Not all positions on the football field are created equal. Who would you rather have on your team: Demarcus Ware or Carl Nicks? No one doubts Nicks' supremacy at guard, but I think we'll all agree a guy that can bag 20 QBs a year it much more of a game changer than an offensive guard.
There are 5 positions that are most game-changing on a football field and the hardest to find consistent guys at: quarterback, #1 wide receiver, pass rusher, #1 cornerback, and left tackle. It's no secret, when you look at the big-money contracts every year and the draft picks at the top of the 1st round you'll most often see players at these positions, whether they deserve the money/draft position or not, get invested in.
Something beautiful happened in Dallas over the last couple of years. Your Cowboys, somewhat quietly, built one of the youngest cores of impact players in the NFL.Wide Receiver #1 - Dez Bryant - 23 years old
Dez is a future #1 WR in the NFL. Last year when he was hobbled by injury he still quietly put up more yards than Laurent Robinson. He's the perfect specimine of a wide receiver. Unlike small guys that sometimes burst for a big year and then fade away, Dez has all the tools. How can he beat CB's? Any way he wants.
Over - at 6'2" with a 38" vertical leap he can jump over CBs to grab the ball
Around - with 4.5 speed and great quickness he can run routes around coverage to get open
Through - with an insanely competitive demeanor and 225lbs of muscle he can maul CBs that try to press him at the line
Cornerback #1 - Morris Claiborne - 22 years old
When Patrick Peterson was the #5 pick, draft anaysts said of him "yeah, he's good but who you really want is his teammate Morris Claiborne." Claiborne has exhibited all the skills to become a shut down cornerback in the NFL. Not only that, but he has a natural eye for the football, picking off 11 passes which is made all the more impressive when you realize his senior season QBs refused to try to throw the ball his way. Now this talent is learning from the defensive backs coach that tutored both Darrelle Revis and Joe Haden.
Left Tackle - Tyron Smith - 21 years old
"This man has All Pro written all over him" - Mike Mayock.
"I've never had anybody like him" - Bill Callahan
When you're a rookie NFL lineman at 20 years old who'se so physically gifted and such a natural at picking up technique that only Jason Babin, who had the 3rd most sacks in 2011, gives you problems - well, that just doesn't happen. But it did with Tyron Smith. The sky is the limit for this player.
Can anyone in the NFC East match this talent?
The Giants definitely have JJP and Hackeem Nicks, but are nothing special at LT and CB.
Can anyone in the NFL match this talent?
No, they can't. When you look around the league you find most teams are just desperate to even find guys at these positions. Even teams that can wipe the sweat off their brow because they've filled these valuable positions largely have done so with veterans in their late 20s who will need replacing in a few short years.
Romo, Ware, Witten, and Ratliff have been the core of this team for a long time. We love them and hopefully they are aren't going anywhere soon.
But the Cowboys have an amazing advantage right now. They have the youngest collection of premiere players in the NFL. Dez, Claiborne, and Smith can all have 10 years longer on their careers and each has the potential to make pro bowls and all pro rosters.
Furthermore, Garrett's actions are helping the Cowboys take advantage of this extremely rare situation. He's jettisoned all the old players, leaving Jay Ratliff and Tony Romo as the only players over 30 on this team.
The Dallas Cowboys have a young core of star skill position players, and Garrett is committed to building a young team around them. As fun as the last few years have been, we may be witnessing the very early stages of the next Cowboys Dynasty taking shape.