Everywhere Bill Parcells has coached, he liked big defenders. He was surprised by the production of his undersized Cowboys his first year on board. In his second year, Dallas was 6-10 and the defense slid from first to sixteenth and gave up 405 points. Suspicions confirmed. You can't consistently win with undersized defenders. The Cowboys used four of their first five draft choices on the front seven. Additionally, nose tackle Jason Ferguson, cornerbacks Aaron Glenn and Anthony Henry, plus safety Izell Reese were signed to fill other defensive holes. Dallas also acquired Drew Bledsoe, a Parcells' favorite, former Packer Mario Rivera, and former Bear Anthony Thomas. Dallas selected outside linebacker/pass rusher Demarcus Ware with their first pick in the first round. The jack-rabbit- quick edge player reminds Parcells of a young Lawrence Taylor. Ware hustles all over the field and disrupts play from the backside. He has natural pass rush tools and plays with good knee bend. With their second pick in the first round, the Cowboys could have gone in a couple of directions, but with Marcus Spears still on the board they drafted him to add more overall size to their defense and as a versatile lineman who can play inside or outside. Spears has quick feet and hands. He lacks the upfield edge burst, but can penetrate and control rush lanes. He can anchor the line on plays at him and has good lateral quickness. Kevin Burnett was a good value in the second round and brings another explosive pass rusher on board. Burnett will be hard to keep off the field with his range, lateral quickness, and speed to cover sideline-to-sideline. He has good agility in traffic and takes good pursuit angles plus he is an every-down player with his coverage skills. Marion Barber will battle to try to get into a three-back rotation with Julius Jones and Anthony Thomas. Barber is a zone stretch runner with a burst to turn the corner. He runs with good body lean and is always moving forward. He may contribute as a returner on special teams and a third down back in pass situations because of his good hands. Chris Canty is another defensive end candidate after coming off a broken leg that kept him out most of the 2004 season and an off-field eye injury prior to the draft. He needs to get stronger in his upper and lower body. He was active and productive in a 3-4 'scheme at Virginia. Justin Beriault fills a need as a run-stuffing safety and a special teams performer. He is a physical downhill safety who is a dependable tackler, Rob Petitti is a wide-bodied tackle that projects inside to guard because he plays better against power players than a two-move speed edge rusher. He flashes an explosive punch and plays with good intensity. Petitti does not excel in anyone area, but is a solid - overall lineman. Jay Ratliff has the ability at defensive end to work his way into the front rotation. GRADE: EXCELLENT. It is hard to beat the Cowboys' first day selections in quality and filling major needs. Ware, Spears, and Burrett should bring an immediate impact to a moribund defense. Barber is a backup running back with tools. Canty will contribute after his leg heals. Beriault, Petitti, and Ratliff all have the ability to make contributions. FREE AGENCY: Bill Parcells was very aggressive in the veteran market as he looks to rebuild a defense that was ravaged by injuries and subpar performances last season. Former Jet Jason Ferguson will make a tremendous difference against the run as he works over the nose. The secondary received a big boost with former Browns' cornerback Anthony Henry coming aboard. Henry is a playmaker who will significantly upgrade their personnel behind Terrence Newman. Former Texan Aaron Glenn is a very nice addition who should bolster the Cowboys' nickel defense and provide a strong veteran presence in the secondary. A lot of the Cowboys success will be determined by how their offensive additions perform, particularly with Drew Bledsoe arriving following a rough tenure in Buffalo. Bledsoe is at the tail of his career, but Parcells will work to protect him and work towards his strengths. Former Packer guard Marco Rivera is a major stabilizer along the offensive line with his tenacity and leadership, but has a lot of physical red flags as he ages. Anthony Thomas should be a solid backup with his strength between the tackles after being discarded in Chicago.