The Dallas Cowboys season is all but over. With a loss to the Carolina Panthers on Thanksgiving, the Cowboys saw their season hopes go down the drain and they saw their quarterback go down with a major injury, an injury that has affected himself three times so far in his career.
Despite the Cowboys’ record, this team is a team that can do some serious damage when they’re healthy. And while all isn’t okay right now in Texas, a good draft means that the Cowboys will find themselves right in the thick of things atop the NFC when the 2016 NFL season rolls around. With the way salary caps restrict teams from spending in free agency, the NFL Draft is the best way to improve your football team in today’s age.
With all of that being said, the Cowboys need to continue to find impact players through the draft. Just last year, the Cowboys selected Byron Jones at the end of the first round. Jones has been incredible in the slot cornerback position all season long, shutting down top options like Rob Gronkowski. Despite Jones’ play, the long-term plan is to move him to the free safety position.
If and when the Cowboys do that, they will need to figure out the problem they have at the cornerback position. The good news is that Orlando Scandrick will return in 2016. The bad news is that decisions will need to be made with both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Claiborne, but as far as Carr, I think it’s safe to say he’s as good as gone in Dallas.
Tyler Patmon is a decent guy in some nickel and dime packages, but the Cowboys would be wise to look to the draft to find another cornerback. One that jumps out to me is Jalen Ramsey from Florida State. Similar to Jones, Ramsey is a guy that can play either cornerback or safety. However, I see him developing better at the next level as a cornerback.
At 6-foot-1, 204 pounds, Ramsey fits that mold of a bigger cornerback. He’s extremely athletic. He has unbelievable fluidity to change direction. He plants extremely well and he’s extremely shift. When you pair this ability with his vision, it’s easy to find out that Ramsey is a guy that can create a ton of takeaways at the next level. He sees the field really well and he’s long arms that he can use to his advantage at the line of scrimmage to jam opposing receivers.
The secondary hasn’t necessarily been bad this year, but the Cowboys haven’t gotten the turnovers that are needed for a defense to be top-notch. Nabbing a guy like Ramsey in the top 10 would mean that the Cowboys would get someone who can pair with Jones for awhile and become a really, really special tandem.