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I get what was happening with the 3-4 defense in Dallas. Truly, I do. However, that doesn’t make it the right defensive scheme for this team.
Sometime in the early 2000’s the 3-4 became prominent in the NFL as the best defensive scheme.
Unfortunately, the 3-4 defense hasn’t been as kind to the Dallas Cowboys as it has been other teams.
I propose that it’s time for the Cowboys to switch back to the 4-3 defense.
The 4-3 defense is a defensive scheme that is considered to be the best run-stopping defensive scheme. It is named by its ratio of defensive lineman (4) to linebackers (3).
I believe the Cowboys' personnel fits the 4-3 better than it does the 3-4.
The Cowboys' current defensive line isn’t big enough to serve the purpose they need to in the 3-4. They are fast pass-rushers who are asked to take on multiple blockers at once. If you could get Jason Hatcher, Tyrone Crawford, and Kenyon Coleman in a 4-3 scheme I believe they would be significantly more productive.
Another thing to consider is economics. The Cowboys are looking at letting Anthony Spencer go. It would be rather expensive to re-sign him or even supplement his value in the 3-4 defense as a run-stopping outside linebacker.
If the Cowboys were to switch to the 4-3 they could move Bruce Carter to outside linebacker opposite DeMarcus Ware and gain better production at the position than they had with Anthony Spencer because of Carters athleticism.
Ideally the Cowboys' 4-3 base in 2013 could look like this:
Left End: Jason Hatcher
Defensive Tackles: Jay Ratliff, Sean Lissemore
Right End: Tyrone Crawford
Strongside Linebacker: Bruce Carter
Middle Linebacker: Sean Lee
Weakside Linebacker: DeMarcus Ware
Cornerbacks: Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr
Safeties: *Draft Pick/Free Agent, Gerald Sensabaugh
That would be a really solid unit.