One more day of the draft, and it's back to the dreary world of offseason football. Yes, the lockout has been reinstated by the appeals court, at least for now, until they give a final ruling. We need to enjoy this final draft day because it might be all we get for a while.
The Cowboys have made three picks so far, and they've not messed around with any trades. Our haul so far:
1st Round (#9): Tyron Smith - OT USC
2nd Round (#40) Bruce Carter - LB North Carolina
3rd Round (#71) DeMarco Murray - RB Oklahoma
What does this tell us?
For one, I think this draft has a little bit of a Jason Garret flavor to it. One question we all had going into the draft was how much influence will Garrett have in the war-room. I think he's had plenty. Garrett is an offensive-minded head coach. He's going to want certain things for his offense, and he looks to be getting them.
Tyron Smith - The Cowboys pick an offensive lineman in the first round for the first time in forever. I won't credit this totally to Garrett, this was just a prefect combination of player availability and need. But, there's no doubt Garrett was smiling. He knows he needs Tony Romo to be healthy for his offense to peak, (although I will concede Jon Kitna was marvelous last year). Dallas runs a vertical passing offense, at least in the ideal. Romo needs time to throw, Smith's best skill right now is pass protection. Marc Colombo had become a liability and was hampering the Cowboys ability to get the ball downfield. The hope is Smith will alleviate that problem.
Bruce Carter - Instead of giving the nod to Garrett here, let's give it to Rob Ryan. As KD pointed out in this post, Carter is an athlete that could play in several spots, fitting Ryan's 'multiples" theory - that being guys who can line up at multiple positions. Jerry Jones has already said that Keith Brooking is coming back, so Carter will likely be brought along slowly. He should contribute on special teams initially, something he did at UNC, while his knee recovers all the way. The Cowboys were also going for ultimate-value in this pick; by all accounts, this was first-round talent (and high first round talent) before the knee injury.
DeMarco Murray - This sounds exactly like someone Jason Garrett wanted. A back who can catch passes out of the backfield. Neither Felix Jones nor Tashard Choice are exceptional pass receivers out of the backfield. They're competent, but they basically catch screens or flares behind the line. Murray seems like someone who can get into the passing game on 3rd down, who can actually run a route if needed. He was as much receiver as running back at Oklahoma, especially in his final year. Plus, he helps on special teams, and area Tashard Choice hasn't excelled at, and a place they don't want starter Felix Jones messing around with; Murray could do multiple things on special teams.
All three guys are noted for their athleticism at their position. The Cowboys want dynamic players in this draft, they'll figure out how to use them once they have them on the roster.
All three are from programs in the power conferences, from big-time schools that have produced tons of NFL talent.