With the NFL draft rapidly approaching we, as fans, can’t help but wonder who the next 7 or 8 players are going to be on our favorite team. I have listened to and read more than enough expert analogies to decide that none of these people know what the thought process of Jerry Jones and his staff consists of. But then that got me thinking, what would my thoughts be like if I was the owner/GM of the Dallas Cowboys during this years draft? I can hear a lot of your thoughts right now, “If this guy was the owner/GM he would do better than Jerry”. That is far from the truth. As outsiders looking in we may think Jerry Jones makes bad moves at times but honestly everyone just likes being mad at the big guy who signs the pay checks. I have been mad at Mr. Jones decisions at times but my hundreds of hours experience playing Madden on Playstation doesn’t make me qualified to say how he should do his job. I am very happy with some of the resent additions to the team I think we all can agree that Jerry has improved the team this year so far. But being improved doesn’t make the Dallas Cowboys ready. Now here are my thoughts as the owner/GM of the Dallas Cowboys.
ROUND 1: First off we need Tony Romo protected. In Romo’s years as the starting QB, he has never had a great offensive line to watch his back. In the last four seasons Romo has suffered three injuries that involved broken bones. I feel that the main concern in the draft is to pick up a great offensive lineman that can not only hold off the defense during pass attempts but create holes for our runners. That is why in the first round of the draft I think we should take Stanford G, David DeCastro. But if he isn’t available then we would need to grab Cordy Glenn from Georgia. I think that either one of these guys would help Romo sleep better the night before facing any heavy pass rush team. DeCastro may be more slightly more NFL ready but Glenn is faster while being 30lbs bigger. With one of these big guys on the line it should open up the running game more and that’s what this team hasn’t had in a long time.
ROUND 2: A lot of people would think that the Cowboys need another cornerback by the second round but I disagree. I think by Jerry Jones signing Brandon Carr, corners are not a top priority this round. I think that having a pass rusher to be on the opposite side of DeMarcus Ware would be more beneficial to the team. Naturally Melvin Ingram would be top choice but he will be gone early in the first round. I would take him in first round if he was available at the 14th pick and get a guard in second instead, but I wouldn’t lose picks to trade down to get him. In the second round I would choose Marshal’s DE/OLB Vinny Curry, or Clemson’s DE/OLB Andre Branch. Both have the ability to make impacts on other teams by either taking some of the focus off Ware or being punished for not focusing enough on them. Both can be sack magnets and force quarterbacks to throw a little sooner than they had hoped.
ROUND 3: I think the third round would require drafting the best cornerback available. I think that could be Casey Hayward from Vanderbilt, or Josh Norman from Coastal Carolina. Both of these guys are talented enough to cover any number three receivers in the NFL and a quality replacement if Mike Jenkins or Brandon Carr gets injured. I believe with our pass rush they will be there to bat down any balls thrown there way. They will also be a good addition for Rob Ryan’s defense. They are natural man covers and have great ball awareness.
ROUND 4: This round would be a great spot to get another tight end. I have to place him as the number 3 TE being in the lineup behind John Phillips. There is two ways to go about drafting a TE this round, a receiving or a blocking. Since he would be our NO.3 TE I think I’d go with a receiving TE. Ladarius Green from Louisiana-Lafayette is a slightly under weight TE but has the ability to get open down the field. He could be our own Jimmy Graham on third and medium to long situations. Another route to take would be Michael Egnew fromMissouri. He could be a great addition as well. He may not be the receiving threat like Green but makes up for it with a bigger body and better blocking skills. The Cowboys like to use a three TE set so it is imperative that we get another TE on our roster.
ROUND 4 PART 2: We are rewarded an extra fourth round pick its not anything special most teams in the league are rewarded with an extra pick this year. I think with this opportunity we should pick up a safety. Trenton Robinson fromMichiganStatecould be a solid player for the team. He has good speed and could participate in the running for a starting position. Last year we got beat on many occasions down the field and Robinson may be able to keep that from happening again next season.
ROUND 5: I think in this round will have some talented wide receivers available. I don’t think we could get a NO. 3 WR that can be as reliable as Laurent Robinson was last year. Kevin Ogletree is a nice fit for NO.3 and if Raymond Radway fully recovers from his injury he will be a great option as well. It would be a good idea to grab a WR with great speed to possibly open up routes for Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. Two options that could be available in the fifth round would be Florida International’s T.Y. Hilton orArkansas’s Greg Childs. Both have great speed to blow by corners and could be a deep option for Tony Romo.
ROUND 6: The Dallas Cowboys have two runners that are threats to go the distance on any play but it wouldn’t hurt to pick up another back incase one of them go down to another injury. A solid group of backs could still be available in the sixth round and Vick Ballard fromMississippiStateor Tauren Poole fromTennesseeshould be up for grabs. Both had a descent college career with high YPC attached to them. Either would be a nice third leg to stand on and could give a solid triple back attack.
ROUND 7: I think if CB Coty Sensabaugh is still available he would be a must pick. I believe he would improve not only his position but he might inspire his cousin Gerald to play at his best ability. I think the cousins would push each other to try to prove to one another who the best football player in the family is. Coty has remarkable speed and could possibly be molded into a great cover corner and might be the biggest sleeper in this year’s draft.
So to sum it all up I feel that the O-line and pass rush are the main position to be addressed at the beginning of the draft. Then naturally would be helping the cornerback positions tighten up the pass coverage. A tight end to replace the hole left by Martellus Bennett, fitting the shoes he left behind shouldn’t be too hard. Regardless of the production he didn’t have, a TE is a must in the draft. A little more depth for the safety positions definitely can’t hurt the team, and a speedy wide out could throw any defensive coordinator’s plan of attack off track. Any team can benefit from an extra runner on the roster and a sixth round pick on a runner with good potential is worth taking a risk on. And the final step would be to get a corner with abilities that nobody else cares to look to far into, and just maybe he can help the team turn a new leaf and be a solid team ready for success.
Of course by the end of the draft I’m sure it won’t be laid out the way I wrote it. I do believe I am not to far off though. Either way will be a fun way to see if Jerry Jones and I have the same ideas for the team or if I will be sent a message that would remind me to keep my football strategies strictly to video games. Regardless of whom the Dallas Cowboys draft I am excited and look forward to the road ahead of them and am very hopeful for the success they can have.