Today is February 14th, also known as Valentine's Day. For some, that means they are buying chocolate and flowers for their loved one. For others, it means basically nothing.
If you are apart of that second group, you are not alone. In fact, your favorite football team is also single and on the market on this February 14th. You're probably wondering, on the market for what?
For a pass rusher!
The Cowboys have been searching for their special someone ever since breaking up with DeMarcus Ware a few years ago. Offseason after offseason they make marginal moves, hoping that the previous rushers who have scorned them in the past will finally come around.
Now, with the 2017 NFL Draft around the corner, and a deep EDGE class coming in, the Cowboys have the perfect opportunity to find their beloved pass rusher for the foreseeable future.
After carefully evaluating what the Cowboys are looking for and the available options, I have put together a list of three dreamy rushers for the Jones' to salivate over.
Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
Dallas is looking for a young defensive end who plays with explosion, a high motor, and has a great get-off. Someone who can turn the corner right now and leave offensive tackles in the dust.
UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley fits this mold to a “T.”
Takk's game against Utah was one of the single best performances I've seen from any EDGE prospect this year. He is an incredibly gifted athlete with exceptional length to help him counter offensive linemen's hands and shed blockers to make plays. I profiled Takk for Slant Sports, and came away believing he can be an absolute stud in the NFL.
As a pass rusher, Takk possesses all of the traits the Cowboys are looking for, and would be the perfect fit in Dallas.
Carl Lawson, Auburn
Auburn's Carl Lawson may be my personal favorite for the Cowboys this offseason. While he may not be as explosive as Takk, his active, heavy hands are some of the best in this entire draft class.
And he's still pretty damn explosive. His get-off is impressive, and when offensive tackle's compensate for his speed, Lawson shows the ability to win with inside counter moves frequently.
I also profiled Carl Lawson for Slant Sports, and as you can guess, I loved his game. He would be a great fit for the Cowboys, and provides them with yet another option to fill their pass rushing void.
Charles Harris, Missouri
Last but not least, the flashiest, and potentially most controversial player of the bunch. Now, I don't mean controversial in a “breaking the rules” sense, I mean it in a “fans can't seem to agree on this guy” sense.
While Takk and Carl Lawson have been praised unanimously by the Cowboys faithful, Harris has received some mixed reaction. Some don't believe he is a three-down defensive end yet, as his ability to play against the run is questionable. Others also wonder if he will be able to develop any counter moves, as simply winning with edge speed may not work consistently in the NFL.
While Harris does have to expand on his pass rush repertoire, he features the single strongest spin move of anyone in this class. Like Takk, he is a somewhat raw player, but with time and coaching can develop into a Pro Bowl defensive end.
I see Charles Harris developing into a Vic Beasley type player at the next level, which should excite any Cowboys fan who's reading this.
Though I've listed the three most popular choices for the Cowboys, I would not be opposed to them going outside the box in their search for a pass rusher. There will be a ton of options available to them in this year's NFL Draft, including two of my personal favorites Derek Rivers and Dawuane Smoot.
In the end, I trust they will make the right pick, and find a defensive end we can all love for years to come.