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March 02, 2009

Now What? Middle Linebacker

It's another offseason, which means it's time for the Cowboys to find another linebacker.
Ever since Bill Parcells walked in the door they can't draft or sign enough linebackers. Keith Brooking joins the club now, and will start next to Bradie James.
Brooking is another version of Zach Thomas; his best days are gone, he's probably not going to make many plays. He'll know where to be, but physically his body won't let him do what it did when he was 28. This is what happens to older players - they know what to do and how to do it, but the body says no.
So Brooking will step in and start, and expect the Cowboys to draft yet another linebacker.
This also means that Kevin Burnett's days with the Cowboys are over, which is probably the way he wants it.
Burnett has burned to start for years, and the Cowboys from either Parcells to Wade Phillips see him as a nickel linebacker. And they don't trust he can stay healthy for an entire season.
So Burnett will likely go somewhere, he's scheduled to visit the Raiders, and get the money he wants, and start, too.

- Mac Engel

P.S. - Please don't say Bobby Carpenter. It's obvious by now Phillips doesn't like him in his scheme. Period. So Carpenter will remain a special teams guy, and that's about it.


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That's what Jerry's been doing the past few years--sign wiley, proven veterans to hopefully open up a 1 to 2 year window to win a Super Bowl. The problem with that strategy is that every snap your wiley veteran player takes is one less snap for a young, talented player to develop with. The above strategy wouldn't be so bad if the Cowboys actually won a Super Bowl, but, alas we all know that they haven't. Now it's time to develop younger players and see where that gets the Cowboys--it surely couldn't get any worse.

He is a tackling machine in the middle. Atlanta had him playing OLB last season and his number diminished a bit but his speed is less of a factor in the middle because he will be playing closer to the line and his primary concern will be run defense. He seldom misses a tackle and is very reliable. He is not a 3 down player though and Burnett (or who ever ends up in the rotation) will have to handle the sub-package duties. He is an upgrade over Thomas because of his size and familiarity in the system.

Dave, you're right.

Tay, you need to go do some research, the Falcons didn't want Brookings back. He coudn't cover tighends, clearly lost step and his stats have been declining for three years now on a poor defense. The GM was being classy and just thanking the player for his service,who played his whole career in Atlanta. Brookings is Zach Thomas, only two years younger and a two down player. Waste of a signing, next year we'll be looking for another linebacker to take Brookings spot.

Whether it be a middle linebacker or Defensive end they need to sign two players right now and thats Ray Lewis and Julius Peppers if they wanna have a chance to win a Super Bowl.

DAVE, are you serious, Atlanta wanted him back, their GM even said as much when it was announced that he voided the contract and when interviewed after he signed with Dallas. And his "diminishing skills" still led their team in tackles last season. Will he be the savior for this defense, no. Is he a good replacement to hold down the spot till a young guy is ready, YES. All you guys talk about age and guys not doing it because they are in their 30's. Look what teams like the Patriots have been doing the last decade with guys in their 30's playing significant roles on their defense.....

Canty and Henry were solid, but Henry was getting roasted so often last year it's ridiculous. He was not going to start this year. Canty is a 3-4 DE, which means stop the run and apply occasional pressure. That can be replaced.

What really should worry us is that we have become the team that signs all the unwanted/aging players. It used to be us who was getting the premier free agents. Allegedly, we have cap issues. That has not stopped our rivals, however. We were not good enough to make the playoffs last year and now we have lost two valuable starters in Canty and Henry. That is not the recipe for a comeback to greatness. If i were GM, Brooking should be looked at as insurance for a rookie starter, so we can improve instead of regress. Oh well...


you need to do your homework, Atlanta didn't want him back, period because of his diminishing skills, go check the Brookings stats for the last three years..he played with Phillips seven years ago, when Brookings was in his prime.. Brooking = Thomas. Only difference is two years in age...

Funny how everyone just subscribes to whatever logic the media wants to put out there as reality. Has anyone researched Brooking's career? The guy has been a tackling machine and a consistent ILB his entire career and his most productive years (stat wise) came when he was playing in Wade's version of the 3-4. So why, if he was still producing at a consistent level last season would one assume he can't, barring injury, do it again next season? It's not as if Atlanta cut him because they thought he couldn't do it on the field anymore, he voided his contract by reaching playing goals and decided to move on....Come on people, DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!!

I'd like to see them bring in Brandon Johnson (cincy), Darryl Blackstock (cincy) or maybe Napoleon Harris (minn).

surely one of those guys wouldn't break the bank?

SO I guess Brooking's body was telling him no when he led the Falcon's in tackles the last 8 seasons huh? Funny how someone sitting behind a desk seems to know what an athlete can or can't do....

I think ILB is a very dire hole that needs to be filled. I don't see Brookings as the answer, even starting the season. I think we need to go early for both ILB and OL.



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