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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Will Defense Be Better Because It Can't Be Worse?

Latest Cowboys headlines: More personnel moves for the Cowboys? Can Cowboys defense improve in 2014? Can Terrell McClain push Nick Hayden to be starter at 1-technique DT spot?

Ronald Martinez

Can Cowboys defense improve in 2014? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
In yesterday's Twitter mailbag, Archer addressed the potential of Tyrone Crawford, the potential of Sean Lee, and the potential of Jason Garrett. He also answered a question about how 32nd-ranked defenses perform in the following season.

@toddarcher: Thankfully the fine folks at have already looked this up. Generally, they do better. Only one team in the past 19 seasons allowed more yards after giving up the most yards in the NFL. Unfortunately that team was the 2008 Detroit Lions coached by Rod Marinelli, who takes over as Cowboys' defensive coordinator.

According to BTB, the average improvement is 827 yards from the previous years. Sixteen of those 19 had more wins the following season, which bodes well for the Cowboys. I think the defense will be better in 2014 because it can't be worse. Well, I know it can be worse, but I think Marinelli will make a positive impact. I think you will see the Cowboys go from No. 32 in yards to the Nos. 20-25 range. Call me crazy.

More personnel moves for the Cowboys?
The staff mulls the question of whether the Cowboys have enough depth, which prompts Bryan Broaddus to speculate that more personnel moves could be in the works.

As you look through the entire roster, there are two spot that I believe that they will keep an eye on during training camp - linebacker and quite possibly a blocking tight end. Those are two spots that if a player pops up on the waiver wire, we could see a move.

Can Terrell McClain push Nick Hayden to be starter at 1-technique DT spot | Brandon George, DMN
George takes a look at the competion for the starting 1-technique spot, and argues that with McClain and Hayden battling for a starting spot, Ben Bass back from shoulder surgery, and the addition of rookie Ken Bishop, the Cowboys have some depth at the spot.

Tyrone Crawford 1-on-1: Comeback Trail; Fitting In -
Bryan Broaddus sits down with Tyrone Crawford to talk about where he fits on the defensive line, and what he (Crawford, not Broaddus) needs to improve on going forward. Broaddus asked Crawford whether he had gotten any indication from the coaches about where he would play, DT or DE:

"I thought they did and then I got confused again, so not yet. But I’m sure, here, eventually, pretty soon, I’ll sit down with coaches and see exactly."

"Whatever I am playing I just want to focus there. I can do both but I want to get better at the tackle. Right now my upside is the end. I do want to get better rushing from the tackle spot, but I want to get better rushing at the end, too."

Last Time Out: Looking At The Guards & Centers -
The staff provides a rundown all the guards on the Cowboys roster right now, and tags on a completely unedited take from Bryan Broaddus on the importance of the pocket for Tony Romo:

Over the years we have all grown accustom to Romo’s ability to avoid the rush from the edges but rarely does it escape when it comes through the center of the pocket. When Romo is at his absolute best, is when the front of the pocket is clean. When he can keep his eyes down the field, then step up, there is always a chance for a huge play. From early observations, it appears that Zack Martin will start at right guard and Travis Frederick at center. What we don’t know is who will be on that left side? Whether its Ronald Leary or Mackenzy Bernadeau, there will be a powerful man at that spot which is important in order to help set the depth of the pocket.


The Dying Fullback - The Football Educator
Is fullback a dying position in the NFL? The Football Educator looked as how fewer NFL teams are using fullbacks, but sees a a glimmer of hope for a return run.

NFL teams divided $6 billion in revenue, according to Green Bay Packers financials - ESPN
Amid reports that NFL teams equally divided more than $6 billion in revenue last season, Darren Rovell gives a glimpse about what to expect from next year's salary cap:

The national revenue dollars [...] continue to climb over the years, with the total pie up 56 percent, factoring for inflation, since 2006.

The most significant jump will happen next season, as new television deals with each of the league's partners, along with the new CBS Thursday Night package, pushes the league's media revenue from the networks alone to an average of more than $5 billion a season.

That doesn't include the league's $1 billion a year contract with DirecTV, which expires at the end of the 2014 season and is currently being renegotiated.

Billy Beane on the Future of Sports: A Tech-Driven Revolution - WSJ
Earlier this week, Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane of Moneyball fame wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal in which he talked about how technology will continue to transform the way front offices think of the game.

"The current modus operandi of building rosters to maximize the sum of individual talent also will be challenged; data compiled using new technologies will enable management to assemble players in new ways, emphasizing their ability to complement one another. Whereas current metrics describe players' performance in isolation, front offices will increasingly rely on statistics that measure a player's value in the context of the rest of the team, picking up externalities such as how a player's defensive abilities may compensate for the deficiencies of those playing around him."

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