Fan Question: Do The Cowboys Have A Top Five Defense? (Part Two)


The Landry Hat is once again answering YOUR fan questions using our great staff of Dallas Cowboy experts. Today’s article is a continuation of an post from yesterday concerning Dallas’ defense. Before finding out what our other experts had to say on the subject, let’s restate the fan question for anyone who missed it:

Landry Hat fan Bernie Massa via Facebook asked: “It seems that the defense is reaching a level of depth we haven’t seen in a while, that combined with the competitive atmosphere that Garrett and Ryan have brought to the team gives us a chance at a top 5 defense this year…What are your thoughts?”

And now, the answers from our other Dallas Cowboy experts:

Tonni Shook, Senior Writer: “The Dallas Cowboys did a fantastic job in the draft this season.  They plugged major holes on the defensive side of the ball.  Depth is better than it has been in several years, BUT, these guys are young and will need some time to learn the system.  Rob Ryan came in too fast and too furious last season, along with zero time due to the lockout.  This year he needs to teach the new guys his system, be patient, and let them do what brought them to the big leagues in the first place.  Top 5?   No, not this year.  It will be leaps and bounds better than 2011, but the young ones need DeMarcus Ware, Sean Lee, and others to step up and lead by example.  2014 is the return of the Cowboy D!”

Mark Lane, Staff Writer: “That’s correct — seems. The two forms of depth decimation are injuries and transactions, and we’re seeing the birth pangs of both. Mike Jenkins’ conceit could hurt our cornerback depth if he’s dealt away. Jay Ratliff’s plantar fasciitis could hurt our defensive line. Then we’ve yet to see the pulled hamstrings, arthroscopic knee surgeries, sports hernias, et cetera that typically erode a team’s depth like fruit juice on a toddler’s tooth enamel. So I think our defensive depth level is unprecedented only on paper and in Madden ’13. What I do agree with is your statement that Garrett and Ryan have brought a “competitive atmosphere” to Dallas. Whether or not that’s Top 5 remains to be see, but I can guarantee you they won’t give up easy 3rd down conversions or fold in the fourth quarter with a lead. They bring accountability and intelligence to the defense, which has been missing for far too long.”

Kim Dunning, Staff Writer: “While I’ll agree the defense is starting to pick up some of the depth they have been lacking to call the defense a top 5 would be a stretch at this point in time.  There is still the major concern I have at safety as well as playcalling issues.  I need Rob Ryan to prove that he can call plays that will compliment the new defense.  I would say Top 10 defense but not top 5.”

Bo Martin, Staff Writer: “I think you’ve pointed out some good points.  However, to be a top 5 defense is really saying a lot.  While it’s not out of the realm of possibility I think a top 10 defense is where the Cowboys will be.  If they’re able to get the play they’re anticipating from the corner position and the defensive line consistently plays well then absolutely, you’ve got a top 5 defense.  The issue is just that though, consistency, they have a ways to go yet.”

Keith Peavy, Staff Writer: “Bernie, The Cowboys are starting to put a defense together we haven’t seen in quite awhile, and you can tell Jason Garrett and Rob Ryan have their hands all over this. The inside and outside linebackers are well stocked, the cornerbacks ( including when Mike Jenkins is 100% healthy ) will be our best depth at cornerback since ever, and the safeties seem to be set, even though I am still not thrilled with Brodney Pool starting at free safety, and we don’t know what Matt Johnson can do at the pro level yet, but my only concern is defensive line. I really like Jason Hatcher and Sean Lissemore, and I think they should be rotating on the left side, Ratliff needs to be moved to right end, have rookie Tyrone Crawford rotating with him, and they desperately need a big nose tackle that can stop the run, and able to take on double and triple teams, and still get after the quarterback. This will be a step in the right direction for the Cowboys this season.”

If you liked one expert’s answer in particular, you can always click on their name in our staff section down on the right hand column of this page to find all of their previous articles.