This weekend we get the great pleasure of watching our Cowboys other teams play their playoff games. Any chance Romo and the gang are still sulking over the loss to the Eagles? Judging by the attitude of these guys one would have to assume their NOT! While some of them probably are, I am quite sure some of them are partying it up elsewhere! I saw this morning where one player has decided to stay at home and type on his computer? check it out here.
Anyway let's start our offseason by going through each position and grade out this past years team!
The Quarterback position is always the one that gets the first look, but I am still just too disgusted with that position to be able to accurately look at it, so we will save that one for a later time.
I have decided to start off with the Defensive line. What a year this group had. In the beginning this group was average at best. They would show signs of being dominant but only in spurts through the first 3 games, and other times they looked no better than the local High school team. This group immediately followed that lackluster beginning with some of the most disgusting play ever seen, through the next 3-4 games. Then it all came together against Tampa Bay, when not only the D-Line but the entire defense seemed to final get what they were supposed to be doing. That was the first game in which the D-line was getting consistent pressure up the middle, and able to stop the run too. I thought after that game that they would get better every week, but then they went to New York and laid a huge egg to Jacobs and company, giving up 200 yards on the ground. I must put an asterisks beside that game though because those guys were on the field the entire night, due to the pitiful quarterback play! The next five weeks this group played like we all hoped they would all year. In that 5 game stretch they faced five (Skins,49ers,hawks,Steelers,Giants) of the better running teams in consecutive weeks. In five weeks the Boys gave up a combined 340 yards rushing for an average of 68 yards per game. In that same span the Cowboys went 4-1 the lone loss in Pittsburgh (had the lead with less than 7 minutes to go, Thanks Romo). The Cowboy defense was officially back and all of Cowboy nation was in love with them again. Then with their playoff lives on the line against the Ravens in the final game EVER at Texas Stadium the D-line played their butts off again. Doing everything in their power to hold down the powerful rushing attack of the Ravens, and doing an excellent job of it through 3 7/8 quarters.Then IT HAPPENED!!!!! In two plays the Dallas defense gave up 153 yards on two plays, and like a plane with no wings it all came crashing down. The D-line was simply worn out, unable to muster another burst, the one strong point of the Cowboys was done. Then the debacle that was Philly took place. Once again with their playoff lives on the line, No one showed up!
In the end this unit I thought played very well. Lets be honest I, like you would love to have a guy like Haynesworth in the middle destroying centers and wreaking havoc in the opposing teams backfield. That however is not going to happen, and besides that we have a pretty bad A** player in that position already in Jay Rat! This unit could have been better, and they must become more consistent. However I liked what I saw from this group this year.
Defensive Line B
Jason Hatcher C- (Only played in 9 games compiling 17 tackles and 1 sack, just shows how much the starters had to play. Is their an upgrade available here?)
Stephen Bowen D (Only played in 10 games compiling 17 tackles, Cowboys must upgrade here!)
Marcus Spears B- (Started off slow, but came on strong by far his best year as a Cowboy. was in on 35 tackles, 1 sack, 2 pass deflections, and 1 fumble recovery. Is Marcus finally getting it?)
Chris Canty B (another one that started slow but seemed to pull it all together. was in on 37 tackles, 3 sacks, and 5 pass deflections. I believe he has earned himself the contract he was hoping for last year, great team guy too. Lord knows we need more of those!)
Jay Ratliff A+ (What a beast this guy is! their is no one else in the league I would rather have in the middle (besides Haynesworth) was in on 51 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and 5 pass deflections. This guy is only going to get better too!)
Defensive Line MVP = Jay Ratliff (No Question)