YR's My Meaningless Thoughts on the Defense...

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Yakuza Rich, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    There is no All-22 for the 2010 season.

    But, IIRC, we changed the scheme vastly and got away from man-to-man coverage and went to zone coverage. I also remember Spencer being AWFUL under Wade that year. He would jump out of his gap responsibility under Wade to make the big play. Teams saw this coming and would run the ball right at him. There was one play against Green Bay on 3rd and short where the Packers knew Spencer would do that and they ran right at him for a huge game because Spencer left a gigantic hole open.

    Too many players, like Spencer, didn't respect Wade's authority. That's why Wade works as a D-Coordinator. He's a good D-Coordinator and if a player acts up, they have to deal with Kubiak who commands respect.

    Anyway, when Garrett took over, Spencer got right in line.

    For the most part teams don't make wide sweeping changes/adjustments in their scheme and what they are trying to do in the season.

    One of the things I've always been curious about is Andy Reid's great record after bye weeks. From what I have gathered, the reason for that is Reid installs an entirely new set of plays on offense during the bye week. That way the opponent is completely unprepared for what they will throw at them.

    My guess is that is essentially what happened in 2010.

    I completely agree with you, the defense has to make turnovers, particularly INT's. I have been preaching that for a while now and from a statistical standpoint, it's extremely clear that the lack of INT's on defense has a dramatic impact on this team.

    But, I have 100% confident that we would not have seen anything different had Pasqualoni stayed on for 2011. And I don't think Garrett was seriously considering him either.

    I think that since the DB coverage scheme changed so drastically since Garrett realized you can't get any worse on defense, Spencer changed the way he played and we started playing Sean Lee, that's why we generated turnovers.

    And in the end, the defense still stunk in 2010 under Pasqualoni. It just went from by far the worst defense in Cowboys history to still giving up 26 points a game.

    I still have some hope for Garrett if he gives the offense over to a real Offensive Coordinator. But even then, I still worry about how tough this team is mentally. Too many guys being out with injuries. Something tells me that this wouldn't happen under Parcells, who would let it be known that you 'can't make the club in the tub.'

    I don't think any D-Coordinator can make a great defense with this many injuries.

  2. IrishAnto

    IrishAnto Well-Known Member

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    Agreed they’re not going to be great with all the injuries but let’s be real here they weren’t generating much in the way of turnover before the injuries.

    As for Pasqualoni’s defense their turnovers were a very big part on why we won 5 of eight games (and were competitive in the three we lost)

    We may have given up 26 point per game but we were winning the majority of our games under Pasqualoni weren’t we?

    We exactly have a stellar offense under Kitna, but it was good at not turning the ball over, combine that with out (brief) ability to generate turnovers and you had a winning team.

    So why are you 100% confident that Pasqualoni couldn’t have managed something similar in 2011?
  3. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    That's you. I have no issue with that. Allow me the same.
  4. Idgit

    Idgit That sounds really boring Staff Member

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    Yeah, YR. Maybe it's Pasqualoni that's been missing from this defense, all along. :)

    Irish, for the record, I agree with you on the defensive turnovers (interceptions, really). Our lack of them is a mystery, and I don't think it's just the S play that explains it. Unfortunately. Coming into this season, that was one factor I thought for sure would change. Mostly through improved LB coverage in the flats and depth on the intermediate stuff, better CB play, and more inside blitzing. It never really developed, and I can't put it all on the loss of Barry Church (though I was very impressed with his early play). Losing Lee hurt the underneath picks, to be sure. But we're still missing plays from the secondary. If it's not scheme, I don't know what it can be, honestly.
  5. starfrombirth

    starfrombirth Well-Known Member

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    .....so.... you're saying next year..
  6. Bluestang

    Bluestang Well-Known Member

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    Rob Ryan is sending 4 rushers or fewer about 76% of the time and is blitzing 24% of the time.

    This is a really big contrast from what he did last year.

    Rob has really gotten very conservative because of the injuries of Church and Lee.

    Danny McCray - he is not a deep safety at all and can't be relied to cover a deep half of the field. He is good in the nickel LB/S role in Rob's hybrid dime defense but that means playing Carr out of position at S.

    Ernie Sims - is not a good run defender whatsoever and we are starting to see why Detroit gave up on him and why the Eagles did too. Drafted as a 4-3 WOLB he lacks instincts to play the LB position period. I can't really fault him for playing in a new defense and trying to learn but I don't see any natural instincts from him when he plays.

    Marcus Spears - the very definition of JAG

    Jay Ratliff - his injuries that caused him to miss time have been his problem. When he's in he offers a good push of the interior of the pocket.
  7. IrishAnto

    IrishAnto Well-Known Member

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    I just don't think they know how best to use the talent they do possess.

    The reason for my original reply to YR's post was to highlight the fact that you don't necessarily need a great pass rush or great safeties to do a much better job that anyone not called Pasqualoni has done with our defense in a long, long while despite spending the majority of our high end draft picks and expensive free agents on the defense over these last 17 years.

    I've no confidence that even if we get a Safety and or DL with our first/second round picks, that much will change.
  8. Idgit

    Idgit That sounds really boring Staff Member

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    I know, and I agree with you. Or they don't want to use the talent that way for other reasons. But the turnovers have to come from someplace.

    I was pot-stirring earlier because Paul Pasqualoni is a persona-non-grata in YR threads, so I thought we might get some fireworks. But, sadly, no dice, though.
  9. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    An excellent post and I couldn't agree more. It won't be popular among the pass rush crowd but everything that is wrong with our defense, to me, starts with safety play. Our first game we came out and did a pretty good job in playing the way Ryan wants to play: tight man coverage, with a single high safety and a rover in the seam, blitzing from where he feels like it play to play. He has two corners who have the ability to get a press, which makes the pass rush that much better.

    Unfortunately, Sensabaugh is crap unless he is covering a man, McCray is NOT a coverage safety at all, and it has led to us playing more and more zone coverage without blitzing. I would say that our safety play was the predominant reason we lost the Atlanta game; we just couldn't play to the player's strengths because of this one position.

    Frankly that is NOT what our defense is setup to do. I see a high premium being put on getting not only a safety, but safety depth next offseason.

    Also I agree with you very much on Hatcher. I love watching the guy play, his pass rush is very underrated and he is doing a very good job at disruption.
  10. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    Giving up 26 points a game is terrible. Better than we were doing, but crediting the defense for going 5-3 is terribly misguided. We went 5-3 because the special teams play was much better and our offense improved as well. The defense improved, but was still lousy. You don't hear people saying that all of the games Drew Brees and Peyton Manning won were due to the defense. There's a reason for it.

    Meanwhile, I watched Pasqualoni's coaching for 13 straight years at Syracuse. He then came to Dallas to coach TE's for a year, and that was one of Witten's worst years blocking. Granted, Pasqualoni is not a TE coach by nature. So they move him to LB coach in 2006 and what KILLED us in 2006? The LB's being clueless when it came to defending RB's or even FB's out of the backfield. Either that or Mike Karney is the greatest pass receiving back in the history of the game.

    He went to the Dolphins where he lucked out with one of the easiest schedules and the defense played alright for them. But the following year he was fired by his friend who hired him, Tony Sparano. We then hired him back, when nobody else was interested in hiring him (and when he was fired at SU, no college team wanted him either at that time).

    And how good was our DE play under Pasqualoni?

    And I don't think it's a coincidence that Hatcher is suddenly a great player when he didn't do jack under Pasqualoni.

    Now he's coaching UConn. The Huskies went 16-10 in the 2 years prior to Pasqualoni. In the year before, they made it to a BCS game. In just 2 seasons, the Huskies have gone 10-13 in the lighter scheduled Big East and have not been bowl eligible either year.

    He has never shown me anything on the pro level to suggest he's a good coach, much less a good coordinator. And his best years as a coach were from him catching a tan off of Dick MacPherson's sunshine.

    I understand that some coaches are great Coordinators and/or position coaches, but are incompetent as head coaches. I always thought Wade was a much better coordinator than a head coach. The same with Norv. But Pasqualoni has never showed that to me and nobody has ever made a legitimate case for him that would make me think otherwise.

  11. FLcowboy

    FLcowboy 2016 was a gift, 2017 is a mission Zone Supporter

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    Seems the round peg in a square hole is evident on both sides of the ball. I agree with your observation
  12. IrishAnto

    IrishAnto Well-Known Member

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    Yes 26 points a game is bad, but it has to be put into perspective.

    If the offense is scoring 30 points a game then you’re playing winning football and conversely you could only be allowing 16 points a game but if the offense is only scoring 13 points a game then you’re playing loosing football.

    Ultimately it about each phase of the game playing in a way that complements what the other two phases can do to help the team win and Pasqualoni’s defense was a big part of that 5 and 3 record in the final 8 games of 2010.

    I’m not going to disagree with you over Pasqualoni’s overall ability as a coach and as I said to Idgit my reason for pointing out what his defense did in 2010 was not to pimp him up but to challenge the common perception that a better pass rush/safeties/defensive personnel would automatically help us generate more turnovers which is what we will need if this team is to take the next step irrespective of how much the offense improves.

    It’s how you use what you’ve got, not who you’ve got that will make the biggest difference.
  13. IrishAnto

    IrishAnto Well-Known Member

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    You just didn't ask the right question :D
  14. McLovin

    McLovin Well-Known Member

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    Not directed at you, but when people champion that 5-3 at the end of 2010 , it hits a nerve. That last win was vs Philly who rested their starters and Dallas started S McGee to boot. I guess its a win in the books, but Philly wins that game 95/100 if they cared and that 5-3 / 2 game over .500 mark goes to 4-4 and .500 (just like we continue to be)
  15. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    Good point.

    Aside from a couple dropped INTs, I think Scandrick has played silently well too. Maybe not worth the money, but he's much much better than I expected. When you say stuff like that, it makes sense. A lot of posters on this board don't get what his role is and that it's a lot more difficult in some ways.
  16. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    I don't know for a fact, but by judging this year's defense I'd say they have a better percentage of stopping teams on 3rd down. Or no?
  17. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    The part about Sims is silly. Sims has been solid for coming off the streets. You must have a short memory.

    And Spears is a JAG?

    And compensating with being conservative after injuries is what most coaches would do.
  18. jday

    jday Well-Known Member

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    Excellent post. Very informative. Please keep them coming.
  19. InmanRoshi

    InmanRoshi Zone Scribe

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    I have no problem with returning the same defensive unit in entirety from coaching staff down to personnel, other than maybe switching out the McCray safety. When you go up and down the list of safeties that have started for the Cowboys over the last ten years, the list is a amazing collection of nobodies. Danny McCray will soon join Killer Keith Davis and Willie Pyles and Pat Watkins and broken down Marcus Coleman in the "How in the heck did he ever start games for us?" list of nostalgia and disbelief. Easily the most neglected unit on the team over the last 10 years. I'm not even talking about talent misevaluation, I'm talking just straight up neglecting the position because you put absolutely no value in it.

    Marcus Spears is pretty much a walking example of how difficult it is to lose a starting position or roster spot once you've been designated "trusted veteran" in this organization. You pretty much have to pull a Brodney Poole and outright dare the organization to get rid of you through insubordination and lack of interest.

    I really think Matt Eberflus is a valuable asset to his team, not just in the progress of Lee and Carter, but in being able to pick up unwanted street free agents like Ernie Simms and at least have them playing at a serviceable level inside the defense inside a few days. Regardless of what happens with the coaching staff, I hope he's in Dallas and contributing to the Cowboys defensive brain trust for a long, long time.
  20. Bluestang

    Bluestang Well-Known Member

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    I guess the wide open touchdown to Paul wasn't a blown coverage by Sims either huh?

    You have the short memory.

    But by all means keep over rating FAs off the street, don't let me stop you.

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