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What should the ‘Boys do with Deon Anderson?

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The Cowboys could have a difficult roster decision looming, as starting FB Deon Anderson was arrested earlier this week in Addison, TX for allegedly brandishing a loaded gun. Anderson could face a future league-imposed suspension should the Cowboys retain him for the 2010 season.

FB Deon Anderson's future with Dallas is uncertain at best after his recent arrest.

In my opinion, the Cowboys should allow the legal system to play out and, should Anderson be found guilty, they should cut him immediately. Dallas made it a point of emphasis this past offseason to rid themselves of players they determined to be potential distractions, i.e. Terrell Owens, Tank Johnson, Pacman Jones, Greg Ellis, and two of those players never even had trouble with the law.

Unfortunately for Deon Anderson, he does not have the natural ability of a T.O. or Greg Ellis. While it is nice to believe that all NFL players get treated equally, that is just not the case. Like it or not, star players receive more leeway, both on an off the field. Deon Anderson is a solid fullback and a much-improved blocker, but his contributions to the Cowboys are not enough, in my opinion, for him to stay on the team should he be found guilty.

As I continue to progress through my film study of the season, I have noticed the Cowboys used TE John Phillips more and more at fullback as the season rolled along. As long as they do not give up too much in the blocking department, which did not appear to be the case on film, this is a savvy move, as Phillips is a much bigger threat to make a play out of the backfield. Opposing defenses must at least account for his presence, meaning any loss in blocking ability from Anderson to Phillips is more than made up for by Phillips’ playmaking abilities. His versatility to line up at multiple positions also gives the defense less knowledge as to the Cowboys’ play call, as they could line up in spread just as easily as I-formation with Phillips in the game, a luxury that could not be afforded with Anderson in the lineup.

Rookie TE John Phillips' versatility softens the blow of a potential Anderson departure.

The greatest hole Anderson’s departure would leave would be on special teams, where he made 12 tackles in 2009. This loss, however, is well worth the Cowboys making a statement by cutting Anderson and showing the team that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated. Still, let’s hope for Anderson’s sake that these allegations are false, or at least exaggerated.

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