Nick Eatman is all over the Dallas Cowboys special teams. He’s got some good info on Mat McBriar’s unbelievable 2006 season, and the player battles for kick and punt return duties. But come on, there’s only one battle that rises to mythical proportions – the kicker!
But by drafting Nick Folk in the sixth round, the Cowboys obviously would like to see the rookie kicker push the veteran Gramatica. There has been some speculation the Cowboys could keep two kickers - Gramatica for field goals and extra points and Folk for kickoffs. However, the rookie from Arizona was less than impressive on his kickoffs in the mini-camps. But if he proves to be a weapon on kickoffs and hits a few field goals during preseason, the Cowboys might just be tempted to go with the less-expensive rookie altogether, allowing them to save a roster spot, too.
Please, whatever you do, don’t keep two kickers. Just don’t do it.
12. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys were not a flashy team on defense, but they stopped the run extremely well. The nature of a Bill Parcells run defense is to stuff the run (out of a base front) and force opponents to pass. The Cowboys have a talented defensive line that might have more of an impact under new head coach Wade Phillips. Defensive ends Marcus Spears and Chris Canty have great size and athletic ability and should fit into the more versatile defensive scheme that Brian Stewart (coordinator) will install. The 6-7 Canty has the potential to develop into an outstanding defender going into his third season, and former first-rounder Spears will be able to use his quickness and speed more often as Stewart might employ more stunts and blitzes in 2007. DeMarcus Ware is listed as an outside linebacker, but he is used often with his hand on the ground in passing situations. He is extremely disruptive and is a versatile athlete who can play up or down in this new defensive scheme.
I thought this ranking was a little high, although against the run they were good last year. But once Scouts, Inc. cheated and half-heartedly dumped DeMarcus Ware into the equation, #12 seems too low. But if you are going to include Ware in this section, then you should embrace it and lead with him because he’s obviously the cream of the crop in that situation. And what’s with the total lack of acknowledgment for Jason Ferguson and the good year he put together in 2006?