With the 2011 NFL draft just one week away, the team with the most speculation has been the Dallas Cowboys. Many of the professional analysts have gone back and forth between guys like Prince Amukamara and Tyron Smith.
I was tempted to have the Cowboys move down in this mock, but I decided to have them stay where they are. Dallas has many needs along the offensive line and defensive line, but they also need help in their secondary. The Cowboys can get back to the playoffs with a solid draft and some help through free agency.
The Dallas Cowboys will look to draft smart and hard-working players that resemble their head coach Jason Garrett. Garrett can make a statement in his first draft as head coach and show America what direction he intends to take this team.
The Cowboys can help sure up their offensive line with the addition of Tyron Smith.
Ever since the end of the college season, Tyron Smith has seen a big increase in his stock, and the combine only solidified that. The guy is an animal, standing 6'5" and a solid 315, he looks like an ideal right tackle, and that is just what Dallas needs.
Marc Colombo did absolutely nothing last year and was a liability all season, always commanding help with speedy pass rushers. With the addition of Smith, the Cowboys can lock up their tackle positions for the next 10 or so years. Smith has long arms and uses them perfectly, when he gets his hands on you the only place you're going is the ground.
The Cowboys might have an opportunity to take a guy like Prince Amukamara but I believe that Mike Jenkins will have a bounce-back season. I mean he and Terrence Newman were both Pro Bowlers the season before, so let's just wait and see what happens there.
Marcus Cannon along with Tyron Smith could solidify the Dallas line for years to come.
The second round could be a gift for the Dallas Cowboys. In Round 1 they get their new right tackle, and this round they get their new guard.
Marcus Cannon, like Tyron Smith, is a mauler, he has great size and moves very smooth for a big frame like that. His addition will allow the Cowboys to have an offensive line that can dominate up front and bring up memories of the line that helped Dallas win three Super Bowls in the 90s.
Imagine an offensive line that had Doug Free (LT), Marcus Cannon (LG), Andre Gurode (C), Leonard Davis (RG) and Tyron Smith (RT). Allowing Cannon to play in between Free and Gurode would allow Dallas to ease him in and provide him with some help.
Anyone who watched football last year knows that the Cowboys' secondary was one of the worst in the NFL and that cannot continue if they want to push for the playoffs or even a Super Bowl next year. Alan Ball was switched from fourth-string cornerback to starting safety and it is safe to say that was a terrible move. Ball looked lost in coverage and was a non-factor in defending the run. Dallas would be smart to address the secondary in free agency and the draft. I believe Dallas will sign safety Michael Huff once they can, and bringing in Jaiquawn Jarrett would be another smart move.
Jarrett playing alongside Huff, and with Jenkins and Newman out there, could become a top-tier secondary group. Jarrett would bring a lot of versatility to the secondary, he can play up close to the line and is very good in coverage. His size and speed would be ideal for new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and mixing packages for him.
Guy would allow the Cowboys to spell Ratliff and use multiple packages along the D-line.
There has been much speculation ever since Rob Ryan was hired that Dallas might move Jay Ratliff to one of the defensive end positions, I am not buying it. Ratliff is a three-time Pro Bowler and it would be very foolish to move him. Dallas just needs to find him help outside and bringing back Marcus Spears and Stephen Bowen would be a good start. After that, the 'Boys need to find someone who can come in and spell Ratliff—Guy is that guy.
Lawrence Guy was a force along the Arizona State defensive line, he constantly puts pressure on opposing quarterbacks and makes run-stuffing plays. At 6'4" and sitting around 310 pounds, he would be a perfect complement for Ratliff, and become a player that Ryan could fall in love with. Like stated before, Rob Ryan loves to use tons of different packages and move players around and Guy has the ability to play that role to perfection.
Brown would provide much needed depth for Dallas in their secondary.
Sticking with the defensive theme, Dallas would be smart to address their need at the cornerback position at some point in this draft.
Between Mike Jenkins, Terrence Newman and Orlando Scandrick the cornerbacks were constantly beat deep. That is where Chykie Brown comes in. He has become the forgotten guy that was part of the Texas secondary last year. Teammates Aaron Williams and Curtis Brown have gotten the brunt of the attention, but Chykie demands some respect. He is raw, but could become a solid player.
We know that Ryan likes using different packages and Brown would allow him to use tons of different packages in the secondary. Brown has good coverage skills and can make plays on the ball when it is in the air. He is smooth in coverage and can move his hips well, which makes him that much more attractive in the later rounds.
Brown could become a solid fourth wide out and another weapon for Romo.
The wide-out position is not an immediate need for Dallas, but with some uncertainty surrounding Roy Williams, it wouldn't hurt to take a look at a few guys. That guy is DeAndre Brown, he is a freak of an athlete standing 6'5" and weighing 235 pounds.
He runs so smoothly that he makes it look easy, however, his routes need some polishing and if he can get that done he could be a steal. He has some off-field issues, but has that ever stopped Jerry Jones from taking a shot on a guy?
Brown has the same frame as Detroit Lions wide-out Calvin Johnson, but does not have the same abilities. Imagine lining up Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Roy Williams and DeAndre Brown? Opposing defenses would not have enough guys to handle all that talent.
Parr is a big DE that could see solid playing time in Dallas.
I went with Parr in my first mock draft and I am sticking with him here—he provides great value, especially in the seventh round.
The Cowboys will have some major decisions to make when free agency starts and the bulk of those decisions will come at the defensive end position. Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher and Stephen Bowen are all scheduled to become free agents and Igor Olshansky was better at celebrating then tackling. Bowen seems the most likely to return, given the high praise he has received from Rob Ryan. Spears could also return at the right price and there is always that possibility they move Ratliff to end.
Zane Parr reminds me a lot of a former Cavalier and Cowboy Chris Canty. Parr is big at 6'6" and weighing around 275 pounds, he could be a project guy that could come in during different situations and help spell the starters. Ryan likes to use a lot of different rotations in his defenses so it would not surprise me if this guy saw some serious time over the season.
With their last pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the Cowboys would be smart to take a look at small school prospect Matthew Marcorelle. The guy is a coach's pet and can make tons of plays. He has good size at just about 6'2" and he packs a punch weighing 245 pounds. He is a player that could battle with the backup outside linebackers and beat them. He has some injury issues, but I think that he will be just fine.
He reminds me a lot of a small school Sean Lee, he does everything asked of him and is a very smart player. Anthony Spencer was supposed to have a breakout season, but like many other Cowboys players, he did not. Matthew Marcorelle could help provide that fire that needs to be lit under Spencer to get him to where he needs to be.