Well you know you are getting older when the rookies call you sir and you know you are getting too old when the coaches do.
Aging is a fact of life that we all must eventually face and it is time for the Cowboys to face reality.
Last year the Dallas Cowboys had a youth movement for the offense particularly on their offensive line. It was over due and while there were some growing pains during the season, it has been for the good as the future looks bright on offense.
But how about on the defensive side of the ball? Did you realize the Cowboys are one of the oldest defenses in the NFL? The Cowboys defense ranks 4th in age on defense. This is one time where being near the top isn’t a good thing. It’s kind of like living in a state that ranks 4th in domestic violence. Not good.
Only the Steelers, Rams, and Cardinals have older defenses than Dallas. Of those teams, the Rams were awful last year, the Cardinals 8-8 but no playoffs, and the Steelers were a wild card team that had a disappointing finish when knocked out by Tebow and the Broncos in the first round.
While younger doesn’t necessarily mean better, there are teams that are young and play very good defense. The Texans and 49ers are two of the younger teams in the league on defense and they rank at the top in team defense.
The Cowboys have six players on defense who are in their 30s which puts them right at the top in this dubious category: Brooking, Coleman, Ratliff, Newman, James, and Elam are all in their 30s. While I don’t expect all of these guys to be on the team next year, I don’t expect them all to be replaced either. Currently, the Cowboys only have two defensive players on the roster who were rookies last year, Albright and Carter.
The best way to add youth and energy to a defense is through the draft and that is why I look for the Cowboys to have an emphasis on drafting defensive players in the upcoming draft. Some mock drafts have the Cowboys drafting an offensive guard with the first pick but in my view, the Cowboys must start the replenishing process on defense and that valuable first pick would be a good place to start.