Every year the Dallas Cowboys hold a "Dallas Day" where they invite many local and home grown talent to show off some of their skills. There seems to be a lot of quality players coming out of the state of Texas this year and the Cowboys would be smart to take a hard look at a few of them. The regular power house, the Texas Longhorns have a a few players would could hear there names called early, but TCU and Texas A&M might have something to say about which school has the highest player drafted.
The list of players range from Quarterbacks to Defensive Ends, and many more. Most of the players could most certainly hear their names called by the Cowboys but the question is when.
Of all the area kids Von Miller should expect to hear his name called first. He is projected to be picked anywhere from #3 to #10, and rightfully so. He was a complete beast this season, he constantly was harassing opposing quarterbacks. This came as teams even were double teaming him, he was such a presence on the field he commanded that type of respect. When you look at a guy like this you see why he is projected to go so high. He is always moving, and is one of the hardest workers in the draft, he will give you his all day in and day out.
Whoever is lucky enough to select this guy should be happy with him for the next 10 or so years. He is a student of the game and his preparation for games reminds me a lot of Dallas Cowboy OLB DeMarcus Ware. They are both very humbled and have tons of respect for the game. If the Cowboys had the chance I would assume it would be hard for them to not take him. Anthony Spencer was supposed to have a break out year but he was nothing like the player we saw the last few weeks of the 2009 season.
New Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan loves to move guys around and create confusion along opposing teams offensive lines, Phil Taylor would be a huge luxury. He is an animal inside and could be used to spell Pro Bowler Jay Ratliff or they could use them in the same package. He has great speed for such a big guy, weighting in at a cool 335 pounds, and is a mauler which Ryan has to love. I can only imagine the battles him and teammate Danny Watkins had in practice, must have been fun to watch.
As it stands Taylor has seen his stock rise and fall, in some mock drafts he is taken later in round one and others he is taken early in round two. If Dallas saw him fall to them at 40 it would be hard to pass him up. If the Cowboys drafted him they could move Ratliff to end some plays and imagine trying to block Ratliff with Ware coming right behind him.
This Longhorn prospect had a some what up and down season, he was responsible for covering most teams number one wide out for most of the season. He is strong in coverage and can turn his hips well when running with a receiver. Williams has some great speed which helps him stay with those faster wide outs and he brings some potential in the return game. The question with him is will he play every down, as a Texas fan he seemed to take plays off especially in the run game. If the play was to the opposite side he rarely would make a play, only when the play broke out would he run down field.
Williams is a guy that could play multiple positions in the NFL, he projects to be a safety sometimes and a corner the others. That type of versatility makes him one of the more attractive prospects that could be taken later in the first round or early in the second. He would fill an immediate need for Dallas as replacement for Alan Ball who was one of the worst safeties in the NFL last season.
The Dallas Cowboys have one luxury that many other NFL teams do not, they have two quarterbacks who could lead the team. Tony Romo is the obvious starter when healthy and he has proven he can be a legitimate top 10 quarterback. Jon Kitna stepped in after Romo went down and was a pleasant surprise for the fans, he lead the Cowboys to a 4-3 record after a 1-7 start. But Kitna will not be around much longer as his age is slowly creeping up on him. Dallas used a fourth round pick a few years ago on Stephen McGee and he showed some flashes in his playing time this year. Andy Dalton is a proven winner, he constantly kept TCU in the hunt for the National Championship, and if Oregon or Auburn had slipped up last year TCU could have found themselves playing in that game.
Romo like Kitna is not getting any younger and if a quarterback is brought in he would not see major playing time for a few more seasons. Dalton has the tools to be a good NFL quarterback, he can make all the throws and has a underrated running game. He has the ability to move outside the pocket and make throws on the run, he is currently projected to go in the second round but if he fell into the third it would be no surprise if Dallas took a hard look at him.
The main man that was responsible for protecting Andy Dalton was Marcus Cannon. In my opinion he is the most likely to end up with the Cowboys, he fills a major need at the guard position and he is the type of player the team would love to have. With the uncertainty surrounding Leonard Davis and Kyle Koiser, Cannon could come in and make an immediate impact. He has great size and uses his hands so well, if he gets them on you, your not going anywhere but the ground or 40 yards backwards.
The Cowboys could very well see him sitting there at pick 40 in the second round and it would be a great value pick. Dallas could plug him in on the right side in between Doug Free and Andre Gurode, two proven and well established players. Playing along side them he could flourish and really help to sure up the line and open some major holes for the Cowboys running backs.
With needs along the offensive line the Cowboys could potentially be starting two rookies when the season opens (if there is a season). According to ESPN Danny Watkins is rated as the highest guard in the draft and rightfully so, he has tremendous size and knows how to use it. Cowboys could hope he falls to them in the second round or if they make a move and drop down in the first could select him. Fans would have to love him and Doug Free protecting Romo's blindside for what could be 10 or so years. They could bring back memories of the Cowboys line that completely dominated the 90's.
With his combination of size and speed he projects as an ideal guard in the NFL, and learning from Leonard "Bigg" Davis can only help him. He has quick feet and gets off the line fast which helps him get his hands on guys faster. When pulling he can be a bully driving guys out of the way and creating huge holes.
The other Texas corner that Dallas could look at is Curtis Brown, he along with Aaron Williams and Chykie Brown made up one of the better secondaries in the NCAA last season. The recent history of Texas corner backs in the NFL has been some of the best, with players like Aaron Ross (Jim Thorpe Award winner) of the New York Giants and Cedric Griffin of the Minnesota Vikings. Brown is being projected as a third or fourth rounder and if Dallas decided to go offensive line in the first two rounds getting some secondary help later in the draft would be a big need.
Brown has good size at 5'11 and he is better playing off the receiver then up close and tight. He could flourish in a nickle package and with new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan loving to use tons of different rotations he could see major playing time right away. He has good instincts and can make great plays on the ball when it is in the air.
The Cowboys are always looking for guys in the later rounds to turn into project guys, like Patrick Crayton a few years ago. Detron Lewis is another one of those guys, he is projected to go anywhere from round five to seven and could be a great value pick in those later rounds. He had a successful career at Texas Tech catching over 200 balls for over 2,500 yards, those stats might be a little inflated due to the fact that Texas Tech is such a pass heavy team. One thing that stuck out is his ability to secure the ball, in four years in college he never fumbled the ball.
Lewis could serve as a practice squad guy or even make the roster as the fifth wide out (depending on how many the team carries) and then contributing on special teams. He has good size standing 6'1 and can make some difficult catches, he has the ability to separate from some corner backs. He could be an ideal slot receiver, catching small dump off passes or shallow crossing patterns.