Why D.J. Fluker Is the Answer to the Dallas Cowboys Problems

Derek Gerberich@@thexsportsxguyCorrespondent IFebruary 4, 2013

OXFORD, MS - OCTOBER 15:  Offensive linesman D.J. Fluker #76 of the Alabama Crimson Tide lines up against Mississippi on October 15, 2011 at Vaught- Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
Butch Dill/Getty Images

It's no secret that the Dallas Cowboys have a plethora of problems heading into the 2013 NFL draft.  Certainly one draft pick cannot solve them all.

But selecting D.J. Fluker, the dominating right tackle from Alabama, will go a long way in solving them.

Why Fluker, you ask?

To answer that question, let's begin by looking at the Cowboys' current issues.  No running back depth behind an injury-prone DeMarco Murray, an aging Tony Romo, questionable receiving corps, a black hole at safety and lack of a pass-rusher outside of DeMarcus Ware.


But the issue that trumps all issues is that woeful Cowboys' offensive line.

Doug Free has proven to be inadequate on his best days, while Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings taught the Cowboys a lesson about trying to patch up an offensive line via second-tier free agents.  Left tackle Tyron Smith is the only bright spot.

Consequently, selecting the best right tackle in the country with the 18th overall pick is what makes the most sense for Jerry Jones and company come draft day.

If being the best right tackle in America isn't enough, also consider that D.J. Fluker is not human.

He's more of a bear.

A 6'5", 355-pound bear with the longest arms of any offensive lineman in the draft.

If that size and frame don't get your attention, I'm not sure what else will.

But here are a few things that might.

For starters, Mel Kiper is raving.  One of his perceived weaknesses heading into 2012 was in pass protection, an area that Kiper notes Fluker did a "heck of a job in" this season.

What does a "heck of a job" mean?

Let's look at the numbers.

In 2012, Fluker only allowed four sacks over a span of 267 pass attempts.  He missed only 11 of his blocking assignments across 728 plays while anchoring one of the country's finest offensive lines.

Having Fluker opposite Smith on the Cowboys' offensive line only seems to get sweeter the more you think about it.

But just for kicks, take a look at every snap that Fluker played in his opening game against Michigan (video below).  It's impressive stuff.

The highlight of the entire compilation comes at 3:22.  Fluker just manhandles the sorry chap from Michigan (Keith Heitzman, perhaps?) who tried to get in his way. 

It's fierce offensive line play like that which the Cowboys so desperately crave.  And it's why D.J. Fluker can be the beginning of the solution to the Dallas Cowboys problems come April.