Dallas Cowboys' Cuts Change Entire Draft for Team

Derek MajorCorrespondent IApril 2, 2010

DALLAS - SEPTEMBER 15:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates a touchdown pass with Flozell Adams #76 against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter at Texas Stadium on September 15, 2008 in Irving, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Less than an hour ago, the Cowboys cut left tackle Flozell Adams and safety Ken Hamlin, leaving two important spots on the team without a starter. 

And Wade Phillips' offseason was going along so quietly. 

This pretty much changes the entire draft scheme for Dallas, but before we look into the future, let's look at who's already on the roster that can step in. 

At left tackle, Doug Free seems to be the only logical option (although, cutting Adams wasn't logical, so who knows). Free played LT when Adams went down with a calf injury in the divisional playoff against Minnesota.

Free played about as well as any other Cowboys offensive lineman did in that game, which isn't saying much considering Tony Romo spent the rest of the game running for his life. However, he did do just fine on the right side when Marc Colombo went down, so Jerry Jones may be thinking the transition from one side to the other won't take long.

Behind Free are a bunch of question marks, starting with Robert Brewster who spent all of last year injured. The Cowboys could move Leonard Davis to that spot, but he struggled there while he was in Arizona, and is a top lineman at the guard spot now, so I don't see a reason to move him. 

This pretty much guarantees that the Cowboys' No. 27 pick will go to an offensive lineman. The Cowboys will want someone that they know can step in right away and push Free out of the LT spot. This year's class is deep with lineman that can start right away, yet another reason Adams is no longer the longest tenured Cowboy. 

As for Hamlin, he went down for four weeks with an ankle injury and Alan Ball (who made my lunch pail team) came in and started. The Cowboys went 2-2 in those four games, but Phillips praised Ball for getting the secondary in the right spots and playing well himself, something that Hamlin struggled with at the beginning of the season. 

Ball will most likely move into that spot, but Mike Hamlin (no relation) will challenge him in camp. The problem now is Ball was also the fourth corner on the Cowboys; so, now they may have to replace him through the draft or free agency (they did sign Cletus Gordon to a one-year deal a while back).

Some mock drafts still have the Cowboys drafting Taylor Mays, but with his combine, I'd be surprised if he dropped down to No. 27 or if the Cowboys take anything but a lineman. A dark horse candidate is Pat Watkins, but I think he's established himself as a career backup—in Dallas anyway. 

One thing is for sure: It won't be long into the season before the Cowboys miss Adams. He may have been slowing down, and a bit of a dirty player, but he made sure Romo didn't get off the ground with his helmet on sideways and was crucial in the run game. 

Jones has been successful in making moves like this recently—like cutting T.O. and Miles Austin stepping up, and also cutting Greg Ellis, only to see Anthony Spencer coming around. However, I think Jones went to the well one too many times, and the water may have run out. 


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