.....because we either don't have a true NT at all or we don't have confidence in the one or two (true NT's) that we have. ( I am not talking about Ratliff because at 287 he is NOT a NT. He is out of position and has been for years). We have players listed as DT on Dallas's official website:
92 Brent, Josh DT 6-2 320
72 Calloway, Robert DT 6-5 312
97 Hatcher, Jason DT 6-6 302
90 Ratliff, Jay DT 6-4 287
Here are our listed DE's:
59 Atkins, Baraka DE 6-4 271
99 Coleman, Kenyon DE 6-5 306
96 Geathers, Clifton DE 6-7 320
95 Lissemore, Sean DE 6-4 306
98 Spears, Marcus DE 6-4 315
Here are the starting NT's in the NFL:
92 Williams, Dan DT 6-2 327
Cody, Terrence 62 NT 6-4 349
90 Raji, B.J. DT 6-2 337
95 Cody, Shaun DT 6-4 301
95 Powe, Jerrell NT 6-2 335
99 Johnson, Antonio DT 6-3 310
75 Wilfork, Vince NT 6-2 325 (LOL...we know better!)
91 Pouha, Sione DT 6-3 325
98 Hampton, Casey NT 6-1 325
71 Garay, Antonio DT 6-4 320
90 Sopoaga, Isaac DT 6-2 330
96 Cofield, Barry NT 6-4 306
So there you have the reason we need Poe or .....if we draft another player at another position...we need to draft a real NT in the 2nd or 3rd.
The only player we have that looks like a NT is Josh Brent. And even he is lighter than everyone on this list except for NT of Texans, Colts, Chargers, & Redskins. The Colts and Texans just changed to the 3-4 from the 4-3 so they still have 4-3 DT's. The Redskins wanted Haynesworth to be their NT ...remember. And I listed these players completely fairly according to Yahoo sports. But the Redskins and Colts have at least one NT at 330+ on their roster. The Texans and Chargers don't. Guess what the Texans, Chargers, and Cowboys have in common...no NT with legit size and....you guessed it Wade Phillips!
We just resigned Clifton Geathers, the other 320 lineman that we have. But Geathers is 6'7". Too tall for NT. NT needs to be a bullrusher. Low man wins. Short and stocky Guards/Center will under him and drive him back at the point of attack. He has to stay at DE. Spears is 315 but he's not the player we wish he was. If he was capable I'm sure we'd seen it by now. Parcells tried him there ,didnt work.
NT's in the NFL are not taller than 6'4" or lighter than 320. Infact, the ideal NT is about 6'2" and over 335 minimum. Let's face it. there are a couple of NT's on this list that are much bigger than listed...Wilfork, Raji, Mount Cody, Casey Hampton.
When you look at our roster, do we have a Fletcher Cox-type? 6'4" 298" (Lissemore & Hatcher) or a Michael Brockers-type 6'6" 322 (Geathers)...Neither are NT's.
So the bottom line is that, we need that stocky fire hydrant NT. Poe is the most athletic powerful NT available and we need him or at the very least, a NT that fits the right profile. Stop dwelling on stats and look at the big picture. A prototypical NT allows Ratliff to move to LDE next to under-producing Anthony Spencer. We could be getting upgrade at "3" positions. Ratliff at DE, beef at NT, and Spencer will get better with Ratliff commanding attention. This improvement also makes the secondary look better with the added pressure of Ratliff at DE and Spencer more freed up. It also keeps guards of Lee and Carter inside on run plays.
So what happens, if we take Barron at 14, we better take a NT afterwards within the next 2 rounds.
Here are some that may be available(that fit the profile):
Alameda Taamu 6'3' 348 washington
Josh Chapman 6'1" 316 Alabama (I have seen him listed heavier) would love him at 325...ditto Brandon Thompson Clemson.
Hebron Fangupo 6'1 323 BYU
Nicolas Jean-Baptiste 6'1" 330
I am not saying overdraft each one of these guys by 2 rounds. But we must make a real NT a priority. Taamu, Chapman, Thompson are 2nd round draft-able...yes... I would reach maybe a round early on a true NT if we draft Barron in the first round. Otherwise go ahead and get Poe.
If Poe went to us first round, there are many safeties available including Antonio Allen, Brandon Taylor, and Harrison Smith..one of them will be available when we are back on the clock.