#7. Do the Cowboys have an adequate replacement for Chris Canty?
It wasn't the move that made the biggest news in the NFC East this offseason but it's a switch that could hurt the Cowboys none the less. Chris Canty, one of the mainstays on the defensive line the last couple of seasons in the Cowboys' 3-4 scheme, left Dallas via free agency to sign with the New York Giants.
It isn't so much the Cowboys will miss his 37 total tackles and three tackles for loss that he recorded in 2008, it's that they'll miss his presence. At 6-7, 304 pounds, Canty was the prototypical defensive end in Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme (and he'll even play some tackle with the Giants).
Simply put, his size and quickness helped send opposing running backs the other direction, and he appeared to be entering the prime of his pro career.
The good news is all is not lost with the addition of Canty's replacement- Igor Olshansky.
"I'm very comfortable — it's the same defense I've been playing the last five years, so everything's great," Olshansky said in an exclusive interview with The Ranch Report. "Coach Phillips kind of vouched for me, and the fact that I would do the same thing for him here that I did for the first three years, when I played for him in San Diego.
"I know my role, and I know what they want me to do — it's to be a physical player up front and dominate the line of scrimmage."
Sounds encouraging, particularly when you discover he stands in at 6-6, 309 pounds and has routinely put up Canty-like numbers during his time under Wade Phillips at San Diego.
Meanwhile for Canty, he's just excited New York came to the table with a six-year $42 million deal.
"New York wanted me to come up and visit, and I was a little surprised that they would be a viable option, but they really did step up to the plate," he said.
"As for the financial piece of it, while there were other teams willing to offer more money, it was getting the opportunity to play on a championship-caliber football team, a team that's very, very young and has a lot of talent – that's going to be right there for a long time to come."
9 Questions for 2009: #7
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