2009 Season

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Rounds 3 and 4 for Dallas: OLB, OT, QB, DE

So much for the Cowboys addressing needs at safety or wide receiver. Alabama safety Rashad Johnson was available in the third round (either pick), but Dallas decided against selecting him. Nevertheless, the Cowboys found several backups in the third and fourth rounds of today’s draft. The four picks:

3rd round (69th overall): Jason Williams, OLB, Western Illinois

Williams is known for his speed and quickness. Williams impressed many with his Pro Day performance at Western Illinois. He may move to ILB, even though he is known for his ability to rush around the edge.

3rd round (75th overall): Robert Brewster, G/T, Ball State

Brewster will probably be moved to guard in Dallas. The DMN already asked whether Brewster is another in a long line of offensive line draft busts.

4th round (101st overall): Stephen McGee, QB, Texas A&M

The last time the Cowboys selected a QB in the draft was Isaiah Stanback, who was converted to receiver. The last time the Cowboys picked a QB to play QB was Quincy Carter in 2001. (Before that? Bill Musgrave in 1991).

4th round (110th overall): Victor Butler, DE, Oregon State

He is listed as an undersized pass-rush specialist. At 248 pounds (just a little bit bigger than Williams), he will likely be moved to outside linebacker.

4th round (120th overall): Brandon Williams, DE, Texas Tech

At 6’5″, 252 lbs., he has better size than Butler, but he’s still pretty small for a 3-4 defensive end. He led the Big 12 in sacks in 2008.

The Cowboys are All Over the Second-Day Picks

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More than five hours after the draft began, the Cowboys were finally on the board. The clock ticked down. The clock hit zero. Stephen Jones was on the phone. Wade Phillips’ gut looked larger now than it has in the past. Jerry Jones was in and out of the frame on TV.

The announcement: the Cowboys had passed on the 51st pick in the draft.

Interesting choice for an underachieving team, but it turns out that the Cowboys traded their second round pick to the Bills for picks in the third and fourth rounds. That gives Dallas 12 picks tomorrow.

The last time that the Cowboys did not have a pick in either the first or second round was 1980 (see here). Not a great strategy, but whatever.

Here are the picks, for now:

3rd Round

69. Dallas (from Cleveland).

75. Dallas (from Buffalo).

4th Round

101.
Dallas (from Detroit).

110. Dallas (from Buffalo)

117. Dallas.

5th Round

156. Dallas.

166. Dallas (from Tennessee).

172. Dallas.

6th Round

197.
Dallas (from Miami). Dallas acquired this pick along with a 6th round
pick in 2008 for DT Jason Ferguson and the Cowboys’ 6th round pick in
2008.

208. Dallas. This is a compensatory pick for the free agency loss of Jacques Reeves.

7th Round

210. Dallas (from Detroit). Dallas acquired this pick in the trade for WR Roy Williams.

227. Dallas.

Draft Needs of the Dallas Cowboys: 2008 vs. 2009

One year ago today, the Cowboys were preparing for the 2008 draft, where they expected to fill specific needs to take the final steps towards a NFL championship. In anticipation of the draft last year, we looked at Six Things the Cowboys Shouldn’t Forget During the Draft. Here is a summary of those six things, along with a look at how those “things” have affected the 2008 season and especially this year’s draft.

(1) Don’t forget that Pacman still has a large hill to climb

The odds, I think, are actually against Pacman Jones thriving in
Dallas. While there are numerous examples of players with behavior
problems from college doing well in the NFL, I cannot think of one
example of a player with this many problems occurring while he was a pro who has also turned his life around.

Now: Pacman did not survive in Dallas and will now play on Pros vs. Joes. Fortunately, the Cowboys found some good corners in the draft, so the Pacman debacle was not the end of the world.

(2) Don’t forget that receivers over the age of 35 tend to decline rapidly

At some point, look at the statistics
of some of the all-time great receivers and notice when their stats
started to decline. In nearly every instance, receivers tend to begin
to slide at the age of 33, and very few remain productive at 35 and
older.

Now: Terrell Owens turned 35 in December, and he was not much of a weapon in 2008 (save one great game against San Francisco and a few other plays here and there). Owens had plenty of excuses, but in the end, the distractions he caused led to his release from Dallas.

(3) Don’t forget that Marion Barber himself was a 4th round pick,
and there may be plenty of options left at RB after the first round

I won’t be terribly disappointed if the Cowboys pick up Felix Jones
or another running back, but there may be options left with the 61st
pick. With his 4.24 40 time, if Chris Johnson of East Carolina fell
that far, it may be a gift.

Now: The Cowboys indeed took Felix Jones in the first round, but they also found a fourth-round pick in Tashard Choice, who came on strong late in the 2008 season.

(4) Don’t forget that Roy Williams cannot cover anyone

The Cowboys’ opponents haven’t forgotten, and it looks as if the
team may limit using him in nickel and dime packages. Reggie Smith of
Oklahoma seemed like he could come in an have immediate value due to
his ability to play both corner and safety, but he was not impressive
in his workouts (he may drop to the third round anyway). A pick for a
player who can both play strong safety and cover would be nice.

Now: Williams barely played in 2008 thanks to a broken arm. He still couldn’t cover, and the Cowboys released him after the season. He is still unemployed.

One of the biggest needs of the 2009 draft is strong safety. This is no surprise.

(5) Don’t forget that the Cowboys have not shown an ability to draft tackles

I’ve seen some mock drafts with Dallas taking a tackle in the first
round. After Jacob Rogers (2nd round, 2004); Rob Petitti (6th round,
2005); Pat McQuistan (7th round, 2006); James Marten (3rd round, 2007);
and Doug Free (4th round, 2007), I am not terribly confident in the
team’s ability to draft for this position. Let’s give McQuistan,
Marten, and Free a chance to fail before we waste more picks.

Now: The Cowboys did not try to draft a tackle in 2008, but the team needs someone to groom to replace Flozell Adams on the left side. Nobody has emerged.

(6) Don’t forget that Dallas has taken a linebacker in the first round three drafts in a row

The first of these picks was DeMarcus Ware, so I won’t say Dallas
has bombed with all of these picks. In fact, only Bobby Carpenter
should be labeled as a bust, because Anthony Spencer looks pretty good
right now. That said, it will be frustrating if the team uses another
first or second round pick on a linebacker.

Now: The Cowboys did not draft a linebacker in 2008, choosing instead to sign free agent Zach Thomas. The Cowboys signed Keith Brooking during the off-season, but the team make take a shot at another ILB later in the draft this year.

Making Sense of the Dallas Cowboys 2009 Draft Picks

Jones.jpgThis has probably been done elsewhere, but below is a summary of the draft picks the Cowboys currently have in 2009. Note that the picks that Dallas has traded away are listed in italics.

1st Round

None. Dallas traded the number 20 overall pick to Detroit for WR Roy Williams.

2nd Round

51. Dallas.

3rd Round

69. Dallas (from Cleveland). The Cowboys acquired this pick from Cleveland for the Browns’ 4th round pick in 2008.

82. Traded from Dallas to Detroit for WR Roy Williams.

4th Round

101. Dallas (from Detroit). Dallas acquired this pick from Detroit along with the Lions’ 3rd round pick in 2008 in exchange for the Cowboys’ 3rd round pick in 2008.

117. Dallas.

5th Round

156. Dallas.

166. Dallas (from Tennessee). Dallas acquired this pick from the Titans thanks to Pacman Jones’ suspension in October 2008.

172. Dallas. This is the compensatory pick for the free agency loss of Julius Jones.

6th Round

192. Traded from Dallas to Detroit for WR Roy Williams.

197. Dallas (from Miami). Dallas acquired this pick along with a 6th round pick in 2008 for DT Jason Ferguson and the Cowboys’ 6th round pick in 2008.

208. Dallas. This is a compensatory pick for the free agency loss of Jacques Reeves.

7th Round

210. Dallas (from Detroit). Dallas acquired this pick in the trade for WR Roy Williams.

227. Dallas.

The last time that Dallas had 11 or more picks was 1992, when the draft consisted of 12 rounds. The Cowboys had 15 picks that season, thanks in large part to the trade with Minnesota for Herschel Walker.

Is Rashad Johnson the Leading Candidate for the 51st Pick?

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First round picks are hard to predict, but often certain names keep popping up on the various mock draft boards. When a team does not have a pick until the 51st overall selection, which the case with the Cowboys this year, it is tough to find any two mock drafts with the same name.

Of 12 leading mock drafts that have included second round picks, the only name that appears multiple times is Alabama safety Rashad Johnson. Though early mock drafts had Dallas taking a defensive end or receiver, the safety position became vital with the release of Roy Williams and the trade of CB Anthony Henry.

Here are the names that show up on these mock drafts for the Cowboys’ second round pick:

1. FF Toolbox, Ben Standig: Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest

2. FF Toolbox, Raul Colon: Derry Beckwith, LB, LSU

3. FF Toolbox, Randall Weida: Rashad Johnson, S, Alabama

4. FF Toolbox, Ricky Dimon: Rashad Johnson

5. FF Toolbox, Joel Welser: Louis Delmas, S, Western Michigan

6. NFL Draft Dog: Mike Mickens, CB, Cincinnati

7. Walter Football: Pat White, WR/QB, West Virginia

8. The New NFL Draft: Michael Johnson, DT, Georgia Tech

9. Draft Countdown: Rashad Johnson

10. NFL Draft Site: Matt Shaughnessy, DE, Wisconsin

11. The Football Expert: Patrick Chung, SS, Oregon

12. NFL Mock Draft Aces: Rashad Johnson