Daily Archives: March 17th, 2013

DALLAS COWBOYS 2013 NFL DRAFT: Alabama’s Chance Warmack can see himself with Dallas Cowboys

Chance Warmack - Alabama - participates in an offensive line drill during 2013 NFL Combine - Joe Robbins of Getty Images - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

With two draft analysts aligning Chance Warmack with the Cowboys and their pick at No. 18 overall, it makes sense to look for connections between the 6-2, 317-pound guard from Alabama and the Dallas franchise.

As was discovered in a talk Thursday with Fitzsimmons & Durrett on ESPN-FM 103.3 in Dallas, he’s happy to think of himself with the Cowboys, even though he’s not keeping up with what the mock drafts are saying.

“I’m actually headed over there to Dallas in early April,” Warmack said. “We’re talking about America’s Team, you know? They have a lot of history. My favorite player actually played for the Dallas Cowboys. Larry Allen played for the Dallas Cowboys. So much tradition, just like Alabama in itself, on a pro level.”

When asked his thoughts on the current team, he seemed at ease.

“Excellent athletes, excellent program.” Warmack said. “The owner is great, he takes care of his players. The GM is great. The coaches are great so it’s a wonderful place to be at.”

Can he walk in the footsteps of the Cowboys’ great linemen? If that includes Larry Allen, it would be just another step in a career patterned after the three-time Super Bowl winner.

“He is one of the greatest, man,” Warmack said of Allen. “He’ll be inducted in the Hall of Fame in August. He’s on another level of playing the position, and I always try to seek the great players that play the same position I play. How can you not pay attention to a guy so exceptional? He’s a freak of nature. He gets it done all the time. It’s hard to pass up watching a guy like that.”

RELATED:  Chance Warmack to visit the Dallas Cowboys

NFL teams are allowed 30 visits from prospective draft picks.

The Dallas Cowboys are still finalizing their list, but according to a source, the team has scheduled a visit for Alabama guard Chance Warmack.

ESPN NFL Draft expert, Mel Kiper projects Warmack to go to the Cowboys at No. 18 overall.

At Alabama’s Pro Day, Warmack didn’t lift, but based on reports, did a good job during positions drills.

“I’m athletic and trying to show what I can bring to the table if anybody wants to draft me,” Warmack said in quotes released by Alabama. “I’m really excited to just get on a team and get started with football, but just to show what I can do and show what my strengths are.”

Adding Warmack upgrades the Cowboys interior which struggled in 2012. Currently, the starters at guard are Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau and the center is Phil Costa.

There are several guards along with Warmack who are seeing their stock rise in the draft as a result of Pro Day and combine workouts.

“I’m really not paying attention to the stock thing so much as just trying to improve myself as a player,” Warmack said. “I didn’t get a chance to do much at the combine, so I wanted to prove to myself that I could do the drills here, and that’s what I did. I’m happy I did it.”

RELATED COVERAGE: TOP OFFENSIVE LINE PROSPECTS: Dallas Cowboys 2013 NFL Draft ranking worksheet

PLAYER

POS

HT

WT

COLLEGE

GRADE

Warmack, Chance

OG

6’2″

317

Alabama

95.9

Joeckel, Luke

OT

6’6″

306

Texas A&M

94.3

Fisher, Eric

OT

6’7″

306

Central Michigan

93.3

Johnson, Lane

OT

6’6″

303

Oklahoma

92.9

Warford, Larry

OG

6’3″

332

Kentucky

88.3

Cooper, Jonathan

OG

6’2″

311

North Carolina

86.9

Fluker, D.J.

OT

6’5″

339

Alabama

85.5

Watson, Menelik

OT

6’5″

310

Florida St.

85.0

Armstead, Terron

OT

6’5″

306

Arkansas-Pine Bluff

84.0

Thomas, Dallas

OT

6’5″

300

Tennessee

82.7

The Boys Are Back Top Ten offensive line prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft. Click HERE to see the full list.

NO DESPARADOS: With this nucleus, the 2013 Dallas Cowboys may not need a free agency splash

Dallas Cowboys NT Jay Ratliff ready for the new 4-3 defense - The Boys Are Back blog - Tim Heitman - USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have no cap room and aren’t signing anyone. Does it really matter? How desperate are the Dallas Cowboys, really?

Bryan Broaddus wrote about defensive tackle Jay Ratliff and the way he’ll fit into Monte Kiffin’s 4-3 defensive alignment. Bryan’s excited because he thinks Ratliff is the kind of player who will flourish in the 4-3, and that he can play either of its defensive tackle positions well:

In this scheme, the defensive coaches want their guys to play with more speed and quickness, which is right down the alley for Ratliff. There is a reason that Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett never wavered about Ratliff coming back for this 2013 [season] despite the legal problem he faces in the coming months. He was built to play in this scheme.

Jay Ratliff is part of a talented nucleus in Dallas that should contend for the NFC East title again this fall.

Think about it. Sure, Ratliff’s a knucklehead for blowing up at Jerry Jones in the locker room. Worse yet, he was arrested and charged with DUI a month and a half after teammate Jerry Brown was killed in a drunk driving accident for which teammate Josh Brent was charged. And sure, he had no more sacks last year than you or I did. But when healthy and on the field, Ratliff is still an excellent player, capable of disrupting an offense from an interior line position.

Ratliff isn’t exactly alone on the roster. On the defensive side of the ball, DeMarcus Ware is an excellent player. Cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne are very good. Linebacker Sean Lee is outstanding, and fellow linebacker Bruce Carter sure looked headed that way last season before his injury. Jason Hatcher was excellent last season, and so was Anthony Spencer, whether he’s worth his $10.6 million franchise tender or not.

On offense, the Cowboys have excellent players at quarterback, tight end and both starting wide receiver spots. They have a very good running back and left tackle. Can you find fault with any or all of these players? Sure. But on balance, I just gave you 14 starting positions at which the Cowboys are at least above average, and in several cases much better.

The point? Well, as Cowboys fans bemoan the lack of cap space and resultant lack of activity in this first week of free agency, it might be worth remembering that there are some really good players on this team, and that it might not be the kind of team that needed to have a big first week of free agency.

Now, of course they need work. They’ve been 8-8 each of the past two seasons. The offensive line is a wreck, that they have question marks at safety, and that depth is an issue in spots. They need to find another starting linebacker to go with Lee and Carter. And yes, of course Tony Romo’s reputation for playing small in big spots. All of that stuff is true. It’s too easy too often for Cowboys fans to get negative about the way they perceive their team. It’s all doom and gloom in Dallas.

Each of the past two seasons, they made it to the final game with a chance to win the division. By definition, that’s a contending team, and as close to being a playoff team as one can get. They must improve in spots, most notably the offensive line, or it’s going to be hard to believe they can make any big leap forward. You don’t have to agree with the perception that they’re in big trouble because they were hamstrung this week in free agency. In part, because of last years splash, there are a lot of very good players on the Cowboys’ roster. If properly supported by a good draft and some smart free-agent bargain hunting, this a competitive team in 2013, just as it was in 2011 and 2012.

That’s worth keeping in mind.

Editors comments: The Dallas Cowboys have one of the highest payrolls in the NFL. There is a reason for this. They are loaded with talent. The team needs health on their side and a few pieces to break away from the 8-8 mold. Addressing the offensive line will allow the Cowboys to have an offense few can match, week-to-week. This Kiffin experiment has validity also, again … a few pieces are needed to execute on this side of the ball. This offseason, if the Jones’ focus on the trenches and a safety, this team has a chance. This is not a roster of desperation, it’s a core of players on the brink. Dallas doesn’t need another millionaire free agent. What they need can be accomplished on a modest budget (with a little more salary restructuring) … trusting the talent evaluators on staff, and a youth infusion through the draft.

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