There is at least one thing we fans learned from Bill Parcells, and that is coaches like certain players, and like to have them on their team. Who are the potential coach's guys? Who are the players he coordinated in previous stops that fit his scheme, his vision for how that side of the ball is supposed to play? Parcells was famous for bringing along large numbers of players that may or may not have been world-beaters, but represented everything he wanted in a player. This covered on field performance, locker room mechanics and off field professionalism.
With Rob Ryan set to take over the defensive play calling duties, he might look to integrate some gentlemen that know his way of conducting practice, his way of applying game plans to game situations. Let's take a quick look into some players that are scheduled to be free agents this off-season should a new CBA be in place. We'll start with players in the secondary, and I'll have a post up later to discuss the front seven players that Ryan might be looking to bring in.
Follow the jump for players in the defensive backfield that might be Cowboys targets in 2011.
This post extensively uses Profootballfocus.com's 2008, 2009, 2010 player and team grades.
- Nnamdi Asomugha, CB, Oakland Raiders. Asomugha is widely considered the closest this league has seen to Deion Sanders since Primetime hung up his laces. Teams simply avoid his side of the field. He ranked fourth on PFF.com's cornerback listing in pass covereage with a +10.0 rating. After registering eight interceptions under Ryan's leadership in 2006, teams stopped targeting him. This past season, he was only thrown at 29 times for an outstanding 69.9 opposing QB rating. However, Asomugha is getting up their in age, as he will be 30 when (if) the next season starts.
- Michael Huff, FS, Oakland Raiders. The former Texas Longhorn might be the ideal candidate to fix the Cowboys woes at the free safety position. Huff graded out as a +13.9 overall and had positive marks in run support, pass rush and pass defense, scoring a great 8.9 in pass coverage. For comparisons, Dallas didn't have a player that scored above a +3.3 in that category. Huff finished the year with four sacks, three interceptions and seven passes defended.
- Stanford Routt, CB, Oakland Raiders. The Austin, TX native finished the season with a -9.3 overall PFF.com rating as the corner that had to be targeted playing opposite Asomugha. That rating was lowered considerably by his 11 penalties, and may be misleading because of the nature of game planning around Asomugha. Routt did finish with 13 pass deflections and two interceptions. The opposition QB rating against him was a mere 69.0, although he did give up a large number of YAC in coverage, totalling 231. PFF.com rated him as the 56th best corner in 2008, his last year under Ryan. May be depth consideration.
- Hiram Eugene, FS, Oakland Raiders. Undrafted free agent with the team since 2006. Michael Huff's backup is also a free agent this season. Very minimal stat support this season, with larger sample sizes the two previous years including 2008 under Ryan. Has graded out as decidely average every year. Could be considered as veteran depth.
So what are your thoughts on the defensive players that Ryan has tutored, do any pique your interests? Are there other free agents out there you'd like to consider to help fix this secondary?
Next Player Tree Series: Front Seven