Hope Upon A Star
Spagnola: Getting Dreamy Over Ryan's Style
IRVING, Texas - So this time of year, especially this year when the game of football has hit the pause button, it really should be incumbent upon us to give you guys something to dream about, a time when hope springs eternal.
And I'm talkin' football here, OK. Dallas Cowboys football, which created a very sore spot with last year's 6-10 backward flip of a season that is in need of some medicinal ointment. Owner Jerry Jones hopes himself that comes in the form of a new head coach, a new defensive coordinator, two new defensive assistants, a new offensive assistant, the franchise's first top-10 draft choice since 2003, the return of a healthy Dez Bryant and the refurbished shoulder of Tony Romo.
But what seems to have most excited, aside from new head coach Jason Garrett leading what was a 1-7 team to a 5-3 second half during his interim assignment, seems to be the hiring of Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator. He has pedigree, what with his dad and brother being successful NFL coaches and his own NFL résumé of success from spending time in New England, Arizona, Oakland and Cleveland.
Yet because of the NFL offseason stuck in neutral - and worse, the courts - we have not been able to detect what style of 3-4 defense the Cowboys will be playing under Ryan. Will the Cowboys be an aggressively attacking bunch? Will they play catch, meaning trying to hold their ground? What will his priorities be, other than the predictable stop-the-run stuff that is the prelude for shutting down an offense?...
There's no right way to do the wrong thing.
To compete for the playoffs, Dallas has to improve here: Only four sacks against Eli Manning over the past six games!