Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Biggest Offseason Need

There are plenty of holes in the Cowboys roster heading into the 2012 offseason. And it is pretty easy to spot most of them. There are major problems on the offensive line, the defensive line, outside linebacker, and in the secondary. But I think there is something that is needed beyond the obvious talent needs.

The defense needs a leader. And I don't mean to say that Demarcus Ware isn't a leader. He gets pressure on the quarterback and he leads by example. He is a great guy by all accounts. But, in some ways, that is exactly what is wrong.

The defense doesn't play with any attitude. They need a Ray Lewis type of player. They need a Brian Dawkins type of guy. What I getting at here is that they need a guy who will get the defense to play with some attitude. There is talent on the defense. But they are soft. The Cowboys don't have the killer instinct that is needed to dominate an opponent.

Unfortunately it isn't easy to find a guy that be the emotional leader of a defense. I love Sean Lee...he isn't that type of guy. I love Jay Ratliff...he is emotional but he isn't a guy who rallies the troops. It doesn't appear that there is anyone on the roster who can step into the role that is needed.

Scouring the top potential free agents there aren't any obvious names that stand out in terms of being a fiery leader. But there is one player that brings a big attitude with him every time he steps on the field. Cortland Finnegan.

I'm not a big fan of having low character guys on the roster. But there is something to be said for having a guy who is willing to mix it up with the opposing team. A guy who won't back down when challenged. And Finnegan isn't a guy who gets in trouble off the field. He just isn't a nice guy on the field.

For that reason I'm hoping that Cortland Finnegan is a target for the Cowboys. I know he isn't the greatest cornerback ever, but he brings the attitude I'm looking for. He isn't afraid to stand up to Andre Johnson in his battles twice a year against him. He won't back down. Sure, he makes dumb plays now and then because he goes a little too far. But he could bring the attitude to the defense that they are missing.

What I don't know about Finnegan is if he has the personality that the defensive players can follow. But the way I see it the Cowboys have a big need at cornerback with the sure to be coming cut of Terence Newman. And Finnegan is a good cornerback who also brings some major attitude to the field. It seems like a match made in heaven to me.


  1. IMO, Finnegan is an average-sized CB who is at least a little overrated as a player. Also, his so called fiery attitude is a lot more "punk" than any feisty leader.

    But most of all, while he'd be an upgrade over Newman these days, he's certainly not an elite player by any means, but in these times he'll likely command elite money as a free agent.

    You almost always overpay for a quality free agent, but if I'm going to do so, I'd much rather go after a younger guy, who's already a proven great player (All Pro), plays a position of need, and plays a position where the price isn't so prohibitive to the level of player signed.

    In other words, guard Carl Nicks.

    Nicks is still 26, has already made All Pro and the Pro Bowl, plays guard, which we need, and plays a position where age isn't such a big deal. CB's tend to wane in their early 30's while OL seem to go on until their mid-30's with little drop off.

    Lastly, the best corners in the world can't cover enough to allow our iffy pass rush to get there. We need a better pass rush far more than DB's.

    I do agree that the Dallas defense needs some "attitude" players, but IMO that comes with playing strong defense first and foremost. Plus, there's only so much of that you could get from a 5' 10", 185 pound corner.

    Bottom line, Finnegan would be far too expensive for the quality of player you'd get, plus his age.

  2. so you think we should pick a player who "mixes it up" on the field, but isn't that good. If he is not that good, doesn't that mean he wont be on the field...

  3. I would rather these moves get done.

    Cut Newman and Brooking.

    Restructure some contracts.

    Sign Nicks and Mario Williams.

    Draft Kirkpatrick.

    Having Nicks would sure up our line, and having Mario Williams would mean a change in the defense, 4-3 we rush Ware, Ratliff, Williams and a 4th every play.

    Our pass rush would instantly make our DBs better (not great but better)

    Its been a while since Jerry has made a real splash in free agency and I feel these moves are smart and safe.

    1. Nicks AND Williams huh?

      Not going to happen. If by some crazy way it did, it would put us in complete cap hell for years; and this team is not one or two players away from a SB.

      I would like to have either, at the right price, but neither one individually might happen as well. The Cowboys have a little over 20 million in cap room right now, and there are several teams with two, even three times that amount.

      As far as Kirkpatrick, I have my reservations. One, he played on a defense that was loaded with talent, and that can make a prospect look better than he really is. Also, while I have no illusions that a number of NFL players smoke pot, for Dre to have so little common sense as to puff away during this time of the year, when he has millions at stake, leaves me highly doubting his mental acuity.

      And then, I've heard stories he's not exactly the brightest bulb in the rack... IOW, kind of a moron, and this team has enough lesser intellects as is.