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Never enough linebackers

JJT of DMN tells us something we already know, that a team can never have enough linebackers in a 3-4 defense. Parcells, over the last three years, has stockpiled this postion like no other. While nosetackles are very important, it's the linebackers in a 3-4 who are the playmakers.

 It should come as no surprise that Parcells has spent the last two seasons shaping his linebacker corps. The Cowboys drafted James in 2003 and gave him two seasons to learn the position's nuances before giving him the job. They selected DeMarcus Ware with the 11th pick in 2005, added inside linebacker Akin Ayodele this off-season in free agency and selected Carpenter 18th overall this year.

As long as Parcells is the head coach of the Cowboys, he will acquire linebackers every year either through the draft or free agency to man his 3-4 defense. This year we drafted Bobby Carpenter in the first round who might be ready to push Ayodele by mid season.

 For now, Carpenter sits and learns. It won't be surprising if he becomes a starter this season. But, should that happen, the Cowboys would then have a player (Ayodele) they signed to a five-year deal that included a $5 million signing bonus coming of the bench.

That's not a problem for Parcells, who wants to be able to mix and match his linebackers based on down-and-distance situations.

The Cowboys are really loaded at LB right now and hopefully all that talent will result in many big plays for the Cowboys defense this season.

Update [2006-8-25 10:51:9 by Grizz]: Terry jumped on the article I was going to post, so I'll tack on one more quote from the article, it's from Bradie James on Bobby Carpenter.

"He reminds me of myself when I first got here because I was a young guy who had some things to learn about playing the position," James said of Carpenter. "He's still a work in progress, but he's going to be a good player."
I don't think it will take Carpenter as long to develop as James, so if you're worried that Carpenter was a bad pick, show some patience.

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