- Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas listed Marion Barber and David Buehler as people over which to worry. On the other hand, he thinks Doug Free and Alan Ball will be fine.
We’d actually reverse this. While there is certainly a lot of confidence in Free and Ball, the Cowboys must at least be somewhat worried about whether the two players’ inexperience will come back to bite them. On the flip side, the effect of Barber’s potential decline is weakened by the presence of Felix Jones and Tashard Choice, i.e. Barber’s play matters less than that of Free or Ball. Further, while kicker is a very important position, the variance among kickers from season to season makes Buehler’s presence less risky.
- PFT believes a lengthy Dez Bryant holdout is a near certainty.
We’d have to disagree. Bryant will likely be absent for the first few practices of training camp, but that is fairly standard with the Cowboys’ first-rounders. Having already been scrutinized a great deal, Bryant (and the Cowboys) will probably do everything possible to avoid the stress and bad press of a long holdout. And as if you haven’t watched enough videos of Bryant, here is another.
Terence Newman, Mike Jenkins, and Orlando Scandrick are locks. We recently projected Bryan McCann to be the fourth guy (click here for our roster projections), switching from Cletis Gordon. Gordon offers kick return ability, but those duties may now belong to rookies Dez Bryant and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. Either way, the presence of Alan Ball and AOA makes us believe Dallas will only retain four cornerbacks.
Great Story on Robert Brewster
- The Cowboys struggled against four-receiver sets in 2009.
Orlando Scandrick is a talented nickel cornerback, but he was picked on a bit last season. We gave him a “C” overall grade but we are anticipating a bounce-back year from him. This, combined with the coverage ability of Alan Ball, means the defense’s numbers against four and five-receiver sets should improve a bit in 2010.
If Ball can improve upon his poor missed tackle percentage, he will do well enough in coverage to be an upgrade over Ken Hamlin.
- The Dallas offense uses a number system for routes, passed down from Don Coryell.
Some teams use specific words for particular routes or route combinations.