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Final Mock Draft of 2011

This version of The 2011 Cowboys Mock Draft has Jerry wheelin’ and dealin’ as usual, only this time, he comes out smelling like roses. Yeah, I know. Completely unrealistic already. Well, read it anyway and see what ya think. I used my usual rankings at: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings however, this time I looked around to see what other teams could be doing as opposed to going strictly by the rankings. Trade values are standard and can be checked here: http://walterfootball.com/draftchart.php

Remember this is just for fun and maybe we can all learn a little about some of the athletes entering the league.

*Note* The first number represents the round of the draft and the number after the decimal represents the overall number of the pick.

Now on to the draft!
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  • 1.9 **TRADE TO ST. LOUIS** St. Louis selects Julio Jones WR Alabama
    St. Louis sees AJ Green go too early to make a realistic move. Trading up to #9, where their second choice, Jones, is still available makes perfect sense for a young team in need of a play-making wide receiver. Dallas makes it interesting by trading picks 1.9, 3.71 and 6.176 for The Ram’s 1.14, 2.47, 4.112 and 7.216. St. Louis now owns picks 1.9, 3.71, 3.78, 5.145 and 6.176.

 

  • 1.14 **TRADE TO SAN DIEGO!!!** San Diego selects Cameron Jordan DE Cal OR JJ Watt DE Wisconsin.
    Both New England and San Diego inquired about pick #9 but both decided it to be too costly. Again, at 14, Dallas fields offers and San Diego comes out on top, while still having picks in the first three rounds. Dallas trades 1.14 for The Charger’s 1.18, 3.82 and 6.183. San Diego now owns picks 1.14, 2.50, 2.61, 3.89, 6.201 and 7.234.

 

  • 1.18 Anthony Castonzo OT Boston College
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    Castonzo and/or Tyron Smith could be gone by pick 18 with a handful of teams considering taking an OT higher than they should. I’m betting on Smith being the first one taken, despite worries that he might not be ready to start right away. Dallas scouts watched Castonzo’s career religiously at Boston College. He, like Smith, is believed to be able to play either right or left tackle in the NFL. Having that versatility is a good thing on a line that is in rebuilding mode in Dallas. Gabe Carimi has been my favorite of this class to play right tackle, however he hasn’t been invited to the ranch and there is shockingly no buzz about him to Dallas what so ever. I would also consider Mike Pouncey C/OG Florida with this pick if both tackles are gone.

 

  • 2.40 Rahim Moore FS UCLA
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    Some believe he will be gone by our pick at 40. I don’t think he is a high second rounder in any other draft year other than a year like this where the crop is extremely underwhelming in talent. Moore had a breakout year in ’09 where he picked off a whopping 10 passes, then went back to a pedestrian 1 in ’10. A safety should not be judged on interceptions alone, but we are in the market for a play maker. I hope we get the ’09 version or more of the same could be in our future. I am not a fan of this year’s safety class, but drafting one can not be ignored yet again.

 

  • 2.47 Stefen Wisniewski C/OG Penn State
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    If I didn’t make a mock with the “WIZ”, my mock draft buddies would kill me. He is a fan favorite of Dallas mockers world-wide. Like Owen Marecic (whom we will talk about shortly) , Stefen represents everything you would want from a football player and just so happens to be a strong need at both guard positions as well as center, where the majority of experts project him to excel at the NFL level. With Davis’ skills rapidly declining, Kosier still unsigned and Gurode’s degenerative knee problems, this is a perfect pick to upgrade the o-line. Like I said earlier with the first pick, if Smith and Castonzo are gone at pick 18 and Dallas selects OG Mike Pouncey, this pick could be an OT such as Marcus Cannon from TCU.

 

  • 3.82 Marcus Gilchrist CB/KR/PR Clemson
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    Dallas’ secondary problems are well documented and help is needed across the board. Gilchrist is a versatile corner who also excels at kick and punt returning. Marcus has 207 tackles, four tackles for loss, a sack, an interception, 19 pass breakups, three caused fumbles, two recovered fumbles, 722 yards on 27 kickoff returns, and 261 yards on 27 punt returns in 52 games (27 starts) in his career at Clemson. At the very least, he should assume Alan Ball’s #4 corner spot behind Orlando Scandrick, (who is in a contract year) helping us with youth and CAP relief during his first year in Dallas.

 

  • 4.110 Ian Williams DT Notre Dame
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    I traded up for Ian in my last mock to pick #127 and I believe with a premium at NT in this draft, he could go even higher. Ian had a pre-combine visit with Dallas and is a prime candidate to rotate with Josh Price-Brent, allowing Ratliff to make his long awaited move to Igor Olshansy’s position at RDE. (freeing Igor’s $3.335 million salary) I know Rob Ryan said Ratliff is and will be a DT, but he didn’t say in what packages. Ratliff could be a DE in the base 3-4 package and a DT in others. I think Ryan is smart enough to put his best players on the field and having options is nice.

 

  • 4.112 Kelvin Sheppard ILB LSU
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    Bradie James will love this pick. Although he will be Bradie’s eventual replacement, Sheppard is an LSU alum as is James. The similarities don’t stop there. Bradie was taken in the fourth round of the 2003 draft. The joke would be that Bradie will always be 9 players better than Kelvin. (Bradie at 103, Kelvin at 112) I’ll be happy if he’s just a solid contributor. His speed and reliable open-field tackling also made the former high-school track star a standout on special teams.

 

  • 5.143 Owen Marecic FB Stanford
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    Only because this is such a strong FB class do I believe it is possible to still get Marecic at pick 143. The emergence of Charles Clay, Stanley Havili and Henry Hynoski should let one drop to Dallas here and improve at a very weak position. Marecic is exactly the type of player I want on this roster. He puts his head down and works hard. This is the extreme value pick of this draft. To boot, anyone opposed to taking a FB should look at the undrafted player responsible for ending the seasons, because of missed blocks, for both Romo and Bryant in 2010.

 

  • 6.183 Stevan Ridley RB LSU
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    Ridley recently visited the ranch and it looks like the brass are ready to move on from MBIII and his lopsided contract. The growing belief throughout the league is that you can find good running backs in the later rounds and a high pick on one isn’t a necessity anymore. A bruising back to compliment Felix and Tashard should be relatively easy to achieve with this pick and it’s funny how Stevan is currently rated #183 overall and here we are at that exact pick. Fate? We’ll see…

 

  • 7.216 Justin Boren OG Ohio State
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    “Not since World War II has a football player done what Justin Boren did in 2008. After two seasons at Michigan, Boren transferred to Ohio State, crossing enemy lines in the Big Ten’s most storied rivalry. Displeased with new Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez’s attitude and, in his words, “lack of values” and seemed to have difficulty adjusting to the physical demands of Rodriguez’s new no-huddle spread offense. Boren has been known to play with the nasty demeanor offensive line coaches like and was a welcome addition to an OSU line having some protection problems prior to his arrival. But while his decision to transfer alone does not raise character concerns, he must still answer questions about the way he handled himself after making that decision. He is a likely late-round pick for a team that appreciates his strength and competitive attitude.” – CBS Sports.com overview

 

  • 7.220 Willie Smith OT East Carolina
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    The Cowboys need depth at LT and Willie should make a smooth transition having played the position the past two years in East Carolina. Like most late round prospects, he first needs to make the team. Next he needs to develop into an NFL caliber player with our elite coaches, (oline and strength and conditioning) and finally most college scouts don’t believe it would be unreasonable to think Smith could be a starter in 2-3 years. He could be a late round steal much like Jay Ratliff, who was selected 224th overall in the 2005 draft.

 

  • 7.252 Bruce Miller OLB UCF
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    Brandon Williams needs to prove he’s not just another 2009 draft bust. Bruce Miller could be the competition he needs to finally get over the hump. Demarcus Ware believes in him, we just haven’t seen anything yet. Competition at spots such as OLB will be the key to our future strength.

 

  • Free Agency:
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One of these days, a CBA will be hammered out, the owners and players will kiss and make up and free agency will happen. When that day comes, the priority should be resigning our own players first, especially if the restricted tenders don’t stick. Free, Kosier, Bowen and Hatcher should be top priority. While this is being hammered out, word should get to Dawan Landry’s agent that Dallas isn’t committed to Gerald Sensebaugh and are looking to upgrade the position. A feeler is all it should take to get Baltimore to make their modest offer.

“Citing the Ravens’ history at strong safety, the Baltimore Sun does not expect free agent Dawan Landry to be re-signed this year. The Ravens have twice let the starter opposite Ed Reed walk (Will Demps, Jim Leonhard), turning the position over to in-house replacements. If Landry gets to the bidding-war stage, the team will have no qualms about pushing Tom Zbikowski or Haruki Nakamura into the starting lineup.”

Dallas could realistically sign Landry to a 3 year $12 million contract with 8 million guaranteed and steal him away from the Ravens. IMO totally worth it and much more cost effective than previously drafting the top strong safety to start and signing a free agent free safety that would want a very large contract. (Huff, Weddle) We recently went that route with a questionable player (Ken Hamlin) and it didn’t work out so well. Hopefully, Jerry plays this smart and learns his lesson.

 

See you all on the annual draft day chat right here on Lone Star Struck, where we are all sure to to laugh, cry and thoroughly debate personnel decisions in the comfort of our own “War Rooms”…Happy Draft Day Everyone!!! It’s almost here!

Cowboys Extra Points: Tying Up Loose Ends

The NFL released dates today for all clubs. Here are the dates for the Cowboys Organized Team Activities and well as Rookie and Veteran Mini Camps

OTAs: May 17-19, May 24-26, June 1-3, June 8-10

Mini Camps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 11-13

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With the recent signings of Montrae Holland and Alan Ball, the Cowboys have only Miles Austin and Gerald Sensabaugh left to sign their tenders by June 15 or have a long-term deal in place. Last week, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters that “both are in line for a long-term contract”.

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Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland, has apologized to Cowboys first round pick Dez Bryant for asking whether his mother a prostitute. The apology came after it was learned that Ireland posed the question during a pre-draft interview with Bryant.

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In a complet about-face, undrafted tight end Scott Sicko reversed his position and has agreed to terms on a free-agent contract with the Cowboys, and will attend the team’s rookie minicamp this weekend. Sicko initially decided not to pursue any NFL offers when he failed to get selected in the NFL Draft, and was going to return to school. Jerry Jones can be very convincing when he wants something, huh?

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After the season DeMarcus Ware had surgery to remove a bone spur. When asked if he was 100% yet, he replied:

“I would never say 100 percent. I would say 94 percent. The surgery went well. I had a bone spur, and they just shaved it down. Now, everything is good.”

Gotta love Ware’s attitude and personality! We love you #94!

“WOW” What A Weekend

Although I am VERY excited the NFL draft is over and all the analysts saying over and over and over and over (you get what I mean) and over again about who goes where, who is number one, who should pick who, one word says it all. WOW!!!!!!! This has got to be one of the most active NFL drafts I have ever seen. There were trades galore and picks that shocked everyone. Top prospects going before during and after what they were projected to go. In a nut shell, a GREAT football weekend in the middle of the off-season.

First off Kelly did a good job on breaking down who we drafted this year. Although we got a great WR in the first round I kind of wish we would have gone with a little more focus on O-line to start the draft and other positions after that was solidified since we did lose Flozell Adams. But I do think we had a great daft and I am looking forward to an OUTSTANDING “championship” season. With that said, this draft to me seemed much more “emotional” than drafts in the past. As a writer for NFL.COM says, it was the “year of the hug”. There were more players hugging Commissioner Roger Goodell as they came on stage than in years past. Tears flowed, emotions ran high and dreams were fulfilled.

As we all know, Sam Bradford, QB for Oklahoma went number one to the Rams, the best defensive player in the draft, Suh went 2nd to the lions and from then on, it was GAME ON. Out of the 32 teams in the NFL, the draft was pretty well split down the middle between offensive and defensive players. 17 defensive players taken vs. 15 offensive players taken. What really came into play this year was the trades. Before the draft, the Eagles officially became the most ignorant franchise in NFL history trading a top 10 QB to a DIVISION opponent, the Washington Redskins. “BIG BEN” did what he does best and rubbed his name in the dirt just a little more showing his off the field behavior deserves NO respect, causing trade talks. In the end, the Steelers decided they were going to keep him and let his play on the field overlook his pathetic decisions off the field. With the Bears grabbing the best free agency out there in Peppers, they continued to focus on their defense drafting 3 more defensive players and 2 offensive players.

Seattle’s new head coach and former USC head coach Pete Carrol brought back familiar faces in acquiring RB LenDale White from the Titans and traded with the jets getting all pro RB Leon Washington to compliment that backfield. The Raiders decided that the Skins no longer needed Jason Cambell and took them off of their hands. We all know, just like in past drafts, the Patriots were going to be wheeling and dealing. Well coach Bill Belichick boosted up their defense and stealing veteran DT Gerad Warren from the Raiders. This acquisition, along with free agents WR Tory Holt and Defensive Lineman Amon Gordon and their TWELVE (12) picks in this year’s draft improved their team dramatically.

As I research the trades that went on this weekend, I realize I have taken on a task that would take me much more precious time than I thought, and besides, my blog would be 5 pages long. I found a link here that shows all the trades that happened during the draft this year.

http://www.nfl.com/draft/story?id=09000d5d817b4621&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true

With just the information that I’ve shared, you can easily see that this off-season is one of the most active ever. Free agents, trades, and a draft that in my opinion lasted WAY too long. Finally the draft is over, and the training camps can get underway. The newest “Boys” can start to show us what they have. Before we know it pre-season hits us and then, LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!

The First Three Rounds In Hindsight

The draft for our Dallas Cowboys started with a bang, as expected, when Jerry Jones traded up in the first round from their spot at 27 to slot 24, jumping ahead of Baltimore and snatching up arguably the best receiver in this year’s draft, Dez Bryant from Oklahoma State.

As many of us sat watching the live war room cam, many of us expected a trade up to 12 with Miami. The player many of us expected them to target was Texas’ Earl Thomas, a playmaking safety with a skill set most of us would be thrilled to have start from day one in place of the recently released, Ken Hamlin. That didn’t happen as San Francisco traded up to 11 with Denver and took OT Anthony Davis. The next pick that Miami held was traded to San Diego for RB Ryan Matthews.

I’m not exactly sure of the timing of these two picks as compared to the reaction in the Cowboys war-room, but how I saw it, the jaws dropped as San Francisco jumped Miami by trading with Denver, one spot ahead of our proposed trade partner, taking a very coveted offensive tackle. To me, this doesn’t coincide with their recent comments supporting Doug Free as our starting left tackle in 2010. I truly believe Anthony Davis was their target all along and there’s no way they would admit that now, unless somehow this info is leaked, which would only hurt us in the long run.

In hindsight, what would have been given up for that pick at 12, compared to what was given up for Dez, wouldn’t have been worth it. Unless you fast forward to round two.

In round two, Philadelphia as expected, took their play making safety, Nate Allen from Mike Jenkins’ alma mater USF. That proved to be the end, of what the Cowboys brass viewed, the immediate starters from the safety class.
Other safeties projected in that range were Morgan Burnett, Chad Jones and Major Wright who all ended up going in the third round, proving us mock drafters only know relative position, not actual.

Getting closer to the Cowboys pick at 59, Jerry and co. saw New England sitting one spot ahead at 58 and licking their chops for the coveted linebacker, Sean Lee from Penn State. Not to be out-done, they made their move with Philadelphia, trading pick 59 and their late 4th round pick to jump to 55 and snatch their guy.

Nick Eatman was giving hints about them targeting Lee in recent weeks and believed if he was there for them at 59, that would be their pick. Again, the Cowboys moves were out in the open for everyone to see plenty ahead of time for others to strategize against. The Cowboys again had to give up a mid-round pick to take their guy.

Sean Lee, if he stay healthy, looks to be the future at one of the two inside linebacker spots. Weather that be the mic or the mo, it remains to be seen. Jason Williams, last year’s top pick will also be in the mix.

Each of these picks will be highly scrutinized in the future, should one or both prove to be the wrong decision. Both are high risk high reward in their own way. Dez with his character issues and Lee with his knee injury. Solid players were still available at both spots (27, 59 and 90, possibly 125 depending on how today goes)

Time will tell and the sceptic will be watching closely.

NFL Draft Day Central – Live Thread

Welcome to our exclusive NFL Draft Coverage Thread here at Lone Star Struck.

For complete round the clock coverage of all the big news, signings and trades, keep it right here as we will keep updating this thread with everything you need to know.

We also invite you to join us at our live Draft Chat where many members of our staff will be discussing the day’s events and answering questions.

LONE STAR STRUCK CHAT

Join the conversation or just stop in and say “Go Cowboys!” Let us know who you think the Cowboys should draft with the first pick.

It’s going to be a great weekend and I bet there will be a few surprises with Jerry Jones running the show.

NFL Draft Update

1. Rams

2. Lions

3. Buccaneers

4. Redskins

5. Chiefs

6. Seahawks

7. Browns

8. Raiders

9. Bills

10. Jaguars

Dallas Cowboys Picks

The Cowboys have half a dozen picks with the first at #27.

Round 1, Pick 27 (27)
Round 2, Pick 27 (59)
Round 3, Pick 26 (90)
Round 4, Pick 27 (125)
Round 6, Pick 27 (196)
Round 7, Pick 27 (234)

Final Mock Draft of 2010

The NFL Draft kicks off tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. CT.

NFL.com will be carrying a live stream of the draft for those of you who want to follow online. There are already plenty of rumors circulating as to what the Cowboys may or may not do. One this is for sure, there will be plenty of buzz and excitement and after the draft it wont be long until training camp starts and we all lineup to buy football tickets for a new season.

The Cowboys have half a dozen picks with the first at #27.

Round 1, Pick 27 (27)
Round 2, Pick 27 (59)
Round 3, Pick 26 (90)
Round 4, Pick 27 (125)
Round 6, Pick 27 (196)
Round 7, Pick 27 (234)

27. With all the top first round talent off the board, Jerry finds a trade partner AGAIN in Cleveland, who send their #38 overall pick in 2010 and a 3rd and 6th in 2011 to Dallas in exchange for #27 in which Cleveland lands their future QB.

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38. Dallas is holding out hope that Philly doesn’t pick Nate Allen at 37. No such luck. But wait. A call comes in from the Ravens.

Restricted free agent Offensive Tackle Jared Gaither is offered up for pick #38. The value here for a potential starting tackle is fantastic, however Jerry counters with #59 and a 2011 4th. No deal.

Dallas picks Devin McCourty (CB, Rutgers) who surprisingly slid through the first round. Devin will provide excellent depth at corner and will be asked to return kicks.

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59. The top three second round safety prospects in the second round (Nate Allen, Chad Jones and Morgan Burnett) are gone.

Jerry dials Baltimore’s number and offers pick 59 and a 2011 5th round pick this time for Jared Gaither.

Seeing no other offers and now coming to the end of round two, Baltimore accepts the deal.

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86. Dallas sends DE Marcus Spears to Green Bay and selects John Jerry (G Ole Miss).

The Eagles, who sit at 87, are livid. Payback for drafting Nate Allen is a motha.

Dallas can comfortably send Spears away without drafting another DE high in this draft with belief that either Hatcher or Bowen will be hungry enough to finally get their shot at starting and a new contract.

Third year end, Marcus Dixon is now ready for a reserve role after spending the last two years on Dallas’ practice squad.

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90. Jordan Shipley (WR/PR Texas) has been a target of Dallas all along. The versatile former Longhorn WR finds a home with the Cowboys and will learn his position while returning punts.

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125. Eric Olsen (C Notre Dame) takes Cory Procter’s roster spot as the swing C/G. Sirens go off and the crowd roars at the draft viewing party inside Cowboys Stadium. Davis and Colombo email Olsen a link to this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVqgVplQG-I

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196. At this point in the draft, teams are looking for backups and possibly if they are lucky enough, future competition for their starters.

Robert Johnson (FS Utah) can compete with Patrick Watkins for the tail end of the safety spots. If he can be a solid special teams contributor, the job is his to lose.

I’m anticipating a strong run at O.J. Atogwe to upgrade the starting FS spot.

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234. Nose Tackle Jay Ratliff needs to cut back a little bit on his snaps to last a long season with an early bye.

Dallas selects Kade Weston from Georgia to compete with Junior Siavii for the reserve NT role.

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Dallas aquires:

-2011 3rd and 6th round picks from Cleveland

-CB/KR Devin McCourty

-OT Jared Gaither

-G John Jerry

-WR/PR Jordan Shipley

-C Eric Olsen

-S Robert Johnson

-NT Kade Weston

Dallas loses:

DE Marcus Spears

2011 5th round pick

Cowboys Extra Points: Free Agency, Draft and Schedules

Sam Hurd is the most recent player to sign his tender. Still nothing from Miles Austin or Gerald Sensabaugh, however both showed up in Valley Ranch for the off-season workout program. ESPN Dallas explains free agency rules and deadlines.

Robert Brewster has been cleared by the medical staff to return to football. The offensive lineman’s best position would be right tackle or guard. Brewster was drafted in the 3rd round of the ’09 draft but sat out the entire season due to a torn pectoral muscle.

The 2010 NFL Draft begins this Thursday, April 22nd at 6:30 p.m. CST. The first round will be held Thursday, the second and third rounds on Friday starting a 5 p.m. CST and rounds 4-7 on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. CST. We will have a live thread with continuous updates for the draft. See ya then!

The Dallas Cowboys official website has been redesigned. In my opinion its clean and bright, almost too white, and will take some getting used to as far as the layout. Check out the new design here.

The NFL will announce the complete 2010 schedules tomorrow at 6 p.m. CST on NFL Network and NFL.com.

Follow us on Twitter and fan us on Facebook.

2010 NFL Draft: Is Jerry Jones Tipping His Hand?

With the NFL Draft less than a month away, has Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tipped his hand?

By now most of you are familiar with Dez Bryant, the star wide receiver from Oklahoma State. The Star-Telegram recently wrote that  Bryant may have validated himself as the “best receiver in the NFL Draft” during his most recent workouts.

Bryant is a homegrown talent who hails from Lufkin, Texas. As a senior he was a member of the Texas Football Super Team first-team and was All-state selection after recording 53 receptions for 1,207 yards with 21 touchdowns.

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had some glowing remarks,

“He had a solid day.  I don’t know how it will affect him, but he has terrific hands, catching ability, and I really think he looked best running his routes and making plays on the ball.”

KTRE Sports Director, Nick James, said the following:

 “Dez looked explosive. He ran well, he caught the ball well and he looked like he was in shape.”

Jones and the rest of the Cowboys’ top brass will get their first up-close look at Bryant today and Thursday.

Yesterday, it was learned that Jerry Jones also plans to have dinner tonight with Bryant before a visit to Valley Ranch on Thursday.

The thing that interests me is why the sudden interest by the Cowboys in Bryant when everyone expects him to be long gone before the Cowboys select 27th in the draft?

With the emergence of Miles Austin and some great playmaking flashes from Kevin Ogletree, I didn’t see wide receiver as an area of deep concern for the Cowboys.

Although he was expected to be a definite top ten pick,  Bryant could drop a little bit due to questions about his character, but definitely not as low as 27th.  His stock has dropped simply because he was suspended for most of his senior season for lying about his involvement with Deion Sanders, yet another Cowboys connection.

Will the Cowboys make a push to trade up and select him on Draft Day? Who really knows, but it’s something worth keeping our eyes on.

Heck, he already owns an orange Cowboys jersey, how about a silver and blue one too?

End Of March Mock Draft

I should preface this mock by saying it was composed with the assumption that Jerry signs O.J. Atogwe away from the Rams, releases Ken Hamlin and is counting on one of the youngsters such as Marquis Floyd, Jesse Holley etc. making the team as a versatile return man.

27. Markise Pouncey G/C Florida
Pouncey is a strong and versitile lineman that brings youth and depth to the aging O-Line. Markise will compete with Kosier for the left guard spot and provide solid depth at center should Gurode go down.

59.  Brandon Ghee CB Wake Forest
Brandon ran an impressive 4.37 40 yd. dash at the Combine and completely shut down receiver Demaryius Thomas earlier in the year. With Newman getting up there in age, more solid depth is needed in the secondary and the 6 ft. 200 lb. speedster is a great addition.

90. Major Wright FS Florida
After signing O.J.Atogwe away from the Rams and releasing 2009 starter Ken Hamlin, depth is needed at the safety position and Major comes from a long line of impressive Florida safeties. Major has good size, speed and instincts making this a solid choice in the third round.

125. Tony Washington OT Abilene Christian
Jerry said the biggest focus of this draft was to get younger on the O-Line and with the selections of Pouncey and Washington, he does just that. Washington is a 6ft. 6in., 311 lb. Tackle with 35.5in. arms. Free is projected to be the successor on the left side, so an upgrade will be needed on the right. Washington will be an upgrade over McQuistan who never developed into a quality tackle.

196.  John Connor FB/H-Back Kentucky
The Cowboys select a versatile FB in the sixth round after releasing Deon “Crickett” Anderson. Connor will be asked to block for the three-headed monster, catch passes out of the back-field and play special teams.

234. Brett Swenson K Michigan State
Jerry takes a late round flier on a kicker. Swenson will compete with Connor Hughes and David Buehler for placekicking duties. BTW, who’s going to hold this year?

Small School Sleepers Could Be On Cowboys Draft Radar

As the NFL Draft quickly approaches and festivities at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis get underway, big names like Ndamukong Suh, Tim Tebow, and Sam Bradford will take the spotlight and dominate the headlines. But as we have seen in past drafts, it is sometimes the not-so-famous prospects from smaller schools that go on to make the biggest splash in the NFL (see Marques Colston, Tim Hightower, Joe Flacco, Brandon Marshall). Like in every draft, there are sure to be a few small school gems in this draft as well. Here are a few names to keep an eye and ear out for as the draft nears.

Vladimir Ducasse – Offensive Lineman, UMass

Vladimir Ducasse was not a name that appeared high on many teams’ lists until his performance at the Senior Bowl. Ducasse certainly has the size that you like in an NFL lineman, measuring 6 foot 4 and 332 pounds at the combine. He also has the intangibles that you look for as well, with great agility and footwork. He played offensive tackle at UMass, but would likely slide inside to guard in the pros. He may be a bit raw right now since his first exposure to football was in 2002, but he possesses tremendous upside. This year’s draft is the deepest in easily a decade for offensive linemen and Ducasse could go as early as the late first round for a team looking to fill voids along the offensive line. If he slides into the late second round however, look for the Cowboys to seriously consider him to add much needed depth to their interior line.

Brandon Lang – Defensive End, Troy

Another small school product that has flown under the radar, Brandon Lang had a fairly productive career rushing the quarterback at Troy, registering 19 sacks in his last two seasons. At 6 foot 4, 256 pounds, Lang is a “tweener” who will likely make the transition to outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. The NFL Combine will go a long way in determining where Lang goes in the draft. His 40-yard dash time as well as his 3-cone drill time will help determine if he is athletic enough to switch to outside linebacker. If he is still on the board when Dallas picks in rounds 3 to 4, they will strongly consider him. Given the recent success of pass rushers coming out of Troy (Demarcus Ware, Osi Umenyiora), he could be well worth the risk. As a man named Bill Parcells used to say, “You can never have too many linebackers.”

Jared Veldheer – Offensive Tackle, Hillsdale

Jared Veldheer is another name that has climbed up the draft boards in recent months with his performance in the Texas vs the Nation Invite in 2009.  Hailing from tiny, ultra-conservative Hillsdale College, up in my neck of the woods, there is no doubt that Veldheer possesses the fantastic size that teams look for in a left tackle, at 6 foot 8, 312 pounds. He also possesses rare athleticism for his size and has exceptional footwork. Like Brandon Lang, the combine will help determine where he will go in the draft. Pending the results, he could go as early as the second round. Given the aging of Flozell Adams and Marc Colombo, Dallas will certainly be interested in his services.

Emmitt Smith: The Road to Canton 2010

Taken in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft, Emmitt Smith was grabbed by the Dallas Cowboys at pick 17. The Cowboys had to trade up to take Emmitt Smith who continued to fall down the draft order. In hindsight, those teams are probably still beating themselves up over passing him up.

Emmitt Smith, one of the most decorated players in NFL history, finally becomes eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame ballot in 2010. The NFL’s all-time rushing leader is most definitely a lock to be inducted in Canton, Ohio following the footsteps of his teammates Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin.

Cowboy fans are so sure that Emmitt will be inducted, some have begun making their plans to head to Canton in support of Emmitt Smith next summer. A sea of #22 jerseys will fill the crowd as Smith takes the stage in what is surely to be an emotional moment for all.

Emmitt’s amazing list of credentials is topped with a prominent title that he holds alone, all time leading rusher with 18,355 career yards. He dons three Super Bowl rings, along with a Super Bowl MVP title. Smith is 2nd all time in touchdowns with 175, plus a record 11 straight 1,000 yard seasons and holds the record for most touchdowns in a single season with 25 in 1995 and most career rushing touchdowns with 164. The list goes on and on.

In this day and age when football news is covered with scandals and criminals its good to remember the men who lived for the game and did everything right. Every time Emmitt Smith put on his helmet and went on the field he gave it his all no matter the circumstances.

Emmitt SmithOne of the hardest things for Cowboys to ever watch came at the end of his career when Smith left Dallas and played in Arizona for a year.

At the end of the 2005 season just before the Super Bowl, Emmitt Smith announced his retirement. He left the Cardinals and signed a one day contract with the Dallas Cowboys so that he could retire a Cowboy.

The retirement press conference video will still bring a tear to your eyes.

“It’s been a tremendous ride,” said Smith. “My 15 years, my 15 minutes of fame, is up.”
“You don’t know how much this star really means to me.”
“I’m moving on to another chapter in my life,” he said. “That’s a chapter I’m looking forward to.”

“It’s been a tremendous ride,” said Smith. “My 15 years, my 15 minutes of fame, is up.”

“You don’t know how much this star really means to me.”

“I’m moving on to another chapter in my life. That’s a chapter I’m looking forward to.”

The great Emmitt Smith will always hold a special place in the heart of Cowboys fans.

These days while the Cowboys are running an effective three-back attack with three different styles, it really makes you realize how amazing #22 was to do it all alone.

His legacy will live on forever and there is no debate that it will be permanently enshrined in Canton, Ohio on Saturday August 7th, 2010.

Know Your Cowboy

With training camp coming to an end and the Boys departing San Antonio for the comfy confines of their new palace, I thought this would be a good time to write the first of what could be many brief bios of current Cowboy players. Just a little something to help the fans get to know your Cowboys a little better.

As I sit here and try to pick one of the many Cowboys to start with, I am watching Fridays preseason game versus the Titans. I just watched a beautiful nine minute eleven second, 90 yard drive end in a Marion Barber 1 yard plunge into the end zone for the first score of the game. This was a thing of beauty, a long drive mixing in a bit of Romo to Roy Williams and some pounding by the Barbarian, a sign of things to come for the season no doubt.

So it would seem the obvious player to start with would be Marion Barber after taking his stroll into the end zone. But … yes I did say but, I am also reading up on some of the players on the roster and I realize I do not know much about this years first draft pick, albeit a third round draft pick, but still our first draft pick.

With their first overall selection of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys chose Jason Williams in the third round (69th overall). This 6 foot 1 inch 238 pound Linebacker out of Western Illinois is expected to be a starter (and a good one) on Special Teams and compete for the Nickle and Dime Linebacker positions, as well as be in the mix for substitutions in the regular defense.

In his college career he was a disruptive player tallying 14 forced fumbles, 289 tackles and 15 sacks. In 2008 he set a school record with 6 forced fumbles in one season and was voted an All-America first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, The Sporting News, Associated Press, the Sports Network, College Sporting News and the American Football Coaches Association.

In his senior year last year he recorded 67 of his tackles (39 solo) and 4 sacks, showing that as he got older he got better. Hopefully as he transitions into the NFL he will continue to improve his game play and his numbers. This kid has strength and speed and in a few years you probably will see him replace Brookings or someone else as a starter in the defense. The Cowboys may have gotten themselves a steal with this stud.

Oh and by the way, another rushing touchdown, this one by Felix the Great, has the Cowboys up 14-10 at half time.