Friday, April 15, 2016

DMN Mailbag - 4/15 - Rams Trade To #1

California quarterback Jared Goff passes during California's NFL Pro Day Friday, March 18, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
California quarterback Jared Goff passes during California's NFL Pro Day Friday, March 18, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Hopefully, better late than never - here is a Friday Mailbag for all of the emails and tweets and responses from you - the loyal Cowboys fan:

Q:  As of yesterday I was certain Dallas would pick QB. Yesterday's trade has crushed my hopes for one of the two top QBs being in Dallas. Is Lynch an option at 4? Certainly looks like a reach, however I don't see how either SF or PHI pass on him at 7 and 8. Trading down (taking advantage of the availability of either Tunsil, Ramsey or Bosa) and grabbing Lynch at a more valuable selection seems hard. Thoughts?
There is no doubt that those of us who dreamed of the Cowboys finding that next QB took a real hit with that aggressive deal the L.A. Rams just made.  That said, I don't think we can all say that the deal is off for sure.  There are still 2 QBs worthy of the top 4 picks, in my opinion.  If the Rams wanted to jump the Browns for one of them, great.  But, what if they take the only guy the Browns wanted?  What if Cleveland is then going to go in another direction?  What if the Browns call the Cowboys and ask for a deal?  We cannot assume, whether it is Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, that the Cowboys and Browns are on the exact same page.  I don't know if that is safe to assume.  I also confess that their admiration of Paxton Lynch may be different than mine.  I like Lynch.   I really think he has some very impressive skills.  The questions are whether he is worth No. 4 or if you could get him later.  I think Lynch could now go in the Top 10 in certain scenarios.  We have to understand that QBs all get "over-drafted."  But, if they end up being that guy, you won't mind.  And if he isn't ever able to become anything, then he will be a bust at No. 9 or No. 59.  
We should be realistic, though.  And realistically, that trade chased the Cowboys off QB.  And if it did, then you can still make your team exceptionally better and you can address QB in the short term, at least.  
Q: If you are the Cowboys, do you now have any interest in Nick Foles as a backup this season? Case Keenum?
Actually, yes.  Foles at a certain price would be a very nice No. 2 to Romo.  But, that contract is going to be an issue and Foles is guaranteed nearly $9 million in 2016.  However, most of it is already paid on a roster bonus in March so hypothetically he could be down for less than $2 million in salary if the rest would go on the Rams ledger.  I assume they would move Foles before Keenum, but in either case, they might be cool with letting Carson Wentz/Jared Goff sitting for a bit.  Is Foles great?  No.  But, you are looking for someone more dynamic than Kellen Moore.  I love Moore as a intelligent QB, but his throws are limited.  I think if you head into the season with just Romo and Moore and a young lower-tier No. 3, you run some major risks.  Foles would make me feel a bit better and shouldn't cost much.  
Q: I thought in 2014 the Cowboys finally established an identity. A time of possession, run-oriented offense with opportunistic defensive play. Last year, the Cowboys were back to no identity. Do you feel there is an emphasis among the Cowboys brass to get back to the 2014 formula?
For sure.  Not even a question.  But, the identity was built around Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.  I don't know when the last time a NFL offense was able to run the ball to a successful season without a legitimate passing game to keep defenses honest.  The 2014 offense worked because the run could punish you if you sat on the pass (see the October visit to Seattle) and the pass would destroy you if you sat on the run (see the Dec. 2014 visit to Philadelphia).
No Romo and no Dez did not indicate to me a coaching issue of tactically missing the proper recipe from the 2014 clinic.  It just showed us again that unless you have your players, you don't have a chance.  The emphasis is there.  The stars must be, too. 
Q: Bob, many experts were calling the Cowboys' fourth overall pick a "hinge point" of sorts for this draft before Thursday's Rams-Titans trade. To me, is seems like No. 4 could become a helluva spot to be at if Laremy Tunsil slides to Dallas (for the sake of trade possibilities). What do you make of such a scenario? Could Dallas panic if such a talent falls onto its lap?
For sure.  If Tunsil falls to the Cowboys there is no question they will have one of the real studs of the entire draft.  But, if they have their highest pick in 25 years and do not address the defense or QB, I think they are really making a major mistake.  To take yet another offensive lineman when their entire roster has one significant strength already - offensive line - seems like a real odd play.
Now, what if Tennessee called?  If the Titans were to call with No. 15, No. 43, and No. 45 for pick No. 4 because they want to go back up and get Tunsil after the Rams trade convinced them to move down (and pick up a 2017 1st and 3rd), wouldn't you do that in a moment?  I would.  Imagine the Titans wanting Tunsil at No. 1, to grab all of that from the Rams, and then to go back up and get him at No. 4!  Meanwhile, the Cowboys could have 15, 34, 43, and 45!   Talk about fixing your defense AND maybe grabbing your RB or QB or both.  I think this is the most exciting and magical scenario on the horizon.  Surely, both teams have already discussed this and we have to hope that San Diego at No. 3 isn't working Tennessee in a similar fashion.
Q: So, about the Rams' trade for the No. 1 overall pick ... How do you see picks Nos. 1-4 playing out right now?
I am not sure, of course.  But, I suppose L.A. gets Wentz, Cleveland gets Goff, San Diego takes Tunsil, and that would leave the Cowboys with Jalen Ramsey or Joey Bosa.  I don't think you can get that wrong, but I would be a bit nervous about Ramsey at corner.  I greatly prefer him at safety if I am going to take him over Bosa.  
Q: YO! 50 articles on prospects?? Really did go beast mode, haha. Which one interests you the most that you wrote on?
Oh, I would always say the QBs.  I really think everyone should try to spend a three hour session watching each QB before they declare any opinion.  It is bothersome to hear so many fans say that Wentz or Goff are not going to be good pros and then when you follow up, they have simply looked at where Wentz went to college and what Goff's record was.  That is not enough information at all.  There are dozens and maybe hundreds of complete games on YouTube for everyone to watch.  It doesn't show you everything you need to know, but it shows you way more than the lazy "small college" analysis.  
As for other prospects, I just think it is so much fun to dive in and see who these guys are.  So many stories and so many different prospects to learn.  I really enjoy it.  Please make sure to examine as many as you want at this link for all 50.  
Q: Which of the pass rushers besides Bosa do you think could be the most productive as a rookie?
I think there are plenty.  The ones I really like on the edge are Noah Spence, Shaq Lawson, Kevin Dodd and then a bit later Emmanuel Ogbah and Ronald Blair.  Shilique Calhoun and Leonard Floyd are interesting but likely not fits in a 4-3 unless they are simply 3rd down rushers.   Spence is the best and I think Ogbah has chance to be way better than people think.  
Q: Which round do you think the Cowboys might target a WR?
How about the top of round two?  If any of those best 5-6 are there at No. 34, I will be quite tempted.  Josh Doctson, Corey Coleman, Will Fuller, Sterling Shepard, and Michael Thomas are all in that 20-50 range for me.  And Terrance Williams is going to need an extension very soon.  
Q: It boggles my imagination that Johnny Manziel just doesn't get it. When one agent drops you and another one gives you a deadline, why doesn't it hit home? Do you think he will ever get it?
We almost made it all the way without a Manziel question.  I am out of answers.  I was burned by him as someone who thought he had a real chance in the NFL.   But, he didn't love football.  He loved the life that football made available.  He didn't love the work.  He loved the party.  I think it is sad, but I am long past this story and I think the football world joins me now in rolling our eyes.  Drew Rosenhaus still cared - as anyone who could get a commission from him, but otherwise, Manziel appears to have blown it.  I don't think he will ever be a factor in the NFL again. Disappointing, but true.
Q:  What do you think of the Myles Jack injury reports?  Should Dallas still be in on him?
No.  That position is not appealing to me and that knee is not appealing, either.  The kid is amazing, but I would not do it at No. 4 and with reports all over the place about his knee a full seven months after this injury which was supposed to be 4-6 months, I am even more uncomfortable. 
So, just trust the Dallas medical staff?  The same one that allowed Dez Bryant to rush back and never look right in all of 2015 and then allowed Romo to rush back and immediately break his collarbone again?  Trust them after those two odd outcomes?  I am not inclined to just offer more trust at the moment.  
Let's draft players with no medical issues at No. 4.

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