What I’m Hearing, August 2012

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A new Cowboys Nation feature culls rumors and nuggets from my source network on the NFL and the college game.

— I asked some sources to recommend teams that might have a receiver surplus next week and was told to look at the Rams.  As strange as that sounds, they loaded up at wideouts in Jeff Fisher’s first year, adding Brian Quick and Chris Givens to a group of tall wideouts that already included Greg Salas, Brandon Gibson, Denario Alexander, Austin Pettis.  Add slot targets Danny Amendola and the fomer Giant and Eagle Steve Smith and the Rams have eight candidates to consider.  One of the bigger young targets, a Pettis or an Alexander, may intrigue the Cowboys if they hit the street.

The Arizona Cardinals were also mentioned as a club which may have some talented receivers to cut loose next week.

— Some teams that were recommended to track for interior offensive linemen cuts are the Falcons, who already had Todd McClure and Joe Hawley at center before they drafted Peter Konz.  Konz may work at guard, but the team has four center fighting for spots, with Miami Hurricane Tyler Horn rounding out the quartet.

The Ravens are another team with four centers still on the roster, with Justin Boren running 3rd team.  The second year man from Ohio State is 325 lbs. and fits the big boy mold the Ravens prefer, but he’s behind Matt Birk and Gino Gradkowski.  The Ravens have journeyman Cecil Newton running 4th string.  The team also has a glut of large guard prospects.

The Dolphins John Jerry was mentioned as a guard prospect to track.  One person I spoke to thought highly of Jerry coming out of Ole Miss and feels he might benefit from joining a new team.  Jerry has struggled to crack the Dolphins lineup in his three years with the club. Watch him on the cut-down days.

— The Bills were singled out as a team that will have a glut of defensive linemen and will have some tough cuts to make.  This was before Buffalo released Shawn Merriman.  The Bills still have another tough cut or two to make on that unit.

— Moving to the college game, one source remained bullish on the former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, provided he’s able to get his life back on track.  This person said Mathieu is too talented a football player, and will get serious consideration if he’s able to rebuild his life and get back on the football field.  His size will work against him, even if he recovers.  The source said of Mathieu, “he’s too good a player not to go in the 2nd round, even with his problems, but he’ll never be a top 10 player, because of his physical limitations.”

— I was told the 2013 running backs class will be loaded, and that with teams devaluing the running back spot, some very good runners are likely to last into the 4th round.  If some of the top 2014 backs declare early, this crop could compare to or surpass the 2008 class, which saw five backs taken in the first, including Chris Johnson and Johnathan Stewart.  Ray Rice and Matt Forte were drafted in the 2nd round that year. Jamaal Charles went in the 3rd, Tim Hightower in the 5th and Peyton Hillis in the 7th.

’08 alum Felix Jones will need a strong contract year drive, or next year the Cowboys will go hunting for another 3rd to 4th round bargain in the Marion Barber, DeMarco Murray mold.   I’ll have much more on the 2013 running backs group later.

— I’ve heard that 2013 looks like a poor year for offensive tackles, especially for blind-side protectors.  Florida’s Adrian Mixon gets some love, but most of the top tackle prospects look like better fits on the right side.

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Rafael Vela

Rafael Vela

Started covering Dallas Cowboys @ TheBoys.com in '95 and '96. Two more stops along the way and here I am. Senior Analyst for SportsTalkLine.com
  • Travlr

    John Jerry was a big part of hard knocks this week, overweight / under performing. Unless we think our coaches can fire him up this may be a waste of a roster spot.

    OR if getting cut fires him up he may be worth a look. 360 lbs however is that what we want for our new mobile lineman template?

    • sidarc

      I believe Callahan may have put the breaks on the aquisitions of Shanahan/Kubiak “move” style type of offensive lineman. If you look at the Jets O-lines & the signings of Bernie & Livinngs, he seems to prefer an ability to get push over pulling/trapping prowess. Admittedly it seems a little confusing given JG’s preference for getting out on the perimeter. IF it works though, it sure would be nice to not have to watch Romo dropping back in short yardage situations all year.

      • http://www.cowboysnation.com Rafael Vela

        Don’t look at run push so much as pocket anchor ability. For Livings and Bernardeau job one, two and three is setting the top of the pocket and holding it.

        • DW94

          Are you saying that he considers pass blocking more important than run blocking? And if so, did you read this somewhere?

          • AustonianAggie

            It’s based on habitual observation and the needs of Tony Romo. Remember how the Colts Oline was great at protecting Peyton Manning but mediocre at run blocking? That’s an NFL wide trend now

  • daledoe

    I’d much rather see them looking at the Falcon and Ravens culls. If we need an under performing guard Holland would do.

  • juz saying

    DanarioAlexander or Pettis if healthy will set this WR core on fire,Alexander killed the Giants DBs in 2010 & he was the number1 Wr in Missouri over J. Maclin of the Eagles.

  • pos_poca_madre

    good stuff Rafa
    thanks

  • jrcowboy49

    Doesn’t Seattle have too many centers that we might consider?

  • jarhead

    You know what i’m hearing? I’m hearing dallas has no chance this year, that the division will come down to NY and philly….You know what jarhead says? Jarhead says f@#k all those pundits and their lofty predictions. What say you tex?

    • pos_poca_madre

      Ou Rah Devil Dog !

  • Michael

    Cecil Newton is a guy from a small school. He has been around the Ravens learning the trade for the past few years. It is always nice to let another team develop talent for you.

  • AustonianAggie

    Good thing we won’t be replacing Tyron Smith for a while. Your network of connections reminds me of Cicero

  • Taylor

    After years of careful drafting, we are looking at the waiver wire for quality linemen and wide receivers? We are going to go into the season with an o-line that will not have played a game as a starting unit, with reserves that are questionable at best. Our no.1 receiver has not been a force for two years and our no.2 is only good for a half. We need to gameplan the Rams and play the starters for the whole game. By now the coaches know who can play and who can’t, so get them some real game experience playing together.