Found October 11, 2012 on 60 Max Power O:
The 2nd in our two-part series, working to assign grades to each respective unit. Make sure to check out the offensive grades here  and let us know how we did!

Defensive Line: B

These guys have looked good so far, and that's without all-pro NT Jay Ratliff. Players like Jason Hatcher, Tyrone Crawford, Sean Lissemore, and Josh Brent have all made a name for themselves throughout Cowboys nation. Rob Ryan has a solid rotation of fresh legs to throw in there at any given point. Sure, nobody is putting up sack numbers like J.J. Watt is, but he's a freak.

With the addition of the most talented player of the unit (Ratliff), this group should continue to improve. It will be interesting to see if Crawford's looks continue to increase with the return of Kenyon Coleman from injury as well. 

Linebackers: A-

The linebacking core has been one of the strongest units on the team, both inside and out. Anthony Spencer has settled into his role comfortably, and is playing like a top-tier run stuffer opposite Demarcus Ware. Ware has been fierce and up to his usual tactics, making big plays and strip-sacks like it's nothing. Both players could begin to receive some pro-bowl buzz if they keep up their production. 

On the inside, Bruce Carter has been a revelation. The team signed Dan Connor this offseason in case Carter wasn't ready yet, and Connor's lack of defensive reps prove that that wasn't the case. He looks fast and strong in both coverage and run-stuffing. Haven't seen a whole lot from him in pass-rushing, but that's because he's usually the player subbed out during passing downs. Oh yea, and Sean Lee is incredible. He leads the team in tackles, interceptions, and general bad-assery. Seemingly every play he is somewhere near the ball and making a play. At this rate, Lee will likely surpass Ware as the Cowboys best defensive player by year end. 

Cornerbacks: B

This grade should be higher, except for the lack of one very important statistic: turnovers. The combination of Carr and Claiborne have looked like a major upgrade over last year's group. Opposing teams cannot simply throw the ball all over the field at will as they've done in years past. Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick have also played well in support of the two starters. 

If they can start coming down with the ball, the cornerbacks will overtake the LBs as the MVP's of the defense. Carr and Claiborne are two guys that can make things happen with the ball; now all they need to do is start catching it. 

Safeties: B-

The safeties have been an interesting group so far. They haven't played bad, but nobody has really played great either. The loss of Barry Church will effect this team, but it will take time before we know how much. Danny McCray and Mike Jenkins will likely get the chance to fill his role, and will need to be playmakers when called upon. 

Gerald Sensabaugh, while not great, is still a good safety. He is usually in the right position and makes good plays on the ball. As long as he can stay healthy he will play a large part in compensating for Church as well. We also need to see some interceptions and game-changing plays from this group as well. If they can do that, this grade will continue to rise. 

Coaching: B+

The Cowboys' identity as a team has seen a transformational shift from an offensive to a defensive-based team. With the excess of talent on the defensive side of the ball, it's fun to see what Rob Ryan can do with good players. While the lack of blitzing in Seattle was a head-scratcher, the rest of the game plans have been well-designed and well-executed. It's nice to have a good, rock-solid defense in Dallas again, and we have Rob Ryan to thank for that. 

Going forward, this unit will need to continue to win this team games. The offense has shown that they're not going to outscore pretty much anyone, so the pressure will be on to make plays every single game. With the likes of Demarcus Ware, Sean Lee, and Brandon Carr, we feel pretty comfortable saying they'll continue to make those plays. 

How'd we do? Let us know!!

 



Check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Big Game For The Cowboys Against Ravens In Week 6

Things are not looking good for the Tony Romo led Dallas Cowboys this year.  Many believed that they would be the team to beat in the NFC East this year, but that does not look to be the case as they are already 2-2.  They have a really tough game this week in Baltimore against the Ravens and look like they will need everything they have to get the win. One of the biggest reasons...

Is RG Mackenzy Bernadeau on a Short Leash?

Well, we’ve been waiting for some roster changes, and the only significant one was the activation of RB Lance Dunbar to the 53-man squad. We all know this is to see if Dunbar can be more productive than 1st round bust Felix Jones. What we really wanted to see was a change at RG. Mackenzy Bernadeau has been a free agent bust, you can mark this up as the same category as Marcellus...

Troy Aikman says Dallas Cowboy fans go to games to be seen

When Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones built his billion dollar plus playpen, many skeptics felt it would ruin the team’s home field advantage. Well according to Cowboy legend and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, the fans might be the blame for lack of a stadium advantage. Aikman told the Dallas Morning News that now and when he played, there was no home field advantage.  don’t think...

2012 fantasy football start/sit week 6

Here’s a look at LestersLegends sit and start advice as you set your lineups for the sixth week of the 2012 NFL season..QuarterbacksStart: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers: He’s coming off a win in which he threw for 207 yards without a touchdown. He threw multiple touchdown passes in the first three games. Mendenhall (knee) is back so it should be a more balanced attack...

Cowboys simplifying Romo's responsibilities

IRVING, Texas Bill Callahan said Thursday that the Cowboys coaching staff has talked recently about lightening the load on Tony Romo. The Cowboys offensive coordinator and offensive line coach said the staff is trying to simplify Romo's duties at the line of scrimmage before each snap. "Simplifying not only the play-call but what we're doing within the realm of the...

Offensive frustrations high for the Cowboys

Until further notice, the Cowboys main concern for their offense is to solve their issue in running the ball out of base-offense situations. That means, with a QB under center, can they run the ball on 1st and 10 and 2nd and 5-9 to a point where they are not "falling behind the chains" as the coach likes to say. It is vital to figure this issue out, and since so many of...

Dallas Cowboys: No Super Bowl Trophies For Jerry Jones

I was thinking back to 1997 and trying to recall why I was so upset with Dallas Cowboy Head Coach Barry Switzer. I mean he was the spirit and soul of my proud Oklahoma Nation and his resume is definitely a "Top Ten" collegiate coach in the history of the NCAA.Then I realized that it wasn't Coach Switzer that I was angry with nor his stupid antics like boarding a plane...

Terrell Owens on the Jets, Tebow, Sanchez and Romo

It’s on the record that Players View feels that Terrell Owens can still play. There is also the feeling that he creates these weird stumbling blocks for himself that for instance kept him from making the grade in Seattle. In looking at the film that he generated as a Seahawk he had no problem getting open which is why he was targeted so much. He just dropped crucial catches.When...

Miles Austin Probable For Week 6

Cowboys wideout Miles Austin is dealing with a hamstring injury, but is listed as probable for Sunday's game against Baltimore.Fantasy Spin:Austin was never in danger of missing the game, but it is always worrisome when a speed receiver has a leg injury.

Lawrence Vickers isn’t scared of Ray Lewis

Dallas Cowboys fullback Lawrence Vickers told the media that he isn’t scared of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, or any team in the NFL for that matter.“You see me. I stay ready for whoever,” Vickers said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Names don’t scare me, man. Teams don’t scare me. I’m a man before anything. So I let other men just talk. See me in between those lines...

Ray Lewis plans on reaching out to Dez Bryant

According to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis plans on reaching out to Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant to possibly offer him some leadership and advice.There’s no doubt that Bryant has a ton of talent. The only problem is that it seems like the Cowboys can’t get him to tap into it the way he needs to so he can fulfill...

Jerry Jones: the NFL’s new Al Davis

Jerry Jones is the owner of the Dallas Cowboys and since he owns ‘America’s team’, Jerry is ‘America’s owner’ as the boss of the franchise. However Jerry Jones is starting to become known as the new Al Davis of the NFL with seemingly too hands of an approach. The late Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis was famous for having a successful football team that won three Super...

Behind enemy lines: Cowboys Q&As

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and quarterback Tony Romo offered their thoughts on traveling to Baltimore to take on the Ravens this Sunday.

Dallas has to go through Baltimore to get back on track...

It's a tough matchup because both teams are coming off games which left them questioning just how good is the sum of their parts...Questions of faith abound for both the 'Boys and the Ravens...not of a spiritual nature, of course, but of a tactical and personnel nature.The last time the Dallas Cowboys took the field, quarterback Tony Romo threw five interceptions and they...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.