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What separates the 49ers D, from the Cowboys D?
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DaBoys


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Location: J.J. Wilcox fan club headquarters
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:47 pm    Post subject: What separates the 49ers D, from the Cowboys D? Reply with quote

NOTE:Please read the tittle for what it is, and not what you may assume it to be. I am not saying that the Cowboys defense is as good, or better than the 49ers defense. This is not a "Whats he got, that I aint got" question.

It is getting close to draft season, and a lot of our mocks will be heavy defense, outside of the offensive line. In order to get better, I feel one should look at the person having success, and then find out where the two are different. In doing so, you may reveal where you come up short.

So, the top 5 teams that most consider to have the best defenses in the league this year are:

The Steelers
The 49ers
The Broncos
The Seahawks
and The Bears

2 of those 3 teams run a 3-4 defense. They happen to be ranked 1 and 2. I don't want to use the Steelers because we have just defeated them. We have not played the 49ers this year, and I feel, because of this it would be easier to view them from a distance. As in.... on paper.

I am going to throw injuries out the window. When you look to the draft and free agency you typically count on your starters starting, when acquiring players. For example, Bruce Carter and Sean Lee are both injured and the team could really use an ILB for the Skins game. If you looked at all of our needs for the Skins game, ILB would be very near the top of the list. But because we do have Lee and Carter, I don't expect ILB to be near the top of the list when addressing needs in the off season.

I am also going to throw coaching out the window. I think Ryan is a very good defensive coordinator. Does he make mistakes? Who doesn't? The fact that we are even competing with this injury riddled defense is a testament to the motivation that Ryan can give his players. There are times lately when we have struggled getting the correct number of players on the field, but when half of the players just introduced themselves to you, maybe it can be attributed to them not being familiar with a complex scheme, and quick switches. You have to be accustom to a coaches tendency to put a certain package on the field, at a certain time. You also have to be accustom to being ready overall, and familiar with the terminology that means hey you are supposed to be in on this one. Having a new group of guys can make anybody look.... less than good.

Bottom line is I don't think anyone can do a significantly better job than Ryan at this point. I said significantly. I might even change that to significantly significant, just to cover my back.

I will say that, the Cowboys had a much higher ranked defense before the injuries started to occur. Since the injuries, the Cowboys have slipped continuously. So injuries and coaching aside, lets look at our depth charts and find out what the difference is between the 49ers #2 defense and the Dallas Cowboys #19.

Arguably, most important segment of the 3-4 defense, is the 4. Linebackers that is.

Here are the 8 LBs in discussion:

Ahmad Brooks - Anthony Spencer
NaVorro Bowman - Sean Lee
Patrick Willis - Bruce Carter
Aldon Smith - DeMarcus Ware

When I look at those two groups, I don't see that one player has a legitimate advantage over the other respective player. The LBs are a push for me, or very close to it.

The next big part of a 3-4 is the 3. The 3 down linemen. Here is where I can see some big separation for the 49ers.

DT Ray McDonald - Marcus Spears
NT Issaac Sopoaga - Jay Ratliff
DT Justin Smith - Jason Hatcher

Obviously the big difference here, is that the 49ers have... a difference maker. Even though Hatcher has been, by far, our best linemen this year, Justin Smith is lightyears beyond anything Hatcher has ever dreamed of being. Many people credit Justin Smith for what Aldon Smith has been able to accomplish:

El ramster wrote:
Aldon Smith is a beast though Laughing Laughing Laughing


Like I said.. Without Smith Aldon would have 5-7 sacks..


We don't have an explosive DT to help our OLBs like the 49ers do. That to me is the first major difference. I would also venture into the Sopoaga is and has been better than Ratliff, area. I don't know if I would stay there long, but I'll venture. Obviously this year alone won't tell the whole story, so lets go back 4.

Sopoaga 6'2" 330lbs.
Ratliff 6'4" 300lbs.

Sopoaga
2012
9 games started 24 tackles 1 sack


Ratliff
2012
6 games started 10 tackles 0 sacks


Sopoaga
2011
15 games started 31 tackles 0 sacks


Ratliff
2011
16 games started 38 tackles 2 sacks


Sopoaga
2010
16 games started 25 tackles 1.5 sacks


Ratliff
2010
16 games started 31 tackles 3.5 sacks


Sopoaga
2009
16 games started 29 tackles 1 sack


Ratliff
2009
16 games started 40 tackles 6 sack
s

Total:
Sopaga 109 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 56 games started
Ratliff 119 tackles and 11.5 sacks in 54 games started

Okay, you would be hard pressed to convince anyone that Sopoaga has been more productive than Ratliff. I know Rats injuries are frustrating. Just ask Jerry Jones. I am willing to give this year a pass, and say it is the exception and not the rule, due to the fact he has started all 16 games the past 4 years. I know we want Ratliff moved to DT. Would he have a Justin Smith affect? But for the mean time, lets give the edge to the Cowboys, and Jay Ratliff at NT.

Jason Hatcher has played lights out this year. Because Justin Smith is going to crush anybody he is compared to lets compare him to Spears, or Coleman, or whoever is lined up opposite of Hatcher. We will compare Hatcher to Ray McDonald. Mcdonald has been very good in 2011 and 12, which are the only years he has been a starter.

2012
McDonald
15 games started 36 tackles 2.5 sacks


2012
Hatcher
15 games started 44 tackles 4 sacks


2011
McDonald
15 games started 39 tackles 5.5 sack
s

2011
Hatcher
10 games started 28 tackles 4.5 sacks


I feel like Hatcher has out performed McDonlad in both years that McDonald has registered a substantial amount of starts. It has not been incredibly lop sided though and I am prepared to call this a push.

So lets recap the front 7:

OLB - PUSH
ILB - PUSH
ILB - PUSH
OLB - PUSH

DT- Justin Smith
NT - Jay Ratliff
DT - PUSH

Lets move on to the secondary. First the 4 starting corners:

Brandon Carr - Carlos Rodgers
Morris Claiborne - Tarell Brown

I'm going to give the CBs a push. I know that we are biased, and we would much rather have our corners than the 49ers corners. Rodgers and Carr are very comparable stat wise, on paper, and probably equally loved by their respective fan bases. Carr has the slight edge this year on the stat sheet, and Rodgers had it last year. I'll give it a push. Brown is a 6 year vet, and it would be unfair for Claiborne to have to compare to him. That said, Claiborne is near identical on the stat sheet, and I would think he hasn't disappointed to many of us, if we don't think to hard about what we gave to get him. Claiborne also has a much brighter future than Brown, along with near equal production presently. If I couldn't say the CBs are a push I would say the edge goes to Dallas, but because Claiborne is a rookie and Brown has better(very slightly better) stats, I say they are a push.

Now the safeties:

FS Dashon Goldson - Gerald Sensabaugh
SS Donte Whitner - Barry Church

This to me is the biggest difference between the two defenses. Yes, bigger than the line. Dashon Goldson is and has been entirely more productive than our best safety Gerald Sensabaugh. here are their stats for the last 2 years.

Goldson
2011-2012
29 games started 136 tackles, 20 pass deflections, and 9 interceptions


Sensabaugh
2011-2012
30 games started 101 tackles, 6 pass deflections, and 2 interceptions


Obviously you don't want your safeties making a huge amount of tackles because that usually means that you D is getting torched, but the amount of pass deflections and interceptions are very telling. Goldson has a major advantage at FS over Gerald Sensabaugh. Obviously Barry Church didn't get enough playing time to give us a valid sample size. He isn't going to 'win' a comparison against anbody but Danny McCray at this point. Donte Whitner has played very solid at SS for the 49ers the past 2 years. I'm going to give the edge to Whitner. Church started 3 games this year and ended with 6 tackles, 0 interceptions, and 0 pass deflections. In Whitners first 3 games, he had 13 tackles, 0 interceptions, and 1 pass deflection. No matter what way you look at it. Whitner has the advantage.

Final recap:

OLB - PUSH
ILB - PUSH
ILB - PUSH
OLB - PUSH

DT - PUSH
NT - Jay Ratliff
DT - Justin Smith

CB - PUSH
CB - PUSH

FS - Dashon Goldson
SS - Donte Whitner

So by my determination, the Cowboys are one DE and two safeties away from a top 5 defense, when healthy. Or one NT and two safeties away, if we were to get a NT and move Ratliff. Obviously, we need to add depth just like every year, but if we got 2 play making safeties and we were to stay relatively healthy all year, I think we rival a top 5 D.
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Matts4313 wrote:
I agree with daboys, some of you might be insane.

The_Slamman wrote:
Daboys is right.

Texas_OutLaw7 wrote:
BTW, DaBoys wins this thread.


Last edited by DaBoys on Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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THESKINSFAN21


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Willis,A Smith>>>> Spencer,Lee....Not trolling,just saying.
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pierrepet


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the best answer is Justin Smith. When healthy, I think Dallas is only missing a true difference maker on the D line. I like Hatcher and Lissemore but Dallas needs to add a beast up front.
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DaBoys


Joined: 18 Feb 2005
Posts: 3270
Location: J.J. Wilcox fan club headquarters
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THESKINSFAN21 wrote:
Willis,A Smith>>>> Spencer,Lee....Not trolling,just saying.


I will give you Willis over Lee, just because he has done it longer. Willis has been one of the best ILBs in the league for 4-5 years now, where as Lee has only started for the last 2, and only played 6 games this year. I would be hard pressed to convince you that he is better than Willis, so I won't try. But I think Lee(if he can stay on the field) will be one of the greats in due time. I don't see the Cowboys scraping to upgrade Lee and Carter to a Willis Bowman level. A level that may not be any higher. Just for gits and shiggles

Sean lee in 2011
15 games started 105 tackles 7 pass deflections 4 interceptions

Patrick Willis in 2012
15 games started 116 tackles 9 pass deflections 2 interceptions


As you can see, the difference in production isn't as much as their names would suggest.

As for Aldon Smith and Anthony Spencer, sure. That's why if you read the original post is compares Aldon Smith to the player for the Cowboys that shares the same role for the team. That player is DeMarcus Ware. Spencer gets his name compared to Ahmad Brooks. You can fight for that not being a push, if you would like.
_________________

Matts4313 wrote:
I agree with daboys, some of you might be insane.

The_Slamman wrote:
Daboys is right.

Texas_OutLaw7 wrote:
BTW, DaBoys wins this thread.


Last edited by DaBoys on Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rtnldave


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pierrepet wrote:
I think the best answer is Justin Smith. When healthy, I think Dallas is only missing a true difference maker on the D line. I like Hatcher and Lissemore but Dallas needs to add a beast up front.



Been barking up that tree for 3 years now.
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textaz03


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's easy for me, a DE and NT would put this Defense over the top. We need some interior pass rush help! Badly needed!! Ratliff is a shell of his former self, Spears and Coleman are good against the run but really no help in pass rush. One trick pony's. our LB's need some help getting the pressure on and that is the difference between us and 49'ers.

What Justin Smith, JJ Watts, and Haloti Ngata do from the 3-4 end position is what we are missing. That and a big prototypical NT to collapse the pocket and take on the double teams.
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DaBoys


Joined: 18 Feb 2005
Posts: 3270
Location: J.J. Wilcox fan club headquarters
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pierrepet wrote:
I think the best answer is Justin Smith. When healthy, I think Dallas is only missing a true difference maker on the D line. I like Hatcher and Lissemore but Dallas needs to add a beast up front.


I know safeties are not considered a premier position, but the difference in talent between each team, at the safety positions, is astounding. When Ratliff is healthy he is better than Sopoaga, when Justin Smith is healthy he is better than any of our DTs. So, when healthy, each team has an advantage on the line.
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Matts4313 wrote:
I agree with daboys, some of you might be insane.

The_Slamman wrote:
Daboys is right.

Texas_OutLaw7 wrote:
BTW, DaBoys wins this thread.
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DaBoys


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

textaz03 wrote:
It's easy for me, a DE and NT would put this Defense over the top. We need some interior pass rush help! Badly needed!! Ratliff is a shell of his former self, Spears and Coleman are good against the run but really no help in pass rush. One trick pony's. our LB's need some help getting the pressure on and that is the difference between us and 49'ers.

What Justin Smith, JJ Watts, and Haloti Ngata do from the 3-4 end position is what we are missing. That and a big prototypical NT to collapse the pocket and take on the double teams.


I don't know if I would go that far just yet. Will he get cut because of his large contract, combined with injuries? Will he get cut because of his attitude? These are things that are certainly a prospect, but besides this year he has started all 16 games for the previous 4. I am willing to bet this isn't the new trend, despite his age. If he limps around next year then we will have our answer, but 1 injury ridden year out of 5 is not enough to write him off just yet. He isn't very much older than he was last year, and he had 38 tackles and 2 sacks. Those are extremely solid numbers for a 3-4 NT. Better than Sopoagas.'
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Matts4313 wrote:
I agree with daboys, some of you might be insane.

The_Slamman wrote:
Daboys is right.

Texas_OutLaw7 wrote:
BTW, DaBoys wins this thread.
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THESKINSFAN21


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Location: West Palm Beach
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaBoys wrote:
THESKINSFAN21 wrote:
Willis,A Smith>>>> Spencer,Lee....Not trolling,just saying.


I will give you Willis over Lee, just because he has done it longer. Willis has been one of the best ILBs in the league for 4-5 years now, where as Lee has only started for the last 2, and only played 6 games this year. I would be hard pressed to convince you that he is better than Willis, so I won't try. But I think Lee(if he can stay on the field) will be one of the greats in due time. I don't see the Cowboys scraping to upgrade Lee and Carter to a Willis Bowman level. A level that may not be any higher. Just for gits and shiggles

Sean lee in 2011
15 games started 105 tackles 7 pass deflections 4 interceptions

Patrick Willis in 2012
15 games started 116 tackles 9 pass deflections 2 interceptions


As you can see, the difference in production isn't as much as their names would suggest.

As for Aldon Smith and Anthony Spencer, sure. That's why if you read the original post is compares Aldon Smith to the player for the Cowboys that shares the same role for the team. That player is DeMarcus Ware. Spencer gets his name compared to Ahmad Brooks. You can fight for that not being a push, if you would like.

Fletcher will put up better stats than Willis but I dont put them in the same tier. Willis is pure beast.
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THESKINSFAN21


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaBoys wrote:
THESKINSFAN21 wrote:
Willis,A Smith>>>> Spencer,Lee....Not trolling,just saying.


I will give you Willis over Lee, just because he has done it longer. Willis has been one of the best ILBs in the league for 4-5 years now, where as Lee has only started for the last 2, and only played 6 games this year. I would be hard pressed to convince you that he is better than Willis, so I won't try. But I think Lee(if he can stay on the field) will be one of the greats in due time. I don't see the Cowboys scraping to upgrade Lee and Carter to a Willis Bowman level. A level that may not be any higher. Just for gits and shiggles

Sean lee in 2011
15 games started 105 tackles 7 pass deflections 4 interceptions

Patrick Willis in 2012
15 games started 116 tackles 9 pass deflections 2 interceptions


As you can see, the difference in production isn't as much as their names would suggest.

As for Aldon Smith and Anthony Spencer, sure. That's why if you read the original post is compares Aldon Smith to the player for the Cowboys that shares the same role for the team. That player is DeMarcus Ware. Spencer gets his name compared to Ahmad Brooks. You can fight for that not being a push, if you would like.

Fletcher will put up better stats than Willis but I dont put them in the same tier. Willis is pure beast.
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DaBoys


Joined: 18 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THESKINSFAN21 wrote:
DaBoys wrote:
THESKINSFAN21 wrote:
Willis,A Smith>>>> Spencer,Lee....Not trolling,just saying.


I will give you Willis over Lee, just because he has done it longer. Willis has been one of the best ILBs in the league for 4-5 years now, where as Lee has only started for the last 2, and only played 6 games this year. I would be hard pressed to convince you that he is better than Willis, so I won't try. But I think Lee(if he can stay on the field) will be one of the greats in due time. I don't see the Cowboys scraping to upgrade Lee and Carter to a Willis Bowman level. A level that may not be any higher. Just for gits and shiggles

Sean lee in 2011
15 games started 105 tackles 7 pass deflections 4 interceptions

Patrick Willis in 2012
15 games started 116 tackles 9 pass deflections 2 interceptions


As you can see, the difference in production isn't as much as their names would suggest.

As for Aldon Smith and Anthony Spencer, sure. That's why if you read the original post is compares Aldon Smith to the player for the Cowboys that shares the same role for the team. That player is DeMarcus Ware. Spencer gets his name compared to Ahmad Brooks. You can fight for that not being a push, if you would like.

Fletcher will put up better stats than Willis but I dont put them in the same tier. Willis is pure beast.


I understand that. There are a lot of passive agents that go into that though. For instance, what Fletcher has been able to do at the age of 37 is nothing short of remarkable. Willis may not be in the league in 10 years, much less doing what Fletcher is.
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Matts4313 wrote:
I agree with daboys, some of you might be insane.

The_Slamman wrote:
Daboys is right.

Texas_OutLaw7 wrote:
BTW, DaBoys wins this thread.
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Texas_OutLaw7


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest thing is the Defensive Line.

I actually think our secondary (as a whole) is better than the 49ers and I think our LB unit is pretty even. We have the best OLB combo, they have the best ILB combo. We have pretty good ILB. They have pretty good OLB.

DL they kill us.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Texas_OutLaw7 wrote:
The biggest thing is the Defensive Line.

I actually think our secondary (as a whole) is better than the 49ers and I think our LB unit is pretty even. We have the best OLB combo, they have the best ILB combo. We have pretty good ILB. They have pretty good OLB.

DL they kill us.


You really believe that Chruch and Sensabaugh rival Goldson and Whitner? I can see us having a slight edge at corner right now. The edge we have may just grow bigger in time, but right it is slight. Our safeties, though, are nothing compared to theirs.
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Matts4313 wrote:
I agree with daboys, some of you might be insane.

The_Slamman wrote:
Daboys is right.

Texas_OutLaw7 wrote:
BTW, DaBoys wins this thread.
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Texas_OutLaw7


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaBoys wrote:
Texas_OutLaw7 wrote:
The biggest thing is the Defensive Line.

I actually think our secondary (as a whole) is better than the 49ers and I think our LB unit is pretty even. We have the best OLB combo, they have the best ILB combo. We have pretty good ILB. They have pretty good OLB.

DL they kill us.


You really believe that Chruch and Sensabaugh rival Goldson and Whitner? I can see us having a slight edge at corner right now. The edge we have may just grow bigger in time, but right it is slight. Our safeties, though, are nothing compared to theirs.


God no. Their Safeties laugh at ours. However our Corners trounce theirs. Even with a rookie. Our 4 Deep is outstanding.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaBoys wrote:
pierrepet wrote:
I think the best answer is Justin Smith. When healthy, I think Dallas is only missing a true difference maker on the D line. I like Hatcher and Lissemore but Dallas needs to add a beast up front.


I know safeties are not considered a premier position, but the difference in talent between each team, at the safety positions, is astounding. When Ratliff is healthy he is better than Sopoaga, when Justin Smith is healthy he is better than any of our DTs. So, when healthy, each team has an advantage on the line.


I disagree. Maybe a few years ago ratliff was, but not anymore...and i dont think its even close. Move Rat to end and draft one of the high caliber nose tackles in this years draft. Depending where you look there are currently 3 or 4 nose tackles projected to go first round this year....we must snag one of these.
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