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Mailbag: Do Players Fit With Another Defensive Change?
If every few years we change coordinators/schemes, won't we always have a roster full of players poorly suited for the new defensive coordinator? I don't see a single DE on the team, and wasn't the scarcity of quality DEs the primary reason to switch to a 3-4 in the first place?
Rowan: Getting players fit for the scheme or the correct scheme fit for players is important, as the Redskins found out with Robert Griffin III this year. It’s important to have the right players for what a coordinator wants to run, though there’s a valid argument to be made that the Cowboys’ personnel might actually be better suited in the 4-3. A lot of this will hinge on if the Cowboys can bring back Spencer and if Ware can take the beating every down as a defensive end on the line. Tyrone Crawford, Sean Lissemore, Jason Hatcher and Jay Ratliff should all be able to fit in with either scheme.
Nick: I hear you about changing coordinators and schemes all the time. But you only switch to the 4-3 if you’ve got the personnel to do it. I disagree with you about the ends. I think Hatcher could do that and Crawford, too. If Spencer re-signs, that would be great because I’ve always said I thought that was his best position – a 4-3 end. I do think you have to worry some about DeMarcus Ware, seeing how banged up he was last year and now he’s on the line even more. But he’s never missed a game in his career and I think he’ll be a good fit for this. He’s one of the better run-stoppers on the team but it’s overlooked because of his pass-rushing ability.
Why didn't we use Cole Beasley more this year?
Rowan: He could have been used more, but it might have been at the expense of playing time for Dwayne Harris. They had specific packages and matchups they liked Beasley in. I think they could have used him a little more, particularly considering the uncertainty the team would convert in short yardage situations. I felt like there were games where they almost forgot about him at times. I’d expect him to develop this offseason, and his knack for completing short routes from the slot should lead to more production in the offense moving forward.
Nick: I think he played a good amount of snaps for this team. It’s not like he’s a big-time playmaker right now, but he got open occasionally. I think the staff felt like he’s better at the underneath routes and not as much vertical and down the field. Therefore, he was only in on certain situations. It seemed like he pretty much handled whatever they threw at him. I think you’ll see him develop in this offense and be more productive next year, especially if Kevin Ogletree does not return.