The Cowboys became America's Team because Tom Landry was a winner and innovator. Landry has been credited with developing the 4-3 defense and the variant ‘flex'. Landry brought back the ‘shotgun formation' and situational substitutions and also began the use of offensive motion.
Remember when the offensive linemen raised up in unison before taking the three point stance? Tom Rafferty told me that was intended to give the O-line one more good look at the defensive alignment. That was vintage Dallas Cowboys innovation - no one else did that.
Where is the innovation that made the Cowboys America's Team ? Where is that ‘out of the box' thinking that forced the other teams to innovate just to catch up? I haven't seen much of it lately.
Bullet Bob Hayes was known primarily for being a track star (yes he did play some football) and his speed stretched opposing defenses. Opposing D coordinators had to account for this Cowboys innovation and thus the zone defense was developed.
Cornell Green was a college basketball star that the Cowboys converted into a defensive back. Green became an All-Pro cornerback. These were innovative personnel decisions that gave the Cowboys the winning edge.
In this 2009 NFL Draft I would like to see the Cowboys think 'out of the box' again and do an OOPS! That is an Out Of Position Selection with some of the later round picks.
We have numerous selections in this upcoming draft, no first rounder, and I believe Jerry will certainly try to package some of those picks for a move up, if the right player is available. If this happens, we will have fewer picks and likely we will have fewer third and fourth round picks since these will be used as currency for the trade up. We may have to get very creative to get contributing players with our remaining low level picks.
I'm suggesting these two picks as OOPS players who might fall in the draft because of size-concerns, but could make a change of position at the next-level.
5th Round - Inside Linebacker - Mitch King, Iowa, DE. Many say he's too small for the NFL as a defensive lineman. (6'2" 275lbs / 4.7 40 time) This guy was impressive at the Senior Bowl practice and game. He has a non-stop motor and has been successful using his hands and quickness to get off blocks. Some will say he doesn't have a position in the NFL - too small for D Line, too big for LB. Look how NFL players continue to get bigger over time. Brandon Jacobs would have been a lineman fifteen years ago. I'd love to see Jacobs get stood up by Ron Brace then blown backwards by a 275 pound linebacker. King is projected as a second or third rounder but I think his size may cause him to drop later where someone will take a chance on him. I hope it's us, I like this guy.
7th Round/FA - Safety - Ashlee Palmer, Ole Miss, LB This player, like Mitch king (capitalize), is said to be too small to play his college position at the next level (6'2" 223 lbs / 4.59 40 yards). He is active and is all over the field with speed and quickness and he has pretty good ball skills. Palmer got some attention at the Senior Bowl. He's not without his blemishes but I think we pick this lad up in the last round or possibly as a free agent to get ourselves a quick ball hawking safety.
These two players earned a trip to the Senior Bowl despite being somewhat undersized at their position in college. Both can step back one level in the NFL and have the size at these new positions to make an impact. I would like to see the Cowboys take a chance on these fellows. If I'm wrong I can always say oops!
Are there any other oops players that might be in our positions of need?
Super Bowl Trivia; Curt Warner is not the only QB to start for two different teams in a Super Bowl. Can you name any others?