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  1. Jason Garrett’s JAG defense has only one really good player, and he has been fragile, therefore often unavailable. All the rest struggle to touch NFL average. Every year, several contenders for starting positions are the castoffs from other teams. Marinelli, bless his heart, may secretly wonder what he did, to deserve such a long, monotonous poverty of talent– paucity heaped upon dearth.
    Ponder this. Jeff Heath leads the team in career interceptions. Let that sink in.
    Has any other team tallied fewer QB sacks, since Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware departed?
    JAG = Jason Garrett’s initials.

  2. As you point out, the Cowboys have a logjam at DE and little chance to draft a superior player at 28. But they could get another 3T DT to rotate and pair with Collins. The only 3T they have now is Collins, with Crawford occasionally playing one in the pinch. This is a big hole for a defense that needs pressure from the undertackle. A guy like Caleb Brantley might figure in as a late 1st round target.

    • I like Brantley, I think he could be available at 60. Let me introduce you to Vincent Taylor. 4.5 sacks in 2015, and 7.5 sacks in 2016 ayt Oklahoma State. Big boy. 300+ pounds that is a stout run defender and offers some pass rush capability as well. Would love to see Dallas use two 3 Techniques as their tackles. (similar to what Philly will be doing with Cox/Jernigan.

      • Most of the defensive snaps will be from a 4-2-5 nickel alignment so the question becomes which DTs are on the field. Last year they experimented with a 3-3-5 alignment, and I assume this was because they lacked DTs with enough explosiveness to beat their man.

        And I am sure they wouldn’t mind a reason to part with Crawford and his contract. I think they can save 7 million or so if he is a post-June 1st cut. There are many good reasons to go DT in the 1st rather than DE.

        • I want to think someone would be desperate enough to offer a trade for TCraw, but not holding my breath. Bad contract for a very average player. I would like to see a strong interior rotation, it will make the ends better.

          • In the right defense he might be worth a late round pick. He has good length and long arms if you are looking for a 2-gap DE who can slide inside as a 1-gap DT on nickel downs. In Dallas he is a man without a position, so a trade could be a nice solution for everyone.

          • Crawford isn’t a “splash” player but is much more valuable than his (lack of) sack stats illustrates. His versatility is huge on game day. You’re spot on in regards to him being over paid however. Locking him up worked with Sandrick, not so much with Crawford.

    • I thought one of the writers on this site said Thornton could play either tackle spot. Anyone, am I wrong?

  3. Good advice, but there’s one caveat: It’s rare that ANY pass rushing defensive end makes ANY kind of impact in the NFL. The exceptions are usually the blue chippers, like Garrett this year and Bosa last year, or a player people undervalued like Yannick Ngakoue that was drafted in the 4th. So, based on that, getting a pass rushing DE that will make any kind of impact this year is folly and we should look for that diamond everyone else is missing later in the draft. You won’t get a War Daddy any other way based on history. So, does that mean we should focus on other positions at 28? Assuming we are using history as a basis as an indicator of what this draft will produce.

    • So, Charles Haley, DWare, et al, just on the Cowboys, had no impact? On defense, a man-eating, pass rushing beast at DE is the guy who disrupts game plans and breaks games.

      • I didn’t read Kevin this way at all. I think he is being realistic about the kind of player the Cowboys can expect to draft at 28, knowing the blue chip 4-3 DEs will be gone before the Cowboys pick.

        If the Cowboys were set on a man-eating DE the time to draft one was last season when they had the #4 pick. This year, they won’t have a chance at a blue chip DE.

        • Bosa went at #3. McKinley, Watt or Harris could all be there at 28, plus the kid from Auburn

          • They could have made a deal with San Diego if they wanted him badly enough. Though a trade down would have found Sheldon Rankins or Shaq Lawson plus an additional pick.

            The first round DE I like, if he lasts that long, is Taco Charlton. He has build of a strongside 4-3 DE with long arms and heavy hands.

          • With the draft they had last year, i’m glad they did not give up a pick to move up. Charlton is a strongside DE, I think getting the pass rusher to play the other side is the main concern. Can’t have a great defense without that guy.

          • I have the opposite thought. I think it is much harder to find a strongside DE who can set the edge in the run game and provide some rush. There just aren’t many humans on the planet with the combination of size, strength, and athletic ability it takes on the strongside. For some positions, I think the planet theory is correct.

          • I really have to disagree with you on that. Dallas has 3 guys in Lawrence, Crawford and Irving that can play strong side. Gregory is the only true weakside they have and if not for testing positive at the combine, he would have been drafted in top 10-15 picks. That’s where you have to pick those guys.

          • They also have Mayowa. And I like Lawrence on the weakside. He isn’t a speed guy but he can bend the corner with the best of them.

            The problem, in my view, with guys like Gregory is that their athleticism comes at the expense of strength. If he had to play off the LOS as an OLB, I would think twice. But any weakside DE in the Dallas scheme has to set the edge on run plays much of the time and they need a certain size and strength to do so.

      • Charles Haley was a 4th round pick of the SF 49ers, not a first. Even DWare, a top 11 pick, did not get double-digit sacks his first year. You can’t make the assumption that you WILL get one at 28. Not saying you can’t, but the odds are so far against you, it’s nuts.

        • You said ANY de makes ANY impact. No qualifiers, not just in this draft etc. Again, a beast pass rushing DE has a huge impact. Can we get one this year? Maybe, maybe not, but we have to try, and the closest we’re going to come to a blue chipper is at 28 (barring a trade).