Dallas Draft Gives Hope In Numbers

James WilliamsonSenior Writer IMay 1, 2009

Imagine the pain of waiting.

It is a pain like no other because it is not a physical pain, but a mental one.

The pain of waiting to get her alone so you can ask her out.

The pain of waiting for your 16th birthday so you can get your car.

Whoever said “patience is a virtue,” should have had their jaw wired.

However, no pain can compare to what this writer went through last Saturday. It was a pain that is agonizing, tormenting, deadlier than an angry woman, and happens once a year.

I was waiting for the draft results.

Except this time instead of being in front of a computer or a television, I was stuck in a van, going to a football game in Round Rock, Texas, listening to rap music (how can we comprehend people who talk that fast!?), trying to remember the draft order in my head, and waiting.

I was waiting for the words, “the Dallas Cowboys are on the clock.”

Unfortunately, they never came.

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I heard about Cleveland trading the No. 5 pick. I heard the news about Mark Sanchez being drafted by the Jets. I heard Aaron Curry was passed over by the Chiefs and went to the Seahawks instead.

My wonderful father was texting me the results as they came to him, but he had no news about the Dallas Cowboys. I came home at four o’clock in the morning (it was a very long trip), and I still had no news.

Apparently the Cowboys had traded their second round pick away because Max Unger, center from the University of Oregon, had been drafted two selections earlier by the Seattle Seahawks.

The “duck” that they targeted had gone to the city of rain. Life is just full of irony isn’t it?

However, the Cowboys were busy bees the next day, collecting plenty of nectar with 12 draft choices.

The main question is whether or not they will produce any honey?

Lets go over every draft pick from the first guy to the last guy.

With the 69th Pick, the Cowboys Selected Outside Linebacker, Jason Williams, From Western Illinois.

This guy was a pure beast in college. He had 14 forced fumbles with 42.5 stops from behind the line of scrimmage. Very underrated, very physical, has a lot of potential.

To me, a defensive player can be molded out of any round. He just needs good coaching, a brain, and a want to get better. If this guy pays attention to Wade Phillips, he could contend for a spot against Anthony Spencer whenever Greg Ellis decides to retire or leave.

Williams was chosen because he was the best available, and the Cowboys want depth at all positions in case something happens during the season.

With the 75th Pick, the Cowboys Selected Offensive Tackle, Robert Brewster, From Ball State.

Ball State was very good last year, especially with their quarterback, and for a quarterback to succeed, he needs linemen—plain and simple.

Brewster has no chance of starting because the Cowboys already have a good offensive line. His main purpose will be depth and injury replacement, which was the Cowboys' downfall last year.

Starting left guard Kyle Kosier was hurt for the majority of the year, and Cory Proctor could only do so much. The Cowboys need effective linemen that can come in if injuries happen.

With the Top Pick in the Fourth Round, 101st Overall, the Cowboys Select Quarterback Stephen McGee From Texas A&M.

Aggie fans rejoice! Your quarterback is staying home in Texas.

McGee is a good player. In fact, Mike Sherman (A&M’s head coach and former coach to Brett Favre) says that he has potential to be a player in this league.

This pick puzzled me because the Cowboys already traded for Jon Kitna to be the backup quarterback, and a third quarterback is just going to take a roster spot away.

My thinking tells me that Jerry Jones wants a young guy who can come in if Romo gets hurt, and if Kitna is not up to par. Insurance for the insurance to put it bluntly.

This kid was just at the wrong school. A&M was battling three teams that could have gone to the National Championship, how much can you expect from him?

That’s like asking a high school team to beat the Arizona Cardinals. It can’t be done.

I’ve got my fingers crossed and a bible set aside for this young man.

With the 110th and the 120th picks in the Draft, the Cowboys Selected Defensive Ends, Victor Butler and Brandon Williams, From Oregon State and Texas Tech.

Both sack specialists for their teams. Butler was a major part of the Oregon State upset of USC.

These guys are probably going to convert to outside linebackers to add further depth since they are only around 250 pounds.

With the 143rd Pick, the Cowboys Selected Cornerback, DeAngelo Smith, From Cincinnati.

I like this guy. I really like this guy. I think with a lot of work and coaching, he can be a star in this league. Cornerbacks are like receivers, a dime a dozen, so him being selected in the fifth round means nothing.

He has trouble with mental decisions, takes a few risks, and is not the most physical player, but those flaws can be trained.

He may not be the fastest guy (4.57 forty time), but he can double as a return guy or free safety and is very good in a zone defense (another slight problem since he is only so-so in other defenses), but what I like most about this guy is his dedication.

I would rather have a guy with dedication than a guy who is slightly better, but lacks that hunger. This guy wants to improve and talks with his actions, because he works hard.

I think he has a lot of potential with Dallas since they are low on cornerbacks and Jones' philosophy is “you can never have too many cornerbacks.”

With the 166th Pick, the Cowboys Selected Free Safety, Michael Hamlin (No Relation to Ken Hamlin), Out of Clemson.

I think this guy can develop into a good player and hopefully will light a fire under Ken Hamlin, who only had one interception last year.

The guy is a great tackler, blocker if necessary, has natural hands, and great timing with his jump.

So why was he selected in the fifth round?

He runs a 4.62 forty time and has had problems with injuries. The lack of blazing safety speed and the unknown of whether or not he’ll be able to play hurt his stock severely.

However, it is a fifth round pick and he has talent, so why not roll the dice?

With the 172nd Pick, the Cowboys Selected David Buehler, Placekicker, from the University of Southern California.

I cannot stand Pete Carroll, but he makes some of the best players in football. This guy was a steal.

Yes, we have Nick Folk, but how many times do you remember him getting a touchback last year?

If you remember one, then you are either mistaken or a liar because Nick Folk did not have one touchback last year.

The Cowboys are weakest on special teams, so the easiest way to fix that problem is to keep them off the field with touchbacks.

“On 180 kickoffs, 105 of them (58.3 percent) have pinned opponents within the 20-yard line, with 69 resulting in touchbacks (38.3 percent).” Source: NFL.com.

1/3 of his kicks go into the endzone? That’s amazing! The only thing more amazing is the guy himself. He ran a 4.62 forty time and had 25 bench reps of 225 pounds.

That is more than Michael Oher, Max Unger (the duck that got away), and Eugene Monroe. Three of the top offensive linemen in the draft lift less than this guy.

He is an incredible athlete with football in his blood; his uncle won a Super Bowl with the Raiders as a guard.

He has played fullback, linebacker, and strong safety. He is not some half-pint kicker like Nate Kaeding—he is a football player.

If Folk stays with Dallas, this guy will handle kickoffs and Folk will work field goals. That does mean giving up another roster spot for a second kicker, but I think he is worth it.

He is the most likely guy to start this year without question.

With the 197th Pick, the Cowboys Selected Strong Safety, Stephen Hodge, From Texas Christian University.

He’s a puzzle to me because he reminds me of Roy Williams too much. He is a safety, but he played linebacker, mainly on blitzes while in college. The guy does not look like a great cover guy, and makes mental mistakes.

I think this guy is only a special teams player if he even makes the team.

With the 208th Pick in the Draft, the Cowboys Selected Tight End, John Phillips, From Virginia.

For those of you who are confused, I will make it simple; he is not going to catch passes. Our third string tight end, Tony Curtis, just signed with the Chiefs a few weeks ago, so there was a hole for a blocking tight end on the goal line.

This is a very good blocker and that is it.

With the 227th Pick, the Cowboys Selected Cornerback, Mike Mickens, Out of Cincinnati.

This guy is either a bust or a star. He pulled out of the Senior Bowl and combine because of a hurt knee.

He has very few flaws like a stiff body in backpedaling, so he should have been a high draft pick. The injury is what really hurt him, both figuratively and literally.

He is the perfect seventh round pick because it is a throw away pick, so better to gamble than to waste.

With the 229th pick, the Cowboys selected wide receiver, Manuel Johnson, from Oklahoma.

Good football player, but a medium athlete. Not very tall, elusive, or fast. He could improve or not. It is the seventh round, so it is up to him on whether or not he does well. Teams cut seventh rounders every other day.

All in all, the Cowboys looked toward depth and special teams. If these guys make the team, they will be on special teams.

The Cowboys hired Joe DeCamillis as the new special team coach and he should be able to take these guys far hopefully.

The Cowboys have made a successful draft at getting what they needed.

Now it is up to the team to make Dallas winners again.

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