We’ve been talking about the Cowboys’ needs now for quite some time. They seem really logical: offensive line, defensive line, safety, running back, depth linebackers… Those are the quickly identifiable and acceptable needs as determined by draftniks and know-it-all media guys this off-season.
So then why are the Cowboys bringing in anyone else?
Some would say to do their homework on prospects that might end up being their opponents.
The Cowboys have specifically brought in three wide receivers that have caught my eye. Terrance Williams, DeAndre Hopkins and Markus Wheaton.
All three of these receivers have second round grades.
So what are we supposed to make of these visits?
Recently, I was doing my updated mock draft and found that the Cowboys may be in a very precarious situation once the second round rolls around. In the situation I mocked and many that I’ve seen at other sites, the Cowboys could be in a position where the best offensive or defensive lineman is a reach.
This draft is loaded with lineman up and down that could contribute immediately on a Cowboys team that is average in the trenches. So why reach in the second round if you don’t have to?
For instance, what if a team badly wants Eddie Lacy? In my draft he’s still available and there are bound to be teams that want to trade up for him. If the Cowboys could turn their second round pick into a second and third/fourth then they will absolutely jump to do it. Considering that scenario, the Cowboys would be in a position to take an impact skill player in the second round.
Many would argue that Justin Pugh is the guy in the second round. However, I believe he’ll be sitting there in the third. The Cowboys could arguably come away with Pugh, J.J. Wilcox and any other top remaining offensive/defensive lineman in the third/fourth rounds and have done really well for themselves.
So, why receiver?
Well, the Cowboys and Cowboys Nation flirted with the idea of letting Miles Austin go this off-season. There was just one problem… The Cowboys had no viable replacement for Austin that promised to be productive.
While Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley have shown potential to compete in this league, being able to bring in a top wide receiver prospect from this year’s class would allow the Cowboys the flexibility to open up a very dangerous passing game and secure their future alongside Dez Bryant.
Jerry Jones has talked about, and for all intents and purposes always leaned towards, adding weapons and not protection. He’ll be wanting to add someone who can be explosive and ensure people don’t view Tony Romo’s contract as a fluke.
This year, he doesn’t have to make that decision.
With the outrageous depth in quality players in positions of need for the Cowboys, this draft will allow them to take a risk somewhere in the high rounds. Almost certainly the Cowboys will walk away with three starters no matter how you calculate this draft, but what if they could end up with four or five?
I’m not saying it’s the best option but it might be better than reaching for a player on your board. While linemen are the targets, you can’t ignore the skill players in this draft. They’re sure to have great value.