Jason Ferguson is the starting nose tackle, but who's backing him up? That's the question Mickey Spags addresses in his latest article, arguing we need a big nose tackle.
Sure, the Cowboys have a nose tackle, and paid dearly for one the 2005 off-season, that being Jason Ferguson. And Fergie played pretty well last year, certainly better than his first year here when he was beset early with a badly sprained ankle.
I'd say that Ferguson played better than pretty well, he played very, very well. I can't remember a game where he was terrible last year, and in many games he was easily one of our best defensive players. But it's a fact that we don't have a definitive backup. We got Jay Ratliff, but he seems to operate better from the defensive end spot. He can pull spot duty in an injury situation, but I don't think he's the answer as the regular backup.
Montavious Stanley is also on the roster and he will probably benefit from the change back to a one-gap 3-4 defense, which is what he ran in college. That was one of the knocks on him last year; he didn't adjust well to the two-gap style. But even with the change it doesn't mean he's up to the task.
I found this paragraph a little curious though.
Umm, that's not necessarily correct. Whether the NT is playing a one-gap or a two-gap scheme, it's expected that he be a powerful enough player as to require two blockers to knock him out of the box. In both schemes, you count on your NT to occupy two blockers, a center and a guard. But it's a minor quibble.
Mickey is right, we need a backup NT. We can't be sure that we already have one on the roster. Fell free to pimp your favorite NT draft candidates in the comments.
Jerry throws in the "whole gamut" bit, but I'm taking the positions he did mention as an indicator. In the secondary, he claims he's high on Pat Watkins' chances, but it might be hard to pass on one of the better FS candidates in the draft. Now I'm beginning to think the Cowboys are thinking corner. With Terrance Newman's contract coming up and Aaron Glenn's advanced age, along with Anthony Henry's spotty play and nagging injuries, a young stud at corner might be just what we need. In fact, I've been starting to think that way for a week or so.
Bilbo is currently on the Cowboys practice squad trying to make the switch to safety.
But you guys know why I'm really bringing this up. From Gil Brandt:
Just another chance to pimp my main man CJ.