Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Drafting Like It's 2005

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys need to follow the 2005 draft model to fix current defensive line; Cowboys cover bases with Anthony Spencer signing; Where mock drafts come up short.

Cowboys need to follow 2005 draft model to fix current defensive line | Brandon George, DMN
George draws parallels between what the Cowboys successfully did in the 2005 draft and what they should do in in the 2014 draft.

Nine years ago, the Cowboys hit big by selecting four college defensive linemen who combined for 364 starts in Dallas and 11 Pro Bowls. Defensive ends DeMarcus Ware and Marcus Spears were first-round selections, end Chris Canty was a fourth-rounder and Dallas used its lone seventh-round pick to draft tackle Jay Ratliff.

The Cowboys’ focus this year should be defense as it was in 2005 when they used six of their eight picks on that side of the ball, including their first three selections on Ware, Spears and linebacker Kevin Burnett.

2014 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Spotlight - CBSSports.com
CBS Draft guru Dane Brugler writes that with no DeMarcus Ware and two draft targets (Aaron Donald and Anthony Barr) likely off the board at 16, Dallas should eye Boise State DE Demarcus Lawrence. Brugler adds DT Dominique Easley, OG Trai Turner, DB Jemea Thomas, and DT Davon Coleman as priority targets for the Cowboys.

The sense is that it's defensive line or bust for the Cowboys in the first round, but what if the top talents (DT Aaron Donald, DE/OLB Anthony Barr) are off the table?

At the end of the day, I'll believe the pick will be defensive line, whether the Cowboys end up sticking at No. 16 or trading into the back half of round one, picking up extra picks in the process, which in this draft class, is as good as gold.

Dwayne Harris: "I should be 100% by training camp" - All 22 Breakdown
Jordan Ross got a chance to interview Dwayne Harris, and Harris said that after his offseason shoulder surgery he "should be 100% by the time training camp gets here." Interesting side note: At age 26, Harris is the oldest receiver on the Cowboys roster.

JORDAN ROSS: I don’t know if you know this, but now you’re the oldest wide receiver on the team. Do you feel ready to possibly take on more of a veteran leadership role?

DWAYNE HARRIS: (laughs) Yeah, I know I’m the oldest. But, you know, most of the guys have already played a lot. We’ve got Dez, who does his thing. Terrance isn’t a rookie anymore. Beasley has been playing for two years now. So we don’t really have any "young" guys on the team right now. I think we can all be leaders and help each other.

Dallas Cowboys will travel 18,317 miles in 2014 - NFLsavant.com
Because of their game in London, the Cowboys will travel the fourth-most miles of any NFL team. Leading the league are the Raiders (27,018 miles), Dolphins (26,200) and Seahawks (22,170). The Raiders and Dolphins both have London games as well, the Seahawks do all their traveling in the continental US. Three AFC East teams find themselves at the bottom of the table: The Bengals (5,372), Browns (5,251), and Steelers( 5,210) have the shortest distance to travel in 2014.

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Dallas Cowboys cover bases with Anthony Spencer signing - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer provides the financial details of the Spencer deal, and adds some perspective on what the move means for the Cowboys' draft pans.

According to a source, Spencer’s one-year deal contains no signing bonus but can be worth up to $3.5 million. He has a base salary of $1.25 million and up to $750,000 in roster bonus money based on him being on the active roster in each game. Spencer has additional incentives totaling 1.5 million in sacks and playing time. [...]

What they have done has strengthened their position to stick to the best player available when it comes to their turn to pick. If it’s Donald or Barr or Ealy or safety Jimmie Ward or offensive lineman Zack Martin or wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., then they can make the move and feel good about the depth they have added to Rod Marinelli’s defensive line.

Agent: Cowboys re-sign Anthony Spencer | ProFootballTalk
PFT writes that Spencer (No. 67) was the highest-ranked unsigned player in PFT’s Free Agent Hot 100, and with Spencer now under contract, Packers tight end Jermichael Finley (No. 74) is the top unsigned player in PFT’s rankings.

Anthony Spencer re-signs with Dallas Cowboys - NFL.com
Chris Wesseling reflects on the fleeting nature of NFL careers:

Spencer is the latest example of the wisdom of accepting a lucrative long-term deal when it's offered. Last season's knee injury has cost him a lifetime's worth of security in free agency.

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What mock drafts lack | National Football Post
With all the exposure draftees are getting, there is vital intel that is overlooked in almost all mock drafts, writes Jack Bechta, and points to a draftee's medical condition, character/work ethic, football IQ, and team fit as the main factors driving team draft choices that mock drafters may not be aware of.

In 2005, the most well known media draft experts had Pro Bowl Patriots OL Login Mankins rated as low as a 5th round pick. Others had him as a 3rd or 4th rounder. He was drafted in the first round. Mankins and these other examples of how most mock drafts are off the mark, are not outlier examples. They are the typical norm of how inaccurate mock drafts can be.

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