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News: Depth is one of the Cowboys' biggest problems

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    Jan 10
    10:05
    AM CT

    By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

    When you hear what Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones has said since the season ended there seems to be a missing link here: Depth.

    Jones talked about how injuries shouldn't be used as an excuse for why the Cowboys defense struggled at times in the 2012 season. While that's an accurate statement, it's also misleading.

    You're only as good as your depth.

    In the 2012 season, the Cowboys signed 17 players as free agents either as injury replacements such as Charlie Peprah, Eric Frmapton and Brian Moorman, or re-signed players who had been in training camp like Ben Bass.

    But the draft is a pivotal way to build depth in case starters get hurt.

    Read more: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/cowb.../depth-is-one-of-the-cowboys-biggest-problems
  2. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    I don't buy into the idea that "you're only as good as your depth." No team could recover from the injuries the Dallas defense had this year. To a certain extent it applies...guys need to fill in for a few games here and there, but having season ending injuries to so many players is virtually impossible to overcome.

    As an aside, one of the first things I learned in publishing is to never misspell any names. I hate when these guys, who are paid to write, make type-os :banghead:
  3. RoyTheHammer

    RoyTheHammer Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to know what positions exactly did we not have good depth at this year?

    Seems to me like this was a deeper team than any in recent memory.
  4. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    Statistically, we had so many injuries on defense that sufficient depth really should not be blamed, I don't think. When you're hit at one position group so much that you're starting street free agents a week later, you're going to get what we saw. I actually think our depth was pretty darn good, all things considered. A lot better than it had been, anyway, with some notable areas of exception.

    Surprised to see Watkins give a kudo of sorts to Wilbur. Other than his amazing pop on that return in the second Sk*ns game, I thought he didn't look good at all at most points this season.
  5. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    My own take is that we were thin at C (only at the start of the year because we'd lost 3 by week one), OG (Derrick Dockery, 'nuff said) and S. Maybe throw WR in there because it took a while for Harris to show up. Otherwise, we were pretty solid everywhere, and very deep at ILB and CB in particular.
  6. Zimmy Lives

    Zimmy Lives Well-Known Member

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    I still content that depth is this team's greatest challenge. All teams have star players but this team lacks the roster depth necessary to overcome the injury bug long term.

    I know both lines need an influx of young talent but it helps a great deal to have quality backups at RB, WR, TE, safety, and LB.
  7. RoyTheHammer

    RoyTheHammer Well-Known Member

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    C i agree with all the injuries, OG is no question.. safety.. eh. I don't know if i'd call that a depth issue since our starters sucked to begin with. That's more of a talent issue, imo.. but even there we had guys like Peprah and McCray step up and give us servicable play.
  8. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    Well, let me say that I thought depth was a *huge* issue on this team two years ago. I believe we've gotten a lot better in that regard, but I agree we're not where we need to be. I think we'll fill in a lot of the remaining holes this offseason, though. RB, we'll have a new hole b/c Felix goes. TE we're in good shape, actually, I think, and Phillips can be readily replaced with a minor pick or signing. Our LB depth is outstanding, we just used every bit of it this year. WR is thin, S is thin, OG is thin, and we're probably going to need another starting-capable OT and a rotational player who could backup there, too, in a pinch, if we cut Doug Free.
  9. Flinger

    Flinger Active Member

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    It seems that depth is one thing, but players off the street is another...

    We had a lot of guys that were completely unheard of before the season that were starters at many times this season.

    That hadn't gone through the off season, hadn't practiced under the coaching or with the other players, hadn't gone through training camp, hadn't 'lived with' the playbook, etc.

    It would be one thing to have the 2nd stringers filling in for lost starters. At least they know the playbook, team, coaches, etc. But, so many guys off the street?

    This is the ultimate team sport. How in the world can you be a team and beat other teams with this type of situation?

    We weren't the only team with injuries - get that... But, how many guys did those other teams have to pull off the street to start vs using their 2nd stringers?
  10. RoyTheHammer

    RoyTheHammer Well-Known Member

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    What guys that we pulled off the street didn't come in and play well for us?

    Peprah, Moore, Sims, etc.. all played well down the stretch for us when we won all those games and put ourselves in position to make the postseason.
  11. fivetwos

    fivetwos Member

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    Let's take a look at the 4th and 5th rounds of the last four drafts, where theoretically a team's depth should come from.

    4: Stephen McGee, Victor Butler, Brandon Williams, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, David Arkin, Kyle Wilber, Matt Johnson

    5: D'Angelo Smith, Michael Hamlin, David Beuhler, Josh Thomas, Danny Coale.


    12 players, 7 are gone, 3 didn't see one snap in '12, the other two didn't contribute much.

    The consensus is they've drafted better in recent years, but they haven't gotten away from mid round guys not being able to contribute one way or another.
  12. Flinger

    Flinger Active Member

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    Not singling out any particular player. We had a couple of Dlinemen that were new or off the practice squad - Bass and ??? (Can't remember his name).

    But, we got destroyed up the middle on Defense.

    Bass, Peprah, Moore, Sims, etc. - they may have all performed as well as they could individually. But, at the end of the day - it is a team sport that requires coordination as a unit. 9, 11, even 14 players on the field. Blown assignments - time and again.

    Again, not singling anyone out. Just saying it has to be difficult to execute with discipline when new guys haven't even been in the system.

    Think about it - 1 more game and we were in the playoff's. Team cohesiveness could have been the difference maker...
  13. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    Mid-round guys are usually going to need time to develop, which is why they're in the mid rounds. And a couple of those guys from the last two years basically missed the entire season.

    I'm not sure, honestly, how often it works out that those mid-rounders end up your depth, anyway. I suspect in many teams' cases they hit on a few and that many are replaced by the college FAs. Hitting on a college FA is a much lower probability, but teams get a lot more of them, making it a legitimate source of talent when you play the odds. Anecdotally, when we've done 4th-5th round comparisons of our roster with teams like the Giants and Packers, I don't believe the numbers were indicative of much of anything, one way or another.
  14. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Well-Known Member

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    Dallas has to play street FA's because they draft injured guys, small school guys, special team guys or other developmental projects...always looking for a high reward guy that is never going to be able to play in the NFL. Other teams just send the next guy in who while you might have drop in talent, knows the system.
  15. Eddie

    Eddie Well-Known Member

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    I agree. We actually had some decent depth. If not for this depth, we'd be cellar dwellers.

    The depth actually helped us to 8-8.
  16. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    Sweet, let's do another backup/specials teams draft. Worked out well in 2009.
  17. Flinger

    Flinger Active Member

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    ... that is my point. Continuity and knowing the system for the sake of "team" is more important than people think. It is about unit cohesion. Check out the military...

    Oh - and, and that is the very same reason I want Garrett here as the HC. We need continuity and a system (yes, a process).

    Unfortunately (although it isn't clear yet), it appears Jerry is doing his best to undermine that continuity and a system by making emotional, 'skip level' employment decisions for coordinators and position coaches.
  18. silver

    silver Well-Known Member

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    When your track records points to a greater success with the undrafted players than those selected in rounds 4 to 7 this points to a flawed draft strategy. It seems we get too cute or go for the homerun. Isaiah Stanback? Really? Skyler Green? David Arkin? It seems we want to hit the jackpot all the time with those rounds. This and drafting injured players in the second round has to be the worst draft strategy in all of football. It's the wildcatter mentality. Boom or bust all the time.

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