Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) walks on the field during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving against the Oakland Raiders at AT&T Stadium. Dallas beat Oakland 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Defensive Line: How Do They Compare?

Comparing teams isn’t always cut and dry because there are so many different variables involved. It’s a team sport and some offenses make their defense better. There’s also scheme variations such as 3 – 4 or 4 – 3, aggressive vs reactive, secondary coverages help the defensive line and the defensive line pressure helps the secondary. Is the best defense the team that allows the fewest yards or the fewest points?

Since the Cowboys run a 4 – 3 defense, I will only include teams that use the 4 – 3 as their base defense. The top 5 defenses in terms of yardage allowed would be:

Team Name

Defensive

Ranking

(Yards Allowed)

Yards

Allowed

Avg Points Allowed

Per Game

Total

Sacks

Seattle Seahawks

1st

4378

14.4

44

Carolina Panthers

2nd

4820

15.1

60

Cincinnati Bengals

3rd

4888

19.1

43

New York Giants

8th

5316

23.9

34

Buffalo Bills

10th

5334

24.3

57

Dallas Cowboys

32nd

6645

27

34

 

Personally, I don’t care about the teams ranking by yardage because winning and losing is based on points. A few other teams get added to this list when defenses are organized by points.

Team Name

Defensive

Ranking

(Points Allowed)

Yards Allowed

Avg Points Allowed

Per Game

Total

Sacks

Seattle Seahawks

1st

4378

14.4

44

Carolina Panthers

2nd

4820

15.1

60

Miami Dolphins

8th

5750

20.9

42

New England Patriots

10th

5969

21.1

48

St. Louis Rams

13th

5522

22.8

53

Dallas Cowboys

26th

6645

27

34

 

Next, let’s take a closer look at the starting defensive lines of the teams that made the above lists.

Team Name

Average Age

of Defensive Line

Average Base Salary

of Defensive Line

Seattle Seahawks

29.75

$4 million

Carolina Panthers

27.25

$1.65 million

Cincinnati Bengals

26.25

$4.1 million

New York Giants

28.25

$1.9 million

Buffalo Bills

27.75

$3.52 million

Miami Dolphins

28.75

$3 million

New England Patriots

25.5

$750,000.00

St. Louis Rams

25.5

$3.32 million

Dallas Cowboys

29.5

$3.53 million

 

Even this is deceptive because of all the juggling NFL teams have done with contracts to fit players within their salary cap. DeMarcus Ware’s base salary last season was $840,000 but he counted for more than $8 million against the Cowboys salary cap.

The youngest starting defensive lineman for the Cowboys last season was George Selvie at 26 years old. Anthony Spencer is 30 and DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher are both 31 years old. The Cowboys have gotten younger at nearly every position except the defensive line and it hasn’t created any outrage. Yet, the release of three players in their thirties have fans going mad. We can take this opportunity to eliminate large contracts and get younger, faster, affordable players. I’d prefer us to be closer to the Patriots with a young defensive line and a low salary. Instead, we have an older defensive line with a high salary.

I can hear the complaints now. Cowboy Nation will scream – Jerry Jones is a bad GM, he doesn’t show loyalty to his players – or – Jerry Jones is a bad GM, he kept 3 old defensive linemen & paid them too much. You can’t have it both ways.

There will be new stars, for every Tony Dorsett, there’s an Emmitt Smith; a Dez Bryant for Michael Irvin. If you love the Cowboys, accept that moving on from Ware, Spencer and Hatcher is the best thing for the team. It’s time for the next star to shine.

#GoCowboys
#NextManUp

 

Tags: Dallas Cowboys

comments powered by Disqus