By Ron Morgan
Corsicana Daily Sun
My backyard and the Cowboys’ defense share a lot in common: We’re both up poop creek, one figuratively and the other literally.
Let me explain. Late last Friday afternoon, my doorbell rang. When I answered it, no one was there, but there was a letter from the city. It informed me that a lift station had malfunctioned in Westlake, and 200,000 gallons of sewage had been released into the creek that makes the rear boundary of my backyard.
There was a distinct odor back there, but it wasn’t nearly as strong as the odor that came from the Dallas defense as they watched Peyton Manning and Knowshon Moreno run up and down the field at AT&T Stadium. Knowshon ran downhill for the Broncos about as fast as the refuse containing Jonas Brothers’ DNA ran through my backyard.
There is one huge difference, however. The City of Westlake spent days pumping water out of my creek and the pond across the street. They solved the problem. Jerry won’t be able to drain the cesspool that is the Cowboy defense for a long time. Oh, they cut safety Will Allen this week, but that solved nothing. Allen had been supplanted two weeks ago as a starter by third round selection J.J. Wilcox.
Immediately after the draft, Jerry defended the decision not to draft any defensive linemen by saying that they were quite satisfied with their depth on the defensive line. So, where did all that depth go? I’m glad you asked.
Anthony Spencer didn’t play during training camp because of a knee problem. He got in a few snaps in Game Two before going on IR and having micro fracture knee surgery. Presumed starter Tyrone Crawford, who had played very little since being drafted, is on IR, and has been since the start of camp. Undrafted but surprising Aggie rookie Ben Bass played well before going on season ending injured reserve at the end of camp.
If you surprised to find out that Tyrone Crawford was penciled in as a starter, it was because has-been Jay Ratliff has been out since last fall, and won’t be back until later this month (if you still believe in the tooth fairy).
Oh, surely you remember part-time starter and solid contributor Sean Lissimore. Right before the regular season, the Cowboys decided he didn’t fit the Tampa 2 scheme and traded him to San Diego for a future 7th round pick.
So, your starters have been, Demarcus Ware (who is suffering from several injuries and is playing at about 60%), Jason Hatcher, Nick Hayden and George Selvie. You remember Jason Hatcher. He has been around several seasons without cracking the starting lineup. George Selvie spent last season selling lumber and Nick Hayden watched NFL football from his couch in 2012.
They are backed up by David Carter, Edgar Jones, Drake Nevis and Caesar Rayford. I could have told you that Carter, Jones, Nevis and Rayford was a law firm in downtown Dallas next door to Dewey Cheatem and Howe, and you’d have never known the difference. I think Jerry may have found them on QVC (a buy one, get one free deal).
Remember when Jerry traded up to the 6th pick in the draft to take Mo Claiborne? He has lost his starting cornerback spot to perennial backup Orlando Scandrick. Third round pick of three seasons ago, Bruce Carter, a supposed bedrock player for Monte Kiffin’s 4-3 has been replaced by the pick from Door Number Three, Ernie Sims. At safety, Wilcox is a “can’t get any worse” starter. Selvie, Hayden and Hatcher after decent starts to the season, have either run out of gas or been exposed on video for what they are.
After a little disinfecting and a good rain, my creek will be back to running just like it had before. The turtles will return along with the little fish (and I’m hoping the coyotes were so disgusted that they’ve left for greener pastures). Lysol and rain won’t help the Cowboy defense. I’m afraid that stench will be around for at least another eleven games.
So, just what is the biggest difference between me and the Dallas Cowboys defense? Well, I have a paddle.