Just when we think that maybe this team is going to get what it needs this off-season personnel-wise, here goes Jerry Jones flapping away about the … ready for it? The best player available.
First thing that comes to mind when I think about him saying that is last years draft … that was the mentality that went into drafting Felix Jones, Tashard Choice, Mike Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick, and Martellus Bennett. Maybe Bennett needs to keep his rap career on hold, but a year later and that guy certainly fits the idea of “best player available.” Same goes for any one of those guys.
But the second thing that comes to my mind … and this kind of a big one … we have needs to be filled this year beyond just taking talent. Our safety corps need help.
Hamlin is really living up to the stereotypical mold of a player just looking for his payday. He came in a short term deal after some issues arose in his career, played well enough to deserve a nice contract, and instead got a huge contract. Talk about adding insult to injury, this guy didn’t even earn what should have been a nice contract in 2008, let alone the huge contract he signed.
Roy Williams is gone, and so the Cowboys sign Gerald Sensabaugh. Coming out of Jacksonville to sign a one year deal, he’s got a few decent seasons under his belt and looks to be a major upgrade over Roy Williams. He’s still no Ed Reed but the guy can still play in a 3-4 though. He’s had some off-the-field issues, and while we don’t need another one of those, it’s hard to say the guy is trouble when you see what his legal issues have been.
He’s been charged with reckless driving on his motorcycle, which got him a suspended license that later got him charged with driving with a suspended license. That’s two of his three issues right there and they don’t worry me at all, aside from wondering if he’ll have a wreck at some point during the season anyway. His lone concerning issue was a charge for possession of a firearm. It’s not a traffic incident but it’s not an outright crime either.
Tank Johnson had similar issues and he turned out okay, yeah he was a total moron after the Philly game shouting about being a free agent heading into the locker room after that beating, but he didn’t cause problems for the team on the field, and he stayed out of trouble.
Then you have the likes of Pat Watkins, a guy that can’t seem to stay healthy for even half a season; Courtney Brown, who hasn’t done much to talk about yet; and Tra Battle, a guy that was signed for depth mid-season and made a noticeable impact on special teams on the opening kickoff of his first game. Three developmental players at best, though Battle seems to have a leg up on the other two.
And now we have talks coming about switching another corner to safety at least part-time. I say another because Anthony Henry was the leading candidate for that change before he was traded to the Lions for Jon Kitna. Henry was a logical choice for the simple reason that he was struggling in the man coverage scheme that Phillips began using religiously by mid-season. Henry had always been a zone type of guy, and his age only seemed to expose that fact even more.
Terrence Newman was the first to bring it up publicly that Orlando Scandrick, the perennial cover guy in the slot in his rookie season, could be switched to safety. I understand the temptation in such times of bad play at safety to take your best corner in the middle of the field and move him to safety, it almost makes sense because the area of the field is largely the same, but Scandrick isn’t a safety, and playing safety verses playing corner does not come down to position on the field.
Aside from the media speculation that seemed to pour over Newman’s comments, we haven’t really heard anything else about that. Instead we’re now hearing that Scandrick is likely safe at corner and Alan Ball has taken his place under the speculative guillotine.
Same argument applies to Ball as Scandrick; the only difference is that Ball hasn’t been as productive as Scandrick even with the extra time in the league. It doesn’t even matter that much that we’re lacking depth at corner without Ball in the lineup because we’re short even with Ball playing corner because he can’t be relied upon to contribute. I say move him to safety and see if he can finally play good enough to justify keeping his spot on the roster, and if not, cut him loose next year.
That’s just at safety, folks, and here Jerry Jones is saying we can take the best player available. I know it’s get old, but it’s still true to say that Jerry need some help getting the General Manager stuff done.
Check out Part 2 of this article at ACowboyNation.com. (Link updated to the right post on Inside the Star. May, 2015)