Once the Cowboys cut DeMarcus Ware on the first day of Free Agency, it became popular nationally to mock an edge rusher, usually either UCLA's Anthony Barr, or Missouri's Kony Ealy, to the Cowboys at pick #16 in the first round. It made perfect sense, I mean, the Cowboys just cut the best pass rusher they've ever had, so of course they need to "replace" him with some kid from MIZZOU who has a lot of questions from respected people (Bryan Broaddus included) about whether he has the ability to get to the QB at the NFL level. The idea of Anthony Barr does make some sense, but it is very questionable whether he makes it to the 'Boys at 16. Here at BTB we pride ourselves on looking at the big picture, not getting distracted from the forest by all the foliage around us.
Thus I want to make sure to address the event that the Cowboys don't select an edge rusher - or a defensive lineman, or potentially even a defensive player at all on May 8th as the first round passes - by looking at a group of players that should be very interesting for the Cowboys.
The following is a list of players who have second to the fourth round grades from CBSsports.com and who could help Rod Marinelli's group of Rushmen, as they seek to bring waves of guys after opposing quarterbacks.
|44||Scott Crichton||Oregon State||6' 3"||273||2|
|46||Kareem Martin||North Carolina||6' 6"||272||2|
|52||Jeremiah Attaochu||Georgia Tech||6' 3"||252||2|
|56||Demarcus Lawrence||Boise State||6' 3"||251||2|
|65||Trevor Reilly||Utah||6' 5"||245||Fringe 2|
|68||Carl Bradford||Arizona State||6' 1"||250||Fringe 2|
|71||Trent Murphy||Stanford||6' 5"||250||Fringe 2|
|81||Louisville||6' 3"||251||Fringe 2|
|90||Jackson Jeffcoat||Texas||6' 3"||247||3|
|107||Will Clarke||West Virginia||6' 6"||271||Fringe 3|
|109||Arkansas||6' 1"||266||Fringe 3|
|122||James Gayle||Virginia Tech||6' 4"||259||4|
|130||Adrian Hubbard||Alabama||6' 6"||257||4|
|133||Josh Mauro||Stanford||6' 6"||271||4|
Looking at this list it is full of "tweeners" or guys who are probably a little bit too small to play DE in a traditional 4-3, but might not be the level of coverage player that is generally sought out of top level 3-4 OLBs. Many of these guys played some sort of Jack, Star, or Stud LB position in college that allowed them to rush the passer on passing downs without being subjected to taking on OT's one on one in the run game. However, tendencies show that Rod Marinelli cares less about measurables, and more about ability.
Many of these players could be very valuable additions to the pass rush rotation in Dallas, and could help the process of improving the defense as a whole, without spending the off-season's most valuable resource, your first round pick, on a player with major question marks about his ability at the next level.