Gerald Sensabaugh is the new hope at the Cowboys strong safety position. In the past, the team has relied on the position as one of strength. That was until Darren Woodson retired. Soon after, Roy Williams' game began to decline, and then he got injured.
This offseason, Dallas let both Williams and his backupwalk and signed Sensabaugh to a one-year contract worth $1.75 million. The deal sounds similar to the one the Cowboys gave FS Ken Hamlin. If Sensabaugh proves to be a quality starter this season, then the team will look to extend his contract as they did with Hamlin's.
Sensabaugh's play resembles that of Hamlin's moreso than Williams'. That doesn't mean he can't support the run as well as Roy, but it does mean that the Cowboys will ask him to cover more - as Sensabaugh says in this interview. Coach Phillips has got to be giddy to have a strong safety who can cover and who wants to cover. No longer will he have to adjust his defense to hide a player's weakness. I'm sure a guy like Hamlin will also appreciate that.
Sensabaugh recently created a website so he can "communicate with fans, personally answering reader questions and updating his blog on a regular basis".
And he has been quite active on his blog. Here's a sampling of some of the recent Q&A he's been doing with fans.
On his expected impact with the Cowboys:
I would have to say that i feel that i will make the most impact in the passing game. Here in dallas we have a great front 7 who's dominant against the run. I do plan on getting my share of run stopping, but for me right now my main focus is to play good coverage. I'm very fortunate to have some great pass rushers who can get sacks or force bad throws. So i'm excited to get a chance to play where the pass rush is going to be there and knowing that the balls are going to be coming out fast. I'm expecting our secondary to get lots if int's, especially with how athletic everybody is.
Make the jump for more from Sensabaugh and more VRR news.
Sensi on reading offenses:
"Before the snap there are many reads," responds Sensabaugh. "The main read is identifying the formation. Once the formation is identified it will give u a big clue on rather its left, right run.... short, deep pass. Through film study you notice that a lot of teams are repetitive, so before the snap you can take a highly educated guess.
I pay attention to the splits of the WR's and i can get big clues of where they are going. Film study is the biggest part of the NFL. The more you know about your opponent, the better chance you have at executing against your opponent.
On fitting in the Cowboys defensive scheme:
In the 3-4 defense it mainly stops the run and puts a lot of pressure on the secondary because we all know the Cowboys love man coverage. So my job is to cover and cap the run. I think this defense is great for what i have molded my career for. So expect me to make a lot of plays and show my coverage ability which i am looking forward to. My rookie year in jax they experienced me at corner and every year i get snaps playing the inside slot.
Check out his blog at GeraldSensabaugh.net for his answers to other random topics like why he wears the number 43, how he feels about the nickname "Sensi", and how he can't wait to kick some NFC East butt.
Smashburger. It just sounds like a joint a Cowboys offensive lineman should own. Now two linemen own a stake in the chain. Right tackle Marc Colombo is joining fellow Free Reign member and O-line neighbor, Leonard Davis, in the burger biz.
"When Leonard told me about his arrangement with Smashburger, I knew I wanted to get involved," Colombo said. "Because we’ve worked side-by-side on game day every week during the season, I know we will be a great team in making Smashburger a huge success in the Dallas area. Smashburger's excellent food, setting and value will make it Dallas’ favorite burger place for every occasion."
With training camp starting next week, expect the rookie signings to begin soon.
Stephen McGee's mother is looking forward to attending her son's first practice as a Cowboy at the Alamodome.
Here's a precamp injury update:
DE Jason Hatcher, WR Isaiah Stanback and rookie LB Stephen Hodge all had knee surgeries this offseason but are expected back for training camp. So is PK Nick Folk (hip surgery), but his kicking could be limited early in camp. The team draftedas a kickoff specialist, and he could handle the early foot duties until Folk is cleared. missed OTAs and minicamp with a hamstring strain and should be back for camp, but he also missed valuable time — time he had designs on spending to get a leg up on a starting spot.
The Cowboys will launch a Kickoff Spectacular on Tuesday at the Alamodome. Here's what's in store:
5 p.m. Fan Interactive Area Opens
6 p.m. Alamodome Doors Open
7 p.m. Kickoff Spectacular, which will feature the Randy Rogers Band and IntoCable. Players and coaches will be announced to the fans.
For Cowboys fans in the Kansas City area: the Chiefs ticket agents will require that you purchase a preseason game ticket when you purchase one for the Dallas @ KC game.
The Dallas game on Oct. 11 will come in a two-ticket package with the Houston preseason game Aug. 15. The Pittsburgh game Nov. 22 is paired with the Seattle preseason game Aug. 29. And no, there is no discount for the preseason tickets you'll have to buy along with the regular-season ticket.