Does Chris Canty have a future in Dallas?

Chris Canty has been an enigma for me with the Dallas Cowboys. Man, he sure does look the part of a 3-4 DE; rangy and weighing 300 pounds, good athleticism - sounds perfect. Plus, he only cost us a fourth round pick. But for some reason, he just hasn't reached that next level, where a player can really affect a game and do it consistently. It's not all about sacks, either. 3-4 ends aren't typically sack machines, that much is true. At the base level, a 3-4 end needs to be able to hold his position against the run and shed blocks to make tackles. If you can't do that, then you can't play the position. Now, if you can do that and create disruption in the backfield by getting penetration and creating chaos with the blocking scheme, then you're above the average cut. This is where you start earning the bigger money. Making tackles for loss is a nice bonus. If you can do all that and get sacks, then you're going to get paid - large.

Will Canty get paid - large?

Make the jump for more and for some Felix Jones news.

The problem is Canty has never consistently been able to get past the base stage. Occasionally, he flashes in the backfield of the opposition but not often enough to be thought of as a top-flight DE. That's were the problem starts. Apparently his agent says he should be paid along the lines of Raiders DE/DT Tommy Kelly, who snagged a 7-year, $50-million contract. (Insert your own joke here about the Raiders setting the market.) No way is Canty worth that much investment. His stats for solo tackles, forced fumbles, sacks, etc. don't validate anything more than a mid-level payday.

He's a solid player, one I wouldn't mind having back. He's still young and for some reason I think he could blossom although I have no idea how that would happen. Personal dedication on his part? A new coach? The light-bulb just goes on? Experience finally pays off? I don't know, maybe I'm just blinded by the fact I really want him to become elite. Until he is elite, the Cowboys won't be paying a Tommy Kelly kind of price.

The first offer in free agency for Chris Canty probably won't come from Dallas. They'll be content to let other teams set the market - as long as it's not the Raiders!  

So who might be looking at a player like Canty? Miami?

Cowboys DE Chris Canty could be the latest to end up on the Miami Cowboys if Dallas continues to drag their feet to re-up him.

[snip]

Canty was on Sirius Radio today and he said the Cowboys haven't shown much interest. He's a huge fan of Tuna's and obviously he played for many of the Dolphins coaches who came over from Dallas.

"He did draft me. You know, I like Bill, and I've always said there's a part of me that's always going to be a Parcells' guy. I've played under Al Groh in college and then coming in as a rookie under Bill. What they instill in the brand of football that they play, it's been with me so that would be a good fit. But you know we have to wait and see.''

Or maybe Green Bay

"This year's free-agency class has two proven 5-technique players: the Cowboys' Chris Canty and the Chargers' Igor Olshansky. The Packers would benefit from signing at least one of these men for their front," [said Pat Kirwan]

The Pack are moving to a 3-4 defense and need new personnel.

At this point of the offseason, the Packers don't have one sure-thing at defensive end. Will Cullen Jenkins be over his season-ending chest injury? Will Johnny Jolly stay out of jail? Will Justin Harrell be healthy?

So, it's interesting to note that the Dallas Cowboys are going to let standout defensive end Chris Canty shop himself this offseason.

Canty, a 6-foot-7, 304-pound defensive end who started on the right side in Dallas' 3-4 scheme, is regarded as a solid run defender. He just completed his fourth NFL season, so the 26-year-old former fourth-round draft pick has plenty of room to improve as a pass rusher (10 career sacks).

On to another subject and a happy one! The return of El Gato. The Cat, Felix Jones, is doing just fine in his recovery from the toe injury and should be on track for offseason workouts. 

In fact, Jones said Tuesday that he expects to not only participate in next month's off-season workouts, but doesn't see any reason why he won't be able to practice with the team during the OTA (Organized Team Activity) practices in May or even the mini-camp in June.

"I'm getting ready - rehabbing, doing fine. I'm ready for the off-season workouts," Jones said. "It's coming along great. I don't have any problems with (the toe). I'll be ready for the off-season workouts."

[snip]

"Man, I'm up here every day," Jones said with his usual ear-to-ear smile. "I've been in the training room every day. That's what it takes to get back. I want to be better than last year. So you have to work hard."

Jason Garrett even joked that Felix should just sleep at Valley Ranch because he's there every day. Now that's what you want to hear. A Cowboys player doing everything he's supposed to and doing it with enthusiasm.

Can't wait for that kid to get back on the field in 2009.

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