An interesting article in today's Dallas Morning News details the lack of discipline that plagued the Cowboys during the 2008 season.
According to reporter Calvin Watkins, one of the major problems the Cowboys faced was players constantly being late for meetings and team flights. The article says the team charter left late five times (out of eight away games) during the past season, including the Cowboys' trip to Philadelphia for what essentially amounted to a playoff game in Week 17.
Sources told Watkins that Terrell Owens was often one of the tardy players. He was late for a meeting on Dec. 23 during the week leading up to the Eagles-Cowboys game, and said he was stuck in traffic. According to the article, Bill Parcells used to fine players $5,000 for being late to meetings, but that fine was reduced to $100 under Wade Phillips.
And quarterback Tony Romo might not be the saint he's sometimes made out to be either:
According to five sources, several offensive players lost respect for [offensive coordinator Jason] Garrett for his failure to corral quarterback Tony Romo in practice. Romo, sources said, often forced throws in practice and often did not treat practice work consistently. The quarterback's practice habits were so bad, sources said, that they affected the way he played in games and could have factored into the offense's problems.
Romo was also personally offended when Garrett criticized him late in the season, sources told Watkins.
Garrett, when asked earlier this week about his relationship with Owens, said, "I have a lot of respect for him, certainly as a player, we'll just leave it at that, OK?"
Meanwhile, the Cowboys could be interested in signing free-agent linebacker Ray Lewis, according to a blog post by Mike Preston on baltimoresun.com.
According to Preston, the Cowboys could be willing to offer Lewis a three-year deal worth between $27 and $30 million, with $25M guaranteed.
Having spent nearly three years in Baltimore before coming back to Philadelphia, I'd be surprised (not shocked, but surprised) if the Ravens let Lewis get away. He's the face of the franchise, a favorite of ownership, a leader in the locker room, and most importantly, he's shown he can still play. That's just my two cents.