Earn That Star: "Carr's Crooks"

"Earn That Star" will be a series of fan posts that will focus on the off-season post-draft. These posts will be centered on variety of topics. This week is a post I have been working on the past few days that focuses on the defensive secondary.

*Note:* This fan-post has music so if you are at work, lower the volume.

If you have been a die hard Cowboy Fan for a long time, the title "Thurman's Thieves" bring back good memories.

Back in the 1980's, the Dallas Cowboys had a very good secondary that consisted of Dennis Thurman, Everson Walls, Ron Fellows, & Michael Downs. This group consistently ranked among the leagues best in interceptions. Former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Danny White nicknamed the group "Thurman's Thieves" because of their ball-hawking abilities. One of their most famous game came against Deadskin Redskin quarterback Joe Theismann on the regular season opener of 1985. Coincidentally, this day happened to be Joe Theismann's birthday. Thurman & his "crew of misfits," had a nice surprise for Ol' Joe. They would go on to intercept him six times (two of which were returned for a touchdown) in a rout that ended with the score "Dallas Cowboys 44 - Washington Redskins 14."

By now you probably have a good feel for where I am going with the title "Carr's Crooks." It is no secret that the Dallas Cowboys have struggled to force turnovers & if you have paid attention to this off-seasons moves, you will notice that the Dallas Cowboys have brought in two Coaches who know exactly how to put their players in position to make a play. The past two draft's have brought in Morris Claiborne, Matt Johnson, J.J. Wilcox, & B.W. Webb. All four of these draftees are known for getting interceptions & Wilcox was once a wide receiver. Do you see the trend here? Jason Garrett is looking for guys who can make plays for his football team. The stats/analysis of our corners are available on a previous fan-post I made before the draft.

How the lineup will look in the regular season opener against the Giants will depend on the performance of the rookies & veterans in camp. However, one thing for sure is that Morris Claiborne & Brandon Carr will be the starting corners opening day. Jerome Henderson will have the task of coaching up the young guys like B.W. Webb, Matt Johnson, & J.J. Wilcox while Kiffin instructs them on the scheme & which angles to take. With Monte Kiffin running the defense & putting his players in the right position, this group can emerge as the ball-hawking secondary we have not seen for quite a while.

Training Camp Battles:

3rd/Slot Corner: Orlando Scandrick vs B.W. Webb vs Sterling Moore

4th/5th Corners: Devin Smith vs Xavier Brewer vs Dustin Harris

Free Safety: Matt Johnson vs Will Allen vs J.J. Wilcox vs Danny McCray vs Micah Pellerin

Strong Safety: J.J. Wilcox vs Barry Church vs Jakar Hamilton vs Jeff Heath

Above are the current players who are signed to the Cowboy Squad. That group of players will have the opportunity to learn from two of the best coaches at their position (Monte Kiffin & Jerome Henderson). Below is Kiffins Defensive Philosophy which preaches creating turnovers.

Attacking and causing turnovers. Kiffin-style defenses focus on getting the ball away from the offense by stripping the ball away from the ball carrier or reading the quarterback to make an interception. The risk is that if the ball is not stripped or intercepted, then the ball carrier on offense has a better chance of gaining more yards or scoring; the reward is that the offensive drive is stopped without a score more often, frequently giving good field position.

An interesting stat is that in Monte Kiffin's 10 years as defensive coordinator, his defense has always ranked in the top 10 in points allowed and yards allowed which is an NFL record. It is clear to me that Jason Garrett wants his defense to produce turnovers & give his star quarterback (pun intended) more possessions. If this group can learn Monte Kiffin's scheme quickly & put it to work, then perhaps this group can soon earn the title "Carr's Crooks."

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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