- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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PHOENIX -- You know, if you've read anything I've written on this topic in the past couple of weeks, that I believe it's imperative for the Dallas Cowboys to draft an offensive lineman in the first round next month. In truth, their offensive line problems are so severe that they could legitimately draft linemen in the first two rounds. And to that end, I direct you to this ESPNDallas.com draft preview, which today looks at potential second-round center Travis Frederick from Wisconsin.
There are four positions on the Cowboys' line that could stand to be upgraded, and center is one of them. So even if they take one of the top guards or a tackle in the first round, it's not as though a center they picked in the second would have to languish behind Phil Costa and Ryan Cook. It could be a developmental player who could serve as a swing lineman, but it whoever it is would certain have a chance to compete for the job in training camp.
The problem with this particular prospect, according to the scout ESPNDallas is using to do this series, is that he seems to be somewhat flawed. Here's the report from Glenn "Stretch" Smith:
Lacks good balance and feet and is top-heavy. He gets yanked out of his chair when trying to pass protect (sit and anchor). ... While playing guard as a junior, lacked feet to get to the second-level block. That concerns me as a center. ... Doesn't show power in his lower body. ... Not real strong with his punch in pass protection.
So, in other words, maybe not the answer to all of their prayers, huh? This is kind of my point about the first-round lineman. If you want top quality, that's where you find it. Left tackle Tyron Smith looks like a very good player, but Dallas needs more of them on the line. Can't keep patching it together with project guys.