Are Cowboys Defensive Triplets As Bad As They Say?

The Triplets.

A term cemented in Dallas Cowboys lure forever because of the success of the 1990’s and three Hall of Famers on offense.

Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin.

After the selection of Ezekiel Elliott in the 2016 NFL Draft, Cowboys fans are hopeful that the dawn of a new Triplets is right around the corner.

Tony Romo, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dez Bryant.

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Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo, left, demonstrates the holding call he wanted on teammate Dez Bryant during the first half against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on September 13, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. UPI/Ian Halperin

Cowboys fans are not the only ones who expect these three to be great together, however. The entire NFL world is scared of what Dallas can do offensively, and Bill Barnwell of is no different.

Barnwell ranked the top offensive triplets in the NFL, with the Dallas Cowboys slated as the sixth-best trio. I would even go as far as to argue that sixth is too low for this group, who may be on tap to overtake the Pittsburgh Steelers as the best set of triplets in the entire league.

It is not often, however, that we think of a team’s defensive set of triplets. That is the three best players and leaders on a particular defense.

Bill Barnwell also decided to rank these trios, slating the Cowboys as only the 29th best in the NFL.

In other words, Barnwell believes the Cowboys are the league’s fourth-worst defense in terms of triplets.

Yeah, that’s bad.

While we all agree that the Cowboys defense has to answer a ton of questions this season and that the defense is the weaker of the two units, it is hard for me to think they are the fourth worst.

In fact, I believe they are far from it.

I believe the Cowboys would have faired much better in the rankings had Barnwell put the right three players together to form this triplet.

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Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (50) drops back into coverage during an NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Sept. 15, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (AP Photo/TUSP, Jay Biggerstaff)

Defensive linemen Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence join linebacker Sean Lee to serve as the Cowboys triplets in Barnwell’s rankings. But how did he come up with these names?

Yes, Sean Lee is obviously the man of this group and must be included, and Tyrone Crawford is not only the Cowboys’ best defensive lineman but also seems to be somewhat of a leader for the group.

But I would say that if we are naming three players to the “triplets,” cornerback Orlando Scandrick must be considered; especially instead of DeMarcus Lawrence, who is currently facing a four-game suspension.

Lawrence is the only pass rusher on this roster who has produced so far in his career, but I certainly wouldn’t name him a leader of the defense, or even as one of the three “best” players on the defense as a whole.Cowboys Blog - Orlando Scandrick Suspended 4 Games, So Now What?

While Sean Lee is the brains behind the operation, Orlando Scandrick has shown that he brings the attitude and drive to this group. He is the one who gives the Cowboys defense their edge, an edge we didn’t see for much of 2015 because of his absence.

With Scandrick back, that edge and that (for lack of a better word) swag will be back. With Scandrick back, the turnovers may start to come back. And with Scandrick back, this defensive triplet is much better than 29th in the entire NFL.

Barnwell also calls Byron Jones a “second-tier starter,” a term which will never be used again with Jones after the show he will put on in 2016.

Maybe I sound a bit too much like a rabid fan here, but in my mind, there is no way the Cowboys defensive triplets deserve to be ranked this low. And if you are going to rank the triplets, at least include the right three guys.

Barnwell’s entire list can be read here, on

Ranking the NFL’s defensive triplets from 32-1

Jun 22, 2016 Bill BarnwellESPN Staff Writer Close Bill Barnwell is a staff writer for Last week, spurred by the quietest weeks of the NFL schedule, I ran through the NFL’s offensive triplets and ranked them, 1-32. The Steelers finished first and the Browns last.

What do you think?

Kevin Brady

Written by Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.


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