I was reading ChiaCrack's post about a possible switch to the 43, and I read BED's writing on the O-Ring Theory. They gave me a lot to think about, and so I tried to plan a way to spend resources in a way that eliminates deficient play universally.
O-Ring Theory implies that eliminating weakness is more valuable than gaining strengths when the weaknesses cause systemic failure. A result of this is the diminishing value of the 2nd WR. A terrible 2nd WR requires as much coverage as an average WR, and is just as likely to be covered. A bad WR is a weakness you can cover up. A bad Secondary is not. Dallas's spending on WR Roy Williams has seriously hindered the team to this time, because of the misspent assets he represents.
Dallas has enough stars. Demarcus Ware can be enough of a pass rush, Most of us fans believe Dallas have sufficient to great skill position players. What I want Dallas to emerge with in 2012 is an incredible offensive line and defense.
Dallas can achieve that goal by spending moderately on several young veteran FAs. FA is going to have a large impact on Dallas' draft, probably changing who Dallas selects #1. Jerry has been talking like he plans to spend. I hope he spends on young players for cheap. Knowing Jerry like we do, he'll target a star player.
I don't even know who is headed for free agency right now. Houston letting Mario Williams go is not a foregone conclusion. Dallas can achieve a great offensive line and defense through the draft and with it's own players and I'll explore that here.
Ultimately our defense and interior offensive line are so bad its going to take more than one offseason to put Dallas in the Superbowl. Dallas needs a habit of developing mid-round players at guard and in the secondary to keep costs low. These are the players who satisfy the O-Ring theory. Your 2nd, 3rd, 4th CB and Ss can be Just A Guys -- JAGs. JAG ain't so Bad! Merely adequate allows the other star players to shine. A guard can afford to be a JAG. This is a plea to give Nagy, Holland and Arkin space to battle it out for a starting Guard spot. This is one Guard spot for 2012.
Dallas needs a couple of competitive centers to both start and back up. Maybe Kolwalski gets stronger. I can only see Dallas signing someone to at least back up Konz if we draft him. At least Dallas will have some foresight this time and not suddenly launch in to the season adrift at this spot.
Picking at 14 will not land Dallas a value worthy Cornerback or Safety, bit it will land an elite Guard or Line Backer.
I hope the 43 defense is practically a forgone conclusion. Fixing the 34 has become an albatross for Jerry and the Fanbase. Dallas produced an historic worse defense in 2010. Dallas has a proud defensive history. Our fans remember good 43 defenses. Our management must also see the Giants, clinging on, then getting results from their investment in pure pass rushers and a 43.
It's my view you'll never see Ware in coverage again. LDE, he never leaves the field, practically. Multifaceted has made this team less focused.
Anthony Spencer will be retained at a reasonable price. I expected him to be like Willie McGinist, and he's not. Spencer has produced about 5.66 sacks a year the last 3 years, with 4 a year over his career, while McGinest produced 7.1 a year over his career. Spencer seems like a great run down (1st and 2nd down) DE and a great 3rd, rotating DE. Still, forced to be the #2 pass rushing threat, he's adequate and not leaving a gashing sore on defense. Adequate Antony.
Jay Ratlif I'm hoping to see him lined up at DT, in the 3 spot, which puts him directly in front of a guard. Our good and developing NTs will line up on the other side on the center, in between the center and the guard. He'll force Jay in to many 1 on 1 situations. It could be a good season for him.
I like the specialization of the 43, more than anything. It takes a thin position, which is DLine, and thickens it quickly.
a front 4 of:
Ware | Spears | Ratliff | Spencer
Ware | Spears | Ratliff | Coleman | Spencer
We're making the unit more focused and decreasing their responsibilities. Responsibility is the key word in a 34 -- Belicheck's great defenders in 2001-05 were all pretty old and had survived in the league for ever. He had even had a role in drafting them when he was DC in New England in the mid 90s. Dallas hasn't had a staff that consistent, allowing for an almost decade long relationship. I hope Garrett gets that chance.
Our LBs - Another thing I like about this is it separates Lee from Ware, so now two elite players, two levels.
Carter | Lee | Must Draft...
Last 34 comment- based on resigning Spencer, switching to the 43 basically switches out Kenyon Coleman with a new LB. We can't draft JJ Watt because no one is like him this year, but I agree with ChiaCrack that we can draft Luke Kuechly, but won't.
Our secondary, today as far as I can tell-
Jenkins | Elam | Sensabaugh | Scandrick
Newman used to be really good now he's way below average. The secondary above looks average. There are no draftable upgrades that will impact it immediately.
Dallas can either draft Luke Kuechly or David DeCastro in my view. That is a really tough decision. So many needs and a Roy Williams trade does that to you. I sense this year, Dallas fans will not know months in advance who the Cowboys will select, unlike with Bryant, Smith and others.
I believe Dallas will draft Guard first, David DeCastro. He represents a serious investment in countering the best assets of the Giants and Eagles defense. 2 Elite tackles + 1 elite guard and 2 ok players is a recipe for a dominant offensive line and a time eating ground game. Score in the red zone, force them to pass, line up DWare. If DeCastro is gone Konz of Wisconsin would seriously help a deficient area. Either way I see pick one shoring a weakness of ours and dulling a strength of our opponent's.
This is why pick one will go to the offense. Protect Tony Romo, impact the Giants and Eagles, help the Cowboys score in the running game, give FB Tony Fiamata meaning, and eat time off the clock. Dallas's best assets are Demarcus Ware and it's passing game. This could elevate the running game up to Tony Romo's passing game. That would be 3 strengths, one move.
1. GUARD David DeCastro or Center Konz of Wisonsin
Defense the rest of the way; Dallas needs somebody to play LB and CB.