So that leaves Plan B.
The Cowboys would love to land one of the elite 3-technique defensive tackles in the draft as a consolation prize. With Shariff Floyd and Star Lotulelei likely gone, Sheldon Richardson remains the most likely target.
It seems like a no-brainer, right? Richardson is an explosive 3-technique who has a non-stop motor. He has an excellent repertoire of pass-rush moves and will dominate opposing quarterbacks as a Tampa 2 “rushman”. It’s a perfect fit.
There does remain one major obstacle, the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers badly need an upgrade on their defensive line and Sheldon Richardson is the prospect that will appeal to them most. Picking at 14th overall, the Panthers will be tempted to rob the Cowboys another targeted prospect.
The Panthers will find themselves in a conundrum of their own however. With the Buccaneers acquisition of defensive back Darrelle Revis the Panthers might need more weapons. Steve Smith is getting older and isn’t the game-breaker he once was. Even when Smith was in his prime, he was neutralized by Revis in their only meeting catching one pass on five targets for five yards.
Queue Cordarrelle Patterson.
Patterson is believed to be available when the Panthers are on the clock. It isn’t unfathomable that they will look to Patterson as the athletic outside receiver that could one day become dominant.
The bottom line is that Cam Newton needs more weapons. The Panthers have invested in him enough already and need to make sure he’s provided every opportunity to win. So the Panther s are faced with the very common argument, is it offense or defense that wins championships?
The Cowboys hope the Panthers chose offense which will start a slide that will land Richardson in Dallas. Richardson would represent a much needed upgrade and revival of youth on a defensive line that struggles too often with mediocrity.
Richardson is more than a consolation prize, he’d instantly become the present and future for an organization that is looking for their version of Warren Sapp.
Let’s hope they get him.