The Dallas Cowboys are well into their off season now, and as draft talks continue to circulate so have the same familiar names when it comes to fan-favorite prospects from Cowboys Nation and the fourth overall pick.
However, if there is one player that I have been adamant against this team drafting in the first round it is Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa. My opinion has now changed in this regard, but for some reasons that you may not expect.
Bosa's name was thrown around as the knee-jerk reaction to Randy Gregory's four game suspension to start 2016. While I still have hope for Gregory to turn his Dallas career around, it is time – now more than ever – for the Cowboys to find consistency along the defensive front.
Gone are the days of the invisible Cowboys pass rush that left us dumbfounded by the total lack of defense on any given play in years past. That said, the defensive end positions have still been a rotating door of inconsistency – and while the defensive line that entered the season with high expectations certainly had a fair share of impact plays, the unit was far too inconsistent.
Greg Hardy, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Randy Gregory are all question marks going into next season at varying levels. Hardy is of course a free agent that is rumored to be on his way out. We already know Gregory will be out for the first four weeks after yet another run in with a failed drug test, and that leaves DeMarcus Lawrence as the only player of the three that is under contract for next season who also has a recorded sack – and he is coming off of back surgery.
What was a 13 win team in 2014, the Cowboys fell apart this season for a multitude of reasons, and suddenly this off season has sprung up team needs that makes us feel almost closer to this year's win total of 4 than the 13 of 2014.
Enter Joey Bosa, who can be the answer to the Cowboys consistency on the defensive front. While my knock against Bosa was simply that he does not make the flashy, impact-plays (sacks) on a consistent enough basis to be our top five selection, he is certainly a force that is tough to move off the ball and he makes his fair share of appearances game in and game out in the opposing backfield.
Pairing him with the interior presence of a healthy Tyrone Crawford along with David Irving will give this Cowboys team a defensive line that will be much-improved against the run. I trust that DeMarcus Lawrence can heal enough to be the player we saw at the end of 2015 at least a few weeks into the regular season, and suddenly you have a player in Lawrence that can finish off sacks along with Randy Gregory later on – both playing with a supporting cast that will force a ton of attention from blockers.
While I still think there are better options outside of Bosa for Dallas to target at fourth overall (To still address the pass rush later in the draft, I made a case for Ronald Blair of Appalachian State here), you can officially cross my name off of the list of fans that would be utterly disappointed in the selection.
In the end, for Cowboys Nation, trusting Will McClay is normally a good place to start. With the Combine firing up from Indy, it's time for him to kick the draft process into full gear and make sure the team is in the best position possible with this roster before draft day.