News: DMN: Sturm: Cowboys analysis: Is Jay Ratliff better as a defensive end?

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    Published 28 March 2011 12:04 PM

    Position: Nose tackle
    Size: 6'4, 305
    Age: 29, 8/29/81
    College: Auburn
    Drafted: 2005: Round 7, Pick 224
    Experience: 6 seasons

    2011 Analysis: Moving forward, the questions about Ratliff are as follows; Should the Cowboys be concerned with diminishing sack and tackle numbers in the last 3 seasons? And, should they be concerned with a 2010 that was not good enough against the run? As we have talked about in the past , the Cowboys do not follow the trend of the elite 3-4 defenses in the NFL by having a monstrous 2-gap NT to build around. Tim Layden wrote on his profile of NT's back in January: "Consider: (Casey) Hampton (at least 325 - Steelers), Vince Wilfork (325 lbs - Patriots) and B.J. Raji (337 lbs - Packers) are old-school 3--4 nosetackles (although Wilfork has occasionally played on the end this year). Haloti Ngata of the Ravens is a 350-pound 3--4 tackle." But, the Cowboys employ a NT who is barely over 300. When he is playing well against the run, we all ignore it. When he has a poor year against the run in 2010 and is approaching 30 years old, many of us plead for the Cowboys to get a true NT, move Ratliff to DE, and kill 2 birds with 1 stone. This remains a source of many bar-room debates among Cowboys' observers, and you can bet Rob Ryan, Jason Garrett , and Jerry Jones are engaged in this study, as well. Regardless, the Cowboys gambled on a contract at the end of the 2007 season and seem to have one of the best bargains in the NFL with the consistent, elite play of Ratliff. But on a team without an excess of elite play, we wonder how best to deploy big #90. My feeling is that targeting a NT in the draft or free agency is the best way to keep Ratliff from wearing down over the course of each season and ultimately his career. A move to defensive end would seem the best way to extend his career and maximize what he does well for this team - disruptive plays from his ability to beat 1-on-1 blocks in passing scenarios - and minimize what is becoming a bit of an issue.

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  2. Double Trouble

    Double Trouble Well-Known Member

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    How dare you notice his diminishing play, Bob....
  3. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    I don't even think it's about Ratliff or his diminishing/not diminishing play. It's about what is best for the team. I don't really give a damn about how many Pro Bowls Ratliff goes or doesn't go to, it needs to become more about team accomplishments and not individual accomplishments.

    I'm getting really tired of measuring team success by how many players we get into the pro bowl.
  4. Dodger

    Dodger Indomitable

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    I posted about this in another thread about a week ago. I honestly think we should go for a NT in this draft (with our second round pick) and move Ratliff to DE. I think it would not only prolong his career, but I believe he would be a better player at DE. I'd play him at LDE, just to get someone over there who can pressure the QB opposite of Ware.
  5. Seven

    Seven Messenger to the football Gods

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    Please. Just stop.
  6. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    Ratliff doesn't necessarily need to be moved, maybe he just needs to be spelled more often. Maybe he needs to jump from DE to NT depending on the match up. He is not bad, at all, at NT.

    However, that doesn't mean his being a full time NT may not be what's best for the defense as a whole.
  7. Marktui

    Marktui Active Member

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    Jay can still be effective on the nose, but he has to be used properly. He needs to be a moving target, shooting gaps not trying to take on the centers and guards. In the first Giants game, the center and guard were blowing him off the LOS with double teams. Jay used poor technique in not trying split the double team and hold the point of attack, instead he tried to fight and they moved him thus creating a huge hole in the middle.

    I think Ryan will be creative and get him in different spots and move him around so he is not a sitting duck for the centers and guards. Also, the coaches have to monitor his snaps. He must get more rest in the 2nd and 3rd quarters to keep him fresh for the 4th and later in the season.

    Jay's strengths are his speed and motor. If they keep him fresh he will return more in the long run. Just like Ware, he needs to have some snaps off to keep his quickness in the 3rd and 4th quarter.
  8. Dodger

    Dodger Indomitable

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    I don't think he needs to be moved. I just think he might be more effective as a DE.
  9. btcutter

    btcutter Well-Known Member

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    Didn't we draft Josh Brent NT in the supplemtal draft? The kid should be bulking up and gaining strength after a full year of off season. If he can spell Jay on a regular basis Jay will be fresh throughout the game/season.
  10. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    Hey that's what makes the off season so painful. The same questions over and over and over.......

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