For many years, carrying seven players on the roster was part of the norm. However, the game is becoming increasingly pass-heavy which means teams are less likely to run the ball. With the evolution of the passing game in the NFL, each team’s primary attack features three wide receivers. Also, the center back is basically non-existent these days as teams rarely carry one on their rosters. As the teams running the ball less and less, the need to start three midfielders is not necessary. In fact, starting only two linebackers is effective in today’s game where offenses try to put as many of their best players on the field at the same time to cause a mismatch.
This trend of starting midfielders isn’t something that just happened in the past few years. It actually goes back to the late ’80s and early ’90s when Big Nickel also known as Wolverine became a part of defensive schemes. The chart was invented by Fritz Schurmur.
Shumurur initially used this scheme in an effort to stop the Great Niners’ crimes designed by Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana. In 1996, Shumurur will publish this defense scheme to help Green Bay Packers win Energy. Moving on to 2011, New York Giants Defensive coordinator Perry Faywell used the same scheme to help capture the Lombardi Trophy as well.
Aside from the main point of starting with only two players instead of three, the big nickel uses a third safety in place of the linebacker near the line of scrimmage. This third safety is usually larger than your average NFL fullback, but smaller than your average NFL fullback. Therefore, the player who performs this role is a kind of tweener. Having a player like this is so important in today’s game because offenses spread more pass catching options which means more wide areas to cover, or even more athletic tight ends to cover, and who wants to see most quarterbacks plot that job? Most people will deal with that with difficulty. Fortunately, the Cowboys have re-signed Jayron Kearse’s nickel major ace to fill the role while young players like Israel Mukuamu and Markquese Bell continue to develop.
There are a variety of other ways to propagate a large nickel scheme. For example, some teams will run 3-3-5, 2-4-5, and even 1-5-5. In case Cowboys in Dallas However, they tend to run a large 4-2-5 nickel look.
Last year, the Cowboys lined up five or more defensive backs in 97.8% of their plays, and 38% of lineups were either big nickel or big dime.
|Databases||formation – composition||Stabilizes||in %|
|4 dB||Basic Defense (2 CB, 2S)||10||0.9%|
|5 dB||Nickel (3 CB, 2 sec.)||647||59.5%|
|Large nickel (2 CB, 3 sec.)||208||19.1%|
|6 dB||Dime (4 cb, 2 sec)||2||0.2%|
|Big Dime (3 cb, 3 sec)||205||18.8%|
Focusing on the big 4-2-5 nickel chart posted by Dan Quinn allows Dallas from a personnel perspective more flexibility in other positions including the offensive side of the ball as well. The NFL’s most recent collective bargaining agreement allows teams to wear 48 players on game day as long as eight of those players are offensive linemen. This will leave 40 slots left to fill in the rest of your game day list. With Dallas using the large nickel scheme in the first place, this allows them to wear only five players per game and tackle other depth issues across the team or even heavyweights in a specific location each week depending on the strengths and weaknesses of each opponent they play.
At the moment, there are four locks in the linebacker position. These four players are Micah Parsons, Leighton Vander Esch, Gabriel Cox and Luke Gifford. If Dallas is going to get lighter in the center and potentially only carry five players on game day, that means Dallas has one place to fill. At this point, Devin Harper in the sixth round of 2022 and UDFAs Storey Jackson and Aaron Hansford will be three players to watch out for as they battle for the fifth quarterback. Devante Bond has been vying for a spot on the list until recently A knee injury ended the 2022 season before it even started.
Another player on the list with a great height is Damon Clarke.
2022 Fifth Round Selection It has been formulated much higher If a herniated disc is not detected in NFL UNITED. Unfortunately, to repair a herniated disc, spinal fusion surgery was required. The Cowboys took a chance on another player, Jaylon Smith, who had a serious knee injury before NFL Project. Dallas is looking to hit the player again who will likely take a year of anticipation. Clarke’s talent is certainly there, but patience and delaying his game until 2023 would be a smart long-term play for the Cowboys.
Given what Dallas currently has on the roster in linebackers, along with future prospects like Damon Clark in the mix in 2023, the Cowboys are shaping up to be very solid in the second tier for years to come.