So, here it is.
Cowlishaw examines the Cowboys defensive hope …
As San Diego's defensive coordinator last season, Phillips watched his team sack opposing quarterbacks a league-leading 61 times. And it wasn't all about having league leader Shawne Merriman on board.
Take away his 17 sacks – and that's a heck of a lot to take away – and the Chargers still would have ranked fourth in sacks.
Take away his 17 sacks, and the Chargers still dump the quarterback 10 more times than the Cowboys in 2006.
Forget the Chargers' 61 sacks. The Cowboys haven't had a 40-sack season since 1994.
In Dave Wannstedt's and Dave Campo's and Mike Zimmer's schemes, the emphasis was more on preventing the big play than creating havoc. That was true even after defensive guru Bill Parcells came to Dallas.
And a 40-sack season is really no big deal. Each year close to half the league gets to that figure. In the 12 years since the Cowboys had their last 40-sack season, 25 teams have had at least four of them.
The Philadelphia Eagles have had nine. That's one reason the Eagles have been to the playoffs seven times during that stretch.
In today's game, it's all about pressure on the quarterback. Those that get it on defense and those that avoid it on offense are your winners.
One guy I have high hopes for is Bobby Carpenter. I still believe he will be an explosive player despite a disappointing 2006, and I believe 2007 will be much different.
Here is a feature from the DMN on Carpenter …
Carpenter started once in 2006, the regular-season finale, and finished the year with 11 tackles and 1 ½ sacks, hardly what he expected coming out of Ohio State, where he had two 11-tackle games as a senior.
He didn't have his breakout game with the Cowboys until the playoff loss at Seattle, when he had five tackles, a stop for a loss and three pass deflections.
"I wanted to keep playing," Carpenter said. "I didn't want it to end. I finally got into a rhythm."
Carpenter was glad when Wade Phillips was picked as Parcells' successor because Phillips used a similar 3-4 scheme, but in April, the Cowboys selected linebacker Anthony Spencer in the first round.
"It was definitely a shock as far as what my role was going to be this year," Carpenter said. "It was muddy, knowing they drafted another guy at my spot."
But in his second training camp, Carpenter has blended in more and has made the coaches take notice.
While he finds himself behind Bradie James on the depth chart, Carpenter has displayed his athleticism and versatility. Earlier in the week, he had what would have been a sack of Tony Romo while blitzing from the middle. Later, he used his speed off the edge as a defensive end to force a bad throw, and in coverage, he flicked away a pass deep down the middle.
"We want to try to get him a role, especially in the passing game where he can cover," Phillips said. "He can cover. He can obviously run. He's got great speed. We're going to try to utilize what he can do there."
Last year, James was a three-down linebacker, and Parcells believed he wore down late in the season. This year, the plan is for Carpenter to be the nickel linebacker.
"I'll be disappointed if I'm not playing 65-70 percent of the snaps," said Carpenter, who estimated he played 28 to 30 percent of the snaps last year, with the bulk coming later in the season.
Flipping between inside linebacker and outside pass rusher has not been as bothersome as it was last year.
Manchester United signed a 9 year old! Here he is.
Aggies 1956 beat Texas; Youtube is there.
The blog was very poor this morning, but this connection is worse than dial up today. I have to turn this stupid thing off.