This much we know about the Dallas Cowboys defense, they are moving to a 4-3 alignment because of new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s Tampa 2 scheme. What we don’t know is who will be the players that make all the pieces fit?
The Cowboys have big decisions to make on a few of their players and perhaps no situation is murkier than the one for Anthony Spencer. He’s been a 3-4 outside linebacker his entire career and if he stays in Dallas, it would be as a 4-3 defensive end, a position he hasn’t played since college. At this point no one knows if the Cowboys have the salary cap space to sign Spencer since he’s likely to command big money in free agency, which causes a problem for Dallas.
If the Cowboys let Spencer walk away and search for a more traditional 4-3 defensive end, they may look to familiar foe to replace Spencer and his name could be Osi Umenyiora. The New York Giants defensive end is still under contract with the Giants, but it’s likely he’ll be released this off-season and he knows it. Umenyiora, 31, is getting older and isn’t what he used to be but he is still a good player who the Cowboys can use as a veteran presence at a position they need help at.
There is also the connection with DeMarcus Ware since both players went to Troy University and are good friends, but I don’t see it happening. Umenyiora is slowing down and posted only six sacks, his lowest total since 2006, when he only played 11 games. The Cowboys need younger, more athletic players and Umenyiora isn’t that anymore. He’s still a solid player but he isn’t what the Cowboys need. Umenyiora is also a frequent complainer about his contract and I can’t see the Cowboys giving Osi the money that he wants if he gets cut by the Giants.
Things sometimes look better on paper than they do in reality and it appears that this is one of those times. If the Dallas Cowboys can’t re-sign Anthony Spencer, they should look elsewhere for a 4-3 defensive end.
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