Formerly an email newsletter about all things NFL, it's now a blog about all things NFL, but mostly all things Dallas Cowboys. Probably with a dose of politics, food, and college football.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Defense: Kurt Warner doesn’t believe in God. He is God!

Dallas is switching to a 3-4 defense this year, and they were without their most important player and biggest offseason acquisition, NT Jason Ferguson.

But that’s just looking for an excuse. There wasn’t anything to get excited about with this defense. They were solid against the run, but that was probably due to an active LB corps and a good tackling secondary.

That’s nice, but that’s it.

The DL got no push in the run or passing game.

Kurt Warner went 14-19 for a million yards against the first team.

NT La’Roi Glover plugged the middle, but got no push. He’s probably miscast as a NT, even though he’s played it before.

I’m not sure Greg Ellis played because his name wasn’t called. Actually, I know this overrated crybaby did play, and he went backwards a lot. He’s often given too much credit for his pass rushing skills by the Dallas coaches, media and fans. He gets his sacks because he has a good motor and he’ll chase a guy down. He’s the guy that picks up the coverage sacks. But he’s much too slow to be a factor on his own, and gets double-teamed much less often than he and the team claim.

I called him a crybaby because he whined about this switch to the 3-4 because he’s undersized for it.

Dallas was also without first round draft pick DL Marcus Spears. Most of the other ends and tackles played without distinction. One, rookie Jay Ratliff, did get some push from the DE spot and could be a sleeper-type player. He was a 7th round pick, and people love Ellis, but I can see Ratliff, or other rookies Spears or Chris Canty gaining the starting DE job on the left side.

Rookie LB and #1 pick DeMarcus Ware was a big disappointment. He was OK against the run, but was nowhere in the pass rush. He was supposed to be an impact player. I don’t think he had to learn any scheme or responsibilities to be a factor on 3rd and long. Get to the QB. He didn’t get near him.

He has a lot to learn too. There were several plays where he didn’t move his feet. He locked up with the OT and just wrestled with him. He played like he was tired.

Arizona didn’t have many (any) really big plays. They got good yardage on two plays, one that looked like busted coverage by new FS Keith Davis, and the other on a fluky diving grab on a poorly thrown ball.

Otherwise it was a lot of short passing with Warner checking his watch while looking for an open receiver. I was not unhappy with the Dallas LB’s or DB’s generally.


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