The draft is always an exciting time for us fans because we see an influx of new players with great potential. A new rookie class and a new free agent class always brings the promise of an improved team performance that could see the team repeat as division winner, and see the veterans receive individual accolades and post-season honors.
For others, the new players are an immediate threat to their job security. Here's who I think the biggest losers from draft weekend are.
Losers - Linebackers
As a backup linebacker for the Cowboys, you may have breathed a sigh of relief when first Justin Durant and then Bruce Carter departed in free agency. But that feeling didn't last, as the Cowboys went and signed Andrew Gachkar, Keith Rivers and Jasper Brinkley. That's three slaps in the face for the depth guys at linebacker.
Then, on April 1, the Cowboys re-signed Rolando McClain, and while not unexpected, it made the linebacker room a bit more crowded. But the Cowboys weren't done, and drafted Damien Wilson and Mark Nzeocha.
The Cowboys already released Will Smith last week, and the air suddenly got a lot thinner for Cameron Lawrence and Kyle Wilber.
Losers - Ronald Leary
Two minutes after the La'el Collins signing was announced, headlines were already penciling in Collins as the starter at left guard, which is Leary's spot. The Cowboys have already announced that they have no intention of trading Leary - after all, who wouldn't want a starter quality backup for a mere $585,000?
Leary is in a tough spot. He'll still be a restricted free agent in 2016, so the Cowboys could keep him for an extra year, albeit at a higher, if still moderate, cost, depending on the type of tender they place on him. Additionally, Leary has averaged almost $300,000 in performance-based pay over the last two years as a starter. That's money he won't make sitting on the bench.
Friends of New Running Backs
The Cowboys said before the draft that running back was not an urgent need for the team. Very few believed them, and most observers continued to mock hordes of running backs the Cowboys way. And when the Cowboys didn't draft a running back those same observers bitterly chastised the Cowboys for doing exactly what their owner had said they would do.
Undeterred by the setback in the draft, the Friends of New Running Backs immediately set their sights on trading for or otherwise acquiring a veteran running back. Jerry Jones again patiently explained that a veteran running back is not a priority right now. Very few believe him.
No, the Cowboys didn't draft a quarterback. But they did work out an unprecedented number of quarterbacks prior to the draft - and I'm guessing they didn't do that because they were unhappy with Dustin Vaughan or were looking for Romo's sucessor.
The Cowboys brought in Bryce Petty (4th Rd, 104) for a workout during Dallas Day, and had private workouts with Garrett Grayson (3rd, 75), Sean Mannion (3rd, 89th), Brett Hundley (5th, 147), Chris Bonner (UDFA), and Hutson Mason (UDFA). Additionally, they worked out veterans Jerrod Johnson and Tyler Wilson, and even had a visit with Matt Schaub.
This is less about the defensive tackles already on the roster and much more about all those poor defensive tackles that had to go to teams not named the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys did invite Carl Davis for a pre-draft visit, and had Chucky Hunter in on Dallas Day, but that was the extent of their interest in defensive tackles leading up to the draft, and that lack of interest was mirrored by their draft picks. Heck, they didn't even bring in a DT among the college free agents they signed after the draft.
For all the talk about the importance of the 3-technique, about how the defensive line is where the Cover 2 really starts, about quick-twitch athletes, about Aaron Donald clones, and about how critical it is to collapse the pocket, the Cowboys did absolutely nothing.
Good luck, Xavier Cooper, Grady Jarrett, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches. It was nice to read your scouting profiles.
Who would you add as losers of draft weekend?