It’s that time of year, folks. It’s the time of year when hopes run high for all 32 teams in the league. Fans of all teams look to the draft as a source of hope for the coming season. The utter anticipation of watching that shiny new first round pick throw on the laundry for the first time is enough to get football fans through the dog days of summer. Reading about his progress in mini-camps only helps to build the anticipation for the first preseason game. And what of that fifth round pick that is supposed to help provide some much-needed depth? Visions of Super Bowls start dancing in your head. Such is the beauty of the offseason. You can dare to dream, because reality can wait.
Unless, of course, you’re a fan of the Cowboys or Lions, whose draft histories in recent memory have been less than stellar. One of those franchises was run by a bumbling idiot who continually made the same mistakes; the other was run by Matt Millen. You’re probably wondering what ties these two franchises this year. Why, the trade involving Roy Williams, of course. Because of this trade, the Cowboys are no longer owners of a first round pick in the 2009 draft. And for a team with so many holes, that is a very dangerous proposition. Who can forget the infamous trade involving Joey Galloway, which left the team without a desperately-needed first round pick for two consecutive seasons? That trade just so happened to set the franchise back at least five years – a setback that they are finally recovering from.
So here we stand a mere four days away from the April extravaganza known as the NFL Draft. Theories abound as to what direction the Cowboys will be going on Saturday. Some experts say they’ll draft a safety with their first pick, the 51st overall. Some other experts say that they will draft an offensive lineman. Yet others say inside linebacker. Some have even gone so far as to say that they’ll draft a wide receiver (preposterous as that may seem, wide receiver is actually one of those needs that seems to be flying somewhat under the radar). One thing is for sure, though. The Cowboys had better be selecting the best player available.
Drafting for need is a death sentence. You end up skipping a superior player because there is a lesser player available who just so happens to fill a hole on the roster. Fortunately, that is one area where Jerry Jones has begun to see the light. Armed with a grand total of 11 picks in rounds two through seven, Jerry will most certainly be wheeling and dealing. Whether it’s moving down to stockpile even more picks in this year’s draft or next year’s or using all of that ammunition to move up, one thing is for sure, the Cowboys will be doing their best to obtain the best possible value for their pick.
With that said, here is a list of players that the Cowboys may be targeting with the 51st pick:
Louis Delmas – S, Western Michigan
Patrick Chung –S, Oregon
Eben Britton – OT, Arizona
Phil Loadholt – OT, Oklahoma
William Beaty – OT, Connecticut
Trevor Canfield – OG, Cincinnati
Andy Levitre – OG, Oregon State
Max Unger – C, Oregon
Eric Wood – C, Louisville
Brian Robiskie – WR, Ohio State
Derrick Williams – WR, Penn State*
Juaquin Iglesias – WR, Oklahoma
Darry Beckwith – ILB, Louisiana State
Ron Brace – DT, Boston College
* Could fill Jerry’s desire for a must-have quarterback in the Wildcat formation (you may commence scoffing).
We must also keep in mind that there is no guarantee that a selection will actually be made at 51. The rumor mill is already hard at work. Some of the highlights:
- The Cowboys may trade up to select Brian Robiskie, if they feel it is necessary.
- The Cowboys will be listening to trade offers for one of their running backs, most likely TaShard Choice.
- The Cowboys are, indeed, interested in Matt Jones. Obviously, this would negate the selection of a wide receiver in the second round, which could actually be considered a good thing, in some ways.
That is but a small taste of the countless possibilities this weekend. So hang on, because this will surely be a bumpy ride.