Cowboys declare “method to the madness” of defensive exodus

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The Cowboys weren’t what you’d call great on defense last year, but they were certainly good enough to not stop progress.

But losing so many starters on that side of the ball, including nearly the entire secondary, and five total players who started at least seven games for them last year could potentially be a big step back.

There is a little bit of method to the madness here,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said, via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. “Right now, going into the draft, we feel really good about our numbers. But at the same time we feel this is going to be a great opportunity for us to improve on the defensive side of the ball.

“It just so happens we feel the draft is inordinately strong on the defensive side of the ball.”

It better be. The Cowboys lost both starting cornerbacks in Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, safety Barry Church and others in free agency. They did backfill a bit with signing cornerback Nolan Carroll, but their cap space has limited their ability to move. Jones said he’d have liked to kept some of the players they lost, up to a limit.

“Players we want to keep, we keep them,” Jones said. “Most of these players, I’m not going to single out guys, but most of them we were ready to let move on.

“Now, there were a few if they would have been for the right price, we would have done it. But we certainly didn’t want to get into overpaying for anybody.

“At the end of the day, we value our players. At certain numbers, it’s efficient for us to sign them. At other numbers, it’s not.”

The plan is that some existing young players will improve in larger roles, but the majority of the hope is staked to a draft that skews toward defensive talent, particularly a deep group of secondary and defensive line prospects.

23 responses to “Cowboys declare “method to the madness” of defensive exodus

  1. You would think by now that the Cowboys would have learned to manage their cap better…how they never have cap space coupled with years of mediocrity is baffling

  2. .
    Their method is madness. Drafting a bunch of “not ready for prime time” rookies and throwing them to the wolves, on the big stage, in a super high expectations Dallas is insane. In today’s complex NFL it is a rarity when rookies step in a get the job done from day one. Good QBs can make life a living hell for inexperienced secondary people.

  3. I liked Church. I think they would have kept him but the price got too rich. Carroll is equal to Carr & Claibourne could never stay on the field.
    If they can execute the draft the Cowboys will be OK on Defense.

  4. I hate to say it, but the Cowboys really aren’t that far away. If any team could use a move up into the top 10 to grab a serious impact guys it’s the Cowboys. An impact player in the secondary or on the dline and if they can be healthy on defense that team will be good again. The strength of that team is in the oline and they’re not getting younger. If I was them I would go for it…

  5. So plan B is draft replacements that have not played in the nfl.Good plan,just like my plan of quitting my job and hitting the lottery.Not hitting the lottery first and quitting my job.

  6. Translation: We have to spend big to re-sign our offense in the upcoming years, so we need to have our defense on rookie contracts.

  7. we are going to release tony roMO post june 1st designation saving us another 14m in cap room and restructure some more contracts to get even more cap space. JJ and company will find some FA’s to fill the key areas, pass rush, CB, Safety there at good prices and then draft some stud college kids. Jaylon Smith is going to be a beast too so everybody is freaking out and rightfully so as they are all scared we will be the dominate league over the next 5-10 years. I seriously predict NFC East 1st place every year and 4 SB wins over the next 10…..

    We are building a long term winning organization and haters gonna hate.


  8. What a bunch of hot air. It’s extremely rare for defensive backs to make an instant impact as rookies. The truth is that Dallas has mismanaged their cap and can’t afford to pay anyone on defense. How’s that $18M back-up QB workin’ out for ya? Don’t be shocked when Dak regresses to the mean and the Cowboys go 8-8 this year.

  9. So what is basis of Dak regressing. Wishful thinking?
    He s not like Kaperneck or RG3,

    Defenses quickly adapted to their play….neither that great a reading defenses. Never same after their first big year.

    But Dak is a good pocket passer, excellent at reading defenses, finds the open recievers. I think he will only improve next year.
    And don’t forget the running game that helps him so much.
    No noodle arm!

  10. If Smith and Tapper can do what they were drafted to do, they really only need a S and CB out of the draft.

    They lost Carr, Claiborne, Church, and Wilcox out of the secondary, but still have Scandrick and Carroll to start with Brown in the slot. Church is probably the biggest loss, but he wasn’t a Reed/Polamalu back there. Wilcox won’t be hard to replace.

  11. After the gifts that secondary gave Aaron Rodgers in the playoff game, they can all go, except for Jeff Heath. And Anthony Brown, the fool who reached out and held the receiver (Cook?) and negated Heath’s INT late in the game, he is the worst of them. Don’t keep him.

  12. You’d think you people would wake the f up…. This family has been bs’ing you for 20 seasons…

    You can’t win without a solid D… period. They don’t have one and expecting to fill holes with off the street scrubs and rookies is going to help you should all know better… They did it for years at O line… how’d that work out? Yeah, it didn’t.

    Coupled with they actually need to hire a REAL HC and not this red headed puppet…

    All in all people please wake up.. this team is seriously mismanaged terribly. Nothing is changing.

  13. People just parrot same ole stuff…..what the media feeds them…sports reporting is often a real joke….every year their predictions in so many cases are way off.

    So who you gonna get to replace the “red headed puppet” … lets see how many were fired last year…and year before…

    I think the managing of the defense is great….. Carr was star…Claiborne had flashes of what expected last year…but he is fragile as glass.

    Tough competive league….I think Jerry (oh sorry missed my chance to say the parroted “Jerrah”) has done well.

    Remember few years ago Philly in free ageny signed a bunch of high dollar free agents. Philly fans were saying “dream team”
    Did not live up to that at all.

    Marinelli will get a lot out of what they will have.

  14. Here is a parroted Qoute…

    “Cant live in the past Cowboys fans…have’nt won a super bowl in 21 years”

    Never the less they do have 5!
    13 teams have never won a

    32 team every year want the championship….
    And whiny …parroting fans whine the same things every year when their team doesn’t.

    Just had heart surgery…doc said lot of scar tissue in there… cased by all those heartbreaking Cowboy losses.

    And. Yes Defense does win games….last year there were some mighty strong defenses that did not make superbowl.
    Ball control offense keeps defense off the field. And can make defense look better.

    But looking forward to next year.

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