When we started this blog we had one goal in mind, to be the best fan blog out there. Well we forgot some details in that original goal and have since been shown a few new things we needed to work towards. Needless to say it became apparent that we had to write about something on here that would keep you all interested.
So we brought you an interview with a rather unlikely candidate – Mickey Spagnola, the www.DallasCowboys.com writer. We got some good feedback and it was fun to do, but our real goal with that was to get the fire started, and today the flames have risen once again.
Some of you know him and others only know of him. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2005 draft after he recorded a record vertical jump of 46’6 at the combine. He then started all 16 games his rookie season with the Jaguars.
He’s coming off of his best year in Jacksonville where he amassed 55 tackles, a team leading 4 interceptions, and 8 passes deflected while playing in all 16 games, starting 13. He’s the new starting Strong Safety in Dallas and has already shown us that he can cover man to man like Roy Williams only dreamed of doing.
I’m happy to present to you #43 Gerald Sensabaugh!
DCNation: In the off season you had an opportunity to sign a long term deal elsewhere, why did you decide to opt for a one year deal with the Cowboys?
Gerald: The numbers weren't where I wanted them to be. So I figured I would take one last shot and see what I can get after another 1 year deal. I also wanted to go to a larger market team and experience football with some tradition behind it.
DCNation: We know that the main goal every year is to win the Super Bowl, but can this team realistically do that? Why?
Gerald: Yes, this team has the talent and personnel to do so. There are many explosive players on the offensive side of the ball, so expect lots of points. On the defensive side, we have the opportunity to be one of the best defenses this year in the league. So if you combine the two, I say we have a legit shot at winning the Superbowl.
DCNation: The past couple of years this Cowboys team has had plenty of talent to get deep into the playoffs, lack of execution has been the Achilles heel to this team. Every year the fans of the Cowboys hear “how things will be different” from the same players, so many fans have grown weary of their talk. So far in your first year with the Cowboys, what can you tell us about this team – what makes you think that you can contend this year?
Gerald: We will be major contenders this year. Going through OTA's this team got a lot better from last year. Through training camp we are going to fine tune the chemistry and we will be set to go.
DCNation: Based on what you’ve seen so far, what do you think about the cornerback situation that’s brewing? Scandrick has shown serious talent, but Jenkins was drafted higher and also brings some good coverage skills. Your thoughts?
Gerald: I'm very exited about the two young corners. No matter who starts, they both will be major contributors to this defense.
DCNation: The 2008 Dallas Cowboys Defense was a strong unit, but I think the coaches and fans believe that this years defense could be one of the best in the entire NFL. It is my perception that the biggest reason for these thoughts is because of you. What do you feel is the greatest asset you’re bringing to this team?
Gerald: I feel that I bring the ability to cover at the strong safety position. I have had my share of both run stuffing and covering but I believe the need here in Dallas is to cover more. I am still expecting to make a impact on the run game also.
DCNation: Is there another player, former or current, that you have tried to pattern your play after? Why?
Gerald: Donovan Darius because he was a physical player that was know for big hits, and always being around the football. And Deon Grant because of his ball skills and coverage ability. Those are the two that I learned from as a youngster and I tried to pattern my game with both of theirs combined.
DCNation: It’s no secret that the Cowboys have struggled in recent years at the Strong Safety position. From both the perspective of your new teammates and your own estimations, what do you feel is your biggest goal for 2009 to bolster the Strong Safety position in Dallas?
Gerald: Covering Man to Man. To make a bigger difference in the passing game.
DCNation: Many fans in the NFL view the safety position as a guy who can really lower the boom on opposing players. The Dallas Cowboys recently had a safety who was known for that, but was not very good to say the least in coverage. Does your play favor coverage over hitting? Or do you feel you are a balanced Safety?
Gerald: I feel that I am balanced. In my prior years I had to do both.
DCNation: Dave Campo has had defensive success in Dallas before, and as well in Jacksonville. Having seen him in action in both places, what do you think he brings to a team that might be otherwise missing?
Gerald: He brings a positive, fair, competitive environment that players like. He's a coach that gets the best out of his players.
DCNation: It is obvious that you were brought in to be the starter, but do you still feel like you need to prove that you are the man in training camp?
Gerald: Yes, I always have to prove something. Here in Dallas there is a lot of competition. We have guys that can play safety and corner. This secondary is real athletic. Everybody here can play.
DCNation: Of the scheduled opponents for 2009, which team concerns you the most as a safety?
Gerald: I really don't have any concerns but I do respect all teams equally. Every team brings a different attack to the table so you must prepare as best as you can for all of them.
Gerald: Coach Phillips is going to make sure that we work hard and get things right. He is less tolerant of errors (especially mental errors), I can tell those get under his skin.
DCNation: Playing in the AFC South you were able to test your abilities against one of the greatest QB's of this era, Peyton Manning. Was there anything you learned from your time against him that you feel will help you be a top tier Safety in this league?
Gerald: Reading QB's and not going for fakes. He's the pump king and does it every play. He makes the safety play honest and is hard to get a tip on.
DCNation: There has been a lot of talk about some incidents in your past, are those things behind you now? And is there anything you would like to let the fans in Dallas know about you to clear up any questions they may have?
Gerald: The whole past is behind me and I'm looking forward to winning the super bowl with the Cowboys. That is my main focus.
[wstlink]r http://www.GeraldSensabaugh.net[/wstlink]You can find out more about Gerald by going to his website – www.GeraldSensabaugh.net – he has a blog there that he not only updates rather often, but he actually participates in comments on his blog. Truly a class act and we welcome him to Dallas.
We want to thank Gerald Sensabaugh not only for speaking with us, but for taking the time to do so from San Antonio as training camp starts. We also look forward to more interviews with Gerald throughout the season.