Two years ago, a late night of celebrating at a local bar over the 1st round draft steal, Dez Bryant, left me feeling under the weather the next morning. As I woke up, my iPhone was full of updates on the Cowboys day 2 draft picks. I had never followed the draft so closely, and I was a ambushed by our 2nd round pick, an injured linebacker from Penn St., Sean Lee.
My first thought was that Jerry Jones had lost his mind, and then I realized that it’s has been lost ever since he gave Deon Sanders a $15 million signing bonus. After a little research , I accepted the pick, as the consensus was that Lee was a hard working, producing, gym rat of a player. Turns out to be true, as Lee is going to be a stud center piece of the Cowboys defense for years to come.
Now onto the 2011 draft; on Day 2 the Cowboys draft Bruce Carter. The name rang familiar, because of the huge full page article in an ESPN magazine that had Bruce Carter as the top linebacker in the nation. I instantly looked up his highlight reel and saw the destruction that he laid against opposing offenses and kicking games and I got a chill because we could have potentially signed four 1st rounders in two years because of injury concerns.
Now onto the 2012 draft, I look at all of the injured players that ring a bell and only one name comes to mind; Ryan Broyles. As a University of Texas fan, I despise anything that is a product of Bob (Stoopid) Stoops at the University of Oklahoma Sooners. I have an immense respect for the man, but as a bitter rival, that is the only compliment I can offer. Ryan Broyles has destroyed my Longhorns for many years, and towards the end of the 2011 season, tore his ACL (sound familiar?). If healthy, Broyles would have been able to complete with Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd as one of the top receivers in the draft.
The connection: Barry Switzer. Jerry Jones played football back in his college days in Arkansas, and he was coached by Barry Switzer (former Head Coach of the Oklahoma Sooners). It was rumored that Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett sought out Switzer’s advice when evaluating DeMarco Murray, the Cowboys running back that holds the franchise record for yards in a single game.
Ryan Broyles was a consensus All-American in 2010, and holds the NCAA record for receptions with 349. On November 5th, 2011, Broyles tore his ACL in the last regular season game against the Texas A&M Aggies. Projected as a high 1st round pick before the injury, Broyles is now projected as a late 3rd, early 4th round pick due to his injury. Broyles’ speed was never his killer, but more his lateral quickness and elusiveness. This is crucial, because the quick lateral movements depend the most upon the strength of the ACL and the mental confidence in that ACL.
With a slew of young receivers currently on the roster in Dwayne Harris, Raymond Radaway, and Andre Holmes, Ryan Broyles would spend the 1st part of the season on IR while recovering. Working with 6-time SuperBowl champion strength and condition coach Mike Woicek will certainly help him along the road of recovery, and our Dallas Cowboys could be looking at drafting 6 1st round-quality picks in the past three years; definitely a way to start another dominating franchise. What are your thoughts readers? Feel free to share in the comments section below, I join the conversations quite frequently.