By Danny Picard
FOXBORO --Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett took time out of his day Wednesday to talk about a few of the Patriots linemen that stick out to him and may cause his team some problems on this weekend.
First, Garrett praised defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth,and said that when he plays, him and Vince Wilfork together can be a handfulfor any offense.
I think Haynesworths done an outstanding job for them,said Garrett in a conference call on Wednesday. Hes a big body. Hes veryexplosive. Hes strong. Hes quick. He can be a really disruptive force in themiddle of the defense, both in the run game and in the pass game. You pair himwith Wilfork inside, and theyre really a formidable duo, theres no questionabout that.
When hes been out there playing, hes been playing verywell, and hell be a great challenge for our football team.
Garrett also praised rookie offensive lineman Nate Solder,who the Patriots selected with the 17th overall pick in this years draft. Garrettsaid that Solder was someone the Cowboys were very interested in, when draftingin April.
We had him very high on our draft board, said Garrett. Weliked him very much.
I think there are a lot of discussions that you have abouta lot of different players. So I dont think its fair to say that we wouldtake this guy or wouldnt have taken this guy. You never know what you woulddo, until that situation comes up. But we had him here in the Valley Ranch. Wespent a lot of time with him. We certainly watched a lot of tape of him. Hecertainly was in that top tackle group that we were considering very strongly.
Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.
President-elect Donald Trump made sure to thank a few of his supporters from New England -- particularly those at 1 Patriot Place -- during a speech on the eve of his inauguration to the nation's highest office.
Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all earned shout-outs from Trump. Kraft was one of many Trump donors present for a dinner at Washington, DC's Union Station, where he was singled out by the soon-to-be-president.
"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob.
"Your friend Tom Brady just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great."
Trump gave one extra nod to Belichick, who he says taught him to out-work his competition.
"I out-worked everybody," Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."
FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.
Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign.
Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown.
The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player.
Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.
Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.