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NFLDraftCountdown: Dallas Cowboys '07 Draft Review

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by theogt, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    Dallas Cowboys '07 Draft Review
    Scott Wright
    President, NFL Draft Countdown


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    As always the Cowboys were front and center on Draft Day '07 and both directly and indirectly they were involved in some of this year's biggest headlines. Even though they made eight selections perhaps the most significant thing the Cowboys did was make a trade with Cleveland in which they picked up the Browns 1st round pick in 2008, which could very well end up being in the Top 10 overall. Prior to the draft Dallas beefed up their offensive line with Leonard Davis and shored up their secondary with Ken Hamlin in free agency so they didn't really have any glaring needs going in, which is always an enviable situation.

    Low and behold the Cowboys managed to thrust themselves into the spotlight on Draft Day, getting involved with the biggest story of the year. When Brady Quinn began to freefall the Browns were calling all over the league trying to find a team to trade back into round one with before ultimately finding a taker in Dallas, who sent the #22 pick to the Browns for an early 2nd rounder (which was later dealt) and next year's #1 pick. This was a deal that appears to work out for both sides, with Cleveland getting their franchise quarterback and the Cowboys getting a potentially very high first rounder in 2008. Later on Dallas made a deal to move back into round one, surprisingly with division rival Philadelphia, and chose one of the players they had been targeting in Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer, who will play outside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme. A pass rusher extraordinaire, Spencer is undersized for a down lineman but he is certainly fast and athletic enough to make the transition to playing standing up in the pros. New head coach Wade Phillips comes over from San Diego where he ran a dominant 3-4 defense and even though Spencer will have to beat out veteran Greg Ellis for a starting job he will eventually play Shaun Phillips to Demarcus Ware's Shawne Merriman. In round three Dallas continued to bolster their offensive line, selecting Boston College tackle James Marten with the 67th overall pick. A tough, nasty brawler who really got under the skin of opponents during the Senior Bowl practices, Marten is actually very similar to their current starter at right tackle Marc Colombo and he'll provide some quality depth and insurance.

    With the first of two fourth round picks Dallas reached for Isaiah Stanback of Washington, a college quarterback who will try and make the move to wide receiver in the pros. Projecting players to new positions is always tricky but Stanback does have some experience at wideout and he is certainly athletic enough to make the move successfully. With that said Stanback is likely a long-term project who will occupy the bottom of the depth chart in 2007 and for a team with some question marks at the position they might have been better off going with a more proven commodity. Later in round four the Cowboys added some more offensive line depth when they chose offensive tackle Doug Free of Northern Illinois, who many felt would go much higher prior to his senior year. A former tight end with good athleticism for the position, Free could be a steal and after serving a one year apprenticeship behind Flozell Adams he could be in the mix to replace him in 2008.

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    Contrary to popular belief among Cowboy fans Martin Gramatica is not necessarily the savior that they think he is which is why Dallas used a sixth round pick on Arizona kicker Nick Folk. Gramatica performed well after being brought in to replace the disappointing Mike Vanderjagt last year and he is certainly the front-runner to win the kicking job but Folk will push him and there is even a chance that the team will keep two kickers on the roster with the rookie handling kickoffs. Later in round six the Cowboys chose Connecticut fullback Deon Anderson, who does everything well but nothing great and has some character issues that pushed him down draft boards. Things got so bad at fullback last year that Dallas was forced to start a converted linebacker at the position so Anderson will not only have a legitimate shot to make the team but he could even make a dent either at or near the top of their depth chart.

    With their two seventh round picks Dallas added some reinforcements for their secondary when they chose cornerbacks Courtney Brown of Cal Poly and Alan Ball of Illinois. A workout warrior who shot up draft boards when he ran a 4.34 forty at 6-1 and over 200 lbs. and registered a 41-inch vertical leap, Brown is a height/weight/speed prospect who is more of a developmental guy but he hails from a Division I-AA program that has had some success sending players to the NFL in recent years. Ball has a slight frame and there are concerns about his strength and durability but he's a hard worker with solid intangibles who plays bigger than he is and seems to be the type you hate to doubt. Look for Brown and Ball to duke it out in training camp for a roster spot but you have to think that the former has an early edge just based on physical tools and measurables alone.

    It almost doesn't even matter how this group performs in 2007 because the star of this class is the future #1 they got from Cleveland and Dallas fans are already dreaming of Darren McFadden. An interesting sidebar however is the deal with hated rival Philadelphia and should Anthony Spencer have a big game against the Eagles you can bet Philly fans will be beside themselves since they helped Dallas land him. And can you imagine what would happen if Spencer injured Donovan McNabb and forced Kevin Kolb into action? That would be worth at least a year of talk radio ranting by Iggles fans. The top of the Cowboys depth chart was already pretty solid so barring injuries it will be tough for rookies to break into the starting lineup in '07 but that's always the case with Super Bowl contenders and make no mistake about it Dallas is firmly in the mix to make it to the big game.

    GRADE: B
  2. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    He's wrong on a few points, but I'll give him credit for using the term "Iggles."
  3. CrazyCowboy

    CrazyCowboy Well-Known Member

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    That was a pretty good report.
  4. ENGCowboy

    ENGCowboy New Member

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    I thought that was a pretty solid report quick lock it before eduncan gets here and starts up again.
  5. sago1

    sago1 Active Member

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    Actually I gave the Cowboys draft the same grade, but in 3 years when a real evaluation should be made, the grade could become an A+ if Spencer clearly shows he's a pass rushing force, Free is a quality starter at LT (replacing Adams) & Courtney Brown is a good starting replacement either for CB Glenn or Henry. Any significant contribution from Stanbach, Folk, Marten, Ball and/or Anderson would be really sweet.
  6. JonJon

    JonJon Injured Reserve

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    Wow, could you imagine the irony if this event took place? I would be too histerical if Spencer took out McNabb and Kolb had to come in...the entire Eagles organization would probably spit in eacn others face!
  7. ThreeSportStar80

    ThreeSportStar80 Benched

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    I can't stand NFLDraftCountDown.... I remember some of those mock drafts, wew!

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