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Who’s the better prospect for Dallas: Kenyon Green or Zion Johnson?

Unless the Cowboys want starting at left , they need to draft a starting-caliber guard in the .

Two of the best guards in this draft, Texas A&M’s and Boston College’s , could be available at pick No. 24. Assuming both will be there, here’s a breakdown of each and how they could fit in Dallas.

Kenyon Green

Green is a two-time Consensus All-American and earned First-team All-SEC honors last season. He became an immediate starter upon arrival at Texas A&M, starting at every position on the besides . Combining excellent strength with quick feet, Green is the dream interior lineman for any coach trying to establish a run game. He’s explosive and is able to quickly get his hands on the defender to easily drive him out of the play.

The speed at which Green is able to do things is very impressive for a 325-pound lineman. He’s able to get off his stance, attack defenders and reach the second level quickly and precisely. He’s violent, physical and strong at the point of attack, making him a lethal blocker in both run and pass protection. He plays with great intelligence as well, always looking to help his teammates on blocks.

His aggression can get the better of him, and his hands can be erratic when trying to block. However, that’s an easy thing to polish with development. There are very few holes in Green’s game and he’ll be an easy fit on any NFL team.

Zion Johnson

While Green is the stronger prospect, Johnson is the more athletic prospect. He’s also more versatile than Green, playing every position on the offensive line at Boston College. Like Green, he also earned First-team All-American honors last season. He has the right size for a guard and possesses great length as well.

Johnson’s aggressiveness is what stands out the most about him. He often overpowers his opponents at the line of scrimmage, finishing off defenders with ease. Another aspect of Johnson's game that stands outs is his smooth style of play. He plays smart and technical, rarely getting caught with bad form. Overall, he’s a very balanced and well-rounded offensive lineman.

His biggest area of improvement is in reacting to adjustments. Sometimes, he’s slow in reacting to quick movements from the , resulting in a late response. However, like Green, his flaws can be easily fixed at the next level.

Who would be better for Dallas?

The gap between Green and Johnson is the smallest between any two players at the top of their position in this draft. Both would be great additions to the Cowboys and fill the hole left by ’ departure nicely.

I’m leaning slightly towards Johnson. Both are exciting prospects, but Johnson brings more versatility and well-roundedness. He’s more smooth, fluid and a better pass blocker than Green, which would fit Dallas’ pass-heavy the best. The Cowboys would benefit from having either player, though. Both should (and probably are) receive heavy consideration from the front offense.

Nick Coppola
Nick Coppola
Student at the University of Oklahoma. Reporter for OU Daily. Junior Writer for Inside The Star. Contributor for Guns Up Nation.

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Stephen Gregory Abel

Greene sounds better being a 2X All American along with an aggressive attitude. This line needs an infusion of nastiness.

That being said, for the love of God, use #24 to STOP THE RUN! I don’t care how many toys they put on the offensive side of the ball if they continue to ignore the interior of the D-line. Teams run at will against our Cowboys and have for longer than I care to say. STOP THE RUN!

gary b

Totally agree Stephen. #24 needs to be a nasty Guard or a big DT who can wreck havoc. We been getting owned on the LOS to long now.

Anthony

I’ll take Jordan Davis as our first pick please. To STOP THE RUN!! And if he is gone I’ll take one of those nasty guards to eat up clock in the RUN game. Wooo I feel better now.

Stephen Gregory Abel

You know, Gary, you and I and a few others were calling for Parsons last draft when everyone else wanted one of the two top DBs. It was part of stopping the run and Parsons worked out pretty well. Finish this thing off and get an interior lineman that can get the job done. STOP THE RUN!

Stephen Gregory Abel

Almost every team we play is two dimensional. Their play books are wide open because they can run at will against the Cowboys and passing can be done, too. Yeah, Diggs had an amazing interception year. Yeah, Diggs had an amazing year of giving up big plays, too. So, teams run and pass on us making our offense have to score 30 a game to win. For the love of all that is good, STOP THE RUN! Make teams one dimensional. Make them beat us on the arm of the QB alone. Then, maybe then, our offense wouldn’t have to put up 30 for a potential shot at winning. Not to mention the playoffs. Debo, a wide receiver, running it down our throats and controlling the game. That game was lost before we ever had a player take a step on the field. If we had stopped the run and the Niner’s offensive control, maybe there was a chance to advance. Defense wins championships. This FO has totally forgotten that.

gary b

Agree Stephen, and the flip side to that is, we also became one dimensional with our inability to run the ball. OL bears much responsibility for that, and Pollard needs to play more then Zeke. But beef up the trenches and that will immediately improve all other aspects of the team.

Stephen Gregory Abel

I don’t disagree but I think it’s more an EE issue because Pollard had a pretty strong yards per carry behind the same line. Don’t get me wrong, there needs to be upgrades at almost every spot on the line except right guard. EE and his $90,000,000 contract is the elephant in the room. Great blocker, I’ll give him that.

Question about EE. Some of you guys can get me up to speed on this. He was a 1st round pick. Aren’t they supposed to play on their rookie contract all the way through the 5th year option if the team picks it up? He played two seasons then held out and JJ caved in contract negotiations when he held all of the leverage. Has been declining ever since. Why in the blue hell would a GM renegotiate a rookie contract in year three of five if that’s what the player’s union agreed to?

VAM

Hey gary b, good point, exactly, pretty much one dimensional. I was harping last year that we needed a more BALANCE attack on offense. IMO, DP is not good enough to carry a team.

Hey Stephen, good point about TP being able to run well, hence it’s may just be an EE issue. BTW, EE got extension after his third year. JJ panicked again and caved when he didn’t have to. In JJ’s defense, EE was debatable THE BEST RB in the league for those three years (averaged over 100 yards/game, +++.), so, to try and answer your question, I guess he wanted to wrap him up. Problem with that is EE was overused and it appears to have caught up with him. Average career for a NFL RB is around 3 years. While this contract worked out great for EE, it DID NOT work out so well for the FO.

Bottom line, time to augment the RB room. TP is going into his last contract year, and EE is declining. Need fresh legs. After fortifying the D and O lines, it may be time for them to at least look at who’s available at RB.

Pete Panagiotopoulos

Green is not the stronger prospect, 20 reps of 225 to Zion’s 32 at the combine. You can’t tell me Green is stronger unless your watching tape of him playing bad prospects. I am pro Zion all the way, I think Green gets manhandled in year 1 at the next level.

Stephen Gregory Abel

Hi, Pete. I agree with you that Zion showed more upper body strength at the combine. That’s great for the punch but let strength is more important, in my humble opinion, to anchor and control. That being said, I have no idea which player has a stronger lower body to anchor and control. Maybe you have some info and can school me on that. Overall, both Guards have good NFL projections as starters. I do like the nastiness, though. Remember those Eric Williams days? Been too long since this line had some serious attitude. Still, I’m hoping for them to go defense.

Stephen Gregory Abel

Leg strength. Sorry about the spellchecker.

Timmy

Agree, I think Green will be a disappointment. Apart from the upper body strength issue I worry about the work ethic. Zion or bust IMO

Stephen Gregory Abel

Anthony, I’m right with you! Enjoy the draft, my friend. STOP THE RUN!!!

gary b

Stephen- Yep we correctly predicted that Parsons would be a beast. Not sure anyone thought he would be THAT good that quickly though. But most experts considered him the best defensive player in the draft. Maybe some underestimated the impact a LB could have?

Be interesting to see if the impact of MP, changes the approach to drafting LBs? N Dean and D Lloyd are two studs I wouldn’t mind having on my team.

Stephen Gregory Abel

Gary, I can definitely get on board with that. Last year, getting Surtain would have been amazing but we both felt that Parsons was the better pick looking at the defense as a whole. I’m glad you remember. Kind of felt like we were on an island by ourselves calling for Parsons. I about lost my sh#t when JJ traded back. I just knew we lost a shot at Parsons at that moment. In the end, it all worked out. Now, back to my mantra from now until opening game of the season: STOP THE RUN!!!

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