Mar 20, 2014; Notre Dame, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish former football player Zack Martin runs a drill during Notre Dame pro day at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Draft Smart, Not Flashy

Dallas had a great opportunity to make headlines by drafting Johnny Manziel when he turned out to still be available when the Cowboys went on the clock for the 16th overall pick.  

They could have taken Manziel, which would have triggered a nation wide gasp, then sigh of relief from Romo doubters everywhere.  Even I have to admit it would have been exciting, though I’ve supported and defended Romo all along.
But that’s just the thing.  It would have been exciting.  Exciting, but not smart.  Instead, the Cowboys drafting of left tackle Zack Martin showed a great deal of restraint and intelligence, drafting in this case for both need and value, not jersey sales.
The addition of Martin to the Cowboy’s offensive line helps buy Romo more precious seconds in the pocket, and could cement what was already becoming a pretty solid running game.
The scouts of had nothing but good things to say about Martin.
An athletic, smart, competitive, dependable college left tackle whose length dictates a move inside, where he has plug-and-play ability in a zone-blocking scheme. One of the cleanest prospects in this year’s draft.  Engages quickly. Flexible and light on his feet. Can work his hips and maneuver. Seals running lanes.  Athletic to pull and trap. Passes off stunts and is alert to blitzers.  Sparkling intangibles. Highly respected, hardworking leader who does all the right things.”
This makes sense, as many saw Martin making the move to guard for the Cowboy’s.
As I said before, drafting another quarterback without first addressing our line issues is just bringing in another player to get hurt.  Not to mention that I don’t think Manziel will be the NFL quarterback that he was in college.  
Colt McCoy was the most winning QB in college history, and has since become an obscure 2nd or 3rd stringer since joining the NFL.  Who’s to say that Manziel (who is much smaller than McCoy) won’t follow the same fate?  It’s an awful big risk to take for a mid-first round pick.  It’s nice to see the Cowboys make the smart decision and I’m excited to see the effect it has on our offensive production this year.
One concern is that we really didn’t address our defensive needs in free agency or the draft to many fan’s satisfaction.  How we handle that remains to be seen.  Perhaps we will squeeze a substantial amount of talent out of the late round picks we scooped up in day 3.  Maybe we will actually stay healthy and depth won’t be as severe of an issue this season. Maybe we will finally get our investments worth out of Carr and Claiborne this year.  Or maybe the addition to our offensive strength will keep our possession time up, keeping our defensive off the field while simultaneously limiting our opponents opportunity to score and our defense’s opportunity to get hurt.
Stay tuned next week for a more in depth look at the rest of this season’s draft picks.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Johnny Manziel NFL Draft Zack Martin

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