Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by Cowboyny, Mar 1, 2021.
Pretty much to a T what I was going to say!!!
Or simply take some big nasty OL's in the mid rounds. If we'd have been doing this all along, we wouldn't have had to spend so many 1sts on the OL.
Last year Dallas had more offensive line injuries than I’ve ever seen the team have - by far - and they got by on good offensive scheming and very good coaching of that unit.
Philbin worked miracles after losing La’el Collins, Tyron Smith, and Travis Frederick (retirement) for what was essentially the entire season. Then, during the season he lost swing tackle Erving, center Looney, RG Martin, and rookie center Biadasz for chunks of the season.
Even with that apocalyptic scenario unfolding (and losing their starting and backup QB), it wasn’t the offense that caused the team to lose many of their games. It was an abysmal defense that failed in nearly every regard until close to the end of the season.
Getting Quinn in place of Nolan will change a whole lot and improve things greatly, but defense needs a lot of help.
So, unless there are widespread, debilitating injuries along the OL, I’m pretty sure that side of the ball will be ok as long as Dak is back. Even if Smith does go down, this coaching staff has proven that they’ll be ok with the swing tackle stepping in and playing with Williams-Biadasz-Martin-Collins, or whatever starting lineup they settle on.
This is no longer Garrett’s OL where one guy going down kills them. This staff has proven they can deal with OL injuries in an effective and intelligent manner.
While I am all for taking the BPA... and if Slater is by far the BPA then take him... I don’t think they are in a situation where they should have to fill a LT position early for fear of Smith getting hurt during the season. They’ve proven they can handle one injury on the OL.
Besides, I do think that the surgery he finally got will effectively fix that problem going forward. But if it doesn’t, I think they’ll still be OK as long as they get a decent swing tackle.
What I cannot comprehend is how this isn't blatantly obvious to everyone.
We've taken a lot of OL's in the mid rounds over the years, but it's hit and miss. Before Doug Free, it was mostly miss.
Since 2010, we've drafted Sam Young (6th), David Arkin (4th), Bill Nagy (7th), Chaz Green (3rd), Laurence Gibson (7th), Connor McGovern (3rd) and Tyler Biadasz (4th). I can't say I know for sure we got any of those right to the point where we don't need to spend first- or second-rounders on the OL. That's why we spent three firsts and a second on starters in that same time period.
I'm not saying we shouldn't try for players like McGovern and Biadasz to fill those starting roles, but the reality with any position is that most of the time it's going to be the first- and second-rounders who stick.
That might sound like I'm advocating drafting OL early, but I'm not. This year, I'm advocating using those early picks on defense and not truly worrying about the OL until next year. Yes, we can pick OL in the mid-round, but our expectations shouldn't be too high with those picks.
It's also one of the reasons I want go defense-heavy in the draft and not worry about the line. The hit percentages are not high and go down as the draft progresses, so there's a better chance of us getting what we need if saturate that side of the ball.
The offense is our strength even if we don't add anyone on that side of the ball. Our defense is terrible and needs all the help it can get.
One thing to keep in mind with the mid round OL picks is that all of those guys except for Biadasz were taken with Jason Garrett at the helm. I’m not just beating up on Garrett here but one thing you can say about his time as the Dallas HC is that his offense never dealt well with OL injuries. We all remember the Chaz Green debacle in Atlanta as the coaches seemed helpless to do anything to assist the struggling LT in that game.
There were mercifully very few OL injuries in Jason’s time in Dallas but when there were, it was a big issue. The OL just didn’t do well with anything less than prime blockers on that unit.
I don’t think those coaching staffs were really able to help raise the play of the guys as a unit. To assist the weak areas form a plan to help the unit as a whole.
I’m not sure it is really fair to judge the guys that came and went on the Dallas OL, although I know not all of them were capable of starting.
Think of this past season and the rash of injuries along the OL. Probably the biggest surprise to me this season was just how well Philbin and the coaches took what was by all accounts very subprime OL talent and got that unit to perform pretty admirably. They weren’t great for sure but they all did decent under the circumstances.
Think of it: a second year UDFA tackle/guard replacing all pro Tyron Smith. A rookie UDFA that was embarrassed in the Senior bowl playing all year in place of budding star La’el Collins. A low tier free agent swing tackle and a low tier free agent center replacing all pro Travis Frederick. And then a 4th round rookie replacing that free agent at center.
All of that mess would have had the previous coaching staff curled up in the fetal position. It would have been an unmitigated disaster. Instead, Philbin had those guys playing decently enough where had Dak not gotten hurt, I think the offense would have stayed among the top 10 units.
Philbin and McCarthy clearly can get young, less than elite OL players to play pretty well as part of their unit... and that was without any offseason and very little training camp. I’m not so sure that they couldn’t get a 3rd or 4th round rookie with some talent to be part of a good OL that plays well... assuming there aren’t a dozen season ending injuries there.
It is a continuation of what they did with this system in Green Bay. They never had a ton of high draft picks on the line there. They just would plug guys in, coach them up and have one of the most efficient lines in football
Anyway, my point is that the staff and how they implement those guys might make a big difference when bringing in a guy like Biadasz or a 3rd/4th round OL this year. Maybe it wasn’t the front offices evaluation of mid-round OL that was the problem.
For those that say we should ignore OL and try to develop a guy late, I suggest you take a look at the hit rate of tackles taken outside of the first two rounds.
In the last decade of draft classes, 69% of the future starters came from Round 1 and 2. Seven out of every eight 3rd and 4th rounders failed, so it isn't fair to say "the whole league" is developing these starting OTs on the cheap. Heck, from 2015-19, the league only found 2 starting tackles from rounds 3-7 on 68 picks (Orlando Brown and Sam Tevi), which is an unthinkable 97% miss rate.
OT’s are difficult to find, for sure. Centers and guards would probably be a different story, though I haven’t looked it up to make sure. There are more than a few starting IOL in the NFL that weren’t first round picks.
However, having said that, the Cowboys got somewhat adequate play out of Knight and Steel at tackle, considering the draft capital used on them... which was zero draft picks. I feel rather confident that a 3rd or fourth round pick could be used to take a tackle that is much more talented than either of those two guys.
To be clear, I’m not saying to find your long term left tackle replacement in the 3rd or 4th round. I’m saying to find a good swing tackle there who can play better than Steele so that if Smith does go down, the team can get by with him better than with Steele.
Philbin’s system has long done more with less talented guys.
My point is that I don’t think that Smith is done or about to be done. He had the surgery which I feel will alleviate that issue after trying to make it without surgery. He’s just 30 and should have a few good years left. Could I be wrong? Of course, but I don’t think I am. A better swing tackle than the two UDFA tackles from last year can be found in the mid rounds, IMO and provide some security for any injury in case I am. Then a long term solution can be found next offseason.
I really do think that without widespread injuries along the OL, a decent swing tackle would provide plenty if that’s the only real problem along the line.
I would be ok with Slater because he could play at OG until time to move out to tackle, and I might even be lobbying for that move if the defense didn’t need so much help. But unless there just isn’t a good defender there, I’d rather wait to find Smith’s replacement.
When we had one of the best, we were in the playoffs, not picking in the top 10 of the draft.
Tyron has a chronic back that forces him to miss games every season, the neck injury was associated to that back. Nobody would be shocked if Tyron wanted to retire.
Left Tackle is one position, that is extremely hard to find a quality option later on in a draft. They usually get scooped up right away. In a deep Tackle class, this is the year to be able to land one outside of the 1st rd.
We have 10 selections, which includes our projected comps. It is a smart investment, in a deep Tackle class to draft one somewhere within the 1st three rounds. The Defense isn't going to be rebuilt in off-season, not every area will be improved this off-season. It is unrealistic to expect a full defensive draft. Quinn will be tasked to getting more production out of some of the holdover players.
Our defense isn't 1 top 100 pick away from being rebuilt. Our offense is still going to have to carry this team, if they cannot hold up up front, they have zero chance for success.
Many here thinking I am saying we must take a Tackle at 10, never said that. What I am saying is, we need to address the need somewhere within the first three rounds.
I've said the same thing many times the last few weeks, certainly that's a correct statement. No disagreement there.
Did you read my post? I said "Smith and Collins MAY be able to come back and be as good as the last couple of years, or at least close to it...IF they recover well ."
A pretty good Smith and Collins, with Biadasz, etc. can "hold up up front" Cowboys know how they are recovering and what can be expected of them, I'm just noting that if that's the case then the team can load up on defensive draft picks, which will help the defense....
The Cowboys were a 6 win team. They had a capable backup QB and played in the worst division in football. They didn't beat anyone last season. Yes, defense was terrible, but offense wasn't great either. Team wasn't even competitive against Washington and the Giants dominated the trenches.
I did read it, just going through the responds. We saw what happens when a team loses their Tackles late in a season, even the Chiefs couldn't survive. Is it coincidence that we haven't seen the playoffs since our OL has regressed?
It's a high valued position. Usually teams have to use a top 10-15 pick to secure one. In a deep Tackle Class, we may see them stretch this year, but how far?
Yes, but there's been reports (hate to use that but that's all we have) that Smith's neck problem has been bothering him the last few years, surgery may have solved or greatly reduced that problem. Collins had surgery for a hip injury, very possible the surgery fixed that and he'll be "good to go".
It's all supposition, just hoping for the best...
Thats fair, and I realize they may go OT at 10, but I don't consider it ideal.
But yeah, this is the draft to get a good one in round three.