If all of the Cowboys’ players were stocks, then some of them would be seem more valuable than others. As our front office approaches some tough decisions with Anthony Spencer
, Sean Lee
, Tyron Smith
, Dez Bryant
, etc…there is going to be a lot of thought put in to what the return investment might be. Here is a list of players that I think will have the biggest swing in the 2013 NFL season.
PLAYERS ON THE RISE…
Biggest Jump – Morris Claiborne
When "Pick 6" was picked sixth by the Dallas Cowboys
, I have to admit that I wasn’t overwhelmed with joy. I thought the price was too steep as we gave up a quality player with our second round pick. When I found out that Bobby Wagner
would’ve been that pick I was even less joyful. But nonetheless, Mo was a quality player at an area of need. His first year was what one might expect from a first year corner as he allowed a mediocre 69.6% complete rate, but only had one interception. Not horrible, but also not what you’d hope for a top corner.
But that was last year. Second year corners usually show significant improvements. Mo has bulked up and will play in a system that favors his skillset. Claiborne is an aggressive cover man who will use his size to get up in your business. He’s got great body control and can disrupt the timing of the receivers. And he’s just a gifted athlete with strong explosiveness so when he polishes up his technique, he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. His first year performance has his stock price down, so buy low and cash in on the big improvement in year two.
Good to Great – Bruce Carter
Since 2012 was BC’s "breakout" season his stock has already climbed, but don’t sit on this price. Bruce has great athleticism and has a great opportunity to climb even further in 2013. He’s already been regarded as the most talented linebacker on the team by fellow teammate, Justin Durant
, and that is a bold statement considering Sean Lee is in that group. I’m pushing all my chips in the pot on this one as barring an injury, Carter should show himself as one of the better linebackers in the league.
Sleeper Value – James Hanna
While Gavin Escobar
gets all the attention as we implement more of the 12 personnel, Hanna seems tossed by the wayside. I think this is a mistake. Hanna has got great speed. He ran a 4.49 40-yard dash (Escobar ran a 4.84) which is incredibly fast for a tight end. Even more impressive was his 4.11 short shuttle time (faster than most RBs) which demonstrates his cutting ability and shows how he could be a difficult cover for opposing LBs. In year number two look for Romo to give Hanna more opportunities to show off his speed.
PLAYERS ON THE DECLINE…
Buyer Beware – of DWare
What kind of fan would even notion that DeMarcus Ware
wouldn’t be a valuable commodity in the operations that is the Dallas Cowboys? Well, not me. Let’s be clear on this. I’m not suggestion Ware isn’t valuable. I’m suggesting he’s a stock risk. There’s a lot of things that are going on that could impact DeMarcus’ contributions in 2013. His age. His size. His heatlh. We all know he’s not a spring chicken. We also know he’s a below average DE when it comes to size. And we also know that he’s had a multitude of nagging injuries – most of which he plays through. Regardless of whether he struggles or excels in the new 4-3 system (I lean toward the latter), one thing is certain – battling a much bigger left tackle every down will take a toll on him. And with DeMarcus’ cap hit scheduled to be $16m (2014), $17.5m (2015), and $14 (2016 and 2017), expectations are going to be high for our legendary pass rusher.
Not living up to the billing – Nate Livings
At the end of last season I made a list of what linemen I thought were worth keeping. It was a short list. However, second on that list was Nate Livings. Then, I did some reading…we drafted Beard…OTAs happened and Leary started impressing…Costa started dating Brooke Hogan (okay, that last one didn’t factor in) and suddenly Nate Livings was further down on my list. While I still think his strength and experience is of value, I’m not sure what our offensive line will look like and he could very easily be moved to a reserve role.
Say a little prayer – Barry Church
There’s been a lot of talk about safety this offseason, but it usually pertains to "who will be the other guy" that will accompany Barry Church. While Church is our clear top dog to hold down one of our S spots, he still comes with some risk. Achilles injuries can have a lingering effect and even if he’s running well you got to figure the mental state in trusting it will factor into his performance. Not only that but Church has such a limited sample size as a starting safety so there is a lot of uncertainty entering the season. And if he slips into mediocrity then we have a handful of other potential mediocre safeties that may snag some of his playing time. I don’t see that happening, but nonetheless – I’m not banking a lot on what I don’t know.
So that is how I'd play the market with our current players. Where would your money go?
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