Mizzou DE Kony Ealy to Dallas Cowboys Makes Sense

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Oct 19, 2013; Columbia, MO, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Tyler Murphy (3) is hit by Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Kony Ealy (47) while throwing during the second half at Faurot Field. Missouri won 36-17. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Draft remains months away, but mock drafts for the annual player selection meeting in New York are in full swing. This comes well before the kickoff of what looks to be a completely frozen Super Bowl XLVIII to be played in New York on February 2.

Depending on how you see the Dallas Cowboys, the top priorities for America’s Team may differ somewhat. There’s no denying, however, that the defensive line must be addressed early and probably often come May.

A name that’s already being mocked to Dallas in the first round of the coming draft is Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy—there’s very good reason for this.

Ealy might be seen as the consolation prize for any team drafting in the opening round that wants a pass-rush specialist but doesn’t select high enough for South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who could be the first overall selection.

I have my doubts that, as the predraft season progresses, Ealy will fall to the Cowboys at either the 16th or 17th selection. Historically speaking, quarterbacks, offensive tackles and pass-rushers tend to disappear quickly within the first 10-12 selections and the Cowboys fall well beyond that range at this point in time.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones has a history of trading up to grab players early in the draft. Recent first-round picks like wide receiver Dez Bryant (2010) and cornerback Morris Claiborne (2012) fit this hit-and-miss strategy. We can say the same for NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith (1990).

I won’t pretend to guess what Jones will do in this year’s draft simply because anything is possible with this particular executive. Nonetheless, it would appear as though Dallas won’t be moving up too much for anybody this time around.

Dallas needs as many good football players as they can get their hands on—remember that free agency isn’t likely to solve too much for the Cowboys given their current, or annual, salary cap situation.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Jadeveon Clowney Kony Ealy

  • Jimmy DeMarco

    I do think Ealy would be the perfect fit for us in our defense, regardless if Ware is with the team or not.
    The one thing I believe is that Dallas will have their choice of Ealy, Tuitt, Hageman, Jernigan, Dix or Nix. Some have even suggested that Murphy and Beasley may fall in our direction.

    My only skepticism is that Jerry may decide to draft best player available. So if someone like Lee, Dennard or Benjamin is sitting there, he may go that route.

    And as I’ve seen quite a few articles written about the Cowboys draft, the concensus of most of the comments have been that Dallas should draft best player available, not based on need.

    My only argument against drafting based on need for this team is simply this…
    If we’re to think or even want Jerry to do the right thing and let players like Hatcher, Spencer and a lot have even suggested Ware,awe jwd the wordworst defense in football last year. How bad do you think it willnbe this year?
    How much improvement will there will be, even if Bass and Crawford come back, who are complete question marks?
    Of course drafting any player is always a question mark. But if we’re to assume Dallas isn’t going to make any significant upgrades in FA (Hardy, Melton or Bennet), how does anyone expect this team to be better at all?

    There’s no question that drafting the best player available when it’s our turn is enticing and is the “norm”. But let’s be realistic for a moment, our offensive ineptitude at times had nothing to do with personnel, it was play calling and clock management issues.

    Having this juggernaut offensive vision is great. And the name of the game is, whoever scores more wins.
    But take a look at the NFC, look at the teams that were in the playoffs.
    Top 4 defensive teams in the league and who’s playing in the NFC Championship game this weekend?

    I’m sorry, but the idea of passing on a defensive pass rusher and run stopper in the first round is ludicrous just to take the best player available. What if the best player available is Ebron, do you really draft another TE, seriously?

    And the same people who I always see commenting on these articles about drafting best player available are the same people who keep saying that Marinelli is a genius when it comes to getting the most out of his defensive lineman.
    And don’t say it’s different because you’re comparing prospects to an NFL player, that’s BS. 20 different DL this past season is a joke.
    And if Ealy, Tuitt, Hageman or Jernigan is sitting there at whatever # we pick, and Lee is there, drafting Lee over any of those defensive players is insane. And again, by most of my fellow Cowboy fans comments, Marinelli would make them that much better.

    • Christian Blood

      Two years ago at this time the crying was over Terrence Newman failing to tackle fullbacks against New York in that win-and-you’re-in fiasco. Jerry dumped a whole offseason into new cornerbacks and the resuklts are still the same … BTW, Newman has been going to the playoffs with Cincy since leaving the Cowboys.

      No, secondary players like corners, safeties and more wide receivers will mean next to nothing for Dallas in 2014 … just look at the schedule.

      I said this last year and I’ll say it again: Until the Cowboys’ trenches become something to fear in the NFC East, forget the playoffs, let alone anything more.

      Dallas brought in a completely new scheme for the defense last year and did absolutely nothing about it, period. They didn’t acquire a single new defensive lineman over the ENTIRE offseason, obviously thinking that the aging scrap of 3-4 history would all just change positions successfully.

      This was the worst mistake or calculation of the Jones era, and that’s saying quite a bit.

      This draft has to be about the defensive line and maybe even the offensive line as well … forget this idea that the o-line was vastly improved. With the Garrett-Callahan pass-a-thon that will continue until everybody ends up fired, the offensive line needs more Pro Bowl players than just Tyron Smith.

      • Jimmy DeMarco

        I agree with everything you said.
        If Ealy is sitting there when we pick, we have to draft him.

        I keep hearing people say that this draft isn’t deep in terms of defensive line, BS. There are so many players that can play different positions and are very versatile.

        This draft should be all about defense, and like you said, the OL as well.
        With guys who will be available in the 2-5 rounds of the draft, it would be extremely disappointing if we don’t add impact players and depth.

        Hageman – Ealy – Jernigan – Nix – Sutton – Donald – Ferguson – D Jones – Quarles – Easley –
        A Johnson – Mccullers – Barnett –
        D Coleman.
        Tuitt – Murphy – Crichton – Reilly – C Smith – Jeffcoat – M Smith – D Lawrence –
        K Martin – Gayle – Stinson.
        Shazier – Beasley – Van Noy – Attaochu- Kennard – Sam – McKinney.

        Obviously I left off the 4 we have absolutely no shot at getting.
        And I completely understand that not all of these guys are going to be top tier players/starters. Quite a few will be role players and 3rd down guys. But if other people who are against Dallas going the defensive route in this draft, they’re nuts.

        There is going to be guys who would projected to go in the top 3 rounds that will be available in the middle rounds.

        They need to build a defense and it starts now.
        And if on draft day I get the notifications that we ended up with Ealy in the 1st and Donald in the 2nd, I’d be ecstatic. Even Jernigan and Sutton. Or Hageman and Crichton or Murphy.

        I know this is a draft player article.
        What’s your thoughts about Spencer, Hatcher, Ware, Sims and Austin?

  • Old Frog

    It’s going to get boring but I’m going to keep asking for Cyril Richardson in the second or late in the first if JJ trades down. Every other pick can go defense any way you want it.

    • Juanito Juanito

      boring and stupid, spend and lose a first round pick in offense when your defense is the worst in the league and when your offensive line close the season well, to me not sound boring, sound stupid, who are you jerry jones assistent