Our sister site, NFLmocks.com, has just released their latest NFL Mock Draft predictions for 2014. And in it, they have the Dallas Cowboys filling-in a vital missing piece for the Monte Kiffin defense. With the loss of All-Pro Anthony Spencer earlier this season and diminishing skills of All-World DeMarcus Ware more evident than ever, the defensive end position appears to be a major need for the Cowboys going into 2014. Here’s what Erik Lambert of NFL Mocks had to say about the Cowboys’ projected first round pick:
#18 – Dallas Cowboys – Stephon Tuitt – DE – Notre Dame
“It doesn’t matter where they start, the Dallas Cowboys need help at every defensive position. Line is as good a place to start as any. Stephon Tuitt is a big, strong and surprisingly athletic end out of Notre Dame with enough speed to play multiple positions in multiple fronts.”
Here’s I rated Tuitt earlier this season as a possible draft prospect:
Measurables: 6-5, 303, 4.89
CBS Big Board Rank: 14th Overall
Walter Football Big Board Rank: 16th Overall
Quick Analysis: Tuitt is part of a strong defensive line that helped take Notre Dame to the National Championship game last year and allowed linebacker Mante’ Teo to roam freely in the defensive midfield. Although the big man didn’t find the same success this season, Tuitt was an effective run-stopper and recorded 44 tackles and 7.5 six sacks for the Irish this year. Many experts consider him the best defensive end available in the draft next to Clowney.
Cowboys Angle: The Dallas Cowboys already have Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Ware. They also found a gem in journeyman end George Selvie this season. But it is unlikely the Cowboys will re-sign Anthony Spencer this offseason due to their salary cap issues. And the young Tyrone Crawford will be returning from a season-ending injury to his left Achilles tendon, but no one knows exactly what effect that will have on his future play.
Depending upon your feelings about the age of Ware and Selvie’s long-term status as a starter in the NFL, the Cowboys could be in desperate need at defensive end. Tuitt would certainly fill that need. And NFL Mocks calls him a “tweener” who is fast enough to play outside at defensive end but big and strong enough to move inside to defensive tackle. And Dallas probably has a bigger need at tackle than defensive end at this point. Getting a highly ranked player that has position flexibility sounds like the ultimate Rod Marinelli guy to me.
You can see the rest of my Top Ten 2014 Cowboys Draft Prospects here: http://thelandryhat.com/2013/12/09/top-ten-2014-draft-prospects-dallas-cowboys-first-round-pick/
You can see the rest of the first round mock by Erik here: http://nflmocks.com/2013/12/24/2014-nfl-mock-draft-update-c-j-mosley-falls-bears/