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Should have never let Eric Walden walk

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by DallasDW00ds0n, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    Great post and no he's not.

    This is where having a legit GM comes into play.
  2. FiveRings

    FiveRings Well-Known Member

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    I still think someday we'll rue losing Hamilton.
  3. cowboyschmps3

    cowboyschmps3 Well-Known Member

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    Same thing I say every time I see him make a play
  4. newlander

    newlander Well-Known Member

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    Eric Walden is VERY average.....at best. Anyone that knows football knows this guy is average: yeah, he had a good game last night against a crippled opponent that was missing it's starting QB: I don't have the annointing oil out over that.:rolleyes:
  5. newlander

    newlander Well-Known Member

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    .....we could justify Spencer IF we didn't have so many bad deals in other critical positions: Free, JRat, Austin, Sensi, etc.....:bang2:
  6. M'Kevon

    M'Kevon A Love Supreme

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    How is mediocre - and I'd argue that he's not up to that level - acceptable as a starter? Walden's production for a year doesn't equal Spencer's for three games.

    The only way to make Walden production mediocre is to add his stats to the other LBs on Green Bay and average it out. As you did.
  7. tayloner182

    tayloner182 Active Member

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    I know most people don't give credence to PFF ratings/rankings, but it has to at least mean something that they had Anthony Spencer as the single best 3-4 OLB in all of football this year while Erik Walden was the single worst. Even if the metric is flawed, at least they're being judged by the same metric. Of course, this doesnt take into account contract/value. Here's the list:

    3-4 OLB

    Best
    1. Anthony Spencer
    2. Clay Matthews
    3. Aldon Smith
    4. Justin Houston
    5. Ahmad Brooks

    Worst
    1. Erik Walden
    2. Shaun Phillips
    3. Connor Barwin
    4. Calvin Pace
    5. Sam Acho
  8. yimyammer

    yimyammer Well-Known Member

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    great post, I like this type of analysis. I hope the Cowboys are doing this but it sure doesn't seem like they are given how far above the cap they are and how they seem to cling to players and/or find themselves backed into a corner in signing guys like Free because they don't have other options. They appear to have an opposite approach where they hope their star players can carry them across the goal line, but I don't think thats possible given the amount of injuries every team incurs.

    I hope franchising Spencer is evidence of them possibly starting to be hesitant in giving huge long term contracts and they seriously evaluate whether they could sign 2-4 players for what Spencer will command that will collectively produce as good or better results and give them a higher probability of withstanding injuries and fatigue since that risk will be spread among several players vs just one.

    I'm not saying they shouldn't sign Spencer, I merely hope they take a good, hard look at the cost/benefit and relative risks of either scenario.
  9. M'Kevon

    M'Kevon A Love Supreme

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    Far from great, this is a horrible analysis if you are attempting to justify replacing Spencer with Walden. You are giving Walden credit for the stats of the other LBs on the team. Compare both LB groups without Spencer/Walden:

    Packers:

    Matthews: $1,930,000
    Nick Perry: 1,363,500
    Moses: $391,000
    ---------------------
    Packers OLB sacks: 19
    Packers Total $3.6 for OLB position
    Packers cost per sack: $190,131
    Cowboys:

    Ware: $7,546,000
    Butler: $739,000
    Albright: $465,000
    --------------------
    Cowboys OLB sacks: 14.5
    Cowboys Total $8.74m for OLB positon
    Cowboys cost per sack: $603,034

    While there is a monetary value to replacing Spencer, it also makes for a decidedly worst defense, as measured by sacks. Removing Walden does not hurt GB. It damn near cripples Dallas.

    And this doesn't take into consideration of Spencer's value against the run, where Walden is one of the worst in the NFL.

    Based on this "value-based logic", it would be equally valuable to replace Ware with Moses. Moneyball works to an extent in baseball, because you can cover deficiencies with overall strong play. Football targets weakness, targets deficiencies.

    If you wish to argue that Walden can replace Spencer on the field, be my guest - it would be a short argument. But to argue in terms of the cap hit without any consideration of the vast talent discrepancy between the two, is utterly ridiculous.
  10. yimyammer

    yimyammer Well-Known Member

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    I like the creative thinking involved and I don't consider it a great justification for Walden nor am I trying to argue they should replace Spencer with Walden, I just like the idea of looking at the value of a group of players vs the value of a single player because I think its essential a team not be too top heavy with high contracts to a few players and instead build a team that is collectively better than a few individuals. This enables a team to withstand the long run and deal with the inevitable injuries that happen to all teams.

    I believe a team has to be real careful about giving cap crippling contracts to players (especially 30+ old) that if injured or their performance drops off will leave the team with no other options.

    A high quality QB is the only contract that comes to mind that I think a team should always put a ton of $$ toward because without a high quality QB, you're pretty much screwed anyway
  11. perrykemp

    perrykemp Well-Known Member

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    The real question there is how are the Packers getting away with paying a 4 time Pro-Bowler like Clay Matthews a piddly $1.9m?

    How are they getting away with paying Aaron Rodgers $8m a year?

    How are they getting away with paying Jordy Nelson $4.3m a year?

    This offseason Adam had hinted as some cap manipulation that he believed he saw in the Packers payroll -- I believe he said he was shocked the Packers didn't get hit with a salary cap fine like the Redskins and Cowboys.

    Anybody else wonder how the Packers continue to get away with paying these kinds of salaries?
  12. M'Kevon

    M'Kevon A Love Supreme

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    I understand wanting to determine value, I just don't believe such comparisons offer the insight you seek. All we have is a salary and sack comparison of the two teams. There's no value in comparing the sack totals of just the OLBs absent the impact of the two defenses.

    And only a comparison between GB and Dallas? How does that offer any insight on the impact on the cap, i.e., too top heavy in salary?

    It's an empty analysis. It demonstrates little and proves less.
  13. yimyammer

    yimyammer Well-Known Member

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    you could be right, his post just illustrated a concept to me that I found interesting, I wasn't really focused on the players he used.

    What his post got me thinking about is how should the Cowboys spend the likely 10 million a year it would take to keep a 30 year old Spencer (who played great this year) and the relative risk associated with committing to a player of his age & who has admitted to taking plays off in the past and could be motivated by his potential contract. I think a % should be assigned to the risk of him getting injured and a % assigned to the chance he will lose motivation to arrive at an adjusted expected value. Then compare that to how the money could be spent elsewhere.

    Could the Cowboys let Spencer walk and get two younger defensive guys and two offensive guys (say in their mid 20's) via free agency for the same cost that will improve the team as a whole in exchange for the drop off in Spencer's position?

    I'm just spit balling here, but let's use A, B, C & D = 100% (meaning the best player available for that position).

    Could a model be built that would assign values to his replacements that might look something like this (A = Spencer or his replacement):

    [IMG]

    The analysis is dependent upon good and accurate scouting which some might argue is up for debate with the Cowboys and is really just a mathematica way of trying to answer the question of whether its better to spend $10,000,000 on one player Spencer vs 4 players that could be had if they let Spencer walk and improve 3 other positions while having a drop off in Spencers old position.

    Is there a scenario that could play out like my example and would improve the team as a whole while making them younger, deeper and also spreading the risk of injury/apathy for getting paid from one player to four?

    I realize this is a incredibly rudimentary formula and there are many more factors that need to go into a sound analysis, I just like the thought process and hope these kinds of analysis are being done to improve decision making.

    You're actually using the example to show how Walden is no where near worth trying to replace Spencer with, which is fine and probably correct in isolation.

    However, if Walden or some other player could give the Cowboys 80% of Spencer while also upgrading three other positions across the team, then I lean toward that scenario, PROVIDING the scouting is accurate and reliable enough to make these kind of analysis.

    After the Roy Williams fiasco, thats a pretty big "if"
  14. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    Because they are the bestestists organization ever?
  15. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    Who???
  16. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    We are supposed to be ruing a scrub starter.

    We are scraping the bottom of the barrel for our ruing. Running low.

    Get a good rue or two in.
  17. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    It really seems we want players gone just to regret the move.
  18. Shinywalrus

    Shinywalrus Active Member

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    Walden is a far below replacement value player who had a good game.

    Butler is much, much better than Walden. Gotta watch him in more than a single game, guys. He's physically outmatched against nearly every team he plays.
  19. perrykemp

    perrykemp Well-Known Member

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    I don't think anybody is really arguing Walden is a good player. He is a below average 3-4 OLB who the Packers have been trying to replace.

    The more nteresting idea being kicked around in this thread is whether or not it makes sense to field a couple of "serviceable" players to platoon at a position sorta like Green Bay does with Walden and their rookie UDFA Moses who together had 7 sacks and together cost $1,000,000 in salary vs spending $8,000,000 - $10,000,0000 to resign Spencer.

    If you could sign two guys like that to replace Spencer for $1m and then take the other $8-9m and invest it in a pass rushing DL, would the make for a better defense?
  20. M'Kevon

    M'Kevon A Love Supreme

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    Except the reason they are platooning Walden and Moses is because they don't trust either player as a full time starter, and if they had their druthers, they would replace both.

    Yes, if you could find DL that replaces Spencer's contributions, you have a better D. But that is true across the board, with all positions save QB.

    If you swapped Albright for Ware, and used his salary to upgrade both safety positions, would that made a better D? It makes for an interesting question; very few teams would gamble on such a move.

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