopes Hardy can redeem himself and be an advocate in ending abuse in the future.

“I hope he will be in 10 years a person we look back and say he changed a lot of kids’ lives because he dealt with the issue, he talked about it and he owned up to it,” Rawlings said. “I hope that’s the case.”