How Goodell’s Indecision On Hardy Hurts Cowboys Draft Plans
By being indecisive, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is holding the Dallas Cowboys draft process hostage. Out of fairness and the spirit of competition, Goodell should make a decision on defensive end Greg Hardy before the 2015 NFL draft. The Cowboys should know if their free agent signing prepares the team for the upcoming season.
It’s not a secret that Hardy is on a one year rental contract with the Cowboys for 2015. Ignore many of the talking heads obsessed with the Cowboys selecting a first round running back. True fans know that defensive end and cornerback are the two main positions of need.
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Cornerback needs to be addressed because of the lack of talent at the position. Scheduled to make $8 million in 2015, cornerback Brandon Carr will accept a pay reduction or becomes a June 1st cut. Reporter Todd Archer believes Carr will make the final roster, but I’m not so sure.
In three seasons with the Cowboys, Carr has six interceptions and none in 2014. By comparison, Scandrick has four picks in the last two years with two in 2014. Claiborne and Patmon each had one interception last year. As a team, the Cowboys finished with 18 interceptions.
Claiborne’s torn patella tendon injury reportedly will cause him to start the 2015 season on the team’s physically unable to perform list. That leaves the Cowboys with my favorite – Patmon – along with unheralded additions of Steeples and White.
Steeples played in two games for the Minnesota Vikings. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said White would excel at the nickel cornerback position. White has four interceptions in the last three years with the Saints.
|2015 Cowboys Cornerback Depth Chart|
|Left Cornerback||Right Cornerback|
|Brandon Carr||Orlando Scandrick|
|Robert Steeples||Morris Claiborne|
Without Carr, the Cowboys are entering the draft with Scandrick, Patmon and White as the experienced, healthy cornerbacks on the roster. That’s why a cornerback is a first round possibility. Pass coverage is also helped with a pass rush.
The Cowboys may have improved their pass rush with the addition of Hardy. The question remains, how many games will be be allowed to play. If the Goodell allows Hardy to start on Week 1, the defensive end position becomes less of a priority.
If Goodell keeps Hardy off the field for 8 or more games, it becomes necessary to draft someone that could contribute immediately. Removing Hardy’s talent infusion to the defensive line, you have to rely on players to improve dramatically from last year. If Hardy can’t take the field, did the Cowboys really address the position?
I believe they will still draft a defensive end. The advantages would be having another young player at the position opposite DeMarcus Lawrence both able to learn pass rush techniques and tips from Hardy and tackle Tyron Smith. If Hardy has an explosive year, having a player waiting in the wing reduces the Cowboys need to enter a bidding war for Hardy next season.
Perhaps Hardy decides he likes it in Dallas and they agree to a long term deal mid-season. I was surprised it didn’t happen with linebacker Rolando McClain last year with the praise he heaped upon the city, team and coaching staff.
The Cowboys could draft CB, DE, RB or DE, CB, RB but I highly doubt that RB will be selected in the first or second. The talent pool is too deep at RB and the Cowboys need at the other positions are too great.
Deciding between CB or DE is going to based on the talent of the player available and Goodell’s decision on Hardy. The Cowboys need Goodell to decide sooner than later.
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