The Cowboys’ May Have Had the Best Third Day of the Draft that They Have Had in Some Time
Don’t look now, but Jerry Jones may have had one of the best drafts he has ever had without someone named Johnson or Parcells in the room to make the picks.
Among the team-needs front, Dallas needed defense, defense, possibly a wide receiver, and more defense. From a numbers standpoint, they definitely drafted for need, with seven of their nine picks coming on the defensive side of the ball.
But what about quality? Well, I think Jerry actually came through there too.
It’s funny that many draft experts think that the Cowboys did very well with their first round pick, when many fans were either mad they did not select Johnny Manziel or were perplexed when the Cowboys did not draft defense. The pick for offensive lineman Zack Martin was boring, yet will be effective for years to come.
Believe it or not, Dallas ‘ offensive line is now the strength of the team, and is arguably one of the best in the NFL on paper. Really. Don’t believe me? Wait when you see the Cowboys run the ball effectively this fall.
I wrote this Friday and it still holds true after the weekend – you can never have enough linemen. Ever. You want to win? Build a solid, deep line and see what happens.
Moving on to defense, the Cowboys had the worst in the NFL last season, and also lost two of its best players in DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher. Defensive line was a huge need and Dallas drafted three new prospects, including Demarcus Lawrence from Boise State.
The only real question mark of the draft was giving up a third round pick to move up in taking Lawrence. It was a tad expensive, especially with the depth of this year’s draft. A lot of “experts” do like the player though, and Lawrence’s success or failure will ultimately be the real judgment point of the 2014 Cowboys draft.
The key to Dallas ‘ draft actually came on day three, with seven selections that could help the team’s depth. Two defensive linemen, two defensive backs and a linebacker were all selected in the late rounds, many of which have high value attached to them.
Want to latch on to a pick that will bring a new identity to the Cowboys? Try safety Ahmad Dixon from Baylor, selected 248th overall. The kid has a nasty edge to him, something that the Cowboys could use. He likes to hit, so expect him to become a fan favorite.
Defensive end Ben Gardner from Stanford was a big part of the Cardinal success on D the last two seasons and defensive tackle Ken Bishop from Northern Illinois has a great chance to be part of the Cowboys D-line rotation in 2014.
Then there’s the one offensive player taken on day three by the Cowboys – wide receiver Devin Street from Pitt is big and athletic, and has a track record of being productive. Dallas had a third round grade on him and nabbed him in the fifth round.
Finally, for one draft, not only was Jerry disciplined, but he actually may have given this team some players to help this fall. The picks lacked star appeal but make up for it with substance and depth.
Now if the Cowboys could actually make it all work together, maybe they have a chance to make the playoffs again. But that may depend on health as much as development.