Preparing The Defense For Those Pesky Little WRs in 2009

My goal with this present research was to find out if “shorter” receivers had more success against our defense last year than “taller” receivers; and to look ahead at 2009’s schedule to preview the receivers that our CBs have to cover this year.

Here’s the breakdown from last year:

95 different players caught passes versus the DAL defense in 2008

49 WRs, 27 RBs, and 19 TEs


I hope to offer a future post on the RBs and TEs, but for now, let’s focus on the WRs.


I decided to break down the WRs into three categories:

Shorter – up to 5’11

Medium – 6’0” to 6’2

Taller – 6’3 and above


The shortest WRs we faced last year were 5’8”

NYG – S Moss, STL – D Hall, CIN – A Chatman


The tallest WR we faced last year was 6’5”

NYG – P Burress


Shorter WRs                                       Medium WRs                                     Taller WRs

18 players                                            20 players                                            11 players

87 receptions                                     68 receptions                                     32 receptions

1081 yards                                           839 yards                                             366 yards

12.4 yards per rec                            12.3 yards per rec                            11.4 yards per rec

4 TDs                                                     5 TDs                                                     2 TDs



We faced NEARLY TWICE as many short wrs (18) as tall wrs (11)

The short wrs caught NEARLY THREE TIMES as many passes (87) as the tall wrs (32)

The short wrs gained NEARLY THREE TIMES as many yards (1081) as the tall wrs (366)

The short wrs also caught TWICE as many TDs (4) and the tall wrs (2)



Our CBs need to be able to cover short to medium WRs MORE THAN medium to tall WRs.


Our current CBs:

Allan Ball – 6’1” (medium)

Mike Hawkins - 6’1” (medium)

Terence Newman – 5’11” (shorter)

Orlando Scandrick – 5’10” (shorter)

Mike Jenkins – 5’10” (shorter)


Per this year’s schedule we have to cover:


These shorter WRs (up to 5’11”)

NYG – S Smith (two games)

PHI – D Jackson (two games)

WAS – S Moss (two games)

WAS – A Randle El (two games)

TB – J Galloway

CAR – S Smith

DEN – E Royal

SEA – D Branch

GB – G Jennings

OAK – J Higgins

SD – C Chambers

NO – D Henderson


And these taller WRs (6’3” and up)

DEN – B Marshall

ATL – M Jenkins

SD – V Jackson

NO – M Colston


(*Some of these players may be traded to other teams; after the draft we may have to add new receivers to either list.)


The point again is that our CBs must be able to cover the short, shifty, speedy wide-outs MORE THAN the taller, more physical ones if we are to have success shutting down the aerial attack, especially in the "pass-happy" NFL that we live in right now.


As far as the Draft goes, I would prefer that DAL pick mid-to-late-round CBs to fit the bill:


6’0” – Keenan Lewis (Oregon St) 40 time = 4.49

6’0” – Kevin Barnes (Maryland) 40 time = 4.45

6’0” – Mike Mickens (Cincinnati) 40 time = 4.57

6’0” – Jason McCourty (Rutgers) 40 time = 4.30

6’0” – Bradley Fletcher (Iowa) 40 time = 4.44

5’11” – Victor Harris (Virginia Tech) 40 time = 4.46

5’11” - Greg Toler (St Paul) 40 time = 4.35 (hand timed)

5’11” – Glover Quin (New Mexico) 40 time = 4.54

5’11” – DeAngelo Willingham (Tenn) 40 time = 4.46

5’10” – Joe Burnett (Central FL) 40 time = 4.51

5’10” – Lardarius Webb (Nichols St) 40 time = 4.46

5’10” – Brandon Hughes (Oregon St) 40 time = 4.50


Do you think any of these CBs could help us, now or in the near future, in shutting down smaller, speedier WRs? 

Or perhaps you have other CBs on your draft board that fit the bill?

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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