Dallas Cowboys News and Notes, 6/7/12: DeMarco, Lissemore, and Jenkins
I have a new post over at the Cowboys’ team site coming soon, but I wanted to discuss a few of the hot topics surrounding the Cowboys. . .
- Sean Lissemore is the Cowboys’ “secret superstar” over at Pro Football Focus.
It’s a good choice. Lissemore had PFF’s highest run defense grade, and he was very efficient all season. We’ll see what he can do with more snaps. My choices might surprise: Anthony Spencer on defense and Martellus Bennett on offense (with Montrae Holland a close second). I talked about Bennett here and Holland here.
- DeMarco Murray is finished talking about his ankle.
Although it sounds like a horrible injury, a broken ankle is a lot better than tearing a ligament or (gasp) an Achilles. The ankle should be just fine by now, and Murray is poised for a big year in 2012. I recently submitted an article to the Cowboys on projecting running backs’ careers based on their efficiency as rookies, and Murray has the fourth-highest YPC of any rookie with 100-plus carries since 2000.
- How much does rushing the passer matter to defenses?
A whole lot, in my opinion. I think a major mistake made in that article is thinking the secondary and pass rush are separate units. The success of the secondary is highly dependent on an effective pass rush. Actually, I’d say cornerbacks and safeties need an effective pass rush far more than the pass-rushers need great cornerbacks. Don’t get me wrong; cornerbacks are certainly important. But how many times do you see a “coverage sack” as opposed to an open receiver who can’t get the ball because of effective pressure?
- Can Mike Jenkins play the slot?
I think so. A lot is made about the difference between playing in the slot and playing outside. While there are certainly differences, I don’t think cornerback and “cornerback-who-plays-five-yards-inside” are as different as people make them to be. It is true you need a specific sort of skill set to play inside, but I think Jenkins has the quickness to do it. Plus, you want your best players on the field. Jenkins is a starting-caliber cornerback who would be one of the league’s premiere slot cornerbacks.
- Pick up your digital version of Fantasy Football for Smart People. The paperback will be available in a week.
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