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Rank these IDP LBs (1 Viewer)

Beaumont

Footballguy
Barrett Green

Bradie James

Daryl Smith

Dontarrious Thomas

Jeff Ulbrich

Courtney Watson

Demorrio Williams

Al Wilson
Al WilsonJeff Ulbrich

Courtney Watson

Daryl Smith

Dontarrious Thomas

Barrett Green

Demo Williams

Bradie James

 

RAPTURE

Footballguy
I'll take a crack at it:1. Al Wilson2. Daryl Smith3. Courtney Watson4. Dontarrious Thomas5. Bradie James6. Jeff Ulbrich 7. Demorrio Williams8. Barrett GreenI would interchange Thomas (4) & James (5) once James is officially announced the ILB for Dallas. I don't like the mess at LB for the Vikes with the likes of S. Cowart & EJ Henderson. I believe B. James is going under the radar a little and you have to think Parcels will give him the opportunity to justify his 3rd round pick two years ago.RAPTURE

 

Big Log

Footballguy
Al WilsonDaryl SmithCourtney WatsonJeff UlbrichDontarrious ThomasDemorrio WilliamsBradie JamesBarrett Green

 

RAPTURE

Footballguy
Beaumont, we see eye-to-eye on most events but I guess we are a litte indifferent about this topic.Ware will be playing the outside LB "Tweener" position for the Cowboys and I would bet that Burnett does not even sniff the field unless it's on special teams. The only person who worries me a little is Shanle who did show some potential last year.I don't know what all the hype is with Ulbrich. You have Derek Smith playing inside (w/ Ulbrich) and Peterson is a ball hawk who is all over the field. I think he (Ulbrich) will put up his usual minimal stats this year. Let's someone else take a flier on the guy and worry about the headache.RAPTURE

 

Beaumont

Footballguy
Beaumont, we see eye-to-eye on most events but I guess we are a litte indifferent about this topic.

Ware will be playing the outside LB "Tweener" position for the Cowboys and I would bet that Burnett does not even sniff the field unless it's on special teams. The only person who worries me a little is Shanle who did show some potential last year.

I don't know what all the hype is with Ulbrich. You have Derek Smith playing inside (w/ Ulbrich) and Peterson is a ball hawk who is all over the field. I think he (Ulbrich) will put up his usual minimal stats this year. Let's someone else take a flier on the guy and worry about the headache.

RAPTURE
I do not claim any in depth 'Boys knowledge ... I do recall seeing discussions on the Cowboyzone about how Bill talks James up pre-season and then he does not see the field much, and how he was locked in a struggle with Shanle for PT and struggled with his assignments ...Simplistically, I worry about Burnett and Ware also needing to see PT in a 4-3, which makes me wonder about James PT ... I acknowledge that Ware will not take his PT in the 3-4 ...

Ulbrich on the other hand has a history of laying down some good tackle numbers, on a D that will see the field a whole lot ... they dont have anyone barking at his job ...

Just my 2 cents ...

You may be right about James, I just see a lot more risk there than with Ulbrich ...

 

Beaumont

Footballguy
Dallas Cowboys.com's take:

Successfully Switching To 3-4 No Easy Task

By Nick Eatman

DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer

July 27, 2005, 5:18 PM (CDT)

IRVING, Texas - When Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells takes the podium Friday for the camp-opening press conference in Oxnard, Calif., he will face some predictable questions.

Parcells will be asked to elaborate on the position battles, always a hot topic for training camp. Parcells will be asked to name a few young players he thinks have a chance to make the team.

And without a doubt, he'll be asked what are the top goals he wants to accomplish during this training camp.

There might be five or six, maybe even a dozen things on his to-do list, but one of them likely will stand out above all the rest:

Getting this defense ready to play the 3-4.

Sure, it's been talked about all summer. It's been considered the worst-kept secret for a while, and now it's not so much a secret anymore. Even Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is calling his unit a "3-4 defense" and said he expects be in the scheme for the majority of snaps. Even Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is calling his unit a "3-4 defense," and said he expects to be in the scheme the majority of snaps.

OK, that's fine. The Cowboys are a 3-4 defense. That hasn't been too hard to determine.

But what might not be so easy is making a successful transition from their base 4-3 defense to the 3-4 in time for the start of the season. And that's why Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said this year's training camp could be as important a training camp, if not more so, than any other he can recall.

"We need to have the best camp because we're changing some schemes on defense and because we've got some new people on offense," Jones said. "We need to have the best camp we've ever had. We've had the best off-season that I've ever seen with the Cowboys. But we need to have our best camp."

So just what constitutes having the best camp?

Obviously, the Cowboys want to keep their injuries to a minimum and avoid any season-ending setbacks, especially before they even play a game. But Jones is talking about getting everyone on the same page defensively.

That means, players like Greg Ellis, La'Roi Glover and Dat Nguyen - players who have more than proven themselves in the 4-3 scheme - must adapt quickly to the new alignment. Remember, they are the leaders. The younger players look up to them, so those three, along with a few other veterans must make the transition quickly.

Glover has played some nose tackle in the 3-4 while with the Saints, but he knows his 280 pounds are better suited for playing defensive tackle in the 4-3. And Glover has said he won't be too excited about backing up Jason Ferguson at nose tackle, something he did during the veteran mini-camp this past May.

But make no mistake, Glover will play and have a definite role on this team. He's too good a player not to play significant minutes. Parcells has no intention of making the five-time Pro Bowler a backup, but does want to role back the number of snaps for Glover, and Ellis, too, by about 15 to 20 percent. Seeing that they were playing at least 90 percent of the defensive snaps during the second half of last season, this reduction should keep them fresher for fourth quarters and season's end.

As for Ellis, his situation is a tad different. The veteran defensive end has expressed his concern with the new scheme, which has him still playing defensive end, but on the right side, not the left. There is a catch, though. In the 3-4, the defensive ends play more head up or slightly inside the offensive tackles. Those guys normally check in around 300 pounds, big enough to withstand double teams from guards and tackles.

But Ellis weighs 271 pounds, and he's concerned he will get overpowered in this new scheme, although he did just fine on the strong side, handling the double teams of tackles and tight ends in the running game. Parcells seems to think he can adequately handle the new position in the new scheme.

As for Nguyen, unlike Glover or Ellis, he shouldn't have much problem fitting into the new scheme. While he's been the middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme since arriving in Dallas in 1999, Nguyen has plenty of experience in the 3-4 from his collegiate days at Texas A&M .

Parcells must think so, too. Remember, the Cowboys had no interest in trading last year's leading tackler this off-season to the Saints, who inquired about him in April during those Darren Howard trade talks that eventually dissipated.

Part of the reason, though, for passing on Howard was what the Cowboys had in mind for the 2005 draft. They intended to, and did basically select two defensive ends in the first round, Demarcus Ware from Troy University and Marcus Spears of LSU - both hand-picked by Parcells to fit in his new 3-4 scheme.

"I think I'll be comfortable in either one," Spears said during the last mini-camp. "We're doing a lot of 3-4 right now and we played that in college. You have to adjust a little bit, but not a whole lot. Right now, I'm just ready to play wherever they need me. If it's 4-3, that's fine. But if it's 3-4, I can do that. I really don't have a problem with either one."

And the Cowboys never figured Spears would have a problem. Not only is he versatile enough to play both schemes, his personality, at least from what's been seen so far, doesn't seem to be that of a complainer.

Now the adjustment to the 3-4 will be a little tougher for Ware, who played the right defensive end spot in a 4-3 at Troy. Ware rarely played standing up, and did not have to worry about covering tight ends and backs on passing routes. His main objective was rushing the quarterback.

But playing outside linebacker in the 3-4 requires him to do more than just that, and Parcells evaluated Ware as versatile enough to handle all those responsibilities. In fact, he doesn't like the idea of the 251-pound Ware simply lining up at defensive end in a 4-3 scheme over 300-pound tackles 60 times a game.

How quickly Ware can adjust to playing linebacker on the right side of a 3-4 defense will go a long way in determining just how successful the Cowboys will be at making this transition. But make no mistake, Ware will play. Even though he was working behind Kalen Thornton at the mini-camps, teams don't draft a guy with the 11th overall pick and hand him contract to sit - especially behind a rookie free agent from the previous season who rarely played.

As big a chore as helping Ware make this transition might be filling out the other two linebacker spots in the 3-4, assuming Nguyen is penciled in at one of the middle spots and Ware on the right side. That leaves the other middle spot and the left side to fill.

Veteran Al Singleton likely is the early favorite to start at left outside linebacker. But he should get significant competition from second-round draft choice Kevin Burnett and veteran defensive end Eric Ogbogu, who is being moved to linebacker.

The other middle spot next to Nguyen is really up for grabs with no battle-tested veteran available. This could turn into a four-man competition between Scott Shanle, Bradie James, Ryan Fowler and Keith O'Neil. Shanle was taking the first set of snaps during the mini-camp, followed by James.

And all this doesn't even account for creating some depth on the defensive line, where the Cowboys must find out if fourth-round pick Chris Canty is physically ready to play, and just how Kenyon Coleman and Leo Carson will fit in.

See, there indeed is a lot of work involved in making this defensive switch. If it were as simple as pulling a lineman off the field and adding a linebacker, teams would transition between the two defenses every other down.

So while figuring out who will be the starting free safety or right tackle, or even the backup quarterback, are all nice camp stories, none are more significant than how this defense adjusts to the 3-4 defense.

Because if the Cowboys can't, nothing else is going to matter.

 

RAPTURE

Footballguy
Thanks for the info Beaumont....very good read!Basically, I see it as a battle between Shanle & James for the inside job next Nguyen. Both players were drafted in 2003, where Shanle was drafted by the Packers in the 7th round and James being drafted by the Cowboys in the 4th round.Overall, I like B. James chances of unseating (which is really not the case) Shanle for the job come week 1. I believe Parcels does not want to give James the starting job from day one, which means James is going to have to show Parcels & the front office reps he is a proven commodity and not a liability to the defense.From a measurments standpoint, Shanle can not touch James....then again, it's how you play on the field that counts.RAPTURE

 

Weiner Dog

Footballguy
Thanks for the info Beaumont....very good read!

Basically, I see it as a battle between Shanle & James for the inside job next Nguyen. Both players were drafted in 2003, where Shanle was drafted by the Packers in the 7th round and James being drafted by the Cowboys in the 4th round.

Overall, I like B. James chances of unseating (which is really not the case) Shanle for the job come week 1. I believe Parcels does not want to give James the starting job from day one, which means James is going to have to show Parcels & the front office reps he is a proven commodity and not a liability to the defense.

From a measurments standpoint, Shanle can not touch James....then again, it's how you play on the field that counts.

RAPTURE
Cowboys | Two to Compete for One Inside SpotSat, 30 Jul 2005 21:40:55 -0700

Rob Phillips, of DallasCowboys.com, reports Dallas Cowboys LBs Bradie James and Scott Shanle will compete for one starting spot at inside linebacker. At practice Saturday, July 30, James practiced with the first team defense and Shanle the second team defense.

 

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