As we continue the Team Needs series for the 2013 NFL Draft, we proceed to the team with the eighteenth overall pick; the Dallas Cowboys. For what seems like the past fifteen years, the Cowboys were met with their usual Super Bowl hype in the preseason. After a solid draft last year, it seemed like they’d at least make the postseason, but they once again fell short.
For all of the blame that Tony Romo gets from casual fans and the disgruntled Dallas faithful, he was the only reason that the Cowboys were even in most of their games last season. Sure, he always made the mistake near the end that cost the game, but with a defense that couldn’t stop just about anyone in 2012, he had to play his ass off just to get to that point. Therefore, here is what I think the team will do in the draft to fix these problems.
While this should be a very heavy defensive draft, the issues on the offensive line need to be cleared up and fast. Doug Free has become that guy who clearly got relaxed and happy after getting paid as his performance has plummeted since getting his big contract. The center play was so awful last year that there are rumors that the team is considering sliding Mackenzy Bernadeau over there from guard. A couple of early to middle round picks must be used to get Romo some help in pass protection and run blocking. Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper should both be on the Cowboys draft board at eighteen.
Draft Possibilities: Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper
With the scheme change to a 4-3 coming, there is going to be a lot of movement to the roster in the end and linebacker pieces. Anthony Spencer and Victor Butler are both free agents and someone will have to be brought in and the bookend for DeMarcus Ware in the new scheme. Alex Okafor could be a good compliment in the second round.
Draft Possibilities: Alex Okafor, Dion Jordan
The moment that Barry Church tore his ACL, the Cowboys secondary began to fall apart. You never know what to expect with a player returning from that injury and he may not even be ready by camp, so the position needs to be accounted for here. In the second or third, I expect this one to be addressed with someone like Eric Reid, who would be a perfect fit in this scheme.
Draft Possibilities: Eric Reid, J.J. Wilcox
With never knowing what to expect from Jay Ratliff, this will be a position of need entering this draft. Ratliff could be back, but there have already been rumors of the team pondering releasing him due to poor play ever since signing his new deal. Trying to front and intimidate the owner of the club probably didn’t help matters, either. If someone like Shariff Floyd is available, it could interest Jerry Jones to find that replacement.
Draft Possibilities: Shariff Floyd, Jonathan Jenkins
It’s just a given that when you’re switching defensive schemes that Linebacker is going to be a need. Several guys from the 3-4 will no longer be a fit and replacements will be needed after the great purge comes. Bruce Carter and Sean Lee are likely fits, but everyone else is replaceable. Expect the middle to late rounds to be flush with linebacker selections for Dallas starting with someone like Gerald Hodges in the fourth.
Draft Possibilities: Gerald Hodges, Sio Moore
It may sound crazy after I talked him up, but looking for that quarterback of the future might be a good idea in this draft as well. There is uncertainty about the future of Romo in Dallas and he will be 33 years old next season. With talk of him even being franchised in the future, finding that guy could become imperative.
Most didn’t think that Jason Garrett would make it to this draft as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, but he’ll be on a very short leash in the 2013 season and a slow start will likely do him in. That is why this will be the most imperative draft of his tenure and the team must hit on their early picks. Hopefully Jones lets him actually have some say in the selections.
Tagged with: 2013 NFL Draft, Alex Okafor, Anthony Spencer, Barry Church, Burce Carter, Chance Warmack, Dallas Cowboys, DeMarcus Ware, Dion Jordan, Doug Free, Eric Reid, Gerald Hodges, J.J. Wilcox, Jason Garrett, Jay Ratliff, Jerry Jones, Jonathan Cooper, Jonathan Jenkins, Mackenzy Bernadeau, NFC, NFC East, NFL Draft, Sean Lee, Shariff Floyd, Sio Moore, Team Needs, Tony Romo, Victor Butler