TEXAS 2 DEFENSIVE LINE: Dallas Cowboys feel like they have players that fit the need for speed
The Dallas Cowboys had a first-round grade on Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. He was probably the top player on the Cowboys’ draft board when they were supposed to pick at No. 18 in the first round. But they chose to trade back and Floyd went to the Minnesota Vikings at No. 23.
So why have him on the board?
Well, because they liked Floyd as a player but some in the organization weren’t sold on how he’d fit into their new 4-3 scheme.
Judging solely off the body language of Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and assistant director of player personnel Tom Ciskowski, trading back and missing out on a player like Floyd wasn’t the unanimous decision.
Ciskowski doesn’t have final say on the players the Cowboys draft. He presents information to the team and it’s up to Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones and the coaching staff to ultimately make the decision.
“I think in a lot of cases, it’s kind of like a bridge,” Ciskowski told the G-Bag Nation show on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “We bring the players to the bridge and the coaches have to take them across. The main thing is just to communicate exactly what the coach wants. There was a defensive tackle from Georgia, John Jenkins, who as a matter of fact, was drafted by New Orleans. If we were still in the 3-4, we would’ve liked him as a nose [tackle]. But now that we’ve transitioned back to a 4-3, he really doesn’t fit what we’re looking for. So a lot of it is about the new coach educating us on what he wants at each position and it’s our job to go out and find it.”
What also factors in to the Cowboys not drafting Floyd at No. 18 is that the franchise feels good about the defensive linemen on the current roster. As of right now, the Cowboys have DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer starting on the ends with Jay Ratliff and Jason Hatcher on the inside. The top two reserves at tackle will likely be Sean Lissemore and Tyrone Crawford.
“I like our group, I really do,” Ciskowski said. “Between Spencer and Ware and then we got the guys inside in Ratliff and Hatcher and two young players who have shown great flash in Lissemore and Crawford. Then we have some other guys that have done some good things but they’re somewhat untested. A lot of teams go into the season with five players they feel good about, maybe six. And I think we’re at that level, and we might find another one in the group.”
Kyle Wilber, a fourth-round draft pick last year, has been moved to defensive end and could see time behind Spencer and Ware.
Editors note: To listen to the show, click HERE.