Think about the dynasty the Dallas Cowboys had in the 1990s.
A lot of Jimmy Johnson's success was chalked up to his depth at defensive line and how he could always have fresh, fast legs in at the two tackle spots and two end spots. And they were always backed up by solid linebackers, led by guys like Ken Norton Jr. in the middle.
Since Bill Parcells took over the Dallas Cowboys, the Cowboys have gotten away from that by switching to the 3-4 defense, which has been a bigger trend in recent years, especially in the AFC.
But the trend is starting to shift back. The New England Patriots are back to running a 4-3, and look where they are.
The time might be coming for the Cowboys to switch back too. Sean Lee would be a great middle linebacker, and the Cowboys don't have a true nose tackle. But Jay Ratliff would be a monster of a defensive tackle. Demarcus Ware as a pass-rushing defensive end? Yes, please.
The thought has also crossed the mind of Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who himself was a protege of Parcells.
“We played a lot of three-man line, and we also played some four-man line in different situations this past year,” Garrett said told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram last week. “We haven’t gotten to the point where we’re going to talk about what we’re going to play yet. We’re still evaluating the tape. ... Let us go through the process. You’ll see some of that stuff once we get back on the field.”