When Peyton Manning was released by the Colts the other day I bet a few of you thought about the Cowboys possibly offering him a contract to become Big D's next great quarterback. Come on now it's Peyton Manning! I don't blame any of you for entertaining the idea. I even did over the course of the last few months. I always thought that Manning was a top 3 QB all time, and he most likely is. I also believed that Peyton negated a horrible Colts defense year in and year out. The only way that's possible is keeping the offense on the field, but it turns out the Colts just scored too quickly. So that can't be it. There's no doubt that Peyton was the reason for the Colts success, but here's what I'm getting at. For those of you who believe that signing Manning would mean a better pass rush or coverage in the secondary. Well you're 100% wrong.
Here are Peyton Manning's career stats below.
Cmp% - 64.9, TD% - 5.5, INT% - 2.7, Y/A - 7.6, Rate - 94.9
Those are Hall of Fame stats right there. Add in his cumulative stats, a Super Bowl victory, and he has nothing left to prove. Though is he that big an upgrade from our current quarterback Tony Romo?
Here are Tony Romo's career stats below.
Cmp% - 64.5, TD% - 5.7, INT% - 2.8, Y/A - 8.0, Rate - 96.9
Well the answer is no. Perhaps Tony Romo will be the better of the two quarterbacks within the next five years. Not career wise of course, but possibly as Manning ages Romo will still be in his peak. We also don't know how Manning's injury will hold up throughout the rest of his career. Romo seemingly gets better each and every year. Despite him and the Cowboys missing the playoffs this past season, Romo had one of his best seasons. Including a career high in Passer Rating (102.5).
Though it all matters what happens in the playoffs right? (Well that's not entirely true, that's just what a lot of people base their beliefs off of.) I'm not here to compare Manning to Romo in the playoffs. Both haven't been the best playoff quarterbacks. I'm sure you're aware of his playoff struggles up until 2006. Actually let's take a look into his 2006 post-season.
Manning 2006 Playoff Stats - Cmp% - 62.6, Yards 787, Y/A 6.8, TD/INT Ratio 2-6, Rate 66.8
It just so happens that season that the Colts won the Super Bowl. Peyton of course was a big part of their Super Bowl winning season. Without him they don't make the playoffs. But without a full team effort Manning and the Colts do not win the Super Bowl. They had a pass rush and secondary that stepped it up come playoff time. The Cowboys need guys like Sanders and Freeney causing havoc on the defensive side of the ball.
The Cowboys may already have their pass rush in place on the edges. Ware and Spencer are talented. Even though many of you hate on Spencer he does play better than the average OLB. If Lissemore, Hatcher, and maybe Brent step it up then the Cowboys rush will be fine. If Brent makes a push to play more than Ratliff can move to DE. Creating a way more rush for the Cowboys. I think then Spencer would generate more sacks having a guy like Ratliff rushing in front of him. We can always draft a pass rusher, but if we don't select one in the first round they could be raw talent.
As for fixing the secondary we have plenty of options, but the best one is this.
Cutting Newman frees up more cap room and makes the Cowboys roster younger. Newman has been more than serviceable for the Cowboys over the years, but it's time to cut ties with him. I'm thankful for everything he has done and wish him the best with what he does in the future.
Carr is the best CB on the market. Signing Carr would give the Cowboys a cornerback core of Carr, Jenkins, and Scandrick. Which isn't terrible and could actually be okay. Actually move number three is the one that makes this all work out.
Mark Barron has the potential to be an elite NFL safety. Look at the most dominant defenses in the NFL for the past decade. The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens. Those teams have safety 1a and 1b. Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed of course. Like Polamalu Wes Bunting of the National Football Post think can be great in the run game as well as the pass game.
Impression: Has the makings of a heck of a special teams player who can also attack downhill vs. the run game, play inside the box and drive on the football in front of him in the pass game. Isn't going to be a major threat turning and tracking the football, but his improved instincts makes me think he can start in the league early on.
As for the guard position I know many of you are hoping DeCastro falls to us at 14. I would love that, but the best move is going after Carl Nicks. Nicks is a top 5 free agent on the market this year. I really hope we use some of that cap space to sign him. I would like having an offensive line containing Free, Nagy, Smith, and Nicks. I'm not sure who will be our center, but I'm sure we can draft someone. If not Carl Nicks the draft is full of guards. It's a guard and cornerback heavy draft. Two of our biggest needs. In five years we're going to look back on this draft and we're going to see if we made the right picks to move this franchise in the right position.
So while the thought of Peyton Manning being a Cowboy possibly occurred just think what other positions the Cowboys are lacking. Will Manning be able to sack the opposing quarterback? Will Manning be able to deflect a pass or blanket a wide receiver? No he won't. Romo's production will be close (better or worse) to Peyton's until Peyton eventually decides to hang the cleats up. So go after defense and guard play Jerry. We need it if we want to be successful in the next era of Dallas Cowboys football.