Man, do I love a good debate. A verbal slobber-knocker where a couple of parties lay down their points and counter-points and counter-points to the counters! Especially when it comes to my squad. This weekend was one of those occasions in the Dub man-cave. The topic: What are the Boys going to do at RT?
See, as some of you may recall, in one of my earlier posts ("5 Star(ting) Draft"), I drove home the point of why I thought that the Cowboys would start one Jeremy Parnell at RT. In fact in my, "Putting some verbs in my sentences!" post, I forecasted that the draft would not net a T at all (AND I nailed the Travis Frederick selection! Albeit in the 3rd round, but, I digress...).
Still, I’d like you guys to hear my full case on why Jeremy Parnell will succeed at RT using (4) points that lead me to a single conclusion, a metaphorical "4 point stance":
"Down": Fact – Parnell didn’t play offensive tackle in college. In fact, he only played (1) season of college ball and that was as a defensive end. HC Houston Nutt had to convince him to play because he was impressed with his pure athleticism. That athleticism manifested in great feet and athletic ability for a man of his size. Tackle feet. So with a few years of development, like the last (2) years he should be ready to go, right? Not convinced, hunh?
"Set": Ok, (2) years into the transition from college PF to NFL RT and he's already on par with Free who had 4 years of college experience as a LT. Why else would the coaches have confidence enough in him to split the snaps for (4) games last year. Critical games down the stretch in fact! You know who else made that transition? Mark Tuinei. Yup, Tuinei was a defensive tackle who was switched to OT in the pro’s. Nuff said? No?
"Hut 1": Alright, RT is a power position and Free is too finesse. Parnell, at 6'6" and 320 lbs., has the size and power to play the position. Simply put, he is stronger than Free and has the athletic ability that allows him to slide and re-anchor against the rush. Trust me, more on this later!
"Go": Speaking of trust, trust your eyes. Look at the film. Forget the 1st Skins game where he played LT. During the Bengals, Steelers, Saints & 2nd Redskins game he split the RT snaps and played well. And really the Pitt game was a microcosm. Romo had 42 throws, 341 yrds, 2TDs. Murray 5.8 per carry. The lone sack by Timmons was on a broken play to the LEFT side after Romo got middle pressure (That’s why we need Frederick! But that’s for another time). Press repeat for the Saints game and Skins game and Bengals game. I know...I know...that doesn’t convince you…
…Because you think he can’t do it. You think he’s not a household name like Clabo or Winston. Or have their pedigree, even after the Tuinei example. And I know you need more proof and I asked you to trust me, so here it is: Let’s look at a "Tale of Two Plays". Dez Bryant’s 1st and 2nd 58 yard TD’s against the Saints. What better comparison, right? On the 1st TD, Parnell is in at RT and is bullrushed by a DE – Junior Gallette (#93) which he ‘sits down’ on as Romo executes a play-action fake and delivers a deep strike to Dez. Key words: DE and play-action deep strike. On the 2nd, Free is in at RT and is easily bullrushed by a blitzing LB – David Hawthorne (#57) into the backfield moments before Romo delivers a quick slant to Dez. Key words: LB and quick slant. Who held up better?
Parnell is ready to take the leap his 3rd year into the transition, fellas. He’s built for it and the teams investment looks ready to pay off.