The 2009 version of the Dallas Cowboys defense will look and feel like a completely new unit. With an influx of young energetic, athletic players and a full season with Wade Phillips as the Coordinator will certainly change things.
There is one person however who holds the key to what this team can be, and it might not be who most of us would have thought either!
Now we could come up with at least a handful of names that at the very least could drastically change what this defense will be able to accomplish this year, Demarcus Ware, Terrence Newman, Bradie James, Mike Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick… just to name a few.
None of those guys can do for this unit what one Gerald Sensabaugh can though! I realize it sounds ridiculous to think that a guy who many of us did not even know who he was could suddenly be the main component in elevating this average defense to a top flight unit.
Gerald has already made a profound impression upon Wade Phillips during OTA's, saying
“Sensabaugh looks outstanding” Phillips said last week. “He's really got a lot of ability, good work ethic, but he can really cover a lot of ground. We can cover in man to man with him…he has great speed along with cover ability.”
I may not agree with a lot of the things that Wade Phillips does or does not do, but when that guy speaks about what he see's in a defensive player, I do not question it!
When Wade tells us “He can really cover a lot of ground. We can cover in man to man with him...” He is speaking volumes about what Gerald means to this unit! Everyone wanted an Ed Reed type of safety, well guess what, Wade just told us that we now have one.
In Baltimore's system Ed Reed is allowed to roam around in the defensive backfield and to just “go after the ball.” They will play some zone coverage, but primarily they stay in a man to man scheme. Ed Reed thrives in this type of system for two reasons.
First, Reed is very fast, and secondly he has excellent cover ability. Now I am in by no means saying that Gerald Sensabaugh is about to become the second coming of Ed Reed (although I certainly believe it is a possibility) I am simply comparing the two systems and how safeties with these abilities can change the culture of those systems.
Gerald Sensabaugh will allow the likes of Demarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Keith Brooking, Bradie James, Jay Ratliff, and the rookies to pin their ears back and send blitz packages at the opposing offense that they simply cannot plan for.
Wade Phillips has been dreaming about this type of safety since he became the Head Coach here, and his players know it!
Wade is ready, and so are his troops, thanks to one Gerald Sensabaugh.