The Redskins front office has made becoming more physically suited to a 3-4 scheme, a priority for the front seven. Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen demonstrated this firm intent in the 2011 Draft.
With their first choice the pair snared Purdue edge rusher Ryan Kerrigan. The former boilermakers sack specialist will be expected to become a key weapon in Washington’s pressure schemes. In round two, the Redskins tabbed Clemson defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins as a possible five-technique end. Jenkins is expected to partner Adam Carriker as Washington’s starting defensive ends in 2011. But there are question marks surrounding both.
As a rookie, Jenkins is obviously an unproven commodity. He would also need to transition from a 4-3 defense. Established veterans on the Redskins roster found this switch difficult in 2010. Carriker has often failed to prove himself a durable or impact player over the course of 16 games. He turned in some impressive performances towards the end of the campaign, but is he ready to be a productive full time starter?
As always, many have predicted that Redskins owner Dan Snyder will simply rectify any uncertainty with the customary big name free agent. Cullen Jenkins and Shaun Ellis are the two potential free agent 34 ends with the highest profile. But with Jenkins aged 30 and Ellis, 34, a move for either would seem to counteract the new regime's attempts to rejuvenate an ageing roster.
Continuing the move away from the days of big money hype, Washington could turn to its biggest rival for a solution at defensive end. The Dallas Cowboys are faced with the dilemma of having three linemen becoming free agents. With new Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan’s attempts to implement his philosophy hindered by the lockout, Dallas would most likely want to keep at least two of the three potential defector’s.
All three linemen were signed by Bill Parcells. If there was one thing the Tuna consistently managed to do throughout his career, it was identifying defensive linemen ideally suited to the 3-4.
The type of line and the quality of its play dictates the characteristics of any defense. It would be ironic if the Redskins greatest rivals aided their 3-4 transition. Here are the three Cowboys who would fortify the defensive front in D.C.