Dallas Cowboys 2013 Draft: The Only First Round Scenarios That Make Sense
The 2013 NFL Draft has finally arrived, but not without the build up to this annual event. The level of excitement is reaching epic levels of measurement and finally, just finally, Cowboy fans can experience some tangible results in the search for roster additions.
So far the offseason has been an uneventful one, and while some view this as unacceptable, others realize that the Cowboys were handcuffed by questionable cap management, delays in freeing up more cap dollars and just an unwillingness to spend liberally.
So where does this leave the Cowboys?
The best way to answer that is somewhere between no man's land and not so bad shape. Sure there are holes to fill on this roster, but the Cowboys have six picks to capitalize on and possibly more depending on any trade activity.
The fact that Jerry Jones has been vocal about the possibility of trading down could be an indication of the mindset of management. Stockpiling more picks could just be the elixir for the lack of free agent activity, and what better way to build this team than through the draft.
So when the Cowboys finally get on the clock, what will they do? Maybe a better question is what exactly should they do?
Let's look at the only scenarios that make sense.
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Yes, being able to launch a running attack while running behind this athletic guard would be ideal and probably most optimal for the Cowboys. Cooper is an elite guard who would absolutely fit like a glove for this franchise.
The Cowboys need a sure thing and Cooper, although a safe pick, would not only be a perfect match for this team, but it would symbolize a commitment to the offensive line. This would be steak without the sizzle, but these are the types of picks Jerry Jones must realize are necessary for success.
The downside here is that this is a hopeful scenario and having Cooper available at the 18th pick is no sure thing. The consensus is that with a lack of elite playmakers in this draft, there could be a run on offensive and defensive linemen.
I agree and the Cowboys would be fortunate to be in a position to draft Cooper. Hopefully the GM feels the same way.
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In the world of the Cowboys, Warmack, along with Cooper, represents a must have and not just a need. Warmack falls into the same bucket as Cooper regarding availability, but the importance of being able to land the other elite guard in this draft is necessary if doable.
While Cooper is the more athletic and versatile of the duo, Warmack is the stronger of the pair and would still represent a major coup if the Cowboys can select him. The Cowboys could be presented with a scenario in which both players are available, and that would come down to who was rated higher.
I can't imagine there is that much separation between the two but talent is viewed from the eye of the beholder. Either way the Cowboys should be sprinting to the podium for either player.
Just ask Tony Romo about the importance of an offensive line.
Sheldon Richardson / Sylvester Williams
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I lumped these two players together for similar but different reasons. However, either of these scenarios only makes sense for two reasons. First, the Cowboys must have the desire to look at defensive line as their next need if the guards are off the table. And secondly, the Cowboys need to have the desire to stay put at the 18th pick.
Going on those assumptions these two defensive line prospects would be ideal as the Cowboys adopt Monte Kiffin's 4-3 defense. Richardson would be that three-technique player that's highly coveted in today's NFL and Williams would be that interior player along the defensive line this team desperately needs.
Either player would fit well for this stage in the first-round, and some will argue that you might be able to move down slightly to select these players as well. Regardless of the circumstances, these two players make sense as the Cowboys look to strengthen their defense.
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The Cowboys could wait and select Jonathan Cyprien, JJ Wilcox, Phillip Thomas or Eric Reid a little later on in the draft, but selecting Vaccaro shouldn't be viewed as over-drafting. As with other positions outside of the offensive line, the Cowboys have to want to stay put in order for this to happen but it makes sense.
Vaccaro is widely viewed as the top-rated safety in the draft, the Cowboys have worked him out and that should be an indicator that he very well is in play with the 18th pick. The bottom line is that right now Matt Johnson, Barry Church, Danny McCray and Will Allen comprise the depth chart and this area needs help.
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I never included Austin in any other draft articles I wrote and with good reason—I was saving it until the end. Austin is arguably the key to the entire first-round simply due to the lack of big-play prospects in this draft.
The quarterbacks in this draft also carry huge implications, but Austin, for the Cowboys, is a dark-horse pick. There is absolutely no denying his playmaking capabilities as a receiver and kick returner. This is a stronger, faster version of Wes Welker that can revolutionize the slot receiver position in the NFL.
Why not be a part of it should he fall into the Cowboys' laps?
Many will laugh at this pick, but keep in mind that beyond this season, the Cowboys face a major decision with Miles Austin as they look to lock up Dez Bryant to a long-term deal. The Cowboys also need to find out if Dwayne Harris is the third receiver and only time will tell on that one.
The long and short of this scenario is that it makes sense on many levels. For one, the draft is deep at many positions that happen to be of need to the Cowboys. Offensive line, defensive line and safety happen to be three areas that this is the case so drafting Austin allows them to maximize first-round value.
But when you envision having a weapon of this magnitude, it really makes you think about the possibilities for this team if he should fall to the 18th pick. I'm sure Jerry Jones has already had the same thoughts.
The Draft Czar
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Might the Cowboys be best served by moving down in this draft?
This is absolutely the right scenario when all other plans get foiled and this is the draft to do so. The best case for this team would be to draft one of the stud guards first, focus on an impact defensive player next either at safety or defensive line or be aware of falling talent.
But with the Cowboys being pretty frank of their desire to move out of the 18th pick, this just might take you into a greater understanding of what they ultimately might be thinking. The Cowboys have so many needs to fill that the best way to go about doing that is by multiplying picks.
There should be plenty of teams willing to move up and the Cowboys could be that trade partner to do it with. By picking up an extra second, third or fourth-round pick, the Cowboys could still target who they want and add additional prospects.
Sounds logical to me. In fact, this might be the best scenario of them all depending on what the draft Gods have in store for the Cowboys.