Commentary

Cowboys' secondary is second to none

Taking a chance on Adam Jones gives the Cowboys the best group of defensive backs in the NFL.

Originally Published: July 16, 2008
By Tag Ribary | Scouts Inc.
Three of the biggest offseason moves bolstered three already-talented secondaries in the NFL and helped shape these rankings. The additions of Adam Jones by Dallas, DeAngelo Hall by Oakland and Asante Samuel by Philadelphia put their teams into the elite category. Here's how the top 10 overall groups rank:

1. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have an outstanding group of athletes in their secondary with Terence Newman, Anthony Henry, Roy Williams and Ken Hamlin returning from last year. When you combine that group with the recent additions of Jones and rookie first-round draft pick Mike Jenkins, the Cowboys now have the type of depth that few other teams can match. They will have a tremendous amount of flexibility within their personnel packages to take advantage of each player's strengths while also being able to disguise coverages. Opposing quarterbacks will have to be smart and accurate to have success against this group. The talents of the secondary combined with the effective pass rush of the front seven will force opposing quarterbacks to make some quick decisions.

2. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders have the best duo of starting cornerbacks in the league with Nnamdi Asomugha and Hall. Both are shutdown cornerbacks who can sustain tight coverage all day, and each has the size, speed and athletic ability to match up with the best receivers in the game. The Raiders also added instinctive FS Gibril Wilson from the Giants to start opposite former first-round draft pick Michael Huff on the back end. This combination of athletic, experienced defensive backs will provide defensive coordinator Rob Ryan a lot of flexibility. He now can be as aggressive as he wants up front knowing that the players he has on the back end are experienced and can create turnovers. If this unit stays healthy, it should get better with time. The players' average age is 25.