Why Dallas Should Trade Up For An Offensive Tackle
Earlier, we detailed why the Cowboys should move up in the first round of the draft. In summary, the Cowboys just do not have much roster room for a bunch of rookies, as they already have a crop of injured second-year players returning. Further, Dallas is not far away from making a run in the playoffs. Acquiring an impact player, even if it means sacrificing the quantity of draft picks, seems more valuable than selecting a bunch of low-ceiling players who will take time to develop.
In that article, we did not get into much detail about what position we think they should select. That position is offensive tackle. As we have made clear, Flozell Adams struggled mightily in pass protection this season. He yielded nine sacks on the year and gave up a ridiculous 42 quarterback pressures, by far the most on the team.
Marc Colombo was solid until his injury, which clearly affected his play in the playoffs. Doug Free stepped in an did a respectable job during Colombo’s absence, but the Cowboys need more depth.
They do have last year’s third round selection in Robert Brewster at the position as well, but relying on a second-year player whose rookie season did not even really begin is quite a risk. At this point, Brewster is no more than a rookie who hasn’t played football in a year (although he did gain experience participating in the mental aspect of the game).
This Year’s Prospects
There are six top-tier tackles in this year’s draft class– Russell Okung, Bryan Bulaga, Bruce Campbell, Anthony Davis, Trent Williams, and Charles Brown. Brown probably has the lowest grade on most team’s boards, but he is likely to be placed in that group because he is not far off the pace and tackles always tend to rise on draft day.
In our Mock Draft, we have all six of these tackles going before the Cowboys’ selection at #27. After this top-tier, the drop-off is extraordinary. The next tackle may not go until the back of round two.
Thus, it is our belief that, assuming the Cowboys have all six of these tackles in their top-tier, they should wait until the last of them is available and then make a move to get him. It is possible, but highly unlikely, that they won’t have to make a move at all.
Jerry Jones has claimed the Cowboys will not make a move on draft day. He could be posturing, but if he is indeed being truthful, the team may miss out on all six of these prospects. They would then be forced to select a much riskier and less talented tackle prospect later in the draft, perhaps in round three (as the value is unlikely to be there in round two), a proposition we believe would ultimately be to their disadvantage.
Coming tomorrow: A seven round Cowboys-only mock draft