News: Newbury: Cowboys’ New Look Defensive Line

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. WoodysGirl

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

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    Monday, February 18, 2013

    Newbury: On the New Defensive Line

    David Newbury is back to examine the changes in the Cowboys defensive line as it applies to the new scheme and the players needed to fill those roles. Enjoy.

    The Cowboys recorded 35 sacks last year. DeMarcus Ware recorded 11.5 sacks. Anthony Spencer had 11. No other Cowboy finished the year with 5. Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett felt like Dallas needed more plays from their defense so they made a change. They fired Rob Ryan and his 3-4 Defense and hired Monte Kiffin. Kiffin brings with him an impressive resume and the 4-3 defense. So, what does the 4-3 defense bring?​

    Switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3

    Last year the Broncos, Rams, Bengals, Vikings, Dolphins, Bears, Panthers and Titans finished in the top 10 in sacks. Those 8 teams run a variation of the 4-3 defense. The strength of the 4-3 defense is that it allows the defensive lineman to attack the line of scrimmage and read the play on the move. They can literally defend the run on their way to pressuring the quarterback. Last year the Rams and Bengals recorded 35 and 32 sacks respectively on 1st and 2nd down alone. Remember the Cowboys had 35 sacks all year. The 3-4 Defense Dallas ran relied too much on the talent at OLB to make plays. Dallas got 7 sacks from their entire defensive line last year. Dallas needed a scheme change to get more production from the defensive line. ​

    Remember the 4-3 defense is a 1 gap system. It allows undersized defensive lineman to win with quickness and technique. The 3-4 Defense requires specific personnel. 3-4 Defensive linemen are worker bees. They need to do the dirty work so the linebackers around them can fly around and make plays. The 4-3 defense allows coaches to get the most out of their personnel. Terrific players like Geno Atkins and Henry Melton excel in the 4-3 defense. They would struggle mightily to make plays in a 3-4 Defense. There isn’t room in a 2 gap 3-4 defense for an undersized defensive lineman. Josh Brent and Kenyon Coleman are gone so Dallas doesn’t have a good two gapping player on their roster at the present time. So how does the switch from a 3-4 to 4-3 impact the Cowboys defensive line? ​

  2. elcowboi

    elcowboi Well-Known Member

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    It would be nice to have a disruptive force in the middle of the d line. I'm getting antsy to see who is picked up in FA and the draft.
  3. newlander

    newlander Well-Known Member

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  4. BAT

    BAT Mr. Fixit

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    Cowboys need to sign Raiders' Desmond Bryant so they are not reaching for a 3 technique in this year's draft. It is not deep at that position.

    There will be enough quality 1 technique DTs in the 2nd day.
  5. Woods

    Woods Well-Known Member

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    I really liked the article.

    After reading it, as much as a 3 tech would be beneficial to this defense (and it's explained very well in the article), if we can't get a quality player this off-season, maybe we can get by with a combo of Ratliff and Hatcher - and use Crawford on some passing downs? But I agree that if we could get a 3 tech via FA, it would probably open up our entire draft.

    I agree that we should be able to get a 1 tech with a trade down in Round 1 or even in Round 2 or Round 3.

    It's really too bad about Brent . . . .
  6. Woods

    Woods Well-Known Member

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    Thanks WG.

    That article was a really good read.
  7. NorthTexan95

    NorthTexan95 Well-Known Member

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    Really good article.
  8. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    I disagree about there not being good 3-tech candidates in the draft. Off the top of my head S. Richardson, S. Floyd and K. Short all look like premium players for such a scheme. There is a decent chance 2 of them may be available for us with Floyd the most likely to be off the board and Richardson soon following him. Short right now is considered a 2nd rounder but might rise after the Combine.
  9. Woods

    Woods Well-Known Member

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    I think Short will be drafted before our 2nd rounder however.
  10. Deep_Freeze

    Deep_Freeze Well-Known Member

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    So basically he says noone we had on the DL last year fits the 4-3. He has no problem drafting 2 DTs and we still don't have a backup for Spencer or Ware.

    Granted I already knew we weren't ready for the switch cause it gives us too many holes to actually win this year, but I do wonder why he starts off on such a positive tone then ends it with we would need 2 DTs drafted. I mean with all our other needs, how can anyone think we can afford to add this to the list.

    I do think he is underestimating our rotation of DTs, although we do need some youth there big time and from the article it really makes a case for thinking about Crawford at the 3 tech.
  11. Tex

    Tex Active Member

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    Probably the best read I have ever seen on the new 4-3. this is a must read for serious fans!

  12. marchetta

    marchetta Well-Known Member

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    x 2. Great post! :bow: :bow:
  13. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    It's a good article, but it has some mistakes.

    The size references of the following players were wrong:
    Henry Melton

    Also, he said that Spencer dropped into coverage only 3 more times than Ware. I don't know the exact number off hand, but percentage wise, it was:
    Ware: 7%
    Spencer: ~20%
  14. austin88

    austin88 New Member

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    "three times more" = three times as often, i.e., *3
    Isn't that consistent with the numbers you're giving?
  15. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that would make sense. Perhaps that is what he was trying to say.

    "He dropped into coverage on 172 snaps, 3 times more than Ware."

    My biggest issue is the weight listings.

    Henry Melton terrorizes offensive linemen and he is 5 pounds lighter than Anthony Spencer.

    Sean Lissemore(6ft 4, 286 LBs )played 329 snaps last year.

    I really like Jason Hatcher’s game but he is 6ft 6 and 285 lbs.

    Listings from
    Henry Melton: 6-3, 295
    Anthony Spencer: 6-3, 250
    Sean Lissemore:6-3, 303
    Jason Hatcher: 6-6, 305
  16. AsthmaField

    AsthmaField Outta bounds

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    Yes, this is a very good year for 3-tech DT's. Richardson and Floyd are ideal and elite. Short would be good at the 3 but could also play the 1 and is a notch below the other 2.

    A very good 3-tech makes such an impact on the game in this scheme, that I think we really, really need to come away from this deep draft (DTs) with one. A best case scenario is for either Floyd or Richardson to fall to 18.
  17. Woods

    Woods Well-Known Member

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    I agree, but let's assume both of those guys are gone, it makes it much more challenging to pick up a 3 tech in this Draft. I think Short will go before our 2nd rounder as well. Not sure I would use number 18 on him. His production is very good, however. But I keep reading his motor is not consistent. I don't know if that's true or not. Just stuff I've read. It could be that he just tires out during the course of the game because the rotation is poor.
  18. TheRomoSexual

    TheRomoSexual Well-Known Member

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    Did you even read the article? For one, he seemed very optimistic about our DL's fit for the 4-3. Heck, he seems to imply that Spencer may do BETTER in a 4-3. Also, he never said we need to draft two DTs, just that he would have no problem with it. Neither would I honestly.
  19. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    Give us a 3 tech and a ball hawking safety and this could get interesting in a hurry.
  20. texbumthelife

    texbumthelife Well-Known Member

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    I am not questioning you, but I am questioning the legitimacy of those measurables.

    All you have to do is give Melton and Spencer the eye test and its easy to see that not only does Spencer out weigh Melton, he is far heavier than 250lbs.

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