Monday, April 9, 2012
Is drafting an offensive lineman still an idea?
By Calvin Watkins
It's hard to predict where the Cowboys will go with the 14th pick of the first round in the NFL draft in a few weeks.
The projections have moved from offensive to defense.
After the Cowboys spent $30 million in free agency on offensive linemen Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings, it would be easy to assume defense is where the team will focus it's attention at No. 14.
But if you look closely at the pass rushers available -- Courtney Upshaw, Quinton Coples and Melvin Ingram are all projected to be available in the teens -- team officials believe they're not much different from Anthony Spencer.
The only major difference is Spencer's experience over Upshaw, Coples and Ingram.
Cornerback appears out with the Cowboys giving Brandon Carr, a five-year $50.1 million deal.
Safety is a possibility even with the team signing Brodney Pool to a one-year deal in free agency. Mark Barron, the safety from Alabama, is a good selection. But say the Cowboys don't get him?
Which brings me back to the offense.
Maybe the Cowboys take a chance on an interior lineman.
Guards David DeCastro and Cordy Glenn and center Peter Konz are players who can move right in and start.
If you take Konz, you got your starting center to go along with guards Livings and Bernadeau. Pair that up with tackles Tyron Smith and Doug Free and you have a pretty imposing offensive line for DeMarco Murray and Tony Romo.
You build a strong offensive line and you can run the ball with efficiency and keep Romo protected in the pocket. Of course, a new offensive line would need time to develop with five new pieces.
Smith and Free are switching spots at tackle, and you'd have three new interior linemen.
It's OK if the Cowboys stick with a defensive player in the first round, but there's nothing wrong with grabbing an interior linemen.