Big D In the Classic City
Hailing from Ft. Worth by way of Austin, I’m a native Texan and third-generation Cowboys fan. Long ago, the Atlanta Falcons beat Dallas in a regular season match, causing my beloved Nanny to be the first to utter the term “Dirty Birds.” And when Steve Bartkowski went down to Danny White in the playoffs I cheered, while many of my now fellow DAWGS fans were deflated, the ones who have always followed the only NFL team that failed to have back-to-back winning seasons for so, so long. “The Catch” soon followed, and I literally cried. That’s how diehard I was. This is how diehard I was: I actually only wore Dallas Cowboys clothes, and boy did that silver shine in the Southern sun.
I grew up playing wideout and loved our offensive talent, but the Doomsday Defense, “Too Tall,” “Manimal” and Charlie Waters were also among my favorites. I love aggressive Defense. The kind we have rarely played at UGA, with a few notable exceptions that yielded great results.
When I got to school at UGA, I cloaked in the Red-and-Black and never took it off. Make no mistake about it, GEORGIA is my home and I bleed Red-and-Black, y’all. I really do. I live and cheer for every inch we gain. Not every yard, every inch. But our Defense has been mostly soft, since the days of Ray Goff. Even the Dooley era, implored a bend-but-not-break strategy. I thought we just didn’t have the depth and talent to be more aggressive on D, but we always had such a deep and talented pool of athletes on offense. Meanwhile, I watched Coach Jimmy Johnson take the Miami Hurricanes’ (Dad and I both “almost went there”) system and use it in Big D. Aggression, speed and talent combine for victory.
These kids we recruit and get are used to being the dominant aggressor on their football teams. They have done it their whole lives, and we were actually teaching them to play softer in college. It just plain out don’t work, y’all.
The 3-4 that Big D has implored in recent seasons is the most successful system in the current NFL, because it allows range and aggression for 10 players, while only one player is required to hold down the middle. Nose guard is easily the most important role in that formation, and Jay Ratliff (of Auburn) dominates that position for the Cowboys. Tyson can do that for us. He looks like a natural at the position and can allow our other skilled athletes to be what they were when we recruited them: AGGRESSIVE!
Grantham is the right coach to deliver the intensity we crave.
BTW: I live in The ATL and do cheer for the Dirty Birds when they play teams that don’t wear the star. The NFL is still kind of fun to watch when I have the free time, but the college game is the simply greatest in all of sport.
I love the Classic City, the pageantry, the rivalry, the intensity, the heart and try and aggression … GO DAWGS!
Remember: You can have all the Garrison Hearsts and Matthew Staffords in the world and still underachieve because: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS!