There is legitimate reason to believe that this season is a wash. The Cowboys aren’t having trouble winning games, but they are having trouble not losing them.
There are a ton of deficiencies on this team. The offensive line has played well as of late but still isn’t one that can help a team win a championship. Tony Romo isn’t showing any promise of being a championship quarterback. Also, the defensive line and safety positions are still long-term concerns.
It’s safe to say that the Cowboys are staring at a rebuilding phase. I just don’t see how they can win with this roster. A good way to start this next era off right is to make smart draft choices.
I’ve compiled my second mock draft. I’m doing so on the premise that the Cowboys switch to the 4-3 as a base defense and put heavy influence on rebuilding.
Also, I’m assuming that the Cowboys end up as a sub .500 team considering their upcoming schedule.
6’6, 312 pounds
Ranked No. 13 Overall
Barrett Jones is a superb talent for the offensive line. He has the versatility to play any position on the line and be an upgrade for the team.
Jones is a great blocker with exceptional footwork. He keeps his pad level square and is able to maintain a good center of gravity. He is strong enough to keep up with the fiercest pass-rushers and quick enough to get to the next level in the run game.
Jones has paved the way for Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and now Eddie Lacy. I can’t imagine anything but a bright future for this kid.
The Cowboys draft smart here. It would be easy for them to take an edge rusher, but the defensive end class this year is spectacular. You need to take the safest pick and make it count…this is it.
6’4”, 230 lbs
Prospect No. 45 on my big board
Would have liked Tyler Wilson to fall after a rough season for Arkansas and I wouldn’t discount the Cowboys moving up to snag him if he falls into the beginning of the second round.
Landry Jones is a good consolation prize though. Jones was considered a first-round lock last season before he decided to stay in Norman for one more season.
What I like about Jones is his leadership and accuracy. Jones has overcome a lot at OU and continues to be the leader of the team. When he’s given time in the pocket he is incredibly accurate. Jones is your classic pocket passer and can develop into a solid pro.
There is risk here. I think that Jones' arm could be a little bit better. I’d also like to see a better turnover ratio, but I also recognize that OU plays big-time players in big-time games.
There should be flashier options available at this spot in Tyler Bray and E.J. Manuel, but I think that Landry Jones has some very good pro-prospects. He has a solid foundational skill set and will be able to adapt to the NFL game fairly quickly.
The Cowboys have needed a true franchise quarterback for some time. Romo is great statistically, but we’re tired of seeing the same old letdowns. Jones offers first-round talent at a discounted price. Excellent value.
6’5”, 265 lbs
Prospect No. 65 on my big board.
I haven’t seen as much of Carradine as I would like. What I have seen has been phenomenal.
Carradine is rising up draft boards quickly, so keep an eye on him. He is a 4-3 defensive end who can rush the passer with great success. He is a sure tackler and an explosive player off the line.
Carradine is still developing since he hasn’t had optimal playing time. Whenever he was on the field last season he demonstrated great ability and is doing the same this year as a starter.
Carradine would be a great asset for a Cowboys line that needs to get younger and more dominant in the pass rush. The addition of Tyrone Crawford was nice last year, but Carradine would be even nicer. I think the two could combine to make a very dominant defensive duo.
6’0”, 190 lbs.
Prospect No. 109 on my big board
If you draft a new franchise quarterback you might want to bring in some pieces to keep him comfortable.
So why not bring in Landry Jones' favorite weapon?
Stills is a dynamic slot receiver who has the ability to be effective outside. I think he is quick enough to get separation, but he isn’t a burner. He uses his size well enough to take defensive backs out of the equation. Stills’ best asset is his great route-running ability. He cuts in and out with such precision that he is open more often than not.
It’s too early to give up on Dez Bryant, and Miles Austin is surely sticking around for a long time. Stills offers the Cowboys the third receiver they’ve been looking for. Not to mention the potential to be a starter down the road.
6’1”, 225 lbs
Prospect No. 130 on my big board
Jenkins is FAST. He has the speed of a defensive back with the instincts of a veteran linebacker. He is explosive through the hole and is considered an above-average blitzer.
One thing to really like about Jenkins is how well he defends the run. He is so fast that he is able to quickly sniff out outside runs. Additionally, Jenkins plays coverage extremely well. He could match up with the athletic backs and tight ends in the NFC East and give the Cowboys confidence for one-on-one situations.
I like Jenkins here as a role player who could become an everyday starter. He has excellent athleticism and instincts. He could stand to put on some more weight, so that he doesn’t get swallowed at the next level. He reminds me of a smaller Bruce Carter.
6’5”, 308 lbs
Prospect No. 152 on my Big Board
Pocic has solid strength and mechanics. He is, what I consider, a very good run blocker. He is able to get the second level and make impact blocks for running backs between the tackles.
I do think that Pocic is a little overrated at the moment. I think he needs to improve his strength and technique while pass-blocking if he hopes to be effective at the next level.
Bill Callahan offers Pocic a chance to maximize his potential. If Pocic does maximize his potential then this becomes a very serious draft-day steal.
5’10”, 209 lbs
Prospect No. 164 on my big board
Redd drops due to lack of need and questions of loyalty after leaving Penn St.
I like Redd because he is a very good, balanced running back. I don’t know that he’ll ever be a consistent starter in this league, but the Cowboys badly need a core of backs that can contribute when called upon.
Redd has decent size to be effective and can be a factor both inside the tackles and on the edge. He usually gets a very good average per carry because he always seems to make positive plays. He has a nose for the end zone and can be relied upon with a workload of about 15 carries.
One thing I would like to see from Redd is for him to evolve as a receiver in the backfield.
I think that Redd is a good player though he probably would not be much more than a role player at the next level.