What if Laremy Tunsil Falls to Dallas? ✭
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What if Laremy Tunsil Falls to Dallas?

Cowboys Headlines - What if Laremy Tunsil Falls to Dallas? 2

NFL Draft

What if Laremy Tunsil Falls to Dallas?

I just did a quick look at fifteen mock drafts from some of the most popular sites and all of them but one had Laremy Tunsil, an offensive tackle from Ole Miss, going first overall to the Tennessee Titans. The one outlier had defensive back Jalen Ramsey going to the Titans and Tunsil being taken third by the San Diego Chargers.

But what if Tunsil, currently a near-unanimous pick as the draft’s best player were to fall to Dallas at the number-four pick? Would the Cowboys have to consider taking him?

Cowboys Headlines - What if Laremy Tunsil Falls to Dallas?Offensive tackle is one of the least of Dallas’ concerns right now. Tyron Smith‘s current deal expires in 2023 and he’s expected to be a fixture at left tackle through that time. Veteran Doug Free has two years left on his contract and is still performing up to his salary. Last year Dallas spent a third-round pick on Chaz Green and will hope that he can be groomed into Free’s eventual replacement.

If Tunsil is there at number-four, though, should Dallas just stick to the plan? When can you afford to let potentially elite talent pass you by?

If Tunsil is available then it means Ramsey, the consensus for Dallas’ most-coveted prospect, was likely taken in the top three. One of the top quarterbacks, either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, is sure to go to the Cleveland Browns with the second pick. Many believe that the Chargers will take a defensive end, either Joey Bosa or DeForest Buckner, with their pick if they can’t get Ramsey.

Dallas would still have many options if the dominoes fall that way. They may be looking at whichever of the aforementioned quarterbacks or defensive ends are still on the board. Perhaps they would take Ezekiel Elliott as the future of the running back position or add Myles Jack strengthen the linebacker group.

If Ramsey and the quarterback they wanted are gone then Dallas may be strongly seeking a trade-down partner. Tunsil being available would aid that cause greatly and could motivate them even more to slide back. However, I think Dallas would have to consider staying put and adding Tunsil to their already fabulous offensive line.

Adding Tunsil would end all concerns about the offensive line for the next four or five years. As the number-four pick he would be making about $5 million per year through 2020, which is right around what they are currently paying Doug Free. By the time his rookie deal expires Dallas will have freed up loads of cap space from Tony Romo‘s departure and should be able to keep all of their offensive linemen on staff.

Cowboys Headlines - What if Laremy Tunsil Falls to Dallas? 1If they drafted Tunsil then Dallas would have options now on what to do with Free. They could keep him to compete with and push Tunsil in training camp then keep him as an expensive backup for on year. A $5.5 million cap hit is rich for any reserve but not crazy when you consider that top offensive tackles make more than double that amount.

If they release Free after the draft then it would lead to $3 million in dead money and an immediate $2.5 million in savings. Dallas would almost certainly split that over two years with the June 1st provision and only have a $1.5 million penalty on the cap in 2016 and 2017 by cutting Free loose.

Nobody’s going to lose sleep over what this means for Chaz Green. Third-round picks are never sure to pan out and Dallas has had an ugly past with mid-round offensive line prospects. If Green becomes our next swing tackle for three seasons and walks then that’s a perfectly adequate outcome. If he has even greater value then perhaps Dallas can eventually move him in a trade to recoup the pick.

Many of you will likely balk at this idea, citing our much greater needs at other positions. I wouldn’t disagree with you, either. However, I think this highly rare scenario would have to give the Cowboys pause enough to make full consideration of what adding Tunsil could do the future of the offensive line.

With still almost two months to go until the draft, is there really any scenario that’s off the table?

Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I’ll be sure to respond!

4 Comments
  • Randy Martin

    I have done many mocks over at Fanspeak and in a few of them Tunsil has fallen to #4 and I have taken him every time. You simply cannot allow that kind of talent go past you. If for some bizarre reason the Titans did not take him or someone moved up in that spot for someone else I believe the Chargers would take him at #3. Many mocks have shown the Chargers settling for Ronald Stanley but I think they would be ecstatic if Tunsil was on the board at #3. I think you also might see other teams on the phone trying to trade up. He is that kind of talent.

  • http://PigskinHub.com Zac Fields

    Oh, I'd take Tunsil in a heartbeat. Offensive linemen have probably the highest success rate of any top 10 pick you could make. If you want to guarantee you won't mess this up, AND give Tony Romo yet another big strong body to protect him for the 7-10 years Jerry Jones says Romo will keep playing, then you draft Tunsil 10/10 times if he's available.

    I do think the Chargers would be fools to pass him up, but who knows what teams might want to move up for Bosa and/or those quarterbacks, etc. It's not completely impossible. The fact that Tunsil refused to run the 40 at the combine is a black mark on his scouting report, even if only a slight one.

  • Blue Star

    If he is better than our pass blockers, take him. If his strong point is just run blocking then pass as we have that covered.

  • Arthur

    Take him in a heartbeat if the scenario comes up. Fortifies right tackle for a decade and if Tyron goes down with an injury you can easily slide him over to left.

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