Newman Predicts Big Year For Secondary

Terence Newman says that Dallas will have one of the top secondary units in the NFL in 2009

More than any other facet on the Dallas Cowboys, the secondary remains something of a mystery, an anomaly, if you will.
Dallas ranked fifth in pass defense in 2008. However, they were thirtieth in interceptions, bringing down only eight.
The Cowboys front office, Jerry Jones in particular (surprise, surprise), have been vocal in their desire for the secondary to make more plays; read: interceptions.
Terence Newman, the undisputed face of the secondary, seems ready to answer the call, and believes that the unit will be a strong suit for Dallas in 2009.
"I think we're going to be one of the top secondaries out there," Newman said. "We've got all the talent."
Judging by the team’s nonchalance in sending Anthony Henry to Detroit, Dallas brass must like what they see in the way of talent; that doesn’t mean, however, that said talent is very proven.
First rounder Mike Jenkins and fifth rounder Orlando Scandrick figure to play a sizeable role within the Cowboys defense in 2009, and Newman lauded both for working on technique this summer.
The two sophomores are merely pieces in what will be an unfamiliar puzzle for fans next season. Henry, Keith Davis, Roy Williams and Pacman Jones are all gone, leaving a young, unproven and (seemingly) thoroughly talented corps of players to surround the mainstay Newman.
Newman himself, who is an unquestionable talent, is all too much of a question (unfortunately) with regards to health. He missed six games last year with a sports hernia, and hasn’t played a full season since 2006.
Coaches and players alike seem confident in the secondary going into the dog days of summer, and this is not a baseless feeling.
Dallas’ fifth ranked passing defense did not downgrade personnel-wise in any facet, by my count, and Wade Phillips’ 3-4 will only be improved as players grow familiar with it as a system.
In the ultra-competitive world of professional sports (especially in Dallas), and ceaseless, limitless expectations, people tend to forget that this will only be Phillips’ third year as head coach, his first with autonomous control (if such a thing is possible working under Mr. Jones) over the defense.
There are certainly questions, as we wrap up OTAs in Carrollton. This is a good thing.
Last season, the secondary went unquestioned throughout camp, preseason, and probably the first four games of the year. And look where that got us.
Better to have good questions, after all, than nice, tidy and false answers.

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