For the past few months, we've pretty much come to a consensus that either Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper would be great options on the offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys when they go on the clock with the 18th overall pick. About a month ago, I wrote an article asking BTB who would be the better fit for the team. There were exactly 1146 votes, with 52% (601 votes) going to Warmack, while 47% (545 votes) went to Cooper.
In that post I outlined the strengths of each player and what they would bring to the Cowboys' offensive line. Cooper is the athlete, while Warmack is the physical force. Each player would be a tremendous fit for the Cowboys, but when you consider that this offensive line lacks an "attitude", then you can make a case for taking Warmack.
Former Dallas Cowboy Marc Colombo was a really good player in his prime. Colombo brought everything he had on every single play. His approach towards the game was influential to the rest of the offensive line, but his physical demeanor and nastiness rubbed off on his teammates.
Recently Colombo got on 105.3 FM The Fan and the topic of discussion centered around who he thought the Cowboys needed to get in the 2013 NFL Draft.
"I want Chance Warmack out of Alabama. I think he's big, he's tough, he's nasty. He reminds me of Nate Newton with Larry Allen's strength. He'll bring that attitude back to the Cowboys' offensive line. He's the guy. I would do anything to get that guy on the Cowboys."
When you take a look at the successful offensive lines in the past, they were successful because they were physically and athletically talented, but they also possessed a nasty and physical presence. Whether it's the line that brought Dallas Super Bowl success in the 90s, or the successful lines that Romo played for earlier in his career, those lines had toughness.
Please let me make one thing clear, I absolutely love me some Jonathan Cooper. If the Cowboys draft Cooper I will jump over my coffee table in excitement, but let's take a moment to consider to what a player like Chance Warmack or even D.J. Fluker could bring to the offensive line. Big and physical, that's what comes to mind when you think of Warmack and Fluker.
The San Francisco 49ers have drafted and designed their offensive line to be the big and physical type of line that dominates and wears down the defense with their strength and power. They didn't win the Super Bowl, but that offensive line was a dominant unit that held up in pass protection and run blocking. We can't turn our line into what San Francisco has overnight, but we can get on track with bringing in a physically dominating guard or tackle.
One problem I believe Dallas has struggled with the past few years on the offensive line is that they lack an identity. Hudson Houck coached a power running game that was a man blocking scheme, but his power lineman began to age and the line fell apart. Bill Callahan came in last year and wanted to implement more of a zone blocking scheme that he had success with in his previous job with the New York Jets.
The Cowboys can still continue moving towards zone blocking, but they need to get more of an attitude on the offensive line. Whether it's Cooper, Warmack or even a guy like Fluker, Columbo has a great point that the Cowboys must get stronger and more physical play from their offensive lineman.