If you watched the Super Bowl like I did and wondered why the Dallas Cowboys can’t build a defense like the Seahawks, well they can. I know what many are going to say, “But Jerry Jones…” While I can’t really argue this, let’s just take a step back and figure out how the Cowboys can do this in one off-season.
First the Dallas Cowboys need to evaluate their roster. It is time to restructure bad contracts, dump bad players, and find the roles the players on this roster fill. If there is a gap that can get filled inexpensively in free agency, then make a play for that guy or two. It is time that this team gets away from the bigger names, and go for guys that don’t just want the money, they want to prove a point.
Next the Dallas Cowboys need to evaluate the draft better. The Seattle Seahawks went after players who weren’t necessarily the fastest or strongest, but guys who had a chip on their shoulder and were physical. The best secondary in the league isn’t filled with guys who can just hit or run, they have length and range. These characteristics can shrink windows QBs have to thrown in better than a smaller guy who has flat out speed. Getting physical at the line, shrinking the passing window, and throwing off timing is something this team lacks. On the D line there is not enough guys on this roster who have the speed or really even the ability to get their hands up in passing lanes. Finding line players who can put pressure on a QB and get into passing lanes is vital. If the scouting department can find more of these guys and less of the workout warrior types, it would go a long way in fixing this defense.
The final step is to fit the defense around the players you have and not force players to play into the system. Brandon Carr is not a 4.4 speed guy, he is a bump at the line and push a WR off his route type guy. So why are we always seeing the CBs play 3-5 yards off the WR? It just amazes me when the coaches say they want to put the players in position to make a play and then does the complete opposite.
I think the Dallas Cowboys can go a long way in fixing this defense in one offseason. It will be up to Jerry Jones to find role players, draft better, and the coaches to invoke an environment of toughness. Let the players play the way they know they can and not force them into a box. Rod Marinelli needs to be vocal this offseason or it will be more of the same. If they can put the pride away and fill the gaping holes on this defense it is possible.