Note: in parts of this article i will use Profootballfocus.com grades as reasoning for why I think a player's good, if you don't think PFF is accurate, please don't comment, I'm tired of having the same debate, let's just agree to disagree.
I think the Cowboys should pick either an OT or a CB in this upcoming draft at the #9 spot, here's why.
IMO at the top of the draft (at least the top 10, probably more like the top 15) you should pick the positions that are harder to find quality players at. These are (in no particular order) - QB, OT, CB, and to a lesser extent, DE/OLB (IMO you can find decent pass-rushers without too much difficulty, but dominant, game-changers ala Ware are more rare). You should do this because you are unlikely to get these players in FA.
Out of these positions, the ones i consider a "need" are OT and CB. OT is an obvious need, whilst CB is more debatable, with excuses for the CB's poor play this past season including: injury (Newman), down year, and inconsistent pass-rush. Injury - sure, it's possible that was the reason for Newman's decline in production (considering the fact that he had a good year previously, it is unlikely he would follow that up with a horrible year simply due to the changing difficulty of opponent year to year, and the natural slight up and down swing of player's performances from year to year), but do you want to risk it (ie enter the season with Newman as a starter). According to PFF, Newman's coverage grade from 08-10' is -3.4, +5.2, and -9.0. This shows an inconsistent player IMO. Down year - some say "oh, he had a down year, he'll bounce back", but will he? The only year Jenkins has peroformed well, was the year he was in competition for a starting job - 09'. I have to question his motivation. Inconsistent pass-rush - PFF has Stephen Bowen with a +10.4 grade in pass rush in 2010. That's good for 6th among 3-4 DE's. He started at LE from week 9 onwards, and there is no discernable change in hs pass-rushing grade from that point on, he continued to perform well. Also, there is no discernable pick-up in play from the CB's from week 9 onwards. This, IMO, discounts the theory that due to us only having two good pass-rushers on the field on running downs, teams could pass deep on us. Another reason I consider CB a need is the fact that Newman is one of the top paid at his position in the league, and hardly worth that amount of money. If we release him, we will (IMO), have no starting caliber CB's.
I don't consider S worth a top 10 pick in the draft, there are VERY few safetys that are worth a top 10 pick in a draft, and it's also not a position of great impact. Also, there aren't many highly graded safetys in this draft.
I don't consider OLB a "need" position, as Spencer has potential, as does Victor Butler (PFF likes him, as does a very intelligent chap called Jonathon at www.dallascowboystimes.com, check out his work, it's really good).
I don't think we should take a DE because we already have Bowen, Olshansky, and Lissemore. Essentially I just don't consider it a need.
Note: Reason #3, 4 and 5 are more just reasons I don't think we should take OLB, DE or S.
To conclude, I think the Cowboys should pick either an OT or a CB in the first round of the 2011 draft because those are the hardest positions to fill that are also of need to the Cowboys. Also, I would not be opposed to trading down.
135 votes total
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