Rough Draft

by - April 22, 2009 - Posted in Offseason

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.

13 Responses to Rough Draft

Jeff

April 22nd, 2009 at 9:59 am

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DO NOT TRADE TASHARD CHOICE, MARION BARBER, OR FELIX JONES!!!!! During the season when the passing game goes inept because Jerry is calling the plays and Romo is ogling over Jessica in the stands, we need a solid one-two-three punch in the backfield. We have it. Don't trade that away trying to be savvy.

Luis

April 22nd, 2009 at 10:15 am

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Couldn't agree more. Especially since there are questions about the longevity of both Barber and Jones. Last season did very little to ease those concerns, so why trade away the one commodity you have that is a safety net in case those guys get injured again? The comment made by Clarence Hill concerned me greatly. And I quote:

“But the Cowboys have shown a propensity to find good running backs on the second day.”

A propensity? First of all, Barber was drafted by Parcells. Second, Choice was considered a first round talent that fell all the way to the fourth round due to a knee injury during his senior season and a less-than-stellar 40 time at the combine. Choice led the ACC in rushing in his final two seasons there, so it's not like he caught anyone by surprise. In fact, one could argue that Choice should be the LAST running back traded. He is the one with the most potential to be an every-down back. Barber is a power back and Jones is a speed back. Neither is really all that equipped to be THE GUY.

Don't do it, Jerry!

Mike

April 22nd, 2009 at 2:48 pm

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Jerry likes to trade away positions of strengh to shore up positions of weakness. Problem is, the weak positions never get stronger (how long have the Cowboys been revamping the secondary??), and the positions of strength evaporate. What's sad is that we can predict it here.

Luis

April 22nd, 2009 at 3:04 pm

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There is nothing wrong with trading away a player from a position of strength to shore up a weakness. The only problem is that Jerry doesn't know when the right time is to pull off such a trade. Just like it seemed as though Anthony Henry was expendable – he wasn't – it's being reported as though Choice is now expendable.

Clearly, he is not. There is an old adage in baseball that suggests you can never have too many pitchers. There should be one in football that says you can't have too many running backs.

Jeff

April 24th, 2009 at 12:06 pm

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The following is from an article on DallasCowboys.com:

“Asked how to keep his father from getting too antsy waiting on the 51st pick in this weekend's NFL draft, the roar of laughter Stephen Jones drew was just big enough to drown out a constant humming of cranes, hammers and drills.

'We're going to put him in a straitjacket,'. “

Now that is the best idea I've heard this offseason.

Luis

April 24th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

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We need a Photoshop guru. A Photoshopped picture of Jerry in a straitjacket would be phenomenal for the home page!

This has to happen.

Alex

April 24th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

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Agreed. Developing a more reliable running game by which we rush 30 times a game is where we can really make the offense “Romo Friendly.” Placing the burden on him to make plays leads to too many Jekyl / Hyde moments. Putting that much emphasis on the running game means more depth at the position is crucial, especially given Barber and Jones' respective injury histories. Choice looks like a good enough back to develop into a long term solution which, also means we don't have to give up the farm to keep Barber. We have a boat load of picks later in the draft and history shows that the back end of the draft can produce solid contributors. The key is whether our scouting department is good enough to sift through the myriad of options to find players who can make a positive contribution at the NFL level. Given some of our needs in the secondary and offensive line, we really need to hit on some of these picks. Hopefully out scouting department is up to the task.

Luis

April 24th, 2009 at 3:58 pm

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I'm not really all that confident in their ability to draft quality offensive linemen. The last two starters that they've drafted – Adams and Gurode – are both very flawed players who are just talented enough to overcome their numerous mental lapses. But beyond that, they've just been throwing crap against the wall to see what would stick. Well, nothing has stuck. So they've had to resort to shoring up the offensive line with free agents. That can work in the short-run. But if that's how you plan to address the position in the long-run, you're going to end up with offensive lines like those that we saw earlier in the decade.

The secondary is a different story. They don't need to find a cornerstone player like they do at left tackle. So even though it's a need that must be addressed, they don't have to sell out to grab a safety or cornerback that catches their eye. And with Jerry at the wheel, that's a good thing.

Jeff

April 26th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

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We drafted an Aggie quarterback. Oh that hurts.

Jeff

April 26th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

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It also kills me that Brian Orakpo now plays for the Redskins. I keep thinking this is a bad dream I will eventually wake up from.

Jeff

April 26th, 2009 at 7:32 pm

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We drafted an Aggie quarterback. Oh that hurts.

Jeff

April 26th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

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It also kills me that Brian Orakpo now plays for the Redskins. I keep thinking this is a bad dream I will eventually wake up from.