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Star-Telegram: Cowboys want secondary to make more plays


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CARROLLTON — When the Dallas Cowboys’ coaching staff finished grading the secondary, the best cornerback on the team was a player who appeared in nine games, and had more hotel fights (1) than interceptions (0).

Adam "Pacman" Jones was, according to the coaches’ grades, the most productive cornerback on the 2008 Dallas Cowboys. He’s no longer on the team.:rotflmao:

What was thought to be an area of considerable depth and strength last season never developed, and instead turned into a unit that was more about development.

The Cowboys’ pass defense ranked fifth in the NFL last season, but was lacking in one vital department

"Plays," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said of what he expects his secondary to contribute this season. "I’d like to see some turnovers out of them."

There weren’t many of those last season. The Cowboys ranked 30th in the NFL in interceptions.

From dumping veterans and Pro Bowlers to the talented but troubled, no area will look as dramatically different as the secondary.

Left cornerback

2008: Terence Newman. 2009: Terence Newman.

Injuries limited the Pro Bowler to 10 games, but he had four interceptions. When healthy he is the team’s best cornerback on either side.

Right cornerback

2008: Anthony Henry. 2009: Mike Jenkins.

Age and injury finally caught Henry, who was traded to the Detroit Lions in the off-season. Jenkins, a 2008 first-round pick, suffered through an erratic rookie year and will have to earn his starting slot.

Nickel back

2008: Pacman Jones. 2009: Orlando Scandrick.

Jones was cut. Scandrick might have been the team’s biggest rookie surprise last season. A fifth-round pick, he never looked lost and played in all 16 games, and had four passes defended. He demonstrated the ability to play the slot, and could be a starter by Week 1.

Strong safety

2008: Roy Williams. 2009: Gerald Sensabaugh.

The Cowboys cut the former Pro Bowler Williams, and signed the more cover-oriented Sensabaugh away from the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is not as strong in the run game as Williams, but his coverage skills will allow the Cowboys to do a few more things scheme-wise.

Free safety

2008: Ken Hamlin. 2009: Ken Hamlin.

No one Cowboy dropped quite as much in ’08 as Hamlin. He went from 15 passes defended to two, and five interceptions to one. The Cowboys need him to return to the playmaker he was in ’07 when he was a Pro Bowler.

Primary backups

2008: Mike Jenkins, Alan Ball, Courtney Brown, Keith Davis, Tra Battle, Pat Watkins. 2009: Ball, Brown, Jerome Carter, Michael Hamlin, Michael Hawkins, Mike Mickens, DeAngelo Smith, Pat Watkins.

This is all about development; Ball might play at safety, and the Cowboys are hopeful Mickens will develop into a solid nickel cornerback.

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Well, by dropping PACMan, the pukes actually 'add through subtraction', again! :rotflmao:

Here's a little secret: Hamlin peaked two years ago, got paid handsomely, and is not back to the mediocre play that made him so famous in Seattle.

Oh, and Newman? His nickname should be 'Spread', because it goes so well with toast.

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Cut TO so Romo sits to pee won't feel awkward: Check

Cut Greg Ellis because he's always whining about money: Check

Cut Tank Johnson because he isn't a team player: Check

Re-sign a sociopath because he hasn't broken a beer bottle over any ones head in ohhhh... the last 6 weeks and because he was your best CB last year: Check, check and check.

Nope, nothing inconsistent about that. Championship!

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