What we saw in 2010 were the record number of yards and points allowed by the Dallas Cowboys' defense. We remember the eye-popping, heart-gouging 33 passing touchdowns surrendered.
Apparently owner Jerry Jones saw something different. Either that, or the Cowboys have their eye on a cornerback in the NFL Draft and he's pulling the old trick 'em dick 'em smokescreen.
Because at this week's Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Alabama Jones said he still believes in corners Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman. And yesterday, after saying he didn't feel as negatively about his duo as most, Jones reiterated his surprising stance.
"I stand by that regardless of what other people thought," Jones said. He also hinted that new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's evaluation of Newman and Jenkins is positive.
What are we missing?
Though he did play through abdominal and ankle injuries, Newman was bad. And, given that he was coming off a Pro Bowl season, Jenkins was worse. Off the top of my head, it was Newman who got beat deep after Roy Williams' late-game fumble against the Saints and it was Jenkins who led the NFL in cornerback penalties and who, for the second time in his career, totally quit on a tackle, this one against the Packers on that franchise-changing night in Green Bay.
The Cowboys need an offensive linemen. Or two. They're also desperate for a play-making safety. But most of the early mock drafts have the Cowboys, with the No. 9 pick, selecting Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara. LSU's Patrick Peterson is also a Top 10 prospect.
Ryan improved the pass defenses in Oakland and Cleveland, in part, by playing more aggressively with his corners. They played more press coverage at the line of scrimmage and often blitzed off the corner.
I like the philosophy. I'm just not sure Jenkins and Newman are the right players.
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