The Dallas Cowboys might have had the most dissapointing season in the entire N.F.L. last year as a team that was primed to make a run at the Superbowl being held out in Jerry Land. What happened though was a season of ups and downs that ended with a metaphorical egg in the face for Jerry Jones and his Superbowl or bust ambitions for the Cowboys and the long overdue dismissal of Wade Phillips as the head coach.
Even though the Cowboys missed the playoffs last year, there is an abundance of talent on the Cowboys at some positions, still like every team there are needs heading into the season.
Offensive Line Youth and Depth
Doug Free is a pretty good Left tackle and is a serviceable starter, but after Free the line has some serious question marks becuase age has taken a major toll on the Cowboys has Gurode, Colombo, and Davis will all be 32 years or older next year (Kosier will be 31). Finding some youth along the offensive line is a priority for the Cowboys this off-season.
Terrance Newman is aging, and Michael Jenkins is inconsistent to say the least. Brian Mcann was a bright spot on Special teams and in the Giants game (pick 6), but they could still use a player who is a future starter to replace Newman and push Jenkins.
This might be the biggest need for the Cowboys as far as a pure talent upgrade standpoint. Gerald Sensabaugh is a decent starter, but Alan Ball is not that good and if they want to continue to compete with the N.F.C. East’s Giants and Eagles they have to upgrade their secondary. They are not in the best drafting position to secure a talented safety in the first round without reaching, but they might get one fall into their laps in the second round.
Igor Oshlansky and Stephen Bowen could be upgraded.
Anthony Spencer is a pretty good player, but hasn’t been the player the Cowboys thought he was when they drafted him. Keith Brooking is getting old and could use a future replacement and Bradie James is getting older as well. Sean Lee is going to replace one of those players.
I was never impressed with Chris Gronkowsi as full back in the games I watched and think he could stand to be upgraded.
The Cowboys have 6 picks this season and are only missing their 7th round pick.
1st round, pick 9 DE Cameron Jordan
I think, that a very likely pick is also OL Tyron Smith or Nate Solder if available. Offensive linemen are ALWAYS over-drafted because they provide exceptoinal positional value. I think, though that one of these two will come off the board before this spot, especially if Smith gains a little weight and impresses at the combine (which is very possible). Jordan dominated the senior bowl and would be an instant upgrade at DE for the Cowboys with his versatility and impressive tape.
2nd round pick 40th overall S Quinton Carter, Oklahoma
I don’t think Rahim Moore will make it to the second round, but Carter will and at the 40th pick overall this is decent value that fills a glaring need. Carter was very productive at Oklahoma and has the versatility to play at either the Free Safety or Strong safety at the next level. At Oklahoma last year he had nearly 90 tackles and has 8 INT the past two seasons. Ideally, Rahim Moore would be available here, but Moore is a ball-hawk and I think will sneak into the first round.
3rd Round pick 71st overall John Moffitt, G, Wisconsin
Moffitt fits the mold of the offensive linemen that the Dallas Cowboys like, which is massive. Moffitt is solid value in the third round and could be an utterly dominant run blocker at the next level as an interior guard who should be the eventual replacement for Kosier or Davis. The other options I considerd here were Quan Sturdivant (I just think he’ll be drafted before here, and CB Curtis Marsh).
4th round pick 109 overall Rashad Carmichael, CB, Virginia Tech
Carmichal was inconsistentin 2011, but Carmichael has all of the N.F.L. measurables scouts look for in cornerbacks. He has pretty good height, good speed, was very productive at times, and can be a good cornerback in the N.F.L. with some refinement. At this juncture he might also be one of the best players available, if still available. CarMichael will provide the Cowboys with a little more CB depth (only four currently listed on the Depth chart) and could eventual mature into a starter.
5th Round pick 139th overall Derrell Johnson Koulianos WR, Iowa
D.J.K. is a talented player with the dreaded “character concerns” label which will push him down further in the draft than he otherwise would be, but DJK is good value in the 5th round and gives the Cowboys more depth at WR. Although, they have a very good #1 and #2 WR, I can’t imagine that they are thriled about the prospect of keeping Roy Williams. Sam Hurd, Manuel Johnson, Teddy Williams, and Jesse Holley all lack the pure talent of Derrell Johnson Koulianos. I think if Brooks Reed is available here (based on big boards by NFP and MTD he would be, I just don’t think he will be) that’d be a no-brainer pick.
6th Round pick 170th overall Alex Linnenkohl, C, Oregon State
I think I’ve written this 40 times since the beginning of February, but the majority of long term starters come from the first two rounds, depth players and special teams players come from the later rounds, generally speaking. Linnenkohl, though, has a chance to become a starter in the N.F.L. with some seasoning because of his tenancity and athletic ability. I don’t know if fulfills all the Cowboys linemen desires being only 305 pounds(ish).
I think this mock is definitely a mock draft I’ll do again at some point before the draft because the Cowboys might have quite the haul in free agency (Nnamdi Asmougha is a possibility), if Jerry Jones goes all George Steinbrenner to solve his personnel issues (IE throw money at free agents). Free agency will be interesting this year.
I think all in all though this mock draft provides some good value and address most of the Cowboys needs. I didn’t want to reach for an Offensive tackle and I think the Cowboys will have to unless they take one in the first round or Ben Ijalana falls to them in the second round.
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