save him moving expenses. They obviously think the combination of the two, plus the return of Justin Beriault, can get them by at free safety. And, Sunday is another day, the Cowboys owning now six more picks.
So that then brings us to outside linebacker, especially on the left side. Who you got? Al Singleton. OK, fine, even though he's turning 31 and missed half the season last year with a broken clavicle. And after that? Come on, who?
Kevin Burnett? Hey, he will barely be ready for training camp, or did you forget he tore his ACL the last week of the regular season. Plus, he last played on the right side behind Ware.
OK, anyone else? Oh, Kalen Thornton. Anyone remember he didn't play last year, undergoing knee surgery to regenerate cartilage before the season even began.
So, Carpenter. Just makes so much sense. Because if you are going to play a 3-4 defense, and Jones says this is not some passing fancy, that the 3-4 is here to stay regardless of how long Parcells stays, then you had better have two stud linebackers on the outside. Hey, make that four - two more in the middle.
Isn't that how Pittsburgh got to the Super Bowl? Riding those linebackers in the 3-4 defense? Why those guys were so active, it seemed liked they were playing with six linebackers out there. They were all over the place, and so versatile, there were times the Steelers played with only two down linemen.
So look at the unit the Cowboys are building. Ware and Carpenter on the outside, with Burnett the swing guy and Singleton a potential bridge to Carpenter if he isn't ready to start the season. But as Jones said, he expects Carpenter to start, and would be disappointed if he wasn't ready to start early in the season.
Then there is Bradie James in the middle, along with Akin Ayodele. That will give the Cowboys some size, but two guys who can run. Thornton is the wild card, with Scott Shanle and Ryan Fowler providing depth in the middle.
This is more like it. This is more of what Parcells probably pictured when he was transitioning the Cowboys to a 3-4 defense. Attack linebackers. Guy who can run. Guys who are versatile. Guys who will keep the offenses guessing, not knowing where the attack is coming from or when.
So in two consecutive drafts, the Cowboys have basically remade this defense. They put Ware on the right side. Put Marcus Spears and Chris Canty at the two defensive end spots, vital to making the 3-4 work. They put Ayodele in the middle. And now, they put Carpenter on the left side, plus have added the likes of Jason Ferguson, Jay Ratliff, Thomas Johnson and this 6-6, 294-pound Jason Hatcher, a defensive end from Grambling in the third.
And believe me, Greg Ellis isn't going anywhere any time soon.
Now we're talking defense. Now we're talking, big, young, versatile guys.
But remember, none of this works without the stud pass rusher. That's Ware. And none of this works without the run-stopper on the left side. That's Carpenter, maybe the final piece to this front-seven puzzle.
Funny how the day started. About 9:30 a.m., while chit-chatting with Mike Zimmer outside the war room, Jones came whistling by, getting ready to enter the scouting department, when he looked at Zim and smiled, saying, "No defensive players today."
Yeah, right Jerry. Even we could see this coming a mile away.