Clean slate. Let’s be honest, aside from linebacker Sean Lee, there are no superstars on the defensive side of the ball for the Dallas Cowboys’ going into the 2014-2015 season. You could argue that defensive backs Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne are, but, then I’d have to ask you to get checked for senility. They’re not superstars. They’re simply well-known names.
With the release of legendary defensive end DeMarcus Ware (needed to happen, with all due respect), that “other guy” that left for the Washington Redskins (grossly overpaid and now out 4-6 weeks), and the season-ending (again) injury to LB Sean Lee, there is a superstar void currently the size of a small galaxy. I don’t see this as a bad thing, though. Instead, it’s ground zero for greatness.
Sans any present fearsome names, the opposing offenses have no idea who to plan for. This means they’ll simply go on assumptions when scheming against this year’s Cowboys. The question is, what’s the assumption? The simple one is to guess that Melton will get back to form and absolutely wreck quarterbacks. Solid point. As I believe he will.
However, while they’re scheming on that assumption not truly knowing who to double team or chip block, it frees up just about any lineman or linebacker to step up and deliver a Pro Bowl caliber year. In the past, the formula was simple: find Ware and throw the house at him. That’s certainly out of the 112th story window now. When asked how he feels about the current defensive roster, Rod Marinelli opened up:
“I think there’s something to prove a little bit,” Marinelli said. “Not something to prove from last year, but there are some guys coming here off the street with something to prove. There are some guys in contract years with something to prove. There are some guys coming out saying, ‘I want to be a better player,’ who have something prove.” – via ESPN interview with Todd Archer
Because of Sean Lee’s injury history, he’s not one that offenses have to consistently worry about nor has been anyone in the secondary. I wrote in a previous piece challenging CB Morris Claiborne to step up and deliver and from what he’s showing in training camp thus far, he’s ready. I won’t yet speak on CB Brandon Carr because, well, there’s nothing further to say right now. I’ve addressed what he needs to do. So moving on.