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Average Defensive Age Nearly Down 2 Years

Knowing that it's still mid-May and several things can change when it comes to personnel, some of this information has to be put in perspective.

The roster and depth chart are light years away from being set – that's probably a huge reason why you won't find a depth chart on our website, other than the /Ultimate 53-man roster series we're doing this summer.

Still, one thing seems clear about the defensive side of the ball – they will be younger.

That's a fact after the team released 33-year-old Terence Newman and have let both Bradie James (30) and Keith Brooking (36) go in free agency. Brooking hasn't signed with another team but it seems unlikely he will return to the Cowboys and could end up retiring.

Throw in guys like Brandon Carr, Bruce Carter and Dan Connor to those spots and it brings the entire average down by two full years.

Doing a little research, I went further than just the starters from last year – since Rob Ryan likes to rotate – and picked the top 18 players from last year on defense. That includes key role players like Orlando Scandrick, Jason Hatcher and James, who didn't start much, but still played a good number of snaps.

Factoring in how old the playes were last year at the start of the season, the top 18 players from last year averaged out 28.1 years of age.

This year, with the ages of the players as of May 15, the projected Top 18 as it stands right now, is averaging 26.6. Guys like Morris Claiborne and his 22 years of age certainly lower the average a great deal.

And that still factors in experienced guys like Kenyon Coleman and Marcus Spears. With Tyrone Crawford now in the mix, it's likely one of those vets could be gone.

Let's say the Cowboys ended up waiving Coleman, a move that has been discussed in length to both get younger and save money on the cap, it would reduce the average age on the defensive side down to 26.0 years.

So two years across the board . . . how big is that? If this were a major overhaul in players, I'd say it's not a big deal.
But when you think it's basically moving out Newman, James and Brooking for the likes of Connor, Carter and Carr/Claiborne, it's a pretty significant jump.

That's three to four players switching and reducing the overall age by at least two years. There's a good chance that number could increase if they let go some of the defensive ends.

Again, it's hard to determine who the top 18 players will be right now - for either side of the ball. But just think, if there are surprises along the way, it'll probably be because of younger players who emerge. That would only make the average age go down even further.

We expect this defense will be more talented. It definitely will be younger.  

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