ESPN Says Cowboys Have NFL’s Top Defense
I guess my power ranking with the Dallas Cowboys No. 1 is spot on.
When ESPN says anything positive about the Dallas Cowboys, then you know it has got to be their year. When ESPN ranks the Dallas Cowboys’ secondary the best in the NFL, it might be time to celebrate, and the season hasn’t even begun.
But that is exactly what the FOURLETTERNETWORK did in this story here.
The Cowboys have an outstanding group of athletes in their secondary with Terence Newman, Anthony Henry, Roy Williams and Ken Hamlin returning from last year. When you combine that group with the recent additions of Jones and rookie first-round draft pick Mike Jenkins, the Cowboys now have the type of depth that few other teams can match. They will have a tremendous amount of flexibility within their personnel packages to take advantage of each player’s strengths while also being able to disguise coverages. Opposing quarterbacks will have to be smart and accurate to have success against this group. The talents of the secondary combined with the effective pass rush of the front seven will force opposing quarterbacks to make some quick decisions.
I couldn’t agree more, and I know that having Adam Jones on this team is freaking a lot of other teams out, including the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins.
But it gets even better, friends.
The Cowboys also have the best linebackers, according to the FOURLETTERNETWORK.
The Cowboys have three outside linebackers who can get after opposing quarterbacks and DeMarcus Ware is as good as it gets at the position. Ware can do it all with his rare blend of quickness off the ball, pure speed and ideal body type for the position. He sacked the quarterback 14 times last year, but his ability to stay with backs and tight ends in coverage is often overlooked and Ware is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate who keeps getting better. Greg Ellis returned from injury to have a very productive 2007 season while Anthony Spencer, last year’s first-round pick, is going to be tough to keep of the field due to his ability to rush the quarterback. For now, though, Spencer is simply an exceptional No. 3 outside linebacker who could see time on throwing downs and make things very difficult on opposing protection schemes. Bradie James plays inside on the strong side and is a thumper who is always around the football. Zach Thomas came on board to finish his career at home in Texas and will play alongside James on the inside. Thomas played in a 3-4 alignment some in Miami and was very effective, and the transition to playing a 3-4 full-time should not be difficult for such a fundamentally-sound player. Dallas does not have much invested in Thomas so the risk is minimal, but if he can stay healthy it will be interesting to see how much he has left in the tank. Bobby Carpenter has yet to live up to his first-round selection and has shuffled from inside to outside, and while he does provide depth he needs to step up and become more of a contributor. Kevin Barnett is yet another talented young player who will find it hard to get on the field unless injuries intervene, which just goes to show how great this group is overall.
It sure sounds like a Super Bowl caliber defense to me. Now, let’s get to that offense, right? Another Power Ranking is coming soon, and I won’t be moving Dallas from that No. 1 spot.