Daily Archives: April 7th, 2013

TIME FOR YOUTH MOVEMENT: Dallas Cowboys may already have players to fill some of the 2013 NFL Draft needs

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With the 2013 NFL Draft merely weeks away, the Dallas Cowboys are in the final stages of preparing their draft board. The Dallas (and national) media and true blue Cowboy fans have their sights set on the perceived ‘needs’ of the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster. The consensus seems to be … draft for the trenches, find a strong safety, and add running back depth.

The most glaring need for the past few years has been on reinforcing the offensive line. That need is magnified by the recent 6-year extension and clear long-term commitment to Dallas quarterback Tony Romo. Jerry Jones did attempt to improve the offensive line during 2012 offseason. Largely, those moves didn’t pan out, due primarily to injuries. This year most people agree that the youth movement via the draft is the best solution.

Next, with the dismissal of Rob Ryan and the addition of defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, a few new needs surfaced. Kiffin believes that the current roster has good bones for the scheme change. He does have a few wish list requests … a 4-3 system safety and beefy pass rushing defensive lineman.

Offensively, the 2012 Dallas Cowboys kept up with the upper crust of the NFL in the passing game. The weakness was the run threat. While DeMarco Murray was outstanding when healthy, the concern is keeping the rhythm and balance when he’s not. With this in mind, the team has an open eye towards a compatible running back in this years draft. There are several young running backs currently on the roster that might fill this void. The question is … can they? Veteran Felix Jones isn’t really an option going into the 2013 season. Not because of his mental desire, or his leadership qualities … he’s simply deteriorated physically due to his knees.

The bread and butter of Jason Garrett’s offense has had to come from the passing game. The outside receivers (when healthy) remain two very formidable threats. This issue has been the slant receiver and the inside routes that many defenses leave open.  With a total of nine receivers on the payroll, including last years fourth round pick, the Cowboys have several potential candidates. The hopes of finding that elusive 3rd receiver could very well be on the staff.

The Dallas Cowboys have 25 players that are entering their 2nd or 3rd season. All of these guys are 23-25 years old. That’s significant. Take a look at the players below, and ask yourself. Who’s going to be the next Sean Lee? Who will step up in 2013 and fill a need that currently exists? As we enter the 2013 NFL Draft,  consider this … Dallas may already have players on the roster to fill some of the perceived needs. These young players are on the team because they show promise. This years NFL Draft will only enhance their potential.

OFFENSIVE PLAYERS

16

Benford, Tim

WR

5-11

200

23

Tennessee Tech

81

Coale, Danny

WR

6-0

190

24

Virginia Tech

85

Green, Jared

WR

6-1

185

24

Southern University

11

Beasley, Cole

WR

5-8

177

23

Southern Methodist

87

Smith, Andre

TE

6-5

267

24

Virginia Tech

84

Hanna, James

TE

6-4

249

23

Oklahoma

66

Dominguez, Ray

G

6-4

329

24

Arkansas

65

Leary, Ronald

G

6-3

318

23

Memphis

62

Arkin, David

G

6-5

306

25

MissouriState

76

Simmons, Aderious

T

6-7

310

26

ArizonaState

75

Weems, Darrion

T

6-5

320

24

Oregon

25

Dunbar, Lance

RB

5-8

191

23

North Texas

DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

31

Pellerin, Micah

S

6-0

195

24

Hampton

37

Johnson, Matt

S

6-1

215

23

Eastern Washington

58

Lemon, Orie

LB

6-1

242

25

OklahomaState

56

McSurdy, Caleb

LB

6-1

248

23

Montana

51

Wilber, Kyle

LB

6-4

246

23

WakeForest

64

Igbinosun, Ikponmwosa

DT

6-4

288

22

Southern Connecticut State

61

Taylor, Monte

DT

6-5

266

24

Cincinnati

79

Bass, Ben

DT

6-5

283

23

Texas A&M

72

Callaway, Rob

DT

6-5

324

25

Saginaw Valley State

98

Crawford, Tyrone

DT

6-4

285

23

BoiseState

RELATED POSTS:

FLASHBACK- 2012 NFL DRAFT: Defensive End Tyrone Crawford expected to be even better in the new 4-3 scheme

FLASHBACK- 2012 NFL DRAFT: Cowboys believe Matt Johnson has the potential to start at safety

FLASHBACK- 2012 NFL DRAFT: Cowboys have a clutch player when Danny Coale gets back on the field

Robert D Knight – Editor | The Boys Are Back blog

FLASHBACK- 2012 NFL DRAFT: Defensive End Tyrone Crawford expected to be even better in the new 4-3 scheme

dallas cowboys defensive end tyrone crawford (70) applies pressure to tampa bay buccaneers quarterback josh freeman - the boys are back blog

OVERVIEW

Crawford ended up at Boise State by way of junior college, proving himself an intriguing prospect after only one year starting at defensive end. He is originally from Canada, where he played for a year after high school and prior to attending Bakersfield College. He has a ton of upside considering his history, and possesses prototypical NFL athletic ability and speed on a perfect frame. He can play in various spots across a defensive line and could be plugged into a number of schemes. He is a bit of a late riser and has second- or third-round value as a developmental prospect with starting traits.

STRENGTHS

Crawford is quick to get out of his stance off the snap and has the instincts to slant and hit a gap without being touched. He is consistently disrupting plays in the backfield and is a solid tackler. He is a strong player who shows an explosive arm jolt when keeping blockers at bay. Crawford shows good change of direction when stopping to pursue plays laterally. As a rusher, his motor is the key to his success. He never gives up on a play and can use a strong burst to get to the quarterback. He has a ton of upside, which undoubtedly increases his value to teams that are set at the position and willing to work with him. Despite his size, he could play special teams early on in his career because he has such a nasty demeanor.

WEAKNESSES

Crawford is a raw prospect with limited experience. He will be a project early on for the team that selects him, and he could have a tough time adapting right away. He has had trouble getting off double-teams, which is likely a technique issue. Crawford will need extra coaching and attention to adjust to the NFL.

 

dallas cowboys defensive end tyrone crawford - the boys are back blog

Third round: DE Tyrone Crawford from Boise State

How he fared: Crawford contributed his rookie season and showed flashes that he will be even better in the Cowboys’ new 4-3 scheme in 2013. Crawford finished his rookie season with 33 tackles and five quarterback pressures.

How he rates:  He still has more to give and should contribute more in his sophomore campaign.

Dallas Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford - Boise State - NFL 2012 Draft - The Boys Are Back blog

College: With their second selection of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys addressed the defensive line with a raw and gifted athlete in Tyrone Crawford in the third round (81st overall). While with the Cowboys, the team will look to use his talent and size to the advantage of the defensive line rotation as he adapts to the pro game. During his final two collegiate seasons at Boise State, Crawford collected 76 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 27.5 tackles for loss, two quarterback pressures, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries – including one for a 32-yard touchdown – and blocked two kicks while starting 11-of-25 contests. Crawford began his collegiate career at Bakersfield, Calif., Junior College where he totaled 80 tackles, 14.0 sacks, 27 tackles for loss, six quarterback pressures, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in two seasons.

Dallas Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford - Boise State - NFL 2012 Draft - The Boys Are Back blog 2012

FLASHBACK- 2012 NFL DRAFT: Cowboys believe Matt Johnson has the potential to start at safety

dallas cowboys s matt johnson - the boys are back blog

2012 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:

Matt Johnson

Eastern Washington safety Matt Johnson was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the No. 135 overall pick in the fourth round. His senior season ended abruptly after sustaining a biceps injury. Johnson isn’t likely to start in his rookie season but he will compete for a role on the team. The Cowboys had their eye on Mark Barron and athletically, Johnson is comparable on paper.

Johnson ran a 4.54 40 yard dash and bench pressed 225 pounds 18 times at his pro day. That is quite a performance for a defensive back. Johnson is quick to diagnose plays and reacts well instinctively. He plays physical to the whistle and wraps up cleanly. He’s at his best playing downhill which likely limits him to the strong safety position.

When in man to man coverage, he lacks the footwork to keep up with precise route runners. His feet will get tangled and he’ll fall back on his speed to make up for it.

Matt Johnson - Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft - The Boys Are Back blog

Fourth round: S Matt Johnson from Eastern Washington

How he fared: Johnson missed the entire season and didn’t even practices much because of injuries to both hamstrings.

How he rates: He hasn’t played in a game yet, but the Cowboys believe he has the potential to start at safety for them in 2013.

Matt Johnson - EWU - Safety - Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft - The Boys Are Back blog

College: The Dallas Cowboys aimed at bolstering their defense through the 2012 NFL Draft and hope they landed another defensive back to accomplish the task when they selected Matt Johnson with their second fourth round pick (135th overall). Johnson started every game he played (45) while at Eastern Washington, having his senior season cut short after seven games with shoulder surgery. During his time at EWU, Johnson amassed 341 tackles – fifth all-time in school history – 22 tackles for losses, 30 pass breakups and 17 interceptions – one shy of the school record – while exiting as the university’s all-time leader with six forced fumbles. As he makes the jump to the pro level, Johnson looks to pick up where he left off before the injury as he posted back-to-back 100-tackle seasons as a sophomore and junior.

TRENCHED IN HISTORY: Dallas Cowboys Offensive linemen

Rayfield Wright - HS

BEST

Rayfield Wright, Fort Valley State

1967, seventh round (No. 182 overall)

Wright’s career as an offensive lineman landed him in the Hall of Fame. It’s an honor that would have been impossible to predict from his start.

The Cowboys bounced Wright between tight end, tackle and defensive end during his first three years in the league before establishing him at right tackle. Once there he became a fixture with six consecutive Pro Bowl selections. Wright was named All-Pro four times and earned a spot on the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1970s.

51644347JR099_Cwby_Bengl

Larry Allen, Sonoma State

1994, second round (No. 46 overall)

He is the second Cowboys offensive lineman to earn a bust in Canton and will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this year.

Allen is arguably the most dominant lineman of his era. His 10 Pro Bowl appearances with the Cowboys is the most of any offensive player in club history. Allen was named to the Pro Bowl as a right guard, a left tackle and a left guard, something no one else has done.

Herb Scott - Dallas Cowboys - The Boys Are Back blog

Honorable mention: Herb Scott (13th round, 1975), Mark Stepnoski (third round, 1989), Erick Williams (third round, 1991), Flozell Adams (second round, 1998).

WORST

Howard Richards, Missouri

1981, first round (No. 26 overall)

Until Tyron Smith with the ninth overall pick was selected in 2011, this was the last time the Cowboys have used a first-round pick on an offensive lineman. Richards was primarily a backup for five of his six seasons with the Cowboys. He started 16 games during a disappointing, injury-prone career.

Robert Shaw, Tennessee

1979, first round (No. 27 overall)

This is the first time the Cowboys used a first round pick on an offensive lineman. Shaw began his career backing up John Fitzgerald at center and showed promise. But two months deep into his third season, a season that saw the only three starts of his career, Shaw blew out his right knee in a loss to San Francisco. He tried to come back for 20 months but was never able to pass his physical and retired.

FLASHBACK- 2012 NFL DRAFT: Cowboys have a clutch player when Danny Coale gets back on the field

dallas cowboys wide receiver danny coale - the boys are back blog

The Dallas Cowboys have yet to see anything from receiver Danny Coale, a fourth-round pick a year ago. But if he can get on the field, his former coach said they will see a clutch player.

“One time, I was asked, ‘How does that guy always get open?’ ” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “Plays develop and plays develop and plays develop, and there’s Danny wide open – I don’t know how many times that happened at Tech.

“He’s fast, but you just look at him, you don’t think he is. He sneaks up on you. I think people underestimated his speed sometimes. But he catches the ball. He gets open. And he’s got some toughness to him.”

Beamer said he has not spoken to Coale since the Cowboys drafted him, but he knows his former player is doing his best to be ready for the season. A broken foot in the offseason and a hamstring problem in training camp were two of the reasons Coale wound up spending the entire year on the practice squad.

“Just knowing Danny, he’s always a very positive guy, always a guy that rose to the occasion,” Beamer said. “I’m pulling for him hard, I can tell you that.”

The Cowboys have another Virginia Tech player on the roster, tight end Andre Smith, who went undrafted in 2011 but signed with Chicago and then spent last year with Indianapolis.

“Another great kid – really pulling for him,” Beamer said. “Hope everything will work out great. That’s the one thing at Virginia Tech I’m as proud of as anything – the type of player we have in our program: really good kids, great character, want to be successful, want to work hard. Andre is a good example of that.”

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