Like I said, when I see a problem, I like to fix it. And a good craftsman first checks the tools in his tool box: Adjust the current Roster, Draft some players, Sign some players and Let Competition Determine the Starters. Using these tools, I’m putting together a FOUR part series to address the primary areas of concern for the 2012 season
Let’s recap some news this week that affects my thinking:
• Releasing Sensabaugh – Not too much of a shock since I was already on record as saying that he would be a cut. Still now that its official, I’d think that FS is a priority in the 1st (3) rounds
• Franchise Spencer – Again, not a shock, but the more I think it over, the more I’m convinced that this is a potential trade chip. The Cowboys didn’t give him the exclusive tag so he’s free to shop himself around the league. I feel that the team would take a 2nd this year before or during the draft.
• Resigning Costa – Combine the (2) year deal with Jerry’s comments lead me to this conclusion: The Cowboys will draft an OL in the 1st round. To recap, JJ pontificated that if Costa was surrounded with better talent then he’s solid. And frankly, I can’t disagree, as much as I’d like to. The games he played last season were the highest rushing games for the team.
Round 1 – Chance Warmack (OG)
As I stated above, my gut feeling in that the interior OL will be addressed in round 1. The candidates are Jonathan Cooper (UNC) or Chance Warmack (ALA). Of the two, with the power and athleticism he demonstrated at the combine, I think Cooper will be gone by 18. Warmack is an upgrade as a mauler type next to Tyron Smith pushing Livings into a backup role.
Round 2 – Sylvester Williams (DT)
If camp opened today, Hatcher would be the starter at the 1-technique. Contrary to the opinions floating out there, I feel that Ratliff will be the 3-technique in this D. All those years of taking on double teams are over. Instead, Dallas will deploy Ratliff in a position that takes advantage of his speed and allow him to penetrate and disrupt. The need is a big body that could absorb the double team and add size next to Ware. The candidates are Sylvester Williams (UNC), Jesse Williams (ALA) or Jonathan Hankins (OSU). There is a slight chance that S. Williams will not be around when the team picks in round 2 but I think Star Lotulelei will fall and push these (3) down the draft.
Round 3 – Travis Frederick (OC)
This is a bit of a curve ball, but an easy pick to make. By my count, there will be 10 – 15 offensive lineman drafted in the rounds 1 – 3. Nabbing Frederick here will be a steal. He has C/G flex and is another thick-bodied interior lineman. He’s not much of a pulling type but he can anchor and drive block, both upgrades over Costa.
Round 4 - Shamarko Thomas (FS)
Dallas will likely dip into free agency to get an experienced S to team with Matt Johnson and Barry Church to reduce the risk of starting (2) new guys. Still Thomas will be there is round 4 and represents an upgrade for either Johnson or Church with the ability/speed to cover the slot.
Round 5 – Jelani Jenkins (OLB)
I don’t expect the Cowboys to stand pat with Albright and Dan Conner as the potential starters at SLB. And having a JAG there just means there is a weak spot that will need to be addressed. Getting Jenkins here as a thumper SLB who can run with TE’s and backs.
Round 6 – Mike James (RB)
More of a complete back but lacks a little speed. But is strong and durable and should backup Murray.