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The DC Times
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The National Football Post is reporting that the Cowboys are actively shopping defensive end Marcus Spears, inside linebacker Bobby Carpenter, wide receiver Sam Hurd, free safety Patrick Watkins, and guard Cory Procter.
The news really doesn’t come as a surprise, perhaps outside of the language of the claim. Michael Lombardi is reporting that these players are being “shopped around the league” and “for the right price.” The “right price” for all of them except Spears may just be a draft pick (no matter how late). The Cowboys could also package a player and a pick in a deal to move up.
Spears’ value is a bit of a mystery. It is unlikely that a team would surrender more than a third round pick for him, but that could even be stretching it considering he is a restricted free agent.
Spears may have hinted at his departure on Twitter, stating that he doesn’t want to leave Dallas but is unsure of what his future might hold.
With such strong starters in place (and Scandrick set to rebound nicely in 2010), the Cowboys have no need to address the position early in the draft. Newman is aging and a team can never have too many talented cornerbacks, but the position is not an area of immediate need.
There is one big “unless,” however. . .UNLESS that cornerback is an excellent return man. In our last “Potential Draft Picks” post, we profiled Indiana of Pennsylvania cornerback/return man Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, a.k.a. “AOA.” AOA figures to be a second or third round selection.
The feature of this article, Rutgers CB Devin McCourty, will not last until the Cowboys second round pick. His 4.34 forty at the Combine cemented his status as, at worst, an early-to-mid second-rounder.
Is it really possible that the Cowboys could use their 27th overall pick on a player at a position which is such a strength of the team? If they consider McCourty a top-notch returner, then yes.
At 5’11”, 193 pounds, McCourty has the size to play either outside or in the slot. This versatility might make him more attractive to the Cowboys than AOA, who likely will only line up outside. His 4.34 Combine forty was the fastest of any cornerback. He also displayed outstanding hip fluidity and change of direction.
McCourty’s 16 bench press reps are not off the charts, but at 193 pounds, it proves that he has been in the weight room. His work ethic and skill set are such that we would not be surprised if he is deemed the best cornerback of this draft class five years down the road.
McCourty will have to improve his tackling form in the NFL. At Rutgers, he frequently dove at the feet of ball-carriers instead of wrapping up. Newman has shown it is not necessary to be a huge player to become an excellent tackler.
Also like Newman, McCourty may have to work on securing interceptions. His speed and quickness allow him to be in position virtually every play, but he will sometimes bat the ball down when it appears he could pick it off.
On returns, McCourty shows tremendous burst and decision-making. He hits the hole at full speed, showing no hesitation. While most of the returners we have profiled are primarily punt returners, McCourty is actually superior on kickoffs. This may be valuable to Dallas, who struggled mightily on kickoff returns with the hesitant Felix Jones and Kevin Ogletree back deep.
To secure McCourty, Dallas would likely have to use their first round selection. There is a slight chance that he is taken before their 27th overall pick, but he will more than likely be available. We currently have McCourty going No. 30 overall to the Vikings in our latest mock draft.
McCourty is in a battle with FSU’s Patrick Robinson to be the third CB drafted in 2010. Even if Robinson surpasses him, McCourty is unlikely to sniff the Cowboys’ 59th overall selection in the second round.
Iupati blew by UCLA DT Brian Price in his first match-up, and he does the same to Taylor Mays here. Iupati fills a need for Dallas, while Mays simply does not fit the Cowboys’ scheme. Will anyone be able to take down Iupati?
Pouncey is a slightly under-the-radar player that many scouts believe could get selected before Iupati. There is a chance Pouncey is off the board for Dallas. If he does fall to the 27th selection, he constitutes good value, while Allen probably does not.
Winner: Maurkice Pouncey
11 Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
14 Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan
It is extremely difficult to determine a winner for this match-up. We like both players as sleepers for the Cowboys. Wilson would greatly enhance Dallas’ return game, while Graham is a player with whom coach Wade Phillips will likely fall in love. Our winner is the player we see as having a more immediate impact.
Are the #2 seed Odrick and the #1 seed Iupati on a collision course?
Is it really possible that Bryant drops all the way down to the back of the first round? Probably not, but it would be very difficult for Jerry Jones to pass him up if he does. Odrick may or may not be the selection if he is still on the board, but he has a much higher probability of being available.
Winner: Jared Odrick
There you have it–a sweep for the top-seeded players. In part III of the series, we will detail the Final Four match-up, listed below.