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.