NFL Draft 2011: The Cowboys Offensive Tackle Debate

No one is debating that the Cowboys need help along the offensive line, but is Tyron Smith of USC really the answer?

Smith is a raw, extremely athletic offensive tackle who can play on the left or right side. What worries me about Smith is that he is often connected with the buzzword “upside.” Drafting a player because of their upside is the kind of move that will get you fired. Upside is what leads to future busts.

When you are drafting high, you need to draft to fill needs but also to make sure you get a contributor for many years. The way to do that is to draft a NFL-ready, polished player. If Dallas is going to focus on offensive tackle with the ninth pick, a guy like Anthony Castonzo fits the bill.

Don’t be surprised if Dallas shakes things up and moves away from the popular pick in Smith.

I am much more in favor of the Cowboys taking Castonzo than I am of them taking a risk on Smith. Castonzo is a more sure pick and is more ready to step in immediately and contribute all over the line. With Castonzo, there is less of a learning cure. The same cannot be said for Smith.

When the Cowboys are on the clock, ideally they will trade back and still pick up one of the top tackles but which would you prefer? Would you rather have Anthony Castonzo or Tyron Smith be the next guy to suit up with a star on their helmet? If I had my choice, it’d be Castonzo.


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Tags: 2011 NFL Draft Anthony Castonzo Cowboys Offensive Line Dallas Cowboys NFL NFL Draft Offensive Tackle Tyron Smith

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