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I don't go for a lot of "patting myself on the back" when I get something right in a post. The reason being that I get plenty of things wrong. But yesterday, I wrote a post - found here - where I speculated on the Cowboys using a 4-3 defense against the Lions. I came to the conclusion immediately after Parcells press conference yesterday because of a few items that he revealed. I admit, I wasn't very secure in my theory, but I put it out there for all to see. And I took some ribbing for it in some quarters of the Internet. But, it looks like I got this one right.

Here are some excerpts from yesterday's post:

First, [Parcells] 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.

Those were the clues I went on when I posted this theory:

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.

Now, Todd Archer made mention of the 4-3 defense in an article today, found here.

And Matt Mosley posted this a couple of hours ago:

We're hearing rumblings about a pretty significant scheme change on defense. Bill has no interest in providing details, but after talking to a couple of players in the locker room today, it wouldn't surprise me to see the return of the 4-3 on Sunday. Look for a defensive line that includes DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Jason Ferguson and Jason Hatcher. The linebackers would be Bob Carpenter, Bradie James and Akin Ayodele.

I'm not sure how much the Cowboys will use the scheme, but it's obvious they are desperately wanting more of a pass rush. The Lions have thrown 69 percent of the time and given up 58 sacks, so generating a pass rush against them shouldn't be too difficult.


Not only did I guess the formation correctly, but I got the players correct too, with Ayodele being moved outside, James in the middle and Carpenter on the other side. Also, it was Ware and Hatcher on the ends with Spears and Ferguson in the middle. (OK, I admit I fudged by saying Singleton/Carpenter and saying Canty/Spears).

So I'm taking this moment to feel full of myself for scooping all the Cowboys beat writers. The moment won't last, because I'm sure I'll post something totally idiotic very soon. But I'm enjoying it for the time being.  

P.S. - Is there anything worse than someone who gets something right, then tells you about it over and over? I'm ashamed of myself.