Thursday, April 07, 2011

Chat W/ Tweeters

Time again for another chat with the Cowboys fans who were available for an impromptu Cowboys chat this morning. Next time, I will try to give more warning.

Enjoy! 3300 more words for your Cowboys time-killing:

Adam: Is there any concern about how green Tyron Smith is? shouldn't the cowboys be more focused on a player that is more plug and play ready?

Bob Sturm: I think in many cases, you don't want projects when you can have ready to play guys. But, 2011 Tyron Smith is very good already. Comparable to those in the tackle class based on his film on record from USC. But, the projectable stuff is very exciting, too. He is still growing into his body. He is going to get much bigger. He is going to learn proper technique. He can really become better than he is now. He just turned 20. I think you can plug and play. And then, in 2013, he should be amazing.

Doug Fu: So what is Tellus thinking with this Kitna/Romo stuff? Is this the year he finally puts it all together, or will he have a change of scenery after this year?

Bob Sturm:I think Martellus is a nice enough guy who has plenty of opinions. As a public, it seems we enjoy personality as long as it accompanies strong performance. With Marty, the performance has never matched the bits, so it rubs many the wrong way. I think he was trying to compliment Kitna rather than take a shot at Romo. However, he should be wise enough to simply not step in that bear trap. Clearly, there is no muzzle that seems to work. Will he break out? This is season 4. If he doesn't break out this season, it will be elsewhere for season 5 I suspect.

Phillip: I don't mean to get you caught in Dez talk for the entire chat, but should the Cowboys reach out to him for education/advice? Or should it be older players talking to him?

Bob Sturm:Honestly, I think Dez needs to shake himself. He needs to realize that he is in a spot where he has the world in the palm of his hand if he doesn't blow it. He has to take control of his scene and shed all of the excuses people make for him about his background and story. THe fact is he did have a tough childhood. Fine. But, now you are in the NFL with a chance to have one of the careers of a generation. Don't let childish nonsense keep you from that potential. The junkyard is littered with stories of guys who could have been special. The Cowboys cannot save him from himself. He has to realize that he is a man now and live up to that standard.

Josh: Dumb question yes but what would you say if the cowboys got Julio Jones? I couldn't bear the Redskins getting him.

Bob Sturm:Not dumb at all. Julio Jones is phenomenal, and the Cowboys do have issues at WR if we consider that Garrett and most NFL offenses need 3 WRs. If Roy is shaky to make the team and Dez is always scaring you, there is reason to believe you can make room for one of the true freaks of this draft. Julio Jones is down my chart from AJ Green, but he appears to be a true #1. I just can't pull the trigger when my OL is a mess and I have more pressing needs. Can I trade back at #9? The Rams might give you something to get Julio to them. I think that should be the goal if he is on the board when you take the clock.

TexasGarcia39: What do you think of the mocks having Dallas taking Texas DB Aaron Williams in the second round? Possible S/CB combo pick.

Bob Sturm: I like it. But, I also have a hard time seeing Williams get to #40. Corners are going quickly when I see the draft in my head. I think Williams goes before the Cowboys get there. He is a fine conversion idea if available.

Hector: Who do you believe that the cowboys should go with smith or amukamara (probably spelled it wrong)?

Bob Sturm:I am on record both preferring Tyron Smith to any tackle on the board and not thinking Prince Amukamara is what people think he is. I think Prince is a solid corner, but I think Pat Peterson is much better and I think Jimmy Smith is slightly better (albeit with many off-field issues that will have him slide past #20). Amukamara just doesn't have film that suggests he is quite the player people want him to be. I think he was aided like others (Solder) with a fabulous combine and workouts where the measurables are staggering. But, I need good film. He will be a good corner, but I don't think he is special enough for me to take over Tyron.

Boggan: If 3 qbs are taken in the first 8 picks and the boys do have their pick of the litter(smith, miller, watts, etc.), do they trade down or pull the trigger immediately?

Bob Sturm: Von Miller? I don't see a scenario where Von Miller gets to them. I think he is almost assured a top 5 spot. If you are choosing from Smith, Watts, Jordan, and say, Jones), then I think you need to seek a way down the board to pick up another pick. I really like Tyron Smith. But, if you present me with a scenario where I can have Smith or Carimi and another 2nd Rounder, too, I might need to take the trade down.

Hector: If Mark Ingrum falls to us in the second round would you take him?

Bob Sturm:Yes. If Ingram is there at #40, I would have no issues with grabbing him. I need a full-time back. I can live with Felix/Tashard, but I would strongly consider Ingram if he is available.

TexasGarcia39: Is drafting one OT enough for the Cowboys? Even if it is Smith at #9, shouldn't Dallas be in the market for a G and/or C.

Bob Sturm:Absolutely. Interior guys generally do not go in the 1st (Pouncey will be the exception). But, the other guards/centers will be around in the 2nd and 3rd Round. I have no problem targeting one there. I really like Watkins, Moffitt, Bolling, Wisniewski, and Hudson. Although, Danny Watkins should not make it to #40. If he does, I am excited. He is plug-and-play ready.

DH: What is your best guess on a second round pick? DL or DB maybe?

Bob Sturm:At #40 (and hopefully another 2nd in a trade down scenario) you really have to play the draft. You have to see what the board says. I know that is boring, but there are always great players who slide for whatever reason and you can grab someone rather than have a specific need already planned for. A few years ago, DeSean Jackson slid down to that area and look at him now. There is no predicting what happens in a draft. All that being said, the places of depth suggest that DL, LB, S, G are likely. OT maybe. But, most will be picked over by then. CB should be pretty much gone.

Toppy: Pouncey quoted as "shocked" if he is not a Cowboy. Does this indicate a trade down to Pouncey in the mid to late first, to add another pick(s), or is this more an indication of a young man who doesn't fully understand the process and the fact that team makes all potential picks feel like they are the man?

Bob Sturm: I think this time of year, guys are told to say glowing things about whatever team they are visiting with. Pouncey would look great here, but the Cowboys just don't have a pick in that area. If they do, they likely would look at the 3rd or 4th tackles (Costanza and Solder) rather than the best interior guy. I love his game, I just don't see that as priority #1 on draft day. He is going to be very good.

Guest: My observation from Florida: Since firing Jimmy, Jerry markets and props (with manufactured greatness) up the players (personnel=HIS responsibility), the fans buy in...then when the team fails, the 'consensus' is that the coach was the problem. Fire/blame the coach...repeat. When are Cowboys fans gonna catch on? As an Irving native, what he has done to this franchise is embarrassing.

Bob Sturm: There is some truth to what you say. In fact, until this team drafts better, many of the other details do not matter as much. This team has been very poor on draft day. And Jerry wants responsibility for the results. Well, it is a mess. There are very few spots on this team that are rock solid. That must improve. I know it is an objective, but to me, there has to be a fundamental shift in philosophy to the idea that safe picks are good picks. Stop trying to take flyers on guys. I think Felix and Dez both represented Jerry-type picks. I need guys who do not present risk and just seem like solid, strong prospects. That is why JJ Watt and Cameron Jordan might be the proper selections at #9 since most people suggest they will be very solid starters for years. Maybe not superstars, but you will not worry about there spot.

TexasGarcia39: Huff or Weddle? Sell me on which should start at S next year.

Bob Sturm: Huff. Weddle is more a box safety. Huff can play CF. I need both safety spots upgraded, but if I have to choose one or the other, I need to get my secondary coverage issues squared away. Alan Ball's poor instincts and angle play was just awful and Huff could fix much of that in a hurry.

Mark Spencer: WR's are dime a dozen. Cowboys have addiction to WR, and it's proving to be deadly.

Bob Sturm: Are they dime a dozen? I agree, you should be able to find some, but as I look at the Cowboys - assuming they cut Roy - they have Ogletree, Holley, Hurd, and Manny Johnson in reserve. Good gracious. That is a very poor #3-#6 group for catching the ball.

Jeff Q: How are we feeling about QB for the future? Has Romo hit his plateau?

Bob Sturm:I believe Tony Romo has given the Cowboys proper QB play from 2006-2010. Not perfect, but plenty solid enough to win in this league. However, he has had to play with a very poor OL at times and it has not helped his performance. I suspect if they can get 2 new starters to the OL and make that unit more of a plus than a minus, we should see Romo play well for 2-3 more seasons before I worry about who is next. However, he takes a beating back there and has missed time in 2 of the last 3 years. You can't win without your starting QB. He gets way too much blame around here, but in Dallas, everyone wants to talk QB at all times. I think Romo is a Top 10 QB in the NFL. You can do better. You can do way worse, too.

Hector: Why would we draft JJ Watt? Mock drafts have him going to us but why? He will be a DE but in our scheme he will be used just to plug in to take double teams and stop the run

Bob Sturm:I keep hearing that they like him now for his ability to cause havoc in the backfield. I share your question about him in the 3-4 as a 5-technique, but the scouts project him to grow more into his body and be very stout and all purpose. Personally, I like Cam Jordan more if I want DE and I think the Cowboys should have their pick of either if they want to go in that direction. But, the experts who are building the board really like Watt - and what he is all about. Everyone says that his motor is amazing. The Cowboys could use some of those guys on this team.

DH: So do you see smith falling to the early second?

Bob Sturm:Tyron Smith? Aldon Smith? No. Both will be gone well before the 2nd. Tyron in Top 15, Aldon in Top 20.

Doug Fu: Have you become a believer in Von Miller, or do you still have reservations?

Bob Sturm: I have reservations, sure. My eyeballs had some alarms go off that would make me want to get answers before I pick him #3 overall. However, even when I ask those questions, I still admit that he is an amazing pass rusher. And every team needs those guys. If his best skill is the skill most coveted in football, then teams are willing to overlook some small issues. At worst, he is a 10-sack guy who is not ideal on rushing downs. That is still plenty exciting in the NFL.

Phillip: Ingram is not getting to the Cowboys in the 2nd round. The Patriots have three picks in the first 33. But looking past him, what RB names should the Cowboys be thinking about if they want to grab someone?

Bob Sturm: You might be right, but I have played out a few scenarios where he gets close. Regardless, RB is poor this year. Leshoure from Illinios is the only other RB that is thought to be a 2nd Rounder in most minds. I might take flyers later on, but nobody comes quickly to mind.

Iro: What is your honest opinion of Martellus Bennet?

Bob Sturm: Drips with upside. Toolsy. Just not as quick and elusive as I hoped he would be in pass routes. Moves more like a blocking TE - which is how he has been used. Then, his hands have been erratic. So, at some point, potential becomes tiresome and you need production. I think everyone here feels that they grabbed the wrong TE from Texas in that draft with the Longhorn Finley in Green Bay who is everything the Cowboys thought Bennett would be.

Todd: Better draft taking Tyrone Smith n seeing who falls to them at 40. Or trade get more picks n get Pouncey later in te first round. Although I love Smith if they got extra picks they could possibley get Aaoron Williams n another top 40 player.Thoughts? Which route u prefer?

Bob Sturm: I have more needs than picks. If I can trade back and get an additional 2nd or 3rd, I really need to give that strong consideration. The Cowboys have been wasteful by trading up quite a bit in past drafts to get guys (Jenkins, Dez) and acting like later picks are no big deal. Trouble is, many of the top teams in the league act completely the opposite of this philosophy. Phil, NE, GB, Pitt all try to gather picks because they know that in an inexact science like the draft, you need to gather many bodies because some will not pan out.

Duane: What kind of drop off in talent is there between Smith and the other tackles in the draft? Would you trade down with the Rams for an extra 3rd round pick and risk loosing out on Tyron?

Bob Sturm: Yes. 5 Tackles on top tier. Smith-Carimi-Costanza-Sherrod-Solder and then another tier of 4 or 5 project types. I would back up and gather if possible. I think Smith is the best, but he still needs to develop to prove that. Carimi + a 2nd is a better gamble if it is there. Carimi + 3rd is still a maybe.

Jason: If Dallas does draft Pouncey, there is no way its to be a center right? Did anyone watch him play center at Florida last season? He couldn't snap the ball without it hitting the ground or going wide right or left, which is a pretty bad trait for a center.

Bob Sturm:He would clearly be a Guard at first. But, the center the Cowboys have now is no cinch in the snap department either.

Intern Adam: What would your short list be of prospects you would feel comfortable with at #9 before the Cowboys consider trading out?

Bob Sturm: The Top 8 would seem to be Dareus, Newton, Miller, Peterson, Gabbert, Quinn, Green and Fairley (in some order). Assuming those 8 are correct, then you have Jones, Watt, Smith, Amukamara, and Jordan as the next 5 best. I think you can feel good about Smith/Watt/Jordan but also comfortably take calls for offers. If Dareus falls or Quinn falls, I run to the podium. If Peterson falls, I fly to the podium. The Cowboys should have good options.

Adam: what do you think about going with Robert Quinn at #9?

Bob Sturm: I am very interested. His tape makes me quite excited. It obviously would cause you to figure out deployment issues with Spencer and Ware, but Spencer is a FA after 2011. Quinn looks every bit the pass rusher that Miller is, but 25 pounds heavier. I would love that guy here.

DH: Which is more important in the long run, improving the ILB position or improving the DL so that they can keep blockers off the LBs?

Bob Sturm: I think the Cowboys simply must get more remarkable on the DL. It seems they have been dealing with average players around Ratliff for years. What if they could find a Richard Seymour type to play DE? That is what I see with Cam Jordan. Stout vs run and tricky in pass rush.

Guest: Is Ansah a starting FS? If not, who plays FS for them next year, if Jerry doesn't want to pay Huff? Isn't FS their weakest link?

Bob Sturm: FS is very weak. I cannot assume AOA is a starter until he shows he can do anything on the field. Right now, let's compare him to Beaubois in that he has tools and measureables, but no proof of instincts and skills in game situations. I fear that AOA was another boom or bust potential player that they rolled the dice on.

Manny: Seems to me the Cowboys REALLY need a FS. They can't go another year with Allan Ball. Its like having 10 men on defense. Assuming Huff is too expensive, is Moore a must have in the second round? Are there any other options? Cheaper FAs? etc?

Bob Sturm: I think Rahim Moore is reasonable. But, I feel that most teams are telling us they like corners as conversion to safety guys more than they like the safeties on the board. After Moore, we have Carter from Oklahoma (not that big of a fan) and a few others who are somewhat interesting. I like Sash from Iowa in the 3rd if he is there. But, for any of them, it is no picnic playing CF in the NFL as a rookie. Nate Allen tried it last year in Philly with mixed reviews.

Last one...

Unkle: Will Marion Barber be a Cowboy next year... And can we depend on Choice and Jones to carry the Load?

Bob Sturm:I don't see any way Barber is back. I just can't see any upside. He has no special teams possibilities. He is slowing down. There is no point carrying on any longer. Choice and Jones? Like many spots on this field, it is not perfect or ideal, but perhaps it is good enough to get by.

Thanks so much for joining me! We will do it again soon.

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