Steve D. in Jackson, Miss. with the obligatory Cowboys question: Matt, have you confirmed with Jerry Jones who the Cowboys will select at No. 22? And how much say will Wade Phillips have?
Mosley: Steve, Jerry usually waits until the Friday before the draft to fill me in, but I do have a general idea of what he's planning to do. Unless someone falls into their laps, the Cowboys will attempt to trade out of the first round and secure another pick in the second. There's a feeling across the league that the talent in the first round starts to fall dramatically about halfway through, and that's why Jones will probably be looking for a trading partner.
In recent weeks, the club has zeroed in on Miami safety Brandon Meriweather and Purdue defensive end/linebacker Anthony Spencer. Several former Big 10 offensive linemen have told the Cowboys that Spencer was the toughest player they had to block. The reason he might be available early in the second round is that he didn't have much production until his senior season, when he had 10½ sacks.
DeMarcus Ware and an aging Greg Ellis are the Cowboys' only consistent pass-rushers, so Phillips could use Spencer. And don't rule out Florida defensive end Jarvis Moss, who could be converted to linebacker. Jones loves signing local kids, and Moss played at nearby Denton Ryan High School.
I’m guessing he’s joking with the comment about Jerry telling him who he’s going to pick on the Friday before the draft, but he frames the rest of his answer as having some inside knowledge. Take it for what it’s worth.
The idea of Dallas trading out of the first round has certainly has been brought up before in regards to this draft. And it makes sense if they think they can pick up someone like Spencer early in the second. Then again, we don’t want another Steven Jackson scenario. Julius Jones is a nice back, but Marcus Spears hasn’t exactly panned out yet, and given the choice today - taking Jackson would’ve been the smarter play.
Speaking of Marcus Spears, his conversation with the DFW S-T walks the line between explanation and self-justified whining. I’m all for seeing what happens with some of these players that struggled in the Parcells’ 3-4 defense, if they bust loose in the Phillips 34 then great, but some of these guys are taking it pretty far. And Spears seems to be the lead griper.
Some of Spears comments:
"It's definitely been a humbling experience for me because I came in expecting to play well and be able to do what I do and play the game the way I played it in college," he said. "I thought that's what I was drafted for... to get here and be doing something different with a whole different mind-set."
"It's a double-edged sword when you get into a word to word with your head coach about the way he's doing things and the way you want to do things," he said. "Now we have the opportunity to make plays."
"If guys aren't able to thrive in what we are doing now, they aren't football players," he said.
You said it Spears, so if you don’t become a playmaker this year, then you’re not a football player. The pressure is on to produce.