This is basically just me sharing random thoughts of mine about the Cowboys, sounds like something I'd like to read! Lol. This is my first FanPost, so go easy if I stuff something up. Also, FYI I base a lot of my player opinions on PFF grades but not all, as I've said before, who would know better who'd played well than an organisation that watches and grades every player on every snap?
My Offseason Thoughts
I hear alot about taking a pass rusher in the first round, to either give us a pass rushing presence at the DE spot or to replace Spencer. I've heard the argument that we only have two good pass-rushers, Ware and Rat, and that to stop our pass rush all the opponent has to do is double those two and they'll have all day to pass. I'm not quite sure I buy this. Firstly, PFF grades us as the BEST pass-rushing team in the nfl. But then I thought, maybe we bump those numbers in passing situations with guys like Bowen (6th ranked 3-4 DE at pass-rush) and Hatcher (10th ranked 3-4 DE at pass-rush) coming in to replace guys like Igor and Spears, neither of whom rate well as pass-rushers. It would be interesting to see Jenkins' and Newman's coverage ratings splits in these different situations, although PFF already takes in to account if the pass-rush allows the QB to stand in the pocket for 5 seconds. Firstly, I think the fact that we start Igor over Bowen is questionable, they must really consider him poor against the run to keep off the field on early downs (which PFFdisagrees with, albeit in passing situations) and secondly, with pass defense being more important than run defense, wouldn't it make sense to sacrifice some run defense to increase the pass-rush? Also, this talk of replacing Spencer seems somewhat iffy. He grades out as the 13th best pass-rushing 3-4 OLB in the league and this is in a "down year". Another reason not to replace him is he grades out well against the run and solidly in pass coverage. Also, there is the old addage (I have no idea how to spell that), if they've done it once, they can do it again, and I think we all agree he did it in 2009. And who are you going to replace him with? I doubt anyone but a very high draft pick or FA could pay better than him, and we don't even know if there will be a free agency. As for a high draft pick, well I'm not completely opposed to it, but IMO we have greater needs, now I'm not saying draft completely by need, but it does factor in to it. We have two CB's and a FS that just stunk up the joint, and an OLD o-line, I would argue those should be our priority in the first round in the draft.
To conclude this topic, I think we should stick with Spencer at LOLB, and start Bowen over Igor, and possibly Hatcher over Spears (just because pass defense>run defense in terms of importance) because we have bigger needs in the draft, and we already have sufficient talent at these positions IMO. PS we are seriously lacking in talent at other positions lol.
What to do with Rat
Another issue I frequently hear being discussed is whether or not to move Rat to DE. According to PFF, Rat excelled in pass-rush this year, and struggled in run defense. Another stat I heard on PFF(I can't remember the exact numbers) but it essentially said with Spears in the line-up Rat's run defense rating was positive and without him it was negative. I would not opposed to moving Rat or not really, with pass defense being more important than run defense I don't mind him at NT, also, with Spears at DE he was actually ok against the run (well, more like up and down, but overall). As for him moving to DE, I don't think you can assume he'll have the same success there he's had at NT. Similiar to the whole CB to S switch I just don't think it's as easy as one might think, and whilst worth looking in to, I don't think it's something you can take for granted. One factor in favour of the move Josh Brent's solid play at NT in relief of Rat, he graded out well against the run.
Above: unrelated picture of attractive woman.
Jerry's Defence of the CB's
I find this somewhat worrying. Although entirely possible this is just PR talk, and not wanting to trash his players in front of the media, it's also entirely possible JJ is completely oblivious to the most pressing need on the team, pass coverage. Contrary to popular opinion, James and Brooking graded out solidly against the pass this year, and also somewhat contrary to popular opinion so dod Sensi (opinions of this guy seem to be EXTREMELY mixed). According to PFF, the major culprits in pass coverage were Jenkins, Newman, and Ball. This is even stranger because just the year before, both Newman and Jenkins had good years. You could argue Newman is getting old, frankly I just don't know if this has made him too slow or not, I am not one of the many people that will decide the most likely option is correct just because I don't know either, so lets just leave that argument for another day. No matter which way you swing it, our secondary is in dire straights, and if we head in to next year with these guys starting and no 1st round CB, JJ will be in Al Davis territory lol. But frankly, I see great development from JJ as a GM, some people seem to expect perfection from him, but just like a player he has taken time to progress and I believe is just hitting his stride, and I am optimistic he can shore up our pass defense (IMO is this clearly the main reason for 6-10 diddly poop) and get us back in contention. And after hating on Alan-Ball-Sack (oh wait I still am) I have looked at it logically and now think this is a player we shouldn't cut as soon as possible. Frankly, he is one of our best options on the roster to play FS in 10' (there may not be FA also). Sure he was horrible in 09' but you're going to tell me hes not going to improve from year 1 as a starter to year 2? Also, he provides depth at CB and is still cheap. Btw this is an example why you can't just go from CB to FS in a heartbeat, let alone at all.
OCC, pretty much everything you do is good, especially those position reviews! Keep em' coming. Chandus, your piece on Rob Ryan was great, and FiTiT your TMQB articles were interesting, where have they gone? There are lots of other good writers out there I may not have mentioned, sorry! Personally, I find most FanPosts not about players entering the draft interesting, as I know NOTHING about college football.
To conclude, I hope you enjoyed my ramblings, pictures of cheerleaders, and I leave you with a pic of an ex-girlfriend of mine (not).