Originally Posted by wick
If you want to improve in the off season, you have to pick the areas that actually correlate to winning, right? After all, each team has only a finite number of resources. Dallas, by virtue of a constrained cap, has fewer resources than most. So you have to pick for improvement only the areas that most improve your chances of winning.
To that end, which areas should we purposefully ignore or minimize because they needlessly waste resources without a commensurate increase in winning potential? Here's my list:
[View Full Quote]1. The running game. This includes running backs and the run blocking aspect of the offensive line. The running game doesn't determine winning and losing in the NFL. There is a mountain of statistical evidence to back this up. Since it doesn't determine winning and losing, minimize your efforts to shore it up. We can find warm bodies at running back late in the draft and in free agency. Don't sign or draft offensive linemen based on their run blocking ability or lack thereof.
2. The secondary. It's true that passing determines winning at that this applies to both sides of the ball. It's also true that Dallas was horrible against the pass in 2012. So why not upgrade the secondary? Because current NFL rules are so heavily slanted toward the passing game that expensive resources in the secondary are generally unable to perform at a level that justifies the expense. Look at Dallas this year, with four corners making significant money. We stunk anyway. Reward in the secondary is paid in turnovers, and turnovers are a function of pass rush and zone coverage that puts defenders in a position to watch the quarterback and be in the area when opportunities present themselves.
3. Run-stopping defensive linemen. This gets back to the point about the running game not determining winning and losing. As such, don't focus on getting that prototypical space-eating nose tackle or the run-stuffing defensive ends. Aside from maybe Jason Hatcher, we don't have a defensive lineman worth a lick at rushing the passer, and it's one of the big reasons why our defense stinks.
Do focus on getting as many pass rushers as possible. Do focus on changing our defensive schemes so we run more zone and create more opportunities for turnovers. Do provide more pass protection for Tony Romo so we can turn a decent passing season into a potentially elite one. Do attempt to provide even more weapons in the passing game. Those are the reasons why teams win or lose, so let's spend our resources where they matter.
While I agree that a better pass rush should help in generating turnovers, it wonít necessarily help.
If you want proof look no further than the 2008 Cowboys.
They generated 59 sacks (3rd highest in a 16 game season) however ended up 20th in generating turnovers (14 fumble recoveries and 8 interceptions).
Ultimately itís down to running a scheme that takes advantage of the talent you have that gets the job done.