The combine is underway, and the stats, and speculations have been pouring in. Jason Garrett, his coaching staff, and scouting department are searching high and low to see which players are the Right Kind of Guy (RKG) and which ones will help this Dallas Cowboys team earn a League Tying 6th SuperBowl Ring (Pittsburgh Steelers also have six).
Nick Saban, Head Coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide just added another championship ring to his finger this past January after holding the LSU Tigers scoreless in the 2011 NCAA National Championship Game. Before accepting the Head Coach position for the Crimson Tide, he was the Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins. His tenure with Miami was short lived, but during that time, Jason Garrett was his Quarterbacks coach. Three players out of Sabin’s top ranked defense in 2011 are graded as first round picks, and Saban is just the man to give Garret the inside knowledge to help Garret out.
Dre Kirkpatrick, has been playing Cornerback since 8th grade, and the number of Touchdowns he has allowed is less than the number of championship rings he has. His size, at 6’2″ would make him one of the taller cornerbacks in the league, and his prowess and production are just what the Cowboys need. His speed doesn’t suffer either, after being clocked at a 4.51 in the 40 yd dash. His red flag, a recent arrest for misdemeanor drug charges related to marjiuana. Those charges have been dropped, but still the red flag flies, and it will come down to the interview process to determine if he really is the RKG.
According to NFL Analyst Mike Maycock, the Cowboys can win a Superbowl with the front seven they have currently. Of course that’s assuming quite a bit, especially assuming that 2nd year linebacker Bruce Carter step in and fills a giant hole left by the eventual departure of Cowboys linebackers Bradie James and Keith Brooking. And also assuming that the Cowboys either re-sign “Almost Anthony” Spencer.
The 2nd former Crimson Tide defensive back going into the draft is Safety Mark Barron. A poster child for a RKG, Mark spends his time studying, being a gym rat, and being extremely active in his community. The flag on his character is a charge for ‘hindering prosecution’ when his cousin wrecked a car and Barron was less than forthcoming with the name of the person while his cousin left the scene. Communication was one of the key let downs in the Cowboys defensive secondary last year, and a strong vocal and assignment leader on the back end will greatly increase the Dallas Cowboys chances of being in the right position and on the same page.
With former Cleveland Browns safety Abe Elam almost finished with his one year deal with the Cowboys, Barron looks like a good selection; especially since the entire reason Elam was brought in was to help with the transition from the Wade Phillips 3-4 to the Rob Ryan 3-4. But it seemed that communication was one of the biggest problems in the back end of the Cowboys’ secondary, and Mark Barron can be the RKG to fix those issues and roam the secondary like former SuperBowl champion Darren Woodson did.
The last defensive player graded out to hear his name in the 1st round is Linebacker Courtney Upshaw. Even though he has had limited playing time, Upshaw has come up big when it counts. He is the epitomy of the old addage that big players make big plays in big games. Against the University of Texas in the 2010 NCAA National Championship, Upshaw recovered the game sealing fumble, and against LSU in the 2012 NCAA National Championship game, Upshaw was named the the Defensive MVP with seven tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 sack. He was the defensive MVP of a defense that did not allow a single point in the championship game.
All three of these players listed above can help the Dallas Cowboys pursuit of perfection. The only questions, is who will be available when the Cowboys pick at 14, and who does Jason Garrett think will add a larger piece of the puzzle called perfection.