Did the NFL Combine force the Dallas Cowboys hand?

Feb 29, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive back Jalen Ramsey runs the 40 yard dash during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 29, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive back Jalen Ramsey runs the 40 yard dash during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

After his performance at the combine, can the Dallas Cowboys afford to pass on Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey?

Often times, it’s easy to get swayed or overly impressed by someone’s performance at the annual scouting combine.

For some, the event is a complete waste of time.  There are those who don’t care how fast you run, how much weight you lift or how far you can jump in your underwear.  These people usually follow these feelings up with something related to “as long as he produces on the field…”

For everyone else, the combine is used as a tool to pair with game film and other pieces of information to make the best choice possible when they are looking for the next cornerstone of the franchise.

Today, we’re not going to discuss the validity of what the combine tells us.  We’re simply going to use what happened over the weekend to point out the Dallas Cowboys may have just had their hand forced when it comes to who will be holding up that white and blue jersey after shaking Commissioner Goodell’s hand.

One thing anyone who loves this team can certainly agree on is that there are very specific needs that need to be filled.  The order of which is up for discussion but the Cowboys cannot go into the 2016 season without some defensive line help, a couple of defensive backs, a linebacker, a backup quarterback and possibly a running back.

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After today, the debate on which position should be addressed first and who that someone should be may have ended.

If my last name is Jones, Garrett or McClay, one player’s tape along with their ridiculous performance at the combine just told me everything I needed to know.

It will be extremely hard for the Cowboys to not hand in a three by five index card with the name Jalen Ramsey, cornerback, Florida State University on it.

At six feet and one inch tall, weighing 209 pounds, Ramsey ran the 40 yard dash in 4.41 seconds, placing him in the top eight at his position.  More impressive than that, however was his vertical leap (41.5″) and broad jump (11 feet, 3 inches).

Both of those numbers tied him for best overall amongst anyone invited to the combine, regardless of position.

As if the measurables could get any better, he also possesses the arm length (33.5″) that you find in elite defensive backs.  To give you an idea of how he fared, take a look at how his combine numbers compare to the best currently in the game.

Richard Sherman, Seattle – 6’3″, 195 lbs, 32″ arm length / 4.56 forty time, 38″ vertical jump, 10 feet, 4 inch broad jump
Patrick Peterson, Arizona – 6’0″, 219 lbs, 32″ arm length / 4.34 forty time, 40″ vertical jump, 10 feet, 5 inch broad jump
Darrelle Revis, N.Y. Jets – 5’11”, 204 lbs, 32 3/8″ arm length / 4.38 forty time, 37″ vertical jump, 10 feet, 5 inch broad jump
Josh Norman, Carolina – 6’0″, 197, 32 3/4″ arm length / 4.66 forty time, 33″ vertical jump, 10 feet, 3 inch broad jump

Ramsey is bigger than Revis and Norman, faster than Sherman and Norman and trumps them all in arm length, vertical jump and broad jump statistics.

Now is the time you might be thinking… “I bet Morris Claiborne looked great at the combine too, how did that work out?”

Actually, Ramsey blows Claiborne out of the water in ever single category.  Ramsey ran almost a full tenth of a second faster (4.41 v. 4.5), out jumped Mo by seven inches vertically and a foot and some change horizontally.  He is also bigger than Claiborne by two inches and twenty pounds while having slightly longer arms.

Most scouts actually use Sherman as a similar example of what they think Ramsey will be at the next level.  Even if he falls short of that expectation, being a step or two down from one of the three best in the game isn’t exactly a bust.

When you couple his unreal athleticism with that of last year’s first round selection, Byron Jones, suddenly you have an incredibly impressive duo in the defensive backfield.  Both have position flexibility as well to play corner or safety to increase depth.  This dream scenario may just be too good for the Cowboys to pass up.

One thing is certain, Jalen Ramsey just made the decision to pass on him extremely difficult.

Next: Dallas Cowboys should sign this young corner

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