The 2010 season was one riddled with disappointment for Cowboys fans. From the preseason malaise to the initial record, from Romo's injury to the coaching change, to watching the Packers and Steelers fight for the Lombardi in our house. Things didn't go well this past season for the team in general. Things also veered away from the plan for several players individual performances this past campaign. Let's do a quick inventory of some of our players' performances.
Who were the five most disappointing Cowboys in 2010 in your opinion? Bob Sturm of The Dallas Morning News thinks they were, in order: 5) Andre Gurode, 4) Terence Newman, 3) Marc Colombo, 2) Anthony Spencer, and 1) Mike Jenkins. I think we got exactly what could be expected from Gurode and while Newman's play suffered, he was injured most of the year. I'd also shift around the other three players and bring in two additional names.
For what it's worth, my list would be:
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5) Jay Ratliff. OK, I'm kind of cheating here. Honestly, Ratliff played at a comparable level to 2009. He posted overall impressive numbers, and the loss of Marcus Spears for the majority of the season clearly had an impact on Big Rat. His run defense, and that of the Cowboys overall, suffered greatly. Ratliff worked as hard as anyone though, and an improvement in defensive line talent around him will surely see him rebound. However, I expected Ratliff to be the best defensive lineman in pro football this season. While he was still a force to be reckoned with, I was disappointed that he wasn't able to provide the run support we had seen from him in the past, and I am now in the camp of those that want to consider moving him to defensive end.
4) Anthony Spencer. Spencer is in a somewhat similar boat as Ratliff. Anthony was expected to make the big leap in 2010, and it just never happened. Although he still ranked as pff.com's 9th best 3-4 OLB, his numbers against the run and rushing the passer both dropped from the previous year when he ranked third overall. It has some Dallas fans wanting to draft a replacement for him early in April's gathering, but I think that is hogwash. His numbers still put him
3) Alan Ball. Profootballfocus.com says Ken Hamlin was the 50th rated safety in 2009. We all figured, that anybody could replace him and we'd at least get the same production if not a bump. Alan Ball was ranked the 79th out of 85 safeties in the NFL according to pff.com. The only game where he received an above average game was week 13 against Indy. 41 tackles, 2 INT's and only half a sack. That is not going to cut it for a Rob Ryan safety. You might not have had high hopes for Ball, but I made the mistake of thinking he was professional caliber.
2) Mike Jenkins. Tough not to give him the number one spot, but I have my reasons. Reason number one, see disappointment number three. The historically horrid play of the free safety caused Mike Jenkins to try and do too much early in the season. We've all beaten the 'corners can't cover if they don't trust the safeties over the top' meme to death, but that's because it's factual. However, Jenkins shared in the blame, and even brought back memories of the matador play. A drop from 15th to 92nd in the pff.com rankings outlines what a disappointment it was watching him play in 2010. Here's hoping Rob Ryan sees the flaws in his game and fixes them.
1) Marc Colombo. No one fell from grace quicker than Marc Colombo did. When he was injured down the stretch of the 2009 season, then backup Doug Free did an admirable job 'filling in' for Colombo. In fact, they ranked right next to each other in pff.com's rankings at 25th and 26th. Colombo plummeted to 76th this season and his injuries forced us to actually let Alex Barron collect a game check. We all knew Colombo was on the downside of his career, but we didn't know he had skis with rocket boosters and a tailwind.
So who do you have BTB? Agree with my choices? Ticked off because I had the audacity to list Jay Ratliff? Give us your top 5 disappointing, and why they let you down.