Cowboys Draft 2012: Will Defenders Fall to 14 & 45?

Tannehill: a sure top-10 pick?

The third helping of draft rumors looks more closely at the chance of an offensive player run in the top 10, which would suit the Cowboys’ needs just fine.

— Michael Floyd is a hot name, with one source saying he’s heard the Jaguars could grab him at pick 7.  This would make some sense, as Laurent Robinson is currently the team’s best receiver.  If this rumor came to truth, it would push another offensive player into the top 10.  This would benefit the Cowboys.

Consider that three quarterbacks (Luck, Griffin and Tannehill) could go in the top 10.  If Trent Richardson, Justin Blackmon and Floyd join them, that’s six skill position players.  Add two offensive tackles, say Matt Kalil to Minnesota and perhaps Riley Reiff to Buffalo and you have eight offensive players up top.  Only Morris Claiborne and another defender would go in the top 10.

No interior offensive linemen, and at most one outside linebacker or defensive lineman would be picked in this scenario, maximizing the options for Dallas at pick 14.  Round up the Dallas rumor boys — DeCastro, Glenn, Kirkpatrick, Barron, Gilmore, Upshaw, Ingram, and two of Cox, Brockers and Poe.   That’s nine players.  The Chiefs, Seahawks and Cardinals can’t pick them all.

Dallas would be well positioned to trade down and still get a priority player, provided a desirable player dropped, and the Cowboys found a trade partner.

— One source said he’s heard that as many as six wide receivers could go in the 1st round.  If this happened, it would affect Dallas’ 2nd round pick, and perhaps push some defensive options into that early 2nd.

— I was told that Kansas City is looking for a nose tackle, a linebacker and a pass rusher in the 1st.  If Poe is snapped up before 11, Luke Kuechly is getting some serious consideration.

— Ryan Tannehill is now seen as a top 10 pick, with the usual suspects Cleveland (4) and Miami (8) topping the list.

— One intriguing rumor has Brandon Weeden making the 1st, with the Dolphins selecting him if they trade down and out of the 8th slot.  A fourth 1st round QB would combine with a WR rush to push another defensive option to 45.

— Trent Richardson’s position remains fluid.  One source said he becomes an immediate trade-up target if he gets past the Bucs at 5, and thinks he probably would not slide to 14 and become a tradeable asset for Dallas because, “teams want to be safe [with their first picks] and he’s safe.”

At the same time, I heard that Richardson probably would slide out of the top 10 if he started to drop.  Cleveland is the team mentioned as the most likely candidate to trade up.  If the Browns take a Claiborne or a Tannehill at 4, they could leave the 1st round with some mojo if they deal up from 22 and add Richardson to their haul.

— One source said of Stanford TE Coby Fleener, “I keep hearing 1st round, but I can’t find a team that says they’ll take him.”  He nonetheless thinks Fleener’s floor is the Colts at pick 34.  He would be an ideal complement to his college QB Andrew Luck.

— This is hardly news, but the sources confirm that Peter Konz will go in that donut between Dallas’ 1st round and 2nd round picks, with Baltimore (29th) behind his backstop.  He could come into play if Dallas trades down, but how many higher-rated players will be passed on to work this scenario?

— The buzz meter on Bruce Irvin has gone still.  The character concerns probably put him in the 3rd or 4th rounds now.

Rafael Vela

Rafael Vela

Senior Analyst Cowboys at Sports Talk Line
Started covering Dallas Cowboys @ in '95 and '96. Two more stops along the way and here I am. Senior Analyst for
Rafael Vela

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  • Krazy Cowboy

    DE Billy Winn is a BEAST(sleeper)

  • chum

    Will defenders “fall” to 14 and 45, the post asks?  I reckon the answer is 50% yes!

    • Tim

      60% of the time, they fall every time.

  • Krazy Cowboy


  • Pmkaram

    I say trade down and get McClellin in late first. We do not NEED a DE. We need to move Rtaliff to LDE and pick up a NT either in the draft (Ta’amu) or trade. Unless you get a DE of Ratliff caliber, the 3-4 line will not allow for much other than run stopping. The only need positions on offense are TE(Evan Rodrgiuez) and OC. Don’t tell me Rodriguez is too short. So is Hernandez of the Pats. Does it strike anyone funny that the team did not get an OC in free agencvy? Satele was there and very experienced.Maybe Bernadeau moves over there or the team feels Costa has improved or Nagy can do it.Most unusual.

  • Pmkaram

    Moghbelli,I like Coples,Brooks,Hicks,Jones and Rodriguez picks but I would rather try to get Shea McClellin as a late 1st or early 2nd rounder than Reyes. Also, I don’t care for the Broyles pick. Why not use that one to move up for McClellin?

  • Bug Mcfarland

    Wow. It’s amazing to see how down people are on Coples.
    It’s almost funny to read the arguments calling DeCastro elite
    and Coples just good with a bad motor. Let’s not forget Brandt
    and almost every other ranking service has Coples ranked higher
    then Decastro. Often Coples is top 5 while
    DeCastro is top 15.

    The truth is the 2nd round OG’s is far less of a drop off
    Then the drop in DL talent. Unless Butch Davis has
    something negative to say Coples has to be picked
    ahead of DeCastro. I still like Ingram as well.

    Furthermore, DeCastro workout as a Center didn’t go well
    at all. If it did he would have more value, but he is not ready
    to play Center.

    • Taylor

      Brandt helped draft Howard Richards, Billy Cannon, Danny Noonan, Larry Bethea, Ron Francis, Kevin Brooks, et al.  He hit a lot, but he missed a lot, and late in his tenure, the Cowboys got too cute with the draft.  My preference, by far, is to stay at 14 and get an elite player than trade around and get less than a blue chipper.

  • Raja

    Over at, Tex’s favorite columnist, Mickey Spags likes Hightower.  Smokescreen or a sign of things to come – I still remember how weeks prior to the draft he predicted we would select Barbie Doll, back in 06.

  • Milkshaker

    Jacksonville’s interest in Michael Floyd seems like a bad thing. I like Floyd, but he doesn’t seem like 7th overall material or even top-15. 

    It opens up the possibility of a team just behind us jumping ahead on a trade. Or, they could swing a trade with Cleveland where they get Justin Blackmon and Cleveland is able to get Tannehill 1 pick ahead of Miami and it throws 8 – 13 into flux.

  • Moghbelli

    Ok so I did an interactive mock draft today run by @Froginthewindow:disqus  online. So this is what I ended up with through six rounds:
    1. Q. Coples (could have been Brockers here as well)
    2. Kendell Reyes
    3. Ben Jones
    4.Ryan Broyles
    4b. Ron Brooks
    5. Evan Rodriguez
    6. Akiem Hicks
    7. Not done yet.

    • 99yard_TD_Run

      not bad, but I’d look at Malik Jackson for 4b & would look for Micah Pellerin @6 & the monmouth QB @7.

    • Cowboys4Life

      That would be an awesome draft.  The only thing I would want is a better cornerback than Ron Brooks.

    • Cowick22

      Talks City Sensabaugh in the last round. He put up Revised like measurables at the combine and would be worth the gamble.
      Really like your mock.

      • Cowick22

        Coty and
        Revis is what that should say. Damn auto correct.

        • Austonianaggie

          Dallas has an affinity for brothers so it may happen

        • Moghbelli

          He was actually gone by the fifth round. Like him as well as I watched two of his games last year.

    • Lee1936

      I’ll always hit the Liked button for any fellow draft enthusiast who will do a mock.  My favorite picks in your mock are OC Ben Jones in R3, and TE/FB/H-back Rodriguez in Rd5.  I doubt he’ll still be there in the 5th, because that type of player is becoming more popular.

  • valentino43

    I think you are right on track.
    1. Luck
    2. RG3
    3. Kalil
    4. Richardson
    6. Blackmon
    7. Floyd
    8. Tannehill
    9. Cox
    10. Reiff
    11. Poe
    12. Mercilus
    13. Glen
    14. Ingram
    Regardles of who is there, you take the best pass rusher in the draft.

    • If those first 13 go as you post, I think that Cox, Brockers, DeCastro and perhaps Barron will all be rated ahead of Ingram.

      Since the Cowboys don’t push their board, and since all four of those guys fill a need, I still think one of those guys gets picked.

      The only question for me is how they fall on the board?

      And what a nice problem to have all four to choose!

    • cowboyny

      I believe Floyd is a lock to be picked before our selection, but have reservations that Poe, Mercilus, Glenn will be taken in that range.

    • Lee1936

      Regardless of who is there?  Absurd. 

      • Cowboys4Life

        We had the #4 ranked passing offense last year.  There’s  room for improvement there but we aren’t going to get THAT much better.

        The pass defense on the other hand was ranked #25.  If we fix that with more pass rush and a better secondary you will see a dramatic improvement.

        • Lee1936

          My argument is for BPA within our positions of need, which still include 1 OC and 2 OGs.  Of course I’d love to have more pass rush, but this crop of DLs is scary weak at the top.  So we should simply take the best of what the draft offers.  

          Just because we have a crying need for pass rushers doesn’t mean we should bypass elite talent to gamble on a 4-3 DE known to have a bad motor.  That would be an inexcusable reach.  And we’d still need pass rushers.  And we still couldn’t convert 3rd and short.

        • MadMick

          The Cowboys offense ranked 15th in actual scoring; smack dab in the middle of the pack. (Fun fact: the Cowboys scoring defense ranked 16th.) But more importantly the offense struggled to do much of anything in three of four games against their main division rivals, the Eagles and Giants. And yes I have to almost totally discount their effort in the season finale where they fell behind 21-0 before the offense decided ANYTHING in that game. They simply dug themselves too deep of a hole to have a fighting chance because of their poopy duke O-line. 

          And nobody kid yourselves into thinking that the Cowboys would’ve been able to do anything in that second meeting against the Eagles; even if Romo hadn’t got dinged early. In fact, he probably would’ve only sustained a worse injury had he survived much longer in that game.

          The only number that matters for an offense is points scored and in that area the Cowboys have lots of room for improvement based off of last season. Hollow yards and fancy passer ratings certainly don’t justify the conclusion that the “offense can’t get that much better” by trotting out lineman who aren’t little more than warm flabby bodies.

          I mean the Cowboys were probably even worse off than 15th considering they scored close to a third of their total points cracking no good teams boasting CFL defenses like the Bills, Rams and Bucs.

          Apparently DeCastro can handle starting center duties immediately. Meanwhile, any rusher or corner they take with their 1st rounder probably doesn’t start a game this year. I’m sick of drafting next year’s starters with early picks.

          While they may need another corner in the pipeline as a CYA (cover your _____) maneuver against Jenkins pending departure next offseason, it’s not an absolute that they have to make that move this offseason.

          If Carr is as good as advertised, he’s a hell of a lot more solid addition to the defense than these strangers the Cowboys signed (to compete for starting gigs) are to the offense.  That’s a fact. How many times did opposing offenses scavenge the festering carcass of old man Newman? And now his replacement is probably the next best player on defense after Ware. 

          NOW if the Spencer trade stuff mentioned upthread is true, then pass rusher makes sense. But 4th corner vs. starting center or guard? Yeah, seems like a no-brainer to me.

          • MadMick

            ….To compete for starting GUARD gigs.

          • sidarc

             I respectfully disagree with your assessment in regards to CB. That’s the short sighted line of thinking that gets GM’s fired. Unfortunately, that’s not an option here, but that’s besides the point.

            I think if you believe in the Mayan calender prophecy, then yeah, we shouldn’t be worrying about corner until next offseason. We have 4 TOTAL corners on our roster. One of them (Scandrick) not suited to play the boundary (admitted by coaches and management) and the other (Butler) being a practice squadder that 31 other teams passed on signing to their 53. With the situations in places like St. Louis (6 CB’s to IR) and Jacksonville, that’s disturbing. Your scenario reeks of the dreaded decision to go the 3 active CB, 5 active Safeties route from a couple years ago. That was an abject disaster.

            As I’ve pointed out before, your 3rd CB is basically a starter. Seriously, it’s gotten to the point that their names need to be called during defensive pre-game intro’s. They are on the field FAR too much. How often do teams line up in simple 2 wide, I -formations anymore? We had 11 QB’s throw for over 4,000 yds this year. We had 16 QB’s attempt over 500 passes. This is a passing league now. That’s a fact.

            Finally, have you considered injury? God forbid, what if Carr goes down early? Then what? Or what about Jenkins? How did he hold up last year?

            Now I agree with your assessment that their needs to be some competition fielded at Center, first, and then Guard (although not as pressing at all due to the impending competition already signed in FA). It’s your implication that CB needn’t be a focus early in the draft. You say it doesn’t need to be addressed this offseason, well this is the last opportunity to do so. I’m curios, what would be your options for shoring up the position next offseason?

          • MadMick

            Short sighted has been Jerry’s approach to the OL; that the “coach ’em up/beef ’em up” is a magic elixir that is eventually going to turn scrubs into cornerstones of a consistent offense. Besides, I thought this was an even deeper draft at corner (three rounds deep) than it was at G. I’m intrigued by all the buzz surrounding Gilmore but frankly Kirkpatrick isn’t a transcendent talent so why CAN’T you pass him up? Also how blinding is that ‘Bama name brand when it comes to overrating a guy?  I can’t say I keep my eyes glued to the Texans but I hope Kareem Jackson was a lot better last year than the rook that Woy Williams chewed up and spit out. And I know that’s one of those lame “same school” comparisons but I’m just throwing it out there because Jackson “got it done in the big, bad SEC.”

            How many corners did the current Champion Giants have go on IR/miss most of the season (referring to Prince specifically)? Now that was a dire predicament. Of course, whatever bad luck befalls the Giants they’ll always have these sapsucker Cowboys, who can never seem to get out of their own way, to victimize so that helps their cause immensely.

            No, I don’t think corner is something that needs to be addressed in the first round.As for my approach to corner, unless they’re that enamored with Gilmore. I think you snag a couple in the 2nd-4th rounds in THIS draft.

            Bottom line: I’d rather draft an immediate 2012 OL starter in DeCastro or Glenn than a guy who may be no better than 2013’s 3rd corner.  If a corner is an investment in the future, in 2013: is the dropoff in talent that severe from Kirkpatrick to a few guys you can snag in the 2nd-4th rounds? I know the same MIGHT be said for G. But the impetus should be on this team finally scoring points like the high octane unit they’re supposed to be, not a limp 23 pts/game. I mean the skill players have remained the same, so what seems to be the problem here? 

          • Cowboys4Life

            You just admitted that the dropoff in talent is not severe with the CBs or the offensive linemen.

            And you agree that the Giants succeed despite a bad secondary (and they have a porous offensive line as well.)

            This just goes to show the importance of a good pass rush.  We need to get DeMarcus Ware some help in that area….Coples, Fletcher Cox or Ingram are the best options.

            Brockers might be good too but he is still very raw.

          • sidarc

            Agreed on both fronts, pass rush should be a 1st round target if things fall right. As far as Brockers goes, he was removed on passing downs in college. That’s a little disconcerting.

          • sidarc

             Miscommunication. I’m not thinking 1st round either. You stated that we didn’t need another player in the “pipeline” at the position, which I interpreted as not an early round draft focus. I believe we ABSOLUTELY need someone that we believe can be an option to start in 2013, which is why I believe we won’t leave the 3rd without a CB.

          • MadMick

            Yep, I botched what I originally said. What I really meant was they’re not threadbare enough at corner that they have to run, jump, do backflips and grab Kirkpatrick at 14.

            I don’t think either that Jenkins is a guy anybody should assume they’ll re-sign; considering that he’s been constantly dinged and how hot and cold he runs in his quality of play.

            But I think they have a lot of options because you usually have more clay to mold into good corners  in every draft than other positions like pass rusher, 3-4 DL; or that you pass up a safe OL prospect to grab a corner at 14. Even as infinitely less important as G is considered than corner in the grand scheme of things.  

  • Jim Vance

    If DeCastro is available at 14 and we don’t take him, he’s an Eagle. Andy Reid loves O-Linemen, especially a stud like DD.

    Big Andy will drop a 1st round pick on O-Line in a heartbeat and stockpile those guys. I don’t know if they have a guy who can slide over to left tackle but Philly has a huge hole on the O-line.

    • TP

      Exactly! Bad teams pass on a player because “that is too high to take a player at that position” when good teams take the player and don’t look back. We don’t need the best one trick pony in the draft. We need a guy that can do it all well. If you go D-Line get someone who is good in multiple roles and not just one.

      • greatwhitenorth

        yada, yada, yada.  First of all, I want more success than the Eagles have ever had, so using “Big Andy” as a role model isn’t something I’m eager to do.  Second, the Eagle’s strategy of drafting linemen highly hasn’t actually translated into dominant lines, ever.  They’re decent, but their success has been due to elusive QBs and blitzing/opportunistic, never because of the play of their lines.

        Some positions are more valuable than others, and allowing that to affect draft strategy doesn’t have to translate into failure.

    • sidarc

       I’m not sure. It’s possible. They just signed Demetrius Bell the top Left Tackle left on the market. They resigned Evan Mathis who is widely regarded as at top 5 guard (who I wish we would’ve made a run at), and spent a 1st rounder on OG Danny Watkins last year who started out slow but came on towards the end of the year. Kelce did fine for them at C as well. They would have a tough choice if Keulchy fell to them because he’s considered the top ILB in the draft and that falls right in line with their needs.

      • Workingtonian

        I think Kuechly would be a no brainer for them.

        • Jlh11a

          + 1000, if Reid takes DeCastro over Kuechly I’ll eat my hat.

  • ZigZ

    Are we SURE Dallas wouldn’t take Tannehill at 14? I mean, really sure? 

    • Workingtonian


  • Lissyyyyy

    What is interesting is that we put a tag on Spencer and haven’t tried to negotiate a new contract since then.  I think that is a big indication of going pass rusher high.   Bruce Irvin could be a name to watch in the second and third.

    Moreover, we really liked Aldon Smith last year.  Whitney Mercilus is a similar player.  Both have roughly the same frame and combine stats.  Mercilus also played the strong side in college, which is where he would play with us.

    • Lissyyyyy

       This would also allow us to make a draft day trade with spencer.  The Ravens have always like Spencer, and at 29 they will probably miss out on all the top 34 OLB prospects.  They would be a good trade partner to flip our second round pick for their first in exchange for Spencer.  Maybe we could squeeze a mid round pick out of them as well.

      • greatwhitenorth

        You’re onto something here.  Maybe not the Ravens, but someone/somewhere.  I have a suspicion that the Cowboys have an under-the-table agreement with Spencer that they’ll attempt to trade him after they draft his replacement.  Why else would he not have signed the franchise contract yet?

        • Workingtonian

          I don’t think Spencer or his agent feel there is any rush. If we cut him after the draft there will be enough teams out there with enough cap room to give him a very good multi year deal. It’s possibly best from both sides that he waits to sign until he knows he will be playing with the Cowboys this season.

    • Milkshaker

      Only incentive for signing Spencer pre-draft would be if we needed cap room for the draft picks. 

      Same reason we won’t sign a 3rd WR or Matt McBriar pre-draft. They want their options open. Spencer is in the ideal spot (for the team) of being sorta signed but easy to move if a trade or better player comes along.

      Yes, OLB might be an early consideration, but it might not be entirely their choice. The team will run scenarios leading up to the draft. I’m sure one of those scenarios is the opposite of what Raf just ran through — the nightmare rather than the dream.

    • Milkshaker

      Also, fun fact — Whitney Mercilus’ Defensive Coordinator at Illinois was DeMarcus Ware’s at Troy. Vic Koenning.

      • Austonianaggie

        Ware has the measurable appitude of an NFL freak performer. Web he hit he NFL he was limited to his bull rush. It took him a couple years to learn swim moves and inside spins. I wish his college coach had taught him that

  • cowboyny

    Whenever you look for possible trade down partners, keep these things in mind:

    -Who is picking right behind you and maybe the two teams past them. Trade up’s are for 1 specific target. Who are the Eagles, Jets, Bengals targeting?

    -Skilled positional players are always in high demand and they are the players who teams will give up a strong package to secure. QB, RB, WR, CB, Pass rushers. As we have seen, teams will do almost anything to land a franchise QB. If Tannehill slips past Miami, KC, we all should be doing the happy dance, as the next team who has shown major interest with him has been the Eagles. However, outside of the Browns, I do not see another team hot after a QB.

    -I always watch teams who have multiple first rd selections. Although, the rookie scale is in place, teams do not like to pay for multiple first rd players. Cincy has a history of being very furgal, where I could definetly see them either dealing up or selling one of their 1st rd picks. Something to watch.

    Which prospects are these teams targeting?

    -Eagles-Poe, Cox, Brockers, Tannehill?
    -Jets-all the pass rushers, Barron, maybe a WR, OT.
    -Bengals-Kirkpatrick, Gilmore, DeCastro

    Possible Trade up Teams:

    -Bears, Titans (pass rusher), Browns (QB,WR), Lions (CB, T), Steelers (NT).

    • 99yard_TD_Run

      In the trade-down scenario, I’ve liked CLE for a while as we could get their #24(Konz) & their #36?(DL) & use our 45 on whatever positions we missed earlier.

  • cknbonenowison

    Scenario Saturdays

    Rumblings abound that Coples is starting to slide and Cox is moving up.  Gil Brandt, who I still highly respect, just came out with his top 100 prospects and Coples is in the top 5.  Lets just say Cox goes early and someone bites on Poe causing Coples to fall to 14 along with DeCastro, who I am now convinced will be there at 14.

    Coples, DeCastro.  Who do you take?

    I honestly can’t take the anticipation anymore, I wish the draft were just here already.

    • TP

      DeCastro! Not even close. One has already done it all, the other one might be able to figure out how to do it all. Are we going to use 14 on maybe? That is what the later rounds are for.

    • Cowboys4Life

      In that scenario I would go with Coples.  There will be no one close to his talent level available in the second round.

      Whereas the dropoff from DeCastro to the guards ranked below him is not as bad.

      • TP

        To me, Couples is good in a weak DE class where DeCastro is the best of a strong guard class. Who is better at there position? We don’t even know if Couples is a better fit in a 3-4 or 4-3. I agree we need a DE badly but should not reach for a maybe. I would love to have a dominant D Line like the Giants but we are much closer to having a young solid to dominant O-line. Let’s finish the offense and not reach for a position of need in a weak class. My opinion.

        • Cowboys4Life

          They already have the Youglies and Bernie+Livings.  Plus you can still get a dominant guard in the second,  if you’re so inclined.

          Give me Fletcher Cox or Coples please.


          • TP

            Would rather have Cox than Couples because he has demonstrated to be more well rounded and still have upside. Couples has great upside but a few more questions. Take the guy with the higher floor who has yet to reach his ceiling.

          • joey2zs

            That’s like saying they should pass on Luck because they have Kyle Orton on the roster already.  DeCastro is ranked as the highest guard to come out of college since Steve Hutchinson.

          • Cowboys4Life

            If Dallas made a mistake with the Youglies experiment and with the free agency signings then they will draft DeCastro.

            But I don’t think Dallas is ready to throw in the towel on those moves.

      • Jlh11a

        This is the point. At some point we have to trust the professionals who all think Coples is the best defensive talent. I see professionals split on DeCastro–if he were the superman some claim, he’d be a tackle, and some really question whether his long-term prospects are as good as some of the second-round guards.

    • Xgonzo22

      I posed the same question on another site, for me its Coples. The only priority position group that was not addressed during free agency.

    • Workingtonian

      Much as I hate to say it, I take Coples. He has a huge upside, unfortunately he carries more risk than DeCastro. I just feel we have a greater need on the DL, especially as he could become a real pass rush threat.

      • Lee1936

        Need should not be allowed to trump quality.  Stay with BPA within our positions of need.  This draft should be a Godsend for Dallas, because we ran out of Guards and need better QBs.  So this draft has some excellent Guards and 3 exciting CBs.  So why insist that we shun Gs and CBs with our top pick?  

        Before presuming that weak teams’ FA castoff Guards will suffice in Dallas, please consider our monotonous failures in recent years, to convert 3rd and short.  Rely on BPA.  Don’t take a risky player when you could have an elite player.

        • Lee1936

          Correction please: need better CBs, not QBs.

        • Workingtonian

          I have no problem taking DeCastro, but I feel Coples offers such high reward at a position of need. The chance of a real pass rush threat at DE. Coples is no also ran, he can be great. I’ll give you he has more risk attached, but nothing is a given.

    • 99yard_TD_Run

      Easy choice is Coples.  He fills a position of need in a draft w/ very few choices.  DeCastro is amazing, but you can still get really good Gs in the 2nd & 3rd rds.  I really like DeCastro, but Coples in the 1st, Zeitler or Jones in the 2nd gets us closer to the Super Bowl than DeCastro & whatever DL in the 2nd.

      • Taylor

        Very good vs elite.  Plus, Coples has some motor issues.

        • 99yard_TD_Run

          forgot to mention that @14 I’d take DeCastro, but wouldn’t mind a trade down to get Coples & another 2nd or 3rd as the team has many holes to fill.

        • Crones

          Coples is the elite athlete. If DeCastro were truly an elite athlete, he would be a tackle (or a DLineman), not a guard. That being said, what is between the ears can limit what you do below the neck, so Coples is a huge gamble. If I were putting together a draft board Coples would be either well above DeCastro, or off my board entirely.

      • Lee1936

        If you can get an elite prospect who would dramatically upgrade our interior OL, why would you even consider taking a 4-3 DE with a bad motor, and rated two categories lower?

        • 99yard_TD_Run

          firstly, he would be a 34DE for us who can also play 43DE on the nickel.  secondly, despite his motor questions, which are legitimate, he still produced very well in multiple years & not just a one year wonder.  prospect ratings vary from scout to scout.  I love DeCastro & would be ecstatic to have him, but I think the trading down from 14 to grab a Top 10 prospect, according to NFP, plus getting an extra second really helps the team out in the long run.  If we got Coples, Ta’amu, w/ the acquired pick plus C Jones, we would have 3 quality starters.   We would replace OC, upgrade LDE & rotate Ta’amu w/ Rat or move him to RDE.

          If we got DeCastro @14, we could play him @OC:disqus  & then grab Reyes in the 2nd.  I would love the DeCastro pick, but trading down & grabbing Coples may solidify our team & bring us closer to a Super Bowl.

          No matter who the Cowboys pick or if they trade down, I believe that the draft is deep enough to provide us some quality picks.

          • Lee1936

            Your trade down getting Coples, Ta’amu, and Ben Jones sounds pretty good to me, but I worry that Coples would be no better than Spears–another highly rated DL with a bad motor.  

            Motor is mindset, a reflection of a man’s innermost core being.  It determines character and performance.

  • Willself

    I really don’t like trading back, unless it’s a few spots and there are several players to choose from.  Goose Gosselin had it right when he said bad teams should take advantage of the opportunity and take the best players in the draft, grabbing quality over quantity because most hall of famers come from the first round, not the second on down.  We pick 14, there will be a blue chip player there.  We fall too far, we lose that advantage and instead grab two or more players not considered blue chip.  How does this make the Cowboys a better team?

  • sidarc

    Interesting. This could also create an odd scenario/scenarios for the interior O-Line proponents. One scenario being that there may be some Guard prospects there in the 3rd that we weren’t expecting at all. Obviously not your top tier guys, but just below them. Guys like Osemele, Brooks, Brandon Washington, etc.

    Or, as we’ve seen in the past, once the dam breaks, we could end up seeing a nasty run on them late in the 1st and through the 2nd round. Which I believe is a little more likely due to the lack of OT talent. Teams looking to upgrade their O-lines will need to look another route after the top 3 or 4 OT’s go, because there are serious questions about the guys after that.

    As far as defenders in the 1st and 2nd, it’s all conjecture of course, but given the articles scenario’s it would be sweet to be able to trade back and still get a targeted defender. Then maybe a trade back into the first with the extra picks, ala 07′ for Spencer for a guy like Mcclellin 😉 Had my heart set on Mcclellin being available to us, but it’s just about certain he’ll be in that abyss between our first 2 picks.

    • Workingtonian

      I’m doing the same thing myself, picking OLB’s who could take Spencers job, but Spencer is still a good player. Is there really any candidate out there who we can say is better than Spencer? Could be we are just going to get another, cheaper, Spencer.

      • sidarc

         Possibly. I believe it should be an attempt to upgrade as well as prepare for the future.

        We’re in the same scenario at CB, which is why Raf has pointed out the chances of us leaving the 3rd without a pick at the position are almost zero. Mike Jenkins is going to want big money after the season. Not happening. Scandrick is not an ideal boundary corner, and we can’t go back to the FA well again for the same reason we can’t pay Jenkins. So they have to find someone that they believe can be a starter in 2013 at CB, or pretty much guarantee that your 1st rounder next year will be at CB with no idea about how the DB class will shake out or where we’ll be picking. That’s roulette on crack.

        As you know the most vital component to the 3-4 are your LB’s. I believe they’ve done a good job at safeguarding themselves at ILB to this point, but the OLB spot could get hairy after this season if some things don’t shake out.

        We currently have Ware, Spencer, Albright, and Butler listed as our OLB’s, with Spencer being on a 1 year Franchise tag that he hasn’t signed yet. Ware’s obviously a lock. Albright is an undrafted FA special teamer at this point, who could possibly develop, but that’s also a shaky bet. We can at this point look to Butler as what he is, a situational rusher only. It’s like the Ratliff to DE cries, it’s pointless now. Two D-Coordinators have passed on giving him a bigger role, Butler’s too much of a liability in the run game.

        Now if they negotiate a long term deal with Spencer before the draft everything changes. What if they don’t and he goes out and has another solid or worse a great season? Is he going to want Ware money? Sounds ridiculous, but his agent is going to have all the leverage knowing that we don’t have a viable replacement.

        • JW

          I agree.  We will not draft for need this year, but will focus on DL, OLB, and CB in the first four rounds because they will become big needs in 2013.  Draft those positions well this year and we will not have to pay retail in free agency.  As much as I would like DeCastro, I think we are going DL in the first, OLB/CB in the 2nd and 3rd. Our two 4th rounds picks could be a TE, WR, OL, or Safety.  Focus on defense is they way I think this draft will go.

      • Lee1936

        Some time ago Raf asked Wes if Upshaw would be an upgrade over Spencer.  His answer: they’re about the same, and Upshaw would not provide more sacks.  

        For what it’s worth, Gil Brandt says Upshaw will be more of a 4-3 DE–says he doubts Upshaw has the speed and quickness to play OLB in the NFL.

  • Cowboys4Life

    You say we could trade down and still get a priority player.  Would Cleveland’s #22 be too far down though?   That’s the trade I want because it would probably net us another 2 round pick.

    There’s a lot of guys that could be gone between #14 and #22 though.

    • The question is, who could trade up?

      I can see Cleveland doing it for Richardson.  But who else?  A team looking for Tannehill if he slides into the early teens?

      Perhaps the Pats, who have worked out Brockers?   If they want to move up to 14, you could get two 1s, but have to swap spots in the 2nd.  So you’re looking at 27, 31 and 63 instead of 14 and 45.

      You’re swapping your 1st and 2nds for theirs, in effect.  

      • Willself

         I would not do that.  You will lose out on a blue chip talent. 

        • I agree. 

          • Workingtonian

            No red chip talent? When do you feel things change, from around 6 or 7 to ?

          • Lee1936

            See Wes Bunting’s board at 

            Disregard his obsolete mock draft on the right.  All the players are listed, in the order of how Wes judges their value, or grade. See the column on the right, GRADE.  The highest grade is 9.0, and this year only one player makes that grade. The next category is 8.5, given to just three guys, including OG David DeCastro. Two guys get an 8.0, and eight players get a 7.5 grade.  

            Blue chip is a vague term that means exceptional to rare, elite players.  Surely this year’s top 6 would be blue chippers.  To me the 7.5 guys are “near elite.” That’s blue enough to get excited if your team gets one.

        • rabblerousr

          The blue chip talent will be gone by the sixth or seventh pick. After that, everyone’s pretty even for a while–which makes it so interesting.

      • sidarc

         I wouldn’t be overly opposed to that scenario if the Pat’s pulled the trigger on that one. What would it take to jump up a few spot’s and grab Konz if he falls to the mid 20’s from 31? That way you could get your center, a guy Callahan has shown interest in and then steal Mcclellin from the Packers, a guy I’ve shown interest in, lol.

        It’s not ideal from the DL perspective, but there will be some prospects there at 63 if we were able to keep the 2nd rounder. Maybe a guy like Thompson, who I believe CowboyNy has cited interest in from the Boys (although I haven’t heard that). I think he could be a nasty 5-tech. Or grab a NT in Chapman.

      • Workingtonian

        I feel people put to much emphasis on the draft value chart. It’s a good starting point, that’s all. The way I look at it if you want to trade up, it will cost you. I might trade down for 27 and 31, but there would be no way I would also swap 2nd rounders. There again I don’t really want to trade anyway, so I’m playing hard ball.

      • Milkshaker

        Maybe OT will be a hot commodity. After Jonathan Martin, LT drops off in talent pretty significantly. 

        Buffalo at #10 would seem to be a Riley Reiff pick.

        Unless Martin gets taken by Arizona at #13, there could be callers. San Diego (18), Chicago (19), Detroit (23), and Pittsburgh (24) all have a LT issue.