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Late Draft Sleepers the Cowboys should focus on

One of the things I liked about "American Gangster" was Denzel using the term "my man."

So let me borrow the term and apply it to my new best friend.

"Chris Steuber, my man."

Chris Steuber is quickly becoming my go-to guy for draft info. He recently focused on late round prospects (fifth round and further) and came up with All-Sleeper offensive and defensive teams. He's got a little bit for everyone. The defensive team features two defensive ends, two defensive tackles, three linebackers, two cornerbacks and two safeties. On the offensive side of the ball he highlights a quarterback, running back, fullback, two wide receivers, a tight end, two offensive tackles, two offensive guards and one center.

One prospect that stuck out to me: Davanzo Tate, a cornerback from Akron.

CB, Davanzo Tate, Akron

Strengths: Tate is a physical corner with good cover skills. He's a tremendous athlete with excellent speed and agility. He's fluid transitioning off the line, backpedals nicely, anticipates the action and displays a great burst defending the throw. He's solid against the run and isn't afraid of contact.

Weaknesses: He lacks ideal height and struggles against taller receivers. He anticipates well, but doesn't have great ball skills. He's not a big-play prospect.

Overview: A former recruit of West Virginia, Tate transferred to Akron following his freshman year. When he got on the field at Akron as a sophomore, he was an immediate contributor who ended up starting the final nine games of the season and recording 41 tackles. As a junior, Tate played in all 12 games, started nine and had 54 tackles, 4.5 for a loss. This past season, Tate started all 12 games and emerged as a defender. He had 73 tackles, four for a loss and two interceptions. He also led the MAC with 17 passes defended in 2007. The 5-foot-10, 186-pound Tate wasn't invited to the Scouting Combine, but at Akron's Pro Day he really showed his athleticism and skill. He was timed at a 4.26 and a 4.35 in the 40-yard dash and finished the workout with a 40-inch vertical.

Draft Projection: Sixth Round-Free Agent

Roger the Dodger will always have a special place in my household. With respects to Dandy Don, he will always be the standard every Dallas quarterback will be judged by. We drool over the accuracy and winning percentage of Troy Aikman and the elusiveness and spontaneity of Tony Romo. He did both and he did both after serving his country in Vietnam. Yes he was a square but he was also a war hero who won the Heisman and Super Bowls. If you wrote a Hollywood script about this guy's life it would be rejected for being too unrealistic.

I highlight Staubach because his accomplishments came after fulfilling his military commitments. He missed four years in his prime. Who knows? Maybe the Cowboys win a few more Super Bowls with Staubach at the helm. A new rule could allow U.S. Military Academy cadets to avoid this same predicament.

As always, Staubach is on the right side of this issue.

Army is offering its top athletes a side door to professional sports. West Point has implemented an alternative service option program that allows cadets to turn pro – and play – right away.

Cadets accepted into the program "will owe two years of active service in the Army, during which time they will be allowed to play their sport in the player-development systems of their respective organizations and be assigned to recruiting stations. If they remain in professional sports following those two years, they will be provided the option of buying out the remaining three years of their active-duty commitment in exchange for six years of reserve time."

The Air Force Academy and Naval Academy do not offer such a program. Both academies require two years of active service upon graduation before presenting the option of swapping the final three years of active time for six years in the reserves.

"It's a complicated issue," Staubach said. "But I think it's good for the service academies if you have athletes that can compete at a higher level – and can still give back to the service – that they can find a compromise that allows them to play professional athletics. It's worth the effort to look at it and try to figure it out."

You guys have to check out the ESPN conversation between Bob Knight and Bill Parcells with Rece Davis. They speak about a lot of things: complaining about their teams to each other, how their sports have evolved over the years and the cost of winning. Apparently, Parcells has called Knight to complain about defensive backs on his teams who couldn't cover anybody. We need to go back and check the outgoing calls from Valley Ranch to Lubbock in 2005 and 2006. I'm sure he'd have a lot to complain about.

The most interesting part, in my opinion, is when they start discussing pickup games in their youth. If there's one thing you start to understand it's that Knight and Parcells aren't grumpy old men. They've always been grumpy. Two young curmudgeons who decided to stop bumping heads and become friends.

Davis: What were your pickup games like at West Point?

Parcells: Volatile. (everyone laughs)

Davis: Imagine that, huh?

Parcells: Volatile. No, not just the two of us, we had some other contributors. We had Don DeVoe, who was one of Bob's, went on to coach many years on the collegiate level. Dave Bliss, another assistant for Bob for a long time. Then we had a football player named Bob Knightinger who was a Penn State guy, that played with San Diego Chargers. So we had some athletes who played.

Knight: Sam Koons played.

Parcells: Sam Koons played. General Schwarzkopf played with us. Arthur Ashe played. So we had some guys in the game that, from time to time, the competition level was up, and we were young and ...
Knight: What wasn't good was our playing on opposite sides. One day, we'd go to lunch, and I think he initiated the conversation, and he said, "We gotta quit, we gotta figure out how we're going to play together. ... All we do is argue with each other. We gotta play on the same team." So, we kind of made that one of our noontime features that he and I got to choose first. And if he chose, he'd choose me, and if I chose, I'd choose him, and then we went from there.

Davis: What was the most memorable argument you had before you came to this accord?

Knight: We'd argue about ... I might be guarding him in the post (reaches and puts hands on Bill) I'd hang onto him. And he'd take a shot and say there's a foul, and I'd say, "I didn't touch you!" And then I'd shoot, he'd hit me in the wrist, or something like that. I'd say, "Man, I get hit in the wrist, nah, I didn't hit you!" We were a lot better off playing on the same team.  

Sources used for this story:

The Dallas Morning News

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