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Cowboys Hit and Miss in the Draft

Posted By David Willow On May 3 2011 @ 8:36 pm In Dallas Cowboys | No Comments

Hey everyone, I’m back from jury duty just in time to have missed watching the draft live, but also close enough to weigh in on the fallout. Yes, I unfortunately missed the madness and excitement, but as a wise man once told me, “sometimes it’s your duty to do your duty”.

Anyway let’s get to the Cowboys and their newest members.

Round 1 – Tyron Smith OT. The Boys spent the entirety of the time given to select their first pick in the first round and opted to not make a trade with Jacksonville for their first 2 picks, instead selecting Tyron Smith the athletic offensive tackle out of USC. Smith was highly regarded as the top tackle on many boards. With the glaring need to an aging and declining O-line Smith should be a great addition to a line that the Cowboys seems to be shifting to a more athletic line rather than the previously bulky one. With Doug Free on the left and Smith on the right the Cowboys have become faster on the line. I have said before that I believed that trading down would benefit the Cowboys the most, and had they traded down they may have had the opportunity at trading back into the first round as the Saints did, though Smith would have been gone they could have easily grabbed either Nate Solder or Anthony Castonzo and looked at possibly adding Jimmy Smith addressing their 2 most pressing needs. However, their decision may reflect their belief in Mike Jenkins to revert to his 2009 form rather than have a repeat of his 2010 season. Overall I’d give the pick a B for team need and the player’s overall ability, as Smith has a higher ceiling than the other tackles and any other pick at the position did not seem as appealing.

Round 2 – Bruce Carter OLB. Out of North Carolina, Carter is listed as an outside linebacker but will likely back up Bradie James or Keith Brooking. He is a bit undersized at 6’1 ½ but plays with a nastiness that the Cowboys need. A bit a strange pick as the Cowboys seemed to ignore their needs in the secondary though. As linebackers go, and with Brooking starting to show signs of his age Carter may prove to be a great pick as he and Sean Lee look to be the heirs apparent to the inside. Overall I’d give the pick a C+ for the lack of addressing a far more important need…..safety.

Round 3 – Demarco Murray RB. This was probably one of the biggest head scratchers of the draft for the Cowboys and clearly marks the end for either Marion Barber or Tashard Choice in Dallas. However, Murray showed flashes of not only speed , but power and good receiving skills in Oklahoma, and ran 4.41 at the combine with an unofficial time of 4.38 along with excelling on his bench press and vertical. When healthy Murray has shown that he has the ability to be a first round talent, but that was just it, WHEN he was healthy. Murray was plagued with injuries throughout his college tenure and it remains to be seen what his role will be with the Cowboys. This could be a sneaky good pick or a complete dud, but for the overall upside and value if Murray can survive the wear and tear of the league I give the pick a C+.

Round 4 – David Arkin OG. Arkin looks like a solid mid 4th round pick out of Missouri State where Arkin anchored the line at right offensive guard. He has made a name for himself for having a good work ethic and his versatility to play either side at guard. This pick shows that Dallas was more interested in shoring up their aging line and protecting their franchise quarterback. He could be a good value for the position taken, but may struggle at the next level. I’d give it a C.

Round 5 – Joshua Thomas DB. Finally, an addition to the secondary though very late in the draft. Thomas was coached by Cowboys coaches during some of his workouts before the draft and likely created a good vibe leading to his selection. He has some upside with speed and good tackling, but at 190 his size suggests that he won’t be converted to the safety position, unless you want a repeat of Allan Ball, and will be a project behind Jenkins, Newman, and Scandrick. C- for the lack of addressing a team need. Still.

Round 6 – Dwayne Harris WR. Harris is a good route runner and was a reliable player in the clutch at East Carolina ending last season with over 100 receptions. He is, however, undersized at 5’10 and his abilities may limit him to play mostly out of the slot. The Cowboys could use a good slot receiver, and possibly kick returner, though after trading Patrick Crayton last season they seemed to lack someone to fill the slot so to speak. Another C, though his contributions may be undervalued.

Round 7 – Shaun Chapas FB. 7th round picks, and 6th for that matter, tend to be more developmental players and reaches for teams and that’s what Chapas appears to be. Chapas is described as good at everything, but not great. He has also been described as consistent and good at the point of attack and cut blocking. In a league where fullbacks are a thing of the past the 7th round is a good place to grab one, and after our fullback last year missed a block that cost us our starting quarterback someone with consistency may be just what we need. However, I give him a D grade due to a history of injuries that could follow him into a pro career.
To sum it all up, in his first draft as the head coach Jason Garrett and of course Jerry Jones have brought in some solid replacements adding youth to the team, but have yet again gambled in the secondary, that is unless they are targeting someone in free agency, if it happens of course. I want to give the team a B for the overall value of the players taken, but I’m leaning more toward a C due to the gaping hole left in the secondary.

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