I'm not as active as I used to be, but I'm still lurking around and something that I've seen, or that I haven't seen made me open my mouth... Or made me move my fingers... Whatever...
There's worry about the OLine and pass rush along the DLine, which is understandable looking at last season, how the team couldn't fulfill those needs in Free Agency and how the loss of a 2nd Round pick and the acquisition of a CB, even if he's the best CB in a very deep crop, doesn't help much.
I'm a half-filled kind of guy and this is my reasoning:
The Cowboys Pass Defense in 2011 wasn't good at all.
OMG! That's news! No, this is me being silly, they weren't good at 2 very different kind of things:
- Long developing plays with teams doubling Ware and Ratliff and pretty much ignoring everyone else. Pass rush couldn't get there. Pass rush along the DLine is certainly a need.
- Short developing plays with teams burning big cushions from the CBs or just burning them completely. And the CBs were joined by LBs and Safeties. Ryan had a Safety in deep contain in almost every down, for someone that likes to be unpredictable, that's pretty darn predictable.
The acquisition of Carr and Claymore speak volumes of how the team valued better coverage for 2012 and not just to bring a stop to the 2nd part, but to make it harder for QBs to throw completions in long developing plays and also to make it easier for Ryan to be unpredictable. CB and Safety blitzes are Ryan Bro's habits and they were rare for the Cowboys last year.
Free Agency and the Draft can bring in good players.
But it isn't everything that you can bring in an Offseason.
For that I can only tell you this: Who's Evan Mathis? Eagles Guard? Pro Bowl caliber Guard? What about before last season? 22 starts in 6 years? Panthers, Dolphins and Bengals giving up on him? What happened? Howard Mudd happened.
And that brings the Offseason acquisition that I'm talking about, Coach Bill Callahan.
I'm not saying that a good position coach can make something out of nothing, I'm saying that the Cowboys don't have nothing.
Let's look at Costa, he looked like nothing in the first half of the season? Worse, I actually saw him more than once making contact with the RB before the LOS... Unfortunately, he wasn't a DT... But he had a 2nd half of the season of good and bad, and I'm willing to call it an average 2nd half. Is Callahan capable of getting that level of play out of him in 2012?
And is he capable of developing one of the Free Agents and one of the many young players (Arkin, Nagy and Kowalski)?
I can tell you this: I'm not willing to bet against a good position coach.