Ranking the Team

For those who are interested here's a summary of PFF's cumulative grades for the first 2 weeks of the 2012 season.


WR: At least 50% of snaps by 69 players. Miles Austin is listed 21st and Dez Bryant at 68th. When the list is expanded to WR's who've played at least 25% of their teams snaps it grades 96 players. Kevin Ogletree ranks 15th, Miles 27th, Bryant 94th.

OT: At least 50% of snaps by 59 players. Doug Free ranks 51st and Tyron Smith ranks 57th (both have struggled run and pass).

OG: At least 50% of snaps by 60 players. Nate Livings ranks 164th and Makenzy Bernadeau ranks 40th (Bernie particularly struggled Run Blocking).

OC: At least 50% of snaps by 30 players. Ryan Cook listed as 16th.

TE: At least 50% of snaps by 31 players. Jason Witten ranked 29th. Expanding the list to at least 25% snaps reveals 52 players ranked. John Philips 7th (mostly for good run blocking) and Witten 50th.

QB: At least 50% of snaps by 31 players. Tony Romo ranked 11th.

HB: At least 50% of snaps by 22 players. DeMarco Murray ranks 16th.

FB: At least 25% of snaps by 26 players. Lawrence Vickers lists as 16th.


DE 3-4: At least 25% of snaps by 34 players. Jason Hatcher 5th, Sean Lissemore 14th, Kenyon Coleman 16th, Marcus Spears 25th. Further breakdown for Hatcher and Lissemore: Hatcher 4th as pass rusher, 9th as run stopper, Lissemore 18th as pass rusher, 7th as run stopper.

OLB 3-4: At least 50% of snaps by 19 players. DeMarcus Ware 6th, Anthony Spencer 10th.

DT/NT: At least 25% of snaps by 71 players. Josh Brent listed 32nd.

ILB: At least 50% of snaps by 37 players. Sean Lee 10th, Bruce Carter 15th.

CB: At least 50% of snaps by 68 players. Brandon Carr 38th, Morris Clairborne 49th. Expanding to at least 25% of snaps rates 98 players. Carr 46th, Morris 63rd and Orlando Scandrick 78th.

S: At least 50% of snaps by 61 players. Gerald Sensabaugh 23rd. Expanding to at least 25% of snaps rates 73 players. Sensabaugh 28th, Barry Church 46th, Danny McCray 49th.

Overall - 23rd Offense. 13th Defense. 31st Special Teams.


*Guys who we were counting on to be key players have simply let us down. Witten, Bryant, Tyron Smith and Doug Free being the biggest offenders.

I'm willing to give Witten a pass because of his spleen issues and long past history of excellence. I'm also willing to be patient with Tyron Smith as he's a young guy changing positions and has been up against 2 very good pass rushers to start the season.

Dez Bryant and Doug Free are out of excuses though. Free's played RT before so changing back there should not be an issue for him. He simply has to play better. And Dez Bryant, for all the talk people engage in about how this guy is the most talented WR in the NFL, more talent than any any WR is Dallas' history, HOF potential (and yes I've seen all those things said), this guy still only has one career 100 yard game on his resume. It's time for more.

*Lawrence Vickers, where are the crushing blocks?


*Dallas invested heavily in the Secondary this offseason and, according to PFF, the performance has been fairly average although I think this is one of the position group grades that many on here might take issue with. Would like to hear peoples thoughts on this one in the thread.

Those numbers for the Secondary might not look that great at the moment so let's take a brief look at recent history. Here's the result for the last few years using the played at least 25% of snaps grades:


100 CB's - Scandrick 37th, Newman 87th, Jenkins 91st

85 S's - Sensabaugh 10th, Elam 78th


109 CB's - Jenkins 43rd, Scandrick 83rd, Newman 95th

87 S's - Sensabaugh 25th, Elam 49th


98 CB's - Carr 46th, Clairborne 63rd, Scandrick 78th

73 S's - Sensabaugh 28th, Church 46th, McCray 49.

It may not be much but there is definitely some improvement in the overall total of the 3 CB's.

There's also reason to be optimistic that these Secondary figures could improve as the year moves on. Morris is but a rookie 2 games into his career and Church is obviously also a young guy with only 2 starts under his belt. Both these guys could show improvement with experience throughout the year.


*All things considered OC Ryan Cook has been a great pick up. Good work by the front office there. Livings has done well and Bernadeau has at least been passable so far. Obviously the Offensive Line is still not a strength of this team but it does seem better than last year. This is a group that went through a massive overhaul. Left Guard, Center and Right Guard are new Free Agents and the Tackles swapped spots. That's a lot of change. They've started the season with two really tough opponents and away from home too. With more time together they should improve.

*Good news that young Bruce Carter has looked pretty solid so far. I was one of the people who expressed doubts about Carter's physicality inside and ability to take on blockers. So far so good in that department. Carter has actually graded much better versus the run then in pass coverage. We all know he has the athletic ability in coverage so let's just hope it's a rough start because of inexperience.

*All of Dallas starting 4 LB's are playing and grading well.

*Jason Hatcher needs to keep it going. Sean Lissemore needs more playing time. I'd like to see this Dline starting; Hatcher RDE, Jay Ratliff NT, Lissemore LDE. Getting Ratliff back healthy could provide a big boost to this Defense (including the Secondary).

Extra notes:

*Top 5 rated QB's after 2 weeks: Matt Ryan, Eli Manning, Josh Freeman, Matt Schaub, Robert Griffin. Changing of the Guard or Jumping the Gun? Dallas will get an up close assessment: we've already played Manning and Freeman is this week, we get Ryan in a few weeks and Griffin twice.

Laurent Robinson is struggling pretty bad in Jacksonville (81st of 96).

Stephen Bowen (6th) is ranked right behind Hatcher.

Bradie James is still terrible in Houston (39th of 45).

Abram Elam still stinks in Kansas City (51st of 61).

*Martellus Bennett is ranked 9th overall at TE.

Allow me to quote myself:

I think Bennett's best days are in front of him. And all the hard work Dallas put into him will be rewarding some other team. He was too young and too immature here. After 4 seasons he's only 24 years old (he was only 20 when we drafted him) but seems to have shown some growing late in his time here.

I think it's possible he'll win a starting job somewhere and over the next 2 years become a good TE. From Dallas' point of view however it was a disappointing tenure.

If he can get his mental game together (something that is still possible considering he's only 25) he's still got a bright future.

*For FiTaT - Houston 3-4 DE JJ Watt after two weeks is ranked 1st at his position. The amazing part is that he's already scored more than double the points of the player ranked second. In fact it takes adding players ranked 2nd, 3rd and 4th together (totaling 20.1) before they beat Watt's individual score (18.9). No other player at any position has been close to being as dominant as Watt. We're only two weeks into 2012 but JJ Watt is the best player in the NFL so far.

*If folks are keen on these breakdowns I'll do them every few weeks (maybe every second).

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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