Hello there BTBers, its humpday once again--and you all know what that means. Yep, its time for us to single out the best of the best, the top FanPosts from the last seven days. We have had a recent uptick in FanPostings, and many members have stepped up to the plate more than once. Indeed, each of the three writers upon whom I'd like to shine the faint light of recognition have authored multiple posts in recent days. Who are these notables, you ask? Lets get down to business.
Our first honorable mention goes to a member who has been blowing up the comments threads with knowledgeable, passionate takes for a couple of years now and has, of late, started to do the same in FanPost form. Yes, its Chandus, who has recently graced us with a couple of strong pieces in anticipation of the NFL draft. In the first, he outlines various self-analyses a team should engage in as it prepares for the draft; the second uses the oft-discussed need for a 3-4 DE at pick #9 as a jumping off place for a meditation on the pass rush, and what might be done to improve it. Both are excellent reads, and have deservedly been highly rec'd. Good work, Chandus!
Next up is the oft-recognized Fan in Thick and Thin--which, for those of you who are familiar with this column, comes as no surprise. I love Thick's "TMQB" takes; this week, he has penned two terrific pieces, a 2010 season in review, in which he examines the decline of the passing defense, offering strong evidence in support of the claim that this season's drop-off is merely the culmination of a four-season downward trajectory. His other piece looks at last weekend's Jets and Packers games, subtly noting that both teams seem to have invited the opposing offensive coordinators to run the ball, thus keeping it out of the hands of Philadelphia and Indianapolis's dynamic passing games. Note that both of these teams lived to play another weekend. Thanks, Thick!
This week's winner received mention in last week's column as a promising newbie. Since then, he has exploded and, at this rate, seems like he'll be clearing a place at the big boy's table. I'm pleased to announce that this week's top FanPost belongs to Hank Hill--who, like our other lauded lads, has given us multiple offerings. Two of his three posts this week look startlingly like Chandus': in one, Hank asks readers what they would do if they ran the Cowboys' draft; in the other, he inveighs against drafting a 3-4 DE. But the post for which Hank earns highest honors is one in which he stresses the importance of accurate self-evaluation. More specifically, he points out the crucial importance of a clear, accurate assessment of each player on the Cowboys' roster. Among other things, Hank writes:
The Cowboys MUST be able to evaluate the talent on their own roster....This is much easier said than done. Michael Lombardi, former NFL GM and current NFL network analyst, says that evaluating your own talent is the hardest thing to do as a GM. This is why I wish we had a great personnel man at Valley Ranch....[Among other things,] we have gotten rid of guys like McQuistan who went on to get quite a bit of playing time for the Dolphins this year. Did anybody see the NFC defensive player of the week? Erik Walden, former Cowboy's draft pick was killing for Green Bay last week. These are just a few examples, and I'm sure I'm leaving some out.
Given the fact that Jerry Jones crowed, during the beginning of training camp, that this was the best roster he had been associated with in his 22 years with the team, Hank's words ring painfully true. As Dallas prepares for the draft, who among the Cowboys braintrust will be evaluating these players? How will they establish their list of priorities? Will they bring in outside consultants (Bill Parcells always brought trusted and comparatively impartial outsiders to training camp so he could pick their brains about his players)? Whatever the case, Hank is spot on when he insists "I know that it is hard to do...but we have to get it right in the off season." After a season in which the off-season evaluation of players seems to have gone horribly wrong (alan Ball? Really?), truer words were never spoken.
Congrats to Hank. Clear off a spot on your mantel, son. You've got a shiny new award that needs some displayin' room.