This article is just thoughts about the Cowboys that float around my head.
Musing #1 - Articles I can't be bothered doing that someone should
- A series of articles reviewing past drafts of the Cowboys. I think these would be interesting because they would show the types of mistakes JJ has been prone to in the past and how he is progressing as a GM.
- An article researching the main reasons good players fall in the draft
- An article researching the main reasons players bust.
Musing #2 - Positions I think it is mostly useless trying to get a "great" player at (yes I realise this isn't directly about the Cowboys)
- FS - what are a FS' responsibilities? The main ones are: playing deep center field, playing deep half, playing deep quarter, playing the deep third, and being a solid tackler. As you can see most of a FS' job is to "not let the ball get behind you" (is that what they say, the wording abandons me), this is not something that requires a high pick IMO. The only way I would draft a FS high or pay big bucks for in free agency is if they were EXCELLENT at getting interceptions eg Ed Reed, or.... ? The argument could be made for Troy Polamalu but IMO he is just a guy that gambles alot and makes alot of "splash" plays that people remember and because of this is infact quite poor at "keeping the ball in front of him" and gives up alot plays aswell that people don't notice and/or remember. My point is, these guys are VERY rare, but in saying this I would not be opposed to "ponying up" whether in the form of a high draft pick or big bucks if we think we can get one of these "elite" FS'. I know people will bitch and moan about Alan Ball but I never said just throw a 7th round CB with two games experience at FS in to the starting line up with no proven alternative, I'm just saying don't necessarily get the most expensive free agent, maybe go for the solid guy who doesn't get beat deep and won't cost as much.
- ILB - what are an ILB's main responsibilities? No. 1:be solid against the run, No. 2: don't be a liability in coverage duties ie. shallow zone, man against a back or TE, No. 3: be an option to blitz. Now my point here is not so much that elite ILB's are really hard to find, but more that it is not a game-changing position, just because of the fact that is less a specialist position, and more a be solid in all departments position.
- NT - all a NT really has to do is be big and very strong as to hold the point of attack against the run, and push the pile if a pass is called, also, they're not on the field on passing downs. What I just outlined is the prototypical NT, obviously we do not have that, we have NT a that thrives on speed, using his speed advantage over most interior offensive linemen to penetrate. This makes him a strong pass-rusher, and average against the run (although he wears down as the season goes on in this regard due to his small size). Due to extensive research showing passing to be more important than running I do not mind this, but I know lots of people who do, and I do not blame them. I have a theory that due to NT being the most important position against the run in the 3-4 that, due to the rest of our front 7 being relatively stout against the run, with a NT strong against the run, our run D could be ELITE, and that could make offenses very one dimensional against us, just a theory of mine. But overall, I don't think it's important to have some amazing NT just for the fact that it's almost impossible to find a NT that isn't one dimensional. Last year, Kyle Williams and Antonio Garay were the only NT's to grade significantly well in run d and pass rush, with the former playing more as DT in a 4-3 than a NT in a 3-4. And IMO, one dimensional players can be found in the later rounds (after the first round I mean in this case).
- SS - main responsibilities include playing man against TE's, being staunch in run support, playing the deep half or quarter, playing an underneath zone, playing man against a back, and blitzing. Similiar to ILB I think this is one of those positions that is so non-specialist that is hard to make a huge impact on the game really.
- RB - main job is to run, followed by catching and pass blocking. I think if you can get an Adrian Peterson type, you treat the position like CB, but those types of backs are far and few between. I don't know if Jerry thought he was getting one of those guys in Felix, but he hasn't, and a first round pick for a speed back, that can't carry the load? That's not good value IMO, I mean, the only way he's been able to carry the load so far is by putting on weight and not being a speed back anymore.Also, decent backs are so easy to find, drafting a back before say, the 4th round does not make sense, also the value is even less because they have such short shelf lives, it's generally not even worth giving them a second contract. Similiar to safety and NT I think the great ones are so hard to find, they're not worthing looking for (as you can not be sure they won't bust), and as doing so usually costs a high draft pick ala Reggie Bush.
- Interior O-line - these positions simply do not have enough impact on the game to be worth a high pick or a huge contract, period.
- The rest are fair game, although CB, OT, QB, and pass-rusher should definitely be the priorities.
Note: someone may have already done the articles I suggested, if so just pop us the link, tah.