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Off-Season Priority: Find A Nose Tackle

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by AMERICAS_FAN, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. AMERICAS_FAN

    AMERICAS_FAN Active Member

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    There's already a thread titled "Off-Season Priority #1: Find A Running Game". And I agree, in the NFL, you need to run the ball, but also stop the run. And we need a NT, in a bad way, to do that.

    That's why - as equally as important as it is to find a running game - job-1 for this team this offseason is to find a NT who can command double teams, occupy space, stop the run and collapse the pocket.

    Ratliff is gone, bet on it. He's a player in decline (strike-1), who had it out with Jerry Jones publically (strike-2), and was a no-show in the last game when other injured players made the trip to show their support (strike-3).

    And Ratliff's replacement, Josh Brent will unfortunately have his life go down a different, unfortunate legal/punitive path. He's no longer a player the Cowboys can rely upon long term as a developing starter.

    So in the draft - and I prefer that avenue to free agency - the Cowboys really need to look at NT. They'll be picking #18, and that's not a bad spot to be looking for a NT should a top flight player land there.

    Are there any free agents who are available that might be options at NT - even though I do prefer they look for one in the draft over free agency?
  2. Woods

    Woods Active Member

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    With respect to Ratliff, I thought it was cap prohibitive to cut him this year?

    That he most likely would be gone after the 2013 season.

    I still think as part of a rotation he would be very useful. He can't handle 80-90% of the full-time snaps anymore.
  3. perrykemp

    perrykemp Well-Known Member

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    Problem is you can't count on him at all physically. His body totally broken down this year. Next year, another year older, it wouldn't be anything but <wishful> to count on Ratliff for anything.
  4. davidyee

    davidyee Maple Leaf

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    ...o-line because they have a chance of improving both your run and pass game.

    If we let our d-lineman heal and draft a few more ideal guys in the later rounds we may have a stout enough line to compete.

    Right now even with our best o-line guys I can't say with confidence that we could compete on a consistent basis in the NFL.

    I'm not sure if Bernardeau, Livings and Free are enough. Something has to change there.
  5. Woods

    Woods Active Member

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    The only silverlining may be that his main injury (I thought) was a hamstring injury earlier in the season which was followed by a groin injury.

    So we're not talking about bad knees (for example) or a severe ankle injury.

    I'm just saying that if it is prohibitive to cut him, that as part of a rotation where he's playing only about 50% of the snaps, he could be useful.
  6. neosapien23

    neosapien23 Well-Known Member

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    Sammie Lee hill from the lions would be my top pick as a FA NT but only because he is the best of a weak NT FA group. Dallas needs to Landon Either Hankins or Jenkins with the 18th pick.
  7. craig71

    craig71 Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam

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    I think if you set back and think about this roster you will see enough holes that you can pretty much take the best player available and fill a need. While some needs are greater than others, the simple truth is that they all need to be filled sooner rather than later.



    Craig
  8. DBOY3141

    DBOY3141 Well-Known Member

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    OL first. We have got to start running the ball better.

    Jonathan Cooper is my pick, then take DL in the 2nd and come back in the 3rd with either another OL or DL.
  9. Oh_Canada

    Oh_Canada Well-Known Member

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    Dline should be #1 priority in both FA and the draft.

    Hill (or Knighton) and Hankins sounds like a great starting point. They can find a guard in the second rd and move MB to compete with Costa and Kowalski att center.
  10. elcocinero

    elcocinero Member

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    I really thought Ratliff should have been tried at the 3-4 end position. He really didnt have the size to play NT, but insisted on playing there.
  11. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    3 caveat's...

    #1 is the Cowboys do not seem to want/desire a mammoth NT (325lbs+). They would want someone who is more active and lighter. Probably more of a DT type in college... 6'3"/6'5" 290/310lbs.

    #2 is that looking at the 18th pick in the first round and I don't see anyone there there grabs me at this point.

    #3 if that if Spencer leaves, I would bet dollars to donuts that an OLBer type would be chosen at this spot if one that represented good value was there.
  12. Shinywalrus

    Shinywalrus Active Member

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    Don't see this. Run defense before both ILBs went down was quite stout, and NT isn't going to do all that much on pass rush.

    With Brent gone and Ratliff hit by injuries and age, I think using a pick up there might be warranted if the player merits it, but top need? Again, I don't see it.
  13. Silverstar

    Silverstar Active Member

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    Still waiting to see if NT Kwame Geathers declares from Georgia.

    He had 37 tackles in 2012, including 15 for loss and 1 sack.

    He's a 6-6 355 NT and has two brothers already playing in the NFL. He's the brother of Bengals DE Robert Geathers and Colts DE Clifton Geathers. Clifton was already a Dallas Cowboy from December 8, 2010 until he was waived on August 31, 2012.

    A good 3rd round pick IMO.
  14. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Silver, I don't see the Cowboys interested in a guy in the middle with his measurables. He's simply too big. I don't know his speed #'s, but he probably lacks mobility which is a Cowboy must at the NT position.

    Up to this point the Cowboys simply don't seem to be interested in behemoth nose-tackles.
  15. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    I think you're making assumptions and also giving the Cowboys too much credit.

    We've never had a dominant 3-4 defense. One of the main reasons for that is we've never had a real NT. Mobility is way down the line of a list of traits you're looking for in a real NT. About as important as hands to a FB. Nice to have, not necessary to do the job.

    To run a 3-4 and stick some 290lb player like Ratliff in the middle is idiotic. It ranks right up there with stockpiling cornerbacks and expecting your front seven to change.
  16. rwalters31

    rwalters31 Member

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    The BOLD is a truth, but the number one pick IS (C, G, T). Romo can last a couple of years only if he can step up in the pocket (NOT able to do that this year). The running game was not a show stopper (see Deadskins) and there was not a lot of relief for Romo. This should have been addressed in the last draft but wasn't (see Romo hit the ground). Yes I agree with you but the number one draft pick should extend Romo's life I mean career for another two years. The second should be NT (if available) and the third and fourth picks OL. After that I would see if there is a QB (like Romo) that can be in training for two years to take over from a beat up Romo. After that pick then RB (big bad mean hole puncher), S, then defense.:)
  17. CATCH17

    CATCH17 1st Round Pick

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    I think Dline is the top priority and Oline is a close 2nd.


    We need a lot of big guys brought in.
  18. Silverstar

    Silverstar Active Member

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    I wouldn't be too sure about that, since we have Rob Calloway on the roster and he's 6-4 333 and still growing. Geathers has proven he can get in the backfield against top competition and his size demands double teams. He also blocked a kick and that's one of the advantages of being 6-6, since he can get his hands up and knockdown passes too. He's got NFL bloodlines and he LIKES playing the NT position. I think he's a good 3rd round pick...if he declares.
  19. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    I think the Cowboys would only consider a DL at #18 if he is a really good pass-rusher. The only DL that I see like that at #18 is Sheldon Richardson and he would be a DE. Also, he may not be an option due to character issues.

    IMO, you can find run-stopping NTs in Free Agency for a reasonable cost. As mentioned in other posts, Sammy Lee Hill or Terrance Knighton could do the job.

    Knighton (6-3, 330) was phased out in Jacksonville because they wanted quicker DTs in their 4-3; however, he would be a better fit as a 3-4 NT. He was drafted when the Jags were trying to switch to more 3-4 looks but they have since discarded that plan.

    With someone like Knighton as the primary run stopping NT, the Cowboys can use Ratliff and/or Lissemore when they use a true 3-4 front in probable passing situations.

    The Cowboys use a 4-man line in the nickel defense over 1/3 of the time. It might be good to just play Ratliff as a DT in the 4-man line and let Knighton/Lissemore play all the snaps at NT in the 3-man line.

    .
  20. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Callaway is interesting.

    In the very limited snaps that he got this season, he appeared to have the physical ability to play in the NFL; however, he is raw.

    They could replace Spears, Coleman and Brent with Callaway, a Free Agent and a draft pick.

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