I keep hearing a lot about the needs on the defensive line, but I haven't heard much about addressing the linebackers. With Sean Lee being injury prone and the inconsistent play of the others, doesn't this team need to consider drafting a linebacker or two?
Rowan: It should be a consideration, particularly with the outside linebackers. I don't think there's more of an unknown on the team than what they have at linebacker. Can Sean Lee stay healthy? Will Bruce Carter regain his old form? Will DeVonte Holloman build upon his rookie season and turn into a valuable starter? You could argue there are questions at every spot there, but a first-round middle linebacker would still sit behind Lee. A first-round defensive lineman would start immediately if all went to plan.
David: You aren't wrong. Honestly, there aren't many positions on the defensive side of the ball that would surprise me to see addressed – maybe cornerback. I think the difference is that the Cowboys know they have guys that can play linebacker – they just don't know how well. Assuming Jason Hatcher's time here is done, there are just four defensive tackles on the roster – and only one of those you'd feel good playing as a starter. At defensive end, it's hard to feel overly confident in anyone behind DeMarcus Ware and George Selvie. So yes, there is need at linebacker. But the need on the defensive line is more apparent and immediate.
After watching what Russell Wilson was able to do to complement the Seahawks' defense, it made me wonder if any decent quarterback could win a Super Bowl playing with that defense as a supporting cast? Would Tony Romo be a Super Bowl contender if he had that Seattle defense?
Rowan:I was wondering the same sort of thing, Tim. They always talk about the bus driver quarterbacks – guys that don't have the best stat lines but seem to win because of their star defenses. I see Wilson as a little more than that. He doesn't make game-changing mistakes, which is in line with those "bus driver" quarterbacks, but he also makes big plays and takes calculated risks. It seemed like every one of his 206 passing yards mattered and weren't easily picked up. He's the perfect quarterback for that team. Now, that doesn't mean other [embedded_ad] quarterbacks couldn't do the same. If the teams in the Super Bowl switched quarterbacks, I think the Seahawks still run away with it. Even if Romo were to make a late-game mistake, I think that Seattle defense is stellar enough to put him in position to win a championship.
David: Short answer to the question: yes, I think Tony Romo would have a good shot at winning the Super Bowl if he was getting help from the sport's best defense. That said, I think Wilson is a good bit better than he gets credit for as a quarterback. His career completion percentage is 63.6 percent, his career quarterback rating is over 100. How about 52 career touchdowns to just 19 interceptions? And that doesn't include the multitude of plays he's able to make with his feet – not just as a runner, but in terms of keeping plays alive long enough to turn them into gains. No, he does not bomb away for gaudy yardage totals, but he doesn't really need to, does he? On top of all of that, he just finished his second season in the league. My guess is people will think of him as far more than a "game manager" as his career progresses.