There were a few interesting things in today's press conference that kind of slipped right by with all the back-and-forth between Parcells and the reporters. While the debate raged over whether to call the hearse now or just place a reservation for later, and between the hilarious moment of a reporter asking Parcells about being a "Pollyanna" - that had to be a first - Parcells dropped some tantalizing hints about changes.
First, he said something about changes on defense that may be necessary and that would be obvious at the game. This was after he was questioned about Jay Ratliff and what would happen if he didn't play. So that led me to think changes on the defensive line might be coming, since that was the subject of the question. For the record, Stephen Bowen is going to get some reps for Ratliff this week.
Next, Parcells mentioned possibly dressing more defensive linemen for the game. Then he finished up by saying they weren't getting a very good pass rush and that he was doing something about that this week.
So that led to my theory, which is built on absolutely nothing but the few clues from the press conference, and it's flimsy at best. But what the heck, might as well have some fun while waiting for the Cowboys to turn the season around.
If Parcells is going to change up something on the defensive line and try to get more pass rush and he is going to dress more defensive linemen, might he be thinking about playing some traditional 4-3 defense? That would be obvious enough for anyone to see at the game and it could create more pass rush because you could get Jason Hatcher in on a more consistent basis and not just in the nickel. I could imagine a front four of Hatcher and Ware on the outside, with Canty (or Spears) and Ferguson at defensive tackle. At linebacker, you keep Bradie James in the middle, move Akin Ayodele outside to Ware's side and let Singleton and Carpenter handle the other side. This way, you get your two best pass rushers in the game and rushing the passer on a regular basis. Coach said in earlier press conference that they had practiced Ayodele as a backup to Ware at various points this season.
To be clear, I'm not suggesting they are going ditch the 3-4 during the last game of the season, but might they augment with some 4-3 sets? Parcells mentioned that the Lions don't rely on the run very much, so running some 4-3 would allow him to rush 4 guys with no read/react responsibilities for coverage, and it would get Hatcher out there, who is the next best pressure player to Ware.
And before anybody says they already run a 4-3 on 3rd downs and Hatcher and Ware play the ends, that's not a 4-3. It's a nickel, a 4-2-5 alignment. I'm talking about running some traditional 4-3-4 alignments on 1st and 2nd down.
Am I crazy or do I have a case?