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BR: Dallas Cowboys Draft: Should the 'Boys Select an Offensive Tackle?

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by CCBoy, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. CCBoy

    CCBoy Well-Known Member

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    Dallas Cowboys Draft: Should the 'Boys Select an Offensive Tackle?
    by Jonathan Bales





    A few days ago, we had an article published in the Dallas Observer which argued why Doug Free should be moved to guard. In addition to his contract being a sunk cost and rookie right tackle Tyron Smith being ready to make the switch to the left side, there will also (likely) be a top tier offensive tackle available for Dallas with the 14th overall selection. While the team needs all the help it can get on defense, selecting an OT in the first round would instantly upgrade two positions.


    Matt Kalil (USC)
    - sole reason Tyron Smith played right tackle for USC
    -incredible footwork and very nimble for a 6’7” guy. . .has the size to dominate in the power running game but the quickness to get out on counters, tosses and screens
    - very comparable to Joe Thomas and Jake Long. . .has tools to be All-Pro
    - unless Dallas moves up, he will be out of reach (likely No. 2 overall)
    - Note from Jonathan: When I began studying Tyron Smith last year, I just assumed he was a left tackle. After a couple plays, I realized the player I was reviewing was white, so I had a pretty good idea I wasn’t watching Smith. I kept watching, though, because that player (Kalil) was absolutely dominant. I can say I wholeheartedly believe Kalil is the top offensive tackle prospect I have seen. . .ever. He’s superior to Thomas and Long, in my opinions, and he will be an All-Pro for a decade.


    Jonathan Martin (Stanford)
    - has protected Andrew Luck, but may have looked better than reality due to Luck’s quick release (in much the same way Peyton Manning has made his average line look elite)
    - surprisingly better in run blocking than pass protection
    - versatile enough to play RT or LT; can set the edge, but still has agility to get to second level
    - can play aggressively and with an attitude at times, but then becomes defensive and gives up too much ground to the pass rusher.
    - seems to struggle when matched up on nine-technique players or 3-4 outside linebackers; thrives against “power” seven or five-technique rushers
    - still has plenty of room to improve technique; would be instant upgrade over Free, even at right tackle...

    Read more here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/...boys-select-an-offensive-tackle#storylink=cpy
  2. Eddie

    Eddie Well-Known Member

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    Would Free make a reasonable OG?

    I think we take the BPA ... if that player is a OT, then so be it. But don't reach for an OT just for the sake of taking one.

    We have needs all over the field. I don't think OG warrants a first round pick. Top tier OG's are found often throughout the draft.

    Our top pick needs to be a premium position - QB (no need), WR (no need), OT (small need), CB (tremendous need), OLB/DE/pass rusher (big need).

    OG would be saved for the 2nd round and beyond.

    OT is not a huge need, but I wouldn't complain if one of the top OT's fell to us.
  3. Teague31

    Teague31 Defender of the Star

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    I think free will be okay back at RT
  4. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    I think Free would play too-high for a guard.

    His problem seems to be hand-strength. Fix that and his issues would decrease.
  5. Deep_Freeze

    Deep_Freeze Well-Known Member

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    I have no problem with drafting a OT this high, they are a premium position. Drafting a guard would not be a premium position, one that I just don't see Jerry doing.

    I'm not confident Free can play RT, Tuck would've killed him just like JPP did.
  6. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    I think Free can do better. He did well at RT in '09.

    You may not see Jerry drafting a guard with a premium pick... Likewise I can't see Jerry drafting another tackle in the first 3 rounds either.
  7. Deep_Freeze

    Deep_Freeze Well-Known Member

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    Well the real question is will we sign a FA like Nicks or Grubbs, if so then drafting a guard this high is saying that we wasted 2 picks on them last year, cause they are now career backups.

    If we don't sign a FA guard, then I can see it in the equation, but I would rather move up and get a OT than a guard here cause I do think Free would be better than DeCastro for us at guard next year.
  8. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    I would also keep in mind that Free played exceptionally well at LT in 2010.

    One grading service had him rated the 4th best LT for that season.

    I don't think Free should be put on the scrap heap for the bad season in 2011.
  9. craig71

    craig71 Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam

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    I think what you see is what you get with Free, unless someone knows of a way to modify his DNA lack of strength will always plague him.


    Craig
  10. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    If the Cowboys sign Nicks or Grubbs, then yeah I would think the need for another guard decreases, but if they don't then DeCastro looks darned good at number 14.

    Again Free played well at RT in '09 and at LT in '10... To move him to guard at this point seems to be a bit of an overeaction.
  11. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    The strength problem is with the hands... Not the rest of him.

    I'm betting there are exercises out there to improve the strength of one's hands.

    And again, you're talking about a guy who was one of the best LT's in '10 and a good RT in '09.

    There are far bigger problems with this team than Doug Free at either tackle spot.
  12. TheSport78

    TheSport78 The Excellence of Execution

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    Free deserves another year. Lucky for him, it'll be at RT. He's too tall and not strong enough to play guard IMO.
  13. Deep_Freeze

    Deep_Freeze Well-Known Member

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    Well we can choose, should we overreact on how bad Free or TNew played....both played terrible last year. The difference is TNew will probably be cut, which leaves us with just 2 CBs worth anything at all.

    Teams move linemen all the time, Free has always been a much better run blocker than pass blocker, I think it is just something that should be considered if we decide to get all these OL in the draft or free agency.

    I would rather get a FA guard though, the free agents for guards (at least those two) look better than the FAs for CB or pass rusher, plus they are probably cheaper.
  14. Deep_Freeze

    Deep_Freeze Well-Known Member

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    Can we hide him at RT after how he played last year???

    I know the argument is he played better in previous years, and youth is on his side, but he really did look embarrassing last year.
  15. craig71

    craig71 Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam

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    I see a lack of strength in the hands for sure, but I also see a lack of upper body strength. Sometimes bad technique makes him look bad, but at other times IMO he simply gets overpowered.

    There are exercises to improve an individuals hand strength, but some people just are physically limited in an area by their genetics. I think Doug Free falls in that category, if he hasn't been able to improve (hand strength) by now he never will.

    I'm not trying to trash Free as being a total waste, I just don't believe that he is anything other than average. The number of penalties that he has accumulated tells me that he has been struggling more often than not.

    Free isn't this teams biggest problem, but at the same time I don't see him as part of the long term solution either.


    Craig
  16. TheSport78

    TheSport78 The Excellence of Execution

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    That's why Mike Woicik gets paid the big bucks. I think he'll really help Free this offseason...
  17. Deep_Freeze

    Deep_Freeze Well-Known Member

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    Well I don't know if we can use that as a saving grace, guess my only point is we just can't assume in today's NFL that we can just put him at RT and he will be fine. Even on our own team we rush Ware from that side on occasion, if Free is struggling, the opposition will find him and use it to their advantage.

    I know people look at NO, GB, NE, and such and just say make the offense as strong as possible in today's NFL. That would be the biggest reason in my mind to go OL in the first round, whether its OT or OG. While I don't see Jerry going OL at all this early again, if we can't get Grubbs or Nicks, then he has to consider it for sure.

    We do also have to see that our D had some high picks that failed there for a while, and now is just getting old at some positions.
  18. Oh_Canada

    Oh_Canada Well-Known Member

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    Free is a very good RT, they will be fine at tackle.

    Draft an OG, maybe a center.
  19. Deep_Freeze

    Deep_Freeze Well-Known Member

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    I would totally agree with you if we were a playoff team and weren't picking so high. We do need a real impact player at a premium position, and G or C definitely ain't one of those positions.
  20. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Free got a lot of help at LT in 2010; and we have tried to do a lot of 3 step drops and the like the last two years. To lessen the load on the O line. SO frankly those claiming he was all that great at LT in 2010 I say not. He was very good most of the time, but also remember that we had Colombo at RT last year and maybe the D's felt they did not need to try and work hard at beating Free with a turnstyle on the other side. Not to mention that if the RT play had been better in 2010 maybe Free would have given up more sacks, since the guys rushing on the right would not have been getting a free lunch there.

    This year there is no doubt he was not as good. Now some of that was probably the fact that Kosier was not next to him like he was in 2010. But that should NOT have made as much difference as there was this year.

    I think Free played his best while at RT. Send him back there.

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