It's time once again for our bi-monthly offseason celebration of FanPost excellence. Last time around, you may recall, I noted that the dominant theme on the FanPost pages had been the "offseason plan"; many BTBers were filling our FP cups to the brim with interesting proposals and strategic takes. Well, that theme hasn't changed much; indeed, I seriously considered giving this edition of the FPOTW the same title as the last. Instead, I decided to use the title thingy to single out this week's top FanPoster. But I get ahead of myself...
In the past two weeks, we have been gifted with a lot of terrific material, from diatribes on Anthony Spencer to encomiums on Jason Garrett. Perhaps it's because my recent obsession has been trying to parse the informational tidbits emerging from Valley Ranch, but the FPs to which I was most drawn tried to do the same. In this article, we'll recognize members who developed thorough, realistic, and globally-aware plans that took into account both the Cowboys needs and their (somewhat) limited resources. Reading these over, I must say I'd be happy to have any of these fine blokes serve as interim GM while Jerry takes an extended hiatus.
Read about this week's honorees after the jump...
Our first honoree is the superbly named Michael IceBone Sisemore. In his excellent "Mockery" series, IceBone has taken a clear-eyed look at the Cowboys roster, assessed their needs and developed sensible (rather than sexy) plans to fill those needs and improve the roster. At each step, he reacts to the latest news, making subtle but significant roster adjustments. In the most recent edition, for example, he decided that it would be too costly to retain Mat McBriar's services, and struck the Aussie punter from his "free agents to retain" list. It's precisely such adjustments that NFL GMs have to make as they massage and try to maximize their rosters. Great series, IceBone, keep it comin'.
Two other honorees offered similarly thoughtful plans, albeit in a single post rather than a series. Both gentlemen engaged in a careful step-by-step process, looking at the roster to assess team needs, and then formulating a plan to address those needs. Tyrone Jenkins, who has been tearing up the FanPost pages recently, authored a terrific "objective" look at Dallas' offseason priorities (safety, center, then guard); another consistently excellent poster, Rohpuri, came up with a shrewd plan to solve the Cowboys' salary cap woes, which allows him to bring back Anthony Spencer and Laurent Robinson and still sign two impact free agents. Nice work, fellas; I'm on board!
Which brings us to this week's winner, ScarletO. Like its subject matter, SO's post isn't flashy; it required a subtle, careful read. His argument, however, is powerful: he points out that the Cowboys chief problem in recent years has not been a dearth of talent but a talent imbalance--too much of a drop off after the core group of stars. Signing more stars, he insists, isn't going to change what fundamentally ails our fave team. But I'll let the Scarlet One tell the story:
The problem with this team is not a dearth of top-end talent, but rather poor depth that includes the starters. While it is tempting to convert a weakness into a relative strength by signing a veteran player such as Carl Nicks, Brandon Carr, or Mario Williams, to do so would be complete folly and add to this unparalleled run of futility for this franchise.
Instead of spending much of the available salary cap on a few star players, the Cowboys would be better served to moderately upgrade the cornerback position, the strong safety position, a defensive end position, the center position, and at least one offensive guard.
The plan, SO maintains, must be to use free agency not to acquire to the high-profile, big money guys, but to create balance throughout the roster (by improving the positions of greatest weakness; are you listening, Terence Newman?), making what he terms "modest improvements to the positions of greatest need while adroitly drafting future difference makers." Find worker bees in free agency and use the draft to acquire stars? That's precisely what all the best organizations do.ScarletO knows this; the title of his post is "Patience leads to a four-letter word: WINS."
Join me in giving ScarletO a big round of applause for taking home this week's laurels--and a collective "huzzah" to all of our FanPosters for their excellent contributions to this, the best Sports-based website on the planet.