Friday, March 25, 2016

DMN Mailbag - 3/25

Jan 1, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive lineman Joey Bosa (97) in action against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the first half of the 2016 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale
Jan 1, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive lineman Joey Bosa (97) in action against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the first half of the 2016 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Happy Easter.  What better way to celebrate than answering some Dallas Cowboys and NFL Draft emails?  

Q: So now that RGIII is off the board, will Cleveland draft a QB or is time for Cowboys to swoop in at No. 4?
I don't see any way the Browns would move off the plan of the day to draft a QB at #2.  I understand that there is risk that his name will be added to failures of years gone by, but what is your alternative, exactly?  It reminds me of how many emails I receive that want some sort of "bust proof" insurance on a player if you take him high.  Sorry, but that isn't how this works.  You take the most talented player you can find at the position of most influence and you bravely charge down that road again.  Risk aversion is all people seem to think about anymore because nobody wants to draft the next downward spiral into failure.  But, that is sports.  That is what this is all about.  So, the Browns will draft a QB at #2.  RG3 will keep the spot warm for either 2 months or 2 years, but then this newly drafted golden boy takes over - unless Griffin has the team at the top of the league somehow.
Now, from the Cowboys perspective, there is at least a 50% chance that the QB they desire is not the QB that the Browns desire.  From most views, the idea that Carson Wentz and Jared Goff are neatly and unanimously rated one in front of the other is not true.  Some people like Wentz more than Goff and some people like Goff more than Wentz.  The odds that the Browns and the Cowboys see this exactly the same is certainly not a given.  Further, whoever is #2 in the discussion might still be worthy of pick #4.  
I have maintained all along - despite the media's wind blowing back and forth from the Senior Bowl to the Combine to the Pro Days - that I believe the Cowboys are eager to consider all options at pick #4.  This includes QB.  Jerry Jones may not feel like it is the most ideal option, but when considering the alternatives, he may realize it is the best option.  For me, I prefer Goff over Wentz, but I consider them both among the Top 10 prospects in this draft.  I have Goff 3rd (behind Ramsey and Tunsil) and Wentz behind those three, Bosa, Treadwell, and Elliott.  Factor in positional scarcity and value, and you can easily put him in the Top 4.  Then, the question becomes whether the franchise is best served making the big picture decision that I have previously covered at length here.  
Q: Do you think if no QB goes Top 3, that gives the Cowboys a killer advantage to be able to trade down.
Here is another idea.  What if no QB goes at #4 and you have the ability to hold an auction to get out of there, drop several spots, and gain either an additional 2nd or perhaps even an additional 1st?  Teams that need QBs (besides Cleveland and Dallas) include San Francisco, Philaldephia, St Louis, Houston - and perhaps even teams like the Jets and Bills.  If you are going to consider all of your options, then this has to be included.  There are somewhere between 6-8 QBs the Cowboys are said to be interested in and that obviously means they see something beyond the "Big 3".  This is likely a good time to remind the Cowboys that almost no QBs are starting right now in the NFL who were not taken in the 1st round - 10 last year on opening day out of 32 - but if they think a QB prospect in Round 3 is a better investment when Tony Romo is upright, then perhaps trading back from #4 for someone looking to get in front of the 49ers is a worthy idea.
Q: Is Greg Hardy destined to be a Cowboy again now that they've missed on so many free agents?
There is always a danger in assuming the Cowboys would ever say never.  They can't help themselves at a certain price.  Now, let me be clear - I am 100% sure that there is no price where Jason Garrett wants to deal with Hardy again.  He has basically screamed it when he is interviewed (in code, of course - but for Garrett, this constitutes the most bravery he has ever shown in front of a microphone).
But, we also know that Garrett does not have final say on his roster - regardless of whether anyone ever says he does.  He is handed down decisions from on high and when it seemed clear that he didn't believe in the Randy Gregory pick (his body language spoke volumes) they did it anyway.  Same for Hardy.  That said, as Hardy's leverage falls and his price with it, I would never rule out the Cowboys finding a massive discount appealing.  So, I have it as a low chance, but Hardy will not spend 2016 unemployed.  And Dallas still has to be considered a likely destination.  I wouldn't want him back, but I have even less say than Jason.
Q: I know you're not the biggest Joey Bosa fan, but do you want to stick with pass rush at No. 4? Who would you take?
I would disagree with your original premise.  I like Bosa quite a bit.  In fact, he is on a list of players "I like more than the draft consensus".  I would take him at #4 and have no issue or hesitation.  In order, I prefer QB #1, Jalen Ramsey #2, and Bosa #3.  
Perhaps you would like to review my prospect profile on Mr Bosa which I wrote about here and the following was my summary: 
This guy could be exactly what the Cowboys desire to fit on the end where they currently employ Greg Hardy. You need a run-stopping defensive end to counter-balance the smaller edge rushers in DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory, so when it comes to whether the Cowboys could use him, the answer is a resounding "yes". 
I am not sure I would spend a top 5 pick to address that situation when there are other spots I might desire more, but I do see a fair amount of Jared Allen in Bosa's game which should excite anyone if he ever ends up leading the NFL in sacks multiple times (like Allen). 
He is what people have said he is. He is a fantastic defensive front guy who will make plays and turn games with physical talents and relentless battle. He has room to develop and he is just 20 years old. It appears we can believe the hype when it comes to Joey Bosa. He is that good.
Hopefully, that expresses I am a Bosa guy.  Just not willing to put him up at #1 overall or anything like that.
Q: Is the Cowboys O-line enough to help turn around Alfred Morris' trend of slowing production?
For sure.  I think that Morris here is a fantastic fit for the Cowboys and could instantly become a 1,000 yard rusher here again as his floor.  Not to reference full pieces I have recently written, but I think the overall study is worth your time.  Here is a small part of that: 
$5m a year? I am out. But, less than $2m a year? I cannot express how safe a deal this appears. 
It boils down to this: Washington did not replace him with Matt Jones. That is a myth and they are shopping for a RB in this draft. Also, I believe Travis Frederick and Zack Martin are massive upgrades over Washington's interior at the present. And then add vertical threats with Dez Bryant and friends back with Tony Romo under center? 
Morris is not much of an option on 3rd down or 2-min drill. But 1st and 2nd down? Short yardage? And 4-min drill to kill off games? 
This gets an easy endorsement as a price that shows good business sense from the front office. I would still not rule out RB in the draft.
Have a great weekend.  More draft profiles are headed your way this week.  40 down.  Catch up on those here.  

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