In the discussion of whether which came first, the chicken or the egg or in a similar discussion of whether poor pass rush lead to poor secondary play or poor secondary play led to a poor pass rush… I’ve decided that our secondary laid a giant egg.
But.. I’ve already discussed addressing the secondary. Here’s how we can fix the pass rush:
Our 2nd best pass rusher on the team is posted up in the middle and taking double teams that do not benefit our pass rush. Jay Ratliff is a monster that not even Chuck Norris would want to meet in a dark alley. And NT has brought him much notoriety, but the shift to DE will emblazon his legacy in the hall of fame.
More on the future pass rush of the Dallas Cowboys after the break…
Before moving our Pro Bowl NT over to DE to wreck havoc, we need to find a replacement in the middle. The top 3 interior defensive line prospects for the upcoming draft are Devon Still (6’5″ 310lbs), Dontari Poe (6’5″ 350lbs), and Michael Brockers (6’6″ 306lbs).
If I were in that draft room, and Jerry let me wear his Micky Mouse wizard hat to make my pick, I’d chose Poe. Before this past season, Poe was benching 500lbs, and squating 700. He’s listed as 350, but his gut looks nothing compared to that of the 360lb brethren in B.J. Raji and Vince Wilfork. This kid is a bunch of muscle and would be an excellent centerpeice to Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense, especially with a full off season with 6 time Super Bowl winning strength and conditioning coach, Mike Woicek.
Now the key is where to move Ratliff. Do you want to overload one side of the line, and have Ratliff causing havoc as an end while DeMarcus Ware cleans up? Or do you want Ratliff and Victor Butler (we are assuming that Spencer is not resigned for pass rush purposes) opposite Ware, causing a dual sided tandem of penetration?
It doesn’t matter. That’s the beauty of Rob Ryan’s defensive scheme, with several players in several different positions every single down. Ratliff won’t be able to last more than 3 more years at the NT position because of the 620lb double team he faces every single play.