Can Jason Hatcher be the Warren Sapp (3-technique defensive tackle) of the Cowboys this season? – Time Bandit (real name not given)
No, I don’t. The more I study Monte Kiffin the less I believe this defense will look like the old 2002 Tampa Bay defense and the more I think it’ll look something like the 2012 Seattle defense. I’ll have another article next week on that very topic. Hatcher just cannot be expected to perform anywhere close to the level of Warren Sapp. And I don’t think he’ll be asked to.
The Cowboys are paying Anthony Spencer a ton of money for a reason. I think he will have a bigger role in the pass rush (Something Kiffin didn’t do for Greg Spires as the SDE in Tampa), and he will provide the pass rush opposite Ware
I do believe Hatcher will be the 3-tech DT, but I don’t think the Cowboys will place unrealistic expectations on him. The high expectations will fall on Spencer and Ware.
I would place the over/under for sacks at 5 for Hatcher. It’s worth noting 5 sacks would be a career high for Hatcher.
What do you think are the deepest and thinnest positions on the Cowboys? – Rogelio
This is really tough to say before training camp but I’ve never shied away from wild speculation before so why start now?
I touched on it earlier but I believe the Safety (SS and FS) position is the weakest on the team. Too many “ifs”, “maybes” and “hopefullies” to feel even remotely comfortable at safety. I know, Brandon Carr and Mo Claiborne are singing Matt Johnson’s praises after the last mini-camp, but what do you expect them to say?
As Al Pacino once said, “This is a game of inches”. In a no-pads practice running plays less than full speed you learn next to nothing from watching players. If they are lost, they will be exposed but not much else can be learned until training camp. Hopefully Matt Johnson can fill the void at FS because I don’t see anyone else on this team who can play FS in 2013.
The deepest position is easily the defensive line. This shouldn’t be too surprising since two Pro Bowl OLB’s just converted to the defensive line. Yes, with the 4-3 conversion there are many questions that need to be answered along the line, but the depth here provides many possible solutions – which is a good thing! As long as DeMarcus Ware doesn’t fall to a devastating injury, the defensive line should be in great shape this season.
It should also provide some excellent camp battles to watch in training camp.
That’s all the questions I received so I’ll stop here. I’ll do a mailbag again in a couple weeks so if you have any questions you can email me at email@example.com. Please include your name so I can give you credit for the question.