Friday, April 22, 2005

Cowboys: Don't Screw This Up!

One thing we want to accomplish today on the radio show is to establish what exactly are our objectives for the Cowboys on Draft Day. This weekend, they have eight picks presently, with the odds being pretty good that they will trade to end up with even more. I am not sure I support the trade down in the first round, particularly because it only pays off if you hit on all of the picks you are able to accumulate. I am far more optimistic that you can find that great impact player at #11 than #29. So, if they want to know what I think, I greatly prefer they stay at #11 and #20 in the first round and grab 2 of the best players they have studied.

That being said, what are the objectives? If I was making the picks, what holes do they most need to fill by this time on Monday? Allow me to rank the Top 5 needs of the Cowboys.

1) Pass Rush: This could be the OLB and it could be the DE, but the Cowboys have a drought that lasts almost a decade when it comes to getting a quality pass rush from their defense. Charles Haley has been gone a long time, and now it is imperative that they solve this once and for all, and not in the cheap way (Marcellus Wiley). Obviously, the hybrid player (Merriman or Ware) that can play both the OLB and DE further allows the Cowboys to play multiple fronts this year rather than marrying itself to the 4-3 or the 3-4. As much as I like Erasmus James and Marcus Spears, I prefer the hybrid player, and of them all I think I prefer Merriman to Ware because when I have watched Merriman, it is evident that in college at least, he was the emotional leader of his defense as well as being a big playmaker. No Ray Lewis, but still, if you are making the play and rallying the troops, that is very attractive.

2) WR Speed: There is no question that at #20, I grab one of the many talented Wide-outs in the first round. This team badly needs someone who can hit the home run, and with a QB that throws a fine deep ball, they presently count on the always-fragile Terry Glenn to stay healthy. Otherwise, they have Keyshawn and Quincy Morgan running 8-yard routes. They need players to stretch the defense, and that is why many mock drafts lean towards Mark Clayton or Troy Williamson. Williamson bothers me with his mediocre production at South Carolina, as he appears to be a combine star who ran well, but may need to develop route running skills and I can’t imagine Bill Parcells has the patience to deal with that.

3) Safety: Not positive I would spend a real high pick on a Free Safety, but that second rounder may be a pick that makes you ponder it. Roy Williams needs to be a Strong Safety full time, but I don’t think I can survive another season of Lynn Scott, Tony Dixon, and Keith Davis at FS. Before Roy was drafted, Darren Woodsen was always joined by a below average safety, then for 2002 and 2003 we had two decent safeties at the same time. But, with Woodsen not playing in 2004, it was back to one solid safety and one below average safety. Hopefully, this weekend will fix that.

4) Right Tackle: I wish Jacob Rogers offered some hope, but so far, if a fine tackle is available at the right pick, how do you not think about it? Torrin Tucker and Kurt Vollers cannot be the long-term solution. Neither was Solomon Page a few years ago. Basically, since they moved Larry Allen from tackle to guard, they have been short of quality tackles. Hopefully, they can address RT for quite a while.

5) Depth at RB and CB: Not sure I can go one way or the other as to which is more important, but surely 2 decent CB’s is not enough, and neither is asking Julius Jones to stay completely healthy for 16 weeks. You also don’t want Jones to have to carry the ball 30 times a game anymore, either.

As for the Rockets-Mavericks series, as opposed to writing a long essay on why the Mavericks should win this series, allow me to cut to the chase: They are better. The Rockets have plenty of reasons to be proud, but in a 7-game series, the team with the bigger guns and better weapons tend to rise to the top by the end of the two weeks. When you cancel McGrady with Dirk, and then just size up one team’s remainders (Yao, Wesley, Sura) with the other team’s (Finley, Stackhouse, Howard, Terry, Van Horn, Dampier) you see why I feel like I do. Mavericks in 6.

By the way, I might anticipate that this series will be tied at 1-1 and 2-2 before the Mavs win games 5 and 6 to advance. We shall see.


Goose’s Top 100 …A draft must…

Jerry Jones talking the trade down again

Facts and figures about the draft

Gil Brandt offers his team-needs chart

Vikes want to trade up to Miami, but not getting anywhere

Liverpool promises bright future

'We are working now, not just in the summer thinking about new players and possibilities in the future,' he said.
'We are confident in the future.
'I believe that next season we will be a lot closer to the top. Very, very close.'
Benitez added: 'We can only keep winning our next match and hope Everton make a mistake.

Your Nascar Travel Guide …what everyone needs for their dream vacation to Talladega…

London Theatre to show all 6 Star Wars movies on same day …I am there….

NBA ODDS to win the Title …Somehow, the Mavs odds have gotten WORSE since the start of the season…


Patrick said...

So let me try to understand this. At the start of the season, many pundits said the Mavs might not even make the playoffs. Many "experts" had them no better than seventh in the Western Conference. Their odds were 8:1.

Now that they've finished with the third best record in the NBA, they are 10:1. So if I went out on a limb back in October/November and placed a bet, I'm now worse off than making a bet TODAY?!? Yet another reason that only sports "betting" that I do is the NCAA bracket...

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest days for a Mavs fan in a long time. Yet all we are doing is talking about the Cowboys draft. If the NBA draft and the Cowboys first playoff game was tomorrow, do you think there would be one word about the Mavs? Absolutely not. I know this is a football town, but give the Mavs some love

big smooth said...

what a great weekend for dallas sports. i pretty much agree with your assessment of the cowboys needs. this team needs impact players on defense. though an 11th pick is not a lock to be a star by any means, your odds of drafting a difference maker at 11 are obviously much higher then in the second round. i think it would be a huge mistake to trade down. clayton at 20 would also help out the offense quite a bit. a deep threat and some depth on the o-line would go a long ways in helping this become a solid offense. however, i wouldn't be opposed to them picking up two defensive players, an lb and a d-end in the first round.

as for the mavs-rockets, i'm picking the mavs in 5. dirk always seems to turn it up a notch in the playoffs. he will solidify his stature as a top 5 player after this playoff run is over. this mavs team is very different from those of the last few years and just has the looks of a bunch that has something to prove. tracy mcgrady is a great player, but not one that will ever carry his team on his back to an elite status, and the mavs can definitely slow down yao with damp and bradley.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. Give me NFL draft talk any day of the year over anything related to the NBA.

N - Neverending
B - Boring
A - Ass whip

Mark said...

^ SA
S - Stupid
A - Acronym