Probability of Success

There has been much talk about what free agents to sign, who to draft, etc. But the first step is to evaluate what you already have. You need to look at your players and decide if they are going to be a part of the solution both short and long term or whether they are part of the problem. I think we can all agree on the major issues facing this team, but maybe, just maybe some guys on the roster already can fill some of the holes, or maybe not. Follow the jump to see what I have estimated as the probability of different levels of performance for next year and beyond for the guys already the team.

In the tables that follow you will see my assessment of the probability that the player will perform at a high level in 2012 (being thought of as a top 10 player at that position), an adequate level (not a faulty o-ring, good enough to win with), then probability of adequate performance for the next 2 years, then 4 years +. I do this just to identify weaknesses that must be addressed immediately and also to look at long term needs, to be sure they are not ignored. The colored rows mark starters, tan means they have at least a 50% chance of being adequate, the pink color is less than 50% chance of being adequate (needs). Backups are evaluated based on likelihood of success if they were called upon to start.

Player 2012 - High 2012 - Adq 2 yrs 4+ yrs Notes
QB Romo 90% 99% 80% 20% I know some disagree, but Romo ain't a problem. He should perform at a high level for the next 2-3 years, after that Father time and poor interior O-line play will likely force the Boys to find another QB.
Mcgee 0% 10% 10% 10% He might be adequate if called upon for a couple of starts, I doubt it. I just have not seen the development in this guy, he still takes forever to finally decide to check down, can't do that.
RB Murray 70% 80% 70% 70% I think he is the answer, but I thought that about Julius Jones also. He seems different but we need to see a little more before raising the probability.
Jones 30% 50% 30% 30% He just gets hurt too much to depend on him. He does good things when healthy, but you know he will get hurt again, can't be depended on as a feature back.
Fiametta 50% 70% 60% 50% A real find in his role. He should excel for years to come in the FB role, if he stays healthy. This will be a tough role to stay helathy in however.
TE Witten 80% 99% 70% 20% I would expect him to be good again next year, but I wonder if we have seen the last of the helmetless Witten wreaking havoc. He seemed to have lost a step,he likely has 2-3 more good years.
Phillips 10% 50% 40% 40% A young guy learning from one of the best, seemed ready to expand role before he tore ACL a couple of years ago, he might be better next year. Not sure if he could be depended on if Witten went down. Long term, unlikely to be starter, but may contribute.
WR Austin 50% 80% 70% 40% He can dominate if healthy, which has been an issue, hamstrings made of taffy. Hopefully he stays healthy next year and is part of a dominant unit. He is still relatively young, so he could be part of long term answer.
Bryant 60% 80% 70% 70% Is getting better all the time, I look for next year to be big for him, but there are still questions about route running and the nuances of the game. I think he gets it and will get better and better.
Robinson 50% 80% 70% 70% He really came into his own with this team and I hope they re-sign him. He was the glue that held the WR unit together. He is a yong guy that should be a part of the long term answer if re-signed.
Ogletree 0% 0% 0% 0% Enough already, let's move on.
Holley 0% 20% 10% 0% He did well in limited reps. I think he could continue to do well in limited reps, but I don't think you could count on him to do much else.

Offense (Skill Position)

We are set for the next couple of years here, but not too far down the road we will be looking for a QB and TE, cause we got real question marks there. I do have hopes for Phillips long term, but nothing for McGee. WR depth is the other issue, and especially if Robinson isn’t re-signed.

Player 2012 - High 2012 - Adequate 2 yrs 4+ yrs Notes
OL Smith 70% 90% 90% 90% Dude was awesome for a rook. Has a great chance to be a dominant force for some time to come.
Free 40% 60% 50% 50% The two years before this one were quite good and really raised my hopes for Free. I am not sure what to make of last year, so he is a 50/50 proposition. I think he can be adequate next year, beyond is questionable.
Holland 0% 40% 40% 10% Not going to be a dominant guy, but has areasonable chance to be adequate. He isn't the youngest guy so long term potential is limited.
Kosier 0% 20% 10% 0% Not a youg guy, has some injury issues, not sure he can be counted on for next year and certainly not beyond.
Costa 0% 10% 10% 10% He did get better toward the end of the year, but not enough for me to have any real faith in him.
Nagy 0% 20% 20% 20% He didn't do great when he started, but he did show some potential. He could develop into something, we'll see.
Arkin 0% 10% 10% 10% Don't know what we have here, maybe with a year in the weight room he will be ready, not highly likely, but maybe.
Kowalski 0% 10% 10% 10% Looked ok in limited snaps, not sure why he didn't see more tiem with Costa struggling as bad as he did.
Parnell 0% 10% 10% 10% Showed some athletic potential in pre-season, but seems to struggle with the nuances, has a chance but not a great one.

Offense (O line)

This is where the trouble is. We have a bunch of guys with low probability of even being adequate. That said, we do have a bunch of guys, odds are favorable that one of them will pan out and become an adequate starter. This is an area where probability of success both long and short term must be improved by some external acquisitions.

Player 2012 - High 2012 - Adequate 2 yrs 4+ yrs Notes
DL Ratliff 60% 90% 50% 20% He was good last year, not great but good, hopefully he didn't turn the corner to the downside of his career. Needs to be spotted more to be more effective.
Hatcher 10% 60% 50% 50% He was adequate last year, he brought some pass pressure, overall his best year. But the years before he was less than impressive, we'll see, the talent is there.
Spears 0% 40% 40% 20% Great run defender, not much pressure, but he ties up the O line. He is what he is and that is adequate vs run, slightly less than adequate vs pass.
Coleman 0% 30% 10% 0% Was ok early and but not good enough. I still am having visions of Shady running off tackle with Coleman being collapsed 3 yards inside.
Lissemore 10% 50% 50% 50% This guy has a shot to be good. He produced an awful lot in little time last year. Why he didn't play more instead of Coleman is beyond me.
Brent 0% 40% 40% 40% Plays strong at the nose. Big guy, strong guy. Stands to really benefit from a real off season. I think there is more here than we have seen, we'll see.

Defense (Line)

They have some talent here and may be able to develop Brent and Lissemore to be something more than what we have seen to this point. A team can always use fresh blood at this spot, and long term this team certainly needs that. I don’t see this situation as dire as the offensive line as there as a couple of guys with reasonably high probability of success.

Player 2012 - High 2012 - Adequate 2 yrs 4+ yrs Notes
LB Ware 90% 99% 80% 20% It has been a pleasure having this guy around, he should continue to dominate for a couple more years, but then the inevitable decline will happen.
Spencer 10% 70% 70% 50% I had hoped for more from him, but he does do some things well, just not pass rushing. Overall he would perform adequately for the next few years.
Lee 80% 99% 90% 90% He was something last year, he will be awesome for several years. Does everything well, hopefully he rubs off on Carter.
Carter 20% 50% 50% 50% He has all the athletic skill, he could be special, but we haven't seen him do it.
Butler 10% 40% 40% 40% Seems to make plays when in the game. But he only gets to play in passing situations, for some reason
Albright 0% 10% 10% 10% I am not sure what we have here. Has some potential not sure how much, but he has a shot.

Defense (LB)

I included Spencer in the analysis, if he goes then add another pink row. Ware and Lee are the stars here, Carter is the unknown. I think his likelihood of success is high based on his talent level, but I gotta see it first. Depth is certainly lacking. Long term a replacement for Ware is needed, we’ll need a lot of luck filling that chasm down the line.

Player 2012 - High 2012 - Adequate 2 yrs 4+ yrs Notes
DB Jenkins 10% 60% 60% 60% He has been up and down, was good in 2009 and last year when healthy. In 2010, I wanted to cut him. Hopefully 2010 was the anomaly.
Sensabaugh 0% 60% 50% 50% He does some things well. He can be adequate but not more.
Newman 0% 30% 10% 0% He started off well last year, but he fell off the map. Opposing QBs were looking for him. Father Time caught up to him and beat the hell out of him about week 9 or so last year.
Elam 0% 40% 40% 10% Not sure he can be adequate, he seemed to be ok at times but he never made any plays.
Scandrick 0% 50% 50% 50% As a third corner he is ok. Needs to make some more plays on the ball.
Church 0% 30% 30% 30% Athletically limited, but he has some potential, I really don't know how effectively he can play the position in the base defense.
McCray 0% 20% 20% 20% See Church

Defense (DB)

This is another huge problem, just like OL. There are just not enough guys here with a reasonable probability of being adequate. The other issue here is that there is not anyone in this group with a high probability of being considered a high level performer. This is the other area that must be improved through external acquisitions, nobody here inspires confidence.


So this was a lot of effort to show what we all know, interior O-line and defensive backfield must be improved. This helped me understand a little bit about Jerry’s comments that the defensive front 7 were a strength. There are a lot of high level performers there (Ware, Lee, Ratliff) and several guys who perform adequately and some real potential for development (Carter, Lissemore, Brent), so maybe this analysis lends a little credence to that statement. I hope that Garrett is keeping an eye on the future, there will be some awfully big shoes to fill in the not too distant future.

Look for free agent money to go to the major talent holes, secondary and O-line. Look for Robinson to be re-signed, third receiver is practically a starter in this offense and there is nobody with a high probability of success behind him. Spencer is a tough one, do you keep “Adequate” Anthony at too high a price or do you roll the bones on Butler and/or a rookie being at least adequate. If they can get Spencer for $6MM/yr or less, I think they do it, more than that and then the risk of rolling with Butler and/or a rookie becomes more palatable.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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