Tag:Cowboys
Posted on: April 27, 2011 11:10 am
 

Dallas Cowboys Draft Preview

DALLAS COWBOYS

   2010 record: 6-10, third place NFC East

2011 draft rundown

   Eight total picks (round): 9 (1), 40 (2), 71 (3), 110 (4), 143 (5), 176 (6), 220 (7), 252 (7) 

Top needs:

   Offensive line: The Cowboys themselves indentified improving the offensive line play as a top offseason priority. The running game, pass protection and short-yardage ground attack has struggled the past two years because of age and injury. The question is how they go about doing it with so many aging veterans with big-money contracts tied to them. The Cowboys could target a tackle in the first round of the draft, which puts a bulls-eye on the future of veteran right tackle Marc Colombo, who has chronic knee problems and limited lateral movement.

   Cornerback: The Cowboys must address a secondary that was the worst in team history last year. The best player on the board when the Cowboys pick ninth could be cornerback Prince Amukamara and you can never have too many corners -- especially with an aging Terence Newman seemingly at the end of his career. The Cowboys don't want to pay him $9 million next season and he could be cut.

   Safety: The Cowboys are letting their best safety, Gerald Sensabaugh, test the free-agent market as they didn't even try to re-sign him. That's because calling him the best was like saying he was the tallest midget. The Cowboys could have two new starting safeties next season via the draft and free agency.

   Defensive end: With Marcus Spears likely gone in free agency and Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher restricted free agents, the Cowboys have just Igor Olshansky under contract. This is a position that not only must be addressed in numbers but needs a player who can step in as the starter and be an anchor at the position. It's one reason why the Cowboys are considering taking an end with the ninth overall pick. Possibilities include Robert Quinn, J.J. Watt and Cameron Jordan.

First pick focus

   9th overall

   --Keeping quarterback Tony Romo on the field would seem to be a high priority of head coach Jason Garret. That means the team will need to address their offensive line deficiencies, and the top offensive tackles may all be gone by the team's second round selection. Jerry Jones likes to collect talent, however, so "sexier" picks like cornerback Prince Amukamara or pass rushing five-technique Cameron Jordan could cause the Cowboys to skip Tyron Smith or other offensive tackles at nine. 

Five names on Cowboys' board
  --OT Tyron Smith, Dallas
  --CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
  --DE Cameron Jordan, California
  --DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
  --DE Nick Fairley, Auburn 

--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter

Category: NFL Draft
Tags: Cowboys, Dallas
 
Posted on: March 21, 2011 12:08 pm
 

Trading places

The five or more trades made during the first round of the NFL Draft each year really ramp up the excitement and anticipation felt during the event. Given the talent available this year, there's no doubt that at least that many will be announced by Commissioner Roger Goodell from the Radio City Music Hall stage on April 28th.

How many trades occur may, in part, be determined by the optimism (or lack thereof) surrounding the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

If teams believe the matter will take a year or more to be settled in court, much like the 1987 work stoppage, they will have to assume the league will operate under 2010 rules for the upcoming season(s). That means no rookie wage scale and those initial contracts continuing to include large amounts of guaranteed money.

If, however, a rookie wage scale seems likely to be enacted before this year's draft class signs their deals, teams may be more willing to move up to get the player they want. Paying out $10-$20 million in signing and other guaranteed bonuses to a top-five selection is much more palatable than the $30-$50 million included in each high pick's contract last summer.

Either way, teams anxious to land their top-rated player will undoubtedly pull the trigger on a deal. Here are just six of many intriguing trade scenarios for the first round of this year's draft:

Dallas (#9) trades up for CB Patrick Peterson

Potential trade partners: Cincinnati (#4) or Cleveland (#6)
Possible price: Second-round (Cincinnati) or third-round (Cleveland) picks

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will find it difficult to stay in place if Peterson, the prototypical size/speed corner is still available after the top three selections. San Francisco seems a likely spot for Peterson to land if still available, so Jones will have to make a move to gain the type of star player he typically covets. The Bengals and Browns could easily move down and still pick up a fine pass rusher, defensive tackle Nick Fairley, one of the top two receivers, A.J Green and Julio Jones. Both teams could certainly use the extra picks to build roster depth.

St. Louis (#14) trades up for WR Julio Jones/A.J. Green

Potential trade partner: Dallas (#9)
Possible price: Third-round pick with a late-round sweetener

If the Cowboys aren't enamored with one of the top two cornerbacks (Prince Amukamara being the other), they could move down into the mid-first to pick up an offensive lineman or top five-technique defensive end like Cameron Jordan or J.J. Watt. The Rams are obviously in the market for a playmaking receiver to help last year's number one selection, QB Sam Bradford, get the vertical game in gear. They'll need to get ahead of Washington, Houston (#11), and Minnesota (#12) to ensure they can secure the services of Jones or A.J. Green, whoever is still on the board.

San Diego (#18) trades up for DEs Cameron Jordan or J.J. Watt

Potential trade partners: Tennessee (#8), Minnesota (#12), Detroit (#13)
Possible price: Early (Tennessee) or late (Minnesota/Detroit) second-round pick; may receive a late round pick in return

The Chargers have multiple free agents among their three-man rotation up front, and there's not a playmaker among them. With the extra second-round pick they received from the Jets in the (for CB Antonio Cromartie) and the extra third round pick brought in from Seattle (QB Charlie Whitehurst), General Manager A.J. Smith is in a position to move into the top ten if he so chooses. Jordan and Watt have value to 4-3 and 3-4 teams, so Smith may need to go up higher than expected to land his guy.

Philadelphia (#23) trades up for OT Tyron Smith/Gabe Carimi

Potential trade partners:  Jacksonville (#16) or Tampa Bay (#20)
Possible price: Third-round and fourth-round picks

Andy Reid is never shy about moving up to get the offensive or defensive lineman he wants. Though Reid has preferred larger line prospects in the past, Smith's growing frame, strength and athleticism may catch the eye of new Eagles offensive line coach Howard Mudd. Carimi could also be the type of no-nonsense and strong right tackle Mudd wants to work with going forward, and probably brings a cheaper price tag.

New York Jets (#30) trade up for OLB Jabaal Sheard

Potential trade partner: Philadelphia (#23) or Baltimore (#26)
Possible price: Third-round pick, possibly with a late-round sweetener

Sheard's stock is on the rise, and he would fit in some 4-3 schemes in addition to projecting to a strong, relentless 3-4 rush linebacker. If fellow 3-4 teams New England (#17) and San Diego (#18) don't snap him up, Rex Ryan and company would trade a third-round selection along with another late pick to make sure the Saints (#24), Falcons (#27) or Patriots (#28) don't put Sheard's name on their cards.

Washington (#41) trades up for QBs Jake Locker, Christian Ponder or Ryan Mallett

Potential trade partners: New Orleans (#24) or New England (#28)
Possible price: Future second-round pick and current fifth round pick

If Washington owner Daniel Snyder and head coach Mike Shanahan don't believe one of the second-tier quarterback prospects are worth selecting in the top ten, they may trade up to find a signal caller late in the first. A falling Locker would be a nice get for Shanahan, who could consider him a Jay Cutler-type prospect who he could mold into an NFL quarterback. The vertical arm strength of a Mallett or moxie/intelligence of Ponder could also entice the duo leading the Redskins to make a deal.

One barrier to this move is Washington's lack of third or fourth round pick this year due to previous trades for OT Jammal Brown and QB Donovan McNabb. Any teams accepting future picks from organizations like Washington desperate to make a move would have to assume there will be a 2012 draft, or at least make the trade conditional so they would receive their trade partner's second-round pick in the next draft, no matter when it may occur.

--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analust Chad Reuter

Posted on: December 28, 2010 11:31 am
Edited on: December 28, 2010 11:36 am
 

My All-Rookie Team

As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, I was recently asked to fill out my ballot for the All-Rookie Team.

While I reserve the right to change players over the final week of the season (and welcome your review) , this is how I have things now.

Offensive Rookie of the Year : Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay
Defensive Rookie of the Year : Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit
Overall Rookie of the Year : Suh

Offense
 
Quarterback: Sam Bradford, Rams: If he can go on the road and beat Seattle to win the NFC West, Bradford may overtake Williams as my Offensive ROY, but I'm not giving it to him just because he's a QB, went No. 1 and played well early. Bradford has faded late this year.

Running back: LaGarrette Blount, Bucs: Free agent leads all NFL rookies with 941 rushing yards while splitting duty.

Running back: Chris Ivory, Saints:
Can't overstate how vital of a role the free agent played with injuries to Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas.

Wide receiver: Mike Williams, Bucs:
Has been dynamic all year long. Leads rookie WRs in grabs (61), yards (924) and TDs (10).

Wide receiver: Dez Bryant, Cowboys:
Only started twice and injury sidelined him early but Dez was dazzling.

Tight end: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots: Second to Williams in receiving TDs as a rookie with nine; which leads the Patriots.

Center: Mike Pouncey, Steelers: Deserves some Offensive Rookie of the Year consideration. A standout here since Day One.

Offensive guard: Mike Iupati, 49ers: A bit inconsistent, but has improved throughout the year and been one of SF's few bright spots.

Offensive guard: Ted Larsen, Bucs: Cut by Pats, signed by Bucs and has started the past 10 consecutive at LG for contending Bucs, giving him the edge over Zane Beadles in Denver.

Offensive tackle: Rodger Saffold, Rams: Overshadowed by Bradford, but has been quietly spectacular at LT this season.

Offensive tackle: Bryan Bulaga, Packers: Has been beaten at times, but versatility is key. Backup at LT, OG early. Has started last 10 at RT.


Defense

Defensive lineman: Carlos Dunlap, Bengals: Situational pass rusher (zero starts) for Bengals, but quietly is 2nd amongst rookies with 8 sacks. 

Defensive lineman: Ndamukong Suh, Lions: Leads all NFL defensive tackles -- not just rookies -- in tackles (60) and sacks (nine).

Defensive lineman: Tyson Alualu, Jaguars: A surprise at No. 10? Yes. A reach? No, considering he's 3rd amongst rookie DTs in tackles, 2nd in sacks.

Defensive lineman: Lamarr Houston, Raiders:
Similar #s, greater consistency, less help around him than Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul.

Linebacker: Pat Angerer, Colts: Quietly leads all rookie linebackers in tackles this season (80).

Linebacker: Daryl Washington, Cardinals: Doesn't have Ro McClain's big name or even quite his stats, but has been more impressive this year.

Linebacker: Koa Misi, Dolphins: Overshadowed by Cameron Wake, but versatility standing out (36 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 TD)

Cornerback: Devin McCourty, Patriots: In a typical year, he'd likely win the Defensive ROY. 81 tackles, 21 PBUs, 6 INTs, 2 FF for AFC's No. 1 seed.

Cornerback: Joe Haden, Browns: Similar numbers as McCourty - 58 tackles, 23 PBUs, 6 INTs, 1 FF.

Safety: Eric Berry, Chiefs: Gets nod over Earl Thomas as he's played better late for contending team. 84 tackles, 13 PBUs, 4 INTs, 1 FF, 1 TD.

Safety: TJ Ward, Browns:
Leads all rookies in tackles (116) and is second only to Suh in intimidation. Big hitter over the middle. 


Specialists

Placekicker: Clint Stitser, Bengals: 7 for 7 in FGs (though he's missed two PATs) since signing as UFA. Weak year for rookie kickers.

Punter: Zolton Mesko, Patriots: Unheralded component of Pats' success. Averaging 43 yards per and has zero blocked, returned for TDs against him.

Kickoff returner: Jacoby Ford, Raiders: Tied with Leon Washington for most kickoff return TDs this season (3).

Punt returner: Marc Mariani, Titans:
Better avg. on KOR than Ford; also dynamic as a punt returner. Has returned TDs both ways.


You can always expect the best coverage of the draft at NFLDraftScout.com.

Posted on: December 28, 2010 11:25 am
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Posted on: March 8, 2010 6:45 pm
 

Dez Bryant pushes back Pro Day from Wed to 25th

Wednesday's Oklahoma State Pro Day is quickly losing its luster.

Head coach Mike Gundy announced over the weekend via a radio interview that cornerback Perrish Cox would not be allowed to work out at the Cowboys' Pro Day.

Now, this report from ProFootballTalk.com is reporting that wide receiver Dez Bryant won't be able to work out Wednesday either.

Bryant's inability to work out Wednesday isn't altogether surprising. He had previously cited a pulled hamstring as to why he wasn't able to run and perform drills at the Combine just two weeks ago.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect about Bryant's decision not to work out is the date in which his new Pro Day is planned -- March 25 -- the same day scouts will be flocking to see Sam Bradford throw.

Bryant had better hope he gives scouts plenty of time to leave Bradford's work out before coming to his. There is little doubt which of the two workouts will generate the most interest.

It is approximately a two hour drive from Norman, Oklahoma to Stillwater.
Posted on: March 30, 2009 2:35 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2009 2:36 pm
 

OT Joel Bell, CB Brian McCain Flying up boards

Each year there are relative unknown players whose eye-popping workouts in February and March force scouts back into the film room. Many times scouts are quick to acknowledge the impressive athleticism of prospects to local media covering the event, but once they review the players on film, realize that the speed, agility and strength shown on the track or weight room doesn't translate onto the field. 

And then, sometimes, there are players whose workouts go well and scouts return to the film room to discover that perhaps they had simply overlooked or undervalued the prospects. Two such players moving up the charts this year are Furman offensive tackle Joel Bell and Utah cornerback Brian McCain.

Bell, a three-time all-conference selection at left tackle, was invited to the Combine and put forth one of the more impressive all-around workouts, earning top-ten marks in the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical, broad, 3-cone, and 20-yard shuttle at a shade under 6-7, 315 pounds. His workout was good enough that he didn't need to workout at Furman's Pro Day, though an eye-popping 25 teams still showed up to see him go through positional drills. 

Indianapolis Colts' scout Bob Guarini put Bell through a 20 minute workout while the other team scouts' watched. Besides the Colts, the teams represented were the Eagles, Titans, Saints, Jaguars, Browns, Steelers, Seahawks, Dolphins, Texans, Patriots, Lions, Chiefs, Falcons, Cowboys, Bears, 49ers, Rams, Raiders, Vikings, Bills, Giants, Panthers, Chargers, and the Packers.

Like Bell, Utah's McCain is hardly just a workout wonder, though the workout he put forth at the Ute's Pro Day could technically classify him as one. McCain was clocked in the low 4.3s and the buzz around scouting circles is that he's been timed even faster before. McCain's 20-yard shuttle (3.99) and 3-cone (6.74) drill times would have ranked among the best among the cornerbacks tested in Indianapolis. McCain, however, was not invited to the Combine, despite earning All-Mountain West accolades each of the past three seasons. While fellow defensive Sean Smith has the size scouts covet, McCain is the more athletic of the duo and has the rare speed and agility for man to man coverage. Among the estimated two dozen teams represented at McCain's workout were the Panthers, Lions, Dolphins and Seahawks. Considering the lack of speed shown by this year's cornerback class, some believe McCain could continue to rise as the draft approaches -- perhaps all the way to the 5th round.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com