Per the request of APerfectStar, and risking the ire of Big Ham, I made this a fan post. If you already read it in the fan shot section, sorry for the redundancy. Anyway, I had the Cowboys in the BGN mock draft and took Maurkice Pouncey. It's written for the BGN audience, of course, so I'm sure I'm saying a lot of things you guys already know, as well as a few that you may not. Besides, since Terry can't post on BGN, I have to give him the chance to argue with it, haha. Enjoy.
The Cowboys' offensive line is old, and has absolutely no depth whatsoever. It should be their biggest, most glaring concern heading into the 2010 season and beyond.
So how old are they? The Cowboys' OL is so old, that...
- By the end of the 2010 season, 4 of their starters (Marc Colombo, Leonard Davis, Andre Gurode, and Kyle Kosier) will all be 32 years old. With the exception of Juqua Parker, if you put those 4 players on the Eagles, they would be the 4 oldest non-kickers on the team.
- Despite dumping 34 year old Flozell Adams and getting 8 years younger at LT with the 26 year old Doug Free, the Cowboys still have the oldest offensive line in the NFL, with an average age of 30.2 years.
- Someone told them to act their age, and they died. OK, so that didn't really happen.
But wait, 32 isn't that old... Is it? It's certainly old for running backs, but offensive linemen usually play into their late 30's... Right?
Wrong. A little trivia for everyone reading this... In the entire NFL, how many offensive linemen are 34 years of age or older, are currently on an NFL roster, and are clearly going to start for their team in the 2010 season? (Jeopardy music playing)... The answer - One. Jeff Saturday, at 34, is the only definite starting offensive lineman over 33 years of age in the entire NFL, which means that there are NONE that are 35 years of age or older. Of the longtime NFL OL starters that may not be starters anymore… Walter Jones (36) has already "tweeted" that he’s retiring, Kevin Mawae (39) and Flozell Adams (34) don’t have a team to call home, and Casey Wiegmann (36) is expected to lose an open competition for the starting Chiefs’ center job to the legendary Rudy Niswanger (per Arrowhead Pride). Now, if the Cowboys are of the belief that NFL players lose their ability overnight, then they don’t have to worry for a couple years. But if they’re of the belief that a gradual, steady decline begins a few years before they can no longer compete at a high level in the NFL, then the Cowboys should probably start to do something about getting younger as soon as possible.
How did the Cowboys get to this point, where they’re realistically going to have to replace 4 of their 5 starting offensive linemen in the next few years?
he simple answer is… They haven’t fared well when drafting offensive linemen. The last accomplished offensive lineman the Cowboys drafted was Andre Gurode, with their 2nd round pick way back in 2002. After calling Gurode’s name, here’s a list of offensive linemen they’ve drafted since…
- 2002 – Tyson Walter, C, 6th round
- 2003 – Al Johnson, C, 2nd round
- 2003 – Justin Bates, G, 7th round
- 2004 – Jacob Rogers, OT, 2nd round
- 2004 – Stephen Peterman, G, 3rd round
- 2005 – Rob Petitti, OT, 6th round
- 2006 – Pat McQuistan, OT, 7th round
- 2006 – EJ Whitley, C, 7th round
- 2007 – James Marten, OT, 3rd round
- 2007 – Doug Free, OT, 4th round
- 2008 – No offensive linemen drafted
- 2009 – Robert Brewster, OT, 3rd round
There’s not really much that needs to be said about that list. I know it’s bad, you know it’s bad, Cowboys fans even know it’s bad. If you’ll notice though, not only have the Cowboys not drafted any offensive linemen in the 1st round the list above, but the Cowboys have not drafted a single offensive lineman in the 1st round in the entire Jerry Jones era. In fact, you’d have to go back to 1981 to find one. But perhaps the biggest failure was in 2009, when despite having a whopping total of 12 draft picks, they only drafted ONE offensive lineman, which is mind-boggling considering the age of their collective offensive line.
The pick here is simple. The Cowboys should be flat out thrilled should Maurkice Pouncey drop to this spot. He’s a Top 20 talent, and at pick 27, the Cowboys can get good value and fill a major need. In a dream scenario, one of the top tackles will fall here to Dallas, but since their entire OL needs to be turned over in the very near future, Pouncey fits nicely. He’s a bigger center at 6’4, 304, and the Cowboys like bulk on the OL. He can compete immediately with Kyle Kosier for the starting LG job, while learning from one of the better centers in the NFL, Andre Gurode. This pick will solidify a G/C spot for the next decade. A little useless combine footage of Pouncey...
With the arrival of Pouncey, the Cowboys can now also move on from the disaster that is Cory Procter. Procter served as the only depth behind Andre Gurode at center (he’s also a backup guard), and that has been the main reason he’s been able to stick around for way longer than he should have. Mr. Procter, I leave you with one final salute… Funny locker room guy, bad player…
And a little bonus coverage – Just like we don’t have a lot of tape on Kevin Kolb and aren’t quite sure what to expect of him, Cowboys fans are a little unsure of what to expect of a player that’s slated to start at the extremely important LT position, Doug Free. Since we’re already on the topic of the Cowboys’ OL, it seems like an appropriate time to take a look at him. Free is known as a very athletic LT that moves his feet extremely well. He can get to the second level very quickly, and is great in the screen game. However, he doesn’t anchor well, and can be bullied by physical defensive ends. He was no match for Jared Allen in the Cowboys’ playoff game vs. Minnesota. That said, a little tape on Free – (Note – Be sure you haven’t eaten in the past hour before watching this). On this play, watch Free, who is playing RT. By the time Felix Jones is 10 yards downfield and at the 40 yard line, Free has already come all the way across the field, is 10 yards ahead of Jones at the 30, and is already engaged on the last possible guy that can make a play on Jones, which happens to be Sheldon Brown. This is really impressive athleticism by a guy of Free’s size…
The previous picks...
#1 Ndamukong Suh, #2 Russell Okung, #3 Gerald McCoy, #4 Sam Bradford, #5 Eric Berry, #6 Trent Williams, #7 Jimmy Clausen, #8 Bruce Campbell, #9 Bryan Bulaga, #10 Derrick Morgan, #11 Rolando McClain, #12 Sergio Kindle, #13 Joe Haden, #14 C.J. Spiller, #15 Mike Iupati, #16 Jason Pierre-Paul, #17 Anthony Davis, #18 Kyle Wilson, #19 Brandon Graham, #20 Dan Williams, #21 Dez Bryant, #22 Tim Tebow, #23 Charles Brown, #24 Sean Weatherspoon, #25 Earl Thomas, #26 Terrence Cody