Who is Warrick Dunn? And why should we want him?
He’s a 5 ft. 9, 180 pound ball of determination. He’s a 33-year-old warrior. A staple of those early Tampa Bay, grind-it-out, play-good-D teams. He took the big money to go to ATL. There he combined with Michael Vick to create one of the best running attacks in recent memory.
What does he bring to the table? Probably his most definable trait is his leadership. Seriously. He was 18-years-old when his mother, an off-duty police officer, was ambushed and killed in an armed robbery. He immediately became the father, mother and breadwinner for his family. He came to peace with these demons and he won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2004. You think the glare of the Dallas media bothers him? You think he’ll whiff in the face of an oncoming blitz? No. Not at all.
He is also versatile and a tough runner. Julius Jones has the tendency to fall down after initial contact and lose yards where tougher runners might pick up an extra two or three. Dunn falls in the latter category. He is small but tough. He will not leave yards on the field. Also he’s a threat as a receiver out of the backfield. He’s caught more than 50 catches three times in his career. Last year, splitting time with Jerious Norwood, he still caught 37 passes. As bad as the ‘Boys have historically been at running the screen, Dunn might be the perfect candidate to run it. He’s small, he’s shifty and he can hide behind our massive offensive lineman. I’m sure the Redhead Genius would work wonders with the screen play and Dunn.
Dunn has also seen the mountain top but he’s never ascended it. Dallas may represent his last shot at a Super Bowl. He got close in Tampa Bay. He’s gone to a couple of NFC Championship Games with the Bucs and ATL. But he’s never been on a team loaded with offensive talent. In Tampa, it was the Dunn-Alstott show. That’s it. In Atlanta, it was Vick and the Vickettes. Basically him, Alge Crumpler and ... that’s it. Those were Vick’s only weapons.
I’m sure he’d relish the chance to be on a team featuring T.O., Witten, Romo and MB3. So much talent, speed and skill. A massive offensive line. He could easily become a Kevin Faulk-type do-it-all back for our offense, picking up 10 to 12 yards on checkdowns and dumpoffs and accumulating yardage while spelling our workhorse. Sometimes it takes a loaded offensive roster to bring out the specific skills of a player. Think Wes Welker in New England, a shifty slot receiver who benefits from the speed of Randy Moss. Think Ryan Grant, a journeyman back who benefitted from a plethora of talent at the receiver position in Green Bay. Think Dallas Clark, a pass-catching tight end who benefits from the speed of Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. Dunn would be an added dimension that would be hard to account for with TWB (T.O., Witten and Barber) on the field.
No one is diminishing his negatives. He's old. He's got some wear and tear. He's had some injuries in the past. He's lost a step. He's small. He's not going to run over anybody or run through an entire defense like MB3.
That being said, Dunn's addition could be a very beneficial proposition to an already potent offense.
There’s a moment in Pulp Fiction when Jules and Vincent Vega are celebrating prematurely. The Wolf is working his magic and they are impressed. He gently tells them not to get too excited. There’s more work to be done. To put it gently.
You didn’t really expect the division to just concede to us? Did you? Did you think the Eagles would roll over and allow us to dominate them for the next decade? Think the Giants are satisfied with their rings? Waiting for the Deadskins to finally pull their heads out of ... the sand?
Focusing particularly on the Eagles, the answer is a resounding no. They’ve signed Asante Samuel. They made a big play for Moss. And they’re in the same market we’re in – looking for an impact receiver.
A lot of the free agent wide receivers are gone. Javon Walker is still out there and we want him. But the Eagles have more money than us and have been more aggressive than we have in free agency so far. Could they come in and scoop him? It’s a possibility. Nothing more they’d rather do than to address a need on their team and snatch a possible solution for ours.
Which brings us to Larry Fitzgerald. There are reports that he’s available. Others aren’t so sure. But the Eagles have made no secret of their desire to get him. He’s the worst type of receiver to see twice a year. He’s big and fast. He can jump. He’s got good hands. He’s a good teammate and a team player. And he’s willing to fit into to win because he’s got individual achievements.
Sounds like someone who’d be great along side of T.O. and to eventually replace him. So why aren't the ‘Boys making a play? Again, part of our slow-motion free agency plan. The 'Boys would rather call it spending wisely. The Eagles have been more aggressive. Will it come back to haunt us?
I refuse to believe we’re done in free agency or that we’ll solve all our problems through the draft. Part of our cautious free agency approach is due to necessity as explained here. That’s fine. I get that. What I don’t understand is where it goes from here.
But you know what? I didn’t know about Hamlin last year. I didn’t know about Zach Thomas this year. Jerry Jones doesn’t send me faxes on his future free agency plans. But if I were to guess, I’d say Jerry Jones isn’t through and our thin cornerback pool necessitates some type of move. It’s coming. I just wish I knew what it was. And I wish a team with more money, and it seems, a more aggressive attitude wasn’t breathing down our neck.
After kicking around this idea with Grizz, I’d like to introduce a new item on the blog called the Hat Tip Award, named for Grizz and his affable way of signaling to readers. I would love to say I’ll do this weekly. But I’m thinking of something more along the lines of once every two weeks.
The point of the award is to highlight interesting, thought-provoking or prophetic comments by users. Something funny or infuriating. Something deep or ridiculously shallow. Basically it’s just a way to give props to the comments on this site. This is a grassroots site. A movement if you will. We follow Grizz and his lead but the site works because of how interactive it is. The people who comment on this site are pretty damn smart and insightful for the most part. Just seems right to acknowledge and celebrate it.
Here’s how the process goes. I look through stories and diaries and find maybe five of the most interesting comments. I highlight those and then choose the top one. Anybody who wants to disagree or nominate comments, feel free.