So, trading out of the 18th pick was to be expected when their “dream scenario” players did not fall far enough. Now I will admit, what we received in the trade was not adequate compensation for trading down 13 spots in the first round. Only adding an additional 3rd round pick (which turned out to be Baylor WR Terrance Williams with the 74th pick) did not seem like enough for me as well as the majority of fans I spoke with.
The deal seemed even more lopsided after the trade the St. Louis Rams received right after us. The Rams traded back from 22 down to 30 and received a 3rd AND a 6th round pick for their troubles. So adding at least another 6th or 7th round pick, in addition to the extra 3rd round pick we received (although it could have been another 2nd), would have put a bigger smile on my face Thursday night.
At the end of the day, we drafted a plug-in-play day one starter with the 31st pick. Travis Frederick will immediately help in both the run game and the pass game and will provide Romo that much needed added “half second” to release the ball. The thing I like most about Frederick is that he is a nasty player that plays with an attitude. And a mauling physical center that has a dark side to him (as weird as that sounds) is exactly what this Dallas offensive line needs.
And as you know by now, I have been advocating for a first round offensive lineman since February. Frederick’s position flexibility (being able to play both center and guard, though he will probably start off at center) only added to his high draft grade Dallas had on him.
The interior of our offensive line (and Tony) needed some love and it was delivered in a big way with the burly, bearded, man-child from Wisconsin who (along with tackle Tyron Smith) will anchor our offensive line for the 10-12 years.
Romo got some more love in the 2nd round with the Gavin Escobar pick. Yes we have Jason Witten (my current favorite Cowboy and top 5 All-time) but sadly, the future Hall of Famer is closer to the tail end of his career that he is the front end. And 2012 6th round pick James Hanna has certainly not solidified himself as the consensus 2nd string tight end even with the strong showing toward the end of last season. The Hanna/Escobar camp battle should be one of the more intriguing battles come July 19th when training camp opens.
Either way, Escobar scored 13 touchdowns in his last two seasons at San Diego State, so if anything, he could make for a lethal red zone and goal line target with his 6-6 frame providing a massive target for Romo down the seams. Though he is highly considered as the best pass catcher in this year’s tight end crop, he will need to make large strides in his blocking duties. If Dallas truly wants to emulate New England’s tight end system, they just might now have the pieces in place with the trio of Jason Witten, James Hanna and Gavin Escobar.
The wide receiver position is now a position of strength and great depth with the 3rd round addition of Baylor star Terrance Williams. Along with the battle between Hanna and Escobar for the number two tight spot, the Dwayne Harris/Terrance Williams camp battle for the number three wide receiver spot will be another one to watch for when the pads come on. The local Baylor product can flat out play and possesses huge big-play ability as an outside guy in this offense.
As with Dez Bryant three years ago, Tony Romo and Jason Garrett have a new toy at their disposal. It just so happens that new toy and first round talent also led the entire nation in receiving last year, posting 1, 832 yards on 97 catches and 12 touchdowns (without that RG3 guy I might add). With the injury history of both Dez and Miles, it makes complete sense to add another playmaker to the mix. And who knows if Miles Austin is even on the roster in 2014. The point is that the wide receiver position is only one injury away from Terrance Williams starting.
Regardless, Williams (who will be wearing # 83 this season) has a great shot to be starting within the next two seasons. I am also completely sure Dez Bryant would not mind the extra looks with another big play receiver lined up on the other side of the field at all times. His straight-line speed and smooth route running should allow for plenty of targets this season.
And now we arrive at the former Cowboy who is now a current Cowboy. That of course would be 5th round running back Joseph Randle who leaves the collegiate Cowboys to come to the Dallas Cowboys.