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18) NFL-Houston_Texans-2008_NFL_Mock_Draft_Houston_Texans-050308">Houston Texans: Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon
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The Longest Mock Draft in NFL History Continues...
I’m assuming by now that everyone heard about the “tornado-like storm” that blew through Atlanta last night.
Pretty wild when a storm blows a hole through the Georgia Dome, rocks the scaffolding at the top of the dome, scares the coaches and players so badly that they moved their families back into the locker room and out of danger...and yet they still ended up eventually finishing the game!
A tornado in a major city. Crazy.
Hopefully everyone in Atlanta is all right. As I type this, they’re saying no fatalities, but nine or ten injuries.
Back to the not-so-serious subject of this extremely long-winded mock draft.
I’ve been toying with what to do about the fact that Dallas has two first-round picks for the last few days.
After much deliberation, I’ve decided that writing two separate Cowboy draft columns would force me to resort to Wade Phillips-inspired fat jokes and the ever popular Jessica Simpson barbs. Nobody wants this. So I’ve decided to make both of their selections in one neatly wrapped column.
Two for the price of one—a Saturday morning special, if you will.
Picks No. 22 and 28: Dallas Cowboys
This is a clear case of the rich getting richer.
The Dallas Cowboys were the best team in the NFC last season. For them to be the only NFL team with two first-round picks is almost unfair.
The Giants were able to take advantage of one of the most inept playoff head coaches in the history of the NFL.
Hey, good for the Giants.
They’re Super Bowl champions, Eli Manning rules, everyone love parades, and so on.
Doesn’t change the fact that the Cowboys were the best team in the NFC last season, and they’ll probably be the best team in the NFC this season.
They did, however, have their issues.
Terrell Owens isn’t getting any younger, and without him their offense slowed to a grinding halt (the genius of Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett couldn’t get together and devise a single usable no-TO gameplan).
There’s also a hole that was created in their backfield by the departure of Julius Jones. Marion Barber III, in my opinion, is one of the best running backs in the NFL. But at this point in his career he’s only proven that he’s a tremendous thunder in a thunder-and-lightning combination.
In college, he shared the load with Laurence Maroney.
In the NFL, he shared the load with Julius Jones.
He’s never been THE man—and I’m not sure a Super Bowl caliber team can take a chance on him being THE man without having an insurance policy of some kind.
At the very least, I expect the Boys to draft some lightning to go along with his thunder.
At times this season, their lack of a shutdown corner was an issue. Terence Newman is not a shutdown corner. If they want to stop Plaxico Burress next season, they need to get themselves a big, athletic, shutdown corner.
The Pick (No. 22): Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee St.
Rodgers-Cromartie is big, he’s fast, he’s a shutdown cornerback, and he might be the best player remaining on the board at this point in the draft. The Cowboys would love to add his size and speed to their secondary.
Rodgers-Cromartie was an Ohio Valley Conference Champion in the high and long jumps, so he can out-leap the best wide receivers in the NFL.
Aside from a frame that’s a little lacking in muscle, he’s a perfect prototype NFL cornerback.
The Pick (No. 28): Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina
I told you they needed some lightning, and Chris Johnson certainly brings it.
The fastest running back in the draft, Johnson ran a 4.24 at the combine. He’s a reach this high, I fully admit that, but the Cowboys are in a position to reach. They don’t NEED a running back, but it’d be nice to have one that complements Marion Barber.
Chris Johnson is small, but he’s fast. Extremely fast. He has experience at both the RB and WR positions.
Basically, he’s a poor man’s Reggie Bush.
Or course, I still have a feeling that Jerry Jones is going to do something stupid on Draft Day. So this column might become moot when he trades Barber and both his first-round picks to move up and grab McFadden.