That's right- that's what I call it. An experiment. You think I'm crazy? Okay, I'm maybe a little bit crazy for calling it an experiment. Maybe I should be saying the "Dallas 3-4 experiment"instead. But it hasn't worked, at least for the Cowboys. And if we are to continue in it, there has to be a much better job of talent evaluation than what's happened since we ditched the 4-3.
The Cowboys 4-3 always had Dallas as one of the better defenses in the league, year after year after year. When Parcells came, New England was successful with the 3-4, and Jerry started believing that "whatever other teams did in the 3-4, we can do better". but the truth is, it is harder to find the right players for a 3-4 scheme than a 4-3.
We all saw what happened to New England once the core players on defense got old. We must come to realize that it was a real special situation to find the right players for the 3-4 they had. our talent evaluators have failed in that respect, and soon, it's going to be time to start all over again. Should the Cowboys continue with it?
Wade's 3-4 was a little different, but offered no real solid improvement to really damage opposing offenses. This is when Anthony Spencer arrived, and he is a 1st round pick.
Now, we are in Rob Ryans 3-4, and we really can't gauge his version, since he was only given Bruce Carter as a pick, and some free agents, and nothing really changed with the personnel other than that, so that is where we are today, wondering what's next to happen.
So much time has gone by now, that soon, possibly next year, we might be asking ourselves who we are going to draft to replace DeMarcus Ware.
Is it really that difficult for this current defense to transition to a 4-3? Or would it be easier to continue building a 3-4 that has never really materialized as a force to be reckoned with? The defense has been average to slightly above, and it does leave one asking if the 3-4 in Dallas has been a failure. The reasons?
NT- Many have written, over and over again, the need for a big run stuffing NT, and that Ratliff is undersized. I have always written about it as the Cowboys have made a major error in not trying to isolate Ratliff into more one-on-ones. To me, the issue is not that Ratliff can't play NT, but rather can he continue to constantly take on double teams? Why would you want him to be facing that on a consistent basis? he is our 2nd best pass rusher, and he has been stymied by the NT position. He should have been a DE all along, and it may be too late to rejuvinate him.
Safety- How many times in drafts did the Cowboys drop the ball and let slip by a safety that possibly could have been a difference maker? Time to pay the fiddler now in free agency, and Micheal Griffin is my pick. Will we ever see the likes of Darren Woodson again?
CB- The Cowboys, and specifically Terrance Newman, play off the line of scrimmage. This is a joke, and it's a coaching/mgmt issue. Drafting and coaching should have changed this years ago. Only now do we talk about this and bring this up? The 3-4 works best with press coverage.
ILB- Brooking and James up till now? No wonder teams could gouge the Cowboys up the middle, over and over again I might add. This has to change, and it will with Lee playing like a pro bowler, and Carter about to be crowned. Nightmares of Vick and Philadelphia passing at will still linger.
DE- Will someone please step up? Time for Ratliff to slide over....,