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Perfect To Play The Cowboys

Notebook: Skelton not a Dallas fan; Whiz says "important" to keep Fitz


Rookie quarterback John Skelton (19) grew up rooting against the Cowboys despite living in Texas.

John Skelton hails from El Paso, Texas – Dallas Cowboys country. Everyone around the Cardinals' quarterback, including mom, was a Cowboys' fan.

Except his father.

"He couldn't stand the Cowboys," Skelton said, "and he instilled that in me."

So with the Cardinals set to host Dallas Saturday night, Skelton has a little extra motivation since "I hated the Cowboys." Skelton said he didn't really have a team he rooted for growing up, rather choosing to follow guys like Steve Young or Brett Favre.  

He did have a team he was rooting against, however.

"That was my team, yeah, whoever was (playing) against the Cowboys," Skelton said.

What kind of quarterback will the Cowboys see on Christmas? The Cardinals certainly need Skelton to raise his level of play from what he brought to Carolina. But Skelton remains encouraged. He said walking off the field after playing the Panthers he thought he had taken a step backward. Reviewing the video and talking to coaches, he changed his mind.

"I did some good things," Skelton said. "At the same time, (my mistakes) are still mistakes I shouldn't be making regardless of whether I am a rookie or not."


Not that it comes as any surprise, but coach Ken Whisenhunt said it is "important" for the Cardinals to make sure wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald remains a Card beyond his current contract, which is slated to expire after 2011.

"He is an important part of what we do," Whisenhunt said. "We obviously want him here."

It was mentioned it will take a lot of money to keep Fitzgerald around.

"That's something that can be talked about at the end (of negotiations), but that's not something we are going to talk about here."


Wide receiver Early Doucet is done for the season after going on injured reserve with a hip flexor, yet another in a slew of injuries Doucet has suffered in his three-year career. But Whisenhunt said he doesn't buy into the idea Doucet is injury-prone.

"Some guys get injured more than others," Whisenhunt said. "Maybe he's just getting his quota in early. … (This year) he grew a lot. I think he's really going to be a good player for us."


The fan voting for the Pro Bowl ended Monday evening. Wednesday afternoon, Cardinals players and coaches took part in their end of the vote, which will be tallied and officially announced the afternoon of Dec. 28.

Punter Ben Graham did finish as the top vote-getting at his position in the NFC, although he finished as the top man last year and still did not get in the game. Four other players ranked in the top five vote-getters at their respective positions: safety Adrian Wilson, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and guard Alan Faneca.

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