It never ceases to amaze me how Cowboys fans can go from chiding the team for being too old to clamoring for a veteran signing when someone like Sean Lee goes down.
To be fair, I haven’t seen too many fans with an outlet filling their blogs with talk of bringing in a new vet to fill the void. It’s been mostly fans commenting on blogs and Facebook statuses and tweets regurgitating the tired ploys of those “geniuses” at ESPN. It’s simple math – ESPN is a ratings whore and only does what gets ratings. So it’s easy to understand why they’d say the ‘Boys are interested in Jonathan Vilma or Brian Urlacher.
As far as starting vets we’ve got the faces of the franchise Tony Romo and Jason Witten leading the Over 10-Years Club. Kyle Orton is up there as well as L.P. Ladouceur but the former is headed for retirement sans respect for his commitments and the latter is just a long snapper. After those four players with a decade or more in the league you’re down to eight years experience with Justin Durant, Doug free and Anthony Spencer. Then there’s 35 players with a year or less in the NFL.
So the talking heads at ESPN started on about recruiting the ever aging abilities of Urlacher and Vilma last week to replace Sean Lee, or at the very least, offer some veteran leadership and experience at one of the key positions on the Dallas defense.
It just wreaks of Zach Thomas and Keith Brooking to me. Throw in T.O. and Drew Bledsoe to boot.
The Cowboys apparently looked at both players but came away from the review unimpressed with their current abilities. Don’t get me wrong, these are two players who, in their prime, were on every team’s wish-list. Neither player is anywhere near their prime any longer so I ask, why would we even consider this?
Signing guys past their prime is a tried and failed experiment in Dallas that none of us want to see repeated. We get the big name, big ego and low talent to polarize this team with enough wins to think we’re on track without actually ever accomplishing anything.
Truth be told, Justin Durant is the most experienced player vying for Lee’s spot and he’s treacherously close to a never-was with eight seasons under his mostly unknown belt.
The likes of rookie Anthony Hitchens and others as well as Bruce Carter and DeVonte Holloman in that line are basically cause for even the most die-hard Cowboys fan to tremble with anxiety.
After last season’s dismal Cowboys defensive effort, this team needs something just short of a miracle to compete this year. Various injuries aside, the non-rookie candidates have only shown us in practice and camp what they can do, but we all know game-time is what matters. Carter has shown some promise in games.
Regardless of what I think of the choices we have, they’re the best bet for this team to put a smack down on our strengthening division in 2014. Sean Lee with a headset and clipboard will only help.
The offense got better via the draft with what should be the kind of line Romo needs protecting him. Yeah he’s a gunslinger but in spite of his successes on the run, he’s even better inside the pocket. It still remains to be seen how this newly upgraded and youthful line will help DeMarco Murray on the ground, and I stand firm that we’ll continue losing games, titles and championships as long as Murray gets stuffed at the line.
It’s time for the Dallas defense to step into the light of mediocrity, at least. These guys have got to get smarter before and after the snap. They’ve got to execute. If they can’t do those things then even mediocrity is going to be a struggle for them.
Of the 31 rookies in Dallas right now, 16 are defensive rookies and mostly safeties and linemen – the two areas we need the most improvement over last season. Here’s to youth and education, because we’re .500 again without them.