Gift to Galloway: Guide to Cowboys at No. 9

January, 19, 2011
1/19/11
10:34
AM ET
It’s the great Randy Galloway’s birthday today. Not sure exactly how old he is, but I believe it’s still in the double digits.

As a gift, I’ve decided to give Galloway the one thing he could never get on his own: a clue about what the Dallas Cowboys should do with the ninth overall pick in the NFL draft.

Galloway has been wasting ESPN 103.3 airtime – and space in an old-school medium – lobbying for the Cowboys to draft Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. This is proof that experience and wisdom aren’t always a package deal.

The Cowboys have way too many holes to reach for a developmental quarterback. They have a franchise quarterback still in his prime in Tony Romo. You might make the argument that Romo needs the pressure that comes from competition, but that still wouldn’t merit spending a first-round pick on a quarterback, especially one who is at least one or two years away from being ready to play in the NFL.

This is a team with glaring holes in the secondary and on the offensive line. They need to address one of those issues in the first round.

The Cowboys’ approach with the ninth overall pick should be simple. If one of the elite cornerbacks slips, stay put and pick the guy, whether it’s LSU’s Patrick Peterson or Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara. Slide them into the starting lineup and send Terence Newman packing, picking up significant salary cap space in the process.

If the corners, who are both in the top five on Scouts Inc.’s board, go as early as anticipated, it’s time to trade down. Target the mid- to late teens. That’s where the value is for offensive linemen.

Colorado tackle Nate Solder is the top lineman on Scouts Inc.’s board at No. 14 overall. There is a cluster after him: USC tackle Tyron Smith at No. 16, Florida center/guard Mike Pouncey at No. 17, Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi at No. 19 and Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo at No. 22.

It’d be shrewd of Jerry Jones to pick up an extra pick or two, trade down and make one of those guys the first offensive linemen he’s ever drafted with a first-round pick.

Drafting Newton? That’s a ridiculous idea, even by the gray-hair, harebrained standards of Randy (and Jerry).

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