Draft Grades for Cowboys and 2010 Opponents

By Joe D.

The following are the draft grades issued immediately after the 2010 NFL Draft for the Cowboys.  The Cowboys’s 2010 opponents are also listed. Where a grade is not listed, the source has not released the information yet.  There is some analysis of whether the opponents drafted impact players who will contribute in a game against the Cowboys.  While other contributing writers to The Landry Hat may elect to give draft grades, I feel only one grade is appropriate, “Incomplete”.  Not one ball has been caught for a first down, not one over exuberant touchdown celebration has been performed, and not one 15 yard penalty has been called for taunting.

Dallas Cowboys

CBS Sports: B-

You have to like the Cowboys going up to get Bryant. This is a player who will help the passing game in a big way. Forget the off-the-field issues. They were overrated. He can play.

Fox Sports: B

With the uneven play of Roy Williams, owner Jerry Jones wanted a playmaker opposite Miles Austin and he moved up in the draft to get Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant, who will wear Micheal Irvin’s No. 88 jersey. Bryant’s upbringing and the fact that he lied to NCAA investigators about his involvement with Deion Sanders and got suspended troubled some teams, but not the Cowboys, who will build a support system around him.

USA Today: C

They hope they’ve landed the next Randy Moss after moving up three slots in the first round for Dez Bryant, considered the draft’s best receiver. Bryant, though, fell because of questions about his maturity. Inside linebacker Sean Lee might be a hit. But Dallas didn’t draft a left tackle, increasing the odds of Flozell Adams re-signing.

ESPN (Mel Kiper): B-

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis:  This draft was not about filling voids; it was about confidence.  The year the Cowboys traded down with the Cleveland Browns (who took Brady Quinn), the Cowboys organization showed confidence in Tony Romo.  This year, the Cowboys are showing confidence in Alan Ball (or Mike Hamlin) and Doug Free to replace Ken Hamlin and Flozell Adams.  It also may show a lack of confidence in Roy Williams.  While experts certainly had their checklist of voids on the Cowboys roster, the Cowboys felt quite differently.  If the Cowboys were drafting in the top 5 of the first two rounds, the first two picks would still be identical.  Dez Bryant (a top 5 (or 10) talent) and Sean Lee (#16 on the Cowboys draft board).  They may be polar opposites in regards to character, but both project as being contributors in their rookie year, and assuming greater roles in subsequent years.

Owusu-Ansah was drafted in the fourth round.  According to Dave Campo, he is as athletic as some of the top safeties in the draft.  How quickly can he acclimate to the safety position?  Are the Cowboys getting a workout wonder, or a small school gem?

Washington Redskins

CBS Sports: B-

Fox Sports: C

USA Today: C-

ESPN (Mel Kiper): C-

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis:  The Redskins had 1 pick in the top 100. Trent Williams will likely start as a rookie.  The Cowboys play the Redskins week one on National TV.  Presuming DeMarcus Ware is healthy, McNabb will either have a rough night or Williams will prove he is worth the 30+ million he was paid on day 1.

Chicago Bears

CBS Sports: C

Fox Sports: C

USA Today: C-

ESPN (Mel Kiper): B

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis: Chicago traded their first round pick to Denver for Cutler.  Their 2nd round pick went to Tampa Bay for Gaines Adams.  They drafted two players who were well respected despite being 2nd day picks.  Regardless, the Bears’s draft should not affect the outcome of the game when they play in the 2nd week.

Houston Texans

CBS Sports: C

Fox Sports: C

USA Today: C-

ESPN (Mel Kiper): B

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis: The Texans replaced Dunte Robinson with Kareem Jackson (1st round).  Ben Tate should receive carries, and Trindon Holliday may have an opportunity as a kick returner.  The Texans are a formidable team and they will have rookies contributing.

Tennessee Titans

CBS Sports: B

Fox Sports: B

USA Today: C-

ESPN (Mel Kiper): C+

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis: The Titans seemingly had a good draft though I only recognize a few names.  They did draft Myron Rolle.  I root for Rolle to become and effective player, though I resent the media’s portrayal of him being victimize.  Today’s episode of Pardon the Interuption had Micheal Wilbon suggesting Rolle fell into the 6th round because the NFL didn’t feel comfortable with an intelligent African-American.  The RACE CARD?  Did anyone opine that Rolle was a first or second day talent?  People watched film (not me), but I would assume someone would have seen him play effectively and would scream it from the roof tops.

Minnesota Vikings

CBS Sports: C+

Fox Sports: C+

USA Today: C

ESPN (Mel Kiper): C-

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis:  Pairing anyone with Adrian Peterson creates a dynamic duo.  Gerhart will replace Chester Taylor and will provide Peterson with much needed rest.  I liked Gerhart as a prospect, and I love Gerhart as a Vikings (to my dismay as a Cowboys fan).  Behind the Vikings offensive line, Gerhart will have an automatic 3 yards per carry.  If he has any wiggle and power, that number will go up.

It’s an understatement to say the Cowboys had difficult defending against the Vikings’s defensive line.  Fortunately, Everson Griffen, a fourth round pick, may only provide rest to the starters in 2010.

New York Giants

CBS Sports: A

Fox Sports: B-

USA Today: C

ESPN (Mel Kiper): B

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis:  The Giants draft suggests that changes are forthcoming along the defensive line.  The same group that has harassed Romo may be shuffled and I can only hope to the detriment of the Giants’s pass rush.

Jacksonville Jaguars

CBS Sports: B-

Fox Sports: C-

USA Today: D

ESPN (Mel Kiper): D

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis: I don’t believe the Jaguars will be a top team in 2010.  Alualu may start along the defensive line, but he shouldn’t be an impact player.  The Jaguars are receiving a ton of negative press because they “reached” for Alualu.  If the Jaguars thought Alualu could be drafted in the 20′s of the first round, they certainly would have traded down.  It’s possible the 49ers called.  It’s also possible the 49ers had 2 top players on their board, Alualu and Anthony Davis.  Certainly the Jaguars wouldn’t trade down and allow the 49ers to draft the player they coveted.

I resent experts saying teams reached when the drafted player wouldn’t be there the next time the team picked (in this instance 74th overall in the 3rd round).  Also, finding a trade partner isn’t a given.  Also, if Alualu becomes the best of the defensive linemen drafted in the first round, suddenly it is a great pick and absolutely not a reach.  I believe experts get so upset because they absolutely did not see it coming.

Green Bay Packers

CBS Sports: C+

Fox Sports: B

USA Today: C

ESPN (Mel Kiper): B-

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis:  I hate Green Bay so much.  First they snake Bryan Bulaga away from the Cowboys (though the Cowboys still would have taken Dez Bryant over a very talented tackle).  I don’t give grades, but Bulaga is an A+, with extra credit.

Detroit Lions

CBS Sports: C

Fox Sports: B

USA Today: A

ESPN (Mel Kiper): B+

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis:  The Lions will be formidable.  When the Cowboys play the Lions, it will be in Dallas.  We will be spared the indignance of being mocked by Lions fans (regarding Roy Williams).  In regards to their draft, they will have contributors.  Gurode will have his hands full with Suh.  This may be a game where Jason Garrett falls in love with the pass only to leave Cowboys fans asking, “Why?”

New Orleans Saints

CBS Sports: C

Fox Sports: C

USA Today: C

ESPN (Mel Kiper): C

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis:  The Saints drafted a CB, Patrick Robinson, after a season where they were torched in the secondary.  While they were a Super Bowl winning team, the secondary needed a ton of help.  They did not draft a safety, so expect Darren Sharper to re-sign with the Saints.

With any luck, the Cowboys will have a repeat performance against a good, but not great Saints team.

Indianapolis Colts

CBS Sports: B-

Fox Sports: B

USA Today: C

ESPN (Mel Kiper): C

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis:  Why do analysts give the Colts mediocre grades.  Don’t they know it just makes them look foolish in 3 years?

Philadelphia Eagles

CBS Sports: A+

Fox Sports: B-

USA Today: B-

ESPN (Mel Kiper): B+

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis:  Unfortunately, I really like what the Eagles did in the draft.  They are a talented team that is only getting more so.  Expect Allen to be an immediate starter, with Graham being an immediate contributor.  Fortunately, they did not address the linebacker position until the 4th round.  While they did trade for Ernie Sims, he does not appear to be a substantial upgrade over Will Witherspoon.  Hopefully the Eagles weakness on defense in 2009 will be the same in 2010.

Arizona Cardinals

CBS Sports: B+

Fox Sports: B

USA Today: C

ESPN (Mel Kiper):  B+

NFL.com:

The Landry Hat (Joe D.): Incomplete

Analysis: They replaced good players (Boldin & Dansby) via the draft picking up Andre Roberts, WR, and Daryl Washington, LB.  Certainly the void left by Boldin and Dansby will be filled by players currently on the roster and the aforementioned rookies.  Fortunately, the Cowboys will benefit from the void and make every effort to exploit the mismatch in talent.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Alan Ball Alualu Andre Gurode Andre Roberts Anthony Davis Arizona Cardinals Ben Tate Boldin Brady Quinn Bryan Bulaga Chester Taylor Chicago Bears Cleveland Browns Dallas Cowboys Dansby Darren Sharper Daryl Washington Dave Campo Deion Sanders DeMarcus Ware Denver Broncos Detroit Lions Dez Bryant Donovan McNabb Doug Free Dunte Robinson Ernie Sims Everson Griffen Flozell Adams Gaines Adams Graham Green Bay Packers Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Jason Garrett Jay Cutler Jerry Jones Kareem Jackson Ken Hamlin Micheal Irvin Micheal Wilbon Mike Hamlin Minnesota Vikings Myron Rolle New Orleans Saints New York Giants Patrick Robinson Philadelphia Eagles Randy Moss Romo Roy Williams San Francisco 49ers Sean Lee Suh Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tennessee Titans Toby Gerhart Trent Williams Trindon Holliday Washington Redskins Will Witherspoon

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