I think everyone wanted the Cowboys to draft a planetoid to put in the middle at nose tackle, to back up Jay Ratliff and give him flexibility to play some at end. It didn't happen.
What we do have is a collection of very large men who have two things in common.
1) All have played in the NFL before with minimal success.
2) All have been out of the game for at least one season.
I'm going to take a quick look at three players and offer my best guess as to who will make the final 53.
I'm not going to discuss The Rat - Pro-Bowler Jay Ratliff. We know he is the classic over-achiever. He has a high motor and will command double teams. We have to have a viable back up to spell him, and heaven forbid, replace him in case of injury.
Baby Fat is Jonas Seawright the 6'6", 340 pound free agent who has been out of football since the Giants cut him in 2007. Seawright played college ball for North Carolina and was an undrafted free agent for the Giants in 2005. The G-Men were high on Seawright but wanted him to trim down to 330 and gain quickness and speed. He made the 53 man roster for the 2006 team and played in 9 games and was credited with one tackle.
The local NY blogoshere and press had fun hyping the guy to extremes based on his massive size. He's unblockable, he eats reporters, etc. Apparently he didn't get into shape and failed to live up to that hype. In his own words, "I was fat and out of shape. I had just had a kid."
Two words. Camp Body
Tim Anderson, or Mr. T, is another candidate for J-Rat's back up. He played for Ohio State and was drafted by Buffalo in the third round in 2004. He played very little as a rookie but in 2005 he played in every game, starting 13 out of 16 games. His playing time decreased in 2006 and he was released by the Bills in October, 2007. He signed with the Falcons two weeks later and finished out the season with them and had eight tackles. He was re-signed the following year but released just after training camp. In his four years as a pro he has recorded 82 tackles. His decline in playing time and his subsequent absence from the league will be hurdles to overcome. He does have some history in the NFL and should know what it takes to succeed. He will have to bring everything he has to make the 53.
Saousoalii Poe Siavii, Jr. is the Samoan Cat. Junior Siavii has one of the most interesting stories of anyone on the Cowboys team. A huge kid at 18, he was lured to the states by an unscrupulous man who promised he would have Junior play college football but instead had the kid living in a basement working for no pay in the guy's T-shirt factory. If you read the full story you get a better picture of the man who is trying to win a spot as a back-up NT. My impression is that he, at age 30, is a 330-pound child. He seems like a man who has not yet decided to buckle down and work at his craft to become as good as he can be. Junior needs to have someone give him structure and leadership.
His one saving grace may be Igor Olshansky who was one of his best buddies at Oregon. Igor is a weight-room, work-ethic demon. When Junior was around Igor, he worked harder at reaching his potential. I'm watching to see how much time he and Igor spend together this offseason and during camp. If Igor and Junior can develop that bond again, it will be good for both of them, and the Cowboys.
It's a long shot, but I think Junior Siavii has the best chance to make the team. He has the size and strength to play the position but he hasn't had the dedication. Perhaps (and I'm not willing to bet on it) if he has matured enough and if he and Igor can recapture some of that collegiate camaraderie - Junior will be able to make a contribution this year.
* Other options could include a NT cut from another team or even DE Marcus Dixon has been discussed.