Posted on: April 27, 2011 11:10 am

Dallas Cowboys Draft Preview


   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: October 21, 2010 9:04 am

Super Bowl teams boast Rookies of the Week

Considering that the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts are the reigning NFL and AFC champions, it might come as a surprise that they had enough holes for rookies to make big splashes already this season.

That said, anyone who watched their victories this past Sunday over the Tampa Bucs and Washington Redskins, respectively know the impacts that running back Chris Ivory and middle linebacker Pat Angerer had on their games.

As a way of keeping up with the collegiate prospects I scouted last year, I recognize an offensive and defensive NFL rookie of the week after each weekend's games. There was significant competition this week, but Ivory and Angerer's performances were just too productive to really look anywhere else.

Ivory, an undrafted free agent out of Tiffin University, exploded for 158 rushing yards against the Bucs. He did his damage on only 15 carries, meaning he averaged 10.5 yards per attempt. He was even more effective as a receiver, catching one pass for 17 yards. Ivory led all NFL running backs in rushing yardage in Week Six.

Angerer, a second round pick out of Iowa, continued the Colts' trend of drafting undersized, instinctive linebackers and simply plugging them in. Leading the Colts with 11 tackles against Washington, Angerer also posted a sack and broke up two passes.

Among the offensive rookies I also considered were Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy (who showed surprising poise in a loss to the Steelers), Seattle offensive tackle Russell Okung (who limited Julius Peppers to only one tackle in the Seahawks' surprising win over the Bears) and a couple of wideouts -- St. Louis' Danario Alexander and Dallas' Dez Bryant -- who each caught their first NFL touchdowns this week.

On the defensive side of the ball, Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was a strong candidate, considering his three tackles and 1.5 sacks against the Giants. Suh leads all rookies in sacks with 4.5, as well as all interior defensive linemen in the NFL. The Patriots' Jermaine Cunningham was also a consideration, as his six tackles, one sack and one forced fumble helped the Patriots come back to beat the Ravens in one of the week's best games.


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