Building A Formidable Front

2003. 

Then for the four, or the starting linebackers. At this point looks like that will be DeMarcus Ware, Bradie James, Akin Ayodele and eventually, if all goes well, Carpenter. That would be 255, 250, 246 and 254. And no munchkins. All at least 6-2, with Ware checking in at 6-4. 

Add it all up, the projected starting linebackers will average 6-2½, 251 pounds - 2½ inches taller and 15 pounds heavier. And that sure won't change much if Singleton starts off at left outside linebacker since he's now 250. 

A serious growth spurt up front. 

Not only that, a youth spurt, if you will. OK, Ferguson is the old man of the starting bunch in the front seven. He'll be 32 just after Thanksgiving. 

But after that, Ayodele is the next oldest. He's going to turn all of 27 when the Cowboys meet Washington the second game of the season. 

And, while we're on this defensive age kick, and since we're not sure of what will happen at free safety, if we look at the other three starters back there, Anthony Henry will be the only other 30-year-old starter, but that won't happen until Nov. 3, two days before the ninth game of the season. 

Now the Cowboys might have one more Thirtysomething starter if veteran Marcus Coleman should win the free safety job. He turns 32 May 24. But if he doesn't, that likely means the free safety is either Keith Davis (27) or Justin Beriault (25 in August) or rookie Pat Watkins (23). 

All meaning the Cowboys have gotten bigger and younger simultaneously on defense, so you would have to admit, health willing, this is a pretty good defensive foundation that's been laid here in just four off-seasons.  

And if compared to 2003, a much more sturdy one, too.     

MICK SHOTS

         
  Here is the good thing about the Cowboys naming Charlie Waters color analyst for this year's radio broadcasts: Not only did he play and coach the game at a high level - remember he was an assistant at the University of Oregon and with the Denver Broncos - his work ethic, even though this is a "part-time" job for him, ensures he will be prepared for his game-day job. 
  Those still wondering why San Antonio next summer instead of Oxnard, Calif., where the Cowboys will stage training camp for a third consecutive year this summer, understand that the land surrounding the practice fields used for parking and all the auxiliary events that go along with training camp will be no more after this summer. Houses, man. 
  When Bill Parcells spoke with second-round pick Anthony Fasano minutes after he was selected, he told the Notre Dame tight end there wouldn't be much transition from the offense he played in college to what the Cowboys will be running this year. And evidently there won't be much change in head-coaching styles going from Charlie Weis to Parcells. "Coach Weis told me last night, 'You didn't really get a new coach,'" Fasano said. "'You got an older version of me.'" 
  The Cowboys now have three players from Notre Dame on the roster: Fasano, Julius Jones and Rocky Boiman . . . . First-round pick Bobby Carpenter had five NFL visits - Cleveland, Miami, New England, New York Jets and Dallas, which was his last . . . . Another thing to remember about Carpenter: Towards the end of this past season, Ohio State started using him in pass-rush situations, putting his hand on the ground at defensive end . . . This is also the fourth consecutive year Parcells has taken a player from LSU. He drafted Bradie James in 2003, Stephen Peterman in 2004, Marcus Spears last year and now Skyler Green. Tiger Bait.  
                   

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