Up till now This series has focused on the Defensive side of the ball. I have looked at Prince Amukamara, Cameron Jordan, and Von Miller. Now I want to look to the Offensive side of the ball, namely the Offensive line. Most people here would agree that Dallas needs to replace a minimum of two players, RG and RT. Now here is my disclaimer:
This series is looking at specific players and how they would fit into the Dallas roster using the current roster as a baseline. I will be giving other options, such as if Dallas gets "player X", and adjusting the roster to fit. Also I will be using the top free agents in this role, for the simple fact that A) Jerry likes to "go Big", and B) it is my post. Any opinions expressed are my opinions only and do not reflect the opinions of the Dallas Cowboys, SB Nation or their affiliates.
Now that that is out of the way, let me regale you with a story.....
It is the First game of the season...Dallas is facing its old rival the Washington Redskins. While having a pretty good game stat wise, the Dallas Offense has been slow to find its groove, until now. Final drive, down 13-7, offense seems to be clicking. They score but a holding call on Alex Barron negates it. "Why bring this up?" you may ask. One simple point. Barron was blocking none other than Brian Orakopo, The Redskins version of D-Ware. Which illustrates a very interesting point. Good coaches will attack a weak spot if they see it. "OK, but what does this have to do with Derek Sherrod?" Here is what I think Dallas should do...Draft him to play RT. Yes I know that he is a very good LT, however remember something, Dallas's current LT Doug Free was the Starting RT for about half the year in 2009. He was so good that Dallas let Flozell Adams(a 13 year vet, that has manned the LT spot for longer than has long as some people here have been alive. Now Sherrod looked pretty good at the Senior Bowl, holding his own against some of the better defensive players. so Lets look at some stats for MR. Sherrod shall we?:
Name: Derek Sherrod
College: Mississippi State Number: 79
Height: 6-6 Weight: 312
Position: OT Pos2: OG
Class/Draft Year: Sr/2011
40 Time: 5.22 40 Low: 5.08 40 High: 5.36
Projected Round: 1-2 Stock:
Rated number 4 out of 166 OT's
"But wouldn't Nate Soldier be a Better pick"? you ask.
I my opinion no...Soldier doesn't really impress me. he seems to much like Columbo, just younger.
"but Columbo was pretty good when he was younger..." you may reply.
Yes he was, I should clarify...Soldier reminds me of a 30 year old Columbo, not a 20 some odd Columbo.
Now Derek Sherrod reminds me of Doug Free. In fact let's throw up some Free stats up for comparison:
Name: Doug Free
College: Northern Illinois Number: 62
Height: 6-6 Weight: 324
Position: OT Pos2: OG
Class/Draft Year: Sr/2007
40 Time: 5.19 40 Low: 5.15 40 High: 5.22
Projected Round: 2-3 Stock:
Rated number 5 out of 170 OT's
Now Doug Free was an LT (and Apparently a good one) in College. He is a Very good LT in the NFL. So Why would Dallas Draft another LT? Remember my little story earlier? Now Instead of Barron, replace him with either Flozell or Free. Does the Penalty happen? I personally don't think so, but we will never know. I do know that Free could have handled Orakopo, in fact he did, which is why he was lined up over the RT. Washington knew that Barron couldn't block my great grandmother, who has been dead since 1983. So they put Their best pass rusher over there.
Now you will say "But Barron was Only in there because Columbo was out!" However do you really think that Columbo(who was one of the Worst RT's in the League this past year) would have been that big of an upgrade? I think not.
I think that Sherrod could be the a good LT in this League. And as Doug Free has shown us a Good LT makes for a Really Good RT. Here is how I see it shaking down:
LT- Doug Free, LG- Kyle Koiser, Center- Andre Gurode, RG-Montrae Holland, RT Derrick Sherrod
Here is how it would play out. (Bear in mind I am assuming that the CBA is done before the start of training camp)
If an injury were to Doug Free(knocking on wood) then Sherrod would slide over to the LT spot, with Sam Young coming in to man the RT spot. The same for the Guard spot. If Kosier goes down the Holland slides over, and Brewster takes his spot. this way you only have to carry 8 spots for the O-line an game day( though they may increase the Game day roster if the Go to an 18 game schedule). But that is not the greatest benefit. by having Sherrod at the RT spot you negate the Defensive "advantage" of the awesome pass rusher vs an RT, who historically has been a player that is as adept at handling Pass Rushers. Also you gain Two young players on the edge, who are more than capable of being "left on an island" thus allowing your RB's to focus on preventing the interior rush. I couldn't find any game film on him, however here is Sherrod at the Senior Bowl practice:
Senior Bowl South Practice - Day 1 (via RookieDraft)
Now not much can be gleaned from this...However I do like the way he Fires off at the snap even though it is only practice. Plus it seems that he is easily coached, which is a good thing. Well it is now Poll time....so here you go...