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What about the pass rush?

JJT thinks the Cowboys need to shore up the pass rush.

Maybe they'll take a run at Florida defensive end Jarvis Moss in the first round and attempt to convert him to linebacker. Or maybe they'll attempt to trade out of the first round and use one of the draft picks they collect on a player such as Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer, who could be converted to linebacker.

To some extent, if you draft a player like Moss or Spencer with your first pick, you’re saying that Bobby Carpenter isn’t good enough to do the job at SOLB. Of course, I always preach that you can’t have enough LB’s in a 3-4 defense, and with Greg Ellis’ status questionable for next year, it’s not that far-fetched to add some depth at the position. But using two #1’s on the same position in consecutive years? We’d start sounding like the Detroit Lions! Really, I’m kind of torn on this, because it is the most important position in a 3-4 defense, you have to get pressure from your OLB’s to make it work. But maybe Bobby Carpenter can do the job, at least in tandem with Greg Ellis.


JJT misses the mark on this Q&A.

Q. What if Nebraska defensive end Adam Carriker is available when the Cowboys pick at No. 22? Do you think Wade Phillips will be tempted to take him as competition or as an upgrade to current starters Chris Canty and Marcus Spears?

TAYLOR: Good question. At 291 pounds, Carriker's too big to convert to linebacker, and with Canty, Spears and Jason Hatcher, there's no need to take another defensive end. If they do take a defensive end, it'll be one like Florida's Jarvis Moss, whom they could convert to an outside linebacker.

Uhh, wrong. If Carriker drops all the way to #22, you take him, no questions asked. Neither Spears nor Canty have proven that they can take their game to the next level yet, and I’m particularly worried about Spears. He just hasn’t shown any ability to rush the passer. I know the argument that his best asset, quickness off the ball, wasn’t being utilized in the Parcells’ scheme. Maybe the Phillips 34 will cure all that, but I’m not willing to bet my portfolio on it. (Not that my portfolio is really worth betting.) And Jason Hatcher has got to prove he can handle the run better than he did last year. Adam Carriker is the perfect mold for a 3-4 DE. I read a scout’s report on him that said Nebraska asked him to play near the line and to absorb blockers instead of getting up field on a lot of plays – sounds familiar - but the report also said he still made plays. And if you watched him abuse linemen at the Senior Bowl practices, you could see he has awesome potential.

Then again, I don’t know why I’m even debating this because he won’t fall to #22. Maybe it’s just because I like to give JJT the business every once in a while. And wasn’t JJT espousing the BPA theory about the Cowboys a week or two ago? Why yes he was, in fact, here's his quote:

It doesn't really matter whether the best player is a defensive end, a linebacker, a receiver or a left tackle. Whoever is sitting atop the draft board, when it's their time to select, is the player the Cowboys should choose.

Hmm...guess that doesn’t apply here, for some reason. I can almost guarantee that Carriker would be the BPA if he fell to #22. Funny how BPA theorists tend to crumble when presented with real-life situations.

Oh yeah, while we’re talking pass rush, Arkcowboys has a diary up on the subject, here.

JUCO players making an impact in college and on the NFL draft.

Nick Eatman on the Cowboys centers and guards, plus the implications for the draft.

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