NFL DRAFT: OFFENSIVE LINE
Dallas Cowboys need to find offensive linemen to groom
BY MAC ENGELtengel@star-telegram.comR
STAR-TELEGRAM/RON T. ENNIS
As left tackle Flozell Adams gets up in age, the Cowboys have to find good, big linemen they can develop. ■Charean Williams'
This is the sixth in a series of NFL Draft previews on the Dallas Cowboys.
The line should remain intact for its third consecutive season, and is one of the NFLís biggest. The unit was not as good in 2008 as it was in 2007. It has talent, but itís probably collectively not as good as advertised.
Who they have: Flozell Adams, Kyle Kosier, Andre Gurode, Leonard Davis, Marc Colombo, Cory Procter, Pat McQuistan, Doug Free, Montrae Holland, Ryan Gibbons, Matt Spanos
Production: This is a big group, but age is closing in on Adams, who will be 34 in May. No one in this group had a great year in 2008. The running game averaged a respectable 4.3 yards per rush, but ranked 21st in the league in rushing yards per game. The line gave up 31 sacks last year, tied for 18th in the league. Tony Romoís scrambling ability saves this unit a lot.
Need: The Cowboys want to draft linemen in hopes of developing them. Itís likely they will target a guard to either push or replace Kosier. Procter is good as a swing player, but limited as a starter. There are big doubts about McQuistan and Free, but good tackles are usually born, not drafted in anything other than the first or second rounds.
Prospects: Alex Boone (6-foot-8, 328 pounds) of Ohio State, Phil Loadholt (6-8, 337) of Oklahoma and Troy Kropog (6-5, 309) of Tulane are the type of massive, tall tackles the Cowboys look for. They could be had later in the draft. LSU guard Herman Johnson (6-7, 355 pounds), who is from Denton, is absolutely massive, and is another lower-round possibility
Round Pick Overall
First none none
Second 19 51
Third 5 69
Fourth 1 101
Fourth 17 117
Fifth 20 156
Fifth 30 166
Fifth 36 172
Sixth 24 197
Sixth 35 208
Seventh 1 210