While the 2013 draft doesn't have many super-star QB’s like last year-- it does have an extraordinarily deep group of players looking to make a name for themselves. The Cowboys are a top heavy organization and desperately need to fill the gaps across the roster. After combing through the DraftTek 7 Round mock draft and several others, I am convinced the right move is to trade DeMarcus Ware. Dallas can get back value by way of multiple draft picks and some much needed Salary Cap relief ($12,220,750). Jerry Jones for years has consistently bought high and sold low on players and that has depleted our depth across the board…please see the Roy Williams debacle (traded first-round pick in 2009, plus a third- and sixth-rounder + $20 million guaranteed). It is really the opposite direction of Bill Belichick, who has been a master of selling high and getting assets in return for players on the brink of decline…please see Richard Seymour (1st round pick from Oakland in 2011). Jerry Jones operates on emotion, while Bill Belichick is grounded in cold logic. Selling DeMarcus would give us much needed flexibility across the board.
There is no doubt that DeMarcus still has some gas left in the tank, but with a loaded draft class at DT & DE and Monte Kiffin’s Over-2 defense coming to town, we need to make some tough decisions and shuffle our personnel. At this point in his career, DeMarcus has a tendency to start off the year hot and then fade down the stretch. His production has also taken a hit, going from 19.5 sacks in 2011 to 11.5 sacks in 2012. Perception around the league is that DeMarcus is still an elite player. So if we can secure a 2nd round pick-- plus a 4th or 5th round pick, I believe that would be an equitable trade for our beloved Cowboys. Trading DeMarcus will give us added draft picks and more cap flexibility allowing us to strengthen both our offensive and defensive lines with good young talent.
You win games in the trenches these days, just look at the 49ers. They invested three 1st round draft picks into their offensive line (Staley, Iupati, Davis) and they can plug in just about any QB into their system and be successful. Raise your hand if you think Alex Smith’s skill set is in the same ballpark as Tony Romo. Well, the limited Smith went 8–2–1 this season before being replaced by Kaepernick. The run game makes life easier for the QB and having a strong offensive line sets all that up. We can use our 1st round pick on the best OT available or we can grab Womack if he slides. With Tyrone Smith and another 1st round pick, we will be on our way to solidifying our offensive line.
Trading DeMarcus would conceivably net us multiple 2nd round picks. In the 2nd round we can address the DE position for the future. A few of my favorite DE’s are Datone Jones, Ezekiel Ansah, and Margus Hunt. One of them should be available. I am personally very high on Hunt and I think he could be a game changer at DE. Think of a longer, more athletic version of Jared Allen. Ansah reportedly ran a 10.79 100-meter dash at 6’5, 270, which screams Jason Pierre Paul to me. Datone Jones was a workhorse this year for UCLA and was a major factor in changing the “soft” perception that has plagued the Bruins. The other 2nd round pick should go to the best available player at DT, TE, S.
When DeMarco Murray gets injured (which is every year), we have virtually zero run threat. We need to find another option in the backfield almost as badly as we need to upgrade our offensive line. Both Lance Dunbar and Felix Jones were a joke last year. Romo constantly faced 6-7 defenders dropping back into coverage. That is a recipe for disaster. With DeMarco in the backfield, defensive coordinators were forced to play with 7 or 8 men in the box, opening up the passing game for Romo. I believe there is a lot of value at the running back position in rounds 3-4. If we were able to execute a DeMarcus Ware trade, we can possibly grab a Stephan Taylor, Johnathan Franklin or Le'Veon Bell. Any of them would be welcome additions to our backfield and help shoulder the run game burden for the immensely talented but injury prone DeMarco Murray.
Bottom line - it’s time to part with one of the best defensive players in our franchises history. It’s time to pass the torch to the rightful heir, Sean Lee. Given our current salary cap challenges, and a draft class that is deep at positions of need, it’s time we cash in before it’s too late.
Defense: DT, DE, SS
Offense: OT, OG, TE, RB