The Cowboys have numerous holes to fill. Because of their cap mismanagement, they have to settle with filling them in the Draft. Here is my prediction of what they will do.
Round 1: Jonathan Cooper G, UNC
Nov 10, 2012; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Jonathan Cooper (64) blocks Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets safety Isaiah Johnson (1) in the first half at Kenan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Recent buzz indicates that the Cowboys adore Cooper and may appreciate him to Warmack. One advantage of choosing Cooper is his versatility. The Cowboys have had troubles with injuries the last few years, especially in the offensive line. Having a guy that can play Center and Guard would mean fewer games with scrubs like Ryan Cook. That would mean some other, drastically less talented, player at guard, but finding stop-gap guards is easier than centers. If they go with Warmack, I wouldn’t be surprised. Cooper just has more buzz, so I’m putting him here.
Round 2: Eric Reid S, LSU
Nothing really different here. Currently, the Cowboys have Matt Johnson as a starting safety. Matt Johnson was a fourth round pick from a FCS school notable for only a red field and a fast running back. Eastern Washington is not known for star-caliber players or even backups. Granted, Jerry Rice came out of a FCS (then I-AA) too, but he at least started his rookie season. Everyone knows Johnson isn’t ready. While Reid has troubles with being over agressive, he is at least a capable safety that can start in the NFL. If Matt Elam is still here, he could be an option too.
Round 3: Dave Quessenberry C/G/T, San Jose State
This is part of a recurring theme. The Cowboys have struggled with injuries the last two years. In both years, Phil Costa, just signed to a two-year deal, has lost a good portion of the season to injuries. Other Cowboys have had similar problems. Having Quessenberry could alleviate some of these problems. He has the capability to play Guard, Center or Tackle. If any Cowboy gets injured, he could just shift over. If the team has him as a backup, he could still (sadly) play most of the season if last year is any judge. Having a guy like Quessenberry could stop the pain in the mid to late season as guy inevitable get injured.
Round 4: Marcus Lattimore RB, South Carolina
Every mock draft I have done this season has included Lattimore. At first, he was selected in the seventh round, but now he has moved up to the fourth. Here is my rationale. Lattimore, when healthy, is a star-caliber player. Star caliber players usually come from the first round, and rarely the second. Having the potential to draft a superstar in the fourth round must always be acted upon. Also, he could spell the end of Felix Jones. Kicking Felix Jones off the team is also a potential transaction that must always be acted upon.
Round 5: Earl Watford G, James Madison University
According to NFL.com, he was one of Philadelphia’s best football players in recent memory. He also dominated in college ball. Unfortunately, he comes from a FCS school, so dominating is expected. He didn’t stand out at the combine for better or worse, but the scouting report that the website offers says that he just needs to gain strength and work on small technique issues. With a notable offensive line coach like Bill Callahan, I have confidence that Watford can be coached up.
Round 6: Chris Jones DT, Bowling Green
The Cowboys’ depth issues were exposed last year. They are actually pretty decent at the started level, but at the second level they have serious inadequacies. Defensive line depth is always important, and Jones would help that. He is good at rushing the passer, which is doubly important in the 4-3. He could be gone earlier, but his range is somewhere between the fourth and the sixth. I am being optimistic that the Cowboys can get him here.
October 13, 2012; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers punter Brad Wing (38) prior to kickoff of a game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Round 7: Brad Wing P, LSU
In my opinion, punter is an undervalued need for Dallas. Chris Jones was injured last year and had to miss a few games. Brad Moorman, his replacement, was dreadful in his replacement duties. Brad Wing was excellent in his sophmore year and was very good in his junior year. The only red flag is why he left early. He was caught with weed and was kicked off the team. Considering he was an SEC player, he must have been caught and not repremanded repeatedly. They let just about anything drug related slide- Auburn is a textbook example.