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Old 03-18-2013, 04:45 PM    (permalink
Rev Bolyard
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Default New to the boards!

Hey guys. I’m new to the boards, but instead of the normal “Hey guys, I’m new to the boards!” as a first post, I want to dive right into some serious meat and potatoes about the Cowboys and the new Kiffin Cover-2 they will be employing next season.

Firstly, we start with the defensive line which will now likely include DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. I’m guessing Ware plays the plays at right end (weak side) with Spencer lining up at left end (strong side). I question that philosophy when it come to stopping the run as a combination of a tackle and a tight end will almost certainly grind Spencer into the ground. Another possibility would be lining Jason Hatcher or Tyrone Crawford up as the strong side end, and leaving Spencer completely out of the base defense (other than backing up Ware). This is the kind of larger front the Seattle Seahawks employ, with the 6’4 323 lb Red Bryant starting as their strong side end. The interior of the line consists of Jay Ratliff, Sean Lissemore, Ben Bass, Brian Price, Rob Callaway, Nick Hayden and perhaps Hatcher if not employed on the perimeter. Keep in mind that NFL teams are now playing their nickel defense for as much as 2/3 of NFL games these days. Once that occurs, Spencer would certainly be the left end, with Hatcher and Ratliff the nickel rushers in the middle.

Secondly we have linebacker, where Sean Lee will star at middle. While the Cover-2 won’t ask him to blitz often, he will be in charge of taking a deeper drop than he has been asked to before while reading and reacting to what he’s seeing in front of him. Lee has shown to be a playmaker in the passing game and could be in for a huge year intercepting the ball. The weak side (or Will), will be manned by Bruce Carter. His speed and athleticism could will be on full display in this system – remember Derrick Brooks? The strong side is up in the air with just about everybody who’s not starting being a possible starter. That’s not entirely reassuring as Albright and Wilber are converted college defensive ends (at least part time) and probably would be eaten up vs. tight ends. (edit: Ernie Sims was just resigned and is favorite to start the season as the strong side 'backer) Again, once the nickel team is on the field, the strong side backer will be dropped in favor of Orlando Scandrick.

Lastly we have the secondary. Obvious starters as corner are Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne. Matt Johnson will get first dibs at the free safety position while Barry Church will return to strong safety. Scandrick is your nickel back. The cupboard is bare as reserves go for the entire secondary.

Below I give a breakdown of what I think is the most likely breakdown of the depth chart leading up to the draft. It’s my belief that the draft will dictate what the front four will look like next season. An early selection of a defensive end would almost surely push Hatcher inside.

LDE Jason Hatcher
LDE Tyrone Crawford

3-Technique DT Jay Ratliff
3-Technique Ben Bass

1-Technique Sean Lissamore
1-Technique Brian Price
1-Technique Rob Callaway

RE DeMarcus Ware
RE Anthony Spencer

SLB Ernie Sims
SLB Kyle Wilbur
SLB Anthony Albright

MLB Sean Lee
MLB Caleb McSurdy

WLB Bruce Carter

CB Brandon Carr
CB Morris Claiborne
CB Orlando Scandrick
CB Sterling Moore

SS Barry Church
SS Danny McCray

FS Matt Johnson


That leads us to the draft. Mock drafts are always popular this time of the year, but rather than focus on that, I’m opting to focus on players the Cowboys could target – and by the round that they could be acquired. I’m obviously no draft guru, but I attempted to use a variety of sources to pinpoint what round (and what part of the round) these prospects may be available to Dallas.

1st round
Sheldon Richardson – Missouri – 3 Technique Defensive Tackle
The addition of Richardson would keep Hatcher as primarily an end unless an injury were to befall Ratliff. He would fill the Warren Sapp role in the defense, and while he isn’t THAT type of prospect, he might well be a poor man’s Leon Lett.

Kenny Vacarro – Texas – Safety
Vacarro instantly upgrades the secondary, and could probably play either in the cover-2.

2nd round
Kawaan Short - Purdue - 3 Technique Defensive Tackle
See above with Richardson. Superb career numbers.

Sylvester Williams - North Carolina - 3 Technique Defensive Tackle
Has shown flashes, but a bit streakier than I'd like. Still would upgrade the position immediately as a rotational player

Alex Okafor - Texas - Right Defensive End
We can get it out of our heads that Okafor is a dominant rush end - he's not. He is good enough however, to provide the Tony Tolbert to DeMarcus Ware's Charles Haley. This also allows for a trade of Spencer if you have the stomach for it. More likely, it allows Spencer to walk next season if you can't get him to agree to an extension on your terms.

Phillip Thomas - Fresno State - Free Safety
Crazy career production, but underwhelming measurables. Still, a capable ballhawk in zone - probably fits the cover-2 defense more than most other systems.

3rd round
Jordan Hill - Penn State - 3 Technique Defensive Tackle
Lacks the measurables, but tenacious. Could surprise.

Akeem Spence - Illinois - 3 Technique Defensive Tackle
Tons of upside, but suspect college production.

Zavier Gooden - Missouri - SAM Linebacker
Top athlete, above average football player.

4th round
William Gholston - Michigan State - Right Defensive End
Talking about an absolute enigma. One of the most physically gifted ends in the draft, but average production. Would help fill a rotational role though.

Sio Moore - UConn - SAM linebacker
Gives another option for that position.

Montori Hughes - Tennessee Martin - 1 Technique Defensive Tackle
Space eater, but athletic enough to penetrate. This is your Russell Maryland.

DJ Swearinger - South Carolina - Free Safety
Likely the 2nd most underrated saftey in this class. Huge potential.

5th round
AJ Klein - Iowa State - MIKE Linebacker
Hard nosed kid to fill in for oft injured Sean Lee.

Malliciah Goodman - Clemson - Left Defensive End
Subpar stats, but good frame for strong side end.

Stansly Maponga - TCU - Right Defensive End
Injuries may for him to slide. Good upside as pass rusher

Cory Grissom - South Florida - 1 Technique Defensive Tackle
Probably a rotational player, but could fit a Booger McFarland type role.

6th round (If they should they acquire a 6th round pick)
J.J. Wilcox - Georgia Southern - Free Safety
Small school who recently switched positions. Massive upside. Patience required.

Earl Wolff - North Carolina State - Free Safety
The most underrated safety in this class. Could pay major dividends.

Michael Mouti - Penn State - MIKE Linebacker
Poor man's Sean Lee - with all the same injury concerns.

7th round
David Bass - Missouri Western - Left Defensive End
Small school guy with TONS of passrushing potential.

Josh Boyd - Mississippi State - 3 Technique Defensive Tackle
Below average production. A body.


Thoughts?

Last edited by Rev Bolyard : 03-18-2013 at 05:29 PM. Reason: Ernie Sims was resigned
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:03 PM    (permalink
pocketaces
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Welcome to the boards! My intial thoughts are, good job and cant argue with the draft, except we have to get O-linemen and Spencer is not going to be a backup. 10 mill a year is for him to start. Did you ignore the offense on purpose? If we come out of this draft with NO O-linemen, some of us might finally give up lol
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:05 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by pocketaces View Post
Welcome to the boards! My intial thoughts are, good job and cant argue with the draft, except we have to get O-linemen and Spencer is not going to be a backup. 10 mill a year is for him to start. Did you ignore the offense on purpose? If we come out of this draft with NO O-linemen, some of us might finally give up lol
This is primarily his thoughts on the defense. He's not making a mock draft for the cowboys, but people who fit the system and in what rounds they can be had
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:12 PM    (permalink
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This is primarily his thoughts on the defense. He's not making a mock draft for the cowboys, but people who fit the system and in what rounds they can be had
Ahhhh gottcha. My bad
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:26 PM    (permalink
Rev Bolyard
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Originally Posted by pocketaces View Post
Welcome to the boards! My intial thoughts are, good job and cant argue with the draft, except we have to get O-linemen and Spencer is not going to be a backup. 10 mill a year is for him to start. Did you ignore the offense on purpose? If we come out of this draft with NO O-linemen, some of us might finally give up lol
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Originally Posted by mightytitan9 View Post
This is primarily his thoughts on the defense. He's not making a mock draft for the cowboys, but people who fit the system and in what rounds they can be had
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocketaces View Post
Ahhhh gottcha. My bad
That's correct. The offense is the same offense the Cowboys have run now for years. I think the general consensus is the need for interior linemen, especially guards - as well as a new right tackle. But I was attempting to help explain the new defense and what that means going forward. Also, I just noticed Dallas resigned Ernie Sims... so I would assume him to be the favorite to start at the SAM position. Thanks for the responses!
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:23 PM    (permalink
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Welcome to the boards Rev. Are you a Reverend or is that short for something else? Tell us about yourself. :)

I noticed your concentration on the defense. Looks good. Looks like we have something in common as far as Earl Wolff and DJ Swearinger go. I feel the exact same way towards them.

I think Spencer will be asked to bulk up in preparation for this season's switch to the 4-3. I understand your concern, but I don't think the team Franchised him with the intent to make him a part time player or back up to Ware. Although we do have the bodies to mix up the looks and rotation... whether we stick in Crawford in or slide some DTs out like Seattle did.

I'm hesitant to believe we'll replicate what Seattle did completely. I know Kiffin informed the team to start studying them up, but we'll see. Richardson in the 1st is fine with me. However, I don't love the value of S there, so Vacarro is not one of my personal favorites for that pick. In my mind, I've been more focused on fixing the offense. Never really gave thought to a defensive heavy draft.

Food for thought.... if we spent all our picks on Offense do you think the Cowboys would be better off than spending all our picks on Defense?
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:15 PM    (permalink
Rev Bolyard
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Originally Posted by D-Unit View Post
Welcome to the boards Rev. Are you a Reverend or is that short for something else? Tell us about yourself. :)

I noticed your concentration on the defense. Looks good. Looks like we have something in common as far as Earl Wolff and DJ Swearinger go. I feel the exact same way towards them.

I think Spencer will be asked to bulk up in preparation for this season's switch to the 4-3. I understand your concern, but I don't think the team Franchised him with the intent to make him a part time player or back up to Ware. Although we do have the bodies to mix up the looks and rotation... whether we stick in Crawford in or slide some DTs out like Seattle did.

I'm hesitant to believe we'll replicate what Seattle did completely. I know Kiffin informed the team to start studying them up, but we'll see. Richardson in the 1st is fine with me. However, I don't love the value of S there, so Vacarro is not one of my personal favorites for that pick. In my mind, I've been more focused on fixing the offense. Never really gave thought to a defensive heavy draft.

Food for thought.... if we spent all our picks on Offense do you think the Cowboys would be better off than spending all our picks on Defense?
A quick bio on myself:

My grandfather was a HUGE Oklahoma fan for reasons I was never able to ask him before his passing, but my earliest memories of him were telling me how good this quarterback from UCLA would be. That QB was none other than Troy Aikman. I just kind of followed the Cowboys ever since while the rest of my family (and wife and her family) are diehard Steeler fans - and I live right in the middle of Steelers and Redskins fans. Pretty tough sledding most days.

Anyway, Rev is a nickname I got in basic training since I was a chaplains assistant and they assumed it was the same thing as a chaplain. Just kind of wore it as a badge of honor like like the Rev from Remember the Titans.

I'm 30, live in north central West Virginia (about two hours south of Pittsburgh).

To respond to your questions regarding our draft strategy, I would like to land 2 offfensive linemen and possibly a running back, with the rest being defensive players. I feel that health had as much to do with our struggles offensively last season as anything. Do we have good linemen? No, I don't think we do aside from Tyron Smith, but they are good enough to survive (especially with Romo's toolset).

Defensively, we're talking about a completely different defensive philosophy. While we can guess about positions and who might play where, I don't have any confidence that we can field a dominant defense with the current players - which means we might field a average one, or worse. A bad defense would likely cost Garrett his job. I can't see how he survives another 7-9, 8-8, 9-7 season. My vote is we aim to land a 3 technique to be our Warren Sapp. That goes a LONG way to solidifying our defense. I think that position needs addressed early, so unless Warmack (or Joeckel, or Fisher, or Lane Johnson) are waiting there when we pick, then I think you REALLY start to aim for Richardson (or Floyd if he's there). If all those are off the board, I'm not a huge fan of Hankerson, and I'd probably look to deal down and take Short or Sylvester Williams.

Right now the strength of the defense is probably the defensive line, but so much of it depends on players playing positions that we aren't sure they can play at this level. If it all comes together though, AND you add another top body or two (DE), then you begin to build an elite unit capable of supporting the entire defense which already has some nice pieces in Lee, Carter, Claiborne, and Carr.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:47 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Rev Bolyard View Post
A quick bio on myself:

My grandfather was a HUGE Oklahoma fan for reasons I was never able to ask him before his passing, but my earliest memories of him were telling me how good this quarterback from UCLA would be. That QB was none other than Troy Aikman. I just kind of followed the Cowboys ever since while the rest of my family (and wife and her family) are diehard Steeler fans - and I live right in the middle of Steelers and Redskins fans. Pretty tough sledding most days.

Anyway, Rev is a nickname I got in basic training since I was a chaplains assistant and they assumed it was the same thing as a chaplain. Just kind of wore it as a badge of honor like like the Rev from Remember the Titans.

I'm 30, live in north central West Virginia (about two hours south of Pittsburgh).

To respond to your questions regarding our draft strategy, I would like to land 2 offfensive linemen and possibly a running back, with the rest being defensive players. I feel that health had as much to do with our struggles offensively last season as anything. Do we have good linemen? No, I don't think we do aside from Tyron Smith, but they are good enough to survive (especially with Romo's toolset).

Defensively, we're talking about a completely different defensive philosophy. While we can guess about positions and who might play where, I don't have any confidence that we can field a dominant defense with the current players - which means we might field a average one, or worse. A bad defense would likely cost Garrett his job. I can't see how he survives another 7-9, 8-8, 9-7 season. My vote is we aim to land a 3 technique to be our Warren Sapp. That goes a LONG way to solidifying our defense. I think that position needs addressed early, so unless Warmack (or Joeckel, or Fisher, or Lane Johnson) are waiting there when we pick, then I think you REALLY start to aim for Richardson (or Floyd if he's there). If all those are off the board, I'm not a huge fan of Hankerson, and I'd probably look to deal down and take Short or Sylvester Williams.

Right now the strength of the defense is probably the defensive line, but so much of it depends on players playing positions that we aren't sure they can play at this level. If it all comes together though, AND you add another top body or two (DE), then you begin to build an elite unit capable of supporting the entire defense which already has some nice pieces in Lee, Carter, Claiborne, and Carr.
That's cool. Hope you stick around even when the draft has past and gone. Seem like a knowledgeable poster.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:59 PM    (permalink
Rev Bolyard
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That's cool. Hope you stick around even when the draft has past and gone. Seem like a knowledgeable poster.
Eh, I know a little X's and O's I suppose. And I hope these boards don't die once the draft's over....

Anyway, seems to me that Spencer almost with certainly NOT be traded as the Cowboys have received little interest in him (per Jerry Jones)

So that probably means he's our starting strong side end with Crawford as the chief backup.

Hatcher and Ratliff would be our 3 tech's (and maybe Bass), and Lissemore as our 1 tech (though Ratliff would likely slide over in case of injur) and Brian Price and Rob Callaway as the backups there.

Seems to completely shift the focus of the draft to defensive end (no real backup for Ware and Spencer one just a one year deal so far)

I still like Okafor in the 2nd (as a strong side end) or Tank Carradine (as a weak side end)
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:18 AM    (permalink
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Great great post. Welcome to the boards, dono how I missed this. Guess I use User CP too much. I'm at work so I can't really dive into your post too much now but I plan on it later.
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