(long) Defensive worries gone overboard; for nfldraftblitz
It is the deadest time of the football year. The ďbigĒ news is the supplemental draft where 1 guy may actually be worth a late 3rd round pick and another worth a 6th. Thatís the most they are worth. So yea, its slow.
This slow time causes a lot of white noise to hit keyboards and get published. That causes radio talk shows to pick up mantras and in general football drivel to hit full steam.
If youíre in Dallas that drivel has been couched in 3-4 talk. The bad part of this is most Dallas fans are completely clueless about the 3-4. I donít mean that as an insult to Dallas fans but rather as a testament to the fact Dallas has had such limited experience with any defenses other then the 4-3. Dallas has essentially run 3 base defenses. The 4-3 flex , the Miami 4-3, and the Cover 2 (4-3). So the fretting over the 3-4 is in full effect. Why oh why the fans want to know would you take LaRoi Glover off the field for a scrub LB? Thatís a legit question at first glance. The truth is though you are not going to do that. LaRoi Glover is going to play 65% of the plays if you ask Bill Parcells. Thatís probably exactly what you want from an undersized DT who is on the down side of a very good NFL career. Fresher DL make more plays. While Dallas fans can claim ignorance of the 3-4 it is hard to claim ignorance of how good guys can be on the DL if they get rest. Dallas won Super Bowls with guys like Charles Haley playing no more than 65% of the snaps. Fans werenít clamoring for Charles on First down, so long as he was there on 3rd hitting QBs. Itís the same concept guys. Really it is. The kid playing on that first down will be either Marcus Spears or Demarcus Ware, not a scrub LB. Those are the 2 potential guys who will be on the field in the 3-4 where one would not in the 4-3. Scrub LB X was probably gonna be on the field anyway. Dallas has to field 3 of them and it is very unlikely Demarcus Ware is asked to play a 4-3 OLB. He was a defensive end in college and will likely be so in any 4-3 fronts in Dallas. I have seen some disagree with that but I would have to see Ware at a 4-3 LB to believe it.
Dallas lost Dexter Coakley and Marcellus Wiley off of last yearís defense. Coakley while a good player was a small player whose playmaking had been reduced. Heís the kind of guy the eagles and Pats have been cutting lose for 3 or 4 years in an effort to keep their caps in great shape: I.E. highly paid aging guys on the downside. Other than that Dallas has all the talent of last season plus: Demarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Jason Ferguson, Kevin Burnett, Anthony Henry, Aaron Glenn, Izell Reese.
Gang, we are gonna be better no matter what defense we play. The talent infusion is what matters. Tuna knows the 3-4 and Zimmer the 4-3, but what is proven to matter is talent. These guys have talent and will perform. Sure there will be some mix of defenses though in all honesty I expect the 3-4 to be the primary defense and especially so early on as BP tests it out. The 4-3 will probably be used against teams we have already played as in the 2nd divisional games.
Greg Ellis? Ellis is a good 4-3 DE who plays extremely hard. He is not going to play any less hard or face any less double teams in the 3-4. At least not compared with any of the previous talent bare 4-3ís Dallas has tossed out. Ellis was always double-teamed. Now teams will double Jason Ferguson. If you do that you can not double the DEís and the pass rushing OLB. If by doubling Ellis you get Demarcus Ware blocked by a RB, then hello Pro Bowl for Demarcus. Greg Ellis is not going to run down QBs. He is an inside the tackle guy even if he doesnít realize it yet. The 3-4 will fit him fine.
I could be wrong but honestly there is little in the pure football logic of the situation to suggest that is the case. So relax and lets get excited about all that talent added instead of worrying over how it is used. Bill Parcells has a fondness for old guys but he does use and develop talent. There is very little reason to think he will not get the most out of this defense regardless of where they line up.
But I still don't know what any team saw Thursday night that would have made them comfortable with waiting a round or two for the offensive lineman they wanted. ---Todd McShay
We just converted half our LB to DL. We have a 30m starting DL, it better be pretty friggin good.