Sep 8, 2012; Winston Salem, NC, USA North Carolina Tar Heels guard Jonathan Cooper (64) lines up in the game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB
If Jerry and Jason are fully committed to protecting their investment properly, they will use their first round draft pick on keeping Romo upright. We all know it’s not the “sexy pick” but that does not change the fact that it’s the needed pick. As mentioned above, history suggests selecting a first round big man is unlikely, but keeping Romo’s jersey clean SHOULD be our top priority heading into the upcoming draft.
The more I think about it, I don’t see Alabama guard Chance Warmack being there at 18, but I would be completely fine with guard Jonathan Cooper (2nd highest rated guard behind Warmack) out of UNC as well. Warmack is more intimidating and physical at the point of attack but Cooper is more agile and athletic and pulls better on running plays. With that agility and quicker footwork over Warmack, Cooper could also be used as a center at the NFL level which will help his draft stock.
Regardless, I’m fine with either player (and both are expected to visit Valley Ranch this week). Both will also be day one starters. I really don’t see Dallas taking a tackle in the first round. Depending on how the first 17 picks pan out, Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson and Warmack’s teammate, D.J. Fluker could both still be available.
We all know Tyron Smith is not going anywhere and he will only be better in his second year at left tackle with another full offseason under his belt. His spot is the most secure out of the current five up front. The more stories I hear coming out of Dallas lend me to believe that they are perfectly content with letting Doug Free and Jeremy Parnell battle it out for the starting right tackle spot. The eventual loser of that battle will end up being the swing tackle.
Rather, IF we go first round offensive lineman, I think that player needs to be a guard/center combo considering Jerry Jones has pointed to the guard position in need of the biggest upgrade. If I had to guess at this point, I see us keeping last year’s free agent guard, Nate Livings where he is at left guard and letting center Phil Costa, 2011 undrafted guard/center Kevin Kowalski and current right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau (who played some center last season) battle it out for the center spot. And that would mean the right guard spot would then perhaps go to a camp battle between first round draft pick Warmack/Cooper, second year undrafted guard Ron Leary, 2011 fourth round draft pick David Arkin (LONG SHOT), and Bernadeau assuming he loses the camp battle for the center spot.
Or reports may be true, and they might even consider switching Doug Free to guard (BAD IDEA) and maximizing the right tackle spot. Who knows? On the other hand, needing offensive line help will not force the hand of Jerry and Jason to select what we truly need with our first pick.
When it’s all said and done, I can also see the Cowboys’ brass taking defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (Missouri), defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins (Ohio State) or even Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro with our top pick as these are all need areas as well. Fans will undoubtedly love the Vaccaro pick.
Whether offensive big men have been valued or not in Dallas Cowboys history, our $119.5 million dollar franchise quarterback could sure use another first round talent protecting him this season allowing Romo to deliver the ball from a CLEAN pocket and not one collapsing on all sides. For the sake of Tony Romo’s health, I hope the right choice will be made and therefore provide our quarterback some much needed help in front of him, even relieving some of that pressure that often resides solely on his shoulders. Our success in 2013 could greatly depend on it.