Dallas Cowboys 2010 Outside Linebacker Grades: Should Anthony Spencer Sit?

January 13, 2011   ·     ·   Jump to comments

Last season, I argued that the Cowboys had the league’s top outside linebacker duo. DeMarcus Ware’s dominance and the emergence of Anthony Spencer in 2009 made the Cowboys’ pass rush outstanding.
That changed in 2010, however, as Spencer was never really able to get going.  He recorded only five sacks on the season and, in the beginning of the year, even struggled against the run.  Meanwhile, second-year outside linebacker Victor Butler came on strong.  After receiving a “D+” run defense grade from me last season, Butler bulked up and proved he can be a complete player in the NFL.
As was the case last year, my outside linebacker grades will be composed of three parts: run defense, pass-rushing, and pass coverage.  Since pass coverage is a secondary focus of the linebackers, it will be weighted less in the final grades.  The small sample size of of plays in which 3-4 outside linebackers are in coverage means two thing...

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