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T-Minus 24 hours til Draft Day…….

Hey guys, whats up? Yes I am alive and I did not join the peace corps or the convent and become a priest or anything like that. Sorry I havent been keeping up with lonestarstruck as of lately, but I just started a new job a few weeks ago and being in retail management is hectic if you dont know. Anyways, back to the reason Im here.

 The 2008 NFL Draft is a day away! WOOHOO! I dont know about you guys but I have been looking forward to this day since that ugly day back in January. I can’t help but think that Jerry is gonna pull a fast one on us and hopefully shock us in a good way. I keep getting the feeling that Jerry has already pulled off a draft day trade with someone (Detroit or Arizona) just by the vibe he has been expelling lately. Jerry keeps stating he is still looking for that WOW factor on offense and I dont think he means Pacman Jones.

Speaking of Pacman, I for one am happy he is a Cowboy. if he gets on the field this year, I think he will contribute immediatley. He might be a little rusty at first but the guy is only 24 or 25 I think so he will pick it up. Ofcourse, as of this article, the Cowboys and Pacman’s agent are still hammering out the details of the trade and contract but it is all essentially done. For all you Pacman haters, it will all go away when he returns a punt or INT for a TD.

Back to the draft, I am really hoping that Dallas picks up a WR and RB in the 1st round if they dont make a trade. I really like Darren McFadden but we wont get him unless he falls to 7th or lower. Imagine McFadden and Barber as a one two punch? Being the realist that I am, I am gonna go out on a limb here and venture to say that if the Cowboys dont trade any of their two 1st round picks they will draft, Felix Jones and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Those are my two picks. I will interchange Limas Sweed in there depending on several factors. So there you go guys. Tune it in at 2 PM tomorrow and watch the Draft. I know I will. See you next time kiddies! Same Cowboys Time! Same Cowboys Place! Same Cowboys Channel! 

LoneStarStruck.com Mock Draft 2.0

 

 

1. Miami Dolphins – DE Chris Long – Virginia – SR 6’3   266lbs. (With Glenn Dorsey’s health issues coming into play lately, this seems the logical choice for a Bill Parcell’s type pick and guy.)

2. St Louis Rams – OT Jake Long – Michigan – SR 6’7   335 lbs. (With all the problems on the offensive line for the Rams, they would be dummy’s for letting Long get passed them, for he can be the anchor of that O-line for the next 10 years.)

3. Atlanta Falcons – QB Matt Ryan – Boston College – SR 6’4   228 lbs. (With Falcon fans still reeling from the Michael Vick saga, QB is the biggest need for this organization. Playing QB Roulette last year with has-beens as well didn’t help the cause.)

4. Oakland Raiders – RB Darren McFadden – Arkansas – JR 6’1   211 lbs. (The Raiders need a Star at Running Back. With McFadden’s speed and size, Al Davis would be a total moron not to draft the Best running back of the 2008 draft.)  

5. Kansas City Chiefs – DT Glenn Dorsey – LSU – SR 6’1     310 lbs. (The Chiefs have pressing needs in many areas but D-Line is one of the biggest.)

6. New York Jets – DT Sedrick Ellis – USC – SR 6’0      309 lbs. (The Jets had absolutely no pass rush in 2007. Selecting Ellis not only makes sense but the guy can dominate the inside forcing teams who use a ground game to go vertical more often than they want.)

7. New England Patriots – DE Vernon Gholston – Ohio State – SR 6’4     255lbs. (With New England getting a taste of the blitz happy New York Giants in Super Bowl 42, the aging Patriots LB Core could use a shot of the fountain of youth and return the favor to opposing offenses in 2008.)

8. Baltimore Ravens – QB Brian Brohm – Louisville – SR 6’3       230lbs. (With the Ravens pressing need at QB and the ever vigilant legs of Steve McNair no longer running, Brohm seems the logical pick for the Ravens.)

9. Cincinnati Bengals – OLB Keith Rivers – USC – SR 6’3       232 lbs. (With the Bengals defense getting torched last year due to a non-existent pass rush, Rivers play-making ability is a welcomed sigh of relief.)

10. New Orleans Saints – CB Aqib Talib – Kansas – JR 6’2      205 lbs. (The Saints should be not only ecstatic but should be counting their blessings that Talib fell this far. Talib immediately starts and helps a defense that gave up the big play way too often in 2007.)  

11. Buffalo Bills – WR Malcolm Kelly – Oklahoma – JR 6’4       224 lbs. (With the Bills not having a big play threat opposite Lee Evans this pick immediately supplies Trent Edwards with a possession receiver who can move the sticks.)

12. Denver Broncos – OT Ryan Clady – Boise State – JR 6’6       320 lbs. (With Jay Cutler’s blindside not really protected, Clady provides protection against elite NFL pass rushers immediately.)

13. Carolina Panthers – RB Rashard Mendenhall – Illinois – JR 5’11      225lbs. (With DeShaun Foster no longer a Panther, Mendenhall gives the Panthers that Brian Westbrook Philadelphia element to the offense.)

14. Chicago Bears – QB Joe Flacco – Delaware (1AA)- SR 6’6       231 lbs. (With all the problems the Bears have had in past few years at QB, Flacco immediately comes in and give Grossman a run for his money. Flacco displayed the best and strongest arm at the NFL Combine.)

15. Detroit Lions – CB Leodis McKelvin – Troy – SR 5’11      186lbs. (With the Lions pretty solid on offense, the Detroit secondary needs help badly. McKelvin brings that help immediately.)

16. Arizona Cardinals – CB Mike Jenkins – South Florida – SR 5’11      200 lbs. (Rated as the best cover corner in many draft boards, Jenkins will make an impact early and often in the Cardinal’s secondary.)

17. Minnesota Vikings – DE/OLB Derrick Harvey – Florida- JR 6’4       269lbs. ( The Vikings need pass rushers, enough said.)

18. Houston Texas – RB Jonathon Stewart – Oregon – JR 5’11           233 lbs. (With the Texans solid at QB and WR, Stewart would bring defenses to respect the running for once in the Texans history.)

19. Philadelphia Eagles – WR DeSaun Jackson – California – JR 5’9      169 lbs. (With the Eagles offense lacking any big play receivers ever since T.O. left, Jackson’s speed will stretch defenses.)

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WR Mario Manningham – Michigan – JR 6’0      188 lbs. (With the Bucs offense lacking a complimentary receiver to Joey Galloway in 2007, teams doubled him in the latter part of the season. Manningham will provide Galloway much needed relief and could eventually replace him.)

21. Washington Redskins – FS Kenny Phillips – Miami – JR 6’2        210 lbs. ( With the tragic loss of Sean Taylor, the redskins will once again have one of the best one two punch at safety in the NFL with Phillips and Landry.)

22. Dallas Cowboys – WR Limas Sweed – Texas – SR 6’4     214 lbs. (With T.O. & T.G. both in their mid-30’s, Sweed’s youth and potential automatically threatens Crayton’s 3rd spot.)

23. Pittsburgh Steelers – OT Chris Williams – Vanderbilt – SR 6’6      321 lbs. (Considered by many to be the most athletically gifted tackle in the draft, Williams’s stock rose after Pitt’s Jeff Otah had a bad NFL Combine.)

24. Tennessee Titans – WR James Hardy – Indiana – JR 6’6         220 lbs. (Having the best size of any receiver in the draft, Hardy will provide the possession receiver that Vince Young has sorely missed since his Texas days.)

25. Seattle Seahawks – TE Dustin Keller – Purdue – SR 6’3       244 lbs. (Seattle has never had a great pass catching TE and Keller has been the most consistent pass catching TE in college football in the past 2 years. Need anything more?)

26. Jacksonville Jaguars – RB Felix Jones – Arkansas – JR 5’10     210 lbs. (Even though RB Fred Taylor was voted to his first Pro bowl, he isn’t getting any younger. The Jaguars going to the 2 back system will add some burst to Taylor’s legs in the latter part of the season.)

27. San Diego Chargers – OT Gosder Cherilus – Boston College – SR 6’7    315 lbs. (Upgrading an aging O-Line would be the Chargers best bet.)

28. Dallas Cowboys – CB Dominique Rod
gers – Cromartie – T
ennessee State – SR 6’2     185 lbs. (With the Boys having no solid back-up’s to Newman and Henry, Cromartie becomes the grasshopper to Newman.) 

29. San Francisco 49ers (*via trade with Colts) – WR Devin Thomas – Michigan State – JR 6’2    220 lbs. (With the 49ers lacking any star receivers, Thomas is the best receiver left on the board. He is tall and can run the deep pattern.)

30. Green Bay Packers – TE Fred Davis – USC – SR 6’5        252 lbs. (With Bubba Franks no longer a Packer, TE is a priority if Green Bay doesn’t want to become one dimensional.)

31. New England Cheatriots – (Picked forfeited due to Spy Gate Scandal by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.)

32. New York Giants – LB Dan Conner – Penn State – SR 6’3      233 lbs. (Very versatile linebacker who broke school records at Penn. Could be moved inside and outside. The Giants would love this guy.)

 

LoneStarStruck.com Mock NFL Draft 1.0

1. Miami Dolphins – DE Chris Long – Virginia – SR 6’3   266lbs. (With Glenn Dorsey’s health issues coming into play lately, this seems the logical choice for a Bill Parcell’s type pick and guy.)

2. St Louis Rams – OT Jake Long – Michigan – SR 6’7   335 lbs. (With all the problems on the offensive line for the Rams, they would be dummy’s for letting Long get passed them, for he can be the anchor of that O-line for the next 10 years.)

3. Atlanta Falcons – QB Matt Ryan – Boston College – SR 6’4   228 lbs. (With Falcon fans still reeling from the Michael Vick saga, QB is the biggest need for this organization. Playing QB Roulette last year with has-beens as well didn’t help the cause.)

4. Dallas Cowboys (*Via trade with the Oakland Raiders) – RB Darren McFadden – Arkansas – JR 6’1   211 lbs. (Jerry Jones stated in the off-season that he wanted to add that wow factor to his offense and with his close ties and alliance with Al Davis, this was a no-brainer. McFadden & Barber will be ravaging defenses for the next 5 years.)

*Oakland receives Dallas # 22 this year, Dallas # 28 this year, Dallas 2nd Round Pick in 2009 and Dallas DT Marcus Spears.

5. Kansas City Chiefs – DT Glenn Dorsey – LSU – SR 6’1     310 lbs. (The Chiefs have pressing needs in many areas but D-Line is one of the biggest.)

6. New York Jets – DT Sedrick Ellis – USC – SR 6’0      309 lbs. (The Jets had absolutely no pass rush in 2007. Selecting Ellis not only makes sense but the guy can dominate the inside forcing teams who use a ground game to go vertical more often than they want.)

7. New England Patriots – DE Vernon Gholston – Ohio State – SR 6’4     255lbs. (With New England getting a taste of the blitz happy New York Giants in Super Bowl 42, the aging Patriots LB Core could use a shot of the fountain of youth and return the favor to opposing offenses in 2008.)

8. Baltimore Ravens – QB Brian Brohm – Louisville – SR 6’3       230lbs. (With the Ravens pressing need at QB and the ever vigilant legs of Steve McNair no longer running, Brohm seems the logical pick for the Ravens.)

9. Cincinnati Bengals – OLB Keith Rivers – USC – SR 6’3       232 lbs. (With the Bengals defense getting torched last year due to a non-existent pass rush, Rivers play-making ability is a welcomed sigh of relief.)

10. New Orleans Saints – CB Aqib Talib – Kansas – JR 6’2      205 lbs. (The Saints should be not only ecstatic but should be counting their blessings that Talib fell this far. Talib immediately starts and helps a defense that gave up the big play way too often in 2007.)  

11. Buffalo Bills – WR Malcolm Kelly – Oklahoma – JR 6’4       224 lbs. (With the Bills not having a big play threat opposite Lee Evans this pick immediately supplies Trent Edwards with a possession receiver who can move the sticks.)

12. Denver Broncos – OT Ryan Clady – Boise State – JR 6’6       320 lbs. (With Jay Cutler’s blindside not really protected, Clady provides protection against elite NFL pass rushers immediately.)

13. Carolina Panthers – RB Rashard Mendenhall – Illinois – JR 5’11      225lbs. (With DeShaun Foster no longer a Panther, Mendenhall gives the Panthers that Brian Westbrook Philadelphia element to the offense.)

14. Chicago Bears – QB Joe Flacco – Delaware (1AA)- SR 6’6       231 lbs. (With all the problems the Bears have had in past few years at QB, Flacco immediately comes in and give Grossman a run for his money. Flacco displayed the best and strongest arm at the NFL Combine.)

15. Detroit Lions – CB Leodis McKelvin – Troy – SR 5’11      186lbs. (With the Lions pretty solid on offense, the Detroit secondary needs help badly. McKelvin brings that help immediately.)

16. Arizona Cardinals – CB Mike Jenkins – South Florida – SR 5’11      200 lbs. (Rated as the best cover corner in many draft boards, Jenkins will make an impact early and often in the Cardinal’s secondary.)

17. Minnesota Vikings – DE/OLB Derrick Harvey – Florida- JR 6’4       269lbs. ( The Vikings need pass rushers, enough said.)

18. Houston Texas – RB Jonathon Stewart – Oregon – JR 5’11           233 lbs. (With the Texans solid at QB and WR, Stewart would bring defenses to respect the running game for once in the Texans history.)

19. Philadelphia Eagles – WR DeSaun Jackson – California – JR 5’9      169 lbs. (With the Eagles offense lacking any big play receivers ever since T.O. left, Jackson’s speed will stretch defenses.)

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WR Mario Manningham – Michigan – JR 6’0      188 lbs. (With the Bucs offense lacking a complimentary receiver to Joey Galloway in 2007, teams doubled him in the latter part of the season. Manningham will provide Galloway much needed relief and could eventually replace him.)

21. Washington Redskins – FS Kenny Phillips – Miami – JR 6’2        210 lbs. ( With the tragic loss of Sean Taylor, the redskins will once again have one of the best one two punch at safety in the NFL with Phillips and Landry.)

22. Oakland Raiders (*From Dallas via trade)- WR Limas Sweed – Texas – SR 6’4     214 lbs. (With the Raiders owning two first round picks thanks to Dallas, Sweed will provide a great and huge weapon for last year’s # 1 pick QB Jamarcus Russell.)

23. Pittsburgh Steelers – OT Chris Williams – Vanderbilt – SR 6’6      321 lbs. (Considered by many to be the most athletically gifted tackle in the draft, Williams’s stock rose after Pitt’s Jeff Otah had a bad NFL Combine.)

24. Tennessee Titans – WR James Hardy – Indiana – JR 6’6         220 lbs. (Having the best size of any receiver in the draft, Hardy will provide the possession receiver that Vince Young has sorely missed since his Texas days.)

25. Seattle Seahawks – TE Dustin Keller – Purdue – SR 6’3       244 lbs. (Seattle has never had a great pass catching TE and Keller has been the most consistent pass catching TE in college football in the past 2 years. Need anything more?)

26. Jacksonville Jaguars – RB Felix Jones – Arkansas – JR 5’10     210 lbs. (Even though RB Fred Taylor was voted to his first Pro bowl, he isn’t getting any younger. The Jaguars going to the 2 back system will add some burst to Taylor’s legs in the latter part of the season.)

27. San Diego Chargers – OT Gosder Cherilus – Boston College – SR 6’7    315 lbs. (Upgrading an aging O
-Line would be the Charger
s best bet.)

28. Oakland Raiders (*via trade with Dallas) – DE Lawrence Jackson – USC – SR 6’4     274 lbs. (With the Raiders adding to the O with the 22nd pick, they quickly select Jackson to improve the D.)  

29. San Francisco 49ers (*via trade with Colts) – WR Devin Thomas – Michigan State – JR 6’2    220 lbs. (With the 49ers lacking any star receivers, Thomas is the best receiver left on the board. He is tall and can run the deep pattern.)

30. Green Bay Packers – TE Fred Davis – USC – SR 6’5        252 lbs. (With Bubba Franks no longer a Packer, TE is a priority if Green Bay doesn’t want to become one dimensional.)

31. New England Cheatriots – (Picked forfeited due to Spy Gate Scandal by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.)

32. New York Giants – LB Dan Conner – Penn State – SR 6’3      233 lbs. (Very versatile linebacker who broke school records at Penn. Could be moved inside and outside. The Giants would love this guy.)

  

 

  

Barber and Cowboys to Talk This Week

According to reports at the Star-Telegram, the Cowboys are expect to start talks with Marion Barber and his agent this week at the NFL Combine. Barber is a restricted free agent that had a very impressive season this past year and looks to make a long term deal with the Cowboys.

For those of you who remain interested in Darren McFadden, I don’t think this is going to happen. The Cowboys have $13 million left in their salary cap and have to take care of their free agents and draft picks. McFadden would cost the Cowboys a lot of money that they just don’t have to spend. Stranger things have happened but I don’t see it.

Personally, I think the Cowboys should hold on to Marion Barber and draft another running back. They are going to need a backup. Julius Jones is definitely not sticking around and Tyson Thompson did horrible last year, even thought he didn’t get much of a chance. I’m not sure how many running backs are available in free agency, I doubt very many good ones. They are definitely hard to come by.

Lock up Barber! Do it NOW!

 

Barber? Jones? McFadden? Who’s Going? Who’s Staying? Who’s Coming?

Originally, I had planned to write this blog on why I think we should go ahead and trade Julius Jones and keep Marion Barber. I have thought for the most of the season that Barber is the future in the Cowboys backfield. While Jones is a good back and can certainly be the lead man in another offense, I think he has seen the writing on the wall in Dallas, and realizes that he is going to be relegated to a supporting role for Barber. Because of this, I think Jones slacked off this season. When he gets the chance to carry the ball, he spends his time dancing around the backfield, waiting for a hole to open up. Barber, on the other hand, tends to make a hole if one isn’t readily available.

My reasoning here is, that Julius Jones, while a talented and hard worker, has lost heart, due to his realization that Barber is now perceived as the premier back. Julius knows that he can be the top back in many other offensive schemes, just not here with the Cowboys. Therefore, I was going to argue that we should get a contract on Barber and lock him in long term and let Jones go with our best wishes since I don’t think we can keep both.

Then – from stage left, enters Darren McFadden of Arkansas. The rumors are flying that Jerry Jones wants McFadden and wants him badly. Miami, of course, would have the first shot at McFadden (or anyone) due to having the first round draft pick this coming year. As we all know, we have already had a mass exodus of coaches from Dallas to Miami to join the Big Tuna. In thinking about this, it seems that Jerry Jones has been very cooperative in this process, and has allowed these guys to leave without much effort to keep them. In addition, it is also rumored that Miami wants Barber.  Could there be a deal in the works to let assistant coaches go without a whimper, while also tossing Barber into the mix at some point in order for the Cowboys to get their hands on that first round draft pick?

To be honest, I have no idea. All I know are the rumors I hear on the sports shows and the other blogs and fan sites I read. I love Barber and don’t want to see him go. However, I loved Herschel Walker and thought his trade was one of the most stupid things I had ever seen – at the time it happened. Of course, I realized later, that “The Trade” as it would come to be known, was a brilliant coup on the part of Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson to lay the foundation for a dynasty, while Minnesota ended up feeling like they had bought a huge “lemon” from the shadiest used car dealer in town. Ultimately, the final results of “The Trade” brought some now familiar names to the Boys – Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith, Darren Woodson, and Clayton Holmes.  For Minnesota, the results brought – relative obscurity.

My thoughts here are this, I know Jerry Jones is a smart business man. He knows how to cut a deal, and has proven that time and again in the past. I admit that I have thought him crazy at times in the past and then later, I was proven wrong when the impact of these deals have been brought to light. Jones obviously has some neurons and synapses firing in his head that don’t work so well in my noggin. But please, let’s not make the mistake Minnesota did – thinking they were one back away from a championship, they sold their soul (and their supporting cast) to get him.

Again, I love Barber and think he may be the toughest back out there. McFadden is, without a doubt, extremely talented, yet unproven in the NFL. Barber has already proven himself with the Cowboys. Aren’t there other possible ways of getting McFadden without giving up Barber? Is all this just unfounded rumor with no basis in reality? Many have said so. They say there’s no way Jones will let Barber go. It’s a given that Jerry Jones will sign him. I thought so too, but why hasn’t he done so yet? What’s the hold up? As a restricted free agent, my understanding is that you simply have to tender him an offer to lock him in, but this, as of yet, hasn’t happened.

For the most part, in this blog, I am just thinking out loud. I certainly don’t pretend to be an expert – just a devoted fan trying to figure out what’s going on. What do you, the readers think? Please feel free to share your thoughts with me. Is all this a possibility? Am I nuts? Hit me back. Let me know what you think.

Contributed by Rich Isaacs