There are a few people here at Blogging The Boys that raise an intriguing point. Jay Ratliff seems to be getting Worn Down at the Nose Tackle spot. While I personally disagree with them, the point does have some Validity to it. Especially in the Giants Game it became clear the Jay Seems to have Lost the Ability to split the Double team like he used to. While this may be due to the Fact that Jay was up against two Players who knew what they were doing,(the Announcers made the point that the Giants had their Super Bowl winning O-line Back) it also is a Fact that Jay isn't your "prototypical" NT for the 3-4. so I have an Idea that may help with this Problem. More after the Jump...
Anthony Spencer stats: Height-6-3, Weight 260. Main role on the Cowboys: Contain the Run,Rush the Passer,Help in Coverage when not Blitzing. Why bring up Spencer you ask? Well most people want to move Ratliff to move to DE. I hate to tell you this but He will still have to deal with Double Teams at the DE position. He is just that good. So moving Ratliff to DE won't fix the problem, which is Ratliff wearing down due to the Double Teams. But why bring up Spencer?
As we saw in the Giants Game Spencer was out Taking himself out of the Play in his effort to apply Pressure. In effect he was too Quick for his own Good. My solution For Ratliff is this. Move Ratliff to ROLB. Here is My reasoning for this:
1. Jay Ratliff is 6-4, 303 pounds. that means he is an inch Taller and Only 40 lbs Heavier than Spencer. While that may seem to be a problem, it really isn't. Jay is probably just as quick as Spencer, and is most likely stronger than Spencer, so that will mitigate any lack of quickness compared to Spencer. Also because Ratliff isn't quite as quick as Spencer, he won't take himself out of the play as often.
2. While he may not be as effective in Coverage, Tell me How effective is Spencer? Near as I can Figure Spencer really doesn't "cover" any one, more like contain the Running back/Tightend if they do out in the Flat. Ratliff is more than Quick enough to perform this, plus is strong enough to tackle even the Biggest RB/TE by himself.
3. The Main reason is simple. No more Center/Guard Double teams. At most he will get a TE/RB along with the RT,but is that a Bad thing? That means fewer players out in the Pattern which means you don't have Brooking/James trying to cover them. Also Ratliff vs. a RT one on one? I like Ratliff in that situation every time.
Now you May be Wondering what Happens to Spencer. Well He becomes your Backup OLB. This keeps him in the Game, spelling Both Ware and Ratliff and keeps Both of them Fresh. Also if this Happens who plays NT? Well Just using the Cowboys roster you have a couple of options:
1: Spears-Wade has said that Spears could Play the Nose Tackle Position so there is on option, however that means you now have to Replace Spears at the DE position. Not Ideal, but may be the Best option available.
2. Josh Brent-Price-- While he would be the next in line,he is 1: a rookie, and 2: about the same as Ratliff in terms of Build so you would Have the Same issues as you do with Jay. same as with Spears probably not Ideal.
3. Sean Lissmore- See Josh Brent-Price.
Given these options You might need to sign A free Agent, though I can't think of any.
Just an idea to Ponder....
Now the 3-4 vs the 4-3 in regards to the Dallas Defense...Could they switch with minimal roster movement?The Short answer is: In my opinion, Yes,they could. While it may seem like Dallas as invested too Heavily in the 3-4 to make the change, if you think about it they really haven't. Now when discussing the Roster I will be using Dallas Roster as it Currently sits. That means no player gets cut, simply demoted. While this probably wouldn't happen, remember this is simply an exercise. Here is my Reasoning:
1. Dallas Plays a 1-gap 3-4. While this may not seem like an important fact, it is Huge, in terms of Personnel. If we played a 2-gap then our Personnel would be way too different to make the switch. A very good explanation of the differences can be found here: http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2010/4/27/1448029/cowboys-flashback-whats-a-phillips .
2. Most of our Key positions for the 3-4,(OLB/NT) played different positions in College, and would go back to those positions if Dallas goes back to the 4-3. Those Players being Ware/Spencer and Ratliff respectfully. All three played DE in College(though Ratliff may have played DT, not sure on that) and could play those positions if Dallas went to the 4-3. The way I figure Dallas could run a Starting Lineup Like this: Ware, Spencer as DE's with Ratliff and Spears/Olshanski as DT's. Whoever doesn't start becomes part of the Rotation along with Bowen, Hatcher, Lissmore, Brent-Price and Butler.
3. The main Roster Changes would Come in the Linebacker area. Bradie and Brooking would probably need to be replaced, however most people would say that needs to happen anyway so that is a wash regardless. Dallas would replace Bradie and Brooking with Sean Lee and Jason/Leon Williams
4. The Secondary would would be pretty much unaffected. Now there are some changes that could be made, they are not relevant to this Fan Post.
Now while this would not be Ideal, because Ware and Spencer are undersized in comparison to other DE's, however we would have a Defense comparable to Indy's. I hope that this helps to Answer some Questions that people have. There is only one thing left to say...."How 'bout them Cowboys!!!!"