Jerry Jones has made no bones about it; the head Cowboy wants himself a ‘wardaddy’ up front to smother opposing quarterbacks.
The Dallas Cowboys also find themselves in a good position to go shopping for said athlete. With teams being able to trade compensatory draft picks plus the picks the Cowboys are entitled to based on their 2017 performance, Dallas stands a chance of being able to put together a nice package to trade up into position to draft an available player who will bring the skillset the team wants to the Metroplex.
Think about it. The offense is on solid ground; the team made major investments during the offseason to refurbish the defensive secondary, and the linebackers look to be a bright spot once Jaylon Smith hits full stride alongside Sean Lee. The complimentary pieces are in place along the defensive front. All that is needed is the beast to define the corps of rushmen.
Wardaddies are expensive but Dallas has capital to spend. Need meet opportunity. The time is right for Dallas to start shopping for the special player that will complete the package.
Let’s start taking a look at the guys who should be on the Cowboys radar:
Arden Key - LSU
Key underwent offseason shoulder surgery and he will miss the Tigers opening game of the season, but if he can bounce back from the procedure and be the player he was for LSU he looks to be a Top - 5 level talent.
At 6’6” and 255 pounds Key fits the mold of a destructive force that eats passers for breakfast. As a freshman he recorded 41 tackles and five sacks. Last season he upped those numbers to 56 and 12. The dozen sacks makes him LSU’s all time single season sack champion.
Tyquan Lewis - Ohio State
The senior defensive end chose to return to Columbus this fall rather than opting for the 2017 NFL draft. At 6’4” and 265 pounds he too is an intimidating force on the defensive front. In many seasons he would be the outstanding pass rusher of his draft class but he has the disadvantage of being paired with Key this year.
Lewis is the reigning Big Ten defensive lineman of the year from 2017. He is in a position to finish his career as one of the top five sack artists in Buckeyes history and he could conceivably finish as high as second all time. He has been named as one of Ohio State’s captains for 2017 which is something that the Cowboys look heavily at when it comes to evaluating their top selections.
One of the things that is most impressive is Lewis’ reason for not coming out after last season. He wants the experience of sharing another National Championship with his OSU teammates.
Harold Landry - Boston College
Landry is another player who would have made an impact had he chose to come out last year. In 2016 he recorded 51 stops for the Eagles and he sacked the quarterback 16.5 times. At 6’3” and 250, Landry is not quite as imposing as the other two, but he is equally impressive as a hard-nosed playmaking tough guy.
He is a guy driven to success.
“This obsession with greatness, he has that. Harold is a great example of that development guy that popped in his third (year) and has a chance in his fourth to really and clearly become one of the nation’s elite players.” - BC coach Steve Addazio
Besides, what Cowboys fan would not like to have a guy named Landry on the roster?
These three guys are considered, at least as of now, to be the cream of the crop in edge rushers for the 2018 draft class. Things could change; injuries could happen. Regardless these men will be players who have the potential to fill the wardaddy role in Dallas.
With some stock to spend, it is hard to imagine that the team will not look long and hard at each of them in the upcoming weeks.