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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.

A beefy nose tackle. You know, one of those human dump trucks to eat space in the middle of this 3-4 defense. A guy so big you have to go way around to get by and you don't dare try to run through.

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.

Just thinking out loud here, but it seemed [Bradie] James' play down the stretch diminished a bit, and wondering if he was just worn out from having to constantly take on those guards coming clean off the line of scrimmage. Because in Bill Parcells' 3-4, he was asking his front three guys to be two-gap players, meaning muscling up with the guy in front of them to remain responsible for the gap on either side. That means those guards got free releases the majority of the time.

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 Jones talks a little draft.

"I don't think we're locked in at any position to come out with," Jones said. "I can see us going secondary, offensive line, whole gamut and maybe even a young quarterback."

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.

The Georgia Tech Pro Day had a Cowboys connection.

Sixty NFL personnel were in attendance, including a prominent contingent from the Washington Redskins: Dan Snyder (owner), Joe Gibbs (head coach), Al Saunders (offensive coordinator), Vinny Cerrato (vice president of football operations) and Jack Burns (offensive assistant). The workout was conducted outdoors on SportTurf. Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson was there, too. Former Georgia Tech quarterback Damarius Bilbo threw the ball during the passing drills, and looked pretty good doing it.

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:

[Calvin] Johnson, whom some people think is the most talented player in the draft, had a broad jump of 11 feet 7 inches. That's the best broad jump I can ever remember an NFL prospect having. And his vertical jump was outstanding, too (42½ inches). And he looked very good catching the ball while running routes.

Just another chance to pimp my main man CJ.

Michael Irvin does a really nice thing.